Still plenty of positives as Ipswich Witches head to Scunthorpe

A tough start for new Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins, seen here with Lewis Kerr in the during

A tough start for new Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins, seen here with Lewis Kerr in the during the Ipswich v Scunthorpe (League Cup) at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, UK on 17 March 2016. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches go to Scunthorpe tomorrow afternoon with plenty to feel positive about, despite their opening night loss to the Scorpions on Thursday.

The Foxhall side went down 48-41 in the two sides’ League Cup contest, with Danny King top scoring with 14 and Morten Risager (10) and Nico Covatti (8) both contributing well.

On the flip side both Paco Castagna and James Sarjeant failed to score on Thursday night but, ahead of the return (3pm start), team manager Ritchie Hawkins saw enough to be reassured that both will find their feet soon.

“There are positives to take from a lot of the riders, that’s what I’ll be focussing on,” Hawkins said.

“You could tell we have a few riders who are new to the team and were a bit inexperienced. We were slow out the starts, there was no hiding from the fact they were so much quicker from the starts than us. That’s where we lost it.

“There were a lot of positives. Darryl (Ritchings) did well with four points, Lewis Kerr (five) looked good and, although James and Paco didn’t score, I think they got better as the meeting went on.

“James just had one of those nights, they happen, but he just needs a few more laps.

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“Morten and Danny were great, you could tell they were the experienced boys around Ipswich, you could tell the difference.

“We’re only going to get better and that’s what we have to focus on.

“We have a couple of days before we go there, a few of the boys have meetings before then, and we go there with a clean slate.

“All the boys start fresh and we will got there looking for the win.”

The Witches will go to the Eddie Wright Raceway without Risager, who is set to be sidelined for a couple of weeks with a broken bone in his foot.

After suffering the injury in heat nine, the Dane went on to win his next two rides, and while Hawkins admires his commitment, he doesn’t want his rider risking his long-term health by racing on.

“Morten was brilliant, he didn’t need to take his last two rides but his commitment was brilliant,” the team manager said.

“I’d rather he didn’t ride if he’s injured because he’s better off saving himself and making sure he’s right for the rest of the season.”