Ipswich Witches are favourites to start Northern tour with a win against Berwick Bandits

Cameron Heeps goes round Josh Auty in heat three of the Ipswich v Scunthorpe meeting on Thursday

Cameron Heeps goes round Josh Auty in heat three of the Ipswich v Scunthorpe meeting on Thursday - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches start their Northern tour at Berwick Bandits tonight, in a Championship fixture (7.00pm).

Having beaten Scunthorpe convincingly at Foxhall on Thursday night, the Witches now face two away meetings this weekend, visiting Newcastle tomorrow evening.

Nathan Greaves returns to the side after missing Thursday’s victory over Scunthorpe due to riding in the British Under-19 Championship, in which he finished 12th with five points.

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins makes a tweak to the riding order once again with Rory Schlein moving to number three, Cameron Heeps going to four and Justin Sedgmen at five.

Berwick have endured a torrid season this year and sit rock-bottom of the table with just 10 points to their name and well adrift of the rest.

Multiple team changes have been made since the start of the season with riders out of form and injuries mounting up.

Former Witches rider Kevin Doolan captains the hosts, while Joe Jacobs races against his hometown club having been recently brought into the side.

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Ben Hopwood guests for the injured Lee Payne at reserve and Ryan Douglas comes in to guest for number one Nick Morris, who is out injured after a fall riding in the World Cup for Australia.

The Witches will be hoping for a repeat of the first league meeting at Shielfield Park earlier this year as the Suffolk side eased to a 50-40 win with Schlein notching 15 points backed up by paid 14 from Heeps.

Hawkins says a win on Saturday will be a real boost going to Newcastle on Sunday.

“If we can get a win on Saturday it will help with the momentum for Sunday and everyone will be on a high going to Newcastle, where all things considered we did well earlier in the year,” he said.

“If we can go there having picked up a win it will be a real boost.”

Hawkins added: “We have been to Berwick twice this year so we should have recent experience of the track and we have done well both times.

Ipswich ‘Tru7.com’ Witches: 1. Danny King (c) 8.94, 2. Kyle Newman 5.86, 3. Rory Schlein 8.51, 4. Cameron Heeps 6.71, 5. Justin Sedgmen 6.93, 6. Nathan Greaves 4.63, 7. Connor Mountain 2.67

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