Ipswich wilt in face of champions

DESPITE a valiant effort, Ipswich Hockey Club's mixed side lost to eventual winners Phoenix on Saturday in the semi-final of the Mixed Cup.Due to other commitments, Ipswich were not able to call upon any of the men's first team players and could only travel with the minimum five males.

DESPITE a valiant effort, Ipswich Hockey Club's mixed side lost to eventual winners Phoenix on Saturday in the semi-final of the Mixed Cup.

Due to other commitments, Ipswich were not able to call upon any of the men's first team players and could only travel with the minimum five males.

Despite this, the seconds and thirds players that stepped in did a fantastic job and, had they been able to rotate players in the sapping heat, the result could have been very different.

Ipswich started slowly against the defending champions and found themselves 1-0 down, as Phoenix took advantage of some slack marking to fire a ball into the top corner.


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Despite the setback, Ipswich soon began to find their feet, with brothers Tom and Ben Gallagher combining well in the midfield and Kirsten Spencer and James Wrinch marshalling the defence.

A great drive down the right by Sam Gibson saw him unleash a perfect pass to Tom Gallagher, who drove the ball into the net from in front of goal to make it 1-1.

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The game then ebbed and flowed with both teams having chances but Ipswich's outstanding keeper Ben Gladding was in fine form and, as half- time approached, the game was finely balanced.

A minute before half-time Ipswich then suffered a killer blow. A good run by a Phoenix player saw him thorough on a one-on-one with Gladding and, despite a great effort by the young Ipswich keeper, the ball trickled agonisingly over the line to see Ipswich head into half-time 2-1 down.

The second half saw Phoenix start with renewed belief and, with Ipswich beginning to wilt in the heat, gaps were appearing with alarming frequency.

Phoenix took no time in exploiting them and had soon extended their lead to 4-2. With 15 minutes left to play, Ipswich somehow found some energy in their tired legs and a well taken goal from Lizzy Aldous gave them a glimmer of hope.

The Suffolk side poured forward and called the Phoenix keeper into action time and time again but, as the chances slipped away and time moved on, it became apparent that it would not be enough.

Ipswich were disappointed not to have won but were very proud of the team that had given it their all. Phoenix went on to defeat Harleston Magpies 3-2 in the final to retain their crown.

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