5 things we learned about the Witches last night

From the left Danny King, Troy Batchelor and Jake Allen race from the tapes in heat 10 of the Sheffi

From the left Danny King, Troy Batchelor and Jake Allen race from the tapes in heat 10 at Owlerton - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Witches went down 42-48 at Sheffield Tigers last night. It was a sixth straight defeat. MIKE BACON gives his thoughts.

Danny King and Jake Allen inside Adam Ellis in heat three.

Danny King and Jake Allen inside Adam Ellis in heat three. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

DEFEAT BUT GRIT

This proved to be the Witches sixth defeat on the bounce and with the Tigers eight points ahead after heat five at Owlerton, it was all becoming a tad depressing.

However, it ended up being far from the case as the Witches showed some real grit on the fast South Yorkshire bowl, as they not only battled their way back into the meeting, but took the Tigers to a last-heat decider. In the end there were plenty of positives to take.

Yet, time is of the essence and it's wins the Witches need right now to get themselves right back into that play-off picture.

Witches guest Nick Morris outside Kyle Howarth in the opening heat.

Witches guest Nick Morris outside Kyle Howarth in the opening heat. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

SO MISSING CRUMPY

The loss of Jason Crump is proving a real issue.

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Hopefully he will be back for the clash at Foxhall on Monday when Wolverhampton come to town. Ipswich have used guests and rider replacement, but it hasn't worked.

There has been no lack of effort from any of the Witches guests, but the points haven't come as freely as Chris Louis and Ritchie Hawkins would have hoped.

Come back Crumpy!

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins and club owner Chris Louis in pensive mood at Sheffield.

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins and club owner Chris Louis in pensive mood at Sheffield. - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

RITCHIE SAID...

Ipswich Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins had this to say after the meeting.

“I thought it was another great effort by the boys.

"We could have easily tailed off after we went eight points down but after their first rides everybody changed something and put it right and it was another great effort from the lads to take it to a last-heat decider.

"I am really pleased with them tonight; it is another point on the road and another improvement. To come here and put in that performance following on from Monday was a great effort and it is good progress."

Paul Starke beginning to show some decent form for the Witches.

Paul Starke beginning to show some decent form for the Witches. - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

STARKE WARNING

Paul Starke produced a quality heat eight ride at Sheffield for the Witches just when they needed it most. It was his first race win for the Suffolk side.

Starke is an experienced rider and is also a talented one.

His performances at Peterborough and now Sheffield were a big improvement on his debut meeting for the Witches against the Panthers.

He also goes down to reserve next month and that could be significant for the Witches. Starke is posting a warning, he's coming into form.

Anders Rowe, who with with his Witches team-mates lines up against Wolves on Monday.

Anders Rowe, who with with his Witches team-mates lines up against Wolves on Monday. - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

UP NEXT! THE GOLDEN TICKET

Well, it's Wolverhampton at Foxhall on Monday night - a rare Monday night clash for the Witches.

And there is also the chance for one lucky fan to go home £1,000 better off, should they be lucky enough to purchase a programme with THE golden ticket inside!




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