Witches have it all to do after narrow first-leg lead

Cameron Heeps passes Lewis Kerr who went on to fall in heat three of the Ipswich v Rye House (Premie

Cameron Heeps passes Lewis Kerr who went on to fall in heat three of the Ipswich v Rye House (Premier League Knock Out Cup) meeting at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, UK on 12 May 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches 46 Rye House Rockets 44

Ipswich Witches will have to be at their best if they are to progress in this season’s knock-out cup, after a narrow 46-44 victory against Rye House in this first round, first leg tie, at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday night

The Suffolk side would have been hoping for at least a 10-point lead to take to Hoddesdon on Saturday evening but with both No.1s having contrasting nights, it was the Rockets who left Foxhall much happier.

Witches No.1 Danny King had a miserable evening, crashing when in second place behind partner James Sarjeant in heat six and generally looking off the pace throughout – his five points were disappointing.

Edward Kennett on the other hand – Rockets’ No.1 – roared to a paid 15-point maximum and single-handedly kept his side in with a shout throughout.

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When he and Stuart Robson shot to the front in the final heat, they brought the Witches lead back to just two, to make themselves favourites to progress into the quarter-finals.

This was a real curate’s egg of a Witches performance – good in parts.

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Lewis Kerr typified the Witches evening, with three brilliant wins and two last places. Paco Castagna started well but tailed off, while Morten Risager never really got going.

It was left to Sarjeant to impress most with three heat wins, along with Nico Covatti and if they and their team-mates can string some consistency together at Hoddesdon, then you never know. But it will be an uphill task.

Ipswich: D King 5+1, J Sarjeant 9, L Kerr 9, M Risager 7+1, N Covatti 11, P Castagna 4+1, D Ritchings 1+1

Rye House: E Kennett 14+1, K Lykke 4, C Heeps 6, L Lanham 3+1, S Robson 9, P Karger 0, B Morley 8+2

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