Magpies Men’s O40s 5 City of Peterborough Men’s O40s 0
After a bye in the first round Magpies were making their debut in the EH Cup when entertaining City of Peterborough at a bright and dry Weybread. Remembrance Sunday was marked with traditional respect before the game.
In various states of fitness and match practice Magpies were soon into their stride and by the time the majority of spectators had left the clubhouse they were ahead when Neil Toulson brought back memories of his first team days with a neat finish. Soon afterwards Gavin Cole added a second and it seemed that the home side were on their way to a handsome victory. But Peterborough had other ideas and they gradually came into the game and approaching half time they had their best spell of the game forcing Steve Halliley in the home goal to make a series of fine saves.
After the break Magpies reasserted their dominance moving to a comfortable 5-0 win with a goal by Matt Brand and further efforts by Neil and Gavin.
For the record the Magpies’ squad on this notable occasion was –
Tristan Baynes (captain), Steve Halliley, Eric Davy, James Smith, Andy Smith, Phil Cobbald, Bob Skinner, Jerry Blackmore, David Francis, James Stacey, Matt Brand, Martin Reader, Neil Toulson, Gavin Cole, Angus Wilkinson.
In the next round Magpies are away to Luton Town on Sunday 4 December.
Harleston travelled to Old Loughts to face top of the table and unbeaten Old Loughts in a late push back on Saturday. Harleston travelled without Robbie Kinsella illness and Thomas Ridley holiday leaving the squad with a bare bones 13.
Harleston did make a great start to the game as predicted by player coach Ben Wright following a slow warm up. Harleston soon found themselves a goal down when a long ball found an Old Loughts forward who drew another defender before finding an unmarked team mate on the back post. Harleston continued to work on their press but despite stealing the ball off the Old Loughts players the team were unable to capitalise on their counter attacks.
Harleston’s day soon got worse with another crash ball being expertly deflected off an Old Loughts player into the bottom corner of the goal leaving John Livings with no chance. It could have been worse for the away team as Andrew Bedwell managed to scamper back and clear a goal bound effort off the line. With the team up against it Harleston were dealt another huge blow when James Meek was forced off the field bravely charging down a short corner which hit his knee pad but the damage was too much for the army tough man to carry on.
Harleston continued to battle bravely and managed to hang on until half time just the two goals down.
Harleston came out fighting in the second half knowing that they had created chances in the first half and with a different approach to the press knew that they were still in the game. Again however a lapse in concentration at the back allowed an Old Loughts forward with a simple tap in at the back post. The home crowd now buoyed by the score line were in fine voice but Harleston’s never say die attitude meant that they were still in the game.
Despite Old Loughts continuing to press high Harleston were able to outlet well through man of the match Tom Sumner who utilised his skill and trick box well to get out of some sticky situations. With 17 minutes to play this out letting allowed the midfield and forward unit to start to dominate and they soon worked a good ball down the left which Myles King deflected in at the near post.
Harleston were now playing the better hockey and won a short corner which was expertly deflected by a sliding Jack Knight at the back post. Now with 10 minutes to go and still need goals Harleston continued to play controlled hockey, as a result they soon pulled another goal back through Matt Richardson at a short corner with 6 minutes to go.
Now at level pegging and Old Loughts swaying near the ropes like a tired and stunned boxer Harleston turned the ball over in midfield following a robust challenge from Simon Hipwell and Stuart Leate freed Richard Larkin down the left. The ball was then fed to Ben Wright who found Jack Knight at the back post with a bobbly pass to tap home and hand the advantage to Harleston with 4 minutes remaining.
Harleston knew they would need to weather a storm for these 4 minutes as Old Loughts applied pressure. The whole team were standing strong in face of the pressure until an unfortunate slip from Simon Hipwell handed Old Loughts a short corner with a couple of minutes left. The short corner defensive unit of John Livings, Andrew Bedwell, Leigh Sitch, Matt Richardson and Ben Wright bravely rebuffed numerous short corners for the remainder of the game to hang on for a vital win and inflict Old Loughts first defeat on them.
Next week Harleston face Cambridge City 2’s at home at 2:00pm.
After back to back wins, Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport were looking to continue their good run of form by welcoming Cambridge Uni to The Nest. With mixed fortunes from previous games against this side, Magpies knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game.
Cambridge Uni started the game having the majority of the possession but were unable to cause any problems due to a very compact midfield and defence from the home side. Counter-attacks were where magpies created a few half chances in the early stages using the pace of Archie Winter and Ben Wright up front to cause the oppositions back four some problems.
It continued this way, until a counter attack became successful as a beautifully weighted pass from Matt Richardson found player-coach Ben Wright to neatly slot the ball into the goal past the oncoming keeper. Magpies continued to create chances leading to a couple of short corners. One of which Jack Knight couldn’t get on the end of for a deflection and another was cleared off the line by one of the post men.
Cambridge did start to cause a threat in the latter of the first half, working out that aerials were the best option to try break through the Harleston wall. But magpies back four of Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Tom Sumner and Sam Patterson looked both comfortable and confident to deal with any danger that Uni could conjure up. Harleston then made it 2-0 from another beautifully slotted pass finding man of the match Archie Winter to neatly lift over the keeper and hit the backboard. It could have been 3-0 before half-time but a rebound off the keeper and a flick at goal judged to be cleared just in front of the goal legally although many of the Harleston players thought otherwise. Harleston finished 2-0 up at the half time break.
After a successful first half, Magpies kept their same disciplined formation for the start of the second and so was a similar start as the first with Cambridge enjoying most of the early possession. Cambridge became stronger and more intelligent as the game went on causing a bit of confusion especially down our left hand side but the likes of Tom Ridley and Sam Patterson were able to deal with any pressure supplied. Harleston’s biggest threat was looking down the left hand side with some long balls down the line for our forwards to turn and take on defenders 1v1 which led to a few half chances but weren’t converted and a short corner. The corner was well worked and a sliding deflection from Captain Leigh Sitch added another goal to his tally for the season.
Unlike previous weeks Harleston kept their discipline resulting in no cards received in the full 70 minutes making sure no added pressure was able to be caused by the young and athletic University side. Cambridge did have the odd chance in the second half but were unable to convert thanks to John Livings staying strong in goal and keeping his clean sheet still intact. Ben Wright then produced a moment of brilliance from the left hand corner going past 3 defenders and cutting back from the baseline to pass the ball past the keepers left foot for 4-0.
Eventually more pressure supplied by the University side meant they pulled a goal back driving along the baseline and passing it across for a simple tap-in. After that the game became more stretched leaving a lot of open space especially on the right hand side of the pitch for Richard Larkin to drive into and cross the ball hoping for a Magpies forward to get on the end off. The goal did come from the right hand side though with James Meek driving into the D and smashing the ball into the roof of the net leaving the keeper no chance. It could have been at least a couple more from a reverse stick strike from Archie just going wide and an unselfish pass from Andrew Bedwell across the goal but some confusion between two Magpies players meant the score stayed and finished 5-1.
Harleston travel to top of the league Old Loughtonians next weekend hoping to continue their good run of form and end the opposition’s 100% record.
Sadly only three teams entered the Gold U10A Girls tournament – Magpies, Norwich City and Norwich Dragons – and so we were scheduled to play each of our opponents twice. First up was Dragons and the Magpies team got off to a great start winning 5-0 with a hat-trick from Natalie and the others from Emily and Daisy. All these goals were great team efforts with some of the moves starting right from our circle. Next it was Norwich City and this was as usual an end-to-end affair with both teams attacking and defending well. Magpies scored through Beth and the score remained 1-0. After a much anticipated trip to the chocolate tombola the girls were in high spirits as they took to the pitch for Norwich Dragons round two. This time the Dragons were a more organised opposition and it took some good moves to break down their defence with the final score being a 3-0 win (Beth 2, Natalie 1). Finally the morning ended with the second match against Norwich City. Although we knew by then a draw would be enough to win the tournament the Magpies team were in no mood to settle for that and went all out for the win, scoring with pretty much the first move of the game. The Magpies side were more dominant in this game and the final score was a 3-1 win (goals from Emily 2 and Natalie), with Rebekah in goal getting her first action of the day!
Next up is our expedition to deepest Norfolk for the Pelicans tournament on Nov 13th and hopefully more variety in opposition.
After a positive result last week against Chelmsford, Magpies, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, were keen to push on and get another win under their belts. Their opposition came as a newly promoted Letchworth team who had started the season off strongly.
Harleston started off the game well looking tight at the back and put Letchworth under pressure straight away with a flurry of good chances; however they were unable to convert, with Jack Knight coming the closest, when his shot that blazed just past the outside of the post.
The breakthrough came halfway through the first half from a well won short corner. Ben Wright added to his goal tally of the season when his drag flick which was seemingly going wide took a large deflection taking it past the keeper to give Harleston the lead. This gave the team confidence to push even harder with Matt Richardson getting the best chance of the remainder of half when he found himself one on one with the goalkeeper, but was unable to convert as he went for power over accuracy, yet achieved neither. This meant the team went into half time leading one nil.
After a rousing team talk from Captain Leigh Sitch and player-coach Ben Wright, the team came out with renewed passion. However, they may have instilled a bit too much passion, with the team getting three cards in six minutes for a trio of bad stick tackles. This really built up pressure and allowed Letchworth to put on the pressure and get on the front foot for the first time in the match. The team somehow managed to make it through this spell without conceding due to some strong defensive work from the whole of the team, only to concede minutes after getting back to full strength taking the score to 1-1. A nervous period of hockey ensued with both teams looking shaky.
Again Harleston capitalised and took the lead after Richardson expertly crossed the ball to Myles King to score his first 1st team goal of the season. At 2-1, Harleston again looked comfortable until Letchworth managed to win a succession of short corners late into the half. These were expertly defended by goalkeeper John Livings and right post man Andrew Bedwell, however Harleston gave away one too many of these corners and a deflected shot made its way into the back of the net, again taking the two teams level.
With five minutes left to go, a draw looked ever likely, but the game was not up yet. The team again pressed on looking to score a late winner which came when, after winning the ball deep into enemy territory; Ben Wright crossed the ball for Archie Winter to expertly volley the ball home at his shoulder height. This gave Harleston the boost they needed and after a final five minutes of strong defensive work and possession keeping the game was out of reach for Letchworth, with the final whistle going just as Harleston won the last short corner of the game. With the last play of the game, Archie winter got his second goal of the game after his drag flick deflected past the keeper, taking the final score to 4-2 in Harleston’s favour.
POTM – Stuart Leate
Scorers – Ben Wright, Myles King, Archie Winter x 2
Played eight, won eight. What a Saturday it was for our ladies’ teams – and the men didn’t do too badly either on a day when the 1sts hit top form with an emphatic win. In all we had twelve wins, one draw and just two losses in fifteen games with 53 goals for and 20 against.
But the day belonged to the ladies and the 7ths set the ball rolling at Weybread with a 5-0 win over Carrow 2nds with all their goals coming in the first half. After her brace the previous week Evie Tibbenham went one better with a hat-trick following goals by Shirley McAllen and Karen Ray. This was Karen’s last game before her move to Spain for the winter with her partner Richard. Karen has done an enormous amount for the club and will be greatly missed. More about Karen next week.
Next on the water-based were the in-form and impressive 2nds and they were soon into their stride against Bedford 2nds with goals by Laura Tibbenham and Alice Woollatt. Following a response by the visitors Laura scored again and after the break Kara Kilbourn made it 4-1 to secure victory for her side which has taken ten points from their last four games. This coming Saturday they are away to Colchester (12.30).
On a day almost ideal for playing and watching hockey the question was could the 1sts make things even better for the club on captain Lucy Belsey’s birthday (she is a little over 21!) when they took on Southgate. The answer was ‘yes’ but they twice had to come from behind before making sure of an excellent and exciting 5-3 victory. Former South Africa Olympian Alex Fenwick gave Southgate an early lead with a reverse stick shot after initially appearing to have lost control of the ball and they continued to look dangerous before in a good spell of home pressure Maria Andrews equalised with a reverse stick chip. Fenwick scored again early in the second half but within five minutes Magpies were level when Tor Findlay took a pass from Maria before rounding the goalkeeper for the goal of the game. In the 58th and 59th minutes Lucy Whiting was on hand to convert two penalty corners before Debbie Francis made it 5-2 six minutes later. Fenwick completed her hat-trick in the final minute with another rasping penalty corner conversion. On Saturday Magpies are away to Hampstead and Westminster (1.30).
Over on the sand-based the 4ths were beating Carrow 3-0 with a hat-trick by the prolific Georgie Cantrell. Georgie scored her first from a penalty corner and after the break made the game safe for her team with two open play strikes.
Away from home the wins also kept coming for the ladies’ teams with three points each for the Girls Development and for the 3rds, 5ths and 6ths. Olivia Lapage scored both goals for the Girls’ Development (who have yet to concede a goal this season) in their 2-0 win over Yarmouth. There were encouraging debuts for Abi Lewis (in goal), Maddison Forrest, Hannah Gartland and Megan Dickson while Molly Largent was playing her second game having made her debut the previous week. The 3rds came from behind tobeat IES 2-1 with two goals by Mia King on her welcome return from injury while the 5ths beat Watton 2nds by the same score with goals by sisters Grace and Amy Collison. Grace scored in the first half after good work by Molly Warnes and Ellie Fawkner while Amy scored ten minutes from the end at a penalty corner created by captain and defender Jose Tibbenham.
Meanwhile the 6ths were having a field day beating Watton 3rds 8-0. In a dominant display by captain Gillian Stokes’ team the goals were scored by Beth Moodie (2), Izzy Slade (2), Annie Lancaster, Jenny Meyer, Julie Davy and Lydia Barrett.
———————— Avril Adams
Before the IES versus Ladies’ 3rds match a minute’s silence was held in memory of Avril who so sadly died last Tuesday after her very short battle with cancer. Our condolences go to her husband John and daughter Megan (Brown) and all members of the family on their great loss. In recent seasons Avril, who was a former IES goalkeeper and a much-respected secretary of the Suffolk County HA, has been a regular supporter at Weybread watching Megan play in goal for the club while John has managed the Ladies’ 2nds.
——————— Turning now to the performances of the men’s sides there is no better place to start than with the 9-2 win of the 1sts at Weybread over Chelmsford. This was a timely and encouraging victory with player-coach Ben Wright in commanding form. He scored his 75th first team goal for the club when converting an early penalty stroke. Jack Knight then opened his account for the team with a deft shot from a narrow angle before Ben scored in open play. Archie Winter fired a penalty corner high into the net with Matt Richardson making it 5-0. Chelmsford pulled a goal back just before half time. In the second half Ben took his personal tally to five (and ten for the season) while the visitors converted a penalty corner which seemed to take for ever with the home defenders one by one being ordered from their goal for breaking before the whistle. Sam Paterson completed the scoring with his first for Magpies who this Saturday are away to newly-promoted Letchworth (2.00).
FUN CASINO EVENING SATURDAY 26 NOVEMBER (7.30PM) Tickets for this prestigious black tie event are £20 each and are available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.
The Boys’ Development, for whom Ben Waters made his debut with a strong performance in defence,moved back to the top of their league alongside Norwich Dragons ‘A’ with a deserved 1-0 win over Norwich City with a goal by Ben Emms while the 4ths were three up at half time against Norwich City 5ths before nearly letting things slip in their 3-2 win. Toby Hughes put them ahead before Kieran Peters scored with a favoured reverse stick shot and he then scored again with some assistance from his father Stuart (or so Stuart claims!). The 6ths were up against UEA 3rds who celebrated as if they had won Olympic gold when they took a first half lead but Andy Smith came to the rescue of his team with a shot he described as a reverse stick undercut. He is now one goal behind 1st team captain Leigh Sitch in their personal battle for goal scoring honours this season! The students took the lead again after the break before Greg Jagger made the final score 2-2. Will Graver played well in goal for Magpies.
Away from home the 2nds went down 6-3 to Bishops Stortford which leaves them still looking for their first point of the season and hopefully it will come this Saturday at home to Cambridge City 3rds (2.00). Magpies went ahead after ten minutes through Myles King who together with Tristan Baynes was the pick of the visiting team. Bishop’s Stortford scored two goals each side of half time before Tristan converted a penalty stroke and at 6-2 down he scored again with a late drag flick. Meanwhile the 3rds maintained their one hundred percent start to the season coming from behind to beat Bury St Edmunds 2nds 3-1. Gavin Cole brought them level with his eighth goal of the season before Phil Cobbald put away a penalty stroke. Captain Matt Brand then converted a penalty corner with a drag flick to ensure victory. The 5ths were up against Bury St Edmunds 5ths in a game which was decided by a couple of umpiring decisions. BSE took the lead before Arthur Johnson equalised for Magpies following up a save from his own shot. The home team then made the final score 2-1 in their favour converting a penalty corner when Magpies, who deserved a point, were reduced to ten players.
On Sunday the club had another good day with four of our teams playing away in England Hockey events. In their cup matches the Men’s O50s edged past Bury St Edmunds 4-3 on penalty strokes after conceding a late goal in a 3-3 draw (Phil Cobbald 2, Duncan Cogdell) in normal time while the U18 Girls beat Old Loughtonians 9-3 with goals by Hannah de Selincourt (4), Alice Woollatt, Abby Gooderham (2) and Tor Findlay (2). Meanwhile in league action the U14 Girls drew 3-3 with Norwich City with another hat-trick by Georgie Cantrell while the U14 Boys beat Bury St Edmunds 10-1. Seven of their goals were scored by Jude Pottruff in a remarkable personal performance while the others came from Ben Emms (2) and Michael Ahrens.
Good luck to all our teams this Saturday. Please see the website for the complete list of fixtures.
MAGPIES’ 300 CLUB Please see the website for recent winners ((including September and October 2016) and for how to join. If you are not already a member you will be very welcome. NB. If you are a member have you paid your annual sub yet please? Notices went out in August. If you have paid ‘thank you’.
It was a cold blustery day in Harleston that saw the home side, who are looking to build momentum in a mixed season so far, face a Chelmsford team also searching for form. Harleston went into the game without Richard Larkin (broken toe) and Robbie Kinsella (work commitments).
The home side started strong, as a compact unit and looking to counter at every opportunity. Several fast paced attacks went narrowly wide until Ben Wright stepped up and lead by example, slotting home from a nice move down the wing. Harleston were comfortably on top of their opponents converting several well rehearsed short corners and a penalty stroke thus extending their lead. The home side defended with tenacity, the midfield gave Chelmsford no room to play, highlighted by some superb tackling by Stuart Leate. Unfortunately the aforementioned Magpies stalwart was harshly punished for knocking the ball away and the visitors converted their short corner with a neatly deflected shot bouncing over the Harleston keepers outstretched stick. Harleston went into half time 4-1 up.
Harleston changed their press in the second half which caused momentum to swing towards Chelmsford as the Essex side pressed higher up the pitch. However, a smart call from the two Magpies centre backs reverted the press to normal and proceedings similar to the first half were restored. Despite being reduced to 10 players for short periods of the game Harleston were able to extend their lead with Ben Wright scoring an impressive 5 goals and it was a great display by the team all round with the match finishing 9-2. Other scorers were Matt Richardson, Jack Knight, Archie Winter and Sam Paterson. The Chelmsford second goal came from another short corner when two Magpies players broke earlier leaving Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell and John Livings trying to defend their goal with tow less players than normal.
Harleston travel to Letchworth next week looking to build on their impressive display, Letchworth who were promoted to Premier A this season have made a good start to the season, last week they beat Ipswich 6-5.
Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sports travelled to local rivals Ipswich for their third game of the season. In a tense battle, it was Ipswich who took the lead when a Harleston attack broke down which allowed a quick counter attack and Ipswich converted their chance. Harleston were not behind for long when Leigh Sitch grabbed his second of the season from a short corner to equalise. Harleston then took the lead when Ben Wright tapped in from close range following a good ball carry from Jack Knight.
Unfortunately Harleston could not hang onto their lead as they conceded a stroke from a short corner which ex Magpie Ben Underwood dispensed.
The second half flowed in a similar fashion to the first, with 10 minutes to play Harleston regained the lead with Ben Wright grabbing his second from a short corner. Harleston again could not see out the half and conceded with 5 second left to play meaning the game finished 3-3.
HARLESTON MAGPIES U10 GIRLS B AT NORWICH DRAGONS TOURNAMENT
Harleston Magpies U10 Girls B team made a very impressive start to the Tournament winning both their opening matches 4-0. In the first match against Norwich Dragons B Ophelia McCausland was in excellent form scoring two goals supported by Dulcie Seppings and Amber Whittingstall chipping in with the other goals.
In the second match Magpies played Norwich City C team and again they came away with a very impressive 4-0 win with goal scorers Jessica Smith, Molly Denny, Grace Stacey and Isla Paternoster.
They were also playing some excellent hockey and the confidence was flowing through the team.
Against Watton A this was a much tougher match as the game flowed from end to end but Magpies took the lead with a goal from Ophelia. Unfortunately in the last two minutes Magpies failed to clear their lines and Watton snatched a late equaliser.
In Magpies final match they struggled to cope with a strong Norwich City B team and they failed defensively as a team allowing Norwich City a number of chances from which they scored two goals. Jasmine Freeman made some excellent saves in goal.
Magpies finished second pipping Watton on goal difference and the squad are continuing to develop fast.
U12 A Girls – Norwich Dragons Tournament 09/10/2016
After a good start to the season at Norwich City last weekend, the U12 As returned to action at Norwich Dragons. With 5 teams in the gold section we were going to have to play Norwich City at some point and they were our first oppo. The game ended 2-1 to Norwich City with Anna scoring for Magpies. Neither side really got going following a great game between us last weekend so whoever the oppo next time out on the 30th October at Magpies, we will need to start quicker. After that it got much better and the girls took out their frustration on Dragons B with a 5-0 victory (Sophie x 2, Jess M, Jess T, Evie B) with their keeper having a good game as well. We then had a narrow 1-0 over a spirited Norwich City B team with a late late goal from Holly, oh how I enjoy those games ! We finished off with a solid 2-0 win over Dragons A with Jess M and Holly providing the goals. This was our best performance of the day with at last some confident, positive passing to each other in space. Abi in goal was lonely at times but when required kept her concentration and made good positive clearances. There is definitely more to come from this team, keep up the good work !
Squad :- Abi (GK), Evie H, Evie B, Jess M, Jess T, Emma, Anna C, Ruby P, Holly, Sophie.
TM – Jim Menzies
U12 A & C teams in high spirits at Norwich Dragons !
After getting off to a flying start last week by winning the Norwich City tournament, just a week later and we were at our second tournament of the season. First up were Dereham who had proved tricky the week before but this week we were quickly into our stride, keeping great shape and passing the ball well in all areas of the pitch. The final score was 4 – 0 (Emily 2 and Beth 2) in what was a great team performance. Next up were Norwich City and despite having plenty of chances and a goal disallowed (possibly for a footballers tap in on the far post?) it was Norwich who converted to win the match 1-0 and the Magpies U10A girls tasted defeat for the first time in over a season. It had to come some time and the good thing about this tournament was, as there were only 4 teams in the group, we were scheduled to play everyone twice so we had the opportunity for revenge. First though we faced Norwich Dragons and thanks to an oversight by the coach we nearly missed this match altogether (parents – please do try and keep me on track!). Dragons worked very hard in defence against us and gave us little room to play in. The final score was a 3-1 win (Natalie on her debut, Emily and Daisy) and so we were still in with a shout of winning but knew we were up against it.
On the second match against Dereham we found it harder to score and despite creating plenty of chances their GK and defence played well to hold us to a 2-0 win (Beth and Emily). So we took to the field for Norwich City part 2 knowing we had to win to stand any chance of winning the tournament – and the girls really stepped up to the mark. In a very different game to the first match we scored early and were able to sit back and concentrate on defending, and late in the game we managed to break out and steal a second to win 2-0 (Beth and Florence). To finish the morning it was Norwich Dragons part 2 and thankfully we knew we were just ahead of City on goal difference . The coach was busy trying to watch both matches to see who was scoring how many goals, and it turned out in the end that our 4-0 win (beth 2, Natalie and Emily) was enough to put us into 1st position. So we returned from Norwich with medals again but in the knowledge that it had been a close call this week and there is plenty to work on in training!
U10A report from the Norwich City tournament 2nd Oct 2016
After the unbeaten season of last year, with 99 goals for and just 1 against, the U10As have a hard act to follow – but they certainly set about their task in fine form today. The day did not, however, start in very promising fashion as we managed to lose one member of squad en route to Norwich but after that little hiccough the day passed smoothly!
First up it was Norwich Dragons and the U10s picked up where they left off last year by slotting 5 goals in quick succession past the Dragons defence (Beth 1, Florence 1, Emily 3). Next up was a strong Dereham team who had us quickly scurrying in defence and we could easily have gone a goal down without some great covering tackles by the backs and a timely save by Rebekah in her first match in goal.
In the end 2 goals from Beth were enough to give Harleston a well earned win. Next match was a typically strong Norwich City team and the game was an end to end affair. Emily scored early for Harleston and we created plenty of other chances but equally Norwich looked dangerous on the break. The match finished 1-0 and spirits were high as we took to the field for our final game against another Norwich City team.
Harleston came out 3-0 winners (Beth 1 and Florence 2) to complete a very successful morning to claim the gold medals. With only Beth, Emily, Catherine and Harriet remaining from last year’s Regional winning team it was good to see how the new members of the squad slotted in and the team played with great shape for their first outing together. The picture shows just how excited they all were at the result today!
Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sports entertained City of Peterborough who like Harleston had won one game and lost their other to St Albans in the league.
Peterborough started the better side pressing Harleston back forcing the home side into a couple of unforced turn overs which called man of the match John Livings into making a couple of smart saves early on. Harleston did start to find their feet and once the team adjusted to Peterborough’s main threat from left half back the team were able to cause problems for Peterborough. Following a long corner Harleston took the lead after a ball hammered in by Andrew Bedwell was expertly finished by Ben Wright in the circle with a smart deflection.
Harleston could only hold their lead for five minutes when Peterborough converted their second short corner of the day with an unstoppable finish into the top right hand corner of the goal. The game was then turned on it’s head when Peterborough took the lead when an aerial caused confusion in the Harleston defence which allowed a Peterborough forward to finish from close range.
The final 10 minutes of the first half belonged to Harleston who despite pressing well and creating opportunities were unable to convert their chances that they were creating due to some excellent defending from the Peterborough short corner team.
The second half started in the same manner that the first half finished. Harleston were pressing Peterborough well and getting turn over ball and Peterborough continued to look dangerous on counter attack opportunities when their players could carry at pace. Against the run of pay it was Peterborough who extended their lead when they won a stroke which was considered harsh by the Harleston team but at the same time Harleston were lucky to escape without a card. Peterborough converted the stroke well and were now leading 3-1.
With frustrations growing for the home side they were reduced to 10 players when Sitch was sin binned. Harleston continued to play well while down to 10 with John Livings making more smart saves from close range. Peterborough did extend their lead to 4-1 before Harleston mounted a commendable fight back helped by the fact that Peterborough were reduced to 9 players. Matt Richardson finished expertly from a narrow angle following a long ball carry. Harleston then grabbed their third when Robbie Kinsella finished after a broken down short corner. Harleston continued to push for a an equaliser but the time was against them and Peterborough were able to hang on for the win.
Next week Harleston travel to Ipswich for a local derby.
Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport faced local rivals Dereham at the nest on their second league game of the season. Richard Larkin dropped out of the squad due to a prior commitment and Will Hunt going travelling. But they welcomed back Matt Richardson and James Meek both available after work commitments last weekend.
Having played well but lost last weekend Harleston went into the game high with confidence knowing that if they played like they had done in their previous game they would collect the 3 points.
Harleston started well pressing Dereham high up the pitch forcing the away side into numerous turnovers. Despite having the majority of possession Harleston took a little while to fully test ex Magpie goalkeeper Matt Collinge in the Dereham net. Harleston did convert one of their chances when Ben Wright fired home from Harleston’s second short corner of the game. Despite continuing to play well Harleston struggled to break down a rigid Dereham defence. The frustration from the home team started to become apparent as confusion as to which press they were using lead to a Dereham midfielder carrying past two Harleston players before feeding a forward who finished from close range.
This set back spurred Harleston on and despite turning the ball over on too many occasions managed to regain the lead when Wright grabbed his second following a slick short corner routine. Harleston continued to press well but were unable to extend their lead before half time.
The second half started in a similar manner to the first. Dereham continued to look for long passes to their high forwards who didn’t track back. This created a very open game which played into both teams hands. It was Harleston who took advantage of this when Jack Knight tested Matt Collinge and the ball fell kindly to Ben Wright who completed his hat trick with a cool volley.
I’ll discipline then cost Harleston as they were reduced to 10 players twice for stick tackles. It was at this point that Dereham managed to pull a goal back following a rocket of a deflection from a well worked short corner that left Ben Wright with no chance on the right post. Harleston soon restored their two goal advantage when an aerial from Matt Richardson found Archie Winter who again released Will Martin with another aerial, the dynamic midfielder’s initial lob was saved but he finished well with a reverse stick back hand.
Next week Peterborough travel to Harleston for a 3:45pm push back for what promises to be another tough test.
Magpies under 14 girls opened the 2016-17 youth account with a tournament win at the 7-a-side tournament in Ipswich this afternoon.
An opening run out on a hot hot day produced impressive hot hockey. Not only did the girls get a well earned victory against strong opposition but they did it in style. Many of our team have know each other since they were 7 and – finally – it begins to look like it.
We tried throughout to play whole squad hockey trying to maintain a high tempo with frequent rotation of players and positions.
A good start against Felixstowe was followed by a stuttering performance against Harwich, who despite the eventual 3-0 win kept us at bay for a long time with athletic reactive shot stopping from their excellent keeper. Against IES we were up against old friends managed by Martin Reader and they gave us a good run for our money until again we prevailed.
Ipswich always looked on paper like the biggest challenge and meeting them in the last game of the group gave us a good opportunity to appraise the situation by which time only (ha!) a draw was needed to progress. That said we started well and sustained pressure led to a stroke that Georgie – despite the need for management encouragement despatched confidently. A robust and feisty encounter ensued – Mike you’d have loved it – with Magpies giving as good as they got, and the standard was high with Ipswich deservedly equalising. Both sides gave it everything but Magpies maintained their performance with a semi for reward.
1 v Felixstowe 3 won 2-0 Amy, Bobby
2 v Harwich won 3-0 Ellen x 2, GeorgieG
3 v IES 3 won 4-0 Molly, GeorgieG x 2, Amy
4 v Ipswich 2 drew 1-1 GeorgieG
v Bury won 3-0 GeorgieG 2, GeorgieC
Despite receiving a full briefing from our prior opposition, Bury didn’t quite have the strength in depth and we were able to pull clear for the final.
V Ipswich 1 won 4-0 Ellen, GeorgieG x 2, Amy
Ipswich had spread their JRPC players across their sides but with their 1sts having beaten their 3rds in the other semi we looked to be facing another feisty encounter. We could not have wanted a better start and with sustained pressure Ellen opened our final account with a free play drag back and strike across goal to the far post. Ipswich gave it everything but we countered fabulously with penetrating runs down the middle and wide.
There were match winning performances all over the park and I could tell from every rotation we made the players coming off had given everything. The skills on display were phenomenal but they were seconded by the work-rate and by the end the other teams just couldn’t match us on sustained speed and intensity. It was a privilege to watch and here’s hoping it continues.
Because we’ll need it!
A big thanks to all the parents and support crew, Charlie Farrow for setting up, Kathy Gardens and Georgie Cantrell especially for TM support, and Jack Robertson for umpiring for the day. Next game is our opening EH U14s on Sunday 16th October – more details soon.
MAGPIES MISS THEIR STROKES AND HAVE TO SETTLE FOR BRONZE
Defending champions Harleston Magpies, sponsored by Parson Estate Agents, had to be content with third place in this season’s England Hockey Mixed Trophy at the Lee Valley Sports Centre over the weekend when losing to Formby on strokes after a 0-0 draw and beating Bristol Firebrands 6-2 for the bronze medals.
Magpies never hit top form against Formby on Saturday but they would have taken the lead had they converted a penalty stroke midway through the first half which they shaded on possession. There were few goal scoring chances for either side in the second half although Magpies did find the net as the final hooter was sounding. Magpies, with captain Leigh Sitch in outstanding form at the back, looked the slightly better team and should have secured victory before the uncertainty of the penalty shootout.
Goalkeeper John Livings then made two good saves for Magpies in the exciting and fluctuating shootout and after five strokes apiece the score was 3-3. Formby then went first in sudden death and scored before Magpies missed leaving the team pondering what could and should have been in a game they looked the slightly better team albeit one which failed to create its usual number of chances.
Observation – all ten penalty stroke takers were men. Question – even if the lady players were happy with this why in a mixed game do the rules not require a 3/2 split either way? Not the world’s most burning issue one has to admit – but surely a question worth asking?
Against Bristol Firebrands on Sunday Magpies were near their best and they were soon into their stride forcing early penalty corners and following the fourth, won by Leigh Sitch in a rare sortie upfield, Maria Andrews put them ahead on five minutes. Lucy Whiting made it 2-0 on fourteen minutes and after Firebrands, who possessed some hard running forwards, pulled a goal back approaching half time in their first attack Lucy was on hand to make it 3-1 to Magpies at half time leaving their enthusiastic band of sun-kissed supporters in good heart.
Eleven minutes from time they were even happier when Lucy completed a splendid hat-trick but they were wondering if a male member of the team, in which Dickon Taylor was playing well at the back, was going to find the net. The opportunity duly arrived three minutes from time with Firebrands now reduced to ten players following a yellow and playing with a helmeted kicking back. ‘Veteran’ Robbie Kinsella, as he was described over the public address system, saw his opportunity and unerringly pushed the ball into the unguarded net. Cometh the hour cometh the man! 5-2 then came 6-2 when Lauren Barber, who was again playing extremely well in support of the attack, completed the scoring.
An entertaining final was won by Banbury who, after beating Firebrands 3-1 in the other semi-final, were worthy winners following a 4-3 win over Formby who scored with the last hit of the game to make the contest seem closer than it was.
Fact 1. Magpies played seven games in this year’s competition culminating with their bronze medals (a very worthy achievement with special thanks to Leigh Sitch and Katrina Sitch for organising the team once again) during which they scored twenty nine goals with just four against.
Fact 2. Leigh Sitch and Richard Larkin played for a very high proportion of each game and while they were on the pitch they pointed out their opponents failed to score. But as they were reminded “It is not all about them!!”
Fact 3. With only four goals against in total the other Magpies’ players must also have played their part!
NATIONAL CLUBS IN2 HOCKEY FINALS – U12 BOYS – SATURDAY 14 MAY 2016
With much excitement Magpies’ U12s set off to the Nottingham Hockey Centre bright and early to pit their skills against the country’s best U12s. With confidence high after the team’s East triumph and some successful additional training sessions nerves began, both on and off the pitch, to show when the whistle went for the first match.
On a lively pitch Stourport’s direct hockey style caught Magpies napping and despite having good periods of possession Stourport forced the ball past the Magpies defence to score twice before half time. Oli Mayhew nearly pulled goal back but a fine save from the Stourport keeper kept Magpies at bay and soon after Magpies were very unlucky not to be awarded a penalty flick when a Stourport defender’s stick tackle prevented a certain goal. The second half saw Magpies turn on the pressure and deservedly get a goal when Oli Currie popped an early ball through to Oli Mayhew who rounded the keeper to set up a tense last few minutes. However with the seconds ticking away an equaliser just could not be found.
Following a debrief and a round of biscuits from the Herschel-Shorlands the team set about the task of beating Cheltenham, the West champions. In the first few minutes it became apparent what a challenging day it was going to be against a disciplined and organised team playing some flowing hockey. Magpies were getting overrun and disappointing as it may have been for the team Cheltenham deservedly took the lead and added a second before half time. However at 2 – 0 down Magpies fought back but could not collectively find a way round the Cheltenham defence.
Another debrief and this time a round of sausage rolls from the Brice family inspired the team and against Brooklands, the North Champions, Magpies looked a real threat but despite four short corners in the first half they couldn’t find the net and to rub salt into the wounds against the run of play Brooklands scored just before the break and then added a second after half time.
With energy levels at a low level it was time for cheesy chips, a round of Magpies themed cup cakes and the official team photo shoot. None of this could hide the fact that Magpies were about to take on the strongest team in their group, Surbiton, and despite the hard work of all in the team Surbiton were just two strong turning a 1-0 lead at half time into a 4- 0 win.
The strength of Surbiton’s youth section shows that despite the giant steps forward Magpies have made with their boys hockey this year there is still a lot more work to be done. At this point we reminded ourselves that some of the team only started playing at the club at the start of the season after taking part in last summer’s taster sessions, a real success story for our coaches Matt Brand, Blake Elliot and, of course, Richard Larkin and their assistants.
The above results meant a 9th and 10th placing game to end the day for the team, interestingly against the East runners-up Old Loughtonians. Again Old Loughts took the lead and again just before the final whistle Magpies struck the perfect short corner but Old Loughts were prepared this time and the defender on the line deflected the ball wide of the post.
The team of Archbishop Sancroft (3), Thomas Mills (2), Pulham Primary, Hartismere, St Felix, Langley and Brandeston pupils did the club proud and although I am sure that personally they will all be a bit disappointed with the results over the day they all showed a lot of promise and character and after a summer of relaxation will come back stronger as a result of this experience.
Finally, thanks must go to Mark Emms for his management of the team over the season, Dan Mayhew for his first aid prowess on the side lines…..no one dared get injured and, of course, Richard Larkin team coach and Mr Motivator.
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