Lauren Rowe claimed five goals on Saturday when the Ladies 1sts hosted Ipswich taking Magpies to the top of the East Conference League – their best start to a season for six years. At 3-0 up within eight minutes the home side dominated their local rivals and the comfortable 5-0 score line provided the opportunity for youngsters Charley Seaman and Georgie Cantrell to demonstrate their impressive skills.
The Men’s 1s started well away at Cambridge City and opened the scoring when a well-crafted move starting at the back through Andrew Bedwell found Tom Sumner, who popped the ball into Ben Gowing, who then sprayed a beautiful ball out to Ruanaq Rai at right half who carried to the baseline and delivered to James Gray to brilliantly finish from close range. However, a series of minor discretions saw Magpies reduced to 9 men for a period which Cambridge took full advantage of and scored a deflection past Chris Leek from close range. With one minute to play, the visitors were awarded a penalty corner which resulted in Dave Gilbert swatting the ball in at the back post to provide Harleston with their fifth successive win.
Following consecutive draws and an injury to Captain Stu Field the Mens 2s welcomed Broxbourne to ‘The Nest’ hoping for all three points but a lack of composure in the ‘D’ saw chances go begging early on. A bobbly ball against the run of play gave Broxbourne the lead but Magpies fought back, equalised, and then took the lead thanks to a beautifully executed short corner strike from Tristan Baynes. Continuing to dominate, the home side won a short corner on the final whistle from which Man of the Match Robbie Kinsella scored to make it 3-1. Magpies are away at Potters Bar on Saturday who are currently only one point behind the Norfolk side.
A two week break hasn’t put the Ladies 6s off their stride as they notched up their fifth successive win on Saturday against Pelicans. With Heather Brand, Holly Morris, Jane Collins, Frankie Wildmun, Marie Davy and Liv Carter thwarting any attacking opportunities, Shirley McAllen, Georgie Hood, Janna Freeman, Judith Masters, Rachel Clifford and Laura Woodgate had space to pile on the pressure and score five times. The win keeps Magpies at the top of the table with only goal difference separating them from this weekends opposition Herlings.
The young Girls Development team had to readjust their tactics in response to Yarmouth fielding three adults on Saturday and the girls coped well, stretching the play a little wider between Jess, Grace, Kate and Florence. Relentless pressure from Magpies culminated in goals for Florence (2), Grace, Kate and Beth whilst Harriet, Emma, Amy and Isabelle protected Jasmine who made her debut in goal and kept a clean sheet, finishing 5-0.
Many of the Magpies youngsters were in National Cup action on Sunday with the U14 Girls making a great start to their campaign with a 7-1 win against Ipswich (goals from Emma, Ella, Loulou, Jess and a hatrick for Anna). The U14 Boys were defeated 6-1 away from home but can still progress to the next round of the cup if they win their final group game.
The U18 Girls’ match was cancelled as Norwich City were unable to field a team so the girls were awarded the win and a day off to recover from their matches on Saturday. The U18 Boys went a goal ahead at Dragons when Raunaq Rai scored a drag flick and thanks to some fine saves from Ollie Juszt in goal, Magpies held the lead until half time. Dragons came out fighting in the second half and score three times but coach Tim Whiteman commented that ‘The boys should be very proud of their play without any practice together as a team ahead of the match and showed a very good attitude throughout the game.’
The U16 Girls set the tone of their game by scoring in the first minute and going on to beat Pelicans 16-0! Lovely flowing moves which cut through the oppositions defence combined with an all round team performance bodes well for the next round. Not to be outdone the U16 Boys put 13 goals past Bishops Stortford where Elliot Chapman and Bruce Daniels made impressive debuts for the team.
Not forgetting the O40s Men who travelled to Sudbury for the first round of their cup and came away with a convincing 8-0 victory. Goals from Neil Toulson (4), Andy Caston (2), Dave Francis and Matt Brand, along with a clean sheet from Chris Flatt in goal sees the spritely veterans progress to round two.
In addition to the Ladies 3s, 4s, 5s and 7s; the Girls Development team and the Men’s 3s and 4s, both the Ladies and Men’s first teams play at home on Saturday and go into the games on unbeaten runs. The Ladies host St Albans at 1.30pm followed by the Men who push back against Bedford at 3pm – both teams will appreciate a lively crowd! This Sunday Magpies are hosting a Minis Tournament for U12 Girls and Boys from the surrounding clubs where we look forward to seeing the progression the players have made since the beginning of the season.
Spirits are high at ‘The Nest’ following a successive streak of wins for both the Ladies and Men’s 1st teams. The Ladies travelled to Sevenoaks last Saturday and took the lead via Lauren Rowe’s brace of drag flicks. An amazing team effort and defensive display absorbed the pressure from Sevenoaks who were relentlessly hunting for a point. Despite the home side pulling a goal back from a short corner, and subbing their goalkeeper for a kicking back, Magpies stood firm and secured another three points, taking them to second in the table.
The Men’s 1s hosted Cambridge University and settled into the game quickly, keeping possession and moving the ball patiently waiting for an opening in the Cambridge defence. Andrew Bedwell’s blistering run past two defenders found Richard Larkin who’s shot at goal hit a Cambridge foot. Captain Thomas Ridley fired in the resulting short corner following a well worked routine to give Magpies the lead. Chances from Jack Hobbs, Dave Gilbert and Will Tew came and went but Magpies saw out the second half with maturity and composure to take them up to third in the league.
The Ladies 2s found themselves a goal behind after 4 minutes away at St Albans when a lofted ball into the ‘D’ was swept in from close range. However, as the half progressed Magpies began to get a foothold in the game and the hard work paid off when Katherine Ridley unleashed a reverse stick shot to level the score. With half time looming the visitors took the lead following Jess Howland’s pass to Lucy Whiting which was skilfully deflected into the net.
Maintaining momentum, Magpies won the ball in midfield and Laura Tibbenham set off down the left wing, holding off the defenders she calmly dispersed her shot into the top corner to extend the lead. St Albans upped the ante and responded by piling on the pressure which caused some anxious moments in defence but Jade Daly made some excellent saves in goal and the whole team battled hard to maintain the advantage. Working the ball out from the back, a swift counter attack from Anouska Stott found Laura again who netted her second. Fighting to the death, St Albans scored in the dying minutes but it wasn’t enough to deny Magpies their first win of the season and give a confidence boost to the team ahead of hosting Wapping on Saturday.
The Ladies 2s game will be followed by the Ladies 1s who push back against Ipswich at 1.30pm. Ipswich gained promotion into the league last season and are currently at the foot of the table but Magpies have enough experience within the squad to know not to underestimate their local rivals. The in form Jade Daly will step into goal for Megan Brown who is running the New York Marathon, we wish Megan a fantastic weekend! Next up on the water based pitch will be the Mens 2s against Broxbourne (3pm). Despite elegant skills from debutant Ed Brice, brutal stick tackles from Hugo Thomas and close chances from Toby Hughes and Dave Francis, the 2s finished 0-0 against Cambridge City last weekend. Broxbourne sit two places above Magpies so a strong team performance will be required.
Sunday will be jam packed with National Cup action with the Men’s over 40s heading to Sudbury for the first round. A few injuries have not deterred the squad who welcome Chris Flatt to make his debut in goal and hope to improve on last years second round exit. The Boys cup teams all have away games with the U14s at Norwich City, U16s at Bishop Stortford and U18s at Norwich Dragons. The U14 Girls begin their competition with the first group game at home against Ipswich (10.45am). Coach Jim Menzies commented ‘Many of this year’s squad enjoyed playing in the U12 & U14 National Finals last season so hopefully they can draw upon their experiences from last year and the whole squad can look forward to a good campaign. Good luck to the girls on Sunday.’ Also at Weybread, the U16 Girls face Pelicans (12.15pm) followed by the U18s vs Norwich City (2pm), it promises to be a quality afternoon of youth hockey.
Having narrowly avoided relegation last season and with an inexperienced squad consisting of eight players who are still under 18, Ladies 4ths captain Treacle Taylor was chuffed to bits with her teams performance on Saturday. With two draws and a defeat to their name the Fourths travelled to Taverham to face Broadland 2nds full of determination which came to fruition when Cassie Ayms opened the scoring to give Magpies the lead.
Committed to maintaining the advantage, Sophie Matsell, Julie Davy, Ellen Pope and Imi Ramsdale covered a lot of ground in midfield to eliminate the Broadland opportunities and the defensive trio of Izzie Slade, Sophie Baxter and debutant Rosie Osbourne moved the ball between them well to ensure Alice Gooch wasn’t troubled in goal.
The speed and skill of Cassie, Alice Evans-Hendrick, Victoria Spouncer and Grace Collinson proved a threat to the Broadland back line and won several short corners. The second Magpies goal came from a short corner which Treacle slipped to Grace who calmly slapped the ball into the back of the net, 2-0 to Magpies. The Men’s 4ths managed to turn things around in their game against Norwich City where, finding themselves 2-1 down at half time, pressed higher up the pitch and retained possession which enabled 3 goals to come in the second half (James Bensly, 2, Lewis Belsey and Arthur Johnson). The skill and application from the three youngsters, Tom Caston, Toby Drake and Jack Largent was exemplary.
Knowing that Cambridge hadn’t yet conceded a goal this season, and missing some key players through injury, the Ladies 1sts anticipation a tough game at Weybread on Sunday. Starting well, Magpies put great pressure on the visitors defence which produced a string of short corners. Lauren Rowe converted with a powerful drag flick to put the home side ahead, and make Lauren joint top goal scorer in the league. The second half was a commanding display by Magpies who scored again when Lottie Summers drag flicked a short corner. The win takes the Ladies up to 3rd in the league, one point ahead of Sevenoaks who they will face on Saturday.
Having travelled to Chelmsford, Magpies Men’s 1sts started their game with high intensity which resulted in captain Thomas Ridley setting up Dave Gilbert for the opener. Chelmsford responded by increasing the tempo and winning some short corners which were calmly swatted away by Chris Leek in the Magpies goal. Tim Whiteman pounced on a rebound from a short corner shot to double the visitors lead before Chelmsford scored against the run of play. Magpies fought to maintain their lead and Leigh Sitch added the third goal with an expert back post defection from a short corner to end the game 3-1. The lads face Cambridge Uni at ‘The Nest’ on Saturday who currently sit two points ahead of them in 3rd place.
Following their promotion to the East women’s league, the Ladies 2nds had drawn two and lost two going into Saturdays game away at Sevenoaks. The home side came out hard and fast, scoring twice within the opening eight minutes before Magpies began to settle into the game with Georgie Cantrell causing problems on the right wing. Kath Johnson found Molly Warnes in midfield who turned her defender and slotted the ball through to Georgie who fired at goal with her reverse stick which Laura Tibbenham deflected into goal.
Sevenoaks fought back in the second half but Jade Daly kept Magpies game with some fine saves between the posts. Bobbi Wiseman ran the ball into the D, causing havoc for the home defence. A short corner was awarded and dispatched cleanly by Georgie. With twelve minutes to go the game heated up with both sides wanting the win and losing players to the sin bin but the final whistle blew at 2-2 to seal a valuable point ahead of the Ladies trip to St Albans next week.
Captain Felicity Perry couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Ladies 6s season with four wins from their first four games. With Herlings level on points, goal machine Rachael Clifford was determined to extend Magpies’ goal difference and utilised the space created by Georgia Hood and Janna Freeman to score her first of the day.
Laura Woodgate added the second following a period of constant pressure before Clifford doubled her tally with a short corner strike taking Magpies into half time with a 3 goal lead. Dereham came out of the break with renewed vigour and were rewarded with a well taken goal, only for the visitors to fight back and set up Clifford for her hat trick. Despite Dereham grabbing a late second goal, the game ended 4-2 which is testament to how well the Sixths have gelled early in the season.
The Men’s 1s anticipated a physical game against local rivals Ipswich and the home supporters were kept entertained from push back until the final whistle. James Gray gave Magpies the lead via a well controlled short corner and Dave Gilbert added the second at the back post. Ipswich converted a short corner to bring them back into the game but Jack Hobbs’ skilful reverse stick goal extended the home sides’ lead.
Ipswich responded by attacking the Magpies circle and winning another short corner which was flicked past John Livings in goal to take the game to 3-2. Leigh Sitch was awarded a penalty stroke which Gilbert converted before Ipswich were reduced from 11 to 8 players in quick succession due to ill discipline. Gilbert completed his hat trick to seal the 5-2 victory for Magpies who travel to Chelmsford next week.
Crostyx scored early against the Men’s 2s but some individual skill from Raunaq Rai produced the equaliser. Magpies went a goal behind again before winning a short corner which was perfectly dispatched by Tristan Baynes and Robbie Kinsella. Goals from Greg Jagger and Stu Field cemented the win for the 2s who are settling back into life in Division 1.
Magpies Mens 3s responded to Lowestoft taking the lead by Ed Brice setting up Johnny Taylor, then Ben Emms reacting to a rebound from Johnny’s long range reverse strike to clinch the second. Matt Brand added a brace and Dave Francis claimed another before Brice grabbed two more to move Magpies up to third in the league following last seasons relegation.
The Ladies Fifths came away 7-2 victors when they faced Lowestoft Railway on Saturday by moving the ball with pace and accuracy and dominating possession with Jessica Menzies (2), Honey Lamdin (2), Beth Moodie, Molly Largent and Jose Tibbenham providing the goals. Goals also came thick and fast for the Girls Development team who put 8 past Norwich Dragons thanks to Ellie Bowden (3), Amy Hunt (3) and Evie Brice (2).
The National Youth Cup got underway on Sunday with Magpies U14 Boys taking a good point from their match with Cambridge City (0-0). The U16 Boys beat Norwich City 3-1, (Ben Emms, Johnny Taylor and Josh Wiggins) and the U16 Girls got their campaign off to a fantastic start with a 6-1 win over Norwich City.
Magpies Ladies 1s travelled to Southgate on Saturday and brought all three points back to Norfolk with a 3-1 win and goals from Lauren Rowe and Lara Taylor (2). This Sunday the Ladies welcome Cambridge City to Weybread for a 1.30pm pushback. Cambridge top the league and are yet to concede a goal this season so Magpies will be hoping for a packed crowd at ‘The Nest’ and a continued display of resilience and determination from the squad.