Ipswich get back to winning ways

HOCKEY: Ipswich II 2 Gravesend 1. After two weeks of only managing a draw, Ipswich got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Gravesend in the East Printwize Premier League.


Ipswich II 2 Gravesend 1

AFTER two weeks of only managing a draw, Ipswich got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Gravesend in the East Printwize Premier League.

The hockey was not pretty but the home side battled hard for a vital three points and with fellow title chasers Sevenoaks and Letchworth holding each other to a 1-1 draw, Ipswich moved two points clear at the top of the table.

The match started well for the home team, forcing the Gravesend keep into several timely saves.

Ipswich were beginning to dominate the match and won short corner after short corner, only to see them dealt with by a determined Gravesend defence.

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Finally Ipswich broke through when defender and player of the match Sally Tyrel hit a thunderbolt shot from the top right of the circle, to score her second goal in two games.

Ipswich went into half time with their 1-0 lead intact and were determined to not let the visiting team back into the game.

The second half saw the same pattern of play and even though Ipswich were not playing at their best they had several chances to put the game out of reach.

As has been typical with the Suffolk side recently, a lapse in concentration saw the visitors break through the middle of the pitch and a determined run was rewarded with a simple tap in as the Ipswich defence were outnumbered.

Ipswich knew that a win was a must and stepped up the pressure to search out the vital goal.

Gravesend however had gained confidence from their goal and only a diving tackle from Dawn Course stopped them taking a shock lead.

Ipswich at last produced some quality hockey and sealed victory with a sweeping move that involved only four passes.

Starting with Dawn Course in defence the ball moved swiftly through the midfield where Sarah Juggins picked it up and picked out the superb cross field run of Jo Gray. Gray picked the ball up in the circle, dummied the keeper and picked her spot to make it 2-1.

Gravesend did not give up and Ipswich had to battle hard for the three points.

Even though the performance was not one to remember the home side were pleased to get back to winning ways and will go into their last game before the Christmas break full of confidence.

Opponents Cambridge City will make sure that it is not an easy match for the leaders and Ipswich will need to be at their best to get all three points.

Ipswich IV 2 Hadleigh 3

BOTH teams started strong with good attacking from both sides.

Hadleigh took advantage of Ipswich's poor clearance from the D and scored two goals towards the end of the first half. The first from Dodson, the second from Grayling.

At the start of the second half Jones scored Hadleigh's third goal from a classic short corner routine. Following this Panting made an excellent pass across the field which Miller cleanly picked up and crossed in to Hart who scored with a clinical finish.

An exciting final push by Ipswich led to a short corner with an impressive top right corner deflection leading to a penalty flick which Fitzsimmons expertly put away.

Cranes 0 Ipswich III 0

CRANES travelled across town in the Printwize Division 4SE league for the local derby against league leaders Ipswich third team.

Both teams opened strongly with a number of chances only being denied by resolute defending.

Ipswich tried to build play through their centre-half but man motors Peter Day and Craig Bloomfield hustled to prevent the final telling pass.

Ipswich re-formed in the second-half and looked dangerous forcing a number of short corners. Acrobatic defending from Jones and Page denied the home side a lead.

Cranes debutante keeper Will Burchnall dominated the D and a number of fine saves.

Cranes always looked dangerous on the break with Aiden Bloomfield unlucky not to grab a winner in the last minute with only the keeper to beat. Cranes will take heart from this head-earned draw.

Felixstowe II 1 Christchurch II 5

The visitors started tentatively as they took time to settle on the grass surface, and the initial minutes saw the ball zip around the pitch.

After five minutes however good work by Lenore Devenish-Meares was followed by a magnificent strike into the corner of the net by Margaret Gray.

Felixstowe countered at once with good work down the wing by Gill Hillyard, which resulted in the home side's first short corner. Christchurch's Margaret Gray was buzzing and her direct cross fell to Lenore Devenish-Meares who failed to connect at the far post.

Minutes later, Clare McLannahan contested for the ball and her efforts to force the ball over the line were finished off by Margaret Gray, who doubled the lead.

On 23 minutes a third goal was converted from a cross by the evergreen Joyce Jay with Lenore Devenish-Meares redeeming herself by scoring.

At 3-0 down Felixstowe revived and mounted a concerted attack on the Christchurch goal, with a series of short corners. Having survived the pressure, Timeteam's Cat Edwards made a superb run to lay on a third goal for Margaret Gray.

With just two minutes remaining the rampant Margaret Gray scored her fourth goal after excellent work by Joyce Jay and Lenore Devenish-Meares.

At 5-0 down Felixstowe could have been forgiven for throwing in the towel at half time, but a tactical re-alignment saw the home team recharged and then carry the game to Christchurch.

The goal spree was halted with Gill Hillyard taking on a marking role, even so the threat remained and a goal mouth melee on 43 minutes saw Margaret Gray's shot whistle just wide.

A short corner saw Christchurch captain and player of the match Julie Spice's shot shave the post, and Cat Edwards' shot was kicked clear by the Felixstowe keeper.

Having quelled the runaway scoring, Felixstowe then began to push forward with Jenny Robury and Jessica Allen working well.

The first warning came on 59 minutes when Christchurch keeper Mel Fulcher made a good save and then Carrie Kelly cleared off the line. The pressure forced a short corner however, and Heather Stennett cracked home an unstoppable shot to reward the home sides efforts.

Despite further chances Felixstowe were unable to narrow the deficit and it was Margaret Gray's first-half heroics which secured the points for the visitors.

Christchurch 6 Felixstowe 0

CHRISTCHURCH dished out six of the best to Felixstowe at Copleston on a cold Saturday morning and gained three precious league points.

With a strong squad of 12, Christchurch started off where they left off last Sunday playing neat attractive hockey. Within eight minutes they took the lead when a cross from the left was deftly steered home with the slightest of touches from Debbie Clements at the near post.

Christchurch went further ahead when Sapphire Cutting found herself with space and made the most of it with a well-taken goal.

The second half belonged to Christchurch and after losing Crissie Cresswell with a leg injury the home side continued to pile on the pressure and substitute Trudy Sharman drilled home after an excellent series of passing.

Minutes later Val Coote was put in and she finished an exquisite move by rounding the keeper to score.

Felixstowe came closest to scoring when an attempted clearance went astray by the home defence, but the ever-reliable Linzi Everett cleared the danger.

Almost immediately Christchurch went on the attack and a series of neat one-twos gave the opportunity for Debbie Clements to score her second of the match.

The Seasiders found themselves all at sea five minutes later when veteran Coote, who had moved up from midfield to the forward line, made it four goals in two games with an emphatic finish.

Christchurch can take pride in their performance as all 12 players performed well to ensure the home side kept all three points.

IES 1 St Ives 1

ST IVES came to Suffolk to prove a point in that they were in this league and wanted to stay. IES however would have welcomed a win and a few more points to help them push up the table.

Immediately IES took control of the game, they commanded in all their positions and reminded the visitors that they would have to work hard to get anything from the game.

At half time the score stood at 0-0 with the home side having most of the chances.

In the second half Cath Brierly stamped her mark on the game and gave IES the lead, however, the lead was shortlived. The visitors made the most of their infrequent visits to the IES end, putting the ball passed the keeper.

IES then endured a glut of short-corners but were unable to convert into goals.

In the last few minutes IES were down to ten players, but this did not deter them from pressurising their opponents.

The score stood at 1-1 and IES will have to do better next week against Old Buckenham to stay comfortably in the league tables before the Christmas break.

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