Witches boss Hawkins issues warning ahead of crucial Panthers clash
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches host the Peterborough Panthers at Foxhall Stadium tonight in a Premiership clash that starts at 7.30pm, writes Henry Chard.
IPSWICH: 1. Chris Harris 6.83 2. Richard Lawson 6.75 3. Cameron Heeps 6.26 4. Jake Allen 5.80 5. Danny King 6.42 © 6. Krystian Pieszczek 5.36 7. Edward Kennett 5.71. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
PETERBOROUGH: 1. Rohan Tungate 7.17 2. R/R for Ty Proctor 5.40 3. Charles Wright 6.39 4. Ben Barker 6.89 5. Scott Nicholls 5.96 6. Aaron Summers 4.99 7. Jason Garrity 4.84. Team Manager: Carl Johnson
REFEREE: D. Robinson
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Poole 17 39
Ipswich 19 36
Belle Vue 21 35
Swindon 18 33
Wolverhampton 20 32
King's Lynn 18 28
Peterborough 19 17
WHAT'S THE STORY?
The 'Tru Plant' Witches play host to another East Anglian battle as they take on the Peterborough Panthers at Foxhall on Thursday. Ipswich were in action on home shale last Thursday when they took on the Swindon Robins and were well beaten at Foxhall on a disappointing night. The Suffolk side have enjoyed good results against the Panthers in 2019, winning at Foxhall whilst also winning twice at the East of England Arena & Events Centre, collecting the maximum 11 points on offer in the process.
The home side welcome back Edward Kennett at reserve following the 10 day ban he was given from the Speedway Control Bureau. Team manager Ritchie Hawkins has made a change to the riding order for this meeting, with Richard Lawson moving back to number two where he did so well earlier in the season. Cameron Heeps now finds himself at number three whilst captain Danny King is at number five. The Witches will be looking to complete a clean sweep of victories over Peterborough this season but will know their performances need to improve vastly at Foxhall if they are to win and edge closer to confirming their play-off spot.
FROM THE MANAGER…
'Tru Plant' Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to tonight's clash…
"This week we need to get three points and a home win otherwise things will start to become difficult for us to make the play-offs. We need to get some wins on the board and get ourselves in a more secure position. A couple of home defeats have dropped us back down into the race for the top four.
"I have switched the riding order around and Richard as you would expect did well at number two previously in the year, he is a very solid number two. Cam is extremely good around Ipswich and is having a great season. For him to be in the number three position and be a heat leader, he should be ready to step up to that role.
"The Panthers are having a very tough season but when you look at their team, they have a lot of former Ipswich riders and they are going to come here looking to do well and get a win. We need to make sure we up our game and be sharper. We need to be more focused and determined to get back to winning ways. We will not take them lightly with the side they are bringing, and we need to be 100% focused and ready to do the business.
"We need to rebuild now, and a win starts that rebuilding process. We still have a month until the play-offs start if we can perform well over the next few meetings, then we can get ourselves back into a strong position, starting on Thursday night."
Peterborough are facing up to an injury crisis ahead of their trip to Ipswich. Carl Johnson has been spending hours trying to patch up his Crendon Panthers side with no Ty Proctor and Hans Andersen - and Charles Wright is only rated 50/50.
Former Peterborough man Ben Barker has agreed to return to the side as cover one of the slots with a final call made when Wright has a fitness test.
Said Johnson: "We are on a difficult run and we are not helped by injuries, but it's all part of the sport.
"Hans has a wrist injury and will be having regular physio to get back as quickly as possible, he's been so unlucky lately.
"Ty has a back problem and Charles aggravated a shoulder problem on Monday. Charles is still hoping to ride but needs some treatment before making the decision."
AROUND THE TRACKS…
Ipswich were heavily beaten on home shale last Thursday as Swindon ran out 53-37 winners whilst King's Lynn beat Wolverhampton 54-36 to keep their play-off hopes alive. On Monday night, Belle Vue lost at home to Wolverhampton at the National Speedway Stadium with King's Lynn beating Peterborough and Poole winning narrowly against Swindon.