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.

Update for the start of the senior hockey season

As we head into the first competitive weekend of our season for senior hockey, here is an update on the latest information about returning to play and some important reminders.

The good news is that, following on from the government’s statement earlier this week, as an organised team sport, hockey can continue to be played.

However in order to ensure this remains the case and that we can continue to play, we must all ensure we are following the Return To Play guidelines available on the England Hockey website. All our members should have completed the participation agreement and it is important that we ALL remember what we agreed to by signing the agreement.

A few key points to highlight.

  • Ensure you sign in for every session (For matches with your team captain or vice-captain.)
  • Ensure you socially distance off the pitch at all times and in groups no bigger than 6.
  • If travelling with team mates, ensure you wear a face covering and that the car is well ventilated. Sit apart, no more than two passengers on the back seat.
  • At away venues please follow any guidance given by the host club and respect any rules.

For matches and training at ISSC Rushmere, Ipswich School have asked that we adhere to the following guidance –

  • All bookings should not arrive more than 10 minutes before their booking and leave promptly afterwards, stick to your areas booked to allow other groups to use the walk ways, paths and toilets. Rule of 6 will apply to people gathering outside of their activity and at a distance of 2m apart or 1m plus with barriers in place (face masks).
  • The building has a one way system on the ground floor for people to use the toilet, each set of male and female toilets have an entrance and an exit, masks must be worn whilst inside the building, this is a school facility and is a major point for the facility to be open. As per Government guidance there are no changing facilities and attendees are required to come kit ready.
  • Hand sanitiser stations can be found at the entrance and exit to the building and again in the toilets.
  • No one should be playing loud music outside to limit the need for people to shout.
  • Spectators are limited to 1 parent/guardian plus siblings.
  • Lost property will not be retained on site under current Covid conditions, clear your area after use. It is shocking the amount of used face masks that are found around the site each day; use it or bin it, do not leave for others to dispose of.

Whilst things are not as we would like them to be, if we all follow the rules we can still have an enjoyable and successful season.

IES Juniors Return to Hockey


There is just over a week to go till we are back at ISSC Rushmere training, as we start back on Sunday 6 September 2020

Training times

We have slightly altered the training times this year, to enable us to add a U16 age group to Sunday mornings.

  • 9am-10.25am – U8s, U10s, U12s
  • 35am-12noon – U14s, U16s

We will be using the green pitch and the near blue pitch. All sign in will take place on the grass area near the green pitch, unless it’s raining, when we will use the shelter at the front of the sports centre.

The 10 mins between sessions will allow for socially distanced changeovers on the pitches.


Participants’ guidance

A PDF document has been emailed to our Junior members, which contains useful information about our Covid-19 procedures, including what you need to do before, during and after the training sessions.


Sign in/weekly training fee

It is very important that you sign your child in at the start of each session – look for the people in the hi-viz jackets!

We will be using a contactless payment system this season, so please bring a card rather than cash. We can arrange for you to pay for a block of 10 sessions by BACS if you would prefer, which may be particularly helpful if you have older children who you just drop at the training session.

The good news is that training fees remain the same this year, so £2.50 per child per session, on a ‘pay and play’ basis.


Annual membership fees now due please

In light of the current situation, IES Hockey Club has decided to keep the annual membership at the same level as last year. This means you will pay £60 for your child’s Junior subscription, with discounts available for Junior siblings, so you pay £40 for the second child and £20 for the third. Full details have been emailed to members.


Face coverings at ISSC Rushmere

ISSC has asked that people wear face coverings when inside the Sports Centre. We would be grateful if you could follow this policy please, even if you are only popping in to use the toilet facilities. The centre is only open for toilets at the moment, so unfortunately that means no coffee available in the café on Sundays at the moment. We understand that this is being kept under review, but for the meantime, please bring your drinks with you!


IES Juniors training tops and jackets

We will have some exciting new training tops and jackets for you to buy, hopefully next month. We’ll email you more details as soon as we have prices and sizes. The training jackets might provide some great Christmas present ideas!

IES Club Bulletin 28 August 2020

IES Club Bulletin – 28th August 2020

A huge thank you to all on our Covid-19 working group and especially to Moira Bryan, James Gray – our Covid Officer – and Phil Buck for all their hard work in getting us back on the pitch. We are also very grateful to Dawn Claxton for arranging some PPE equipment and additional training in the use of PPE for all our first aiders.

As you will all appreciate a lot of time and effort has been invested in getting the various elements for a safe return in place and it is very important that the whole membership support and respect the new procedures and that we keep everyone at our club and our visiting team as safe as is possible.

We are also very grateful to Moira who has kindly agreed to take on the Membership Secretary role, at least in the short term. Moira has already made some big improvements in sorting out the management of our data and our communication with our membership.

Annual Membership Payments Now Due

In light of the current situation, IES Hockey Club will be keeping membership fees at the same level as last season. We do now need to collect these fees for the sustainability of the club whatever the constraints that the ongoing Covid-19 situation may bring. Full details of how to pay have been emailed to members.

Reduced Match Fees for Senior Hockey

The club committee has agreed a temporary reduction in match fees of £8 adult and £4 students/juniors whilst we are not providing teas for home games.  Match fees will be payable on Club Day and thereafter.

Face coverings at ISSC Rushmere

ISSC has asked that people wear face coverings when inside the Sports Centre. We would be grateful if you could follow this policy please, even if you are only popping in to use the toilet facilities.

Reminders for your diary

  • Men’s training every Tuesday 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Please note that the training session on Tues 1 Sept will run from 7-8.30p, to enable a Men’s 1s match to take place afterwards.
  • Women’s training 7pm to 9.30pm.
  • Saturday 5 September – Club Day: Intra club matches. 12.30pm W3 v W4 & M1 v M2&3 2.30pm W1 v W2 & M4 v M5 Please contact your captain to confirm your availability.
  • Sunday 6 September – Junior programme to restart.
  • Saturday 12 September – friendly matches. (see list in the table below.)
  • Saturday 19 September – scheduled start of leagues (all details on the East website).


Saturday 12 September Friendly Matches


Team  Opposition L/F H/A Start  Venue
M1  Norwich City 1 F A 14.30  Taverham
M2/3  Colchester 2 F H 12.00  ISSC
M4  Colchester 3 F A 10.00  Colchester Garrison
M5  Colchester 4 F A 15.30 Colchester Garrison
W1  Norwich City 1 F A 13.00  Taverham
W2  Bury St Ed 3 F H 11.30  ISSC
W3/4  Bury St Ed 4 F H 13.30  ISSC

Start of Leagues – Saturday 19 September

The move to Step 5 that will allow a return to League Hockey is not certain, but it is looking likely, with an announcement expected early next week. We will update members as soon as we hear.


A big thank you to Chris Hatch for all his work is sorting all the booking for our home fixtures with ISSC. Full details / times will be shared ASAP.

Senior Training Sessions Start Again

This is a reminder that Senior training starts again this week at Ipswich School Sports Centre, Rushmere:

  • Men’s Training – Tuesday 25 August, 7.30-9.30pm
  • Ladies’ Training – Wednesday 26 August, 7-9pm.

Please note there are new Covid-19 procedures in place:

1 – You must have completed the England Hockey Participation Agreement in order to train, at least 24 hours before training. Please click here to complete the form if you haven’t already done so (you only need to complete it once): England Hockey Participation Agreement

2 – Please make sure you sign in with the people in hi-viz jackets on the night, as we need to have a record of your attendance for Track and Trace purposes.

3 – Please don’t come to the training session if you have any Covid-19 symptoms:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

4 – The sports centre will only be open for people to use the toilets, and there is a one way system in place.