TeamIpswich Water Polo entered the Biggleswade tournament with the participating teams HERTFORD, HITCHIN, SPALDING, NORWICH, DUNSTABLE, NORTHAMPTON + BIGGLESWADE.
In the first game against hosts Biggleswade Ipswich secured a comfortable 5 – 2 win with goals from Captain Phil Trett, James Poole and Tom Ealham. The game saw a solid performance from the promising Ipswich teenager, Thomas Mills who earned his first senior cap playing alongside his Father Clive Mills.
Against Hertford a Tom Ealham penalty secured a 1-1 draw and in the last group stage game against Norwich, the physical nature of the game saw a player from each team being sent out with the referee having to remind both teams that this was a “friendly” tournament. A James Poole goal was not enough to stem a strong Norwich team who came out 4-1 winners.
With Biggleswade winning against Norwich, and Hertford winning against Biggleswade the group was very close but Ipswich’s superior goal difference saw them through to the semi finals.
Ipswich’s semi final was against group winners Dunstable.
A sling shot from Tom Ealham rattled both posts before crossing the goal line then a drive from Tom Young earned a penalty which Ipswich converted for a two goal lead going into the second half.
Dunstable upped the pace and scored an early goal but stout defence from George Bartle stemmed the Dunstable pressure and Ipswich came out 2-1 winners.
With Norwich winning the other semi final the scene was set for an Ipswich-Norwich final.
Ipswich absorbed much of the Norwich pressure and looked promising on the counter attacks but unable to take advantage of the opportunities, lead to Norwich seeing the game out with a 2-0 win.
However with many Ipswich key player missing this was a very pleasing performance.
Jack Chamberlain, GK
Phil Trett (Capt) x1
Tom Ealham x5
James Poole x3