Ipswich Witches turn to Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ teenager Josh Bates

Josh Bates

Josh Bates - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Witches have turned to rookie Mildenhall teenager Josh Bates to fill the void left by Adam Ellis ahead of their Premier League play-off campaign.

The 17-year-old, named the Fen Tigers’ Rookie of the Year for 2013, will line up for Ipswich against Workington Comets at Foxhall on Thursday as the Witches start their pursuit of the Premier League title.

Bates has been called up after Ellis fractured a bone in his wrist at the National League Riders’ Championship at Rye House, on Sunday, the same injury sustained by team-mate Cameron Heeps, against Plymouth, last year.

Witches’ promoter Chris Louis, who fulfils the same role at Mildenhall, hopes Ellis can play some part in the Witches’ play-off campaign and the League Cup second-leg at Newcastle this coming Sunday, but has backed Bates to give it his all in what will be a pressurised atmosphere.

“Adam (Ellis) has broken his scaphoid so it is difficult to know how long he will be out for,” said Louis.

“Adam’s injury puts us up against it and hopefully he won’t have to miss all of the play-offs, but he probably will.”

Bates has an average of 7.55 in the National League and guested for the Witches in their 63-29 defeat of Glasgow in June, scoring six points and winning a heat from the difficult number two position.

Most Read

“The good thing about Josh is that he will give you 100%,” said Louis.

“He does not have much experience but whatever happens, he will give you everything.”

The Witches host Workington on Thursday and travel to Cumbria two days later, before hosting Edinburgh at Foxhall next Thursday, prior to the return heat in Scotland the following night.

They also have the small matter of the League Cup second-leg in Newcastle on Sunday, Ipswich taking a 10-point lead into the encounter.

On the play-offs, Louis said: “We have got to get maximum points from our home meetings.”