Old Loughtonians 1 Ipswich 2

EH Second Team CupOld Loughtonians 1 Ipswich 2With a strong performance under their belts and a score to settle, Ipswich travelled to Old Loughts on Sunday 9th December to face an opposition who had defeated them 4-1 in league play only a few weeks earlier.

EH Second Team Cup

Old Loughtonians 1 Ipswich 2

With a strong performance under their belts and a score to settle, Ipswich travelled to Old Loughts on Sunday 9th December to face an opposition who had defeated them 4-1 in league play only a few weeks earlier.

Challenging for a semi-final place in the England Hockey 2nd XI Cup, captain Claire Gould left her team under no illusion as to the task at hand in her pre-match talk, and set current holders Ipswich the

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task of winning a short corner in the first five minutes and scoring a goal in the first fifteen.

All expectations were exceeded however, as the team seized the initiative from the starting whistle.

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A flurry of attacks shocked Old Loughts, clearly expecting the result to be a foregone conclusion.

Team work was the order of the day, and with a new level of trust apparent, Ipswich looked comfortable all over the pitch.

Quickly adapting to the water based surface, they imposed their presence on the home team immediately and were awarded a short corner only seconds into the game.

More followed and Ipswich soon found the net, Beth Golding making a strong run into the D finding Emily Masson who coolly put the ball away, showing no ill effect from the head injury suffered during the previous day's game.

Playing their best hockey so far this season Ipswich dominated the game, allowing the ball to leave

the Loughts half only to be transferred through defence to set up another attack.

In particular, Issy Sheldrake earned player of the match with tireless runs from defence supported by Phoebe Walker and Sophie Kesterton, and almost find the goal herself on occasion.

Strong as ever, Hannah Tallent on the left found her way out of the Old Loughts press time and time again. Playing confidently, Ipswich created numerous goal mouth skirmishes with Sarah Daley, Anni Broster and Millie McWhirter all keen to get in on the action.

Old Loughts managed only a handful of runs, closed down in consummate fashion by Hannah Godfrey and Sam Bennett, and let themselves down not only by their poor play but also by their poor behaviour which earned them a green card by half time.

The second half started as strongly as the first had ended, seeing only one change at the back, Kat Wrinch coming on to run off her knee injury from the day before.

Wasting no time, Ipswich were soon encamped in the Old Loughts half, relishing every opportunity to attack and play at pace.

In a move that the Ipswich 1st team would be proud of, Anna Sherring drove hard towards the D, finding Issy Sheldrake to her right who ploughed through a forest of outstretched sticks to set up

Sarah Daley for a shot on goal.

Unleashing a punishing shot, the ball was deflected high above the goal, and with Ipswich players arriving in numbers, it was Anna Sherring once more who scored the goal of the season, parrying the ball at chest height into the back of the net.

The game continued at high pace and under challenges both physical and verbal, Ipswich allowed a number of counter-attacks to drive through to the base line.

Keeper Claire Gould was called upon to make a save at closed range, Old Loughts only managing to undercut the ball into her body.

A defensive error saw a player again allowed to break through to the Ipswich D, and they were frustrated to concede in ignominious fashion.

With calls to settle the game and regain control ringing out, Ipswich lifted themselves once more, all too aware of the long drive home and the prize at stake.

With the defence rarely troubled again, Emily Masson thought she had found the goal again only to see her effort stopped on the line by an Old Lought's foot.

The resulting flick was well saved by their keeper, but the impromptu stop in play offered captain Claire Gould a chance to issue her team a final instruction - no mistakes anywhere on the pitch.

In typical fashion they did not disappoint, and the final minutes of the game saw Beth Scott make her

attacking debut, her outstanding challenge on goal only halted by the oncoming Old Loughts keeper.

The game ended 2 - 1 to Ipswich, who continue to the semi-finals in the defence of their national title.

Following a well-earned break for Christmas, Ipswich Women's 2nd XI will be back in league action on Saturday 12th January looking to claim all three points when they face local rivals Chelmsford again.

On Sunday 13th January Ipswich will contest the semi-final of the England Hockey 2nd XI Cup, welcoming Loughborough Students 2nd XI to Tuddenham Road, and with few teams in action that day, look forward to vocal support from the home crowd.

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