Ritchie Hawkins knows Ipswich Witches’ problems aren’t solved just yet despite Edinburgh win

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches held off a late Edinburgh charge to secure their first Premier League win of the season last night, but team manager Ritchie Hawkins insisted his side’s problems aren’t entirely cured just yet.

At one stage the Witches led the Monarchs by 10 points at Foxhall and seemed to be on their way to an easy win, but the visitors pulled back seven points in heats 12 and 13 to ultimately force a last heat decider.

Captain Danny King picked himself up off the floor to win heat 15 and secure the victory but, while Hawkins was happy to finally notch a victory, the team manager insisted there is still work to do.

“We looked really steady all night really, knocking in 4-2s all the way through and cutting out the last places which was really pleasing,” he said.

“They had two races where they pulled back seven points which made it a bit nervous in heat 15 even though we had the choice of gates.

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“We needed Danny to step up as a number one and as a captain and he’s done that tonight. Hopefully for him that’s a bit of a boost because we know he’s not been riding as well as he has done or can.

“We showed great heart and determination and we didn’t buckle tonight, which is very positive, but I still think we were a little inconsistent really with some of our performances.

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“It’s by no means cured, but we just need to keep building. It’s a hard fight but a good challenge, because it’s more fun to win from behind than it is to win from start to finish.”

Last night’s victory saw a Witches debut for new reserve Ollie Greenwood, with Hawkins pleased with the youngster’s performance as he scored three from three rides before missing his final outing due to mechanical issues.

“I was really happy with Ollie and, if I’m honest, he was unlucky not to get his fourth ride,” he said.

“He had a little machinery problem in his last one and didn’t want to risk it in what was a really important race.”

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