Bowdon Hightown 9 Ipswich 2

Slazenger Women's EHL Premier LeagueBowdon Hightown 9 Ipswich 2 Ipswich's run of injuries finally caught up with them on Saturday as they concluded their league campaign with a disappointing loss to runners-up Bowdon Hightown.

Slazenger Women's EHL

Premier League

Bowdon Hightown 9 Ipswich 2

Ipswich's run of injuries finally caught up with them on Saturday as they concluded their league campaign with a disappointing loss to runners-up Bowdon Hightown.


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The result highlighted how important last weeks point against Chelmsford was as Poynton beat the Essex side 1-0 to send them into the relegation play-offs.

Ipswich travelled with only 12 players to Manchester and gave a starting place to 17-year-old Sophie Kesterton and also drafted in second team player Kat Wrinch.

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The game could not have started worse for the Suffolk side when all time leading goal scorer Tina Cullen fired home in the seventh minute from what looked like an impossible angle.

A minute later Cullen added her second, Lee-Smith in goal probably feeling she should have done better to keep the shot out.

Despite the setback Ipswich dug in, worked hard and were unlucky not to win several short corners after the Bowdon defence resorted to stick tackles.

In the 19th minute Nicky O'Donnell added the third goal, while in the 30th minute Cullen claimed her hat trick and 300th league goal.

Ipswich were struggling to contain the home teams runs and things were not made any easier when Lee-Smith decided to play on after injuring herself making a good save.

Minutes later a poor clearance by the defence was pounced upon by the irrepressible Cullen who made it 5-0 on the stroke of half time.

Coach Royce Waters started the second half with a new formation and, with the 17-year-old Kesterton running rings around England defender Sally Walton, Ipswich gained a run of short corners.

A super shot by Vic Sandall was stopped illegally on the line and up stepped Liz Aldous to dispatch the stroke with ease.

The play was now all Ipswich, with the home side looking all at sea, and in the 57th minute Ipswich made it 5-2 with Aldous again on the score sheet after her ferocious shot could only be slowed from entering the net.

With time ticking, Ipswich's lack of subs began to take its toll and, along with Lee-Smith's injury, the home side took full advantage by scoring four goals in the final six minutes to give a flattering score line of 9-2.

Despite the disappointment about the result Ipswich will have been heartened by the display of Kesterton and Wrinch as both stepped up to the standard extremely well.

Ipswich now will take time to recharge their batteries before they start to rebuild for next season in September.

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