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'We know what it would mean to the town' - Ipswich boss Hawkins, as Witches go for glory

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins says he is fully aware what victory over Swindon in the Premiership play-off final would mean to the town.

Cameron Heeps & Jake Allen celebrate in heat 8 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Steve GardinerCameron Heeps & Jake Allen celebrate in heat 8 of the Ipswich Witches v Poole Pirates play-off semi final. Picture: Steve Gardiner

The Suffolk side go head-to-head with the Robins this week - starting tomorrow at Foxhall Heath (7.30pm) - with the second leg at Swindon on Thursday.

The prize is huge for both clubs, but for the Witches to be crowned league champions after just one season back in the Premiership would not only be extraordinary, but a dream come true for Hawkins and his team.

It was 1998 when the Witches last won the league title.

"I have made no secret of my understanding of what this means to the town, not just the club but for everyone in Ipswich," Hawkins said.

"The whole team understand that now and you could see that from the reaction after making the final when we beat Poole.

New signing Niels-Kristian Iversen   Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comNew signing Niels-Kristian Iversen Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

"Everyone is well aware of what it would mean to the town to bring a title back after so long."

The Witches are back on track tonight after a two-week break since their exciting semi-final victory over Poole, while Swindon thrashed Wolverhampton over two legs just last week in the other semi.

"The final is finally here, and it has been a long build-up for us," Hawkins said.

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"The excitement and anticipation have finally led to this and we can't wait to get going. The whole town took so much joy from that semi-final win and we can't wait to get going now.

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"It is the Grand Final and whoever you are racing is going to be the toughest test. Both sides thoroughly deserve to be there.

"We got a good win over Swindon to get ourselves into the play-offs in the first place and now we need another team performance to create the opportunity to do something special."

The Witches celebrate after Richard Lawson and James Sarjeant had raced to a 4-2 in heat 14, to secure an aggregate victory over Poole Pirates in the semi-final.     Picture: Steve GardinerThe Witches celebrate after Richard Lawson and James Sarjeant had raced to a 4-2 in heat 14, to secure an aggregate victory over Poole Pirates in the semi-final. Picture: Steve Gardiner

Both teams will be at full strength and the Robins are the favourites with a potent top five led by Grand Prix star Jason Doyle.

However, the Witches have proved themselves time and time again this season.

Foxhall is expecting a large crowd.

READ: Mike Bacon's big meeting preview

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