Ipswich II 1 Chelmsford II 1

NE14 Hockey East LeaguePremier DivisionIpswich II 1 Chelmsford II 1Riding high on the back of their first away victory of the season, Ipswich II faced a challenging weekend of hockey to mark the end of the first half of the NE14 Hockey East Premier League.

NE14 Hockey East League

Premier Division

Ipswich II 1 Chelmsford II 1

Riding high on the back of their first away victory of the season, Ipswich II faced a challenging weekend of hockey to mark the end of the first half of the NE14 Hockey East Premier League.

Last week, Cambridge University were dispatched 5-3 by the young team in an exciting display, with a hat-trick from Lizzy Aldous and one each for Sarah Daley and Annie Nunn.

Hard work on the training ground midweek set the tone for the two key games ahead.

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On Saturday, Ipswich faced third placed Chelmsford II at Tuddenham Road under heavy skies that quickly tuned to rain.

Undeterred, Ipswich started strongly, dominating the opening exchanges of the game. Although Ipswich had the greater share of the ball and created several chances, they failed to find the net and it was Chelmsford who opened the scoring.

During one of only a handful of chances they won a short corner and converted in bizarre fashion, the

ball finding the inside corner of the right post before ricocheting out behind the defence before cannoning in again at the far post.

Conceding a goal but not the match, Ipswich redoubled their efforts, dominating the midfield with decisive play from Phoebe Walker, Hannah Tallent and Sophie Kesterton.

A reckless high stick after play had been stopped by the umpires felled midfielder Emily Masson, who was forced the leave the pitch with suspected concussion.

At the half time whistle Ipswich regrouped inside to shelter from the worsening weather. With

coach Mark Wheelhouse's words still fresh in their ears, the team lost no time in stepping up to the challenge in front of them.

At the bottom of the league, Ipswich were keen to show their erstwhile supporters that they have no plans to languish there and started to put together the flowing style of hockey that is becoming their trademark.

Their burgeoning talent was apparent, with Sarah Daley tireless in attack supported by strong play from Millie McWhirter and Beth Golding.

Their hard work paid off when, after winning a short corner with 15 minutes to go, strike specialist Anni Broster stepped up and made no mistake to draw level.

Pushing deep into Chelmsford territory, Ipswich created scoring chances but were frustrated by the well organised defence.

Chelmsford refused to lie down, though their efforts were swiftly broken down by Sam Bennett and player of the match Hannah Godfrey.

The final minutes of the match were marred by an avoidable injury to Kat Wrinch, struck on

the knee at close range when the umpire failed to stop play following an illegal short corner strike, and Issy Sheldrake, who was hit by an undercut ball square on the bridge of the nose.

With the chance of a win always on their minds, Ipswich pressed hard to the end of the game, which finished with the scores still level.

Another point moves the team into contention for a mid-table spot. With the four teams above them separated by only four points there really is all to play for when league competition resumes.

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