Poster download: Top youngsters in action against Witches
ROBERT Miskowiak and Chris Slabon have been passed fit to ride for Ipswich Witches in their promotion/relegation play-off final second leg at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.30pm).
The Elite League side will be firm favourites to whip Premier League Newcastle Diamonds with the visitors only able to track three of their own riders.
The Witches won the first leg at Brough Park by two points on Sunday, and if all goes to plan they should clock up a cricket score tonight although the Diamonds have two bright young stars in Danes Kenni Larsen and Rene Bach and experience in the shape of one guest – Stuart Robson.
Miskowiak has been back to Poland since Sunday to have treatment to a rib injury he sustained at Newcastle, while Slabon damaged his left shoulder in a far more dramatic fall but has also passed himself fit.
Kozza Smith is programmed to ride at number seven, but he has had his appendix removed this week and his place will be taken by number eight Ritchie Hawkins, who was a busy man along with fellow reserve Dawid Stachyra in the first leg after Miskowiak and Slabon both failed to complete one race.
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Newcastle are without the injured Mark Lemon, skipper Derek Sneddon, Daniel King’s brother Jason and young Australian Dakota North. Their only other rider on show tonight apart from Larsen and Bach is reserve Adam McKinna.
Newcastle boss George English said: “We may not have won on Sunday but we did ourselves and the Premier League proud.
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“All credit to the lads - we know that the away leg is going to be very hard, but we’ll be going for it!”
Ipswich team manager Pete Simmons is to ensure his riders stay on their toes. He said: “Newcastle have two of the best youngsters in world speedway in Kenni Larsen and Rene Bach and the choice of Stuart Robson as a guest has also been an astute move.
“We will have to be on our mettle as the meeting is a potential banana skin.”
The Witches can expect some high profile support with Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane expressing an interest in going along to the heath tonight.
He said: “I’ve never been to a speedway meeting, but I’m interested in all sports and this might be a good time to pay a visit to Foxhall.
“I’ve heard about the Witches and have thought about going along for the last few weeks.”
Children will be allowed in free tonight if dressed in Halloween costume – with a paying adult.
All the youngsters will parade in the centre green to decide the best dressed.
There will be prizes for the top three selected by Witches riders.
The Fat Cat public House in Spring Road, Ipswich have brought out a beer for Halloween called Wicked Witch and landlords John and Annie Keatley are sponsoring the meeting.
Ipswich: S Nicholls, C Slabon, D King, A Dryml, R Miskowiak, D Stachyra, R Hawkins.
Newcastle: K Larsen, rider replacement for J King, C Mills, R Bach, S Robson, Simon Lambert, A McKinna.