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Sudbury Girls Hockey make East of England Finals

Author: Mark Dudley Published: 3rd March 2014 22:09

 Sudbury Girls Hockey TeamSudbury Girls Hockey Team

High Excitement as Sudbury Girls Hockey make East of England Finals for the first time

U14 Girls National Championship

Sudbury HC u14 Girls 1 – 1 Ipswich HC u14 Girls

Neither the nerve shredding tension nor bitterly cold winds enveloping Ipswich’s Tuddenham Road hockey ground could lessen the cacophony of noisy support ceaselessly pouring out from the watching Sudbury supporters as the Girls’ u14 hockey team battled local rivals Ipswich for a place in the east of England Regional Finals. Having already seen off the challenges of Dereham, Norwich City and Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury needed only a draw to progress. Ipswich had been there before but for Sudbury this was the first time an u14 team had ever had the chance to advance out of the local leagues – could the girls hold their nerve?

The match started at high tempo with Sudbury immediately pressing Ipswich back. Time and again the ball moved accurately stick to stick as the girls put into practice all their training. Again and again the ball was worked wide from Maddie Wagland and Katie Crace to find Susie Wright or Lottie Riley in the wide forward positions. Sudbury pressed around the top of the circle but just couldn’t find the penetration to beat Fran House in the Ipswich goal. After 10 minutes of Sudbury pressure Ipswich began to push back into the game and the tide swung with pressure being put onto Sudbury’s defence. This manifested in foul after foul being awarded to Ipswich as Sudbury strove to clear their area.

Lizzy Skells, Freya Dawson and Beth Dwerryhouse worked tirelessly to keep Ipswich out of the Sudbury D and on the few occasions the ball did make it to the goal Sudbury’s keeper Daisy Gemmel was comfortable. Ipswich were awarded a Penalty Corner to create the first real threat of the day but Katie Crace running 1 was off the line like a bullet and stole the ball from the Ipswich striker as she raised her stick to strike. Crace was in action again soon after at the other end of the pitch as she picked the ball up yet again from Wagland and unleashed a fierce hit at waist height into the Ipswich circle. The only player near the flight path of this rocket shot was Sudbury Centre forward Chloe Redgrove who pivoted and deflected the ball from mid air into the corner of the Ipswich net for a truly spectacular goal.

The second half was end to end with Ipswich pushing forwards and Sudbury looking to break. Joise Partridge in particular did an excellent job of holding the ball up in attack to relieve the pressure on the defence. Then Ipswich scored! Almost out of nothing the ball ricocheted around the top of the circle before somehow eluding several Sudbury sticks to be swept into the corner with nothing Gemmel could do. Ipswich redoubled their efforts and won another Penalty Corner pushing the tension ever higher. Again Sudbury stood firm and against the Ipswich pressure Bex Taylor and captain Molly Redgrove were rock solid in the Sudbury defence. Redgrove (M) in particular driving the SHC fightback with aggressive running and long sweeping passes.

Again and again Sudbury broke upfield with Wright particularly effective: smashing cross after cross into the Ipswich area but Sudbury just couldn’t get the goal that would have ensured the win. With 5 min to go Sudbury Coach Mark Dudley opted for safety pulling off forward Lottie Riley and sending on specialist defender Ellie Langford to reinforce at the back. Her presence was enough to ensure that the game ended 1-1 and Sudbury progressed to the East of England finals on Apr 06th.

A fabulous achievement for our club and for this girls’ team who, after their triumph in the Euroluc tournament in Lille last November are working hard to become the club’s most successful ever junior team.


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At 18:00 on 3rd March 2014, franhouse commented:
I am the ipswich goalie who played in this match, I feel the correct version of events should be made clear. The goal scored against ipswich was in fact a deflection straight to the middle backboard of the goal and then was scored.

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