Category Archives: Mikes-Musings

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 15 November 2016


There is no doubt that the Ladies’ 1sts deserve top billing this week for their superb 1-0 win over previously 100% Sevenoaks at Weybread last Sunday. In front of the largest crowd of the season on sponsors’ lunch day Magpies were the dominant team in the first half and they went close to scoring on a number of occasions. It was still 0-0 at half time but seven minutes after the break a sweeping move across the pitch from right to left resulted in a penalty stroke for Magpies when Tor Findlay was impeded in the circle. Maria Andrews stepped up to put the ball high into the net for her eighth goal of the season. Sevenoaks responded putting the Magpies’ defence under severe pressure forcing captain Lucy Belsey and her fellow defenders to make tackle after tackle. In a tense last few minutes Sevenoaks forced a series of penalty corners and in a resulting scramble hit the left post. Two minutes from time the visitors were awarded a penalty stroke which was saved by MOTM Tosh Peet much to the delight of her team-mates and the home supporters. This coming Saturday third placed Magpies have another tough game away to second placed Wimbledon (2.00). It was good to see Kath Johnson at the game and she gave me the very welcome news that she hopes to soon resume training (again) after her double setback in recent weeks of broken wrist (non-hockey) followed by a leg injury sustained when she made her first return to training!

Neil Toulson (with ball) and Matt Brand
Neil Toulson (with ball) and Matt Brand

The Ladies’ match was preceded by the Men’s O40s making their debut in the EH Cup when they entertained City of Peterborough. Magpies, jokingly referred to by a spectator as the O50s academy team, were two goals ahead from Neil Toulson (making a very welcome reappearance after an absence of six years) and Gavin Cole in the first three minutes. Approaching half time and the score still 2-0 Magpies’ goalkeeper Steve Halliley made a series of good saves. After the break Magpies moved to a comfortable 5-0 win with a goal by Matt Brand and further efforts by Neil and Gavin.

Magpies’ squad: Tristan Baynes (captain), Steve Halliley, Eric Davy, James Smith, Andy Smith, Phil Cobbald, Bob Skinner, Jerry Blackmore, David Francis, James Stacey, Matt Brand, Martin Reader, Neil Toulson, Gavin Cole, Angus Wilkinson.

In the next round Magpies are away to Luton Town on Sunday 4 December.

FUN CASINO EVENING Saturday 26 November (7.30pm)
Have you got your tickets yet please for this prestigious black tie event? They are £20 each and available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

While the weather was good for watching on Sunday it was the exact opposite at Weybread on Saturday where it rained all day. The Ladies’ 5ths opened proceedings by recording their fourth successive win beating Beccles 4-1. Tabitha Borrett opened the scoring for Magpies on her adult team debut and Janna Freeman added a couple before half time. After the break captain Jose Tibbenham proved the wisdom of shooting on sight when from the edge of the circle she found the inside of the left post. Beccles scored a late and deserved consolation goal.

Next into action on the water-based were the Ladies’ 2nds looking for their seventh win in their last eight games (the other was a draw) and they were made to work hard for their eventual 3-2 win by a Lowestoft side which played far better than their league position would suggest. In fact they were twice ahead with Lauren Mickleburgh firing in Magpies’ first equaliser. After the break Magpies took control of the game with a brace from Kara Kilbourn. MOTM was Alice Woollatt for another fine performance on the right wing. On Saturday the team are away to league leaders Cambridge City 2nds (12.30).

Over on the sand-based the Men’s 4ths were giving one of the best performances that umpire John Pestell said he has ever seen from a Magpies’ team as they beat league leaders Felixstowe 2nds 3-0. Ben Kilburn put them ahead at a penalty corner after Kieran Peters found him at the back post and Kieran also provided an assist for the next goal with Neil Watson dinking the ball over the goalkeeper. Ben made certain of this excellent win with a penalty corner drag flick.

Thomas Ridley
Thomas Ridley

The Men’s 1sts probably feel they deserve top billing for their 6-1 win over Cambridge City 2nds and in the visitors’ team it was good to see out-on-loan Magpies Zum Akhter, Dominic Absolon and goalkeeper Donnie Archer. City went ahead from a penalty stroke (converted by Zum) with their first away goal of the season before Magpies’ player-coach Ben Wright put away a penalty corner in thrilling style. Ben soon added a second before Jack Knight deflected another penalty corner high into the net. Matt Richardson, who is enjoying an excellent season, added a fourth. After the break and with the weather continuing to be miserable the versatile Richard Larkin, playing upfront, scored his first ever outdoor goal for the team when he lifted the ball past Donnie. Ben, who was again in fine form, scored the sixth from the penalty spot to cement the team’s fifth successive win after their slow start to the season. On Saturday they are away to Saffron Walden (2.00).

By now it was time to head for the warmth and dry of the clubhouse leaving three hardy souls (joined by your scribe much later) to see the Men’s 6ths take on 100% league leaders Ipswich 3rds in what they correctly expected to be a tough game. But despite losing 6-0 they gave their visitors a good game in which Ewie Cumming, in his first outing of the season, and David Johnson played especially well for Magpies. Andy Cook scored three goals for Ipswich. Has goal machine Andy ever failed to score when visiting Weybread?! In the other home match the Ladies’ 7th were up against a strong Dereham 5ths and despite losing 3-0 played some good hockey putting pressure on the visitors’ defence.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
As you will have seen, hopefully, from last week’s email you are invited to donate Promises or items for auction at this event which is the club’s major fund raiser of the year. Full details are also on the club’s website.

Away from home there were wins for the Ladies’ 3rds, Men’s 3rdsLadies’ 6ths and Men’s 5ths, a draw for the Ladies’ 4ths and defeats for the Ladies’ 6ths and Men’s 2nds. The Ladies’ 3rds, after defeat the previous week by UEA, resumed their winning ways beating Colchester 2nds after their hosts had taken the lead. By half time Amy de Selincourt had brought Magpies level with a fine individual goal and Katie Kinsella did likewise after the break to give her team a well-deserved win. The Men’s 3rds retained their 100% record by beating North Norfolk 3-1 with goals by Greg Jagger and Phil Cobbald (2) and this Saturday they face their toughest test of the season when they entertain second placed Bury St Edmunds (3.15). Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths were beating UEA 3rds with two goals by Andy Johnson. He converted a first half penalty stroke and after the students drew level against the run of play Magpies, for whom Hugo Thomas was in impressive form, had a good second half and Andy clinched victory five minutes from time.

The Ladies’ 4ths had to settle for a 3-3 draw after being 3-1 up with two minutes to play. The prolific Georgie Cantrell scored a hat-trick with two straight penalty corner strikes and a penalty corner conversion. The Ladies’ 6ths lost 3-0 against Norwich City 5ths but they played well and captain Gillian Stokes says they can be proud of themselves. MOTM was Izzy Slade while Treacle Griffin was also in good form. The Men’s 2nds are clearly less than the sum of their parts this season and they went down 5-2 to Norwich City 2nds. Tristan Baynes was once again their goal scorer.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday our five youth teams who will be in either EH Cup or league action. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

It was good to see John Pestell umpiring last Saturday despite undergoing cardioversion the previous day to reset his heart’s rhythm back to its normal pattern. He says he was electrocuted! Best wishes John.

Congratulations and very best wishes to Tiger Brice and Kelly Holzinger on their recent engagement.

It is congratulations and thanks to commercial manager John Rowe for organising last Sunday’s very successful sponsors’ lunch and to Kirstin Cumming and Philippa Taylor for the excellent buffet.

Jake Sewell has had his broken thumb wired and pinned and while it would be good to see him playing again before the end of the season it is too early to say if this is likely. Best wishes to you Jake.

The men’s showers were working again last Saturday following the installation of a new tank and it is a big ‘thank you’ to Jose Tibbenham and Paul Nelson and his team for all their hard work to make this possible.

A club member who claims not to be a pedant says the bird scaring hawk flying above the water-based is actually a kite (the avian variety) and a hawk is not appropriate as it will prey on magpies!

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 8 November 2016


With water dripping from the clubhouse ceiling and early results disappointing, except for the excellent win by the Girls’ Development over Watton, last Saturday seemed to be heading for the worst day of the season so far. But gradually the sun began to come out even if only metaphorically. The Men’s 2nds beat City of Peterborough 3rds in a must-win home game and gradually news filtered through from away that the Ladies 1sts, 2nds and 5ths had all won and the Men’s 1sts had come from three goals behind to beat league leaders Old Loughtonians 4-3.

Photo Courtesy of Pat Leate
Photo Courtesy of Pat Leate

With two really tough games coming up, including at home to 100% league leaders Sevenoaks this coming Sunday (2.00), it was desirable that the Ladies’ 1sts got back to winning ways against Chelmsford (after their defeat by Hampstead and Westminster) so the news of their 2-1 win was heartening to say the least. Maria Andrews put them ahead after a driving run and centre by captain Lucy Belsey before Maria doubled their lead with an unstoppable strike at a penalty corner. Further opportunities came and went before Chelmsford pulled a goal back early in the second half but the Magpies’ defence held firm for three vital points to take the team up to third place. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds beat Bury St Edmunds 2-0 without being at their best in a game described by captain Plum Sweet as having a frantic feel about it. Jess Howland got the first goal with Laura Tibbenham clinching victory in the second half. This Saturday the team host Lowestoft (12.00).

The Ladies’ 5ths won for the third successive game coming from behind to beat Broadland 2nds 4-1. Georgie Gardens rounded the goalkeeper for their equaliser before captain Jose Tibbenham scored twice following good crosses from Rachel Holloway and Grace Collison and Janna Freeman scored the fourth.

The Men’s 2nds just had to beat Peterborough 3rds and they did so by two goals to one. Tom Hughes put them ahead early in the game and the visitors equalised fifteen minutes into the second half with a neat deflection at a penalty corner. Magpies hit back quickly and Matt Bensly scored for the second week running hooking the ball into the net at a penalty corner for the vital winner. Dickon Taylor and Iain Cumming were in good form at the back with Iain reminding me after the game that he didn’t give away a penalty corner! This Saturday the team are away to Norwich City 2nds (2.30).

It’s about time I commented on the Men’s 1sts remarkable win over 100% league leaders Old Loughtonians. Two down at half time Magpies slipped further behind ten minutes into the second half before the floodgates opened at the other end (shades of Oxted last season but in reverse) with goals by Myles King (18th minute), Jack Knight (25th), Matt Richardson (28th) and the winner from Jack with his second four minutes from time. Two of the goals were from penalty corners so things are really looking up in this aspect of the team’s play. They went into the game without Robbie Kinsella due to illness and they had to play the second half without the injured James Meek. Just five points behind new league leaders St Albans Magpies are at home to Cambridge City 2nds this Saturday (2.00).

FUN CASINO EVENING Saturday 26 November (7.30pm)
Have you got your tickets yet please for this prestigious black tie event? They are £20 each andavailable at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

Last weekend got off to a bad start when on Friday evening Kirstin Cumming and Nick McAllen noticed cold water dripping from the ceiling in the lounge area of the clubhouse and things got even worse at about 1.00pm on Saturday when hot water began dripping from the ceiling!

Back to Friday evening. Kirstin and Nick called for the urgent help of local builder Paul Nelson and Jose Tibbenham and the problem was diagnosed as a leaking cold water tank. With the help of Paul’s wife Sally the tank was drained and the loft mopped up saving the ceiling from falling in while a cover was put on the carpet below. This meant the men’s showers were out of commission over the weekend pending the installation of a new tank. The club’s thanks are due to the aforementioned for all their trouble.

All seemed to be under control on Saturday except for the lack of men’s showers (the visiting teams having been contacted and told that alternative arrangements would be made for showers elsewhere in the clubhouse) when the next dripping episode reared its ugly head. Once again Kirstin jumped into action and with the advice of sundry members ringing in her ears managed to get the dripping to stop. Thanks go to Kirstin and to the other members for their help and to the visiting men’s teams for their understanding. The matter is now in the hands of Paul and his plumber.

Playing-wise Saturday got off to an encouraging start with the Girls’ Development producing a really good team performance to beat Watton 8-0 with goals by Evie Brice (3), Jessica Tarrant, Anna Cogdell, Beth Gardens and Kiera Wheeler (2). But gloom (and rain) set in with the Ladies’ 6ths going down 4-1 (Beth Moodie) to Breckland while on adjoining pitches the Ladies’ 4ths were going down 4-0 to Broadland after conceding a first minute goal and the generally young Men’s 5ths were losing 7-0 to a strong Watton side. Both Magpies’ team had good spells with the Men pressing hard both sides of half time while the Ladies mounted several promising attacks without finding a way passed a sound Broadland defence. We then heard that the Men’s 6ths had lost 4-0 away to a very strong Bury St Edmunds 5ths despite good performances by Louis Calvert, Jack Largent, Graham Mobbs and goalkeeper Steve Halliley. So no cheer there. Back to Weybread where the Ladies’ 3rds were up against league leaders UEA and they put in a good performance despite going down 3-0 thereby bringing to an end their excellent run of results.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017
Details to follow later this week. Please put the date in your diary!

Away from home the Ladies’ 7ths went down 4-0 to Broadland 3rds while the Men’s 4ths lost 3-2 to Ipswich Cranes in a game they let slip in a poor 10-minute spell just after half time during which the home team scored all their goals. Morgan Manly had put Magpies ahead in the first half and Kieran Peters reduced the arrears with a trademark reverse stick shot during the last twenty minutes played largely in the home half without Magpies being able to find the equaliser.

The gloom gradually began to lift as detailed earlier and things got even better when in the last game of the day at Weybread the Men’s 3rds retained their 100% record by beating Sudbury 2nds 4-1. Magpies took the lead through Greg Jagger but Sudbury hit back. However, with two minutes remaining in the first half their goalkeeper took a frightful blow which his protection quite evidently did little to soften. The umpires sensibly blew for half time and the restart was delayed by several minutes while the player was assisted from the pitch and a team-mate padded up. Magpies took advantage of Sudbury now being down to ten players with Phil Cobbald firing in a penalty corner, captain Matt Brand scoring a fine individual goal and Gavin Cole finding the net for the eighth successive game. The game was also notable for Gavin’s father Brian (and my chief assistant and highly trained scoreboard operative) being absent for the first time in many seasons following a knee replacement operation last Thursday. Best wishes Brian for your speedy recovery.

It is now time for a quick canter through the England Hockey league and cup matches featuring our sides on Sunday. On a cold Weybread morning the U14 Girls were soon into their stride going on to beat Bury St Edmunds 10-1 with goals by Ellen Pope (3), Georgie Gardens (2) and Georgie Cantrell with five in an impressive squad performance while over on the other pitch the U14 Boys were also in league action doing even better (in the unlikely event of such comparisons being valid) beating Sudbury 12-0. Jude Pottruff followed up his seven goals in the team’s previous match with another six while Ollie Mayhew (on debut) scored 3 with the other goals coming from Michael Ahrens, Ed Brice and Tom Caston.

Later in the day at a now slightly warmer Weybread the Men’s O50s were moving into the 3rd round of the EH Cup with a 3-1 home win over old adversaries Ipswich. The teams were well matched in a goalless first half before captain Jon Aldridge put Magpies on the road to victory with a spectacular shot into the top corner of the Ipswich net. David Blackmore put Magpies further ahead with a firm shot from the edge of the circle and Roger Kent (making a welcome appearance with Jon Wells and Clyde Camburn) added the third after good work by Andy Caston. Ipswich pulled a goal back five minutes from time when Andy Cook converted a penalty corner. Magpies are away to City of Peterborough in the next round on  Sunday 27 November.

Away from home the U18 Girls edged into the 3rd round of the EH Cup the hard way beating Dereham 6-5 on strokes having earlier let slip a 3-0 lead gained with goals by Alice Woollatt, Hannah de Selincourt and Abby Gooderham to draw 3-3. The scorers in the penalty shoot-out were Abby (2), Charlotte Seaman (2), Hannah and Anna Tighe with goalkeeper Alice Gooch making some good saves. The U16 Girls drew 1-1 away to Norwich City with Mia King scoring in the first half and Holly Riches playing well in goal before City got a deserved equaliser in the last two minutes.

Last but not least the Ladies’ O35s making their debut in the EH Cup went down 4-2 on strokes after a 3-3 draw away to a younger Bedford side. Magpies were three times ahead through Anouska Stott, Kate Russell and Charlie Harrison before being edged out by a last minute equaliser followed by the strokes.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday the Men’s O40s hosting City of Peterborough (12.00) in their EH Cup clash and our teams competing in the Pelicans’ Minis and the Norfolk U16/U18 Boys and U16 Girls’ indoor championships. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards
Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 1 November 2016

The Men’s 1sts accepted my challenge of last week to put in a top billing performance against Cambridge University and they did so in fine style at a remarkably warm and sunny Weybread winning 5-1. In the opening minutes Cambridge University seemed content to move the ball across the pitch and rarely got into the Magpies’ half. There were murmurings in the crowd at this defensive approach but the home team were being patient until on fifteen minutes player-coach Ben Wright fired in a superb shot from the right edge of the circle and on the cusp of half time MOTM Archie Winter scored at the left post after initially appearing to have lost the opportunity. Despite being two down the students continued with their defensive tactics before Jack Knight found James Meek with a crossfield ball and James sped into the circle before despatching the ball into the top left for a goal a forward dreams about. By midway through the second half it was 4-0 with Leigh Sitch popping up with his third goal of the season at a penalty corner followed by Ben taking his tally for the season to thirteen. Cambridge then had their best spell of the game and they pulled a goal back from close range following a run along the goal line. It was good seeing out-on-loan Magpie Louis Totton playing for the students. The match was well umpired by Peter Lemon and Tim Martin who was officiating in his 250th East league game. Magpies will hope to take their good form into their away match against 100% league leaders Old Loughtonians this Saturday (3.00).

The Men’s 6ths were first into action at Weybread against Bury St Edmunds 4ths who after a fairly even first half scored within seconds of the break. For Magpies Duncan Cogdell was showing his skills of old in the forward line while Jerry Blackmore was having a splendid game in defence. Also on the plus side it was good to see Simon Bardwell playing for the first time this season since injury and when he prematurely left the field of play it was of his own volition! Magpies scored a really good equaliser through the centre of the Bury defence when Peter Thornett, after some good ball control, passed to Simon who found Duncan with a pinpoint pass and he made no mistake. Thereafter Bury went for the winner but Magpies held firm for a 1-1 draw. It would have been a more enjoyable game to watch (and I assume to umpire) had the teams been less vocal with the visitors winning comfortably in this aspect of the game!

The Ladies’ 2nds then took on bottom placed Cambridge University 2nds and while from what we saw in the early stages of the game there was little prospect of Magpies slipping up it was nevertheless a relief when Laura Tibbenham swept the ball into the net on twenty minutes after good work by Kara Kilbourn. A few minutes later Jess Howland scored one of the best individual goals seen at Weybread in ages when she went down the left wing before cutting in along the goal line, beating at least five defenders, and instead of passing put the ball into the back of the net. Simple as that! In a commanding second half for the home team Lauren Mickleburgh scored twice before another two goals by Laura (regular readers of this column know my definition of a hat-trick!) and Olivia Locke made the final score 7-0 with a shot a combination of a cricket hook and a tennis smash much to her surprise. This Saturday the team, which has conceded only three goals in their last six matches, is away to Bury St Edmunds (2.00).

FUN CASINO EVENING Saturday 26 November (7.30pm)
Tickets for this prestigious black tie event are £20 each and are available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

The final game of the day between the Men’s 4ths and Bury St Edmunds 3rds ended without my stand-in scoreboard operator being called into action. For Magpies it was good to see James Stacey playing again after a break of some three years, James Plested having a fine game in the middle of the defence and Kieran Peters working tirelessly to cover for this father! I feel this comment will have put paid to any further lifts I might have wanted from Mr Peters senior! Joking apart this was a good point for Magpies against a team just above them in third place in their league.

Away from home the Ladies’ 3rds won for a third successive week beating Christchurch 5-1 to take them up to fifth place in their league. Their goals came from Amy de Selincourt, Charlotte Rourke-Beasley with a brace, Georgie Cantrell (on her debut for the team) and Kathryn Bullen. This Saturday they are at home to league leaders UEA (1.45). The Men’s 3rds maintained their 100% record for the season beating Pelicans 2nds 3-2. With a much-changed team they were twice two ahead with goals by Gavin Cole (2) and Greg Jagger before Pelicans scored their second to give captain Matt Brand and his team a testing last five minutes. The Men’s 2nds went down 2-1 to Bourne Deeping despite having numerous shots but were not able to make any count until Matt Bensly scored a fine goal in the last minute. Goalkeeper George Baldwin was MOTM for Magpies who this Saturday will be determined to record their second win of the season when they entertain City of Peterborough 3rds (2.00). Sadly Jake Sewell looks like being out for the rest of the season as his broken thumb will almost certainly require surgery. The Men’s 5ths fielded a young team against a strong Dereham 3rds going down 8-1 with their second half goal being scored by Chris Hall. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development also fielded a young team against Dereham losing 4-1 in a game played in a good spirit with their goal coming from Sam Emms. Due to the composition of the Dereham side this will go down as a win for Magpies in the league table.

While the Ladies’ 2nds and 3rds were playing last Saturday the rest of the Ladies’ teams were having the day off but they are back in action this Saturday. The matches include the 1sts away to Chelmsford (2.00) and the 4ths, 5ths and 7ths playing Broadland opposition.

Many of our members will be playing twice this weekend as we will have seven teams in EH cup or league action on Sunday. The Ladies’ O35s will be making their debut in their respective EH Cup when they travel to play Bedford (12.30) while the Men’s O50s have familiar and home opposition in the form of Ipswich (2.00) once more. They will again be without ‘big money signing’ Andy Law who is recovering from foot surgery. Best wishes for a speedy recovery Andy. After edging past Bury St Edmunds in the last round Magpies will have to raise their game to beat their Suffolk opponents for the third successive year. Meanwhile the U18 Girls, after their 9-3 away win over Old Loughtonians, travel to play Dereham (2.00) while the U18 Boys host Bedford (12.00) after a first round bye.

Also at home on Sunday will be the U14 Girls in league action against Bury St Edmunds (10.15) and the U14 Boys who welcome Sudbury (10.45) while the U16 Girls are away to Norwich City (1.45).

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

The club hosted a very successful round of the Norfolk Minis last Sunday and in doing so fielded no less than eleven teams including a club record of four U12 Girls’ teams. There were wins for the U10 and U12 Girls’ and U12 Boys’ ‘A’ teams. All our teams did the club proud and it is a big ‘thank you’ to everyone at the club who helped in the organisation of the event and in the running of our teams and to the teams from other clubs for helping to make day so enjoyable.

Congratulations to Abby Gooderham (with two goals), Hannah de Selincourt and out-on-loan Magpie Molly Redgrove (with one goal) who helped Saxon Tigers to beat Wessex Leopards 6-3 in the U18s final and to Lottie Summers and Rose Winter who helped Saxon Tigers take fourth place in the U16s event.

The bird-scaring hawk will be flying again when the broken pole has been replaced; new foxes have been purchased for the same scary purpose and it is hoped to have one or two new goals for the sand-based shortly. In the meantime the broken goal on the sand-based has been removed to prevent damage to the pitch. NB. The blue VISA goals on the far side of the water-based are NOT to be moved away from the side of the pitch until wheels have been fitted. Hopefully this will be done in the next few days.

There has been a recent spate of scam e-mails purporting to come from Officers of the club
requesting bank payments etc. We would ask members to remain vigilant in case such e-mails are not captured by your spam filters.

With kind regards
Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 25 October 2016

Top billing goes to the Men’s 2nds this week following their 2-0 victory over Cambridge City 3rds last Saturday at Weybread. After five successive defeats this was a well-deserved and much-needed victory for Lawrence Baynes and his team who have played better hockey this season than their results would suggest. One of the problems has been the team’s almost total reliance on Tristan Baynes for their goals and this was again in evidence when he converted a penalty stroke eight minutes into the second half and when twelve minutes later he powered in a reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle. The City goalkeeper made a series of fine saves to deny Magpies until the penalty stroke and at the other end George Baldwin made two excellent late saves to ensure victory for his team. Jake Sewell sadly suffered a broken thumb during the game. Tristan, Jonty Herschel-Shorland and Jack Hobbs were outstanding in this vital win and it was good to see Simon Hipwell playing again after injury. He claims the victory was all down to him! This Saturday the team are away to Bourne Deeping (12.30).

The day got underway at Weybread with the generally young Men’s 5ths playing a very experienced Norwich Exiles team who gave them few chances but a 3-0 defeat was harsh on Magpies who played some good hockey before conceding in the first half. After the break Andy Johnson went close to equalising at a penalty corner but his shot was marginally too high. Soon afterwards Magpies missed a good chance before Exiles scored on the break. Jude Pottruff was unlucky to see his shot hit the left post and in the final seconds the visitors got their third.

In the only game on the sand-based the Ladies’ 5ths secured a comfortable 5-0 victory over 10-man Thetford and based on their dominance the Magpies’ score could well have been in double figures. Their goals came from captain Jose Tibbenham (2), Grace Collison, Janna Freeman and Laura Betts. It was good to see Laura playing again nine weeks after the birth of Wrenna. MOTM was Georgie Gardens in her first adult match since turning thirteen earlier in the week.

FUN CASINO EVENING Saturday 26 November (7.30pm)
Tickets for this prestigious black tie event are £20 each and are available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

Back to the water-based and the Ladies’ 3rds who were soon two-up against Ipswich 3rds with goals by Katie Kinsella and Amy de Selincourt. Ipswich then came into the game although Magpies rarely looked like losing their grip on the three points. In a hectic last few minutes Katie scored again, Rachel Baynes saved a shot on the line and Kate Russell made it 4-0 to Magpies.

In the final home game of the day the Men’s 3rds were defending their 100% record against Ipswich 2nds and they had the game virtually wrapped up by half time. Tristan Hipper put them ahead with a lopping reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle before Vincent Leruth soon made it 2-0. Phil Cobbald then chipped in with a goal and Gavin Cole made it four with his almost inevitable goal followed by his Cristiano Ronaldo-like pose in celebration! Ipswich pulled a goal back before the interval. 4-1 turned out to be the final score due to Phil going off with an injury, midfield maestro Jon Aldridge replacing Phil at the back and most of the rest of the team deciding to be too clever with their stick skills when a more direct approach was being urged by their loyal band of supporters.

During the game I had to admonish one of my highly trained scoreboard operatives for being slow off the mark with one of the goals. His pathetic excuse was that the remote was caught up with an old crisp packet in his pocket!

Away from home there was mixed success for our teams with wins for the Men’s 1sts and Ladies’ 4ths, draws for the Ladies’ 2nds and Men’s 6ths and defeat for the Ladies’ 1sts and 6ths and Men’s 4ths.

The Men’s’ 1sts moved up to fourth place in East Premier A with a good 4-2 win over Letchworth. They twice went ahead with goals by Ben Wright and Myles King, who had a good game following his promotion from the 2nds, before Letchworth again drew level. Archie Winter put Magpies back in the lead from open play before in the final seconds he put away a penalty corner. After the game the team’s most loyal supporter said all the team played well while Leigh Sitch was ‘marvellous’. ‘Does his ego need any further boosting?’ I say in jest! This Saturday the team are home to Cambridge University (2.00) and let’s hope their performance deserves their first top billing in the column this season.

The Ladies’ 4ths came from behind to beat Loddon 2-1 with their goals coming from Georgie Cantrell who has now scored eight times in three games over the past two weekends. Well done Georgie! The Ladies’ 2nds had a frustrating game against Colchester failing to find the net despite good work down the right by Phoebe Preece and Alice Woollatt. In the end the team was happy to settle for a point in their 0-0 draw as Colchester had numerous second half attacks and they had MOTM Jade Daly in goal to thank for keeping them in the game. This Saturday they host Cambridge University 2nds (12.00). The Men’s 6ths were two down against North Norfolk 2nds but unlike in the first half they had most of the play after the break. Their first goal came from a penalty stroke after Lewis Belsey was fouled by the goalkeeper and Peter Dolton, rested last week prior to the O50s game, stepped up to convert and in the last fifteen seconds David Blackmore converted a penalty corner to give the team their third successive 2-2 draw. The ages of the Magpies’ scorers total, give or take a year or two, 126!

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 1sts were going down to defeat for the first time this season when losing 4-1 to Hampstead and Westminster. Magpies had the boost of a first minute goal by Abby Gooderham before the home team equalised before half time and they took the lead early in the second half. Magpies pressed for the equaliser and had two shots saved on the line before HW extended their lead with clinical finishing. Magpies have Saturday off this week (along with all our other ladies’ teams apart from the 2nds and 3rds) to recharge their batteries prior to some more stern tests ahead.

The Men’s 4ths went down 3-2 to UEA 2nds after the score was 2-2 at half time with all the goals coming from penalty corners. Neil Watson put Magpies ahead with a near post deflection and after the students took the lead Kieran Peters fired in a penalty corner. UEA had the better of the second half and took the lead with a deflected shot. Despite numerous penalty corners Magpies could not find the equaliser. Morgan Manly made a strong debut stepping up from the 5ths and David Cadman again played well. The Ladies’ 6ths went down 8-0 to Yarmouth 2nds.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL OUR TEAMS THIS WEEKEND including those representing the club in the Magpies’ round of the Norfolk Minis at Weybread on Sunday (Girls 9.30, Boys 1.30). Please see the website for the complete list of fixtures.

KAREN RAY – off to Spain
As I mentioned briefly last week the club will be without the invaluable services of Karen for what could well be a few seasons as she is off to spend the winter in Spain with her partner Richard and next season they could well be even further afield. They go with the best wishes of their many friends in the club. Karen has played for the club since the mid-1970s and during that time she has captained several teams including Colts, Mixed, Tournament XIs and the 7ths. She has also been club captain and she has served on various committees including social, development and playing. She has also umpired and she has been a keen supporter of the club’s social events and we hope to see her and Richard at next year’s strawberry luncheon before they are off again. In 2006 Karen was the Female Club Person of the Year and last season she was awarded the Magpie Cup to mark a season of outstanding service. The last two words sum up Karen’s contribution to the club for which in 2015 she was made a vice-president. Throughout the years Karen has quietly carried out her duties with a pleasant smile on her face and has always been willing to help out as evidenced by what she has done this season for the Ladies’ 7ths. Thank you Karen. You will be missed.

BEST WISHES TO THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS who will be representing the Saxon Tigers’ teams (i.e. the East) this week in either the Futures Cup (U18s and U16s) or at HIPAC (High Performance Camp) (U17s) having progressed via Tier 1 of England Hockey’s development system. U18s – Hannah de Selincourt, Abby Gooderham. U17s – Martha Lawrence, Archie Winter. U16s – Lottie Summers, Rose Winter.

Former 2nd team captain Frances Taylor is now playing for Battersea Wanderers with Jess Hull and it was good to see her at the club recently. The following ‘out-on-loan’ Magpies have scored in the national league this season – Jess Bloom and Hannah Coulson (Clifton Robinsons), Tom Graham (Durham University), handball Olympian Louise Jukes (Liverpool Sefton), Molly Redgrove (Chelmsford), Cherry Seaborn (Wimbledon) and Tim Shelley (Doncaster). They will be very welcome back when their loan spells are over!

With kind regards
Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 18 October 2016


Played eight, won eight. What a Saturday it was for our ladies’ teams – and the men didn’t do too badly either on a day when the 1sts hit top form with an emphatic win. In all we had twelve wins, one draw and just two losses in fifteen games with 53 goals for and 20 against.

But the day belonged to the ladies and the 7ths set the ball rolling at Weybread with a 5-0 win over Carrow 2nds with all their goals coming in the first half. After her brace the previous week Evie Tibbenham went one better with a hat-trick following goals by Shirley McAllen and Karen Ray. This was Karen’s last game before her move to Spain for the winter with her partner Richard. Karen has done an enormous amount for the club and will be greatly missed. More about Karen next week.

Karen (sixth left) with her triumphant team-mates
Karen (sixth left) with her triumphant team-mates

Next on the water-based were the in-form and impressive 2nds and they were soon into their stride against Bedford 2nds with goals by Laura Tibbenham and Alice Woollatt. Following a response by the visitors Laura scored again and after the break Kara Kilbourn made it 4-1 to secure victory for her side which has taken ten points from their last four games. This coming Saturday they are away to Colchester (12.30).

On a day almost ideal for playing and watching hockey the question was could the 1sts make things even better for the club on captain Lucy Belsey’s birthday (she is a little over 21!) when they took on Southgate. The answer was ‘yes’ but they twice had to come from behind before making sure of an excellent and exciting 5-3 victory. Former South Africa Olympian Alex Fenwick gave Southgate an early lead with a reverse stick shot after initially appearing to have lost control of the ball and they continued to look dangerous before in a good spell of home pressure Maria Andrews equalised with a reverse stick chip. Fenwick scored again early in the second half but within five minutes Magpies were level when Tor Findlay took a pass from Maria before rounding the goalkeeper for the goal of the game. In the 58th and 59th minutes Lucy Whiting was on hand to convert two penalty corners before Debbie Francis made it 5-2 six minutes later. Fenwick completed her hat-trick in the final minute with another rasping penalty corner conversion. On Saturday Magpies are away to Hampstead and Westminster (1.30).

Over on the sand-based the 4ths were beating Carrow 3-0 with a hat-trick by the prolific Georgie Cantrell. Georgie scored her first from a penalty corner and after the break made the game safe for her team with two open play strikes.

Away from home the wins also kept coming for the ladies’ teams with three points each for the Girls Development and for the 3rds, 5ths and 6ths. Olivia Lapage scored both goals for the Girls’ Development (who have yet to concede a goal this season) in their 2-0 win over Yarmouth. There were encouraging debuts for Abi Lewis (in goal), Maddison Forrest, Hannah Gartland and Megan Dickson while Molly Largent was playing her second game having made her debut the previous week. The 3rds came from behind tobeat IES 2-1 with two goals by Mia King on her welcome return from injury while the 5ths beat Watton 2nds by the same score with goals by sisters Grace and Amy Collison. Grace scored in the first half after good work by Molly Warnes and Ellie Fawkner while Amy scored ten minutes from the end at a penalty corner created by captain and defender Jose Tibbenham.

Meanwhile the 6ths were having a field day beating Watton 3rds 8-0. In a dominant display by captain Gillian Stokes’ team the goals were scored by Beth Moodie (2), Izzy Slade (2), Annie Lancaster, Jenny Meyer, Julie Davy and Lydia Barrett.
Avril Adams
Before the IES versus Ladies’ 3rds match a minute’s silence was held in memory of Avril who so sadly died last Tuesday after her very short battle with cancer. Our condolences go to her husband John and daughter Megan (Brown) and all members of the family on their great loss. In recent seasons Avril, who was a former IES goalkeeper and a much-respected secretary of the Suffolk County HA, has been a regular supporter at Weybread watching Megan play in goal for the club while John has managed the Ladies’ 2nds.
Turning now to the performances of the men’s sides there is no better place to start than with the 9-2 win of the 1sts at Weybread over Chelmsford. This was a timely and encouraging victory with player-coach Ben Wright in commanding form. He scored his 75th first team goal for the club when converting an early penalty stroke. Jack Knight then opened his account for the team with a deft shot from a narrow angle before Ben scored in open play. Archie Winter fired a penalty corner high into the net with Matt Richardson making it 5-0. Chelmsford pulled a goal back just before half time. In the second half Ben took his personal tally to five (and ten for the season) while the visitors converted a penalty corner which seemed to take for ever with the home defenders one by one being ordered from their goal for breaking before the whistle. Sam Paterson completed the scoring with his first for Magpies who this Saturday are away to newly-promoted Letchworth (2.00).

Tickets for this prestigious black tie event are £20 each and are available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

The Boys’ Development, for whom Ben Waters made his debut with a strong performance in defence,moved back to the top of their league alongside Norwich Dragons ‘A’ with a deserved 1-0 win over Norwich City with a goal by Ben Emms while the 4ths were three up at half time against Norwich City 5ths before nearly letting things slip in their 3-2 win. Toby Hughes put them ahead before Kieran Peters scored with a favoured reverse stick shot and he then scored again with some assistance from his father Stuart (or so Stuart claims!). The 6ths were up against UEA 3rds who celebrated as if they had won Olympic gold when they took a first half lead but Andy Smith came to the rescue of his team with a shot he described as a reverse stick undercut. He is now one goal behind 1st team captain Leigh Sitch in their personal battle for goal scoring honours this season! The students took the lead again after the break before Greg Jagger made the final score 2-2. Will Graver played well in goal for Magpies.

Away from home the 2nds went down 6-3 to Bishops Stortford which leaves them still looking for their first point of the season and hopefully it will come this Saturday at home to Cambridge City 3rds (2.00). Magpies went ahead after ten minutes through Myles King who together with Tristan Baynes was the pick of the visiting team. Bishop’s Stortford scored two goals each side of half time before Tristan converted a penalty stroke and at 6-2 down he scored again with a late drag flick. Meanwhile the 3rds maintained their one hundred percent start to the season coming from behind to beat Bury St Edmunds 2nds 3-1. Gavin Cole brought them level with his eighth goal of the season before Phil Cobbald put away a penalty stroke. Captain Matt Brand then converted a penalty corner with a drag flick to ensure victory. The 5ths were up against Bury St Edmunds 5ths in a game which was decided by a couple of umpiring decisions. BSE took the lead before Arthur Johnson equalised for Magpies following up a save from his own shot. The home team then made the final score 2-1 in their favour converting a penalty corner when Magpies, who deserved a point, were reduced to ten players.

On Sunday the club had another good day with four of our teams playing away in England Hockey events. In their cup matches the Men’s O50s edged past Bury St Edmunds 4-3 on penalty strokes after conceding a late goal in a 3-3 draw (Phil Cobbald 2, Duncan Cogdell) in normal time while the U18 Girls beat Old Loughtonians 9-3 with goals by Hannah de Selincourt (4), Alice Woollatt, Abby Gooderham (2) and Tor Findlay (2). Meanwhile in league action the U14 Girls drew 3-3 with Norwich City with another hat-trick by Georgie Cantrell while the U14 Boys beat Bury St Edmunds 10-1. Seven of their goals were scored by Jude Pottruff in a remarkable personal performance while the others came from Ben Emms (2) and Michael Ahrens.

Good luck to all our teams this Saturday. Please see the website for the complete list of fixtures.

Please see the website for recent winners
((including September and October 2016) and for how to join. If you are not already a member you will be very welcome. NB. If you are a member have you paid your annual sub yet please? Notices went out in August. If you have paid ‘thank you’.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 11 October 2016


The Men’s 3rds retained their position as the club’s most successful team so far this season beating Norwich City 4ths 5-0 at Weybread last Saturday with their fourth victory from four games. Captain Matt Brand fired them ahead at a penalty corner on twenty minutes and thereafter there was no doubt which team was going to win. Gavin Cole then won the ball and centred from the left for Phil Cobbald to unleash a firm shot high into the net and seconds before half time Luke Edwards gave the game the scoreline the Magpies’ performance deserved. The home side was slow to get going after the break but they rarely looked in danger of conceding a goal. Midway through the half Luke popped up with his second and on the cusp of full time Gavin maintained his record of scoring in every game so far. In the second half vice-captain Jack Richards had the misfortune to lose half of a top front tooth when deflecting an aerial pass into his face. This coming Saturday the team are away to Bury St Edmunds 2nds (11.30).

An equally good performance was achieved by the Men’s 5ths in the previous match on the water-based when they beat North Norfolk 2nds 2-0. The Magpies’ team was a good blend of youth and experience and it was youth in the very promising form of Jude Pottruff who put them ahead on five minutes with a confident strike before the experienced Chris Hall, playing again after a break of 21 years, scored from close range. Chris’s son Oli was also making his mark on the game with a sound display in the left of defence while Andy Hipwell was in sparkling form in the middle constantly bringing his young colleagues into the game with his accurate short and long passing. Magpies’ form dipped a little in the second half and they were grateful for some good saves and a clean sheet by goalkeeper James Harvey. Also pleasing in good team performance was the promising debut by Jack Largent.

The Ladies’ 7ths were first into action when they entertained Hornets and despite having plenty of the ball somehow found themselves three down at half time. They rallied in the second half and two goals by Evie Tibbenham brought them back into the game but despite continuing to dominate they could not find the equaliser they deserved going down 3-2. At one stage the ‘crowd’ consisted of your scribe and a very pleasant lady who was supporting Hornets but we decided that crowd segregation was not necessary!

The Men’s 2nds lost 4-2 at home to East London and while the visitors looked the sharper side Magpies could have got a draw. The first half was a tale of three converted penalty corners with East London scoring both sides of a good conversion by Tristan Baynes while the second half revolved around two glaring misses by Magpies. Both chances were created by good runs and centres by Matt Bensly but both went begging. The visitors showed their gratitude with another penalty corner conversion with three minutes remaining and a minute later scored again with the easiest of chances after a missed tackle in the home defence. Tristan converted another penalty corner with the last hit of the game. Magpies are a far better team than their four defeats to-date would suggest but they must take their chances and hopefully they will do so on Saturday away to Bishops Stortford (1.30).

In other home games there was a win for the Girls’ Development and defeats for the Ladies’ 3rds and Ladies’ 6ths. The Girls beat Pelicans 4-0 with goals by Olivia Lapage, Anna Cogdell, Ellen Pope and Evie Brice and despite the scoreline player-manager Sandra Elliner said the Girls did not play as well as they did the previous week away to Norwich City which says a lot for that performance as they were always in charge against the Kings Lynn side. The Ladies’ 6ths went down 4-1 to Evergreens 2nds with their goal coming from First Thepcharoen while the Ladies’ 3rds,who are still a team in transition with several of last season’s team having been promoted, lost 2-1 to North Norfolk. They had a lot of possession and Kathryn Bullen put them ahead before the visitors hit back to clinch victory.

Eight of our teams were away last Saturday with seven of them getting at least a point to show for their efforts with the exception being the Ladies’ 5ths who went down 2-1 (Jose Tibbenham) to Reepham. There were contrasting fortunes at the end of the matches involving the Ladies’ 1sts and the Men’s 1sts. While the Ladies were snatching a point with a 68th minute equaliser by Lizzie Clymer in their 2-2 draw with St Albans the Men were conceding a goal with five seconds remaining in their 3-3 draw with Ipswich. Maria Andrews put Magpies ahead in the first half against St Albans with a trademark reverse stick shot after good play by Kara Kilbourn and Debbie McAllen. Magpies continued to create chances in the second half but by now the home team were growing in confidence and they went ahead scoring in open play and from a penalty corner before Lizzie’s equaliser after Lucy Whiting had forced an error in the home defence. This Saturday Magpies are home to Southgate (2.00). The Men were twice ahead against Ipswich, for whom ex-Magpies captain Mark Wheelhouse was in good form, before poor marking on the edge of the circle allowed the home team their late equaliser. Earlier Leigh Sitch (the team’s second highest goal scorer!) had equalised for Magpies at a penalty corner before a brace by Ben Wright. The team are at home to Chelmsford on Saturday (3.45).

The away performance of the day was achieved by the Ladies’ 2nds who beat hitherto one hundred percenters City of Peterborough 3-1. They went ahead in the first half when Laura Tibbenham slipped the ball left at a penalty corner to fellow joint captain Plum Sweet who made no mistake. Olivia Locke then set up Laura for a one-on-one and Laura struck again from a penalty corner in the second half before Peterborough got a consolation. Despite the scoreline this was a really tough game for Magpies who had to withstand a huge amount of pressure but fortunately MOTM goalkeeper Holly Riches was again in fine form keeping her team in the game. This Saturday Magpies entertain Bedford 2nds (12.00).

NB. All three Tibbenham ladies scored on Saturday, i.e. Jose (mum),  Laura (daughter) and Evie (daughter-in-law). A unique record for the club?

Eagle-eyed equipment controller Kirstin Cumming tells me that she can see from the clubhouse that several players are not wearing the correct socks. If you are guilty you have been warned! Club socks are white with black tops and are available from the online shop or from Kirstin in the clubhouse. Kirstin reminds all members to visit the online shop (top left on the website) from time to time to have a look at the range of items on sale.

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 4ths were winning 2-1 for the second successive week in beating Evergreens in a keenly contested match. Magpies dominated the first half but had to wait until after the break before taking the lead which they did through Imi Meynell-Anderson. Evergreens were soon back on level terms despite being a carded player down. Magpies responded and MOTM Amelia Herschel-Shorland combined with Georgie Cantrell to force a penalty corner which led to a penalty stroke. Georgie stepped forward and calmly converted to give her team a hard earned victory thanks to their work rate and resolute attitude.

The Men’s 4ths did well to recover from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Norwich Dragons 4ths. Right defender Max Warde-Aldam and right midfielder David Cadman were in good form for Magpies who pulled a goal back midway through the second half through David before Kieran Peters despatched a rebound from his shot at a penalty corner into the top left. After umpiring earlier in the day it was good to see Quentin Baynes playing his first game of the season due to business commitments. I had told him earlier in the week if we didn’t see him shortly he should perhaps attend the Back to Hockey course!

The Men’s 6ths got their first point of the season when drawing 2-2 with Sudbury 3rds. Magpies controlled the first fifteen minutes due in no small part to good play by Simon Newberry and David Johnson. In-form captain Eric Davy then put them ahead from a penalty corner before they conceded a soft goal followed by a penalty stroke against the run of play. Magpies equalised before half time through Eric with his second but they failed to get the winner in an even second half.

After drawing 4-4 with Norwich Dragons A the previous week the Boys Development beat Dragons B 6-3 with four goals by Sam Emms (adding to the couple he scored against Dragons A) and one each by Freddie Herschel-Shorland and Joe Wicks. There were promising debuts by Elliot Cooper, Oliver Bardwell and goalkeeper Luca Tonkin.

Last Sunday the club fielded nine teams in the Norwich Dragons Minis and all did the club proud with two winning their events and three coming second. Please see the website for all the results.

This coming Sunday the U14, U16 and U18 Girls and the U14 and U16 Boys are in EH cup or league action and they are joined by the Men’s O50s. Unfortunately after entering the Ladies’ O35s the club has been given a first round walkover by Harpenden.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend. Please see the website for the complete list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 4 October 2016


It is a toss up this week between the Men’s 4ths and the Ladies’ 2nds for top billing as both gained equally impressive home wins last Saturday. But I will give it to the Men’s 4ths for no other reason than that they got the day off to an encouraging start with their 4-0 win over Norwich Dragons 3rds for whom it was good to see ex-Magpies James and Rob Goodson playing. Magpies won by virtue of taking their chances in a game far tighter than the score would suggest. Ben Kilburn put Magpies ahead in the first half from a penalty corner before Magpies scored three excellent open play goals after the break. Lewis Belsey sped down the right and his centre was converted in fine style by Alex Kilbourn. Tom Norton soon made it 3-0 with a neat finish and Toby Tibbenham, making a welcome appearance, completed the scoring.

The Ladies’ 2nds deservedly beat Norwich Dragons 2nds 3-0 to record their first win of the season after their tough last second defeat away to Dereham and their home draw with Lindum. Laura Tibbenham gave them the lead midway through the first half with a typically classy finish from a pass from Alice Woollatt and Hannah de Selincourt quickly made it 2-0 following a deft pass from Laura. Goalkeeper Holly Riches, who was in top form, then came off her line to save a certain goal before in-form Alice scored what turned out to be the last goal of the game. Magpies continued to press forward but found Dragons, who included ex-Magpies 1st team captain Donna Vaughan making a welcome return to Weybread, far more resolute in the second half of a very watchable game.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 1sts and in Cambridge City they were facing their toughest opposition of the season and this was confirmed when City took advantage of hesitancy in the home defence to take an early lead. Thereafter Magpies, with their youthful and skilful forwards surging forward, looked the more likely team to score but as chances came and went (both sides of a torrential half time downpour) the home supporters were beginning to think the game was destined to be decided by the one goal. But with fifteen minutes to go Maria Andrews was on hand with a thoroughly deserved equaliser while City rarely looked likely to add to their score against a sound Magpies’ defence in which Charlie Harrison was in excellent form. This coming Saturday Magpies are away to St Albans (1.00) where they are sure of another searching examination despite St Albans’ slow start to the season.

It was really good to see David Brook watching the City game and he knows that his many friends at the club wish him all the very best for the treatment he is receiving for his illness. We look forward to seeing David at the club again whenever he feels well enough to attend.

By now the water-based was living up to its name and next into action on it were the Men’s 1sts who were taking on City of Peterborough. Magpies took the lead on ten minutes when Ben Wright deflected the ball through the legs of the goalkeeper. But they were soon behind, despite some good saves by MOTM John Livings in goal, when Peterborough converted a penalty corner before an aerial caused confusion in the home defence. While not appearing to be as threatening in attack as their opponents Magpies gained a host of penalty corners without any success due in no small part to some determined and skilful defending. The visitors then took advantage of a penalty stroke awarded for a clash of sticks on the edge of the circle (this column never criticises umpiring decisions!) and shortly afterwards a seemingly innocuous shot crept into the home net. Thereafter to their credit the home team fought back with goals by Matt Richardson and Robbie Kinsella but they could not find the equaliser. After two defeats in their first three games Magpies need a win away to Ipswich this Saturday (11.00).

Saturday 15 October 2016 – Sunningdale Suite, Dunston Hall, Norwich, NR14 8PQ
Magpies’ members Robbie and Katie Kinsella invite you to this event to raise funds for the charity which is very close to their hearts as their charming young daughter Evie is a severe allergy sufferer.
Tickets are £45 each with all proceeds going to the charity. The evening includes a three course dinner, auction, entertainment and dancing commencing with a champagne reception at 7.00pm. Black tie. Carriages at midnight. Tickets are on sale until this coming weekend. Please contact Robbie at or Katie at

Following on from what was issued last week I am pleased to include some words from James Smith who has headed up the campaign.

Dear Magpie

Following the success of the GB Women’s Hockey Team in Rio the Hockey family is keen to spread the word about the attractions of our sport. We hope you can help promote the club and the enjoyment of hockey by circulating the poster issued last week (and which is also on the club’s website) to any friends, neighbours, relations or work colleagues who might be interested in taking part.

Alternatively if you are able to display a copy of the poster in your local post office, village stores, sports centre, library, supermarket, primary school notice board please do. Either print a copy issued last week or from the website or collect a hard copy from the bar in the clubhouse.

The poster has already gone live on the club’s Facebook page and twitter account. Please look out for this and then “Like It”. The more we ‘Like’ our promotions the wider our message spreads.

Thank you    James Smith

On the other pitch two goals by Georgie Cantrell gave the Ladies’ 4ths a 2-1 win over Norwich Dragons 4ths and the Ladies’ 5ths won by the same scoreline against Pelicans 2nds with goals by Molly Warnes and Janna Freeman. Between these games the Men’s 6ths were lucky to be only one down at half time to Watton. But after conceding two more goals soon after the break they mounted a determined fight back with goals by captain Eric Davy and Mark Ash before losing 3-2.

Away from home the Men’s 3rds recorded their third successive win beating Norwich Dragons 2nds 5-1 and they are now three points clear at the top of their league assuming positions count for anything at this early stage of the season. Their goals were scored by Luke Edwards, Jon Aldridge, Phil Cobbald, Greg Jagger and Gavin Cole. The young Men’s 5ths dominated the early stages of their game against Sudbury 3rds before having to survive torrential rain and a break due to lightning with the score at 0-0. Against the run of play Sudbury scored from their only penalty corner before Magpies responded quickly through Andy Caston but they were unable to find the winner with the very enjoyable game finishing 1-1. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 6ths won for the second time in their three games beating Pelicans 3rds 1-0. Magpies, who made several changes from the previous week due to illness, were the stronger team throughout with Jenny Meyer earning the MOTM accolade for her impressive left wing performance. Lydia Barrett scored the second half winner on her debut.

The Development sides both played well in Norwich in their first competitive matches of the season with the young Boys side (aged 10-13), with Joe Wicks and Ollie Currie and others making promising debuts, drawing 4-4 with Dragons A with their goals coming from Sam Emms and Ben Emms with two apiece. Meanwhile the Girls had the majority of the play against City winning 1-0 with their first half goal scored by Georgie Gardens.

The Men’s 2nds went down 4-1 (Tristan Baynes) to Long Sutton and they will hope for better luck when they entertain East London on Saturday (2.00) and the Ladies’ 3rds lost 3-0 against Watton.

Well done to all our teams who did so well in last Sunday’s Norwich City Minis.

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

CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to the following members who have progressed via Tier 1 of England Hockey’s development system (i.e. the Single System) to the Saxon Tigers’ teams (i.e. the East).

U18 – Hannah de Selincourt (non-travelling reserve), Abby Gooderham. U17 – Martha Lawrence, Archie Winter. U16 – Lottie Summers, Rose Winter. The U18s and U16s go forward later this month to the Futures Cups while the U17s go forward to HIPAC (High Performance Camp).

It is to be hoped that our members who have not made it through to the Futures Cups or HIPAC will remember that they did very well to reach Tier 1 from the Bury JRPC and it is also hoped that the experience they have gained will help them to further develop their hockey skills for future advancement.

QUIZ NIGHT – this event last Saturday was a big success and thanks are due to the many members and friends who attended and to organiser Joe Cooksey, the chairman of the club’s fund raising and social committee.

It is ‘best wishes and thanks’ to Mike Eastaugh the club’s gardener who has gone to live in Lancashire. Mike has given first class service to the club over the past three years and he will be greatly missed not only for his gardening but for the many other tasks he has skilfully carried out at the club.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 26 September 2016


The Ladies’ 7ths got last Saturday at a sunny and warm Weybread off to a really good start beating Norwich City 7ths 7-1 in their first match of the season. With the future of the team in doubt (due in no small part to a lack of a captain) it is a big ‘thank you’ to Karen Ray for putting the team together before she leaves us shortly (hopefully only temporarily) for life abroad with partner Richard. The team was soon into the lead and goals continued to flow at a very encouragingly rate with Shirley McAllen leading the way with three. Bex Pottruff added a couple (her first for the club) with Lizzie Adcock and Livvi Carless scoring on their debuts. This Saturday the team are away to UEA 4ths (2.30).

They were followed on the sand-based by the Men’s 4ths who were looking to build on their excellent win the previous week when they took on IES 4ths. But it was not to be as they were soon behind before going down 3-0. The team’s most experienced player summed up the game (in my already doomed wish for brevity this season) by saying ‘They were quite good and we turned up in the second half! Thereafter our generally young side played immeasurably better’.

Over on the water-based, after the Girls’ Development had to play a practice match for the second week running after their opponents had very disappointingly called off (hopefully they will be more successful this week away to Norwich City (5.30)), the Ladies’ 2nds were playing Lindum looking to put their disappointment against Dereham behind them. Play was fairly even in the first half before Lindum took the lead on twenty minutes at a penalty corner. Magpies then quickly forced a penalty corner of their own and Lauren Mickleburgh flicked the ball high into the net for the deserved equaliser. This turned out to be the last goal of a well-contested game in which Katie Woollatt got through a lot of hard work for Magpies on the right and in which Lucy Chubbock had an outstanding second half searching for the elusive winner. Unfortunately the team failed to bring forward Laura Tibbenham into the game enough in the second half. Nevertheless this was an encouraging performance ahead of their home game this Saturday against Norwich Dragons 2nds (12.00).

QUIZ NIGHT – this Saturday (1 October) – Clubhouse – 7.30pm. Tickets £5 on the door. Teams of up to six. Please come even if you do not have a team – these can be made up on the evening.  

Next into action were the Ladies’ 1sts up against newly-promoted Northampton Saints and like the previous week they had the boost of an early goal with Lizzie Clymer scoring from close range. After this the team was never in danger of missing out on the three points as they eased to a comfortable 5-0 win in which goalkeeper Tosh Peet was not called into action. Maria Andrews made it 2-0 at half time with a superb reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle. It was good to see Annie Nunn playing her first game on her welcome return to the club (and after her recent injury) and she popped up with the third in the 47th minute and Tor Findlay quickly made it 4-0 with Maria completing the scoring late in the game with the team’s fifth open play goal. Magpies are top of their league on goal difference but they know far sterner tests await them starting at home to Cambridge City on Saturday (2.00).

It was then the turn of the Men’s 1sts to display their skills after their opening day defeat away to St Albans when they welcomed old rivals Dereham for whom it was good to see ex-Magpies defender Mark Braybrook and goalkeeper Matt Collinge playing. Player-coach Ben Wright put Magpies ahead on ten minutes at a penalty corner and he did so again close to half time after Dereham had forced in an equaliser. Ben completed his hat-trick early in the second half and a fairly comfortable win for the home team, against the typically hard running Dereham side, seemed in prospect. However, with two minutes to go Dereham pulled a goal back with a neatly converted penalty corner but Magpies responded and in a quick attack they made the final score 4-2 with Will Martin beating Collinge at a one-on-one when given a second opportunity. Magpies can play a lot better than they did in this game and they will need to do so when they entertain City of Peterborough on Saturday (3.45). But a win is a win!

CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to the following members who by working hard over the summer have progressed to Tier 1 of England Hockey’s development system (i.e. the Single System) through the Bury St Edmunds JRPC (Junior Regional Performance Centre).

U18 – Hannah de Selincourt, Abby Gooderham, Myles King, Olivia Locke
U17 – Martha Lawrence, Lauren Rowe, Anna Tighe, Archie Winter
U16 – Amy de Selincourt, Mia King, Lottie Summers, Rose Winter
U15 – Michael Ahrens, Georgie Cantrell, Jude Pottruff, Hayden Macaulay, Hugo Thomas

Over the last two Sundays they have represented Bury Tigers in matches against the other two East JRPCs (namely Tonbridge and Northwood) from which the final 18 players (of the original 54) will very shortly be selected to represent the region in October at HIPAC (High Performance Camp) for the U15s and U17s and at the Futures Cup for the U16s and U18s. The venue for the U15 and U17 games was Merchant Taylors’ School and for the U16 and U18 games it was the Lee Valley Hockey Centre.

Last year three of our members progressed right through to the England teams, namely Abby Gooderham (U18s) and Molly Redgrove (now with Chelmsford HC) and Rose Winter (both U16s). Let’s hope we do as well or even better this season. So it is ‘good luck’ to all our members.

Back to play at Weybread and the Men’s 5ths playing the 6ths in their eagerly awaited clash. Archie Derbyshire opened the scoring for the 6ths before Arthur Johnson and Ben Emms replied for the 5ths. In an exciting game Richard Allcock 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. 6th team captain Eric Davy tells me that young members Graham Mobbs, Jack Largent and Archie Derbyshire all played very well.

As in the previous week there was mixed success for our teams playing away with wins for the Ladies’ 3rds and Men’s 3rds and defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths and 6ths and Men’s 2nds. The Ladies’ 3rds, with goalkeeper Holly Riches in top form, played well to recover from a goal down to beat Dereham 2nds with goals by Kathryn Bullen and Katie Kinsella while the Men’s 3rds recorded their second successive win beating IES 3rds 4-2. Gavin Cole put them ahead and Toby Hughes made it 2-0. Then with 20 players on the pitch convinced a long hit from the Magpies defence would run of play at the other end captain Matt Brand stealthily ran past every other outfield player to get on the end of a wonderful cross from Toby to sneak the ball passed the IES keeper. That’s leadership! IES then hit back before Gavin took his tally to five goals in two games.

The Ladies’ 4ths lost 4-2 (Amelia Herschel-Shorland 2) to Dragons 3rds while the Ladies’ 5ths lost 4-0 to Norwich Dragons 5ths. But it was not a thumping for the 5ths as suggested by the scoreline. Magpies, who included several players new to the team, started well before Dragons made the most of their chances to go two up by half time. Magpies continued to create chances but couldn’t find a way passed the Dragons’ keeper. Skipper Jose Tibbenham, playing at the back for once, saved a penalty corner before Dragons scored from their next. Dragons then scored again late in the game. MOTM Alice Wiseman and Alice Gooch both had excellent games for Magpies.

Please see the website shortly for the club’s Back to Hockey campaign. If you can encourage any friends or relatives to participate it would be much appreciated.

The Ladies’ 6ths went down 3-1 to Dragons 6ths but the scoreline doesn’t reflect how well Magpies played. Their defence remained strong despite having to face numerous penalty corners. Treacle Griffin was voted MOTM for her performance in midfield, Izzy Slade and Emily Howland made some good crosses and Verity Tomson scored the team’s goal in the second half.

Meanwhile the Men’s 2nds lost 5-3 to newly-promoted Shefford and Sandy. Matt Bensly scored for Magpies in the first minute before the home team scored twice to take the lead. Tristan Baynes then equalised with a deflection from a pass by Jack Hobbs. S & S then regained the lead before Tristan flicked high into the net at a penalty corner to make the score 3-3. The game then turned on a harsh sending off of Magpies’ keeper George Baldwin. S & S converted the ensuing penalty stroke and then scored from a penalty corner before George returned to the action.

Good luck to all our teams this Saturday. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

Finally, I am reliably informed that Katie Crawford is 18 on Friday (congratulations Katie) and that a party will be held in the clubhouse after the 2nds’ game on Saturday. All are welcome to attend the party!! And the Quiz!!

With kind regards

Mike Denham 26/9/16

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 20 September 2016


While trying to be less wordy this season (!), and on occasions omitting reference to some teams if space doesn’t permit or if they don’t deserve a mention (!), I hope to give pride of place to all our teams at least once in the coming months.

This week it has to go to the Ladies’ 1sts for their outstanding 5-2 away win over newly-promoted West Herts last Saturday on the opening day of the new league season. Four up inside the first 37 minutes with goals by Lucy Whiting, Tor Findlay (her first in the national league), Kara Kilbourn and defender Louisa Greenacre (with her expected annual goal) the team was never in danger of letting the game slip despite two quick goals by the home team before Lizzie Clymer rounded off the scoring. This coming Saturday (2.00) they host Northampton Saints, another newly-promoted team, who will have been encouraged by their 1-1 draw with Chelmsford.

The home performance of the day was by the Men’s 3rds who recovered from 3-1 down to beat old rivals Lowestoft Railway 8-4 in a thriller of a match. Gavin Cole put Magpies ahead (no surprise there) before some alarming gaps appeared in the home defence but once new member Neil Watson reduced the arrears and England O55s star Jon Aldridge brought them level there was no stopping skipper Matt Brand and his team. Goals flowed at a very satisfying rate with Matt, Phil Cobbald and Gavin (with two more including a lob from the unheard distance of the edge of the circle!) finding the net. Railway pulled a goal back before Sol Barker rounded off an excellent win. This Saturday the team are away to IES 3rds (1.00).

However, the first win of the season was achieved by the Ladies’ 6ths who beat Lowestoft Railway 2nds 1-0 away in their 10.00am start. Their goal came three minutes before the final whistle from a penalty corner with Verity Tomson sweeping the ball to Julie Davy who neatly finished off the move. Skipper Gillian Stokes was in fine form in goal while Ashleigh Muttock and Olivia Carter played well on their debuts for the team.

For the reasons I mentioned last week the club has a severe shortage of umpires and the situation needs to be rectified as soon as possible. We want three or four players in each team to take the umpiring course which can be arranged at the club. If you are interested (and this also applies to parents) please let Jose Tibbenham know at . If you would like to learn a little more about umpiring before committing to a course please also let Jose know and she will arrange a ‘taster’ at an evening training session.

In the more immediate (i.e. now!) already qualified umpires within the club (who may include very new members) are urged to make their availability known please at

The Men’s 5ths got the ball rolling at Weybread last Saturday against Thetford who started strongly taking an early lead cancelled out by Andy Caston. The 5ths lost their way after the break, not helped by a facial injury sustained by James Smith, and midway through the second half found themselves 4-1 down before they hit back strongly with Chris Hall reducing the arrears. They then failed to convert two penalty strokes but overall this was a promising performance in which it was good to see Andy Hipwell playing well in midfield and Louis Calvert catching the eye at left back.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 3rds against Yarmouth and after a poor start which included some wayward passing they settled down to play some good hockey. However, Yarmouth took the lead with a firm shot at a penalty corner before a defensive error allowed them to go two ahead. Skipper Sarah Legg gave them hope of a point in their first game in East 2NE when she thrashed in a penalty corner midway through the second half but the experienced Yarmouth team held out for a win. For Magpies Rachel Baynes and goalkeeper Jess Harvey played particularly well in defence.

The Men’s 2nds then took the field and bearing in mind how well they played, especially in the first half, against an experienced Blueharts 2nds it is difficult to believe they went down 3-0. Their cause was not helped by a shot by Matt Bensly hitting a post, a fine goalline save by a defender and a host of chances going begging at penalty corners. This Saturday the team are away to up and coming Shefford & Sandy (2.45) managed by my friend Mike Tipper. Magpies just have to win! The Ladies’ 5ths fought hard to get something from their game against Lowestoft Railway going down 2-1 with their goal coming in the last minute scored by Janna Freeman. There was also a last minute goal by the Ladies’ 4ths with Rachael Clifford scoring her second in a 2-2 draw to give her team a deserved point against Norwich City 4ths. This Saturday they are away to Norwich Dragons 3rds (9.45) and I assume breakfast will be served after the game!

An initiative (which has been agreed by the Executive Committee) to help grow the membership is an Incentive Scheme for existing club members. It works like this – any adult member introducing a new adult to the club will be entitled to a 50% reduction in their subscription the following season – assuming the new member renews their membership in that season. This is to encourage all our adult members to introduce new members to our club. If you think you qualify please notify club treasurer Jose Tibbenham when the new member joins. Reasonable T&Cs will apply, e.g. more than one person cannot claim the incentive for the same new member!

At this point I pass on the thanks of club captain Louisa Greenacre to Jose Tibbenham who Louisa said worked tirelessly last week to ensure the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths (of which she is captain) and 6ths were able to put out teams. Jose epitomises the expression ‘If you want a job done give it to a busy person’. As I write the Ladies’ 7ths are still in need of players to fulfil their opening fixture of the season against Norwich City 7ths at Weybread this Saturday (10.45).

In other away matches there was mixed fortune for the four Magpies’ teams. The Ladies’ 2nds were disappointed (to put it mildly) to lose to a last second goal against Dereham going down 4-3. Amy de Selincourt had put them ahead against her old club before Laura Tibbenham twice put Magpies back in the lead after Dereham had twice equalised. Nevertheless this was encouraging performance and on Saturday (12.00) they entertain Lindum (formed in 2015 following a merger of Lincoln HC and Lincoln Roses HC). The Men’s 4ths had a splendid 5-1 (Stuart Peters, Kieran Peters, Oli Sharp, Alex Kilbourn (2)) win over Lowestoft Railway 2nds and the Men’s 6ths, who this Saturday are at home to Magpies’ 5ths (1.45), went down 7-1 to Dereham 3rds with their consolation goal coming from Fabien Mitchell.

The Men’s 1sts lost 4-1 away to St Albans despite dominating play as proved by the statistics of the game but statistics do not win matches. Magpies dominated the game to such an extent that the St Albans coach Andy Halliday (and England’s splendid team manager) said Magpies should have been 3-0 up at half time. St Albans had four shots and scored from them all while the Magpies’ goal was scored by skipper and defender Leigh Sitch with a deflection at a penalty corner. This means that Leigh is the team’s leading scorer but hopefully this statistic will soon be a thing of the past for two reasons; I will not be able to stand him telling me about it and it would mean we have scored only one goal all season! This Saturday the team are home to Dereham (3.45).

Good luck to all our teams this Saturday. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

Other news in brief

QUIZ NIGHT Saturday 1 October – Clubhouse – 7.30pm. Tickets £5 on the door. Please come!

We now have a hawk flying menacingly over the water-based with the aim of deterring the seagulls from landing on the pitch with inevitable consequences. It is a big ‘thank you’ to club vice-president Harry Flatt for kindly making the trolley (and to Les Bicker of LMB Services for kindly donating the wheels) from which the hawk is launched from the detachable pole.

The disabled toilet will be redecorated when steps to remove dampness in it have proved successful. In the meantime the toilet is still available for use by all.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 13 September 2016


The friendlies are out of the way and on Saturday all of our 15 Saturday teams commence their league campaigns except for the Ladies’ 7ths who get underway on Saturday week.

After the mixed fortunes of last season our teams have some more testing months ahead but there is no reason why they shouldn’t face them with quiet confidence especially if as many members as possible commit to playing each week.

Once again the club is lucky to be supported by many local businesses including estate agents Musker McIntyre, sponsors of the Ladies’ 1sts outdoor team, Dynamic Club Shops who sponsor the Men’s 1sts outdoor team, estate agents Durrants who sponsor the Men’s 1sts and Ladies’ 1sts indoor teams and estate agents Parson, M.R. King & Sons (Peugeot, Suzuki and Volvo specialists), accountants Larking Gowen and accountants Lovewell Blake. In addition we are extremely grateful to Sight and Sound (4 The Thoroughfare, Harleston) who have kindly sponsored the new television in the clubhouse.

The Ladies’ 1sts start their eighteenth successive national league outdoor campaign with an away game against newly-promoted West Herts (1.30) in the East Conference of the Investec Women’s Hockey League and they will again be captained by Lucy Belsey with Lauren Barber joining her as vice-captain while Nick McAllen continues as manager and Rob Sorrell as coach. The team will be without two of its leading players as Emma Lee-Smith has joined premier league team East Grinstead and Katrina Sitch is expecting twins and both will be sorely missed. Emma goes with our best wishes as befits one of the most gifted players in the history of the club and who has given outstanding service to Magpies (she tells me she will be back!) and it is congratulations and best wishes to Katrina and husband Leigh. They should not want for advice bearing in mind the clubhouse happily resembles a crèche most Saturdays!

The Ladies’ 2nds, captained jointly by Plum Sweet and Laura Tibbenham and coached by Sam Tea, commence their East Division 1N programme away to Dereham (12.00) determined to regain their Premier Division status they lost last season. Several players have moved up from the 3rds and 4ths and if they build on the promising display against Norwich Dragons (coached by ex-Magpies star Pete Thomas) last Saturday the team should be in for a good season. The Ladies’ 3rds, promoted to East 2NE (thanks to the 4ths winning the Norfolk Premier) and giving the club two East league teams and a national league team for the first time in the same season, are at home to Yarmouth (12.00) captained by Sarah Legg with Kate Russell her vice-captain.

Meanwhile the much-changed Ladies’ 4ths are at home to Norwich City 4ths (3.30), the 5ths (once again captained by Jose Tibbenham) host Lowestoft Railway (1.45), the 6ths, captained by Gillian Stokes, are away to Lowestoft Railway 2nds with the early start of 10.00 while the Girls’ Development, managed once again by Sandra Elliner, are at home to Lowestoft Railway (10.15).

For the Men’s 1sts, with Leigh Sitch continuing as captain and Ben Wright as player-coach, it is back to East Premier A after their short-lived return to the national league and they start with a testing game away to old rivals St Albans (3.00). The team welcome back Will Martin but have unfortunately lost Matt Riches, Toby Price (to university) and Donnie Archer and Zum Akhtar (to Cambridge City). They go with our best wishes and thanks for their services to the club. With their departures and with Andy Hipwell stepping down (but hopefully playing in another team when fit) and with Tristan Baynes now playing a vital role in the 2nds it is hoped that some of the club’s young and promising players step up to take their places including welcome new members Sam Patterson and Jack Knight.

The Men’s 2nds, captained by Lawrence Baynes, will look to consolidate in East Division 1 after their controversial relegation when they start against Blueharts 2nds (2.00) at Weybread. In addition to Tristan Baynes they will be boosted by the welcome return of former 1st team vice-captain Pete Bale (who it was good to see at the club last Saturday with Ellie and their three children) and new member Tom Hughes. Many happy returns to goalkeeper Jordan Wiseman who was 18 last Sunday. Meanwhile the 3rds are once again in the safe hands of captain Matt Brand and they are at home to Lowestoft Railway (3.15). As ever they will be looking to Gavin Cole to produce his highly impressive annual haul of goals. No pressure Gavin!

The Men’s 4ths, after their 3-3 friendly draw with Norwich City 5ths, are away to Lowestoft Railway 2nds (2.30), the 5ths led by Steve Halliley are at home to Thetford Town (10.45) while the 6ths are away to Dereham 3rds (3.00), encouraged by their 3-2 friendly win over Norwich City 7ths, as they prepare to take on the 5ths the following week. Only time will tell if captain Eric Davy comes to regret his team’s promotion at the end of last season! Last but certainly not least the Boys’ Development (managed again by Mark Emms) are away to Dereham (3.45) in what was originally scheduled as a home game. Dereham will now come to Weybread on 5 November (3.15).

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

LINDA HUNTER – Unsung Hero
Linda has stood down from youth coaching after some 20 years and secretary Daphne Beckett (no stranger herself to dedication to the club) has kindly accepted my invitation to pay tribute to Linda for what she has done for the club in this capacity and in many others over the years. Daphne writes

Linda joined the club over 40 years ago playing for the Ladies’ 2nds. In those days there was no clubhouse and just two grass pitches so she has seen many changes and over those years she has quietly contributed an enormous amount to the club. One of my early memories is of Linda playing and then cycling in all weathers over 3 miles home again. Linda has not only played (until 10 years ago) but held very important positions such as team vice-captain and membership secretary always knowing when someone had moved etc. – her knowledge was always extensive. She also served tirelessly on the Youth Committee for many years. When her daughter Melissa started junior hockey Linda also took up coaching obtaining her Level 1 qualification and she coached the boys and girls every other Saturday morning as well as playing. This session then moved to Friday evenings where Linda continued to coach at the boys’ sessions over the years.

Linda is a real unsung hero – just getting on quietly in the background doing what she says she will do. She has always been willing to help at functions such as the strawberry luncheon and other events including tournaments by preparing and serving the food. She is also noted for her chicken eggs for the sandwiches which have been enjoyed by countless people over the years!

We thank Linda for her dedication to Magpies and especially for her much-appreciated contribution to youth coaching in recognition of which a presentation was made to her at the youth awards evening in May. I know Linda will continue to support the Club in her capacity as a vice-president.


Saturday 1 October – Quiz Night
Saturday 26 November – Casino Evening

Saturday 28 January – Cheese & Wine Tasting Evening
Saturday 4 March – Auction of Promises
Saturday 25 March – End of Season Awards
Sat 29 April/Mon 1 May – Magpies Tournament
June/July – Strawberry Luncheon (date and venue to be confirmed)
Thursday 13 July – Golf Day (Bungay & Waveney GC)

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 September 2016


Another season will soon be in full swing under, I’m pleased to say, the continued presidency of Philippa Taylor and the chairmanship of Murray Graham. Philippa is now in the final year of her three-year term while Murray is now into his fourth year after finding no member wishing to depose him despite his best efforts to find a successor! This season Murray will have the additional support of Nick Durrant and Julian Taylor who have kindly joined the Board as vice-chairman and trustee respectively.

Off-field preparations for the new season have included the following – fixtures and playing times, clubhouse redecorations, fence and other outdoor painting, clubhouse cleaning, hedges and bank cutting, kit and equipment checking and ordering, financial and commercial activity including handbook, etc. It is a big ‘thank you’ to all involved. I will not mention names for fear of important omissions!

With regard to the playing preparations it is thanks to all the relevant club officials, team coaches, managers and captains for what they have done to-date in readiness for another busy season.

On-field preparations for the start of the league season on Saturday week continued last Saturday and it was good to see so many people at the club. The Ladies’ 1sts enjoyed an encouraging win over Ipswich and it was welcome back to Bryony Lund, Katherine Ridley and goalkeeper Jade Daly (who since leaving us eight years ago has had spells at Ipswich and Lowestoft) and it was welcome to Hannah de Selincourt who has joined the club from Dereham. Several players were missing due to injury including Kath Johnson who following a fall and an x-ray has had her wrist injury confirmed, unfortunately, as a break. Hopefully Kath and her injured team-mates will be back in action as soon as possible. It was also welcome back to Jess Howland who was playing for the Ladies’ 2nds who beat the 3rds. In other pre-season friendlies (in addition to the Club Day games) the Men’s 2nds drew with Norwich City 2nds, the Men’s 5ths/6ths, a combination of youth and experience to put it mildly, beat City of Peterborough 7ths and away from home the Men’s 1sts lost 1-0 to Milton Keynes.

It was good to see Andy Smith turning out for the 5ths/6ths but as I said to him afterwards he will be more use to the club in the forthcoming season as an umpire! There was more to my remark (sportingly appreciated by Andy) than mere jest. I had in mind what Jose Tibbenham told me a little earlier that there could well be a shortage of umpires this season following the loss of several regulars (including very sadly Vaughn Dearling) and the way the fixtures have turned out with the Ladies’ 1sts and Men’s 1sts often being away on the same day thereby reducing the number of players available for this vital role.

Pre-season matches continue this Saturday. Please see the website for details which are constantly being updated.

Membership subscriptions
Due to an administrative hiccup there has been a delay in the issue of the annual subscription notices but these should now be issued in the next few days. Members are politely reminded they have until the end of September to pay up!

Despite strenuous efforts over recent weeks
to fill vacancies several remain including Men’s 4th team captain, Ladies’ 4th team captain and Ladies’ 7th team captain.

Volunteers do not have to be players to help with these critical roles and they don’t have to do the whole job themselves. Hopefully we can find a couple of volunteers to help share the running of a team.

If you are able to help please contact one of the following; they will be delighted to hear from you.

Tristan Baynes
Louisa Greenacre
Adam Lascelles

It is vital for the running of the club that we find members/parents/friends of the club to help with the above roles. There are also other roles on the playing side of the club which need filling, e.g. organising a pitch inspection rota during cold spells or helping with umpire co-ordination.

Help with these roles would be very much appreciated.

Congratulations and best wishes to Laura Betts and Thomas Ward on the birth of Wrenna Betsy Joy Ward (6lbs 7ozs) on Monday 15 August. All are doing well including brother Otto.

Grand Cricket Challenge between Magpies All Stars and Topcroft (Weybread, Sunday 4 September)
The young Topcroft team batted first (with Magpies later discovering they had 12 fielders!) and were all out for 169 (wicket takers included Ewie Cumming (3), Andrew Bedwell and Iain Cumming with two apiece) and the mighty Magpies replied with 172 for 7 with Thomas Ridley (dropped three times!) top scoring with a splendid 52 retired. Other significant contributions were made by Adam Lascelles, Lewis Belsey (following his spectacular catch earlier in the afternoon), Eric Davy, Iain Cumming, Peter Dolton and Andy Hipwell, the latter hitting two sixes to put Magpies on the cusp of victory. Thanks are due to Simon Bardwell for arranging this first cricket match at the club in almost living memory and to George Hunter for preparing the wicket and outfield. A very enjoyable match for all involved including the spectators.

Other news in brief
a) Olympic Gold Medallist Laura Unsworth is opening Culford School’s new hockey pitch this Saturday (10 September) at 2.00pm.

b) Rachel Holloway has kindly taken over as men’s fixture secretary in succession to Yvonne Long. Thank you Yvonne for carrying out this role so efficiently in recent seasons.

c) The club’s annual handbook is being printed this week. Meanwhile an online version is available on the club’s website from the link on the left of the Latest News page.

d) Date for your diary – Quiz Night, Saturday 1 October, Clubhouse, 7.30pm.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MINI MUSINGS – 22 August 2016




Congratulations to coach Danny Kerry (ex-Pelicans HC!) and captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and all members of the GB women’s squad on winning gold at Rio 2016. They have done the country and our sport proud by this quite outstanding achievement which thrilled millions of television watchers last Friday evening.

This triumph has given a huge boost to our sport and we at Magpies want to be part of that boost!

So if you know of anyone inspired by the GB women to consider taking up our sport or returning to our sport please encourage them to do so. There is no better club to join than Magpies!

The club provides hockey for men, women, boys and girls – of all ages and abilities. Coaching is provided for those new to the sport or who have played before.


New members will be very welcome and they are asked to contact one of the following.

Youth Girls
Youth Boys


a) Training for the new season is now well underway and if you have not already joined in you will be very welcome – please see the website for details.

b) Pre-season matches – please see the website for details including the Club Day on Saturday 3 September.
New members very welcome!

c) The new league season commences on Saturday 17 September.

Musings will be once again be issued weekly from early September with the present author tapping his keyboard for one last season!

With kind regards

Mike Denham



a) A minute’s silence was held in memory of members Vaughn Dearling, Christine Longe and Sue Prior who have very sadly died since the last meeting.

b) Finances in good shape including a further £20,000 (making a total of £90,000) set aside for future developments.

c) The club’s Disciplinary Policy adopted.

d) Board members reappointed with the addition of Nick Durrant in the newly-created post of vice-chairman and Julian Taylor as Trustee.

e) Executive committee members reappointed with the exception of the joint chairmen of the Fund Raising & Social Committee who did not stand for re-election leaving this position/positions to be filled.

f) Fiona Cadman, Kath Johnson, Serena Sitch, Julian Taylor, Nick Tibbenham and John Young appointed vice-presidents in recognition of their services to the club.

g) Subscriptions (including training fees) for season 2016/2017 approved as follows –

Adult £110 (previously £100), Concessions £75 (£66), U13 £60 (£55) due on 1st September and must be paid by 30th September. Thereafter they will increase to £140, £90 and £75 respectively.

h) Match fees for season 2016/2017 approved as follows –

Adults £10.00 (previously £9.00), Concessions/Juniors (U13) £6.00 (£5.50).

i) The club’s sponsors were thanked for their invaluable help.

j) The Development Group’s paper was discussed.

k) Chairman’s Report – please see below.


Helen and Joe Walker on the birth of Felix Stanley Ashdown (9lbs 1oz) on Sunday 12 June. Felix is a brother for Elliot.


Iain Cumming has stood down as Bar Steward and has been succeeded by Simon Bardwell. It is a big ‘thank you’ to Iain for all his hard work in the role (and to Vikie for the support she has given Iain) and welcome to Simon who has already made a good start in this important position.


Simon Bardwell is organising a day of cricket at the club on Sunday 4 September starting at 11.00am. He envisages a round-robin event of three teams playing fifteen eight-ball overs with a maximum of three per bowler with batsmen retiring if they reach twenty-five runs.

Simon also envisages a BBQ and players and their families bringing picnics while watching the cricket in the sunshine!

The event is open to both men and women. If you are interested in playing please contact Simon on or 07855 446506 for further details.


The club offers the following for meetings, birthday parties, weddings and Balls (for your marquee), car boot sales, motor car display events, etc.

Clubhouse with: Large lounge/bar area, Kitchen, Toilets (including disabled toilet)

Changing rooms and showers, Stairlift, Wi-Fi, Television including BT sport

Car parking: For 100s of cars. Two grass fields for your use: Two party tents for hire

If you are interested please make the initial contact through Simon Bardwell as above.


Our thanks are due to our hosts, Roy and Rosemary Goodwin, the organising committee and everyone who supported this very successful and enjoyable event in the delightful surroundings of Syleham Hall.


It is still not too late to enter this very enjoyable event. There are still two slots available.

If you would like to enter a team of four (either Ladies, Gentlemen or Mixed) please let me know as soon as possible. Handicap certificates are required.

With kind regards

Mike Denham


PS. Please keep an eye on the Latest News page of the website during the summer for news and announcements.

AGM 23.06.16 – Chairman’s Report

I would like to take this opportunity to formally thank everyone associated with Harleston Magpies Hockey Club for their support and dedication to our community.

It is a community, and despite the setbacks and fall outs, we all do have one thing in common and that is our love and affection for this great club. It is worth reminding yourself of this when you are next clearing out the septic tank or coaching in the freezing cold rain!

It has been a season of great achievement, which I will look back on later in my report.

Firstly, I would like to refer to the management structure and its relevance to hockey played here in Weybread.

There is a contradiction here. This is a voluntary organisation (a community amateur sports club) run by volunteers in their own (non-work) time. Yet it has to be run as a commercial organisation and a large one, with a wide reach.

The disciplines of management have to mirror those in business but we have to be flexible, adaptable and understanding of each other’s busy lives.

Structure is all important and I wanted to remind you how the club is structured. The board is responsible for policy, long term finance and strategy. Long term vision is imperative to enable us to plan for the future.

The Executive is responsible for operational matters and general management. The chairman has overall responsibility and the buck stops with him or her.

However to make it function effectively, each member of the Executive has delegated authority and the power to run committees in order to discharge their responsibilities.

In this regard, I am totally indebted to the work undertaken by Jose Tibbenham, Daphne Beckett, Philippa Taylor, John Rowe, Tris Baynes, Maria Rowe, Peter Dolton, Katrina Sitch, Andy Johnson and David Johnson. Their drive, enthusiasm and commitment is very much appreciated and an inspiration (hopefully!) to others.

However they do need support and there are opportunities for anyone to be involved in the committees to help this club tick, the more people involved, the less onerous the work load is. It can be fun too with a great sense of achievement (at times!) and camaraderie.

The recruitment of volunteers to help manage this club is of paramount importance, to help rejuvenate, to introduce new ideas, to share the workload.

I would now like to turn to the achievements in the 2015-2016 season. There have been lows, inevitably, covered elsewhere in other reports, but I am pleased to remind you of the following.

Achievements Season 2015-16 include:


1sts finish in mid-table in England Hockey’s East Conference at the end of the team’s

17th consecutive season in the league (in this spell)

4ths win Norfolk Premier title.


Men’s 1sts promoted to Division One of the national indoor league.

Men’s 6th win promotion from East Division 6NE.

O50s reach semi-finals of England Hockey’s Masters Cup.


Finish third in England Hockey’s Mixed Trophy.

International Honours

10 members of the club achieved:

International honours during the year including 3, Rosie Winter, Molly Redgrove and Abby Gooderham in the England U16 to U18 age group.

England representatives in 7 different age groups.

6 Medal Winners at the 2016 FIH Masters World Cup in Australia.


U18 Boys win national cup indoor championship.


U10 Girls and U12 Boys win East club Championship.

England Hockey

Mike Denham receives the EH’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


A highly successful Ball held last June to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the formation of the club.

Looking forward

The Executive will meet shortly after the AGM to discuss and agree priorities and these will include.

o Property development and fundraising plans

o Membership recruitment

o Supporting publicity activities

o Supporting sponsorship and advertising plans

o Club strategy 2017 and beyond

I hope you enjoy a relaxing close season and recharge your batteries in advance of the 2016-2017 campaign.

Murray Graham
23 June 2016


The Church of the Holy Cross at Caston was full to overflowing last Friday for the Service of Celebration to commemorate the life of Vaughn reflecting the high esteem in which he was held. With many present in their various hockey club shirts, as suggested by the family, the congregation must have been one of the most colourfully dressed in the long history of the church. Tributes were paid to Vaughn, or ‘Mr D’ as he was known to the pupils he taught, covering the family, teaching and sporting aspects of his life.

Kaye, Vaughn’s wife, has asked that her thanks and those of her family be passed on to all those who attended the service and to the many who have written to her following the very sad and sudden passing of Vaughn.

Players (men and women) of all ages and abilities are invited to attend this course being held at the club on Friday 17 and 24 June at 7.30pm. Please invite anyone else you think might be interested. Sticks will be provided. If you have any queries please contact Peter Dolton (07773 069327 or )

at Syleham Hall, Syleham, IP21 4LY by kind permission of Roy and Rosemary Goodwin.

You are cordially invited to this event which is always one of the most enjoyable in the club’s social calendar. It is not ‘ticket only’ but it would be helpful if you contacted Daphne Beckett (07850 709297 or if you plan to attend. This would help with the catering numbers. Thank you.

Tickets £12.50 (Adults, i.e. over age 12), £5 (Children 7 to 12), Free (U7s), £50 (Family ticket for five adults), £40 (Family ticket for four adults). Please bring suitable chairs/tables.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – THURSDAY 23 JUNE CLUBHOUSE 7.30PM The agenda has been issued (and is also on the website) and it is hoped that as many members as possible will be able to attend and to contribute to the proceedings.

It is still not too late to enter this very enjoyable event. There are still two slots available. 
If you would like to enter a team of four (either Ladies, Gentlemen or Mixed) please let me know as soon as possible. Handicap certificates are required.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

PS. Please keep an eye on the Latest News page of the website during the summer for news and announcements.



The first competitive match of the club’s season was played way back on Saturday 12 September and the last will be this coming Sunday when hopefully the Magpies’ Mixed team, sponsored by Parson Estate Agents, will be competing as defending champions in the final of the national mixed trophy against either Banbury or Bristol. But before then they have the no small challenge of the previous day’s semi-final to win. Very best wishes to our team.

Leigh Sitch, captain of the Magpies’ team, looks ahead to the weekend as follows.

We travel to the home of hockey at Lee Valley Hockey Centre to defend the title we won last season. We go in fine form following our convincing 5-0 quarter-final victory against Khalsa (Warks). This season we have played five games scoring 23 goals while conceding only 2.

On Saturday at 3.30pm our semi-final opponents are Formby and they have also been in good form scoring 25 goals while conceding just 3 on their way to the finals weekend. Formby will be a tough test for us as they are an experienced mixed side who were also at the finals weekend last season competing in the national plate competition.

We know that we will need to be clinical from the outset if we are going to qualify for the final on Sunday at 4.00pm. The 3rd/4th place game starts at 2.00pm.

The squad includes many of the same players who lifted the trophy last season. The only injury concern is Lizzie Clymer who is struggling to recover from a broken toe sustained in the game against Khalsa three weeks ago. The team welcomes Amy Hipwell into the squad for the weekend.

Squad – Leigh Sitch, Katrina Sitch (vice-captain), John Livings (GK), Andrew Bedwell, Lauren Barber, James Meek, Lucy Whiting, Simon Hipwell, Amy Hipwell, Richard Larkin, Lauren Mickleburgh, Robbie Kinsella, Maria Andrews, Sam Moore, Lizzie Clymer, Dickon Taylor, Frances Taylor and Kevin Ridley (manager).

I am very sorry to record that David passed away at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford on 1st May. David was secretary of the Eastern Counties Hockey Association between 1978 and 1988 and he was also manager of the Association’s U21 team between 1988 and 1990. As well as being a highly regarded administrator he was also a much-respected umpire.

at Syleham Hall, Syleham, IP21 4LY
by kind permission of Roy and Rosemary Goodwin.
For tickets for this popular event ((£12.50 (Adults), £5 (Children 7 to 12), Free (U7s)) please phone Jackie Ridley (01379 854697) or Katrina Sitch (07730 454206).

The agenda for the meeting will be issued very shortly and it is hoped that 
as many members as possible will be able to attend and to contribute to the proceedings.

* not January as on the emailed version of this Musings – sorry!

It is still not too late to enter this very enjoyable event but places are filling up quickly
If you would like to enter a team of four (either Ladies, Gentlemen or Mixed) please let me know as soon as possible. Handicap certificates are required.

This is the last Musings of the season – if only to give you and your scribe a break! The column will be back in late summer for strictly one last season (definitely!!) depending on the health of your scribe and the wishes of the club. In the meantime I thank you for your encouragement and support and I hope you are able to have an enjoyable summer.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

PS. Please keep an eye on the Latest News page of the website during the summer for news and announcements.


MIKE’S MUSINGS – 24 May 2016

A celebration of Vaughn’s life will be held on Friday 10th June at 1.30pm at Holy Cross Church, The Green, Caston, NR17 1DB. The service will be followed by drinks and refreshments at the Village Hall.

The family stress it is a celebration so please wear colour and for those from the hockey/sports family, please wear hockey shirts!

Family flowers only but if you wish to make a donation the family ask you to kindly donate to the Emmeline Centre. This is the Cochlear Implant Centre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. They gave Vaughn his life back and allowed him to continue to smile and laugh by giving him his hearing back.

To donate please make cheques payable to The Emmeline Centre (reference Vaughn Dearling) and send C/O W.C. Littleproud & Sons Ltd, Hale Road, Bradenham, Norfolk, IP25 7RA.

Christine’s funeral will be held at 2.00pm on Tuesday 7 June at St Peter and St Paul Church, Brockdish, IP21 4JJ followed by private cremation. Informal dress please. Family flowers only please but donations in memory of Christine for the Brockdish Church Fabric Fund or the Norfolk and Norwich Langley Ward Renal Unit may be sent c/o Rosedale Funeral Home, 63 Victoria Road, Diss, IP22 4JE. After the service there will be a gathering at the hockey club.

CONGRATULATIONS and very best wishes to:
Ali (née Bicker) and Ash Watson on the birth of Harry on Saturday 14 May. Harry (8lbs 4ozs) and his mother and father are doing well.

Tom Graham, Rhodri Furlong and Gareth Furlong (Out-on-loan Magpies). Tom has been training with the Scotland U21s and over the weekend he made his debut at Lilleshall for the Scotland senior team when they played two matches against the Great Britain U23s training squad. For the record the first match was a 3-3 draw while Scotland won the second 4-2. The GB team included Rhodri who already has four caps for the Wales senior team. It is good to see them making such promising progress in their hockey careers. Let’s hope their studies are going just as well! Meanwhile Gareth, who has already played 49 times for the Wales senior team, hopes to make his 50th appearance against Poland in Cardiff at the end of June.

at Syleham Hall, Syleham by kind permission of Roy and Rosemary Goodwin.
For tickets for this popular event ((£12.50 (Adults), £5 (Children 7 to 12), Free (U7s)) please phone Jackie Ridley (01379 854697) or Katrina Sitch (07730 454206).

Congratulations to Mike Denham on receiving the Perkins Slade Lifetime Achievement Award at last Saturday’s glittering dinner at the Madejski Stadium in Reading attended by over 270 hockey lovers who gave Mike a standing ovation.

Mike received the award from a short list of nominees following nominations from across the country. He has given outstanding service to hockey at national, regional, county and club levels and I am sure that all club members, and other hockey lovers outside of the club, will be delighted that he has received this recognition for his dedication and commitment to our sport over many years. Long may it continue!

Philippa Taylor
President, HMHC

Note from your scribe regarding the above award.
As you can imagine I am delighted and honoured to have received this England Hockey award and I thank everyone at the club for their support, encouragement and friendship over many years. I feel I have taken as much out of hockey as I have put in and along the way I have made many friends and enjoyed (usually!) countless games and functions. I have thanked everyone who has kindly sent me emails or have rung me since Saturday evening. But I have to confess that I have yet to come to grips with Twitter and Facebook so I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has kindly contacted me by these methods.

I also thank Murray Graham, Philippa Taylor, Daphne Beckett and Mike and Helen Barber for their support last Saturday. I must say I would have felt less anxious during the dinner if my award had not been the last of the seventeen to be announced between the various courses! I hope to do a little more yet for the club (depending on my health) including the odd Musings or three next season.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 17 May 2016


The club was very sorry to learn of the death of Christine in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Saturday morning following her recent illness.

We extend our condolences to her husband Andrew, an Honorary Life Member of the club, and son Richard on their great loss.

Christine was a vice-president of the club. She was elected to this position in appreciation of the support she had given the club; support she continued to give in many ways despite poor health restricting her attendance at the club in recent years.

Details of the funeral arrangements will be posted on the club’s website when known.

Philippa Taylor
President, HMHC


I am grateful to James Smith, Boys’ Youth Development Officer, for this report.

With much excitement Magpies’ U12s set off to the Nottingham Hockey Centre bright and early to pit their skills against the country’s best U12s. With confidence high after the team’s East triumph and some successful additional training sessions nerves began, both on and off the pitch, to show when the whistle went for the first match.

On a lively pitch Stourport’s direct hockey style caught Magpies napping and despite having good periods of possession Stourport forced the ball past the Magpies defence to score twice before half time. Oli Mayhew nearly pulled goal back but a fine save from the Stourport keeper kept Magpies at bay and soon after Magpies were very unlucky not to be awarded a penalty flick when a Stourport defender’s stick tackle prevented a certain goal. The second half saw Magpies turn on the pressure and deservedly get a goal when Oli Currie popped an early ball through to Oli Mayhew who rounded the keeper to set up a tense last few minutes. However with the seconds ticking away an equaliser just could not be found.

Following a debrief and a round of biscuits from the Herschel-Shorlands the team set about the task of beating Cheltenham, the West champions. In the first few minutes it became apparent what a challenging day it was going to be against a disciplined and organised team playing some flowing hockey. Magpies were getting overrun and disappointing as it may have been for the team Cheltenham deservedly took the lead and added a second before half time. However at 2 – 0 down Magpies fought back but could not collectively find a way round the Cheltenham defence.

Another debrief and this time a round of sausage rolls from the Brice family inspired the team and against Brooklands, the North Champions, Magpies looked a real threat but despite four short corners in the first half they couldn’t find the net and to rub salt into the wounds against the run of play Brooklands scored just before the break and then added a second after half time.

With energy levels at a low level it was time for cheesy chips, a round of Magpies themed cup cakes and the official team photo shoot. None of this could hide the fact that Magpies were about to take on the strongest team in their group, Surbiton, and despite the hard work of all in the team Surbiton were just two strong turning a 1-0 lead at half time into a 4- 0 win.

The strength of Surbiton’s youth section shows that despite the giant steps forward Magpies have made with their boys hockey this year there is still a lot more work to be done. At this point we reminded ourselves that some of the team only started playing at the club at the start of the season after taking part in last summer’s taster sessions, a real success story for our coaches Matt Brand, Blake Elliot and, of course, Richard Larkin and their assistants.

The above results meant a 9th and 10th placing game to end the day for the team, interestingly against the East runners-up Old Loughtonians. Again Old Loughts took the lead and again just before the final whistle Magpies struck the perfect short corner but Old Loughts were prepared this time and the defender on the line deflected the ball wide of the post.

The team of Archbishop Sancroft (3), Thomas Mills (2), Pulham Primary, Hartismere, St Felix, Langley and Brandeston pupils did the club proud and although I am sure that personally they will all be a bit disappointed with the results over the day they all showed a lot of promise and character and after a summer of relaxation will come back stronger as a result of this experience.

Finally, thanks must go to Mark Emms for his management of the team over the season, Dan Mayhew for his first aid prowess on the side lines… one dared get injured and, of course, Richard Larkin team coach and Mr Motivator.

James Smith


In this quarter-final of the England Hockey Mixed Trophy Magpies, the defending champions, played their best hockey of the season to beat Khalsa who had started the game brightly. Magpies thereafter dominated for much of the rest of the game, without conceding a penalty corner, except for a ten minute spell early in the second half when the visitors put the strong home defence under some pressure.

Sam Moore finished off a sweeping move from close range to put Magpies ahead in the seventeenth minute and eight minutes later he scored again with a thumping shot from the edge of the circle. The home team continued to attack, with Lauren Barber and Lizzie Clymer to the fore, and Robbie Kinsella made it 3-0 at half time when he slotted home at the far post following an accurate pass from skipper Leigh Sitch.

Khalsa enjoyed their best spell of the game on the resumption and they hit the bar and post with a fierce reverse stick shot without the ball crossing the line. The visitors’ felt hard done by this correct decision and they lost their concentration for a few minutes. This allowed Magpies to return to the attack and with ten minutes left Lucy Whiting swept the ball into the net at chest height and in the last two minutes Simon Hipwell ran into the circle before smashing the ball passed the goalkeeper, who had earlier made some good saves, for the fifth and final goal in an impressive home performance.

After the game James Meek was voted MOTM for his all-action performance while 2-goal Sam Moore received the opposite accolade (which due to club policy must not speak its name) for his second half efforts which included a yellow card. These were deemed by his cruel team-mates, to put it politely, not to match his first half display!

Before the match the players and spectators stood in memory of Vaughn Dearling.

Magpies now advance to the finals weekend at the Lee Valley SC determined to retain their crown. In the semis on Saturday 4 June Magpies play Formby (3.30) with Banbury and Bristol contesting the other semi at 1.30. The final and 3rd/4th playoff will be held the next day. The 2015-16 season is still not over!

CONGRATULATIONS and very best wishes to:

Laura and James Lane on the birth of Agnes Mirabelle in the West Suffolk Hospital on Tuesday 10 May. Agnes (8lbs 3ozs) and her mother and father are doing well.

Sinead and Simon Hipwell on the birth of Ellen Aine on Thursday 12 May. Ellen (6lbs 11ozs) is a sister for Isaac and she was at the club on Sunday but it is doubtful she was aware her father scored a goal for the Mixed!

Toby Tibbenham and Evie Rogers on their marriage in St Andrew’s Church, Weybread on Saturday 14 May.

David Blackmore on winning a bronze medal with the England team in the O60s event in the World Grand Masters held in Newcastle, New South Wales.


Please see the Home Page of the club’s website for details of the following –

i) Magpies Summer Taster Training Course (for Boys and Girls aged 6 to 12).

ii) Magpies Summer Camps (for Boys and Girls aged 9 to 14). This course is not suitable for complete


For your diary please –

i) Strawberry Luncheon – Sunday 19 June.

ii) Annual General Meeting – Thursday 23 June.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 10 May 2016


The many friends of Vaughn will have been shocked by his death in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Sunday 8 May following his recent stroke. The condolences of the club go to his wife Kaye, son Owen, daughter Natalie and all members of the family on their great and sudden loss.

Vaughn was a very popular member of the club and in the wider hockey community with his friendly manner and enthusiasm for the game of hockey. Through his coaching at Kingston Grammar School and Bungay High School generations of pupils are indebted to Vaughn for handing down his love and extensive knowledge of our game to them.

Vaughn went to The Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone before training at St Luke’s College in Exeter. He then taught geography and PE at Kingston Grammar School and he played for Old Kingstonians in the London League as well as Wales Under 23’s.

After moving to Norfolk he played his first team hockey for Norfolk Wanderers, Norfolk and the East in the 1970s as a very skilful centre half. He then joined Magpies serving as vice-captain of the 3rds in the early 1980s and later becoming team secretary. He went on to coach at different times the Ladies’ and Men’s 1sts. He coached the Men’s 1sts in their unbeaten 1991/92 season in the East Premier league which saw them promoted to the national league and he coached them for the ensuing season. He also had successful spells coaching Ipswich Ladies in the European Cup, Ipswich HC and Ipswich & East Suffolk HC and he coached many other teams including East and Norfolk junior teams.

In recent seasons he has concentrated on umpiring and the club is indebted to him for umpiring as one of the club’s members in the Norfolk pool.

Vaughn made this enormous contribution to hockey while for years having a severe hearing loss.

Hockey has lost a devoted servant by Vaughn’s death but the far greater loss is suffered by Kaye, Owen and Natalie who have lost a loving and devoted husband and father.

Details of the funeral arrangements will be posted on the club’s website when known.

Murray Graham


It is best wishes to our U12 Boys’ team when they travel to Beeston HC in Nottingham on Saturday to compete in the national finals as East champions, the title they won in dramatic fashion when beating Old Loughtonians in the East final at Weybread in the middle of April.

On Saturday as East 1 Magpies play in Pool A against Stourport (Midlands 2) (11.00), Cheltenham (West 1) (11.50), Brooklands (North 1) (1.05) and Surbiton (South 2) (3.10).

Pool B is made up of Old Loughtonians (East 2), Rugby & East Warwickshire (Midlands 1), Alderley Edge (North 2), Canterbury (South 1) and Robinsons (West 2). There are no semi-finals so to reach the final teams have the tough task of winning their pool.

Magpies’ team: Elliott Chapman (GK), Edward Brice (captain), Elliott Cooper, Bruce Daniels, Sam Emms, Freddie Herschel-Shorland, Oliver Currie, Oliver Mayhew, Matty Nesling, Ben Waters, Mark Emms (manager), Richard Larkin (coach).


On Sunday at Weybread (1.30) Magpies entertain Khalsa (Warks) in the quarter-finals of the event they proudly won last season. So far this season Magpies have beaten Ipswich (4-1), Saffron Walden (4-1), Norwich City (5-0) and Wisbech (5-0). Khalsa are bound to be formidable opponents especially bearing in mind they have already beaten Cannock this season and I hardly need to remind our team what happened when we played Cannock two seasons ago! Best wishes to our team for what promises to be an exciting game.


Treacle Griffin has organised a few ‘pre pre-season’ fitness sessions at the club for Wednesday evenings starting at 6.30pm for one hour and she reports as follows.

Donna Dawson, company director of Elixir Coaching, has kindly agreed to come to the club to train members on all-over strength training and core strength training and also to improve our fitness levels through lactic acid threshold.

We are doing a trial during the month of May at £5 per session and would love to see as many HMHC ladies as possible. This will give us the chance to keep ticking over before pre-season starts, as well as socialising with other club members.

If you are interested please make sure you turn up a little before 6.30pm to give you time to fill out a quick Health and Safety form. Friends and family also very welcome!

The first session took place last Wednesday with a great mixture of Ladies from 1st XI to 7th XI resulting in lots of laughs and giggles and sore muscles the following day!


Please see the Home Page of the club’s website for details of the following –

i) Magpies Summer Taster Training Course (for Boys and Girls aged 6 to 12).

ii) Magpies Summer Camps (for Boys and Girls aged 9 to 14). This course is not suitable for complete beginners).

For your diary please –

i) Strawberry Luncheon – Sunday 19 June.

ii) Annual General Meeting – Thursday 23 June.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 5 May 2016


For the twentieth year James Smith was the mastermind behind this event and the club is once again in his debt for all his hard work. I am pleased to say he has kindly put ‘pen to paper’ as follows to give his reflections on the two very enjoyable days.

The club was alive with hockey last weekend thanks in no small part to the grass pitch preparation efforts of George Hunter and the last minute arrival of Harry Flatt and a new tractor to roll the pitches. On Saturday 18 mixed teams graced our pitches (both astro and grass) and for some players this was their first experience of natural grass pitch hockey. Monday was Club XIs Day with 14 Ladies’ teams and 8 Men’s teams in action. The resulting 122 matches over the two days finally coming to a conclusion at 5.30pm on Monday afternoon just before the heavens opened!

However, before we recognise the tournament winners a big ‘thank you’ needs to be made by me on behalf of the club and all the playing membership to those who helped manage the event over the weekend. There are too many people to name individually but we need to remember the efforts of:

The kitchen team who worked tirelessly to serve teas, coffees, bacon rolls, hot dogs and filled rolls across the weekend generating a tidy profit for the club but more importantly keeping energy levels high for players and umpires alike.

The umpires, all 30 of you and those we had to lean on during the mixed tournament during the day. Without your help the tournament would not be able to take place. I hope you enjoyed the day and you will remain fit and healthy ready for next year.

The pitch marking squad of Simon Bardwell and Tim Allen (still on loan at Dragons) and the clean up team on Monday which included Chris Flatt, David Johnson, Jack Robertson, James Webster and Rob Neal. Thanks are also due to those who erected the marquees and helped to take them down.

This leaves Iain Cumming and Simon Bardwell to thank for their sterling work behind the bar, Sandra Elliner for patching up a number of wounded hockey players, Murray Graham for keeping the organising tent calm, Helen Barber’s precision in timekeeping and results coordination and finally, of course, Kirstin Cumming without whom there would not have been any umpires in the right place….or even at the club on the right day.

As you will no doubt sense from the above the May Day Weekend Festival needs a real club effort to put on and I really appreciate all the help the army of volunteers provided – next year we will need more of the same and for those Magpies yet to volunteer please give this some thought. This is the last such tournament in the East and I for one would not want to see the event consigned to the history books.

Anyway, back to the hockey. Nine Magpies teams competed over the weekend with varying success. The Men’s Club XI found the going tough and were knocked out in the Plate competition. Thetford Town retained their title beating Sudbury in the final with Sam Palmer of Sudbury picking up the coveted Player of the Final Award. In the Cup competition it was a repeat of last year’s final with Ely taking on Norwich City. Norwich City prevailed with George Brine of City being voted Player of the Final.

The two Magpies Ladies’ teams should have fared better but sadly both misplaced their goalkeepers before the start of the day. With only kicking backs available both were destined for the Plate but Harleston Magpies “Goals Will Come” defended well and reached the final but lost out on a penalty flick showdown with Loddon. Sally Bircham of Loddon was named as Player of the Final. In the Cup competition Norwich City were able to do the double as City City Bang Bang took the title beating Christchurch of Ipswich with the Brine family achieving a Player of the Final double with Ellie being the star of the final.

However, Mixed hockey would appear to be where our club strength lies at present with all but one of the Magpies’ teams progressing into the Cup competition. It was no surprise that Tye Dye Pies and Magpies “Over the Hill” eventually reached the final with both teams having real strength in depth and thanks to a Player of the Final performance by Thomas Ridley, Tye Dye Pies retained their title.

James Smith

300 CLUB May 2016 winners – £20 Eileen Chubbock, £20 Paula Higgins, £15 Kay Nelson, £15 Tony Williams, £15 Iain Wylie, £15 Keith Alexander. If you would like to join the 300 Club (£12 per number for club members and £13 per number for the year for non-club members) please contact Angie Wheelhouse at
The names of all the monthly winners going back to September 2012 are on the club’s website.


The U12 Boys are in training for the national finals to be played at Beeston HC on Saturday 14 May. I hope the players and coaches have dried out by now after being caught in the downpour on Monday evening!

In the quarter-finals of the England Hockey Mixed Trophy the Magpies’ team (and reigning champions) are at home to Khalsa (Warks) on Sunday 15 May (1.30).

Please see the Home Page of the club’s website for details of the following –

i) Magpies Summer Taster Training Course (for Boys and Girls aged 6 to 12).

ii) Magpies Summer Camps (for Boys and Girls aged 9 to 14). This course is not suitable for complete beginners.

iii) Car Boot Sale for charity organised by Park Radio (of Diss) at HMHC on Sunday 8 May.

For your diary please –

i) Strawberry Luncheon – Sunday 19 June.

ii) Annual General Meeting – Thursday 23 June.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 19 April 2016


Our four teams competing in the East Club Minis, hosted over the weekend for the eighth successive year by the club, all did the club proud and it is special congratulations to our U12 Boys’ and U10 Girls’ teams for winning their events on what turned out to be Super Saturday.

The U12 Boys came second in their pool and in the semis they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Blue Hornets going on to win the penalty stroke decider 2-1 after their first stroke was saved. In the final against Old Loughtonians they scored with the last hit of the game to draw 1-1 before triumphing 2-0 on strokes. The team now represents the East, together with Old Loughts, in the national finals at Beeston HC on Saturday 14 May.

The U10 Girls did not sail so close to the wind winning all their five pool games quite comfortably. In the final they came up against their old rivals Norwich City who now stood between them and their ultimate prize at the end of their quite outstanding season. They had to work hard for their two-goal lead against opponents who like them had not conceded a goal so far in the tournament. City pulled a goal back two minutes from time but Magpies (surely one of the club’s best ever age-group teams) were soon celebrating their well-deserved victory.

The U12 Girls made an excellent start in their event on Sunday winning their first four games before coming up against Sevenoaks in their last pool game. Sevenoaks went into a surprise two-goal lead before Magpies pulled a goal back but they couldn’t find the equaliser they needed to avoid Canterbury in the semis. Canterbury went ahead in the semis before Magpies equalised. Unfortunately the hard running Kent team fired in an unstoppable shot to clinch their place in the final where they beat Sevenoaks, the conquerors of Ipswich in the other semi, by two goals to one.

The U10 Boys came a very creditable 4thin their pool after one win, one draw and two defeats. One of their defeats was at the hands of a very impressive Old Loughtonians’ side which beat Blueharts 3-1 in the final.

Please see the website for full reports of all four events.

Thanks are due to the coaches and managers of our four teams for all their hard work over the season. It is also thanks to all the club members and parents who helped with the successful staging of the four competitions over the weekend. I have in mind the erecting of the marquees in the pouring rain on Friday evening, the car parking duties (despite one prominent playing member saying the job was completely superfluous!), the catering and the public address announcements, etc. Once again it was good fun if a little tiring for some of us.

I am delighted to record the following.

Emma Lee-Smith has been voted by her peers as the Investec East Conference Player of the Season 2015-16. Emma has had another excellent season and thoroughly deserves this recognition. Emma also received the award in the 2012/13 season.

Charlotte (Tosh) Lee-Smith, following her outstanding season in goal, and her sister Emma have been voted by their peers into the Investec East Conference ‘team of the year 2015-16’. This is the first time that Tosh has received this honour and the fourth year running for Emma. What a family double!

Mike Denham has been shortlisted by England Hockey for their Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his devotion to our sport at national, regional, county and club levels over many years. Presentations to the winners in each of the categories (as listed on the England Hockey website) will be made at the EH Awards Dinner at the Madejski Stadium in Reading on Saturday 21 May.

Murray Graham

Lizzie and Mark Wheelhouse on the birth of Henry on Tuesday 22 March. Henry is a brother for 2-year old Noah.

Men’s 2nd XI
I’m sorry to have to inform you that Harleston Magpies have been adjudged by the East League to have unfairly strengthened the Men’s 2nd XI through the use of 1st XI players. The penalty imposed has been the docking of the points won by the 2nd XI in the matches investigated, leading to the relegation of the team. Harleston Magpies appealed unsuccessfully against this decision and is currently seeking further clarification from the East League as to the process followed and considerations made.

We appreciate how disappointing this will be to those who played for the 2nds in particular and who did so well to avoid relegation.

Murray Graham

At the end (or almost) of yet another season I thank Nigel Bedingfield of for all the help and guidance he has given me with the distribution of Musings each week and for all the other help he gives the club with the website which he manages so successfully despite what seems the almost daily attempts by hackers to penetrate the security measures protecting the website.

Thanks are also due to everyone who has umpired for the club over the past few months. This applies whether they be club or pool umpires or club members who kindly umpire in the Norfolk and Suffolk pools. Players and spectators are indebted to them for the running of our sport. In turn umpires always know that they can rely on the guidance of the ignorant on the other side of the fencing!

If you wish to attend a Level 1 Umpire Course please see the Latest News page of the website.

In the quarter-finals of the England Mixed Trophy the club, who are defending champions, are at home to Khalsa (Warwicks) on Sunday 15 or 22 May. Please see the website for further details when known.

With kind regards
Mike Denham