Witches decimated for cup quarter-final

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches' team for tonight's Elite League Knock-Out Cup quarter-final at Foxhall Stadium (start 7.30pm) has been decimated by injury and unavailability.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches' team for tonight's Elite League Knock-Out Cup quarter-final at Foxhall Stadium (start 7.30pm) has been decimated by injury and unavailability.

Jesper B Jensen and Kim Jansson join Robert Miskowiak on the missing list.

They both crashed in Sweden on Tuesday night with Jensen hurting his rib cage and Jansson his shoulder. Jensen was riding in Bajen and Jansson in Kaparna.

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There are few suitable guests available with Ipswich calling in Billy Janniro and Martin Smolinski from Coventry. The Witches will use the rider replacement facility for Jensen at number one with team manager Mike Smillie still to decide what order to ride Janniro and Smolinski.

Leigh Adams cannot get out of his commitment for Swindon so Miskowiak has been brought into the Leszno team for their re-arranged Polish League meeting tonight.

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As a Pole he has no alternative than to concur. If not he could lose his right to ride in England, and Ipswich have been given a facility to use a guest replacement for him.

Miskowiak could not have found a worst time to miss his first Ipswich meeting of the season.

The 23-year-old, who openly admits that he enjoys riding in England where the pressures are not so great, has become a firm Foxhall favourite in his three years with the Witches.

His scoring has been consistent at home, and he can be relied upon to make life difficult for any rider at Foxhall.

Without him - and Jensen and Jansson - in their side, Ipswich will find it tougher to claw back the 13-point deficit from the first leg at Smallmead.

“We know we have plenty of work to do,” said Witches team manager Mike Smillie.

“Thirteen points can prove to be an elusive number to make up. If we get close, Reading will have the opportunity to put on a black and while helmet cover and ride for double points.

“All three of our riders will be missed, with only guests effectively available from Coventry, Wolverhampton and Lakeside and Coventry's Steve Johnston is already booked to guest at Swindon.

“All our remaining riders must be on their toes.

“Reserve Tobi Kroner will have a vital role to play, and could be in for a busy night.”

Reading have lost former world champion Greg Hancock since they were taken over after suffering financial problems.

The American would have been relied on to score well at Foxhall - one of his favourite circuits - while his replacement Pole Krzysztof Buczkowski has no previous experience of the Suffolk track.

Grand Prix rider Matej Zagar pulled out of Reading's meeting at Poole last night, and Coventry's Rory Schlein is set to take his place.

Ipswich expect to have Miskowiak back for their league visit to Coventry tomorrow (FRI), but they will be seeking replacements for Jensen and Jansson. On Monday they are at home in the Elite League to Poole Pirates.

Tonight's line-ups

Ipswich: Rider replacement for JB Jensen, M Smolinski, C Louis, Z Suchecki, B Janniro, M Rempala, T Kroner.

Reading: R Schlein, K Buczkowski, J Kolodziej, M Lemon, T McGowan, J Davidsson, Z Simota.

RUSSIAN rider Grigory Laguta takes the wild card ride in the Latvian Grand Prix in Daugavpils on Saturday August 25.

CHILDREN 15 and under can enter Foxhall free tonight if accompanied by a paying adult and on production of a coupon printed in the Ipswich Evening Star.

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