By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to Wiltshire face the Swindon Robins at the Abbey Stadium on Thursday 4th July in a Premiership clash that starts at 7.30pm.
SWINDON: 1. Jason Doyle 9.39 © 2. David Bellego 5.84 3. Rasmus Jensen 4.51 4. Adam Ellis 6.67 5. Troy Batchelor 7.68 6. Ellis Perks 3.19 7. Todd Kurtz (g) 3.81. Team Manager: Alun Rossiter
IPSWICH: 1.Chris Harris 6.95 2. Richard Lawson 6.89 3. Danny King 6.51 © 4. Cameron Heeps 6.00 5. Krystian Pieszczek 5.71 6. Edward Kennett 5.71 7. Jake Allen 5.43. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: C. Gay
VENUE: Abbey Stadium
WHAT’S THE STORY?
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches are on the road again this week as they travel to Wiltshire to take on the Swindon Robins. Ipswich were in action on Monday night at Peterborough where they cruised to a 51-38 victory that gave them four league points and took them to the top of the Premiership table. Ipswich were without Edward Kennett due to injury for that victory but hope to have him back for Thursday’s clash, meaning they will field a full one to seven for the first time since the narrow defeat to Belle Vue at the start of June.
The Witches have been to the Abbey once this season already in the Supporters Cup, where they were beaten 51-39. The Suffolk side have improved their form on the road since then, picking up 12 points in their last six away meetings in all competitions. Chris Harris impressed at the Abbey earlier this season scoring 12+1 but the Witches will be looking for another solid team performance throughout that has served them so well so far in 2019.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Thursday’s clash…
“We did alright there in the Supporters Cup earlier this season. We are in a lot better form now than we were. Swindon are a good side and it will be another tough one. We go there full of confidence and buzzing after Monday’s win and it is good to have another meeting in quick succession.
“We hope Eddie will be alright after a couple of days rest and it is one we will judge nearer the time.
“It will be nice to see David, there is nothing untoward there and it will be nice to catch up with him and I am sure he will do very well for Swindon.
“Monday’s win has taken the pressure off a bit for the next two away meetings, it was a big opportunity for us at Peterborough. The way we are and the form we are in we will go anywhere looking to win. At the moment we are in a very strong position and the boys are not under great pressure, they are just enjoying their racing which is nice to see.
“Jake did well on Monday and came through a tough meeting at Sheffield on Sunday. It will take a few meetings to settle back in and he won heat 14 and that ride secured the four-point win for us. It is brilliant to have him back in the team and we want to be riding with our one to seven and not a guest ideally and it is nice to have him back.”
It has been a season of change for Swindon so far in 2019 but the Robins will be looking to settle down now and move up the Premiership table. The Robins have made four changes to their line-up, one enforced, one retirement and two tactical. Ellis Perks replaced the struggling James Shanes and Rasmus Jensen came in for Dawid Lampart. Zach Wajtknecht recently retired from the sport and the club have signed Stefan Nielsen as his replacement at reserve. Tobias Musielak then suffered an injury and the Robins signed former Witch David Bellego as his replacement, who started the season in Suffolk. However, new signing Nielsen misses Thursday’s match due to injury and Todd Kurtz guests in his place. 2017 world champion Jason Doyle and compatriot Troy Batchelor remain, providing the hosts with a powerful top two, with the pair clocking up three maximums between them in their last three home meetings.
Despite the host of changes, the Robins are unbeaten on home shale in the league with three wins and a draw to their name. It is their form on the road that has let them down with just one point from five meetings. Swindon confirmed their place in the Supporters Cup final last week with a win over King’s Lynn and they will take on Belle Vue for the trophy.
ON THE ROAD…
Swindon ride in red and orange kevlars with white and black and race at the Abbey Stadium. The track measures at 315 metres with the track record belonging to Brady Kurtz who set a time of 61.42 in May of 2019. An adult ticket costs £18, concessions £15, children (aged 11-16) £5 and children under the age of 11 go free. For travel information head here.
For more information about the club head to Swindon’s official website.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
On Monday evening, Poole won 46-44 away at Belle Vue whilst King’s Lynn beat Swindon 49-40 at the Adrian Flux Arena. Ipswich raced to a 51-38 win away at Peterborough.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway