Ipswich 0 Clifton 0 Ipswich win 3-0 on penalties
"We desperately wanted to get back into Europe," Sandie Lister said after her winning penalty stroke conversion for Ipswich in the AEWHA Cup Final at Milton Keynes.
With both sides packing their midfield, destructive rather than constructive hockey was the order of the day and there were few real chances to score.
After Jo Thompson saved Clifton's first stroke, taken by Ros Gollop, Jane Smith converted for Ipswich. When Michelle Robertson put her shot against the post, Ipswich were on their way back into Europe.
With Smith prominent and Lucy Youngs overlapping down the right, Ipswich created a number of half-chances, but they did little to unsettle the Clifton defence, in which Sue Brimble and the goalkeeper Claire Burr were the pick.
Ipswich's best opportunity came just before the interval. Vicky Dixon sent Smith away down the right only for Sarah Bamfield to fluff an easy chance.
Dixon was instrumental in winning a series of penalty corners early in the second half as Clifton settled back into their defensive mode. It was only late in the game that Clifton came to life. Lucy Culliford sent Gollop through, only for the winger to shoot wide.
Ipswich: J Thompson; L Catchpole; L Copeland, A Strange, C Adcock; L Youngs, S Lister (capt), T Fry, D Rawlinson; J Smith, L King. Substitutes used: S Bamfield, V Dixon, K Spencer.
Clifton: C Burr; S Brimble; N Swan, R O'Bryan (capt), E Basterfield; A Wright, M Robertson, L Marsden, C Merrett; L Culliford, R Gollop. Substitutes used: P Wiltshire, C Britten, J Scullion.
Umpires: D Henning, D Prewett.