Witches chance to grab some glory

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches' fans have been waiting patiently for their season to lift off.Tonight their wishes could be granted when their favourites take on neighbours King's Lynn in the British League Cup at Foxhall Stadium (start 7.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches' fans have been waiting patiently for their season to lift off.

Tonight their wishes could be granted when their favourites take on neighbours King's Lynn in the British League Cup at Foxhall Stadium (start 7.30pm).

The Suffolk side won their previous home match in this competition - against Peterborough - but lost narowly on their travels at Rye House, Peterborough and Lynn.

They won the aggregate bonus point against the Panthers in a competition where group winners - and the three best runners-up - go through to the quarter-finals.

Three points tonight would be Ipswich on top of the table, and with a good chance of making something of their season after struggling all year in the Elite League and going out of the KO Cup at the first stage.

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Tonight's match could also determine if any further changes are to be made to the side with Toni Svab likely to be in the pits and Eastbourne about to cast off a rider to accomodate Nicki Pedersen.

The Stars dropped down to the Premier League this year and changed their name from the Knights.

Their league form has been good and they have held a top-six position practically all season.

But they did suffer the disappointment of going out of the Premier League KO Cup last week to Sheffield, after conceding a 8-1 and 5-1 in the last two races, to lose by three points on aggregate.

This will make them even keener to do well in the League Cup.

In the corresponding fixture, the Stars defeated Ipswich 48-41.

Lynn track a very youthful squad, including James Brundle, Mark Thompson, Adam Allott and Trevor Harding.

But these youngsters are growing in confidence all the time and with the likes of Tomas Topinka and Davey Watt offering good heat-leader support, the Stars have surprised many this year.

But Ipswich should have enough fire power around their home circuit for such an inexperienced side, who also include 19-year-old Czech Republic rider Tomas Suchanek.

The reigning Czech under-21 champion comes to Lynn with high recommendations from his homeland, although quite what he will make of Foxhall's tight turns remains to be seen.

Ipswich are almost at full strength. Chris Slabon is the only one missing, as the rules state a rider who misses an away meeting through illness and not injury, has to miss the next official home match for his side.

Slabon had a virus and was absent at Wolverhampton on Monday night.

Ipswich also include former Lynn man Freddie Eriksson, as well as Ben Howe who is making another welcome return to Foxhall.

After tonight the Witches still have Arena Essex to race home and away, as well as current group leaders Rye House at Foxhall.

Tonight's line-ups

Ipswich: D Bird, K Jansson, F Eriksson, D Nermark, P Hurry, D King, B Howe

King's Lynn: T Topinka, T Suchanek, D Watt, T Harding, A Allott, M Thompson, J Brundle.