IES 4th XI 1 – UEA 3rd XI 3

After the close but ultimately disappointing defeat away at Dereham, IES 4th XI hosted the 100% win rate UEA students at the Ipswich School Sports Centre. Simpson dropped out of the squad and Page came back in. Black was promoted so O’Brien was back in goal. Gallagher joined in too for his first game of the season. Gray arrived to coach the side and learn a few tips to transfer to the first eleven. As normal Elsom started on the bench – as did Vince.

IES started very positively and had the better of the early exchanges. Ramsey and Gallager led the line and both Meades and Scarff had their best quarters of the season – with Meades very nearly getting on the end of a Williams crash ball. But then with their first chance UEA scored with a brilliant finish from the top of the D. Heads could have dropped in the IES team but they didn’t. As it wasn’t raining this week Elsom brought himself on early and following a Williams (jnr) dribble down the left, a quick Gallagher pass saw the Maestro unleashed with one to beat. He quickly pushed it by the young student and if he’d have eyes in the back of his head, he’d have been dismayed to see his team turn away in despair thinking there was no way he’d get the ball first. Elsom used all his guile and won the race and then smashed in an equalizer from a stupidly narrow angle and IES were back in it.

Sadly, as the first half wore on the students youth and 16 man squad started to gain them the upper hand – especially when the Williams (snr) and Whiting central midfield double act started to tire. A naff second goal was conceded just before the interval as IES failed to clear their own D. O’Brien also made a stunning save after a defensive error.  At half time, the Capitan was rather positive and thought it was IESs best half yet and with the potential to use wisdom over energy a point or three was still possible. It was also inspiring to have Gray’s tactical input and Elsom’s impassioned diatribe. 

What of the second half. Well substitutions continued with clockwork regularity, although why Gray elected to leave Capitan Williams struggling in midfield for the whole game is beyond both your match reporter and most of the rest of the planet. The students were maybe lucky to be ahead at half time but they did rather dominate the 2nd half. The defence competed manfully, O’Brien made quite a few decent saves and IES kept up hopes of an equalizer. But it wasn’t to be and IES didn’t really create much in the 2nd half – the only real output and hope seemed to be the potential of Ramsey to run down the right. UEA scored a scrappy third as Williams (snr) was turned and the ball squirmed into the net. 

3-1 it ended and IES will drop down the league a bit from 7th with a trip to Norwich Exiles ahead next week.

Man of the match – well it was probably the best a few of the team have played this season – Gallagher obviously, but also Scarff, Thornton and Meades and possibly even Williams (snr) (although his standard in previous weeks had been poor). Others played well in patches as well and it was the best team performance so far this season. The man of the match though goes to Meades who excelled in the first quarter and stuck to his tasks at right midfield valiantly throughout the match. Exactly what Gray learnt to take to the first XI is anyone’s guess … 

IES: League Fixtures 17/10/20

Team Date Opponent Venue Time
Mens 1st 17/10/20 <No game>    
Mens 2nd 17/10/20 East Coast 1 ISSC P2 14:30
Mens 3rd 17/10/20 Felixstowe 1 Felixstowe Academy 13:30
Mens 4th 17/10/20 UEA 3 ISSC P3 13:00
Mens 5th 17/10/20 Felixstowe 3 Felixstowe Academy 16:30
Ladies 1st 17/10/20 Cambs Univ 1 Camb Univ HC 11:00
Ladies 2nd 17/10/20 Ipswich 3 ISSC P2 11:30
Ladies 3rd 17/10/20 Colchester 4 ISSC P1 10:30
Ladies 4th 17/10/20 Felixstowe 3 Felixstowe Academy 15:00

IES 4th XI 2 – Dereham – 3

Dereham away brings shivers to many a spine. The pitch is slow, it’s a long way from Ipswich and IES 4th XI invariably lose the match and some precious elements of the away changed strip. Would the 2020 version be any different? And it wasnt any different in terms of palaeontology – the Pulham dinosaur was still standing proud (all be it without scarf). 

Well after picking up points at home against Thetford on the preceding Saturday, the squad changed again. The SS were drafted back in (Scarff and Spurling) and TB was experienced again (Thornton and Black). These four were combined with Williams 1 and 2, Elsom, Whiting, Vince, Ramsey and Murray. And just to make up the numbers we experienced the MP shuffle – Meades replacing Page.

The warm up was surprisingly productive and the match started in glorious Norfolk sunshine with the Maestro Elsom in jovial mood on the bench. Shortly thereafter the rain started and wow it did pour. Elsom used all his experience and found a brolly and then even greater common sense in refusing to come on until the deluge ceased. By that time IES were 1 down. Williams jnr deflected a ball high into his own D and Williams snr deflected it backwards rather than stopping it, Thornton did likewise and Dereham knocked it in leaving Black with no hope.

Dereham continued to dominate the first half but last gasp defending, some decent keeping and some poor finishing kept it close. At one point Whiting decided midfield was too much for him so he engaged in pointless discussion with one of the umpires – pointless because debating issues with an umpire isn’t to be advised and pointless because the umpire was clearly right. Then after 25 minutes the rain stopped and Thornton got cramp and the Maestro found someone to put down his brolly for him and appeared on the pitch – just in time for the half-time team talk. Our hardcore fans also reappeared from sheltering in their cars. Why, if you have driven for 90 minutes, do you decide to sit in your car rather than stand out in a monsoon watching your son play hockey, is beyond your reporter. Your reporter would have found the nearest coffee shop instead.

Anyway, the half time talk was about the team still being in it and the importance of returning all the away blue kit after the match. The second half started and the sun shone. And IES improved markedly. Vince slotted in well at right back and Ramsey linked well in midfield. The Scarff and Williams jnr left side stitch up continued dynamically and Meades and Whiting were diligent in the middle. Elsom and Simpson demonstrated that the skill required at centre forward is all about the timing of the run and Murray coped with the ineffective Williams snr rather than his normal mate Page at the back.

Then Capitan Williams made a mistake – almost a fatal one. He positioned Whiting at right post on a defensive penalty corner. Whiting stopped the ball – waited an age – and let the centre forward amble up and knock it in from a foot. At which point Whiting decided to move from embarrassment to impetuosity and swiped at the ball in frustration. He missed the ball – his stick slipped out his hand and flew hard and fast across the D and very nearly decapitated Murray – who at the time was inspecting the spot from which he’d scored an own goal in the 2019 version of Dereham. Anyway 2-0 it was and all was safe and Whiting unusually apologetic. 

Then IES improved – the pressure is off when you are 2 down. And a slew of penalty corners were won. Elsom was in charge and was in military history mode. He scored one with a passable impression of Barnes-Wallis and then a bit later did the hockey verion of the Maginot Line and set up Scarff for a tap-in. Sadly, between the two – Dereham scored a third – courtesy of a Williams jnr own goal.

With 5 to go IES pressed and pressed and actually played pretty well. But despite crosses from the right, chances from penalty corners and no little effort the equalizer didn’t come. And the match finished in a 3-2 loss and with a long trip in sopping wet kit back home. Where it was then discovered that all 24 socks were present and accounted for – so much so that Williams very jnr counted 25. 

IES started the day in 7th – lost and finished the day in 7th. How’s that for odd. Next week a nice easy home game against top of the %age table, UEA 2nd XI. Plenty of running required – that doesn’t bode well for 80%+ of the team.

As to man of the match – Black played well, Whiting wasn’t bad (other than decapitation – gate), Meades had his best game this season (and is another year older and didn’t nick any socks this year) – but the award goes to Murray. He played well – didn’t score an own goal – and still had his head despite Whiting’s best efforts.

IES 4th XI 4 – Thetford 1st XI 1

For those with a fondness for 4th XI memorabilia, you will recall saga’s around this match in the last couple of seasons. Last year’s narrow victory was secured by Klug – seconds after he’d accidentally despatched one of the Thetford players to A&E. The year before Reid (J) was on fire and was the nadir of Blake’s hockeying career. The common themes to those games were the fact that the 4th XI were – unusually – playing on the main Ipswich School Sports Centre pitch (they are normally banished to the far out of sight one) and that IES struggled to cope with Thetford’s Talisman – bandana wearing Rees. 

As IES gathered in a socially distanced manner the team discovered that only one theme completed its hattrick – and thankfully it was the choice of pitch – the bandana was nowhere to be seen.

On to less prosaic issues – the squad. Black, Austin and Simpson were promoted and Scarff, Thornton and Meades were unavailable. The Maestro Elsom worked hard on the free transfer and loan market all week and with a bit of help from his friend he secured the services of O’Brien, Conway, Pineo and Gaffer – all of whom were making their 4th XI debuts. The Capitan and Gaffer played in the same Ipswich team in Prem B prior to the birth of most of the 4th XIs match day squad – but that is another story that isnt really relevant to anything much.

And – the Capitan – with his usual style – took positional advice from Elsom and did the opposite. He also asked Conway where he normally played – was told he was a defender so decided to play him at centre forward. This may have been a career defining master-stroke for Conway cos he revelled in the opportunity.

And the match started – in the dry – which with Storm Alex around was a miracle. O and other useless stat – this was the first 4th XI match in the Capitan’s time in charge where there wasn’t an S in the team – no Scarff, Sebborn, Simpson, Sneddon or Spurling. The rest of the squad being the normal bunch of Elsom, Murray, Page, Ramsey, Vince, Whiting and Williams (*2).

The opening exchanges were cagey with IES having most of the ball – including a 17 pass move from the initial push back. Eventually Pineo smote home a penalty corner. Then he conceded one and after an initial decent save Thetford equalised on the re-bound. The Maestro then brought himself on and following a sublime bit of skill from Whiting (he missed the ball but it wrong footed the whole Thetford team), Elsom buried a sitter and IES entered the half time break 2-1 up.

The Capitan observed that keeping the ball might be helpful and that when 2-1 up the next goal is often crucial. So IES actually did what was asked and scored the next goal. Whiting made a 40 yard run – without the ball – for the first time since the 80s – and arrived at the top of the D in time to stop a pass from a flowing move down the right involving Conway, Vince and Ramsey. Whiting found he had about 3 hours to shoot and took about 2.5 of them but lo he buried it from the top of the D and turned to pass out with exhaustion prior to celebrating. Plenty of penalty corners were won and it is debatable as to who led the worse routine – Pineo or Elsom. But with about ten minutes to go the IES defence started to get nervous because Murray hadn’t yet scored his obligatory own-goal but Page, O’Brien and Williams (1+2)) helped him out and then Ramsey capped a fine performance with his first 4th XI goal. Somewhere in the 2nd half, Gaffer picked up a green card for the sort of tackle he tended to get away with 20 years ago – probably cos green cards didn’t exist back then.

So 4-1 it finished and IES Mens 4th XI secured their first league win of the season and the men’s club first league win against opposing clubs this season. Amazingly IES have now reached the heights of 7th place in Division 4NE and have the delights of Dereham away next week – a Dereham side sitting in 10th place but a team that always performs strongly at home on their slowish pitch – the site of which – last season included Sneddon’s back ‘pass’, Williams’ whacked knee and – has it been mentioned before (?) – Murray’s best ever own goal.

A 1.30 start awaits whatever team is put out – your reporter confidently predicts a different squad and one with an S in.

Finally, man of the match from Thetford game. All 4 debutants played well – but they were all disqualified for being debutants. Which doesn’t leave many. Vince and Murray had their best games of the season (so far), Whiting continues to play well, Williams (jnr) and Page were solid again – the Maestro and the Capitan are building into the season and can be expected to play well at some point. So the winner is Ramsey – he ran well, linked play neatly, did plenty of good runs down the right and capped a fine performance with a goal – and it was his – and one or two others in the squad – first league victory in nearly 2 years of week in week out hockey.

IES: League Fixtures 10 & 11 October 2020

Team Date Opponent Venue Time
Mens 1st 10/10/20 Wapping 3 ISSC P2 14:30
Mens 2nd 10/10/20 Newmkt 1 Nmkt Leis Centre 15:00
Mens 3rd 10/10/20 UEA 2 ISSC P3 11:30
Mens 4th 10/10/20 Dereham 3 Dereham HC 13:30
Mens 5th 10/10/20 Ipswich 4 ISSC P3 13:30
Ladies 1st 10/10/20 Ipswich 1 ISSC P2 12:30
Ladies 2nd 10/10/20 Colchester 2 Garrison 12:30
Ladies 3rd 10/10/20 IES 4 ISSC 12:00
Ladies 4th 10/10/20 IES 3 ISSC P1 12:00
Mens 1st 11/10/20 Waltham Forest 1 ISSC P2 12:30

IES 4th XI 0 – Sudbury 2nd XI 5

After an 8th place finished for IES 4th XI in the 2019/20 season in Division 4NE of the Eastern Region Hockey Association League, the world responded to Covid-19 and in the UK organised sport was permitted to commence in time for England Hockey to sanction a move to Stage 5 of their Covid plan in time for the league season to start on the 26th September.

The world was a different place and the IES squad was much changed too – although the changes didn’t directly relate to Covid-19.

Spurling was promoted to the third XI – as was Sebborn – and if our regular readers would stop laughing at this point we will progress.

Anyway, on the first Saturday of winter the newly formed IES 4th XI squad took the field against Sudbury 2nd XI (one of only 5 other teams thatt retained their place in Division 4NE). Some stalwarts remained – Capitan Williams, Murray, Page , Scarff and Whiting alongside the Maestro Elsom from the start of the 2019/20 season plus Black, Meades, Simpson and Vince who were post Xmas regulars. New faces included Austin, Ramsey, Thornton and a 2nd Williams. For some new faces this was a step up – for Thornton it was a clock re-wind.

Despite having a 14 man squad – and a delightful socially distanced warm up IES – noticed that Sudbury had even more players. And the match started. IES were soon 3-0 down – a well struck short corner and bouncing ball shot and a deflected effort making the match an uphill battle for the home team. But IES got stuck in. Meades made an awful tackle and escaped censure as the play moved on prior to the umpire finding a card. Elsom appeared on the pitch – did anyone notice – his daughter was playing away and so there was no ‘go dad’ call to alert his team mates. Ramsey sparkled and had IESs sole first half shot.

At half time it was learnt that the Maestro’s passionate orations don’t stir to the same degree when people are stood 7 ft apart (that is 2m plus to our metric readers). The 2nd half started and IES actually got back into the game. Williams managed an aerial – Whiting twiddled – Page intercepted – Ramsey ran some more (if only the rest of the team could). Short corners were won (2 of them). The first WIlliams crashed into Scarff’s foot. Scarff complained that Williams put the pass in the wrong place. The 2nd one Williams put exactly where Scarff had demanded it – and yes – you guessed it – he (Scarff that is) missed it completely.

Williams was then done for pace skill and everything else you can think of and stumbled innocently into the opposing player and picked up a dodgy green card – and this isn’t a moan about the umpiring – cos most thought it deserved a yellow. As it happens the team defended better without him. And then the Sudbury 4th. O dear …….. our more committed followers may recall Dereham away in 2018 when Murray scored an own goal he spent the rest of the season talking about. It won ‘own goal’ of the year in the 2019/20 seasonal awards. This year he repeated the trick in game 1 – although if your reporter is honest it wasn’t as great a finish as the Dereham one. And then Black and Murray got a bit tangled on the line to concede a 5th – to Sudbury’s nimble centre forward – in the last two minutes.

So 0-5 it finished and the better team clearly were victorious. Results elsewhere make interesting reading and the ever positive Whiting has already christened next week’s home game against Thetford as a relegation 6 pointer. When you’ve got friends like him ……. etc etc.

Turning to man of the match, this is an award the Capitan is normally asked by your reporter to dish out on a weekly basis. But he is a bit concerned about nepotism (that’s got half the squad scrabbling for their dictionaries) so he asked the Maestro to make the decision. The maestro chose Williams jnr – whereas, the Capitan thought Page and Ramsey were the leading contenders.

Next week, Thetford at home – and as crowds aren’t allowed – our readers dont really need to know it is a 4pm start. It isn’t yet known whether bandana wearing Rees will be part of the Thetford squad which may influence selectorial decisions around Blake’s availability for IES.

IES Club Bulletin – Return to Hockey – 10 August 2020

We hope that you are all looking forward to returning to hockey as much as the IES Committee is!

It was announced by England Hockey on Friday that hockey training and local matches can now start, which is, of course, very exciting news. The club is required to put several safeguards in place and everyone who wants to be involved will have to register. This bulletin explains everything that you need to do for this new season.

1 – Sign up to play

If you want to get back to playing / umpiring or coaching, you must complete the England Hockey Participation Agreement.  If you don’t complete the agreement you cannot participate. You must sign up at least 24 hours before you want to take part – so please do this as soon as possible.

You will find the online form here:  England Hockey Participation Agreement

All participants must read and follow the ‘advice to participants’ available below and on the England Hockey website here  

2 – Club Covid-19 Officer

The club appointed officer is James Gray, and he is responsible along with the club committee for ensuring the club follows all the guidelines set by EH and government.

3 – Updating your contact details on the IES Club database

To help with the track and trace we must ask all members – both Junior and Senior – to update their information on our membership database for the 2020/21 season.

You can log in to access your information here:

When you are logged in, you will then be able to view the information we hold for you/ your children. Click on the arrow for the drop down menu to select the 2020-21 season – this will provide you with pre-filled information which you can update as necessary and then save.

There are detailed instructions about how to do this on the below pdf.

Usually at this time of year, we also ask for the payment of membership fees, but we won’t be doing that yet. If for any reason you or your children will not be coming back to IES this season, please do let us know by email and we can remove you from our database. We hope this won’t be the case though!

Please note – if you haven’t previously been a member at IES, please email Moira Bryan ( to get a link to the registration form.

4 – Ipswich School Sports Centre

The sports centre is currently closed, but the centre will start a 3-stage reopening from Monday 24th August. Once the centre reopens, access will strictly be limited to the pitches and the toilets. Clear signage will be in place and social distancing rules will apply other than whilst on the pitch.

5 – Training

Club training will start on Tuesday 25th August (Men) and Wednesday 26th August (Women).  In addition, we are holding a training test event on Wednesday 19th August to test our Covid-19 processes. We are inviting a group of 1st team squad men and women to this session only.

We have some Junior training on the week beginning 17 August, and an email has already been sent to our Junior members about this.

The club will be keeping records of those attending all sessions and retaining this information for 21 days after the date of each session in line with England Hockey Covid-19 guidelines.

6 – Dates for your diary

  • Wednesday 19 August, 7pm to 9pm. Test training session men’s 1s & women’s 1s only.
  • Tuesday 25 August, 7.30pm to 9.30pm – Men’s training.
  • Wednesday 26 August, 7pm to 9pm – Women’s training.
  • Saturday 5 September – Club Day: Intra club matches. 1pm W3 v W4 & M1 v M2&3 2.30pm W1 v W2 & M4 v M5 Please contact your captain to confirm your availability. (Updated list of team captains at the end of this bulletin).
  • Sunday 6 September – Junior programme to restart – an email will be sent to Junior members about this with details of new training times.
  • Saturday 12 September – friendly matches, details to be confirmed.
  • Saturday 19 September – scheduled start of leagues (all details on the East website).

7. PDF documents

instructions to update registration information


IES End of Season Awards Video

For those of you who missed it or want to relive the virtual End of Season Awards again you can find the video on our YouTube channel following this link:

Thank you to everyone who took part and for all who joined us for the live screening!