Witches can't ill-afford any slip ups

THE chase for play-off positions in the Sky Sports Elite League remains tight.But Ipswich Witches have a great chance tonight to cement one of them if they can gain a victory over fellow play-off hopefuls Belle Vue Aces.

By Mike Bacon

THE chase for play-off positions in the Sky Sports Elite League remains tight.

But Ipswich Witches have a great chance tonight to cement one of them if they can gain a victory over fellow play-off hopefuls Belle Vue Aces.

The Manchester side, led by world-champion-elect Jason Crump, are sure to provide stiff opposition for the Witches, but the Suffolk side have already beaten the Aces once at Foxhall and collected the bonus point in the return fixture.


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The home victory was on May Day Bank Holiday Monday when Ipswich won by nine points in a cracking fixture.

But it could be tighter tonight and Witches skipper Chris Louis knows only too well his side can afford no slip-ups.

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“I can't see any of the play-off hopefuls losing any more home clashes this year, so that is why we can't afford any slip-ups,” he said. “If we can continue to pick up bonus points and perhaps another away win, a play-off place is well within our grasp. The top four - ourselves, Belle Vue, Reading and Peterborough - have been there or thereabouts all season and I can really only see Poole as the team that might force their way into one of those positions.”

Certainly Ipswich will want a win and by a decent margin if possible, but will have to do without in-form reserve Danny King tonight. He is riding for Mildenhall at the Isle of Wight.

But that gives the opportunity for young Steve Boxall to make a name for himself with the Foxhall public. Boxall has been in tremendous form all season for Rye House and is the Witches No. 8. He rode at Reading for the Suffolk side recently and will be keen to impress.

The Aces have re-shuffled their riding order around with England international Simon Stead at No. 1.

Tonight's teams

Ipswich: 1 P Protasiewicz, 2 K Jansson, 3 R Miskowiak, 4 C Louis, 5 M Loram, 6 S Boxall, 7 T Kroner

Belle Vue: 1 S Stead, 2 J Screen, 3 P Morris, 4 K Bjerre, 5 J Crump, 6 T Madsen, 7 J Wright.

The Speedway Control Board have issued an amendment to the result of the recent Elite League clash between Ipswich and Arena-Essex at Foxhall.

The 12 points scored by Arena guest Troy Batchelor have been erased as he was not eligible to ride for the Hammers at reserve.

The result of the match has been changed to 57-25 in Ipswich's favour.

It makes no difference to the Witches, who picked up the bonus point after winning the meeting 57-37.

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