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WITCHES WIN AT LEICESTER

PREMIERSHIP Knockout Cup holders Ipswich are in a strong position to progress to the semi-finals after winning 48-42 at Leicester on Easter Monday.

The Witches recovered from conceding a 5-1 in the first race and hit back immediately with Rising Star reserve Dan Thompson instrumental on his old home track.

Thompson was unbeaten in his first three rides of what was a tight contest for most of the evening, before Emil Sayfutdinov and Jason Doyle extended the first leg advantage with a big 5-1 in Heat 15.

Doyle (11+1) and Sayfutdinov (11) led the scoring with Thompson adding a vital 9+1, whilst Sam Masters (10+1) and Richard Lawson (9+2) were best for the Lions.

Ipswich manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “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.”

Masters said: “We were up against a really tough team and it’s disappointing that we lost by six.

“But when Emil and Doyley are on it like that they’re hard to beat, and especially in Heats 13 and 15 they’re always going to be strong.

“You need to get a lead on them early, and we didn’t have that tonight unfortunately.”

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Photo credit: RICHARD BOETTCHER