Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 12°C


Barker’s back for KO Cup semi clash after Witches injury curse strikes again

PUBLISHED: 15:26 09 October 2017

Ben Barker rode for the Ipswich Witches in 2013 and 2016. Photo: Steve Waller

Ben Barker rode for the Ipswich Witches in 2013 and 2016. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins has called upon former Foxhall favourite Ben Barker for the first leg of the Championship Knockout Cup semi-final with Sheffield Tigers after Rory Schlein was ruled out for the season.

Rory Schlein is the latest Witches rider to suffer an injury this season. Photo: Steve Waller Rory Schlein is the latest Witches rider to suffer an injury this season. Photo: Steve Waller

Australian ace Schlein crashed out of the SGB Championship Pairs meeting in Sheffield on Sunday night, suffering whiplash, concussion, as well as soft tissue damage to his wrist and hand.

It’s yet another injury set-back in what has been a luckless season on that front, with Kyle Newman, Nico Covatti, Danyon Humes, Cameron Heaps, Justin Sedgmen and Connor Mountain having all been sidelined at various stages.

Barker will guest in the KO Cup semi-final first leg at Sheffield on Thursday night, with rider replacement in operation for Sedgmen.

It will then be rider replacement for Schlein in Friday’s home leg, with Mason Campton in for Sedgmen as the Witches look to gain revenge for their recent 99-81 aggregate Championship Play-Off Final defeat to the Tigers.

“Losing Rory is a big blow for us because he’s been a key part of the side,” admitted Hawkins. “It’s only Danny (King) left now who hasn’t been out I think and even he’s been racing with a shoulder injury since June.

“We’ve dealt with injuries before though and we’ll deal with it again. Usually when you see a team have an awful run of injuries they end up finishing bottom and have an awful season, but even with everything that has gone on we’ve still had a great year.

“Everyone has pulled together so much. I think we’ve used it as motivation to keep fighting.”

With Redcar Bears rider Barker having had spells with the Witches in 2013 and 2016, Hawkins said: “You know what you’re getting with Ben. He’s a rider that loves being part of Ipswich and I know he’ll give us everything. He was the quickest rider in the Pairs on Sunday and goes well around that track.

“Mason, meanwhile, has ridden for us a few times this season and has fitted in really well.”

He added: “To do what we’ve done in these circumstances this season has been unbelievable, but to finish the season without a trophy to show for our efforts would be a real shame.

“If we cut out some of the silly mistakes we made in the Play-Off Final then we’ve got a chance against Sheffield.”

A woman has suffered potentially life-changing injuries during a horror crash in Suffolk.

A resolute Suffolk campaigner who has beaten cancer twice is calling on the running community to join her fight against the devastating disease.

The people of Hadleigh have voted to hold a referendum proposing a mass resignation of their town councillors.

A man has been found guilty in connection with a gunpoint kidnap of a 30-year-old man in Ipswich last year.

Former Ipswich mayor Inga Lockington’s attempt to become a British citizen is back on after Home Office staff contacted her to find out details of her life in this country.

Excitement is building for the Women’s Tour as dignitaries take up the chance to ride part of the Suffolk route ahead of the main event next month.

Work started yesterday to demolish one of the best-known pubs in Ipswich.

Suffolk County Council’s new leader has promised a new era of co-operation as he took over the helm at Endeavour House at the authority’s annual general meeting.

For 63 years the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society has entertained thousands with their colourful shows at local theatres.

Suffolk businesses are being encouraged to consider exporting as part of trade opportunities after Brexit.

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24