Crump returns: The big talking points, Witches v Wolves tonight
- Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Witches entertain Wolverhampton Wolves tonight at Foxhall Stadium in a Premiership clash they simply must win. MIKE BACON takes a look.
This is the Witches 10th meeting of the campaign and the half-way point in their league season is reached.
After a super start to the year and unbeaten in their first three meetings, they have lost their last six, with the injury to Jason Crump playing a major part in the team's loss of form. He is back tonight after breaking eight ribs at Wolverhampton earlier in the season.
However, last week on their travels at Peterborough and Sheffield, the Witches looked much better and a strong second-half of the season could still see them make the play-offs.
Tonight's meeting against Wolves is a must-win home clash - simple as that.
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As I said, Crump returns to the No.1 position for the Witches tonight and his return will be much welcomed.
In his absence the Witches have rather lost their way and it will be his input off-track that will be as important as on it.
The three-time world champion is one of the most respected riders in the sport with so many riders looking up to him. The Witches young reserves, Drew Kemp and Anders Rowe will certainly benefit having Crump back in the fold.
Ipswich Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins says this about the clash.
“I am super happy to have a full 1-7 and to have Crumpy (Jason Crump) back. He adds more to the team than just his points.
“Wolves like coming to Ipswich and they have got riders in their team that go well at our place, which I seem to say every week. I’m sure if we show the same fighting spirit as we showed last week and I’m sure we will at home, then we can keep building.
"We go into it with confidence and feeling happy with how we have come back from a tough time. Now it is time to put that behind us and get a win at home.”
Anders Rowe moves into the main body of the team tonight. He is riding at No.2
It's a huge reward for young Rowe who has had some outstanding meetings so far this campaign. His move to Ipswich is paying dividends for both him and the club.
It also means Paul Starke moves to reserve. The experienced Starke has started to show some very decent form of late, including a surging last to first win at Sheffield on Thursday night which surely should have boosted his confidence.
He could be a key figure this month.
One lucky Witches fan in the stadium tonight will win £1,000.
A golden ticket is being placed in one of the match-night programmes and the winner will receive their cash on the centre green this evening!
Meeting tickets are available on line here (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. Official programmes are priced at £3 and are available at the stadium.
STATS AND FACTS
IPSWICH: 1. Jason Crump 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
WOLVES: 1. Sam Masters 7.35 2. Luke Becker 5.27 3. Nick Morris 5.38 4. Ryan Douglas 4.66 5. Rory Schlein 6.65 © 6. Broc Nicol 4.00 7. Leon Flint (RS). Team Manager: Peter Adams
REFEREE: C. Gay
Belle Vue ridden 6 points 17
Peterborough 6 15
Wolve 5 10
IPSWICH 9 9
Sheffield 5 7
King's Lynn 5 3