Rory's a Witch . . . but not just yet

RORY Schlein will make his debut as an Ipswich Evening Star Witches rider next week, after joining the Suffolk side from Coventry Bees.

Mike Bacon


Ipswich Witches v Belle Vue Aces

By Mike Bacon

RORY Schlein will make his debut as an Ipswich Evening Star Witches rider next week, after joining the Suffolk side from Coventry Bees.

Schlein will join up with his new team-mates for Saturday week's clash at Eastbourne, after a protracted BSPA meeting ended on Tuesday night, with Hans Andersen being allowed to go to Coventry and Schlein to Foxhall.

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The meeting wasn't all plain sailing though, and Andersen was expected to make his Bees debut at Peterborough tonight, although that looked in doubt this lunchtime, with Coventry's new declared line-up not going through in time. And ironically Schlein could still be riding for the Bees at the East of England Showground this evening.

It appears a bit of mess all round, but that won't worry the Witches who were already in the box seat to get the young Australian's signature with the deal was tied up yesterday.

A happy Chris Louis said: “We are very pleased to get Rory and I know he is very happy to be coming to us.

“The situation at Coventry wasn't ideal for him with all that was going on and he wasn't looking to leave. But hopefully in the end their loss will be our gain.

“I know many fans wanted us to move sooner to get a replacement, but we wanted the right person to become available and we were not going to jump into something quickly, like we did last season.

“Our season is very much alive and it's not too late for us to make a move as regards the play-offs. We are aiming for a top-four place and although a top-two one looks difficult, we are still trying.”

And Louis admitted the Witches were hoping for more than just a season-long loan for Schlein.

“We did ask Coventry if we could purchase Rory outright,” Louis added.

“But, and I suppose understandably, they didn't want to sell him.

After last week's loss to Lakeside, the Witches can't afford any more home slip-ups, and that includes another visit from Lakeside in a couple of weeks and a meeting with Poole at home later in the season.

Rider replacement will still be in operation tonight, as Piotr Swiderski recovers from his broken hand, while Eastbourne's Eddie Kennett will guest for Chris Louis, with Schlein stepping in as from next week.

“Piotr is hoping to ride in Poland in the Polish championships on Saturday,” Louis added.

“He has had an operation and a plate fitted in his hand.

“Hopefully when we travel to Eastbourne next Saturday, we will have a full seven-man team again, at last.”

The continued poor form of Robert Miskowiak is still concerning the Witches management. Again on Monday night at Belle Vue he failed to deliver in a meeting the Witches narrowly lost.

Riding at No.4 now, Miskowiak should be among the points at Foxhall tonight. Belle Vue include young Dane Patrick Hougaard, who has been scoring plenty of points after he signed for the Manchester club a month ago. The Aces are led by Jason Crump, who is still keenly contesting the world championship this year.

Ipswich: 1 R/R, 2 T Kroner, 3 J Hampel, 4 R Miskowiak, 5 E Kennett, 6 S Johnston, 7 C Schramm

Belle Vue: 1 J Crump, 2 R/R, 3 C Gjedde, 4 B Forsberg, 5 J Screen, 6 N Simmons, 7 P Hougaard

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