Image courtesy of Jeff Davies

By Henry Chard

All the details ahead of our Knockout Cup semi-final first leg fixture with Birmingham.


The Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches travel to Birmingham to face the Brummies at the Perry Barr Stadium on Monday 3rd June in a Knockout Cup semi-final first leg fixture that starts at 7.30pm.


BIRMINGHAM: 1. Tom Brennan 6.64 2. Wiktor Lampart 4.63 3. Zach Cook 4.84 4. Justin Sedgmen 5.07 5. R/R for Steve Worrall 6.19 6. Piotr Pawlicki 4.48 7. Leon Flint (RS). Team Manager: Sam Ermolenko

IPSWICH: 1. R/R for Jason Doyle 9.36 2. Freddy Hodder (G) 4.46 (RS) 3. Scott Nicholls (G) 7.50 4. Norick Blödorn (G) 5.95 5. Emil Sayfutdinov 9.24 © 6. Keynan Rew 4.15 7. Jordan Jenkins 4.00. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

REFEREE: A. Steele



First Leg: Belle Vue 49-41 Sheffield. Second Leg: Sheffield 49–41 Belle Vue – Sheffield win super heat

First Leg: Leicester 42-48 Ipswich. Second Leg: Ipswich 47–43 Leicester


Birmingham vs Ipswich

King’s Lynn vs Sheffield


Tickets are available to purchase on the gate and in advance here.


The Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches are back at Birmingham for the second time in a week as they face the Brummies in the Knockout Cup semi-final.

A depleted Witches side pushed Birmingham all the way last Monday before succumbing to a 49-41 defeat as the hosts then won a super heat for the aggregate bonus point. The Suffolk side then secured their spot in the last four of the cup after they beat Leicester at Foxhall on Thursday despite all of their injury troubles.

The visitors remain without the injured trio of Danny King, Jason Doyle and Adam Ellis for this fixture and on raceday have lost Dan Thompson to illness. Ipswich have been rocked by the news that Doyle will miss the remainder of the 2024 season due to a shoulder injury sustained in that crash at King’s Lynn.

Rider replacement is once again in operation for Doyle at number one whilst Scott Nicholls guests again for King, having scored 17 points for Ipswich against Leicester. Norick Blödorn comes in a guest for Ellis at number four and Freddy Hodder will replace Thompson, who has Covid. There’s also a change in the riding order due to a new set of averages with stand-in captain Emil Sayfutdinov now at number five.

Ritchie Hawkins will be hoping his patched-up side can improve on last week’s defeat at Perry Barr before bringing the Brummies back to Foxhall later in the week for the second leg as the holders look to retain their title and reach the final again.


Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives us his pre-match thoughts…

“All of us at the club are gutted with the news on Jason’s injury, not just for us but for him personally. He has started the season flying and was really looking set to attack the Grand Prix and fight for another world title. He was in superb form all over the world and it is a huge loss for us but I’m sure he will stay around the team and the club because his influence and presence will still contribute and be a bonus for the team.

“I’m delighted welcome back Scott again; he was booked a while ago knowing we were going here, and Adam wouldn’t be fit for this meeting. Scott was lined up straight away and he is tremendous form this season and has done a terrific job for us, and we are delighted to have him again. We will keep calling on him as often as possible for both parties.

“We welcome Norick into the side and we are delighted to have the opportunity for him to have a guest booking for us, I’m sure he will be keen to do well, and it will be our first opportunity to work with him. He is a really nice kid and is doing really well, he made his first GP appearance recently and I’m sure he will enjoy it with us.

“Suitable number ones are hard to come by and we have spoken to a few riders to guest in place of Jason but unfortunately none of them are available so we will be running R/R which means the rest of the team need to step up. It is a great opportunity for them, and it is an extra race for them, and they need to keep stepping up like they did last Thursday and try and cover Jason the best we can.

“We struggled last Monday but this is a cup semi-final now and we want to retain that trophy. We were so proud to win it last year and we want to keep hold of it. It is a big week for the boys, and we are determined to qualify, and I feel we are in a better position this week than we were last week, a few of the boys being there recently should help them and we have the team line-up better this week. After our performance last Thursday which I thought was brilliant in the circumstances hopefully we can carry on that confidence, and we are going there looking to win the meeting and set ourselves up for Thursday.”


Birmingham were boosted by last week’s three-point haul against Ipswich but failed to build upon it as they followed it up with a heavy defeat at Sheffield on Thursday. They have it all to do if they are to make the top four after a poor start to the season, but the Knockout Cup presents a clean slate for the hosts as they look to take advantage of the Witches’ injury problems again and establish a healthy lead to take to Suffolk.

The hosts announced that new signing Freddie Lindgren would be joining the club from the beginning of June, but he does not make his debut in this fixture. There are big changes to the home team’s riding order with Tom Brennan now at number one and former number one Piotr Pawlicki now down at reserve. Wiktor Lampart is also now out of a reserve berth. Rider replacement is in operation for Steve Worrall who was taken ill yesterday and diagnosed with labyrinthitis at hospital.


An adult ticket costs £23, concessions £20, students (17-22 with proof of ID) £10 and children 16 and under go free. Official programmes cost £3.00 and car parking is £3.00. There is a modern three level grandstand extending for the full length of the home straight. On ground level there is a bar and refreshments area plus souvenir sales shop. Closed circuit television monitors show the racing and replays. There are also extensive bar and restaurant and light refreshment facilities.

For more information about the club head to Birmingham’s official website.