Ladies Indoor Jaffa Super 6’s
Harleston Magpies Ladies Indoor team sponsored by Durants Estate Agents traveled to Nottingham University for the second weekend of league competition in the Jaffa Super 6’s Division 1. With no reward for their improving performance over the first four league games, every game this weekend was going to be crucial for the team’s continued presence in Division 1. The team welcomed Charlotte Harrison and Lucy Whiting to the squad.
Magpies first game of the weekend was against Surbiton. After conceding an early goal Magpies re grouped and pressured the Surbiton defence but were unable to find the finishing touch and it remained 1 – 0 as the half ended. A strong performance from the Surbiton goalkeeper restricted the Magpies chances and Surbiton eventually extended their lead and won the game 4 – 0.
Magpies next opponents were promotion chasing Beeston. Magpies were again very competitive and not out played by their opposition but were unable to convert key penalty corners and open play chances , while a clinical Beeston converted their opportunities and took all three points with a 3 – 2 victory (Lauren Rowe and Lizzie Jones).
Although the league table did not look favourable as Magpies went into their last two league games still looking for their first points of the competition, the statisticians had done their homework and Magpies simply required two wins from the last two games.
The game against Chelmsford started at a high tempo and Magpies were quickly rewarded with a penalty corner which Lauren Rowe converted with an unstoppable flick into the top right hand corner of the goal. A second clinical corner from Lauren Rowe put Magpies 2 – 0 up, before half time Magpies had extended their lead further to 3 – 0 with an open play goal from Charlotte Harrison. Just four minutes into the second half Chelmsford thought they had got themselves back into the game with an open play goal, but a driving run and a cool finish from Tor Findlay restored Magpies three goal advantage instantly. A goal line clearance from a penalty corner resulted in Chelmsford being awarded a penalty stroke, but Megan Brown was not going to be beaten again and made a fine save. Magpies continued to control the tempo and Sarah Brook scored from the final penalty corner of the game. The first part of the great escape plan had been achieved; the team just needed one more victory.
A determined Magpies team took to the pitch prepared to give everything to gain the three points they needed. Scoring freely in the first game of the day had given the team a new confidence and after only four minutes Sarah Brook broke away from the St Albans defence and put Magpies ahead, soon after Lucy Whiting increased the lead to 2 -0. Before half time Magpies leading goal scorer Lauren Rowe stepped up to score two further penalty corner goals and extend the lead to 4-0. A disciplined and organised Magpies defensive unit led by Debbie Francis who had been outstanding all weekend frustrated the St Albans attack and limited their chances in front of goal. They were unable to beat Megan Brown who kept a clean sheet to ensure that Magpies won the vital three points they needed.
The team can be very proud of their achievement and demonstrated true Magpie team work and determination throughout the weekend. Special thanks to Nick McAllen for his instrumental contribution to the team.
Squad: Lauren Barber (Captain), Sarah Brook, Megan Brown, Tor Findlay, Debbie Francis, Charlotte Harrison, Jess Howland, Lizzie Jones, Lauren Rowe and Lucy Whiting.