Witches do not fear Bulldogs' bite

JOHN Louis has no fears about the ability of his Ipswich Witches speedway side adapting to the Smallmead circuit at Reading today (start 7.30pm). The Bulldogs are newcomers to the Elite League having moved up from the Premier League at the end of last season.

By Elvin King

JOHN Louis has no fears about the ability of his Ipswich Witches speedway side adapting to the Smallmead circuit at Reading today (start 7.30pm). The Bulldogs are newcomers to the Elite League having moved up from the Premier League at the end of last season.

Piotr Protasiewicz, Robert Miskowiak and Kim Jansson have very little experience of the Berkshire club's circuit, while Jan Jaros' is limited to last season.

But Ipswich promoter Louis said last night: “The Reading track is not dissimilar to Foxhall and we know the capabilities of our riders at home. If they can work together as a unit there is no reason we cannot seriously challenge the Bulldogs.

“They have collected a couple of impressive away wins, but they slipped up at home to Coventry. I was pleased with our showing against Swindon at Foxhall last Thursday, and we have already proved that we have the potential to score right through the order.

“Bonus points will once again be a vital part of the league campaign, and with Reading coming to Ipswich on Thursday there is also the chance to pick up an aggregate point this week.

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“Meetings are coming thick and fast, and if we can keep our heads and team spirit going we can continue to remain in a strong position.”

Witches skipper Chris Louis and number one Mark Loram have already paid a visit to Reading this season when they were part of the Team GB side that rode against the Bulldogs in their season opener.

The experience they gained will stand the whole team in good stead.

Ipswich ride the return against Reading at Foxhall on Thursday, and then visit reigning champions Coventry the following night.

A winter buy-out of Reading by Grand Prix supremo John Posslewaite has seen former Peterborough and Belle Vue official Jim Lynch become co-promoter and ex-world champion Sam Ermolenko technical director.

Now tagged the Bulldogs, Reading made the speedway world sit up with impressive wins at Coventry and Peterborough and they will provide tough opposition tonight.

n The Witches look set to be without their skipper Chris Louis for tonight's clash with the Bulldogs.

Louis has been suffering from flu over the weekend and will make a late decision on his fitness, but it is expected he will not ride. Ipswich will use the rider replacement facility in his absence, which means any of the other six riders can have an extra ride to replace the skipper.

Tonight's line-ups

Reading: G Hancock, A Smith, T McGowan, M Zagar, C Gjedde, S Simota, J Kolodziej.

Ipswich: C Louis or R/R, K Jansson, P Protasiewicz, R Miskowiak, M Loram, J Jaros, D King

Former Holywells School, Ipswich pupil Scott Campos has joined Conference League Boston as their number six.

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