Chris Louis upbeat after Ipswich Witches receive play-off boost


Upbeat: Witches owner Chris Louis, as his side make a play-off push. - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

Ipswich Witches Premiership play-off hopes received a boost last night.

The Suffolk side, who are fighting for the final fourth-placed play-off position alongside Sheffield, watched on as the Tigers lost their first home meeting of the season, to Peterborough Panthers.

It leaves the Witches a point ahead of their Yorkshire opponents, although Sheffield do have three meetings in hand and in many people's eyes will still be favourites for that final play-off spot.

The Witches back to a full team with the return from injury of Jason Crump, are pictured ahead of th

Ipswich Witches, still in the play-off picture. Back row, left to right: Anders Rowe, Jake Allen, Craig Cook and Jason Crump. Front left, Paul Starke, right, Drew Kemp. On bike, skipper Danny King. - Credit: Steve Waller

'We have got to try and remain unbeaten at home, that's a given," said Witches owner Chris Louis.

"As I see it we are capable of winning at Peterborough and Sheffield. If we do that and results don't go dramatically against us, we will make the play-offs.

"We aimed for a point at Wolves and to be honest I could see it coming in the first half of the meeting. But we threw points away and we can't afford to do that. But I have great belief in this side.

"For once we are in the ascendency at the right time, I just hope we haven't left ourselves too much to do."

Ipswich and Sheffield are still to meet home and away, and positive results for Ritchie Hawkins' side in both meetings could tip the balance the way of the Witches.

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Ipswich have a far inferior home record to Sheffield, but a much better away one. The top three, Belle Vue, Peterborough and Wolverhampton all appear out of sight for the top three places in the race for the top four play-off positions.

Paul Starke charges up the inside of James Wright and Kyle Howarth in heat eight.

Paul Starke charges up the inside of James Wright and Kyle Howarth at Sheffield last month, when the Witches pushed the Tigers to a last-heat decider. The two teams have still to meet again home and away. - Credit: Steve Waller

And ironically, it's the Witches' Norfolk neighbours, King's Lynn who could do Ipswich a huge favour. They still have to race Sheffield three times, twice at the Norfolk Arena, the Stars winning their first home meeting of the season last night against high-flying Belle Vue.

"It was good to see Lynn win their first home meeting of the season last night," Louis added. "Hopefully they will go on and win many more!"

The Witches are next in action on Thursday, July 29, when Lynn visit Foxhall Heath.


Peterborough 10...26

Wolves 9.... 24

Belle Vue 11...24

Ipswich 13.....15

Sheffield 10.....14

King's Lynn 9.....7