Witches up for the Cup as the skipper rallies his team

Adam Ellis receives encouragement from skipper Ritchie Hawkins ahead of heat 12.
Peterborough v Ips

Adam Ellis receives encouragement from skipper Ritchie Hawkins ahead of heat 12. Peterborough v Ipswich (Premier League) at East of England Showground, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK on 10 June 2014 Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins is refusing to be drawn on how big a lead his side want from their knock-out cup final, first leg clash with Edinburgh Monarchs at Foxhall Stadium tonight.

Craig Cook

Craig Cook - Credit: Archant

The high-flying Scottish side ride into Foxhall on the crest of a wave, gunning for a Premier League treble, having already won the League Cup – and with the Premier League play-off grand final to race next week against Somerset Rebels.

Before then however, tonight at Foxhall and tomorrow night in Scotland, the knock-out cup winners will be decided, as the Witches look to bring the first silverware back to Foxhall since their Premier League Fours victory in 2011.

“Well, 40 points would be a nice lead to take to their place on Friday,” Ipswich skipper Hawkins said.

“But seriously, that’s not likely to happen and I’m not even going to start putting pressure on us about how many points we need or don’t need.

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“I’m quite happy the second leg is in Edinburgh because we will go there knowing what we have to do. Alot of us go well at Edinburgh and if we can take a good lead, then we can win the cup, I’ve no doubt about that.

“This team has been so good to captain, so good to be part of. I saw Newcastle run Edinburgh very close at their place a couple of weeks ago and I think we are better than Newcastle. We can win this.”

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The next two nights will define the Witches’ season.

Victory, and 2014 will have been a huge success, but defeat will see another Premier League season go by with no trophies in the Foxhall Heath cabinet.

Edinburgh will be the most acid of tests. They have only lost three league meetings all season – none at home – and drew at Foxhall earlier in the year.

Led by the League’s star man Craig Cook, Aussies Max Fricke and Sam Masters, although they are missing Steve Worrall, whose partner has gone into Labour with the birth of their child and he rightly wants to be with her.

The Witches, however, have a good home record themselves and are certainly no shrinking violets at Foxhall where their record has been excellent.

It promises to be a fascinating night on the Heath. Tapes up 7.45pm.


Ipswich: Tungate, Heeps, Risager, Manzares, Worrall, Hawkins, Ellis

Edinburgh: Cook, Sedgmen, Fricke, R/R, Masters, Sneddon, Fox

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