Can Cook help cook up an Ipswich brew at Belle Vue? Aces v Witches - the big talking points

Dan Bewley ahead of Danny King, early in heat seven, but it was the Witches skipper who came through

Dan Bewley ahead of Danny King, tussle for the lead at Foxhall a couple of weeks ago when Belle Vue came to Ipswich and drew 45-45. Can Ipswich grab a point or two tonight in Manchester? - Credit: Steve Waller

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.

Heat 13 action with Scott Nicholls inside Danny King and Richard Lawson.

Heat 13 action with Scott Nicholls inside Danny King and Richard Lawson. - Credit: Steve Waller


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.

Danny King.. Picture: Steve Waller

Danny King, who won the British title at Belle Vue in 2016 - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller


Most Read

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


Doing Ipswich proud: GB team boss Neil Vatcher, left, with Dan Gilkes, Drew Kemp and Anders Rowe after their third placed finish in Poland at the weekend. - Credit: Taylor Lanning


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.

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins consoles Jake Allen after heat 15.

Ritchie Hawkins misses out tonight. He's seen here, right, with Jake Allen - Credit: Steve Waller


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.

Craig Cook Picture: Ian Burt

Craig Cook - guesting for the Witches tonight. - Credit: Archant


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.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter