Magpies Youth make Promising Start to National Campaigns
England Hockey boys and girls U18, U16 and U14 National Competitions all commenced this Sunday with Magpies fielding a team in each age group and returning with a notable set of results. At U16 and U14 level the National Competition consists of a local mini league, before the top two from each group progress to a Regional finals day and then National finals weekend.
Last season Magpies Girls and Boys teams made the regional finals in 3 out of 4 age group competitions and wanted to get this season’s league stage off to a flying start but again found stiff competition in their way.
The U14 Boys produced a strong display away against Ipswich and East Suffolk. High quality passing and clinical finishing lead to Magpies being 7 – 0 up by half time. An envious position for any coach and manager to be in enabling the management team to use the second half to test players in differing roles and give the wider squad good pitch time. As a result the 2nd half was more even albeit Magpies remained dominant adding a further 2 goals before conceding one. Magpies goal scorers were: Ollie Currie (2), Sam Emms (2), Ed Brice (2), Ollie Kinsman (1), Freddie Kirk (1), Jonny Taylor (1). Full time 9-1.
The Girls U14 squad had a no league fixture this weekend but picked up a friendly with Blue Hornets. Both clubs wanted the opportunity to get some match time under their squads belts and it was a pleasure to host Blue Hornets at Magpies. A mixture of 11 a-side and 7 a-side matches were played to ensure all got good pitch time and experience with Magpies successfully seeing off the challenge of Hornets in all formats. The highlight being a 5 – 1 victory in the full side match.
Both U16 teams faced Norwich City. The U16 Girls played away at Norwich coming through a tight encounter with a 3-1 victory. Norwich City opened the scoring from a well worked short corner midway through the first half. The team responded positively and it wasn’t long before an equaliser was found Emma Williamson playing a delightful pass through to Mimi Salsby who calmly slotted past the keeper. Beth Farrow in Magpies goal ensuring the scores were level at half time with some fine saves.
In the second half Magpies had more possession, Keisha Hilaire won the ball inside the Magpies half and flew down the left wing cutting into the D, firing off a shot resulting in a City defender turning the ball into her own net. Magpies then put the result beyond doubt with a beautifully worked goal culminating in Georgie Cantrell playing in Emma Williamson who picked her spot rifling the ball into the bottom left corner.
Magpies U16 Boys came up against a very good Norwich City team. A tough match was expected and so it proved to be. Despite the final 6 – nil score line, the Magpies boys played their hearts out, with a very high work rate, and never let their heads drop to the last whistle. The boys came away with a great deal to think about in coaching over the next couple of weeks, but should also reflect on their strong stamina, strength and team work.
At U18 level the teams play a knock out competition with the result from your first match determining whether you progress to a second round in the Cup or Plate competition. Both Magpies teams were drawn against Norwich City. A tough opening draw for any team, nevertheless both teams secured a victory and will progress into the second round of the Under 18 National Cup.
Magpies U18 girls had the more convincing win against their Norwich City counterparts. A 4-0 victory thanks to goals from Mia King (2), Grace Cresswell and Anna Tighe. Norwich looked a much stronger team in the second half and caused Alice Gooch in the Magpies goal to make a number of excellent saves to keep a clean sheet.
Meanwhile Magpies U18 boys were involved in a very competitive match, coming through as 2-0 winners by making the most of the chances they created but were indebted to their goalkeeper, Will Gravier, for making a number of fine saves, particularly in the first half. City looked dangerous on the counter-attack but with England U18 international Archie Winter working tirelessly in midfield Magpies started to enjoy more possession, winning a couple of penalty corners from one Winter jumped on a rebound and calmly lifted the ball into the goal. Ben Watson then doubled the lead slotting home from another short corner.
The next round of matches will be played on 5th November
For more information on Youth Hockey at Magpies and how your son or daughter can get involved visit Magpies website www.magpies-hockey.co.uk.