In-form Eagles pay visit to Foxhall

IPSWICH Witches face a tough speedway meeting tonight when they take on Eastbourne Eagles at Foxhall Stadium (start 7.30pm).The Suffolk side are bottom of the Elite League table with two points having enjoyed their first success against Lakeside Hammers on the heath on Good Friday afternoon.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Witches face a tough speedway meeting tonight when they take on Eastbourne Eagles at Foxhall Stadium (start 7.30pm).

The Suffolk side are bottom of the Elite League table with two points having enjoyed their first success against Lakeside Hammers on the heath on Good Friday afternoon.

The Eagles are in second place and have enjoyed a better start to the campaign than most pundits predicted.


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Lewis Bridger and Simon Gustafsson have both been in good form and the late decision to return to the track by ex-Witch David Norris has had a galvanising effect.

Witches team manager Pete Simmons will make his team aware that they will have another battle on their hands after their hard-fought victory over Lakeside. He said: “This is yet another tough challenge for us.

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“Eastbourne have begun the year in very confident mood.

“In Davey Watt you know exactly what you are getting and if talented riders like David Norris, Lewis Bridger, Simon Gustafsson and Cameron Woodward click on the same night it makes them very strong indeed.”

A win would take Ipswich off the foot of the table, and they make one change with Carl Wilkinson available and taking the place of James Holder who guested last Friday.

If Jarek Hampel shows the same majestic form as he did against the Hammers last week then Ipswich will be half-way to a win tonight, and fellow Pole Dawid Stachyra now looks as though he knows the best and safest way round Foxhall.

And the Witches management will be looking for German Tobi Kroner to rediscover his true form and add bite to the middle order.

Over 3,000 fans watched the Good Friday meeting at Foxhall and attendance figures are up for all three Witches home fixtures this term.

It is a different story at Eastbourne where boss Bob Dugard says average attendance figures of 1,000 are a worry.

“It seems we are doing far worse than most other people, and I can't get my head around why,” said Dugard.

“Generally speaking crowds at the Midlands tracks seem to be double ours. You're talking about a difference in income of �13,000 per week over the course of a season.

“The racing so far this season at Eastbourne has been superb. To be putting that sort of entertainment in front of small crowds is quite disheartening.

“The club is 100% safe for the season but we have to then ask whether it is worth continuing if people don't want speedway.”

Earlier this month top-flight promoters met to discuss a new Sky Sports TV deal that should help sustain tracks through the economic downturn.

Tonight's line-ups

Ipswich Witches: J Hampel, M Risager, T Kroner, D King, P Swiderski, D Stachyra, C Wilkinson.

Eastbourne Eagles: D Watt, D Norris, L Bridger, C Woodward, L Dryml, R Kling, S Gustafsson.

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