Easts looking solid for minor premiership honours

THE A-grade hockey fixtures start today with Hancocks tackling Norths.

The Devils were defeated by Easts last Saturday, with both sides missing key players.

Hancocks overpowered Wests in the Sunday game.

Both sides will again be without players due to Brisbane commitments. This situation supports the push for future A-grade games to be played on Friday nights and Sundays to strengthen the Ipswich competition.

After a Tim Woodford masterclass last weekend, Easts will look to wrap up another minor premiership against Wests tomorrow.

Wests' mid-season revival seems to be shortlived after they were out enthused and outclassed by the young Hancocks side last week.

Easts are tipped to win 4-0.


Women's final quest

THE Ipswich women's competition is heating up with three teams vying for third and fourth spot.

Hancocks have secured the minor premiership ahead of Swifts.

Thistles will take out this year's wooden spoon.

This leaves Bellbowrie (24), Wests (21) and Norths (20) fighting it out for those precious spots in the semi-finals.

The key match-ups this weekend will be Norths against Hancocks (5.30pm today) and Wests v Bellbowrie (4pm tomorrow).

Swifts will account for Thistles 6-0 in today's 2.30pm game.

If Norths lose and Wests win, the Devils can kiss their season goodbye.

Hancocks have endured a mixed run of form, being without their coach and two key players for this weekend's fixture.

This will be Norths' time to strike. However, strikepower is something they have lacked this season, having only scored 20 goals.

Norths will be looking to Sarah Parlett and Rachael Mantell to find the net. However, they will face fierce defence from Caitlin Sippel and Justine Parkes.

Hancocks will prove too strong - 4-1 in this one - leaving Norths biting their fingernails.

Hancocks' recent lack of form could be due to the players being a bit cold on the sidelines. Their club tracksuits were reportedly held up in transit.

In the final crucial match of the round, the much-improved Bellbowrie Strikers take on Wests Magpies at 4pm tomorrow.

Wests looked like they would finish in third before a poor run of form allowed Norths and Bellbowrie to catch them.

Bellbowrie have pulled off a miracle by qualifying for the finals, which will be a real boost for the club.

With a strong for and against record, the Strikers can't be overtaken by the clubs below them.

Wests, on the other hand, could possibly secure a semi-final spot by defeating the Strikers should Hancocks win today.

Magpies are tipped to take their chance win a close one 2-1.

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