Oh, what a night! 5 things we learned about Ipswich Witches’ win over Poole on their way to the Premiership final

Cameron Heeps & Jake Allen celebrate in heat 8 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi

Cameron Heeps & Jake Allen celebrate in heat 8 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Steve Gardiner - Credit: Archant

MIKE BACON takes a look at one of the most dramatic speedway meetings at Foxhall Heath for many, many seasons.

Jake Allen salutes the crowd at Foxhall during the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi fin

Jake Allen salutes the crowd at Foxhall during the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Steve Gardiner - Credit: Archant

GUTS AND GLORY

Make no bones about it, the Witches are into the Premiership final on merit.

Over the two legs this was no fluke, they were the better team, and on Saturday night the Witches brought everything to the table.

Guts and glory.... you bet. None more so than when the meeting was on the line in heat 14 and Richard Lawson and James Sarjeant both rode their hearts out as the rain came down to seal the deal for Ritchie Hawkins' side.


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Ipswich were mentally the stronger team last night. It wasn't a case of if they wanted it more, Poole are a superb play-off team who will have come to Foxhall very much wanting to be in the final.

You simply have to tip your hat to the best team over the two legs.... Glory awaits if they can reproduce it in the final.

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HAIL THE SKIPPER

Jake Allen leads in heat 2 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Stev

Jake Allen leads in heat 2 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Steve Gardiner - Credit: Archant

Every Witch was a hero last night. Every single one of them.

But one look at the scorechart shows skipper Danny King on top of the pile with four wins and 12 points to his name.

King bleeds Ipswich Speedway.

He has taken on the role as No.1/skipper for many seasons now and no-one cares more than he does about the success of the club.

Oh, how we would love to see Danny and the team dancing on the centre green with the Premiership trophy in their grasp in just under two weeks time.... You have to be in it to win it.

BACK WHERE WE BELONG

Almost a decade in the Championship (second tier of British Speedway), was a good way for Ipswich Speedway to rebuild after some disastrous seasons in the old Elite League.

Richard Lawson leads in heat 9 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture:

Richard Lawson leads in heat 9 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Steve Gardiner - Credit: Archant

The move up to the top tier, the Premiership, has the advantages of bringing some of the best riders to Foxhall on a weekly basis, but is also a more costly business.

However, again last night, the popularity of speedway in Suffolk showed.

It was another big Foxhall crowd, who cheered and shouted from the rafters from start to finish.

Blimey! I had to force my way down to the pits after heat 14 and Ipswich's victory, through throngs of men and women hugging each other. The beams of smiles were everywhere, fans were dancing on the terraces! Amazing memories.

JAMES SARJEANT

He's never likely to top the scorecharts for the Witches, but James Sarjeant is just what a true speedway fan loves... and he's doing it right here back on his return to Foxhall.

The young Sheffield rider never gives up, never throws the towel in and on Saturday night produced more outstanding rides for the Witches.

The Sheffield-born racer was at his gutsy best in that crucial heat 14. That ride helped win Ipswich the meeting just as his heat 14 ride against Swindon to get the team into the play-offs a few weeks ago, did it then. Great stuff 'Sarj'!

SO, WHAT NOW?

Well, Ipswich fans can sit back and enjoy the other play-off clash between Wolves and Swindon this week. The meetings take place at Wolves tomorrow night and Swindon on Thursday.

The play-off final, over two legs, takes place the week after.

What a finale to the best speedway season seen at Foxhall for very many years... COME ON THE WITCHES!

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