By Henry Chard
All the details ahead of our Knockout Cup quarter-final first leg fixture with Leicester.
WHEN & WHERE
The Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches travel to Leicester to face the Lions at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena on Thursday 30th March in a Knockout Cup quarter-final first leg fixture that starts at 7.30pm.
LEICESTER: 1. Max Fricke 8.55 2. Justin Sedgmen 4.44 3. Richard Lawson 7.71 4. Chris Harris 7.40 © 5. Nick Morris 6.48 6. Jake Allen 4.00 7. Dan Thompson (RS). Team Manager: Stewart Dickson
IPSWICH: 1. Jason Doyle 10.32 2. Erik Riss 6.00 3. Danny King 6.41 © 4. Keynan Rew 5.00 5. Emil Sayfutdinov 8.00 6. Danyon Hume 3.07 7. Joe Thompson (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: D. Watters
KNOCKOUT CUP DRAW
Wolverhampton v Belle Vue
Ipswich v Leicester
King’s Lynn v Sheffield
Tickets are available to purchase online in advance here and on the gate.
The Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches travel to Leicester on Thursday to take on the Lions in the first leg of their Knockout Cup quarter-final tie. The Witches opened up their 2023 season on Monday night at the East of England Arena in a league fixture against Peterborough and got off to the perfect start with a 48-42 win. Whilst the league is the priority for all sides, Ritchie Hawkins is eager for his side to have a cup run this season and is hoping to take an advantage back to Suffolk ahead of the second leg and avoid an early exit from the competition.
Emil Sayfutdinov and Jason Doyle will be hoping to continue their excellent start to the season on Thursday with both riders dropping just one point each to an opponent in Monday’s away victory. Joe Thompson returns to a place he knows very well; the Rising Star having represented Leicester throughout his career at Championship and National League level. In fact, the Witches side is packed full of experience at Leicester with Doyle, Riss, King and Hume all having spent time at the club in their careers.
FROM THE BOSS
Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives us his pre-match thoughts…
“Leicester haven’t been on track yet, so we need to try and take advantage of that. We have only had one meeting but we have one under our belts and hopefully that gives us a bit of an advantage.
“It is a tougher place to go than the Showground, so we have to be mindful of that but also when they come to our place that will be our first meeting at home. We need to put in a strong performance at Leicester and try not to put too much pressure on ourselves at home.
“We certainly do not want to go out of the Knockout Cup early in the season that wouldn’t be good for anyone. We want a good cup run, to go along with a good run in the league and keep that winning feeling going, it all snowballs if you keep winning meetings.
“Joe will be more comfortable at Leicester than some of the other places but in no meeting this season will we be putting pressure on him to do anything, and I was really pleased with how he performed on Monday. If he can carry on his progress at Leicester, then that’s great.”
Leicester make their return to the top-flight of British Speedway in 2023 for the first time since 2018 and Thursday’s clash with the Witches will be their first of the new season. The club have enjoyed a successful spell in the Championship in recent years and have built a team that they hope can be challenging on all fronts in the top division this year. There is no time to settle into things though with a two-legged Knockout Cup tie as their opening fixtures and the Lions will hope to build a good lead to take to Foxhall next week.
Leicester have built a competitive looking side for this season led by Australian Grand Prix rider Max Fricke, who was with the title-winning Belle Vue team in 2022. He is joined by the experienced duo of Richard Lawson and Chris Harris at the top end, two riders who were part of the Ipswich side that reached the play-off final in 2019. Nick Morris stays with the side he has represented at Championship level in recent seasons whilst two Australian former Witches have been brought into the team, with Jake Allen and Justin Sedgmen making the move to the East Midlands. Dan Thompson is their ‘Rising Star’ and will come up against his twin brother Joe in heat two of this fixture.
An adult ticket costs £21, concessions £19, children (6-17) £1 and children aged 5 and under go free. There will be 235 free car park spaces available at the stadium with further free car parking facilities on the Beaumont Shopping Complex (maximum time of 4 hours). Three Coach/Mini Bus spaces, 15 Disabled spaces available, 15 Motorcycle spaces, Taxi drop-off point. For travel information head here.
For more information about the club head to Leicester’s official website.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway