Can Cook help cook up an Ipswich brew at Belle Vue? Aces v Witches - the big talking points
- Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com
Injury-hit Ipswich Witches face a stiff task at Belle Vue tonight. But they include at No.1 a rider who was just two weeks ago ousted by local rivals King's Lynn.... MIKE BACON takes a look at the talking points.
The dust has only just settled on Thursday night's thrilling derby clash between the Witches and King's Lynn Stars that saw Ritchie Hawkins' men lose their first home meeting of the season.
It was a clash that also saw the Witches lose a third rider in the space of a week to injury, with Cameron Heeps carted off to hospital with a damaged shoulder that is set to keep him out for three weeks.
Add Heeps' name then to Jason Crump and Jordan Stewart, who are already injured, and the Witches have a bit of a different look to them this evening.
Craig Cook, who was sensationally ousted from Lynn only two weeks ago, guests for Crump, while Berwick's Aaron Summers replaces Heeps. The Witches will use rider replacement for Jordan Stewart.
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The National Stadium track at Belle Vue is an awesome race circuit.
It has racing lines all over it and can make a rider look as brilliant as it can ordinary. Riders swoop all over the track and there are more lines on it than trees in a wood.
For the Witches, this will be a tough test, although they have riders in the camp who have enjoyed their trips to Belle Vue over the years. None more so than Danny King and Cook.
In 2016 King won the British title at Belle Vue in a thriller, defeating Cook in the final. One year later it was Cook who was the victor in Manchester.
The two will lead the Witches' main attack tonight
BRONZE FOR WITCHES YOUNGSTERS
Drew Kemp and Anders Rowe won bronze in Saturday's European Under-19 Pairs Final at Gdansk.
Kemp was in outstanding form on his home Polish track, winning five of his six races to score 15 points.
Rowe and reserve Dan Gilkes contributed 4+1, and two, respectively as GB finished on 21 points, seven adrift of winners Latvia and level with the hosts. Kemp lost a run-off with the Poles for second.
However, the two Ipswich youngsters are coming on leaps and bounds. Yes, they will have their highs and lows as young riders do, but don't expect them to be overawed at Belle Vue tonight - big tracks are something they clearly both enjoy, as they showed in Gdansk.
Ipswich team boss Ritchie Hawkins will be missing tonight.
It's not often the Witches boss is not in attendance. But Chris Louis is more than capable of taking over the team bosses' role for the night.
He will be keen to get his team back in a better frame of mind after Thursday night's Lynn defeat, which hurt Louis as much as anyone.
BELLE VUE: 1. Brady Kurtz 7.75 2. Ritchie Worrall 5.06 3. Steve Worrall 5.67 © 4. Charles Wright 6.60 5. Dan Bewley 6.59 6. Tom Brennan (RS) 7. Jye Etheridge 4.55. Team Manager: Mark Lemon
IPSWICH: 1. Craig Cook (g) 8.00 2. R/R for Jordan Stewart 4.00 3. Aaron Summers (g) 6.17 4. Jake Allen 5.70 5. Danny King 6.85 © 6. Anders Rowe 3.00 7. Drew Kemp (RS). Team Manager: Chris Louis
During the decade of the 1970s, Ipswich and Belle Vue shared the Division One title on five occasions - Belle Vue in '70, '71 and '72, the Witches in '75 and '76.