'They'll fancy their chances'... Witches v Tigers, the big talking points
- Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Witches entertain Sheffield this evening at Foxhall Stadium in the Premiership. MIKE BACON covers the talking points.
HOME FORM CRUCIAL
The Witches have made a solid start to the new Premiership season with a win at King's Lynn and a draw at home to one of the title favourites, Belle Vue.
And Sheffield will provide as tough an opposition as the Aces did last week.
Winning your home meetings will be crucial in this season's shortened fixture list before the play-offs kick in.
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins had this to say ahead of tonight's clash: “Sheffield bring a very strong team and they must be pre-season favourites for the title.
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"I’m sure they will fancy their chances of getting a result but the way we have performed over the first two meetings shows we are more than capable of taking the win and causing an upset."
TIGERS TO WATCH
Sheffield will be without one of their top guns, Jack Holder tonight. He's riding in a re-arranged Polish clash.
However, they still possess some top talent, none more so than former GP ace Troy Batchelor and former Witch Adam Ellis. Both riders won the Premiership title with Swindon in 2019, when they beat the Witches.
Sheffield team boss Simon Stead knows their value: “Those two come into the Sheffield team as winners and we hope they can continue that with us,” Stead said.
“That sort of winning mentality and experiences can prove invaluable over the course of the season and I expect them both to have very good seasons for Sheffield."
The early season form of reserve Anders Rowe has been a revelation for the Witches. He's top-scored in both opening meetings for the Suffolk side.
The youngster has gated like a rocket and looked good out track. More please....
Also, could this be the week Witches fans cast their first eye on Jordan Stewart? The young Aussie was in great form Down Under last winter and can't wait to get going here. But so far, visa issues continue to hamper his availability. He's down to ride at No.2 tonight.
Ipswich: 1. Jason Crump 8.00 2. Jordan Stewart 4.00 3. Cameron Heeps 6.30 4. Jake Allen 5.56 5. Danny King 6.66 © 6. Anders Rowe 3.00 7. Drew Kemp (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
Sheffield: 1. Troy Batchelor 8.82 2. R/R for Jack Holder 7.49 3. Kyle Howarth 5.58 © 4. Justin Sedgmen 4.00 5. Adam Ellis 6.33 6. James Wright 3.00 7. Josh Bates (RS). Team Manager: Simon Stead
Tickets are available to buy online on the Witches official site (until 12pm today) and on the gate and are priced at £19 for adults, £17 for concessions (65+), £5 for students (16-17). Children 15 and under go free.
DID YOU KNOW?
The track record at Sheffield's Owlerton Stadium has been held by Ricky Ashworth for more than ten years. It was established on October 14, 2010 and is 59.1 seconds.