Hawkins heaps praise on young Nathan Greaves after his impressive start to life with Ipswich Witches

New Witches signing Nathan Greaves, has impressed since joining the Foxhall club. Photo: STEVE WALLE

New Witches signing Nathan Greaves, has impressed since joining the Foxhall club. Photo: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich team boss Ritchie Hawkins has heaped praise on Witches youngster Nathan Greaves ahead of Thursday night’s clash with league leaders Edinburgh Monarchs at Foxhall Stadium (7.30pm)

Greaves came into the side as a permanent replacement for injury victim Danyon Hume. He has let no-one down with his all-action performances which have thrilled the Suffolk public.

“Nathan has impressed so far and he can keep pushing on,” said Hawkins.

“I didn’t know him on a personal level before we signed him but we did our homework and I have seen him ride plenty of times and know a bit about him. I’m not surprised about how well he is doing but I’m really impressed with how he has fitted in and his attitude to racing.

“He has come in and set an example at times and has fitted the bracket of what I want from a Witches rider and I’m really happy with how he is doing.”

The Witches boast a 100% home record in 2017 with seven wins from seven in all competitions but on Thursday will be the biggest test at Foxhall with the visitors bringing the division’s best away record to Suffolk.

The East Anglian outfit have been imperious at home and it was no different last week as they put Newcastle to the sword to bounce back from defeat at Workington.

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The Witches are at full strength, as Rory Schlein and Justin Sedgmen face their former club.

Edinburgh have enjoyed great success in recent history and have put together a side that looks set to challenge for more silverware in 2017.

Sam Masters leads the side for the fourth consecutive season and is supported by USA World Cup rider Ricky Wells at the top end. Mark and Erik Riss are playing an important role in the Monarchs’ promising start to the season.

The two sides last met in last season’s play-off quarter-final as the Witches progressed on aggregate after a 58-32 win at home and a 37-53 defeat at Armadale.

Meanwhile, Hawkins says Kyle Newman and Justin Sedgmen have been low on confidence in recent weeks but remains confident they will find their best form.

“Kyle and Justin when you look at it on paper are our star pairing.

“They have been lacking a little in confidence but there are no concerns over them and I’m confident they will outscore their opposite numbers on Thursday and improve week by week from here.”

Ipswich ‘Tru7.com’ Witches:

1. Danny King (c) 8.96

2. Cameron Heeps 6.93

3. Justin Sedgmen 7.60

4. Kyle Newman 6.31

5. Rory Schlein 8.00

6. Connor Mountain 2.45

7. Nathan Greaves 2.26

Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

Edinburgh ‘Parsons Peebles’ Monarchs:

1. Sam Masters (c) 8.70

2. Mark Riss 6.85

3. Erik Riss 7.75

4. Josh Pickering 4.36

5. Ricky Wells 8.34

6. Max Clegg 4.00

7. Mitchell Davey 3.18

Team Manager: John Campbell

Referee: C. Gay

Parade: Thursday, 7.30pm

Championship Table

Team Pl Pts

Edinburgh 14 32

Glasgow 11 26

Witches 13 26

Sheffield 10 21

Workington 10 21

Redcar 12 21

Newcastle 11 19

Peterborough 10 12

Scunthorpe 15 11

Berwick 14 7

Last five home results v Monarchs:

22.09.16 W58-32

19.05.16 W48-45

03.09.15 W52-38

16.07.15 D45-45

16.10.14 L37-53

Monarchs’ last five:

CH Edinburgh 49-44 Sheffield

KOC Sheffield 53-37 Edinburgh

CH Edinburgh 60-30 Peterborough

CH Workington 51-42 Edinburgh

CH Edinburgh 53-39 Newcastle

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