Hawkins gives his backing to young Connor Mountain as Witches look to extend their unbeaten Foxhall record against Scunthorpe
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich team boss Ritchie Hawkins has given his backing to Witches reserve Connor Mountain, who has been finding life at Foxhall tough in recent weeks.
The 19-year-old, who also rides for Mildenhall Fen Tigers, has plenty of pedigree and is a popular member of the Witches septet.
There is little doubting his talent and he has returned to the track well after breaking his back last year.
However, in recent weeks his scoring hasn’t been as good as he would have liked, although Hawkins backs the teenager to come through his current spell.
“Connor has been finding it tough the last few weeks but he has just got to ride through it,” Hawkins said.
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“He is learning and is very professional and is doing everything right to make it, it’s one of those things that everyone goes through.”
Mountain is part of a Witches team who are putting out a full 1-7 of Witches riders for the first time this season tomorrow night when they entertain Scunthorpe at Foxhall Stadium (7.30pm).
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Injuries to Kyle Newman (now back in the team), Nico Covatti and Danyon Hume, both long-term, mean the original Witches line-up shown off on Press Day has never - and probably never will - be tracked.
But with Nathan Greaves now in the fold for Hume, and Justin Sedgmen for Covatti, the Witches still look strong as they hope to maintain their unbeaten Foxhall form this evening.
The Scorpions have plenty of familiar faces at Foxhall as Lewis Kerr, Stefan Nielsen and Carl Wilkinson make their return to Foxhall having spent time with the Witches in the past.
Hawkins is delighted to have a full complement of riders available to him as they look to continue their good form.
“We have got to carry on our winning run but it is going to be a really tough one again,” said Hawkins.
“Scunthorpe have a really good team around our place and we will need to be right on our game to take all three points.
“It will be the first time this season we have started with a full one to seven of full-time Witches riders. That will be nice despite it not being the side we planned at the start of the year.”
Hawkins says that Greaves will enjoy riding at Ipswich and was the strongest option available to sign.
“Nathan has got good pedigree in junior speedway and he did well finishing fourth in the British U21 Final. He has a bit more experience than others and he is another young British rider. We look forward to working with him and hopefully at Ipswich we can get his confidence back up as I think that took a knock last year. I think he will enjoy being part of the team which will help his performance.
“He is the strongest guy we could have got and he knows all of the tracks. Danyon was going well at home but away from home a lot was new for him. Connor (Mountain) has been finding it tough the last few weeks but he has just got to ride through it. He is learning and is very professional and is doing everything right to make it, it’s one of those things that everyone goes through.”
Hawkins believes that Kyle Newman and Justin Sedgmen will improve with every meeting.
“It was good for Justin and Kyle to get last week done and they have a meeting on the board now. Kyle is back at Poole now and said it took him a couple of riders to get used to Ipswich so I expect both of them to be settling in and improving over the next few weeks after good performances last time out.”
Ipswich ‘Tru7.com’ Witches:
1. Danny King (c) 8.44
2. Cameron Heeps 5.07
3. Justin Sedgmen 7.60
4. Kyle Newman 6.31
5. Rory Schlein 7.67
6. Connor Mountain 2.56
7. Nathan Greaves 2.27
Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
Scunthorpe ‘Henderson Insurance’ Scorpions:
1. Michael Palm Toft 7.55
2. Carl Wilkinson 5.80
3. Lewis Kerr 6.30
4. Ryan Douglas 5.89
5. Josh Auty 7.31
6. Stefan Nielsen 5.53
7. Josh Bailey 2.00
Team Manager: Dave Peet
Referee: M. Bates
Team Pl Pts
Edinburgh 8 20
Glasgow 7 17
Witches 9 17
Redcar 7 14
Peterborough 6 12
Scunthorpe 10 10
Sheffield 5 9
Workington 5 8
Newcastle 4 6
Berwick 9 1
Last five home results v Scorpions:
Scunthorpe’s last five:
CH Scunthorpe 56-34 Berwick
CH Scunthorpe 37-53 Edinburgh
CH Berwick 42-48 Scunthorpe
CH Scunthorpe 44-46 Redcar
CH Workington 48-45 Scunthorpe