Half-back duo ready for derby debut
PUBLISHED: 14:20 13 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:39 03 March 2010
RUGBY UNION: Rugby's big derby match between arch-rivals from Suffolk and Norfolk kicks off tomorrow, 21 hours before Ipswich Town do battle with Norwich City in the First Division at Portman Road on Sunday.
Rugby's big derby match between arch-rivals from Suffolk and Norfolk kicks off tomorrow, 21 hours before Ipswich Town do battle with Norwich City in the First Division at Portman Road on Sunday.
Humber Doucy Lane is the venue for the first of the two league matches between Ipswich and Diss, who both survived being relegated from the Powergen London League Division Two North last season.
Honours were even in the league, with Ipswich winning at home but losing away at Diss in the last campaign.
"Obviously we want to start our season with a good victory in our first game," said Ipswich coach Guy Atherton. "And we have home advantage, but I believe that it will be the team that shows the most commitment on the day that will come out on top."
Diss started the League season last Saturday suffering a heavy defeat by Old Albanians. Ipswich had a friendly match at Harlow, who play a division above London League One.
Ipswich experimented with seven newcomers – only three of whom keep their places for the visit of Diss. Two of them form a new and exciting half-back partnership – Ollie Hall at scrum- half and Alex Coker at fly-half.
New Australian import Andy Skipper, who has also been appointed as Ipswich's Youth development officer, played at blind-side wing-forward. He is joined by the experienced Mike Edmonds at open-side and talented youngster Alex Primmer at number eight.
Ace Van Heerden played his first game of the season in the centre and Nicki Holey, named this year as Ipswich Magpies captain, makes his first team debut on the left wing.
Atherton added: "Diss have at least had a competitive match under their belts and should be sharp and fit. We have trained hard and are raring to go in view of the intense rivalry between the sides over the years, I am expecting another hard-fought encounter."
After last Saturday's trials and another trial match against Suffolk Police in midweek, Ipswich will be fielding a blend of youth and experience, in the Magpies team away to Diss Seconds.
The side includes several players who made their club debuts at Harlow last Saturday and will be captained by Andy Wilson, who also played at Harlow.
Ipswich: Clarke, Reeve, Williams, Briggenshaw, Price (capt), Skipper, Edmonds, Primmer, Hall, Coker, Holey, Van Heerden, Brotherton, Hughes, Harding. Replacements: Thomas, Whythe.
Ipswich Magpies: (from) Lary, Hall, Whatling, Kersey, Marsh, Irwin, Wythe, Woodgate, Long, Hudson, Mullett, Clark, Wilson, Phillip, Fisher, Woodward, Hewitt.
Division Two North: Thurrock v Woodford, Sudbury v Twickenham, Old Albanians v Bank of England, Ipswich v Diss, Cambridge v Letchworth, Bishop's Stortford v Shelford.
Division Three North East: Brentwood v Romford & Gidea Park, Chingford v Hadleigh, Rochford v Bury St Edmunds, Saffron Walden v Basildon, Wymondham v West Norfolk.
Division Four North East: Braintree v Mersea Island, Chelmsford v Eton Manor, Lowestoft & Yarmouth v Campion, Thetford v Beccles, Woodbridge v Upminster.
Eastern Counties League Division One: Canvey Island v Stanford, Ely v Holt, Maldon v Colchester, Stowmarket v Billericay, Wanstead v Upper Clapton.
Division Two North: Crusaders v Norwich Union, Ipswich YM v Lakenheath Hewett, Newmarket v Haverhill, Southwold v Cantabs, Wisbech v Thurston.