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MIKE’S MUSINGS – 21 March 2017


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

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

Tom Sumner

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

Richard Larkin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham

Mens 1s Match Report

Magpies Mens 1s 4-3 Saffron Walden Mens 1s

Harleston, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, came in to the game with a slightly depleted squad. Sam Paterson was missing with school commitments, meaning that Iain Cumming made his long awaited return to the first team. However, Magpies still went into the match full of confidence after last week’s gritty win in Cambridge.

The game started with both teams camped in the Saffron Walden half, but a failure to convert chances cost Magpies as a fast Walden counter attack led to the first goal. The home side continued to look dangerous with the ball and scored a well deserved equaliser through a smart short corner routine. Matt Richardson’s world class delivery was skilfully deflected by Leigh Sitch towards the target only for Thomas Ridley to poach the goal from under his nose, as he finally achieved his first goal of the season. With the momentum growing, a typically direct Simon Hipwell run saw him collect his own rebound and smash the ball home to give Magpies the lead. The advantage was short lived. With Magpies having lost their main centre back, Andrew Bedwell, to a groin injury, there were moments of confusion in the defence. Saffron Walden took advantage of this and converted a short corner of their own – Thomas Ridley, on the line, blown away by the sheer power of the drag flick.

A solid half time team talk from Andrew Bedwell (settling into his new player/coach role well) led to more pressure being applied to the visitors’ most influential player by Richard Larkin, leading to more turnover ball for Harleston. Against the run of play, Saffron Walden attacked down their right hand side winning another short corner after Stuart Leate’s mistrap inexplicably ballooned the ball high into the air. The resulting short corner was converted with another flick to retake the lead. This did little to change the flow of the game though. Thomas Ridley coming out of midfield with the ball, found his partner in crime Richard Larkin who, with some typically quick thinking, returned the pass to Ridley to set up the goal of the game- Ridley’s trademark reverse stick hit finish showed his class to his ever growing legion of fans in the crowd. With the game building towards a tense finish, Magpies needed to redouble their efforts if they were to come away with 3 points. Richard Larkin, leading the forward line, stole the ball away from the defender on the half way line before rounding another, only to be cynically brought down outside the circle, before he could get his chance to potentially score the winner- leading to Saffron Walden being temporarily reduced to 10 players. Larkin’s influence on the game would not end there though. Just as Magpies were beginning to lose hope, the man of the moment would step up to the plate. With the umpire playing a good advantage, Larkin was on his toes to react the fastest to a saved Vincent Leruth strike, pouncing on the loose ball to heroically turn home and take the score to 4-3. The drama was not over though, Magpies kept out a late corner and had to play out the last couple of minutes, before getting the result that their play deserved.

Photos Courtesy Pat Leate

Simon Hipwell
Richard Larkin
Iain Cumming
Tom Sumner
Stuart Leate

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 14 March 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham

Match report – Ladies’ O35s – Sunday 12 March 2017

Jersey Ladies’ O35s 1 Harleston Magpies Ladies’ O35s 2

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

With this away win Harleston Magpies Ladies’ O35s are through to the final of the England Hockey Trophy when on Sunday 30 April they play Timperley at the Lee Valley Sports Centre in the Olympic Park. After an eventful early flight from Gatwick on Sunday morning Magpies dominated much of the game but found the Jersey goalkeeper in outstanding form. She pulled off a remarkable save in the first minute from a fierce shot from Anouska Stott and this set the pattern for much of the rest of the game. Magpies wasted four penalty corners before, with half time approaching, Angie Wheelhouse put them ahead at another with an unstoppable shot into the far left corner reminiscent of her record goal scoring days for the 1sts. Debbie Francis was as sound as ever in the middle of the pitch while in a good squad performance Becky Baker was playing well in only her second game in some seven years as she supported the forwards.

Anouska was a constant threat to the Jersey defence which tackled and stopped the ball well. But there was nothing they could do when she swept home in typically fine style a centre from the right by Debbie early in the second half. It came as something of a nasty surprise when Jersey won and smashed home a penalty corner much to the delight of their hundred supporters sitting in the grandstand. Thereafter Magpies continued to have almost total domination of the game but the Jersey goalkeeper pulled off goal bound efforts by Anouska and Charlie Harrison. Ten minutes from the end Magpies missed a great chance to open up a two–goal lead which would have reduced the nervous tension building in the team and among their small group of supporters. Jersey mounted a late attack which was thwarted by the Magpies defence in which Kath Johnson was as steady as always leaving the visitors with a thoroughly deserved win which on another day could have been by a far greater margin. Well done squad and team (and trip) organisers Jose Tibbenham and Louisa Greenacre.


Harleston Magpies Mens 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Club Shop hosted top of the table Old Loughts in what was also player/coach Ben Wright’s last game for the club before his move to Australia. The team would once again like to thank him for all of his work over the past years.

In less than ideal circumstances Harelston were forced to warm up with 8 players as the Norwich car were running late following traffic issues. As a result Magpies started poorly, with Old Loughts starting the game and scoring within the first minute to set the homeside on the back foot straight away. Not too long later and magpies conceded their first short corner. After much debate and drama surrounding players moving early, Old Loughts at the third time of trying dispatched the ball to make it 2-0.

Disappointed with the start, Magpies started to transfer the ball at a crisper speed and create opportunities. The comeback began as Simon Hipwell reacted quickly to a free hit just outside the D to round 3 players and enter the D before smashing a precise pass to the backpost for returning James Baker to direct into the goal. Minutes later another chance fell to Baker, as Richard Larkin drilled a ball across the baseline and through the crowd. Unfortunately, Baker’s tight angle flick could only make contact with the top of the post.

Just before half time Harleston conceded a third goal when Old Loughts counter attacked at speed as Harelston pushed forward.

Magpies started the second half brightly knowing that OId Loughts had lost their bottle in Loughton despite being 3 goals up with 20 minutes to play. Harelston were now dominating the proceedings and creating more chances and short corners as the game wore on. A short corner was won and Leigh Sitch, magpies second top goalscorer, ruthlessly slide in to deflect the ball past the stranded keep and make it 3-2 with 20 minutes remaining.

Continued Magpies pressure built with Old Loughts down to 10 men twice during the half. With 5 minutes remaining Richard Larkin had the ball in the back of the net, but only for the goal to be disallowed. The Old Loughts players and umpires deeming Thomas Ridley had not moved the ball 5 yards before passing to Larkin into the D. With time ticking away, Old Loughts kept control of the ball and winded the clock down to secure a victory away at the nest. The match finished 3-2, Magpies unlucky not to take away a point.

Next week the 1st team travel to Cambridge City.

Photos courtesy Pat Leate

Vincent Leruth
Richard Larkin
Matt Richardson
John Livings
James Baker
It takes three players to mark captain Leigh Sitch!
Ben Wright
Not Leigh Sitch again!


The In2hockey Norfolk Championships were held at wet, cold and wild Pelicans today with a place in the The East Championships held at Magpies at the start of April up for grabs and our girls came through the test on what was a shocking day to play hockey in let alone spectate so also a big well done to all the parents who made the trip and stuck it out.
Up first were a determined Dereham side that were unable to withstand whirlwind Holly Wills who rattled up a cheeky hatrick to get the day started with a goal each for Anna Cogdell and Jessica Menzies to seal a 5-0 win. Up next were Norwich City and pretty sharpish we were 2-0 down. Oh no I hear you say and that’s how it finished with two errors being punished and a disjointed performance which left the girls disgruntled. So all was clear, we had to win the next two games against Dragons and Pelicans to progress. Up first were Dragons and it was one of those games, 80% possession and wave upon wave of attacks but no goals but up pops Jonny on the spot Holly Wills with a scrappy dribbler that just about went in to secure a twitchy 1-0. Last up were Pelicans who were unable to keep the girls at bay and they rattled up a 7-0 victory with two more from Holly, Evie B and Jessica Tarrant and one from Anna to finish the scoring.
Well done girls, good work from all on a tough weather day and onwards we go.

Squad – Georgia F, Alyssa, Jessica T, Jessica M, Anna, Holly, Ruby, Sophie & Evie B

Jim Menzies


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U10A Girls Hockey at the County Championship 05/03/17

U10A Girls County Championships at Pelicans Sunday 5th March

U10A County Champs 2017

The U10A girls managed to continue their winning ways in the County Championship. In the opening match they beat Dereham 6-0 (Beth 6) which proved to be an excellent warm up for what we knew would be a tough game with Norwich City. In the City match, Harleston managed to score quite early but then had to soak up considerable pressure from a strong Norwich squad who made our defence work very hard, although our GK Rebekah was not called on to make any saves. Late in the game we scored another to put the game out of Norwich’s reach (Beth 2). The team were very relieved to then be able to head inside to try and warm up and dry off. Loaded up with hot chocolate, cookies and enough sweets to open a sweet shop the worry was whether anyone was then going to be able to run in the next game! Still raining and blowing a fiercely cold gale the intrepid team returned to the fray and were made to work very hard for a 2-0 win against Norwich Dragons (Beth, Natalie). The morning concluded with a fine team performance with everyone playing their part in a 7-0 win over Pelicans (Catherine, Daisy, Ophelia, Natalie and Beth 3). By now poor old Emily had retired to the clubhouse with hypothermia and many others were not far off that state as the conditions continued to deteriorate. Well done to everyone for a great team performance and we now have the Regional tournament to look forward to in April.

U10A taking shelter

Squad: Rebekah Moss, Catherine Pope, Alex Pearson-Smith, Harriet Soper, Daisy Wicks, Emily Clarke, Natalie Saunders, Ophelia McCausland, Beth Gardens.

Ladies 2’s vs Cambridge uni 2’s

Ladies 2’s Vs Cambridge Uni 2’s

The ladies 2’s travelled with mascot baby Ziggy this Saturday to play against the Cambridge students. Ziggy joined us for the warm until Mr Seaman took over in the role of ‘Manny’.

The students started brightly and were well organised. They transferred the ball well, and tested our communication with their constant switching of positions. However Magpies were quick to get into the game, disrupting their passing game. We pressed particularly well and managed to win the ball several times from their defence. We held the ball well in midfield, with Olivia Locke communicating calmly throughout with positioning & organisation. Forwards, Laura Tibbenham, Alice Woollatt, Anna Tighe & Mia King were all making excellent runs, a goal was coming as we created lots of play around our D. Anna found the net from a short corner, Jess Howland hitting the ball across goal and Anna following up the rebounds so score 1-0 Magpies! We continued to apply the pressure and found ourselves winning several short corners, with opportunities up the wings as well. Tibbenham picked up the ball on the 25 and ran it in to slip the ball past the goalie from the left, 2-0 up.

We looked comfortable & confident on the ball and looked like we could go on to score a few more. Cambridge had a close call at a short corner which Plum expertly deflected wide, but we looked the stronger team throughout. A great team performance and a well deserved 3 points.

Big thanks to rent-a-crowd for all their support and the mums for expert buggy pushing!! Next week the ladies 2’s host Bury at home @ 12pm.

MOM’s Anna Tighe & Lucy Field

Report – HMHC Minis – Sunday 26 February 2017

HMHC MINIS SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2017 and Minis at Pelicans and HMHC on Sunday 5 March 2017

18 teams from Magpies, Felixstowe, Watton and IES at U10 and U12 ages took to the pitches at Magpies this morning and after 2 and a half hours of good fun hockey, in the sun at times, Felixstowe B topped the Girls’ U10 league with four wins from four, Magpies Red took the Girls’ U12 league title, again with an unbeaten record and without conceding a goal.

Magpies’ U12 Boys’ teams

As for the Boys IES were unbeaten and topped the U12 league although having scored 13 goals against Felixstowe A, Felixstowe B and Watton they failed to get past the two Magpies’ team in this tournament.

Magpies’ U10 Boys’ teams

Good defending lads. As for the U10s, Richard Larkin’s boys are showing signs of real progress with Magpies Black taking the league title although Magpies White did not let them have it all their own way defeating them 1-0 in their opening meeting.

A real team effort from our band of team managers, catering experts and our young and experienced umpires as a result of which our guests for the day have already said what a great time they had:

“It was a wonderful tournament, pitched just at the right level with the usual HM organisation and family feel to it, and we loved it!”  Felixstowe Hockey Club

Needless to say they would love to come back for more.  On behalf of the youth committee and wider club please accept our thanks to all those who contributed in making this such a good fun morning.

However, the mini Hockey does not stop there and next weekend, Sunday 5th March our ‘A’ teams in each age group will be representing the Club at the Norfolk Championships at Pelicans HC.  Good luck squads.  Meanwhile the rest of the youth section will get an opportunity for another round of matches at Magpies with Norwich City and Norwich Dragons coming to visit.  With our resources stretched with teams in two locations any help club members or parents can offer will be appreciated and needed – umpiring, kitchen duties, team management or tournament organising will be appreciated please let James or Nick know if you can help in any way or

EH U14 Girls Championships – Midlands League 4 – Sunday 19th February – Pelicans v Magpies 2-2

With all to play for, Pelicans needing to win by a clear 4 goal margin and anything less than that meaning group leaders Magpies would qualify for the next round, a hotly contested final round was expected. And with three quarters of the players on the pitch playing for Norfolk or Suffolk we weren’t to be disappointed. The quality and intensity were both high.

Both teams set themselves up to attack. Magpies, operating under the caretaker management of Clare Moodie and Mel Slade and interpreting the umpire-for-the-day-and-not-really-looking-forward-to-it-team-manger John’s hieroglyphics (crikey – spelt that right first time!) took two or three minutes to adjust to their self management and within ten minutes of end to end absorbing hockey with chances at both ends opened up the Pelis defence with a cross-cum-pullback across the D from Georgie C finding Ellen some 10 metres out on the left who calmly slotted perfectly into the far corner beyond the keeper.

With around 10 minutes gone, Georgie G limped off with a sore ankle and having failed to be provided with the what-to-do-when-one-of-your-strongest-players-gets-injured procedure the reserve team management improvised with aplomb putting on our most versatile trouble-shooter Bobby who, throughout the afternoon thereafter, popped up in all manner of places from sweeper to centre forward to either save the day or create genuine concern in the Pelis defence.

Despite several attacks the Pelicans defence was resolute and precise with several great tackles in their own D and no penalty corners conceded in the entire first half. This gave them a tremendous platform to counter attack and on one such they finally made the most of the Magpies attacking defence getting around them with a superb long range right to far left shot past Grace, who throughout the day was commanding of her D and defence.

Honours even at half time and the hope and expectation was that Pelicans would tire and Magpies, as in several of their previous games, would prove the stronger throughout and wear down their opposition. But it wasn’t to be with several Magpies tiring from their league efforts the day before and Pelicans pounced with a swift counter putting them deservedly in front.

And with 15 minutes to go Magpies tried to up the intensity even more. Georgie G, defying instructions from Framlingham High Command, brought herself back on finding it easier to run than walk! Bobby, Georgie C, Molly and the entire team went into overdrive and with 10 minutes to go another ball randomly bobbling all around the Pelis D again found Ellen in almost identical space who again slotted an even more precise shot home.

2-2 and it was anybody’s. And both teams gave it their all with, at the death, Ellen just missing a pinging ball across the D for her second hat trick of the season. At U14s that’s just a grounding for three weeks!

Both teams contributed to a high quality intense encounter and a draw was probably a fair result on the day. Pelicans will rue their early season performances and they were deservedly in the mix at the business end of the group.

Thankfully we enjoyed Pelis excellent hospitality after the game as I fear it would have been a waddle-over had it been before. Bar two players, Pelis U14 girls will be identical next year and will be a formidable opposition.

And thanks to our ever loyal supporters and most of all Clare and Mel for running the team today. I think they went for a good lie down after. Yes, all of them.

So at the end of the group stage despite not losing a game and beating Cambridge City, Magpies find themselves second in the group, so likely to face the tougher regional group on 2nd April.

The stats to date read as follows:

3-3 Norwich City – a game where we snatched a draw from the jaws of victory (3-1 up)
9-1 Bury – against a good young team we overwhelmed them before they could get into gear
2-1 Cambridge – a tough resolute backs-to-the-wall performance in which the better team did not win
9-1 Norwich Dragons – another game against a young team where the result belies the hard work and level to which Dragons made us rise to eventually win through
2-2 Pelicans – all out attack and a high quality entertaining (for the impartial bystander) game

Squad used so far: Grace R (GK), Alice W, Amelia S, Amy C, Beth M, Ellen P, Georgie C, Georgie G, Hattie R, Honey L, Holly H, Keira W, Lily R, Molly W, Olivia L, Tabitha B, Victoria S

Scorers to date

13 – Georgie C (+3 beyond permitted 8 gd)
5 – Ellen
3 – Georgie G (bar a stewards inquiry this could be +1 GG, -1 GC re Norwich tbc)
2 – Keira
1 – Alice
1 – Tabitha

P-5, W-3, D-2, F:25, A:8
Cambridge City 1st by 1pt, Magpies has the best league defensive record – not bad when you play just two at the back – and identical goal difference with Cambridge.


Match report – Men’s Over 40s – Sunday 12 February 2017

Cambridge City Men’s O40s 2 Harleston Magpies Men’s O40s 2

Magpies won 4-2 on penalty strokes

Magpies are through to the semi-finals of England Hockey’s Men’s Over 40s Cup after this narrow and hard-earned win over a Cambridge City side which played better as the game progressed. Magpies seemed in total control of the game at the Cambridge University ground when Matt Brand put them ahead from close range on five minutes and Gavin Cole added a second from further out three minutes later.

magpies men over 40s
Back row L to R. David Francis, Eric Davy, Andy Smith, Dan Kinsman, Gavin Cole, James Smith, Gus Wilkinson, Murray Graham (GK) Front row L to R. Martin Reader, Stuart Peters, Matt Brand, Tristan Baynes (captain), Bill Williams, James Stacey

But City gradually came into the game and they pulled a goal back at a penalty corner in the twenty-second minute. Magpies responded with their best move of the game only to see the resulting shot go just wide of the post. Shortly afterwards Eric Davy cleared the ball off the line to ensure that the visitors went into half time with a narrow lead.

City dominated much of the second half but Magpies kept them at bay due to some impressive tackling, notably a double effort by Andy Smith, some good saves by goalkeeper Murray Graham and a goal line clearance by Stuart Peters.

With four minutes to go Magpies forced a penalty corner but their shot was blocked and in seconds the ball was in the net at the other end for a deserved City equaliser.

In the penalty stroke decider Magpies were indebted to calm conversions by Matt, Gavin, David Francis and the clincher by captain Tristan Baynes after a good save by Murray and later a post had denied City.

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 5 – Letchworth 5

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1sts sponsored by Dynamic Shop entertained Letchworth, a side sitting two places below them in mid table.

Magpies started brighter, maintaining possession and creating several early openings. Shortly into the first half the bright start paid dividends with Magpies earning a penalty stroke, which was duly converted by Ben Wright. Letchworth hit back after a run down their right hand side culminated in a cut back, which was slotted past keeper John Livings. Magpies responded well, with two goals to extend their lead to 3-1 – Ben Wright from a second penalty flick and Archie Winter on his return to the side following a period of absence due to school commitments.

The team were not able to build on this lead though and gain the resultant 3 goal cushion required, and after some Letchworth pressure a pass found its way through to a lurking Letchworth player who slotted it in under the keeper. Just before half-time, Magpies again hit back to extend their lead to 4-2 at the interval. Skipper Leigh Sitch, took advantage of a wide injection from a penalty corner, to place a clean strike in the bottom right of the Letchworth goal. The two goal lead at half time feeling like just rewards.

The second half was a more even game. Letchworth were the first to strike, pulling two goals back to level at 4-4, the equaliser being an unfortunate own goal. Magpies again responded through Archie Winter to take the lead with 7 minutes to go. However, a few minutes from full time Letchworth again equalised, converting a penalty stroke to round off a 5-5 draw and a pulsating game.

Magpies will be disappointed not to have closed out the game, after leading numerous times. Next week the team travel to Dereham in a re-arranged fixture.

MOM – Archie Winter

Photos courtesy Pat Leate

Stuart Leate
Leigh Sitch celebrates his rare goal while fellow defender Andrew Bedwell looks away in disbelief!
Ben Wright
Ben Wright

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 31 January 2017


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

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

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

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

Richard Larkin and Mark Wheelhouse (Ipswich)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 28 January

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


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

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston 2 – Ipswich 3

In the first game back from the Christmas break, Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport hosted Ipswich to reignite the old rivalry. The squad were without several key figures, Robbie Kinsella, Matt Richardson, Archie Winter, Jack Knight, Simon Hipwell and John Livings all unavailable. The squad did welcome Chris Leek in goal to make his debut for the first team and also welcomed Pete Bale back into the fold.

A superb start from magpies saw them score within the first minute, with Richard Larkin latching on to a well placed pass from Ben Wright, driving into the D and drilling it home, bottom left corner making it 1-0. Magpies then took control of the game pinning the opposition into their half with some supreme attacking work from Tom Ridley, and strong defensive play from Leigh Sitch.

As the game progressed, Ipswich slowly started to get into the game with some long balls that troubled the Harleston defence resulting in some short corners which were well saved by Man of the Match Tom Ridley running 1, and Chris Leek.

Magpies then re asserted their dominance winning numerous short corners, one of which was scored by Ben Wright with a trademark late release flick into the bottom right hand corner of the net to leave Harleston 2-0 up at half time.

With the game in their grasp Harleston struggled with fitness and numbers in the second half and not being able for two months started to show. Ipswich scored two unstoppable drag flicks and a clinical deflection off the keepers pads to leave Harleston shell shocked.

Photos Courtesy Pat Leate

Richard Larkin and Mark Wheelhouse (Ipswich)
Ben Wright
Andrew Bedwell
Tom Sumner

Match Report – U18 Boys National Indoor Finals – Sat/Sun 21/22 January 2017

U18 Boys National Indoor Finals – Phoenix Leisure Village, Dawley, Telford
Harleston Magpies Report

Surbiton 6 – 1 Magpies

Magpies opened their defence of their national title with a tough looking game against Surbiton. Surbiton quickly took control of the game opening up a 4-0 lead, which could have been more but for some superb saves by Will Graver. The second half was much tighter as Magpies pressed better and started to exert pressure in the attacking half. However, Surbiton extended their lead before Sam Paterson grabbed a deserved goal. Unfortunately, Magpies conceded another goal to see Surbiton close out the game as 6-1 winners.

Ashmoor 2 – 3 Magpies

Knowing 3-points were vital from their second game, Magpies started well outsmarting the Ashmoor press and forcing a number of good opportunities. Eventually, the deadlock was broken by Archie Winter as Magpies took the lead. Unfortunately, Ashmoor grabbed an equaliser just before half-time to see the score level at 1-1. With vociferous support now cheering them on, Ashmoor took a surprise lead in the second half. Magpies didn’t panic, stuck to their game plan and were rewarded when Archie scored his second of the game. Magpies were now in control of the match and a flowing team move resulted in Vincent Leruth scoring the third. The final couple of minutes were frenetic but Magpies held their nerve to secure a 3-2 victory.

Timperley 2 – 5 Magpies

Taking a lot of confidence from the victory the previous evening, Magpies started strongly against Timperley and raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time courtesy of a goal from captain Myles King and a brace for Jack Hobbs. The game was effectively over shortly into the second half with another goal from Myles and one for Sam. With an opportunity to rest legs the final few minutes were a little scrappy as Magpies used their bench, allowing Timperley to grab a couple of consolation goals. However, Magpies closed the game out as Timperley lost their discipline spending most of the final few minutes with at least one of their players in the sin bin.

Lichfield 1 – 5 Magpies

The final game would see the winner advance to the semi-final. With confidence high Magpies were the quicker team to settle and, as in their previous game, raced into a 3-0 lead with 2 goals from Myles and one from Sol Barker. Lichfield threatened briefly at the start of the second half but the goal they scored galvanised Magpies with Matt Bensly and Sam scoring twice more to seal a comfortable 5-1 win.

Canterbury 4 – 2 Magpies

Having improved as the tournament progressed Magpies, whilst underdogs, new they had every chance to progress to the final. Both sides set-up well and the first few minutes were very even. Magpies went closest to scoring but the final touch just eluded them. Half-time 0-0. The second half saw Canterbury slowly take control and with a good short-corner routine they moved out to a 4-0 lead. Magpies, though, were always in it and goals from Archie and Sam narrowed the gap and ensured Magpies were on the front foot for the final few minutes. However, Canterbury defended very well and closed out the game as 4-2 winners.

Magpies should be very proud of themselves for their effort and commitment across the weekend. Starting slowly but improving game on game they thoroughly deserved their semi-final spot and only narrowly lost out on making the final in which Surbiton beat Canterbury. The tactical input from coach Richard Larkin, who was superb all weekend, was invaluable and the boys executed the game plan excellently in every match. This was a big squad effort and everyone played their part, which made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

A big thanks to all the supporters that made the trip to Telford and for your support and encouragement across the whole weekend.

Squad – Will Graver (GK), Myles King (C), Sam Paterson, Jonty Herschel-Shorland, Sol Barker, Ben Kilburn, Matt Bensly, Kieran Peters, Archie Winter, Jack Hobbs, Jolyon Summers, Vincent Leruth.

Coach – Richard Larkin

Manager – Stuart Peters

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 17 January 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 10 January 2017


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

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

Ladies 1 v Chelmsford 07/01/2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham


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U18 Girls Indoor East Regional Final


East U18 Club Indoor Champions

Harleston Magpies won the Norfolk U18 girls indoor hockey final and qualified for the East regional final which took place on Saturday 17th December 2016 at Essex university. Magpies had five games to play against teams from Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Cambridgeshire with the top two teams qualifying for the National final which takes over the weekend of 21st/22nd January 2017.

Harleston’s first match was against Canterbury who were representing Kent. Magpies won the opening game 2-0 with goals from Sophie Child and Lauren Rowe.

The next match was against St Albans representing Herefordshire and after Magpies going a goal behind won the match 2-1, goals scored by Sophie Child and the winner from Charlotte Seaman.

Our third match was against neighbouring Suffolk rivals Ipswich, goals from Anna Tighe, Tor Findlay, Lauren Rowe and Sophie Child meant we won the match 4-2.

Three games played and with two games remaining Magpies knew they had a great chance to qualify for the U18 girls National indoor hockey final in Croydon on 21st/22nd January 2017 and next up to play was Peterborough representing Cambridgeshire. Magpies played some great attacking hockey and won the game 7-1, goal scorers were Lauren Rowe 4, Anna Tighe 2 and Sophie Child.

Alice Gooch was having a good afternoon in goal for Magpies and the whole team were growing in confidence as the competition went on. The final game was against Old Loughtonions from Essex who also went into this match knowing a positive result would send them through to the National final.

Magpies started the game strongly and soon went 1-0 ahead thanks to a goal from Lauren Rowe, this was soon followed by the best goal of the afternoon when a slick passing move involving all five outfield players was finished by Anna Tighe. Anna then added a third and Katie Crawford completed a fantastic afternoon by scoring the fourth goal and securing a 4-0 win. Magpies finished the afternoon with the proud record of played 5, won 5 and finished U18 girls indoor hockey East champions.

Magpies will now represent the East region at the National final.
Harleston Magpies squad: Victoria Findlay (captain), Alice Gooch (GK), Alice Woollatt, Anna Tighe, Lauren Rowe, Charlotte Seaman, Katie Crawford, Sophie Child.

Match report/press release of Santas v Elves – Saturday 10 December 2016

Santas and elves take time out for hockey at Harleston Magpies

On Saturday 10th December Harleston Magpies Hockey Club hosted what is hoped to become an annual Dads – v- Lads Christmas hockey fixture. The game was played at Weybread over four quarters in high spirits between thirteen Santa dads, just one Mrs Claus and twenty two keen and highly excitable elves.

A jovial crowd warmed by mulled wine cheered on the players and were treated to a festive game of hockey, which ultimately finished 1-1 after an overtime short corner was converted by the Elves.

Event organiser and Magpies Boys Development Team Manager Mark Emms said: ‘The spirit of this summer’s Rio Olympics GB hockey success still lives on at Magpies Hockey Club, and we had lots of dads keen to try out their stick skills with a festive twist. A Christmas fancy dress Dads –v-Lads match seemed just the ticket!

Mr Emms continued: ‘We all enjoy the competitive cup and league hockey we play across the different age groups here at Harleston Magpies, but it’s also important to make time for friendly socials like this’.

After the game players and spectators enjoyed hot turkey rolls and hospitality in the club house provided by parents. James Smith, the Club’s Boys Youth Development Officer was delighted with the turn out, saying: ‘It’s great to be able to celebrate our achievements so far this season in such festive style. With our growing youth membership, we’ll be arranging more friendlies and fun tournaments in the future’.

Bex Pottruff