Witches out to sentence Aces

IPSWICH Witches will sentence opponents Belle Vue to last place in the Elite League if they pick up their first away win of the season in Manchester tonight (start 7.

Elvin King



IPSWICH Witches will sentence opponents Belle Vue to last place in the Elite League if they pick up their first away win of the season in Manchester tonight (start 7.30pm).

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The Aces need one point to ensure they finish above Poole Pirates in what is the final league fixture of the year.

The Witches lost by one point on their previous league visit to Belle Vue a fortnight ago and after a subsequent draw at Eastbourne they will be in the mood to go better this time.

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If the Aces fail to gain a point, Poole will finish above them and avoid the need to ride Premier League champions King's Lynn in a relegation/promotion play-off.

Since the Witches re-declared their side in July with Scott Nicholls and Troy Batchelor adding to the slightly earlier arrival of Robert Miskowiak they have been a much improved side and attracting decent-sized crowds for home meetings at Foxhall Stadium.

And rider/manager Chris Louis has confirmed that he would not be amiss to tracking an unchanged side in 2010.

“We are talking about riders who are not our assets and having to wait to see what the regulations will be in force next season,” said Louis.

“But I would not mind the team that we currently have.

“We don't know yet what 2010 will bring and I must admit I have an open mind on many aspects at the moment.

“But what we must ensure is that the Elite League remains viable.”

Louis is certainly against the current play-off system that was changed mid-term from six down to four clubs.

“That decision beggared belief,” added Louis. “It would not happen in any other sport.

“Why we have the current semi-finals I don't know with things loaded so much in favour of the top two. Why not just put them straight through to a play-off final for a meaningful finale?”

Ipswich will be a full strength apart from the injured Tobi Kroner while the home side has programmed world champion-elect Jason Crump after injuring his shoulder in Ipswich's previous visit to Manchester.

Tonight's line-ups

Belle Vue: J Crump, rider replacement, P Hougaard, J Wright, K Kasprzak, J Parsons, H Bager.

Ipswich: R Miskowiak, rider replacement, T Batchelor, S Nicholls, D King, D Stachyra, C Wilkinson.

N (SQUARE) IPSWICH have named 11 of the 12 riders who will take part in the 16-Lap Classic at Foxhall Stadium on October 22. They are looking to bring in a top name to complete the field.

The 11 confirmed starters are: Daniel King, Scott Nicholls, Troy Batchelor, Robert Miskowiak, Dawid Stachyra, Carl Wilkinson, Rory Schlein, Oliver Allen, Adam Shields, Linus Sundstrom and Chris Schramm.

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