Witches' last chance of silverware

IPSWICH Witches' disappointing season could still end with silverware if they turn on the style in the Craven Shield this week.The competition is a three-team tournament, with each club hosting one round in the qualifying stages, before the winners of the three groups go through to a final, again over three legs.

By Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Witches' disappointing season could still end with silverware if they turn on the style in the Craven Shield this week.

The competition is a three-team tournament, with each club hosting one round in the qualifying stages, before the winners of the three groups go through to a final, again over three legs.

The Witches have been drawn against Wolverhampton and Eastbourne in the group stages, and, with all three sides having not reached the play-offs, it gives a chance for one of them to gain a domestic trophy this season.

The Witches will use former Wolves man Adam Skornicki as a guest replacement for Chris Louis in a six-man competition that sees pairings ride against each other.

The second leg is at Ipswich on Thursday and the final one is at Eastbourne on Saturday night.

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Arena Essex and Oxford, having finished in the bottom two of the Elite League, do not compete in the Craven Shield, with Poole, Swindon and Reading in one pool and Coventry, Peterborough and Belle Vue in the other

Tonight's teams

Wolverhampton: Peter Karlsson, Ronnie Correy, Billy Hamill, Christian Hefenbrock, Fredrik Lindgren, William Lawson.

Eastbourne: Adam Shields, Dean Barker, Nicki Pedersen, Lewis Bridger, David Norris, Edward Kennett.

Ipswich: Piotr Protasiewicz, Adam Skornicki, Robert Miskowiak, Kim Jansson, Mark Loram, Daniel King.

FORMER Witch Scott Nicholls will have to sweat it out on getting a wild card after only finishing 11th overall after the weekend's final Grand Prix in Bydgoszcz.

Nicholls failed to make the semi-finals and failed to guarantee himself a 2007 entry, although as Britian's top rider he is likely to get a card.

Nicki Pedersen finished the season as he had begun it with victory in the final Grand Prix of the campaign in a thrilling meeting in Poland.

This Polish GP contained some of the closest, most exciting racing in the history of the tournament and ended with Pedersen claiming his second win of the year, following his April effort in Slovenia.

Pedersen's performance also confirmed the 2003 World Champion's return to the overall rostrum as he collected the bronze medal for third place in the series.

Second on the night, and overall, was American ace Greg Hancock, who recovered from a sluggish first ride to comfortably qualify for the semi-finals.

Grand Prix details

Polish GP scores: Nicki Pedersen (Den) 25, Greg Hancock (USA) 20, Tomasz Gollob (Pol) 18, Wieslaw Jagus (Pol) 16, Andreas Jonsson (Swe) 12, Hans Andersen (Den) 9, Matej Zagar (Slov) 8, Jason Crump (Aus) 7, Scott Nicholls (GB) 7, Bjarne Pedersen (Den) 7, Leigh Adams (Aus) 6, Jaroslaw Hampel (Pol) 6, Piotr Protasiewicz (Pol) 4, Antonio Lindback (Swe) 3, Niels-Kristian Iversen (Den) 3, Lee Richardson (GB) 2.

Final standings: Jason Crump (Aus) 188, Greg Hancock (USA) 144, Nicki Pedersen (Den) 134, Andreas Jonsson (Swe) 119, Leigh Adams (Aus) 106, Hans Andersen (Den) 101, Matej Zagar (Slov) 97, Tomasz Gollob (Pol) 94, Jaroslaw Hampel (Pol) 91, Antonio Lindback (Swe) 89, Scott Nicholls (GB) 83, Bjarne Pedersen (Den) 82, Niels-Kristian Iversen (Den) 51, Tony Rickardsson (Swe) 41, Lee Richardson (GB) 39, Piotr Protasiewicz (Pol) 31.

Mildenhall has confirmed that the postponed meeting against Newport in the Conference League has been rescheduled for Sunday, October 8 (4.30pm) but as a standard admission-entry meeting.

The outstanding home date against Buxton in the Conference League has been arranged for Sunday, October 15 (4.30pm) and this will now become the 'free entry' offer.

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