Magpies Girls Development team top their league on goal difference following Saturdays 6-0 win over Watton. Kate, Emma and Rosie patrolled the midfield and linked up well with the attacking trio, breaking the deadlock when Evie slipped the ball to Florence who scored. Watton then enjoyed a brief period of possession but Georgia calmly organised her defenders to keep any shooting opportunities out.
Constant pressure broke through the Watton defence in the second half and opened the floodgates with Evie scoring three in a row. Florence added another with a fantastic solo effort using her skill to pass two defenders and finish from a tight angle. In the dying minutes of the game Magpies were awarded a penalty stroke which Kate bravely stepped up to take and score to put the game to bed.
A strong Men’s fifth team hoped to extend their recent good run when they hosted Pelicans 3rds on Saturday. Despite good organisation, the visitors struggled to cope with the Magpies pace. Freddie Hershel-Shortland opened the scoring and the goals kept coming at regular intervals. Sam Moore bagged a hat trick, Andy Caston added another and Dan Kinsman got on the scoresheet to end 6-0 and take the team fourth from bottom. The Men’s 3s go into the Christmas break third in their league following a 3-2 win against Ipswich with goals from Ed Brice, Phil Cobbald and Greg Jagger.
A string of good results has lifted the Ladies 4s to a much more comfortable mid table position with this week’s opposition UEA 2s just above them. Izzy Slade, Emily Woollatt, Treacle and Sophie Baxter coped well with the UEA pressure and Magpies won numerous short corners which the students’ goalkeeper dealt with well. Imi Ramsdale had a goal disallowed which spurred on forwards Victoria Spouncer, Cassie Ayms, Catherine Kilbourne and Honey Lamdin who continued to push for the first goal. With 15 minutes left on the clock UEA broke through and scored, Magpies were unable to find the equaliser despite the best efforts of Julie Davy, Sophie Matsell and Katie Woollatt.
Encouraged by last weeks performance against Chelmsford, Magpies Ladies 2s welcomed Canterbury to ‘The Nest’ and moved the ball around with good tempo from the start, creating chances for Laura Tibbenham, Anouska Stott, Eva Harness and Tor Findlay who were all denied the opener. Canterbury upped their intensity but Jess Howland, Cat Maciver, Charley Seaman, Katherine Ridley, Alice Wells and Lucy Field dug in to keep the score 0-0 at half time.
The visitors penned Magpies back into their own half as the second half began, forcing five short corners which were doggedly defended by Shev Steggles, Louisa Greenacre and Kath Johnson. Gradually coming back into the game, the 2s attacked down both wings with the breakthrough coming when Jess Howland’s quickly taken free hit found Anouska Stott who rolled the keeper to take Magpies ahead. Canterbury fought back and equalised with ten minutes to go to leave both teams with a point each.
With four wins so far this season the Mens 2s desperately wanted to bounce back from last weeks painful 5-4 defeat. Hosting Wapping, who are second in the league, Magpies pressed hard, forcing the turnover ball and building pressure which culminated in Oakley Elsom breaking down the right, slipping the ball to Robbie Kinsella who fed Dave Skinner in the ‘D’ who calmly dispatched into the goal. A lapse in concentration saw Wapping win a short corner which Ollie Juszt initially saved only for a Wapping forward to poach the rebound. Whilst pushing for the winner Magpies were left exposed and Wapping broke away to grab a crucial second goal, ending 2-1.
Following last weekends defeat, Magpies Men’s 1s host West Herts this Saturday at 1.30pm and anticipate a tough match against the team who are just two places below them in the table. The teams drew 2-2 when they faced each other in September so spectators can expect an entertaining seventy minutes. This is the only league game of the day as everyone else has broken up for Christmas, but Saturday sees the U16 and U18 Girls head to Hatfield in Hertfordshire for the East Indoor Championships.
Magpies Men’s 3s are fourth in the East Division 3 table after getting their sixth win of the season last Saturday. The Men travelled to Norwich Dragons where a solid team performance culminated in goals for Phil Cobbald, Ben Emms, Dave Francis, Greg Jagger, Matt Brand and a 5-3 victory. Seth Read displayed commendable commitment when his diving attempt to stop a Dragons shot resulted in an injured knee and the goal moving a couple of feet!
The Ladies 3s showed no mercy against struggling Felixstowe who are yet to pick up a point. A lacklustre goalless first half was turned around with goals from Sarah Legg, Eva Harness and Ellen Pope which encouraged the young side to grow with confidence and transfer the ball quickly at the back between Helena Knock, Alice Evans-Hendrick and Izzy Slade. Eager for more goals, Sophie Meynell-Anderson sped down the right wing and crossed for Sarah to get her second goal of the game before completing her hatrick following a goal line scramble. At 5-0 Magpies maintained composure and found Jess Green in the ‘D’ for a first time slap which was to be swiftly followed by Leggy’s fourth. Seven goals and a strong performance sets the team up for a tough game against league leaders Watton on Saturday.
Following a shaky start to the season the Ladies 4s are finding their stride and have strung together some decent results over recent weeks. O35s superstar Vanessa Vigrass opened the scoring away at Pelicans following a powerful cross from player of the match Honey Lamdin. Magpies led 3-0 at half time thanks to another goal from Vanessa and one for Cassie Ayms, before Pelicans came back fighting and pulled the score back to 3-2. The Fourths managed to settle back into their rhythm and add another two goals (Amelia Slade and Katie Woollatt) to end 5-2.
With Graham Mobbs and Sam Emms travelling to Felixstowe with the 4s (where Magpies won 2-1), the Men’s Fifths fielded a slightly more experienced side than usual. Looking for their second win of the season Magpies put the visitors under pressure from the start and led 3-0 at half time, ending in a 5-0 victory and a very satisfying goal when the two youngest members, Olly Kinsman and Joe Walsh combined to virtually walk the ball into the net.
With only goal difference splitting the teams in the league, the Men’s 1s headed to St Albans aiming to make up for last seasons disappointing result. Twenty minutes in Magpies broke the deadlock when Dave Gilbert forced a save from the St Albans keeper which fell comfortably to James Gray to slot home. Lovely interlink play between Tim Whiteman, Elliot Marsh and Tom Ridley found Gilbert on the right who carried the ball down the base line and pick out Gray who scored again from close range.
Coming into the second half, Raunaq Rai’s scintillating stick stills drew a foul outside the circle and Ridley scored from the resulting short corner to give Magpies a 3-0 lead. Despite some great saves from John Livings in the Magpies goal, St Albans pulled 2 goals back taking it to 3-2 with twenty minutes to play. With a succession of short corners to defend, Magpies threw everything at the game and came away with their ninth win in a row, securing the second spot in the league – just below Wapping who they face next weekend.
The Ladies 2s knew they faced a tough game when they hosted league leaders Chelmsford last Saturday but started well and went ahead six minutes in when Laura Tibbenham scrambled home Cat Maciver’s free hit. Laura doubled the lead before Chelmsford, featuring ‘out on loan Magpie’ Bryony Lund, retaliated with a flurry of penalty corners before half time which Alice Wells and her defence managed to keep out. With the intensity rising, green and yellow cards were shown and Chelmsford pulled a goal back by converting a penalty stroke, then, equalised in the final minute of the game much to the despair of the Magpies supporters.
Grace Clarke and Megan Dickson made their debuts for the Ladies 6s on Saturday and were thrown in at the deep end against Loddon who have had a string of good results. Rachael Clifford scored twice before half time to give Magpies the lead but the visitors came out fighting and levelled the scores. This jolted the Ladies back into action and saw interceptions and excellent defending lead to prolonged possession, another goal for Rachael, and a Janna Freeman short corner special. Full time 4-2.
Years of experience, wisdom and joint replacements ensured that the Men’s O50’s progressed to the third round on the National Plate competition on Sunday. Jonathon Aldridge and Andy Catchpole gave Magpies a 2 nil lead at half time and although IES fought until the end, and despite numerous missed opportunities, a short corner deflection and a skilful solo run from JA doubled the tally for Magpies.
As teams start to wrap up the first half of the season there are still plenty of games to watch on Saturday. The Ladies 6s and 7s play each other in a friendly at 10am followed by the Men’s 6s at 11.30. The Ladies 2s host Canterbury at 1.30pm whilst the Men’s 5s face Pelicans on the sand pitch and the Men’s 2s hope to return to winning ways against Wapping whilst the Ladies 5s have a tough match with league leaders Diss at 3pm.
The Ladies 2s bounced back from last weeks heavy defeat and grabbed themselves a second win of the season on Saturday when they travelled to Taverham to face Norwich City. Laura Tibbenham, Anouska Stott and Georgie Cantrell linked up well in the forward line and a prolonged period of pressure resulted in the visitors taking the lead through Anouska. Jess Howland and Cat MacIver won every fifty-fifty battle in midfield which allowed Georgie Gardens and Phoebe Eglington to make strong breaks down the left, and Sophia Basset and Emily Rash to control the right flank.
Anouska doubled her talley before Georgie Cantrell added a third to give Magpies a 3-0 lead at half time. City came out fighting after the break and won numerous penalty corners which were deftly dealt with by Alice Wells in goal, and the defensive trio of Charley Seaman, Shev Steggles and Kath Johnson in front of her. The win gives the team a real boost before hosting league leaders Chelmsford at 1.30pm this Saturday.
A strong start with lots of short passing led to the Ladies 4s also notching up their second win of the season last weekend. Imi Ramsdale set up Cassie Aymes to strike a short corner which opened the scoring, giving Magpies the momentum from which another corner was awarded. Despite the first strike being saved, straight from her honeymoon Treacle Griffin was on hand to slot the rebounding ball through the legs of the Dereham ‘keeper. Maintaining the majority of possession, Magpies worked from the back for their third goal, by clearing the ball to Sophie Baxter who drove it into the D for a shot which rebounded to Honey Lamkin who’s strike was saved. Cassie was first to the lose ball and scored using her reverse stick, taking the 4s up to eighth in the league, just below next weekends rivals Pelicans.
The Men’s 1s are joint second in the East Premier A league following their eighth consecutive win last Saturday. Dave Skinner was called up from the 2s to replace the injured Tim Whiteman and an inspired management decision saw Raunaq Rai slide into midfield. Limiting Saffron Walden’s attacking options, and after a number of missed opportunities at the back post, Ollie Whiteman set Skinner up for his debut 1st XI goal. A lapse in concentration allowed the opposition to level but Tom Ridley found James Gray up high who reversed the ball low past the keeper. The 2-1 win sets Magpies up for a tough match on Saturday away at St Albans who are level on points but have a superior goal difference of the Norfolk team.
The Ladies Fifths were required to put in a better performance last weekend as they faced Norwich City Fifths who went into the game one point above Magpies. Fi Brice broke the deadlock after hard work from Alyssa a Walker in midfield but City equalised before the break. Jess Menzies set up Ella Spear for a calmly taken goal to put the home side back in the lead before Jose Tibbenham added another to cement the 3-1 win in a game where Katy Davy and Mimi Slade played fantastically.
The unbeaten Ladies 6s have stretched their lead to seven points following a 5-0 win against Norwich City at ‘The Nest’. An aggressive press from Flea Perry, player of the match Georgie Scott, Judith Masters and Hollie Morris forced City back in their own half which led to Laura Woodgate deflecting in the first goal for Magpies. Goal machine Rachael Clifford bagged a hat trick before Laura scored the fifth to complete a solid performance.
Sunday brought together 24 teams of boys and girls aged U10 for a “Mini Sticks’ tournament hosted by Magpies. It was a brilliant morning of youth hockey with heaps of talent and smiling faces on display, huge thanks to all involved in running the morning. Later on there were cup games underway at ‘The Nest’ with the Mixed ‘A’ team putting eleven goals past Norwich Dragons and Matt Brand scoring a hat trick for the Men’s O40s against Norwich City to progress to the third round.
The Mixed ‘B’ team didn’t fair so well against Dereham which ended with a 9-1 defeat but the team will get another chance to shine as they will now compete in the Plate competition. Talking of which, the Men’s O50s will head to IES this Sunday boosted by the availability of Murrey Graham, Jonathon Aldridge and Andy Catchpole.
Saturday will see both Magpies 2nd teams play at home alongside the Men’s 6s (11.30am) and the 5s who host Felixstowe at 1.30pm. The Boys and Girls Development teams are on the road whilst the Ladies 4s, 5s, 6s and 7s are all at home which bodes well for takings behind the bar!
It was goals galore for Magpies Fifth teams on Saturday with the Ladies scoring 9 against Yarmouth and the Men putting 6 past Lowestoft Railway. The youthful Ladies side gave a lethargic first half performance with only two successful attempts on goal against a team who are yet to pick up a point this season. Some stern words from captain Jose Tibbenham boosted the girls with Vanessa Vigrass getting four goals, Jose two, Talitha converting a penalty flick and Ella Spear adding the ninth.
The Men’s Fifths have had a tricky start to the season having notched up three draws and five defeats going into Saturdays game. However they were determined to press high and inhibit the opposition which was executed well, enabling Sam Emms, Evie Cumming (2) and Sam Moore to get on the scoresheet before half time. Despite Railway scoring three times, Sam Emms scored again in the second half and Simon Bardwell added the final goal to clinch the Fifth’s first win of the season.
There seems to be no stopping the Ladies Sixths who welcomed Norwich Dragons to The Nest last weekend and had a frustrating first half with a lot of possession but no goals to show for it. Eventually Rachael Clifford broke through the Dragons’ defence to give Magpies the lead which produced a renewed vigour from the home side. Kristina Brinkley and Hollie Morris battled hard in midfield, providing passes into space for Janna Freeman and Judith Masters who made some excellent runs into the ‘D’. Rachael converted a penalty stroke and Georgie Hood scored the third to end the game 3-1. The Ladies Sevenths move up to fourth in their league following a 5-0 win over a struggling Dragons 8th team. The goals came from player of the match Anna Seggons (2), Ellen Moodie (2) and a classic penalty corner strike from Shirley McAllen.
With three wins from eight games the Men’s 2nds are starting to adapt to life back in Division One and go into this weekends game against Sudbury boosted by their defeat over local rivals Norwich City last Saturday. Good intensity from debutant Max McCauly, Dave Francis, Morgan Manly, Andrew Johnson, Robbie Kinsella and Dave Skinner forced a string of saves from the City ‘keeper before James Osborn deflected in Laurence Baynes’ precise cross on his return to the club after a number of seasons out on loan. City equalised before the break but, desperate for three points, Magpies fought on and scored the winner when Andrew Johnson struck from Jude Potruff’s pass which was saved but fell to Tristan Baynes who safely dispatched the ball for a 2-1 win.
On a six game winning streak the Men’s 1s also faced Norwich City and, despite early chances from Tim Whiteman and Simon Hipwell, City scored first in response to having a goal disallowed. Magpies answered by growing in confidence and levelled the scores with an impressive bit of individual skill by U18 Raunaq Rai. Asserting their dominance in the second half, and following some commanding hockey from Thomas Ridley and Pete Bale, Magpies took the lead for the first time in the game. This was extended thanks to a well taken short corner from Ben Gowing, cementing the win and the seventh consecutive win.
The Men host Saffron Walden (3pm) on Saturday who are currently joint bottom of the league with Cambridge City and Letchworth. The Ladies 1s face a tough last match before their winter break when league leaders Hampstead and Westminster travel to ‘The Nest’ for a 1.30pm pushback. After going a goal behind last weekend goals from Emma Lee-Smith and Lauren Rowe put Magpies ahead only for Horsham to pull back an equaliser for a 2-2 draw.
Sunday saw plenty of cup action with wins the U14 Boys winning 3-1 over Saffron Walden and the U14 Girls travelling to IES where they found themselves 4-0 up at half time with Jessica grabbing a brace of goals and Hollie and Emma getting on the scoresheet. Anna added two more in the second half to put the game to bed before the final group game in February. The U16 Boys drew 2-2 with Cambridge City and the Girls continued their good form with a 8-0 victory away at Hertford. The U18 had their second consecutive cup game conceded by the opposition whilst the U18 Boys got a good 5-1 win against Long Sutton.
The O35 Ladies got their cup campaign off to a good start against Ipswich with a first half hatrick from Emma Lee-Smith. A cracking strike from Anouska Stott took Magpies to 4-0 before debutant Vanessa Vigrass scored with her first touch of the game. Angie Wheelhouse and Jose Tibbenham added a goal each to take the team comfortably into the quarter finals with a 7-0 win.
Along with a full day of fixtures on Saturday, this Sunday will see three more cup teams playing and the U10s Minis Tournament held at Weybread. The Mixed ‘A’ team have their opening game of the season at home against Norwich Dragons (1.30pm) where they hope for a strong performance and to go on to emulate their tournament win of two seasons ago. The Men’s O40s host Norwich City (3.15pm) in their second round and the Mixed ‘B’ team head to Dereham for their opening draw. Dereham were finalists in the plate competition last season so a tough game is anticipated but captains Sarah Legg and Nick Moss hope “the enjoyment of the game will be at the forefront of the teams minds.” Greg Jagger and Andrew Johnson join the squad this season alongside club veterans Sam Moore and Emma Tolhurst.
The Girls Development team extended their lead at the top of their league with a fantastic 11-0 win against Pelicans Girls last weekend. With a large squad to rotate through the team has a different feel each week, providing valuable opportunities for the youngsters to experience hockey on a full sized pitch and the positions and tactics that comes with it. The girls shared the goals around between Amy (3), Florence (4) and Ellie (4) with Georgia keeping a clean sheet in goal which should fill them with confidence going into a top of the table clash against Norwich City on Saturday.
Mixed results for the Magpies 1st teams kept the crowds on the edge of their proverbial seats with Jess Bloom netting an early goal for the Ladies who went on to concede three times against St Albans. Simon Hipwell put the Men ahead before some lacklustre defending led to two goals from Bedford. Pete Bale had a goal disallowed before Dave Gilbert found the equaliser at the far post following fine skills from Tom Ridley and Leigh Sitch, only for Bedford to go ahead just before half time.
Two veterans of the Magpies side, Leigh Sitch and Andrew Bedwell took Magpies into the lead by converting short corners with fifteen minutes to go. Captain Tom Ridley won a short corner which Tim Whiteman dispatched, much to the relief of those on the sideline. The visitors pulled a goal back with two minutes to go but thankfully Magpies held out for the 5-4 win which takes them within two points of the league leaders Wapping. Both of the 1st teams are away this weekend with the Ladies at Horsham and the Men nipping down the road to Norwich City.
Apart from a loss for the Men’s 2s it was a successful weekend for the Men’s side of the club with the Thirds notching up a 6-0 win at Bury, the Fifths bringing a point home, and the Sixths winning 6-2 against Ipswich. The Fourths went a goal behind when they hosted Bury before Jack Caswell-Dodd equalised at the end of the first half. An improved performance and goals from Arthur Johnson, Stuart Peters and Oli Hall ensured a 4-1 victory for the Fourths who sit mid table.
The Ladies Sixths have had a fantastic start to the season but approached Saturdays visit to East Harling with trepidation for the top of the table clash, on grass. Despite the heavy rainfall overnight, the leaves were raked up and the pitch was in good condition and both teams were determined to take three points from the match. The defensive formation of Jane Collins, Marie Davy, Liv Addison-Carter and player of the match, Mary Nelson kept the Herlings attacks at bay and goals from Judith Masters and Janna Freeman gave Magpies the 2-0 win.
Sunday saw both ends of the age scale in action with Magpies welcoming nineteen teams of U12s to the club. The U12 boys and U12 girls were declared champions in the gold tournament, albeit the boys did not have the final all their own way and had to share the title with Norwich City. Whilst in the silver tournament, Magpies looked increasingly competitive, a fifth and joint second finish for Magpies girls and a third place finish for the boys. The day showcased the enthusiasm and strength of youth hockey across Norfolk and the club would like to thank everyone who helped to make the event run smoothly, especially our young umpires who did a fantastic job.
Due to the usual injuries and ailments associated with middle age, Captain Jerry Blackmore was delighted to field a full team for the first round of the Men’s O50s Cup against Ipswich on Sunday, at least five of whom had picked up a stick in the last 12 months! Losing Scotland O60s goalkeeper Murrey Graham to illness was a blow to the already depleted squad but Eric Davy stepped in and had a brilliant game between the sticks, just as well considering he had Kevin Ridley, Mark Collins and Tiger Young in front of him! The ever youthful Simon Bardwell had a fantastic game in midfield and, to everyone’s delight, the dynamic duo of Roger Kent and Jon Wells came through the match unscathed. John Pope scored Magpies’ only goal in the 4-1 defeat but the attitude of the team epitomises what it means to wear the Magpies shirt and we wish the lads a good run in the plate competition.
There is yet more Cup action this weekend with the U14, U16 and U18 Boys and Girls teams aiming to secure their spot in the second round. The Ladies O35s travel to Ipswich for their first cup game following last seasons defeat against Canterbury at the Olympic Park. Goal machine Vanessa Vigrass joins the squad who lost the cup final on shuffles and will be aiming to go one better this year.
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.