Witches desperate for bank holiday win

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches cannot contemplate defeat against Peterborough Panthers at Foxhall Stadium today in the Elite League.

Mike Bacon


Ipswich Evening Star Witches v Peterborough Panthers

Foxhall Stadium

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By Mike Bacon

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IPSWICH Evening Star Witches cannot contemplate defeat against Peterborough Panthers at Foxhall Stadium today in the Elite League.

With one home loss already chalked up - against Swindon - a second so early in the season would be a disaster, and against a side they saw off comfortably in the Craven Shield earlier in the year.

However this is starting to already prove a frustrating season for Witches fans. So many half-decent performances, it's simply trying to get the whole team firing together which is proving the problem and turning those half-decent efforts into victories.

And with skipper Chris Louis now out injured, that type of inconsistency could prove costly.

This will be the fourth time the sides have met this season, with Ipswich already recording a resounding 61-31 victory at Foxhall in that Craven Shield meeting. The Panthers have taken the spoils in two meetings on their track, but not without a fight from the Witches.

Both Robert Miskowiak and Jarek Hampel owe the Witches fans a performance this afternoon after their low scores condemned the Suffolk side to defeat at Lakeside on Friday.

Indeed Miskowiak is surely walking a tightrope with the Witches management, storming out of the pits during last week's win against Eastbourne and not troubling the scorers at Lakeside in what is proving a poor start to his domestic season in England.

His ability is not in doubt and clearly his confidence is down. But riding at No.3, he will need to start showing why he was the first Witch to be signed this season back in October.

Peterborough will be without the injured Sam Simota, who crashed riding for his Polish club recently. Although his absence is likely to be more long-term from the Panthers point of view with the Czech rider having had an awful start to the campaign and was down to the reserve position.

With Panthers no 8 James Cockle unavailable, Simota's place goes to Redcar 's Tyron Procter who continues to impress this year in the Premier League.

Henrik Moller, who was believed to have broken a bone in his hand following his crash in Denmark last weekend, rode for his Danish team Holsted on Wednesday and came through with no problems.

Peterborough team manager Trevor Swales said: "This match is going to be difficult for us as I take absolutely no notice whatsoever of the fact that they are currently bottom of the league, even without Chris Louis they are a capable side but I am looking for a much better performance from our team."

Teams: Ipswich: R/R, P Swiderski, R Miskowiak, S Johnston, J Hampel, T Kroner, C Schramm.

Peterborough: H Andersen, M Risager, K Bjerre, C Vissing, D King, T Proctor, H Moller.

(N) THE gates will open at 1.45pm with amusements for children. There will also be opportunities to meet the riders and there will be a special rider signing session. The pit area will also be open from 2 pm until 2.30pm so that the public will be able to look behind the scenes. Children under the age of 15 will be admitted free of charge to the meeting if accompanied by a paying adult and have a voucher from the Evening Star. Evening Stars will be available at the entrance of the meeting.

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