By Henry Chard


IPSWICH 49: Emil Sayfutdinov 4+2, Adam Ellis 11, Danny King © 5, Keynan Rew 7+1, Jason Doyle 14, Jordan Jenkins 1+1, Dan Thompson (RS) 7+3. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

BIRMINGHAM 41: Vaclav Milik 7+2, Tom Brennan 8+2, Wiktor Lampart 5, Steve Worrall © 4+2, Scott Nicholls 11, Zach Cook 6, Leon Flint (RS) 0. Team Manager: Sam Ermolenko

REFEREE: S. Kennett


King’s Lynn10
Belle Vue10


The Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches made it two wins from two ROWE Motor Oil Premiership matches after a hard-fought victory against Birmingham on Thursday at Foxhall.

The hosts welcomed back Jason Doyle into the side as they took to track as a full team for the first time this season. However, it was the top-flight newcomers who went ahead, and they led the meeting until heat 10 before Ipswich stepped it up a gear to clinch the points on a cold and windy evening in Suffolk. Doyle top scored with 14 points.

Adam Ellis won an awarded heat one which ended in a 3-3 with Emil Sayfutdinov suffering a rare fall towards the end of the race whilst pushing hard in third. The points were shared in heat two as Zach Cook took victory and the away team then hit the front with a maximum in heat three. Scott Nicholls took the chequered flag in heat four ahead of Doyle, leaving the Brummies 10-14 up.

Captain Danny King was excluded from heat five after going through the tapes and in the re-run the visitors extended their lead with a heat advantage. The home side reduced the deficit in heat six as Ellis and Sayfutdinov raced to a maximum. Doyle took the chequered flag in a shared heat seven before Tom Brennan won heat eight in a 3-3 that kept his side 23-25 in front.

Nicholls won heat nine to maintain Birmingham’s advantage, but the Witches went ahead for the first time in the meeting with a 5-1 from Ellis and Sayfutdinov in heat 10. Doyle picked up another three points in heat 11 and Ipswich extended the lead to four points in heat 12 as King won and Dan Thompson rode superbly to pass Wiktor Lampart on the final lap for a point, making it 38-34.

Doyle and Sayfutdinov looked like they were on the way to a maximum in heat 13 but Sayfutdinov went into the fence going into the third turn of the opening lap and was excluded. Doyle won the re-run before another crash stopped the action in heat 14. Brummies skipper Steve Worrall hit the deck whilst amongst the points and in the re-run, Ipswich secured the league points with a 5-1 thanks to Keynan Rew and Thompson. Doyle won heat 15 to round off his impressive performance as the Witches got the job done.


Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins reflects on Thursday’s win against Birmingham.

“It was a really tough meeting; we were behind for a lot of it. Birmingham will feel like they could have got more out of the meeting. I’m very happy with our team with how they fought and improved during the meeting, and we stuck to the task and got the win in the end. I go away with lots of positives, but it was certainly a tough night.

“We had a lot of rain, but the track was good, and it was a bit of a slow start I suppose. Danny had a tough start to the meeting which didn’t help but Adam started really well and that compensated for that. It was tough but we stuck to it and came on strong at the end.

“I am massively impressed by Dan again; he was the star last week and I thought he improved again this week. I am really pleased with him, and he has started the season great, and he has contributed massively. His points were valuable tonight.

“Emil had a tough night with two falls and a couple of paid wins. Normally when Emil and Doyley hit the front, they get a 5-1 in heat 13 but it was a big crash. I’m sure he will pick himself up and be ok but for him to score four points and for us to win the meeting wouldn’t have happened last season. So, to still win the meeting shows how we have improved and how much stronger we are this season.

“Great to have Jason back, he has been superb for us since he joined us, and it was another superb performance. He is clearly the best rider around here and it makes a huge difference. When he ended up on his own in heat 13, to make that start and get the win was vital.”


Thompson once again excelled from the Rising Star position scoring 7+3 which included a terrific ride in heat 12 that was celebrated on the terraces.


Ipswich move top of the early table whilst Birmingham remain on one point from three fixtures so far despite their encouraging performances.


The Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches travel to Leicester on Monday 1st April for the first leg of their Knockout Cup quarter-final tie. Tickets can be purchased on the gate and in advance here.