1sts RETURN FOR TRICKY ACTION
This weekend the 1st teams return to action after a week off and both have tricky looking fixtures with the Ladies away to Chelmsford (12.00) on Saturday and the Men at home to Indian Gymkhana on Sunday (2.15).
Chelmsford Ladies were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of last season having lost several of their star players but have recovered well to stand second in the league two points ahead of Magpies having dropped just three points when they were beaten 4-2 away by leaders Ipswich. Meantime Indian Gymkhana, long standing members of the national league, have only a win over Chelmsford Men to show from six games to date but with their renowned stick skills can give most teams a tough test on their day. This is a game that sixth-placed Magpies need to win to maintain a comfortable distance from the bottom two spots.
Last Saturday we had only four matches at Weybread (with the majority of the ladies’ teams still on half term) and all ended in welcome victories for Magpies. The Men’s 4ths started the ball rolling with new dad Gavin Cole grabbing both goals in the 2-1 win over Lowestoft Town and next up were the Ladies’ 2nds who deservedly won for the first time this season with a comfortable 2-0 victory (‘keeper Flora Marfleet didn’t touch the ball in the entire game!) over Long Sutton. The result was never in doubt after Lucy Chubbock put the team ahead in the first half and Eilbhe Whelan made the game safe with a splendid second after the break.
The Ladies’ 6ths (the league organisers presumably felt they didn’t need or deserve the week off!) then beat Thetford 2nds 3-2 but they made things hard for themselves twice surrendering the lead. The highlights of a good team performance were the first half goal by skipper Katie Webb, who thumped the ball home following a good run, and a penalty stroke save by ‘keeper Kristina Erith. The other scorers were Anna Lacey and Emma Lacey – the latter popping up to score the winner with a few minutes to go.
Last and certainly not least was the splendid 7-2 win by the Men’s 6ths over 10-man Pelicans 3rds. With skipper Kevin Ridley in top form in the middle the young members of the team showed their outstanding promise time and time again with some marvellous touches which were a joy to watch. The match featured yet another welcome father and son duo in Alistair and Toby Williamson.
I take a break from the hockey to remind you of the Harleston Fireworks Spectacular being held at the club this Friday (6 November) – gates open at 6.00pm. This event is run by a committee comprising Harleston Lions, Scouts and Hockey Club with the profits shared equally by the three groups. So please come to help with this fund raising but just as important to enjoy the BBQ, Bonfire and Fireworks etc. with your family and friends. Tickets will be on sale at the gate.
The Men’s 2nds have centre stage at Weybread this Saturday when they entertain table topping Wapping (12.30) and it is to be hoped they make a quick recovery from their 6-3 defeat at Letchworth last Saturday. Also at home will be our (but for goal difference) table topping teams, namely Ladies Development who play Yarmouth (10.30), Men’s 3rds who entertain fellow 100%ers Norwich Dragons (1.45), after hat trick man Joel Nelson inspired them to a 5-2 win last Saturday away to North Walsham, and Ladies’ 3rds who welcome Evergreens at 2.15. Also at home are Men’s 5ths who play Norwich City 3rds (3.15) and Men’s Veterans who entertain Bedford (4.00). Good luck to all our teams in action this weekend including on Sunday the U11 and U13 Boys who play in the Minis tournament at home (9.45) and the Men’s Veterans who travel to take on Ipswich & East Suffolk in the EH Masters Cup (12.15).
Finally – congratulations to the following for their achievements last week:
· Calianne Clark and Cherry Seaborn who played for the Saxon Tigers U18 squad which finished as runners-up to Mercia Lynx in the England Hockey’s Futures Cup at Cannock. The event aims to give U16 and U18 players who have progressed along EH’s Single System pathway first hand experience of an international tournament environment.
· Philip Cobbald and Jonathan Aldridge who won gold medals playing for England Over 45s and England Over 50s respectively in the International Masters Tournament in Hong Kong. I have spoken to Philip since his return and he thoroughly enjoyed the event played in humid conditions at the Hong Kong Football and Happy Valley Clubs on Hong Kong Island. He played in all five matches, in either defence or midfield, during which England Over 45s beat Austria, Hong Kong (twice) and Australia twice including 3-1 in the final. Meantime England Over 50s beat Australia 1-0 in their final after victories over Singapore, Scotland, New Zealand and Malaysia and a draw with Australia in the group stages. Please see www.englandhockeymasters.co.uk for more details.
With kind regards and best wishes Mike Denham 01603 506925 MDenham975@aol.com 3/11/09