Preview: Poole v Ipswich


Co-promoter Danny Ford believes Ipswich are one of the biggest threats to the Pirates’ SGB Premiership title defence.


Chris Louis’s Witches have been a model of consistency in their first season back in the top-flight for eight years and are level on points alongside Ford’s men at the top of the Premiership standings.


Four points clear of third-placed Belle Vue, Louis’s men have nine wins to their name – including two impressive four-point away wins at Peterborough.


And speaking ahead of Thursday’s top-of-the-table clash between the two sides at Wimborne Road (7.30pm), Ford admitted the Suffolk side look the biggest threat to Poole’s bid for back-to-back titles.


Ford said: “In many ways, I think we are Ipswich’s bogey team this year as we’ve managed to secure wins at home against them and a solid victory at Foxhall – the only team to beat them at their place so far this season.


“But the two league meetings at Wimborne Road have been close and it’s fair to say they have one or two riders who love our track almost as much as they love beating us!


“I’d say Ipswich are one of our biggest rivals, firstly to achieving a play-off spot and then, if we can maintain our current position, in the play-offs themselves.


“There’s a bit of a gap developing in the table between the top three and the rest, although Swindon have meetings in hand where they can make up the deficit.”


The Pirates have eight meetings between themselves and the start of the play-offs, with four at home and four away against the likes of King’s Lynn, Wolves and Swindon.


Ford said: “There are some key meetings coming up for all sides in the next few weeks.


“We’ve got four at home and four away between now and September 12 so they’re coming thick and fast and it’s still all to play for.”


The Pirates can go clear at the top of the Premiership with a win on Thursday after Ipswich were well beaten 57-33 at King’s Lynn last night.


The Witches have been forced to use rider replacement for Cameron Heeps, who was involved in a tangle with Thomas Jorgensen during heat five at the Adrian Flux Arena and taken to hospital with a leg injury.


Pirates: Jack Holder, Rider Replacement for Richie Worrall, Nicolai Klindt, Josh Grajczonek, Brady Kurtz, Nico Covatti, Ricky Wells.


Witches: Chris Harris, Rider Replacement for Cameron Heeps, Danny King, Jake Allen, Richard Lawson, Edward Kennett, Krystian Pieszczek.

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