Witches off to Wolves tonight

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches continue to look for their first away victory of the season and tonight at Wolverhampton they will hope it can materialise.

By Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches continue to look for their first away victory of the season and tonight at Wolverhampton they will hope it can materialise.

Neither side is in the play-offs, and neither team will put down 2007 as a particularly successful season. Yet the irony for Wolves and Ipswich is that they are among the best-supported clubs in the Elite League.

Indeed both get excellent home support and both sets of fans will no doubt feel they have been short-changed on the trophy front over the past few seasons.

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While the likes of Swindon and Peterborough - both with much smaller crowds on average - have forced their way to the forefront of British speedway, the likes of Wolverhampton and Ipswich have slipped down the pecking order.

With both such well-run clubs it is surprising this has happened and the heady days of 2004 - when both sides raced in a classic Elite League play-off semi-final, which Wolves won after a run-off - seem light years away.

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Tonight there is only pride at stake and Ipswich will be hopeful former Wolves favourite Jesper B Jensen can reproduce some magic after his injury break.

Jensen is expected to be back in the Witches fold to lead the side at a Monmore Green track he has had plenty of experience on.

For the Witches, tonight's clash is the first time they have been at full strength for some weeks, although their hosts are far from in that position.

Still without Freddie Lindgren (internal injuries), Wolves were thrashed at Arena Essex on Friday night, where Ipswich's Chris Louis notched 15 points as a guest. They do however welcome back Billy Hamill after a spell on the sidelines with a neck injury, although Kenneth Hansen faces a late fitness test and will be replaced by James Grieves if he fails to make it.

Ipswich were beaten 63-29 in the A fixture in the midlands earlier in the season, but have hopes of a bonus point tonight as they hope to rise up a place or two from the depths of the Elite League. That's because they beat Wolves 52-41 in the B team fixture at Foxhall in July.

Tonight's teams

Wolverhampton: 1 P Karlsson, 2 D Howe, 3 rider replacement, 4 M Karlsson, 5 B Hamill, 6 W Lawson, 7 K Hansen.

Ipswich: 1 J B Jensen, 2 K Jansson, 3 C Louis, 4 T Kroner, 5 R Miskowiak, 6 M Rempala, 7 Z Suchecki.

n Former Ipswich favourite Tomasz Gollob pulled off a stunning ride to win the Polish Grand Prix in Bydgoszcz on Saturday night.

Gollob passed Nicki Pedersen in a ruthless move - but Pedersen took another massive step towards the world title and now leads Swindon's Leigh Adams by 31-points with two rounds to go.

Eastbourne star Pedersen said: “It was a hard move by Tomasz but he can do that in Poland. It was a good result for me.”

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