Simmons praises Witches as Ipswich progress in KO Cup

IPSWICH WITCHES team manager Pete Simmons paid tribute to guest rider Ashley Morris and race hero Leigh Lanham as the Suffolk team saw off a spirited Somerset Rebels to progress into the quarter finals on the KO Cup.

Leading 48-42 from the first leg, the Witches almost threw the contest away as the Rebels clawed their way back to lead on the night but Lanham (paid 11) raced to a victory in the final lap to give Ipswich a 91-89 win, despite losing 47-43.

Morris also played his part, replacing the injured Cameron Heeps, as a depleted Witches side, also missing Dakota North (Under-21 duty) took on an equally threadbare Somerset side, fielding no fewer than four guests.

Morris, from Dudley, scored paid seven and has earned himself another guest slot on Monday when the Witches travel to Rye House (2pm).

“It was all about protecting our lead tonight and despite having a depleted team, we came up with the goods,” said Simmons.

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“It looked like we were going to throw it away again like we did the previous time but Somerset were a little hit and miss.

“Ashley Morris did more than was expected and we only got four points on our rider replacement rides and we would have got more had Dakota North raced.

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“Ashley has never achieved a four-point average in the Premier League, we put Matt in for seven races and Leigh had a very good night after a rough couple of weeks and a poor start tonight.”

Ipswich will now host Berwick in the next round on June 28 before travelling up north for the return leg 48 hours later.

“It’s tough up there but they don’t travel as well, so it is important we can get a good lead in the bank,” Simmons added.

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