Talking points as Ipswich Witches head to King's Lynn Stars in huge clash

Craig Cook and Jason Crump fly from the tapes in heat 13 of King's Lynn's defeat to Ipswich. Picture

Craig Cook and Jason Crump fly from the tapes in heat 13 of King's Lynn's defeat to Ipswich. Cook was dropped from the Lynn side after Lynn lost this and their next home meeting. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Witches head to King's Lynn tonight looking to do the double over the Norfolk team on their own circuit. MIKE BACON takes a look.

From the left Danny King, Troy Batchelor and Jake Allen race from the tapes in heat 10 of the Sheffi

From the left Danny King, Troy Batchelor and Jake Allen race from the tapes in heat 10 of the Sheffield v Ipswich (Premiership) match at Owlerton Stadium. The Witches head to King's Lynn tonight in a must-win meeting. - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.com

LAST CHANCE SALOON

Both teams are now officially drinking in the last chance saloon as they attempt to get into the end-of-season play-offs.

Not that both couldn't still make the play-offs, but this pair of East Anglian sides sit in the bottom two places in the Premiership and defeat for whoever tonight could be fatal to those play-off hopes.

Lynn haven't won a home meeting yet from four attempts, the Witches have only won one home clash from five. To put that into context, of the other four clubs in the Premiership, only Peterborough (once) have lost at home. Sheffield, Belle Vue and Wolves are all unbeaten.

It leaves Lynn and Ipswich in a precarious position.

Jason Crump and Team manager Ritchie Hawkins.

Jason Crump and team manager Ritchie Hawkins. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

CRUMP OUT AGAIN

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The Witches will again be without Jason Crump and Belle Vue's Steve Worrall will guest.

The three-time world champion is still suffering from the horrendous crash he suffered at Wolverhampton back in May where he broke eight ribs.

He made a brave attempt to come back last week for the Witches at home to Wolves, but he could only muster three points.

Indeed since Crump's crash the Witches have had little fire-power at No.1, with guests and rider replacement accruing few points, Adam Ellis' eight at Peterborough being the highest.

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins holds a team talk ahead of the clash against the Panthers.

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins holds a team talk ahead of the clash against Peterborough a few weeks ago. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

RITCHIE SAYS....

Ipswich Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives his pre-match thoughts…

“It’s a must-win, as I said before we are in a dire position for the play-off race so we need to win this and many other meetings for the rest of the season to stand a chance of making it," he said.

"They have lost every meeting at home this year so we need to make it two out of two there, not just for our play-off hopes but because we have both won at each other’s track and we need to be beating King’s Lynn as a minimum requirement for our season. It is important on many levels."

Drew Kemp deep in thought in the pits during the meeting.

Drew Kemp deep in thought in the pits during the meeting against Lynn at Foxhall recently. The only time Lynn have won a meeting this season. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

THE LAST TIME

Last time these two teams met, King's Lynn picked up their only win so far this season, as the Witches somehow managed to throw the meeting away on their own track.

Six points up with two races to go, the Witches conceded two 5-1 maximums in the last two races to lose 44-46.

Former Witches star Richard Lawson was the star that night for the visitors, while tonight former Witch, Cameron Heeps is now a Lynn rider. Meanwhile, Craig Cook returns to the track he began the season with before he and the Stars parted company.

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Craig Cook, in conversation with Danny King. Cook began the season at Lynn, but is now a Witch! - Credit: Taylor Lanning

STATS AND FACTS

KING’S LYNN: 1. Thomas Jorgensen 6.49 2. Scott Nicholls (g) 5.81 3. Cameron Heeps 5.91 4. Lewis Kerr 5.81 © 5. Richard Lawson 6.11 6. Ricky Wells 4.00 7. Connor Mountain (RS). Team Manager: Peter Schroeck

IPSWICH: 1. Steve Worrall (g) 8.00 2. Anders Rowe 5.49 3. Danny King 6.85 © 4. Jake Allen 5.70 5. Craig Cook 7.59 6. Drew Kemp (RS) 7. Paul Starke 4.27. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

REFEREE: M. Bates

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

Peterborough 8 22

Belle Vue 7 18

Wolves 6 14

Sheffield 7 10

Ipswich 10 9

King's Lynn 6 3 

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