Ipswich Witches 51 Sheffield Tigers 39... Super Witches too hot too handle

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives a pre-match team talk.

Ipswich team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives a pre-match team talk. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Witches produced a superb performance at Foxhall Stadium tonight to see off Sheffield Tigers and keep up their unbeaten start to the season with a 51-39 victory.

The Suffolk side took all three points with a powerful display, led by three-times world champion Jason Crump, who rolled back the years with some great passing.

But while 45-year-old Crump was showing his class, so were the Witches young reserves, Drew Kemp and Anders Rowe, the two teens both winning heats and starring in what was a solid Ipswich effort.

The result means it has been a good start to the Premiership campaign for the Suffolk side, who travel to Wolves on Monday in what is sure to be their toughest test yet.

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins and Anders Rowe pictured ahead of heat 11.

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins and Anders Rowe pictured ahead of heat 11. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Crump flew from the outside in heat one across all three opponents to win the opener much to the delight of the many home fans in a drawn race.

The Witches took the lead in the next as Kemp and Rowe gated to victory, Kemp pushing out the Tigers' Josh Bates on turn one.

Cameron Heeps and Kyle Howarth had a real ding-dong in heat three with the Tigers man coming out on top, but it was the Witches who struck again, with Ipswich skipper Danny King and Kemp grabbing a 5-1 maximum.

Witches number one Jason Crump leads the way in the opening heat, from Adam Ellis and Troy Batchelor

Witches number one Jason Crump leads the way in the opening heat, from Adam Ellis and Troy Batchelor. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

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Howarth and Heeps were at it again in the next, with Howarth again passing Ipswich's young Aussie who had made a great start. Crump won heat six and King passed Justin Sedgmen in style to keep Ipswich six up at the half-way stage.

Young Kemp was in superb form and he passed Batchelor in heat eight as the Witches stretched their lead to eight.

The 2021 Ipswich Witches, together for the first time ahead of the meeting against Sheffield.

The 2021 Ipswich Witches, together for the first time ahead of the meeting against Sheffield. Back row, left to right: Jason Crump, Cameron Heeps, Jordan Stewart and Anders Rowe. Kneeling left Jake Allen, right Drew Kemp. On bike Danny King. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Ellis won only Sheffield's third race of the night in heat nine, before Crump rolled back the years with a master-class of passing on Sedgmen, who had again made a great start.

Rowe and King hammered home another Witches maximum as the home side closed in on victory - Ipswich's two young reserves were showing maturity above their years.

Heeps won his first race of the season at Foxhall to as good as clinch the points for Witches before Crump's second place in heat 13 did just so.

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