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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Ipswich Men made to pay for poor start to first game of 2018

PUBLISHED: 12:50 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:50 15 January 2018

Tola Okiki was a rare bright spot for Ipswich in their loss at Liverpool. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Tola Okiki was a rare bright spot for Ipswich in their loss at Liverpool. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

NBL Division Two

Liverpool 93

Ipswich 69

Ipswich kicked off 2018 with a lacklustre first ten minutes, costing them any chance of a result at fellow play-off contenders Liverpool, writes Rob Schatten.

Facing a team who had travelled short-handed to Ipswich earlier in the season and been comfortably beaten, coach John Ellis and his side had been expecting a response from Liverpool, who were third in Division Two at the start of the weekend.

And Liverpool made the most of their size advantage on Ipswich’s guards, as captain David Ulph proved a particular matchup problem for the visitors.

A long delay on the journey north cost Ipswich warm-up time, and this showed in a first quarter which yielded just two field goals for the Suffolk side.

Meanwhile, the hosts, at the beginning of a tough back-to-back in which they also faced division leaders Nottingham Hoods on Sunday, got a terrific start behind the offense of Ulph and guard Kaphel Ulett-Waul.

Ulph alone had 16 points in the first quarter; Ipswich managed just five and trailed 24-5.

Adding to coach Ellis’ frustration, the rest of the game was practically deadlocked. Liverpool’s strong start continued for the first couple of minutes of the second quarter and they stretched the lead to 20 points at 31-11, and edged out further to a 28-point half-time advantage.

Ipswich finally got going in the second half, with Tola Okiki creating the visitors’ first three scores and Rabi Rai increasingly effective with his pressure defence.

But although Ipswich improved their offense in the second half – scoring 47 of their 69 points in the last two quarters – they struggled to slow Liverpool down.

“We have been guilty of starting off slow in games on too many occasions this year, and today we paid for it,” said coach Ellis.

“If you allow a home team to get comfortable early, especially a talented team like Liverpool with a big, loud crowd behind them, you are making the game so much harder for yourself.”

Ipswich have a chance to get back to winning ways this weekend when they face arch-rivals Derbyshire Arrows in a 7pm tip-off at Copleston on Saturday.

Millions of pounds of cutbacks for council services in Suffolk next year have been revealed – with homes facing further council tax rises for the next three years.

Suffolk police is seeking an ‘inspirational’ replacement for its outgoing chief constable.

An academy trust which has come under fire from concerned parents is to relinquish control of two Felixstowe schools amid government pressure.

A man has died following a road traffic collision on the A12 near Darsham.

Delays and cancellations are expected from London Liverpool Street services to East Anglia after a points failure.

A holiday lodge park in Suffolk which opened last year has won a diamond award for its exceptional quality and outstanding customer service.

Ipswich residents are being urged to be vigilant following a distraction burglary in which a purse was stolen from an elderly couple.

Warnings of a deluge of snow in the next two weeks are not to be believed, a weather forecaster has warned.

Suffolk police are appealing for witnesses after an assault left a man with a broken jaw.

MPs from across Suffolk and north Essex were still waiting to hear details of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal for most of Wednesday – but the area’s only Labour MP warned there was “zero chance” of the agreement getting support from the House of Commons.

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