Let’s hit them hard - Ipswich Witches take on Plymouth Devils in first-leg of KO Cup semi-final

Heat thirteen action with Richie Worrall ahead of team mate Rohan Tungate and Sheffields Nico Covatt

Heat thirteen action with Richie Worrall ahead of team mate Rohan Tungate and Sheffields Nico Covatti. Ipswich V Sheffield (Premier League) at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 30 August 2014 Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Team manager Brian Messenger has targeted a hefty first-leg lead as Ipswich Witches go in search of a KO Cup semi-final victory against Plymouth Devils tonight.

The in-form Witches have lost just one of 19 home meetings this season and Messenger is aiming to take a minimum 20-point lead into the second leg on September 26.

The play-off chasing Witches have been prolific point scorers at Foxhall recently and, with the Tactical Ride ruling not permitted in the cup, a fast start could put them on the brink of a final spot.

“We want a lead of at least 20 points,” said Messenger.

“We’ve scored 54 points in our last six home meetings.

“That has included our opponents using the Tactical Ride for double points when they have been in trouble, and that is not allowed in the cup.

“It would be nice to take a big lead and wrap it up early and I would like to think we will hit Plymouth hard.”

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The Witches will be led by new number one Rohan Tungate, who scored a 15-point maximum in last Thursday’s home victory against Peterborough.

More of the same will be expected from the young Australian and the rest of his in-form team-mates.

“They have all been doing well and if they continue in the same vein, we should be able to take a comfortable lead,” Messenger added.

“Adam Ellis top scored for Glasgow at Peterborough on Tuesday night, while Rohan (Tungate) is on the crest of a wave.

“He rode like a true number one last week.”

A play-off and cup double remains on for the Witches, while Plymouth are struggling towards the lower reaches of the Premier League, but Messenger is warning against complacency.

“Plymouth are not the strongest but we have struggled a bit against teams at the lower end of the league,” Messenger explained.

“We were lucky to draw with Glasgow at home, while Sheffield pushed us recently.”

Gino Manzares is fit for tonight’s clash after his fall last week, while Peterborough’s Lasse Bjerre deputises for Plymouth number one, ex-Ipswich favourite, Ben Barker.

Tapes up at 7.45pm.

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