Witches banking on King to boost hopes

IPSWICH Witches will be looking to World Under-21 finalist Daniel King to give them a lift in tonight's Sky Sports Elite League clash with Wolverhampton at Foxhall Stadium (start 7.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Witches will be looking to World Under-21 finalist Daniel King to give them a lift in tonight's Sky Sports Elite League clash with Wolverhampton at Foxhall Stadium (start 7.30pm).

King missed the 56-40 drubbing at Coventry last Friday, which resulted in the Witches being knocked out of the Knock-Out Cup at the quarter-final stage.

It was a dismal show from the reserve berths that effectively ended Ipswich's hopes of a cup run this year, with only one point being scored by No.'s 6 and 7 Carl Wilkinson and Tobi Kroner.


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King was riding for his Premier League club Mildenhall that night. The 19-year-old has been showing consistent form this year and has proved to be one of the better reserve riders in the league.

He is now in his third season of regular Elite League racing and showing the benefit of racing against top-flight riders on a regular basis.

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“We must put our display at Coventry behind us,” said Witches team manager Mike Smillie last night. “We are reasonably well placed for a top-four finish that would earn us a play-off place.

“Peterborough and Reading are looking good at the moment but anything can still happen.

“This time last year Belle Vue appeared to have the championship trophy in their grasp but then Kenneth Bjerre was injured and they ended up being beaten by Coventry in the play-off final.

“I cannot see us losing at home again this year and we have a target of at least three more away victories.”

Ipswich, who have yet to ride at Wolverhampton this campaign, beat the Midland club 50-42 in the A league fixture staged at Foxhall.

They do not have a meeting next week because the World Cup is being staged, with the Witches next in action in a fortnight's time at home to Oxford in the league.

Tonight's line-ups

Ipswich: P Protasiewicz, K Jansson, R Miskowiak, C Louis, M Loram, D King and T Kroner.

Wolverhampton: P Karlsson, C Hefenbrock, R Correy, F Lindgren, B Hamill, W Lawson and M Karlsson.

TWO British riders - Chris Harris and Simon Stead - have qualified for the 2006 World Championship final, which takes place in Vetlanda, Sweden on Saturday, August 19.

The top three finishers qualify for next year's Grand Prix series, and the full field is: C Harris (GB), C Gjedde (Denmark), J Kolodziej (Poland), P Karlsson (Sweden), W Jagus (Poland), A Dryml (Czech Republic), S Stead (GB), M Max (Sweden), R Holta (Norway), R Kosciecha (Poland), R Sullivan (Australia), K Laukkanen (Finland), M Smolinski (Germany), P Protasiewicz (Poland), H Andersen (Denmark) and M Ferjan (Slovenia). Res: R Gafurov (Russia) and D Ruud (Sweden).

HANS Andersen, who won the Danish Grand Prix last month, has been named as the wild card rider for the Scandinavian GP that takes place at Malilla, Sweden on Saturday, August 12.

Mattia Carpanese (Italy) has been named as the wild card for the Italian Grand Prix at Lonigo on Saturday, July 29.

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