Witches gearing up for double header

CHRIS Louis has said he is confident the Evening Star Witches will win away from home this season.But whether it starts at Lakeside tomorrow night in the second leg of the two clubs' Good Friday double header, remains to be seen.

Mike Bacon

CHRIS Louis has said he is confident the Evening Star Witches will win away from home this season.

But whether it starts at Lakeside tomorrow night in the second leg of the two clubs' Good Friday double header, remains to be seen.

Ipswich and Lakeside begin their marathon day at Foxhall Stadium at 2.15pm, before the short drive down the A12 to Lakeside for the return leg in the evening.


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And Louis knows the importance of forgetting last week's King's Lynn victory now, with the real action starting.

“The Lynn meeting was a bit of a run out, but it was a good run out,” he said.

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“Lakeside are being tipped by many to do well and I think they will certainly spring a surprise or two, but whether, like most teams, they will be consistent, remains to be seen.

“There were plenty of positives, with Piotr Swiderski showing real commitment and a will to win, even though it was only a challenge meeting.

“He will face stiffer opposition, but I think he is set to be a real crowd favourite.”

This season bonus points have been scrapped and teams now get two points for a home win and three for an away one.

It's an idea that has received mixed views in many quarters, but not from Louis.

“I like the fact there are no bonus points,” Louis added.

“It makes winning more important and especially trying to grab what I think will be rare away wins.

“Too many promotions last year built strong home teams and won plenty of bonus points because they had big home advantages. The bonus points had an incorrect effect in my opinion.

“I am confident at Ipswich we will win away this season but everyone knows Lakeside is a very difficult track to ride.”

Lakeside come to Foxhall with Grand Prix star Andreas Jonsson leading them.

Jonsson has been in and out of British speedway for the past few seasons and has not enjoyed the best of health. But on his day he is as exciting a rider as any in the world.

With Adam Shields, who enjoys Foxhall, Joonas Kylmakorpi and Jonas Davidsson, Lakeside are more than capable of pushing the Evening Star Witches.

Witches team manager Peter Simmons said: “Jon Cook looks to have put together a strong looking team this year and we will need to perform at our best to take the points in the two Craven Shield matches.

“With a team of track specialists down at the Arena Essex raceway it will take a mighty effort but our first priority must be to gain our first two points at Foxhall in the afternoon.

The format of the Craven Shield has been amended for this season.

The nine Elite League clubs have been drawn in three groups of three with each team meeting the others both home and away. Ipswich have been drawn with Lakeside and Peterborough. The overall winners of each group will progress to the final stages of the competition to be held later in the season.

Children under the age of 15 will be admitted free of charge to the meeting at Foxhall, if accompanied by a paying adult and have a voucher from the Evening Star. Evening Stars will be available at the entrance.

There will also be children's attractions including a bouncy castle.

First race is at 2.30pm prompt to allow the riders to get back to Lakeside for the evening meeting.

The teams

Ipswich: 1 Robert Miskiowak, 2 Piotr Swiderski, 3 Chris Louis, 4 Steve Johnston, 5 Jarek Hampel, 6 Chris Schramm, 7 Tobi Kroner.

Lakeside: 1 Andreas Jonsson, 2 Leigh Lanham, 3 Adam Shields, 4 Jonas Davidsson, 5 Joonas Kylmakorpi, 6 Ricky Kling, 7 Lubos Tomicek.

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