Weekend double will be big test
WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Ipswich Ladies face two games in little more than 24 hours with league and cup action tomorrow and on Sunday. Having been beaten by bottom side Sutton Coldfield last week, the Tuddenham Road side are now just two points ahead of them and Doncaster, but talk of relegation is not even on the players' agenda.
IPSWICH Ladies face two games in little more than 24 hours with league and cup action tomorrow and on Sunday.
Having been beaten by bottom side Sutton Coldfield last week, the Tuddenham Road side are now just two points ahead of them and Doncaster, but talk of relegation is not even on the players' agenda.
Hannah Robinson takes over from injured goalkeeper Jo Thompson for the trip to face Olton and West Warwicks who have hauled themselves into fourth spot in the Premier Division of the English Hockey League.
Although they only have two wins to their credit, Ipswich have the pedigree to extricate themselves from their lowly spot and skipper Leisa King will be looking for a little more luck than they enjoyed against Sutton Coldfield.
On Sunday, Ipswich should have no problems in easing through to the semi-finals of the English Hockey Cup when they entertain Bradford Newitts.
The Yorkshire side are bottom of Division One and are unlikely to pose much of a threat to the Suffolk side's defence as their goal tally currently stands at a meagre nine.
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With Olton and Sutton Coldfield the only other Premier Division representatives, the odds are very much on Ipswich reaching the final and victory at that stage would gain them a place in the play-offs for European entry.
Debbie Rawlinson returns to the second team's ranks to replace Gray for tomorrow's the local derby with Chelmsford.
Rawlinson, a former first team stalwart, now tends to play her hockey in the third team, but her experience will be vital against an Essex side more than capable of causing problems.
Mary Ost takes over in goal from Robinson and Ipswich will be looking to repeat their last home performance, where they won 3-1 against Dereham and played some of the best hockey of the season.
They will also be looking to striker Lucy Philip, who scored twice in the previous game against Chelmsford, to get them off to a flying start and if the Ipswich midfield can release the ball early, her pace will again cause problems.
With only four games left, Ipswich are well aware that they need to start winning if they want to move up from third place in the Premier Division of the Printwize East League.