Hockey: Ipswich on the attack

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Donna Mills, the Ipswich manager, criticised the back-to-back scheduling of league and quarter-final cup matches for this weekend. "Absolutely ridiculous, after there was such a long winter break and numerous gaps during the season," she said.

"It is unreasonable to be called upon to play such key league and cup fixtures on successive days and particularly demanding on my team which has just returned from playing in the European Cup-Winners' Cup in the Netherlands where we played four games in four days over the Easter holiday," she added.

Ipswich returned home from Utrecht with the silver medal. Fortunately they have no injury problems for their league game tomorrow at home to Slough whom they lead by one point, in a game that is likely to settle the title. They will, however, be without their Dutch Under-21 player Kim van Erp, who has scored some spectacular goals recently.

On Sunday Ipswich journey south to play Slough in the Cup. Slough expect to be at full strength and will be hoping that their coach, John Shaw, returns from coaching in South Africa in time for tomorrow's game.

The defending champions, Hightown, who make the long trip from Liverpool to Southampton, have a tough league encounter against Trojans who are desperately fighting to avoid relegation but should be assured of a semi- final place in the cup when they entertain Aldridge, the only non-National League club remaining in the competition on Sunday.