'We want to ram it down their throats'... War of words erupts on eve of huge derby clash
- Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Witches travel to King's Lynn Stars tonight for both team's opening Premiership speedway fixture of the year. But who will earn the early bragging rights?
BACK ON TRACK
The 2020 domestic speedway season was wiped out by the Covid pandemic.
But it's back now, although attendances are being kept to numbers that allow fans to be kept safe in stadia.
Lynn could likely have sold far more tickets for tonight's big East Anglian derby clash with the Witches than they will do, such has been the interest. But, for now, it's safety first.
WAR OF WORDS
Ipswich Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins has had plenty to say in the lead up to tonight's big clash.
He's already described the Witches as 'the biggest club in East Anglia' - a comment that Lynn team boss Peter Schroeck hit back at.
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“I’ve seen Ipswich shouting out, that they have Jason Crump and all that," Schroeck said.
"At the end of the day they are going to do the talking we are going to do the walking. All the boys know that, so I am not worried or worried about it. When you have been off that long and make statements like that... well, fair play, if they come up here and they are up to it I will shake their hands.
“But there is no guarantee of that – we will want to ram it down their throats, trust me.”
Ipswich have been dealt a huge blow on the eve of the campaign with the news that Nikolai Klindt has been replaced in the side by Jake Allen.
Allen is a fine rider, but Klindt has been riding regularly in Denmark and Poland and would have gone to the tapes tonight with confidence high and plenty of laps under his belt.
As it is, Allen can't ride for the Witches tonight anyhow, as he has to finalise visa issues. Jordan Stewart is also missing for the Witches, again with visa issues. Peterborough's Ulrich Ostergaard guests for Stewart, while the Witches use rider replacement for Klindt, with all the Witches allowed to have an extra ride.
Both hope to be back on Thursday for the Witches opener at Foxhall against Belle Vue. The Witches, missing Klindt, Allen and Stewart, hand a big advantage to the Stars tonight.
Ipswich and King's Lynn have been bitter rivals for decades.
The fact they have not met much in the last 10 years is down to the fact that when Ipswich dropped into the Championship in 2011, King's Lynn went the other way - into the Premiership.
East Anglia has always been a hot-bed for speedway and it's good this great Suffolk/Norfolk rivalry is back on the fixture list.
THE LAST TIME
Ipswich missed the chance to go top of the Premiership back in August 2019 when they were well beaten on their last visit to the Adrian Flux Arena.
The Witches lost 33-57 in a meeting that saw the visitors start slowly and never recover as they also lost Cameron Heeps to injury after heat five of the contest.
Danny King provided the Ipswich resistance that night scoring almost half his side's total with a brilliant 16 points. The next highest scorer for the Witches was Richard Lawson on five.
KING’S LYNN: 1. Craig Cook 7.59 2. Ty Proctor 4.43 3. Thomas Jorgensen 5.90 4. Lewis Kerr 5.43 © 5. Erik Riss 6.61 6. Lewis Bridger 4.39 7. Ryan Kinsley (RS). Team Manager: Peter Schroeck
IPSWICH: 1. Jason Crump 8.00 2. R/R for Nicolai Klindt 7.43 3. Cameron Heeps 6.30 4. Ulrich Ostergaard (g) 4.00 5. Danny King 6.66 © 6. Anders Rowe 3.00 7. Drew Kemp (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: M. Bates