Ipswich Witches get season underway with Good Friday double header

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins (left) and promoter Chris Louis welcome Michael Haertel to the

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins (left) and promoter Chris Louis welcome Michael Haertel to the 2018 team. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches 2018 season gets underway tomorrow afternoon as the Foxhall Heath team entertain Lakeside Hammers in a Championship Shield clash, 2.15pm.

Ritchie Hawkins side, devoid of any track activity on the Heath this season, go into the match cold on their new circuit, which has been slightly re-shaped in the winter.

However, hopes are high the team can hit the ground running, with many of the Witches already having had a bit of track action so far this campaign on other tracks.

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It’s the first of a Good Friday double header between the two sides, with the return leg at Purfleet tomorrow night, 8pm.

Last season the Witches reached two major finals but lost them both. However, getting so close has only made team manager Ritchie Hawkins even more determined this year.

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“We want to win trophies and the Championship Shield is the first opportunity to win something,” Hawkins said.

“We need to make a good start and get through our group.

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“With there only being three teams and four meetings, you can’t afford any mistakes.”

Peterborough are the other team in the Witches and Hammers section, so there is little room for mistakes and any of the three teams who wins an away meeting is likely to be in the boss seat to top the group and go through to the semi-finals.

“We have got to go to Lakeside three times this year so the first one could go either way but it is a tough place to go,” Hawkins said.

“There is a big home advantage but we have got to go and learn from it. We need to get a home win under our belts on Friday and see how it goes at Lakeside in the evening. But at the moment the focus is on the home meeting.”

The Hammers have already ridden one meeting in the Shield, losing 46-44 at Peterborough on Sunday. The Witches travel to Peterborough on Easter Sunday.


Ipswich: D King, M Haertel, R Schlein, C Heeps, N Covatti, C Mountain, D Hume.

Lakeside: N Morris, B Morley, A Ellis, K Newman, R Lawson, Z Wajtknecht, A Bowtell.

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Kids go free at Foxhall tomorrow afternoon.

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