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Scott Nicholls to ride FOR Ipswich Witches in KO Cup final second leg at Foxhall as Rory Schlein ruled out

Scott Nicholls, hoping to help the Witches to cup glory on Thursday night. Photo: STEVE WALLER

Scott Nicholls, hoping to help the Witches to cup glory on Thursday night. Photo: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Scott Nicholls will be riding FOR Ipswich Witches in Thursday night’s knock-out cup final, second leg, against Peterborough, at Foxhall Stadium.

Super team:  Ipswich Witches Elite League Champions, KOC winners and League Cup winners of 1998.
Toni Svab (L to R) Tomasz Gollob, Chris Louis, Tony Rickardsson, Savalas Clouting and Scott Nicholls with the trophy. Super team: Ipswich Witches Elite League Champions, KOC winners and League Cup winners of 1998. Toni Svab (L to R) Tomasz Gollob, Chris Louis, Tony Rickardsson, Savalas Clouting and Scott Nicholls with the trophy.

In a bizarre and dramatic turn of events, Nicholls has been called up by Witches promoter Chris Louis to replace Rory Schlein, who suffered a badly sprained ankle in a crash at Alwalton on Sunday evening and is out of Thursday’s meeting.

The Witches are gunning for their first major domestic trophy since 1998 – a year they won the treble of League, KO Cup and League Cup – with Nicholls a member of that team!

The news is sure to be greeted by Witches fans with a mix of emotions, ranging from shock, to amazement, to total joy!

Fans have always considered Nicholls ‘one of their own’, a former Witch, born in the town and schooled at Copleston High.

But many were left dismayed last month when he turned out for Sheffield Tigers at Foxhall, as a guest and helped the Yorkshire side defeat the Witches in the Championship play-off final.

He was roundly booed by many that night, but Nicholls will surely go from zero to hero in those same fans’ eyes should he help Ipswich win the cup.

If all that wasn’t enough, Nicholls rode for Peterborough in the first leg of the final – a final Panthers lead 47-43 after that first leg.

Sheffield guest Scott Nicholls inside Cameron Heeps in heat five of the Ipswich v Sheffield, Championship play-off final last month.    PICTURE STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM Sheffield guest Scott Nicholls inside Cameron Heeps in heat five of the Ipswich v Sheffield, Championship play-off final last month. PICTURE STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

“Yep, it’s quite bizarre,” Nicholls, 39, said.

“I don’t think in all my years of racing have I ever ridden for both teams in a cup final. But that’s the way it is and that’s the way speedway goes. I’m sorry Rory (Schlein) got injured and I wish him well. Peterborough wanted to use me at Foxhall on Thursday too – but the averages don’t work out and they can’t fit me in.

“I’m more than happy to ride for Ipswich, of course I am. I want to help them to win the cup. It’s my home town.

“The way they came back at Peterborough after Rory’s injury was incredible.

“I’ll be giving it 110% for the Witches, as anyone who knows me knows that is what I always do.”

Nicholls has been on the receiving end of plenty of vitriol from Witches fans during recent meetings, which also included the knock-out cup semi-final, again against Sheffield, two weeks ago where he rode for the Tigers, but which the Witches won.

“If they don’t boo me, they haven’t missed me, is the way I see it,” Nicholls said.

“Look, I understand fans’ reactions, but this is my job. I helped Sheffield to win the league, but it would have been cool had Ipswich won, I said that at the time.

“Now, hopefully I can help Ipswich win the cup.”

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