No sign of Witches changes

Bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Witches - with just three victories in their opening 12 Elite League meetings - ride at Peterborough tonight (start 7.30pm) with no sign of any imminent team changes.

Although the Witches have completed the necessary 12 official fixtures they find themselves with a higher overall team average than the one they began the campaign with.

It is a dilemma that team manager Pete Simmons says puts them in a position where any change would be a gamble.

“Only three of our riders have competed in all 12 meetings to have their averages altered to a 2010 figure,“ said Simmons.

“And of these both Scott Nicholls and Daniel King have upped their average.

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“Olly Allen has dropped, but any change at the moment would be like for like - and that would be a gamble.

“When - and if - we do change we want to see an improvement.

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“We fought back well in Thursday’s home two-point defeat by Coventry but ran out of races.

“If we can carry on that later meeting form and show the same determination in the Peterborough meeting we can gain some reward at the East of England Showground.”

Olly Allen put a shoulder out against the Bees, but he is expected to take his place in the Ipswich team that will see number eight Ritchie Hawkins at reserve.

His father Kevin is a Peterborough legend, although the Witches will miss high-scoring reserve Linus Sundstrom, who top-scored against Coventry.

Robert Miskowiak and Dawid Stachyra return to the Witches side after missing last Thursday’s meeting because of a Polish commitment that ended up being rained off.

Polish star Adam Skornicki is set to ride for Wolverhampton against Eastbourne tonight after recovering from injury.

Ipswich made an enquiry about him, but Wolves have decided to part company with Joe Screen and put Skornicki - a member of their 2009 championship-winning team - back in their side.

Australian Rory Schlein, Polish prospect Kamil Brzozowski and Frenchman Mat Tresarrieu are set to make their home Peterborough debuts tonight after the Panthers re-vamped their side last week.

Skipper Niels Kristian Iversen is out injured but Grand Prix leader Kenneth Bjerre returns after missing the big defeat at Lakeside on Friday because of the Danish Final.

“If Kenneth, Niels, myself and Troy Batchelor all ride to our capabilities, we should be able to bang in 40 points between us,” said Schlein, who moved to the Panthers from Coventry having spent the back end of 2008 riding for Ipswich.

“And if that happens I see no reason why we shouldn’t be just as strong – or even better than – current runaway leaders Poole.”

Peterborough have won all five league meetings at home and only dropped just one point - to Poole.

Tonight’s likely line-ups

Peterborough: K Bjerre, K Brzozowski, R Schlein, T Batchelor, rider replacement, M Tresarrieu, K Buczkowski.

Ipswich: S Nicholls, O Allen, D King, C Vissing, R Miskowiak, D Stachyra, R Hawkins.

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