Speedway: Cook brewing up a storm for Witches

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Craig COOK is ready to cast a spell over Ipswich Witches after turning in his best performance of the season for his Elite League side Belle Vue Aces on Monday night.

The Monarchs No. 1 chalked up 13 points as the Manchester outfit defeated King’s Lynn Stars – and now he wants to repeat the trick against Ipswich at Foxhall Stadium tomorrow in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final with just a slim six-point lead in Monarchs’ favour.

If they get through they will face Newcastle Diamonds in the final, and Cook would relish the chance of revenge after the Geordies humbled Monarchs 51-42 at Armadale on Friday.

“We were all pretty down after that defeat,” said Cook. “But there is no point in looking backwards, the League Cup is the chance for us to add to our Premier League Fours win and we will be going flat out to get to the final, but it won’t be easy and we certainly all need to ride a lot better than we did against Newcastle to have a chance of going through.”

After unusually dropping four points in five rides against Newcastle, in addition to losing the heat 15 finale for the first time in 23 starts, Cook was delighted by his strong showing for Belle Vue, saying: “I felt pretty pleased with my performance, I only dropped one point over the course of the match and I have got to be happy with that.”

Monarchs skipper Derek Sneddon said: “We need to bounce back and prove that last Friday was just a bad day at the office. I think some of the lads felt a bit drained. Going to Ipswich will be hard. We would have liked a better lead, but the way we have ridden away from home this season, we’ve a fighting chance.”

If Monarchs are to upset the Witches then Mitchell Davey needs to shine from reserve. The Aussie has struggled since returning from a wrist injury and Monarchs team manager Alex Harkess commented:”It’s just a confidence thing with Mitchell. He is lacking a bit in this department, but if he can put a few good starts together, this will do him the world of good.”

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