Magpies, sponsored by Durrants, took a relatively young and inexperienced squad to their first weekend in Nottingham, with a few injury drop outs leaving the team short of recognised defenders. Fortunately, the strong block of training sessions in the lead up to the tournament meant that Magpies could make a few positional changes within their squad. Harleston welcomed back players Archie Winter and Carl Sitch to the squad, who learnt their hockey with the Weybread team.For the first match, Magpies faced local rivals Ipswich. The match started badly with Sitch dislocating his finger after playing just 5 minutes of hockey, putting him out for the entire tournament and further adding to Magpies’ defensive woes. Meanwhile, the game was being evenly contested, but the greater experience of Ipswich showed in the crucial moments, meaning Magpies went down by 4 goals to 3, with Ipswich scoring in the last couple of minutes. Next up were tournament favourites Reading. With Magpies down early but coming back at the eventual champions, the goalkeeper was taken off for a kicking back, but this tactic proved naïve and Reading piled on a few late goals to eventually run out a flattering 12 goals to 4.After regrouping on the Saturday evening, Magpies were relieved to see veteran Tristan Baynes arrive to add some structure to the defensive line. His presence had immediate effect in the must win match against Olton and West Warwickshire, Magpies finishing as 4-3 winners in a comfortable match, which should have ended with a larger winning margin. Harleston were happy to take the 3 points though in advance of playing the star-studded Bowdon team. Magpies then put in their best performance of the weekend, managing to put in a superb team display, frustrating the normally free flowing Bowdon side to minimal chances, whilst managing to convert their own. Harleston defended resolutely and finished as deserved 5-3 winners, in what would turn out to be the only victory against Bowdon in the tournament by any team. After the first weekend, Magpies sat mid table, with 6 points, in a good position to fight in the relegation battle.Having learnt a lot from the first weekend, Magpies made the long journey to Bristol for the second week of the competition. First up was a mid table battle with indoor specialists Ashmoor. Magpies started slowly, so had to chase the game, playing into the hands of the counter-attacking Ashmoor. Despite a good defensive performance, Magpies couldn’t unlock Ashmoor, eventually losing 3-1. This led Harleston to be checking over their shoulders with only giants Beeston left to play on the Saturday. However, in true David and Goliath style, Magpies put in their best performance of the tournament. Coach Tim Whiteman, playing against his old club, led the underdogs to a dramatic 3-2 win, meaning that Magpies would go into the Sunday of the tournament knowing that their division 1 status was secured for another season.With the pressure off, Magpies played Sunday’s early match against strugglers St Albans with a much larger amount of freedom. Finding the balance between total hockey and structure perfectly, Magpies played with complete control of the game, winning by their largest margin of the tournament, 9 goals to 3. A truly classy performance, with Magpies finally showing their true potential. The final match against Loughborough Students was a dead rubber, with neither team fighting for relegation or promotion. This, predictably, led to a 4-4 draw, with both teams going away feeling they should have won the match.Overall, Magpies finished in 5th position in the 9 team league, ranking them 14th in the country overall. A massive thank you to all the players and management (Kevin Ridley) who made the two weekends run so well. The indoor season truly is the highlight of the year for everyone who plays, with Harleston once again overachieving against their big named opponents. Magpies can be proud of the fact that 9 of their 13 man squad have been a home grown product of the junior minis system at their own club- a far greater percentage than any other team in this league.Squad: Chris Leek (GK), Tristan Baynes, Richard Larkin (C), Ben Gowing, Tim Whiteman, Thomas Ridley, Simon Hipwell, Jack Hobbs, Raunaq Rai, James Gray, Dave Gilbert, Carl Sitch, Archie Winter. Manager- Kevin Ridley, Coaches- Tim Whiteman, Richard Larkin
Mens Indoor Jaffa Super 6’s
After the first weekend, Harlestons men’s indoor team, sponsored by Durrants, found themselves sitting in a respectable fourth position. However closer inspection of the table saw Magpies sitting just one point off the bottom with the bottom six teams separated by just one point. Harleston knew that they had to replicate the excellent performances they had produced against St Albans and Beeston on the first weekend and avoid the poor first halves that had cost them points against Ipswich and Southgate.
Magpies 3 – 10 Canterbury
The weekend started poorly when the squad was reduced by a man before the squad had even departed for Bristol. Despite missing his alarm, thus giving himself some extra shut eye, the normally rugged and sturdy Stu Leate found himself too ill to travel. Things then got worse as in the 5th minute and already a goal down, Archie “facemasks are for wimps” Winter chose to charge down a Canterbury short corner with his gunshield. This resulted in the young U18 England international having to go to hospital where he enjoyed 20 stitches for his troubles. In the game Magpies failed to control the tempo and a flurry of individual mistake and slick opposition play meant they entered the half time break six nil down. A stern half time team talk saw the team resolve come out fighting. The response was swift with goals from Sam Patterson and Chris Barber arresting the arrears. However eventual champions Canterbury struck back with 3 short corner goals in quick succession to deny any possible come back. Sam Patterson scored again late for Magpies with the final score 10-3 to Canterbury.
Magpies 6 – 5 West Herts
The second game of the day saw Magpies face old indoor rivals West Herts. Harleston knew that a win here would go a long way to securing their Div 1 status for next season. Magpies got the better of the opening stages and took an early 2-1 lead through Simon Hipwell and Aaron Hibell goals. Much of the first half went by without further goals but magpie felt they were in control and only some wasteful finishing prevented them from stretching their lead further. A late flurry of goal ins the first half saw West Herts strike twice with only a Timmy Whiteman goal in response for Harleston. Magpies knew that they deserved to be ahead at the break and were determined to force the game in the 2nd half. Spi Hipwell struck early to give Harleston the lead but again despite controlling the game Harleston were unable to pull clear of the opposition. Finally magpies got their just rewards. Spi Hipwell secured his hat-trick and a deft deflected goal from Richard Larkin gave Harleston the cushion they required. A late field goal and an overtime penalty corner reduced the deficit but Magpies ran out deserved winners.
Mapies 2 – 7 Hamstead & Westminster
The Sunday started with a sense of deja-vu for Harleston. Having already lost Archie through injury and Stu through illness, the Sunday dawn brought news that Harleston’s resident Canadian, Elliot Marsh, had succumbed to a fever. Elliot is well known to love riding the pine but unfortunately his night of riding the porcelain had rendered him unable to play in Sunday’s fixtures. Harleston knew the game against unbeaten Hamstead & Westminster would be tough but a disciplined performance saw the underdogs frustrate the league leaders and half time game with Hamstead only 2-0 up. Had Magpies once again not been quite so profligate in front of goal the score could have been even closer. The second half saw Magpies continue their solid defensive display but the lack of subs meant tiredness soon crept into their play. Some slick skills and tidy attacking patterns from Hamstead meant they cruised to victory 7-2, Hibell and Patterson getting the goals for Harleston.
2pm saw the start of a crucial hour for Harleston Magpies as a club. At Bristol, St Albans played Canterbury, where a loss for St Albans meant that Magpies were certain of retaining their National Div 1 status for a 3rd successive year. Meanwhile, in Nottingham, the Ladies were also playing St Albans knowing a win for them would mean they retained their Div 1 status as well. In Bristol St Albans provided stubborn early resistance but Canterbury slowly took a stranglehold on the game and goals at regular intervals saw them romp home to a 9-1 win. Meanwhile in Nottingham the Ladies also enjoyed a relatively stress free 4-0 win.
Magpies 5 – 4 Bowden
The last game of the weekend saw Harleston take on Bowden. Neither team could go up or down but Magpies were determined to put in a performance worth of all the hard work and effort that they had put in. Manager Kevin Ridley had given some inspiring words before the game that certainly galvansied the Magpies strike force into action. Magpie started strong and led early through a Chris Barber goal. Bowden pegged them back but goals from Whiteman and Hibell extended the lead. Magpies had to weather a period where Spi Hipwell saw green then yellow to take two short breaks in the sin bin. A second goal for Bowden saw the half time score 3-2 to Harleston. Hipwell then made amends for his earlier misdemeanours by extending the lead to 4-2. Bowden however fought back with 2 goals to level the scores at 4-4. However, with time ticking away and Kevin Ridley’s personal encouragement still ringing in his ears, Chris Barber found space in the corner of the D to slot home the winner with only seconds left to play.
Thanks go to all the players and supporters and management who put in their time, effort, money and energy to making this another successful indoor campaign. Thanks to the Mens and Ladies Sponsors Durrants for their support also.
Magpies Mens indoor first team travelled to Nottingham for the Super 6s Division 1. Equivalent standard in football to the Championship league.
First game of the weekend, a local derby against Ipswich. We made a poor start being 2-0 down at half time. We got a very frosty reception from head coach Tim Whiteman, but with Richard Larkin’s experience and tactical awareness at half time team talk, we were greatly improved, managing to score 2 goals from Archie Winter and Tom Ridley to finish game 2-2, but could and should have nicked it, but for a very defensive opposition.
Next up Beeston, a much more challenging opposition. A much improved performance, we went 1-0 down then equalised from Sam Paterson before half time. 2-1 down, then leveller from Chris Barber. 4-2 down, then Whiteman got us back to 4-3. A barrage of short corners, but as usual nothing coming from them, losing 4-3. An excellent performance from Chris Leek in goal. A disappointing end to the day, but promising for tomorrow.
A meal and early night beckoned with a 9am game in the morning against St Albans.
With no early breakfast available, Tim insisted on a healthy option of fruit and porridge, much to the disappointment of Andrew Bedwell and Larkin, who obviously wanted a fry-up.
With an excellent warm-up of yoga directed by Elliott Marsh, we were out of the traps like a greyhound chasing a march hare. St Albans were unable to cope with our physicality and we were soon 5-0 up with goals from Marsh, Whiteman, Jack Hobbs, Ridley, Whiteman in that order. We ended up winning 6-2 with a penalty stroke from Aaron Hibell. A solid defence of Bedwell, Paterson, Jonty Gosling and Marsh.
Second game of day was Southgate. A great start with an early goal from Barber, however short lived when they scored 5 on the trot, so 5-1 at half time.
6-1 down then Whiteman and Winter got us back to 6-3. Southgate extended their lead to 7-3. Two further goals from Whiteman and Ridley made an interesting finale, however, when we went to kicking back, they scored 2 further goals, making the score a poor reflection of the game.
Many thanks to our parent supporters throughout weekend and Mike.
U18 Boys National Indoor Finals – Phoenix Leisure Village, Dawley, Telford
Harleston Magpies Report
Surbiton 6 – 1 Magpies
Magpies opened their defence of their national title with a tough looking game against Surbiton. Surbiton quickly took control of the game opening up a 4-0 lead, which could have been more but for some superb saves by Will Graver. The second half was much tighter as Magpies pressed better and started to exert pressure in the attacking half. However, Surbiton extended their lead before Sam Paterson grabbed a deserved goal. Unfortunately, Magpies conceded another goal to see Surbiton close out the game as 6-1 winners.
Ashmoor 2 – 3 Magpies
Knowing 3-points were vital from their second game, Magpies started well outsmarting the Ashmoor press and forcing a number of good opportunities. Eventually, the deadlock was broken by Archie Winter as Magpies took the lead. Unfortunately, Ashmoor grabbed an equaliser just before half-time to see the score level at 1-1. With vociferous support now cheering them on, Ashmoor took a surprise lead in the second half. Magpies didn’t panic, stuck to their game plan and were rewarded when Archie scored his second of the game. Magpies were now in control of the match and a flowing team move resulted in Vincent Leruth scoring the third. The final couple of minutes were frenetic but Magpies held their nerve to secure a 3-2 victory.
Timperley 2 – 5 Magpies
Taking a lot of confidence from the victory the previous evening, Magpies started strongly against Timperley and raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time courtesy of a goal from captain Myles King and a brace for Jack Hobbs. The game was effectively over shortly into the second half with another goal from Myles and one for Sam. With an opportunity to rest legs the final few minutes were a little scrappy as Magpies used their bench, allowing Timperley to grab a couple of consolation goals. However, Magpies closed the game out as Timperley lost their discipline spending most of the final few minutes with at least one of their players in the sin bin.
Lichfield 1 – 5 Magpies
The final game would see the winner advance to the semi-final. With confidence high Magpies were the quicker team to settle and, as in their previous game, raced into a 3-0 lead with 2 goals from Myles and one from Sol Barker. Lichfield threatened briefly at the start of the second half but the goal they scored galvanised Magpies with Matt Bensly and Sam scoring twice more to seal a comfortable 5-1 win.
Canterbury 4 – 2 Magpies
Having improved as the tournament progressed Magpies, whilst underdogs, new they had every chance to progress to the final. Both sides set-up well and the first few minutes were very even. Magpies went closest to scoring but the final touch just eluded them. Half-time 0-0. The second half saw Canterbury slowly take control and with a good short-corner routine they moved out to a 4-0 lead. Magpies, though, were always in it and goals from Archie and Sam narrowed the gap and ensured Magpies were on the front foot for the final few minutes. However, Canterbury defended very well and closed out the game as 4-2 winners.
Magpies should be very proud of themselves for their effort and commitment across the weekend. Starting slowly but improving game on game they thoroughly deserved their semi-final spot and only narrowly lost out on making the final in which Surbiton beat Canterbury. The tactical input from coach Richard Larkin, who was superb all weekend, was invaluable and the boys executed the game plan excellently in every match. This was a big squad effort and everyone played their part, which made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
A big thanks to all the supporters that made the trip to Telford and for your support and encouragement across the whole weekend.
Squad – Will Graver (GK), Myles King (C), Sam Paterson, Jonty Herschel-Shorland, Sol Barker, Ben Kilburn, Matt Bensly, Kieran Peters, Archie Winter, Jack Hobbs, Jolyon Summers, Vincent Leruth.
Coach – Richard Larkin
Manager – Stuart Peters
MAGPIES MEN FINISH JOINT 5TH IN DIVISION ONE OF THE NATIONAL INDOOR LEAGUE AT NTU IN NOTTINGHAM
After promotion last year Harleston Magpies found themselves back in National Division 1 for the 2016/17 season. The league looked strong this year with three National Premier outdoor teams in Brooklands, Holcombe and Beeston, four other National League teams as well as St Albans and Harleston as the only teams from the Regional Leagues.
West Herts 11-3 Harleston Magpies
The tournament started off with constant bogey side West Herts. Magpies started sluggishly and found their press being penetrated too frequently. Goals were being shipped at regular intervals and at half time West Herts were in control at 6-2. Ben Wright completed his hat-trick shortly after half time and Magpies were looking more comfortable. The second half was much more competitive with neither team able to find the net for the next 10 minutes. Unfortunately Magpies were unable to score the goals that could have caused West Herts concern and late on with legs tiring West Herts found their goal scoring boots. A goal on 32 minutes and 4 in the last 3 minutes gave a final score of 11-3 to West Herts.
Southgate 5-7 Harleston Magpies
Magpies again started slowly against Southgate. Magpies were two down after 13 minutes but were playing much better. Magpies hit back with two goals of their own through Ben Wright and Thomas Ridley, although a late Southgate goal meant half time saw Harleston 3-2 down. Harleston’s press was becoming increasingly solid and more and more counter attack opportunities were being made. The second half started slowly again but then 5 goals in 7 minutes, including a first ever Magpies indoor goal for Tom Hughes, with only one in reply saw Magpies take a 7-4 lead. Magpies looked assured and despite a late Southgate goal held on for the win and first points of the campaign.
St Albans 4-3 Harleston Magpies
Day two started with a match against St Albans, the only team to beat Harleston indoors last year. Magpies played a solid first half in what was a tight affair and with goals from Thomas Ridley and Chris Barber went into the break leading for the first time, up 2-1. However a sloppy start to the second half saw St Albans take control of the match. Three unanswered goals in 8 minutes proved too much for Magpies to come back from. Despite another Chris Barber goal Magpies couldn’t find the equaliser and succumbed to a 4-3 defeat.
Harleston Magpies 1-12 Holcombe
The last game of the weekend saw a tired Magpies team go down to a skilful and energetic Holcombe team. Magpies sat too deep and were unable to counter the opposition but were still disappointed to go down 12-1. The only goal coming from a Ben Wright short corner.
Harleston entered the second weekend knowing that 6 points would be the minimum needed if they were to avoid relegation. With the Sunday fixtures against National Premier League sides Beeston and Brooklands looking tough the team knew it was Saturday where points needed to be picked up.
Harleston Magpies 6-0 Cannock
Harleston knew that their strict training regime and meticulous preparation stood them in the best possible stead for the upcoming games. Captain Andrew Bedwell had placed extra responsibility on the players this year and here it came good. Magpies controlled the game from the start. The press was letting very little past and the forward line were finding good counter attack opportunities. The only thing initially missing were goals. Fortunately two goals in the last two minutes before half time from Ben Wright and Richard Larkin meant Harleston had the lead they deserved. The second half continued with Harleston dominating. Two more goals from Ben Wright along with one each from Tristan Baynes and Tom Ridley ensured a comprehensive win. In fact Magpies were so dominant Cannock resorted to playing with 7 outfield players in an effort to stem the tide. However excellent math skills from the Magpies’ captain caught them out before any damage was done.
Sheffield Hallam 3-6 Harleston Magpies
The second game of the day saw Harleston complete a thoroughly professional job in seeing off a young Sheffield Hallam team. A tight opening half had Magpies edging ahead 3 times through goals from Chris Barber, Jack Knight and Tristan Baynes. Hallam equalised in the second half but three goals without reply (Ben Wright x2, Simon Hipwell x1) saw Magpies take and maintain control of the second half and ultimately the game.
Brooklands MU 11-4 Harleston Magpies
After a good night’s sleep the Magpies team were fresh faced and bushy tailed going into the last day. Although their nine points did not assure them of safety, four results all had to go against them, including table toppers Holcombe losing twice. Magpies started the game against Brooklands well, taking a two goal lead after six minutes. However the previous day’s efforts seemed to be resting heavy in their legs and Brooklands came into the game scoring at regular intervals to take the game away.
Harleston Magpies 3-3 Beeston
By the time Harleston came to play Beeston (currently 4th in the National Premier League) they were already assured of their place in Div 1 next year. However Harleston were not going to lie down again for one of the big boys of indoor hockey. Magpies bolted out of the blocks with a goal by Jack Knight in the 4th minute. A goal for either side in a tight first half saw Harleston go in at the break with a 2-1 advantage. Two second half goals from Beeston saw them take the lead however Magpies battled to the last. With less than 2 minutes on the clock a swift counter attack saw Jack Knight play a slick one-two with Ben Wright before slotting home the equaliser.
Overall two excellent weekends saw Magpies finish joint 5th in the table with 10 points. This marks the first time since the 2008/09 season that the Men’s Indoor team have remained in a division, having been promoted or relegated every season since then until now. Ben Wright finished with 12 goals placing him 7th in the goal scorers table and thanks go to him for his coaching across the two weekends. Thanks also to Kevin Ridley who ran the bench and managed with his usual calmness and insight. Our thanks also go to Durrants for sponsoring the Men’s and Ladies’ teams and to all those at the club who worked hard to ensure that Harleston Magpies continue to punch well above their weight on the indoor scene.
Finally thanks to all who played. Magpies Squad: Jon Livings (GK), Chris Leek (GK), Andrew Bedwell (C), Tristan Baynes, Richard Larkin, Jack Knight, Thomas Ridley, Chris Barber, Ben Wright, Tom Hughes, Simon Hipwell.
EAST U18 BOYS INDOOR FINALS – UEA
SATURDAY 10 DECEMBER 2016
Having qualified for the East finals as a lucky loser, Magpies were determined to acquit themselves well in this round-robin event and to try to qualify for the national finals to defend their title.
City of Peterborough – Lost 3-2
Magpies were handed a tough opening match against a strong looking Peterborough team. The game started at a frenetic pace with both sides playing some good hockey. Unfortunately, Magpies didn’t convert their early chances and found themselves 3-0 done at half-time. Undeterred, the team upped the intensity in the second half and it was no surprise when Archie Winter scored to reduce the arrears. Magpies now had control of the game and Sam Paterson scored the second to ensure a tense finish. With Peterborough now on the back foot an equaliser looked possible but the final touch eluded the hard working Magpies’ forwards so the boys had to settle for a loss despite a very encouraging performance.
IES – Drew 4-4
Next up were IES and in a good opening spell Archie put the team 1-0 up and seemingly in control of the game. However, IES were in determined mood and pulled a goal back to show we had another tough tie on our hands. Matt Bensly restored the lead only for IES to score 2 quick goals to lead 3-2 at the break. The second half continued in similar vein with Vincent Leruth scoring the third only for IES to take the lead again. However, in the final couple of minutes Archie scored again and, with time running out secured a short corner, but despite a superb drag flick from Sam, Magpies just couldn’t apply the final touch.
Norwich Dragons – Won 5-2
Knowing a win was vital to stand any chance of qualifying for the finals Magpies started well quickly taking the lead through a goal by Sam. Unfortunately, a lapse in concentration saw Dragons equalise. Again, Magpies upped the intensity and goals from Myles and Sam saw them lead 3-1 at the break. Dragons had to come out in the second half to try and get back into the game, which opened up the pitch and Magpies capitalised on more space taking a 5-1 lead with Sam grabbing his third and Archie scoring from a short corner. Dragons scored a 2nd goal but Magpies closed out the final stages of the match to record their first victory.
Saffron Walden – Won 7-0
Next up was a potential banana-skin as Saffron Walden had a young but talented side. Nerves were quickly settled when Myles opened the scoring and Magpies took control with goals from Vincent, Archie and Sol Barker to lead 4-0 at the break. The second half was slightly scrappy as the squad was rotated to ensure we could rest everyone before the final game. However, goals from Matt, Sam and Sol gave us a real boost going into the “win-at-all-costs” tie against Old Loughtonians.
Old Loughtonians – Won 3-2
The game started in the worst possible way with Old Loughts scoring in the 1st minute. Magpies slowly took control of the game and went in 2-1 at half-time via goals from Sam and Myles. Knowing the next goal was crucial Magpies extended their lead with another goal from Myles. The final few minutes should have seen the game killed-off but Magpies couldn’t beat a determined Old Loughts keeper. With time running out Old Loughts scored to make it 3-2 but with time up Magpies knew they had secured the victory to see them finish as runners-up to C of P and with it a place in the national finals to be played in Telford over the weekend of 21/22 January.
Overall, this was a superb team performance with Magpies improving in each match and deservedly finishing in second place. Well done to the whole squad and to coach Richard Larkin for his tactical input throughout the day.
Squad – Will Graver (GK), Myles King (C), Sam Paterson, Archie Winter, Vincent Leruth, Jonty Herschel-Shorland, Sol Barker, Ben Kilburn, Jolyon Summers, Matt Bensly
Stuart Peters (manager)
Harleston Magpies indoor team, sponsored by Durrants, made the long trip to Bristol for the second weekend of the National Division 2 Super Sixes Indoor weekend. The squad went into the weekend confident following a strong display in the Division 2 North qualifier two weeks previously. The squad were without Toby Price and Louis Totton who were playing in the under 18 National competition and Richard Larkin absent through coaching. The squad also had to contend with a late call off from Simon Hipwell who was suffering with vertigo.
In the first game of the weekend Harleston faced a youthful looking Ashmoor side. Harleston started the game very well and soon found themselves 3 goals up through Tristan Baynes with two, one a tidy finish from a tight angle and the second from a corner routine. Ben Wright soon added a third from another corner. Ashmoor pulled a goal back following a quick counter attack before Chris Barber extended Magpies lead just before the break. The second half followed a similar pattern with Harleston playing attractive hockey and extending their lead with two quick goals from Chris Barber who grabbed his second before Stuart Leate finished off a devastating counter attacking move for Magpies. The score finishing at 6-1 to Harleston.
In their second game of the weekend Harleston faced Fareham. Harleston again started straight out of the traps and found themselves 3 goals up within 9 minutes with Ben Wright and Chris Barber adding to their earlier tally before Thomas Ridley opened his account for the weekend. Fareham did pull a goal back in the 12th minutes before Harleston replied straight away with a goal from Sam Rowe. Harleston were feeling confident going into the second half following their first half display but Fareham came out fighting and soon pulled a couple of goals back as Harleston’s ill discipline cost them a couple of green cards. However, the Harleston back line of John Livings, Leigh Sitch, Tristan Byanes and Carl Sitch stood firm and kept Fareham out until the final whistle. The 4-3 win placed Harleston top of the league going into the second day.
In their first game of the Sunday Harleston faced a strong Bournville side who they had narrowly beaten two weekends ago. Harleston again started the game well but struggled to create too many clear cut goal scoring opportunities as Bournville defended well. The breakthrough did finally come in the 12th minute as Ben Wright scored another corner and he soon doubled his and Harleston’s total with a neat finish from a tight angle. Bournville did pull a goal back in the 16th minute before Tristan Baynes restored Harleston’s two goal advantage with another well worked corner. Bournville started the second half the stronger and pulled two goals back to draw level. The momentum suddenly swung back in Harleston’s favour when Bournville were reduced to 5 players. Harleston capitalised on this and scored two quick fire goals from Carl Sitch and Ben Wright who completed his hat-trick.
The dynamic forward was not done for the game though and soon found himself back in the thick of things when he received a green card in the 38th minute. This allowed Bournville to pull a goal back. No sooner was player coach Ben Wright back on the pitch before he picked up a yellow card. With no time left on the clock Harleston faced a barrage of corners but the team defended well and also had the post and cross bar to thank for keeping their lead intact. The final score being 5-4 to Harleston.
In their second game of the day Harleston faced their bogey side St Albans who had topped the previous weekend’s North table. Harleston got off to the worst possible start as they found themselves 2 goals down after 6 minutes. Harleston did manage to slow the tide and started to create opportunities but were dealt a blow in the 18th minute when St Albans extended their lead. The second half started in the same manner as the first half ended with St Albans going 4-0 up. Despite this set back Harleston dug deep and goals were traded between the two teams with the final score finishing as a 7-3 win to St Albans. The Harleston goals were scored by Chris Barber, Ben Wright and Sam Rowe. The defeat opened the table up but left Harleston with the knowledge that a win or a draw in their last game would see them promoted back to the Division 1 League.
In their last game of the day Harleston faced Cheltenham who were also still in the hunt for promotion. Harleston again started well and went 1-0 up through Ben Wright. Cheltenham pulled a goal back in the 13th minute following a powerful run from their right back. This spurred Harleston on who regained the lead when Ben Wright converted from a short corner.
Harleston again started the second half well and soon extended their lead with good deflection goals from Thomas Ridley and Sam Rowe. Cheltenham did pull a goal back before Ridley scored one of the goals of the tournament after two bounce passes off the boards from Carl Sitch and Ben Wright allowed him to cooly slot home first time with an upright reverse stick finish.
Cheltenham were then dealt a blow when after a little bit of handbags from Stuart Leate and their right back, the Cheltenham defender reacted with a raised his stick leaving Stuart Leate reeling on the floor. The Cheltenham player receiving a red card. Despite the numerical advantage it was Cheltenham who added to their tally in the last 20 seconds. The final score being 5-3 to Harleston.
This win guaranteed Harleston top spot in the table and with it a return to the Super Sixes Division 1 League for next season.
Squad – John Livings (GK), Leigh Sitch (C), Tristan Baynes, Carl Sitch, Stuart Leate, Ben Wright, Chris Barber, Sam Rowe and Thomas Ridley.
Photos are courtesy of Pat Leate.
Harleston Magpies Men’s indoor team, sponsored by Durrants, travelled to St Albans at the weekend to take part in the National Conference Division 2 North Championship. The weekend comprised of 4 games following Preston’s withdrawal. Harleston knew that a top 3 finish would see them qualify for a place in the second weekend of the National Division 2 Championship.
Action photos courtesy of Pat Leate.
In their first game of the weekend Harleston came up against a strong St Albans side who had comprehensively beaten Harleston in the East tournament 2 weeks earlier. Harleston started slowly and had to withstand a lot of St Albans pressure. However, the hard work from the Harleston team made sure that John Livings clean sheet remained intact. Harleston took the lead just before half time and managed to hang onto this advantage with 15 minutes remaining. St Albans eventually making their pressure pay converting one of their corners before taking the lead with two quick goals. With the score at 3-1 Harleston pulled their keeper, the extra player allowing Leigh Sitch to rampage up the pitch only to be fouled just before the attacking circle. Harleston thought they had pulled a goal back with a minute to play but the goal was ruled out for a lifted ball.
In their next game Harleston took on Lichfield. Harleston started much better this game as their back two were able to ping passes through the Lichfield forward line allowing the forward line of Chris Barber, Toby Price, Richard Larkin, Tom Ridley, Simon Hipwell and Ben Wright to create many chances. The goals were slow to roll in but soon Harleston found their goal scoring shoes and the goals started to flow. The pick of the bunch being a well worked short corner finished by Louis Totton and a quick flowing free hit between Simon Hipwell and Richard Larkin. The final score 10-2 to Harleston.
On the Sunday morning Harleston faced Barford Tigers. Harleston started well and so found themselves a goal up before Barford pulled a goal back against the run of play. The equalising goal spurred Harleston on, Carl Sitch getting ahead down the right creating many opportunities. The score at half time being 3-1 to Harleston. 5 minutes into the second half John Livings was adjudged to have fouled a Barford forward resulting in a yellow card for the keeper and a penalty stroke. Simon Hipwell bravely put on the goalkeeper helmet but couldn’t quite react to the power of the stroke.
Despite being a player down Harleston extended their lead through a quick counter attack goal finished by Chris Barber. With Harleston back to their full complement they turned on the style and soon rolled in a couple of quick goals. Toby Price scored an excellent 1-2 off the boards before beating the keeper from a tight angle. Another goal being goal of the tournament when Stuart Leate played a lovely give and go bounce pass before receiving the ball back. Despite being under pressure the twinkle toed midfielder turned three players before releasing Ben Wright who exquisitely lobbed the advancing Barford goalkeeper. For video evidence please see Kevin Ridley.
With this win Harleston were guaranteed qualification with one game remaining. In their last game Harleston faced old foes Bournville. For the first time Harleston found themselves a goal down. This did not alarm Harleston as they continued to work on their principles from all weekend. This allowed Harleston to get back into the game and they soon found themselves 3-1 up. The game ebbed and flowed but no more goals were added until there was a minute left on the clock as Bournville scored a penalty corner. With time ticking away Harleston were reduced to 5 players conceding another penalty corner. With the final hooter sounding Harleston knew they had to defend the corner to gain another 3 points. At the first corner Bournville tried an injector deflection which Leigh Sitch managed to get across to however the ball hit his body. With the resulting corner Richard Larkin managed to bravely block the ball at the top of the circle to seal the win for Harleston.
With 3 wins Harleston finished second in their table as a result Harleston will now travel to Bristol on the 23rd and 24th January along with Bournville and St Albans to face the three qualifiers from the National Division 2 Championship South League.
Squad – John Livings (GK), Leigh Sitch (C), Simon Hipwell, Louis Totton, Carl Sitch, Stuart Leate, Chris Barber, Tom Ridley, Richard Larkin, Ben Wright, Toby Price, Katrina Sitch (Manager) and Kevin Ridley (Videographer).
The squad would like to thank all of those who came to support the team over the weekend.
Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team indoor squad sponsored by Durrants made the short trip to Cambridge at the weekend for their indoor warm-up tournament. Harleston took a young squad to the tournament to allow younger members an opportunity to experience men’s indoor hockey before the National Competition starts in January.
The first game of the day saw Harleston face old rivals West Herts. Harleston started the game slowly and soon found themselves a goal down, however, they did manage to pull a goal back through Tristan Baynes with a trademark drag flick. However, by half time Harleston were 5-1 down after some high pressing by West Herts allowed them to create goal scoring opportunities. After some strong words at half time from Leigh Sitch the team came out fighting in the second half and despite conceding early against the run of play Harleston did manage to pull themselves back into the game with the final score finishing 6-5 to West Herts. Goals from Myles King, Tristan Baynes with a second, Richard Larkin and Carl Sitch.
Next up Harleston faced St Albans who had recently qualified for the National Division 2 competition following their win at UEA. Harleston again started slowly and soon found themselves a couple of goals down to some very good flowing hockey from St Albans. Again Harleston rallied and pulled goals back but they were unable to stop St Albans patterns of play which they had been working on in their previous tournament. Ill discipline did not help Harleston’s cause as they had to play two different spells of the game with 3 players outfield. The final score finishing a disappointing 10-5 to St Albans.
In the third game of the day Harleston faced Old Loughts. Harleston started this game a lot better and soon found themselves 3-1 up. Despite starting slowly and struggling with the Harleston press Old Loughts soon adjusted and managed to find a way back into the game. Going into the last minute of the game Harleston found themselves trailing 5-4 before Tristan Baynes popped up at the back post to score an equalising goal. Unfortunately Harleston conceded a corner with seconds left and with the full time hooter going Old Loughts converted the corner leaving no way back for Harleston.
In the last game of the day following a mass exodus by Harleston players who had other commitments Harleston faced old rivals Ipswich with only 6 players and no subs. Already facing an uphill task things were made worse when 4 minutes in Leigh Sitch was hit with a stick in the face. The injury leaving the player with a broken nose and requiring several stitches. Harleston decided to fulfil the fixture despite playing with a player down. Ipswich did run out winners but the 5 Harleston players left battled bravely for the full 40 minutes.
Squad – John Livings, Leigh Sitch, Tristan Baynes, Richard Larkin, Sam Rowe, Chris Barber, Carl Sitch, Louis Totton, Zum Akhter, Myles King and Thomas Ridley.
Harleston Magpies made the long journey to Bristol again to participate in the second weekend of the indoor National League Division 1 championship.
Harleston 4 – Wimbledon 8
In their first game of the weekend Harleston faced a strong Wimbledon side who had ex-Magpies James Osborn and Matt Riches playing for them. Harleston got off to the perfect start by pressing Wimbledon back they were able to win a couple of short corners where Toby Price was able to convert with a well taken drag flick. Wimbledon soon hit back with some good counter attacking hockey which exposed the Harleston back line to take the lead. Wimbledon soon extended their lead further before Harleston replied through Carl Sitch. Wimbledon were able to add a fourth goal before the break. Harleston started slowly in the second half allowing Wimbledon to increase their lead to 6. Harleston did pull a goal back through Tristan Baynes before Wimbledon scored a 7th. The two teams traded one more goal a piece with Simon Hipwell completing the scoring for Harleston.
Brooklands 8 – Harleston 2
In the next game of the weekend Harleston faced old foes Brooklands. Brooklands set a very deep press allowing Harleston onto them before hitting them on the counter attack. The proved extremely effective as Brooklands took an early 3-0 lead. Harleston did manage to pull a goal back through Carl Sitch but soon conceded two more. Harleston started the second half stronger but again conceded a sloppy goal before Toby Price scored Harleston’s second but it was Brooklands who scored the last two goals of the game.
Old Loughts 6 – Harleston 2
Harleston went into their first game of Sunday knowing that only a win would suffice. In a game that started tightly both sides struggled to create any real clear goal scoring opportunities. With 10 minutes played Old Loughts scored a well worked short corner. Harleston again pressed forward but were unable to score with their chances before again conceding on the stroke of half time from another corner. Harleston pushed forward in the second half and pulled a goal back when Leigh Sitch dissected two Old Loughts forwards with a pin point pass to find Richard Larkin on the left hand board. From here Richard managed to magically weave his way through two Old Loughts defenders before bamboozling the Old Loughts goalkeeper and nutmegging him from a tight angle. Old Loughts responded and increased their lead to four before Toby Price converted from the flick spot following Carl Sitch’s original shot was blocked on the line by an Old Loughts defender’s body. Harleston could not push on from here despite trying which again left them exposed at the back allowing Old Loughts to score two more unanswered goals.
Harleston 3 – Cannock 7
In their last game of the weekend Harleston faced a physically strong Cannock team who had improved greatly from the first weekend. Cannock took an early lead through a quick counter attack. Harleston responded through Sam Rowe following a good rotation move. Harleston were unable to build on this and conceded two more goals before Harleston hit the post were unlucky not pick up the rebound. Harleston came out fighting in the second half but it was Cannock who scored first from a rocket of a drag flick into the top left hand corner of the goal. Harleston then traded goals with Cannock when Mark Wheelhouse controlled well in circle before finishing, soon after Cannock scored their fifth. Harleston had Matt Collinge to thank in goal for keeping the score down as he made some smart close range saves. This spurred Harleston into life and a killer ball from Mark Wheelhouse found James Meek at the top of the circle but his audacious lob was well saved by the keeper. Harleston did eventually score a third when Tristan Baynes finished from close range following firstly Carl Sitch hitting the post before Chris Barber rattled the cross bar all in the same move. Cannock then scored two unanswered goals before Leigh Sitch was denied following a lung busting run from left back by a superb last ditch tackle.
These results meant that the team were relegated back to the Division 2 League where they were promoted from last season.
The squad would like to thank Martin Fields for all of his hard work managing and coaching the team this season.
Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team made the long journey to Bristol to compete in the National League Division 1 Championship following their promotion from the Division 2 league last season. The squad welcomed back Carl Sitch and also welcomed new indoor members Matt Collinge and James Meek, the latter nearly missing the first game due to a National Alarm issue. The squad went into the weekend buoyed with confidence after their win at the East indoor championship in December.
Harleston Magpies 3 – Loughborough Students 10
In the first game of the campaign harleston faced a strong Loughborough students team who were relegated from the Premier league in the previous season. The students started well, sitting back and inviting Harleston onto them before hitting them on the counter attack. This enabled the students to score two quick goals. Harleston were able to find their feet slowly and grew into the game and scored two quick goals through Andrew Bedwell before Chris Barber finished in exceptional style from the base line. The students continued to push and soon retook the lead before half time.
Harleston tried to push in the second half but looking for an equaliser left them exposed at the back when the ball was turned over. The students scored 6 more goals in the second half with Harleston only able to score one in reply through Toby Price.
Bourneville 3 – Harleston Magpies 6
Harleston faced Bourneville in their next game knowing that a win was vital. Harleston started a lot better than in their first game and soon took the lead through Chris Barber and they soon doubled their lead when Carl Sitch pounced on a loose ball in the circle. Bournville then pulled a goal back before Harleston extended their lead through James Meek. Despite leading with 5 minutes until half time Bournville capitalised on a couple of defensive lapses allowed Bournville to score two goals and go in at the break all square.
Harleston upped their game in the second half, moving the ball around well across the pitch and dragging the Bournville players out of position. They were able to score three unanswered goals thanks to Matt Collinge in goal. The goals coming from Chris Barber, Tristan Baynes and Simon Hipwell.
Harleston 5 – Southgate 7
In their first game on Sunday morning Harleston faced tough competition from a strong Southgate side. Harleston unusually for them on a Sunday morning started the game in great fashion. Harleston soon took the lead through Tristan Baynes converting coolly from the penalty spot before doubling it through Toby Price who’s powerful shot knocked the goal keeper off his feet before creeping in at the near post. This spurred Southgate into life and they soon scored two goals of their own before Harleston retook the lead when Richard Larkin finished with a deft touch in the circle.
Harleston knew that Southgate would come at them in the second half but quickly surrendered their lead when Southgate scored two quick unanswered goals. This lead to Harleston pushing for an equaliser which again left them exposed at the back which Southgate were able to capitalise on and scored three more goals before Harleston pulled two goals back near the death through Tristan Baynes with his second and Mark Wheelhouse.
Doncaster 4 – Harleston 2
In the final game of the weekend Harleston took on Doncaster in another must win game. The squad knew that if they played like they did against Southgate that a win would surely be on the cards. However Harleston started slowly and found themselves a goal down. Despite this Harleston continued to move the ball around and did create two good chances but were unable to convert on both occasions at the back post before having a stroke saved. Just before half time Carl Sitch pounced on an interception from Mark Wheelhouse to finish reverse stick in the circle.
Harleston knew that they had to step up their game in the second half to salvage a victory. However they soon found themselves 2 goals down following good play from Doncaster. Harleston were able to pull a goal back through Toby Price following some magical stick skills in the circle. Harleston were denied two late goals after having a goal ruled out after umpires thought it wasn’t touched by Price in the circle before Chris Barber rode two hideous tackle before finishing only to realise a corner had already been awarded before the ball hit the net. Harleston pushed further for the goals they craved but soon were left open at the back allowing Doncaster to score from a corner.
With three minutes left Harleston took goalkeeper Matt Collinge off and put on Leigh Sitch as kicking back. Despite the numerical advantage Harleston could not find the two goals needed to salvage a draw and had to defend two corners with Sitch bravely charging them down and James Meek clearing off the line.
Next weekend Harleston face Wimbledon, Old Loughts, Cannock and Brooklands MU knowing that realistically they need 6 points from the weekend to have a chance of survival.
Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team travelled to St Albans to defend their title in the East Indoor tournament that they clinically won the previous season at Cambridge. The squad were missing their talismanic target man Chris Barber who is still recovering from injury and Sam Rowe (holiday) but were able to welcome James Meek and Carl Sitch to their squad.
Harleston 5 – St Albans 3
In the first game Harleston faced old rival St Albans. Harleston started well and soon found themselves a couple of goals up thanks Simon Hipwell and Toby Price. St Albans did pull a goal back but Harleston regained their two goal cushion when Carl Sitch slotted home from close range. Harleston took their foot of the gas in the second half which allowed St Albans to pull a goal back. Both teams continued to trade goals with Harleston running out 5-3 winners with James Meek rounding off the scoring.
Harleston 6 – Old Loughts 5
Next up Harleston faced a strong Old Loughts side. With Harleston only having 15 minutes between games it was not surprising that Old Loughts started the stronger and soon took a 3-1 lead as Harleston struggled to get going. A rasping half time team talk from Mrs Price and a team rotation saw Harleston fly out of the traps in the second half and turn the deficit into a 4-3 lead with goals from Carl Sitch, Simon Hipwell and James Meek. Harleston were now in the ascendancy and scored two more quick goals from Mark Wheelhouse and Toby Price without response from Old Loughts. Old Loughts tried to salvage the game but found Harleston goalkeeper Matt Collinge in inspired form. Old Loughts did pull two goals back at the death but Harleston ran out winners.
Harleston 10 – West Herts 4
In their third game Harleston faced West Herts, the team that had tormented them outdoors last season. Harleston started strongly and soon found themselves 3-0 up through Simon Hipwell, Toby Price and Mark Wheelhouse. West Herts did pull a goal back at a short corner. Before half time James Meek got on the score sheet following a well worked short corner routine from Richard Larkin, Andrew Bedwell and Leigh Sitch. Mark Wheelhouse added another before half time to put Harleston in a commanding position. In the second half West Herts took their goalkeeper off to give themselves a numerical advantage on pitch, this allowed them to pull a couple of goals back while Harleston adapted to the change. However with 10 minutes left Harleston found their feet and fired in a couple of more goals with Toby Price and Andrew Bedwell scoring, the later from a thunderbolt of a short corner. Richard Larkin in an advanced position found himself free on the left with the open goal begging only for him to see his shot from a narrow angle hit the side netting. Luckily 2 minutes later Larkin found himself in a similar position but this time found the net. Next up it was Tristan Baynes who fired home, at this point West Herts decided it might be best to put their goalkeeper back on. Harleston still had the last say when Carl Sitch added another goal and West Herts had their goalkeeper to thank for denying Leigh Sitch at the death with an outstanding diving save. After the game manager Mrs Price roused the team by saying “I thought you would beat them but that was an annihilation.”
Harleston 10 – Peterborough 5
Harleston knew that a draw would be enough in their final game to see them crowned as champions again. Peterborough who had played two games less than Harleston pressed high up the pitch which created space in the middle for Harleston to find their midfield and forward players too easily. This allowed Harleston to soon take the lead with Andrew Bedwell having fully grown into the concepts of indoor was dominating down the right creating goals for Simon Hipwell and Carl Sitch. Bedwell soon added his name to the score sheet with a back post deflection. Peterborough however pulled two goals back before Harleston found a 4th through Toby Price as he bamboozled the Peterborough defence and goalkeeper before finishing from a tight angle. Peterborough pulled a goal back to leave the half time scores at 4-3. Harleston again started the second half well and Leigh Sitch combined with Simon Hipwell for Hipwell to score a quick double and put Harleston out of sight. More goals were added via James Meek and Carl Sitch before Leigh Sitch scored the vital 9th goal from a well worked short corner drag flick from the edge of the circle which just had too much pace and accuracy for the Peterborough keeper. Peterborough did pull two goals back before Simon Hipwell finished off the scoring.
The results meant that Harleston maintained the East Championship crown and can now look forward to their National League tournaments in January.
Squad – Matt Collinge, Leigh Sitch, Tristan Baynes, Andrew Bedwell, Simon Hipwell, James Meek, Carl Sitch, Mark Wheelhouse, Richard Larkin, Toby Price.
Harleston Magpies 8-5 Cheltenham
In the first game of the weekend Harleston played Cheltenham in a rematch from the first weekend. Harleston again started very well and quickly found them selves a couple of goals up Simon Hipwell and Tom Ridley. Harleston continued to press Cheltenham high up the pitch and extended their lead to 6-0 with goals from Simon Hipwell, Mark Wheelhouse, Toby Price and Chris Barber. Unfortunately Harleston could not see out the half and conceded from a short just before the end of the half.
As with their last encounter Harleston started the second half slowly and allowed Cheltenham back into the game with two sloppy goals. Both teams continued to trade blows like two heavy weight boxers with each team scoring two more goals. Mark Wheelhouse added to his tally from a trade mark short corner before Toby Price grabbed his second of the game after a mazy run. The game finished with the scores at 8-5.
Wimbledon 5-3 Harleston Magpies
Next up for Harleston were the Division 2 South League winners Wimbledon. Wimbledon boasted a strong squad which included ex Magpie James Osborne and National Indoor winner Adam Harper.
Harleston again started strongly in what was billed by the organisers as the game of the weekend. Wimbledon pressed Harleston high up the pitch which caused them issues and they shortly took the lead. Harleston responded quickly through another Mark Wheelhouse drag flick.
Harleston took the lead through another Wheelhouse drag flick. Wimbledon responded again and then took the lead. Harleston managed to equalise just before half time when Mark Wheelhouse completed his hatrick.
In the second half Wimbledon showed their composure as they scored a well worked corner. Harleston tried to grab a goal back but the tightest defence in the league could not be broken. With Harleston pushing forward Wimbledon were able to grab the vital 5th goal in a swift counter attacking move. The final score finishing 5-3 to Wimbledon.
Harleston Magpies 10-Indian Gymkhana 5
Harleston played Indian Gymkhana in a must win game in the first game on of the day on Sunday morning. Not notorious for starting well on a Sunday morning Harleston bucked the trend and quickly went 2-0 up with goals from Chris Barber and Toby Price. Indian Gymkhana did respond with a goal of their own. Harleston extended their lead through two more from Toby Price to complete his hatrick and one from Simon Hipwell. Before the end of the half Indian Gymkhana pulled a couple of goals back.
Harleston again started the second half running with two quick goals from Chris Barber one great deflection and the other following a great piece of skill. Indian Gymkhana pulled a goal back before Harleston turned on the style and put the game beyond any doubt. Goals flowed from Toby Price, Sam Moore and then Chris Barber completing his hatrick and Harleston’s second of the game. Before the end Indian Gymkhana did pull a goal back but this was nothing more than a consolation goal.
West Herts 7-4 Harleston Magpies
Harleston faced their outdoor rivals in their next game. The Suffolk side got off to the best possible start when they were awarded a stroke after 17 seconds with West Herts losing their goal keeper in the process. Mark Wheelhouse converted the stroke to maintain his 100% conversion rate. The lead was short lived as West Herts equalised with their next attack. West Herts then took the lead before it was Harleston’s turn to respond though Chris Barber. West Herts regained the lead just before the end of the half.
Calmness was called for in the half time team talk as Harleston were creating chances. Harleston scored an equaliser through Chris Barber before West Herts retook the lead. West Herts then extended their lead despite some resolute defending from star man Andrew Bedwell. Harleston pushed forward but it was all in vain as they could only manage one goal from Mark Wheelhouse with West Herts scoring 2 more. The final score with Harleston going down 7-4.
Harleston Magpies 7-0 Sheffield Hallam
With Harleston going down to West Herts they needed a big performance against Sheffield Hallam, another team that Harleston had beaten the previous weekend. Harleston started the game in electrifying fashion with two early goals from Simon Hipwell and Chris Barber. This rattled the students and to compound their misery Chris Barber doubled his tally after a stella run from his own circle beating 4 players before calmly slotting home before an emphatic celebration. Harleston did have Rees Leonard to thank for keeping their clean sheet intact with some super reflex saves. Sam Rowe showed his class by skinning Welsh international Gareth Furlong before winning Harleston a short corner. Before the end of the half Toby Price scored with a well taken flick.
Harleston continued to press hard as the second half started with more goals being added by Richard Hobley and Tom Ridley who deceived the opposition with a sensual touch. Sheffield pulled their goalkeeper to heap the pressure in Harleston. With the numerical advantage Sheffield created more chances but were unable to beat the inspired Rees Leonard. Harleston were then reduced to 4 players for 2 minutes. Again despite the advantage Sheffield were unable to score despite Will Blyth popping up at the back post. Harleston had not finished their scoring as Richard Larkin finished from a tight angle.
This comprehensive 7-0 victory left Harleston needing Wimbledon to beat Indian Gymkhana in the last game of the day to ensure their promotion back to the Division 1 National League. The final game finished 6-3 to Wimbledon which clinched promotion for both Harleston and Wimbledon.
A great indoor campaign for the squad saw them play 16 games, winning 14 and losing 2. A great squad performance over the weekend leaves the group looking forward to next season.
Cheltenham 6 – Harleston 8
In their first game of the day Harleston faced an unknown Cheltenham side who boasted the expertise of ex-Magpies Jamie Legg and James Foster. Harleston started the game quickly and soon raced into a 4-1 lead with goals coming from Simon Hipwell, Mark Wheelhouse and Chris Barber x 2. Cheltenham did pull a goal back to make the scores 4-2 going into the break, however Harleston continued to show their dominance at the start of the second half when they extended their lead to 6-2 with goals from Toby Price and Richard Larkin.
In a strong position Harleston eased off the gas and were made to pay when Cheltenham scored three quick goals. Harleston did manage to extend their lead again with two more goals, one from Price and Hipwell before they were reduced to 4 men when Chris Barber saw yellow for a vicious drilling offence when patrolling his own D. Rees Leonard performed well in goal cutting out many Cheltenham chances however the man advantage allowed Cheltenham to pull another goal back with the game finishing at 8-6 to Harleston.
Harleston 10 – Sheffield Hallam 3
The next game saw Harleston face what they feared would be the strongest team in the competition as Hallam play Premier National League outdoors. The opposition again boasting two ex-Magpies players in the form of Will Blyth and Gareth Furlong. Again Harleston started well and soon took the lead through another Mark Wheelhouse short corner. Hallam showed their intent though and scored the equaliser shortly after. This spurred Harleston on who soon scored three quick goals through Simon Hipwell, Toby Price and Chris Barber. Hallam were now wobbling with Harleston exerting more pressure they soon extended their lead with Tristan Baynes and Mark Wheelhouse adding to the goals.
Next up Harleston faced East qualifiers Havering who again boasted ex-Magpies National League shot stopper Marc Lloyd. Again Harleston made a poor start going two goals down to a couple of short corners. Again this rallied Harleston who first pulled a goal back through Simon Hipwell before Richard Hobley equalised for Harleston. It was however Havering who struck the next blow as they retook the lead. Harleston again fought back strongly and equalised on the stroke of half time when Leigh Sitch, true to his word, dispatched a powerful drag flick past the flailing Lloyd in goal, thus ending his goal drought.
Harleston Magpies men’s 1st team indoor squad travelled to Cambridge for the East Indoor Championship.
With the new rules in place Magpies entered the tournament into the unknown. In the first game Harleston beat Chelmsford 8-2. Good interchanges from the whole team allowed Harleston to dominate and create many goal scoring opportunities. Chris barber scored a splendid hatrick. With further goals added by Andrew Bedwell, Mark Wheelhouse x 2, Simon Hipwell, Toby Price.
In the second game Harleston took on St Albans who had also been relegated from National League Division 1 last season. Magpies produced the display of the tournament with some fast paced movement from the forwards allowing the defenders to find them easily. Goals this time coming from Chris Barber with another hatrick and for the first time this season scoring in back to back games. Goals were added by Andrew Bedwell, Richard Larkin, Mark Wheelhouse, Sam Rowe and Toby Price. The defensive unit stayed strong to keep a clean sheet with Rees Leonard was in sparkling form.
This meant Harleston topped their group and would face West Herts in the semi final. West Herts brought Dan Webster into the squad who had been videoing the team for their previous games. Harleston made a slower start but soon upped their intensity. Harleston soon took the lead through Chris Barber, the team soon doubled their lead when Toby Price popped up at the back post. Mark Wheelhouse converted a stroke which prompted West Herts to pull their keeper off. This extra player meant that the pressure on Harleston started to mount but the defence stood firm. West Herts did pull a goal back when Dan Webster fired just under the bar with a lethal drag flick. Harleston still stood firm and extended their lead after a counter attack lead to a short corner where Mark Wheelhouse showed no mercy and fired down the middle of the goal. Harleston went on to secure the win and book a place in the final against Old Loughts.
Harleston started even slower than their semi final and soon found themselves 2-0 down. However the team rose like a Phoenix from the ashes and soon pulled a goal back when Simon Hipwell swivelled at the top of the D to slot home. Harleston were soon level when Hipwell added his second goal. Harleston took the lead through Thomas Ridley who cooly slotted home under pressure from the goal keeper. Old Loughts pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time to send the teams in level. Harleston started the second half in dominate fashion and added to their goal tally when Simon Hipwell first completed his hatrick after a powering run from right back Leigh Sitch before he Hipwell grabbed his fourth and Magpies fifth of the game. Sitch had the opportunity to extend Harleston’s lead but the Old Loughts keeper made two world class saves to keep the score at 5-3. Old Loughts pulled their goal keeper off and soon pulled a goal back with 5 minutes left to play. Harleston calmly kept the ball and eventually scored the vital 6th goal when Toby Price received and turned at the top of the circle before slotting home. With 3 minutes on the clock Harleston used all of their experience to run the clock down and see out the win.
This was a great tournament for the squad who now look forward to their National League weekends in January with great confidence.
Player of the tournament – Rees Leonard
Harleston men’s indoor squad sponsored by Hunton Legg and Sam Moore Electricals (07543779873) travelled to Bristol for their second weekend of indoor hockey in the National League Division 1 competition.
Harleston started the weekend against a Havant side sitting below them in the table. Harleston started the game extremely slowly and soon found themselves a goal down following a well worked short corner. Havant soon doubled their lead when Leigh Sitch gave away a corner which again Havant converted. Soon Havant found a third to put Harleston really on the back foot. Harleston managed to grab a lifeline when Gareth ‘Big Money’ Furlong smashed a shot across goal to find the backboard. Unfortunately Havant struck the next blow making the score 4-1. Harleston managed to drag themselves back into the game after half time when the Furlong brothers combined allowing Rhodri Furlong to touch in an excellent pass from Gareth Furlong. Again Harleston could not gain the momentum when Havant snatched their fifth of the game. Harleston again tried to fight back, they got there reward when Gareth Furlong scored his second of the game from a short corner routine. Havant again extended their lead with another short corner. Harleston did grab a lifeline when good play down the right allowed David Ling to finish well at the back post. Harleston continued to press for their fifth but were unable to force any goals in and had to settle for a 6-4 defeat.
In the second game of the day Harleston faced a strong and fresh Southgate side, Southgate caught Harleston cold and took the lead after 20 seconds. Harleston came straight back and equalised through Gareth Furlong. Harleston continued to press Southgate hard and found themselves 2-1 up when Mark Wheelhouse converted from a short corner. Harleston continued to create chances down the left but were only rewarded with one more goal when Gareth Furlong converted his second from a short corner. Despite this Southgate did sneak a goal back before half time. Harleston continued to pressurise Southgate at the start of the second half. As the half progressed Harleston conceded a sloppy short corner which Southgate converted to draw level. Southgate were now in the ascendancy and soon took the lead after catching Harleston with a powerfully taken 16 yard hit, the same move soon came back to haunt Harleston when Southgate extended their lead in a similar fashion. Despite late pressure from Harleston they were unable to grab a further goal to make the last few minutes nervy for Southgate, the final score finishing 5-3 to Southgate.
On Sunday Harleston played two further games, with Saturdays results not going their way the team knew they needed at least 3 points from their remaining two games of the day.
First up Harleston faced a strong Sevenoaks team who were fighting for a promotion place. Harleston started the game well pressurising Sevenoak’s defensive players, despite this good start Harleston were the first to concede however when Sevenoaks pounced on a loose ball in the Harleston circle. This disappointment put Harleston on the back foot and they quickly conceded 5 more goals as Sevenoaks displayed the prowess that had placed them near the top of the league. Harleston regained their composure and managed to grab a goal bag when Carl Sitch managed to convert after good play from Tristan Baynes and Gareth Furlong. Despite this is was Sevenoaks who scored the next goal of the game to leave the scores at 6-1 at half time. Harleston came out fighting in the second half and grabbed a quick goal through Gareth Furlong, unfortunately Sevenoaks then grabbed their seventh to distinguish any thoughts of a fight back. Harleston though did continue to push and grabbed two late goals through Carl Sitch and Rhodri Furlong following a good short corner routine, however they left themselves too much to do and the final score finished 7-4 to Sevenoaks.
Harleston went into the last game of the weekend knowing that they needed a win or a draw to ensure that they would beat the drop against a fresh Bournville side who were also scrapping at the bottom of the table. Harleston again started slowly and Bournville took the lead early on against the run of play. Gareth Furlong equalised for Harleston after good play down the left allowed him to finish expertly from a tight angle. Harleston again could not capitalise on some good build up play, with some crosses being narrowly missed at the back post and some unfortunate decisions going against them in critical areas of the pitch. Bournville retook the lead just before half time with a short corner routine of their own. With the game still in the balance after half time Harleston gave their all early on in the second half but after a turn over up the pitch Bournville broke quickly to make the score 3-1. Harleston did rally and managed to grab a goal back through an excellent deflection from David Ling at the back post. Bournville again took the wind out of Harleston’s sails as they scored next, Harleston pushed forward at the end in search of a vital couple of goals. They did manage to grab a goal back late on with two minutes to play when Gareth Furlong scored his second of the game. Bournville managed to hang onto their lead with a frantic two minutes of play, the final score standing at 4-3.
This defeat left Harleston’s fate in St Albans hands, unfortunately St Albans lost which meant Havant leap-frogged Harleston pushing them into the relegation zone. This means Harleston will play in Division 2 of the National League next season.
The squad welcomed big money signing Gareth Furlong back from Sheffield University and Carl Sitch from Loughborough University as their two transfers for the competition.
The team started the weekend with a game against outdoor rivals St Albans and Magpies went into the game knowing only a win would do as the remaining games for the weekend were against outdoor Premier National League teams and Holcombe who currently sit top of the East National League. Harleston took an early lead when Tom Graham finished a neat move with his first touch of the game. With the game in the balance Andrew Bedwell played the ball across to Tristan Baynes who moved the ball down the line to Gareth Furlong who played Carl Sitch in who was clinically fouled by the goalkeeper. The loose ball fell kindly to Andrew Bedwell who still had a lot to do to finish the move he started. St Albans managed to pull a goal back following a strong near post shot. Gareth ‘Big Money’ Furlong scored his opening goal of the weekend with a clinical drag flick. He soon doubled his tally with another well worked team goal. St Albans pulled another goal back before Carl Sitch scored his first goal with a powerful finish. Carl Sitch scored his second of the game when Leigh Sitch drove powerfully forward from right back before pulling the ball back to his brother. St Albans managed to pull two goals back but it was Magpies who struck the last goal when Richard Larkin finished powerfully from an acute angle. The final score finishing 7-4 to Harleston.
The second game of the day saw Harleston face a strong Holcombe side. Both sides started the game cautiously setting half court presses when not in possession allowing each team to try and play the ball to their forwards in space. Holcombe struck first when a slick move allowed them to score from the top of the circle, Holcombe’s class started to show and they soon doubled their lead. This setback sparked Harleston into life and they stepped up their press making Holcombe make mistakes at the back. Harleston pulled one goal back through Gareth Furlong with a low struck short corner. Harleston found an equaliser when Rhodri Furlong converted another short corner with another trademark Furlong low hard strike. Holcombe came again and managed to extend their lead scoring two quick goals. As stated by Mr and Mrs Furlong the goal of the tournament then followed when Leigh Sitch instinctively took a quick free hit just outside the attacking circle, he drove into the circle before slipping the ball to Tom Graham and the young forward slipped the ball back to Sitch who deflected the ball past the onrushing keeper. With Holcombe starting strongly in the second half they quickly scored their fifth and sixth goals. Harleston pushed higher and managed to snatch a fourth goal, when Stuart Leate snuck in to score low across goal. With Harleston now in the ascendancy they pushed forward in search of two more goals. With the team pushing so high Reece Leonard was exposed in goal and the team conceded two late goals to the leave the final score at 8-4.
On Sunday Harleston started with another tough game against Hampstead and Westminster. Harleston gave the National League too much respect early on and soon found themselves a couple of goals down. Hampstead could smell blood and pressured the two Magpies defenders making it very hard for them to get the ball forward. Harleston soon found themselves a third goal down when Hampstead scored a lucky deflected goal from a short corner. Harleston managed to grab a lifeline in the game with a goal from Rhodri Furlong who deflected the ball past the goalkeeper following a 35 yard pass from Leigh Sitch. Unfortunately Harleston could not build on this and soon found themselves further goals down, mainly conceding from unfortunate short corners. Sam Moore did grab a late goal for Harleston when an initial shot was saved Sam reacted fasted in the circle to smash the ball home. Hampstead had the final say as they scored their seventh of match to leave the score at 7-2.
In the final game of the weekend Harleston faced an unbeaten Brooklands team. Harleston pressed hard from the start of this game managing to snatch the ball high up the pitch. Harleston soon found themselves a goal up when Gareth Furlong finished off a well worked move started by Mark Wheelhouse before Carl Sitch doubled Harleston’s advantage. Stuart Leate soon made it 3-0 when he superbly rounded the keeper to loft the ball into the empty net. Brooklands did grab a goal back when they caught Harleston on the counter attack. With the scores at 3-1 Sam Moore won a short corner after another dogged and battering run down the right boards. With a clinical injection Tristan Baynes scored an excellent drag flick as he rounded the keeper with one swift movement. As expected Brooklands came at Harleston in the second half from the off but despite the pressure it was Harleston who scored their fifth of the game when Gareth Furlong scored with a drag flick. Brooklands continued to apply pressure and managed to drag themselves back into the game and at 5-3 Brooklands decided to take their keeper off and play with a kicking back. The numerical advantage soon paid off when they finished a slick move. With the score at 5-4 Harleston won another penalty corner which was blocked on the line by a player’s body resulting in a penalty stroke. Brooklands brought their goalkeeper back on but Tristan Baynes still dispatched the stroke with ease. With 10 seconds left Brooklands won a penalty corner of their own which they were able to dispatch with the final touch of the game leaving Harleston 6-5 winners.
The squad travel to Bristol again next weekend to play their remaining fixtures against Havant, Southgate, Sevenoaks and Bourneville.
Harleston Magpies Men’s indoor
Brooklands MU Men’s 1s
Sevenoaks Men’s 1s
Harleston Magpies Men’s indoor
Bournville Men’s Indoor
Harleston Magpies Men’s indoor
Harleston knew a win against Bournville would virtually put them back in the premier league but Bournville once a premier league outfit were fighting their own battle at the other end of the table. This game was tight all the way through with Harleston just doing enough but not able to break Bournville. Harleston then came from 2-1 down midway through the second half to storm three quick goals past Bournville as magpies relentless second half pressure payed off. A.Hipwell (2) and M. Riches scoring. Bournville pulled one back in the last seconds making it 3-4 to Harleston.
Harleston Magpies Men’s indoor
Stourport Men’s Indoor
The last game was a dead rubber at face value but still provided much entertainment as a dogged Stourport overcame Harleston with a gritty display. D. Ling (2) and T. Shelley had put Harleston into a 3-2 lead and a position to win the game with only 3 minutes remaining. Stourport never say die attitude came through as they scored twice in the closing moments to win 3-4 as once again Harleston payed for their ill discipline receiving two yellow cards during the game.
Overall this was a tremendous effort by the whole squad over the two weekends to be able to return to the premier league at the first time of asking. Much credit must also go to the Martin Fields (manger), Tristan Baynes and Leigh Sitch who all spent many hours planning and preparing behind the scenes.
other matches: http://fieldhockeytv.com/indoor