Firebrands 4 Ipswich 8

Slazenger Men's EHL South Division Firebrands 4 Ipswich 8 The old and the new generations of Ipswich Hockey Club combined perfectly as Ipswich produced a superb performance against the world's oldest hockey club.

Slazenger Men's EHL

South Division

Firebrands 4 Ipswich 8

The old and the new generations of Ipswich Hockey Club combined perfectly as Ipswich produced a superb performance against the world's oldest hockey club.

Teenager Phil Messent, 18, and reinvigorated veteran Richard Rutterford, 33, produced spectacular performances in an impressive display of attacking hockey in front of a crowd that included current England and Great Britain captain Glenn Kirkham.

Teddington are a club with a rich history. Just over a decade ago, the team were not only one of the finest men's sides in England, but a major force in European club hockey. Ipswich were well aware that, although Teddington have recently hit hard times, their players have always been proud to wear the famous pink and brown shirts and should never be under-estimated.

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Much like the previous week, Ipswich started the game brilliantly, moving into a two-goal lead inside five minutes.

Messent opened the scoring with a wonderful solo goal, casually passing the ball into the net after beating three defenders down the right, before Rutterford smashed a trademark strike from the top of the circle just seconds later.

In last Sunday's fixture against Firebrands, Ipswich threw away an early two goal lead, but were determined not to let history repeat itself.

It was Rutterford again who scored Ipswich's all-important third goal, brilliantly dribbling round the Teddington keeper before tapping into an open goal.

England U18 player Will Hearne soon made it four with a simple finish in the 25th minute.

National League debutant Ed Driver nearly made it 5-0 shortly before half time, but fired his shot inches wide of the target at the end of a promising Ipswich move.

Despite the efforts of coach Ian Gall telling his players to remain focussed, Ipswich were guilty of giving Teddington a chance to mount what would have been a sensational fight-back.

After Mark Wheelhouse made the score 5-0 from the penalty spot, Teddington's Graham Anderson pulled a goal back for the visitors with a penalty corner.

David Hutton soon dragged Teddington closer to Ipswich when he made the score 5-2, but Ipswich re-established a four goal cushion thanks to a penalty corner strike from Ivan Smith.

Anderson grabbed his second of the game to make the score 6-3, but the impressive Messent scored Ipswich's seventh goal with a well-executed penalty corner routine.

Teddington's Tom Anderson scored a field goal in the 65th minute, before Richard Stainthorpe completed the scoring with a tap in after opposition goalkeeper Jonn Sprakes could only parry Will Hearne's drag flicked penalty corner.

With eight goals in the second half, and 12 in total, the large crowd certainly got their money's worth.

Captain Ivan Smith said: “Teddington are a massive club who have won pretty much every honour going in the domestic game and we know that they will at some point win games this season.

“We just needed to make sure that it was not against us and I'm really pleased that we produced such a good attacking display in what could easily have been a tricky fixture.”

Next weekend sees a crucial double header for the first team, facing two sides who currently sit below them in the league table.

Next Saturday, Ipswich face Cambridge University for the second time this season and will hope to secure a second league victory over their East Anglian rivals.

On Sunday, the team travel to Bromley and Beckenham, hoping to avenge the defeat at home earlier this season.

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