Swindin leads champagne party
Hockey: Ipswich II 3 Romford 1 - ELEVEN minutes after rattling in their third goal, Robin Swindin led the champagne celebrations for Ipswich seconds.As Romford trudged off the Henley Road pitch with their thoughts turning to almost certain relegation, Ipswich were spraying around the bubbly after cementing promotion from Division One of the Printwize East League.
By Martin White
Ipswich II 3 Romford 1
ELEVEN minutes after rattling in their third goal, Robin Swindin led the champagne celebrations for Ipswich seconds.
As Romford trudged off the Henley Road pitch with their thoughts turning to almost certain relegation, Ipswich were spraying around the bubbly after cementing promotion from Division One of the Printwize East League.
Their next aim is to land the title of champions and although blessed with a seven-point lead, their penultimate match at nearest rivals, Bourne, is beginning to assume major importance.
The Lincolnshire side also have a game in hand – ironically against Romford – but hopes are high that Ipswich won't make too many slip-ups between now and the end of the season.
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Unable to call on the services of players like Andy Cook, Nick Fry and Ivan Smith – the latter currently serving a suspension – Ipswich seconds are having to rely on hard graft rather than moments of inspiration based on years of experience.
As a result, the game with Romford was hardly a pretty spectacle and much of the play was scrappy and nervous.
Skipper Richard Swain and Russell Williams were cool and calm at the back, Rob Gaffer and Adam Smith both had their moments, while keeper Tony Burch was rarely in action, but the star of the show was 14-year-old Will Turner.
The Ipswich School pupil grew in confidence after a hesitant start and was involved in the move which led to Swindin's crisply struck goal after 59 minutes.
The teenager did the simple things well and his movement off the ball created space for the front running duo of John Reed and Paul Graves.
Ipswich took the lead after 12 minutes when a ball out of defence found Toby Lever and his pass was touched in by Reed, but the bulky Brian Mansfield equalised shortly afterwards as the Ipswich defence was left exposed.
Reed put his side back in front after James Hughes, in his last home game for the club, fed him from a short corner routine, but Ipswich then huffed and puffed before Swindin finally clinched victory.