Shame public's thirst won't be quenched

WITH the Ipswich public thirsting for more speedway action it is a crying shame that there is a drought in Foxhall Stadium action over the next two weeks.

Elvin King

WITH the Ipswich public thirsting for more speedway action it is a crying shame that there is a drought in Foxhall Stadium action over the next two weeks.

The Evening Star Witches are on a roll having flown to the top of the Elite League table on the back of seven successive victories a 'full house' and would have been guaranteed on the heath tonight in half-term school holiday week.

The Suffolk Show also helps to perk up the Foxhall attendance with punters staying on in town to take in the speedway before venturing home.

So it is a great shame that it will all be quiet in the Kesgrave area tonight as British speedway concentrates on the 2008 British Final at Swindon.

Ironically, there are no Ipswich riders involved at the Abbey Stadium leaving expectant Witches fans kicking their heels.

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And to add to the frustration - both for supporters and the Ipswich management - there is also no meeting next Thursday.

This is because Ipswich have been called up for another television appearance with their home clash with Poole being put back to Monday June 9 to suit TV scheduling.

After not appearing on TV once in 2007, the Witches are now in demand - and rightly so - but the Ipswich promotion will surely suffer financially.

Whereas they could have expected - with all things in their favour - a crowd of around 3,000 tonight they will be lucky on the evidence of previous televised meetings at Foxhall to attract 700 on June 9.

At an average say of £10 a head this is a great deal of money (£23,000 by my estimation) and one that will not be recouped by the league sponsorship deal with Sky Sports.

These figures are reported to be around £45,000 a year whether a club stages TV meetings or not.

THE ACU tribunal to hear Ipswich Evening Star Witches' appeal against Swindon's use of guest Joel Parsons at Foxhall Stadium on April 14 has been set for Rugby on Monday June 23 - the day after Steve Johnston's testimonial at Coventry and convenient for Ipswich officials to stay over and attend the hearing before journeying to a league fixture at Belle Vue that night.

The Witches should find themselves a further three points better off on their Wiltshire-based rivals.

Only a technically would appear to save Swindon from that fate - with a chance to restore creditability back into British speedway.

GREAT Britain team manager Jim Lynch believes the race for a place in the British Grand Prix at Cardiff on June 28 is wide open.

The wildcard entry will be decided in the British Final at Swindon tonight.

Said Lynch: “Apart from racing for the title of British champion, the race for the Cardiff wildcard will be fascinating. It's wide open, several riders have a chance to do it in my view.”

Tonight's line-up: J Wright (Swindon), S Nicholls (Eastbourne), T Woffinden (Rye House), C Harris (Coventry), R Ashworth (Sheffield), A Roynon (Birmingham), L Richardson (Eastbourne), E Kennett (Eastbourne), L Lanham (Lakeside), S Stead (Coventry), B Barker (Stoke), O Allen (Coventry), W Lawson (Edinburgh), D King (Peterborough), D Howe (Wolverhampton), L Bridger (Eastbourne).

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