Rory happy to be of service to Witches

RORY Schlein left the dinner table and packed his bikes to help the Evening Star Witches to a comfortable Elite League victory against Peterborough at Foxhall Stadium last night.

Mike Bacon

RORY Schlein left the dinner table and packed his bikes to help the Evening Star Witches to a comfortable Elite League victory against Peterborough at Foxhall Stadium last night.

Schlein had been enjoying lunch with his family when the message came through from Ipswich boss John Louis, as to whether he could help out the Witches after the withdrawal of Piotr Swiderski through illness.

And a paid 12 points later, Schlein was glad he made the move.


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“I like riding at Ipswich and John Louis has always looked after me,” Schlein said afterwards.

“It was 12.30pm when I got the call, I was having dinner, but I just got up and got going. It has been a slow year for me and Coventry haven't ridden many meetings, so I was glad to get a chance to ride.

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“In my last race the sprocket on my clutch disintergrated. It was a once in a blue moon thing to happen and all the preparation in the world couldn't have forseen that.”

Witches skipper Steve Johnston meanwhile is looking forward to a few days' rest after a hectic week which saw him start with his testimonial meeting at Coventry on Sunday.

“I must admit I'm feeling a bit knackered,” said the popular Aussie. “I was up at 5.30am on Tuesday morning after riding in my testimonial on the Sunday and Belle Vue on Monday, to race in Sweden.

“And then I flew into Birmingham on Wednesday and drove to Craig Boyce's testimonial at Poole on Wednesday night. I could have done with a driver on the way to Ipswich today to get some kip, but I'll rest now.

“It was important we won tonight as we now have another break, but at least the confidence has returned.

“I feel a bit annoyed with some clubs who I know John (Louis) has contacted to try to bring fixtures forward. They haven't budged and yet the Elite League is a small league and we should be working to help each other.”

John Louis was glad to see his side back among the points.

“It's nice to see the lads looking more like their old selves after the disappointment of our clash at Belle Vue,” Louis said.

“We had a team meeting before the start tonight and we told the lads exactly what was required and they have gone out and done it.

“I can't praise them enough, they have shown plenty of effort this evening. I was disappointed with some of the commitment at Belle Vue after we went behind, but not tonight, that's more like it.”

Louis also admitted the Ipswich management had not yet decided whether to appeal or not against the tribunal decision which went against the Witches on Monday.

“We are having a meeting this week to decide what to do and we are going to take advice before we make our next move,” Louis said.

Tobi Kroner commented: “I was much more aggressive tonight in my riding, with a new set-up that worked well. I made some good starts and I can't now wait until the next meeting here at Foxhall.”

Meanwhile. Peterborough team boss Trevor Swales was not impressed with his side's performance, in particular his No.1 Hans Andersen.

“If your No.1 (Andersen) only gets eight points, and two of them as a tactical rider, then you don't have a hope,” he said.

“If Hans had got six more points, as he should have, we would have run Ipswich closer. But I've no complaints, Ipswich were simply the better side.”

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