Magpies given opportunity to fly with higher placed sides

ROUND 15 of the Ipswich men's A grade hockey competition features a blockbuster clash at Raceview.

It's between Ipswich Wests and Toowoomba Newtown tomorrow at 5.30pm.

The inconsistent Magpies sit seven points adrift of Easts.

Coach Todd Watson should be fielding a full strength side for the showdown so the game can provide a great yardstick for Magpies progress.

Attack has been the Achilles Heel for Wests this season, averaging only 2.8 goals per game, compared to Hancocks (3.8/game), Easts (3.6/game) and Norths (3.1/game).

Veteran strikers Greg Walker (12 goals this season and Brent Nicholls (four) are capable of causing damage.

Tomorrow is their chance to reinstate Wests as premiership contenders against Toowoomba's leading side.

A positive from the Magpies season has been their defence. Wests have conceded three goals on average this season, compared to Easts (2.4/game), Norths (3.1/game) and Hancocks (3.8/game).

Nathan Hooper and Watson provide the nucleus at the back in what is a tough defence to break down.

Wests are tipped to give Newtown a run for their money in a 2-2 draw.

Today at 5.30pm is the all-Ipswich clash between Norths and Hancocks.

Hancocks are usually understrength in Saturday games, so Norths should prevail 3-1.

Tomorrow, Easts travel up the hill to take on the winless Rangeville at 3.10pm.

The full strength Tigers should make light work of the Bulldogs and maintain their lead on top of the Ipswich ladder with a 8-1 romp.

The women's competition includes the bottom two sides fighting it out to see who can close on fourth-placed Norths for the all-important finals spot.

Bellbowrie, who have found some form, will be taking on Thistles at 4pm tomorrow at Raceview.

The Purple and White Army will be out in full force after last week's second win of the season.

Tenielle Fraser and Sarah "Flash'' Jeffreys were the heroes for Thistles last week. However, look for an outstanding performance from Kerri Vellacott in the midfield to set up their play.

Bellbowrie will be looking for Pam Edmunds to have a big game in the net despite her pole dancing injury suffered during her fitness regime away from hockey.

Lyn Grulke will also be looking to impact on this game with her nous and knowledge.

Bellbowrie are tipped to win 3-2 to sit in equal fourth with the Devils after round 15.

In other matches, ladder leaders Swifts will be tested against Rangeville at 4pm today.

Hancocks will be looking to bounce back with a 3-1 victory over Newtown at 2.30pm in Toowoomba.

Wests will continue their good away from home form with a 2-0 victory over Norths Toowoomba.

Red Lions should be too strong for Norths Ipswich 3-1.



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