Witches primed for another big home win over Scunthorpe

IPSWICH Sackers Witches team manager Pete Simmons knows the value of gaining a big win against Scunthorpe Scorpions in the Premier League Knock-Out Cup first leg at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.30pm).

There is no facility to use any tactical riders in this year’s competition so Simmons wants to ensure his team does not come under pressure in the second leg at the Eddie Wright Raceway next Friday.

Ipswich rattled up a record 69 points against the Lincolnshire side in a league fixture on the heath earlier in the season.

“We scored heavily when Scunthorpe last visited,” said Simmons. “But we will still have to work hard in the cup.

“They will come better prepared this time having had experience of Foxhall, and we know the importance of building up a big first leg score without having a tactical ride or two to fall back on if necessary in the second leg.”

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Simmons is looking into bringing in a temporary replacement for Morten Risager, who looks like being out for at least six weeks after badly damaging the little finger on his right hand in a heavy spill at Rye House on May Day.

Ipswich will be using the rider replacement facility to cover for the Dane’s absence tonight with every rider entitled to take an extra ride.

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But next week they ride for four days on the bounce including the second leg that heralds the start of a three-meeting away tour.

“To go into such a schedule with six riders is unwise, and we’ll be seeing if we can bring someone in until Morten recovers,” added Simmons.

“He has had a wire put into his finger and has to have it there for a month.

“It then depends on how much movement he has as to when he will be able to return.

“It is his throttle hand so it is not as delicate as his clutch hand, but he still needs good movement before he can return.

“We thought at one time that we might have got someone in for this Thursday, but it wasn’t to be.”

Ipswich have had a poor record in cup competitions in recent years, often going out before a season is a month old.

With the winners of the tie on aggregate going through to the quarter-finals, Scunthorpe have Tero Aarnio available after injury with broken leg victim Carl Wilkinson having been replaced by Joe Haines.

Tonight’s line-up

Ipswich: K.Doolan (8.68 ave), T.Poole (6.25), L.Bjerre (6.51), Rider replacement, C.Schramm (6.48), J.Hart (4.30), C.Mills (5.18).

Scunthorpe: D.Howe (8.09), J.Haines (6.22), T.Aarnio (6.06), V.Bergstrom (4.97), B.Wilson (6.21), T.Jorgensen (4.10), S.Worrall (3.00).


THE unglamorous life of a speedway rider was highlighted last week when Ipswich Sackers Witches travelled to Edinburgh for a Premier League meeting.

They embarked on surely one of the longest journeys for a British sporting encounter when they left Ipswich at 9am last Friday.

“We must have drawn the short straw to get a one-off meeting in Edinburgh,” said team manager Pete Simmons.

“It was 5.05am when I got home on Saturday morning.”

Ipswich lost 53-40 against the Monarchs to show that they have work to do to keep up with the leaders in the division once other clubs have caught up with their fixtures.


IPSWICH Sackers Witches have arranged their annual twenty/20 cricket game on behalf of injured rider Kim Jansson for Wednesday June 22.

They will take on a media side at the home of Ipswich and East Suffolk CC in Chantry Park with an early evening start.

Witches team manager Pete Simmons expects to see a full turn out (subject to Morten Risager’s fitness) from his riders with all the proceeds going to the Kim Jansson fund after the former Witch broke his back in a fall in his native Sweden.

“They are all up for it and depending on riding commitments we might have Daniel King and Ritchie Hawkins playing as well,” said Simmons.

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