Picture courtesy of Richard Boettcher

By Henry Chard


LEICESTER 42: Max Fricke © 7, Richard Lawson 9+2, Sam Masters 10+1, Luke Becker 6+1, Ryan Douglas 7+1, Drew Kemp 3+1, Joe Thompson (RS) 0. Team Manager: Stewart Dickson

IPSWICH 48: Emil Sayfutdinov 11, Jordan Jenkins 1, Danny King © 6+2, Adam Ellis 5+1, Jason Doyle 11+1, Keynan Rew 5+1, Dan Thompson (RS) 9+1. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

REFEREE: A. Steele



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

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


The Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches continued their perfect start to 2024 after winning at Leicester in the first leg of their Knockout Cup quarter-final on Monday.

Having won the competition in 2023, the Witches are determined to retain the title and having edged ahead during the mid-part of the meeting, they managed to take a two-point lead going into heat 15 before striking a maximum which gives them the six-point advantage going into the second leg at home. Jason Doyle top scored with 11+1.

The hosts struck an early blow in heat one with a 5-1 but the visitors responded immediately in heat two with a maximum of their own thanks to Dan Thompson and Keynan Rew. The points were shared in heat three before Doyle and Thompson combined for another maximum in heat four to put the away side 10-14 in front.

The scores were level again after heat five as the Lions recorded a 5-1 as Doyle won a shared heat six. There was another 3-3 in heat seven and Ipswich edged back in front in heat eight as Thompson took the chequered flag with Jordan Jenkins picking up a point for a 2-4 to go 23-25 ahead.

Doyle remained unbeaten with another three points in heat nine and the points were shared again in heat 10. Emil Sayfutdinov registered victory in heat 11 and with Thompson amongst the points it extended the Ipswich lead to four points. Leicester clawed two points back in heat 12 with a heat advantage to make the score 35-37 to Ipswich.

Sayfutdinov was the winner of a shared heat 13 and Rew took the win in heat 14 in a 3-3. The Suffolk side ensured they had a lead to take back to Foxhall for the second leg as Saytutdinov and Doyle raced to a maximum in the final race of the night to complete an impressive evening’s work.


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

“I’m absolutely buzzing with tonight, Leicester are a very good team and it is as tough a draw as we could have got. To win the first leg by six points I am delighted with that and the start to the season we have had.

“Emil struggled at the start, but we covered that well and Dan Thompson has started the season absolutely flying and showed his liking for Leicester again tonight. He was absolutely superb for a Rising Star, but I think all the boys contributed again. Keynan winning heat 14 was a bit of a highlight, that was a great ride to see him improve. Jordan’s score didn’t reflect his performance and those last two rides were the level we know he can ride at, so I think his season has started as well now.

“Going into the fixture, I spoke about it before, it was one we could win there and one they will believe they can win at Foxhall. I’m delighted but we also know the job is far from done and Leicester are more than capable with their team, and we must perform better than we did against Birmingham last week because Leicester will be a tough test.”


Thompson was superb once again from the Rising Star scoring 9+1, a vital contribution towards the victory.


Ipswich take a six-point lead back to Foxhall ahead of the second leg on Thursday.


The Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches host the Leicester Lions at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday 4th April in the second leg of their Knockout Cup quarter-final tie. Tickets can be purchased on the gate and in advance here.