Ipswich Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins after Edinburgh defeat: ‘We threw it away’

Witches Director of Speedway Chris Louis (left) and team manager Ritchie Hawkins.

Witches Director of Speedway Chris Louis (left) and team manager Ritchie Hawkins. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins has asked for his riders to learn from the catalogue of mistakes that cost the Suffolk victory at Edinburgh on Friday night.

The high-flying Suffolk septet were racing league leaders the Monarchs and were sitting pretty at 24-18 ahead after seven races.

Edinburgh had just seen one of their riders, Mark Riss, taken to hospital with finger injuries. But what happened next left Hawkins and promoter Chris Louis utterly lost for words.

Two 5-0 heat victories, in heats eight and 14 went against the Witches who capitulated to a 48-40 point defeat.

“I’ve had the weekend to try and get over it, but I haven’t really got over it,” Hawkins said.

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“We absolutely threw it away.

“The boys were in good spirits before the meeting. We attacked the start of the meeting well, but then we just made so many individual mistakes, it was untrue.

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“We conceded two 5-0s and yet we were on a 5-1 in one of them and a 4-2 in the other. I’d have been hacked off just getting a losing bonus point - but we didn’t even get that.

“I travelled up to the meeting with Danny King and I don’t think we said a word on the way home. We were all gutted.

“The boys know what they did wrong. They must learn from these things.

“We simply can’t let what happened on Friday happen again.”

Hawkins and the Witches are still in a good place in the Championship table, sitting in third place.

Their home form has been exceptional so far this campaign and it will need to continue that way if a top-four place is to be assured.

On Thursday the Witches are at home to Workington.

“We still have half the season to go and I have every faith in this team,” Hawkins added.

“Workington will be another big test on Thursday, but our home form is good and we have to keep racing at Foxhall as we have.

“Glasgow (currently second) are looking good in the table and I think are the best team at the moment. But Sheffield (fourth) are on a similar points to us and of course we could have won at leaders Edinburgh.”

Hawkins switches the riding order around on Thursday, with Cameron Heeps swapping with Justin Sedgmen, Heeps moving to three and Sedgmen to four.

“We have been so consistent at home but a bit erratic away. I’m still very confident in this side.”

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