Witches sign Boyce
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches have bowed to pressure from their supporters by signing Craig Boyce.The Poole asset will take the place of Paul Hurry in a re-declared one-to-seven – and make his debut against the Pirates at Foxhall Stadium in the Sky Sports Elite League on Thursday.
By Elvin King
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches have bowed to pressure from their supporters by signing Craig Boyce.
The Poole asset will take the place of Paul Hurry in a re-declared one-to-seven – and make his debut against the Pirates at Foxhall Stadium in the Sky Sports Elite League on Thursday.
Boyce rode for Ipswich in 2001 and 2002 and proved a big hit with fans.
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He was left out of Witches team plans for this year and spent a while in the Oxford side. He is still included in the Poole British League Cup squad.
It is no great surprise that Witches promoter John Louis moved quickly after two heavy defeats by Oxford last week when only skipper Scott Nicholls won races against the Silver Machine side.
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Hurry has been a major disappointment, struggling to show his true form as he slipped down from heat leader to reserve.
He will remain in the Ipswich side for the British League Cup, and is due to ride at Poole tomorrow in a four-team meeting.
Scott Nicholls, Jarek Hampel and Tom P Madsen, also still in the Ipswich League Cup squad, will make up the team.
Witches fans made their feelings known after the embarrassing defeats against Oxford – and now the Ipswich promotion has provided a side that has a stronger look about it.
Kim Jansson replaces Chris Slabon for the visit from Poole, and the two changes in personnel will freshen up the Witches camp.
It may come too late to stave off the wooden spoon, but it will certainly give the Witches a chance of winning matches again.
"We needed to do something and once Craig Boyce lost his Oxford place we started to take notice," said Louis. Paul has not been able to find any consistent form although he has been beset by injury and machine problems.
"There is no doubting his commitment, but it did not work out. Craig has showed what he can do and will give the whole club a lift."
Hurry said: "I have been half expecting this, and all I can say is that I have done my best. It has been my worst season, and one where I have been unable to find my best form.
"I shall be looking to bounce back, and to do well for Ipswich in the League Cup."
Australian, and a former world number three, Boyce said: "I feel for Paul, but plan to make the most of a chance of regular Elite League racing again.
"I have kept myself as sharp as possible and am very much up for helping Ipswich improve their season."
Boyce has a testimonial at Poole's Wimborne Road stadium on August 27. The main event will be based on the old one-off World final format and riders already confirmed are Jason Crump, Leigh Adams, Lee Richardson, Mark Loram, Ryan Sullivan, Greg Hancock, Todd Wiltshire, Kelvin Tatum, Joe Screen, Shane Parker, Hans Andersen, Lars Gunnestad, and Steve Johnston.