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Sheffield Tigers v Ipswich Witches – Play-off final preview

Ipswich Witches travel to Sheffield tomorrow night in the Championship play-off final, first leg.

With the second leg at Foxhall on Saturday, the Suffolk side would love to come home from Yorkshire with either a win or a narrow defeat.

However, against a high-flying Sheffield team, that won’t be easy.

Its mixed news for the Witches as Cameron Heeps returns to the side having recovered from his shoulder injury, but Connor Mountain is set to miss both legs having picked up a shoulder injury of his own while riding for Mildenhall last weekend.

Peterborough’s Tom Bacon guests at number seven as Heeps come back in at number three and rider replacement is used at two for Justin Sedgmen, who remains on the sidelines.

The Tigers should be at full strength for the tie with Todd Kurtz back at after injury, although both Josh Grajczonek and Josh Bates had nasty crashes at Glasgow on Tuesday night in their semi-final, second leg clash.

Sheffield have won both meetings between the two clubs at Owlerton this season, the first a convincing win early in the season before a tighter meeting a few weeks ago.

Team Manager Ritchie Hawkins says the team’s determination at Edinburgh in the semi-final, second leg last Friday night, got them through a tough test.

“I thought we were brilliant last week and it was a classic cup tie that swayed both ways,” said Hawkins.

“I said at the time that other teams I have been a part of would have fallen to bits but we showed great character. The boys’ determination pulled them through and we now need more of the same.”

Hawkins is delighted to have Heeps back in the side and says the Australian is raring to go.

“Cam was like a caged animal, he was desperate to ride in the semi-final but I wouldn’t let him and so hopefully a bit of that pent up frustration can be used in the final,” Hawkins added.

Sheffield: J Grajczonek, T Kurtz, L Bjerre, J Bates, K Howarth, J Graversen, G Wood.

Ipswich: D King, R/R, C Heeps, K Newman, R Schlein, N Greaves, T Bacon.

Follow Mike Bacon on twitter tomorrow night for live meeting updates

“We might not be the best, but we keep going. It’s an endearing quality we have.”

Focus on the strengths, recognise the weaknesses and enjoy the ride.

Watch match highlights of Ipswich Town’s 2-2 draw at Hull City on Saturday.

A point at Hull City should not be seen as anything other than a good result ordinarily and the fact that we gained that point with a late equaliser certainly felt better than a loss. But were they not there for the taking on the day?

It was certainly an eventful day for David McGoldrick.

Jordan Spence believes his late leveller at Hull shows the character of the Ipswich Town squad.

Ipswich Town drew 2-2 at Hull City in a Championship match this afternoon. STUART WATSON highlights the key talking points.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hailed his side’s fighting spirit after Jordan Spence netted a late leveller in this afternoon’s 2-2 draw at Hull City.

Jordan Spence scores late equaliser for Ipswich as the blues earns a point at the KCOM Stadium.

Sports writer Andy Warren rates the Ipswich Town players following their dramatic 2-2 draw at Hull.

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