IPSWICH and Peterborough clash tonight (Thursday) in the second leg of the SGB Championship KO Cup Final at Foxhall.
The Panthers take a four-point lead into the meeting with the Witches having clawed back from an earlier 14-point deficit at the East of England Arena on Sunday.
Former Ipswich star Scott Nicholls, after several recent guest appearances against them, lines up for the hosts as a replacement for the injured Rory Schlein.
Meanwhile the Panthers call up another ex-Ipswich man, Ben Barker, to stand in for the absent Jack Holder, with Bradley Wilson-Dean set to make his comeback from illness. Jack Parkinson-Blackburn guests for the injured Tom Bacon at reserve.
Ipswich star Cameron Heeps said: “It is definitely not over and Peterborough will put up a good fight. I think if we go into it and treat it like we have every meeting this year and do our thing, it is up for grabs.
“It only takes one heat to get rid of four points. We need to get off to a good start and enjoy ourselves like we have done all year, it is doable.
“It would be a very special night as I don’t think I have won anything in the years I have ridden for Ipswich. It would be nice to bring something home and it would top off the end-of-season dinner-dance with a nice trophy sitting there for the fans.”
Panthers boss Carl Johnson said: “I've seen a lot of comments saying we have no chance at Ipswich after losing there by 28 points and 11 points in our previous visits this season. They are probably the same people who said we didn't have a hope in the second leg of the semi-final at Glasgow as well.
“I've said it before and I'll say it again . . . never count Panthers out. It is all about what happens on the track on Thursday night - results from April and August are irrelevant.
“We would obviously have liked to be heading to Ipswich with a much bigger advantage and we know we let ourselves down in the final third of the first leg.
“But I'd rather be four points up on aggregate than four points down and we'll set out to put Ipswich under pressure early on.”
BIRMINGHAM have made Danyon Hume their first signing for the 2018 season under the new ownership of David and Peter Mason.
Hume, a title winner with the Brummies last year, was forced to sit out the majority of the current campaign after suffering a badly broken arm in a crash at the British Under-21 Final in April.
He said: “I made it very clear where I wanted to be in the National League and I can’t thank David and Peter enough for making this happen.
“Because of what I’ve been through with the club and what they’ve done for me in my short career so far, Birmingham will always hold a special place in my heart and it means a lot to me to be back.
“I had a practice skid at Sittingbourne last weekend and it felt like I’d never even been off the bike which was a huge relief for me.
“I’ve been preparing for next season for a few months now and I can’t wait for March to roll around already.”
SHEFFIELD’S supporters have voted title-winning captain Kyle Howarth as their Rider of the Year.
Howarth led the Tigers to SGB Championship success – their first league title for 15 years – and followed it up by partnering Lasse Bjerre to win the Championship Pairs.
He said: “It’s an honour to win Rider of the Year, and what a year it’s been for Sheffield.
“We’ve had so many good riders. Josh Grajczonek has been awesome at No.1, Lasse and Josh Bates have both done well and right down to reserve, everyone has done their job.
“To get voted for the award by the fans means a lot, they’ve been great to us all season and we really appreciate their support.
“After the year we’ve had, this is just the icing on the cake and it feels great. We’ve all worked hard, and I think we’ve deserved the success.”
PLYMOUTH youngster Saul Bulley has been rocked by the theft of his bikes on the eve of his return to the team.
Bulley is still set to take his place for the Devils in their season finale against Mildenhall on Friday, but has suffered the loss of both bikes along with tools and van damage after the incident outside the family home last night.
Devils boss Laurence Rogers said: “What a kick in the teeth for the lad. He was so up for his track return, then this happens.
“I got an early morning text to let me know, but within a short space of time a phone call to let me know he would be there and what was going on.
“The great team spirit we have in the Devils camp showed itself yet again and the loan of a bike by Richard Andrews and his dad typifies what a great club we have at Plymouth.”
THURSDAY OCTOBER 26:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP FINAL 2nd leg: Ipswich v Peterborough 7.30
FRIDAY OCTOBER 27:
SGB CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Workington 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Plymouth v Mildenhall 7.15, Stoke v Buxton 6pm, Stoke v Isle of Wight (follows previous fixture)
SUNDAY OCTOBER 29:
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP FINAL 2nd leg: Mildenhall v Eastbourne 4pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Isle of Wight (follows previous fixture)