Witches hit by injuries

A PATCHED up Ipswich Evening Star Witches side will probably be praying for rain, as they head south to Dorset tonight.

Elvin King

A PATCHED up Ipswich Evening Star Witches side will probably be praying for rain, as they head south to Dorset tonight.

The Suffolk team, already without skipper Chris Louis, travel to Poole in an Elite League clash, with the shock news that Robert Miskowiak is out with a damaged wrist picked up in Poland at the weekend, and that Steve Johnston, the victim of a crash at Eastbourne on Saturday, is rated as “only 50/50”.

The news is a massive blow to the Witches who are back on track tonight - and tomorrow at Foxhall - hoping to get their play-off aspirations up and running once more.

Another a lengthy break since their home victory against Peterborough the Witches have dropped out of the play-off zone. But they can put that right with points from either Poole tonight, or at home to Coventry tomorrow.

And Witches team manager Pete Simmons hopes Tobi Kroner will prove key.

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“Tobi moves down to reserve this month but is capable of double-figure scores from that position,” Simmons said.

“The situation would be better without these injuries to Steve (Johnston) and Robert (Miskowiak). But quite frankly we are going to just have to get on with it.

“Other clubs have suffered with injuries and now it's our turn.”

Miskowiak is hoping to ride at Foxhall tomorrow night against Coventry, but tonight Wolverhampton's David Howe guests for him, while another guest will be used for Johnston should he not make it, with Cameron Woodward from Eastbourne a possibility.

While Witches fans take in the news on Miskowiak and Johnston, the question that remains on most lips is what is happening regarding Chris Louis and a possible replacement?

Simmons explained: “We have been looking to bring someone in, but it has to be the right person. In all honesty we also thought clubs like Wolverhampton and Peterborough, who were threatening to make wholesale changes, may have given us an opportunity to get an English-based, established rider.

“But they aren't making changes as they said and I don't think people have any idea of the cost to bring in a new rider, equip them with a house, van and mechanic. And that's assuming there are any out there who want to come.”

Poole and Ipswich have already swapped 10-point victories (incredibly both for the away team), this season, but Poole will be heavy favourites tonight.

Davey Watt rides for the Pirates despite the heartache of missing out on a World Championship semi-final in Sweden on Saturday. He chose to ride for the Pirates in their win at Coventry on Friday night and then catch a later flight. But he missed the meeting.

Tonight's teams

Poole: C Holder, M Zetterstrom, D Watt, A Skornicki, B Pedersen, F Eriksson, D Davidsson.

Ipswich: P Swiderski, R/R, J Hampel, S Johnston (if fit or guest), D Howe, T Kroner, C Schramm.

- THE Witches have a rare Saturday night meeting at Foxhall to come. Poole Pirates are the visitors to the Heath on Saturday, July 26, in a meeting brought forward from Thursday, September 18. It now means the Witches will ride five meetings in a week, starting at home to Swindon (Monday 21st), at Swindon (Thursday 24th), Lakeside away (Friday 25th), home to Poole (Saturday 26th) and at Wolves (Monday 28th).

- WITCHES star Tobi Kroner failed in his bid to make it into next season's GP series.

He scored just a single point in Saturday's World Championship in Sweden. Witches star Danny King, who is on loan to Peterborough this season, also failed to qualify from the Swedish event, scoring seven points.

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