Ipswich Witches v Wolverhampton Wolves... Big meeting preview
© Copyright Stephen Waller
It's top v second at Foxhall Heath on Monday as the Witches race the Wolves, writes Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The 'Tru Plant' Witches host the Wolverhampton Wolves at Foxhall Stadium on Monday in a Premiership clash that starts at 7.30pm.
One lucky fan will be £500 better off if they find the 'golden ticket' on the night. The 'golden ticket' will be inside one copy of the official raceday programme, so all you have to do is buy a programme to be in with a chance of finding the 'golden ticket' and taking home £500.
IPSWICH: 1. Chris Harris 7.82 2. Richard Lawson 6.93 3. Danny King 6.38 © 4. David Bellego 6.14 5. Krystian Pieszczek 6.50 6. Cameron Heeps 4.84 7. Josh Bates (guest) 4.67. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
WOLVES: 1. Sam Masters 7.92 2. Kyle Howarth 4.95 3. Scott Nicholls 6.56 4. R/R for Nick Morris 6.60 5. Rory Schlein 7.84 6. Ashley Morris 3.60 7. Luke Becker 4.00. Team Manager: Peter Adams
REFEREE: M. Bates
VENUE: Foxhall Stadium
Team Meetings Points
Ipswich 4 10
Wolverhampton 3 9
Belle Vue 5 7
Poole 3 6
Peterborough 5 5
You may also want to watch:
Swindon 2 4
King's Lynn 4 3
WHAT'S THE STORY?
The 'Tru Plant' Witches race their second home fixture in quick succession on Monday when they take on the Wolverhampton Wolves at Foxhall in the Premiership. Ipswich were in action on home shale just a few days ago as they took on Poole in the Supporters Cup as they ran out comfortable 52-38 winners in another fantastic home performance. Barring an unlikely set of results that see Ipswich progress to the final, the Witches can now solely focus on their league campaign which they have started well, currently sitting top of the table after four meetings thanks to that big away win at Peterborough last Monday.
Ipswich were at Wolves last month in the league and were unlucky not to take anything from the meeting after a 50-40 defeat, having ran their opponents close all night. Team manager Ritchie Hawkins has settled on a riding order of late having experimented with different pairings in the cup competitions with Chris Harris and Richard Lawson proving a strong pair at one and two. Jake Allen's place in the side is taken by Josh Bates after he suffered a nasty fall in Thursday's win over the Pirates as he visited hospital after the meeting.
The Witches have been in fine form at Foxhall so far this season with four wins from four in all competitions and they will be keen to continue that run on Monday in front of the BT Sport cameras with the nation watching on.
FROM THE MANAGER…
'Tru Plant' Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Monday's clash…
"Going into Monday is an early season top of the table clash and it will be a very tough test. They have got a very good team with riders that like Foxhall. We will need to be on our game again, but we have been every week and we will need the same on Monday.
"We need to carry on what we have been doing because we have been very good, we don't need to change anything. We need to keep building up because we are not firing on all cylinders still, but we are building up nicely into the season. We have a break after Monday, so we want to go into that at the top of the table and in good form.
"It's a good chance for the club and riders to showcase their sponsors but I think we are focused on winning speedway races at the moment and I don't think being on TV will affect any team's performance. They are giving me everything and I certainly don't think they will be giving any extra just because the TV cameras are there.
"Hopefully people will still come out and support us, it is great being on the tele but there is nothing like being there live and experiencing the atmosphere and you obviously have the chance to win £500 if you buy a programme. You have a good shout of getting it, so I might go and buy a few myself."
Wolverhampton are many people's favourites for this year's title having put together a strong line-up this winter after missing out on the play-offs last season. The 2016 title winners were runners-up in 2017 and they will be determined to ensure they don't miss out on the play-offs for a second season running. They have started their league campaign with three hard-fought wins from three, all at Monmore Green and Monday's trip to Foxhall will be their first test on the road this league campaign.
Wolves have a side packed with riders who enjoy riding at Foxhall. Rory Schlein captains the side, having won the Ipswich rider of the year the last two seasons. Sam Masters is at number one and he scored 14 in his last two visits to Suffolk whilst riding for Edinburgh in 2017. Ipswich-born Scott Nicholls knows Foxhall like the back of his hand and reserve Ashley Morris rode for the Witches back in 2015. Rider replacement will be used at four for Nick Morris who is still out injured.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
On Thursday, in the Premiership Belle Vue beat King's Lynn 54-36 at the National Speedway Stadium whilst Ipswich recorded a 52-38 victory over Poole in the Supporters Cup at Foxhall.