I need a nap! Revenge for Ipswich Witches on those Redcar Bears... and the joys of the double header!

Ritchie Hawkins, nearest with back to camera holds a team meeting last week during the Witches v Redcar meeting at the interval. The Witches face a big week ahead. Photo: STEVE WALLER

Ritchie Hawkins, nearest with back to camera holds a team meeting last week during the Witches v Redcar meeting at the interval. The Witches face a big week ahead. Photo: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Well, I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted!

The last three weeks or so have seen meeting after meeting for both Ipswich and Leicester and although I’m not complaining, it certainly takes a bit of a toll on body and machines.

In fact I’m doing my column this week having just woken up from a nap after taking the children to school. Drop them off... Then back to bed!

It’s that time of the speedway season where there is so much going on.

But, as I have said, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jason Garrity leads Kyle Newman in heat nine of the Redcar/Witches clash last week. Jason Garrity leads Kyle Newman in heat nine of the Redcar/Witches clash last week.

So, where to start?

Well, at Redcar last Thursday, the Witches were given a bit of drubbing.

I couldn’t get off the starts for love nor money and the track was a bit different to the way it usually is.

The racing was always close, but there wasn’t that much overtaking.

Redcar were far better than us though. Poor Kevin Doolan, who was guesting for us couldn’t get things going. He had five last places which is so unlike him.

He was always chasing the set-up and never got there.

I only got six points and one of those was a heat win, so it wasn’t a brilliant night for me. Rory (Schlein) was excellent. I’ve said this before and I’ll say again, he has been great for Ipswich Speedway this year. I really enjoy riding with him.

The next night, for Leicester this time, I was riding against Rory, and Wolves.

It was always going to be tough and things weren’t helped for us when Lasse Bjerre withdrew from the meeting after one ride with injury. We were always up against it, but the Lions have been in decent form just lately. Wolves were too good though and although I did better with 13, we were beaten.

I fancy Wolves to win the Premiership.

I’ve ridden against Belle Vue, Poole, Swindon and Wolves enough times this season and I think Wolves just have it.

Poole are the ones who could still do it though.

They have just got in the play-offs but they know how to win big meetings.

On Saturday night, it was a return to Foxhall and those Redcar Bears were in town.

Of course we wanted to get our winning run straight back on track but it wasn’t easy. Redcar have a good team this season and they are still up there. They pushed us all the way and the fact we won by 12 points doesn’t tell the full story.

Me and Rory picked up a couple of 5-1s in heats 13 and 15 which saw us through and Mark Riss did really well covering for Justin Sedgmen.

Of course we are still missing Cameron Heeps too and it would be great to have him back.

The play-offs are still a few weeks away, so hopefully he can get fit. We very much want him back fully fit and raring to go.

The meetings continued for me and Leicester on Monday night.

We lost at Rye House. I got nine points and Krzysztof Kasprzak got a paid max for the Rockets. And if I thought there was any chance of a break – my shoulder is still very sore – then no chance.

Thursday we welcome Berwick to Foxhall and if anyone thinks this will be a walk in the park because we have beaten them twice at home already, then think again.

They have nothing to race for but pride and they will have plenty of that.

We must stay strong at Foxhall, it’s vital as we head into the play-offs. We don’t want to show we have any weaknesses in the side with so many important meetings ahead.

Then we are involved in two double headers this week.

Friday night we are Edinburgh (second meeting on) and on Sunday we are the first meeting on at Sheffield, before we travel to Glasgow on Wednesday.

So, our current three other play-off challengers, away from home all in the space of six days!

We certainly need to make sure we let them know what we are all about.

We have a great chance to lay a marker down at all three tracks. Imagine if we went to all three and won! They would make them all think.

But so long as we push them all close that is all that matters.

I’m not a lover of double headers. They can be hectic. At least at Sheffield we are first on, but at Edinburgh we have to wait for the first meeting to finish and then make a mad dash to get set up.

Here’s hoping it all goes well, I really don’t want to have to make another trip back to Edinburgh, it’s such a long way... unless we get them in the play-offs of course.

Finally, congratulations to my wife Clara who has been promoted to the deputy head at her school.

Well done to her, I’m very proud, she’s a clever girl.

Although I still know more about golf than she does. Fact!

See you at Foxhall Thursday night




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