Ipswich impress in Championship’s high-scoring opening Saturday

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Ipswich to win the Championship

On Monday Grant Ward signed for Ipswich from Tottenham, by Saturday afternoon he had scored a second-half hat trick on his Tractor Boys debut.

The right winger found the net with each of his three attempts after being sent on at half-time by Mick McCarthy against Barnsley.

His goals helped the East Anglian outfit secure an impressive 4-2 win over the Tykes on what was a goal-heavy opening Saturday in the second tier.

Ipswich were one of three teams to score four goals in their first match, with Norwich and Nottingham Forest also weighing in with a quartet of strikes.

It was McCarthy’s men that were particularly remarkable however, showing a ruthless finishing streak to earn all three points.

The Portman Road side only had nine shots at goal against their Yorkshire rivals, but fired seven of those on target and scored with four, albeit the other goal coming from a David McGoldrick penalty.

No other side had more shots on target during the opening Saturday, with Huddersfield and the Canaries both matching that tally.

Alex Neil’s recently relegated side put Blackburn to the sword thanks to strikes from Jacob Murphy, Wes Hoolahan, Cameron Jerome and Steven Naismith.

After Newcastle’s Friday-night hiccup against Fulham, the Carrow Road club have stolen an early march in the race to lift the second-tier’s trophy.

Forest made life hard for themselves against newly-promoted Burton Albion, throwing away a one-goal lead before rallying back from 2-1 down to secure victory.

Britt Assombalonga netted a brace for the hosts, with Thomas Lam and Oliver Burke completing the scoring.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.