Monday, July 15, 2024
Oxford SpeedwaySpires

PREVIEW: Oxford Spires face tough test against league leaders

OXS Oxford Spires are seeking their second home victory of the week when they host league leaders Ipswich Witches in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership at Oxford Stadium on Thursday evening (7.30pm).

Oxford are currently in the crucial fourth place – which is the final qualifying place for the play-offs later in the season – three points ahead of Leicester.

Spires overcame fierce resistance from Sheffield to record a 48-42 win at Sandy Lane on Monday in a meeting televised by Eurosport, with Rohan Tungate and Chris Harris clinching victory with a 5-1 in the final race.

The victory was Spires’ sixth in seven home meetings – the previous five were all won by either a 47-43 or 46-44 scoreline. The one blip came to Ipswich, who won by 48-42 at Cowley on April 11 after a last-heat 5-1 from Jason Doyle and Emil Sayfutdinov. Furthermore, Witches were 23-13 ahead on June 13, when rain called a halt to proceedings. Thursday is the re-staging of that abandoned meeting,

Doyle is now out injured, but Ipswich bring in a familiar face as a guest rider – with Scott Nicholls lining up at No 1 for Witches.

Spires face a tough task to win the aggregate bonus point, having lost 37-53 in Suffolk last week, and the priority will be to pick up the two league points for victory on the night.

Oxford team manager Peter Schroeck said: “Momentum is important in speedway, and we beat Sheffield on Monday and that gave the boys a big boost. We’re in a good place after that, and the weather is looking fine again.

“Ipswich are a very talented side, we know that from their previous performances at Oxford this season. But they had a difficult night at Belle Vue on Monday.

“All we can do is concentrate on our own performance. If we fire on all cylinders we can beat the Witches. There’s also an aggregate point at stake, but while you never write off anything in speedway, we’ve got a lot of points to recover to win that. Our main aim is the pick up the two points for victory on the night.

“We just need to keep adding points to our account and see where that takes us. With the backing of our fantastic supporters, we can record our second home victory of the week.”

Tickets are already on sale on the Oxford Speedway website at https://oxfordspeedway.club/tickets/

Admission is available at the early bird price of £22 for all adults, which increases to £24 on Race Day. All under-16s go free. A reminder that Oxford Speedway is online ticket sales only – tickets remain on sale on the website until the start-time of the meeting.

Season passes remain valid, despite the abandoned meeting against Ipswich on June 13. Other ticket holders from June 13 will have already received an email offering them a £5 discount for a fresh ticket for Thursday’s meeting and with details of how to obtain this discount. This is in addition to the £4 refund on the original ticket (which was in accordance of BSPL guidelines) following the abandonment after six races. The £5 discount is a goodwill gesture from the Oxford management, who realise some regular supporters do not have season passes and as a thank you for their continued support to the club. If you cannot locate the email, please check any spam folders.

The original tickets from June 13 are not valid. The club generated the £4 refund on Saturday, June 15. If you have yet to receive the refund, it should be forthcoming from your bank shortly.   

The same programme will be used as for the Oxford Spires vs Sheffield Tigers clash on Monday and supporters are reminded to bring this back with them and save themselves £3. Fresh programmes will still be on sale on Thursday.

Teams:

OXS Oxford Spires: Rohan Tungate, Drew Kemp, Maciej Janowski, Charles Wright, Chris Harris (C), Erik Riss, Ashton Boughen (RS).

Ipswich Tru7Group Witches: Scott Nicholls (G), Dan Thompson (RS), Danny King, Adam Ellis, Emil Sayfutdinov (C), Keynan Rew, Jordan Jenkins.

PHOTO: Emil Sayfutdinov and Ashton Boughen in action (pic: Steve Edmunds)