Harleston Magpies Ladies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents are at home this Saturday against St Albans HC starting at 2.00pm. This is the final League game of the season and Harleston Magpies need a result this Saturday to be assured of 4th place in the League which would be a good return for all the work they have put in this season. Unfortunately Magpies are at present finishing the season having lost their last three games, but in those three matches there have been periods when their play has been excellent. They just need a performance for the full seventy minutes.
Their nearest rivals at the moment are St Albans who are two points behind and Cambridge City who are three points behind. At the moment Magpies have a better goal difference than both those teams.
Last week at second placed Sevenoaks it was bound to be a very tough fixture and so it proved to be. To be three goals down after 21 minutes was the worst start possible. However all credit to the team after that as they battled through until half time without further damage. In the second half Magpies came out a different team and were the best side and created a number of chances. It was obviously a testing League debut for both Alice Woollatt and Martha Lawrence but they both acquitted themselves very well.
Congratulations to Rose Winter for being selected for the England Under 16 Girls squad against Holland over Easter and to her brother Archie Winter being selected for the England U18 Boys. A big day for the family and a few more miles to clock up!
This week both Annie Nunn and Lauren Mickleburgh remain out injured with Rose Winter and Lauren Rowe both returning to the squad.
SQUAD: Lucy Belsey (Capt), Lauren Barber, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Katherine Ridley, Charlotte Peet, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Maria Andrews, Charlotte Harrison, Lucy Whiting, Bryony Lund, Abby Gooderham, Rose Winter and Lauren Rowe.
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.
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!
END OF SEASON SENIOR AWARDS EVENING – TICKETS 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 https://hmhcawards2017.eventbrite.com/?aff=musings
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.
On the last home game of the season, Magpies Ladies 2s were faced with the league leaders and already promoted Cambridge City.
Magpies starting 11 flew out of the blocks in the first 10 minutes, pressing high and looking for an early lead. Having majority of possession Magpies were rewarded with a penalty corner, which was only just went wide. With City’s centre midfield player looking dangerous, distributing disguise passes all over the field, the Magpies press was tested to the max. With Kath Johnson and Charley Seaman making some outstanding one-on-one tackles this kept City from finding the net. With both teams having chances, we went into the break level.
After a constructive half time chat, Magpies knew they were going to have to convert their chances and be clinical to get 3 points out of a strong Cambridge side.
From the whistle, Magpies played some great attacking hockey with the midfield of Katie Woollatt, Lottie Summers, Olivia Locke and Jess Howland distributing some great passes to the forward line. This effort and determination was rewarded when Laura Tibbenham drove the baseline and then pulled the ball back for Lottie Summers to slot away. 1-0 Magpies. After restarting, City soon looked very dangerous playing fast, flat, diagonal balls all over the pitch. This lead to City winning their first penalty corner of the game after finding a Magpies’ foot in their defensive D. After a slick and obviously well reversed routine, Cambridge had now made the score line level.
Although disappointed, the home side were determined to bag three points, and had majority of the possession for the remainder of the second half. Within this time they were awarded with 2 penalty corners, where Tibbenham was unlucky not to convert after her strike was stopped on the line. With 5 minutes left, City’s centre mid played a deadly disguise pass to their centre forward, and quick break won them their second penalty corner of the game. With Magpies initially stopping the first strike, a frantic scramble at the ball ended in City rolling the ball over the line. With only a couple of minutes left, Magpies continued to fight and more chances came for the home side. The Cambridge goalie was having to make several saves to deny Pies from levelling the score again. With the final whistle being blown, Magpies were disappointed not to get 3 points out of the league leaders after being ahead. However, this was definitely the performance of the season!!
MOTM – Jess Howland.
Squad: Jade Daley, Kath Johnson, Siobhan Wooltorton, Charlotte Seaman, Katie Crawford, Jess Howland, Olivia Locke, Katie Woollatt, Sophie Child, Lottie Summers, Laura Tibbenham, Lucy Chubbock, Plum Sweet, Sketch.
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.
Saturday 18 March
LADIES 1s v Sevenoaks (L) (A) 12.00 0-3 L
LADIES 2s v Cambridge City 2s (L) (H) 12.00 (W) 1-2 L
LADIES 3s v Bury St Edmunds 2s (L) (A) 10.00 2-0 W
LADIES 4s v UEA 2s (L) (H) 1.45 (S) 1-2 L
LADIES 5s v UEA 3s (L) (H) 10.15 (W) 0-1 L
LADIES 6s v North Norfolk 2s (L) (A) 11.30 3-1 W
LADIES 7s v Norwich Dragons 7s (L) (A) 10.45 0-5 L
GIRLS Dev. v Watton (L) (A) 10.00 4-0 W
MENS 1s v Saffron Walden (L) (H) 2.00 (W) 4-3 W
MENS 2s v Upminster (L) (A) 1.00 2-2 D
MENS 3s v Bury St Edmunds (L) (A) 12.00 0-3 L
MENS 4s v Newmarket 2s (L) (H) 3.30 (W) 4-0 W
MENS 5s v Bury St Edmunds 4s (L) (A) 12.00 1-3 L
MENS 6s v Norwich Exiles (L) (H) 12.15 (S) 1-4 L
BOYS Dev. v Norwich Dragons ‘B’ (L) (H) 10.45 (S) W/O W
Sunday 19 March
MENS 2s v Shefford & Sandy (L) (H) 2.00 (W) 3-4 L
Alex Hill Memorial Minis (Dereham)
U10 GIRLS – Gold Tournament – ‘A’ team 3rd, ‘B’ team 4th
Silver Tournament – ‘C’ team 4th
U12 GIRLS – Gold Tournament – ‘A’ team 3rd, ‘Red’ team 4th
Silver Tournament – ‘White’ team 2nd, ‘Blue’ team 3rd
U14 GIRLS v Braintree – game 1 (F) (H) 2.45 (S) 0-2 L
U14 GIRLS v Braintree – game 2 (F) (H) 3.30 (W) 2-0 W
After not being severely tested for the last 3 weeks Magpies knew they would have to up their game against the 15 man squad of Bury St Edmunds first team. Delighted to welcome back Phil Cobbald, Jon Aldridge, Jamie Hudson and James Stacey as well as coaxing one more guest appearance from Nick Whitehead, the away team were hoping that experience in the predicted close game would count.
As in most encounters between these two teams the first goal would be key and unusually for Magpies they could not convert their short corners or take a couple of early open play chances. So when Bury bobbled in a corner of their own the pattern of the game would be set. Bury, who have conceded less than a goal a game, defended robustly as Magpies tried all they had to get back into the game. Bury had a strong period just after half-time but goalkeeper Chris Flatt and his defensive team seemed to have weathered the storm. However, with the game moving on the push forward by Magpies left them vulnerable to the counter attack and with two ruthless breaks the game was settled. Magpies continued their good hockey particularly down the flanks with Tom Norton and James Stacey but a shut-out meant they came home empty handed.
Braintree and Magpies met up for a sociable and highly competitive warm up match at Weybread.
With both teams looking to up the ante a high tempo high quality encounter ensued. Using the regionals model of 15 min each way games we held two game one on sand and one on water and by the end honours were even with Braintree winning the sand encounter 2-0 and Magpies winning the water encounter 2-0.
A big thanks to Marcus and all the Braintree girls and their families for making the Sunday trip out and a big thanks to all our usual support crew for all their pitch side support, backroom support and the after match refreshment.
Two weeks to go!
Magpies Team: Abi Lewis (GK), Alice Wiseman, Amelia Slade, Amy Collison, Beth Moodie, Elena Flatt, Ellen Pope, Georgie Gardens, Hattie Reader, Holly Hanrahan, Honey Lamdin, Keira Wheeler, Lily Reader, Molly Warnes, Tabitha Borrett, Victoria Spouncer
HARLESTON MAGPIES LADIES 1ST TEAM AGAINST SEVENOAKS HC
Harleston Magpies Ladies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents played away this Saturday against Sevenoaks. The home side are second in the league and the last time the two teams met, Magpies came out on top giving Sevenoaks their first defeat of the season. Magpies travelled down on a windy day to try and deliver a performance like last weekends against Wimbledon and hopefully bring home a win.
Despite Magpies good warm up and preparation the game started with Magpies unable to work together as a unit and this allowed Sevenoaks to gain momentum and take free hits quickly, making it hard for Magpies to set their press. Even though Magpies were putting in the effort the momentum would not swing their way, with a decision for a short corner against them coming quickly after the starting whistle. This was saved by Charlotte Peet but quickly after another corner was given and this one was put away by Sevenoaks despite Magpies calling for a foot. Magpies tried to compose themselves and did make some good leads up the pitch with Elizabeth Clymer holding the ball up and slipping it through whilst Maria Andrews and Victoria Findlay used their pace and skill to earn some shorts corners for Magpies. However, these did not bring any success with some good saves being made by the Sevenoaks’ keeper. Sevenoaks defended well and broke quickly moving the ball around and with some quick skills from one of their forwards, managed to break through the Magpies defence and make it 2-0. Shortly after Magpies received another blow as Sevenoaks again gained a short corner and with a hard strike from the top of the circle made it 3-0. Despite being 3-0 down Magpies picked themselves up and fought hard to get themselves back in the game. Moving the ball round well, they changed the momentum and reduced the amount of attacks by Sevenoaks as well as increasing their possession and their own offense. Unfortunately none of the attacks by Magpies would hit the backboard and the first half finished 3-0 to Sevenoaks.
After a motivating team talk Magpies were ready for a comeback. They worked hard as a unit, successfully holding onto the ball to keep Sevenoaks from attacking and producing good opportunities to bring Magpies back into the game. With Charlotte Harrison having a great game making leads and tackles on the left and the rest of the midfield fighting hard and putting some great balls through to the forwards, Magpies were able to keep the ball in the home sides half and successfully gained short corners and attacking chances. At the other end Sevenoaks were reduced to only a few chances in this half which were stopped by the Magpies defence even when at times Magpies were reduced to ten. Sadly, even with a good performance and determination there was no luck for Magpies and the score remained the same until the end. Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt stepped up to the plate this week in their first league match and both played very well and brought new energy to the game. Magpies have their final match of the season next weekend against St Albans at home at 14:00 and hope to see a large crowd down at the club to hopefully finish on a win.
SQUAD: Lucy Belsey (Capt), Lauren Barber, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Katherine Ridley, Charlotte Peet, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Maria Andrews, Charlotte Harrison, Lucy Whiting, Bryony Lund, Abby Gooderham, Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt.
Harleston Magpies Ladies 7th team versus Norwich Dragons Ladies 7th team.
Magpies played away at ‘Goal’ in Norwich and with a couple of players feeling a bit under the weather, the match started late. With only ten players we needed to work extra hard but Dragons soon showed their strength by scoring after a quick skirmish in the circle. However, play during the first half was excellent with some superb crosses from Jane Collins which, frustratingly, weren’t picked up. Dragons’ defenders were always ready to send the ball swiftly back to our circle and scored twice more before half time.
The second half saw Dragons up their game and the ball tended to stay in our half of the pitch. Any free hits were stopped by Dragons and trying to smash the ball right at them just didn’t work. They were awarded a few short corners and scored a goal from one of these. It was a delight to see Sophie Govier-Schaay sprinting past the Dragon defenders to their circle but with a hole in our middle, they scored again. Good defence work by Karen Hunt and Peg Bridges kept the score down and, boy, did we deserve those giant pizzas!
Harleston Magpies Ladies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents are away this Saturday against Sevenoaks HC starting at 12.00pm. Last week Magpies lost 3-1 at home against the League leaders Wimbledon. Despite the result Magpies produced one of their best performances of the season and on another day Magpies might have come away with a draw. In going for the equaliser Magpies were at risk from a counter attack and that is what happened with eight minutes to go. Unfortunately having lost away 2-1 to Cambridge City the week before Magpies are currently going through a sticky patch of results.
Life does not get any easier this week as Sevenoaks are second in the League and pressing Wimbledon very hard for the title with just a three point gap between the teams and separated by a goal difference of two goals. Magpies will need to reproduce the same performance and attitude they showed against Wimbledon but with a disciplined approach.
Despite this Magpies remain in 4th place having had a good season so far and will want to make sure they hold on to this position for the final two League games of the season. This was helped last week by Cambridge City losing at home to Hampstead and Westminster and St Albans drawing away at Chelmsford. Magpies play St Albans at home in their final match of the season.
This week both Annie Nunn and Lauren Mickleburgh remain out injured as well as Rose Winter, Anna Tighe and Lauren Rowe being unavailable.
This means League debuts for both Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt.
SQUAD: Lucy Belsey (Capt), Lauren Barber, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Katherine Ridley, Charlotte Peet, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Maria Andrews, Charlotte Harrison, Lucy Whiting, Bryony Lund, Abby Gooderham, Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt.
We went to Lowestoft needing 3 points to keep our slim chances of promotion alive. We started the match positively and we were passing the ball quickly. The majority of the play in the first 15 minutes was in the Lowestoft half. Kath, Charlotte, Shev, Plum and Holly in goal gave us a good platform to build on.
Just before half time Lottie made a good run down the left and crossed the ball to Alice who at full stretch scored a well deserved goal to go 1-0 ahead.
The second half started with both teams battling for possession in midfield. Our excellent team spirit showed when magpies went down to 9 players on the pitch, constantly pressing on the ball and working hard.
After a brilliant team performance, Magpies won 1-0. We will be looking for another 3 points next week when we play league leaders Cambridge City at Magpies.
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.
END OF SEASON SENIOR AWARDS EVENING – TICKETS 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 https://hmhcawards2017.eventbrite.com/?aff=musings
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 2nds3-1 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.
Saturday 11 March LADIES 1s v Wimbledon (L) (H) 2.00 (W) 1-3 L
LADIES 2s v Lowestoft (L) (A) 11.30 1-0 W
LADIES 3s v Colchester 2s (L) (H) 12.00 (W) 1-0 W
LADIES 4s v Dereham 3s (L) (A) 3.00 2-3 L
LADIES 5s v Dereham 4s (L) (A) 10.30 4-5 L
LADIES 6s v Herlings (L) (A) 2.00 0-2 L
LADIES 7s v Norwich Dragons 8s (L) (H) 3.15 (S) 2-0 W
GIRLS Dev. v Yarmouth (L) (H) 10.45 (S) 3-0 W
MENS 1s v Cambridge City 2s (L) (A) 3.00 3-1 W
MENS 2s v Norwich City 2s (L) (H) 3.30 (W) 2-2 D
MENS 3s v North Norfolk (L) (H) 1.45 (S) 4-1 W
MENS 4s v Felixstowe 2s (L) (A) 2.30 3-2 W
MENS 5s v UEA 3s (L) (H) 12.15 (S) 2-5 L
MENS 6s v Ipswich 3s (L) (A) 1.00 2-8 L
BOYS Dev. v Norwich Dragons A (L) (H) 10.15 (W) 0-0 D
Sunday 12 March
LADIES O35s (EH Trophy Semis) v Jersey (A) 11.30 2-1 W
(Angie Wheelhouse and Anouska Stott) Well done squad!
MENS O50s (EH Cup Semis) v Reading (H) 1.30 1-4 L
U16 GIRLS (Midlands Lge Regionals – Pool B, Stourport HC)
v Saffron Walden (11.30) 3-0 W v Stourport (12.45) 0-3 L
v Oxford Hawks (3.00) 1-1 D
HARLESTON MAGPIES U16 GIRLS TIER 2 REGIONAL LEAGUE
Harleston Magpies Under 16 Girls travelled to Stourport to play in the Midlands Region against Saffron Walden, Stourport and Oxford Hawks for a place in the National Finals. Only the team finishing first would go to the Nationals.
Magpies made a promising start in their opening match against Saffron Walden holding a 1-0 half time lead and went on in the second half to increase their score to 3-0 thanks to three goals from Lottie Summers.
After a brief rest Magpies prepared to take on the favourites Stourport who had already beaten Oxford Hawks 6-0. Magpies started really well with some lovely attacking moves and were playing better than in their opening match. Unfortunately it all unravelled very quickly when Stourport scored twice from two successive penalty corners to give them a 2-0 half time lead. Magpies battled away in the second half and despite some good play lacked real penetration in the final third. Finally Stourport added a third goal to give them a decisive 3-0 lead.
In their final match Magpies played Oxford Hawks hoping to finish on a high with another win. Things did not quite go to plan as Oxford Hawks took the lead. Magpies came back strongly and were awarded a penalty stroke which was put away by Lottie Summers to level the scores at 1-1. From then on the game flowed to and fro with chances being missed at both ends. The result was a 1-1 draw.
Stourport were the deserved winners with a very strong team and will play in the National Finals in April.
SQUAD: Rose Winter (Capt), Holly Riches, Mia King, Keisha Hilaire, Martha Lawrence, Emily Woollatt, Phoebe Eglington, Lottie Summers, Amelia Herschel-Shorland, Grace Collison, Faith Reader, Amy de Selincourt, Sophie Govier-Schaay and Alice Evans-Hendrick.
Jersey Ladies’ O35s 1 Harleston Magpies Ladies’ O35s 2
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.
Magpies knew they were going to have a tough game against a younger Reading side including several former full internationals in this England Hockey Cup semi-final clash and so it proved. The home team included Jon Aldridge and Bob Skinner both defying injuries and they and the rest of the squad, including goalkeeper Andy Palmer who made some good saves, fought hard but class told in the end. Magpies were unable to retain possession unlike their opponents who scored two goals in each half before a second half consolation by Jon Wells. 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.
North Norfolk were the visitors on Saturday and having put up a strong fight in the reverse fixture Magpies were expecting a tough game. However our north coast visitors have real trouble with putting out their first choice eleven and Magpies, with their own availability issues, looked to capitalize. Iain Cumming put Magpies ahead from a short corner, via a deflection, but this was cancelled by North Norfolk scoring their own corner. In a first half characterised by good intentions without the quality to execute them, it would take a goal from Gavin Cole to separate the sides at half time as he reacted fastest to a loose ball in the circle.
The second half saw some play more befitting of the Magpies’ recent form and further goals from Iain and Greg Jagger would close the game out at 4-1. An encouraging debut from Tim Goodge should be noted alongside the growing performances of David Cadman and Tom Norton. With promotion now a real possibility it is perhaps fitting that the next two games are against Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket as the race to the top goes down to the wire.
Harleston Magpies Men’s 1s sponsored by Dynamic Sports Shop made the relatively short journey to bottom of the table Cambridge City 2s.
After a vigorous game of cricket in which the standard of fielding was of highest quality, the game got under way. Magpies who were playing their first game since head coach Ben Wright departed for Australia, welcomed into the squad Jack Hobbs for his 1st team debut. Harleston started slowly and City were quickly testing Magpies’ back line with the men in black and white defending resolutely.
As the half went on Magpies started to find their foot in the game and with a young, quick forward line threatened to get behind City. Although it was the Cambridge side who were creating good shooting opportunities and winning corners only to be saved and repelled by the Magpies’ back line.
At the end of the first half a good Magpies break ended with Stuart Leate putting the ball on the foot of a City defender and winning a corner. With the corner ticking into overtime pies pushed everyone forward, a slick move with Sam Paterson beating the first man and then putting it on a plate for Simon Hipwell at the back post to score his first goal in over a year meant Magpies took a deserved 1-0 lead into half time.
The second half started, Magpies spurred on by taking the lead, quickly put Cambridge on the back foot and some slick connections between the back and midfield lines started to open up the pitch only for Cambridge to take their turn in repelling any attacks. 10 minutes into the second half an aerial from Sam Paterson over the top of City’s defence allowed Simon Hipwell to run in on goal only to be brought down luckily before he could pull the trigger. This allowed Sam Paterson to step up and score making it 2-0.
Magpies continued their pressure but could not carve out any clear cut chances in front of goal, Cambridge knowing they had to score and quickly started to hit Magpies on the break. Stretching a tiring Magpies side, despite this Magpies dug in and showed the grit and dogged determination that they’re traditionally known for to stop any attacks.
Until with 60 minutes on the clock a Cambridge long ball was missed trapped and fell to a City forward in the circle who tried to round John Livings, only for his tackle to be deemed back stick and a stroke awarded. Cambridge stepped up and converted, 2-1.
With time running out Cambridge were pushing for the equalising goal and throwing everyone forward, Magpies took advantage of this and with the dying seconds of the game a quick thinking aerial from Simon Hipwell in his own half allowed our Belgium international, Vincent Leruth, in on goal. He kept his calm and held the ball up for a supporting Simon Hipwell who found Matt Bensly breaking forward to support his team mate to slot home from close range. 3-1.
Next up for Magpies is Saffron Walden at the nest, where Magpies will be looking to build on this week’s impressive display.
HARLESTON MAGPIES LADIES 1ST TEAM AGAINST WIMBLEDON HC
Harleston Magpies Ladies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents played at home this Saturday against league leaders Wimbledon. The match was going to be tough as Wimbledon had only lost 2 matches all season but the ladies were ready to up their game and start well. The game started at a fast pace with both teams quickly making scoring opportunities. With the game going from end to end, the tension was high as both teams battled hard for possession. Some great attacking play by the Magpies forwards, supported by the midfield was awarded with short corners but a deflection narrowly missed the goal and another skimmed past the post. At the other end, Wimbledon also caused the home side problems with a goal being initially awarded and then disallowed but a short corner given. This was saved by Magpies keeper Charlotte Peet and the two sides were on a level playing field going into the second half.
The second half started and again the intensity of the game was high with both teams wanting to take the lead. Magpies pushed hard to try and cause Wimbledon to make a mistake and had opportunities to take the lead that went just wide or were defended well by the away side. However, this attacking press caused some problems on the break with Wimbledon taking the lead after two quick counter attacks that led to over loads and finally two goals. But Magpies didn’t give up and with plenty of possession continued with their attacking play, causing Wimbledon to defend well and have to make some good saves. Magpies were awarded a short corner which the injection did not come out smoothly but with some quick skills from Maria Andrews and Lauren Barber, Barber was able to put the ball in the goal. Magpies were boosted by the goal and were playing well with the whole team working hard to push for another one. Unfortunately, an attacking play from Magpies which nearly resulted in another goal was saved by Wimbledon and a quick counter attack saw a goal for the away side. With just under ten minutes to go Magpies still believed they could win and pressured Wimbledon in to having to make more great tackles, but it was not Magpies day and they were unable to pull back the game, leaving the score 3-1 to Wimbledon. Next week Magpies are away against Sevenoaks at 12:00 and are hoping to take the pace and determination of this game into the next and come away with 3 points.
SQUAD: Lucy Belsey (Capt), Lauren Barber, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Katherine Ridley, Rose Winter, Charlotte Peet, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Lauren Mickleburgh, Maria Andrews, Lauren Rowe, Charlotte Harrison, Lucy Whiting and Bryony Lund.
Harleston Magpies Ladies 7th team versus Norwich Dragons Ladies 8th team.
It was a fine, warm afternoon at Weybread where we fielded just ten players against a full Dragon’s team plus reserves. Initially, Dragons dominated the play whilst we settled into the game but, knowing that we were short, made each Magpies player work hard. With Dragons threatening to score from multiple long corners, something had be done and swiftly. Jane Collins smashed the ball away from our circle and Evie Rogers ran up the left wing, dodged defenders and passed the ball to Georgia Hood who swept it home.
Knowing that Dragons would come back with a vengeance, we played even harder whilst trying to keep our width but marking our opposition who tended to follow the ball. Annie Lancaster made some fine runs and Lili Mohiddin stopped the Dragon’s forwards in their tracks. Soon, we were delighted to be awarded a short corner, struck by Jo Meyer to Jane Collins who smashed it home. Dragons were beginning to tire and there was some argie bargie with the umpires who good-naturedly kept their cool. With some excellent play, we managed to win the match.
Score: 2 – 0
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