Johnston nearly pulled out of meeting

STEVE Johnston, Ipswich Evening Star Witches' Aussie star, has told how he nearly pulled out of the meeting against Wolves at Foxhall.The popular Aussie has been suffering from a heavy cold and was sick in the pits after his first ride.

Mike Bacon

STEVE Johnston, Ipswich Evening Star Witches' Aussie star, told last night how he nearly pulled out of the meeting against Wolves at Foxhall.

The popular Aussie has been suffering from a heavy cold and was sick in the pits after his first ride.

However, he battled on to the end and feels this knock-out clash is far from over.


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“We showed at Lakeside what we can do and we have nothing to fear at Wolves,” he said.

“I was happy to get a paid eight in the end after the way I felt. I ate nothing all day and then had a sandwich after my first ride and was then sick.

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“However, we have no excuses, the track was good and to win by eight is hardly a disgrace.

“It's a lead we can defend and we could even win there.”

Witches' team manager Pete Simmons was less happy.

He said: "I was disappointed by the way we rode.

“Wolves were slaughtered at Poole on Wednesday night and were surely demoralised.

“We should have taken more advantage. I hope eight points is enough, but we should have got our act together more."

Witches' reserve Chris Schramm suffered an awful crash in heat 11.

However, after clipping the back straight fence, he managed to walk away with no more than a damaged foot.

And he commented: “I've had worse and I did try to save it to be honest.

“In the end the fence was looming and I decided to get off.

“At this level, these boys just don't make mistakes and although I am happy with the way things have started for me, it would be nice to have a little less of a chaotic night.”

Jarek Hampel, Witches' man of the meeting, said: “It got harder as the meeting went on and I am really not sure if eight points is going to be enough.

“Wolves is a very hard track, but we have already won away this season and there is no reason why we cannot do it again.”

Wolves boss Peter Adams was understandably happy with his side's late comeback.

“We knew Ipswich would come at us early on as they are a good side.

“However, the advantage is with us now, although Ipswich have had some good results at our place over the years.

“I thought Nicolai Klindt was excellent. He was the difference for us."

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches open their Elite League campaign with a trip to champions Coventry Bees tonight.

The midlanders won the title last season after beating Swindon in the play-off final, but got their defence off to a bad start on Monday night when they lost at home to Eastbourne.

Ipswich will hope Steve Johnston, a Bee last season, can help get the Suffolk side's league campaign off to a good start.

Coventry: R Schlein, O Allen, C Harris, B Janniro, S Stead, A Messing, S Burza.

Ipswich: R Miskowiak, P Swiderski, C Louis, S Johnston, J Hampel, C Schramm, T Kroner.

TEAM Great Britain has been drawn to ride against Denmark, Sweden and the winner of a qualifier involving Italy, Finland, Slovenia and Czech Republic in the semi-final of the speedway world cup at Coventry on Monday, July 14.

The other semi-final will be at Leszno, Poland on Saturday, July 12 and feature the host nation, Australia, Russia plus the qualifier from Germany, USA, Hungary and Latvia. The race-off takes place at Vojens, Denmark, on Thursday, July 17, with the final at the same venue two days later.

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