Ipswich Witches: Ritchie Hawkins speaks ahead of KO Cup final clash at Foxhall against Sheffield Tigers
Ipswich Witches team boss, Ritchie Hawkins, has said he wants to 'get Foxhall buzzing' as the Suffolk side go in pursuit of KO Cup glory on Thursday night, 7.30pm start.
The Witches entertain Sheffield Tigers, at Foxhall Stadium, looking to overturn a six-point deficit from the first leg that ended 48-42 to the Yorkshire side on Monday night.
If they were to win it would be their first major trophy in 25 years for Ipswich, and a big crowd is expected.
“I think everyone is confident that we are capable of overturning the six-points, but Sheffield are a very good team and capable of coming to Ipswich and winning,” Hawkins said.
“We are going to need all the effort and determination we have shown the last two months to get us into this situation of cup final and play-offs. But we can do it, I have every faith in this team.”
The Witches, who are indeed also in the play-offs that start next weekend, will be looking for their home support to give them the edge. Hawkins, a former rider for the Witches, knows the difference it can make.
“It is so important to have a good crowd behind us,” he said.
“I’ve ridden at Ipswich in front of some big crowds and when the place gets rocking it gives the riders a boost.
“We have all worked so hard to get to this stage, it would be a great reward for everyone connected with the Club if we were to win. Let’s get Foxhall buzzing.”
Witches owner Chris Louis said: “It’s still so tight, but I have total belief in the team. They were superb at Sheffield on Monday.
“We’ve been through a lot this year as a group, but we have always stuck together. Now, here we are, in a cup final and a play-off semi-final against Belle Vue next Thursday. This is what we wanted to be part of come the season’s end, now we must grab our opportunities.”
Both teams are unchanged from the first leg.
Ipswich: 1. Emil Sayfutdinov, 2. Danyon Hume, 3. Danny King (capt), 4. Erik Riss, 5. Jason Doyle, 6. Keynan Rew, 7. Joe Thompson.
Sheffield: 1. Max Fricke, 2. Kyle Howarth (capt), 3. Chris Holder, 4. Josh Pickering, 5. Tobiasz Musielak, 6. Kyle Newman, 7. Jason Edwards.
Ipswich Witches v Sheffield Tigers: KO Cup final, second leg, Foxhall Heath, 7.30pm, Thursday, September 14