Nicholls answers Witches' SOS call

SCOTT Nicholls begins the first of what is set to be quite a few guest appearances for Ipswich Evening Star Witches, at Poole tonight.The British champion and former Witch was promoter John Louis' number one target to help the current side out, after the cruel blow of losing Mark Loram for the season.

By Mike Bacon

SCOTT Nicholls begins the first of what is set to be quite a few guest appearances for Ipswich Evening Star Witches, at Poole tonight.

The British champion and former Witch was promoter John Louis' number one target to help the current side out, after the cruel blow of losing Mark Loram for the season.

Despite his move away from the Witches two seasons ago, Nicholls is still a big local favourite at Foxhall where he served the club so well for so long.

He certainly doesn't need any motivation to help out his former side.

“I always look at guest bookings as putting my reputation on the line,” Nicholls said.

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“I'm totally gutted for Mark who is such a great lad and Ipswich fans know I'll be giving it 100% all through.

“John (Louis) has basically given me the Witches fixture list and told me to put my name down for the ones I can make and the ones I can't

“Unfortunately there are a few clashes with Coventry meetings and the GP's start in May. Plus my first child is due soon, so it is a very busy time ahead.”

Indeed Nicholls and Sky television presenter Sophie Blake expect their first child on May 1 and Nicholls knows it is sure to impact on his busy schedule.

Tonight however he and the rest of the Evening Star Witches will be in Dorset hoping to surprise a home side who didn't excel on television Monday night, losing heavily at Belle Vue.

While in Jason Crump and Bjarne Pedersen they have two of the top six riders in the country, it does mean they are very top heavy - something Ipswich will hope to exploit.

One rider currently falling foul of Pirates fans is Russian Serkey Darkin. He has failed to score a point in his opening seven rides for the Pirates.

Indeed his four-ride failure at home to Eastbourne last week was the worst debut by a non-reserve in Poole's 59-year history.

Poole manager Neil Middleditch, said: “My job as team manager is not to get on people's backs; my job is to try and lift them up.

“Of course I'm not happy he hasn't scored any points yet. I would prefer that he had scored some, but he knows what he has to do.”

Ipswich's Polish riders, Robert Miskowiak (14), Zibi Suchecki (nine) and Marcin Rempala (seven and nine in two meetings) all impressed in their home country in challenge meetings at the weekend.

Pirates: 1 Jason Crump, 2 Edward Kennett, 3 Bjarne Pedersen, 4 Sergey Darkin, 5 Craig Boyce, 6 Jason Doyle, 7 Troy Batchelor.

Ipswich: 1 Scott Nicholls, 2 Kim Jansson, 3 Chris Louis, 4 Marcin Rempala, 5 Robert Miskowiak, 6 Zibi Suchecki, 7 Tobi Kroner.

EASTBOURNE'S David Norris will guest for the Witches at home to Coventry tomorrow.

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