Big names continue to miss Foxhall

THE continued lack of appearance of Grand Prix riders at Foxhall Stadium, continues for a fourth consecutive meeting with tonight's visit of Eastbourne.

By Mike Bacon

THE continued lack of appearance of Grand Prix riders at Foxhall Stadium, continues for a fourth consecutive meeting with tonight's visit of Eastbourne.

However, if the entertainment served up over the past two weeks is anything to go by, most Witches fans will care little if Grand Prix riders are on show or not.

The latest world star to be unavailable is current GP leader Nicki Pedersen, who crashed heavily in the Swedish GP on Saturday.


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Pedersen is hoping to be fit enough to ride in the Danish Championships tomorrow night, but Foxhall has come just 24 hours too early for him.

The non-appearance of Greg Hancock and the late appearance of Matej Zagar for Reading last week is still reverberating around the speedway world and clearly if e-mails and fans' forums are anything to go by, the BSPA will need to make some very tough decisions in the winter, with many seemingly not too worried about seeing the top riders in action at all if disruption to teams is going to be something clubs have to live with.

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However, all that is for later.

For now, the Witches will look to extend their unbeaten home run to four - if they can overcome an injury-ravaged Sussex side.

Apart from Pedersen, Eastbourne are also without the services of David Norris, Dean Barker and Cameron Woodward, who are all injured.

Ipswich-based Leigh Lanham comes in for Barker, while the Eagles will use rider replacement at five and Trevor Harding comes in at reserve.

As yet the Eagles have not declared their guest for Pedersen. Edward Kennett is their number one choice should he have come through last night's clash for his club Poole. If there are any problems then Arena Essex Lake-side's Joonas Kylmakorpi will take Pedersen's place.

The Witches will again have Adam Shields at number one for the injured Mark Loram and certainly the sense of choosing a settled guest replacement is starting to pay dividends for John Louis' side.

In Poland on Sunday, Kim Jansson, Marcin Rempala and Robert Miskowiak managed just one point between them, but at Foxhall it has been a different kettle for fish for all three, with Rempala starting to impress after a difficult start to the season.

A quick-fire return is the order of the day for both clubs when they meet at Arlington on Saturday night and the Witches should be chalking this one up as a meeting from which they can seriously gain the bonus point.

Ipswich: 1 A Shields, 2 K Jansson, 3 C Louis, 4 Z Suchecki, 5 R Miskowiak, 6 M Rempala, 7 T Kroner

Eastbourne: 1 E Kennett/J Kylmakorpi, 2 L Bridger, 3 D Watt, 4 L Lanham, 5 rider replacement, 6 S Andersson, 7 T Harding.

Kenneth Bjerre has been named the wild card for the Danish Grand Prix in Copenhagen on Saturday June 9. Jesper B Jensen and Morten Risager are the reserves for the meeting.

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