Third time lucky?

IPSWICH Hockey Club's women's first team will be hoping it will be third time lucky as they travel to the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on Sunday to try to claim the title of indoor champions of England.

IPSWICH Hockey Club's women's first team will be hoping it will be third time lucky as they travel to the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on Sunday to try to claim the title of indoor champions of England.

This is the Suffolk team's third consecutive appearance in England Hockey's biggest event of the year and, after losing in the final in 2005 and the semi-final in 2006, Ipswich will be hoping to go all the way this year and grab the national crown.

Ipswich will play Bowdon Hightown, who are also making their third consecutive finals appearance, in the second semi-final (1.50pm start). Bowdon lost last year to Canterbury and the year before to Ipswich. The last three indoor games between Bowdon and Ipswich have seen the Suffolk club run out victors, the latest being a 6-4 win in the league last Sunday.

Ipswich will be hoping for more of the same this weekend and will be looking to talismanic defender Leisa King to lead the way. Also key to Ipswich's success will be top goalscorer Emma Lee-Smith. A powerful and uncompromising player, she will be crucial to Ipswich's attacking and defending moves.


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Should Ipswich get past Bowdon, they will then meet either the finals day newcomers and local team Sutton Coldfield or old foe Slough. Either side will prove a tough test, but Slough are hot favourites for the title after winning the league last weekend.

However, Ipswich have either beaten or drawn with all teams in the event and know that they are capable of winning on the day if they produce a disciplined and confident display.

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With the final being shown live on Sky Sports Extra at 5pm and the winners going on to represent England in Europe in 2008, this is a massive opportunity for Ipswich Hockey Club and also a great advert for a town that has a proud sporting tradition.

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