Category Archives: mens 3s reports

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 25 March 2017

Magpies’ Men’s 3rds 10 Newmarket 1

After defeat to Bury St Edmunds last week Magpies were expecting a tough game against a Newmarket side just behind them in the league and especially since Newmarket had won the reverse fixture 6-1 just before Christmas. However with a full squad available Magpies felt confident that they could produce their best form when it mattered. As it turned out it didn’t matter as much as they thought, because despite playing some of their poorest hockey for several weeks they went into the break 5-0 up with good finishes from Tristan Hipper (2) and Gavin Cole and slightly scruffier efforts from Jamie Hudson and Matt Brand.

The second half saw both teams playing much better and despite Newmarket being much more resolute in defence they still found it hard to deal with a rampaging Magpies’ team who were clinical down both wings. Five more goals came with Tristan getting a third, Greg Jagger, who had a goal in the first half disallowed, adding two and Gavin and James Stacey completing the Magpies’ tally. It was not, however, the last goal as Newmarket would (in the words of defender) Tiger Brice (who was in superb form again) “ruin magpies afternoon” when they scored in the 69th minute.

So a 10-1 win, a top two finish and promotion guaranteed and with every team in the league beaten at least once Magpies can cast one eye over next season. Horncastle away anyone? However before then Magpies must complete this campaign at home to Dragons and away to Ipswich.

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 18 March 2017

Bury St Edmunds 3 Magpies 3rds 0

After not being severely tested for the last 3 weeks Magpies knew they would have to up their game against the 15 man squad of Bury St Edmunds first team. Delighted to welcome back Phil Cobbald, Jon Aldridge, Jamie Hudson and James Stacey as well as coaxing one more guest appearance from Nick Whitehead, the away team were hoping that experience in the predicted close game would count.

As in most encounters between these two teams the first goal would be key and unusually for Magpies they could not convert their short corners or take a couple of early open play chances. So when Bury bobbled in a corner of their own the pattern of the game would be set. Bury, who have conceded less than a goal a game, defended robustly as Magpies tried all they had to get back into the game. Bury had a strong period just after half-time but goalkeeper Chris Flatt and his defensive team seemed to have weathered the storm. However, with the game moving on the push forward by Magpies left them vulnerable to the counter attack and with two ruthless breaks the game was settled. Magpies continued their good hockey particularly down the flanks with Tom Norton and James Stacey but a shut-out meant they came home empty handed.

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 11 March 2017

Magpies’ Men’s 3rds 4 North Norfolk 1

North Norfolk were the visitors on Saturday and having put up a strong fight in the reverse fixture Magpies were expecting a tough game. However our north coast visitors have real trouble with putting out their first choice eleven and Magpies, with their own availability issues, looked to capitalize. Iain Cumming put Magpies ahead from a short corner, via a deflection, but this was cancelled by North Norfolk scoring their own corner. In a first half characterised by good intentions without the quality to execute them, it would take a goal from Gavin Cole to separate the sides at half time as he reacted fastest to a loose ball in the circle.

The second half saw some play more befitting of the Magpies’ recent form and further goals from Iain and Greg Jagger would close the game out at 4-1. An encouraging debut from Tim Goodge should be noted alongside the growing performances of David Cadman and Tom Norton. With promotion now a real possibility it is perhaps fitting that the next two games are against Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket as the race to the top goes down to the wire.

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 26 November 2016

Newmarket 6 Magpies Men’s 3rds 1

If you have not lost all season then a loss is going to feel a bit odd and a 6-1 defeat is going to feel really odd.

It wasn’t for the lack of effort though and at 2-1 down, with a goal from Tom Norton, there was a game to be won. However the home side quickly scored a double which ultimately would define the result. With little between the sides in terms of territory it was Newmarket’s clinical breaking which produced two further goals in the second half making the home support very happy. The away support, however, will have to content themselves with the encouraging introduction of Tom, Rob Neal, David Cadman and Ben Kilburn; four young players from the fourth team who gradually grew into the game proving to themselves, the captain and the faithful followers that they are well on the right path.

A tough day on the pitch then but the coaches would tell you “you have to lose a few to appreciate the wins!” Onwards now to the second half of the season still top of the league!

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 12 November 2016

North Norfolk 1 Magpies’ Men’s 3rds 3

On a balmy November day Cromer, bathed in that wet sunshine that it is famous for, was the destination for the men’s third team.

With very different records it may have appeared the North Norfolk would be swept away by a rampant Magpies’ team and when Greg Jagger smashed home an opener in the 8th minute this seemed the only outcome. But buoyed by many returning players this game was no procession, and when the hosts secured an equaliser through an emphatic finish of their own the game was set up for a close battle right to the end.

In the persistent rainshine both sides found it hard to carve out clear cut chances but two clinical Phil Cobbald strikes from two different short corner routines demonstrated that the third team did not just want to leave Cromer with wet kits and they duly secured a ninth win in a row. With notable performances by Jamie Hudson and Tristan Hipper, together with Lewis Belsey’s promising debut, the team stride confidently on to next Saturday’s top of the table clash against Bury St Edmunds first team.

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 29 October 2016

Pelicans 2nds 2 Magpies Men’s 3rds 3

An away trip to Kings Lynn generally means you will not keep the same team as the week before but with a six players unavailable it may have seemed optimistic that Magpies could extend their perfect start to the season.

On a smart new surface and against a Pelicans team struggling to find form this season the reshaped league leaders started the game with typical vigour creating a raft of good chances. However, after 15 minutes the scoreline remained 0-0 and the home side was starting to grow in confidence.

With Magpies having no substitutes to call upon Pelicans may have felt they had weathered the storm but by committing more players to attack they gave the chance of being picked off. And regardless of the eleven Magpies are able to field there is always enough quality to play through a side who give them the chance. And so it was, a flowing Magpies move was swept home, from a season’s best six yards by Gavin Cole. And a neat restart around the circle allowed Vincent Leruth to find Greg Jagger to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

With the Harleston back four playing superbly it was always likely that a bit of luck would be required by the home side. And at 2-0 behind that luck came when a speculative raised cross/shot was deflected in. Not to be put off Magpies swept forward and a back post finish by Gavin would ensure a 2-goal lead at the break.

Much like the week before, the second half would prove a struggle with the away support expecting the leaders to kick on but things were not quite happening in the last third. A spirited Pelicans team stood up well and when another crash ball into the D was deflected home it guaranteed a frantic last 5 minutes (finally played under floodlights!) But if winning is a habit then the third team are hooked and closed out a seventh win in a row. Onwards to Sudbury 2nds at home this week.

Matt Brand

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 15 October 2016

Bury St Edmunds 2nds 1 Magpies 3rds 3

Having won the first 4 games it was unfortunate that 6 players were unavailable this Saturday for the men’s third team and their away trip to Bury St Edmunds 2nd team. And when Bury celebrated taking a one goal lead into the break it might have appeared that these changes had disrupted their serene progress. However what wasn’t on the score sheet was the hatful of chances that had fallen just the wrong side of the post or off the post or, most commonly, off the goalkeeper.

With instruction to keep playing the same the second half proved that the third team squad is rich in talented players. Alex K and David C making noticeable contributions, David on debut.
The arrears were quickly removed. The ever alert Phil C travelling into the vacant space in front of him before finding Gavin C who picked his spot. Then a short corner was stopped on the line by a foot which allowed Phil to convert. The next short corner was then put away by the captain Matt and the game was unofficially over. Sol B and Vincent L still had time to go close and with Tristan H, Jamie H and Jack R nullifying all break outs, goalkeeper Steve H, just back from holiday, had a chance to recover from his jet lag.

5 wins in a row and great preparation for the harder games ahead.

Men’s 3rds match report – Saturday 1 October 2016

Norwich Dragons 2nds 1 Magpies 3rds 5

Over the years Magpies 3rds against Dragons have produced some classic encounters and having finished last season so strongly the hosts would have been hoping to force another one.

Magpies kept up their pattern of fast starts and early pressure soon brought a Luke E goal. A second from Jon A at a short corner and things were looking comfortable. But slick passing from the hosts would immediately half the deficit.

Back came Magpies and Phil C got his just rewards when he sneaked home a short corner, after it looked like the chance had gone.

Having played some seriously impressive passing hockey and taking a two goal lead into the break there was reason for optimism as the sides lined up for the second half. But at the same time Dragons may have felt they had weathered the storm as the movement and link play of Magpies could surely not be maintained!

A far grittier half was therefore required from the visitors as Dragons, determined to create another classic, stepped up. However when a simple triangle move produced a goal for Greg Jagger the game was effectively done.

With the remaining time, territory was conceded to the hosts but not chances. And a back four of Tiger B, Jamie H, Tristan H and Joe C shut down any opportunities; with Will G in goal superbly snuffing out anything that did creep through. Another Aldridge, Brand, Cobbald triangle would see Gavin C get on the score sheet to conclude events for another match.

Maybe not a classic this time, but with a notable team debut for Vincent L, Magpies will take a league leading perfect record into next week’s home game (3.30) against Norwich City 4ths.

mens 3rd XI Match Report

IES 3s 2-4 Magpies 3s
A quick start by a Magpies team, with 5 changes from last week, saw goals by Gavin Cole and Toby Hughes establish a two goal lead. In an error ridden first section both teams struggled with conditions.
With captain Matt Brand guilty of one or two errors of his own he saw a opportunity, from a long clearance, to make amends. With 20 players on the pitch convinced it would run out of play only two players even moved and with Toby Hughes chasing the ball Matt stealthily ran past every outfield player on the pitch to get on the end of a wonderful cross from Toby and sneak the ball home.
3-0 and it may have seemed like game over. But continued shaky defending led to goals either side of half time from the hosts. At 3-2 and with the influential Stuart Fields departing to honour an umpiring commitment, it may have been a nervous final quarter. But no sooner had Stuart stepped off the pitch than the returning Gavin Cole stepped up to slam home the decisive fourth.
Not the best performance of recent season but still an away win on the board.

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 19 March 2016

Norwich City 3rds 4 Harleston Magpies 3rds 4

In a fantastic winner-takes-all match for promotion both teams threw caution to the wind and played with a freedom that has characterised the league this season.

Despite an early setback Magpies equalised when Gavin Cole converted their first short corner. Norwich then regained the lead when another 60m aerial caused confusion in the away defence but Luke Edwards cancelled this out when he swept home in the twentieth minute.

By now Magpies were on the front foot and skipper Matt Brand silenced the now gathering crowd (around 50) by converting their second short corner before Norwich equalised in a desperate scramble on half time to make the score 3-3.

After the break Magpies tried to force the issue knowing one more goal would be enough but sadly a short corner conversion by the home team came next. Not bowed Magpies somehow doubled their efforts and at a fifth short corner Matt Brand made the score 4-4. Was there still time for a winner? Well there was but neither side could quite carve out that chance and with City hearing that a draw was now enough for their promotion they managed to close the game out.

Disappointment for the thirds but with the realisation that they had just played one of THE games they left the pitch to a generous reception from the home and travelling fans.

Ready for 2016-17? We will be!


Magpies Mens Threes hit 9 in emphatic Sudbury win

Harleston Magpies Mens 3rd XI 9 – Sudbury Men 3rd XI 0

East Division 3NE

With a loss away to Lowestoft a week earlier, Magpies needed a win against bottom placed Sudbury to get their excellent start back on track. Keeper Lane returned between the posts, and the otherwise consistent team boasted two subs.

Magpies started well and peppered the visitors’ goal, with their keeper undoubtedly their hero from the start. Gavin Cole opened the scoring with a net breaker before John Aldridge scored the second to ease the crowd’s nerves. Cole scored his second before Sol Barker scored a brace to make it 5-0 at half time.

The visitors started brightly after the break and created a couple of chances but stood little chance against the rampant forward line of Cole, Barker and Fabian Mitchell, who was unlucky not to score.

Cole hit his hat trick soon after the restart Andy Johnson blasted home for 7 nil. England seniors player Aldridge scored his second for Magpies eighth before Barker finished off his hat trick.

The result could and probably should have been more, but praise must go to the Sudbury keeper who had a phenomenal game. Definitely the man of the match without question. Sudbury played the game in good faith and with some youngsters put on a good battle despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise.

Next week Magpies head to Felixstowe 2s for an 11am start looking to rain in more goals to keep them in the title chase.

SQUAD – Brand (c), Lane, Bensley, Jagger, Hipper, Richards, Joe, Aldridge, Cole, Herschel-Clarke, Johnson

Men’s Thirds Match Report – Dragons slayed as Cole fires brace to help secure win

Harleston Magpies Men’s 3rd XI 4 – Norwich Dragons 3rd XI 0

On a bright and warm late September day, Magpies’ thirds welcome some old faces to the Nest, with seemingly half of the Dragons team once of the club. With niceties and old stories over, it was time for Brand’s mixture of youth and experience to concentrate on making it two from two in Division 3NE.

With Elliot Ashurst and Jack Frere-Smith missing from the team, the side welcomed back Jon Aldridge and Iain Cumming, plus Greg Jagger who slotted into the left back berth. With positive messages from the warm up and team huddle, Magpies started a very sunny first half and peppered the visitors’ goal with shots but just could not gain the advantage despite some great efforts from the whole team.

Half time saw a sharp intake of Jelly Babies and a some sound words from Brand and his vice Richards, and Magpies took this onboard, no doubt aided by the Jelly Babies. Cole opened the scoring with a great finish and soon added a back post effort to add to the Dragons’ woes. Fabian Mitchell went close with a diving effort but couldn’t connect before Andy Johnson fired in a controversial penalty corner to make it three nil. Sol Barker showed some great composure to make it 4 nil and Magpies settled for that scoreline, but could have equally scored ten given luck.

Some great performances at the back meant keeper Lane had little to do and the form of youngsters Bensly, Jagger, Hipper, Herschel-Shorland and Barker will add legs to the senior side of the team going forward, especially if Iain Cumming can continue in defence to such effect.

A great 4-0 win and Magpies will aim to continue this away to Lowestoft Railway next weekend.

Squad – Brand (C), Lane (GK), Richards, Aldridge, Hipper, Herschel-Shorland, Barker, Jagger, Cole, Mitchell, Bensly, Johnson, Cumming

Match Report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 11 October 2014

Harleston Magpies 3rd XI 4-0 Harleston Magpies 4th XI

League matches between teams from the same club are always competitive affairs with the underdogs generally having nothing to lose; this Division 3 NE league match was no different.

With both teams short on points there was no real form guide to refer to, and as such it was always going to be interesting to see who started the fastest. With many club members in attendance it was followers of the thirds who had the first action to applaud when skipper Matt Brand broke free from his marker to surprise the fourths with a quality juggled finished. Further quality, this time from Phil Cobbald linking with Gavin Cole soon doubled the lead and when Andy Johnson scored the match could have become one sided. However the remainder of the contest was much more even with much of the best play coming from the fourth team and had they been able to show the third teams finesse in shooting positions the score could have been different. This small difference was further highlighted when, despite limited chances, Gavin Cole made the score 4-0 and a fierce strike brought a fantastic flying save by the evergreen fourth team goalkeeper Andy Palmer. A match with many pluses for both teams but also much still to work on.

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 27 September 2014

Harleston Magpies Mens 3rd XI 3 – 3 UEA 1st XI

In a match played at a pace more suited to a higher league the eventual score line was ultimately a fair reflection of the match. With both teams prepared to give it a go it was perhaps surprising that only one goal was scored in the first half; that being a fine short corner strike for the home team by Phil Cobbald. However, the real story of the game would unfurl after the break. Many may have thought that when the younger visiting team equalised the result would only go one way. But the competitive nature of the home team would not allow this, and continued attacking endeavour forced the UEA into a number of ill-disciplined moments. It was during this period that Phil Cobbald converted two further short corners to push his team to the edge of victory. However, with the match moving into the final 5 minutes there seemed little chance of the two goals that stunned the home support. Not wishing to see their hard work count for only one point, Harleston pushed into the opposition circle one more time. And despite this effort being rewarded by a short corner and then a penalty stroke, Harleston could not quite get over the line.

Men’s 3rds match report – Saturday 20 September 2014

Ipswich & East Suffolk 2nd X1 2 – 1 Harleston Magpies Mens 3rd XI

Harleston Magpies 3rd XI started the new hockey season away against a team they finished just one place above last season, Ipswich & East Suffolk 2nd XI. It was therefore always likely to be a hard match to win; but when the visitors took the lead from Phil Cobbald’s first short corner of the game a win may have looked the most likely outcome. However Ipswich would equalize before half-time and they would take this momentum shift into the second half. With both teams creating chances it really was a match there for the taking. First Magpies would have a fast break snuffed out by the in-form Ipswich goalkeeper. And then Nick Whitehead was forced into two last ditch interventions with the goal at Ipswich’s mercy. One goal was going to win it, and sadly for the visitors this went to Ipswich. Despite late pressure including great play by man of the match Guy Pelling the season opener would end in defeat. Next week Harleston entertain UEA.

Magpies Mens 3rd XI vs Norwich City Mens 2nd XI

Magpies Mens 3rd XI, 2 vs Norwich City Mens 2nd XI, 8
Friendlies against teams from a higher division can go one of two ways; a rude awakening or a useful workout. On Saturday Harleston Magpies 3rd XI got a bit of both as they took on the higher ranked Norwich Cith 2nd XI. The eventual score line of 8-2 probably flattered the home side , but bore testament to the home sides good forward play against a scratch defence for the variously assembled Magpies. Sam Ashurst, playing his last game before returning to University was the pick of the Harleston players, narrowly shading Gavin Cole who scored both goals. A match with much to be pleased about but much to work on before next week’s start of the league season.

Men’s 3s bring home the bacon

Harleston Magpies Men’s 3s 2 – Bury St Edmunds Men’s 1s 1

After the humiliation of a thumping in Cambridge the week before, Magpies welcomed high flying Bury to Weybread for what proved to be a classic game of hockey.

With Nick Dyson available at the back for his first start in a threes shirt this season, Pies were confident of turning over their local rivals.

Aiming to start well Pies gave a good account of themselves and forced the Bury keeper into several saves before a yellow card for Nic Ciappi of Bury gave the home side the advantage. A penalty corner routine saw James Brice slot home a rebound for one nil.

Pies were all over the visitors, with Dyson and Flatt commanding the back line less leaving Bury with sporadic chances.

After half time the away side started much stronger and forced Pies into some tough defending tactics. Bury soon equalised through a slick move from defence and it was game on at Weybread as Pies battled for a desperately needed three points.

Bury lost two players to yellow cards in the battle and Pies took the advantage as skipper Brand found himself one on one with the Bury keeper. Unfortunately he hit the post and it remained one one.
In what turned out to be a great game of hockey, pies pressed forward and soon won a penalty flick thanks to Bury’s keeper. Giles Flatt stepped up and then promptly missed thanks to a weak effort and gained himself Dick of the day.

James Stacey rescued the win for Pies with a well taken penalty corner rebound with five to go and three more points means Pies are off the bottom.

Man of the match – Dyson Dick of the day – Flatt

Squad – Lane (GK), Brand (C), Graham, Dyson, Flatt, Laschelles, Whitehead, Baynes, Brice, Absalon, Tompkins, Cole, Stacey, Ridley

Mens 3rd XI match report Saturday 3rd November 2012

Norwich Dragons 1st XI 4 – Harleston Magpies Mens 3rd XI 1

Magpies 3’s travelled to local rivals Norwich Dragons on a high after beating fellow strugglers UEA 2-1 the week before.

With a couple of changes to the team, Pies were always going to have a tough game against a well drilled Dragons side who sat mid-table before Saturday’s game.

Pies started well and with in-form striker Gavin Cole always had a chance. Cole soon took a chance as he swept home a cross from the right to make it 1-0 with ten minutes gone.

However, Dragons hit back with a sweet strike five minutes later to level the scores. The home side looked the better in attack and pressed the Pies defence hard until an open cross found a Dragons stick to deflect past Lane in the Pies goal.

Tompkins came close for Pies but found the Dragons keeper in fine form just before the break to deny him a deserved goal.

Two one at half time and Pies were still in the game, winning a penalty stroke for a foot on the line, but after a conference the umpires rightly decided on a penalty corner instead.

However, despite Pies’ best efforts the experience and tenacity of the Norwich side paid as they forced a third through a strike which deflected off Flatt, leaving Lane with no chance. An injury to left back Cumming caused for a defensive reshuffle and ultimately Dragons’ class showed as they finished the game with a fourth to win 4-1.

Pies take heart from a gritty performance but remain on four points at the foot of Division 2N. They face league leaders IES on Saturday 10th November, a tough call for this young and developing side.

Squad: Brand (C), Lane (GK), Flatt, Graham, Laschelles, Cumming, Middleton, Payne, Baynes, Stacey, Brice, Cole and Tompkins.


Division 2N

Norwich Dragons 1st XI, 3 – Harleston Magpies 3rd XI, 4

Despite playing good hockey, Harleston Magpies Men’s 3rd XI had only secured one point from the previous nine available. So the omens for success away from home against, second in the table, Norwich Dragons may not have been good.

The younger Magpies team started the stronger with Gavin Cole sweeping in the first goal of the game. However this was soon cancelled out as Magpies continued to look good with the ball, but not so good without it. With James Stacey returning to midfield a period of stability followed, and although Magpies’ took another lead that they could not hold they ended the half on top when endeavour down the right hand side lead to Toby Hughes latching onto an Elliot Smith pass.

The second half was to be a real end to end affair as Dragons pressed hard. On another day their third equaliser may have decided the game, but from a saved short corner Gavin Cole was able to complete his hat-trick and give his team a welcome win.

Harleston Magpies 3rd XI, 2 – Peterborough Town 3rd XI, 4

East Hockey Leagues Division 2N

Harleston Magpies 3rd XI, 2 – Peterborough Town 3rd XI, 4

Peterborough Town third team, top of Division 2N, were the visitors to Weybread last Saturday afternoon. Having only dropped 2 points all season it was always going to be a tough ask for the youthful Magpies Third team, but from how the match started you may have thought the positions were reversed.

Several chances came and went for the home team, in a period of play that will rank as their best performance of the season so far. However with no home goals coming, the Peterborough left back carried the ball half the pitch length before seeing his cross/shot deflect in. Magpies continued to be the dominant force in the game and eventually a goal came when quick passing in the circle allowed Toby Hughes to convert. However a repeat dose of full back adventure produced a second for the visitors and took them to a 2-1 half time lead. The second half was probably a truer reflection of where both sides are, as Peterborough took command. A job made easier by the unfortunate loss of Magpies’ influential Phil Cobbald to injury. Two penalty strokes by Peterborough either side of Quentin Baynes’ first of the season concluded the scoring, and left Harleston to ponder how to turn performances into results.