Hawkins looking for ‘a professional job’ from his Witches side as they defend a big lead at Berwick

Rory Schlein leads at Foxhall, but he and his team-mates had a torrid night at Sheffield

Rory Schlein leads at Foxhall, but he and his team-mates had a torrid night at Sheffield - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

With the job more than half done, Ipswich Witches manager Ritchie Hawkins is calling on his riders to do ‘a professional job’ at Berwick tomorrow night.

The Foxhall Heath team thrashed the Bandits 60-30 on Thursday night when the two teams met in the first leg of their knock-out cup clash and that’s a lead the Suffolk side will be confident of defending.

“It’s about being professional, not falling asleep,” said Hawkins.

“I’ve been part of Witches sides that have fallen asleep and been knocked out unexpectedly.

“It’s about going there and doing our jobs and if we can get to 30 points we can then start to relax.

“In my first meeting back for Ipswich a few years ago, we were at Workington and we had won big at home but then got knocked out, so we won’t be getting complacent at all.”

Hawkins admitted he was chuffed with his side’s 30-point lead – one he felt was rather unexpected.

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“It’s a bigger lead than I thought we would get but I was aware we could do that to teams,” Hawkins continued.

“We threw a few points away with machinery troubles too but I’m really happy all in all.”

Ipswich make one alteration to the riding order with Connor Mountain and Danyon Hume switching positions at reserve as Hawkins had promised before the season got underway. Berwick are again without Dany Gappmaier due to concussion and the Bandits have drafted in Redcar’s Richard Hall at number six.

“It’s something I said I would do with the riding order - give Connor and Danyon equal opportunities,” said Hawkins.

“Thursday night was good.

“It was a decent crowd again and it is a big meeting in two weeks’ time against Peterborough and we want everyone there.

“It’s good to have a couple of home matches early on – now we have two really tough away matches now.”

Teams: Berwick: Lewis Bridger 8.53, Liam Carr 4.69, Dimitri Berge 6.91, Claus Vissing 6.80, Kevin Doolan (c) 6.99, Richard Hall (g) 3.53, Ryan Blacklock 2.00

Ipswich: Danny King (c) 9.57, James Sarjeant 5.66, Nico Covatti 7.49, Cameron Heeps 5.07, Rory Schlein 7.17, Danyon Hume 2.00, Connor Mountain 2.00

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