EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
Ipswich II 4 Sudbury 2
LAST season, two leagues separated Sudbury from the second string of their local rivals and an improvement on the previous week’s performance was required from the visitors.
In a competitive game, play flowed from end-to-end with chances for both teams, and eventually it was the home side’s clinical finishing that proved the difference.
Ipswich took the lead midway through the first half with a quick counter-attack and smart finish.
As the half progressed, Sudbury grew into the game and held on to the ball well — the midfield of Edd Burton, Chris Clubb and the excellent Nick Keefe worked tirelessly throughout.
Sudbury nearly equalised when good work from Brendan Mayers and Tim Blackburn provided Leigh Bevan with an opportunity, but his shot was well saved.
The half-time team talk focused on playing short and simple hockey and an equaliser was scored early on from the visitors’ sole short corner — Bevan’s rasping strike thumping the backboard.
The home side quickly re-established their lead when poor marking allowed a forward to nose home past Smith in the Sudbury goal.
The visitors again equalised when interplay from the central pairing of Kevin Monk and Bosman released player-coach Kevis, who went past his marker before releasing Bevan to score his second.
Ipswich scored two more goals late on to secure a win, but Sudbury can take heart from a strong performance and played some excellent hockey.
Humphreys and Underhay were again firm at the back and young Cameron Rule impressed on his debut and was unlucky not to score.