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Heat leaders praised as Ipswich Witches defeat Redcar to strengthen grip on second

PUBLISHED: 01:45 03 September 2017 | UPDATED: 01:47 03 September 2017

Rory Schlein (left) and Danny King who were in action for the Witches at Sheffield last night. PICTURE: STEVE WALLER

Rory Schlein (left) and Danny King who were in action for the Witches at Sheffield last night. PICTURE: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches’ team manager Ritchie Hawkins praised heat leaders Danny King and Rory Schlein after they led the team to a 51-39 win over Redcar on Saturday night at Foxhall.

It was a tight meeting with the Witches holding just a four-point lead going into the final three heats.

King and Schlein played a crucial role in the win with 5-1s in heat 13 and 15, with the captain completing a 14+1 paid maximum.

“The scoreline at the end does not show just how tight it was,” said Hawkins.

“They got in front quite early on but we were strong and Rory and Danny sealed the meeting in heat 13 really. It was a good performance from the boys, we stuck in there and got those 4-2s and ground out the result.

“Danny and Rory looked a class above all night. Rory had one bad ride but they never looked like getting beat.

“It fills you with a lot of confidence knowing you have got two top riders, two of the best in the league and I wouldn’t change them for anyone in the league. It fills me with confidence knowing you can put them out in the pressure heats.”

The boss said there were no nerves despite going behind early on as he believed his side would get stronger as the meeting went on.

“I wasn’t nervous at any point, I knew we were going to be stronger as the meeting continued,” Hawkins added.

“Kyle (Newman) has had a really busy period and he didn’t have his best night but we covered really well. Mark Riss had a tough first ride but looked quite good so I was confident he was going to go on and score plenty of points afterwards, and he did.

“Nathan (Greaves) and Connor (Mountain) chipped in with some vital third places to get those 4-2s too.”

With Glasgow losing at home to Sheffield on Saturday, the Witches strengthened their grip on second spot.

Hawkins explained: “We won’t finish top as Sheffield have that wrapped up.

“However, to finish second with all the injury troubles we have had, I think we have done remarkably well.

“Hopefully we can get our fitness levels up for the play-offs.”

The former skipper said that the battle for fourth spot did not enter his thoughts prior or during the meeting.

“I would expect Sheffield to pick either Redcar or Edinburgh and it is looking like we will finish second or third so it probably does not affect us anyway who finishes fourth.”

Two Ipswich Town stars will be looking to take a big step towards this summer’s World Cup over the next week while a host of younger players look to further their international careers.

Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been impressed by Ipswich stopper Bartosz Bialkowski following his first call-up to the Polish national team.

Luton boss Nathan Jones is disappointed to lose the services of midfielder Flynn Downes due to international duty but is pleased to see the Ipswich Town youngster continue his development with England Under 19s.

Fighting for a place in England’s World Cup squad might be tough work for Burnley’s Nick Pope but it beats riding a milk float in the early hours of the morning.

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Michael Crowe was taken by surprise when he found out he had been called up for international duty, but is determined to learn as much as he can while away with the Wales squad.

Ipswich Town fans want to see young defender Josh Emmanuel given his chance in the first team next season.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says Josh Emmanuel may be sent out on loan again next season.

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers hopes striker David McGoldrick has not played his last game for the club.

Season ticket prices, whether we’ll hear from owner Marcus Evans and manager Mick McCarthy’s future are the three big questions as Ipswich Town head into a two-week international break.

Did you hear about the Mick McCarthy press conference? He walked into the room, sat down, and apologised profusely to the loyal fans of Ipswich Town, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

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