Ipswich 10 Dereham 1

English Hockey League

Women’s Conference East

IT was a memorable weekend for Ipswich Hockey Club Women’s first team. On Saturday they smashed Norfolk rivals Dereham 10-1 and moved to within a point of top spot in the EHL East Conference. And then on Sunday, at the Suffolk Sports Awards, they were crowned Suffolk Sports Senior Team of the Year.

Despite yet again losing more players to injury, this time youngster Cat McDonald to a broken foot, Ipswich were pleased to welcome back Jess Bloom and Hannah Martin into the team and the Suffolk side were keen to continue their wining form against the leagues bottom team.

Ipswich started at a cracking pace and right from the off the visitors had no answer to the home teams, pace and skill. It was four goal hero Chloe Hunnable that opened the scoring on the 10th minute, a fantastic reverse stick shot from the top of the circle and two minutes later, with a carbon copy shot, she made it 2-0.

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The home side were completely dominant and were creating endless chances however it took until the 24th minute for them to extend their lead. Anni Boster scoring her fifth goal of the season from a well worked corner. Four minutes later Hunnable completed her first National League hat-trick to make the score line 4-0 to Ipswich going into the half time break.

The second half started with Ipswich determined to keep playing good structured hockey and add to their goal tally. Dereham to their credit continued to battle hard and it took the home side 10 minutes before they could break through the Norfolk sides defence. This time it was Jess Bloom with a crafty goal as she slipped the ball between the keeper and the post with a deft reverse stick touch.

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On the 50th minute it was the turn of Captain Emma Millar to get on the scoresheet, a great ball by birthday girl Faye Curran was collected and dispatched into the corner of the goal.

Six-nil up and cruising it was a major disappointment for the home side to then ship a goal on the 55th minute but credit to Dereham for never giving up.

Two minutes later and Ipswich were back in control Mille McWhirter making it 7-1. The Suffolk side were keen to maintain the pressure right to the end and Bloom scored her second of the game on the 60th minute.

Then it was birthday goal Curran’s turn, with a super strike on the 63rd minute to bring up the 9th goal and score her second goal in two games.

Fittingly it was left up to Hunnable to score the 10th and final goal of the game on the 64th minute. It was her fourth of the game and rightly won her the player of the match award.

This was a clinical and professional display from Ipswich and one that shows that despite the injuries that have hit the team the defending Champions are still a team to fear.

Ipswich now lie in third place, one point off top spot and travel to Harleston on Saturday to take on the struggling Norfolk side. However they know that even though their Norfolk rivals are not having a good season they will be a tough test on their home pitch.

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