Mike says: Five observations from Ipswich Witches’ defeat to Lakeside Hammers last night

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins speaks with Cameron Heeps during the interval in Saturday night

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins speaks with Cameron Heeps during the interval in Saturday night's clash with Lakeside. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

MIKE BACON casts his eye over Saturday night’s Witches home defeat to Lakeside Hammers.

Still undercooked

Although the Witches management were having no excuses as to their team’s disappointing performance against Lakeside, there is little doubt a lack of track time for some riders in the home ranks is showing.

It is not so much how many competitive meetings the two teams have had – Ipswich three and Hammers five – it’s the fact the top Hammers riders, in their doubling-up roles with other clubs – Morris, Ellis and Lawson – have all enjoyed much more track time so far this season. Not an excuse, but a factor.

Impatient fans


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There were calls from the terraces last night for the team to buck their ideas up.

Foxhall fans are some of the best in the country but this is a club that over the years, is used to a competitive team and don’t take lightly to home defeats. It’s two on the bounce now for fans to have to take and no win at all home or away this season. The Ipswich riders cannot afford to mess up this Thursday at home to Newcastle in their opening league meeting.

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Patient management

Chris Louis and Ritchie Hawkins don’t make excuses.

And there weren’t any last night. I sense from both that this level of performance will not be tolerated for long however. The Witches set the bar high last season and management and fans want much of the same this season. The team have already lost as many home meetings in 2018 as they did in the whole of 2017!

One down, two to go

There are three competitions the Witches are in this season – well two now they are out of the Championship Shield. The KO Cup is next up in a couple of weeks and their first round opponents over two legs are... Lakeside Hammers.

A much improved mindset is going to be needed if the Witches are to beat the Hammers over two legs if Saturday night’s performance from the Suffolk side is anything to go by. This time next month, if they are not careful, the league will be all the Witches have left!

Captain fantastic

Thankfully Danny King has hit the ground running this year. The Witches No.1 appears to the only rider who has really got to grips with the Foxhall circuit in 2018. He is such a key man for the Witches and he has plenty of capable riders around him. Hopefully the team will click and soon. The Witches 2018 have enough about them to make it happen.

Full meeting report Witches v Hammers

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