EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
Ford 3 Sudbury 1
AFTER back-to-back promotions, Sudbury were disappointed to leave without a point in their first Division One match in 12 years.
It was a hard fought and even contest, where the home side edged the tie with some clinical finishing.
A hotly-disputed penalty stroke for a goal-line infringement gave Ford the lead and this led to the visitors losing their structure through the middle of the park.
The hosts scored two more quick goals – both well finished by the forwards.
Sudbury came out fighting, and from a penalty corner, a quick switch at the top saw birthday boy Adam Bullock crash the ball home to give the visitors a chance of digging out a result.
The home side were content to soak up the pressure and, despite great pressure, Sudbury could not score again. Their day was summed up by the final action of the day – a penalty corner strike from Tim Blackburn which was blocked by Edd Griffiths accidentally on the line.
Sudbury host Felixstowe at Great Cornard on Saturday (2.15pm) with supporters welcome.
Sudbury: Smith, Humphreys, Monk, Bosman, S Palmer, C Palmer, Burton, Keefe, Blackburn, Griffiths, Mayers, Bullock, Bevan.
EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
DIVISION THREE NORTH EAST
Sudbury II 3 Ipswich Cranes 1
SUDBURY welcomed newly-promoted Ipswich Cranes into Division 3NE by giving them a demonstration of the standard of play needed to succeed.
After some vital saves from Sudbury goalkeeper and captain Dan McGuinness, Sudbury went 1-0 up from a fantastic set-up by forward Myles Coker for Tom Stephens to execute a great finish.
An amazing reverse shot just before half-time gave Cranes an equaliser, but Sudbury responded in the early minutes of the second half when, from a short corner routine, Charlie Apter got the final touch.
Sudbury took advantage of an unfit and tiring Cranes team by using the same short corner routine, leaving Apter with another goal to his name and Chris Clubb with another assist on record.
EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
DIVISION SIX NORTH EAST
North Walsham III 3
Sudbury IV 1
SUDBURY, who made the long trip to Cromer with just 10 men, played well despite suffering defeat.
They were reduced to nine when Callum Rolfe went off injured for 15 minutes, and they were further affected by an agricultural challenge on Matt Baker, which left him at half pace for much of the game.
Isaac Wagland showed enormous stamina throughout and hit the bar and with 11 players Sudbury could have won.
As it was, North Walsham had a lot of the possession but, partly due to fine goalkeeping by Paul King, were unable to capitalise except for two short corner strikes.
Sudbury’s goal was contributed by Geoff Gardiner.
EAST WOMEN’S LEAGUE
DIVISION ONE SOUTH
Sudbury 1 Bishops Stortford II 2
SUDBURY Ladies’ head coach Mark Dudbley admitted this was not the start they were hoping for as they suffered defeat on the opening day.
Despite a successful pre-season, the ladies appeared to be too anxious to do well and this led to a number of unforced errors, returning the ball too often to Stortford and eventually conceding a soft goal in the first half.
No-one could fault the Sudbury effort, who missing some of their top players, forced some fine saves from an outstanding Stortford goalkeeper.
But at the other end, playing in a new formation, the ladies struggled to hold back their visitors.
Stortford scored again midway through the second half to give Sudbury a mountain to climb.
Sudbury increased the pressure and quick reactions from Katie Clark following yet another penalty corner allowed her to drive the ball into the net from short range.
SUFFOLK WOMEN’S LEAGUE
Lowestoft 6 Sudbury II 1
ALTHOUGH the result was disappointing, there was a lot of potential shown by the new Sudbury players.
An early start, a long journey and losing one of their 12 players to umpiring duties meant Sudbury were on the backfoot and it was Lowestoft who made the brighter start.
Within 10 minutes they were 2-0 up but, undeterred, Sudbury mounted their own attacks with Lily Chiang and Kate Hurley linking well to win a short corner.
Hurley pushed out to Debbie King who laid the ball up perfectly for debutant Celia Westbrook to score.
Lowestoft continued to be the stronger side and added another two goals before half-time.
Through the efforts of a busy defence and goalkeeper Peggy Bridges, Sudbury managed to keep the goal tally down to two for the second half.