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 … 

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.