Witches look to blunt the Diamonds

Ritchie Hawkins. Picture: Steve Waller

Ritchie Hawkins. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches team manager Phil Hilton, pictured, admits his team badly ‘need to win’ at home to Newcastle Diamonds, at Foxhall Stadium.

The Suffolk side were impressive victors last time out on the Heath, when Redcar Bears were put to the sword.

But an away defeat at Edinburgh last Friday meant the momentum of the Redcar wins – the Witches won at the Bears as well – were lost.

“It was a shame at Edinburgh, but I must admit I did fear we might not pick up anything,” Hilton said.

“They were strong on the night but we were well in it and just a couple of points down after heat eight.”

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The Witches take on a Newcastle side who lost at home to Somerset on Sunday and have endured mixed results themselves.

“It’s a meeting we need to win, there is no doubt about that,” Hilton said.

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“We are missing Danny King and Gino Manzares because of the World Cup but I’m happy with the replacements we have got in Craig Cook (Edinburgh) and Leigh Lanham (Somerset).”

The Witches will have Stefan Nielsen back after he missed the Edinburgh meeting after suffering a road crash, while Cameron Heeps is still unavailable as he recovers from a broken wrist.

“I’ve had it looked at again and nothing has changed,” Heeps said.

“It’s been four weeks now and I was told six and that’s still the way it is set to be. But I’m so bored, I’m going insane. When the wrist has healed, I won’t be back within days, but at least it will only be a week or so.”

Newcastle include English youngsters Lewis Kerr, Lewis Rose and Steve Worrall in their line-up and on their day are capable of putting on a good show.

“Hopefully our reserves, Stefan Nielsen and Ritchie Hawkins go well.” Hilton said.

“The reserves are so important and I know Ritchie especially has had a tough time of late.

“As captain it’s difficult for him as he tries to rally the team as well as get his own form back on track.”

Witches: C Cook, L Lanham, N Covatti, R/R, R Tungate, Stefan Nielsen, R Hawkins

Diamonds: L Kerr, R/R, S Worrall, A Rose, L Lindgren, Simon Nielsen, L Rose

Mike’s prediction: Witches 53 Diamonds 37

Also in today’s EADT newspaper, Stefan Nielsen crash horror, including pictures. And the Ritchie Hawkins column.

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