Please note that the IESHC AGM is still going ahead on Thursday 4th June as previously advertised. Due to current circumstances we will be holding the meeting online and therefore will have to make some slight changes to the usual format of the AGM. Registered club members have been emailed an information pack which contains all the relevant information and reports. We are also asking members to submit questions/queries ahead of the AGM taking place so we can ensure these are answered fully on the evening. Details of how to submit questions are in the information pack.

IES Hockey Club Bulletin – Number 5: March 2020

It has certainly not been the end to the season we were expecting but we can confirm that the season has ended with the East League deciding that they will not reschedule the last round of games due this Saturday. Final position will be decided by percentages. See details here

The final tables are still to be finalised but we can say that the club has had a really positive season. The Women’s 1s take star billing and will be heading to the East Premier League for the first time ever. Congratulations to Sam, Angela , Lol and all the squad! The Men’s 2s and 3s both narrowly missed out on promotion, the Men’s 4s, Women’s 2s and Women’s 4s finished their season comfortably in mid table. The men’s 1s were unfortunately relegated from Premier league after a really tough season, but finished the season with a great win over City of Peterborough. Cruelly it appears the women’s 3s have been denied the chance to win their last game and possibly stay up, whilst the Men’s 5s were relegated, but won many admirers for their positive approach and “never say die” attitude.

It won’t come as a big surprise but we are afraid that we have had to postpone the Annual Dinner on Saturday 2nd May, the current health crisis making it impossible to go ahead. We are currently exploring options to reschedule for Saturday 5th September, but this will be elsewhere as the Town Hall is not available. Anyone who has paid for the May event will be contacted by Chris Hatch our treasurer who will arrange a full refund or agree that payments made are carried forward to the rearranged event or towards membership fees for 2020/21 season.

The club committee will be meeting via Skype on Thursday 2nd April to discuss the Dinner and Annual Awards, plans for next season and Club Day, the feasibility of holding the AGM and the annual Charity Day.

We await details of the summer league but we anticipate that it will delayed or more likely cancelled. We will update members asap.

Many of you will have seen that we have been filming club activity at a recent training session and at home matches last Saturday. To explain, we are producing a video to showcase our club. However the current situation prevents us from filming some junior activity and conversations with some of younger members on Sunday.  We will endeavour to complete filming and showcase the results with members as soon as we can. The video is part of a wider initiative to develop a club strategy and development plan, a process being lead by a group of your colleagues. The group will share the draft strategy and ask all members and families for their input via a members survey in the near future.

Our junior section have had a great season, with over 100 children and young people at training every week. Our U18 boys reached the national indoor finals, our U14 girls and U10 boys were both through to regional finals, along with our U10 girls, who were also crowned county champions on 15 March, just before all games were stopped. All our teams played a full part in Suffolk Youth League tournaments, and the U8s enjoyed a great Christmas themed mini tournament at Ipswich7 in December. Thanks to all our coaches, parent helpers, team managers and young leaders for everything they have done this season. We know how much our IES Juniors love hockey, and we love seeing them every week, so we hope to be back on the AstroTurf at Rushmere as soon as we can!

A huge thank you to all of you who have done so much across the season to make our club the success that it is. We are a club for everyone, a place to play the game we love and share time with our friends. We will be back together soon, but in the meantime please take care all and stay well.

IES Hockey Club

England Hockey/East League suspends national hockey activity

Hi all,

Please note that both England Hockey and the East League have suspended ALL hockey activity from today onwards until at LEAST the 15th April. This includes both senior and junior hockey.
For further information, please see the following announcement from England Hockey:
And also the following announcement from the East League:
As a result there will be no midweek or Sunday training sessions and no games played.
Best regards


IES 4th XI 1 – Harleston Magpies 4th XI 7

Week 21 of Division 4 NE of the East League and a match against top of the table Harleston. IESs sponsors, Ellisons Solicitors, were out in force to watch the 4th XI – including taking in the performance of one of the countries great legal minds (from a rival law firm). Harleston had secured promotion in advance of the game with Sudbury beating Bury St Edmunds in an earlies game – so they could afford to lose the match!

Inevitably the IES line up changed again. Page had recovered from his bad foot. Reid and Farrow were drafted in from higher up (alternatively known as being unavailable for an away game). Barber came in for his 2nd game of the season and people dropped out for a variety of reasons – Spurling, Russell, Arthur and Williams jnr for away games and Black to run around London on some board game challenge that didn’t involve alcohol (why one wonders!). Anyhow the starting line up was Barber, Kiel, Murray, Page, Farrow, Vince, Trenter, Williams, Whiting, Reid and the Maetsro. Meades started on the bench. Capitan Williams decided to try another line up experiment and tried 5-3-2 and again took the somewhat deluded view that he might be up to playing in midfield.

The first half saw a battling committed IES team hold out fairly comfortably against Magpies – despite Magpies dominating possession. Capitan Williams enjoyed his personal battle against McTiffin and Bensly (M) in midfield although as the half wore on Magpies greater numbers (2 more) started to tell – although some might allege their greater quality was a factor too. Two slightly soft goals meant it was 0-2 at half time. By this time Meades was on and Kiel played a 5 minute cameo at centre-forward showing Ried and Elsom that movement does help. Lascelles and Bensley (J) scored the goals.

Some tactical half time tweaks by Capitan Williams returned Kiel to defence, Vince to midfield and saw Farrow take responsibility for danger man Bensly (M) – a relative of Bensly (J) one assumes. The 2nd half wasn’t so successful – IES kept going manfully. But so did Magpies. Farrow’s 70 yard aerials kept arcing through the sky – and from to time IESs nimble strikers got to the ball. Sadly though amidst the aerials, Bensly (M) scored 4 and Livings another. But the highlight, following a scramble or three, IES won a few short corners and a penalty stroke. The latter led to a stand-off at the ‘not so ok – coral’ between Elsom and Reid. Who was going to take it? There was only one winner and as Reid slunk out the D, Elsom stuffed it down the centre at a loopy waist height and the keeper moved out the way (in sympathy maybe).

Not a lot happened thereafter – Reid took himself off – due to the need to get to a birthday party allegedly and not – as rumoured – in a huff as a consequence of penalty gate. 7-1 it finished – and arguably the score line flattered Magpies but they were certainly the deserved comfortable winners. As the table unfolded – East Coast’s promotion was also confirmed – to the delight of Whiting (he doesn’t like sand) – and Ipswich eased out of the relegation zone in their final game meaning Norwich City need a result at Sudbury next week to avoid the drop. IES remain in 8th and a win away at Thetford against bandana wearing Reece and co will result in a 7th place finish if UEA can beat Dereham away.

Turning to the final element of the report. Your reporter interviewed the Ellisons’ representative at length before the game – who had turned up specifically to watch the Maestro having heard so much about his game over their long acquaintance. Sadly – and astonishingly – he’d left before the end (with Reid maybe?) so an assessment of Elsom’s performance will have to wait till another time. Player of the match, Page again did well, his feet acting as magnets to the ball in the second half, Whiting wasn’t bad (compliment 4 of the season), Capitan Williams ran further than he has done for years but the award goes to Meades. In a really tough game, he played 75% of the game at right back, showed maturity, no little skill, got physically stuck in and demonstrated the faith that the team has placed in him this season was more than justified.

Next week the winners of the first 4th XI awards of the season will start to be doled out. Meades and Black are competing for “most improved player”. There is half a chance that Elsom will win “top scorer” and a 99.99% chance that Simpson will win “WhatsApp message” of the season – although the runners up spot in this category is open to new entrants. Other less obvious awards (“lamp stand impersonation” of the season maybe) are to follow at the team end of season event on the 4th April.  Murray remains in leading spot for “own-goal” of the season. Trenter, Vince, Harris and the Maestro are vying for “goal” of the season – but your reporter has hopes that that award will be won next week – Scarff is rumoured to be returning after all. “Strop” of the season still has Whiting at East Coast in the lead. “Match report” of the season – well that could well be Dereham away. Blue socks anyone? There’s still a missing pair …… which means that Meades might yet avoid  the “thief” of the season award.

Sudbury 2nd XI 6 – IES 4th XI 1

IES 4th XI had soared to 7th place in Division 4NE of the East League for the first time since part way through the autumn following the – Elsom inspired – thrashing of 10 man Dereham. Sudbury away didn’t bode too well as it marked the return of the blue socks and the return match of IESs worst home performance of the season. Numerous changes were made – in fact Paul Lambert would have been proud. Sebborn missed his first match of the season – and surprisingly he was missed. Page came up with some podiatry ailment but thankfully didn’t share photographic evidence. Jones was inevitably missing and Reed too. In came the returning Arthur and Meades – the latter reminiscing about his affection for the blue socks. Williams jnr stepped up to make his 4th XI debut.

The first half was a bit of a blur. It was marked by Elsom dropping deeper and deeper and surpassing Sebborn for aerial acumen as he dispatched one over his left shoulder and off the pitch. Murray went back to kicking it and Capitan Williams was simply useless. Not a lot else happened other than Sudbury scored 5.

Now for our massed readership what followed was maybe predictable. Maetstro Elsom ranted … your reporter recalls ‘disgusting’ being the most used word and the Capitan took a more positive tone – extolling the fact that it couldn’t get any worse and that avoiding a thrashing was now the aim. And remarkably the second half was much better. IES packed the midfield – Spurling took on the dynamo role (not that challenging really when your midfield comrades are mainly Whiting, Elsom and Trenter). Arthur, Vince and Russell provided energy up front and if Kiel and Williams jnr had got a bit more support from Murray and Williams snr then Black may not have been called on so often. But Black shone in the second half conceding just the one. At one point Spurling twiddled and took on a Reed like appearance (with a bit of pace – to be fair) and beat 7 before tapping a fine individual goal passed the astonished keeper.

What happened thereafter is mainly down to the Maestro. On the voyage to Sudbury he had regaled Williams jnr with stories of the first match he’d himself played with Elsom jnr when the older jnr had received a yellow card much to Elsom snr chagrin. So Williams jnr took this on the chin – and stopped a ball rather too obviously and deliberately with his foot and he saw yellow. Sebborn is pleased he is now not the only 4th XI recipient this season. And of course the blue sock debacle goes on. Someone has stolen a pair and Williams snr is now awaiting the DNA test results on the 11 pairs he has – in an effort to discover the culprit.

And back to the point, IES dropped back to their normal 8th place following Dereham’s home point against Bury. Next week a tricky home tie against Magpies. Your reporter is hoping that Whiting excels like the last Magpies match (that may be the third compliment of the great man and its taken 20 match reports to get to it). Of course the greater aim is to gain a point or two (the latter being a particularly daft aspiration with three points given for a win and one for a draw). Player of the match – well Black was good in the second half, no one was great in the first half – in fact no one reached mediocre in the first half. But the award  simply has to be granted to Spurling – who stepped up and produced his best 4th XI performance yet (maybe bottom of the diamond is his position).

Week 19 Review – IES 4th XI 7 – Dereham 3rd XI 2

IES 4th XI had clung to 8th place in Division 4NE of the East League for some time as they gathered on this blustery wet Saturday for the return match against Dereham. Dereham away was a seasonal highlight. Trenter had scored a goal of the season contender. Murray had scored Dereham’s goal of the season. There was Sneddon’s ‘pass’. And above all there was the tale of the blue socked dinosaur, Meades’ pilfering and Williams’ knee lump. O and the match had ended 4-1 to Dereham and was game 5 of the acclaimed 7 match losing run.

The squad changed again – your reporter has that phrase saved for the match report every week. Jones was playing his first consecutive match since the decade before last. Whiting appeared in the hat but joyously to play rather than manage this time. Reed wandered back in, Oliver came in in goal for his 4th XI debut and most surprisingly of all Trenter professed mid week that his knees might be up to it (maybe he recalled his away goal). Those 5 joined the normal ‘recent’ bunch of Murray, Page, Williams, Sebborn, Kiel, Vince, Russell, Spurling and the Maestro.

The pre-match warm up took place in a darkened hall – it being too cold and wet outside. The match started with Dereham confessing to only having 10. That didn’t bode well. The last time IES lined up on the far home pitch against ten men they duly lost 4-0 to Watton. Look what happened to them!

Back to the match. The first ten minutes didn’t inspire from an IES perspective. Dereham’s crash ball style worked effectively aided by the fact they had two pacey and physical forwards who ran ran  and ran. Williams and Page aren’t so hot at the running. The latter is dragged into that sentence so as not to pick on the Capitan too much. ‘Be kind’ is the much used catchphrase of late – one that Elsom lives by. Dereham took the lead via a powerful – although fairly straight – short corner. Then IES woke up following three substitutions.

Your reporter is sure it is a coincidence that improvement took place at this point – but with Sebborn and Whiting watching IES stepped up and Trenter – yes Trenter – played a delightful square ball to Jones who swept in his first goal since 2008. Reed then twiddled a bit and knocked one in from close range.

Then our next goal of the season contender. This one was caught on video although the camerawoman seem transfixed by one participant so we have no idea what actually happened. Vince ran from his 23 collected the ball just outside the other D and drove in and smashed a shot in at the keepers near post for his first ever 4th XI goal.

What else happened in the first half you might ask. Well Trenter fell over, Elsom missed a bouncing attacking aerial in the left corner, Trenter fell over and Elsom missed a bouncing attacking aerial in the left corner. Then of course the Maestro scored – not missing a bouncing ball in the D – he smote it powerfully into the net to make it 4-1 at half time.

Over-whelmed with emotion – i.e. not being used to being 3 up at half time – Capitan Williams led the positive half-time chit chat. Elsom observed that the ball still needed to be in the D for him to be able to hit it. Williams changed the line-up taking off both central defenders and playing Sebborn in defence and handed over to Reed to add something insightful – Reed then helpfully pointed out that the 2nd half was about to start and maybe the IES team should get ready.

Were there highlights in the second half? Well, Elsom scored a short corner, Reed twiddled again and scored a reverse stick paddle. The front three kept forgetting whose go it was to go off. So Williams came on at centre forward. And the comedy moment of the year, Whiting received the ball on the half way line with a two on two position with Elsom. Elsom made his normal 5 yard run. Whiting ignored him and pushed the ball 15 yards passed the first man and set off in pursuit. Time stopped. Elsom stood with hand on hips watching. The Dereham player back tracked pushing his zimmer, collected the ball and for reasons only Whiting can fathom – passed it to Whiting, who stopped it, controlled it and decided to off-load it aimlessly before anything else happened. By this time Elsom had finished his strop and walked to his normal position at the top of the D to find the ball arriving and 7-1 it became and Elsom duly completed his 3rd hat-trick of the season. Your reporter knows if he has got this stat wrong then Elsom will shortly notify him of the fact. Whiting normally gets in contact via his legal team led by the hirsute Andrew.

Then Williams lost the ball, blocked his opponent from speeding away and took a rest on the side with a green card. Dereham then scored the 9th and final goal of the game.

But 7-2 it ended and no such score-line had here-to-for –  been dreamt possible by the IES team – other than in defeat by Sudbury in November. Next week – yes – Sudbury away.  Probability of Jones playing his 3rd match in a row —- 1,000,000,0000,000 to 1. IES rise to 7th and are now statistically safe from the bottom 2. 8th place is now looking the most likely finish. Anything higher will require an away win or two – with next week’s game at Great Cornard being an ideal opportunity to notch the second away win of the season.

Finally, man of the match. Despite not yet being mentioned in any of the above – this was probably Kiel’s finest match of the season and quite possibly Murray’s. Vince was a contender for his goal and The Maestro for his hat-trick. On balance, though, the award – for his reverse-dextrality when playing numerous positions well – and for keeping a clean sheet whilst playing alongside Sebborn in central defence (only for 15 minutes admittedly) goes to Murray.

Ipswich 3rd XI 3 – IES 4th XI 0

Starting in 8th place in Division 4NE meant IES knew avoiding defeat would guarantee a finish out of the relegation zone. But most of the pre-match conundrum was based around being sure the team had 11 players and wondering whether Storm Dennis would result in a postponement. Capitan Williams even went to watch the IES 2nd XI play Ipswich 2nd XI on the same pitch earlier in the day to check both the surface and potential player doubling up of our local rivals. It was interesting to note that Wrinch and Cook didn’t play for the Ipswich 2nd XI – which didn’t bode well for later …

Williams struggled all week with unavailability. Whiting prioritised golf, Scarff his injured leg, Spurling the ski-slopes, Kiel went awol and Page messed up his flight time to China (or wherever). So despite it being match 18, IES 5th XI had 5 debutants. Jones returned from a length injury and played his first away game for decades. Wijesinghe, Ramsey, Russell and Arthur completed the handful. They joined stalwarts Black, Elsom, Williams, Sneddon, Sebborn, Meades, Murray and Vince.

And there at the other end were Cook and Wrinch, joining Langton, Cutting, Askins, Hampton, Nunn et al in a very experienced Ipswich team.

IES started brightly and the maestro Elsom is still having nightmares about his miss at 0-0. Then Ipswich scored and then Sebborn looked around in dis-belief when the Capitan suggested he run 1 at short corners against the peerless Cook. Needless to say he’d just got to the penalty spot at about the time the ball hit the back-board. 2-0 it was at half time. By now Whiting had turned up from the golf course – wearing a hat of the style never before seen on a hockey pitch. He spent most of the first half trying to sub off Chris – despite the fact we had no one of that name. Management turning up before the start time to learn people’s names is a must in the job description.

Anyway IES performed better as a team in the 2nd half and passed the ball better. Jones showed why he was much missed and Murray brought down an aerial (something your reported was never expecting to honestly type). Cook scored another short corner but more surprisingly didn’t score from two others. But an even ish second half meant it finished 3-0. Ipswich moved nearer safety and IES stayed 8th with a gap week ahead. Critical next game against Dereham at home must be won if IES have any hope of finishing 6th or 7th.

Player of the match – let’s keep it simple. Jones was a contender but rules himself out on the grounds he wont be seen to be able to collect the award till about 2024. So it goes to Sebborn. How you can be so bad (last week) and then go to so good (this week) is beyond comprehension – but Sebborn managed it. Other than the short-corners,  he had Cook in his pocket throughout the game – and he’s never been able to even dream that before.

Oh and a use was found for that hat … a very useful shape as the bowl to collect match fees in … maybe it will be donated to the team for posterity.

IES 4th XI 4 – East Coast 1st XI 3

IES 4th XI might have been forgiven for viewing the match against East Coast with a bit of trepidation following three straight defeats and having regard to East Coast’s high flying position in Division 4NE. However news filtered through that the East Coast squad was detrimentally impacted by a stag do and the IES squad benefited from injuries to Capitan Williams, snaffle Scarff and Vince. But, helped by the fact that the top 4 IES teams were all at home, wider availability in the club was strong so the 4XI squad retained Lees and picked up Harris.

The pre-match warm up and team talk were delivered in Churchillian mode by maestro Elsom – stepping up to Capitan for the day. Churchill mind you didn’t have to cope with Sneddon mislaying his gum guard shortly before battle commenced. The subs duly became Sneddon and Whiting – Spurling partnered the Capitan up front.

The first half largely followed the league pattern. The game was pretty even but the dominant two players were East Coast’s aerialling defender Croft – who seemed to – understandably to pick out Murray as his target – and captain and midfield anchor Ayers. Now Murray has admitted to be sensitive to match report criticism of his footballing skills to the point where he has cut kicking out of his game since Christmas. On Saturday his stick developed a hole in it to any and every aerial ball. And didn’t Croft take advantage … not that Murray was helped out much by Page and Farrow.

At half time Coast had taken their chances (despite Black making a number of decent saves) and were 3-1 ahead – with 2 goals from Randlesome and one from Ayers. Elsom naturally scored IESs. Your reporter didn’t witness the half-time team talk but wasn’t surprised that Sebborn started the second half on the bench. Sneddon decided his teeth weren’t in danger and replaced Kiel at right back. Now whilst the great scot had forgotten his gum shield he had this week remembered his lenses and air-shot itis of the home game against UEA wasn’t repeated. Elsom soon nicked in a second and the match got fairly tense. Blood flowed and Jones spent an age helpfully patching up an East Coast player on the side. IES didn’t take advantage of the numerical benefit this produced. But then Reed wobbled, Elsom and Whiting nearly connected and Lees clincically finished from a narrow angle with about 20 minutes to go to make it 3-3.

The second half became a bit of a one-way affair. The East Coast keeper excelled. Farrow stepped higher and higher from the back in the full knowledge that Page would cover for him and then he took the ball at the top of the D – dithered, wandered, decided not to pick out Elsom and there was Harris to knock in the 4th from a few feet.

Some inconsistent ‘we’re too deep’ – ‘we’re too high’ calling followed from the masses. But there were few hearts in mouth moments in the last minutes and the match ended 4-3. This was only the 2nd close game that IES had got any points from all season …. Capitan Elsom has now set his sites on promotion … an interesting challenge bearing in mind IES are 24 points off the promotion places with 5 games to go …. Maybe Williams will be back next week to set more realistic expectations of 6th place.

Normally when IES lose they move higher up the league table. This week they won and stayed 8th. How that makes sense only the retired Whiting has the time or energy to work out. Next week Ipswich away – victory would probably consign Ipswich to relegation and ensure Division 4NE survival for IES.

Quotes from his team mates after the match about Capitan Elsom .. “Elsom led us to a glorious 4-3 win” “Elsom’s end of game team talk was a classic”  and your reporters personal favourite from the man collecting the match fees ..”whose Elsom?”.

Finally, player of the match, well this week Murray and Sebborn probably weren’t contenders. Harris wasn’t bad. Reed wobbled well. Farrow lost the aerialling battle. So the award almost goes to industrious, diligent and resolute Page – who showed all his experience and played as if he knew that Farrow would float and Page would need to do most of the work and all of the running at the back – which he duly did …. But let’s be honest – despite missing a few more sitters than he normally does – there could only be one winner. Yes, it’s the maestro, Capitan Elsom, with the first brace since Trenter on match day 1 and with linguistical nuances and impassioned calling that almost exceeded the precision of the interjections from his spectating mother.