By Henry Chard
All the details ahead of our Premiership fixture with Wolverhampton.
WHEN & WHERE
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to the West Midlands to face the Wolverhampton Wolves at the Ladbroke Stadium on Monday 19th July in a Premiership fixture that starts at 7.30pm.
WOLVES: 1. Sam Masters 7.52 2. Luke Becker 6.11 3. Nick Morris 6.44 4. Ryan Douglas 5.36 5. Rory Schlein 6.80 © 6. Broc Nicol 4.00 7. Alfie Bowtell (g) (RS). Team Manager: Peter Adams
IPSWICH: 1. Jason Crump 8.00 2. R/R for Anders Rowe 5.49 3. Danny King 6.93 © 4. Jake Allen 5.57 5. Craig Cook 7.60 6. Drew Kemp (RS) 7. Paul Starke 4.67. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: C. Gay
The Witches return to action on Monday after a week without fixtures as they make the trip to the West Midlands to take on the Wolverhampton Wolves. The Suffolk side returned to winning ways recently after their seven-match losing streak, picking up two wins in a week earlier this month away at King’s Lynn and at home to Belle Vue to keep their play-off hopes alive. Ipswich sit fourth in the Premiership table but have ridden three more meetings than fifth-placed Sheffield and there is little room for error over the course of the rest of the season.
The away side welcome back number one Jason Crump for the fixture as the Australian returns to the scene where he suffered his injury. The former world champion broke eight ribs in Ipswich’s defeat at Wolves back in May and did attempt to make a return in the home meeting against Wolves in June but was visibly struggling on the bike. However, Crump returned to action for his Championship side Plymouth last Tuesday scoring 9+2 and is now ready to return again for the Witches. Ipswich will still be without Anders Rowe, who suffered a grade 2 injury to his MCL in the win at King’s Lynn but is hopeful of a return to action at the end of the month. Rider replacement will be used at number two on Monday. The Witches will be hoping for a much-improved performance after they went down 28-62 on their last visit to the Ladbroke Stadium.
Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives his pre-match thoughts…
“We travel to Wolves on Monday, a place where we had a poor performance earlier this season. We have had a couple of team changes since there and it is a place I feel we can go well at even though they are very strong at home. We need to carry on our improved form but we certainly all need to be firing to take anything from it.
“It’s great to have Crumpy (Jason Crump) back and the extra couple of weeks has made the world of difference. He had a good showing at Plymouth on Tuesday night. It will be great to have him back in the team and he is a very important figure in the side and I’m sure he will be pleased to be back; we are delighted to have him.
“Hopefully Anders will be back for the 29th, his treatment is going well and he is having intense physio on his knee injury which is going well, so hopefully he will be back at the end of the month and we can run with a full 1-7.
“As much as it is a tough place to go, that does not make a difference with the position we are in. We are still in a position where we are desperate for points and away wins so it is very much backs against the wall for the second half of the season. We need to go there fighting and performing to our capabilities. We need points on the road, but we also need to win at some places. It is a big ask at Wolves, but we are in a position where we need big performances and big shocks if we are to pull ourselves back round.”
Wolverhampton have made a strong start to the 2021 season and currently sit second in the Premiership. The hosts have a perfect home record with three wins from three and have already picked up three four-point wins on their travels to put them in a strong position in the race for the play-offs. Wolves were in action at Belle Vue last Thursday and recorded a four-point victory in Manchester to inflict a first home defeat of the season on the Aces.
Wolves will be without their ‘rising star’ rider Leon Flint on Monday due to injury with Alfie Bowtell coming in as a guest. All five of the main body of the side have enjoyed strong starts to the season and have upped their averages since the start of the campaign. Sam Masters and Luke Becker both scored paid maximums in the last win over Ipswich at the Ladbroke Stadium whilst Nick Morris hit a full maximum in that fixture, and it is sure to be another stern test for Ipswich on Monday to gain a positive result.
An adult ticket costs £19, concessions £16, juniors (aged 13-18) £8, children (aged 6-12) £1 and children under the age of 5 go free. Official programmes cost £3. For travel information head here. For more information about the club head to Wolverhampton’s official website.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway