Ipswich Witches defeated by Sheffield Tigers in Owlerton, Yorkshire, in Premiership Grand Final
IPSWICH ‘Tru Mix’ Witches fell to a heartbreaking defeat at Sheffield in the Premiership Grand Final, second leg, last night, as the Tigers from Yorkshire overturned the Suffolk side’s 18-point first leg lead.
On a wet night at Owlerton, the Tigers roared to victory, winning 56-34 and 92-88 on aggregate as the Witches failed in their attempt to win the league. Their last league championship victory was in 1998.
The Witches got off to a slow start and never got a grip of the meeting. Yet, a heat 13 maximum from star riders, Jason Doyle and Emil Sayfutdinov levelled the aggregate scores with two heats to go, before a heat 14 maximum for the home side put them four points ahead with one race to go.
And while Sayfutdinov won heat 15, the Sheffield pairing settled into second and third to secure the title for a first-ever time.
Ipswich promoter, Chris Louis said: “I wouldn’t say the track was difficult, there was a period after the second break I think it was where the rain came down harder and yes, the track did get slippery, but the track stood up fine.
“I certainly wouldn’t use the track as an excuse for us not winning the tie overall. You can’t afford to start the way we started in a tie like that because it gets your heads down and the opposition’s heads up and we paid for that in the end.
“I was so proud of how the whole team fought and didn’t give in, having gone behind in the tie.”
And Louis went on to praise not just his team, but also the fans, hundreds who made the trip to Yorkshire.
“I was very proud to watch team boss Ritchie Hawkins take the one to seven from press day through to a play-off final via a Knockout Cup victory,” Louis said.
“Every single one of them wore the Witch with pride and I am also proud to have the best fans and biggest support in the country.”
SHEFFIELD 56: Robert Lambert 9+1, Kyle Howarth 5+3, Chris Holder 11, Josh Pickering 8+2, Chris Harris 9, Jye Etheridge 9+1, Jason Edwards 5+1.
IPSWICH 34: Emil Sayfutdinov 11+1, Erik Riss 3, Danny King 5, Keynan Rew 3+1, Jason Doyle 9+1, Danyon Hume 2+1, Joe Thompson 1.