This dreary, cold, snowy winter’s morning saw the girls making the trip, once again, down the A140 to Tuddenham Road, to play 12th in the league, Ipswich 3rds. The girls were on the pitch warming up in decent time, after their usual changing room catch up on the week’s dramas, well…Char’s weekly dramas! The snowfall had subsided in time for the start of the match at 12.30.
Right from the start, Magpies wanted to show their opposition how we’ve maintained their 5th in the league position. After a few minutes of ‘sussing out’ what the Ipswich team was like, we soon got into out stride, continuing on from where we left off last week. Amy Hipwell took control in centre defence, distributing the ball nicely wide out to Sophie Child on the right and Amelia HS on the left who, in turn, both made fantastic runs up the wings, linking in well with the midfield. Amelia HS really showed us what she was made of this week, making the most of her amazing tacking skills and ability to read the game, to pick off any advance from the Ipswich attack, and young Phoebe Eglington also stood her ground, showing off her slick stick skills in left midfield.
Magpies were looking dangerous, and you could feel a goal building. Amy De Selincourt and Katie Kinsella were both given the opportunity for a shot on goal, but the Ipswich goalie was determined not to concede. A few attacking short corners were also given, giving Georgia Cantrell – making her long awaited comeback after joining Fram College at Christmas – the opportunity to strike the backboard, but unfortunately to no prevail. Magpies were determined to not let this phase them. They continued to fight on, and eventually, with about 20 minutes gone, a speedy ball from Katie Kinsella in to Amy DS at the top of the D, gave Amy the chance to use her thrifty skills to run around the Ipswich keeper and slip the ball between the posts.
This goal really encouraged the ladies to push on and get another. Play continued to travel fluidly between the defence, Char and Laura Betts in the screens were finding themselves with plenty of space to transfer the ball up the field. Phoebe Preece found herself with more time on the ball in right midfield and made some speedy runs up towards the attacking D, hoping to find Georgie and Amy on the forward line.
With the half time whistle blown, Leggy – who was confined to the side line this week after a slight hamstring ‘twinge’ in her double-header last Saturday, left it for the girls on the pitch to take charge and discuss what they needed to do to extend their lead.
Straight back into the second half and Magpies didn’t let the cold get to them. Everybody continued to use the easy balls, really using our screens, who are always on for the inside pass to distribute the ball across and up the pitch. A lovely ball in from Laura Betts out on the attacking 25 years line, into Georgie Cantrell on the P spot, gave Magpies their extend lead 10 minutes into the second half, with Georgie dribbling around the keepers left foot and finding the backboard.
Magpies could now relax and make the most of this lead to really play the hockey that we aspire to play every week. The 3 midfielders continued to work hard and really support the forwards on the attack. Any side line balls were quickly and accurately passed back through Amy Hipwell, transferring the ball rapidly to advance the attach up the opposite side of the pitch, leaving no time for our opposition to react. With 10 minutes to go, after one of these swift transfers, a ball from Katie K on the left, found Phoebe Preece at the top of the D. Phoebe, after her packet of yoghurt-covered strawberries had kicked her into action, made a dash for the back line and made a fabulous cross across the goal, where Sophie Meynell-Anderson was awaiting unmarked to slot the ball home.
The win was certain, and the girls fought till the very end. With a surprise flash of a green card to Char – for reasons still unclear – in the last 2 minutes saw the girls down to 10, but with everyone playing their best, the final whistle blew, and Magpies had a nifty 3 points under their belt.
A real mixture of votes were had for the wo-Man of the match today, but both Georgie Cantrell and Phoebe Eglington came away a join wo-Man of the match.
Next week the ladies play their re-arranged match against Dereham – which is always an entertaining fixture.
The Ladies 3rds, who I remind you, are a newly promoted team into the East League, are now sitting in 3rd position – an absolutely great performance by all of the ladies, and let’s keep this up!!