Witches face tough Wasps test

IPSWICH Witches face one of the most important meetings of their season so far tonight at Foxhall Stadium.

IPSWICH Witches face one of the most important meetings of their season tonight at Foxhall Stadium.

A healthy first-leg lead over Newport Wasps in the two side’s KO Cup quarter-final clash would give the Suffolk team a real chance of progression into the semi-final stage.

However should they bow out after the second leg in Wales on Saturday night, their season is left dependent on their Premier League hopes.

And with their current away form far from impressive, those hopes of silverware are only dreamed off by a true Foxhall faithful fan.

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So it’s glory or bust over the next three days for the Witches riders. There is little doubt as a septet they are one of the strongest in the country. But too many times they have flattered to deceive.

If a bumper summer holiday is to lay ahead for the management and their riders, an impressive aggregate victory over the Wasps would be just what the doctor ordered.

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Ipswich have already beaten Newport at Foxhall earlier this season and even won at Newport back in April.

But no team has undergone as many changes as Newport, with Jason Doyle, Justin Sedgmen and Charlie Gjedde in their side now, they are most dangerous.

“Newport have strengthened up, we all know that,” Witches boss Pete Simmons admitted.

“We need to pile up the points to take to Wales. But we also have riders who go well at Newport and we ride their place well.

“So a decent lead at home could give us a great chance of progression.

“The Cup is probably our best chance of silverware this season and after overcoming the first hurdle, which has been a struggle for us in the last few years, it would be a shame to exit in the very next round this year.”

The ‘Sackers’ Witches hope to welcome back Lasse Bjerre back into their side tonight.

He was programmed to ride for King’s Lynn in last night’s Elite League clash at home to Peterborough. And if he came through that, he will take his place in a full-strength Ipswich side.

FOLLOW Mike Bacon on twitter.com tonight Mike_Bacon

Tonight’s teams

Ipswich: 1. Kevin Doolan (C) 8.23, 2. Taylor Poole 6.27, 3. Mathieu Tresarrieu 5.90, 4. Morten Risager 6.96, 5. Lasse Bjerre 6.71, 6. Jerran Hart 4.23, 7. Chris Mills 5.36

Newport: 1. Jason Doyle 7.79, 2. Justin Sedgmen 6.65, 3. Robin Aspegren 5.81, 4. Charlie Gjedde 7.14, 5. Leigh Lanham (C) 7.48, 6. Mark Jones 3.10, 7. Todd Kurtz 4.07

Premier League

P Pts.

Sheffield 24 48

Glasgow 18 47

Workington 16 38

Somerset 20 38

Ipswich 21 36

Edinburgh 19 35

Rye House 19 30

Redcar 19 30

Scunthorpe 21 30

Berwick 19 27

Newcastle 20 24

Newport 18 18

Leicester 21 12

Plymouth 15 8

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