Both the under-12 boys and girls headed to Oaklands for their games on Sunday, 22nd January.
Leaving Luke Da Silva and Ben Michaels at home meant some of the newer and younger players would get their chance to play for the under-12 Boys. A Drane was in charge of the boys, with Coach Girling away on under-18s duty – but not the Drane you would think, as Simon Drane took the clipboard.
It was nip and tuck all the way though with Elliot Hawes leading the scoring for Ipswich and Aaron Beckett battling it out on the boards. The last few minutes saw the Blues pull away only for Oaklands to battle back.
The game came down to a put back from year 6 youngster Tom Shaw to give Ipswich a decisive lead; then, with the seconds playing down, Oaklands couldn’t find their way through.
The girls made a really slow start, looking exactly like they had had a 7.30am minibus start. At the half Coach James urged the girls to stop playing like “soft Suffolk girls” which seemed to provide them with the motivation needed to fire them up.
Ella Hawes shot well from the perimeter and finally the girls got into their rhythm with everyone making the effort to get on the end of fast break opportunities. A scoring table mix-up meant there were no scores, or scorers, available for the girls’ game, but it was a close one with Oaklands rotating their large squad.
The last mention goes to new girl Katelyn Barker who had only joined the team at her first club training session the previous Friday, but who got stuck in and looked like she had been around the squad for months. “Hats off to Katelyn,” said Coach James. “She hustled her heart out and she hasn’t even had the chance to learn everyone’s name yet, but she did really well!”