Ipswich 4 Indian Gymkhana 6

Slazenger EHL South DivisionIpswich 4 Indian Gymkhana 6Ipswich slipped were defeated by Indian Gymkhana for the second time this season in the first match back after the winter break.


Slazenger EHL Premier Division

Ipswich 4 Doncaster 1

Ipswich restarted outdoor action after the winter break in the same fashion as when they left it, with a well deserved win.

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A 4-1 defeat of Doncaster saw Ipswich stay in fifth place and close the gap on second place Slough to just three points, after they lost to leaders Leicester 4-1.

Missing key players Emma Lee-Smith and Evie Van Poortvliet, and with minimal outdoor preparation due to participation in the indoor league, Ipswich could have been forgiven for starting this match with some intrepidation, however this was probably their best all round team display this season.

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It probably was no coincidence that Ipswich's best game came with Kirsten Spencer back in the defensive starting line up after a four-month injury break. However, despite carving out some early chances, Ipswich fell behind when Jo Ellis scored with a neat deflection in the 17th minute.

Despite rising frustration at missed chances, Ipswich were duly rewarded when leading goal scorer, 17 year-old Jenny Hall, scored her eighth league goal of the season, a cool reverse flick.

As the clock ticked towards half time, Ipswich then produced the goal of the game. A superb move that started at the back saw the ball played through midfielders Kate Hector and Jo Ellis before striker Lizzy Aldous picked out Sarah Tallent alone at the back post. Tallent made no mistake ramming the ball in and thoroughly enjoyed scoring her first ever Slazenger EHL goal.

The second half saw Ipswich dominate and they duly moved into a 3-1 lead when Ellis scored her third goal of the season from a short corner. The game was finally put of reach when Hector scored her fifth goal of the season in the 62nd minute, a top class strike from the top of the circle.

Chelmsford 4 Old Loughtonians 0

Chelmsford returned to outdoor action with a top class performance against Old Loughtonians.

In front of a large home crowd, who now have the comfort of a new seating stand at Chelmer Park, Chelmsford of a match against a side just one place above them in the league before the start of play.

In the opening minutes, Old Loughts were the attacking force and won two penalty corners. Fine saves by England goalkeeper Katy Roberts ensured that the scores stayed level though.

After a crisp passing move, which rounded the Old Loughts keeper, Lynn Bollington received the ball back from Chloe Rogers and she had the easy task of putting the ball into an empty goal.

Chelmsford then began to control the midfield with tenacious play by Beccy Alltree. In the 20th minute, Chelmsford made the scoreline 2-0 from a short corner routine when Lisa Wooding and Irish international Ciara O'Brien combined, the latter being able to claim the goal.

Throughout the first half, Old Loughts were unable to cope with Chloe Rogers who, along with Lisa Wooding, have just returned from South Africa where they won their first caps for GB.

Just prior to the half time whistle, Chelmsford won another penalty corner from which Kirsty Smith increased their advantage to 3-0.

The second half saw Chelmsford control the match. The fourth goal for Chelmsford came following a quick, slick move between Marie Arber, Tracy Willmore and Chloe Rogers, resulting in Maria Merrigan scoring from an acute angle.

Division One

Firebrands 1 Harleston Magpies 2

With a double header of games over the weekend Magpies made the perfect return to League action when Anna Truman opened the scoring with an excellent reverse stick shot after ten minutes.

Six minutes later Angie Wheelhouse made no mistake from a cross from the right to put Magpies 2-0 in front. The confidence from these early goals enabled Magpies to control the midfield as they increasingly found their passes with some good attacking moves.

Firebrands upped their performance considerably in the second half and Magpies did not have it all their own way. Even so Magpies squandered a number of good chances that could have put the game out of reach. After 58 minutes Georgie Field pulled a goal back for Firebrands and Magpies had to play out an uncomfortable final ten minutes before clinching all three points.

Clifton 1 Harleston Magpies 0

Sunday's game saw second placed Magpies play third placed Clifton in a titanic battle.

Magpies produced one of their best performances of the season as they unsettled Clifton in the first half, pressing them all over the pitch with a tremendous work ethic and discipline.

There were few chances in this game for either side in what turned out to be a very tight match.

Magpies defended well as a team but were also finding it hard to break Clifton down.

The second half continued in the same pattern as there was nothing to choose between the two teams in a gripping match. The game was decided ten minutes from time when a yellow card saw Magpies reduced to ten players. This gave Clifton a massive advantage and, with four minutes to go, Dawn Mitchell scored the winner.


Slazenger EHL South Division

Ipswich 4 Indian Gymkhana 6

Ipswich were defeated by Indian Gymkhana for the second time this season at the weekend.

Gymkhana came to Suffolk without influential captain and league top goal scorer Tejinder Hanspal much to the relief of the home side, but much like the previous meetings between these two teams, this turned out to be an enthralling and high scoring affair.

Ipswich decided to employ a full press to unsettle the notoriously shaky Gym backline, but this ultimately proved to be their undoing as Gym full-back Jagdeep Gill began launching 70 yard aerials which forced the Ipswich backline to retreat, opening up a a gap between midfield and defence.

After five minutes Ipswich conceded a penalty corner which Gill converted to make the score 1-0. The Suffolk side reacted well and from the re-start forced their first short corner which Dixon converted. Ipswich continued to exert relentless pressure which led to Phil Messant winning a free hit outside the circle which Will Fulker slapped into Evans who deflected the ball into the goal.

Like in previous matches Ipswich never looked like holding on to the lead. Paramdeep Eari jinked past three Ipswich defenders, before cutting the ball across for Sukhbir Rihal who somehow managed to miss a gaping open goal. Cheers from the home crowd were short lived though as Jagdeep Gill converted a penalty stroke.

Four minutes later Rihal saved his blushes by slotting home under keeper Middleton after a piece of skillful play by the rampant Jandu. Kabir Virdi ended a disappointing first half for Ipswich by adding Gym's fourth after 32 minutes.

Ipswich approached the second half much the same as the first half but were still undone by the long aerials being thrown from Gill at the back. A smart move saw Evans blasting the ball over the cross bar and Evans later squandered another opportunity on his own in the circle. These were chances that Ipswich had desperately needed to take.

Gill later added two more penalty corner flicks after 41 and 44 minutes, both of which should've been saved by a keeper of Middleton's caliber. Ipswich again showed good spirit to get back into the game, with Dixon adding two more penalty corners to bring the score back to 6-4 with eight minutes to go. However, it wasn't to be for Ipswich who watched Gym hold onto the ball for the rest of the match.

Slazenger English Hockey League Division One

Old Loughtonians 3 Chelmsford 2

Chelmsford had a close fought defeat against Old Loughtonians on the home sides President's Day. The 3-2 defeat was an exact reversal of the victory earlier on in the season, and while Chelmsford felt they possibly deserved something out the game, it was probably evened things up from earlier in the season when Chelmsford stole the result with two late goals.

Both sides scored controversial goals. Adam Hunter claimed to have deflected Chelmsford's first, although the Old Loughts players were convinced it was touched by a defender in the 'D'. However, Chelmsford were equally convinced that there was an infringement prior to Old Loughts decider.

Chelmsford soaked up a great deal of early pressure before conceding after 15 minutes when Stuart Robson slid the ball past Adrian Kimber. The away side responded quickly, when Hunter claimed his touch and, following a consultation between umpires, the goal was given.

Within five minutes of the restart Chelmsford found themselves 3-1 down as first Chris Seward and then Oliver Didham scored.

Kimber, excellent throughout the game, made a number of crucial saves in both halves. Chelmsford, though, found Kimber's opposite number Stuart Hendy also on top of his game.

With 17 minutes of the game left, Chelmsford gave themselves a lifeline when Duncan Woods cross was picked up by Olly Cooper. He then slid the ball under Hendy, allowing Adi Palmer to slot the ball into the open net. Although they had a number of penalty corners, one of which was unconventionally saved off the line, Chelmsford could not do quite enough to force the equaliser.

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