Flying Witches gain big first-leg lead in play-off clash

Joe Jacobs (red helmet) and Connor Coles (blue) leading Max Clegg (white) and Ben Hopwood in the fir

Joe Jacobs (red helmet) and Connor Coles (blue) leading Max Clegg (white) and Ben Hopwood in the first leg of the play-off quarter final against Edinburgh Monarchs. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches 58 Edinburgh Monarchs 32

Ipswich Witches produced a stunning performance at a lively Foxhall Stadium to give themselves a great chance of progress in this season’s Premier League play-offs.

The Witches won 58-32 in this quarter-final, first leg, clash and travel to Edinburgh next Friday night confident they can defend their 26-point lead in the second leg.

Looking for Witches heroes in this terrific performance was like looking for trees in a wood, and team boss Ritchie Hawkins was left delighted by his side’s efforts.

“I honestly thought we could win by 20, so to win by 26 is fantastic,” he said.

“I’m so pleased with the commitment and attitude from all the riders. Young Connor Coles phoned us offering to ride as he knew we needed a No.7. And what a performance he put in. It lifted the whole side.

“Of course it’s not over and we will travel to Edinburgh with the intention of winning the meeting.”

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Hawkins’ side were awesome and this was one of the best Witches performances – against a very good side – in many a year. The big crowd, who had turned out to support their team, loved it and the 26-point win could have been more.

As Hawkins admitted, Coles rode superbly, his three points not telling the story of his night. He fell three times when in scoring positions. Indeed after his first three rides, if he had stayed on, he would have been unbeaten. But he was not alone in his fantastic efforts.


Ipswich: D King 13+2, J Sarjeant 8+1, N Covatti 13+1, M Risager 7+3, B Barker 9, J Jacobs 5, C Coles 3+1

Edinburgh: S Masters 9, R Fisher 2+1, E Riss 4+1, M Riss 6, K Wolbert 5, M Clegg 3+1, B Hopwood 3+1

1 King, Masters, Fisher, Sarjeant 56.1 3-3

2 Jacobs, Clegg, Hopwood, Coles 60.0 6-6

3 Risager, Covatti, M Riss, E Riss 58.3 11-7

4 Barker, Coles, Wolbert, Hopwood 59.2 16-8

5 Covatti, Risager, Masters, Fisher 57.6 21-9

6 Sarjeant, King, Wolbert, Clegg 57.7 26-10

7 Barker, M Riss, E Riss, Jacobs 59.1 29-13

8 Sarjeant, Hopwood, Coles, Fisher (f) 58.8 33-15

9 Wolbert, Covatti, Risager, Clegg 57.8 36-18

10 King, Sarjeant, E Riss, M Riss (e/f) 57.1 41-19

11 Masters, Barker, Fisher, Jacobs 57.6 43-23

12 Covatti, E Riss, Clegg, Coles 58.7 46-26

13 King, Masters, Barker, Wolbert 57.0 50-28

14 M Riss, Jacobs, Risager, Clegg (f) 58.9 53-31

15 Covatti, King, Masters, M Riss 57.7 58-32