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WITCHES END SPIRES’ RUN

IPSWICH won 48-42 in a thrilling ROWE Motor Oil Premiership contest at Oxford on Thursday to take the honours in the battle of the unbeaten clubs.

In front of one of the biggest crowds since the sport returned to Cowley in 2022, the Witches secured the victory thanks to a 5-1 in Heat 15 from Jason Doyle and Emil Sayfutdinov.

The visitors held a narrow lead for much of the meting whilst the Spires lost reserve Lewis Kerr with an ankle injury after a crash in Heat 11.

Doyle (13+1) and Sayfutdinov (11+2) led the scoring for the Witches, whilst Rohan Tungate scored 11+1 for the hosts.

Ipswich manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “It was another great performance and we carried on from where we left off at Leicester, it was a very similar performance, and we were solid throughout.

“Everyone contributed and I’m really happy to get an away win on the board early which eases a little bit of pressure on the season as a whole.

“It was another good crowd; every time I have been here it has been a great crowd and a good atmosphere. There was a warm welcome and it was lovely to see a bit about John Louis in the programme and on the front cover, that was a really nice touch, so respect for that.”

Tungate said: “Ipswich are very strong in the closing races, because they’ve got both Emil  and Doyley in Heats 13 and 15. You need to hit them hard in the early stages and then you can turn them over, but they’re pretty dangerous towards the end of the night.

“It’s only one loss. We won the first three meetings leading into tonight, so we can’t dwell too much on just one defeat. We’re just move onto the next meeting and focus on that.”

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Photo credit: LES AUBREY