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Cup progress is piece of cake

PUBLISHED: 12:38 05 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010

HOCKEY: Ipswich Ladies 4 Bradford 0. Cup quarter finals will never come easier than this for Ipswich Ladies. The game itself was over as a contest by half-time as the Tuddenham Road side established a three-goal lead and they can now look forward to a semi-final against Sutton Coldfield at Milton Keynes' national stadium on April 6.

Ipswich Ladies 4 Bradford 0

CUP quarter finals will never come easier than this for Ipswich Ladies.

The game itself was over as a contest by half-time as the Tuddenham Road side established a three-goal lead and they can now look forward to a semi-final against Sutton Coldfield at Milton Keynes' national stadium on April 6.

Victory in that would put them into the final the following day and another success ensures them a place in the play-offs and possible entry into Europe.

With the cup winners no longer, for ridiculous reasons, guaranteed an automatic path as in the past, it now represents Ipswich's best chance of qualifying as their Premier Division league season has gone to pot.

Bradford, however, are doing even worse and the bottom side in Division One of the English Hockey League completed a miserable weekend in East Anglia having been beaten the previous day by Harleston.

With a forward line seriously hampered by a lack of movement, thought and speed, Bradford were never likely to score against an Ipswich defence which might have been punished by a more alert outfit.

Fortunately, their odd lapses went unnoticed and for most of the game they were rarely under pressure. Goalkeeper Hannah Robinson will never have a quieter game and only had to deal with a back pass late on.

Jo Ellis, who looked lively throughout, was the first to test Bradford keeper Karen Wells, who fumbled the shot to safety.

However, after ten minutes, she had no answer to a short corner strike by Tanya Barnard and it was the same story when Kirsten Spencer beat her from a similar routine with 20 minutes gone.

In between the two goals, Ipswich lost the hard-working Lizzie Aldous with a knee injury, but her replacement, Jo Gray, demonstrated her goalscoring prowess when she tucked away an Ellis cross seven minutes before the interval.

Bradford, coached by the former GB and England player, Jill Atkins, never got into the game and Atkins was largely anonymous on the right of midfield.

The front running trio of Helen Conquest, Sandeep Kaur and Helen Roberts posed no threat all game and after other chances had been spurned, Ipswich wrapped it up 15 minutes from time when Barnard and Gray combined for Liane Shadrack to add the fourth.


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