IES Club Bulletin – 24 December 2020

As you will have anticipated, the move to Tier 4 on Boxing Day means that all adult hockey has to stop for the time being. Sadly this includes the planned intra club games on Saturday 2nd January, which will now NOT go ahead.

Whilst there is an exemption for junior hockey, the club has decided to suspend junior hockey as well for the time being, so we will NOT return on 3 Jan as previously advised.

We will monitor the situation carefully and we will update all our members as soon as possible.

We hope you have a great Christmas at home and we look forward to seeing you as soon as we are able.

IES 4th XI 1 – Bury St Edmunds 3rd XI 2

IES took the field for the first time in more than a month in Division 4NE of the Mr Cricket Hockey East Region Hockey League. Last time out – back in autumnal October IES were thrashed at home by Norwich City 4th XI. So would a wintry December afternoon against unbeaten Bury result in a change in fortunes or even a better performance. The pre game anticipation was muted following some awful overnight and morning downpours but the pitch was beautiful and the Gallagher led warm up intense. The start was delayed as an errant umpire who was somewhat prompt (aka late).

Capitan Williams unbelievably kept faith with the 13 outfield players from the Norwich City horror show and Black returned in goal. IES started badly – what is new – although this time Murray stopped the ball on the line with his chin and didn’t score an own-goal. But Whitting slotted home the penalty stroke and IES were behind. Then something strange happened. IES played better. Meades led by example from right midfield and the experiences defensive duo of Murray and Page got things more organised at the back. Elsom – having started his first game of the season – exhorted his team mates to get the ball in the D (some witterings preceded it about it being impossible to score if the ball isn’t in the D). As ever his team mates listened and the ball was fired into the Bury D from various locations.

Short corners came and went – to both sides – then Elsom smashed one and the Bury keeper saved and Gallagher picked up the rebound and shuffled it into the corner to equalise. Both teams rang the changes – Vince came on for Thornton – Whiting for Scarff and Austin for Ramsey and the first half developed into a fairly even end to end affair. 1-1 at half time and IES reflected on their best 35 minutes for some months. The second half though was a slightly different story. IES struggled to retain the ball and Bury stepped up higher and took the lead when an attacker was given too much space to turn and flick the ball high into the net.

IES created few second half chances – and mainly via long crash balls to Elsom and one such chance was scrambled off the Bury line. Capitan Williams took himself and Murray off to give some youth via Williams jnr and Gallagher more pitch time but Bury used their unbeaten record experience to play out time without too much difficulty.

So another defeat – although this one at least involved a better performance. Next week a friendly club match as the Norwich City 3rd XI away game will have to wait till 2021. IES remain in 10th place in the league – hovering just about the relegation zone. As to man of the match for IES – there were contenders to be fair. Murray might have nicked it but for one horrendous second half stick tackle. Vince played his best game of the season. Black made a stand out save in the 2ndhalf. But the award goes to Meades – for excelling in the first half before being illogically rotated off by Capitan Williams.

Return to Hockey – 2 December 2020

Good news! We are able to return to playing hockey at ISSC Rushmere from Wednesday 2 December.  Here are the basic details as we have them at the moment.

Senior training for men and women

Adult training sessions will run on Wednesday 2 December:


8.15-9.30pm: ALL MEN’S TEAMS

Senior training will revert to the normal days/times the following week

Senior league

The East league have confirmed their plan for a resumption of matches on the 5th December. The leagues plan includes matches for all our teams on the 5th, 12th and 19th December. The plan is dependent on both clubs / teams being willing & able to play and venues being available. If not already done so please contact your team captain to confirm your availability for these dates.

Junior training

This will restart on Sunday 6 December, with the U8s/U10s/U12s training from 9-10.30am, and the U14s/U16s training from 10.30-12noon. We will email nearer the time with final confirmation for the U14/U16 girls regarding training and the England Hockey matches which are due to take place on 6 December.

Please do remember the Covid-19 procedures regarding masks, hand sanitisation and social distancing when we return.

We are looking forward to seeing you all soon!

IES Hockey Club

New IES Club Jacket – Storm Dry 2000

At last!

An affordable storm jacket, with foldaway hood.

With the IES crest added to the left breast and a back print, this jacket is both stylish and perfect for those wet and windy days.

Available in either black or red (sizes from S to 3XL) and only £19.99 + VAT inc left breast embroidery (additional artwork at an extra cost).

Please get in touch if interested.

Club jacket available in black or red

IES 4th XI 1 – Norwich City 4th XI 10 (26 October 2020)

Yes, sadly, that was the score and it isn’t a typographical error.

But back to the beginning of this sad saga …

IES arrived to their Ipswich School Sports Centre fortress confident that they could see off Norwich City 4th XI who were only one place ahead in Division 4NE of the East Region Hockey Association League. The defence was strengthened with the return of Page, Gallagher came back in too to add midfield spice.

Elsom started on the bench as usual along with Vince and Page. And the match started and, one team began playing hockey. To be fair the first five minutes were fairly even. Whiting gave the ball away and Williams senior managed a tackle. One of those two things didn’t happen again in the match. 

As a bit of an aside – and asides may distract from the playing performance – IESs most avid away match fan has spotted a key Whiting characteristic …. when he loses the ball, he tends to stand with hands on hips staring intently at the nearest umpire. In this game the gaze fell on both umpires a-plenty.

Anyway, thereafter a youthful midfielder dribbled the ball too easily around Williams and IES went behind. Then half time arrived and IES found themselves 6-0 down. Capitan Williams chuntered, Elsom brooded and the team took the field full of confidence – confidence that the match couldn’t get any worse. For some, there was a moment of nostalgia as Whiting wandered onto the pitch at half time with a brolly – the same one as he sported at Newmarket away 5 years or so ago when Murray did a pass of millimetric precision to lead to a goal. In the first half of the Norwich City match – Murray did another first – a back header of an own goal – yes – it is true – your reporter can’t recall mind you whether it was goal 2 … or goal 3 … or goal 4 … or goal 5 .. or goal 6.

The second half – well yes – IES were better. But Elsom’s Theory of Relativity held sway. Gallager scored a great goal – the best of the 11 although sadly points aren’t awarded for such things. But again, IES conceded a few – well 4 and your reporter in a moment of candid honesty would admit that there is no doubt the better team won and the better team deserved to win by a lot. Of particular note was the fact that Norwich’s dominance was predominantly down to the incisive play of three or four of their younger players – who were simply outstanding. 

IES were perhaps unlucky that lockdown came a week after this match – although perhaps lucky that it has started as the next match had been due to be against Norwich City 3rd XI. And if Norwich City 3rd XI had 11 better players than played for Norwich City 4th XI then their club is in fine fettle.

Finally, man of the match for IES. There weren’t many contenders so the winner was Gallagher for his goal (and he played okay (having regard to the Theory of Relativity)) until he hobbled off injured.

As hockey enters lockdown, IES 4th XI find themselves just above the relegation zone and the normal Elsom car bubble are gutted that they are missing out for a month on the education they receive on the long drives to Norwich. It is understood they have covered dinosaurs, plate tectonics, tarmac and methodism so far this season. 

The 4th XI will have lost a collective 3 stone by the time the league restarts…

IES Club Bulletin 02 November 2020

England Hockey have announced a suspension of all hockey from Thursday 5 November to Friday 4 December following the government’s lockdown announcement on Saturday.  Sadly, therefore, this means that there will be no hockey for either the Juniors or Seniors after adult training this week, which will go ahead tomorrow and Wednesday.

The club will carefully monitor the situation to ensure that we are prepared for a return to action.

For the senior section, this could see league matches being played on the 5th, 12th and even the 19th December. Equally with access to facilities likely to be an issue for some clubs and no certainty that the lockdown will end on 4 Decemberwe may encounter a longer delay.

For the junior section, if the lockdown is lifted, we may be able to return to training on Sunday 6 December, but we will need to wait and see as to whether the scheduled EH matches for the U14 and U16 girls will go ahead on that day, or whether they will be delayed.

As always, we will keep you in touch with developments as we know them.

Stay safe

IES Hockey Club

IES: League Fixtures 31/10/20:

Team Date Opponent Venue Time
Mens 1st 31/10/20 St Albans 2 Oakland Coll 13:00
Mens 2nd 31/10/20 Pelicans 2 ISSC P2 14:30
Mens 3rd 31/10/20 Harleston 3 HMHC sand 12:00
Mens 4th 31/10/20 Norwich City 4 ISSC P2 12:30
Mens 5th 31/10/20 Bury 5 Culford 10:00
Ladies 1st 31/10/20 St Albans 2 Oakland Coll 12:15
Ladies 2nd 31/10/20 <No game>    
Ladies 3rd 31/10/20 Christchur 3 ISSC P1 10:30
Ladies 4th 31/10/20 Ipswich 4 Tudd’m Rd 16:00

Norwich Exiles 1st 3 – IES 4th XI 2

This week in Division 4NE, IES experienced their first away trip of the season to Taverham – the first of three this season. Let’s hope it doesn’t become the standard trip. Page and Gallagher dropped out following last week’s near miss against UEA and Austin came back in from the 3s. So that probably marked little change in overall squad rotation with 10 from last week making the joyous journey up the A140.

Long Stratton is now an extra well-known little town as Norfolk County Council roadworks meant it took over 20 minutes to travel a mile at that point. Thankfully the start was delayed due to the previous game over running.

Elsom continued with his place on the bench and the other 11 graced the field of play. In the first three minutes Ramsey ran clear and his deflected shot drifted 14 cm wide of the right upright. Williams snr managed a mazey 40 yard run down the right (he still thinks in imperial measurements unlike your reporter) and won a short corned that eventually led to another and then a penalty stroke as Whiting had a shot saved on the line by a body. Whiting duly despatched the penalty – at the second attempt – into the left centre of the goal.

The rest of the half was pretty even affair with Exiles big squad rotating and Elsom bringing himself on. IES got a tad frustrated at the back but with O’Brien looking solid they held out to half time. One other first half highlight being the first drop ball in hockey memory following a substitute transgressing onto the field of play and stopping the ball with his foot.

At half time this was a game to win and IES started the second half confidently hoping that Scarff, Vince and Williams jnr would keep up their good work of the first half and that Murray and Thornton could continue their excellent partnership. But sadly the momentum shifted and IES struggled defensively to cope with the extensive advantages played following fouls and Exiles equalized with a stunning penalty corner strike. 

Then as Austin and Elsom came short to receive passes, one went astray much to Elsom’s chagrin and as IES stood waiting for the whistle to their benefit, Exiles marched upfield and were awarded a penalty stroke following a tussle between Thornton and his opposite number. It was duly converted. This was the moment when the massed crowd expected IES to capitulate but the pendulum swung again and with Meades and Scarff dictating play IES got back on the front foot. From another penalty corner, WIlliams snr fed Scarff who drifted around and bobbled the ball into the corner wrong footing the player on the line.

Less than ten minutes to go and all to play for. Thornton somehow found the benefit of the umpires doubt and avoided conceding a penalty corner for a ‘tackle’ his team mates believed to be a foul but then with 4 to go Exiles quickly switched the ball to their right-hand side , found space and had the poise to beat O’Brien to edge back in front,

There was still time to equalise but IES didn’t so it ended 3-2 again on the road. Man of the match – well Vince had his best game of the season, Thornton slotted in well in the middle, Scarff played well and Ramsey continued to develop. But the award goes to O’Brien, who, despite not being mentioned much in the above, played with confidence, made a number of solid saves, was much stronger in his defensive organisation, and had no real chance with any of the goals.

Next week could well be in the must win category. The league is starting to divide into top and bottom half’s with IES in the bottom half (for now). But, therefore, winning home games against other bottom half teams will be the bed-rock of the season. And next week is one of those – Norwich City 4th XI – before tricky away game against high-flying Norwich City 3rd XI (at Taverham of all places). 

West side of Norwich teams certainly have an advantage in travelling terms in Div 3NE with three teams based at Taverham, one at UEA and one at Dereham – and Norwich Dragons isnt that far away too …… it’s a long-distance league for some … especially Colchester 2nd XI – although their 17-0 home win against struggling Thetford may sustain them for some weeks. Historical stat of great interest … Williams (snr) and Scarff once got promoted out of Div 3SE when playing at Ipswich as a consequence of a 17-0 win against a Havering team that forgot their goalkeepers gloves – Scarff scored 27 goals that season …. (circa 2002).

IES: League Fixtures 24/10/20:

Team Date Opponent Venue Time
Mens 1st 24/10/20 Spalding 1 ISSC P2 14:30
Mens 2nd 24/10/20 UEA 2 UEA 11:30
Mens 3rd 24/10/20 Norwich Dragons 2 ISSC P3 11:00
Mens 4th 24/10/20 Norwich Exiles 1 Taverham 13:45
Mens 5th 24/10/20 Colchester 3 ISSC P3 13:00
Ladies 1st 24/10/20 Old Loughts 1 ISSC P2 12:30
Ladies 2nd 24/10/20 Bury 3 Culford 12:00
Ladies 3rd 24/10/20 Bury 4 Culford 10:00
Ladies 4th 24/10/20 Framling’m 2 ISSC P1 10:30

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 …