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Easter sporting heroes

PUBLISHED: 18:00 13 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

IPSWICH was saluting a hat-trick of sporting heroes today.

Magnificent Ipswich Town have scorched to within touching distance of the Nationwide League First Division play-offs thanks to two superb Easter

victories.

IPSWICH was saluting a hat-trick of sporting heroes today.

Magnificent Ipswich Town have scorched to within touching distance of the Nationwide League First Division play-offs thanks to two superb Easter

victories.

Wonderful Ipswich Evening Star Witches made it three wins over the Bank Holiday period with a thrilling speedway success at Wolverhampton last night to roar to the top of the Sky Bet Elite League.

And Ipswich's own swimming ace Karen Pickering brought more glory to the town by qualifying for this summer's Olympic Games in Athens.

With five wins in their last six games – coinciding with the arrival of on-loan defender Matt Elliott – the Tractor Boys are

hitting form at just the right time to return to the Premiership.

There is a genuine belief at Portman Road that Joe Royle's men can gain the two wins that may well be enough to

qualify for the play-offs.

A home defeat by West Brom nine days ago was a body blow, but a tremendous Easter weekend with victories at Rotherham and yesterday's

1-0 triumph over promotion rivals Sunderland have seen Town zoom up to fourth place.

They play at Gillingham on Saturday, a ground where they won comprehensively last season, and then have Nottingham Forest at home. A visit to Sheffield United follows, before Town finish with a home clash with Cardiff, who are likely to have only pride to play for come early May.

Fifteen points out of the last 18 is just what the doctor ordered. And there was a hint of the delights enjoyed through the play-offs in 2000 in the stands yesterday with supporters in full voice, and everything to play for.

The Witches are a transformed side this year after the horrors of 2003, and any doubts that they may not be good enough to sustain a championship challenge were dismissed with last night's 48-42 victory. This success followed their quick-fire double over Coventry Bees last Thursday and Friday.

There had been worries that the Witches might not be able to cope without floater Danny Bird in their side, but 17-year-old's Daniel King and Trevor Harding last night played their part in the reserve berths as Ipswich picked up their third away league win of the season.

They ride at Swindon this Thursday and then have home meetings next Thursday and Saturday.


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