Ipswich's relegation fears are over

IPSWICH Witches' concerns of finishing bottom of the Sky Sports Elite League table are behind them and with that they can travel to Lakeside tonight and look to put on a relaxed and hopefully impressive performance.

Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Witches' concerns of finishing bottom of the Sky Sports Elite League table are behind them and with that they can travel to Lakeside tonight and look to put on a relaxed and hopefully impressive performance.

Belle Vue have had mixed results this week to erase the Witches' worries of a relegation play-off.

After failing to take maximum points at home off Peterborough on Monday night the Manchester-based Aces pulled off a surprise 46-44 win at Poole last night.


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That was enough to lift them off the foot of the table, to be replaced by the Pirates.

If Belle Vue lose their last two matches - both at home to Ipswich - Poole could yet switch places with them once more, but the Witches cannot finish bottom.

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Indeed, with four away meetings still to race, the Witches are now looking for a top-six finish and, before the rules were changed, that would have been a play-off berth.

That play-off berth won't be happening now of course with only the top four included - a real own goal from the speedway authorities.

Lakeside however will be in the play-offs as their place in the final four was confirmed on Monday night when Peterborough only took one point from their visit to Belle Vue. The Panthers cannot finish above the Essex-based club, who will finish third if they beat Ipswich tonight.

They will be racing Wolverhampton over two legs and team owner Stuart Douglas is in confident mood.

“There are signs that this year's team is coming into top form at just the right time and we believe we could be the first team outside of a top-two finish to take the play-off title.

“A win on Friday against Ipswich is a must and to add a second top-three finish in two years is what this team deserves.”

Former Witch Piotr Swiderski has finished his spell with the Hammers, who welcome back captain Adam Shields.

The Witches have Newport's Chris Kerr in the reserve berth, with Carl Wilkinson riding for Scunthorpe at Somerset.

Lakeside: 1 L Richardson, 2 J Kylmakorpi, 3 K Nieminem, 4 J Davidsson, 5 A Shields, 6 R Harrison, 7 S Robson.

Ipswich: 1 R Miskowiak, 2 R/R, 3 T Batchelor, 4 D King, 5 S Nicholls, 6 D Stachyra, 7 C Kerr.

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