Witches and Tigers to do it all again – this time in Yorkshire as two high-flying teams fight for the points
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
After today’ rain-off at Foxhall, Ipswich and Sheffield will hope to do it all again tomorrow evening – this time in Yorkshire.
Owlerton hosts tomorrow’s Championship clash, which should have been part two of a quick-fire double between the two sides.
However, a waterlogged Foxhall circuit knocked that on the head today, so now two of the League’s top sides go head-to-head for just the third time this season.
Honours are even at one victory apiece so far, the Witches winning on opening night at Foxhall, while the Tigers got their revenge a few weeks later at Owlerton.
With all sides meeting each other home and away twice in the Championship this season, the Witches will know that, while this is the final time they will visit Owlerton in the League, a point or two at least would be very advantageous.
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Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins says his side look to win wherever they go in the league.
“We need to carry on where we left off, we are in good form,” said Hawkins.
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“We need to be looking at winning matches everywhere and the meeting at Sheffield earlier in the year does not have any relevance going into tomorrow. I think we have to go everywhere looking to win meetings because we have a very good team.”
Although the boss believes the earlier meeting in the season will have no relevance he says it will help some of the riders as the Suffolk side go there in a stronger position than last time.
“It will help the likes of Connor (Mountain) but a lot of our riders are experienced and have visited all of the tracks so it is not too much of a worry. Nathan raced there last year and knows the track well but we have three away meetings in a row now and we need to get a lot of points from them and get away points on the board.
“Nico (Covatti) was our star man last time so we might miss him a bit this time around but Sedgy (Justin Sedgmen) is a solid rider and we have got Kyle (Newman) back too. You’d expect Danny (King) and Rory (Schlein) to do better than last time too and Cam (Heeps) is in good form so really overall we go into the meeting in a stronger position.”
Sheffield boss Simon Stead knows his side have a good home record, but he doesn’t expect them to beat the Witches as comfortably as they did last time.
“As much as we’re riding with confidence right now, I can’t see us pulling off a result like we did against them earlier in the season (Tigers won 57-33) again mainly because I can’t see Ipswich being as off the pace as they were in that one,” Stead said.
“We’re all expecting a much tougher test because we know their team is capable of so much more than they demonstrated a month or so ago.
“Having said that, I still fully expect us to add another three league points to our tally – but I’m just anticipating that we’ll have to work a lot harder this time around.”
The Tigers welcome back Jack Parkinson-Blackburn at reserve tomorrow, who has declared himself fit after missing Sunday’s win at Scunthorpe with a dislocated shoulder.
The Witches are at full strength, with the positive being that every rider in the Suffolk septet is riding for two clubs in England this season, after Cameron Heeps was snapped up by Premiership side, Somerset for a doubling-up role.
“We know it will be tough for us but I have always said I think we are capable to winning home and away wherever we go,” Witches skipper Danny King said.
“Now the team is settled again, we are full of confidence.”
Sheffield: Josh Grajczonek, Todd Kurtz, Lasse Bjerre, Josh Bates, Kyle Howarth, Rob Branford, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn
Ipswich: Danny King, Cameron Heeps, Justin Sedgmen, Kyle Newman, Rory Schlein, Connor Mountain, Nathan Greaves.