All posts by Mike Denham


Saturday 29 April and Monday 1 May


This weekend is the club’s May Day Hockey Festival with a mixed tournament on Saturday and club XI day on Monday.  Team entries are coming together but we are very short of helpers to enable the weekend to run smoothly.  The weekend is not only an enjoyable way to bring the season to a close but also a great money earner for the club coffers and therefore please can you all consider again whether you can help with the tasks set out below.

If every club team finds one volunteer from your regular playing squad to give up a couple of hours to help in the kitchen over the weekend we would be fully provided for.  Likewise umpires do not need to be level one qualified so if you are comfortable with umpiring you can volunteer and get some experience in a more light hearted environment.  If you can spare half or a whole day please step forward.

Without the support of the entire club membership this event will struggle to survive.  So your opportunities to volunteer are as follows:

Friday 28th – pitch preparation during the day – marking and goal moving.

Friday 28th – marquee erecting at the club – 6pm till 7pm

Please contact James if you can help with the above – 07800 699074 or

Saturday 29th – umpires required from 10am to 5pm.  Half day or full day positions exist.

Saturday 29th – tournament officials to join James and Kirstin in the nerve centre managing the event over the day.

Saturday 29th – kitchen helpers to assist with the sales of filled rolls, cakes and bacon butties.  Ideally we are looking to have three people in the kitchen at any one time doing two hour slots, i.e.  9 – 11am, 11 – 1pm, 1 – 3pm, 3 – 5pm.

Please contact Kirstin if you can help with the above – 07908 700960 or

Monday 1st May…….all the same opportunities exist again for a new willing team of volunteers.

Please have a think and see what time you can donate over this coming weekend to the club to make this year’s event as enjoyable and successful as ever.

Many thanks

James Smith





Dear Club Member

In our effort to engage with local primary schools and capture the interest of more youngsters in Hockey we have teamed up with the Suffolk Primary Schools Partnership and intend to provide a Quick Sticks Hockey tournament at the club from the following primary schools:

Edgar Sewter, Halesworth
St.Edmunds, Bungay

Joshua Knights the schools sports coordinator for the Partnership has done a great job in getting pupils excited about hockey and exposing for the first time circa 1,000 youngsters to our sport through a 6-week introduction to hockey and now it is our turn and opportunity to build on this by providing a small tournament at the club on the afternoon of Wednesday 26th April between 1.30 and 3.30pm.

I am therefore looking for volunteers, with a free afternoon to assist with some gentle umpiring, tournament coordination or just being on hand to serve a few teas and coffees to teachers and parent helpers and no doubt a glass of squash or two for the youngsters taking part.

The aim here is to build a partnership with the primary schools listed above that over the next 3 or 4 years will develop into an annual Quick Sticks tournament for pupils from years 3 & 4 and an In2Hockey tournament for pupils from years 5 and 6 and, of course, hopefully a regular supply of hockey mad youngsters at club coaching sessions.

I appreciate that for many a tournament during the working day will not work but I hope that there will be a few club members, umpires and parents who could spare the afternoon.  If you are able to lend an hand on Wednesday 26th April in any way please drop me an email or give me a call/send me a text on 07800 699074.

Thank you

James Smith




Press Release 16 April 2017

Harleston Magpies celebrate shortlisting for national hockey award

Harleston Magpies Hockey Club is celebrating after being shortlisted for a prestigious national award. England Hockey have shortlisted the popular and successful local club in the category of ‘Sports Club of the Year’.

The awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony which is the highlight of the annual hockey calendar on Saturday 20 May in Leicester. Hockey lovers from all over the country get together at this England Hockey Awards Dinner to celebrate the achievements of volunteers, umpires, coaches, players and of course clubs over the last year.

The standard of entries has been really high this year, with England Hockey stating on their website: ‘The quality of nominees in each of the categories was once again exceptionally high, making for some tough decisions for the England Hockey selection panel.’

Harleston Magpies Hockey Club Chairman Murray Graham couldn’t contain his excitement when he heard the news: ‘Everyone at Magpies is absolutely delighted! As a rural club, we have a thriving membership, both at youth and adult levels, and we punch well above our weight in regional and national competitions. We rely on volunteers and a host of dedicated coaches and players plus some really committed local sponsors. It’s this commitment and spirit across our local community that has got us noticed by England Hockey. It’s a real honour to be nominated in the category of Sports Club of the Year.’

Mr Graham continued: ‘Last year, one of the clubs most dedicated servants, Mr Mike Denham, won the prestigious ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2016 at the England Hockey ceremony. We only hope that we can repeat the same success in 2017.’

Pictured: One of Magpies’ youth teams, the U14s boys team who qualified for the Eastern Regional Finals in 2017 March                                                                       Ends…

For more information please contact Bex Pottruff, Press and Publicity Officer for Harleston Magpies Hockey Club on or 07500 945247



MAGPIES MAY DAY HOCKEY FESTIVAL – your opportunity to Play, Umpire or Volunteer

We hope you have all had an enjoyable Easter Weekend.  Many years ago for those of a certain vintage at the club Easter involved a trip to Colchester to take part in their hockey festival, more often than not played on grass pitches which were generally waterlogged before returning to a steaming clubhouse for a cup of tea or something a little stronger at the end of the day.

This tournament is sadly no more as indeed are so many across East Anglia. However, here at Magpies our May Day Weekend Hockey Festival is going strong and we will be looking to run this again this year with a day of Mixed Hockey on Saturday 29th April and Club Men’s and Ladies’ teams on Monday 1st May.

But this will only be possible with the entire club – players, spectators, umpires and family members – coming together to make the weekend possible by volunteering some of their time.

As always Kirstin and James are looking for help in many ways over the weekend including:

Friday 28th – pitch preparation during the day – marking and goal moving.

Friday 28th – marquee erecting at the club – 6pm till 7pm

Please contact James if you can help with the above – 07800 699074 or

Saturday 29th – umpires required from 10am to 5pm.  Half day or full day positions exist.

Saturday 29th – tournament officials to join James and Kirstin in the nerve centre managing the event over the day.

Saturday 29th – kitchen helpers to assist with the sales of filled rolls, cakes and bacon butties.  Ideally we are looking to have three people in the kitchen at any one time doing two hour slots, i.e.  9 – 11am, 11 – 1pm, 1 – 3pm, 3 – 5pm.

Please contact Kirstin if you can help with the above – 07908 700960 or

Monday 1st May…….all the same opportunities exist again for a new willing team of volunteers or the same looking for more.

Please can you give the above request due consideration and wherever possible please volunteer.  The more we all lend a hand the easier and more enjoyable this event becomes for the club and indeed our visitors.

Of course there are also playing opportunities – the point of holding the tournament.  The club team event is specifically designed for players from our lower club teams, i.e. Men’s 3rds to 6ths – your regular captain during this season should have already been in touch with you but if not contact them or indeed your club captain via and for Ladies regular players from the 4ths to 7ths again if you have not heard from your captain but want to play contact them or indeed your club captain via

As for the mixed event a number of club members have begun organising teams. This event is open to all HMHC players who during this season have regularly played men’s or ladies’ league hockey.  If you have not had a chance to pull together a team of friends or been contacted by a team organiser so far but would like the chance to play in a Magpies team please let your club captains know (as above).  We are desperately seeking some Magpies Ladies at the moment to make up a Magpies team currently being put together.

Both the Saturday and Monday tournaments will involve hockey matches from 10am with the finals being played at 5pm.

Whether you are interested in playing, umpiring or volunteering in some way, shape or form please can you get in touch with James and Kirstin by the end of next weekend (23rd April) to enable the final plans for the weekend to be put together.

Many thanks

James & Kirstin




MIKE’S MUSINGS – 11 April 2017


The club chairman comments as follows.

Harleston Magpies has had many great servants over the years but surely none more so than the editor-in-chief of Mike’s Musings, Mike Denham. 

Mike has worn many hats at Magpies over the years and since February 2007 he has single-handedly produced weekly newsletters for the enjoyment of this many readers. Indeed there have been 350 newsletters emailed to 500 recipients each time and that excludes visitors directly to the website. 

This is the last of Mike’s Musings and on behalf of everyone associated with the club I would like to express our gratitude for the time and effort Mike has put in to producing this unnervingly regular publication. 

Mike’s Musings keeps us informed, makes us laugh, reminds us of highs and unfortunately the lows, but every Tuesday without fail it lands in our inbox and continues to instil a great sense of community within the club.

Now we have reached the end of the league season (but hopefully success for the Ladies’ O35s and Mixed teams to follow last Saturday’s success by the U10 Girls) the time was right for Mike to hang up his pen. This also provides the club with an opportunity to consider other forms of communication which will endeavour to keep us all informed and continue to instil that sense of community. 

Mike is not departing and will continue to be a constant presence around the club; although a repeat of his 8½ minutes of play for the Men’s 7th team (his only on-field contribution and ended by a pulled hamstring) is unlikely to be repeated!   Murray Graham

I thank Murray for his very kind remarks and for his support during his four years as chairman. I also thank the many club members who have assisted me with the column over the years and those readers (both club and non-club members) who have made kind remarks about the column. This encouragement has played a big part in helping me to keep going as has been the invaluable technical support of Nigel Bedingfield of I have enjoyed writing Mike’s Musings (and before that Chairman’s Chat when the title was appropriate) and I thank Matt Brand for coming up with the title – the first edition of which was published in August 2009.  It has been a privilege to have been trusted to chronicle the last 10 years of the life of the club. As Murray says I hope to continue to be a regular at Weybread and to continue to enjoy the company of so many friends. But with my troublesome back I might in future leave the picking up of stray bottles to others!


The club hosted the In2Hockey East Club Championships over the weekend in glorious weather (as the colour of my face will prove) and it was really good to see so many people enjoying the four competitions.

The event started on Saturday with the U12 Boys’ and from the first game when they beat Magpies it was clear that Old Loughtonians would be the team to beat and so it proved. They went on to defeat Norwich City 2-1 in the final after recovering from conceding the first goal. The Magpies’ team, which came into the competition by invitation after the withdrawal of another team played far better, under the coaching team of Mark Emms and Peter Dolton, than their eventual position of ninth out of the ten teams would suggest. Hopefully the players will have gained experience from playing against some of the top teams in the East.

Next into action were the U10 Girls and after drawing their opening game 1-1 against Blueharts, Magpies played some splendid hockey to beat Chelmsford 3-0, Sudbury 4-0 and Cambridge City 2-0. They then had to avoid defeat against Sevenoaks to reach the final which they did winning 2-1. They dominated the final against Old Loughtonians scoring two quick goals before going on to win 3-0 thereby winning the event for the second successive year thanks to a splendid squad performance under the coaching team of  Kathy Gardens and Duncan Cogdell.

On Sunday it was the turn of the U12 Girls and U10 Boys. The Magpies’ U12 Girls were unfortunate to start against Sevenoaks who quickly looked a formidable team winning 3-0. Magpies then went on a run beating Hertford 2-1 (from a goal down), Old Loughtonians 3-0, Ipswich 4-0 and Cambridge City 1-0. In their semi-final against Canterbury they could not maintain their form going down 1-0. But overall this was a really good performance by the squad under coaches Jim Menzies and Duncan Cogdell who finished in joint 3rd place. In the final it came as no surprise when Sevenoaks beat Canterbury 3-1.

It was good to see David Brook at the club on Sunday and in his element watching the other teams on behalf of Jim Menzies. Let’s hope that David will feel well enough next season to resume at least light duties on behalf of the club.

The U10 Boys’ event (in which there was no Magpies’ participation) was won by Blueharts who beat Blue Hornets 1-0 in the final. Norwich Dragons beat Old Loughtonians 3-1 for third place.

Best wishes to the winners and runners-up of the U12 events who go on to the national finals.

The club was delighted to host these very enjoyable events once again in support of the East officials (genially led by Daphne Menear) and the young East umpires, and their mentors, who did so well over the weekend. It is also a big ‘thank you’ to the Magpies’ ‘backroom team’ for kindly helping with marquees, car parking, catering, PA etc.

The Magpies’ league season came to an end on Saturday with the already promoted Men’s 3rds going down 4-3 away to Ipswich 2nds despite a hat-trick by Greg Jagger and the Ladies’ 6ths beat Breckland 4-2 away with all their goals coming from Vanessa Vigrass. Magpies dominated play in the first half with Vanessa scoring in the first two minutes. Vanessa completed her hat-trick before half time and after Breckland fought back with two goals she scored again to round-off an excellent finish to the season by the team.

I take this opportunity to thank all club officials for their hard work over the season. In addition I thank everyone, including a considerable number of club members, who have umpired throughout the season. Finally, it is a big ‘thank you’ to all our sponsors. Their invaluable support is much appreciated.

The season is still not over. The Mixed team will be in EH Trophy quarter-final action (after their 4th round w/o win over Dereham) away to Horsham on Sunday 23 April and the Ladies’ O35s play Timperley in the EH Trophy final at Lee Valley Sports Centre on Sunday 30 April (11.00). Best wishes to our teams. In addition we have the Magpies’ Tournament on Saturday 29 April (Mixed teams) and Monday 1 May (Club XIs).

Please see the club website for more details of the above (including reports) and for regular updates throughout the summer.

With kind regards and very best wishes to all readers

Mike Denham    




Young Magpies representing Bury Tigers

The following players are representing Bury Tigers in the England Hockey Tier 1 Competitions in matches against Northwood and Tonbridge. Hopefully some of these players will go on to represent the Saxon Tigers at either the Futures Cup for the U16 and U18 players or Hi-PAC for the U15 and U17 players.

U.18 U.17 U.16 U.15 U.17 U.16 U.15
Sam rowe Max Macaulay Jolyon Summers Archie Winter Maria Andrew Alice Hopgood Holly Riches
Toby Price Thomas Yallop Myles King William Donsworth Eleanor Tennant Abby Gooderham Tor Findlay
Jack Hobbs Anna Tighe
Lauren Rowe






1sts retain national premier indoor league status
1sts finish sixth in EHB’s East Conference
2nds finish 5th in first season in East Premier
3rds finish 3rd in Norfolk Premier
5ths finish 3rd in Norfolk Division 1 one point behind the winners
7ths finish 7th in Norfolk Division 3 in inaugural season
Development finish 2nd in Norfolk Dev. League


1sts win Division 2N of national indoor league and finished second
in Division 2 thereby achieving promotion
1sts finish second in East Premier ‘A’
6ths win East League 6NE
O50s reach final of EHB Masters Cup
Reach quarter-finals of EHB’s Mixed Trophy
International Honours
Amy Campbell England U16 (summer 2013)
Toby Price England U16 (summer 2013)
Philip Cobbald  England O50
Jonathan Aldridge  England O55
David Blackmore  England O60
U18 Girls reach national finals (outdoor) finishing 3rd
U14 Girls reach national finals (outdoor) finishing 5th
U10 & U12 Girls reach East Club Finals hosted by HMHC
Winners of  the following events
U12 Boys ‘A’ Pelicans
U12 Boys ‘B’ Norwich City
U10 Girls ‘A’ Norwich Dragons & Norfolk
U10 Girls ‘B’ Norwich City (Silver Tournament)
U10 Girls ‘B’ Norwich Dragons
U12 Girls ‘A’ Norwich Dragons
U12 Girls ‘B’ Dereham

MIKE’S MINI MUSINGS – 19 June 2014

Gold, Silver and Bronze

1. World Mastersrunning alongside the FIH World Cup in Holland was a very successful Masters World Cup event and it is congratulations to three club members who represented England – Jon Aldridge (O55s), Phil Cobbald (O50s) and David Blackmore (O60s).  After a demanding schedule of matches they came away with Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively. In the O55s final England edged past the Netherlands 4-2 in a shoot-out after a 1-1 draw meaning Jon won Gold while in the O50s Phil won silver following his team’s 1-0 loss to Germany in the final (Phil’s first defeat in an England shirt). In the semis they had claimed the scalp of Australia beating them 2-0. Meanwhile in the O60s David helped his team to Bronze by beating Germany 4-1 after losing 3-2 to Australia in the semis.  Well done to Jon, Phil and David and let us hope that their success will encourage more of our older members to emulate them in this ever-expanding, important and popular branch of our game.

2. Brief personal comments on the FIH World Cups. Dutch Ladies and Australia Men very worthy winners in two high standard and exciting events. Is the Australia Men’s team the best ever? What a display they put on in the final! A credible 4th place for England Men for whom it was good to see Tim Whiteman playing so well before his nasty hand injury which has necessitated an operation. Mysterious decline of England Women who only last summer finished second in the European Championships. Excellent TV coverage by Sky with first rate and knowledgeable commentators with Simon Mason excelling as an expert summariser. Perhaps Phil Neville should have a word with Simon!

3. This is a friendly reminder of the Strawberry Luncheon  which this year is being held on Sunday 29 June. Please see the website for more details including how to get tickets for this ticket only event. You will be very welcome.

4. Please also see the website for details of the following
i) Decisions made at the club’s informative and positive AGM held earlier this week.
ii) HMHC Academies for juniors and seniors.
iii) Magpies’ 300 Club winners. If you are not a member please think about joining thereby helping the club and perhaps yourself!
iv) Level 1 Umpire course being held at Dereham HC on Mondays 1 and 8 September. 

5. I am pleased to tell you that and Dynamic Sports Clothing & Equipment Ltd will again be sponsoring the Ladies’ 1sts and Men’s 1sts, respectively, next season.

6. England Hockey’s Mixed Trophy – congratulations to West Herts on winning this event by beating hosts Sheffield Hallam 10-3 in the semis and Bedford 7-1 in the final. Between them Dan and Max Webster scored 12 of West Herts’ 17 goals over the two games! In the other semi Bedford beat Cannock
4-2. Did Cannock really come from 4-1 down to beat Magpies in the quarter-finals (?) when for once I was confident of victory with fifteen minutes remaining! Cannock clinched third place beating Sheffield Hallam 5-3 in the ‘bronze medal’ game.

7. The Ladies’ 1sts will be commencing their sixteenth successive season in the national league when they travel to play newly-promoted Maidenhead in the East Conference on Saturday 13 September before entertaining Wimbledon the following week. 

8. Wisbech Town HC Summer 7’s Festival. Through Lizzie Clymer we have been invited to play in this event to be staged over the weekend of 18-20 July. If you are interested in helping to form a Magpies’ team please contact Lizzie on

9. Investec London Cup (9-13 July 2014)
This event sees the opening in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park of the new London 2012 legacy venue; the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. England women will be playing Scotland, South Africa and Wales while England men will be battling it out with Ireland, South Africa and Scotland. Please see the England Hockey website for full details including how to purchase tickets.

With kind regards and best wishes         
Mike Denham          


The curtain finally came down on the 2013-14 playing season last Sunday when holders Cannock completed a remarkable comeback to deny Magpies victory at Weybread in their England Hockey Mixed Trophy clash. This was very much a case of Magpies snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as they were leading 4-1 midway through the second half and looking to be well on the way to securing a place in the semi-finals. Cannock then drew level with three goals in five minutes to stun both the home team and the large home crowd before grabbing the winner with two minutes to go and seconds after Magpies had missed an excellent chance at the other end.
Cannock went ahead early in the game before Sam Moore deflected in the equaliser for Magpies. The home team then gained the lead when Lucy Whiting finished off a flowing move for possibly the goal of the season. Early in the second half Andrew Bedwell converted a penalty stroke before Toby Price looked to have sealed victory for the home team with a penalty corner conversion high into the visitors’ net. But Cannock, with Arjan Drayton-Chana (see him on YouTube) in sparkling second half form, were not to be denied in a top quality game played in the best of spirits on a hot and sunny afternoon. For Magpies Toby Price was in top form with his running and control and was deservedly his team’s MOTM. While there is no denying this was a disappointing result the squad can look back on another very satisfactory season.
After the game I was blamed for the defeat (!) as there was insufficient water in the tank to water the pitch at half time. Would the team member who twice watered before the game and ran the tank dry please own up?!
a) The Annual General Meeting will now be held in the clubhouse at 7.30pm on Tuesday 17 June (instead of  Thursday 19 June) to avoid clashing with the England versus Uruguay match in the FIFA World Cup. The agenda will be issued by email (and will be available on the website) next week.
b) 300 Club – the May and June 2014 winners are available from the Home Page of the website.
c) The Strawberry Luncheon will this year be held on Sunday 29 June and more details will be issued shortly. In the meantime please note your diary for this very enjoyable event.
a) I am pleased to report that Andrew Joyce, a very keen HMHC supporter and son of VP Pat Joyce, is making progress from his very serious heart operation. However, Andrew is likely to be in hospital for several more months for physiotherapy on his left leg and he is waiting to be moved to Sheffield for specialist treatment.
b) It is very many congratulations and best wishes to ‘out on loan’ Magpie Tim Whiteman (Beeston HC) on his selection to play for England in the Rabobank Hockey World Cup to be held in The Hague from 31 May to 15 June.  Tim made his full England debut in the Hero Hockey World League Finals in India in January of this year where he helped the team to win bronze. NB. All of England’s matches (Men and Women) will be shown live on Sky.
c) Nearly 100 young members attended last Friday’s Youth Presentation Evening to round off another successful season. Please see the website for photographs and the list of winners.
With kind regards and best wishes         
Mike Denham          

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 13 May 2014

The Mixed squad is back in action this coming Sunday when they welcome holders Cannock to Weybread for their quarter-final round EHB Trophy encounter starting at 1.00pm. If Cannock’s squad is anywhere near the strength of the one that swept away West Herts in last season’s final at Nottingham Magpies are going to be in for the game of their lives. What is certain is that Magpies will need to be sharper in front of goal and generally more convincing than they were in beating Lewes 2-1 in the last round. But with our home advantage, home support and strong squad, under the leadership of Leigh and Katrina Sitch, we have an excellent chance of once more making the national finals which this year are being held at Sheffield Hallam HC over the weekend of  7/8 June. Good luck to our squad which is  Rees Leonard (GK), Leigh Sitch, Katrina Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Lauren Barber, Thomas Ridley, Katherine Ridley, Richard Larkin, Lucy Whiting, Toby Price, Holly Baker, Frances Taylor, Sam Moore, Lizzie Clymer, Martin Fields and Simon Hipwell.

THIS FRIDAY – 16 MAY 2014 (6.00 – 9.00pm)

Our young members are cordially invited to this evening to round off the season with a 
fun evening of friendly matches, followed by some food and finally  with the presentations of the trophies. Parents are also very welcome.
If you plan to attend please advise Nick McAllen
or Andrew Bedwell as appropriate assuming you have not already done so.

Following the Men’s O50’s national final with Ben Rhydding I am pleased to include this message from player-manager Peter Dolton.
‘A personal word of thanks to all the spectators who travelled to Nottingham and never wavered in their encouragement (apart from the daughter* of one player who was heard on one occasion to call out ‘shut up Dad’). Also thanks to each and every player for the effort put in throughout the competition. We were beaten by a younger team (to the extent that I taught their captain when he was 16 years old). But we were there. The worrying thing is that when people say there’s always next year we will all be a year older!’
* I give you one guess! – editor

Monday 9 June 2014
Golfers are cordially invited to enter a team of four in this very enjoyable annual event which comprises two separate competitions, morning and afternoon, of 18 holes each with chances of winning prizes including the ‘Beat the Pro’ competition. Coffee on arrival with a light lunch followed by an evening carvery meal.
The cost of the day is £45 per head or £180 per team with all the profits going to charity including the East Anglian Air Ambulance and Macmillan Cancer Support.
For more details please see HMHC’s website or contact Lion Les Bicker
on 01379 853475 or 07776 208718
Girls’ U14 National Finals (Wakefield HC)
After going down 3-0 to Surbiton (the eventual champions) and 2-0 to Kirkby Lonsdale in their opening matches last weekend the Magpies team did well to recover to beat Worcester 3-2 (Georgina Warren, Abby Gooderham and Tor Findlay) before going on to clinch a meritorious 5th place by beating City of York 1-0 (Tor Findlay). This was always going to be a tough test for Magpies who can be pleased with their performance which hopefully will encourage them to further develop their skills to enable them to qualify for more national finals in the years ahead. Please see the website for Nick McAllen’s full report.
Men’s County Championship
Last weekend at Holcombe HC in Kent the club was well represented in the Norfolk team which opened its campaign seeking promotion from the ‘B’ division after relegation twelve months ago.  On Saturday they beat Northamptonshire 5-1 before on Sunday getting the better of Kent 6-2 and the Royal Navy 15-0 with Leigh ‘Cometh the hour cometh the man’ Sitch scoring the vital seventh! Norfolk now play in the ‘B’ division semis at Old Loughtonians on Saturday 31 May when victory would ensure promotion back to the ‘A’ division. The HMHC members in the Norfolk squad were – Rees Leonard, Tristan Baynes, Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Simon Hipwell, Peter Bale, Richard Larkin, Stuart Leate and ‘out on loan’ Carl Sitch.
Congratulations to:
a) Tony Elston and Jon Wells on playing for the East O55s in the Regional Vintage Masters at Chelmsford HC last weekend.
b) David Blackmore and Peter Dolton on being selected to play for the East O60s in the Regional Grand Masters at Cannock HC this coming weekend. Unfortunately Peter has had to withdraw due to an injury sustained against Ben Rhydding. Further congratulations are due to David who following his fine performances for the England O60s at Chelmsford last weekend has been selected for the team to play in the World Cup in The Hague between 4 and 14 June. He joins Philip Cobbald who has been selected for the England O50s and Jonathan Aldridge who has been selected for the England O55s. Well done again to Philip and Jonathan.
c) Framlingham College on winning the Boys U14 Schools national championship. After seeing off the challenge of Whitgift, Trent and Dean Close in their pool unbeaten they beat Repton 1-0 in the final. 
d) Manchester City FC on winning the Premier League title. Did you know that club chairman Murray Graham is a life-long (and until recent seasons a long-suffering) supporter of MCFC?

SPRING WALK (Gawdy Hall Estate)
In aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices
Sunday 25 May 2014
For more details please see HMHC’s website or contact Lion Val Tolhurst on 01379 852592 (day) 01379 862665 (evening) or
Investec London Cup (9-13 July 2014)
This event sees the opening in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park of the new London 2012 legacy venue; the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. England women will be playing Scotland, South Africa and Wales while England men will be battling it out with Ireland, South Africa and Scotland. Please see the England Hockey website for full details including how to purchase tickets.
Please see the club’s website for details of the Level 1 Umpire Course being held at Pelicans HC on Sunday 29 June.
Thursday 19 June – Annual General Meeting (7.30)
Sunday 29 June Strawberry Luncheon (details to follow)
Friday 7 November – Fireworks Evening
Mini Musings to follow on an occasional basis in the weeks ahead.

With kind regards and best wishes         
Mike Denham          

Match Results – Sunday 11 May 2014

Sunday 11 May

GIRLS U14s (EHB Cup National Finals – Wakefield HC, WF1 3RZ) 
Pool B (15 minutes each way)

MAGPIES v Surbiton (10.20) 0-3 L, v Kirkby Lonsdale (12.25) 0-2 L
v Worcester (2.05) 3-2 W (Abby Gooderham, Georgina Warren, Tor Findlay),
v City of York (3.30) for 5th/6th place 1-0 W (Tor Findlay)

Pool A – Beeston, Bournemouth, City of York, Old Loughtonians  

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 May 2014


The 2013-2014 season lives on and so far the club has won bronze (U18 Girls outdoor) and silver (Men’s O50s) in national finals. Can the U14 Girls make it gold on Sunday when in Wakefield they play the other top teams in the country? Only time will tell, of course, but they go into the finals encouraged by a string of fine performances which have seen them top their regional league with five wins out of five followed by another three wins when they won their winner-takes-all divisional final. But with national finals there is always a sense of going into the unknown when up against teams from further afield and that certainly applies on Sunday when in pool B our girls take on Surbiton (10.20), Kirkby Lonsdale (12.25) and Worcester (2.05) with, hopefully, the final at 4.30. In the other pool are Beeston, Bournemouth, City of York and Old Loughtonians.  Good luck to our squad which is as follows:

Georgina Warren (Joint Captain), Lauren Rowe  (Joint Captain), Abigail Page, Ismay Whitaker, Sophie Child, Rose Winter, Martha Lawrence, Abigail Rapkin, Eve Barnes, Anna Tighe, Amelia Preece, Alice Woollatt, Victoria Findlay, Abby Gooderham, Lottie Summers, Matilda Warde-Aldam with
Sarah Findlay (Manager), Nick McAllen (Coach) and Will Findlay (Assistant Coach).

NOW: Pensions MEN’S Over 50’s Cup Final (Beeston HC)
Ben Rhydding 2 Harleston Magpies 0

From the start Magpies and their enthusiastic band of supporters knew they were up against a very competent, well organised and, crucially, younger Ben Rhydding team last Sunday with several of their players just over the 50 mark. But despite this Magpies were always competitive and it was good to see Bob Skinner playing as well as ever in defence on his return from injury. In fact the defence was in splendid form all through the game with David and Jerry Blackmore outstanding alongside Bob. After being forced on the defensive in the opening minutes Magpies came into the game with Jim Stather and Jon Wells looking lively in attack and with Jon Aldridge, who sportingly played despite carrying an injury, flashing a shot narrowly wide following a pass from Phil Cobbald. Ben Rhydding took a deserved lead on 29 minutes through David Cutter.

Magpies had their best spell of the game early in the second half but as earlier were unable to exert sufficient pressure on the BR defence. With a few minutes to go Bob Skinner, who bravely carried on despite another knock early in the second half, combined with Tony Elston to pull off a remarkable double save before Cutter made the game safe for Ben Rhydding who I rate as a better team than Richmond which beat Magpies in the final two years ago.

While being disappointed to have lost the squad have the consolation of knowing that they did the club proud by reaching the final once more and by giving their Yorkshire opponents a testing game on the day. Finally, our thanks go to skipper Jon Aldridge for his leadership of the squad and to player-manager Peter Dolton for all his hard and enthusiastic work both on and off the field of play over the past exciting few months.

Harleston Magpies May Day Hockey Festival

With Kirstin Cumming, James Smith has been organising this annual event for what must seem to them to have been for ever and I am very grateful to James for his 2014 report as follows.

The hockey league season seemed to end far too early this year and I was worried that popularity for our tournament would wane as sticks were put up in the attic for another year but this was not the case with 39 teams battling it out, with no gimmicks, mentors or public vote for the titles of – East Anglia’s finest Mixed XI, the most promising Ladies’ Club XI and the undisputed Kings of the Men’s Club XI’s.

On Saturday the club played host to 19 Mixed teams from across Norfolk and Suffolk.  After the initial round-robin stage the tournament split into Plate and Cup knock out rounds.  Sadly, debutants Dissappointments found the going too strong and left the Plate competition in the last 16 round whereas Cranehoppers fared much better and started to put together a promising run of results which saw them in the knock out rounds overcome Bury St Edmunds, UEA 1st team and, finally, UEA 2nds to win the Plate tournament.  James Stevenson of Cranehoppers was named Player of the Final.

In the Cup teams made up by Harleston Magpies were producing some sterling performances.  At the semi-final stage three of the four teams involved had strong Magpies’ links and the final was an all-club affair with Pink Panthers taking on The Slutty Farmers.  Pink Panthers scored first but failed to hold onto their lead following a late equaliser by the Farmers.  With the Farmers’ confidence high and with the added benefit of the Magpies’ Men’s 1st team keeper in goal they edged the penalty flick contest to win this year’s Cup competition.  Harry Blandy a returning Pink Panther picked up the Player of the Final accolade.

On Monday the serious business of best Club XI, men’s and ladies, took centre stage.  10 Ladies and 10 Men’s teams battled away under the sun for 6 hours.  With sunlight fading and energy levels collapsing the last teams standing in the Ladies’ Cup competition were Grasshoppers from Ipswich and Totes Amaze with Grasshoppers emerging as narrow 1-0 winners with Julia Sheppard of Grasshoppers named Player of the Final.  Meanwhile in the Ladies’ Plate competition Loddon overcame a strong Norwich City team to win the title with Evie Wills of Norwich City being named Player of the Final.

In the Men’s section Norfolk Pies and Norwich Dragons needed penalty flicks to be separated in the final.  Norfolk Pies lifted the title thanks in no small part to two saves by their goalkeeper and Player of the Final Tom Franks. Meanwhile Harleston Magpies, a team consisting of players from the 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths and 7ths, had co-incidentally, found their form following the departure of their captain Andy Johnson to A&E with a hand injury, and had progressed to the final of the Plate tournament.  However, their luck finally ran out in the final going down 1-0 to Marvel Loss a team of experienced players from across Lincolnshire.  Tom Everton of Marvel Loss was voted Player of the Final.   

Over the two days 116 games of hockey were played and the event needed an army of umpires, a kitchen staff of hundreds and a dedicated barman!  There are too many of you to thank by name but you all know who you are – whatever part you played ‘thank you’ for your help.

And behind the scenes as always the event would not come together if a) Nigel Bedingfield had not ensured the invitations were circulated, b) George Hunter had not prepared the grass pitches, c) Tim Allen had not marked the pitches, d) Daphne Beckett had not organised the food, e) Iain Cumming had not organised the bar and e) Kirstin had not covered everything I had forgotten! My thanks to them all. 

James Smith

(Thank you James on behalf of everyone for what you did once again, alongside Kirstin, to make the two days so enjoyable and successful. You can now turn your attention to the Fireworks Evening to be held on Friday 7 November!)

Friday 16 May – End of Season Youth Presentation Evening for Girls and Boys (6.00 – 9.00) 
(Please see the Home Page of the website for more details) Sunday 18 May – Mixed v Cannock (QF EHB Trophy) – Weybread (1.00)
Thursday 19 June – Annual General Meeting (7.30)
Sunday 29 June Strawberry Luncheon (details to follow)
Friday 7 November – Fireworks Evening

Mini Musings to follow on an occasional basis in the weeks ahead.

With kind regards and best wishes         
Mike Denham      

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 29 April 2014

Two years ago in their inaugural season in the event the Men’s O50s were thwarted by Richmond in the final of the EHB’s Masters Cup and this coming Sunday (2.00) the squad has the chance to put that single goal defeat and disappointment behind them when in this year’s final they take on Ben Rhydding of Yorkshire at Beeston HC in Nottingham. Bob Skinner makes a very welcome return to the squad following injury while Harry Flatt is welcomed into the squad in place of Ian Absolon who unfortunately has picked up an injury.
The full squad is: Murray Graham (GK), Peter Finnie, Dave Blackmore, Jerry Blackmore, Tony Elston, Peter Dolton, Jon Wells, Phil Cobbald, Bob Skinner, Jim Stather, Jon Aldridge, Jerry Herod, Dave Fairhead, Keith Alexander, Roger Sweet and Harry Flatt.
On their way to the final Magpies have beaten Bedford, Shefford & Sandy (by walkover), Chelmsford, Chester and, in an exciting semi-final in front of a large and vocal home crowd, Indian Gymkhana. A repeat of the latter performance (a splendid 2-0 win with goals by Jon Wells and Jon Aldridge) is sure to be needed this Sunday to get past Ben Rhydding who so far this season have taken the scalps (with plenty of goals) of  City of York, Wakefield, Doncaster, West Wilts and, in the semis, Barford Tigers. Good luck to our team which again will be led by skipper Jon Aldridge and player-manager Peter Dolton.
This is one of seven Men’s Masters’ finals to be held at Beeston HC on Sunday commencing at 10.00am.

Saturday/Monday 3/5 May

Both days (Mixed on Saturday and Club on Monday) have a full complement of 20 teams. Spectators are very welcome with play beginning at 10.30 each day. James Smith, Kirstin Cumming and Daphne Beckett are very grateful for the entries and for the offers to help with the umpiring of the 116 matches and with the catering for the 600 people expected at the club over the weekend.
However, further help is still urgently needed. If you can spare a couple of hours on either day to umpire please give James (01379 898767 or or Kirstin (01986 788439 or a call or if you can help in the kitchen and/or supply some cakes please contact Daphne (07850 709297 or
Finally, if there are any ladies who would like to be part of Mismatch (a Magpies Mixed team) on Saturday please contact James as above. 

Last weekend the club hosted the East Club minis (or more correctly called IN2 HOCKEY) for the sixth successive year and it was good to see so many players and their supporters enjoying the two days. The sunny weather on Sunday more than made up for the damp Saturday morning. As usual upwards of 20 club members were involved with the hosting of the event (run by East Hockey) and thanks are due to them for their hard work including Kirstin Cumming and Philippa Taylor and their catering team, Bertie Steggles and Quentin Baynes and their car parking teams (John Rowe will one of these days deserve to be promoted to team leader!), Iain Cumming on the bar and Richard Larkin who did a splendid job once again as the event announcer.
The club was represented in two of the four events by our U10 and U12 Girls and both did the club proud by coming a very credible fourth in their sections. The U10s got the ball rolling on the Saturday drawing 0-0 with Blueharts before losing 1-0 to Upminster. They then beat Felixstowe 2-0 before playing extremely well to become the only team to take points off Canterbury, the eventual section winners, by holding them to a 0-0 draw. They then lost 1-0 to Saffron Walden after dominating much of the game. Canterbury rather surprisingly went on to lose in the final to Hertford on penalty strokes after a 0-0 draw.  On Sunday the U12 Girls had the misfortune to play a very strong Cambridge City A team (the eventual champions) in their first match going down 4-0 but they recovered well to beat Ipswich 2-0 in their next game. They then lost 4-0 to beaten finalists Canterbury and 1-0 to Blue Hornets before finishing their programme with a resounding 7-0 win over Broxbourne. Both our teams, with their dedicated managements, did well to qualify for these finals and I hope they enjoyed the experience which should stand them in good stead for the future. For the record the U12 Boys event was won by Blue Hornets (from Essex) and the U10 Boys event was won by St Ives. All four finals were decided on penalty strokes.

It is still not too late to join this course for beginners starting this coming Friday (6.00 -7.30)

and continuing on 9 & 23 May and 6 & 13 June.
Please see the Home Page of the website or call David Brook on 01728 638014.

Friday 16 May – End of Season Youth Presentation Evening for Girls and Boys (6.00 – 9.00) 
(Please see the Home Page of the website for more details) Sunday 18 May – Mixed v Cannock (QF EHB Trophy) – Weybread (1.00)
Thursday 19 June – Annual General Meeting (7.30)
Sunday 29 June Strawberry Luncheon (details to follow)
Mini Musings to follow (eventually!) on an occasional basis in the weeks ahead.

With kind regards and best wishes         
Mike Denham          

Match Results – Saturday/Sunday 26/27 April 2014

Saturday 26 April

East Club Minis (HMHC)

U10 Girls
Section Y: Magpies v Blueharts (2.00) 0-0 D, Felixstowe (3.15) 2-0 W, Upminster (3.35) 0-1 L, Canterbury (4.25) 0-0 D, Saffron Walden (5.05) 0-1 L. Magpies finished 4th in their section.

Final: Hertford beat Canterbury 2-0 on strokes after a 0-0 draw. 

U12 Boys
Final: Blue Hornets beat Hertford 3-2 on strokes after a 0-0 draw. Both teams qualify for national finals

Sunday 27 April

East Club Minis (HMHC) 

U12 Girls 
Section B: Magpies v Cambridge City (10.00) 0-4 L, Ipswich (10.22) 3-0 W, Canterbury (11.0 0-4 L, Blue Hornets (Essex) (11.32) 0-1 L, Broxbourne (1.00) 7-0 W. Magpies finished 4th in their section.

Final: Cambridge City beat Canterbury 2-0 on strokes after a 1-1 draw. Both teams qualify for national finals

U10 Boys 
St Ives beat Old Loughtonians 2-1 on strokes after a 1-1 draw. 

Alex Hill Memorial Minis (Dereham HC) 
including Magpies’ U10 Girls’ ‘B’ team (finished out of the medals) 
& Magpies’ U12 Girls’ ‘B’ team 1st

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 22 April 2014

This coming weekend the club is hosting for the sixth successive year the East Club Minis or to give them their correct title the East Club IN2Hockey Championships. On Saturday the U12 Boys (from 10.30) and U10 Girls (from 1.30) will be in action and on Sunday it will be the turn of the U12 Girls (10.00) and U10 Boys (1.00). Magpies will be represented by their U10 and U12 Girls’ teams following their good showings in the recent Norfolk Championships. So it is best wishes to the following for an enjoyable and, hopefully, successful weekend.  Please come along and cheer on our teams!
Saturday 26 April (Weybread)
U10 Girls – Amelia Slade (capt), Georgie Gardens (vice-capt), Grace Robertson (GK), Ellen Pope, Anna Cogdell, Amy Collison, Emma Williamson, Jessica Menzies, Charlotte Butler, Holly Hanrahan with John Pope (manager) and Frankie Eaves (coach).
Section Y: Magpies v Blueharts (2.00), Felixstowe (3.15), Upminster (3.35), Canterbury (4.25), Saffron Walden (5.05) followed (hopefully) by the final (5.40).
Sunday 27 April (Weybread)
U12 Girls – Keisha Hilaire (capt), Alice Evans-Hendrick (vice-capt), Alice Wiseman (GK), Phoebe Eglington, Faith Reader, Emily Woollatt, Georgie Cantrell, Amelia Herschel-Shorland with Martin Reader (coach).
Section B: Magpies v Cambridge City (10.00), Ipswich (10.22), Canterbury (11.06), Blue Hornets (Essex) (11.32), Broxbourne (1.00) followed (hopefully) by the semis (2.05) and final (2.40).
The winners and runners-up of the two U12 events will go on to represent the East in the national championships to be played at Cannock HC on Saturday 10 May.
Good luck also to our teams playing in this Sunday’s Alex Hill Memorial Minis at Dereham HC.
Richard Leeder
Since the last Musings Richard’s funeral arrangements have been announced and are as follows –  
this Thursday (24 April) at Stratton St. Michael Church at 2.30pm followed by committal in the churchyard. No flowers please, but donations, if desired, may be made payable to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and sent c/o Long Stratton and District Funeral Services, Flint House, Ipswich Road, Long Stratton, NR15 2TA. 
Congratulations to the following-
a) Megan Adams and Andrew Brown on their recent marriage. Goalkeeper Megan has just enjoyed another excellent season with the club playing a vital part in the success of the 2nds.
b) Out-on-loan Magpie Alex Slater (Birmingham University where he is studying sport and exercise science) who has been selected to make his England U21 debut this weekend against Scotland in Edinburgh. In the weeks ahead there are similar events against Spain and Belgium as England build-up to the European Championships in July. Alex knows he has got to play well!
c) Jonathan Aldridge and Philip Cobbald on their selection for, respectively, the England Masters’ O55s and O50s sides to compete in the World Cup in Holland from 4 to 15 June. 
d) Our Mixed team on beating Lewes 2-1 (pity about the poor penalty strokes though!) and on being given another home draw when on Sunday 18 May they play defending champions Cannock for a place in semis of the EHB Trophy. This will be a severe test for Magpies as Cannock swept aside West Herts in last year’s final. Before then I can only hope our stroke takers get in some practice!
e) Chelmsford for retaining (for a second successive season) their place in the Investec Women’s East Conference via the relegation play-offs and to Holcombe (East champions) and Buckingham (West champions) on their elevation to the Premier League via the promotion play-offs. This is a particularly well deserved success for Buckingham (including out-on-loan Magpie Jess Bloom) following their disappointments in recent seasons.  
The Men’s O50s training under the watchful eye of player-manager Peter Dolton for their national final at Beeston HC against Ben Rhydding on Sunday 4 May (2.00).
Home Page of the club’s website
Please keep an eye on this page for regular updates which at present include the following.
a) Help required for May Day Weekend Hockey Festival.
b) Topcroft Cricket Club – invitation to ladies and girls to join for free tester training evenings.
c) Rotary Club of Ipswich East and their Orwell Walk & Cycle Fund Raising event on Sunday 29 June.
d) Water Lilies Swimming School run by our own Treacle Griffin.
Norwich City HC 7-A-Side Good Friday Charity Tournament
I have it on dubious authority that one Magpies’ ladies’ team and two men’s teams entered this event desperate for any sort of medal! The ladies’ team, The Mighty Magpies, consisted of Kira Wooltorton, Shev Wooltorton, Lauren Barber, Lucy Whiting, Frances Taylor, Bryony Lund, Lizzie Jones, Krystal Bishop, Georgie Minta, Kate Graham and Sophie Mullan (manager) and they came second just one goal behind the winners. Meanwhile the two men’s sides battled it out for supremacy. The winning team, Tie-dye Pies, was made up of the Johnson Boys (Andrew, Tim and Will), Harry Blandy, Chris Barber, Richard Larkin, the Graham Boys (James and Tom) and Carl Sitch with the latter putting a late scary winner past club chairman and goalkeeper Murray Graham! Murray should, of course, have been given more protection by his Pete-is-the key team-mates! I therefore name the guilty ones as Pete Thornett, Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Andy Hipwell, Toby Price, Sam Moore, Bertie Steggles, Adam Lascelles, Martin Fields and Ewie Cumming. Finally,  a word of praise for tournament organiser Ali Wardale.  
Mini Musings to follow on an occasional basis in the weeks ahead.
With kind regards and best wishes         
Mike Denham          

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 8 April 2014

The many friends of Richard, who was a farmer and miller, will have been very saddened to learn of his death last week. He was in his mid-70s and had suffered poor health for a number of years. 
Richard (Dick to some and, after his father, Basil to school pals) was a very popular member of the club and he and his family did much to develop the club and secure its future both on and off the field of play. He joined the club in the late 1950s and in view of his strong views on affairs was soon invited to join the management committee! Richard started as an outfield player but went between the posts following a game in which he didn’t rate the efforts of his goalkeeper. ‘I can do better than him’ he said. He went on to prove his point playing with distinction as the Magpies’ first team goalkeeper for many years and serving as captain for three seasons from 1962/3.  I was in the same school team as Richard and I never failed to remind him in subsequent years (to my enjoyment and to his increasing irritation!) of the two goals I put past him at School Lane while playing for Norwich Union. 
Between 1969 and 1976 Richard was head groundsman and he would roll the pitches using a diesel road roller kindly provided by his father who was club president at the time.
In 1982 the club bought at auction the freehold of most of the club’s grounds and with David Cobbald,   Andrew Longe and Iain McClintock in support Richard did the bidding and in 1990 the same foursome were the masterminds behind the building of the first artificial grass pitch.
After retiring from playing Richard continued to give his full support to the club, until the onset of his ill-health, and his views on club and other affairs were always worth hearing! The club owes an enormous debt to Richard who was made an Honorary Life Member in recognition of his outstanding services and devotion to HMHC. 
Our condolences go to his wife Maureen, son Andrew and daughter Carolyn and all other members of the family on their great loss.
Details regarding the funeral arrangements will be posted on the Home Page of the club’s website when known.
The third and well attended Senior Club Awards Evening was held last Saturday in the clubhouse.

It is ‘thank you’ to main organiser and deputy president Philippa Taylor and to club captains Tristan Baynes and Kristina Smyth and the team captains for their assistance and to club chairman Murray Graham who kindly presented the awards – except for his own when Tristan did the honours! Thank you also, of course, to everyone who attended and congratulations to the following winners at the end of another outdoor league season.

Player of the season
Most improved player
Player of the season
Most improved player
Kath Johnson  (Betty Whipps Cup)
Young Player Of The Year – Lizzie Jones
Leigh Sitch
(Leeder Cup)
Young Player Of The Year – Toby Price
Holly Baker and Frances Taylor
Dickon Taylor
Giles Flatt
Fiona Mackenzie
Katie Crawford
Murray Graham
Young Player Of The Season – Jonathan Payne
Phoebe Preece
Izzy Knowles
Jack Frere-Smith and Harry Haigh
For Youth Presentation Evening
For Youth Presentation Evening
Matt Hull
Young Player Of The Season – Jamie Lawrence
Krystal Jenkins
Emilia Norman
Myles King
Jonty Herschel-Shorland
Karen Hunt
Eve Barnes
Roger Kent
Hamish Harvey
Last Sunday the U14 Girls continued their fine season by winning their pool in the East regional finals to qualify for the national finals to be held at Wakefield HC on Sunday 11 May. They won their three games at Tonbridge School beating Tunbridge Wells 2-0 (Tor Findlay and Lauren Rowe), Southgate 2-0 (Tor Findlay and Lottie Summers) and Saffron Walden 2-1 (Tor Findlay and Matilda Warde-Aldam). Congratulations to all members of the squad on this outstanding achievement. They join the U18 Girls and Men’s O50s in reaching national finals this season – another proud achievement for the club to celebrate.
Congratulations and best wishes for the future to the following ‘out on loan’ Magpies.
a) Tim Alexander, ex-Framlingham College, on making his First Class cricket debut playing for Durham MCCU against Derbyshire at The 3aaa County Ground in Derby last week, Tim, who bowls fast medium, opened the bowling for Durham MCCU taking four wickets for 84 runs. His second victim was West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul who for many years has been one of the world’s top batsmen. The match ended in a credible draw for the students who this week are playing the Durham county team at Chester-le-Street – the start yesterday having been delayed by rain.
b) Tim Whiteman on being selected for the England hockey squad to face Ireland in the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup at Reading HC on Thursday (7.15) as they continue their preparations for the World Cup to be held in The Hague between 31 May and 15 June. After I congratulated Tim, in this column, on making his England debut in India earlier in the year he was kind enough to write to me to thank the club for all the support given to him over the years. He added ‘The trip to India was an event that will stay with me forever and it was only really when I received my first cap I fully appreciated just how lucky I have been to have played at such great clubs [Magpies and Beeston] with their coaching and support’. Congratulations to Tim and Beeston on winning the NOW: Pensions Championship last Sunday beating East Grinstead in the final by 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
The Mixed squad welcome Lewes to Weybread this coming Sunday for their 4th round (Last 16) EHB Trophy encounter starting at 12 noon. This is sure to be a tough game so please come along if you can to cheer our squad to victory. So far this season, led by Leigh and Katrina Sitch, they have beaten Spalding 8-1 (H), Long Sutton 8-1 (A) and Wisbech 5-0 (H). Good luck to our squad which is  Rees Leonard (GK), Leigh Sitch, Katrina Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Lauren Barber, Thomas Ridley, Katherine Ridley, Richard Larkin, Lucy Whiting, Toby Price, Frances Taylor, Sam Moore, Lizzie Clymer, Martin Fields, Simon Hipwell and Sophie Mullan.
Mini Musings to follow on an occasional basis in the weeks ahead.

With kind regards and best wishes         
Mike Denham