All change after relegation for Ipswich

HOCKEY: Ipswich are starting the process of rebuilding after losing their national league hockey status.Just two years after entering Division Two of the English Hockey League, they lost all three matches at Milton Keynes and now face up to life back in Premier Division A of the Printwize East League.

By Martin White

IPSWICH are starting the process of rebuilding after losing their national league hockey status.

Just two years after entering Division Two of the English Hockey League, they lost all three matches at Milton Keynes and now face up to life back in Premier Division A of the Printwize East League.

A 5-3 defeat by Harborne was followed by a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Bath Buccaneers and a similar scoreline against Bowdon, with the latter two both clinching their places at the higher level.


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Although disappointed, Ipswich skipper Asif Rais is likely to stay with the Henley Road club and wants the side to bounce back at the first opportunity.

"We have tasted life in the national league and many of us are keen to do so again," he said today.

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However, the side will show a few changes as James Hughes, Toby Lever and Oliver Didham, who scored twice against Harborne, will not be around next season.

Defender Andy Swindin has indicated he will be hanging up his boots, Nick Fry may not

figure at first team level while doubts surround the future of goalkeeper Stuart Hendy and midfielder Jeremy Watt.

Said Rais: "A lot of things are still up in the air at the moment but we will be looking to bring in some new players and hopefully get back into the play-offs as one of the challengers."

Ipswich gave Harborne a fright after being two down at the interval, but within five minutes of the second half had equalised before losing 5-3.

Bath, a highly-skilled outfit, got all their goals before the break while Bowdon were mainly in command during a game that saw them finish on top of the six-team group.

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