Bonus point or play-off hopes are over

IPSWICH Witches team manager Mike Smillie has admitted the Suffolk side's play-off hopes will be all but over if they don't get at least the bonus point from today's Elite League clash at Swindon.

By Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Witches team manager Mike Smillie has admitted the Suffolk side's play-off hopes will be all but over if they don't get at least the bonus point from today's Elite League clash at Swindon.

The Witches travel to Wiltshire in a Sky-televised clash without broken collar-bone victim Chris Louis and psychologically, as well as practically, Louis' absence will give the home side a big boost.

But Ipswich did plenty of good work in a big 56-37 win over the Robins back in June and manager Smillie is expecting at least the bonus point. Indeed Smillie is hoping for even more.


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“We have got 19 points to play with and if we don't get the bonus point, then quite honestly we have got to be wondering if we will make the play-offs,” Smillie said.

“I don't see why we can't actually win at Swindon. They are having their problems and Peterborough ran them very close last week. Also Lee Richardson pulled out of the Grand Prix on Saturday night and he is now missing.”

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Indeed Richardson is another absentee with Davey Watt coming in as a Robins' guest.

Still ecstatic after the one-point success over Peterborough, Robins' co-promoter Alun Rossiter commented: “The meeting against Ipswich has been billed as a Play-Off showdown and suffice to say, I am obviously looking for the right result on the night.”

Louis, meanwhile, broke his collar-bone guest-riding for Belle Vue at Arena Essex on Friday night.

He knows he is likely to face at least a couple of weeks on the sidelines and will know more when he sees Brian Simpson this week.

“Apparently it is a little bit of a messy break and maybe it will be a better option to plate it, which would speed things up.

“Obviously the timing is bad, but we are still in the play-off hunt and mathematics don't come into it yet because there are plenty of points still to play with.

CARL Wilkinson will deputise for Daniel King at Poole on Wednesday and at Foxhall on Thursday night when Ipswich entertain Coventry. King will be on his way to the world under-21 final in Italy.

Swindon: L Adams, D Watt, R Gafurov, R/R, S Ulamek, M Korneliussen and T Chrzanowski.

Ipswich: P Protasiewicz, K Jansson, R Miskowiak, R/R, M Loram, D King and T Kroner.

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