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Hawkins looking for Witches to have the edge over Panthers as Peterborough come to Foxhall on Saturday night

Rory Schlein, left and Cameron Heeps

Rory Schlein, left and Cameron Heeps

© Stephen Waller

The ‘Tru7.com’ Witches host local rivals Peterborough Panthers on Easter Saturday at Foxhall in a much-anticipated East Anglian derby (7.30pm).

The home side continue to be without Kyle Newman with James Sarjeant staying at number two. Danyon Hume goes back to number seven with Connor Mountain back at number six, as the two continue to share the reserve slots.

The Panthers have had a big winter shake up after a disappointing 2016 season that involved several team changes. Ulrich Ostergaard and Simon Lambert remain from last season’s team but in come Jack Holder at number one and Showground track specialist Kenneth Hansen at number five. Exciting youngster Bradley Wilson-Dean is joined by Tom Bacon at reserve. The Panthers are without Paul Starke on Saturday who is in action for Somerset and Redcar’s Jonas B Andersen guests for the away side.

Ipswich team boss Ritchie Hawkins is hoping for derby day delight in front of another big Foxhall crowd.

“It’s a tough run of meetings and we need to beat Peterborough as it is our local derby,” said Hawkins.

“We have had some varied results in the past but I’m looking for another good performance and if we carry on the way we have rode in the first two home meetings I’m sure we will get another good result.

“We have had two positive crowds so far, it is a local derby and it will be a really exciting meeting. Its two sides who have both started well and we need all the support we can get. Hopefully the weather will be great and there is a feel good factor about the place. We have an exciting line up and the track is better now. It should be a great meeting and we’re looking to get the right result.

The boss believes the Panthers riders will have pressure on their shoulders after team changes throughout 2016.

“I think they have started quite well, they’ve had favourable matches so far,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins says the local derbies have an extra edge for him, having grown up watching Saturday’s opponents.

“Racing against Peterborough there is an extra edge for me personally and it’s the same as a team manager. Obviously being from Peterborough I grew up watching the Panthers but now I want bragging rights for the rest of the year!”

Kids Go Free to Saturday’s meeting and there will be a poster signing session with all seven riders from 6.30-7pm. The first 250 kids will receive free Easter eggs too.

Furthermore, there will be an interactive competition in the stands. A number of Easter eggs will be around the stadium, on the terraces and on the seats. Should you be lucky enough to find one, all you have to do is upload a picture with the Easter egg and use the hashtag #Tru7Witches and tag @ipswichspeedway on Twitter to be entered into a competition to win two tickets to the next meeting at Foxhall!

Ipswich ‘Tru7.com’ Witches

1. Danny King (c) 9.57

2. James Sarjeant 5.66

3. Nico Covatti 7.49

4. Cameron Heeps 5.07

5. Rory Schlein 7.17

6. Connor Mountain 2.00

7. Danyon Hume 2.00

Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

Peterborough ‘T. Balfe Construction’ Panthers

1. Jack Holder 7.16

2. Simon Lambert 5.25

3. Jonas B Andersen (g) 6.30

4. Ulrich Ostergaard (c) 7.14

5. Kenneth Hansen 6.74

6. Bradley Wilson-Dean 5.02

7. Tom Bacon 2.00

Team Manager: Carl Johnson

Referee: D. Watters

Parade: Saturday, 7.30pm

Venue: Foxhall Stadium, IP4 5TL

Last five home results v Panthers:

21.07.16 W57-36

14.04.16 W48-42

27.08.15 W 61-29

03.04.15 W 53-39

04.09.14 W 59-36

Panthers in 2017:

KOC Panthers 49–39 Redcar

CH Scunthorpe 44-46 Panthers

CH Panthers 51-42 Scunthorpe

Panthers 33-57 Coventry (Challenge)

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