Image courtesy of Jeff Davies

By Henry Chard


BIRMINGHAM 49: Piotr Pawlicki 5+1, Steve Worrall © 10+2, Zach Cook 6+3, Justin Sedgmen 7, Tom Brennan 9+1, Wiktor Lampart 10, Leon Flint (RS) 2+1. Team Manager: Sam Ermolenko

IPSWICH 41: Emil Sayfutdinov © 19, Nicolai Klindt (G) 7, Jason Doyle R/R, Dan Thompson 1, Troy Batchelor (G) 6+1, Keynan Rew 6, Jordan Jenkins 2+2. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

SUPER HEAT FOR BONUS POINT: Sayfutdinov, Brennan, Worrall, Klindt

REFEREE: P. Carrington


Belle Vue1117
King’s Lynn*81
*King’s Lynn deducted 2 league points on 18.05.24 for breach of SCB rules.


The Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches were beaten by struggling Birmingham on Monday night in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership.

The visitors came into the fixture with huge injury problems, missing Danny King, Jason Doyle and Adam Ellis. Rider replacement was in operation for Doyle whilst Nicolai Klindt and Troy Batchelor guested in place of King and Ellis. Defending an eight-point lead for the aggregate bonus point, the depleted Ipswich side were level after nine races, but the home team stepped it up a gear in the next three races to establish a lead which they saw out. With the aggregate score tied, Birmingham then also claimed the bonus point after a heat advantage in the super heat. Emil Sayfutdinov top scored with 19 points.

Sayftudinov won a shared heat one before heat two was stopped after Leon Flint took a fall. Wiktor Lampart won the re-run in another 3-3. Justin Sedgmen led heat three, but Sayfutdinov lined the Birmingham man up and passed him going into the final lap to take the win as the two sides remained level. Guest Batchelor made the gate in heat four, but Tom Brennan rounded the Australian at the end of the first lap for the three points in a Brummies 4-2 which put them 13-11 ahead.

Sayfutdinov was a winner again in heat five and Klindt got past Segdmen for a point that levelled the score overall. Keynan Rew was excluded from heat six as he touched the tapes, but the hosts couldn’t take advantage in the re-run with Piotr Pawlicki having bike issues and finishing at the back behind Batchelor and Jordan Jenkins as Steve Worrall was victorious. There was passing at the front and back in heat seven as Brennan relegated Dan Thompson to the back but at the front Klindt charged past Lampart for the win in another 3-3. Klindt was back out again in heat eight and repeated the trick, taking the chequered flag as the scores remained level at 24-24.

Rew produced the goods to win heat nine, but Birmingham went ahead in heat 10 with a 5-1. Birmingham gated on another maximum in heat 11 but Sayfutdinov battled back to split the home pairing and limit the damage to a 4-2. The hosts fired in another maximum in heat 12 to extend their advantage and lead 41-31.

The visitors hit back in heat 13 as Sayfutdinov and Batchelor teamed up for a maximum. Sayfutdinov came out as a tactical substitute in heat 14 but he couldn’t get the better of Sedgmen as Birmingham confirmed victory with a 4-2 but it was all square on aggregate for the bonus point going into heat 15. Sayfutdinov took the chequered flag but with Klindt at the back it went to a super heat for the bonus point with the final score 49-41. Sayfutdinov was once again untouchable in the super heat but with Klindt at the back again it meant Birmingham claimed the bonus point.


Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins reflects on Monday’s defeat at Birmingham.

“We battled really hard and clearly, we are a depleted side. Troy and Nicolai came in and gave us everything, but it was a tough, wet night. Birmingham had a great opportunity to beat us tonight and they really took it and rode really well. We kept it tight for most of the meeting but had a blip in the second half of the meeting and couldn’t pull it back.

“Emil was superb, and I think it is the first time he has ever done eight races in a meeting before. To only drop two points from eight heats is superb and he looked brilliant, and it is much needed at the moment, so that is very positive going forward.

“Four of our team will have learnt a lot from this week, Dan normally goes well here but had his first bad meeting of the season and I’m sure he will put that right next week when we are here. Keynan had a couple of really good rides but made mistakes like touching the tapes which cost him the chance of having a better night. Jordan was right in the mix; he just needs to improve his starting. We will need to be better next week if we want to get anything, but we certainly showed signs we are capable.

“We lost the bonus point, but it is not vital to us with our position in the league but if we now start to struggle because we have lost a lot of riders then come the end of the year, this lead we have pulled out over the other teams will soon vanish. At the moment, it is not a concern, we have had a great start to the season in the league and we now focus on the cup where hopefully we get through on Thursday and then by the time the league action resumes, we hopefully have some bodies back in the side.”


Sayfutdinov was once again in sublime form scoring a sensational 19 points from seven rides and a win in the super heat.


Birmingham pick up three points but stay sixth in the table whilst Ipswich remain top despite going home empty-handed.


The Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches host the Leicester Lions at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday 30th May in the Knockout Cup. Tickets can be purchased on the gate and in advance here.