All posts by fixtures


Mens 1st Team v Bedford W 5-4

Harleston, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shop, welcomed Bedford to Weybread on a sunny autumnal afternoon, hoping to continue their fine five-match winning streak. Harleston started extremely brightly, putting immense pressure on the Bedford back line and winning ball in midfield. Playing at this tempo wasn’t easy and the Harleston players also had to contend with a early afternoon downpour which made for slippery conditions. The Harleston heat eventually told and Magpies went 1-0 up after Tom Ridley played in Simon Hipwell on the edge of the circle to slot calmly passed the sliding keeper. Proceeding the goal however, Harleston succumbed to a mental slip and within 10 minutes found themselves 2-1 down. Impressive 1v1 eliminating skills from Bedford combined with lackluster defending handed the opposition the upper hand. Magpies regained composure before half-time and scored an equaliser with a lifted delivery skidding over Bedford sticks to find Pete Bale at the back-post. As the players regrouped on the halfway line they were astounded to see the decision overturned as the ball was deemed dangerous high. A slippery decision indeed. Harleston continued regardless and after more fine work from Tom Ridley who found Dynamic centre back Leigh Sitch, the full

back smashed the ball into the circle and regained parity through UEA Dave Gilbert slotting in at the far post. This match however had more turns than the Pulham bends and just when the boys could consider going ahead again, Bedford countered once more and finished close-in to lead 3-2 at the break.

The second half began with the same furious intensity, with both sides determined to finish as victors. It was Harleston however who wrestled control and after a fine 15 minutes levelled through first Leigh Sitch and then Andrew Bedwell at short corners. Two of the unlikeliest of heroes dragging Harleston ahead. With fifteen minutes to go it was 4-3 Harleston! The only question was, would they let the lead slip? Thankfully not, as captain Tom Ridley (once again at the heart of proceedings) won a corner attacking from high on the right. A crucial corner, Harleston had to get it right. The injection however was streaky and it looked like a corner fail. Thankfully however Leigh Sitch collected it and Tim Whiteman slipped past first the runner and then the sliding keeper to release a shot that skidded slippery over the line. Despite sky high emotions, a calm celebration denoted the concentration required for the final 10 minutes. Bedford pushed extremely hard but Harleston dug in displaying superb work-rate from James Gray, Simon Hipwell and Jack Hobbs to relieve endless pressure. With 2 minutes to go, Bedford however found their captain sliding in at the back post to make it 5-4! Tension was at Henman-esq levels! The crowd roared, willing the boys on. Finally, finally, it came and Harleston held on for a memorable victory. It was a hard game but with victory, Halreston moved to within two points of the summit and extended their winning run to six games – the first time for 4 years.

Manager Kevin Ridley commented afterwards, “that was a battle but the desire and commitment from all the boys was tremendous. The spirit shown from the players and the crowd made it a memorable Harleston occasion.”


The girl’s style of play matched the brisk autumnal breeze as they hustled and bustled their way to victory and their first winner’s medals of the season.
The opening game was a scrappy encounter against Magpies B, neither side looked entirely comfortable playing competitively against their club mates.  Beth broke the deadlock before setting up Honor who grabbed a double to seal a 3 – 0 win.
Beth also opened the scoring in the next match against Dragons A, a chip shot just creeping in underneath the crossbar.  Nathalie showed great skill moments later to turn the ball past the keeper before Beth knocked in a third following a short corner.  Concentration then dipped slightly with plenty of chances going begging in the D and Dragons stealing a consolation goal at the other end to take the shine off of the win.
After a re-group and words of wisdom from their coaches the girls put together their strongest performance of the day.  They blew through Norwich City’s B team 6 – 0, the goals coming from six different players as Magpies pressurised the D from all angles.  Beth, Honor, Nathalie, Evie, Emily and Artimis all getting on the score sheet.
And so to the deciding game against Norwich A.  At the Dragon’s tournament a month ago Norwich came out on top and for a while it looked like this would be the case again.  Norwich took the lead from their first attack as Magpies failed to deal with a cross allowing a simple tap in at the far post.
This stung the team into action and an intense mid-field battle ensued with Nathalie probing down the left and Beth on the right trying to unlock the Norwich defence.  Beth finally broke through with a fine dribbling run, weaving through City to level the match and to Magpie’s delight she set up Honor to tap in soon after for the lead.  At the back, Harriet and Daisy did a fine job to repulse repeated Norwich attacks and were spotted high-fiving after a particularly intensive period of defensive work! Norwich pushed Magpies all the way and a fine through ball almost put a striker through at the death but goal keeper Jasmine was alive to the danger and sprinted forward to kick clear.

Verdict on the day was good progress made but also plenty to work on in training.

Team (goals in brackets): Beth (5), Honor (4), Nathalie (2), Evie (1), Emily (1), Artimis (1), Daisy, Harriet, Jasmie (GK)  


Girls Development v Pelicans W 11-0

The younger girls showed how well they are adapting to the eleven-a-side game with seven of the eleven goals scored against Pelicans coming from those who play at under-12 level.  Florence C had a particularly good game as the left side attacker, popping up at the back post to score four goals.
With a large number of girls to choose from the development team has a different feel each week.  So the team had a quiet first quarter as everyone slotted into their roles.  The early attacking threat was carried by Amy H who opened the scoring and also drew the first of many saves from the Pelican’s keeper who was kept busy all game.
Second quarter Florence C scored the first of her goals with Ellie B the provider.  Pelicans looked to develop attacks along the wings but Harriet S and Amy F dealt with the threat.  The industry of Kate and Emma F in the mid-field then helped push Pelican’s back to such an extent that much of the play was taking place in and around their D.
The start of the second half brought a deluge of goals as the Magpies score went from three to eight in the space of five minutes.  Flo C and Ellie B, who also finished with four goals, doing the damage.  The game was then closed out with a couple more from Amy H, including a powerful reverse stick strike, and a final score from Ellie B.
A glance at the table shows Magpies at the top, played seven / won seven, with next week’s clash against second place Norwich City being one to look forward to!

Team (goals in brackets): Amy F, Amy H (3), Daisy W, Jessica S, Emma F, Kate F, Flo C (4), Ellie B (4), Harriet S, Isabelle P, Georgia F (GK).


Ladies 2nds v West Herts 1 L 2-3

The ladies headed to Hertfordshire expecting a hard battle against a home side who knew a win would take them above us in the table. Likewise we wanted to put last week’s result behind us and get back to getting some points on the board in this hotly contested division.
As the game began, so did the rain. which began as drizzle but ended up at stages more like a monsoon. However the Pies were soon on the front foot, pushing the home side back as the defensive press was working well which was allowing us to move the ball around on a very slick surface. After a couple of penalty corners for the Pies early on, we then broke up a home attack with devastating effect. Good passing and excellent running off the ball allowed us to get into the D where Laura Tibbenham beat the keepers lunge to send the ball towards goal, allowing Olivia Locke to put us a goal up in 6 minutes (certainly a change in fortunes in this respect based on recent games).

The ladies were now on top in all areas of the pitch, breaking up attacks and launching fast breaks down both flanks as West Herts were struggling to get to grips with our high tempo game. After a couple of close shaves, we then bagged a 2nd goal on 20 minutes after a lovely run into the D by Amelia Herschel – Shorland, who found Anouska Stott to finish expertly. In truth, we could have been at least 3 up at this stage and it would have been a fair reflection of the game at that stage.
This did fire up the home side into a response and they had us on the back foot towards the end of the half. We were defending well across the pitch and when the home side got shots away, Jade Daly dealt with them well. It was a blow to our chances  when after a goal mouth scramble the home side bundled the ball home two minutes before the break.
West Herts were encouraged by their goal and pressed really hard early in the second half ,as we struggled to get our passing game going. We were trying to hit through the defence, as opposed to playing the lovely pass and move hockey that was displayed in the 1st half. In this respect we were creating problem’s for ourselves, as West Herts were now well on top forcing a number of penalty corners as we were on the back foot. Likewise the threat to card players became a reality as we had 2 players awarded green’s as the pressure mounted.
It was no surprise when the home side finally netted from close range to level the scores at 2 each. They then began to press hard for a winner as we were at full stretch at the back with Jade again making some good saves. During this time we also had some promising breaks but could not find the final pass as we flashed the ball across their goal without applying the final touch,
As the game was entering its final stages and a draw looking the likely result, the home side were awarded a penalty corner which they converted to get them into the lead for the first time in the match. In the remaining time left on the clock, we pushed forward looking for the equaliser but could not create that final clear chance on the home goal.
This narrow defeat was tough to take and we feel that after being 2 up we should have got something out of the game.The ladies had put in a 100%  effort in a game played in very poor conditions. and its was a shame that we could not take any points back home to the Nest, However we are looking forward to next week’s home game against a high flying Bromley & Beckenham side.


1st Team v St Albans L 1-3

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents came into this week’s game sitting top of the league and full of confidence after a great performance the previous weekend. There were a few changes to the squad with Rose Winter and Georgie Cantrell unavailable due to school commitments and Lucy Whiting injured. Magpies did however welcome back Emma Lee-Smith and Louisa Greenacre both having recovered from injury.
The game started with St Albans winning battles all over the pitch but failing to produce any real chances, allowing Magpies time to recompose and up their own intensity. The home side started to press with Tor Findlay and Lizzie Clymer setting the pace and forcing the turnover. Emma Lee-Smith continued this great work and won the ball mid press, taking on and beating with excellent skill a couple of the St Albans players before setting up Jess Bloom. A beautiful reverse stick strike into the roof of the net put Magpies 1-0 ahead.
Unfortunately, Magpies lost the momentum that they had gained and some good play from St Albans saw them work their way up the pitch, pressurising the defence.  A short corner was awarded which was converted to bring the scores level just before half-time.
The second half started with the same intensity but it was scrappy with both sides failing to maintain possession and allowing through balls down the centre of the pitch. St Albans took advantage of this and were able to convert a chance from open play, 2-1.  
Despite Magpies best efforts and injuries coming from all angles they could not find an equaliser and with just a couple of minutes to play, another loss in possession up the field led to St Albans having a breakaway attack which they converted well at the back post.
Magpies were left frustrated after a difficult afternoon and a 3-1 loss. Next week, the squad hope to get back to winning ways as they travel to Horsham.

Squad: Lauren Barber (Capt), Megan Brown(GK), Katrina Sitch, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Fran Burrell, Lara Taylor, Charlie Harrison, Lauren Rowe, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Emma Lee-Smith, Jess Bloom and Charley Seaman.


2nd Team v Potters Bar L 1-4

Harleston Magpies mens 2’s made another long trip down to Potters Bar.
John Livings made a debut appearance in goal and we welcomed Oakley in up front.
Potters Bar were a well drilled team and soon their transferring and long ball game started to open us up. Two quick goals from them put us onto the back foot. We continued to press well and good pressure resulted in a short corner which Tris Baynes executed perfectly. Potters Bar grabbed another before the break.
It was still positive at half time and the brotherhood spirit still lives on so we knew we always stand a chance of getting back into a game. Some super skilled dribbling from Josh Wiggins and Oakley that resulted in both of them being tackled in a way that John Terry would’ve been proud but that should not be seen on a hockey pitch. No punishment for either tackle frustrated the team but pulled us together.  
Bar grabbed another goal late on and a 4-1 score line in biblical rainy conditions is a little harsh.
Plenty to go away to work on but always positives to feed off.
We take on Norwich city next Saturday at the nest. Pushback at 3pm.


Harleston Magpies Ladies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents are at home this Saturday against St Albans starting at 1.30.

St Albans current form sees them 6th in the League with wins against Southgate and Ipswich. A draw against Horsham and two defeats to Sevenoaks and Hampstead. Matches against St Albans have traditionally been close with both teams having the better of the results when playing at home. Having played St Albans in a preseason friendly both teams will know what to expect from each other, but the onus will be on Magpies to make the most of their home advantage.
After Saturday’s 5-0 home win last week against Ipswich Magpies have gone to the top of the League with a two point gap over second placed Hampstead. This is the best start Magpies have made to a season for 6 years and it is important that they continue their momentum this week against St Albans. Clearly Lauren Rowe is in stunning form having scored all five goals last week and the week before scored both goals against Sevenoaks. Lauren is currently the leading goal scorer in the League with 11 goals, which is an impressive tally.
All these results this season have been achieved against a background of injuries and illnesses which have stretched the squad. This week Rose Winter and Georgie Cantrell will be unavailable because of school commitments, but Louisa Greenacre and Jess Bloom should return to the squad. There are still injury doubts about two players.

 Squad From: Lauren Barber (Capt), Megan Brown, Katrina Sitch, Debbie Francis, Fran Burrell, Lara Taylor, Lauren Rowe, Louisa Greenacre, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Lucy Whiting, Jess Bloom, Charlotte Harrison, Charlotte Seaman, Emma Lee-Smith and Annie Nunn.


Lauren Rowe claimed five goals on Saturday when the Ladies 1sts hosted Ipswich taking Magpies to the top of the East Conference League – their best start to a season for six years. At 3-0 up within eight minutes the home side dominated their local rivals and the comfortable 5-0 score line provided the opportunity for youngsters Charley Seaman and Georgie Cantrell to demonstrate their impressive skills. 

The Men’s 1s started well away at Cambridge City and opened the scoring when a well-crafted move starting at the back through Andrew Bedwell found Tom Sumner, who popped the ball into Ben Gowing, who then sprayed a beautiful ball out to Ruanaq Rai at right half who carried to the baseline and delivered to James Gray to brilliantly finish from close range. However, a series of minor discretions saw Magpies reduced to 9 men for a period which Cambridge took full advantage of and scored a deflection past Chris Leek from close range. With one minute to play, the visitors were awarded a penalty corner which resulted in Dave Gilbert swatting the ball in at the back post to provide Harleston with their fifth successive win. 

Following consecutive draws and an injury to Captain Stu Field the Mens 2s welcomed Broxbourne to ‘The Nest’ hoping for all three points but a lack of composure in the ‘D’ saw chances go begging early on. A bobbly ball against the run of play gave Broxbourne the lead but Magpies fought back, equalised, and then took the lead thanks to a beautifully executed short corner strike from Tristan Baynes. Continuing to dominate, the home side won a short corner on the final whistle from which Man of the Match Robbie Kinsella scored to make it 3-1. Magpies are away at Potters Bar on Saturday who are currently only one point behind the Norfolk side. 

A two week break hasn’t put the Ladies 6s off their stride as they notched up their fifth successive win on Saturday against Pelicans. With Heather Brand, Holly Morris, Jane Collins, Frankie Wildmun, Marie Davy and Liv Carter thwarting any attacking opportunities, Shirley McAllen, Georgie Hood, Janna Freeman, Judith Masters, Rachel Clifford and Laura Woodgate had space to pile on the pressure and score five times. The win keeps Magpies at the top of the table with only goal difference separating them from this weekends opposition Herlings. 

The young Girls Development team had to readjust their tactics in response to Yarmouth fielding three adults on Saturday and the girls coped well, stretching the play a little wider between Jess, Grace, Kate and Florence. Relentless pressure from Magpies culminated in goals for Florence (2), Grace, Kate and Beth whilst Harriet, Emma, Amy and Isabelle protected Jasmine who made her debut in goal and kept a clean sheet, finishing 5-0. 

Many of the Magpies youngsters were in National Cup action on Sunday with the U14 Girls making a great start to their campaign with a 7-1 win against Ipswich (goals from Emma, Ella, Loulou, Jess and a hatrick for Anna). The U14 Boys were defeated 6-1 away from home but can still progress to the next round of the cup if they win their final group game. 

The U18 Girls’ match was cancelled as Norwich City were unable to field a team so the girls were awarded the win and a day off to recover from their matches on Saturday. The U18 Boys went a goal ahead at Dragons when Raunaq Rai scored a drag flick and thanks to some fine saves from Ollie Juszt in goal, Magpies held the lead until half time. Dragons came out fighting in the second half and score three times but coach Tim Whiteman  commented that ‘The boys should be very proud of their play without any practice together as a team ahead of the match and showed a very good attitude throughout the game.’

The U16 Girls set the tone of their game by scoring in the first minute and going on to beat Pelicans 16-0! Lovely flowing moves which cut through the oppositions defence combined with an all round team performance bodes well for the next round. Not to be outdone the U16 Boys put 13 goals past Bishops Stortford where Elliot Chapman and Bruce Daniels made impressive debuts for the team. 

Not forgetting the O40s Men who travelled to Sudbury for the first round of their cup and came away with a convincing 8-0 victory. Goals from Neil Toulson (4), Andy Caston (2), Dave Francis and Matt Brand, along with a clean sheet from Chris Flatt in goal sees the spritely veterans progress to round two.

In addition to the Ladies 3s, 4s, 5s and 7s; the Girls Development team and the Men’s 3s and 4s, both the Ladies and Men’s first teams play at home on Saturday and go into the games on unbeaten runs. The Ladies host St Albans at 1.30pm followed by the Men who push back against Bedford at 3pm – both teams will appreciate a lively crowd! This Sunday Magpies are hosting a Minis Tournament for U12 Girls and Boys from the surrounding clubs where we look forward to seeing the progression the players have made since the beginning of the season. 


Sunday 4 November saw Harleston Magpies youth hockey teams in action in the England Hockey Championships with U14 boys and girls, U16 boys and girls and U18 boys playing in matches. Alongside this, the men’s over 4os were also in winning action, and our u18 girls won their game as Norwich City were sadly unable to field a team.

The U16 boys travelled to Bishops Stortford with a strong squad determined to prove a point.
And prove it they did, winning 13 nil. The next match will be against Cambridge City on
18th November at home in Weybread. It was an impressive all round performance.

The U16 girls enjoyed a comfortable victory at home to Pelicans. A goal in the first minute set the tone for what became a good all round team performance. All 16 girls had good time on the pitch and with some lovely flowing moves found themselves 6 0 up at half time. The team kept the tempo high and slotted in another 10 goals in the second half, with the final result a very impressive 16 nil.

Manager James Cantrell said: ‘Stiffer tests will inevitably come, but that shouldn’t detract from the excellent pace and movement our U16 girls showed in this match. All the girls played well and the goals where shared throughout much of the team. Pelicans battled hard showing commitment from the first whistle to the last, but on this occasion, our Magpies girls were on top form.’ Their next encounter is away at Hertford hockey club on Sunday 18th November

The u14 girls were also celebrating a home win with a final score of 7 1 against Ipswich hockey club. Although the first half was a little sticky, this was the first proper outing for this new team, and coach Jim Menzies was pleased saying: ‘I was impressed with the way everyone adapted their mentality and produced a really good second half display. We learnt a great deal and look forward to the next game against IES on the 18th November.’

The Magpies u18 boys had a tougher time of it away to Dragons hockey club in Norwich. The match began strongly with good passages of play on and off the ball and our defence played with some determination. Magpies gained the first penalty corner and Raunaq Rai scored first with a drag flick going top right corner of the net within the first 15 minutes. Magpies then defended six short corners in the first half of the match from a determined Dragons side and some great saving from our goalkeeper Ollie Juszt kept the score 1-0 to Magpies up until half time.  After half time, Dragons scored an unexpected, fast-paced goal within minutes to equalise the match and then Dragons took a short corner and scored to make it 2-1, with the final score 1-3 to Dragons. Coach Tim Whiteman said: ‘The boys should be very proud of their play without any practice together as a team ahead of the match and showed a very good attitude throughout the game.’

All the teams are looking forward to their next matches on 18 November. 




Girls Development Team v Yarmouth W 5-0

After a short half-term break, the Girls development team were keen to continue their unbeaten run with an away fixture at Yarmouth.
The opening quarter saw Harleston working hard in the centre of the field, with both Evie  and Beth continually chasing any loose balls and driving up to the D at every opportunity given to them.  With Yarmouth fielding 3 adults, it became apparent that a little more creativity was required in and around the D in order to penetrate this line of defence and slowly, the ball started to be moved a little wider with Jess and Grace on the right and Kate and Flo on the left beginning to stretch Yarmouth out a little wider, leaving much needed space in the middle.  Continuous attacks down the middle and from both wings resulted in numerous short corners, with the first goal eventually coming from a crisp pass from just inside the D from Beth to Flo who cleanly stroked in past the goalie.
The second quarter followed a very similar format, with consistent pressure causing Yarmouth to struggle clearing the ball from their D.  Eventually the pressure told and in the confusion of players and sticks, both Grace (with a close range strike) and Kate (with a rebound off the Goalie) made the score 3 – 0.  For the majority of the first half, the defence of Harriet, Emma, Amy, Isabelle and Sandra was not really troubled, and when afforded the opportunity, had the time to deliver some good accurate passes to runners looking for the ball in the middle and out wide up both wings.
Trusting the girls would continue to perform as competently in the second half, Sandra made various positional changes for both remaining quarters, allowing many of the girls to experience playing out of position and begin to understand the roles/expectations of playing in these different areas.  Even Georgia forewent her normal pads and helmet for a role in central defence!   In keeping with the first half performance, Harleston continued to keep Yarmouth pressed deep into their own half, with plenty of action in and around the D and numerous short corners.  One battle in front of goal gave Flo her second goal and not long after, a powerful drag shot from Flo allowed Beth to touch in for the final goal of the day.
With several of the regular girls not available this week, Jasmine from the Under 11 squad was able to have her first game in goal for the development team. Again, with fewer than normal substitutes, there was plenty of pitch time for all players, particularly many of the Under12s.

Team: Sandra, Evie, Georgia, Emma, Kate, Amy, Flo, Beth, Isabelle, Jess, Harriet, Grace, Jasmine.

Goal Scorers: Flo(2), Grace(1), Kate(1), Beth(1).


Mens 2nd Team v Broxbourne 1 W 3-1

Harleston magpies Mens 2’s welcomed Broxborne to the nest this weekend in a tight mid table match. With Magpies losing captain, tactician and solid midfielder Stu Field for the foreseeable future with injury a change in leadership sees Tris Baynes take the reigns.
A solid and fast start saw magpies having the percentage of possession but a lack of composure in the ‘D’ saw the few chances go begging. Broxborne were also creating chances but the back three of Hugo, Dickon and Sam Rowe, with the assistance of Tris and the dominant figure of Ollie in goal were keeping the chances out. The first half somehow finished 0-0. A positive chat at the break and we were out for the second half playing in an aggressive positive style. Broxborne hit us on the break against the run of play and it was a lucky lobbed bobble or lobble as it is now known that opened us up and they took the lead.
The front line of Ed, Toby, Kinsella, Josh, Morgan and the younger Baynes were playing well and it was Brice and Manly that got the equaliser through some brave diving and good tapping in!
Magpies continued to press and Broxborne never looked like taking the lead. A well executed short corner saw T.Baynes throw back the years and fire a short corner into the bottom corner!!  
Some ill discipline and lack of verbal control saw Jude sent off once again for a little breather but magpies remained dominant and on the final whistle won a short corner. It was from this short corner that veteran top scorer Kinsella scored the crucial third to tap home and clinch all three points!! A great team effort and a well earned MOM for Kinsella.
Magpies head off back to London to take on Potters Bar in another close placed match this weekend.


Boys U18 Team V Norwich Dragons L 1-3

It was a sunny Autumn day down at Dragons Hockey club.
Magpies with the help from Vicki and Nicky managed to eventually bring a team of 11 together and with the kind help of Tim Whiteman to manage the team.
The match started off with good passages of play on and off the ball and our defence matched our determination.
Magpies gained the first penalty corner and Raunaq Rai scored first with a drag flick going top right corner of the net within the first 15 minutes.
Magpies then defended 6 short corners in the first half of the match from a determined Dragons side and some great saving from our goalkeeper Ollie Juszt kept the score 1-0 to Magpies up until half time.
After half time Dragons scored an unexpected, fast-paced goal within minutes to equalise the match and then Dragons took a short corner and scored to make it 2-1.
With no subs, all the players started to tire but they never gave up. They continued to make more promising chances but sadly could not find the back of the net. The match finished 1-3.
The boys should be very proud of their play without any practice as a team and showed a very good attitude throughout the game.

Thank you to all for stepping up to represent Magpies.


Mens 1st Team v Cambridge City 2 W 2-1

On a crisp but sunny morning, Harleston men sponsored by Dynamic Club Shop flew the nest and landed at Wilberforce road and the home of Cambridge City 2s. Awaiting our arrival were two new beautifully laid pitches, a beautiful sight for any hockey player. As ever, the guys arrived in good spirits and start the day by attempting to break their hoodo – no, not winning away from home, but playing cricket before a game. Is it a curse? We dared to gamble and find out. Jack top scored with some irritating small shots, while Ruanaq nearly found himself in an inadvertent suicide pact with a discus while collecting the ball from the athletics field.

With all this fun it was easy to forget we had a game to play. The Harleston men started well in the first 15 minutes, controlling proceedings in high transfer and nearly went ahead through an early effort from stand-in captain Ben Gowing which was deflected narrowly wide. The pressure eventually told however when a well-crafted move starting at the back through Andrew Bedwell found Tom Sumner, who popped the ball into Ben Gowing, who then sprayed a beautiful ball out to discuss survivor Ruanaq Rai at right half who carried to the baseline and delivered to James Gray to brilliantly finish from close range. It was a sumptuous move that had manager Kevin Ridley purring on the sidelines. Harleston continued to apply pressure and before the half-time break missed three excellent deflections opportunities. Dave Gilbert, James Gray and Pete Bale all left looking to the heavens on this occasion. Were these misses just unfortunate? Or were the cricketing gods toying with the group? Only time would tell…

At half-time, a relaxed Tim Whiteman called for more patience and tempo, reminding the group that our pressure would eventually tell. Ten minutes into the second half, with the score still at 1-0 the balance however turned against Harleston as first Pete Bale (2 minutes), then Dave Gilbert (5 minutes) and James Gray (10 minutes) all went off for minor indiscretions that seemed harsh, even to the cricketing Gods. Note here – all three players sent off were also the three who missed deflections. Harleston had to then address a situation that had them pressing with 9 against a Cambridge 11. Harleston rode this out excellently but then, with 10 men, conceded a deflection goal from close range. Leek was helpless, the defense a little hopeless. Tension increased as the cricket gods chuckled away from above the clouds. It did indeed seem like the curse would not be broken.

However…Harleston stayed calm and with 5 minutes to go Cambridge themselves received a yellow card. Now Harleston had the upper-hand. They used it excellently, playing the ball around patiently to find Ruanaq Rai (again) at half-back, who found James Gray on the baseline who calmly found a foot. Penalty corner, 1 minute to go. The gods shuffled in nervous anticipation in their clouded seats. Harleston however executed the corner poorly and a shot deflected up and over the keeper. But wait! What comes up, must come down! The ball starts to drop, the gods are out of their seat and it falls, at the back post near Gilbert (UEA Dave) who fly swats the ball from high, down into the goal. A meer mortal man, from the UEA, defies the gods, breaks the curse and wins Harleston the game! Cue wild celebrations on the pitch and cordial handshakes on the bench between coach Tim Whiteman and manger Kevin Ridley. Harleston had done it and made it 5 wins on the spin.

Stand-in captain Ben Gowing reflected afterwards, ‘that was a test today but we reacted calmly to difficult situations and kept to our tactical game-plan. Right up to the end I never doubted we would score. The belief is half the battle. Roll on next week!”


Ladies 6th Team v Pelicans 3 W 5-0

Following a two week break for half term the ladies 6s were keen to get back into playing matches; A dynamic warm up the hill ensured the ladies were ready and enthusiastic for push back.
The team started strongly, passing the ball effectively around the field of play.
Link up play from midfield to forwards was strong in the first half. Shirley McAllen finding Georgie Hood in good space to lead an attack from the right hand side of the pitch. Janna Freeman was a constant threat in the Pelicans D forcing the keeper to have to make some good saves.
Judith Masters, Rachael Clifford and Laura Woodgate worked well together on the left to ensure the Pelicans were under constant pressure.
Magpies ended the half 4:0 up and with positive words from Captain Flea Perry they went into the second half determined to break their record of scoring four goal per match.
The young Pelicans side started the second half determined to claw back a goal. Magpies worked hard to ensure this didn’t happen, Holly Morris battling hard in midfield to thwart any Pelicans attacks.
Great clearances from defenders Jane Collins, Frankie Wildmun, Marie Davy and Liv Carter meant Imogen Flatt was untroubled in goal.
Magpies legs did seem to tire slightly, with some less effective passing play creeping  in, but they still put a lot of pressure on the Pelicans D.
Final score 5:0. Goal Scorers were Janna Freeman x2 Rach Clifford x2 Georgie Hood x1
Player of the match Heather Brand


U16 Girls Team v Pelicans W 16-0

The girls enjoyed a comfortable victory at home to Pelicans. A goal in the 1st minute set the tone for what became a good all round team performance. All 16 girls had good minutes on the pitch and with some lovely flowing moves found themselves 6 0 up at half time. Unlike the game against Norwich where we took our foot off the gas at the break this time around we kept the tempo high slotting in another 10 goals in the second half.
Stiffer tests to come but that shouldn’t detract from the pace and movement we showed cutting through Pelicans time and time again.
All the girls played well and the goals where shared throughout much of the team with the top scorers being Georgie Cantrell scoring 4 and Keira Wheeler 3. Pelicans battled hard showing commitment from the 1st whistle to the last but on this occasion found the Magpies ‘to hot to handle’

Final score Magpies 16 Pelicans 0

Our next encounter is away at Hertford HC on Sunday 18th November.


Boys U16 Team v Bishops Stortford W 13-0

U16 Boys Travelled to Bishops Stordford with a strong squad determined to prove a point.
And prove it they did.
13-0 Winners
Ben Emms 4, Josh Wiggins 3,
Tom Caston 2, Michael Athens 2,
Johnny Taylor 1,
Elliot Chapman 1
Well done to Elliot Chapman & Bruce Daniels who both stepped up and played well on their debuts. Man of the match is
GK Charlie Hope, a round trip to Bishops Stordford, match fees and touched the ball once.
Next Cambridge City on
18th Nov
Well done all


Ladies 2nd Team v Wapping 1 L 1-5

Following last weeks solid win, the Ladies returned to the Nest for a morning start against a fast improving Wapping side who were level on points with us at the start of the day.
Sadly, we have seemed to have picked up a nasty habit recently of going a goal down in the first 5 minutes. Today was no exception as the visitors swept home from close range with just a minute on the clock to leave us a goal down.
In fairness, the ladies responded in a really positive manner with a good high press forcing turnovers in the Wapping defensive area, although the away side were dangerous on the break leaving 3 hard running forwards high up the pitch. However  we were exerting pressure on the home goal and we went close when Bobbi  took the ball into the D, rounded the keeper but put her shot narrowly wide. We now started to create a number of penalty corners and we deservedly equalised when a PC was slipped left to Ridders who crashed home a shot on 20 minutes. Up to half-time the game ebbed and flowed as both sides looked dangerous although just before half-time Magpies were down to 10 after a green card for not being 5.
With the scores level at the break, the need to keep up the intensity and belief was going to be the key against a very good side going into the second half.
Wapping started the second half on the front foot playing some slick passing hockey which left us struggling to get a foothold in the game. Ten minutes into the second half we lost Molly who turned her ankle over as the Wapping side were attacking. They exploited this space and crossed the ball into our D where it was scrambled over the line. In truth, we never really recovered from this and Wapping added 3 more goals in quick time as we lost our shape and pattern as the away side were running us ragged. We were not helped when we went down to 10 for a harshly awarded yellow card for a stick tackle.
Although we managed to stem the onslaught, the damage had already been done as the away side run out worthy winners after a dominant second half performance.
As mentioned previously, this league is a major learning curve for all and there will be no easy games. Our first half performance showed that we can match most sides in the league however if we fall below these standards then we will get picked off like we were in the second half by a very good side.
However we have a positive / talented group of players and move our thoughts to next week with an away trip to West Herts.


Ladies 4th Team v Broadland 1 L 0-3

Magpies ladies 4th has an away fixture against top of the table, Broadland 1s – we knew it was going to be a difficult game.
We started off slow. It took us a while to settle and as a result of this, within the first 20 minutes Broadland scored 3. However, during the end of the first half and the second half we started to play our own game. We began to stretch the pitch a lot more, letting us have a more chances at goal that were close to going in. We also made sure no more goals were let in due to great clearances and goal keeping from motm Abi Lewis.
We look forward to starting next week the way we battled in the second half today. We have another tough draw, playing Loddon who are 2nd in the league at home at 11.30am.


Ladies 1st Teram v Ipswich 1 W 5-0

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents warmly welcomed newly promoted and local rivals Ipswich Hockey Club to the Nest on a sunny Saturday November afternoon.
Magpies, this week, were without goalkeeper Meg Brown (running the New York Marathon) and Jess Bloom, so this gave the opportunity for Jade Daley to step in as goalkeeper and for Georgie Cantrell to make her senior debut – we also welcomed back Charlie Harrison and Lucy Whiting.
From the start Magpies were in no mood to allow Ipswich to settle and seized the initiative immediately. In the first minute, an arrow like through ball from Lizzie Clymer, found Lauren Rowe free at the top of the D who collected the ball calmly, rounded the keeper 1v1 to slot home in to an empty goal; 1-0 after 52 seconds.
This gave Magpies great confidence and within the next seven minutes there was real penetrative work down the right from Lara Taylor which led to Clymer winning two short corners. Both were injected, as always, with power and accuracy by Rose Winter allowing Rowe time to dispatch them both towards the corners of the goal with the keeper only able to parry them into net.
3-0 up inside 8 minutes of a Ladies National League Game and with a true ‘Denham Hattrick’ (3 consecutive goals by the same player with no other player scoring in between) had the large Saturday crowd in fine voice and others heading to check the club’s record books.
With the fluid combination of youth and experience, Magpies continued to dominate and it was not long before Rowe’s scoring continued with another trade mark, unstoppable, drag flick into the top corner of the goal after 20 minutes.
The intensity understandably dropped off for the remaining 15 minutes of the first half allowing Ipswich into the game and they were awarded a series of short corners – Daley in goal, and her defensive team including Lauren Barber, Debbie Francis, Katrina Sitch, Fran Burrell stood firm and Magpies reached half-time 4-0 up.
The second half of the match was a much more even affair and saw several of our younger players given the opportunity to gain valuable confidence at this level. With Charley Seaman looking confidently skilful and Georgie Cantrell forcefully impressive means Magpies have an exciting prospect.
Magpies scoring was completed on the hour mark when the combination between Tor Findlay and Winter led to a cross to an unmarked Rowe, who while on the ground, made a reverse stick deflection into the goal.
A fantastic all-round team performance supported from the bench by injured non-playing captain Lucy Belsey, coach Clyde Camburn, asst. coach Annie Nunn and team manager Nick McAllen. A 5-0 win and a well-deserved Player of Match award for Lauren Rowe, was topped off with the knowledge that other results went in Magpies favour, leaving them top of the League Table.

Next week, Magpies host St Albans Hockey Club who are always tough opponents but Magpies will be keen to keep the successful winning run going.

Squad: Lauren Barber (Capt), Jade Daly(GK), Katrina Sitch, Debbie Francis, Fran Burrell, Lara Taylor, Charlie Harrison, Lauren Rowe, Lizzie Clymer, Lucy Whiting, Tor Findlay, Rose Winter, Georgie Cantrell, Charley Seaman and Annie Nunn. 


U14 Girls v Ipswich W 7-1

The U14 girls began their Tier 1 EH campaign for this season at The Nest with a well deserved 7-1 victory over Ipswich. Magpies came out of the blocks strongly and dominated possession from the off but were guilty of running with the ball too much to the detriment of any width and so huffed and puffed a bit and got a little frustrated. The front players did however convert a full press error from Ipswich into an interception for Emma W on the 22 who duly smashed the ball into the back board, 1-0 Magpies and this was the half time score. Everything was working ok ish but at our half time chat we all agreed that run with it less, pass it more and keep the width was the recipe for the 2nd half. Evie B and Molly L moved to right back and right half and both had an excellent half of hockey and stuck to the recipe. Ella S was a constant nuisance for the Ipswich defence all day and was rewarded with a goal and two more followed for Anna C to put Magpies 4-0 up. A rare Ipswich attacked produced a short corner goal with a fortunate deflection doing the damage but that only spurred on Magpies with Anna C completing her hat trick and one a piece for Loulou F and Jess M to make the final score 7-1. We as coaches learnt plenty from this first match and hopefully the girls also will remember the recipe that produced some really good hockey in the second half and also six goals ! One down with two more games to go in the group stage starting with a trip to IES in two weeks.

Squad – Sophie P (C), Abi L (GK), Georgia F (GK), Jessica M, Jessica T, Ruby P, Loulou F, Evie B, Emma W, Holly W, Alicia P, Molly L, Ella S, Anna C, Talitha K