Ward looking to 'blast' at Ipswich

HE almost joined Ipswich in the winter as a raw novice, and now King's Lynn's Australian teenage sensation Darcy Ward is a world speedway star.

Mike Bacon

SPEEDWAY

Test Match

Great Britain U25 v Australia U25


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Foxhall Stadium tonight, 7.30pm

By Mike Bacon

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HE almost joined Ipswich in the winter as a raw novice, and now King's Lynn's Australian teenage sensation Darcy Ward is a world speedway star.

Tonight Witches fans get a chance to see what they missed out on, when Ward, who wasn't allowed to ride for the Foxhall Elite League outfit because he didn't have an official average, and his Australian U25 team-mates, roll into Foxhall Stadium in a mouth-watering Test Match against a Great Britain U25 side.

It's the biggest meeting for many seasons on the Heath and a large crowd is expected, as some of the best young riders in the world go head to head.

For 17-year-old Ward, who has been a phenomena in 2009, commencing the season with a three-point average and culminating with him picking up the World U21 crown two weeks ago, it's a chance to show Ipswich fans what they could have been enjoying had the 'red tape' not got in the way.

“I know there were rumours of me joining Ipswich in the winter,” the young Aussie said.

“I've only ridden the track a few times and I must admit I didn't know what to make of it. But that was then, hopefully it will be different on Thursday and we can have a blast.

“A Test Match is great fun, being with all the other Aussie lads and riding for my country is special. Hopefully I can have a good meeting and show the Ipswich fans what we can do.”

Ward will be joined in the Aussie ranks by Poole's Chris Holder, who has already won a place in next season's Grand Prix series, Coventry's Rory Schlein and Ipswich's Troy Batchelor in a strong-looking Australian side who start the meeting as slight favourites.

Great Britain will be led by a quartet of young stars who all rode in the World Cup for their country earlier in the season, Edward Kennett, Tai Woffinden, Lewis Bridger and Ipswich's Danny King.

Eastbourne's Bridger and Batchelor were involved in an altercation in the Arlington pits on Saturday night, when the Ipswich Aussie was guesting for Poole.

It was an unpleasant incident, with blows exchanged, Batchelor having an escort out of the stadium.

Tonight all the action will hopefully be on the track and with the standard of young stars on show, it could well be one of the meetings of the season, if not for many seasons at Foxhall.

Normal admission prices apply and fans are advised to arrive earlier than usual.

Tonight's teams

Great Britain U25s: 1 Edward Kennett, 2 Ben Barker, 3 Lewis Bridger, 4 Danny King, 5 Tai Woffinden, 6 James Wright, 7 Joe Haines.

Australia: 1 Chris Holder, 2 Darcy Ward, 3 Rory Schlein, 4 Cameron Woodward, 5 Troy Batchelor, 6 Ty Proctor, 7 Cory Gathercole.

Mike.bacon@archant.co.uk

www.lovespeedway24.co.uk

(N) GOING to the meeting? Then join in with Mike's webchat tomorrow lunchtime, 12noon on www.lovespeedway.co.uk and discuss your thoughts on it. And check out Mike's new blog, Flying with the Witches, also on www.lovespeedway.co.uk.

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