King missing for visit of Coventry Bees

IPSWICH will be looking to collect a rare aggregate bonus point when they ride against Coventry Bees at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.30pm).They lost 46-44 at Brandon in the corresponding B fixture.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH will be looking to collect a rare aggregate bonus point when they ride against Coventry Bees at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.30pm).

They lost 46-44 at Brandon in the corresponding B fixture.

Coventry bring in Poole rider Bjarne Pedersen to guest for their injured number one Scott Nicholls, while the Bees will also use the rider replacement facility Rory Schlein.

Danny King is missing again because of the world under-21 final in Italy at the weekend, with Carl Wilkinson taking his place.

Coventry co-team manager Peter Oakes said: “Everyone contributed fully to our big win over Eastbourne this week but I don't think we can afford to lose any of our remaining meetings to move up into the play-offs.”

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Witches supporters, meanwhile, can breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Fans' favourite Mark Loram has been given the go-ahead to sign for the Witches again in 2007.

Terry Russell, who controls Loram's Sky Sports Elite League activities, has agreed to the 35-year-old former world champion staying with Ipswich next season.

Russell, who is involved with Swindon, Eastbourne and Arena-Essex, took over the Exeter riding assets a few years ago.

It was feared that he might want Loram to ride for one of his clubs next season, but Russell has confirmed that he feels another year with Ipswich will be in the best interests of the rider.

Russell, who was previously involved with Hackney and is the supremo who is the go-between in speedway's highly successful link-up with Sky Sports TV, said: “Yes, I think we can let Mark stay with Ipswich next year if he wants.

“I see no problem with that, and this is what I expect Mark to do.

“I watched him ride at Swindon on Monday, and he is performing as well as he has for a number of years.“

There is no doubt that Ipswich would love Loram to stay as he has been a huge hit - adding significant numbers through the turnstiles since he signed a season's loan agreement having been with Arena-Essex in 2004 and 2005.

Witches promoter John Louis has already gone on record to confirm that he would like Loram to stay.

A deal will have to be struck with Loram and his manager/mechanic Norrie Allan, but judging by the rapid way negotiations were completed for this season that should be no problem.

Loram has said: “I am enjoying my speedway much more since I signed for Ipswich, and I regret not re-joining the club earlier.

“This enjoyment is reflected by my performances on the track and I am very happy here. Foxhall fans have always been great to me and this means a lot.”

Loram, who won the world title in 2000, rode for Ipswich as a teenager in the National League (now Premier League) in 1989. He subsequently rode for a series of top-flight clubs, but says his form this season has been as good as when he won the sport's top prize.

Tonight's line-ups

Ipswich: P Protasiewicz, K Jansson, R Miskowiak, rider replacement for C Louis, M Loram, C Wilkinson, T Kroner.

Coventry: B Pedersen, B Janniro, O Allen, C Harris, rider replacement for R Schlein, M Smolinski, J Rempala.

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