Magpies U18s travelled at dawn to local rivals and one of the tournament favourites Ipswich and put up a brave fight going down 4-2 and consequently being knocked out of the cup. Played in front of a good size crowd the game was played in good spirit and was an advert for youth hockey.
Although bleary eyed the Magpies team gave an excellent first half performance. Whilst Ipswich had more possession Magpies looked dangerous on the break with good inter-play from Chrissy Barber, Jamie Legg, and Freddie Merritt. At the other end the defence, which consisted of Ewan, louis, Craig, Gus and Ben G worked hard to shut the door on the Ipswich attacks.
Ipswich had several short corners but lack of composure at the top of the circle allowed the defence to clear. Magpies then took the lead on the stroke of half time, when Barber linked well with Merritt who made a good run along the back line and laid the ball across for Will Martin to score.
Ipswich started the second half more determined and continued to put pressure on Magpies and Livings was forced into several more good saves. As the pressure told Ipswich finally equalised when their forward went through several tackles and executed an excellent reverse stick shot into the corner. This seemed to shake the Magpies defence and Ipswich took full control, scoring three more goals in the next 10 minutes.
Things looked like they may get worse when Snelling was yellow carded for expressing his thoughts to the umpire despite the advice from his keeper. This however seemed to give Magpies a renewed burst of energy and they started to threaten the Ipswich defence. Chris Barber scored Magpies second 5 minutes from the end, but despite late pressure Magpies were unable to force the match into extra time.
Although Magpies have been knocked out of the cup, they still have a trip to Bedford to look forward to next week for the first round of the East Region Indoor League.