Witches are out to tame Bulldogs tonight

FEW Ipswich Witches fans will forget the last time Reading Bulldogs were in town.It was the first Elite League clash of the season, and within two corners of the first heat, the Witches' season was in tatters as Mark Loram lay prostrate on the track with a season-ending injury.

By Mike Bacon

FEW Ipswich Witches fans will forget the last time Reading Bulldogs were in town.

It was the first Elite League clash of the season, and within two corners of the first heat, the Witches' season was in tatters as Mark Loram lay prostrate on the track with a season-ending injury.

Since then it has been an uphill struggle for the Suffolk side although of late they have turned the corner with back-to-back home wins over Wolverhampton and Oxford.


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Another victory tonight would be sweet revenge for that fateful first-night clash and the Witches have turned to Coventry youngster Rory Schlein to guest for Loram.

Witches promoter John Louis said: “It would be good to get a result against Reading, especially after what happened when they were here last time.

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“Our performance against Oxford was excellent and if the likes of Tobi Kroner can keep getting the points he did last week, we are capable of winning against Reading.

“The last two home wins have given the side a much-needed boost.”

Ipswich entertain a Reading side who have endured all sorts of problems of late, although incredibly they grabbed a superb draw at Coventry on Friday night.

Reading have a few new faces in their ranks following recent events that have seen Janusz Kolodziej suspended from riding in this country by his Polish club Unia Tarnow, who felt that his commitments in Britain were hindering his form in the Polish League.

Earlier the same week, Travis McGowan injured his shoulder in a crash in Poland and he was expected to be out for around six weeks.

He did however have a practice at Reading yesterday and a decision on whether he will ride at Ipswich will be made today. The Bulldogs will use rider replacement if he is unfit.

To add to the Bulldogs' troubles, former Witch Danny Bird failed a random drugs test at the beginning of the month and is currently suspended from racing.

Sam Simota, who was involved in that awful crash with Loram, is away on Czech League duty, so a Premier League rider up to an average of six will be at reserve.

All in all it has been a traumatic time for the Bulldogs, who were early season favourites for the title. However they still include two Grand Prix stars in Greg Hancock and Matej Zagar.

Ipswich on the other hand can leapfrog Belle Vue should they get the victory, and with Zibi Suchecki on a high after a 15-point maximum in a European qualifier in the Ukraine at the weekend, one that would see the Witches season begin to settle down.

Tonight's teams

Ipswich: R Schlein, K Jansson, C Louis, Z Suchecki, R Miskowiak, M Rempala, T Kroner.

Reading: G Hancock, J Davidsson, T McGowan or R/R, M Lemon, M Zagar, A Smith, TBA.

COVENTRY have agreed to visit Ipswich for the re-staging of their Elite League 'A' match on Thursday June 14. The original meeting was postponed due to a waterlogged track.

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