Garrity is back as Witches head to Hoddesdon

While the Knock-Out Cup has emerged as the focal point of the Silver Ski Rockets’ season, the main Premier League campaign remains only slightly less important.

While the Knock-Out Cup has emerged as the focal point of the Silver Ski Rockets’ season, the main Premier League campaign remains only slightly less important.

Not only do the Rockets still retain an outside hope of snatching a Play-Off berth thanks to Sunday’s victory at Leicester, but they need to use their League form to build maximum momentum ahead of their Semi-Final clash against Redcar on August 31st.

That momentum will be given a stern test on Saturday when East Anglian rivals Ipswich head into town. The Witches already look set to claim one of the six Play-Off berths available, with a League Cup Final against Newcastle providing an additional opportunity for silverware.

What has brought the Suffolk side to the 2013 party rider-wise has been that rare mix of a clear No.1, excellent back-up and extra bite at the bottom end.


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After a relatively slow start to the campaign, a rejuvenated Ben Barker has re-appeared on the national radar as a Top Five talent and also reclaimed a place in the Great Britain World Cup team. Second year Witch Rohan Tungate joins him at the front, with former four year Coventry star Morten Risager and veteran Leigh Lanham spiking the next rung.

Elsewhere, starting reserve Cameron Heeps has put a full 1 ½ points on his average this term to snare a place in the main body of the team, while Adam Ellis has enjoyed a memorable first professional year that has roped in a near 5 point average and a Wildcard appearance in the World U-21 Final.

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The final piece of the jigsaw is provided by 2011 and 2012 Rocket Richie Hawkins, who replaced Jari Makinen at Foxhall Heath in April, and who certainly knows his way around Rye’s Hoddesdon circuit.

Closer to home, there is excellent news on the Rockets’ team front, with Olly Allen set to return to action following last weekend’s injury complications, while Jason Garrity should finally be back from May’s broken leg. As promoter Len Silver revealed last Saturday, the G-Force will occupy a reserve berth under the latest averages, with the white-hot Pontus Aspgren moving into the main body of the team in exchange.

Team manager John Sampford takes up these rider developments: “I spoke to Olly this morning (Tuesday), and the swelling to his arm has gone down significantly. He fully expects to be fit for Saturday, as does Jason, which means that – fingers crossed – we will finally have our own team on show in all seven spots.

“We are expecting another very tough match, like the two we faced against Leicester last weekend. There are no easy meetings in this league.

“The Witches are certainly on song at the moment. They are getting good results everywhere they go, and even when they are not winning they are picking up match points. We’ve got to be on our guard and do the business if we are to get the full three points.

“It’s all about using this match and our others before the end of the month to put us in our best possible form for when we meet Redcar in the Knock-Out Cup, because reaching that Final is what it’s all about”.

Teams (in alphabetical order):

Rye House: Olly Allen, Pontus Aspgren, Jason Bunyan (captain), Jason Garrity, Kasper Lykke, Anders Mellgren, Tyson Nelson

Ipswich: Ben Barker, Adam Ellis, Richie Hawkins, Cameron Heeps, Leigh Lanham (captain), Morten Risager, Rohan Tungate

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