Category Archives: Mikes-Musings

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 June 2017

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 June 2017
(back as a one-off by popular demand – honestly!)



After triumphs in 2004 and 2015 the Magpies’ squad – kindly sponsored by Parson Estate Agents – and their supporters assembled at Lee Valley Hockey Centre last Saturday in search of a third win in England Hockey’s Mixed Trophy which this season attracted an entry of 148 teams making it EH’s most popular competition.

After missing the signs to the Westfield Shopping Centre I toured the area trying to find somewhere to park eventually settling for a well-known supermarket where a fellow customer kindly gave me a lift to the stadium on a hot day in time for the eagerly awaited semi-final clash with Spencer HC.

Maria Andrews put Magpies ahead early in the game with a typically fierce penalty corner conversion but Spencer were soon level thanks to a superb reverse stick shot by ex-Magpie Duncan Graves. Unfortunately for him and his team Duncan was injured in making the shot and his weekend’s hockey was over. His shot almost did the same for Magpies’ goalkeeper Chris Leek who took a frightful blow and the game was held up for several minutes.

Magpies then had a bad spell but to their relief and that of their supporters they were back in the lead against the run of play seconds before half time when Maria fired one of her trademark reverse stick shots high into the net.

Encouraged by this change of fortune Magpies dominated the second half (despite two yellows) inspired by Tim Whiteman in midfield. Midway through the half Lucy Whiting won the ball and crossed for Simon Hipwell to run into the circle to score in spectacular style. Another goal for Simon who has found his scoring touch in the latter part of the season to go with his mounting card collection!

Maria then scored again to take her Mixed total for the season to nine (to add to her seventeen for the 1sts) and in a spirit of goodwill I will record this as completing her hat-trick! Captain Leigh Sitch was also in commanding form for Magpies in this 4-1 win with another outstanding defensive performance in addition to his three attacking forays causing one spectator to say he didn’t realise how quick Leigh is about the pitch!

We then saw Khalsa (Warks) recover from two down to beat Stourport 3-2 in the other semi with two late goals. Khalsa looked a much stronger team than when Magpies beat them 5-0 in the quarters at Weybread last season so our squad was warned what to expect in the final the next day.

The appalling terrorist outrage in London on Saturday evening was marked by a minute’s silence in the stadium on Sunday.

Stourport beat Spencer 3-0 in the 3rd/4th place play-off and with the number of Magpies’ supporters swelling by the minute it was time for the final played in coolish and mainly overcast conditions.

Khalsa were soon on the attack and they scored after three minutes following an attack down their right. Magpies are rarely behind in their Mixed games. How would they react to this setback in front of their enthusiastic support? The answer was encouraging and they took the game to their opponents without playing at their best. Five minutes before half time after good work by Leigh, Tim and Simon the ball was slipped by Maria to Lizzie Clymer who took the chance in fine style to bring the scores level.

The second half was a tense and exciting affair with Thomas Ridley in midfield and Andrew Bedwell in defence playing particularly well for Magpies. Both sides had chances at penalty corners in the last few minutes and Maria was denied by an excellent stick save by the Khalsa keeper.

So players and spectators alike were left with the dreaded shuffles introduced just for the final. It was 2-2 after each team had taken their five. Scorers for Magpies were Tim Whiteman and Robbie Kinsella with Chris in goal making some excellent saves with one surprisingly resulting in a penalty stroke for Khalsa which they converted.

With nerves jangling (at least in the crowd!) it was now time for the decider. Tim stepped up to coolly convert once again leaving the next Khalsa player needing to score to extend the shootout. With tension mounting even higher Chris forced him to shoot wide and with it a hard earned victory for Magpies in front of their jubilant fans including sponsors Kevin and Jan Parson.

The stadium announcer rightly called it a compelling final in which both teams played their part with so little between them.

It is ‘very well done’ to all members of the Magpies’ squad with special thanks to captain Leigh for all his hard work in organising the team throughout the season including the hotel and other arrangements for the finals weekend.

Congratulations to Leigh, Lizzie, Thomas, Maria and Katherine Ridley who after Saturday’s game were invited to the England Mixed trials.

The weekend marked almost certainly (at least for now) the last game for the club by Maria who this season in particular has shown what an outstanding goal scoring talent she has. She leaves with our thanks and very best wishes for her hockey and further studies. She will always be welcome back at Weybread.

Squad: Leigh Sitch (captain), Chris Leek (GK), Andrew Bedwell, Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Thomas Ridley, Simon Hipwell, Lauren Mickleburgh, Lucy Belsey, Richard Larkin, Tim Whiteman, Maria Andrews, Lucy Whiting, Lizzie Clymer, Robbie Kinsella, Lauren Barber, Laura Tibbenham, Katrina Sitch (coach) and Kevin Ridley (manager).

Lee Valley Hockey Centre – Sunday 25 June 2017
Club secretary Daphne Beckett has 10 complimentary tickets worth £45 each.
Please contact Daphne at if you are interested in attending. If demand exceeds supply a ballot will be held on Sunday 11 June.

at Gawdy Hall, Redenhall, IP20 9NY by kind permission of David and Wendy Green

You are cordially invited to this ticket only event which is always one of the most enjoyable in the club’s social calendar.

For tickets £12.50 (Adults), £5 (Children 7 to 12), Free (U7s) please contact Daphne Beckett at

or Jackie Ridley at

With kind regards and very best wishes

Mike Denham

PS. AGM – Thursday 22 June in the clubhouse at 8.00pm. The agenda will be issued very soon.

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 11 April 2017


The club chairman comments as follows.

Harleston Magpies has had many great servants over the years but surely none more so than the editor-in-chief of Mike’s Musings, Mike Denham. 

Mike has worn many hats at Magpies over the years and since February 2007 he has single-handedly produced weekly newsletters for the enjoyment of this many readers. Indeed there have been 350 newsletters emailed to 500 recipients each time and that excludes visitors directly to the website. 

This is the last of Mike’s Musings and on behalf of everyone associated with the club I would like to express our gratitude for the time and effort Mike has put in to producing this unnervingly regular publication. 

Mike’s Musings keeps us informed, makes us laugh, reminds us of highs and unfortunately the lows, but every Tuesday without fail it lands in our inbox and continues to instil a great sense of community within the club.

Now we have reached the end of the league season (but hopefully success for the Ladies’ O35s and Mixed teams to follow last Saturday’s success by the U10 Girls) the time was right for Mike to hang up his pen. This also provides the club with an opportunity to consider other forms of communication which will endeavour to keep us all informed and continue to instil that sense of community. 

Mike is not departing and will continue to be a constant presence around the club; although a repeat of his 8½ minutes of play for the Men’s 7th team (his only on-field contribution and ended by a pulled hamstring) is unlikely to be repeated!   Murray Graham

I thank Murray for his very kind remarks and for his support during his four years as chairman. I also thank the many club members who have assisted me with the column over the years and those readers (both club and non-club members) who have made kind remarks about the column. This encouragement has played a big part in helping me to keep going as has been the invaluable technical support of Nigel Bedingfield of I have enjoyed writing Mike’s Musings (and before that Chairman’s Chat when the title was appropriate) and I thank Matt Brand for coming up with the title – the first edition of which was published in August 2009.  It has been a privilege to have been trusted to chronicle the last 10 years of the life of the club. As Murray says I hope to continue to be a regular at Weybread and to continue to enjoy the company of so many friends. But with my troublesome back I might in future leave the picking up of stray bottles to others!


The club hosted the In2Hockey East Club Championships over the weekend in glorious weather (as the colour of my face will prove) and it was really good to see so many people enjoying the four competitions.

The event started on Saturday with the U12 Boys’ and from the first game when they beat Magpies it was clear that Old Loughtonians would be the team to beat and so it proved. They went on to defeat Norwich City 2-1 in the final after recovering from conceding the first goal. The Magpies’ team, which came into the competition by invitation after the withdrawal of another team played far better, under the coaching team of Mark Emms and Peter Dolton, than their eventual position of ninth out of the ten teams would suggest. Hopefully the players will have gained experience from playing against some of the top teams in the East.

Next into action were the U10 Girls and after drawing their opening game 1-1 against Blueharts, Magpies played some splendid hockey to beat Chelmsford 3-0, Sudbury 4-0 and Cambridge City 2-0. They then had to avoid defeat against Sevenoaks to reach the final which they did winning 2-1. They dominated the final against Old Loughtonians scoring two quick goals before going on to win 3-0 thereby winning the event for the second successive year thanks to a splendid squad performance under the coaching team of  Kathy Gardens and Duncan Cogdell.

On Sunday it was the turn of the U12 Girls and U10 Boys. The Magpies’ U12 Girls were unfortunate to start against Sevenoaks who quickly looked a formidable team winning 3-0. Magpies then went on a run beating Hertford 2-1 (from a goal down), Old Loughtonians 3-0, Ipswich 4-0 and Cambridge City 1-0. In their semi-final against Canterbury they could not maintain their form going down 1-0. But overall this was a really good performance by the squad under coaches Jim Menzies and Duncan Cogdell who finished in joint 3rd place. In the final it came as no surprise when Sevenoaks beat Canterbury 3-1.

It was good to see David Brook at the club on Sunday and in his element watching the other teams on behalf of Jim Menzies. Let’s hope that David will feel well enough next season to resume at least light duties on behalf of the club.

The U10 Boys’ event (in which there was no Magpies’ participation) was won by Blueharts who beat Blue Hornets 1-0 in the final. Norwich Dragons beat Old Loughtonians 3-1 for third place.

Best wishes to the winners and runners-up of the U12 events who go on to the national finals.

The club was delighted to host these very enjoyable events once again in support of the East officials (genially led by Daphne Menear) and the young East umpires, and their mentors, who did so well over the weekend. It is also a big ‘thank you’ to the Magpies’ ‘backroom team’ for kindly helping with marquees, car parking, catering, PA etc.

The Magpies’ league season came to an end on Saturday with the already promoted Men’s 3rds going down 4-3 away to Ipswich 2nds despite a hat-trick by Greg Jagger and the Ladies’ 6ths beat Breckland 4-2 away with all their goals coming from Vanessa Vigrass. Magpies dominated play in the first half with Vanessa scoring in the first two minutes. Vanessa completed her hat-trick before half time and after Breckland fought back with two goals she scored again to round-off an excellent finish to the season by the team.

I take this opportunity to thank all club officials for their hard work over the season. In addition I thank everyone, including a considerable number of club members, who have umpired throughout the season. Finally, it is a big ‘thank you’ to all our sponsors. Their invaluable support is much appreciated.

The season is still not over. The Mixed team will be in EH Trophy quarter-final action (after their 4th round w/o win over Dereham) away to Horsham on Sunday 23 April and the Ladies’ O35s play Timperley in the EH Trophy final at Lee Valley Sports Centre on Sunday 30 April (11.00). Best wishes to our teams. In addition we have the Magpies’ Tournament on Saturday 29 April (Mixed teams) and Monday 1 May (Club XIs).

Please see the club website for more details of the above (including reports) and for regular updates throughout the summer.

With kind regards and very best wishes to all readers

Mike Denham    




MIKE’S MUSINGS – 4 April 2017


Top billing just has to go this week to the Boys’ Development after their 1-0 home win over Norwich City last Saturday which gave them the Norfolk league title on goal difference from Norwich Dragons ‘A’. This was a nervy game for the home team and their supporters and it was a considerable relief to all concerned when Ed Brice found the net at a penalty corner with five minutes to go.

There was not much between the teams for the majority of the match and while both defences played well they had to survive some anxious moments. Elliot Chapman gave an assured performance in goal for Magpies while Ed Brice caught the eye in midfield as did Ben Waters with some strong runs down the right wing. Magpies were let down on occasions by their poor choice of pass and an over reliance on the speculative reverse stick pass. But this is not the time to be critical. Well done to the squad under manager Mark Emms for an excellent season in which they have been defeated just once in sixteen games. They have done the club proud. The victory was a good way for defender Jack Largent to celebrate his fourteenth birthday.

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2018 – TICKETS England Hockey is hosting this event at Lee Valley in July 2018 and wishes to reward the Hockey Family for their continued loyalty by offering from Thursday 6 April a priority window for the purchase of tickets. Please see the top left of the England Hockey website (available from the England Hockey logo at the top right of the club’s website) for full details.

In the only other competitive home game the already promoted Men’s 3rds needed to win to keep alive their title chances and they went into their game against Norwich Dragons 2nds with just four of the players who clinched promotion the previous week against Newmarket. This churn has been a feature of the team in recent weeks and has made life more difficult than it should be for captain Matt Brand who has remained stoical over the situation. If the team is to be successful next season more players will need to be available more often and, frankly, that applies to some of our other teams, both men and women.

Dragons, with ex-Magpies star player Richard Gill in good form in midfield, took the lead following a fast break down the right. Magpies’ goalkeeper Chris Flatt, who had a good game, then saved a penalty stroke before Robbie Kinsella fired the home team level at a penalty corner. Just after the break Magpies missed a golden opportunity to take the lead. In a team not playing as well as the occasion demanded Stuart Field was outstanding for Magpies with his drive, speed and accurate passing. Dragons regained the lead and – after Magpies failed to take advantage of a number of penalty corners – they caught the home team on the break to ensure a deserved 3-1 victory. While this defeat and the news that Bury St Edmunds had beaten Ipswich 2nds 5-0 to take the league title was disappointing it should take nothing away from what has been an excellent season for the 3rds which concludes on Saturday away to Ipswich 2nds (12.00).

Away from home the Men’s 1sts went down 10-1 (Myles King) to City of Peterborough in another re-arranged match. The team already weakened in recent weeks by work and other commitments went into this tough game with several other changes due to parental responsibilities, injuries and holidays and I was not the only one fearing the worst. Despite the score line the eleven players played some good hockey against a full strength Cof P which until the previous week still had a chance of the league title.

From the middle of October when they won six games in succession, highlighted by a 4-3 away victory over eventual champions Old Loughtonians, the season was going well for the team but with the gradual weakening of the squad the second half has been a disappointment.

There can be little doubt that what our top three men’s teams need next season is rebuilding (1sts), promotion (2nds) and consolidation (3rds). Hopefully these objectives will be achieved by a core of present players, recruitment of others and opportunities to be grasped by the undoubted emerging talent in the club.

TASTER CRICKET SESSIONS FOR LADIES AND GIRLS AT MAGPIES on Tuesdays 4 and 11 April (6-7 pm) in conjunction with Topcroft Cricket Club – please see website for details.

The curtain comes down on another league season this Saturday with as already mentioned the Men’s 3rds playing the last of their re-arranged games while the Ladies’ 6ths play Breckland away (2.30). The original match on 25 February with Breckland was abandoned with three minutes remaining, with Magpies leading 3-2, when Magpies’ Louise Davy had a nasty fall which necessitated her going to hospital for treatment. The league management subsequently ruled that the score should not stand as with only one goal between the teams Breckland still had a chance for an equaliser. Best wishes to our two teams.

EAST CLUB MINIS This coming weekend the club is hosting for the ninth successive year the East Club Minis or to give them their correct title the East Club IN2Hockey Championships. On Saturday the U12 Boys (from 10.30) and U10 Girls (from 1.25) will be in action and on Sunday it will be the turn of the U12 Girls (10.00) and U10 Boys (1.00). The club will be represented in each of the events except for the U10 Boys. The U10 and U12 Girls qualified by finishing first and second, respectively, in the Norfolk championships while the U12 Boys have been pleased to accept a late wild card entry following the withdrawal of another team.

All the very best to our teams, listed below, for an enjoyable and, hopefully, successful weekend.

Saturday 8 April (Weybread)
U12 Boys
Oliver Bardwell, Oliver Currie, Sam Emms, Jake Hayward, Oliver Kinsman, Freddie Kirk, Stanley Glenn, Charlie Hall, Jake Jackson, James Laurie (GK), Mark Emms (manager), Peter Dolton (coach).
Section B: Magpies v Old Loughtonians (10.30), Cambridge City (11.14), Norwich City (11.40), Bury St Edmunds (12.24) followed (hopefully) by the semis (1.40) and final (2.35).

U10 Girls Rebekah Moss (GK), Daisy Wicks, Catherine Pope, Harriet Soper, Alex Pearson-Smith, Emily Clarke, Natalie Saunders, Ophelia McCausland, Amber Whittingstall, Beth Gardens, Kathy Gardens (manager/coach).
Section Y: Magpies v Blueharts (1.55), Chelmsford (3.10), Sudbury (3.30), Cambridge City (4.20), Sevenoaks (5.00) followed (hopefully) by the final (5.30).

Sunday 9 April (Weybread)
U12 Girls
Ruby Pottruff (captain), Georgia Flatt (GK), Jessica Menzies, Holly Wills, Emma Williamson, Anna Cogdell, Evie Brice, Molly Largent, Alyssa Walker, Sophie Pettitt, Jim Menzies (manager/coach).
Section B: Magpies v Sevenoaks (10.00), Hertford (10.22), Old Loughtonians (11.06), Ipswich (11.32), Cambridge City (1.22) followed (hopefully) by the semis (2.05) and final (2.40).

The winners and runners-up of the two U12 events will go on to represent the East in the national finals to be played at Beeston HC on Saturday 13 May.

MIDLANDS LEAGUE U14 GIRLS REGIONAL FINALS In Pool A at Leicester Grammar School last Sunday our team had the frustration of going down 2-1 to the eventual winners Reading in their opening match after conceding a late goal. In their next game they were unable to find a way past Cirencester losing 2-0. But they finished on a high note beating Leicester 7-0. Well done to the players and manager John Pope on a really impressive season which bodes well for the club in the years ahead. Please see the club’s website for a full report from Leicester.

WATTON MINIS There were good performances last Sunday by our teams including wins for the U12 Girls and U10 Girls in the Silver events and second place for the U12 Girls in Gold and a season best second place for the U10 Boys.

Two wags contacted me after last week’s Musings to say it would have saved them a lot of time had I put at the beginning and not at the end that reading the column was not compulsory!

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 28 March 2017


It was the last day of the season for most of our 15 league teams last Saturday and while all were obviously hoping to go out on a high there were special incentives for four of them with the Men’s 3rds and Ladies’ 1sts achieving their objectives while the Men’s 2nds and Girls’ Development came up a little short.

The Men’s 3rds needed to beat fellow promotion hopefuls Newmarket to clinch promotion after being in the top two all season and they did so with ease winning 10-1. They were soon 3-0 up against a less experienced Newmarket side than usual and thereafter the outcome was never in doubt. Scorers were Tristan Hipper (3), Gavin Cole (2), Greg Jagger (2), Jamie Hudson, Matt Brand and James Stacey. Congratulations to captain Matt Brand (who has worked extremely hard once again with the team both on and off the field of play) and to his squad. They still have two games to play and victory in both would ensure they overtake Bury St Edmunds for the league title. They are at home on Saturday to Norwich Dragons 2nds (2.00) and away to Ipswich 2nds seven days later.

Meanwhile playing on the other pitch were the Ladies’ 1sts and their incentive was to get back to winning ways after three successive defeats and they did so in style beating St Albans 4-0 to round-off a highly satisfying season with an excellent fourth place in England Hockey’s East Conference. There was not much between the teams in the first half but Magpies went into the break leading with a splendid goal by Lizzie Clymer when she swept home a cross from Maria Andrews, the team’s player of the season. Magpies dominated the second half. Maria skilfully created space for herself to add the second goal and soon afterwards, following a fast pushout at a penalty corner by Debbie Francis, she fired in her seventeenth goal of the season to finish as the league’s leading goal scorer – a wonderful achievement. Abby Gooderham completed the scoring with an exciting finish high into the net. Very well done to captain Lucy Belsey and her team and to coach Rob Sorrell and manager Nick McAllen.

The Men’s 2nds needed to beat Wapping 2nds (who came into the game at Weybread with the league title virtually assured) to avoid relegation or failing that for Cambridge City 3rds to slip up in their last two games. In the event Magpies fought hard to get something from the game after going 3-0 down early on. Tristan Baynes converted a penalty corner just before the break and Robbie Kinsella narrowed the gap fifteen minutes into the second half but thereafter Magpies were unable to maintain their momentum leaving Wapping to make it 4-2 in their favour before celebrating the league title by spraying themselves with bubbly! We then heard that City 3rds had beaten second placed Bourne Deeping 8-2 to add to their 3-2 victory the previous week over third placed Shefford & Sandy. There is no doubt that things have gone against the Men’s 2nds in recent weeks, e.g. failure to beat Norwich City 2nds after leading, Cambridge City 3rds recent revival and the late penalty stroke the previous week against Upminster. But the real reason for the team’s relegation (their second in successive seasons) was their failure to take any points from their first five games combined with some recent late goals suggesting fitness issues as a leading member of the squad told me after the game. The upshot is that the Men’s 2nds and Men’s 3rds will next season be in the same league something which would have been hard to contemplate as recently as the start of last season when they were three leagues apart.

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2018 – TICKETS England Hockey is hosting this event at Lee Valley in July 2018 and wishes to reward the Hockey Family for their continued loyalty by offering from Thursday 6 April a priority window for the purchase of tickets. Please see the top left of the England Hockey website (available from the England Hockey logo at the top right of the club’s website) for full details.

The Girls’ Development needed to beat Norwich Dragons in their last game of the season to clinch their league title but it wasn’t to be despite a wholehearted effort by the squad. After Dragons had taken the lead a fine strike by Anna Cogdell put Magpies back on terms only for Dragons to win the game 2-1 with an even better shot from the edge of the circle. Despite this defeat it has been an excellent season by the squad under the enthusiastic leadership of player-manager Sandra Elliner who throughout has sought to be fair to all members of the squad in her team selections. It says much for the work that Sandra has done that nine Development girls have progressed to adult hockey this season.

In other home games the Ladies’ 3rds drew and there were defeats for the Men’s 5ths and Ladies’ 6ths. The Ladies’ 3rds played out a 0-0 draw with Ipswich 2nds for whom out-on-loan Magpie Connie Bedingfield had a good game in midfield while for Magpies goalkeeper Holly Riches was as impressive as ever. The Magpies squad can be pleased with how they have played in their first season in the East League. Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths knew they were in for a tough game against league champions and goal machine that is Ipswich 3rds (Andy Cook got his inevitable goal against Magpies together with a blow to an ankle!) and they played far better than the final score of 6-1 would suggest. Magpies fielded six U14s and they did not look out of place at this level. Tom Caston got their goal in the second half with a good finish. The Ladies’ 6ths also knew they were in for a demanding game against 4th placed Norwich City 6ths and they played some good hockey with plenty of determination despite going down 6-1. Ellen Pope scored their second half goal following a strong penalty corner strike by Vanessa Vigrass.

There was mixed success for our teams away from home. The Men’s 1sts, including at least three injured bodies, lost 1-0 to a late Bedford goal and for the record this was the first time in 46 East Premier ‘A’ games the team had failed to score. This coming Saturday they complete their programme with a re-arranged away game against City of Peterborough (1.00) who lost their chance of promotion back to the national league going down last Saturday to Old Loughtonians who have finished the season strongly to take the promotion spot. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds rounded off their good season in style beating St Ives 4-0 with their goals coming from Jess Howland, Anna Tighe, Lottie Summers and Alice Woollatt. MOTM was Kath Johnson who has had another fine season following her return from injury.

TASTER CRICKET SESSIONS FOR LADIES AND GIRLS AT MAGPIES on Tuesdays 4 and 11 April (6-7 pm) in conjunction with Topcroft Cricket Club – please click image for details.

The Ladies’ 4ths returned to winning ways beating Norwich City 3rds 2-0 with their best performance of the season. Their goals came from Imi Meynell-Anderson and moved the team up to a very satisfactory 6thplace in their league.  The Men’s 4ths ended a most successful season with a slightly disappointing 6-2 defeat against Pelicans 3rds. Their cause was not helped by having to start short of players due to traffic delays on the outskirts of Kings Lynn and they were 4-0 down after twenty minutes. Thereafter they drew the game 2-2 (!) and they dominated the second half with goals by Arthur Johnson and David Cadman. The Ladies’ 5ths drew 3-3 with Diss. After falling a goal behind Grace Collison and Rachel Clifford put them ahead only for Diss to equalise following a mishit by the visitors’ captain! Diss then took the lead before Rachel got her second late in the game to round-off an excellent season by Jose Tibbenham and her team. The Men’s 6ths were required to change alfresco in the car park at Thetford as the changing room was locked! With their usual pre-match routine now badly disrupted (!) they soon fell a goal behind and they eventually went down 5-1 with their goal coming from Lewis Belsey. It has been a tough season for the 6ths but to their credit they have battled away. The Ladies’ 7ths completed their season with a 0-0 draw against Loddon 2nds. At the beginning of the season the future of the team looked bleak but an influx of players has seen the team get to the end of the season in good heart.

Like the Girls the Boys’ Development were also hoping to win their league title by beating Norwich City away but after City called off due to a lack of available players Magpies’ manager Mark Emms agreed in the best spirit of development hockey to postpone the game to this coming Saturday (but now at Weybread at 10.45) instead of claiming the three points.

U14 BOYS EAST LEAGUE REGIONAL FINALS Congratulations to James Smith and Bex Pottruff and all members of their ‘team’ on a very successful management and hosting of Sunday’s Pool B.Cambridge City emerged as deserved winners of the 4-team pool winning all their three games thereby progressing to the national finals. For Magpies, who played well in spells, it was a case of what might have been at the end of a really good season.  In their opening game they were beaten 1-0 by Cambs City when with a little more accurate passing they could have got a point. They then eased passed Southgate with goals by Ollie Mayhew and James Webster and in their final game they were edged out 2-1 (James again) by Sevenoaks who after beating Southgate and then leading City before going down 2-1 had earlier looked favourites.

MAGPIES’ LADIES RUNNING FOR CHARITY  They would much appreciate your support via For more details please see the club’s website.

END OF SEASON SENIOR AWARDS EVENING This successful event was held at Wortwell Community Centre last Saturday. Joe Cooksey, the chairman of the Fund Raising & Social Committee, acted as MC and he got the presentations underway with some interesting and varied statistics about the season before thanking club officials and team captains for all their hard work and enthusiasm during the season.  Joe then introduced the team captains who said a few words about their season and club president Philippa Taylor made the team presentations. Club vice-chairman Nick Durrant then read out the citations of the trophy and cup winners and Philippa made the presentations. Nick concluded the presentations part of the evening by thanking the Fund Raising & Social Committee for organising the event and by paying tribute to Philippa for all her hard work and dedication during her three years as deputy president and three years as president.

Team Awards

Players’ player Captain’s player Players’ player Captain’s player
1 Maria Andrews

(Betty Whipps Cup – for player of the year)



(Young Player Of The Year Trophy)

Thomas Ridley


(Leeder Cup – for player of the year)

Andrew Bedwell

Thomas Ridley

(Young Player Of The Year Trophy)

2 Jess Howland Alice
Jonty Herschel-Shorland Tristan Baynes
3 Amelia Herschel-Shorland Rheanna Lascelles Jamie
Jon Aldridge and Phil Cobbald (support to captain)
4 Helena Knock Phoebe Eglington (Most improved player) Alex Kilbourn (leading goal scorer) Kieran Peters (Most improved player)
5 Alice
To be awarded later Ollie
6 Isabel
Flatt (Most improved player)
To be awarded later
7 Sophie Govier-Schaay (most improved young player) Karen


Other Awards

Award  Winners Award  Winners
WardTrophy (For outstanding long service)
Daphne Beckett Female Club Person of the Year Louisa Greenacre
The Magpie Cup

(To mark a season of outstanding service)

Jose Tibbenham Craig Whipps Cup
(For club’s ‘unsung hero’)
Male Club Person of the Year Tristan
Trophy (For outstanding youth coaching services)
To be awarded at youth awards evening
80th Anniversary Cup

(For outstanding service to the club)

Cup(For significant contribution to the Magpies community)

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including the U14 Girls in the Midlands League Regional Finals where in Pool B on Sunday at Leicester Grammar School they play Reading, Cirencester and Leicester. Please see the website for the list of fixtures.

EAST REGIONAL FINALS Best wishes to Matt Brand, Tristan Baynes and David Francis who have been selected to represent Norfolk O40s in the regional finals at Lee Valley on Sunday and to Eric Davy who will be representing Norfolk O50s.   

Finally, congratulations to out-on-loan Magpie Tom Graham and his University of Durham team-mates on winning the North Conference of the England Hockey League with 18 victories from 18 games! Best wishes to them in the promotion play-offs.

APOLOGIES FOR THE LENGTH OF THIS MUSINGS. Fortunately reading it is not compulsory!

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 21 March 2017


There is more to writing this column each week than just putting words on paper so to speak. One of the first decisions is to decide which team deserves top billing and in doing so to make a judgement between the various competing egos. The Men’s 1sts say they didn’t get this recognition even when they beat league leaders Old Loughtonians away (correct – I was trying a different format that week) and the Ladies’ 2nds say they deserve the headline this week despite me reminding them they actually lost to Cambridge City 2nds. Yes Laura Tibbenham your team did play well and yes Katie Woollatt you deserve a mention as you played well!

I feel on balance the headlining team should have won so I have gone as you can see (and at last) for the Men’s 1sts just ahead of the Men’s 4ths with, in a generally disappointing weekend of only five league wins, a nod in the direction of the Ladies’ 3rds, Ladies’ 6ths and Girls’ Development and the Ladies’ 2nds for their excellent performance against Cambs City.

Tom Sumner

The Men’s 1sts went into the second game of their post-Wrighty era at home last Saturday missing five players (in addition to Ben) from their season’s strongest line-up against relegation threatened Saffron Walden and they had to battle hard for the three points after twice being behind. In addition to the loss of the missing players defender Andrew Bedwell was only able to play for a few minutes due to injury and he was replaced by Iain Cumming who did well in his first senior game for eleven years. Saffron Walden took the lead against the run of play before Thomas Ridley equalised at a penalty corner and the in-form Simon Hipwell put Magpies ahead after bursting into the circle before finding the net with a reverse stick shot. Inspired by their number 7 Matt Wells (the game’s best player) the visitors hit back and levelled with a penalty corner conversion on the cusp of half time. Soon after the break and with rain now falling heavily they regained the lead at another penalty corner only for Magpies to draw level with a superb reverse stick shot by their MOTM (for the fourth week running) Thomas Ridley. With time running out and shortly after being struck on the head by the ball at a SW sixteen yard hit Richard Larkin got the 4-3 winner for Magpies in a scramble following a penalty corner. NB. In case you don’t spot it the match report on the website was written by Larky!

Richard Larkin

THIS SATURDAY (25 March) 7.30 – 11.30pm Wortwell Community Centre IP20 0HS
Hot buffet, music, presentations. Please come with your team-mates.
FOR YOUR TICKET(S) (£20 each or £18 each for groups of 5 to 15 (subject to limited availability)) please go to

The Men’s 4ths had to play their entire 3.30pm game against Newmarket 2nds in now steady rain and they played well to win 4-0. They were two-up at half time with goals by Alex Kilbourn and Lewis Belsey. After the break Newmarket hit a post with a penalty stroke and on other occasions were unable to find a way past George Baldwin our outstandingly promising young goalkeeper. Magpies ensured victory with an excellent run and finish by Arthur Johnson and a penalty stroke conversion by Luke Edwards.

Earlier and in the dry the Ladies’ 2nds played some of their best hockey of the season in going down 2-1 to league champions Cambridge City 2nds who admitted it was one of their toughest games of the campaign. In a top quality encounter Magpies deservedly took the lead early in the second half through Lottie Summers following a good run and pass by Laura Tibbenham. But City hit back and were level from a penalty corner within two minutes. Magpies then forced two unfruitful penalty corners of their own before City got the winner at another penalty corner with eight minutes left when a draw would have been a fair result. MOTM for Magpies in a fine squad effort was Jess Howland for her strong all-round performance.

In other home games there were losses for the Ladies’ 4ths, Ladies’ 5ths and Men’s 6ths and a walkover win for the Boys’ Development against Norwich Dragons’ ‘B’ who were unable to raise a full team. The Ladies’ 4ths took the lead through Molly Warnes against UEA 2nds before the visitors won the game with two quick goals while the Ladies’ 5ths went down 1-0 to UEA 3rds. The students scored early in the game and their goalkeeper made some good saves in the first half. Treacle Griffin played well for Magpies as did stand-in captain and MOTM Emma Tolhurst. The Men’s 6ths went down 4-1 to an experienced Norwich Exiles. For Magpies Graham Mobbs and Jack Largent had especially good games while their goal came from captain and leading scorer Eric Davy with his fourth of the season. As often happens with the sixth team of six in a club the team has had to cope with many changes and while the team has been relegated this is, frankly, no bad thing. Next season with hopefully a more settled line-up the team should be able to return to winning ways.

THE CLUB HOSTS POOL B OF THE U14 BOYS EAST LEAGUE REGIONAL FINALS ON SUNDAY so it is very best wishes to our team which has reached this stage of the national competition with wins over Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, IES and Norwich City. They play Cambridge City (11.30), Southgate (12.40) and Sevenoaks (1.50). The pool winner goes through to the national finals.

We had eight teams playing away producing wins for the Ladies’ 3rds, Ladies’ 6ths and Girls’ Development, a draw for the Men’s 2nds and defeats for the Ladies’ 1sts, Ladies’ 7ths, Men’s 3rds and Men’s 5ths. The Ladies’ 3rds beat Bury St Edmunds 2nds 2-0 with goals by Helena Knock and Katie Kinsella while the Ladies’ 6ths got back to winning ways beating North Norfolk 2nds 3-1 with Vanessa Vigrass, Annie Lancaster and Lydia Barrett finding the net. The Girls’ Development maintained their fine run and league leadership beating Watton 4-0 with two clinical penalty corner strikes by Anna Cogdell and further goals by Evie Brice and Alyssa Walker. I was a little premature last week in saying victory over Watton would clinch them the league title. They will do so if they beat Norwich Dragons at home this Saturday (10.45) in their last game of the season. The Boys’ Development will make it a very happy double for the club if they beat Norwich City away (5.30).

It was a particularly disappointing weekend for the Men’s 2nds. They went into their double-header requiring four points for safety and emerged with just one. Away to Upminster on Saturday they were 2-1 ahead after goals by Peter Bale and Martin Fields only to concede a penalty corner in the last second of the game. This was changed to a penalty stroke and duly converted. On Sunday at home against Shefford & Sandy (who had surprisingly lost at home the previous day to lowly Cambridge City 3rds allowing them to close within one point of Magpies) they went 2-0 up with goals by Archie Winter. After some splendid saves by goalkeeper Murray Graham S&S converted a penalty corner on the stroke of half time and this changed the momentum of the game. S&S then went ahead before David Francis made it 3-3 only for S&S to find the winner. This leaves Magpies’ Division One survival very much in the balance and only a win at home this Saturday against league leaders (and certain champions) Wapping 2nds (3.30) is likely to be good enough for them to avoid relegation with four teams going down.

CONGRATULATIONS TO Archie Winter (U18s) and Rose Winter (U16s) on being selected to represent England against Holland over Easter. This will be Archie’s international debut while Rose played for her country last season. Congratulations also to Matt Brand and Jamie Hudson on being selected to play for Norfolk O40s in the regional finals at Lee Valley in two weeks time.

After conceding three goals in the first twenty minutes to lose 3-0 against second-placed Sevenoaks the Ladies’ 1sts (who gave promising debuts to Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt) will hope to finish their season on a high when they host St Albans this Saturday (2.00). A point will ensure them of fourth place in their league while a defeat would see them overtaken by St Albans and possibly Cambridge City. Meanwhile Wimbledon seem certain to win the league title as they only need a point away to Northampton Saints who have failed to register a point since the opening day of the season.

The Ladies’ 7ths went down 5-0 to Norwich Dragons 7ths while the Men’s 3rds failed to score for the first time this season losing 3-0 to fellow promotion hopefuls Bury St Edmunds. Magpies are at home to free-scoring Newmarket on Saturday (1.45), the third team left with a chance of one of the two promotion spots. Even if they lose Matt Brand and his team will still have two other games in which to secure the three points which could secure them promotion although a heavy defeat by Newmarket would bring goal difference into the calculation. Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths lost 3-1 to an experienced Bury St Edmunds 4ths. There were some good performances by the Magpies’ youngsters including James Harvey (in goal), Louis Calvert, Hugo Thomas and Jake and Tom Caston. Chris Hall was on target for the team in the second half.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend. For most of our league teams it will be the end of yet another season. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 14 March 2017


Ladies’ O35s after their 2-1 away win over Jersey Back row L-R. Shirley McAllen (manager), Laura Betts, Kath Johnson, Charlotte Rourke-Beasley, Anouska Stott, Charlie Harrison, Karen Fletcher, Treacle Griffin, Rachel Goodson Front row L-R. Lucy Field, Plum Sweet, Debbie Francis, Louisa Greenacre, Jose Tibbenham, Becky Baker, Angie Wheelhouse. – Photo courtesy of Sue Sweet

Despite what the Men’s 1sts will say after their 3-1 win over bottom placed Cambridge City 2nds there is only one place to start this week and that is with the Ladies’ O35s trip to Jersey last Sunday and their splendid 2-1 win over Jersey in the semi-final of the England Hockey Trophy. The squad of sixteen, with one hanger-on, stayed overnight on Saturday near Gatwick in readiness for their 7.45am flight to Jersey. All was proceeding nicely until we discovered the check-in procedure could not cope with our group booking. So we were asked to wait at the stand-by desk. Would we be going after all? Would the system be able to cope with the team’s bags? Not too well as we later discovered with one bag never arriving. Fortunately it didn’t contain vital playing gear. When we eventually got on board one irate passenger blamed us for being late! As we approached Jersey the captain announced dense fog over the airport (we later learned that all flights in and out had been cancelled for two days earlier in the week) and the plane would have to circle for a while. He said he had plenty of fuel to do so. Luckily a break in the fog allowed him to land the plane seconds before the fog rolled in again restricting visibility to some forty yards. Welcome to sunny Jersey! (In fairness the weather had been glorious on Saturday). At least we were there. Would we be able to return to Gatwick in the middle of the afternoon? In the event the fog dispersed and did not return so all was well and we were back at Gatwick by 4.30pm.

With this win the squad is through to the final of the England Hockey Trophy and on Sunday 30 April will play Timperley at the Lee Valley Sports Centre in the Olympic Park. Magpies dominated much of the game but found the Jersey goalkeeper in outstanding form. Angie Wheelhouse put Magpies ahead five minutes before half time and early in the second half Anouska Stott increased their lead. Jersey hit back with a penalty corner conversion before Magpies were again thwarted on several occasions by the Jersey goalkeeper. Please see the club’s website for a more detailed report. Finally, it is a big ‘thank you’ to Jose Tibbenham and Louisa Greenacre for all their hard work in arranging this fixture by way of contact with the Jersey HC, hotel and car park bookings, flight bookings (kindly paid by Jersey for the squad) as well as making all the team arrangements.

Meanwhile the Men’s O50s were beaten at home 4-1 by Reading in the semi-final of the England Hockey Cup. Fielding several former full internationals Reading were the younger and clearly the better side and they scored two goals in each half before Jon Wells scored a consolation for Magpies. This defeat should take nothing away from Magpies who have once again had a good run in this event under team manager Peter Dolton. Reading, who beat Magpies in the 2015 final, now play Ben Rhydding.

Saturday 25 March 2017 7.30 – 11.30pm Wortwell Community Centre IP20 0HS
Hot buffet, music, presentations. Please come with your team-mates.
For tickets (£20 each or £18 each for groups of 5 to 15 (subject to limited availability)) please go to

The Girls’ Development got the ball rolling at Weybread on Saturday when they beat Yarmouth 3-0 with early goals by Evie Brice and Anna Cogdell before Kiera Wheeler made the game safe in the last quarter of the game. If they beat Watton away on Saturday (10.00) Magpies will clinch the league title. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development drew 0-0 with close league rivals Norwich Dragons ‘A’ and the game was much more exciting than the score might suggest. Thanks are due to umpires Lauren Barber and Seth Read for controlling a tense fixture. This Saturday Magpies play Dragons ‘B’ at home (10.45) and they will also need to beat Norwich City seven days later to win the league title from Dragons ‘A’ and even then it might come down to goal difference.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 3rds and they made heavy weather of beating Colchester 2nds 1-0 but their goal when it came was a good one. With ten minutes to go Phoebe Preece brought the ball out of defence before switching it left to Mia King who then drew the defence before passing to the impressive Amy de Selincourt who made no mistake. Over on the other pitch the Men’s 5ths were unlucky to find themselves 2-0 down at half time against UEA 3rds. They fought back well with goals by Jake Caston and Gus Wilkinson with the assistance of the hardworking Andy Caston before the students took charge once again. There was a promising first men’s game for Archie Derbyshire.

Next into action on the sand-based were the Men’s 3rds and they ran out 4-1 winners over North Norfolk with their goals coming from Iain Cumming (2), Gavin Cole with his 24th of the season and Greg Jagger. Matt Brand and his team remain top of their league and with four matches to go are well placed for promotion but over the next two weeks they play second placed Bury St Edmunds (this Saturday away at 12.00) and third-placed Newmarket at home the following week.

The Ladies’ 1sts hosted league leaders Wimbledon, who were without Olympic Gold Medallist Crista Cullen, but included out-on-loan Magpies Cherry Seaborn and Lizzie Jones. This was one of the games of the season during which both teams played some exciting and flowing hockey. Wimbledon eventually took charge of the game with goals in the 39th and 44th minutes before Magpies pulled one back with Lauren Barber firing in a penalty corner. Magpies pressed for the equaliser before Wimbledon made the game safe with their third with eight minutes to go. After successive defeats Magpies will look to get back to winning ways when they visit second placed Sevenoaks on Saturday (12.00).

The Ladies’ 7ths completed the double over Norwich Dragons 8ths winning 2-0 with goals by Georgia Hood, after good work by Evie Rogers, while their second came at a penalty corner when Jo Meyer and Jane Collins combined for the latter to smash the ball into the net.

The final game of the day at Weybread was by far the most disappointing for the club with the Men’s 2nds who badly needing to beat fellow strugglers Norwich City 2nds could only draw 2-2. When Martin Fields put them ahead in the fifteenth minute all was going to plan but City were level within sixty seconds when Magpies failed to clear their lines. Magpies then missed a penalty stroke. City were the better team in the second half and they took the lead. With time running out Magpies produced their best move of the game with Tom Hughes finding the equaliser which virtually condemned City to relegation as the team said after the game. This weekend the Men’s 2nds have a double-header playing Upminster away on Saturday (1.00) and Shefford & Sandy at home on Sunday (2.00). Three points from these two games could well mean survival.

Away from home there were wins for the Men’s 1sts, Men’s 4ths and Ladies’ 2nds but defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths, Ladies’ 5ths, Ladies’ 6ths and Men’s 6ths.

After a draw and a defeat the Men’s 1sts played well in beating Cambridge City 2nds 3-1 with goals by Simon Hipwell (his first of the season), Sam Paterson with a penalty stroke and in the last seconds of the game by Matt Bensly with his first for the team after more good work by the in-form Simon. This Saturday the team are at home to Saffron Walden (2.00). The Men’s 4ths beat Felixstowe 3-2 with two goals by the impressive Ben Kilburn with the equally promising Alex Kilbourn getting the third with his 18th strike of the season. The Ladies’ 2nds beat Lowestoft 1-0 and from all accounts it was not a game for the purists but ‘a win is a win’ and the team’s fourth in succession with Alice Woollatt finding the vital goal.

The Ladies’ 4ths were 2-0 down at half time to Dereham 3rds but during the break they made some tactical changes and with communications much improved pulled level with goals by Helena Knock and Georgie Cantrell before Dereham found the winner. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 5ths were giving Dereham 4ths a three-goal start. Jose Tibbenham then scored twice after the interval before Dereham scored again. Jose then completed a proper hat-trick (three in a row!) and the game continued to be an end to end affair with Dereham restoring their two-goal advantage. Janna Freeman then scored for Magpies who were unable to convert three penalty corner chances in the last two minutes leaving Dereham 5-4 winners.

The Ladies’ 6ths went down 2-0 to Herlings while the Men’s 6ths went down 8-2 to champions Ipswich 3rds. Eric Davy is very grateful to Graham Mobbs, George Baldwin and Max Warde-Aldam for doubling up. Graham had earlier played for the Development and Max and goalkeeper George had played against each other in a school match. George was MOTM with the best performance seen by Eric this season. Meanwhile Lewis Belsey scored twice for the 6ths. I would never have heard the end of it had I omitted his name!

Finally please see the website for a report of the U16 Girls in the Midlands Regional Finals. They won one game, drew one and lost one with hosts Stourport going forward to the national finals.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including those in the Alex Hill Memorial Minis at Dereham on Sunday. Alex was a very promising young man in every respect but his life was cut tragically short in a car accident. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 7 March 2017


I am very pleased to start this week’s column with a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported last Saturday’s auction by donating lots, attending, making bids either successful or unsuccessful, helping to run the event on the night including, of course, our splendid auctioneers Nick Durrant and Robbie Kinsella. They helped to make it a really enjoyable evening for the one hundred members and supporters who attended.

I also thank Adam Patterson, Agricultural Manager of Barclays Eastern Agricultural Team, for the £1000 matched funding donation from his company. Including this much appreciated donation and other income we raised the splendid sum of £6000! Please click here to see how much each of the 67 Lots raised.

We also had a lot of hockey to enjoy both on Saturday and Sunday while Sunday might be remembered just as much for the wet and windy weather which plagued the Norfolk Minis in Kings Lynn and the Magpies Minis in Weybread. The bad weather was not confined to Norfolk as the Men’s O40s encountered considerable rain to and from Canterbury.

We had to wait until the last game of the day at Weybread for the top performance by a home team when the Men’s 4ths beat Ipswich Cranes 8-1. The team started slowly and were only one goal ahead at half time with joint MOTM Arthur Johnson combining for fellow joint MOTM Alex Kilbourn to score with ease. Early in the second half Kieran Peters, Morgan Manly and Arthur helped Alex to complete his hat-trick before Cranes pulled a goal make after a mazy run and good finish by one of their forwards. Magpies continued to press forward with Oli Clarke and Harry Haigh prominent and further goals flowed from Arthur (3), Alex (taking his tally to 4) and in the final minute from Kieran from a pass by Mr Peters senior. It was good to see Jordan Wiseman back in goal.

The midday game saw the Ladies’ 2nds beat Bury St Edmunds 2-0 with goals at penalty corners by Kath Johnson and Laura Tibbenham but there should have been many more goals as at times the game resembled one long penalty corner as Magpies won at least 30 in the game! As coach Sam Tea said later they have something to work on in training this week!

Next up were the Men’s 1sts against league leaders Old Loughtonians and within fifteen minutes we were three goals down and heading for an embarrassing defeat. But to their credit the team responded well with James Baker pulling a goal back and then hitting the bar from a narrow angle just before half time. Magpies continued to play some excellent hockey after the break and with the OLs getting rattled captain Leigh Sitch converted a penalty corner to make it just 3-2 to the visitors. With five minutes to go Magpies equalised to the cheers of their supporters. A few seconds later the umpires conferred (always a bad sign for one of the teams) and the goal was ruled out – the same happened to the OLs in the first half – meaning that Magpies had missed out on a deserved point in player-manager Ben Wright’s last game before his move to Australia. This coming Saturday Magpies are away to Cambridge City 2nds (3.00).

Saturday 25 March 2017 7.30 – 11.30pm Wortwell Community Centre IP20 0HS
Hot buffet, music, presentations. Please come with your team-mates. For tickets (£20 each or £18 each for groups of 5 to 15 (subject to limited availability)) please go to The system is easy to operate as I found when I bought my ticket.

In other home games the Ladies’ 4ths lost 6-1 (Imi Meynell-Anderson) to Norwich City 2nds; the Men’s 6ths went down 5-0 to Bury St Edmunds 5ths while the Ladies’ 6ths were beaten 4-1 by Norwich City 5ths. Magpies had 16 players for this match in which City started well in contrast to Magpies who improved as the game progressed. Victoria Spouncer and Vanessa Vigrass were joint MOTM while Vanessa got the goal.

Away from home the outstanding result was achieved by the Men’s 3rds who beat Sudbury 2nds 9-4 (6-1 at HT) despite seven players (!) being unavailable from the 11-0 home win the previous week. As captain Matt Brand told me he was lucky that former regular Nick Whitehead was available for a rare outing as was Stuart Field from his usual Saturday teaching commitments. Between them they scored five goals (with four from Nick) with the others coming from Jamie Hudson (with his first two goals for the team) with another two from Tom Norton.

The Men’s 2nds, Ladies’ 5ths and Girls’ Development also won beating, respectively, City of Peterborough 3rds 4-3, Beccles 3-1 and Pelicans 6-0. It was a must-win for the Men’s 2nds against already relegated C of P but they made hard work of it letting slip a 3-0 lead given them by Jake Sewell and captain Lawrence Baynes (with their first goals of the season) before Tristan Baynes added the third. Fortunately Tristan was in good flicking form and he got the winner with his nineteenth goal of the season. This Saturday the team has another vital game at home to Norwich City 2nds (3.30). Meanwhile the Ladies’ 5ths and Beccles decided the pitch at Loddon was safe to play on despite a lot of standing water. Their goals came in the first half through Fiona Brice, Janna Freeman and Jose Tibbenham with Beccles getting a consolation midway through the second half. The team was pleased to welcome back Becky Baker (formerly Lee-Smith). The goals for the Girls’ Development were scored by Olivia Lapage, Hannah Gartland, Beth Gardens (2) and Evie Brice (2).

There were away defeats for the Ladies’ 1sts, Ladies’ 3rds and Men’s 5ths. The Ladies’ 1sts lost for only the third time this season going down 2-1 (Maria Andrews) to Cambridge City while the Ladies’ 3rds, with just ten players after a late call off due to illness, did well to hold league leaders UEA to 2-0 while the Men’s 5ths went down 5-1 (Jon Wells) to Watton. This Saturday the Ladies’ 1sts host league leaders Wimbledon (2.00) who include out-on-loan Magpie Cherry Seaborn and Olympic gold medallist and penalty corner specialist Crista Cullen.

The Men’s O40’s are out of the England Hockey Cup after going down 3-1 away to a strong Canterbury side in their semi-final clash last Sunday. Canterbury dominated the early stages but failed to take the lead due to some glaring misses, some good saves by Murray Graham in the Magpies’ goal (including one remarkable point blank stop) and stout defending by the Magpies’ defence in which Jamie Hudson was outstanding. Magpies, who were missing captain Tristan Baynes due to a family illness, hit back and took the lead through Bill Williams. They went close to increasing their lead early in the second half before Canterbury made their pressure pay with a strike from the edge of the circle. They then took the lead from close range before ensuring a deserved victory with a penalty corner conversion. Canterbury play Isca in the final. Our team can be proud of the way they have played in their debut season in the competition.

The Mixed team are now into the 4th round of the EH Trophy after their 4-1 away win over Letchworth. For the second game running all our goals were scored by ladies, namely this time by Maria Andrews (2) and Laura Tibbenham (2). I have it on good authority that the men do all the hard work leaving the tap-ins and the resulting glory to the ladies!

We have two further teams in EH semi-finals this weekend. The Ladies’ 035’s are off to Jersey from Gatwick on Sunday morning to play Jersey HC (11.30) in the EH Trophy. Let’s hope the plane isn’t delayed! So far in the competition they have beaten Norwich Dragons 4-0, Bury St Edmunds 4-1 and Teddington 5-0. Two hours later the Men’s O50’s will be hosting Reading who beat them in the final two years ago so they are in for a very tough game. To reach this far they have beaten Bury St Edmunds (on strokes after a 3-3 draw), Ipswich 3-1, City of Peterborough 3-1 and Cambridge City (w/o).

Last and certainly not least it is congratulations to all players, event organisers, team officials, umpires and spectators for battling the wind and rain in the Norfolk and Magpies Minis last Sunday. Well done to all our teams with the U10 and U12 Girls winning through from the Norfolk Minis to the East finals to be held at Weybread over the weekend of 8/9 April. Please see the website for match reports.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including the U16 Girls in the Midlands League finals at Stourport HC. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 28 February 2017

Ben Wright


This Saturday at home to league leaders Old Loughtonians (2.00) Men’s 1st team player-coach Ben Wright plays his last game for the club before taking up his playing and coaching role with Old Aquinians HC in Perth, WA and I know he goes with the best wishes of all members and supporters of the club. This is a wonderful opportunity for Ben to further develop his hockey career. His departure also, of course, leaves a huge gap for the club to fill bearing in mind that Ben is by far and away the team’s leading goal scorer. His worth to the team was again demonstrated last Saturday when he scored both goals in the away 2-2 draw with Cambridge University (taking his total for the season to 28 and his career total to 96) and needless to say his coaching will also be much missed.

The club now has the task of replacing Ben as coach or as player-coach, starting in July, and the position is being widely advertised including via England Hockey, Active Norfolk, Norfolk Hockey and The Hockey Paper. Informal enquires are very welcome and should be directed to coaching manager Peter Dolton on 07773 069327 or via   with applications by letter and/or CV by email to Peter by 31 March 2017.

AUCTION OF PROMISES – the excitement continues to grow!
THIS SATURDAY 4 March 2017 – Clubhouse 7.00pm with auction to commence at 7.30pm
£5 entry to include glass of wine on arrival (or soft drink), nibbles and entry to raffle.
We need your support – please come; payment on the door. 
Please click here for the 65 Lots.
f you would kindly like to make a ‘postal’ bid please send to me at

Saturday 25 March 2017 7.30 – 11.30pm
Wortwell Community Centre IP20 0HS
Hot buffet, music, presentations.
Please come with your team-mates.
For tickets (£20 each or £18 each for groups of 5 to 15 (subject to limited availability)) please go to

The first three results at Weybread on Saturday were 1-1 draws for the Ladies’ 5ths, Girls’ Development and Ladies’ 3rds and after narrow defeats for the Men’s 5ths, Ladies’ 7ths and Men’s 2nds we had to wait until the last game of the day for a home victory. But when it came it was a splendid 11-0 effort by league leaders Men’s 3rds over Pelicans 2nds. After the frustration of their run of 18 home wins coming to an end the previous Saturday captain Matt Brand and his team were keen to get back to winning ways. They were 4-0 up at half time through Gavin Cole, Phil Cobbald (pc), Greg Jagger and Matt (pc). After the break Gavin got a hat-trick with typical tap-ins at the left post before Tom Norton fired in the best goal of all with a shot into the top left. Adam Lascelles then got in on the act with a brace before Gavin got his fifth taking his total to the season to 23. Meanwhile Pelicans were playing far better than the final score might suggest.

Jose Tibbenham put the 5ths ahead against Broadland 2nds early in the second half before a firmly struck ball into the home circle was touched high into the net much to the astonishment and delight of Broadland forward for the equaliser. Meanwhile league leaders Girls’ Development battled to a very good point against Norwich City with Keira Wheeler getting their late goal from a pass by Jess Tarrant.

Next into action were the 3rds against Christchurch and it was a game of injuries with the worst suffered by captain Sarah Legg early in the game when her firmly hit penalty corner strike rebounded off a defender’s foot and hit her in the forehead and later in the game when Charlotte Rourke-Beasley took a nasty blow to her face. This meant Magpies were now down to ten players and Christchurch took advantage to score a well taken breakaway equaliser. Charlotte had put Magpies ahead in the first half when at a well worked penalty corner she took a return pass from Amy de Selincourt before thumping the ball into the net. For Magpies Sophie Child and Phoebe Preece were prominent with some strong attacking down the right and Rhe Lascelles hit the bar in the second half.

The Men’s 5ths equalised against Dereham 3rds when Hugo Thomas went down the right before skilfully creating a chance for Chris Hall to sweep the ball into the net but the team was unable to find a second after the visitors had retaken the lead. The Ladies’ 7ths had the luxury of a squad of fifteen players and they did extremely well to hold league leaders Broadland 3rds to 2-1 with their goal coming from Lizzie Adcock. As for the Men’s 2nds it was a case of what could have been before they went down 4-3 to second placed Bourne Deeping. They were twice two goals ahead through strikes by Martin Fields, James Osborn and Duncan Steven before the visitors made it 3-3 at half time. The home defence looked more secure in the second half before Bourne Deeping got their winner in a late goalmouth scramble. A draw would have been a fair result but as we all know sport doesn’t work like that.

Away from home there were wins for the Ladies’ 2nds, Ladies’ 6ths and Boys’ Development, draws for the Ladies’ 1sts, Men’s 1sts (as mentioned above) and defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths, Men’s 4ths and Men’s 6ths.

The Ladies’ 2nds beat Cambridge University 2nds 2-0 with their goals coming in the first half through Anna Tighe and Laura Tibbenham. This was Laura’s 15th league goal of the season (she also has two for the Mixed) one behind mother Jose in their family competition! Anna and Lucy Field were Joint MOTM with the team’s loyal supporters kindly looking after Lucy’s young son Ziggy allowing her to play. This coming Saturday the team is at home to Bury St Edmunds (12.00). The Ladies’ 6ths dominated the bulk of the game against Breckland winning 3-2 with goals by Honey Lamdin, Izzy Slade and Ellen Pope. With three minutes to go Louise Davy was injured in a collision while clearing the ball from her circle and was taken to hospital for X-rays on her neck. Fortunately she has suffered no serious damage and should be fit to play again after a few days of prescribed rest.

The Boys’ Development beat Dereham 8-0 with their goals coming from Ben Emms (2), Ed Brice (2), Ben Waters, Joe Wicks, Ollie Currie and Freddie Herschel-Shorland. Elliott Chapman played well in goal while Sam Emms was outstanding in defence with his well-timed tackling. The team is without a game this weekend prior to their vital game home clash with Norwich Dragons ‘A’ on Saturday week which will almost certainly decide the league title. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 1sts drew 2-2 away to Southgate with goals by Maria Andrews (her 14th of the season) and Abby Gooderham and this Saturday they are away to Cambridge City (12.30) who scored a shock win last Sunday against league leaders Wimbledon. The Ladies’ 4ths, for whom Alice Evans-Hendrick was making her debut and Lottie Nickson was making a welcome return after being away for five years, went down 7-1 to a strong Broadland team. Magpies’ consolation goal was from a fine strike by Harriett Celerier. Alex Kilbourn converted a first half penalty stroke for the Men’s 4ths who went on to lose 3-1 to Bury St Edmunds 3rds in a game in which they failed to turn their pressure into goals. Finally the Men’s 6ths went down 5-0 to a strong Bury St Edmunds 4ths with four of the home team’s goals tantalisingly finding the net just inside the posts so goalkeeper and captain Eric Davy tells me! Eric is grateful to Arthur Johnson and Harry Haigh who doubled up having already played for the 4ths.

Last Sunday the Ladies’ O35s reached the semi-finals (away to Jersey on Sunday 12 March!) of the EH Trophy beating Teddington at home 5-0 with their goals in an excellent performance coming from Anouska Stott (with 3 taking her total to 8 in four games), Kath Johnson and Angie Wheelhouse.

Are you interested? For full details please see under RECENT POSTS on the club’s website.

This Sunday it is best wishes to our U10 and U12 Boys’ and Girls’ ‘A’ teams in the Norfolk Minis at Pelicans HC and it is to be hoped they qualify for the East Finals to be hosted by the club over the weekend of Saturday 8 April (U10 Girls & U12 Boys) and 9 April (U10 Boys and U12 Girls) . Meanwhile the club is hosting a tournament for ‘B’ teams this Sunday following the informal ‘warm up’ tournament last Sunday. Please see the website for the brief report together with a plea from James Smith and Nick McAllen for help in running this Sunday’s tournament at Weybread.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including on Sunday the Men’s O40s away to Canterbury (2.30) in the semi-finals of the EH Cup. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

FINALLY a plea for help from Steve Halliley  . His garden fence was damaged by Storm Doris. If you mend fences or know of anyone who could help Steve would you please contact him.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 21 February 2017


With the exception of the two 1st teams it was ‘catch-up Saturday’ for 10 of our teams at the weekend following the postponements in January due to frost and what a day it turned out to be for the club with eight wins, two draws and just two defeats and one of those to another club team. No wonder the clubhouse was ‘buzzing’ (as umpire Rod Larwood kindly commented) and as it was again the next day for the ‘thank you’ reception for club helpers.

So where do I start this week? The Men’s 1sts complain I never give them top billing (even when they beat league leaders Old Loughtonians!) so there will be more moaning this week as they miss out again despite their away win over Dereham and with it their first clean sheet of the season. The Ladies’ 5ths and Men’s 2nds both have strong claims after their home wins but for the second week running the accolade goes to the Ladies’ 1sts.

Captain Lucy Belsey and her team were at home to old rivals Chelmsford coached by Glenn Kirkham, one of England and GB’s best ever players, and they included out-on-loan Magpies Molly Redgrove and Hannah de Selincourt. As the previous week Magpies made a strong start but this time missed chances to take an early lead. They continued to look the side more likely to score but it was a relief to the home supporters when Tor Findlay put them ahead approaching half time. Soon after the break Chelmsford equalised when for once the home defence went missing. Magpies responded well to this setback and Maria Andrews put them back in front with one of her trademark reverse stick thunderbolts. Lauren Barber made the game safe for Magpies when she coolly converted a penalty stroke two minutes from time. This was the team’s fourth consecutive win and this coming Saturday they will be hoping to do the double when they travel to play Southgate (12.30). Annie Nunn, who was injured during the indoor season, told me she will not be fit to play again this season which is a big blow to the team.

AUCTION OF PROMISES – the excitement is growing!
Saturday 4 March 2017 – Clubhouse 7.00pm with auction to commence at 7.30pm.
£5 entry to include glass of wine on arrival (or soft drink), nibbles and entry to raffle.
We need your support – please come; payment on the door. 
Please click here for the first 61 Lots now in catalogue order.
f you would kindly like to make a ‘postal’ bid please send to me at

The Ladies’ 5ths beat Reepham 3-1 with all their goals coming from Georgie Gardens. At 2-1 up goalkeeper Gillian Stokes (following her goals in recent weeks for the 6ths) saved a penalty stroke. In the clubhouse Heather Brand said that, unlike her husband Matt, she never gets a mention in this column. So I put that right now by saying that Heather conceded the penalty stroke! In fairness I also have to report that as usual Heather played well and unlike Matt in his game for the 3rds was not invited to take a five-minute breather!

The Men’s 2nds were up against Long Sutton and this was a six-pointer as both teams battle to avoid the four relegation spots. There was not much between the teams although the visitors from Lincolnshire seemed to have the edge and Magpies were indebted to a series of fine saves by goalkeeper Chris Leek. But the battling Magpies were always in the game and to a roar from their supporters Matt Bensly thrashed the ball into the net with fifteen minutes remaining in the second half for the only goal of the game. This Saturday Magpies will need to put in another strong performance to take points off Bourne Deeping (2.00) in the feature game at Weybread.

Are you interested? For full details please see under RECENT POSTS on the club’s website.

The first game of the day was the eagerly awaited return clash of the Men’s 5ths and 6ths with the generally more youthful 5ths winning 4-1. Ben Emms put them ahead before Chris Hall scored probably the luckiest goal of his career. His shot was saved on the line by Ross Carter. The ball then hit the back of goalkeeper and captain Steve Halliley’s stick and rolled slowly back into the goal! But as Chris said if he had not made the shot …..  Joe Walker then reduced the arrears for the 6ths with a fierce hit from the edge of the circle before in the second half, with skipper James Smith off with a hamstring problem, the 5ths added further goals by Ben, with his second, and Jude Pottruff, two of the club’s most promising talents. For the 6ths new member Greg Whitbread was making his very welcome debut.

Next into home action were the Ladies’ 3rds and they never got into top gear in a tight game with Dereham 2nds. The only goal came in the second half when Dereham took advantage of a mistake midway in the home half and with it they inflicted the first defeat on the home team since 5 November. MOTM for Magpies was left defender Amelia Herschel-Shorland. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 7ths, with the luxury of a squad of thirteen players, had a good 1-0 win (Rosemary Turney) over UEA 4ths.

The Men’s 3rds were also at home and after a remarkable run of 18 consecutive home wins stretching back to 7 March 2015 (when they went down 2-1 to Norwich Dragons 2nds) they had to settle for a fair 2-2 draw against IES 3rds. They were twice a goal down with their equalisers coming from Gavin Cole and Jon Aldridge. The last few minutes of the game saw several cards being flourished and Magpies’ second equaliser came when the team was down to nine players. The team has now dropped to second place in their league on goal difference but have two games in hand on leaders Newmarket and one game in hand on Bury St Edmunds who are one point behind.

Away from home there was yet more success for the club with wins for the Men’s 1sts, Ladies’ 2nds, Girls’ Development and a draw for the Men’s 4ths. The Men’s 1sts match against local rivals Dereham was always a potential banana skin for the team but fortunately there was no slip up with their goals coming from Archie Winter and Ben Wright in their 2-0 win with goalkeeper John Livings MOTM. They are away again on Saturday to Cambridge University (1.30). The Ladies’ 2nds needed the boost of a win after two narrow defeats and a draw and it came with a 2-1 win over Norwich Dragons 2nds with Anna Tighe getting both their goals in the first half. MOTM was Kath Johnson. The Girls’ Development beat Watton 3-0 with their goals coming from Hannah Gartland, Anna Cogdell with a superb reverse stick shot into the bottom left (the day after her eleventh birthday) and Olivia Lapage. With a few regular players missing player-manager Sandra Elliner gave promising debuts to Georgia Scott and Evie Nesling. Meanwhile the Men’s 4ths had a hard fought 0-0 draw with a surprisingly strong and experienced IES 4ths. Captain David Blackmore reports that ‘young’ Eric Davy (‘Mr Versatile’) played well in his annual goalkeeping appearance for the team which included another tremendous performance from the youngsters with Seth Read and Max Warde-Aldam in particular playing with strength and confidence. It was also good to welcome back Jack Frere-Smith.

On Sunday 26 February and Sunday 6 March (10.00am – 1.00pm) we are hosting a morning of hockey for our boys and girls U10 and U12 teams. As part of organising these events we are to provide the umpires – a fair trade for not having to travel. Therefore I am looking for some volunteers to lend a hand – do not worry you do not have to be a qualified umpire for this. Our plan is to have a pool of 6 to 8 regular umpires who will partner up with less experienced umpires so you can gain some experience in a very relaxed and friendly environment. If you are able to help please let me know either by email or drop me a text 07800 699074.

Last Sunday at Weybread we witnessed a very special team performance when defending champions Beeston beat our U18 Girls 7-1 in the quarter-finals of the EH Cup. But from 5-0 down at half time our team responded with some good hockey of their own rounded off by Abby Gooderham firing in a penalty corner in spectacular style. Away from home the Mixed team progressed to the third round of the national Trophy (away to Letchworth on Sunday 5 March) beating Bourne Deeping 6-0 with their goals coming from Maria Andrews 3, Lucy Whiting 2 and Lizzie Clymer (where were the men?!) while the U14 Girls qualified for the regional finals drawing 2-2 (Ellen Pope 2) with Pelicans.

With the disappointing withdrawal of Cambridge City from last Sunday’s scheduled quarter-final our Men’s O50s are now through to the semi-finals of the Masters Cup where on Sunday 12 March they are at home to either Jersey or Reading. In the other semi Isca are away to Ben Rhydding.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including on Sunday the Ladies’ O35s who entertain Teddington (2.00) in the quarter-finals of the EH Trophy. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

Finally, the club will be hosting an ‘Introduction to Hockey Coaching’ course at the end of the season run by England Hockey staff coaches. Please see the website for more details.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 14 February 2017


There is as usual a lot to cover this week so here goes and I will try to be a little less wordy than of late! The first thing is to decide who gets top billing and it does not go to the Men’s 1sts although they provided us with a lot of thrills and spills in their 5-5 draw with Letchworth. I’m giving it to the Ladies’ 1sts for their hard fought 2-1 home win over Hampstead and Westminster edging out the Men’s 4ths who had an excellent 2-1 home win over league leaders UEA 2nds.

The Ladies’ 1sts got off to a splendid start scoring quick goals by Maria Andrews (her 12th of the season) and Lizzie Clymer and they continued to play some sparkling hockey and thoroughly deserved their two-goal half time lead. After the break Hampstead and Westminster looked far more dangerous and they reduced the arrears following a poor clearance by the home defence. Thereafter Magpies, for whom Rose Winter was making a well-deserved debut, had to battle hard to retain their lead which they did despite a ‘goal’ for the visitors being ruled out by the umpires (to the delight of the home supporters) after some initial confusion. This coming Saturday Magpies are at home to Chelmsford (2.00).

The Men’s 4ths gave their best performance of the season in terms of consistency over the seventy minutes in beating a skilful and quick UEA 2nds 2-1. They took the lead in the second half when veteran Stuart Peters moved forward to send a crisp shot into the bottom right hand corner. The students equalised with five minutes remaining after some good saves by goalkeeper Murray Graham had kept them out but Magpies were not to be denied and Alex Kilbourn coolly put away a penalty stroke awarded after a well-worked penalty corner. MOTM was Kieran, Mr Peters junior.

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds were playing Colchester and they dominated the first twenty minutes but only had Alice Woollatt’s goal (created by sister Katie) to show for their efforts. Colchester had an outstanding player in their team and it was no surprise that she scored their equaliser. Magpies continued to look for a deserved winner but they failed to recapture their earlier form in an ultimately disappointing 1-1 draw.

The Ladies’ 6ths got the cold Saturday off to a good start with a 3-0 win over Pelicans 3rds. MOTM Beth Moodie put them ahead before captain Gillian Stokes scored for the third week running to her delight and that of the team’s supporters! In a good team performance Lydia Barrett made the game safe with the third goal.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017 – Clubhouse 7.00pm with auction to commence at 7.30pm. £5 entry to include glass of wine on arrival (or soft drink), nibbles and entry to raffle.
We need your support – please come; payment on the door.

Please click here for the first 59 Lots now in catalogue order.
f you would kindly like to make a ‘postal’ bid please send to me at

The Men’s 1sts were 4-2 ahead at half time against Letchworth with two penalty stroke conversions by Ben Wright (taking his total of goals for the season to 25) and goals by Archie Winter and captain Leigh Sitch. Defender Leigh waved to his fans in celebration! A lively Letchworth team hit back after the break when first the home defence failed to clear after a good save by goalkeeper John Livings (who was in top form) to be followed by a shot from the left which was deflected in off a home stick. With five minutes to go Archie looked to have won the game for Magpies with his second goal only for Letchworth to win and convert a penalty stroke. This Saturday Magpies are away to Dereham (1.30).

In the other home game the Men’s 6ths lost 4-0 to North Norfolk 2nds and they were indebted to good displays by defender Peter Finnie (rolling back the years) and goalkeeper Steve Halliley. The team was pleased to welcome new member Ed Overbury.

Away from home there were wins for the Men’s 2nds, Ladies’ 3rds and Ladies’ 4ths with, arguably, the most vital being achieved by the Men’s 2nds who beat fellow strugglers Cambridge City 3rds as both teams fight to avoid relegation. Their goals were scored by Matt Bensly, Tristan Baynes and Robbie Kinsella. Robbie’s clincher was a cracker. He collected a clearance from the goalkeeper before advancing into the circle. He then beat the keeper in the one-on-one before despatching the ball high into the net. I fear we are going to hear a lot from Robbie about this effort! On Saturday the team are at home to Long Sutton (3.30) in another vital clash.

The Ladies’ 3rds beat Ipswich 3rds 3-0. Amy de Selincourt put them ahead in the first half before Georgie Cantrell scored her 34th goal of the season (spread across three teams) with Sophie Meynell-Anderson (who stepped up into the team on the Friday) getting the third. The joint MOTMs were Amelia Herschel-Shorland and Phoebe Eglington. The Ladies’ 4ths beat Norwich Dragons 4ths 4-2. Imi Meynell-Anderson scored the first with an assist by Amy Collison before Harriett Celerier deflected in after good work by Emily Evans and Rachel Goodson. Grace Collison (making her debut for the team) made it 3-0 at half time. In the second half Imi finished off a fine team move before Dragons hit back with two goals. Molly Warnes was MOTM.

The Men’s 5ths lost 2-1 to Norwich Exiles but they had enough chances to be two or three goals ahead at half time instead of one down. Jude Pottruff equalised in the second half before against the run of play Exiles got a lucky break leading to their winner. James Harvey again had a good game in goal for Magpies. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 7ths went down 1-0 to Norwich City 7ths after having most of the play in the first half. City used their superiority in numbers to clinch victory after the break.

The Men’s 3rds are now three games behind schedule as their away game against Ipswich 2nds fell victim to snow but their position at the top of the league was strengthened by second placed Newmarket drawing with bottom placed Sudbury 2nds. This Saturday captain Matt Brand and his team are at home to mid-table IES 3rds (1.45).

magpies men over 40s

Last Sunday the Men’s O40s clinched a place in the semi-finals of the EH Cup (they play Canterbury away on Sunday 5 March) by beating Cambridge City 4-2 away on strokes after a 2-2 draw. After taking an early two-goal lead through Matt Brand and Gavin Cole Magpies had to withstand a strong response by their hosts who scored their second and deserved goal with four minutes to go. But in the penalty stroke decider Matt, Gavin, David Francis and captain Tristan Baynes, with the clincher, were cool personified and with goalkeeper Murray Graham making a vital save Magpies edged through to the delight of their small band of very cold supporters.

There is a lot of hockey to look forward to this weekend and the weather forecast is encouraging as the club catches up with fixtures lost to the frost in January.

In addition the club has five matches on Sunday in England Hockey competitions with three of them at home. At 11.00 the U16 Girls play Pelicans in their Midlands League 1 clash having already clinched their place in the regional finals while at 12.45 the U18 Girls entertain Beeston in the quarter-finals of the EH Cup. So far in the competition the U18 Girls have beaten Old Loughtonians 9-3, Dereham on strokes and Norwich City 15-0. Last but not least we have another quarter-final game with the Men’s O50s hosting Cambridge City in the EH Masters Cup at 2.30.

Away from home the U14 Girls play Pelicans (12.30) looking to clinch a place in the regional finals and the Mixed travel to play Bourne Deeping (12.45) in the second round of the EH Trophy.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

Finally, readers of last week’s Hockey Paper will have been interested to read the views of 1st team captain Lucy Belsey regarding the team’s season to-date. Well spoken Lucy!

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 7 February 2017


Four games played last Sunday in various England Hockey competitions and four good wins for the club – two at home and two away.

The U14 Girls set the ball rolling at a sunny Weybread and they were soon ahead against Norwich Dragons through Georgie Cantrell but it was not until the sixteenth minute did they make their pressure count with another goal scored by Keira Wheeler. Dragons then pulled a goal back but by half time Magpies were 4-1 ahead through Alice Wiseman and Georgie Cantrell’s second. Magpies went on to dominate the second half inspired by Georgie winning 11-1 but to their credit the visitors never let their heads drop in an entertaining game. Second half goals for Magpies were scored by Keira, Tabitha Borrett, Georgie Gardens and Georgie C with another four.

Next into action were the Ladies’ O35s against Bury St Edmunds in their EH 4th Round Trophy match and this was an even more entertaining and much more competitive encounter. Magpies looked the stronger side in the opening minutes but they had to wait until the twenty-third for their goal but when it came it was a cracker: a long ball from defence from Debbie Francis to Anouska Stott who slipped the ball to Lucy Fields who found Angie Wheelhouse to her left and Angie completed the move as of yesteryear. Shortly afterwards Angie set up Anouska for the second and an easy win home win seemed in prospect. But Bury had other ideas and Sharon Holton pulled a goal back early in the second half with a crisp shot from the left. Magpies then survived a penalty corner scare before they were relieved to restore their two-goal lead when Kath Johnson lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper’s head at a penalty corner! Charlie Harrison made it 4-1 to Magpies five minutes from time in a goalmouth scramble.

Away from home the U14 Boys had a tough game against Norwich City winning 4-3 with goals by Jude Pottruff (2), Ben Emms and Ollie Mayhew while the U16 Girls beat Norwich Dragons 4-0 with their goals coming from Martha Lawrence (2), Alice Evans-Hendrick and Amy de Selincourt.

Saturday’s results were mixed but nevertheless there were some encouraging performances.

The two 1st teams were away to sides bottom of their leagues but fortunately there were no slip-ups with the Ladies easing to a 7-1 win against Northampton while the Men won less comfortably 4-3 against Chelmsford. As I was reminded on Sunday the Ladies’ 1sts includes three Laurens, two Lucys and three members who have a twin brother or sister, namely Maria Andrews, Lizzie Clymer and Katherine Ridley. It was Lauren Mickleburgh who scored the first two goals (and her first national league goals) with Lauren Rowe scoring on her debut between two goals by Abby Gooderham. Tor Findlay and Lizzie completed the scoring. The team will not need me to remind them that they face a far bigger challenge this coming Saturday (2.00) when they host Hampstead and Westminster who beat them 4-1 back in October.

Meanwhile Matt Bensly and Vincent Leruth made their debuts for the Men’s 1sts with Vincent scoring twice with their other goals coming from player-coach Ben Wright and Matt (Ricco) Richardson. After the shock defeat by Ipswich this win was heartening despite the team (still missing several regulars) conceding two goals while 4-1 ahead and this Saturday they are at home to Letchworth (3.45).

AUCTION OF PROMISES  Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.00pm – clubhouse)
We have gratefully received a total of 51 ‘Promises’. The target is now a minimum of 60! Please see the club’s website for more information (including the list of ‘Promises’) and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction. Just as important please note your diary regarding date and start time. You will be very welcome at the event to help raise funds for the club.

In other away games there was a win for the Girls’ Development, draws for the Ladies’ 5ths and Ladies’ 7ths and defeats for the Ladies’ 2nds, Men’s 4ths and Men’s 6ths. The Girls’ Development retained top spot in their league with a 4-1 win over Dereham. The scores were level 1-1 at half time with Jessica Menzies converting a penalty corner for Magpies and after the break further goals came from Alyssa Walker, Beth Gardens and Molly Largent.

From what I was told the Ladies’ 2nds were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Bedford 2nds. One member said that Laura Tibbenham hit the post ten times (!) apart from her goal (her fourteenth league goal of the season) but she did go close on several other occasions. This Saturday the team is at home to Colchester (12.00). The Ladies’ 5ths drew 2-2 with Thetford. Janna Freeman put them ahead and after Thetford drew level at a penalty corner Rachel Goodson put Magpies back in the lead before Thetford equalised ten minutes from time with a surprise shot from a narrow angle. Fiona Brice on her debut for the team was MOTM. The Ladies’ 7ths, for whom new member Lizzie Govier-Schaay was making a welcome debut, drew 0-0 with Carrow 2nds while the Men’s 6ths lost heavily to a good UEA 3rds. Captain Eric Davy is grateful to Louis Calvert for stepping down from the 5ths at short notice and for his mother Nicole still kindly looking after the teas for the 5ths.

The Men’s 4ths (with 10 players after a late call-off) lost 3-1 to Norwich City 5ths. James Plested, Tom Goodge and David Cadman played well in defence and Lewis Belsey (making a rare appearance due to work commitments) pulled a goal back in the last minute.


The Boys’ Development got play off to a good start at Weybread with a 4-2 win over Norwich City. Goals by Ed Brice and Ollie Currie had them 2-0 ahead at half time before Ben Emms added a third. City then hit back to make it 3-2 before Sam Emms made the game safe with a typically cool finish.

Next into action were the Men’s 5ths who beat Bury 5ths 2-1 with Boys’ Development manager Mark Emms playing his first ever game. Mark was nervous before his big moment but I put his mind at rest by telling him “If you have the skill and fitness you have nothing to worry about!” Lo and behold after Chris Hall put Magpies ahead (before limping off injured) Mark scored from close range to put his team 2-0 ahead! Luckily for his fitness Mark was not required to play the entire game as Ewie Cumming arrived to play well in midfield. Simon Bardwell (in his own words) was in commanding form at the back (despite Bury scoring in the second half) and without incurring the wrath of the umpires (!) while James Harvey played well in goal. Ben and Sam Emms and Dad all scoring on the same day with Mum Jo watching; well done!

The Ladies’ 3rds and 4ths both drew. Rhe Lascelles put the 3rds ahead against IES with her second goal of the season in the twenty-fifth minute following sustained Magpies pressure but after the break IES got the equaliser their fight back deserved. The Ladies’ 4ths, for whom Emily Woollatt and Molly Warnes were in particularly good form, drew 0-0 with Loddon.

The Ladies’ 6ths went down 2-1 to Yarmouth 2nds. Captain (and often goalkeeper) Gillian Stokes is now on a goal scoring roll with her second in successive weeks and she scored with a reverse stick shot (much to her surprise and pleasure!) before the visitors hit back to snatch victory with their second goal in the final two minutes. Unfortunately both Amelia and Izzy Slade were injured while Verity Tomson was MOTM.

The Men’s 2nds lost 2-0 to Bishops Stortford despite a good performance by Chris Leek in goal but as I have said before this season they played better than this defeat might suggest. It was good to see Martin Fields playing his first home game in nearly two years after illness and he went close to scoring on a number of occasions and it was equally good to see Jake Sewell playing again following his serious thumb fracture early in the season. This Saturday the team is away to Cambridge City 3rds (3.00) and a win is vital in their attempt to avoid relegation.

Last but certainly not least league leaders Men’s 3rds were up against Bury St Edmunds 2nds who took the lead with a class finish high into the net but Phil Cobbald soon thumped in an equaliser at a penalty corner. Shortly afterwards Jack Richards set up Gavin Cole for a typical close range Gavin goal and before half time captain Matt Brand had made it 4-1 with some nifty stickwork before twice firing in from the top of the circle. Magpies had their best spell of the game after the break but could not add to their tally before Bury pulled a goal back. This Saturday the team is away to Ipswich 2nds (10.30).

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the complete list of fixtures including the Men’s O40s away to Cambridge City on Sunday (2.00).

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 31 January 2017


The club’s star player last weekend was undoubtedly 5th team captain (and club treasurer) Jose Tibbenham who not only played for her own team but also played for the 4ths (strictly within the rules) and scored the only goal of each game. She was also the MOTM of each game!

Her first game was for a much-changed 4ths (due to illness) away to Carrow and her goal was created by Immi Meynell-Anderson (as she did the previous week for Anouska Stott’s vital goal) and her second game was at home for the 5ths against Watton 2nds. The goal came late in this game. Ellen Pope played well on her debut for the team while Alice Gooch made some good saves in goal. But even Jose would be hard pressed to double-up this coming Saturday as the 5ths are away to Thetford at 12.00 and the 4ths at home to Loddon at 1.45!

Play got underway on Saturday at a thankfully frost-free Weybread with the Girls’ Development having a fun inter-club game involving twelve girls, three older sisters and seven mums with the mums, split between the teams, playing on the same side as their daughters. A repeat game has been suggested.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 2nds looking to complete the double over fellow promotion hopefuls City of Peterborough who included ex-Magpie Mel Ludlam. Magpies dominated the early stages forcing several penalty corners but Peterborough were first to score following a right wing cross. As the game progressed Magpies deserved to be at least on level terms but they had to wait until ten minutes from the end for their equaliser when leading scorer Laura Tibbenham found the net at the left post. Magpies went looking for a second goal but with a minute to go Peterborough broke away for the winner. This Saturday Magpies are away to Bedford (2.30). Olivia Locke will hopefully be back playing again for the team in three weeks after unfortunately breaking a finger playing for the U18s in the national indoor finals.

Richard Larkin and Mark Wheelhouse (Ipswich)

The Men’s 1sts then took on lowly Ipswich and they were ahead in the opening fifteen seconds (without Ipswich touching the ball) when Richard Larkin scored his first goal for the team from beyond a yard out and for the first time with a hit! Spurred on by ex-Magpies captain Mark Wheelhouse Ipswich were soon looking the better team but despite this Magpies were two up at half time following a penalty corner conversion by Ben Wright. Midway through the second half Ipswich scored three goals in five minutes to turn the game on its head. All three came from penalty corners with the first two fired low and hard inside the left post by Tom Dunnett (another ex-Magpie) and the third touched in at the left post by Josh Cutting. Magpies who were clearly lacking outdoor practice and missing six regulars (including one with a self-inflicted hand accident involving an axe!) responded with a host of penalty corners of their own including one on the final whistle. But Ipswich kept them all out for a deserved win. Magpies’ captain Leigh Sitch was as ever on top form at the back while Chris Leek made some good saves in goal on his outdoor debut. It was also good to see former vice-captain Pete Bale in the team. This Saturday Magpies are away to Chelmsford (2.00) who they beat 9-2 at home in October.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.30pm – clubhouse)
You may have noticed that I have advertised this event before! We have now gratefully received a total of 44 ‘Promises’.
The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction. This is the club’s major fund raising event of the season.

The outstanding home performance came from the Ladies’ 6ths who beat Watton 3rds 6-0. They were three up at half time through a brace from MOTM Vanessa Vigrass and captain Gillian Stokes’ first goal for the club. After the break the team continued to play their best hockey of the season with Vanessa scoring her third and Honey Lamdin adding two further goals in the last ten minutes. The Men’s 6ths lost 3-1 to Sudbury 3rds but the scoreline could have been much different had the team taken their chances after Pete Thornett equalised in the first half from a penalty corner. Murray Graham played well in goal while Graham Mobbs, Jack Largent and Ben Emms also had good games.

Meanwhile Robbie Kinsella was playing for the 4ths – in their 2-0 win over Norwich Dragons 4ths –and bravely so he told me following his recent operation for the removal of kidney stones! Kieran Peters put them ahead with a penalty corner conversion but he was not so accurate with his next shot from near the penalty spot as the ball had to be retrieved from the car park by stand-in (and still injured) manager Bob Skinner! Toby Evers was enjoying a good debut having been welcomed to the club very recently. Alex Kilbourn made the game safe for Magpies, for whom Morgan Manly was in good form as right defender, in the second half with a neat reverse stick shot at a penalty corner. I was admonished by umpire Andy Smith (with a smile on his face?) for telling umpire John Pestell that he should have carded Dragon’s Jon Price for hitting the ball away at an infringement! Jon claims he was innocent!

These have been announced and it is congratulations and best wishes to the following members who have progressed to the Bury St Edmunds centre via their county centres.
U15 Boys – Michael Ahrens, Jude Pottruff, Hugo Thomas.
U15 Girls – Georgie Cantrell, Keisha Hilaire.
U17 Boys – George Baldwin, William Donsworth, Archie Winter.
U17 Girls – Amy de Selincourt, Abby Gooderham, Martha Lawrence, Lauren Rowe, Lottie Summers, Rose Winter.

Away from home there was a mixed bag of results for the club with wins for the Men’s 3rds and Boys’ Development, draws for the Ladies’ 3rds and Men’s 5ths and defeats for the Men’s 2nds and Ladies’ 7ths. The Men’s 3rds retained their league leadership with a 5-1 win over Norwich City 4ths. They were 3-0 up approaching half time through Greg Jagger, Vincent Leruth (looking sharp after his indoor season) and Tom Norton before City pulled a goal back. Chris Flatt on debut for the team in goal was forced into one good save before Vincent and Gavin Cole completed a competent win for a team still rusty after their 8-week break. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development consolidated their league leadership with a 7-0 win over Norwich Dragons ‘B’. Magpies were 6-0 up at half time after which Dragons strengthened their side with another adult and the Magpies manager Mark Emms tested out a few players in new positions. Scorers for Magpies, who gave a promising debut to Bruce Daniels, were Sam Emms 2, Ben Emms, Ben Waters 2 and Ollie Currie 2.

The Ladies 3rds drew 2-2 with North Norfolk. Laura Betts equalised for them in the first half in open play before captain Sarah Legg made it 2-1 to Magpies at a penalty corner. The home team brought the scores level in the second half. With fifteen minutes to go Rachel Baynes took a tumble and very unfortunately has a fractured and dislocated wrist. Best wishes Rachel for a speedy recovery. Next on the pitch at Cromer were the Men’s 5ths who played out a 1-1 draw with North Norfolk 2nds. The home team took the lead four minutes from time before two minutes later Andy Caston was on hand after shots by Jude Pottruff and son Jake were saved. There was still time for Jude to be denied the winner by a good goal line save. Steve Halliley was in outstanding form for Magpies in goal. The Men’s 2nds went down 4-0 to East London on the main Olympic legacy pitch at Lee Valley. In a good spirited game Jonty Herschel-Shorland was on top form while the team was delighted to welcome back Martin Fields after illness. Please see the website for the entertaining report of the game. The Ladies’ 7ths came second to Hornets!

The club is through to the second round of England Hockey’s Mixed Trophy after our team’s excellent 2-1 away win last Sunday over Bedford 2-1 with both goals scored in the first half by Laura Tibbenham.

KATH JOHNSON (England and GB and now HMHC)
In a recent edition of The Hockey Paper Tina Cullen MBE includes Kath in her Dream Team and she says  “Nothing got past Kath, she was an unbelievable tackler. The opposition called her ‘The Wolf’ because they thought she was really scary but she was the nicest person you could ever meet”. Well said Tina.

Saturday 28 January

It is a big ‘thank you’ to Rob Chase, from Adnams, for making
this event so enjoyable with his expert knowledge of wines. It is also a big ‘thank you’ to all who attended and to our hosts
Julian and Philippa Taylor. It was an excellent evening in delightful surroundings.


The club’s bar steward and O50s star Simon Bardwell is providing chilli and rice in the clubhouse for those who wish to watch this game. You will be very welcome – charge £2 on the day.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including on Saturday the Ladies’ 1sts –after their 1-0 (Maria Andrews) warm-up win over St Albans last Sunday – who will be in outdoor league action for the first time since 26 November when they travel to play Northampton Saints. On Sunday the Ladies’ O35s and U14 Girls will be in home action while the U16 Girls and U14 Boys will be playing away. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the complete list of fixtures including times.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 24 January 2017


The club has received a big blow with the news that Nick McAllen is stepping down as Girls’ Development Officer but his decision is understandable. Nick wishes to ease his very considerable club workload.

Youth chairman David Johnson has written a tribute to Nick marking the enormous contribution he has made to the youth side of the club and a copy is on the club’s website. HMHC – Youth Development Officer – Nick McAllen

As supporter, former club chairman and scribe I have appreciated the remarkable day by day, week by week commitment that Nick has made to youth development at the club over the years (to say nothing of his years as Ladies’ 1st team coach and now manager) with the full and active support of his wife Shirley.

Last week it was announced that Ben Wright has resigned as Men’s 1st team player-coach to further his playing and coaching career abroad. He is the sort of player you want on your side with his determination, skill and goal scoring prowess. Hopefully he will be back with us one day. In the meantime I wish him well.

The U18 Girls missed out on progressing from their pool in the national indoor finals at Whitgift School last weekend losing narrowly to Isca 6-4 (Lauren Rowe 2, Tor Findlay 2), Wycombe 3-1 (Lauren) and Beeston 4-1 (Lauren) before beating Brooklands 7-2 (Lauren 2, Sophie Child 2, Tor 2, Anna Tighe). Meanwhile the U18 Boys, as defending champions, did well to progress to the last four of their finals in Telford before losing to 4-2 (Archie Winter, Sam Paterson) to Canterbury. In their pool games they lost 6-1 (Sam) to Surbiton (the eventual champions) before beating Ashmoor 3-2 (Archie 2, Vincent Leruth), Timperley 5-2 (Myles King 2, Jack Hobbs 2, Sam) and Lichfield 5-1 (Myles 2, Sol Barker, Matt Bensly, Sam). Hopefully both squads will have enjoyed the experience of playing in the finals and will benefit from this experience in future indoor competitions. It is a big ‘thank you’ to the coaches and managers respectively of both squads for all their hard work, namely Rob Sorrell and Andrew Woollatt (Girls) and Richard Larkin and Stuart Peters (Boys).

Last weekend the frosty weather again cost us matches with on Saturday those affected being the Men’s 1sts at Peterborough and, at home, the Men’s 3rds (v Norwich Dragons 2nds), Ladies’ 5ths (v Reepham) and Ladies’ 7ths (v UEA 4s). Our thanks go to Tristan Baynes and Kirstin Cumming for their time in assessing the state of the pitches at Weybread, in advising the teams affected and in answering the calls to the clubhouse. Unfortunately the friendly Girls’ U14 Tournament scheduled for Sunday at home and the Mixed game away to Bedford were also called off. We now have a backlog of 16 games. Please see the website for the list which will be updated as new dates are agreed.

While the sand-based pitch was frozen all day the water-based was fit for play by 12 noon and we were able to play the remaining three games – at times in an almost warming sun!

The Men’s 5ths set the ball rolling against Sudbury 3rds who belied their lowly league position by playing extremely well and they took the lead before Jude Pottruff equalised with a piece of individual skill. But by half time Magpies were 3-1 down due to a fine run and shot by an opponent and a piece of sloppy defending. But after the break inspired by captain James Smith, who was in fine form, Magpies dominated play and hit back with Jake Caston scoring from close range before his father Andy got the equaliser with a deft shot. With seconds to go Sudbury broke down the right but from the pass the open goal chance was squandered leaving the final score 3-3.

CONGRATULATIONS and very best wishes to Katrina and Leigh on the birth of twins Archie (5lbs 14ozs) and Oscar (6lbs 12 ozs) on Tuesday 3 January. All four are doing well which is excellent news.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 3rds against high-flying Watton and captain Sarah Legg gave the home team the best possible start when she thumped in a penalty corner. Magpies continued to have the upper hand in a quality match but were unable to get a second goal despite creating several opportunities. Watton looked dangerous on the break and Magpies were obliged to do a considerable amount of defending. With seconds remaining Watton were awarded a penalty corner. Would Magpies now regret their lack of a second goal? No! Holly Riches in the home goal made a fine save to ensure Magpies secured the three points.

Saturday 28 January 7.30pm – Starston Place, Starston, IP20 9PF

Tickets £12.50 from Jackie Ridley (01379 854697 or 07815 199803) or on the door although for catering purposes a call to Jackie before the night would ideally be appreciated. The wine tasting challenge will include the tasting of 8 wines and will be run by a wine expert from Adnams with teams (organised on the night) competing against each other. PLEASE COME!

The next question was with the temperature dropping would the pitch be fit for the 3.30 game between the Ladies’ 4ths and Evergreens and luckily it was. It was good to see Anouska Stott playing her first league game of the season for Magpies and after Evergreens had dominated the opening twenty minutes it was Anouska who put them ahead. Rachel Goodson found Immi Meynell-Anderson down the right and Immi’s centre was converted by Anouska for what turned out to be the only goal of the game. Magpies had to do a lot of defending in the second half to hold on for a good win.

Away from home there was one win, one draw and three defeats for the club. The Boys’ Development pulled off the win of the day beating Norwich Dragons ‘A’ to overtake them at the top of the league on goal difference. After going behind to a scrappy goal James Webster and Ollie Currie had Magpies 2-1 ahead at half time. After the break Ed Brice and Ollie, with his second goal, made it 4-1 to Magpies for whom centre forward Archie Derbyshire was in fine form. Meanwhile the Girls’ Development, without injured player-manager Sandra Elliner, were showing tenacity and determination against an older and equally determined Norwich Dragons in an entertaining 0-0 draw. There were notable performances from Grace Robertson (GK), Anna Cogdell, Alyssa Walker and Ruby Potruff in defence, Jessica Menzies in midfield and Olivia Lapage, Molly Largent and Beth Gardens up front but all 13 girls played well.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.30pm – clubhouse)
I continue to promote this event which I am determined will be a success! We have now gratefully reached a total of 35 ‘Promises’. The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction. This is the club’s major fund raising event of the season.

The Ladies’ 6ths had the longish trip to Holt to play Evergreens 2nds at 10.00am with 10 players and club captain Louisa Greenacre who in the event was not required to umpire! She stayed to give valued advice to the team before going to Weybread to umpire the 3rd team game. Typical commitment from Louisa. Evergreens scored early in the game but thereafter Magpies worked really hard and at times looked the better team without being able to score. In a good team performance Amelia Slade was MOTM while goalkeeper Imogen Flatt made some good saves to keep the score down to a 2-0 loss.

The Men’s 4ths fielded a much changed and promising young squad against Norwich Dragons 3rds and they took a while to settle into the game and an early injury to Rob Neal was a setback. Seth Read playing his first game for the team looked very much at home at left back. Dragons scored two turnover goals while Magpies were unable to pull a goal back despite piling on the pressure including a succession of penalty corners with five minutes to go. Despite defeat captain David Blackmore says this was an encouraging performance by the team boding well for the future. The Men’s 6ths also put in a good all round performance with just 10 players – with David Johnson (the younger) and goalkeeper Steve Halliley outstanding – going down 4-0 to Watton in a good spirited game.

Good luck as always to all our teams this Saturday. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the full list of fixtures which include at home the Men’s 1sts playing Ipswich (2.00), the Ladies’ 2nds taking on fellow promotion hopefuls City of Peterborough (12.00), the Men’s 4ths against Norwich Dragons 4ths (3.30) and an inter-club friendly (including hopefully some Mums!) for the Girls’ Development (10.15).

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 17 January 2017


The indoor season comes to an exciting conclusion this coming weekend when our two U18 teams compete in the national indoor club finals.

The Girls go into their finals at Whitgift School in South Croydon as East champions and in Pool B they play Isca (West 1, 2.45) and Wycombe (South 2, 5.05) on Saturday and Beeston (Midlands 1, 9.35) and Brooklands (North 2, 11.55) on Sunday before, hopefully, the semis and final. In Pool A the teams are Stourport (Midlands 2), Surbiton (South 1), Canterbury (East 2), Taunton Vale (West 2) and Fylde (North 1). Squad – Tor Findlay (captain), Alice Gooch (GK), Katie Crawford, Charlotte Seaman, Lauren Rowe, Alice Woollatt, Anna Tighe, Sophie Child, Olivia Locke, Rob Sorrell (coach), Andrew Woollatt (manager).

The Boys (as East runners-up and defending national champions) travel to the Phoenix Leisure Village in Telford and in Pool A they play Surbiton (South 1, 2.10) and Ashmoor (West 1, 5.40) on Saturday while on Sunday they face Timperley (North 2, 10.10) and Lichfield (Midlands 2, 12.30). Hopefully they will progress into the semis and final. The Pool B teams are Beeston (Midlands 1), Doncaster (North 1), Canterbury (South 2), City of Peterborough (East 1) and Taunton Vale (West 1). Squad – Myles King (captain), Will Graver (GK), Sam Paterson, Jonty Herschel-Shorland, Sol Barker, Matt Bensly, Ben Kilburn, Kieran Peters, Jack Hobbs, Archie Winter, Jolyon Summers, Vincent Leruth, Richard Larkin (coach), Stuart Peters (manager).

The indoor season is over for the Ladies’ 1sts and Men’s 1sts after they battled hard over the weekend (the second of two) in Bristol and Nottingham respectively for the two wins both teams thought they would need from their four games to virtually make sure of retaining their Division One status in the national indoor league. In the event both achieved their target with the Ladies – who were without the injured Annie Nunn while welcoming Lucy Belsey back from her injury – managing to do so with four points. With two wins on Saturday the Men did so more comfortably than the Ladies who after heartaches from letting slip opportunities in their first three games had to beat Surbiton in the very last game of their championship to avoid relegation on goal difference which they did coming from a first minute goal down to win 5-2 with goals by Lauren Rowe (2), Maria Andrews (2) and Sarah Brook.

Earlier in the weekend they had disappointingly lost 3-2 (Lauren R, Maria) to Bristol Firebrands before drawing 5-5 (Sarah 2, Anna Tighe, Maria, Lauren R) having lead 5-2 at half time. In their penultimate game they lost 3-2 (Lauren R, Sarah) to Leicester who got their winner in the last minute after Magpies had recovered from two goals down.

The Men started their weekend with a 6-0 win over Cannock with goals by Ben Wright 3, Richard Larkin, Thomas Ridley, Tristan Baynes and followed up by beating Sheffield Hallam 6-3 (Chris Barber, Jack Knight, Tristan, Ben (2) and Simon Hipwell). On Sunday they lost 11-4 (Chris 2, Richard, Ben) to Brooklands MU before (with their Div 1 status now assured beyond any doubt) they scored a last minute goal to draw 3-3 (Jack 2, Chris) with Beeston to leave them in 6th place in the nine team league on 10 points.

Congratulations to both our squads including, of course, the coaches and managers. Let’s hope the club can build on these successes next season.

Saturday 28 January 7.30pm – Starston Place, Starston, IP20 9PF

Tickets £12.50 (from Jackie Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803 or the clubhouse bar) to include the tasting of 8 wines – plus cheese and biscuits. The wine tasting challenge to be run by a wine expert from Adnams with teams (organised on the night) competing against each other. PLEASE COME!

Only two of our twelve scheduled outdoor league games survived the wintry spell last weekend and both resulted in excellent victories for the club.

The Ladies’ 2nds, after their early start and long trip to Lincoln to play Lindum at 12 noon, were keen to get their 2017 programme off to a good start. They began the game strongly and created some good chances but were unable to find a way passed the in-form Lindum goalkeeper. Without their injured co-captain Plum Sweet Magpies continued to work hard as a team but despite numerous chances for them the game was still goalless going into the closing stages. The elusive goal came when Jess Howland (in her words) “fired in a stormer of a goal with four minutes left on the clock”! Well done to Jess and all members of the team on their best performance of the season. Their game and that of the Men’s 2nds scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed until Saturday 18 February in view of the U18s playing in the national indoor finals.

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 5ths had a shorter distance to travel but they still had to go to the other end of Nelson’s County to take on Pelicans’ 2nds. After their disappointing loss before Christmas to Norwich Dragons 5ths captain Jose Tibbenham and her team needed a good performance to get back to winning ways to maintain their promotion bid and this exactly what they delivered. Molly Warnes, Alice Wiseman and Emily Woollatt were outstanding in a strong defence and this allowed the team to attack from the back creating two first half goals for Jose taking her total to the season to fourteen. Magpies continued to dominate after the break winning 2-0 with a strong team performance. On Saturday third-placed Magpies host fifth-placed Reepham (12.15) who beat them 2-1 early in the season.

CONGRATULATIONS and very best wishes to Annelli Clarke and Simon Bardwell on the birth of their son (8lbs 14 ozs) on Tuesday 10 January. All three are well with the name of the young man yet to be decided.

The Men’s 1sts will need to get back to outdoor mode when they travel to play promotion favourites City of Peterborough on Saturday (NB. 11.30) and they will need a win to retain any realistic promotion prospects of their own. Hopefully their hosts will also be affected by U18 indoor calls!

League leaders Men’s 3rds host Norwich Dragons 2nds (3.15) while the Ladies’ 3rds are at home to table topping Watton (1.45) so both teams should be in for a testing afternoon. The Men’s 4ths will be without Bob Skinner, who unfortunately chipped a bone in his wrist playing for the Men’s O50s against City of Peterborough, when they play Norwich Dragons 3rds (1.30) away while the Ladies’ 4ths will be hoping to complete the double over Evergreens when they entertain them at 3.30.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.30pm – clubhouse)
We have now gratefully received 32 ‘Promises’. The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go to achieve this number. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction. If you are thinking of kindly donating a Lot you might wish to think of gardening, theatre tickets, riding lessons, use of a holiday cottage for a week, lifts to the theatre, use of a caravan, music lessons etc. Or you might have an item for auction. This is the club’s major fund raising event of the season.

The Men’s 5ths are also at home when they play Sudbury 3rds (12.00) who are having a tough season while the Men’s 6ths face a tricky game away to mid-table Watton who beat them 3-2 at Weybread in early October. The Ladies’ 6ths also have a considerable challenge when they travel to play Evergreens 2nds (10.00) who beat them 4-1 earlier in the season while the Ladies’ 7ths are at home to UEA 4ths (10.15) who conceded their first meeting of the season.

The Girls’ Development, and league leaders, are away to third placed Norwich Dragons (2.15) while the Boys’ Development have a vital away test against unbeaten Norwich Dragons ‘A’ (3.45) who are three points above them at the top of their league.

In a very busy weekend for the club the Mixed team starts their bid for the EH Trophy on Sunday with an away game against Bedford (12.30 ) while also on Sunday (10.00 – 2.00) the club hosts a friendly tournament involving Girls’ U14 teams and Girls’ U14 Development teams from Blue Hornets, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge City, Ipswich and Magpies.

Good luck as always to all our teams this weekend.  Please see the Latest News page of the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 10 January 2017


After the first weekend of the national indoor league both our teams have all to play for this coming weekend when they fight to avoid the two relegation places from their respective Division One. At the UWE in Bristol the Ladies’ 1sts finished the first of their two weekends with four points from their four games to sit in sixth place with three teams below them while at Nottingham Trent University the Men’s 1sts finished with three points from their four games to sit in eighth place.

The Ladies will have been disappointed not to have gained more than one point from their games on Saturday going down 5-2 (Sarah Brook 2) to Chelmsford and drawing 4-4 (Sarah 2, Annie Nunn, Lauren Rowe) with Ipswich before on Sunday gaining a splendid 6-3 win (Anna Tighe 2, Sarah, Maria Andrews 2, Lauren R) over Brooklands Poynton. They then lost 5-3 (Lauren R, Maria, Sarah) to league leaders Clifton Robinsons for whom out-on-loan Magpies Hannah Coulson and Jess Bloom were playing. This coming weekend Magpies play Bristol Firebrands and St Albans on Saturday and Leicester and Surbiton on Sunday looking for a couple of wins to retain their Division One status for next season.

Ladies 1 v Chelmsford 07/01/2017

The Men got off to a bad start losing 11-3 (Ben Wright 3) against  West Herts on Saturday before they had a superb 7-5 win (Ben 2, Thomas Ridley 2, Tom Hughes, Chris Barber 2) over Southgate. The scores were level at 4-4 after 32 minutes before Magpies pulled away with three goals in five minutes. On Sunday they went down 4-3 (Chris 2, Thomas) to St Albans after twice being in the lead before St Albans hit back with three goals. Magpies then reduced the arrears but were unable to find another goal against their East Premier ‘A’ rivals. In their last match they were up against a star-studded Holcombe team going down 12-1 (Ben). This all leaves Magpies with the demanding task of needing the minimum of two wins from their four games this weekend. On Saturday they play Cannock and Sheffield Hallam while on Sunday they take on Brooklands MU and Beeston.

Saturday 28 January 7.30pm – Starston Place, Starston, IP20 9PF

Tickets £12.50 (from Jackie Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803 or the clubhouse bar) to include the tasting of 8 wines – plus cheese and biscuits. The wine tasting challenge to be run by a wine expert from Adnams with teams (organised on the night) competing against each other. PLEASE COME!

Meanwhile at an overcast Weybread we had four Norfolk league games to watch before the East leagues resume this coming Saturday after the Christmas/New Year break. Three of the games were against Norwich Dragons and they didn’t go well for Magpies with defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths and 6ths to get the club’s second half of the outdoor season off to a disappointing start.

All three games followed a similar pattern with the Magpies’ teams having plenty of possession without creating gilt-edged chances while the Dragons’ teams were clinical in front of goal. The Ladies’ 4ths started well against Dragons 3rds, who had ex-Magpies’ club captain Kristina Smyth in goal, and a win looked a distinct possibility in the early stages but they were unable to put away several penalty corners. In contrast Dragons converted their first chance before going on to complete a comfortable 4-0 win. This Saturday Magpies are away to Norwich Dragons 4ths (10.30). The Ladies’ 5ths conceded a first half goal against Dragons 5ths before Janna Freeman made it 1-1 at half time with her ninth goal of the season. After the break Dragons went into a 3-1 lead before in the last few minutes Amy Collison rounded-off an impressive personal performance when she converted in a goalmouth scramble. The final whistle came with the team looking for the equaliser. Hopefully they will be return from Pelicans 2nds (1.45) this Saturday with the three points.

The Ladies’ 6ths were next into action against Dragons 6ths and they included four members making their debuts in ladies hockey after reaching the age of 13 in December. They were Ellen Pope, Holly Hanrahan, Honey Lamdin and Victoria Spouncer and all did well against a strong Dragons team who scored early in the first half. Magpies responded having a considerable amount of play in the Dragon’s half but they found the visitors’ goalkeeper in good form while at the other end Imogen Flatt was having a splendid game in goal for Magpies. Dragons eventually went on to win 3-0. Players of the Match for Magpies, who are at home to Pelicans 3rds this Saturday (1.45), were Verity Tomson and Ellen Pope.

One can normally rely on the Girls’ Development, under player-manager Sandra Elliner, for a win and last Saturday was no exception despite the team going a rare goal down (only their third conceded all season) to Yarmouth. After their slow start Magpies, who were all aged between 9 and 12, came into the game and Jessica Tarrant equalised in open play before half time. Their deserved winner came when Jessica crossed from the right and the ball was deflected into the goal off two defenders. Magpies continue to lead their league three points ahead of Norwich City and this Saturday they are away to Watton (10.00).

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary and please excuse me going on about this event! We have now gratefully received 28 ‘Promises’. The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go to achieve this number. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction.

The resumption of the East leagues feature some vital games for Magpies with none more important than those involving our 2nd teams. The Ladies’ 2nds have their longest trip of the season when they travel to Lincoln to play Lindum and they will be looking to get back to winning ways in pursuit of promotion after their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Dereham before Christmas. They drew 1-1 with Lindum early in the season before embarking on their fine run with 22 points from their next eight games.

Meanwhile the Men’s 2nds, who are battling to avoid relegation, will be encouraged by their 4-1 win over Blueharts 2nds as they entertain joint league leaders Shefford & Sandy (2.00) who have done extremely well following their promotion. When the teams met earlier in the season the Bedfordshire side won 5-3 but with a little luck Magpies could have come away with at least a point.

The Ladies’ 3rds, who have taken nineteen points from their last eight games, host Dereham 2nds (12.00) who are just one point behind them in 6th place and both teams are still in with a chance of promotion.

The Men’s 3rds still lead their league despite dropping five points in their last two games so they will be keen to take the three points from their home game against IES 3rds (3.30) while the Men’s 4ths travel to play IES 4ths (1.00) looking to boost their promotion hopes in a very open league. Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths entertain Magpies 6ths (12.15) and when the teams met early in the season it was a very exciting affair. Archie Derbyshire opened the scoring for the 6ths with Arthur Johnson and Ben Emms replying for the 5ths. Richard Allcock then equalised for the 6ths before Andy Caston twice scored for the 5ths both side of a response by Fabien Mitchell to clinch a 4-3 win for his team. Let’s hope for similar fare on Saturday!

The Ladies’ 7ths get their post-Christmas/New Year programme underway when they play Norwich City 7ths away with a late start of 4.45.

The fortunes of our team in the second half of the season (especially the Men’s teams) will depend on the availability of players. It is hoped that those with school commitments will make themselves available whenever possible.

The Boys’ Development are without a game this Saturday but as last weekend (when Dereham called off) a training game is planned for 10.45 at Weybread.

Good luck as always to all our teams this weekend. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham


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MIKE’S MUSINGS – 3 January 2017


I wish readers and their families (and by association all our sponsors, teams and club officials) the very best for 2017 as we look forward to a busy and important few months for the club with some exciting challenges facing a number of our teams.

Will the Ladies’ 2nds, Ladies’ 3rds, Ladies’ 5ths, Men’s 3rds and Men’s 4ths be able to maintain their promotion bids? Will the Men’s 1sts be able to reignite their promotion hopes after dropping five points in their last two games and will the Ladies’ 1sts be able to maintain their excellent form? Will the Girls’ Development be able to hold on to their league leadership and will the Boys’ Development be good enough to overtake Norwich Dragons ‘A’ at the top of their league? Will our Mixed and Men’s O50s teams do as well as last season and will the Men’s O40s maintain their fine start to the season? Will our promising Boys’ and Girls’ U10/U12 teams do as well as we hope? Will the U14 Girls, U16 Girls, U18 Girls and U14 Boys maintain their form as they press for national honours? Will the Men’s 2nds and Men’s 6ths get enough points to avoid relegation? Turning to the indoor game will the U18 Girls and U18 Boys win their respective national indoor events and will the Ladies’ 1sts and Men’s 1sts at least maintain their league positions? A lot of questions with the answers to be revealed as the second half of the season unfolds.

We have only a few days to wait to at least get some idea how the Ladies’ 1sts and Men’s 1sts Super 6s indoor teams, sponsored by Durrants Estate Agents, are likely to do as both are in action this coming weekend.

The Ladies open their demanding Division 1 campaign at the UWE Centre for Sport in Bristol on Saturday when they play Chelmsford (12.30) and Ipswich (5.30) while on Sunday they face Brooklands Poynton (12.00) and Clifton (4.00). Their four other round-robin games will be played at the same venue a week later when they take on Bristol Firebrands, St Albans, Leicester and Surbiton. The team coached for the first time by Rob Sorrell contains several changes from last season with the inclusion of Maria Andrews, Lizzie Clymer, Bryony Lund, Annie Nunn and Lauren Rowe but will unfortunately be without captain Lucy Belsey who was injured at the East Championships last month. In her place the team will be led by Lauren Barber.

The Men, after gaining promotion by winning the Division 2 Championship last season, will be in action in a tough looking Division 1 at Nottingham Trent University. On Saturday they are up against West Herts (12.30) and Southgate (4.30) while on Sunday they play St Albans (9.00) and Holcombe (2.00). A week later at the same venue they play Cannock, Sheffield Hallam, Brooklands MU and Beeston. The squad will be captained by Andrew Bedwell in the absence of Leigh Sitch who is understandably concentrating on imminent family matters.

Our squads are as follows:

Ladies – Lauren Barber (captain), Tosh Peet (GK), Debbie Francis, Lauren Rowe, Bryony Lund, Annie Nunn, Lizzie Clymer, Anna Tighe, Sarah Brook, Maria Andrews, Rob Sorrell (coach), Louisa Greenacre (manager).

Men – Andrew Bedwell (captain), Chris Leek (GK), Richard Larkin, Simon Hipwell, Sam Paterson, Chris Barber, Tom Ridley, Ben Wright (player-coach), Archie Winter, Jack Knight, Myles King, Jack Hobbs.

NEXT SOCIAL FUNCTION – CHEESE & WINE TASTING EVENING – Saturday 28 January 2017 Please note your diary! Details to follow shortly.

The majority of our outdoor teams return to league action at the end of next week but we do have five teams playing on Saturday with all of them at home. After two successive defeats the Ladies’ 4ths are up against Norwich Dragons 3rds (12.00) who beat them 4-2 early in the season before our team went on a winning run of four games while the Ladies’ 5ths will also have friendly revenge in mind when they play Norwich Dragons 5ths (2.00) who beat them 4-0 at the end of September. Since then Jose Tibbenham and her team have only lost two games so they will be looking for a good performance to get off to a winning start to 2017. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 6ths also lost to their opponents of tomorrow, Norwich Dragons 6ths (3.30), when they played each other earlier in the season so they too will be looking for a change in fortune.

The Girls’ Development, who have only lost once this season and have only conceded two goals, entertain Yarmouth (12.15) who they beat 2-0 in the middle of October with goals by Olivia Lapage. The Boys’ Development take on Dereham (1.45) in a game held over from 10 December at the request of Dereham. When the teams met at the beginning of November Dereham won 4-1 but the game was awarded to Magpies 5-0 as Dereham fielded some ineligible players. LATE NEWS This game has now been called off at the request of Dereham! Please see the website regarding the possibility of a training match in lieu at 10.30 (S).

Good luck as always to all our teams this weekend.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017.
Please put the date in your diary! 
We have now gratefully received 25 ‘Promises’. The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go to achieve this number. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction.

a) Out-on-loan Magpie Carl Sitch and Dani Farrow on their recent engagement.
b) The GB women’s squad on their awards in the New Year’s Honours List.
c) Our U18 Girls who, since the last Musings, have triumphed in the East Indoor Finals at the University of Essex winning all their five games. Best wishes to them and our U18 Boys in the national finals to be played over the weekend of 21/22 January.

A NEW YEAR’S PLEA that members make every effort to be available for selection as often as possible please. This is essential if we are to help our hard working team captains fulfil all our fixtures. This applies to both the men’s and ladies’ teams.

The beginning of a new year is an appropriate time for this column to pay tribute to all who umpire our matches whether they be appointed umpires, club members umpiring before or after their own games or other club members helping out on a regular basis including our pool umpires. We are indebted to them. It hardly needs saying, but I will nevertheless, that without umpires our sport would wither and die. If a player is tempted to have a moan about an umpire I suggest that the umpire will have made less mistakes (assuming any) than the player!

In view of the U18 Girls having reached the national indoor finals the Ladies’ 2nds game against Norwich Dragons 2nds scheduled for Saturday 21 January will now be played (away) at 12.45pm on Saturday 18 February.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 13 December 2016


While the match between the Dads and the Lads was a lot of fun at Weybread last Saturday I have to start this week with the U18 Boys who took full advantage of their ‘lucky loser’ inclusion in the East Indoor Championship at the UEA.

After coming second behind Norwich Dragons in the Norfolk Championship they thought their chance to defend their national crown had gone but they were given this reprieve following the withdrawal of another team and they went on to claim a national final spot finishing second to City of Peterborough.

They started slowly losing 3-2 to C of P before letting slip a lead against IES to draw 4-4. In this round-robin event they just had to beat Norwich Dragons in their next game to retain any hope of progress and Dragons had thumped them 8-1 in the Norfolk Championship. This time they beat them 5-2 and their hopes were still alive. Magpies then beat Saffron Walden 7-0 and with C of P doing them favours by continuing to win their matches they needed to beat old club rivals Old Loughtonians in their last game. This was duly achieved with a 3-2 win with the OL’s second goal coming at the end of the game.

Very well done to the squad including, of course, coach Richard Larkin and manager Stuart Peters. Please see Stuart’s full report on the website.

The finals will be held at the Phoenix Sports & Leisure Centre in Telford over the weekend of 21/22 January.

Continuing on the subject of indoor hockey the U18 Girls will be playing in the East Championship at the University of Essex on Saturday looking to match the U18 Boys by clinching a place in the national finals while the Ladies’ 1sts have entered the East Championship to be played at Kelsey Kerridge SC in Cambridge on Sunday. In a three-team event their opponents will be St Albans (9.30) and Chelmsford (12.00). This is in effect a warm-up event for their national league division 1 campaign in Bristol over the weekends of Saturday/Sunday 7/8 and 14/15 January. Good luck to both our teams. The Men’s 1sts have chosen not to enter their respective East Championship prior to their national league division I campaign over the same two weekends. After going to Bristol for the past four seasons they are happy to leave the trip to the ladies this year while they go to Nottingham!

NEXT SOCIAL FUNCTION – Cheese & Wine Tasting Evening
Saturday 28 January 2017
Please note your diary! Details to follow in New Year.

With the Boys’ Development game last Saturday postponed until January 7, at the request of Dereham, team manager Mark Emms had the brilliant idea of the Dads (Santas) versus Lads (Elves) game. The two teams came duly attired for what turned out to be a very enjoyable and competitive (in the right spirit) game with some interesting family duels taking place across the pitch! To begin with the Elves threatened to overwhelm the Santas (who included a skilful Mrs Claus at the back following her four goals the previous week!) but the Santas began to make their mixed bag of hockey skills and fitness (and undoubted determination not to be beaten) to pay off to say nothing of the occasional use of the wrong side of the stick! Santa Emms, in full working regalia, put his team ahead in the third quarter and his team now had something to defend with Santa Chris Flatt in good form in goal, while the lucky spectators had mulled wine, mince pies, Scotch eggs and sausages to enjoy pitchside as well as the hockey.

Youth development officer James Smith umpired with an appropriately light touch throughout the game. With time running out and with the Elves back in the ascendant they won yet another penalty corner just before James blew for full time. Could the Elves make the final score 1-1 with all of them seemingly surrounding the circle? The ball went to Elf Hugo Lewis who slammed it past Santa Chris for a happy equaliser. We then retired to the clubhouse for turkey rolls etc. Here’s to next year for another instalment. Well done to Santa Mark and his band of helpers. Please also see Bex Pottruff’s press release regarding the game which is on the website.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
Please excuse me for going on about this event. We have now gratefully received twenty-three ‘Promises’ with the target being in the region of fifty. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction.

The last five outdoor league games of the year produced away wins for the Ladies’ 3rds and 5ths and Girls’ Development and defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths and 6ths. The 3rds beat Ipswich 2nds 3-2 in their rearranged match. Georgie Cantrell put them ahead from a penalty stroke and captain Sarah Legg added a second before half time. After the break Ipswich pulled a goal back but Magpies restored their two-goal advantage through Amy de Selincourt. Ipswich responded with a second but Magpies held on to their lead for a valuable three points to consolidate their fifth place following promotion at the beginning of the season. The 5ths were away to league leaders Lowestoft Railway and while they travelled with limited expectations they came home having secured an excellent 3-2 win after their disappointing defeat by Diss seven days earlier. Magpies, captained for this game by Emma Tolhurst, had to work hard to keep the game goalless at half time with goalkeeper Alice Gooch making some good saves. Jose Tibbenham put them ahead in the second half before Railway hit back. Unlike in the Diss game heads did not drop and Jose restored their lead (with her twelfth goal of the season) only for the home team to equalise again. Magpies kept battling away and Amy Collison found the winner.

Meanwhile the table-topping Girls’ Development were away to Pelicans and they put behind them their first defeat of the season the previous week to win 6-0. Evie Brice put them ahead after two minutes but despite constant pressure they were unable to find the net again before the end of the second quarter. Thereafter they put matters right with five more goals from Anna Cogdell, with a brace, Molly Largent, Honey Lamdin and Olivia Lapage. Well done to player-manager Sandra Elliner and her squad on their excellent first half of the season during which they have conceded just two goals.

At Weybread the Ladies’ 6ths (who have enjoyed an encouraging season to-date) were up against a talented Lowestoft Railway 2nds, coached by former Magpies’ coach Jason Harness, going down 4-0 not helped by two late goals. In the second half ex-Magpie Ellen Harness (daughter of Jason) received a nasty blow when the ball hit her forehead. Jason gave me the excellent news on Sunday that Ellen has made a good recovery and they both appreciate the help they received at the club.

Meanwhile away from home the Ladies’ 4ths went down 5-1 (Sophie Meynell-Anderson) to Norwich City 4ths in a game much closer than the score might suggest. Despite this defeat the team can be pleased with their season so far.

a) It is a big ‘thank you’ to Phil Alexander for making the step/platform outside the kit container.
b) Equipment controller Kirstin Cumming tells me that at the beginning of the season 72 balls were provided in each of the two training-ball bags. Over half have now disappeared. If members know of their whereabouts I suggest they return them to the bags when Kirstin is not looking!

Musings will be back in early JanuaryIn the meantime please see the website for any important breaking news.

I hope all readers and their families will be able to have a peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 December 2016


I have to admit that on occasions my hockey glass is half empty and last Saturday was one of those occasions! From the moment the Girls’ Development conceded their first goal of the season in losing to Norwich City in the opening game at Weybread until the Ladies’ 4ths lost to Norwich City 3rds I was not the only one to feel a sense of gloom. Played eight, lost seven was our home record. Fortunately the weather was mild for the considerable number of spectators and we were cheered by the Ladies’ 7ths beating Loddon 2nds 5-2. We were further cheered by the news that away from home the Men’s 2nds had beaten Blueharts 2nds 4-1, the Boys’ Development had beaten Norwich City 7-2 and that there were draws for the Ladies’ 3rds, Men’s 3rds and Men’s 5ths.

The Ladies’ 7ths and Men’s 2nds deserve joint top billing this week for their excellent wins and I will start with the Ladies’ 7ths who are a happy blend of youth and experience including some ‘back-to-hockey’ Mums. Fiona Brice, playing in central midfield, put them two up against Loddon 2nds in the first six minutes and after a response from Loddon Fiona completed her hat-trick by half time. Evie Tibbenham put them further ahead with her seventh goal of the season and while Loddon again hit back Fiona was on hand to make the final score 5-2. The team celebrated with sherry and After Eights!

I always ask our away captains to give me a few words regarding their games and I can do no better than quote Lawrence Baynes in full regarding the Men’s 2nds very welcome win over Blueharts 2nds.

We got our first away win on Saturday. Tris [Baynes] scored a short corner, then Vince [Leruth] scored a tap in after Matt Bensly had done some good work down the base line. 2-0 at half time. We soaked up a lot of pressure with George [Baldwin] playing well in goal. Tris scored an open play goal then got his third with a cracking drag flick into the top left corner. They scored a consolation in the last minute. Tris MOTM.

Back to Weybread.

The Girls’ Development, under player-manager Sandra Elliner, have enjoyed an excellent season (when their opponents are not calling off) and their 2-0 defeat by a talented Norwich City side was a reminder that losing is an inevitable part of playing sport and they are sure to bounce back after Christmas.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
We have now gratefully received eighteen ‘Promises’ – please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction! This is the club’s major fund raising event of the season and provides an opportunity for everyone to make a contribution by offering Lots and/or attending the evening to make bids.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 5ths looking for their seventh straight win and when 2-0 up against Diss with goals by Jose Tibbenham (the team’s leading scorer with 10) and Grace Collison all seemed to be going nicely. However, Diss hit back in the second half to win 3-2. This was an awful and lethargic display by the team and their worst in three years. Not my words I hasten to add but those of skipper Jose! Let’s hope a 10.00am start at bracing Lowestoft away to Railway this coming Saturday sees them return to form.

After losing to Dereham in the closing seconds on the first day of the season the Ladies’ 2nds were looking to right matters in their return game but it never happened as, frankly, they never really got going after Dereham converted a fifth minute penalty corner. Dereham looked sharper throughout and they increased their lead with a sweeping move from right to left. To their credit Magpies didn’t concede again in a goalless second half and despite this disappointing defeat they can be pleased with their season to-date.

If you want to see goals and some fast and exciting action the Men’s 1sts are your team – with plenty of goals at both ends! Wearing their smart new waterproof shirts for the first time, supplied by team sponsors Dynamic Club shops, they were up against second-placed St Albans looking to reverse their 4-1 opening day defeat in a game which the St Albans’ management admitted could have been won by Magpies. In another exciting game Magpies started and ended the game on top. Between these phases they went 3-0 down (2-0 at half time) before fighting back to draw level with ten minutes remaining.

Ben Wright converted a penalty stroke for his 22nd goal of the season before a brace by MOTM Myles King (a skilful deflection and a shot just inside the left post) had the home support buzzing and urging their team onto victory. But with two minutes to go and with Magpies’ skipper and defender Leigh Sitch off injured St Albans mounted an attack down the right and their bench were cheering the winner before the ball hit the back of the net. A draw would have been a fair result but sport doesn’t work like that. ‘Well done’ to St Albans, coached by England manager Andy Halliday, and the same praise to Magpies, despite their first defeat since 1 October in a game a credit to our sport, and to umpires Peter Lemon and Nick Lockhart.

James Meek in action against St Albans Photo courtesy of Pat Leate
James Meek in action against St Albans Photo courtesy of Pat Leate

The game was sadly the last for Magpies by James Meek. James, who is an avionics technician, is leaving the army at the end of the month and returning to Doncaster where he has bought a house. His plan is to join Doncaster HC while looking for another engineering job either in this country or abroad. Meeky, who has played for the Army, joined Magpies in December 2013 and quickly established himself as both a hard working first team player and a very popular and committed member of the club. We will miss him and we wish him all the very best for the future. James knows he will always be very welcome back at the club as a player or just socially.

A quick look now at other home games. The Men’s 4ths copied the Ladies’ 5ths in surrendering a 2-0 lead after goals by Neil Watson and Alex Kilbourn to lose 3-2 to Lowestoft Railway 2nds; the Men’s 6ths were up against third placed Dereham 3rds going down 5-0 while the Ladies’ 4ths were not at their best in losing 3-0 to Norwich City 3rds in the last game of the day.

While I type away it has just dawned on me that we got something from all our away matches so Saturday’s gloom has lifted a little! I have already covered the Men’s 2nds. The Ladies’ 3rds got a good point in their 1-1 draw with Yarmouth who are just above them in their league. The club’s leading scorer Georgie Cantrell got their goal taking her total for the season to 26 (including goals she has scored for the 4ths and U14s). The Ladies’ 6ths got an excellent 1-0 win over high flying Norwich City 6ths with Lydia Barrett scoring in the second half while the Men’s 5ths drew 3-3 with Thetford Town. Two down in the first five minutes they fought back well with a brace from Andy Johnson bringing them level. James Harvey was in top form in goal. After the break Andy completed his hat-trick before Thetford got a deserved equaliser.

Despite a strong start the Men’s 3rds found themselves 2-0 down against Lowestoft Railway before Greg Jagger created an opening for Gavin Cole. Now playing the better hockey Magpies drew level when Gavin scored his second with a penalty stroke conversion and they went ahead five minutes from time through Jon Aldridge only for Railway to get a deserved equaliser making the final score 3-3. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development were scoring seven goals for the second successive week in beating Norwich City 7-2. They were 3-1 ahead at half time through Ed Brice, Joe Wicks and Archie Derbyshire before further goals by Joe, Ben Emms and two from Sam Emms after he was moved to centre forward.

The club is through to the quarter-finals of the England Hockey Men’s Over 40’s Cup following their 6-0 away win on Sunday over Luton Town. First half goals by skipper Tristan Baynes, who was in commanding form before tearing a hamstring in the second half, and Gavin Cole, with a brace, had Magpies three up at half time. After the break Magpies continued to dominate, except for a good spell by Luton near the end of the game, and further goals came from Roger Kent (2) and Gus Wilkinson. This was an excellent performance by the Magpies ‘eleven’ who will be hoping for some of their injured team-mates to be fit, including Tristan, for the next round on Sunday 12 February away to Cambridge City.

The U18 Boys have been granted a lifeline with the news that Norfolk now has two representatives in the East Indoor Finals so they will be joining Norwich Dragons at the UEA on Saturday.

With most league fixtures now over until after Christmas our only teams playing on Saturday, in addition to the U18 Boys, are the Ladies’ 3rds, in a re-arranged fixture against Ipswich 2nds  (NB.  now 11.00), and the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths and 6ths. Good luck to all our teams. Please see the website for more details.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 29 November 2016


Last weekend was another good one for the club with twelve wins from seventeen matches plus a highly successful social event but I am beginning this week’s column with the Men’s 1sts who didn’t win. This is bound to strike the team as ironic as I have not headlined them during their splendid run of six successive wins and I do so now after their last gasp home 4-4 draw with Bedford. Such is life!

During the six games they scored a remarkable 36 goals and in their eleven games to-date they are East Premier ‘A’ top goal scorers with 51 from 11 games. But the other column doesn’t read so well with 27 against and if one member is to be believed (there some egos in the team!) the reason is solely due to him being moved to another position! Both these aspects of their play were highlighted against a very lively Bedford team but despite having less possession than their opponents, for whom former England U21 international David Appleton played well in midfield, Magpies were 2-0 up (Richard Larkin with his third goal in three games plus a rocket shot on the turn into the top right by the in-form Jack Knight) and 3-1 up (Archie Winter with the third) victory was in prospect after fifteen minutes of the second half. But things changed after a couple of errors in defence and with the Bedford penalty corner routine working well Magpies were soon 4-3 down and facing defeat for the first time since early October. With the remaining seconds ticking away Magpies won two penalty corners with the second leading to a penalty stroke. The umpires then consulted (purely to appease the protesting Bedford players?) and with the whistle blown for full time player-coach Ben Wright stepped forward to calmly despatch the ball into the net for his twentieth goal of the season. This coming Saturday fourth-placed Magpies are at home to second-placed St Albans (2.00) in their first game of the second half of the season and their last before the indoor break and they will be looking to make up for the 4-1 defeat they suffered in the reverse fixture way back in the middle of September.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary! Twelve ‘Promises’ have already been gratefully received – please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction! This is the club’s major fund raising event of the season and provides an opportunity for everyone to make a contribution by offering Lots and/or attending the evening to make bids.

The Ladies’ 7ths got Saturday off to a good start at Weybread with a 2-1 win over Norwich Dragons 7ths with goals by Shirley McAllen and Evie Tibbenham with the visitors’ goal coming late in the game. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development were returning to form beating Norwich Dragons ‘B’ 7-0 with six of their goals coming in the last quarter with Sam Emms moving into the forward line and creating chances for his team-mates. Sam scored twice with the other goals coming from Joe Wicks, Ben Emms, Ollie Currie, Matty Nesling and Archie Derbyshire. Over on the sand-based, while the Men’s 1sts were battling it out with Bedford, the Ladies’ 2nds were returning to winning ways edging past St Ives by two goals to one to move into second place in their league. Sarah Legg, promoted from the 3rds – after their game away to Ipswich 2nds was frosted off – put them ahead in the first half after good work by Lucy Field before Laura Tibbenham, who was still struggling with injury, added the second with her twelfth goal of the season. Kath Johnson and goalkeeper Holly Riches were in good form at the back for Magpies. St Ives hit back to make the closing minutes a little nervy for the home team who this Saturday entertain third-placed Dereham (12.00) who beat them 4-3 on the opening day of the season with a very late goal. With coach Sam Tea absent co-captain Plum Sweet has asked me to thank 1st team coach Rob Sorrell and “Mr Woolly” for running the bench. It was good to see David Brook at the game following very encouraging news regarding his treatment.

THE HOCKEY PAPER Please see for details about and how to subscribe to this new publication which I feel deserves the support of hockey players and supporters.

Next into home action were the Ladies’ 1sts looking to put behind them their narrow defeat away to Wimbledon when they took on struggling West Herts whom they beat 5-2 away on the opening day of the season. For the first twenty minutes there was not much to choose between the teams before Annie Nunn, who is enjoying an excellent season on her return to the club, put Magpies ahead at a penalty corner. Tor Findlay soon added a second and on the cusp of half time Maria Andrews picked the ball up some twenty yards outside the circle before powering a reverse stick shot high past the goalkeeper. Lucy Whiting added a fourth before Tor and Maria (making her the league’s leading scorer with eleven) scored again to make it 6-0 to Magpies who go into their indoor season (beginning in mid-December) in a very satisfactory third place behind leaders Wimbledon and second-placed Sevenoaks. My MOTM was captain Lucy Belsey for another very sound overall performance.

In other home games there were wins for the Men’s 4ths, the Men’s 6ths and for the Boys’ Development and a narrow defeat for the Ladies’ 6ths. The Men’s 4ths conceded the opening goal to Pelicans 3rds before Kieran Peters equalised before half time. After the break Alex Kilbourn and Lewis Belsey (with his first goal of the season in only his fourth game due to work commitments) put Magpies 3-1 ahead and Saul Wells scored their fourth between goals by the Kings Lynn team. With captain Eric Davy playing for the 5ths at Ipswich the captaincy of the Men’s 6ths was in the safe hands of Ross Carter and he led the team to their first win of the season when they beat high flying Thetford Town 2-1 with goals by Simon Bardwell (yes!) and a second half winner by David Johnson. After the game Ross said he was doing a Sam Allardyce and resigning after just one game in charge! Meanwhile the Ladies’ 6ths had a 2-1 defeat at the hands of North Norfolk 2nds with their equalising goal coming from First Thepcharoen before North Norfolk regained the lead.

FUN CASINO EVENING It is a big ‘thank you’ to the 105 members and friends of the club who attended this event last Saturday and who helped to make it so enjoyable. The club’s thanks are also due to the organising committee under the chairmanship of Joe Cooksey and to our hosts the Taylor family for providing such a splendid setting for the event and for all their hard work before, during and after the evening. For the record the overall winner with the most ‘money’ won was Jon Aldridge – a winner at roulette and hockey! Well done Jon!

Away from home there was mixed fortune for our teams. The Men’s 2nds had the deep frustration of losing 2-1 to promotion seeking Wapping 2nds who converted a penalty corner with the last hit of the game after Duncan Steven had scored a twelfth minute equaliser for Magpies. On Saturday the team are away to Blueharts 2nds where a win would be a big boost to their hopes of avoiding relegation in a league where four teams drop down. The Ladies’ 4ths beat UEA 2nds 2-0 with two goals by Imi Meynell-Anderson and the Ladies’ 5ths had a 6-2 win over UEA 3rds. Captain Jose Tibbenham and Georgie Gardens put them two ahead before the students pulled a goal back. Georgie then made it 3-1 at half time before Jose scored again. After a second UEA goal Janna Freeman scored twice to round off a convincing win by her team.

The Men’s 5ths were up against a vastly more experienced Ipswich 3rds (who look certain to deservedly win the league with ease) and their cause in their 12-0 defeat was not helped by James Smith having to go off in the first half with a hamstring problem. They were reduced to ten players when Jude Pottruff had to leave the pitch due to injury with twenty minute still on the clock. There were no such problems for the Girls’ Development who eased to a 6-0 win over Dereham. In a good team performance, with all members playing their role, Anna Cogdell scored the first goal with the other five coming from Emma Williamson. The team, who have still to concede a goal this season, are at home to Norwich City on Saturday (10.15). All good runs in sport come to an end eventually and so it was that the Men’s 3rds, after ten successive wins, lost 6-1 against Newmarket and the defeat was in no way due to a lack of effort. 2-1 down with their goal scored by Tom Norton, Magpies were still in the game but a quick double by the home side decided the issue. Tom, Rob Neal, David Cadman and Ben Kilburn all promoted from the 4ths grew into the game to win praise from captain Matt Brand.

Last Sunday the Men’s O50s and Ladies’ O35s both made progress in their England Hockey events with good away wins. The Men won through to the quarter-finals of the Cup (against Cambridge City or Canterbury at home on Sunday 19 February) with a hard-earned 3-1 win over City of Peterborough. The home side opened the scoring midway through the first half but Magpies were soon level when Roger Kent deflected in a shot by Jon Aldridge. Soon afterwards Phil Cobbald put Magpies ahead at a penalty corner and early in the second half Roger scored again when he very skilfully went round the goalkeeper when put through by Phil who then went off with an injury. Magpies spent most of the rest of the game battling hard to keep the Peterborough forwards at bay which they did despite Clyde Camburn taking a nasty blow on a thumb. Fortunately it is not broken as first feared.

Meanwhile the Ladies progressed through to the 4th round of the Trophy beating Norwich Dragons 4-0 with first half goals by Anouska Stott (3) and Lucy Field. Magpies continued to press forward in the second half but were unable to convert a series of penalty corners and open play chances due to numerous outstanding saves by Dragons’ and former Magpies’ goalkeeper Kate Bond.

Last night at the UEA the U18 Girls edged past Norwich Dragons 4-3 to win the Norfolk Indoor Championship thereby qualifying for the East finals. The event was reduced to just two teams with the withdrawal of Norwich City after late call-offs. Alice Woollatt gave Magpies a first minute lead but by half time they were 3-1 down and heading for defeat. Whatever coach Rob Sorrell said during the break worked as they came out for the second half looking a much better team. Charlotte Seaman reduced the arrears before Alice scored another two goals to give her team their narrow win but only after they survived a last second penalty stroke.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday the Men’s O40s in EH Cup Round 3 action away to Luton Town (1.30) at Challney Girls School, Addington Way, Luton, LU4 9FJ. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards
Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 22 November 2016


The Ladies’ 3rds, Men’s 2nds, Men’s 1st and U18 Girls (in playing order) all have a strong claim to top billing this week after their excellent wins over the weekend but pride of place has to go to the Men’s 3rds and not just because skipper Matt Brand kindly got me a coffee when I was updating the website on Saturday! By beating Bury St Edmunds 2-1 at Weybread they notched up their 10th successive win and their record for the season reads P10, W10, GF 41, GA 14, Pts 30. I know that my decision to headline this special achievement will get some of the Men’s 1sts chuntering, especially as they didn’t receive the accolade when they beat league leaders Old Loughts from three goals down, but they will get over it!

Matt and his team knew they were in for a tough game against second placed Bury St Edmunds and so it transpired. Gavin Cole put them ahead in the first half with a typical opportunist strike and Sol Barker converted a penalty stroke with fifteen minutes to go. In between these efforts Bury put considerable pressure on the Magpies’ defence and after replacing their goalkeeper with an outfield player they won a penalty stroke with two minutes left on the clock which they converted expertly. Thereafter Magpies retained possession at the other end of the pitch for a hard earned win. This coming Saturday they have another demanding game away to Newmarket (3.00).

Tickets are still available for this prestigious black tie event. They are £20 each. Please contact Kevin or Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803 as soon as possible. You will be very welcome. 

The Ladies’ 3rds were soon into their stride against Bury St Edmunds 2nds with Georgie Cantrell opening up the visitors’ defence for Rhe Lascelles and Katie Kinsella to put their side two up early in the game. The third goal was always going to be vital and it was scored by Georgie who went on to find the net three more times in a highly impressive performance by one of the club’s most promising players of recent years. Katie then scored her second to make the final score 7-0. Also in especially good form for Magpies was Amelia Herschel-Shorland in defence.

With two goals by Mrs Kinsella the challenge was thrown down to Mr Kinsella to at least match his wife’s achievement when the Men’s 2nds took on Upminster in the next game and Robbie duly delivered despite being sidelined by illness over the past two weeks. Magpies were strengthened by the first appearance in their colours for several years of James Osborn who has now all but retired after a distinguished career with Wimbledon which saw him help his club to England Hockey Premier Division glory over the past two seasons. It was also a warm ‘welcome back’ to Duncan Steven and it is a great pity that he and James will not be available on a regular basis as both live in London.

James put Magpies ahead in the 12th minute when deflecting in a penalty corner strike by Tristan Baynes and a few minutes later Lawrence and Tristan Baynes created a chance for Robbie which he gratefully accepted. Tristan scored with two quality shots early in the second half before Upminster pulled a goal back with a superb deflection from a ball fired into the circle. Duncan then set up Tom Hughes for goal number five and Robbie saw his team, for whom Peter Bale was also in good form, to a well-deserved 6-1 win. This Saturday they are away to high-flying Wapping 2nds (11.30).

I believed the captain of the Men’s 1sts when he said they were off to Saffron Walden with just eleven players including an unwell Ben Wright but after their excellent 8-1 win (their sixth in succession) I learned they actually took a squad of fourteen! Jack Knight and Ben put them 2-0 up and after the home team pulled a goal back just before the break Ben made it 3-1. Sam Paterson then weighed in with three class finishes while Richard Larkin told me later he scored ‘the all-important seventh’ (his second goal in two weeks). Jack also scored again in the second half to continue his run of good form.  This Saturday the team are at home to Bedford (12.00).

Moving forward a day the U18 Girls made a strong start away to Norwich City in the 3rd round of the EH Cup with Abby Gooderham putting them ahead after five minutes and with goals continuing to flow they finished 15-0 winners. Their goals were scored by Abby 4, Tor Findlay 3, Lauren Rowe 3, Holly Thomsen 2, Hannah de Selincourt, Olivia Locke and Georgie Warren. After three away games (in which they have scored 27 goals) Magpies have been drawn to play Beeston at home in the quarter-finals on Sunday 19 February. In the 3rd round Beeston beat Stourport 8-1.

AUCTION OF PROMISES  Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
Nine ‘Promises’ have already been gratefully received – please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction!

The Boys’ Development got the ball rolling at a cold Weybread on Saturday and all looked well when Ben Emms put them ahead against Norwich Dragons ‘A’. But it soon became clear Magpies were in for a difficult time against impressive opponents who went on to beat an off form home team 4-1, albeit the final score was a little flattering to the Norwich side.

Also in home action were the Men’s 5ths and the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths and 6ths. The Men’s 5ths beat Bury St Edmunds 4ths 3-2. Andy Caston put them ahead following up a penalty corner shot by Jude Pottruff and after Bury drew level Jude coolly converted a penalty stroke before Chris Hall made it 3-1. In the closing stages Andy took a nasty tumble following a hefty tackle and Bury pulled a goal back after Magpies’ missed several chances to clear their lines. The Ladies’ 4ths, with Alice Wiseman and Janna Freeman playing well on their debuts for the team, came from behind to draw 1-1 with a strong Dereham 3rds with Rachael Clifford getting their equaliser. The Ladies’ 5ths won for the fifth successive game beating Dereham 4ths 3-2. Emily Woollatt put them ahead and after a Dereham equaliser skipper Jose Tibbenham put her side back in front. In a ding-dong game Dereham again drew level before Georgie Gardens got what turned out to be the winner but only after Dereham put a late penalty stroke wide.

Earlier the Ladies 6ths had an exciting 3-3 draw with Herlings. Julie Davy put them ahead only for Herlings to respond with two goals. Beth Moodie then equalised and after Herlings went back in front Julie stepped up to put away a penalty stroke in style. Tegan Smart played well for Magpies on debut for the team while Fiona Brice was outstanding in central defence.

Away from home there was mixed success for our teams with defeats for the Ladies’ 1sts and 2nds and Men’s 6ths and wins for the Ladies’ 7ths and Men’s 4ths. Wimbledon is never a happy hunting ground for the Ladies’ 1sts and so it proved again on Saturday with the home team dominating the first half during which they went ahead in open play. Magpies responded after the break with Maria Andrews converting a penalty corner. Both teams went for the winner with Wimbledon securing the three points with a penalty corner conversion. This Saturday Magpies are at home to West Herts (2.00) in their last outdoor league game before the start of the indoor season.  Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds travelled to play league leaders Cambridge City 2nds and they put in a strong performance before going down 2-0 – their first defeat since the opening day of the season. The team were delighted to welcome back MOTM Kath Johnson playing her first game of the season following two separate injuries. This Saturday they are at home to St Ives (12.15). The Men’s 6ths lost 5-0 to Norwich Exiles. End of report as agreed with skipper Eric Davy!  

The Ladies’ 7ths beat Norwich Dragons 8ths 1-0 with a goal by Georgia Hood and they are grateful to Jane Collins and Annie Lancaster for stepping down from the 6ths to help them field eleven players. The Men’s 4ths won again beating Newmarket 2nds 3-1. Neil Watson put them ahead at a penalty corner (with an assist being modestly claimed by Kieran Peters!)  before Alex Kilbourn coolly lifted the ball over the goalkeeper for the second. With Arthur Johnson playing well on his debut for the team the third goal came with a crisp shot by Tom Norton. Newmarket stepped up their game in the second half scoring with a slick penalty corner routine and thereafter Magpies’ goalkeeper (and club chairman) Murray Graham made several fine saves.

In addition to the U18 Girls we had four other youth teams in either EH league or cup action on Sunday. At Weybread the U14 Boys did well to recover from two goals down to beat IES 4-2 with goals by Jude Pottruff, Tom Caston (2) and Ollie Mayhew while the U18 Boys had a well-contested and well-umpired  cup game with Norwich Dragons going down 5-4 on penalty strokes after a 2-2 draw. Goals by Sam Paterson and Jolyon Summers put Magpies ahead after an early Dragons’ effort before failure by the Magpies’ defenders to follow instructions from the umpire led to a penalty corner ten minutes from time which Dragons converted. In the third and final game at Weybread the Sudbury U16 Girls came expecting a thumping and they must have feared the worst after Lottie Summers scored two early goals for Magpies’ U16 Girls. But they fought back well and after Ellie Fawkner put Magpies 3-0 up at half time they pulled a goal back after the break. In the closing stages of the game Magpies reasserted their dominance and Lottie made the final score 4-1. Away from home the U14 Girls had a splendid 2-1 win over Cambridge City with goals by Georgie Cantrell and Georgie Gardens.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday our Ladies’ O35s and Men’s O50s. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.  

Bill Colwill, OBE
The many friends of Bill around the world will have been saddened by his death at the age of 86. Bill was one of hockey’s most distinguished journalists writing for The Independent and many other publications. He had a remarkable knowledge of the game. For a full obituary please go to –

With kind regards
Mike Denham