It's a big week for the Witches

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches are all geared up to end their speedway season with a bang.They ride in the final of the Craven Shield at Poole tomorrow, at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday and at Coventry in the final leg on Saturday.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches are all geared up to end their speedway season with a bang.

They ride in the final of the Craven Shield at Poole tomorrow, at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday and at Coventry in the final leg on Saturday.

The Witches will be at full strength in the first two matches and they have drafted in Peterborough rider Sam Tesar to replace number one Scott Nicholls at Brandon. New British champion Nicholls is flying out to Sydney on Friday for next week's Australian Grand Prix.


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Danny Bird has been given the nod to ride in this six-a-side final at Poole and Ipswich. The rider with the lowest average has to be reserve so Kim Jansson will fill that role in the opening two meetings.

He will have no programmed rides but can replace team mates and have a maximum of five rides. At Coventry Jansson will be in the team proper with Championship of Great Britain champion surprise packet Leigh Lanham at reserve.

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Lanham was superb at Brandon last Saturday and could prove a trump card in the deciding leg. Bird is riding in a Premier League fixture for the Isle of Wight on Saturday.

Tesar scored nine points at Coventry in a 2002 league match, and Ipswich will be happy if he stages a repeat.

Holders Poole have booked Peter Karlsson to replace world champion Tony Rickardsson in all three legs have recalled former favourite Magnus Zetterstrom to replace injured Gary Havelock tomorrow.

Joe Screen will replace Andreas Jonsson for Coventry at Foxhall.

Pirates boss Neil Middleditch said: "We'll be going flat out to build up a big enough lead to take into the other two legs of the final, but it will be tough."

N STOWMARKET-based Mark Loram will fly out to Australia this week for the final Grand Prix of the season.

The former world champion crashed heavily in the Championship of Great Britain at Coventry on Saturday and was taken to hospital with a back injury.

But x-rays have revealed there are no broken bones and he is now determined to take his place at Stadium Australia, Sydney, on October 26.

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