Ipswich Witches face British Champion Craig Cook at Foxhall as Workington come to town
- Credit: Archant
New British champion Craig Cook is at Foxhall tomorrow night as his Workington Comets side roll into town.
Cook, who won the title on Monday, after three runner-up places in the British Final, is in a rich vein of form and invariably goes well round the Foxhall circuit.
He could prove a tough man to beat.
The clash with the Comets represents a tough test for the home side with the visitors having started the season well and sitting just outside the top four having raced fewer meetings than those above them.
After switching the riding order for the disappointing trip to Edinburgh, where the Witches threw away a six-point lead, Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins makes another tweak to the team with Cameron Heeps moving to number three and Justin Sedgmen to four.
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The Witches have won the last three meetings at Foxhall between the two sides in convincing fashion with the Comets not tasting victory since the 2013 play-offs when Richard Lawson led the away side to victory.
However, they will could well be a different kettle of fish tomorrow, with former Witch James Sarjeant at reserve - possibly the strongest reserve in the Championship.
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Hawkins says the Witches must learn from Friday’s defeat at Edinburgh and expects another tough test at Foxhall.
“We have got to put Friday behind us but we have got to learn from it,” said Hawkins.
“We keep saying it every week but Workington have the potential to give us a really good meeting.”
The boss explained his thinking behind the switch in the riding order for Thursday’s meeting.
“I changed the riding order last year at times and I am open to doing the best for every night.
“We review it every week really. Cameron is riding very well and by moving him to three I am just trying to get the best potential out of everybody. We are still experimenting to find the best line-up by the play-offs as well as making sure we win enough meetings to get into the play-offs.”
Hawkins says that it was no shock to see Rory Schlein finish third in the British Final as he urged Danny King to use the disappointment of losing his British title to spur him on in the rest of the campaign.
“It was not a surprise that Rory made the rostrum,” Hawkins said.
“They both looked quick when they got out in front. I think Danny is mega disappointed to lose the title but he has got to pick himself up from the disappointment and now have a strong season and build towards winning his title back next season.”
Ipswich ‘Tru7.com’ Witches:
1. Danny King (c) 8.88
2. Kyle Newman 6.31
3. Cameron Heeps 6.64
4. Justin Sedgmen 7.60
5. Rory Schlein 8.06
6. Connor Mountain 2.67
7. Nathan Greaves 2.26
Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
Workington ‘Thomas Armstrong’ Comets:
1. Craig Cook (c) 9.83
2. Mason Campton 6.05
3. Ty Proctor 7.16
4. Matt Williamson 6.23
5. Thomas Jorgensen 7.30
6. James Sarjeant 3.64
7. Rob Shuttleworth 2.00
Team Manager: Steve Whitehead
Referee: R. Allan
Team Pl Pts
Edinburgh 17 38
Glasgow 13 33
Witches 16 32
Sheffield 13 27
Redcar 15 24
Workington 10 21
Newcastle 14 19
Peterborough 12 15
Scunthorpe 17 14
Berwick 17 10
Last five home results v Comets:
Comets’ last five:
CH Berwick 48-44 Comets
CH Comets 54-38 Witches
CH Comets 51-42 Edinburgh
CH Redcar 42-48 Comets
CH Comets 53-40 Berwick