Witches rocked as star rider breaks leg in Polish track crash

Erik Riss ahead of team-mate Danyon Hume and a fast charging Craig Cook in heat seven.

Erik Riss ahead of team-mate Danyon Hume and a fast charging Craig Cook in heat seven. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

High-flying Ipswich Witches have been dealt a huge body blow with the news one of their star riders has broken his leg.

Erik Riss crashed out of a meeting in Bydgoszcz, Poland, yesterday afternoon and after being taken to hospital it was confirmed his leg was broken.

Posting on his Facebook page Riss said: 'I had a big crash in my last heat and am feeling a bit second-hand at the moment.'

Initially thinking he had broken his ankle, Riss later confirmed: 'I’ve actually broken my fibula (lower leg) and not my ankle.'

For the Witches, Riss' injury is a huge blow. The 26-year-old has been in terrific form for the Suffolk side who sit top of the Premiership right now, Riss' 16 points helping the Witches to victory at Wolverhampton only recently.

It is not known as yet how long he will be out of the saddle.

Ipswich don't have another meeting until August 4, away at King's Lynn, as they close in on a play-off place in the Premiership.

They will be hoping Riss can return as soon as possible and that the break is not as severe as to keep him out of action for too long.

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The Suffolk side have enjoyed a terrific first half of the season and were five points clear at the top of the Premiership before tonight's clashes between Belle Vue and Peterborough and Wolverhampton and King's Lynn.

Last week the Witches saw off one of their nearest rivals, Sheffield Tigers in a thrilling meeting at Foxhall that had fans and management alike overjoyed with the performance.

Referring to the Sheffield meeting, team boss Ritchie Hawkins said: I felt we started the meeting well and I felt we were in control even though the score was close.

"Then we stepped it up another gear in the last six heats and I am delighted with the result against a very strong team. It’s brilliant, what a position we are in at the moment, and it is a great position to be in."

Witches riders Danny King, Ben Barker, Paul Starke and Danyon Hume head to Manchester for the British Final at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday, before the Witches head to King's Lynn next Thursday.

The Witches team pictured after their win at Wolverhampton.

The Witches team pictured after their win at Wolverhampton - the first time earlier this season. They have since won again at Wolves this week! Left to right: Ben Barker, Danyon Hume, Jason Doyle, Troy Batchelor, Erik Riss, Paul Starke and Danny King. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com