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Witches boss says race for play-offs is set to be so very close

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins speaks with Cameron Heeps   Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins speaks with Cameron Heeps Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins is trying to look at the positives after the Suffolk side’s home clash with Berwick Bandits was called off tonight.

Rory Schlein (left) and Danny King, battled hard for the Witches at Peterborough, but to no avail. Photo: STEVE WALLERRory Schlein (left) and Danny King, battled hard for the Witches at Peterborough, but to no avail. Photo: STEVE WALLER

Rain had been falling much of the afternoon in and around Foxhall, with more forecast throughout the night. A decision at 4.45pm was taken to postpone.

It’s been a truncated start to 2018 for Hawkins’ side who now find themselves without a home fixture for another two weeks, when Sheffield come visiting on June 7.

However, on the flip side, last night they were set to be without both Danny King and Rory Schlein, both who are currently injured.

The pair are likely to be back for the Sheffield clash.

“We would have liked to got the meeting on tonight, of course we would,” Hawkins said.

“Even though we were without Danny and Rory, we felt we have good guests in place in Edward Kennett and Lewis Kerr.

“We have made a decent start to our league season, with the win at home to Newcastle and the draw at Newcastle. There is a long way to go but hopefully by the time the fixtures start to come thick and fast, we will have our full 1-7 back and get on a run of good form.

“You have to look at the positives. It’s not good us moaning about the rain-offs, there is nothing we can do about that.”

The Witches have not ridden at home as a team at Foxhall since May 3 and have a very bare-looking fixture list in June – currently just three meetings, two at home and one away.

Things will hot up through July and August, however, as the Championship table takes shape.

Already, with teams like Workington, Scunthorpe and Berwick starting their seasons well, the race for the play-off top four is looking tough.

“I think it will be as close a run to the play-offs as we have seen for many seasons,” Hawkins said.

“Teams are going to take points off each other all over the place.”

One rider who has been catching the eye of late in Suffolk, is Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ 15-year-old Drew Kemp.

He impressed at Foxhall last week in the British U19 final.

“He’s a fine prospect,” Hawkins said.

“Of course we know all about him, he’s an Ipswich lad and has been here with us at Foxhall on many occasions. He’s a polite young man.

“But he must not rush into anything. He’s just 15 and has a huge career ahead of him, I’m sure.”

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