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ROSIES’S WEEKLY WRAP UP 24TH MARCH 2018

On Saturday, which should have been the last day of the season (before the weather wiped out two weekends worth of matches) Harleston Magpies fielded 11 teams to scrabble for the last few points up for grabs.

The Men’s Fourths found themselves at 3-3 by half time in their away fixture at Felixstowe after Toby Hughes (2) and Ben Emms had put Magpies ahead only for the team to completely forget their game plan and concede three quick goals. Playing fast and open hockey in the second half, Magpies kept the game mostly in Felixstowe’s half and Ben doubled his tally via one of the many chances that were created. Inevitably, Toby then popped up to score his 23rd goal of the season, resulting in a 6-4 win for Magpies who sit comfortably at fourth place in the table.

In the first of two games in three days, the Ladies Fourths welcomed Evergreens to The Nest searching for a more representative scoreline than of late. Despite having the majority of the possession and a huge effort from Sophie Maynell Anderson, Imogen Ramsdale, Cassie Ayms, Megan Beckett, Imogen Maynell Anderson and debutant Beth Moodie in midfield, Magpies were caught on the break and conceded the only goal of the game.

Monday evening’s rearranged fixture began in much the same vain, relentless pressure on the Dereham ‘D’ and numerous chances but no goals. The hosts scored twice against the run of play but, in a desperate search for three points, Magpies maintained the intensity and finally found the backboard. Goals from Jess Green, Alice Evans Hendrick, Helena Knock and Kara Kilbourn ensured a fantastic comeback and takes the Fourths into the Easter break one point clear of the relegation zone with two games to play.

The Ladies Firsts have secured National League status for next season following this weekends double header against Sevenoaks and Southgate. Sevenoaks were winning 3 nil when Magpies mounted a comeback via Lauren Rowe who slotted away a penalty flick after Aoife Lowe-Davies was fouled in the ‘D’. Magpies continued to press with Lucy Whiting, Lizzie Clymer, Emma Lee-Smith and Katherine Ridley causing havoc in the Sevenoaks’ half. Lee-Smith found the net after a goal mouth scramble to make it 3-2 and Lizzie Clymer got the equaliser with a shot past the stranded ‘keeper. Cruelly, Sevenoaks pulled one back before full time to snatch all three points.

Magpies started well against Southgate on Sunday and took control of the game when Lauren Rowe scored the opener from a short corner. Fighting to avoid the relegation play offs, Southgate dug deep and equalised early in the second half but Rowe claimed the winning goal for Magpies following a great combination by Clymer and Lee-Smith.

The Men’s Firsts got off to a flying start away at Spalding when Tom Ridley unleashed a reverse stick shot which a defender turned into his own net. Goals from Mark Flatman and Matt Bensley followed before Spalding scored from a short corner against the run of play. Ridley and Flatman grabbed another goal each before Matt Richardson swiftly dispatched a penalty flick, taking Magpies into halftime with a five goal lead.

Flatman completed his hat trick from a close range deflection before Captain Leigh Sitch got in on the action following a precision pass from fan favourite, Richard Larkin.  Ridley finalised his hat trick and Tim Whiteman slotted the tenth goal home to take the team into the Easter break with the third best goal difference in the league.

Finally, huge congratulations to both the Boys and Girls U14 teams who have qualified for the England Hockey U14s National Finals in May after bossing the regional finals at the weekend.

MENS 1ST TEAM REPORT 24TH MARCH 2018

Mens 1st Team v Spalding (Away (L) W 10-2)

Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops travelled to Spalding on a warm spring day. Harleston welcomed back Mark Flatman after a spell on the sidelines with injury. After an inspirational team talk from player coach Tim Whiteman the team knew that they had to play through their attacking channels and get their flair players on the ball in the name of Tom (David Silva) Ridley and Tim (Kevin De Bruyne) Whiteman.

Spalding pushed back and Harleston quickly won the ball with a good interception from Jonty Gosling released the ball through Elliot Marsh who fed Tom Ridley. The young midfielder quickly accelerated through two challenges before unleashing a fierce reverse stick shot across goal where a Spalding defender turned it into his own net. Harleston continued to win the ball in midfield allowing quick counter attacks at the Spalding defence and within 8 minutes were 3 goals up and the game was out sight. Mark Flatman scored a neat deflection before Matt Bensley smashed home from close range following a good save from the Spalding goalkeeper.

Against the run of play Spalding did pull a goal back when the ball unfortunately found Stuart Leate’s foot in the circle, the resultant corner was dispatched with a low and powerful drag flick. Harleston started to turn the ball over a little too often as they tried to play forward at every opportunity. Despite not stringing many passes together at times there were still patterns of unbelievable hockey. A neat one-two from Elliot Marsh and Thomas Ridley allowed the vice captain to score his second of the afternoon before Mark Flatman grabbed his second.

Harleston were awarded a stroke just before half time when a powerful Tim Whiteman drag flick hit a defenders body on the line. After some confusion in the rules as to whether Matt Bensley was allowed to take the stroke Matt Richardson stepped up with a swagger and dispatched the flick into top left hand corner of the goal leaving the goal keeper handcuffed.

The team went into half time pleased with their efforts and the performance level. Tim Whiteman asked for more composure at times on the ball and to keep scoring goals.

Harleston were very composed in the second half, keeping the ball for long periods of play and deciding when to hit Spalding on the counter attack. Many good patterns starting from Tom Sumner and Leigh Sitch in a new centre back pairing.

Mark Flatman quickly completed his hat-trick from a close range deflection. Leigh Sitch then got on the score sheet from open play (a rarity) with what the umpire described as goal of the season. The dynamic centre back started off the move by carrying out from centre back he eliminated two players before feeding the ball back to Tom Sumner. As the ball was transferred across the back and up the right through Matt Richardson and Thomas Ridley the athletic centre back carried on his run leaving Spalding players in his wake. The ball eventually found Richard Larkin on the right just outside of the circle and looking up, with delight, he saw Sitch arrive. The ball was played across and Sitch had to use all of his attacking flair to deflect the ball skillfully into the roof of the net off his back foot. A loud cheer from the majority of the team showed the significance of the vital 8th goal.

Harleston continue to press forward and soon added their 9th and 10th goal. Firstly Thomas Ridley completed his hat-trick with a reverse stick thunderbolt before Tim Whiteman found space in the circle to slot home. There was still time left for Spalding to grab their second goal. Stuart Leate slotted in at centre back as Leigh Sitch and Tom Sumner were rested for the final few minutes. After a Spalding counter attack Leate was adjust to have brought down the attacked as he raced through on goal. Spalding dispatched the stroke to make the final score 10-2.

Harleston have a week off next week before travelling to Blueharts were they will look to replicate their best performance of the season.

LADIES 4TH TEAM REPORT 26TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 4th Team v Dereham 3 (Away (L) W 4-2)

Two days later and we were back at it, this time in a rearranged evening fixture away at Dereham who are fourth in the league. The first half summed up our season, relentless pressure and opportunities for Magpies but the opposition scored on the break. Undeterred, we packed the forward line and maintained momentum, firing in shot after shot and practising a variety of short corner routines to no avail.

Dereham doubled their lead against the run of play but Magpies continued to play attacking hockey with Emily Woollatt and Sophie Maynell Anderson bossing the midfield and Sophie Govier Schay enjoying the freedom to run with the ball and create chances.

Finally we got on the scoreboard when Jess Green connected with a cross into the back post. A come back was in reach now and the goals kept coming. Kara Kilbourn struck from a short corner and Alice Evans Hendrick deflected the ball into the net.

Not satisfied with just a point Magpies kept up the intensity and Helena Knock (accidentally) scored a wonder strike from long range. Finally our luck was changing and Kara bagged the fourth goal after silky stick work took her past the last defender and around the ‘keeper.

The win takes the Fourths into the Easter break one point clear of the relegation zone with two games left to play.

LADIES 4TH TEAM REPORT 24TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 4th Team v Evergreens (Home (L) L 0-1)

It’s tight at the bottom of the Norfolk Prem with Magpies, UEA 2s and Norwich Dragons 5s battling to avoid the dreaded drop zone, with two of the three teams destined for relegation.

Having won only three games all season the Fourths knew that a win on Saturday would really boost their chance of survival and as the game panned out we settled into our stride and pressed Evergreens high in their half. Beth Moodie came up from the fifths to make her debut for the team and stood her ground against physical opposition. Sisters Imogen and Sophie Maynell Anderson pinged the ball nicely between them in midfield and Cassie Ayms, Megan Beckett and Imogen Ramsdale worked relentlessly to get the ball up to Janna Freeman in the oppositions ‘D’.

Magpies commanded the game but frustratingly were caught on the break and allowed Evergreens to score the only goal of the match.

LADIES 7TH TEAM REPORT 24TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 7th Team v Carrow (Away (L) W2-0)

Our afternoon match at Langley School was played in very mild weather conditions …so different to last week’s blizzard. With a strong squad of 13, we managed to divert the ball from travelling rapidly towards our goal and sent it swiftly to the Carrow end. Some excellent play from Miri, Alison and Daphne helped to keep our defence strong. Shirley McAllen was ready in the Carrow circle to send the ball home when Georgia passed the ball from the right wing.
During the second half, play out to the wings helped to keep the width and with some superb running and stick skills, Bex, Ruby and Jess kept the ball heading up towards the Carrow circle. At one point, both Jo Meyer and Annie Lancaster managed shots at goal but the ball pinged off the same left-hand goalpost! Then Bex Potruff was ready and waiting by that same goalpost to receive a pass from Shirley and sweep the ball into the goal. Carrow had a couple of short corners but Katy Davy kicked any stray balls clear. All in all, it was a great game with a great team.

U14 BOYS AND GIRLS REGIONAL FINALS REPORT 25TH MARCH 2018

U14s Magpies Girls and Boys through to England Hockey National Finals in style!

Harleston Magpies hockey club are celebrating a super Sunday of hockey which saw both the U14 girls and U14 boys team quality for the England Hockey U14s national finals in May.

After two tough matches for the boys, who hosted the regional finals at home in Weybread, and three challenging matches for the girls away in Ipswich, the two young teams can now look forward to the national finals at Lee Valley London on 12 and 13 May.

Mark Emms, team manager for the u14 boys said; ‘Our boys played some really strong hockey today and they thoroughly deserve their chance to represent Magpies in the last eight at the national finals. It’s fantastic to see the club getting both of its U14’s teams through to this stage of the competition.”
U14s manager John Pope said: ‘It’s been seven years of hard graft for this Magpies U14 girls’ team. We are absolutely delighted that today they deservedly qualified for the national hockey finals. The girls’ performance was marked not least for the hard graft across the whole team, starting line-up and subs alike. Defence and midfield fought like Trojans to give our attack the platform to succeed. All our team were stars on the day. I want to play tribute to everyone who has worked so hard to get this result, but most particularly to our friend, mentor and sorely missed Magpies senior coach, David Brook, who recently lost his two year battle with cancer. David coached most of these girls from aged seven, and he would have been immensely proud of their achievements today.’
Magpies Boys hosted the East Pool B Area regional finals on Sunday 25 March at Weybread. Due to the late withdrawal of Braintree, Magpies were reduced to two games only to be played against Old Merchant Taylors (OMT) hockey club and Amersham and Chalfont (A&C) hockey club.
Magpies played the better hockey in the first game against OMT and led 1-0 at half time from an Ollie Currie tap in. Magpies gave OMT a couple of chances in the second half, but held on to win their first game, a slightly nervy 1-0.
Knowing a win or a draw would qualify them for the national finals Magpies saved their best hockey for the final game against A&C. Magpies took the lead when they finally decided to transfer the ball round the back of the defence, much to the relief of their management team. This released Ben Waters to move down the baseline to cross for Taylor to finish from close range. Against the run of play, A&C then showed great character to score an equaliser. Magpies quickly responded, moving the ball from the push back and winning a short corner. Captain Brice varied the play to dribble in past the four defenders and gave Ollie Currie to get the final touch on the line to make it 2-1 to Magpies. The second half saw A&C pushing for an equaliser, but this left gaps in the midfield which allowed Bardwell to find Currie, who’s threaded through ball launched a rampaging Waters down the right, who then crossed from wide out on the baseline to find Taylor on hand around the p-spot to make it 3-1 Magpies. With A&C tiring, Taylor was released for a breakaway solo effort making the final score 4-1. The whole team played with great effort, in the right spirit and really deserve their chance to progress to the National Finals on 12th May, with pool games at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club and finals at Lee Valley in London.
The girls played away in Ipswich, with three games against Ipswich and East Suffolk (IES), Cambridge City and Amersham and Chalfont. The first game against IES saw Magpies attack from the outset, with a fast pace from both sides, but Magpies had the upper hand throughout and won 4 nil.
The next match was against A&C, who looked to be tougher opponents. Magpies started where they left off with IES and after an end-end skirmish, Georgie found herself clear in midfield to dribble through the third quarter finding Keira in the D who, snuck the ball past the keeper. Amersham continued to put up fierce resistance with pressure of their own. Minutes later, Honey found herself clear in the D after Georgie had yet again pierced the opposition’s armour, and calmly slotted in the second goal. The second half was marked by, one minute in, a classic Georgie reverse that surprised the A&C defence before they were back into their stride and that settled the second match, three nil.
The Magpies girls entered the final match against Cambridge City knowing a draw was sufficient to qualify for the finals, but seeking a win. It was our toughest game by far. Magpies shaved the first half and it was and end-end battle throughout but ended nil nil after a tense final few minutes. With a tournament clean team sheet for goalkeeper Grace and the defensive team, Magpies deservedly took the top slot.
Pictured: Magpies’ U14s girls and boys youth teams who have qualified for the England Hockey national U14s finals in May, plus an action shot of the girls playing Ends…

For more information please contact Bex Pottruff, Press and Publicity Officer for Harleston Magpies Hockey Club on bex.pottruff@yahoo.com or 07500 945247

 

One final footnote: this is the final of many teams, several of whom have received national honours, that our friend, mentor and sorely missed senior coach, David Brook, who recently lost his 2-year battle with cancer, saw through to their teens. He was not a believer in the afterlife but there was a definite sense he was with us today and would have been very proud.

Team: Abi, Amelia, Amy, Ellen, Emma, Georgie, Grace, Holly, Honey, Jessica M, Jessica T, Keira, Ruby, Sophie, Talitha, Victoria
Bench: Jim Menzies (Coach), John Pope (Team Manager), Rob Slade (Patching up)

ROSIES’S WEEKLY WRAP UP 17TH MARCH 2018

It was another frustrating weekend for the fixture secretary as the freezing temperatures resulted in yet more cancelled matches. Only the four hardiest teams stepped out to play in the artic conditions with the Ladies Sevenths getting the only Magpies win as they faced horizontal snow in Kings Lynn.

Featuring two mother-daughter duos, Alison and Jessica Menzies, and Bex and Ruby Pottruff, the Sevenths are a force to be reckoned with and Ruby opened the scoring on her Ladies debut after just seven minutes before setting up Bex to slot away the second. Solid defending from Liv, Karen and Daphne, along with a brave diving save from Peg kept Pelicans at bay whilst midfielders Miri, Chy and Alison pushed on for the third goal which came when Bex popped up at the back post to finish 3-0.

The Girls Development team played through the blizzard in Yarmouth and came away with a 0-0 draw against the team just below them in the table. Magpies are now unable to catch Norwich City who have won the league but to finish in second place is highly commendable. The season has given the Girls valuable match experience in preparation for Ladies hockey next season where there will be an abundance of thirteen year olds vying for a place in the Ladies teams.

A young Men’s Fourths headed to Thetford hoping to do the double over the team who narrowly lost out to Magpies at The Nest earlier in the season. The pacey forward line of Toby Hughes, Lewis Belsey and debutant Ben Emms made sure that Magpies were ahead at half time, albeit 4-3. As the snow began to settle on the pitch Toby put away another two goals but Thetford were relentless and eventually won the game 6-5.

Ed Brice (last week) and Ben Emms (this) have both made the step up from the Fifth team and impressed on their Fourth team debuts with a goal each – two to watch out for in the future!

This weekend the Men’s Firsts head to Spalding who are fighting for survival in the East Premier ‘A’ league so are bound to put up a hard fight. The Ladies Firsts play Southgate on Sunday who are second from bottom in the table so the team in Black and White will be on the hunt for three points.

On Sunday, Magpies host the U14 Boys regional finals where our lads face Amersham & Chalfont, Old Merchant Taylors, and Braintree over the course of the day. Our U14 girls will be in Ipswich playing in their finals against IES, Amersham & Chalfont and Cambridge City.

The Mixed team also play on Sunday (2pm) in the hope of getting through to the quarter finals of the National Cup. Facing local rivals Ipswich the team are determined to emulate last seasons success and make it all the way to the final.

MENS 4TH TEAM REPORT 18TH MARCH 2018

Mens 4th Team v Thetford (Away (L) L5-6)

Despite the presence of the captain this was the youngest side the Mens 4ths had fielded for some seasons. Having won the previous game against Thetford 1sts 6-5 at The Nest we were expecting a tough game.

The game was confirmed at 12.00 and by 1.45 our squad of 11 was sitting in the changing room trying to decide how late we could leave going outside to ‘warm up’. The skipper decided to give a long team talk, encouraging the lads to be more vocal, only to be constantly interupted by Oli who was getting in some early practice.

Fielding in Toby H, Lewis and debutant Ben Emms, the quickest forward line in memory we decided to sit deep and hit them on the counter. This tactic worked well initially and although I cant quite remember the order of the goals we scored first and kept kept ahead to go in 4-3 up at half time. Our second goal was a smartly taken debut goal from Ben, to follow last weeks debut goal from Ed Brice. The other two goals were from Toby; the first an excellently taken solo effort and the second a tap in after Lewis took an overhead from the skipper to the line and crossed.

The half time chat took place in a penguin huddle with Cadburys chocolate eggs replacing the customary jelly babies. Conditions were getting worse as the driving snow began to settle on the pitch. This did not prevent our gallent band of supporters out shouting the home crowd and giving us much appreciated encouragement.

Goals were exchanged regularly throughout the second half with Toby getting two more, and with midfield maestro Myles slowing down with a recurrent thigh injury we were relying more and more and the outstanding work rate of the youngsters. With two minutes to go Thetford were awarded an controversial penalty corner (of course!) which they rifled into the roof of the net to make it 6-5. 

This was a hard game played under tough conditions. The young team put in a fantastic effort and were unlucky not to come away with at least a point. Thanks once again to our loyal spectators/taxi drivers. Your support really was much appreciated.

DB

LADIES 7TH TEAM REPORT 17TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 7th Team v Pelicans (Away (L) W 3-0)

On a freezing cold Saturday, we battled through the snow and ice up to Pelicans, feeling sure the match would be cancelled at any moment given a whole day’s play had been lost in Harleston to the Beast from the East – mark 2! We arrived to find it was a balmy 2 degrees in Kings Lynn, although that didn’t stop most of the match being played through 40 mph winds and horizontal snow! But the Ladies 7ths are a tough bunch, welcoming both Ruby Pottruff and Katy Davy making their debuts for the Ladies 7th, and Alison and Jessica Menzies to just their second game for the team.
Against a young Pelicans side, Magpies got off to a strong start with Jessica, Miri and Alison moving the ball positively in midfield. Their confident play led to Ruby scoring the first goal after just seven minutes. Magpies stayed focussed, with more great passing play, using Katy and Jo Meyer effectively on our wings to bring the ball back into the D again at sixteen minutes. Ruby made a lovely pass in to Bex Pottruff who scored neatly into the left corner.
Feeling positive, Magpies kept pushing, but failed to score again despite several missed goals during the rest of the first half. Daphne Beckett gave us a rousing half time team talk, encouraging us to pass quickly and accurately. Pelicans upped their marking though, and looked strong at the start of the second half. Liv, Karen and Daphne in defence kept us safe with determined and repeated challenges, and Peg in goal delivered a fantastic brave diving save at one point.
In the final fifteen minutes, Miri, Chy and Alison pushed on strongly in midfield, and after a few scrambles in the D, when Jo narrowly missed out on scoring, Bex popped another into the left corner again to bring the final score to a very well deserved 3 nil victory. It was lovely to have a great mix of young, more experienced and new to the club players, all working together so well as a team.
Player of the match was Karen Hunt with her marvellous hit towards the end of the second half, struck so hard she managed to split the ball impressively into three and was crowned ‘champion ball breaker’ of the match!

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 17TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Wisbech (Away (L) D 1-1 )

Harleston Magpies 2’s were due to travel away to Wisbech, after confirmation that the cold weather had not affected their pitch the girls set off.

The girls got off to a great start and the first ten minutes Magpies had all the possession but were unable to find the net. A quick break from Wisbech caught Magpies out and they went 1-0 up. Undeterred by the goal Magpies fought on to try and get the game back. Their efforts were rewarded near the end of the first when a lovely run down the line By E. Rash was crossed into Laura Tibbenham to slot the ball home and make the score 1-1.

With Woollatt picking up an injury going into the second half Magpies were down to the bare 11 players and had to reorganise and keep the ball. The girls continued to attack Olivia Locke working hard and creating chances and Wisbech were playing the ball around nicely making life difficult for the midfield and defence. Magpies although winning some short corners and making chances were unable to score and the final score was 1-1. The first points that the girls have dropped all season, but the girls were ready to go out and get another three points the next day away at Newmarket.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 18TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Newmarket (Away (L) W2-0)

The girls traveled away to Newmarket this Sunday for a long awaited rearranged game. A lot of the regular 2’s players were unfortunately unavailable so a number of three’s players stepped up to help out, thank you to all of them.

On a rather cold day the girls layered up and had a god warm up ready to attack from the start. The magpies girls got of to a great start keeping hold of possession and working the ball around. It didn’t take long for the girls to get into the circle and start making chances. New comer to the twos, Ellie Bale and G. Gardens both working hard and making life difficult. The first goal came from a good ball through from G. Gardens to Tibbenham to run on to and have a shot. The first shot was saved and Sophie Child ran in from the right to slot the rebound home 1-0. Newmarket’s efforts to get into our circle were thwarted by Rachel Baynes and Kath Johnson. There were no more goals in the first half and the girls went into half time feeling confident that they could get the three points they wanted.
 In the second half Newmarket continued to push to get a goal but the hard work of the all the midfielders and defence was proving too much. Magpies carried on working for a second goal and chances came. The second goal came when Amelia made a great run down the left hand side of the pitch and rounded two or three players then slotted the ball past the keepers left foot. To make the score 2-0 and her first goal of the season. The rest of the game played out with no more goals and the girls took away a well deserved 3 points.
Next week the girls play another two fixtures Saturday @home vs Watton and on Sunday away vs St Neots.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 17TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Wisbech (Away (L) D1-1)

Harleston Magpies 2’s were due to travel away to Wisbech, after confirmation that the cold weather had not affected their pitch the girls set off.

The girls got off to a great start and the first ten minutes Magpies had all the possession but were unable to find the net. A quick break from Wisbech caught Magpies out and they went 1-0 up. Undeterred by the goal Magpies fought on to try and get the game back. Their efforts were rewarded near the end of the first when a lovely run down the line By E. Rash was crossed into Laura Tibbenham to slot the ball home and make the score 1-1.

With Woollatt picking up an injury going into the second half Magpies were down to the bare 11 players and had to reorganise and keep the ball. The girls continued to attack Olivia Locke working hard and creating chances and Wisbech were playing the ball around nicely making life difficult for the midfield and defence. Magpies although winning some short corners and making chances were unable to score and the final score was 1-1. The first points that the girls have dropped all season, but the girls were ready to go out and get another three points the next day away at Newmarket.

BOYS U18 TEAM REPORT 11TH MARCH 2018

Boys U18 Team v Rugby & East Warwickshire
( Home (EH -18 Cup) W 2-1)

Magpies welcomed Rugby to the nest in the quarter-final of the U18 Tier 1 National competition. After a good warm-up Magpies settled quickly and forced the early pace. However, against the run of play Rugby launched a counter attack and opened the scoring from a short-corner. Undeterred, Magpies dominated possession, forcing a series of short-corners and deservedly equalised when Winter powerfully drag-flicked into the top right corner. Rugby defended resolutely but Magpies always looked dangerous and took the lead through another Winter drag-flick. Halftime score 2-1.

The second half was a more even affair with both sides enjoying plenty of possession but without creating any clear cut chances. Magpies then upped the tempo and should have extended their lead but Hunt shot just wide, Winter narrowly missed from another drag-flick and the Rugby keeper made a couple of good saves. With time running out Rugby won a short-corner but Graver made a good save with Peters completing the clearance. That proved the last chance of the game. Magpies deservedly winning 2-1.

Thanks to all the supporters for their encouragement and for the army of helpers in the kitchen. Special thanks to Andy Bedwell for his valuable input into the pre-match and halftime team talks.

Squad – W Graver, W Simpson, G Hunt, K Peters, J Sewell, J Hobbs, A Winter, J Summers, J Pottruff, C Woodcock, M Bensly, D Cadman, W Do

U 18 GIRLS TEAM REPORT 11TH MARCH 2018

U18 Girls v Leicester U18 (Away (EH Cup) W 5-1)

The U18 girls made the long trip up to the East Midlands to face a Leicester team who had already brushed aside some of the big guns in that area. With a depleted squad, the 12 brave magpies faced up to a 20 player squad who were keen to impress their home support. The game started at a ferocious pace with both teams trading territory in the final third of the pitch, without any real threat. Charlie marshalled the defence well keeping the Leicester attack at bay and Grace threw some dangerous aerials to set up surprise counterattacks down the left. Our best chance came with Rose crashing a ball back post and the ball just evading Lauren’s reach. Leicester had a flurry of attacks and a couple of corners which were dealt with well by the Magpies defence and a couple of great saves by Alice G.

Magpies took first blood on the 20min mark after a great steal and counter attack. A ball across the circle popped up nicely for Abby who intuitively smashed the ball into the roof of the net on the volley. The home team rallied and put together some good attacks but solid defending from Lottie and Olivia in the middle kept them out of danger and they found little joy down their left hand side as numerous attacks were cut short by great team defence of Sophie and Rose. 1-0 at half time meant the game was still wide open.

During the break the girls discussed patient transfer on outlet and being more aggressive in the press and it was the latter that ultimately led to the Leicester collapse. Superbly led by Lauren, Alice and Tor up front and excellent support from Martha, Rose and Abby in behind.

5mins in and Abby bagged her second with a smart finish and 2mins later Lauren made it 3-0 with a superb diving finish around the GK. As Leicester pushed to stay in the game, gaps appeared and Magpies romped forward even to the extent that Charlie found herself playing pinball with the Leicester GK. Lauren added to her tally after a cleverly worked short corner with Lottie to make it 4-0 and the pair combined again with Lottie sliding back post to finish in an empty Leicester goal. Leicester got a consolation goal with 30sec to play but the damage was done.

The girls showed their class against a good opposition, particularly in their defensive intensity and how well they transitioned from press to attack. This is backed up by their 26 for and 4 against in their 4 matches so far in the competition. The road to the finals will only get tougher, but this team gets stronger every game and today they showed they are prepared to work hard for each other when the going gets tough. Excellent effort girls and your semi final place is truly deserved.

ROSIES’S WEEKLY WRAP UP 10TH MARCH 2018

With the weather finally abating last weekend all teams were back in action and raring to shake off the cabin fever with a full schedule of fixtures. Frustratingly, neither First team were able to treat the home crowd to a win, with the Men struggling to replicate their usual intensity in the 3-2 defeat against Cambridge University, and the Ladies suffering a 5-0 loss to top of the table Hampstead and Westminster.

However, the Second teams both maintained their unbeaten runs. Laura Tibbenham (3), Katie Woollatt (2) and Jess Howland were on the scoresheet for the Ladies away at St Ives whilst the Men came back from 3-1 down to beat Pelicans 6-3 thanks to goals from Greg Jagger (2), Lawrence Baynes, Tristan Baynes (2) and Martin Fields.

The Men’s Thirds and Ladies Fourths are both in danger of relegation this season and their fate was not helped on Saturday when neither team picked up a point. The Ladies face a tough game at Norwich City this weekend whilst the Men have another six pointer, this time at UEA with whom they are level on points.

Victoria Spouncer put the Ladies Fifths two goals ahead early on in their late pushback against Norwich City 5ths. This cushion settled the nerves of the young side and enabled them to play some composed hockey and move the ball well. The City ‘keeper had little chance of saving Janna Freeman’s belter of a strike which took Magpies to 3-0 up. Jose Tibbenham got in on the action with a brace of goals, and Tabitha Borrett added the sixth which sets the team up nicely for the top of the table clash with Pelicans this weekend. It is tight at the top with Pelicans, Magpies, Broadland and Diss all fighting for promotion so there is all to play for in the remainder of the season.

The Ladies Sixths got back to winning ways after a disappointing couple of weeks with a 6 goal haul at Norwich City. Goals from Judith Masters, Rachel Clifford and Louise Davy, along with top defending from Marnie Blair and Marie Davy ensured three points for Magpies and a seemingly safe distance from the relegation zone, a fantastic achievement for the team who started 2018 with only three points.

Sunday provided Cup action galore with the Ladies O35s taking centre stage at the Nest and storming through to the National Final with a 5-0 win over Clifton Robinsons. The U16 girls finished as runners up at the Regional Finals where they beat Braintree (2-0) and Saffron Walden (2-0) but were denied an equaliser against Southgate when a shot hit the goal frame. Sadly this means that the girls do not progress any further in the competition but should take heart from the fantastic hockey they have displayed.

Both U18 teams are though to the semi finals which is a brilliant achievement for the players, coaches and club as a whole. The Boys hosted Rugby & East Warwickshire and came out 2-1 victors thanks to flicks from Archie Winter. The Girls travelled to Leicester and found themselves 1-0 up at half time thanks to Abby’s goal and solid defending from Lottie, Olivia, Sophie and Rose, and some great saves by Alice Gooch.  An aggressive press ultimately led to the Leicester collapse and once the floodgates were opened, Abby, Lauren and Lottie sealed the 5-1 win for Magpies.

The Ladies Firsts host Bedford on Saturday (2pm) who sit two places below them in the table. They then travel to Southgate on Sunday in search of another three points.

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 10TH MARCH 2018

Mens 2nd Team v Pelicans (Away (L) W 6-3)

After 2weeks of snow disruption, magpies men’s 2nd 11 were glad to be back on the pitch playing again. This week away to Pelicans who sit third in the table.

A lively start to an eventful game saw Magpies take the lead in the first minute, when Greg Jager finished calmly after good work from Jude and Martin down the left flank. Pelies found a reply immediately and then had the audacity to take the lead within two rather frantic minutes. Magpies were maybe missing veteran defenders Dickon and Flatman and the newly formed jnr back line was taking time to settle in, when magpies conceded a third. A physical and vocal first half, void of the usual passing delights so often on show, came to a close with Pelies 3-1 in front.

An inspired half time rallying cry from Stuart Fields led to a much improved second half, where magpies superior fitness led to a flurry of short corners, the first two were converted by brothers Baynes, LB and Tris. With their 100% unbeaten record now looking safer, magpies continued to press their advantage, with excellent wing back work from Cadman and Manly, when over enthusiasm led to AJ receiving two umpire enforced rest brakes. This only galvanised the spirit of the magpies forward line, as they attacked impressively on the break. Greg Jager, ever a danger, was up ended in the D and Tristan  calmly converted the penalty stroke to make it 4-3.
As a tired looking Pelies seached for an equaliser, magpies punished them with late goals from the in form Martin Fields and Greg Jager.
The game finished 6-3 to Harleston Magpies.

Next up are St Ives who travel to the nest nest Saturday at 3:30pm.

LADIES O35 TEAM REPORT 11TH MARCH 2018

Ladies O35 v Clifton Robinsons (Home (O35 Cup )W 5-0)

Magpies thrilled the home crowd with this resounding Investec Women’s Over 35s Tier 1 Championship semi-final victory playing quality hockey from the opening minute against a talented Clifton side. They threatened to open the scoring on several occasions but before doing so were grateful for a good save by goalkeeper Lucy King who was otherwise rarely tested.

In a superb squad performance Emma Lee-Smith was outstanding for Magpies with her strong runs at the Clifton defence and she put the home team ahead in the 23rd minute with a powerful shot from a narrow angle which evaded goalkeeper Sarah Ellis who had earlier made several smart saves. Six minutes later Emma converted a penalty corner with a powerful shot high into the net following some deft stickwork.

Magpies were now in total control with Frances Burrell and Debbie Francis in dominant form in midfield and their position was further strengthened just before half time when after a strong run down the right by Lucy Field the ball found Charlie Harrison to the left of the circle. By sheer persistence and aided by a first-class advantage by the umpire she took the ball along the goal line before squeezing the ball into the net.

Early in the second half Angie Wheelhouse, who had several times gone close to scoring in the first half, was unlucky to see her shot hit the bar before being cleared. Clifton, with Isabel Palmer prominent, responded with a spell of pressure of their own but the fourth goal for Magpies was soon forthcoming when Anouska Stott took advantage of a calamitous mix up in the visitors’ defence to ease the ball past the guiltless goalkeeper.

This made the game safe for Magpies before Anouska latched on to a through ball to race into the circle to fire high into the net to complete the scoring.

This has to rank as one of the finest home performances by a Magpies’ team in recent seasons and in the final at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre on Saturday 5 May (5.00pm) they will play Canterbury who beat Olton & West Warwicks 4-3 in the other semi-final.

LADIES 1ST TEAM REPORT 10TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 1st Team v Hampstead & Westminster (Home (L) L0-5)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents this week welcomed Hampstead and Westminster to The Nest. 

The game started evenly with both teams taking their chances in attack and remaining solid in defence.  In the 23rd minute the deadlock was broken when Kate MaCaw was quickest to react to a rebound to give Hampstead and Westminster the lead.  Magpies remained composed and continued to play their game.  Hampstead and Westminster were denied a clear goal scoring opportunity right on the stroke of half time as the whistle was blown to signify the break before they were able to get their shot away. 

Both teams gathered for a quick tactical talk with Magpies reassuring one another they could get the game back on level terms and even try to steal the crucial 3 points.

The second half came with a rain shower but both teams remained focussed despite the adverse weather conditions and fought hard.  In the 42nd minute Magpies conceded a short corner which was unfortunately converted by Amy Askew taking the score 2-0.  Despite determined defending Kate McCaw added to Hampstead and Westminster’s tally in the 44th minute leaving Magpies shaken.  One minute later Amy Askew found the net with a backhand shot from the top of the circle, taking their score to 4. 

Magpies encouraged each other to stay composed and did manage to create a few chances at goal from counter attacks but unfortunately couldn’t quite finish them.  Both teams were fighting hard in the closing stages of the match but it was Hampstead and Westminster who managed to grab the final goal of the game in the 64th minute, which was scored by Melanie Wilkinson.

Whilst Magpies were disappointed with the score line and their second half performance, particularly conceding three goals in quick succession, they accepted that they had been beaten by a quality team with aspirations of playing in the top flight next season.  Magpies will take positives from their first half performance and work hard in training this week in readiness for two crucial games next weekend. 

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.), Lauren Barber, Katrina Sitch, Louisa Greenacre, Lottie Summers, Debbie Francis, Rose Winter, Annie Nunn, Charlie Harrison, Katherine Ridley, Lucy Whiting, Emma Lee-Smith, Lauren Rowe, Martha Lawrence. 

LADIES 7TH TEAM REPORT 10TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 7th Team v Loddon 2 (Home (L) L 0-1)

Our morning match started well but we had our work cut out against Loddon who were a strong team. This soon showed when a small mistake in our circle ended up with Loddon taking full advantage – well who wouldn’t? – and scoring a goal. Play was fast and furious with the ball flying from one end to another. We had short corners but Loddon’s defenders swiftly deflected the ball away from their goal.
During the second half, Loddon struck the ball at our goal but it pinged off the goalpost and was sent clear by our strong defenders. At one point, Karen Hunt dived sideways to send a ball clear of the goal and our defence played superbly. The forwards made a great effort to take the ball to Loddon’s circle but any shots at goal either missed or were blocked by their defenders. It was a hard game but exciting.

LADIES 5TH TEAM REPORT 10TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 5th Team v Norwich City 5 (Home (L) W 6-0)

This game was more evenly contested than the score suggests although the magpies keeper only had to make a couple of saves. Victoria gave magpies a two goal lead early on with similar goals following up the first strike from the penalty corner tapping in on the near post. This settled the nerves and enabled the team to play some composed hockey. Magpies moved the ball well and when they moved the ball early looked very dangerous. The defence mopped up most attacks outside the defending 25 giving Norwich little opportunity at goal. Victoria and Beth were working tirelessly in midfield and creating many attacks. Janna got the 3rd with a screamer of a strike giving the goalkeeper little chance. The captains request to keep up the effort and double the score in the second half was well executed. In contrast to the last couple of weeks when the team has looked sluggish at times magpies continued to move the ball early and create chances. Tibbenham struck a short corner midway through the second half, a second for Tibbenham soon followed after good interplay down the right and a slick final pass from keira. Tabitha finished the scoring with a deft touch late in the game. A much improved performance from the last couple of weeks setting us up nicely for the top of the table clash next week against Pelicans. Pelicans currently sit top with the 5ths 2nd but with a game in hand on Pelicans. Broadland and Diss are also still in the fight for promotion just one and 2 points behind respectively.