Ipswich Witches owner Chris Louis says the sporting success currently reverberating around the town can be a huge lift to his team, as the Foxhall side go for a league and cup double.

The Witches head into tonight’s Premiership grand final, first leg, with Sheffield Tigers (7.30pm start), looking to build a big lead for the second leg in Yorkshire on Thursday.

And Louis hopes the current sporting ‘feel good factor’ around the town will play a big part in the Witches winning the double for the first time in 25 years.

“Sporting success has often gone hand in hand in Ipswich with the football team and the speedway team,” he said.

“It’s been awesome to see Ipswich Town start so well this season and we already have one cup in the bag – we want another.

“The atmosphere at Portman Road in recent seasons has been phenomenal – and it’s been getting better and better at Foxhall as well.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins will be hoping to dial up a victory tonightWitches team boss Ritchie Hawkins will be hoping to dial up a victory tonight (Image: Steve Waller)
Louis heaped praise on team manager Ritchie Hawkins, who, in his seventh season with the Club, has now taken the Witches to three play-off finals.

“Managers in all sports take stick because everyone is an armchair manager, but his commitment to the club has never wavered,” Louis said.

“This is his third play-off final now. We’ve reached two cup finals. If we can pull off a cup and league double, I’d be made up for him, as well as the team.”

The Witches have already beaten Sheffield in the KO Cup final two weeks ago over two legs.

But it is set to be a different Sheffield team who come to Foxhall tonight, although Louis is only concentrating on his team – he knows they can write their names into Witches folklore.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Ipswich Witches are bidding for their first league and cup double since 1998The Ipswich Witches are bidding for their first league and cup double since 1998 (Image: Steve Waller)
“I want to see this team get what they deserve,” he added.

“Because for any poor individual performances, or the team has had, they’ve never stopped trying.

“I have seen that. I have seen when there have been issues and problems. But that’s a life thing. They’re human beings at the end of the day.

“But they genuinely want the club to succeed, they have given 100% all the time. I really hope they pull it off.”

Sheffield include Grand Prix star, Robert Lambert, at No.1. Former world champion, Chris Holder, rides at No.3

The Witches beat Sheffield easily in the second leg of the KO Cup recently at Foxhall, but it is likely to be a much closer affair this evening.

One rider who could be key for the Witches is Keynan Rew, the young Aussie is in a good run of form right now. He says team spirit in the Witches camp has been key this year.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Witches with the KO Cup The Witches with the KO Cup (Image: Steve Waller)
“We have a great bunch of guys in the team, we all get along very good,” he said. “We all speak well in the team; all have a laugh before and after meetings.

“I think that team spirit has helped, no doubt at all. Helped us push forward and everyone wants to win. Everyone is trying their hardest and everyone will be giving it 110% to win the Premiership title, for sure.”

Admission for fans tonight at Foxhall is: Adults (17+) £22, concessions (65+) £20, children (16 and under) free. Car parking is also free, matchday race programme is £3.


IPSWCH: 1. Emil Sayfutdinov, 2. Erik Riss, 3. Danny King, 4. Keynan Rew, 5. Jason Doyle, 6. Danyon Hume, 7. Joe Thompson.

SHEFFIELD: 1. Robert Lambert, 2. Kyle Howarth, 3. Chris Holder, 4. Josh Pickering, 5. Chris Harris, 6. Connor Mountain, 7. Jason Edwards.