Witches and Panthers go head to head in huge double-header clash at Foxhall and Alwalton. Both managers target at least four points to keep their League Cup hopes in tact

Cameron Heeps, Chris Louis, Morten Risager of Ipswich, watching the action.

Cameron Heeps, Chris Louis, Morten Risager of Ipswich, watching the action. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Witches team boss Chris Louis would love to sew up his team’s place in the League Cup semi-finals after Good Friday’s double-header clash with Peterborough Panthers.

The Witches race the Panthers at Foxhall Stadium on Good Friday afternoon (2pm) and then head up the A1 the same night to Peterborough for a 7.30pm start.

A maximum seven points are up for grabs for either side and after their unbeaten start to the season, Louis knows his side have a great chance to cement a semi-final place.

“It would be great to pick up all seven points, winning home and away, and that’s our target,” Louis said.

“Six would be good, four would be OK. But it would be nice to be able to look at the League Cup table on Saturday morning and think we have already qualified for the semis.


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“The important thing is to win our home meeting first. Then we can see what we can do at Peterborough.”

Good Friday is the busiest day of the speedway season in England with almost all teams involved in one meeting or another.

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It throws up quirks, none more so than in this clash between the Panthers and Witches which sees Rene Bach of Workington guest for the Witches at Foxhall (as Richie Worrall is riding for Belle Vue) and then guest for Peterborough at the East of England Showground (as Worrall returns for the Witches, but Peterborough’s Ryan Fisher is riding for Coventry).

The Witches are also missing Adam Ellis, who is riding for Lakeside all day. His place is taken by Chris Mills, who knows his way around Foxhall having been a Witch in 2011.

“We know Rene will do a good job for both sides and it’s nice for us to have Richie back in the evening fixture,” Louis added.

“Peterborough are a good side and we will need to be on our guard all day.

“They have been a bit inconsistent but have plenty of good riders who are capable of scoring well.”

The Witches have made a dream start to the season however.

Three home victories in their League Cup group and a fine win at Plymouth last Friday night sees them on top of their five-team section.

But the Suffolk side still have three meetings away from Foxhall, including the clash with Peterborough, as well as a clash at Rye House on Easter Sunday.

Peterborough boss Trevor Swales said: “It is going to be a massive day for everyone – riders, management and supporters.

“Four points is the minimum we need from tomorrow to give ourselves a realistic chance of catching Ipswich.

“That means we need to pick up something at Foxhall in the afternoon before targeting maximum points back at the Showground.

“We are desperate to progress in this competition and we don’t want to have to rely on the best runners-up spot to make the semi-finals.

“Topping the group is the target and we need to deliver the goods.”

Good Friday teams

At Ipswich, 2pm

Ipswich: 1 R Bach, 2 G Manzares, 3 M Risager, 4 C Heeps, 5 R Tungate, 6 C Mills, 7 R Hawkins.

Peterborough: 1 R Fisher, 2 L Blackbird, 3 A Dryml, 4 U Ostergaard, 5 L Bjerre, 6 J Jacobs, 7 O Greenwood.

At Peterborough, 7.30pm

Peterborough: 1 R Bach, 2 L Blackbird, 3 A Dryml, 4 U Ostergaard, 5 L Bjerre, 6 J Jacobs, 7 O Greenwood

Ipswich: 1 R Worrall, 2 G Manzares, 3 M Risager, 4 C Heeps, 5 R Tungate, 6 C Mills, 7 R Hawkins.

At Foxhall on Good Friday, ‘Kids Go Free’ (with a paying adult), there’s an Easter Egg Hunt, Face Painting and a Bouncy Castle.

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