Witches skipper Danny King: ‘Poole’s celebrations really riled us’

The Witches celebrate after Richard Lawson and James Sarjeant had raced to a 4-2 in heat 14, to secu

The Witches celebrate after Richard Lawson and James Sarjeant had raced to a 4-2 in heat 14, to secure an aggregate victory over Poole Pirates. Picture: Steve Gardiner - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches skipper Danny King reflects on an incredible semi-final clash with Poole Pirates

Danny King and Jake Allen join mechanics to celebrate Richard Lawson and James Sarjeant's 4-2 in hea

Danny King and Jake Allen join mechanics to celebrate Richard Lawson and James Sarjeant's 4-2 in heat 14, that secured the Witches qualification to the final of the play-offs. Picture: Steve Gardiner - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Wow! What a night that was.

Saturday was up there as one of the greatest, not only for the club, but for many of us riders, as the Witches turned around that 10-point deficit against Poole to reach the Premiership final.

I've spoken to many people since Saturday and everyone agrees it was one of the best nights the Witches have ever enjoyed at Foxhall.

And bearing in mind there have been plenty, that really does say something.

Cameron Heeps & Jake Allen celebrate in heat 8 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi

Cameron Heeps & Jake Allen celebrate in heat 8 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Steve Gardiner - Credit: Archant


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But we've won nothing yet.

And I really want us all, management, riders, fans, to focus our minds on that.

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Getting to the final has been sensational. But now imagine if we won it? Because we can.

This season has been a rollercoaster.

Written off at the start, topping the league half way through the year, losing our way later on and then putting Poole out in the semi-final.

It's been amazing, frustrating and incredible in equal measure.

This team has been a joy to captain and now we are in the final... We must win.

Robert Mutimer, who has been at every Witches meeting (home and away) this season, with the team, ah

Robert Mutimer, who has been at every Witches meeting (home and away) this season, with the team, ahead of the Premiership Play-Off Semi-Final with Poole, on 28th September 2019. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

OUR first leg at Poole last week looked as though it was going to be an unbelievable result for us.

We were 12 points up at the half-way stage, but threw it all away, as Poole got their act together.

There was a long break while the air fence was repaired and Poole had started to get going. They showed us no mercy after that and we left Poole not just disappointed we had thrown a big lead away and lost by 10, but I'll be honest, Poole's celebrations really riled us.

We were hurting enough as it was without it feeling like they had just won the tie, all their dancing around and hugging each other.

I understand them being pleased to have done what they did.

But it was only half-time and we knew we had much more to come - 10 points was never a huge lead, as it proved.

WITCHES fan Robert Mutimer has been to all our meetings this season - home and away.

He's seen the best of us and the worst of us.

So, Ritchie Hawkins thought it a good idea for Robert to talk to us all before the second leg with Poole on Saturday night about his journey with us this year.

It was really good.

Robert spoke so well. In fact it was very uplifting.

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins in the pits during the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates (Premier

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins in the pits during the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates (Premiership Play-Off Semi-Final) meeting. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

He didn't mince his words but he also told us he had seen enough of us to know we could win the meeting - and the tie.

Robert had been on the rollercoaster season that we had been on. He'd seen the lot.

He was right of course, we could turn 10 points around.

What a meeting it turned out to be. We get a 5-1, then they get a 5-1. It was incredible.

The crowd were a huge help to us, I really can't thank you all enough.

SO, who do I want in the final?

I know it's a bit boring to say I don't mind... But 'I don't mind'.

We probably go better at Wolves, but Wolves probably go better at our place than Swindon.

In saying that we have lost 44-46 at Swindon and drawn 45-45 at Wolves this season.

It's all up for grabs.

All I know is you have to be in the final to be able to win the final.

And we are there.

Thanks again to all you fans who have helped get us to this point. For us riders you really have been the eighth man.

Now we can at least rest a week, sit back and watch to see who our opponents will be.

And after that....

DANNY

AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON

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