Witches bid to record first victory

IPSWICH Witches will be searching for their first league victory of the season tonight as Wolverhampton provide the opposition in the Elite League.Bottom of the table and with just one point, the Witches simply cannot afford to lose this one against a side who do not have the greatest record at Foxhall.

By Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Witches will be searching for their first league victory of the season tonight as Wolverhampton provide the opposition in the Elite League.

Bottom of the table and with just one point, the Witches simply cannot afford to lose this one against a side who do not have the greatest record at Foxhall.

With the return at Monmore Green on Monday night, there are five points up for grabs, and Ipswich have turned to Arena Essex Lakeside's Adam Shields to guest for the injured Mark Loram.


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Shields has a good record at Foxhall, having won the 16-lap Classic on two occasions in 2004 and last year, and has scored well when riding at Ipswich for his former club Eastbourne.

And his performance is going to have to be good as confidence in the Foxhall side of the pits right now cannot be high.

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Last week's two big defeats at home to Poole and at Reading, especially the Poole debacle, must be put behind the home side. However any more inept performances like that will see fans drift away and Wolves will be no easy nut to crack, that's for sure.

They are led by captain Peter Karlsson. The 37-year old Swede first rode for the Wolves in 1990 and was part of the team that won the league title in 1996 and 2002. He has been a regular performer on the world stage, enjoying three World Cup victories with Sweden in 2000, 2002 and 2003 and is part of the dynasty of Karlsson brothers who have graced speedway over the last two decades.

Former world champion Billy Hamill is also a rider more than capable of scoring heavily. And while it may have been over a decade since he won the world crown, he has proved that he still has what it takes with an average of more than eight points this season.

The Wolves are returning to full strength after injuries to key members of their side in recent weeks. Freddie Lindgren suffered broken fingers two weeks ago and Hamill damaged his knee in a recent crash.

But the emphasis is on the home side.

Zibi Suchecki returns to the fold after missing last week's home meeting, although he again impressed at Reading, while Marcin Rempala is on the verge of a move to reserve when the team-building averages kick in next week.

Wolves are a team that can be beaten and the Witches cannot afford to disappoint their fans once more.

Teams

Ipswich: 1 A Shields, 2 K Jansson, 3 C Louis, 4 M Rempala, 5 R Miskowiak, 6 Z Suchecki, 7 T Kroner.

Wolves: 1 P Karlsson, 2 D Howe, 3 B Hamill, 4 T Pijper, 5 F Lindgren, 6 C Wilkinson, 7 M Karlsson.

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