All posts by fixtures


Magpies Men’s 1st team headed down to Saffron Walden for their last league fixture of the year. The team were determined to put in a good performance after two weeks without a game due to the cold weather. Walden opened the scoring on the break but Archie Winter pulled back two quality goals in succession to put the visitors ahead. A plethora of individual defending errors allowed Saffron Walden to regain the lead with two quick goals, however Magpies retaliated through Stuart Leate, Pete Bale and Jack Hobbs, taking them into half time 5-3 up.
Coming into the second half in a much more controlled manner Harleston were able to increase their lead with goals from Will Martin and Tim Whiteman. Despite the home team grabbing another goal the points came back to Norfolk, Saffron Walden 4 – Harleston Magpies 7.
An incredible weekend of youth hockey with both the Magpies Girls U16 and U18 teams qualifying for the National Indoor Finals. The U16s started slowly with a loss against Canterbury and a 2-2 draw with Sudbury. Old Loughtonians and Chelmsford proved no match for Magpies as the girls made easy work of the next two games. In the last game of the tournament Magpies battled Sevenoaks for the runners up spot and a place in the National Finals. Playing without a goalkeeper the girls pinned the opposition back and were 3-2 winners when the final hooter sounded, sending them to the National Finals in Wolverhampton on the 20th and 21st January. The U18 girls followed suit in their regional championships, beating Old Loughtonians 5-3 (Lauren Rowe 2, Martha Lawrence 2, Tor Findlay) and Canterbury 14-3 (Martha Lawrence 4, Lauren Rowe 3, Lottie Summers 2, Alice Woollatt, Tor Findlay, Aoife Lowe Davies, Anna Tighe and Charlotte Seaman).
Saturday saw the Annual battle for the Snowflake Cup in the Lads vs Dads game featuring the Magpies Boys development team and their rather less sprightly fathers. The lads piled on the pressure from the start, forcing saves from Chris Flatt in the dads goal. Some tactical substitutions by the dads led to their opening goal by Mark Emms following silky skills from Matt Brand and Andy Caston.
The Lads launched a comeback and levelled the scoreline by nutmegging the ‘keeper after great work from Wicks, Flatt, Jackson, Chapman and Emms. Ed Brice made it 2-1 to the Lads with a strike from the top of the D but the lead was short lived as Curry found Caston who set up Hall for the equaliser. With time running out Graham Mobbs made a blistering run up the pitch to score his first competitive goal on a full pitch, giving the lads the 3-2 victory. Magpies players will now hang up their hockey sticks for a few weeks until the matches start again in January. The Men’s and Ladies Indoor teams are in action on the 6th and 7th January and you can keep up to date with how training is going on twitter @magpies_hockey.


U 16 Girls East Regional Indoor Finals

The u16’s travelled to Oakland’s College in Hertfordshire for the East Region Indoor finals.
After the late addition of Seven Oaks the schedule was extended making it an all day tournament with each team playing 5 games.
Up first was Canterbury who on paper appeared to be the toughest test. This proved to be the case although Magpies had the better of the possession and created more chances. Due to difficulty with getting all the girls in one place in the run up to the tournament we were a little undercooked and were undone by 2 penalty corners and some wayward shooting. A goal towards the end that the umpire didn’t see meant that we hadn’t made the dream start that one always hopes for.
Next up were a very lively Sudbury who took control early on but after a rousing halftime team talk were soon pegged back and Magpies were on level terms. A well worked goal as the hooter sounded would have given the girls their first win but it was decided that the ball had crossed the line during the hooter not before it started resulting in the goal being disallowed and the game ending 2 2.
The girls were however now flying and Old Loughts were on the receiving end of any frustrations that they had from the previous two games. Seven well crafted goals followed with all members of the team contributing and Magpies getting their first three points of the day.
We had sorted out our penalty corners both defending and attacking and Chelmsford were the next to be on the end of another good team performance with the score finishing 4 0.
This now made things interesting as a final match of tournament saw the Magpies take on Seven Oaks for the runners up spot and a place in the national finals. The situation was made more exciting by us playing with 6 outfield players. This though only proved to spur the girls on even further with the team operating a high press pinning Seven Oaks back and not allowing them the chance to capitalise. 3 1 up with 7 minutes to go became an uncomfortable 3 2 with 4 minutes to go and the showing of a yellow card after an over enthusiastic challenge meant the girls hung on for the last 2 minutes with only 5 players.
The sound of the final hooter was greeted with jubilation as girls against the odds had achieved a remarkable victory securing their place with Canterbury in the Nationals which take place in Wolverhampton on the 20th and 21st of January. It really was a fantastic effort by all of them who grew in confidence and ability as the day progressed playing at times some breathtaking indoor hockey.
Squad: Cantrell, Eglington, Farrow, Gardens, Herschel-Shorland, Salsby, Warnes, Williamson


Mens 1st v Saffron Walden ( Away (L) W 7-4 )

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops finished the first half of the season by taking flight to Saffron Walden Hockey Club. It was a brisk morning and after a nervy pitch inspection was cleared, the wagons rolled from Harleston with the team determined to put in a good performance after two weeks without a game due to the cold weather. 
Harleston began the game brightly with the midfield and forward line finding themselves in threatening positions and within five minutes the pies had won themselves two corners but failed to capitalise. Then, with Harleston looking to mount another attack, a misplaced pass let Saffron Walden start a counter attack which they finished emphatically to take the lead. Harleston reposed well though and man of the match Archie Winter scored two high quality goals. The first a rocket on the back-hand from the top left corner of the circle into the bottom right corner of the goal and the second, another classy finish, with a two-touch finish in the circle struck hard, once again passed the keepers left foot. Harleston then faced a mini-collapse with individual defending errors letting Saffron Walden score two quick goals to take the lead 3-2. Harleston however responded well and went into the break 5-3 up with two deflected goals. The first coming from Stuart Leate who converted a deflection with the natural finishing ability he is famed for after a superb delivery crashed in by captain Leigh Sitch. The second from Pete Bale who again deflected a hammer blow of a ball in from fellow full back Andrew Bedwell. Both goals coming with celebrations fitting with their superb finish. The third was a sharp finish from Jack Hobbs from close range after good work on the right from Sam Patterson. 
Understandably, Harleston were disappointed with the defensive naivety shown in the first half and after clear boundaries were set, came out with a much improved and controlled performance that saw them score two more goals. The first was arguable Harleston’s best of the season. It started deep in their own half with Bedwell playing the ball into Hipwell, who then became the pivotal figure in a 6 person move of minimal touches that resulted in the returning Will Martin finishing from 6 yards out. A run away goal from Saffron Walden once again reduced the arrears but it was to be Harleston day when they scored from a short corner with Tim Whiteman latching onto a bullet delivery from Archie Winter with a single-handed deflection from an impossible angle that rifled passed the ears of the man on the line. Final score 7-4.
Man of the match Archie Winter reflected afterwards: “we were extremely disappointed to have let in so many soft goals today but overall our attacking intensity and ball retention was massively improved from recent weeks. It was great to welcome Jake Sewell and Will Martin back into the side which demonstrates the strength of our squad. Overall it’s been a great first half of the season and despite the odd result, we have played some expansive, attacking hockey that has been enjoyable to play in. 


U 18 Girls East Regional Indoor Finals

Today the U18 girls won the East Regional indoor final at Aldenham school and have qualified for  the National finals at Whitgift school, Croydon over the weekend of January 20th/21st 2018. They did this by playing the Essex champions Old Loughtonians in the opening match and after going behind to an early goal Magpies won the game 5-3 with goals scored by Lauren Rowe x2, Martha Lawrence x2 and Tor Findlay.  In their final game the girls played the Kent champions Canterbury, they started the game at a furious pace and after 10 minutes found themselves 5-0 ahead. They maintained this tempo throughout the game and finished the game 14-3 winners and are East Region Champions 2017. Goals scorers were Martha Lawrence x4, Lauren Rowe x3, Lottie Summers x2, Alice Woollatt, Tor Findlay, Aoife Lowe Davies, Anna Tighe, Charlotte Seaman


Santa’s Team v The Elves (Home ( Not Friendly ) w/ice)

Facing cold conditions the annual Development Dads v Lads fixture was played out in high spirits to a festive crowd. The santa’s team was packed with quality to face chief elf Oneorse Openslays team of mischievous elves. The lads started out full of running and soon put the santa’s under pressure during the first quarter, with elf loads of Curries, Caston’s and Emms’ all forcing saves from Santa Flatt in goal. After this the santa’s began to recover, some might say realising the game had now begun, and by the end of the first third were getting back into the game with santa’s Bardwell and Kinsman joining up to find santa’s Hall and Currie up front, who had started Christmas early by letting the Elves off several chances.
After some heart warming medicinal rehydration the santa’s started out the second third with more purpose. With santa Brand having finished the calls to cancel his 2pm 3rds fixture he joined the fray and santa Emms brought himself on to spearhead the attack with Santa Hall. This soon paid dividends as they linked up via santa Caston and santa Emms rounded the reach of Elf Fairweather in goal to dive, some less complimentary members of the crowd might say fall, and push the ball home. After some jubilant celebrations, and some unseasonal booing from the crowd, santa Emms subbed himself off again for a rest and more rehydration. This spurred the elves into life and with chief Elf Read making use of his bench strength, Elves Wicks, Flatt, Jackson and Chapman were all making headway. Elf FHS soon found Elf Emms Junior in the D, who with his back to goal rolled out to nutmeg Santa Flatt and level at 1-1. This time the Elves weren’t sitting back and they soon found themselves ahead courtesy of a well struck shot from the top of the D from Elf Brice to make it 2-1 Elves.
After a rousing team talk the Santa’s set about levelling the game in the final third. With Santa Mobb’s now on the field having dropped off the turkey, Santa Curry broke down the right and with his trademark reverse reverse stick found santa Caston and then Hall who calmly made the score 2-2 from short range. What happened next can only be described as elfish mischievousness at its best. Spotting umpire Smith had his back to the bench, elf Mobb’s brought himself on at the back for the elves as a twelfth man and tracked up field to get on the end of a move he started and score his first competitive goal on a full pitch. This sent both the elves and the crowd crazy, and with time running out the santa’s squandered a couple of chances and allowed the elves to record their first victory in the snowflake cup 3-2.
Thanks to all parents for bringing nibbles and mulled wine, special appreciation to the Mobb’s and Hall families for creating the hot turkey and stuffing rolls, and thanks to James, and Larky for umpiring.
Santa Emms.


Due to the wintery weather last weekend all matches were cancelled, providing a free day for players to get their Christmas shopping done. Tomorrow (Saturday) the Ladies 2s travel to Newmarket for the rearranged fixture, whilst the Men’s 1sts head to Saffron Waldon for their last league game of 2017. The Men’s 2nd XI have the weekend off whereas the remaining men’s teams (3rds, 4ths, 5ths and 6ths) all have home games, so, weather permitting, there will be plenty happening at the Nest.
Harleston Magpies boast six senior men’s teams, enabling the provision of competitive hockey for all abilities. Up until the age of 13, the only match practice available comes in the form of ‘Mini’s’ Tournaments which are played on half sized pitches with 7 players aside and a simplification of the rules.
The Boys and Girls Development Teams present the opportunity for younger players to gain valuable experience on a full sized pitch in a positive environment against opposition their own age. Magpies boys are currently placed second in the Norfolk league at the halfway stage, with games in hand. Many of the team are playing in the England Hockey Championships boys U14’s team, who are currently topping their league table having won all 3 of their games so far. Development boys ages range from 11 to 15 and play their games on Saturdays across Norfolk. Team Manager Mark Emms said “we try to involve as many boys as possible during the season, our aim being to give players confidence as they have fun moving from 7 aside minis though to full pitch age representative and mens hockey teams”.
Magpies Girls Development team play in the Empresa Norfolk Women’s League and have had a fantastic first half of the season, currently sitting second in the table behind Norwich City Girls. There are many girls who would be more than capable of entering the senior ladies teams once they turn 13, and plenty of young players waiting to enter the development squad. This demonstrates the strength of the Magpies Youth section and quality of coaching the girls receive. It bodes extremely well for the future of the club.
Magpies Ladies 1sts have completed the first half of their outdoor season and will now focus on training for their Indoor tournaments which commence early January. The Girls U16 and U18 teams play in the East Indoor Championships this weekend at Aldenham School and Oaklands College in St Albans.


As always the weekend was crammed full of hockey action at The Nest featuring some of our most junior and senior members. The Ladies 2s got the ball rolling on Saturday with a convincing win against Wisbech 1s to keep their position at the top of the table safe. Goals from Laura Tibbenham (2), Alice Woollatt, Fran Burrell and Anouska Stott (3) secured a 7-1 victory for the home team with an outstanding performance from Amelia Herschel-Shorland. 

The Men’s 4s came out on top when they played mid table counterparts Thetford 1s in a closely contested game which ended 6-4 to Magpies, with Arthur Ross contributing a hat trick. There was also a victory for the Ladies 7s who ensured they entered the Christmas break on a high, winning 4-0 against Carrow. Veteran Shirley McAllen scored twice, ably assisted by Abi Wallis and Bex Portruff. Georgia and Ellie, two of the less experienced players also scored to take the game out of Carrow’s reach. 

The crowd were unable to relax as they watched the Men’s 1s host St Albans, knowing how little there is between the teams at the top of the East Premier League table. 0-0 at half time it was Magpies who broke the deadlock via former Canada international Elliot Marsh, only for St Albans to react by converting a penalty corner within 5 minutes to even the scores. Despite numerous chances from the home team, St Albans clinched the winning goal in the last minute much to the devastation of the home crowd. 

On Sunday the club hosted the second Norfolk U10s In2Hockey tournament of the  season where they welcomed 18 boys and girls teams from local clubs. The matches are a fantastic way for the juniors to get a taste of competitive hockey and there was a lot of potential on display. The tournament was followed by the Magpies Ladies 1s National Hockey Cup match against league rivals Bedford which finished 2-0 to Magpies.

At the other end of the age scale the Men’s O50s hosted Norwich Dragons in the National Plate competition. The team featured many individuals who played National League hockey for Magpies back in the 80s and Jonathon Aldridge, Phillip Cobbald and David Blackmore who have all represented England at Masters level. It was a straight forward 6-0 win for the team who have historically been very successful in this competition, with goals from Phillip Cobbald (3), Roger Kent (2) and Andy Caston. 

Tomorrow (Saturday) the Men’s 1s face Wapping at The Nest (2pm) in a bid to come back from their first league defeat last week and the Ladies 2s host Newmarket at 12pm where they will look to extend their 6 point lead at the top of the table. 


Girls U10’s Tournament (Home Joint Winners)

Magpies U10 Girls A team had a very successful Tournament finishing joint 1st with Norwich City A team. This was a big step up from their first Tournament a few weeks ago, as Magpies looked a much better balanced team. In their section A games Magpies results were as follows:

City Orange        Won 3-0 Evie Wheeler 2, Boo Harrod
City Green          Won 1-0 Evie Wheeler
Pelicans                Won 6-0  Evie Wheeler, Boo Harrod 2, Daisy Wicks, Mia North 2
Dragons A           Won 2-0  Mia Spaull, Molly Warnes
In winning their section Magpies qualified for the semi finals playing some excellent hockey with two particularly special goals. Daisy Wicks winning the ball in her own circle and then running the length of the pitch to score and Mia Spaull scoring from a penalty corner with a shot that hit the top of the back board.
In the semi finals Magpies played Watton in a game Magpies dominated but just could not score. Magpies went through deservedly to the final on goals scored earlier in the Tournament.
In an excellent final against Norwich City A, City had more possession but Magpies probably had the best chances on the counter attack. The score finished 0-0 and the teams finished joint first.
Next week Magpies play at the Pelicans Tournament.

Squad: Daisy Wicks (Capt), Rebekah Moss GK, Millie Shepherd, Mia Spaull, Evie Wheeler, Molly Denny, Ellie Davies, Boo Harrod and Mia Norh.


Ladies 1 v Bedford (Home (EHC) W 2-0)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre estate agents, this week made their first appearance in the England Hockey cup, having been awarded a buy in the first round.  With a much changed team including a number of youngsters, Magpies welcomed Bedford, a side they had drawn with in the league only three week’s previous.  

Magpies always knew they would have to start strongly, with the forward line leading an aggressive press.  They found a break-through mid-way through the first half after Lucy Whiting turned the ball over high up the pitch winning a short corner which Abby Gooderham  converted following up a good initial save from the Bedford goalkeeper. Magpies soon doubled their lead with Lizzie Clymer scoring from close range.  

The second half saw a major improvement from the visitors forcing strong performances from the home side’s defence. Jess Howland was resolute at centre back with plenty of hard work from fellow defenders Lucy Belsey and Katrina Sitch.  After Tor Findlay retired injured, Magpies regained their composure and despite Bedford putting Magpies under increasing pressure, they had a few break away chances to extend their lead.  Lottie Summers and Lauren Barber worked tirelessly to control the midfield.

Bedford won a shortcorner in the final seconds to give Magpies one final test, but Magpies defended well for a well earned victory and a clean sheet.

Squad: Jade Daly (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.), Lauren Barber, Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Katrina Sitch, Charlie Seaman, Lottie Summers, Abby Gooderham, Olivia Locke, Lucy Whiting, Tor Findlay, Lizzie Clymer, Emma Lee-Smith, Alice Woolatt.


Magpies festive program kicks off star performances in the U10 In2Hockey Tournament

Harleston Magpies hosted the second Norfolk U10s In2Hockey tournament of the season on Sunday 3 November. 18 boys and girls teams took part in a morning of hockey. For many this was their very first appearance in a competitive environment and the start of a long and enjoyable playing career in the ‘hockey family’.

The early drizzle and grey skies did not dishearten and over the morning 52 matches were played with goals galore, some fine defending and excellent goal keeping. With the encouragement of a bustling crowd of family and friends, coaches, managers and a squad of umpires that included a number of Magpies National League Ladies Hockey team members, and from the mens section former GB international Tim Whiteman, all of whom who started their respective hockey careers in tournaments just like this. There were some really sparkling performances by Magpies teams.

The boys U10 A team started brightly, cruising through to the cup competition undefeated, the B team battling valiantly into the plate final. Eventually the boys A team secured the runners up spot in the cup missing out on the title to the very impressive Norwich City team. Magpies’ young and less experienced B team finished fourth in the plate, a result to be improved upon in future tournaments.

In the girls competition Magpies were fighting hard and getting some great results. The B team picked up two wins to finish third in their group. The A team went one better with four wins from four games and progressed into the semi-finals. Although they failed to score again, their earlier strong performances and goals got them through to the final where they ended the day as joint winners with Norwich City. Magpies Girls B team entered the playoff match to end the day joint fifth but also the highest finishing B team in the event.

Final results:

U10 Girls – Gold Tournament Winners Harleston Magpies and City Yellow
Joint 5th Harleston Magpies B
U10 Boys – Cup Winners City Thunder
Runners Up Harleston Magpies A
U10 Boys – Plate Winners City Lightning
4th Place Harleston Magpies B

Lucy Belsey, Harleston Magpies Ladies 1st team captain was on hand to present the medals, certificates and sweets for all teams. She was delighted with the results from the young Magpies players, saying: ‘Having started my hockey career here at Magpies at the age of just eight, it’ fantastic to see so many new boys and girls getting involved in hockey. I am sure several of them will follow in my footsteps one day and make it into the clubs first teams and even appear on the national hockey stage. Many congratulations to all who took part today whether as a player, coach or volunteer helping to host the event. It’s what Harleston Magpies hockey club is all about.’

As hockey gets ready for its Christmas break youth coaching comes to a close for the first half of the season. However, it is never too late to join the hockey family. In January coaching returns and for anyone in School Years 2 and above whatever your hockey or sporting experience you are welcome at Magpies. Visit Magpies website for more details



Mens 1st Team v St Albans 1 ( Home (L) L 1-2 )

Magpies welcomed St Albans to the nest in what promised to be the game of the season. Both teams vying for promotion, with St Albans top but Harleston just behind with an unbeaten record in the league. The game started at a fast pace, with both teams pressing high up the pitch. It was Harleston who had the majority of possession and nearly took the lead with a short corner on 15 minutes with Sam Patterson beating the keeper for pace but unfortunately also the outside of the post. Half-way through the game St Albans began to assert their authority and it was Harleston’s turn to absorb pressure but thankfully Harleston went into the first half with the scores even due to goal keeper John Living’s crucial save and Andrew Bedwell, Giles Flat and Leigh Sitch’s telling interceptions.
Harleston started the second half extremely brightly and after a prolonged period of pressure broke the deadlock after patient build-up play against a deep lying defensive. It was captain Leigh Sitch who provided the pass into the circle and former Canadian international Elliott Marsh who deflected the ball into the goal. St Albans reacted strongly and immediately turned up the heat and within five minutes the scores were even after they converted a penalty corner to make it 1-1. As the half wore on Harleston once again began to dominate proceedings with Thomas Ridley and David Gilbert showing attacking intent that nearly earned the team a goal.  With fifteen minutes to go Harleston had a barrage of short corners but despite their efforts they lacked the potency of their rivals and failed to score from 13 penalty corners over the course of the game. As the game entered the final moments there only looked like one winner with Harleston camped in the opposition half rallying attack after attack. Then, with 1 minute to go the unthinkable happened and a counter attack from St Albans resulted in only their third penalty corner of the game and crucially their second goal: this time from the right castle into the bottom left corner. With 20 seconds left Harleston mounted one more attack but it was all too late and the final whistle blew on not only the game but possibly Harleston’s East Premier League title ambitions.
A devastating way to end a game in which the Harleston guys showed so much heart and determination. Player coach Tim Whiteman commented after the game, “this was an absolutely gutting result and didn’t reflect the effort or quality the lads demonstrate today. It does however illustrate the importance of penalty corners in tight games of hockey and on reflection we didn’t execute our corners as well as our opposition.  This performance does however demonstrate huge progress and myself and the club are extremely proud of their efforts today.”


Mens 4th Team v Thetford 1 ( Home (L) W  6-4 )

With this 6-4 win, the 4ths aggregate scores for the last 4 games is 19 for, 16 against! Quite a record. The 4ths went into this mid table contest confident that they would be able to score goals, and so it proved.
Beginning with high intensity Magpies pegged Thetford into their own half and scoring regularly went into half time 3-1 up. The second half really opened up with both sides attacking at will. With Arthur Johnson leading the line well Magpies always looked dangerous. Despite Thetford scoring from two late well taken corners Magpies ran out deserved winners with Arthur scoring a well deserved hat trick and Rob Neal popping up with two more goals.



Ladies 2nd v Wisbech Ladies 1 ( Home (L) W 7-0 )

Sitting proudly on top of the league (unbeaten) the Ladies 2’s welcomed Wisbech to the Nest hoping to continue our excellent run. The match couldn’t have started better for Magpies as Captain Laura Tibbenham lead by example and scored in the 1st minute after good work from Anouska Stott to make it 1-0.
Magpies started the game confidently and were soon 2-0 ahead thanks to a goal from Alice Woollatt. After 15 minutes Magpies went 3-0, Alice broke down the right flank and passed to Tibbs who then picked out Anouska who calmly scored, this was the pick of the goals as it showed great team passing.
The team were playing some of the best hockey of the season, transferring the ball well and having lots of attacking play in the Wisbech half. Debbie Francis and Fran Burrell were controlling the midfield and before half time Anouska added another to make it 4-0 at half time.
The 2nd half continued as the 1st half finished, Tibbenham scored her 2nd of the game and made the score 5-0 . The defence didn’t allow Wisbech many scoring chances, Herschel-Shorland had a excellent match. Fran got on the score sheet scoring the 6th goal following good work by Katie Woollatt. Anouska completed the scoring and completed her hat trick after she picked up a long range pass from Alice and then rounded the keeper to make the final score 7-0.
Next week we are at home against Newmarket.

Player of the match – Amelia Herschel-Shorland



Ladies 7th v Carrow 2 (Home (L) W 4-0 )

It was a chilly but bright start to our early morning home game against Carrow, and the Ladies 7ths were in confident mood after last weeks win. Carrow started strongly, and clearly had some talented players on their team with pace and stick skills, but after a hectic seven minutes or so, Shirley McAllen quickly put us on the score sheet, slipping the ball in past their keeper. After that, Magpies surged forward and had loads of chances in the D, culminating with a lovely goal from our speedy and talented right wing, Georgia Hood. After half time, we were impressed by Carrows commitment to stay in the game, and Imogen Flatt as keeper was kept busy for a few minutes, supported by Karen Hunt, Liv and Daphne Beckett in our strong defence.  But the Magpies ladies were determined to score a few more, and with some lovely passing in the mid field manged well by centre mid Abi Wallis, we managed to secure a short corner. Bex Pottruff sent it in to Shirley who scored again with a heartening crack against the back board. We finished the game with a final goal off the post from young Ellie who had been standing by to do just that all through the match! Chy, Mollie and Laura all played confidently too. Great to have twelve for the last match of this calendar year, and we celebrated our 4-nil victory with mulled wine and crackers for a festive feel.


Ladies 7th v Pelicans 4 (Home (L) W 2-0)

It was the coldest day of this season by far, but the Magpies Ladies 7ths were in confident mood and looking forward to our match against a very young Pelicans side. From the first whistle, Magpies started strongly, and whilst the Pelicans team had youth and a good turn of speed on their side, this was more than matched by strength in stick skills from our much more experiences players, with a few new faster players up front and mid field, who are so welcome. It’s great to see new faces joining the team!  We missed a couple of great goal opportunities in the first ten minutes, but held firm, and Bex slotted one past the keeper mid way through the first half. This galvanised our young opponents, who pushed back, and started to look a bit threatening in our D. Our strong defence with Karen, Gillian, Janet, Daphne and Peg (with a couple of leaps to the ground), made sure that we finished the first half in the stronger position, even missing a couple of further scoring opportunities, with a particularly close one from speedy right wing Georgia. We came out keen to score quickly in the second half, and after twelve minutes, Ebony scored a super goal, nicking it in off the post after a great pass in from Shirley. A couple more chances passed us by, and a cracking strike from Shirley off a short was disallowed,  but we were delighted with the final score of two nil. Well played to everyone on the team, new and experienced players alike. It’s so good for the club to be able to turn out a strong Ladies 7ths side. Roll on our final match of this year next week!


Mixed 1st v Ely (Away (EH Mixed Cup) W 13-1)

On a crisp Sunday morning, Harleston Magpies sponsored by Parson Estate Agents travelled to Ely in the preliminary round of England hockey’s mixed cup.  Despite spending the early stages camped in Ely’s half and passing the ball around well, it took Magpies ten minutes to settle into the game and find a break-through.

The deadlock was broken when an Ely defender deflected Simon Hipwell’s cross/shot into her own net.  Sam Paterson doubled the lead picking up a loose ball and powering home.
Ely pulled a goal back with a breakaway, outnumbering the Magpies’ defence.
After a few minutes of end-to-end play, Magpies found their rhythm with the goals coming thick and fast.  Lucy Whiting got in on the action with a brace. The second a goal for the spectators, deflecting a Hipwell cross into the roof of the net.
Emma Lee-Smith then showed her class with a brace of her own. The first a powerful strike beating the keeper at the far post and the second a tap in on the post after playing a clever 1-2 with Hipwell.
At half-time with the score at 6-1, manager Kevin Ridley called for more of the same in the second half, passing the ball around the team.
Four minutes into the second half Magpies begun a great spell, scoring four goals in eight minutes. Whiting completed her hat-trick, when the ball fell to her unmarked after a good initial save from the Ely goalkeeper.  After a powerful ball into the D from Lauren Barber the ball fell to Lizzie Clymer to score first-time on the far post.  Hipwell added two more after some strong running from midfield.
Magpies continued to transfer the ball well and pass through the midfield with Thomas Ridley, Kathryn Ridley, Barber and Hipwell dominating in the middle of the park. Tom Ridley scored goal of the game with a spectacular reverse stick strike leaving the goalkeeper stunned.  Katrina Sitch converted a penalty corner with a powerful strike from the top of the D. Whiting completed the scoring with ten minutes to go after Hipwell selflessly squared the ball with the goalkeeper out of position.
The Magpies defence of Andrew Bedwell, Sam Patterson, Jonty Gosling, Lucy Belsey, Lauren Barber Katrina Sitch and John Livings in goal were solid in the second half, clearing up any Ely break-throughs.
The game, which finished 13-1, was played in very good spirits from both teams.  Everyone at Magpies wishes Ely well in their journey through the Plate competition. 


Mens 1st v Cambridge University 1 (Away (L) W 2-1 )

It was a cold and windy day as Harleston, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, made the relatively short journey down to Cambridge university. After a professional warm up of cricket and duck duck goose, the boys were raring to go.  
Harleston yet again started the game slowly with Cambridge piling on pressure early on. Despite this, the defence stayed solid and absorbed all the pressure. As the game descended into chaos, it was actually harleston who took the lead. Under high pressure from Dave Gilbert, the cambridge defender chucked an aerial off the side of the pitch. The resulting sideline was then the basis for an exhilarating attack in which Dave Gilbert and Jack Hobbs bounced the ball around between each other before Gilbert’s shot was deftly volleyed home by Sam Moore.
Having taken the lead, Harleston couldn’t find a way to extend their lead despite having multiple chances and this allowed cambridge to slowly claw their way back into the game. Harleston defended resolutely and repelled Cambridge whilst being unable to score themselves, thus leaving the score at 1-0 to the pies at half time. 
As the teams lined up for the second half, all Dave Gilbert could think about was rinsing the entirety of the Cambridge team from pushback and scoring a screamer. Needless to say this did not happen. Again the game became an end to end affair with chances coming at both ends. 
It was Cambridge who scored the next goal when a well worked move resulted in one of their forwards finding himself unmarked with only the keeper to beat and slotted home comfortably. 
Harleston looked to bounce back and had a plethora of chances zip past the back post with no result. However Cambridge also found themselves with chances to score, the only things preventing them from doing so being some brilliant saves by eventual MOTM John Livings and a couple of excellent goal line clearances by Andrew Bedwell.
Whilst Harleston expertly kept the Cambridge boys from scoring, the forward line surged forwards desperately looking for a winner. The goal finally came when Archie Winter threw a huge aerial over the top of the Cambridge defence to boyfriend Jack Hobbs who expertly controlled and sliced the ball past the keeper. 
The sides then returned to their relentless onslaught on the opposing defence but alas there were no more goals to come. 
The game finished 2-1 to harleston. Despite a very below average performance, the team must be commended on their willpower and determination to pull through and get the result. Next week the pies go against St Albans in a top of the table clash. Definitely not one to miss.


Ladies 1st Team v St Albans (Away (L) L 0-2)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre estate agents this week travelled to St Albans hoping to finish the first half of the season with a win. St Albans started the game with more intensity and it took Magpies 15 minutes to start gaining any momentum. Once Magpies gained a foothold in the game, the tide started turning and the best chances fell to the away team. Despite this, a breakaway goal led to Magpies going 1-0 down. 

The half time team talk focused on stepping up the pressure and the intensity. Magpies followed the instructions perfectly and created chance after chance, putting the St Albans defence under increasing pressure. Despite the impressive performance, Magpies were unable to beat an impressive goalie and a 2nd breakaway goal meant the visitors came away losers. Magpies certainly deserved something considering the number of chances created. Despite the loss, coach Rob Sorrell commented ‘the performance was fantastic and one of the best of the season. Unfortunately we couldn’t turn it into points today but it gives us great confidence for the second half of the season.’ The result leaves Magpies 5th in the table with 10 points. 

Magpies have a home tie against Bedford in the cup on Sunday 3rd December and the league resumes in February after the winter break.  

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.), Lauren Barber, Louisa Greenacre, Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Katrina Sitch, Lottie Summers, Annie Nunn, Charlie Harrison, Debbie Francis, Lucy Whiting, Tor Findlay, Lizzie Clymer, Emma Lee-Smith.


Ladies 6th Team v Pelicans 3 (Away (L) D 3-3)

Magpies Ladies 6ths secure another point in their trip to north west Norfolk this week, and make it four games in a row without a loss. The game started rapidly, and Magpies were left feeling a little bewildered as the Pelicans scored in the first few minutes. As the feet began to thaw, both teams got into a rhythm and found some flow whist attacking. This lead to Rachel Clifford equalised with a splendid one-on-one strike to hit the far sideboard.

She was later heard to say, “I only really got to grips with hitting the ball this season” – we can’t wait to see what she can do after a few more weeks of practice!

With the score levelled at 1-1 the Magpies worked to string together some confident attacks down the middle of the pitch, but struggled at times to keep up with some of the Pelican’s counter attacks. Their speed was impressive!

Despite some great possessional play Magpies failed to convert and found themselves behind after another goal from the home team took the score to 2-1 going into half. The team regrouped, vowing to work on quickly setting the press and putting in the effort into getting back to defend. The younger ones were encouraged to cover the threat from the Pelicans speedy forwards, and we were quickly back on the pitch determined to make amends.

Rachael Clifford, set up by Laura Felgate scored her second to once again level the score. Magpies were back in the game. Unfortunately, soon after finding themselves trailing 2-3. The Pelicans had stepped up once more, frustrating the Magpies who were looking to get ahead on the score board for the first time in the game.

A run of attacking play saw a short corner awarded to the Magpies, Jane Collins injected a great ball that was slotted away by Rachel for her hat trick.

The game ended 3-3, a fair result for the Magpies, who at times lacked coherence in defence, and were caught out by the speed and control of the Pelicans attacking players.

Over all, a fantastic game to play, and it was worth getting up early to make the long journey north. The 6ths play a friendly next week against/with the Girls Development team. A 10.30 push back at the Nest, and a great opportunity to see a team on the up against some of the brightest up and coming stars from the club.

Squad: Katie Davy (GK), Marie Davy, Felicity Perry(c), Rachael Clifford, Jane Collins, Jenny Meyer, Annie Lancaster, Emma Tolhurst, Lucy Basey-Fisher, Laura Felgate and Elena Flatt


After a slow start to the season the Magpies Ladies 6th team head into the Christmas break 4 games undefeated after a 3-3 draw against Pelicans on Saturday. Pelicans scored first only for Rachel Clifford to equalise, followed by an end to end game where Magpies came back from behind twice more with Clifford’s hat trick ensuring they took a point from the game. Captain Felicity Perry puts the recent run of results down to ‘A great work ethic, implementing what we learn at training into the games, and having fun’.

The Men’s 1st team gave a below average performance against Cambridge Uni 1sts but managed to come away with all three points. Magpies Sam Moore scored first for Magpies following an exhilarating attack by Dave Gilbert and Jack Hobbs which took the visitors into half time with a 1-0 lead but Cambridge equalised in the second half when their forward won a one on one with ‘keeper John Livings. The final goal came from Jack Hobbs via Archie Winter’s Ariel pass over the Cambridge defence.

Magpies Ladies 1sts were defeated 2-0 by St Albans at the weekend so find themselves fifth in the league going into the Christmas break, with all to play for in the second half of the season.

The club’s Mixed team travelled to Ely on Sunday for the preliminary round of the England Hockey Mixed Cup which they won last season. Getting the campaign off to a fantastic start with a 13-1 win with goals shared around the Magpies team from Simon Hipwell (3), Sam Patterson, Lucy Whiting (4), Emma Lee-Smith (2), Lizzie Clymer, Thomas Ridley and Katrina Sitch.

Sadly the Men’s Over 40s have bowed out of the England Hockey National Cup Competition in the second round after loosing 5 – 3 to Rugby & East Warwickshire. Despite keeping the scoreline close, coming back from 3-1 down to 4-3 courtesy of goals from Gavin Cole, Neil Toulson and England O40s player Tristan Baynes, Magpies were harshly reduced to ten men and Rugby were awarded a short corner from which they scored, taking the game out of the visitors reach.

The Ladies 7ths consist of a fusion of Magpie’s more experienced players and some newcomers to the sport. Bex Portruff got the first goal which galvanised Pelicans young team but the Magpies defence stood strong to prevent them breaking through. In the second half Shirley McAllen crossed for Ebony to strike for the 2-0 win.

The Men’s 1s are at home against St Albans at 2pm on Saturday in a top of the table clash which is not to be missed.