Ipswich Valley Rangers still have SIL Senior title within their sights

They might have been dismissed as title challengers by some, but Ipswich Valley Rangers’ assistant manager Barry Parker believes his side are still very much in the hunt for the SIL Senior Division title.

The current holders of the championship sit in third position as things stand and are playing catch-up on leaders Achilles and Grundisburgh, mainly due to a winless six-match run during November and December.

Parker believes Rangers are back on track now though and can still win their third title in a row.

“You never know what might happen,” said Parker.

“There’s still a lot of games left to play.

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“We’ve still got to play Grundisburgh twice and we certainly haven’t given up hope of catching them and Achilles.

“The title is still in our aims and sights, and so is the Bob Coleman Cup which we are now in the quarter-finals of and have a really good chance of winning.”

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Rangers won back-to-back Senior titles in 2012 and 2013 but Parker is still at a loss to explain their dreadful pre-Christmas form, which saw them pick up two points from a possible 18 on offer.

“None of us are quite sure what happened during that run of games,” said Parker.

“I can’t put my finger on it and nor can any of the lads, it was strange but we seem to be back to our best now.”

Valley Rangers are unbeaten in their last five league games, accumulating 13 points from a possible 15 and scoring 17 goals.

One of the main reasons for Valley Rangers’ upturn in fortunes has been the performances and goals of centre-half turned central midfielder, Sean Benneworth.

“Sean has been in inspired form of late and has driven the team on with seven goals in his last five - all from centre midfield.

“He’s a great lad and has been the catalyst to our form.”

Valley Rangers travel to second-bottom Old Newton United this weekend looking to keep up with the pace on the top two and avenge a shock 2-1 defeat to Colin Macrow’s men.

Elsewhere in the Senior Division, Haughley United entertain Capel Plough, Felixstowe Harpars United travel to Leiston St Margarets and Melton St Audrys are at home to Achilles.

Also in the top flight, Stanton are at home to Coplestonians, Wickham Market go to Wenhaston and Grundisburgh are the visitors to Westerfield United.

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