Umpire abuse may cost leaders points
HOCKEY: A surprise defeat for nearest rivals Bourne has put Ipswich seconds top of Division One of the Printwize East League. They are now three points clear of the Lincolnshire side with a game in hand, but that could disappear if the league management committee takes action over reports of umpire abuse during the game between the two teams at Henley Road last month.
A SURPRISE defeat for nearest rivals Bourne has put Ipswich seconds top of Division One of the Printwize East League.
They are now three points clear of the Lincolnshire side with a game in hand, but that could disappear if the league management committee takes action over reports of umpire abuse during the game between the two teams at Henley Road last month.
The outcome was a 4-4 draw but some Ipswich players were unhappy about certain decisions and expressed their opinions to one of the umpires during and after the game.
The league management committee meets early next month and has a variety of options open to it should the club be found guilty, including the deduction of points.
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Peter Lambert, chairman of the league's umpiring committee, said today: "I cannot speculate as to how the committee will react in this instance, but the problem of umpire abuse is getting worse.
"We are struggling to provide umpires as it is and if they are going to suffer verbal abuse then the situation will only get worse. People are not going to give up their Saturdays to umpire matches if this sort of thing continues."
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After a hesitant first half last week, Ipswich seconds bounced back to beat Cambridge University seconds 4-0 and tomorrow are at home to Redbridge and Ilford, a side they beat 10-2 earlier in the season.
Despite a brace from Gary Scarf, the thirds lost 3-2 to Harlow and will be hoping to return to winning ways at home to Maldon firsts.
The fourths beat Witham seconds 3-2 and tomorrow face Crostyx thirds who they beat earlier in the season, while the fifth and sixth teams were thrashed by Wapping seconds and thirds respectively.
Tomorrow, the fifths play Havering thirds and the sixth team Maldon seconds, while the Veterans, who surprisingly lost 3-2 to Bury St Edmunds, play Cambridge City.
Orwell Ladies first team have the long trip to play Alford with whom they drew earlier this season in Division Two North of the Printwize East League.
Their seconds, who beat Felixstowe 2-1 in the Premier Division of the Suffolk League play Lowestoft, while the thirds, who shared a goalless draw with Sudbury thirds, play Sudbury seconds in Division One.