Ladies Over 35s cup quarter final draw was a repeat of last years final but with home advantage. Magpies started brightly and took the play to Canterbury creating many attacking opportunities. Emma Lee Smith picked off players with ease and put some inch perfect passes through but magpies were unable to make them count. THe whole team played with composure throughout the first half and despite the better chances it was all square at half time. The belief was in the home team solid defending by Vaughan, Greenacre and Johnson thwarted the chances Canterbury created. Captain Greenacre got a harsh green card while a much worse tackle by ex GB player Mel Clewlow went unpunished. Canterbury took the lead but Magpies belief never faltered and Lee Smith equalised from a penalty corner. The final whistle came and once again Magpies had tested the champions of the last 7 years. Deja vue! Penalties – sadly Canterbury ran out 4-3 winners – leaving spectators and players disappointed for a second time.
Canterbury will consider themselves fortunate to leave with a win and chance of another title.
Ladies O35 Team v Canterbury 0-0 (3-1 to Canterbury after Penalty Shoot out)
Magpies over 35’s sponsored by Ultimet Films traveled to a very, very sunny Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre to take on defending champions Canterbury in the Over 35’s Tier 1 Cup Final on Saturday.
From the start Magpies worked hard to control the ball in midfield but were unable to find the finishing touch in front of goal. Canterbury’s pressure was rewarded with a number of penalty corners which the Magpies defence manged well including a goal line clearance from Debbie Francis on the stroke of half term.
Magpies started the second half strongly and began to dominate possession in the attacking half of the pitch but were unable to break the deadlock. With five minutes left to play a penalty corner strike from Emma Lee – Smith struck a Canterbury defenders foot on the line resulting in Magpies being awarded a penalty stroke. Magpies were not able to capitalize on this opportunity and the score remained 0-0. Further pressure from the Magpies forwards in the final moments of the game did not bring the team the goal they needed; instead the game was to be concluded with a penalty shootout.
An early save from Lucy King and the pace and accuracy of Lucy Field ensured that the scores remained equal after the first two rounds of the shootout. But the crossbar, the post and an in form Canterbury goalkeeper prevented Magpies from adding to their goal tally. This gave Canterbury the victory and they took the title for the fifth time in seven years. Magpies can be proud of their efforts in only their second season of entering this competition, they will aim to go one better next season!
Ladies O35 v Clifton Robinsons (Home (O35 Cup )W 5-0)
Magpies thrilled the home crowd with this resounding Investec Women’s Over 35s Tier 1 Championship semi-final victory playing quality hockey from the opening minute against a talented Clifton side. They threatened to open the scoring on several occasions but before doing so were grateful for a good save by goalkeeper Lucy King who was otherwise rarely tested.
In a superb squad performance Emma Lee-Smith was outstanding for Magpies with her strong runs at the Clifton defence and she put the home team ahead in the 23rd minute with a powerful shot from a narrow angle which evaded goalkeeper Sarah Ellis who had earlier made several smart saves. Six minutes later Emma converted a penalty corner with a powerful shot high into the net following some deft stickwork.
Magpies were now in total control with Frances Burrell and Debbie Francis in dominant form in midfield and their position was further strengthened just before half time when after a strong run down the right by Lucy Field the ball found Charlie Harrison to the left of the circle. By sheer persistence and aided by a first-class advantage by the umpire she took the ball along the goal line before squeezing the ball into the net.
Early in the second half Angie Wheelhouse, who had several times gone close to scoring in the first half, was unlucky to see her shot hit the bar before being cleared. Clifton, with Isabel Palmer prominent, responded with a spell of pressure of their own but the fourth goal for Magpies was soon forthcoming when Anouska Stott took advantage of a calamitous mix up in the visitors’ defence to ease the ball past the guiltless goalkeeper.
This made the game safe for Magpies before Anouska latched on to a through ball to race into the circle to fire high into the net to complete the scoring.
This has to rank as one of the finest home performances by a Magpies’ team in recent seasons and in the final at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre on Saturday 5 May (5.00pm) they will play Canterbury who beat Olton & West Warwicks 4-3 in the other semi-final.
Magpies travelled to Chelmsford for this fixture hoping for better weather conditions than the snow of two weeks ago. Magpies started the game with pace and pressed from the beginning. Five goals came in the first 15 minutes with 3 from Anouska Stott and 2 from Angie Wheelhouse. This relentless pressure continued until half time with further goals added by Emma Lee Smith and Lucy Field
Chelmsford goalkeeper made numerous saves in the second half but Emma and Anouska took their tally to 4 goals each. The defence looked solid and only defended one penalty corner with a good save from Lucy King in goal. The midfield controlled the game with decisive tackling and good teamwork.
The next round is away to Bishops Stortford.
Team:- Lucy King, Victoria Sweet, Jose Tibbenham, Teresa Griffin, Debbie Francis, Emma Lee Smith, Charlotte Rourke Beasley, Laura Betts, Angie Wheelhouse, Anouska Stott, Fran Burrell, Lucy Field, Louisa Greenacre (Capt) Kath Johnson, Charlotte Harrison.
Magpies went into this Investec Women’s O35s Trophy Final at the Lee Valley Sports Centre in confident mood after their impressive semi-final away win over Jersey and they dominated the game from the first whistle.
Cheered on by their forty-strong band of supporters they went ahead after five minutes when Lucy Field and Angie Wheelhouse combined to give Anouska Stott the easiest of tap-ins and this trio continued to cause severe problems for the Timperley defence throughout the game with Angie in the form reminiscent of her free-scoring first team days. After spurning penalty corner opportunities Magpies scored their second midway through the first half after good work by Charlie Harrison and Anouska was finished off by Angie.
Rachel Small was in outstanding in goal for Timperley but she was powerless to stop Anouska and Angie scoring again before half time with Debbie Francis dominating the midfield with the support of Charlie Harrison, Rachel Goodson, Becky Baker and Laura Betts. Meanwhile Kath Johnson, captain Louisa Greenacre, Charlotte Rourke-Beasley and Plum Sweet were as reliable as ever in defence on the rare occasions they were troubled by the hard working Timperley team who never let their spirits drop. But Magpies were grateful for a smart save by goalkeeper Karen Fletcher early in the second half.
Despite their comfortable lead Magpies continued to take the game to their opponents and they went further ahead when after a trademark fast break down the left Lucy found Angie unmarked in the circle for her third goal. Shortly afterwards and to the biggest cheer of the day Treacle Griffin came on and with her first hit of the game scored from left edge of the circle into the far corner to the delight of the Magpies’ supporters and her team-mates.
The seventh goal was scored by Jose Tibbenham to a similar reception and this was a fitting reward for all the hard work put in by Jose during the campaign and especially with all the organising involved with the semi-final trip to Jersey.
The squad’s final goal was the equal of or even better than the others when Plum fired a ball from defence straight down the middle of the pitch for Anouska to collect before crashing the ball into the net in typically exciting style for her twelve goal of the competition.
Congratulations to the squad, including manager Shirley McAllen, coach Nick McAllen and physio Rachel Baynes, on this splendid win rounding off in the best possible way the squad’s debut season in this national event. A game to remember!
……. encore! Photo courtesy of Simon Parker, SP Action Images, www.spactionimages.com
PS. Five of the Magpies Ladies’ O35s team were in the U19 team who won the National Title at Milton Keynes in 1998/9, namely Becky Baker, Charlotte Rourke-Beasley, Laura Betts, Debbie Francis and Lucy Field.
Rest of the squad: Emma Lee-Smith, Anna Toulson, Fran Sumner, Ali Bicker, Kate Deary, Sophie Thomson, Louise Gooderham, Lucy Taylor, Verity King, Louise Goulding (GK) Sarah Griffiths(GK).
Jersey Ladies’ O35s 1 Harleston Magpies Ladies’ O35s 2
With this away win Harleston Magpies Ladies’ O35s are through to the final of the England Hockey Trophy when on Sunday 30 April they play Timperley at the Lee Valley Sports Centre in the Olympic Park. After an eventful early flight from Gatwick on Sunday morning Magpies dominated much of the game but found the Jersey goalkeeper in outstanding form. She pulled off a remarkable save in the first minute from a fierce shot from Anouska Stott and this set the pattern for much of the rest of the game. Magpies wasted four penalty corners before, with half time approaching, Angie Wheelhouse put them ahead at another with an unstoppable shot into the far left corner reminiscent of her record goal scoring days for the 1sts. Debbie Francis was as sound as ever in the middle of the pitch while in a good squad performance Becky Baker was playing well in only her second game in some seven years as she supported the forwards.
Anouska was a constant threat to the Jersey defence which tackled and stopped the ball well. But there was nothing they could do when she swept home in typically fine style a centre from the right by Debbie early in the second half. It came as something of a nasty surprise when Jersey won and smashed home a penalty corner much to the delight of their hundred supporters sitting in the grandstand. Thereafter Magpies continued to have almost total domination of the game but the Jersey goalkeeper pulled off goal bound efforts by Anouska and Charlie Harrison. Ten minutes from the end Magpies missed a great chance to open up a two–goal lead which would have reduced the nervous tension building in the team and among their small group of supporters. Jersey mounted a late attack which was thwarted by the Magpies defence in which Kath Johnson was as steady as always leaving the visitors with a thoroughly deserved win which on another day could have been by a far greater margin. Well done squad and team (and trip) organisers Jose Tibbenham and Louisa Greenacre.
Having beaten Norwich Dragons in the previous round Magpies O35s faced Bury at home for a place in the National quarter finals. Magpies had the better of the opening exchanges but the Bury defence stood firm until a slick passing move was finished off by Angie Wheelhouse beating the advancing goal keeper on 23 minutes. Anouska Stott added the second 3 minutes later to give Magpies a 2 goal margin at the break.
Bury came out strongly at the start of the second half and deservedly scored with a good strike from Sharon Holton. The game was then finely balanced but Magpies gradually gained control of the midfield. Kath Johnson added a third from a penalty corner lob and Charlie Harrison completed the scoring.
The quarter final match will be on February 26th
Squad:- Karen Fletcher (GK) Rachel Goodson, Kath Johnson, Plum Sweet, Laura Betts, Debbie Francis, Louisa Greenacre, Charlie Harrison, Teresa Griffin, Angie Wheelhouse, Lucy Field, Anouska Stott, Jose Tibbenham.
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