Category Archives: Reports

EH U18 NATIONAL BOYS CUP 8TH APRIL 2018

Boys U18 v Marlow ( EH U18 Cup L 2-4)

Magpies U18 boys travelled to Marlow in the semi-final of the national competition on Sunday and, in front of a big home crowd, both sides played a out a very entertaining match. With home advantage, Marlow started strongly but Magpies defended resolutely and then, very much against the run of play, opened the scoring. A firmly struck ball found Bensly in the circle who deftly deflected the ball past the Marlow keeper and into the back of the net. The next 10-minues saw Magpies get a foothold into the game only to concede a break away goal having committed too many players to attack. The game swung back into Marlow’s favour and they took the lead when they finally scored after a succession of short-corners. Magpies remained in the game and should have equalised before half-time when a slick move between Bensly and Sewell saw the final shot go just wide. Half-time 2-1 to Marlow.

Following a spirited half-time team talk Magpies started the second half well and were rewarded when Bensly scored his second with a spectacular first time shot from the top of the Marlow circle. Unfortunately, Magpies got caught again on the counter to concede a third goal and before they had time to catch their breath Marlow scored a fourth from another short-corner. However, with plenty of time left Magpies settled down, took control of the game and a tense finish looked on the cards. The final 10-minutes saw Magpies force chance after chance but were just unable to apply the final touch. Then, with the goal begging a Marlow defender illegally stopped the ball on the line but, from the ensuing penalty flick, Magpies missed the chance. Marlow continued to defend resolutely and despite Magpies dominating possession and creating further chances the game finished with no further goals. Final score 4-2 to Marlow.

This was an excellent game of hockey with both sides playing with great passion and skill. Ultimately, the game was decided by small margins with Marlow fully capitalising on the chances they created and Magpies rueing the number of chances they missed, particularly in the second half. This game was the culmination of 10-years hard work from a committed and talented bunch of boys who have carried forward the Magpies tradition of playing free-flowing and totally committed hockey.

Special thanks to Richard Larkin, Andrew Bedwell and Tim Whiteman for the excellent coaching sessions leading up to Sunday’s game and to all the parents for their support this year and for many years before.

 

 

GIRLS U12 REPORT 15TH APRIL 2018

U12 Girls Mini Tournament at Watton

The Girls U12B team moved up a level and entered the Gold section of the Watton Mini Tournament filling the space of our usual A team who had organised a separate training session in preparation for the East Regional Finals in a few weeks time, so we knew we were going to be against some stiff opposition.
This did not deter our girls. We came out strong in the first game against Watton, passing the ball well and using the width of the pitch. Two excellent goals scored by Ellie gave us a comfortable 2-0 win. 
The next game was against City Lions and again the girls played with determination and showed some great skills, particularly Ellie who scored a fantastic reverse stick shot. Kate was very solid in midfield and distributed the ball well. Florence and Jess made some lovely runs down the wing and the game was secured by an excellent goal from Grace, another 2-0 win.
The next two games were the toughest. Dereham A were very strong and although we went down 2-0, Isabelle and Amy played really well in defence, clearing the ball off the line on several occasions and making some very timely tackles.
The final game was against Dragons Hinch. We narrowly lost by 1-0 but again the game showed how much all the girls have improved over the season, playing some lovely hockey. Peter shared his wealth of experience with his strategic team talks so we go to Dereham in a couple of weeks time with our heads up, ready to revenge the teams we narrowly lost to today
Overall the team came 2nd in the Gold tournament which was an excellent result
Squad: Lily-Ann Hare (GK), Isabelle Potter, Amy freeman, Kate Ford (Capt), Florence Collins, Ellie Bowden, Grace Seppings, Jessica Smith

MENS 1ST TEAM REPORT 14TH APRIL 2018

Mens 1st Team v St Albans (Away (L) L 0-3)

Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Sport travelled to St Albans on a sunny April afternoon for their final game of the season. The squad welcomed back Ben Watson and Jude Potruff.
Harelston started the game well and managed to string some good moves together with some good passing moves. Defensively the team worked hard and sat in their half court zone well. St Albans started to thread balls through as the half wore on, however, the defensive unit of Jonty Gosling, Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell and Tom Sumner stood firm and John Livings made some excellent saves when called into action.
Harleston were unlucky not to steal the lead following good play from Archie Winter and Jack Hobbs in midfield found Jake Sewell wide on the right. The youngster smashed the ball into the D which narrowly avoided the diving Tim Whiteman.
With the scores at 0-0 at half time Tim Whiteman asked for calm on the pitch as the temperature started to boil on the pitch.
In the second half both teams where soon reduced to 10 minutes for 5 minutes which meant both teams sat back for a the reduction in players. Harleston were soon undone when they were reduced to 10 players again. A long ball was deflected just outside the 25 which found an unmarked St Albans forward in the circle which he cooly finished past the on rushing Livings.
St Albans soon made it 2-0 capatilisng on a misplaced aerial that was expertly picked. With the Harleston defence out of position the St Albans forward was able to lift the ball expertly over John Livings.
As Harleston legs started to tire due to low numbers and the intense heat St Albans started to dominate possession. The Hertfordshire side should have made it 3-0 but Andrew Bedwell picked a thunderbolt of a drag flick on the line. Unfortunately from the resultant short corner St Albans did score their drag flick. Harleston did try and rally with what little time was left but despite an up right reverse stick from Archie Winter which fizzed past the back post they were not able to pull a goal back.
This was the last game for some of the Harleston players who are off to university. The squad would like to wish Archie Winter, Jonty Gosling, Sam Paterson and Jake Sewell.
The squad would also like to thank Leigh Sitch who is stepping down as captain following over 10 years at the helm.

U18 GIRLS TEAM REPORT 8TH APRIL 2018

U18 Girls v Reading (Home EH U18. Cup)

The U18 girls arrived at the nest to face Reading in the Semi final of the England hockey U18 National Cup competition having previously defeated Leicester 5-1 in the quarter final.  Magpies had to make changes to the team that played the quarter final, that gave the opportunity for four U16 girls to get a taste of a U18 National Semi final.
Reading started the game strongly, attacking the magpies goal at pace. On 5 mins Reading took the lead with a well struck shot. Magpies began to settle and started to find passes and create a couple of half chances themselves. With Reading breaking from midfield very quickly they doubled their lead on 18 mins following a short corner.  As the half went on Magpies were gaining confidence and on the stroke of half time can count themselves unluckily to concede a third goal to go in at half time trailing 0-3.
After a positive team talk from coach Stu Field and captain Charlotte Seaman Magpies started the 2nd half with a belief that they were still in the game, the midfield were breaking up Readings attacks and magpies began creating chances. On 48 mins Mia King pulled a goal back and this was throughly deserved. Magpies had the momentum now and continued to press forward looking for another goal, after a good period of play the Reading goalkeeper made a very good save to stop Mia getting her 2nd goal and put Magpies back into the game. Typically 5 mins later Reading broke away and scored to make the score 1-4.
After 60 mins Charlotte took a full blown hit on her knee and could take no further part in the semi final, in the dying seconds Reading scored again to make the final score 1-5.
The girls can take a great deal of pride in the way they have played throughout this competition, beating Norwich City, Norwich Dragons, Chelmsford and Leicester in the Quarter final. During the campaign Magpies have scored 27 goals and only conceded 9 goals. The squad will lose a few of these players next season due to players becoming to old for the age group but with a great group of youngsters coming into the U18’s next season we will be hoping for another long run in the cup competition.

U18 girls semi final Squad.

Charlotte Seaman (Captain), Alice Gooch (gk), Grace Cresswell, Sophie Child, Aoife Lowe Davies, Alice Woollatt, Lauren Rowe, Tor Findlay, Olivia Locke, Mia King, Molly Warnes, Emily Woollatt, Amelia Herschel Shorland, Phoebe
Eglington

MIXED A TEAM REPORT 29TH MARCH 2018

Mixed A v Ipswich (Home (EH Mixed Cup) W 4-1)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Parson Estate Agent hosted Ipswich mixed at the nest under the lights on Thursday evening. 

Harleston started the game well dominating possession and looking dangerous on the attack. The only downside being at times the final pass which allowed an Ipswich interception. Despite starting well Harleston allowed Ipswich to grow into the game and with 20 minutes played it was Ipswich who took the lead after a devastating short corner strike from Lizzie Wheelhouse. Harleston were behind for a couple of minutes after excellent pressing from Stuart Field the forward beat three defenders before finding Tim Whiteman. Whiteman returned the pass to Field in the circle who cleverly deflected the ball past the Ipswich keeper. Harleston then took the lead with 5 minutes of the first half to play. After some excellent interlink play between Katrina and Leigh Sitch down the left the dynamic centre back drove into the circle where he was viciously brought down by an Ipswich defender. The resultant short corner was initially well defended by Ipswich but Lucy Whiting was on hand to smash the rebound home. 

At half time Harleston knew that they were in a real fight to progress to the next round of the National mixed cup. Again Harleston controlled the tempo of the half and continued to grow in confidence as the half wore on. The defensive line of Katrina Sitch, Leigh Sitch, Katherine Ridley, Andrew Bedwell, Lucy Belsey and Lauren Mickleburgh rebuffed many Ipswich attacks and when they did break through John Livings was on hand to clear any dangers. Harleston soon scored the vital third goal after some good interlink play between Richard Larkin, Emma Lee-Smith and Lizzie Clymer the team won a short corner. After a comedy of errors Lauren Barber coolly slid the ball to Andrew Bedwell, the dynamic centre back pirouetted in the circle to unleash a pinpoint pass to Lucy Belsey who used all of her goal scoring experience to slot the ball home. 

With the game now drifting away from them some of the Ipswich heads started to drop but Harleston were not done and soon added a 4th goal when Thomas Ridley beat two players before shooting violently at goal and burying the ball in the bottom corner leaving the goal keeper as a mere spectator.

Harleston will now face Peterborough in the next round on the 8th April.

The team would like to thank all of the supports who came down to watch on a wet and windy evening at Weybread.

MENS 4TH TEAM REPORT 24TH MARCH 2018

Mens 4th Team v Felixstowe 2 (Away (L) W 6-4)

Bearing in mind that we lost our first game to Felixstow 2nds 5-4 at home, and our recent results, the odds were that this game was going to be one for the spectators. And so it proved.

With Arthur in to strengthen last weeks electric fast forwards, and with the skipper banished to left back as Max came in to sweeper the team had a more balanced look. We immediately took the game to Felixstow and were soon two goals up, thanks to the prolfic Toby H and another goal from Ben Emms. We then proceeded to completely forget our game plan and to start giving the ball away in midfield. This led to three quick goals for the home team. With Lewis helping another shot from Toby over the line we went into half time 3-3.

The second half was a different game. We stopped giving the ball away and pretty much played the game in the opposition half. With the team now playing fast open hockey many chances were created. Ben scored his third goal in only his second start for us and then inevitably Toby popped up and scored his 23rd goal of the season. Late on Felixstow broke away and scored a consolation goal to make the final score 6-4 to Magpies.

The result was marred by an injury to Lewis. A collision with the goalie led to a serious shoulder injury for which we are still awaiting the diagnosis.

LADIES 1ST TEAM REPORT 25TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 1st Team v Southgate (Away (L) W 2-1)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents took to the pitch determined to take 3 points from Southgate in their second away game of the weekend. Cheered on again by a large contingent from Harleston, Magpies were quick out of the blocks to assert their authority.

Good work from Lauren Rowe and then Emma Lee-Smith resulted in two early Magpies short corners.  Magpies continued to dominate possession and territory but couldn’t get the elusive breakthrough.

In the 12th minute, a break by Southgate brought the first danger to Magpies’ defence but nothing came of it and the ball was cleared.  Magpies took control again and from a short corner Rowe slammed home the opener.

Magpies continued to press with Aoife Lowe-Davies having three shots on goal blocked in quick succession.  Then from a short corner Lee-Smith saw her shot drift wide. Next it was the turn of Martha Lawrence to bare down on Southgate’s goal but the keeper did well with a couple of blocks to keep the score down to 1-0 in favour of Magpies at half time.

As in Saturday’s game, Magpies made a poor start to the 2nd half conceding a goal in just the 3rd minute.  Magpies had to dig in as Southgate showed that they were willing to fight for the win that would provide them another week’s stay of execution from the relegation play offs.

Fatigue was setting in as the match went into the last quarter but Magpies got their second wind and started to show some quality through the whole team.  Rowe flashed a pass across the face of goal that Lowe-Davies just failed to get a firm enough connection with and then Lawrence nearly grabbed the vital second goal.

But eventually it did come. A great combination between Lizzie Clymer and Lee-Smith allowed Rowe to smash in the winner from a tight angle.  Magpies’ resilience was tested by Southgate as they took off their keeper in favour of 11 outfield players but they kept their heads to see the game out. A satisfying win, making that a season’s double over Southgate, meant that the team could head back to Norfolk with a great deal to be proud about from their two weekend performances.

After a break for Easter, Magpies return to league action with their re-arranged fixture and final game of the season at home to Bedford on Saturday 7th April 2018. 

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.), Lauren Barber, Katrina Sitch, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Rose Winter, Annie Nunn, Charlie Harrison, Katherine Ridley, Lucy Whiting, Emma Lee-Smith, Lauren Rowe, Lizzie Clymer, Aoife Lowe-Davis, Martha Lawrence. 

LADIES 1ST TEAM REPORT 24TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 1st Team v Sevenoaks (Away (L) L3-4)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents came very close to completing a remarkable comeback at high flying Sevenoaks only to end up disappointed on the wrong end of a 4-3 defeat.

 

Thanks to massive delays on the M25, the hosts agreed to a delayed 2.15pm push back and it was Sevenoaks that exerted the initial pressure spending a lot of time in Magpies’ half without seriously threatening their goal. Despite the dominant possession enjoyed by Sevenoaks they found it difficult to penetrate the Magpies’ D.  As the half wore on, Magpies gained some traction with more possession and territory but after 20 minutes Sevenoaks opened the scoring with a strike from the top of the D. 

 

Despite this setback Magpies continued to go toe-to-toe with their opponents and looked good value for an equaliser but a sloppy pass out of defence was intercepted and a quick fire move ended in Sevenoaks’ second goal and a 2-0 half-time lead for the home team.

 

The second half started badly for Magpies conceding a goal within 2 minutes of the restart. But rather than be down-hearted by this setback, Magpies turned in a fantastic half an hour of attacking hockey. After 10 minutes of dominant play Aoife Lowe-Davies picked up on a loose ball in the D and was fouled in the process of shooting in a one-on-one with the Sevenoaks’ keeper.  A penalty flick was awarded and Lauren Rowe stepped up to calmly slot the ball home and start the comeback.

 

Within 2 minutes Lowe-Davies robbed the ball from a Sevenoaks defender and slipped it to Emma Lee-Smith in the D. After a scramble in the goal mouth Lee-Smith found the net to make it 2-3. Magpies continued to press with Lucy Whiting, Lizzie Clymer, Lee-Smith and Katherine Ridley causing havoc in the Sevenoaks’ half.

 

Completing a mad 10 minutes, Magpies got their third goal to draw level at 3-3 when Lizzie Clymer shot past the stranded Sevenoaks’ keeper. The game then got quite feisty with several green and yellow cards issued and Lucy Belsey suffered a head injury from a deflected ball.

 

There only looked to be one team that would win from this point but Sevenoaks pulled themselves together and from a strong hit into the D a Sevenoaks forward dived to deflect in what turned out to be the winner.  It was a cruel blow for Magpies as their comeback warranted at least a point but they must have taken heart that they can compete at the highest level. With less than 24 hours rest the team stayed over in London in preparation for their match with Southgate on Sunday.

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.), Lauren Barber, Katrina Sitch, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Rose Winter, Annie Nunn, Charlie Harrison, Katherine Ridley, Lucy Whiting, Emma Lee-Smith, Lauren Rowe, Lizzie Clymer, Aoife Lowe-Davis, Martha Lawrence. 

 

MENS 1ST TEAM REPORT 24TH MARCH 2018

Mens 1st Team v Spalding (Away (L) W 10-2)

Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops travelled to Spalding on a warm spring day. Harleston welcomed back Mark Flatman after a spell on the sidelines with injury. After an inspirational team talk from player coach Tim Whiteman the team knew that they had to play through their attacking channels and get their flair players on the ball in the name of Tom (David Silva) Ridley and Tim (Kevin De Bruyne) Whiteman.

Spalding pushed back and Harleston quickly won the ball with a good interception from Jonty Gosling released the ball through Elliot Marsh who fed Tom Ridley. The young midfielder quickly accelerated through two challenges before unleashing a fierce reverse stick shot across goal where a Spalding defender turned it into his own net. Harleston continued to win the ball in midfield allowing quick counter attacks at the Spalding defence and within 8 minutes were 3 goals up and the game was out sight. Mark Flatman scored a neat deflection before Matt Bensley smashed home from close range following a good save from the Spalding goalkeeper.

Against the run of play Spalding did pull a goal back when the ball unfortunately found Stuart Leate’s foot in the circle, the resultant corner was dispatched with a low and powerful drag flick. Harleston started to turn the ball over a little too often as they tried to play forward at every opportunity. Despite not stringing many passes together at times there were still patterns of unbelievable hockey. A neat one-two from Elliot Marsh and Thomas Ridley allowed the vice captain to score his second of the afternoon before Mark Flatman grabbed his second.

Harleston were awarded a stroke just before half time when a powerful Tim Whiteman drag flick hit a defenders body on the line. After some confusion in the rules as to whether Matt Bensley was allowed to take the stroke Matt Richardson stepped up with a swagger and dispatched the flick into top left hand corner of the goal leaving the goal keeper handcuffed.

The team went into half time pleased with their efforts and the performance level. Tim Whiteman asked for more composure at times on the ball and to keep scoring goals.

Harleston were very composed in the second half, keeping the ball for long periods of play and deciding when to hit Spalding on the counter attack. Many good patterns starting from Tom Sumner and Leigh Sitch in a new centre back pairing.

Mark Flatman quickly completed his hat-trick from a close range deflection. Leigh Sitch then got on the score sheet from open play (a rarity) with what the umpire described as goal of the season. The dynamic centre back started off the move by carrying out from centre back he eliminated two players before feeding the ball back to Tom Sumner. As the ball was transferred across the back and up the right through Matt Richardson and Thomas Ridley the athletic centre back carried on his run leaving Spalding players in his wake. The ball eventually found Richard Larkin on the right just outside of the circle and looking up, with delight, he saw Sitch arrive. The ball was played across and Sitch had to use all of his attacking flair to deflect the ball skillfully into the roof of the net off his back foot. A loud cheer from the majority of the team showed the significance of the vital 8th goal.

Harleston continue to press forward and soon added their 9th and 10th goal. Firstly Thomas Ridley completed his hat-trick with a reverse stick thunderbolt before Tim Whiteman found space in the circle to slot home. There was still time left for Spalding to grab their second goal. Stuart Leate slotted in at centre back as Leigh Sitch and Tom Sumner were rested for the final few minutes. After a Spalding counter attack Leate was adjust to have brought down the attacked as he raced through on goal. Spalding dispatched the stroke to make the final score 10-2.

Harleston have a week off next week before travelling to Blueharts were they will look to replicate their best performance of the season.

LADIES 4TH TEAM REPORT 26TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 4th Team v Dereham 3 (Away (L) W 4-2)

Two days later and we were back at it, this time in a rearranged evening fixture away at Dereham who are fourth in the league. The first half summed up our season, relentless pressure and opportunities for Magpies but the opposition scored on the break. Undeterred, we packed the forward line and maintained momentum, firing in shot after shot and practising a variety of short corner routines to no avail.

Dereham doubled their lead against the run of play but Magpies continued to play attacking hockey with Emily Woollatt and Sophie Maynell Anderson bossing the midfield and Sophie Govier Schay enjoying the freedom to run with the ball and create chances.

Finally we got on the scoreboard when Jess Green connected with a cross into the back post. A come back was in reach now and the goals kept coming. Kara Kilbourn struck from a short corner and Alice Evans Hendrick deflected the ball into the net.

Not satisfied with just a point Magpies kept up the intensity and Helena Knock (accidentally) scored a wonder strike from long range. Finally our luck was changing and Kara bagged the fourth goal after silky stick work took her past the last defender and around the ‘keeper.

The win takes the Fourths into the Easter break one point clear of the relegation zone with two games left to play.

LADIES 4TH TEAM REPORT 24TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 4th Team v Evergreens (Home (L) L 0-1)

It’s tight at the bottom of the Norfolk Prem with Magpies, UEA 2s and Norwich Dragons 5s battling to avoid the dreaded drop zone, with two of the three teams destined for relegation.

Having won only three games all season the Fourths knew that a win on Saturday would really boost their chance of survival and as the game panned out we settled into our stride and pressed Evergreens high in their half. Beth Moodie came up from the fifths to make her debut for the team and stood her ground against physical opposition. Sisters Imogen and Sophie Maynell Anderson pinged the ball nicely between them in midfield and Cassie Ayms, Megan Beckett and Imogen Ramsdale worked relentlessly to get the ball up to Janna Freeman in the oppositions ‘D’.

Magpies commanded the game but frustratingly were caught on the break and allowed Evergreens to score the only goal of the match.

LADIES 7TH TEAM REPORT 24TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 7th Team v Carrow (Away (L) W2-0)

Our afternoon match at Langley School was played in very mild weather conditions …so different to last week’s blizzard. With a strong squad of 13, we managed to divert the ball from travelling rapidly towards our goal and sent it swiftly to the Carrow end. Some excellent play from Miri, Alison and Daphne helped to keep our defence strong. Shirley McAllen was ready in the Carrow circle to send the ball home when Georgia passed the ball from the right wing.
During the second half, play out to the wings helped to keep the width and with some superb running and stick skills, Bex, Ruby and Jess kept the ball heading up towards the Carrow circle. At one point, both Jo Meyer and Annie Lancaster managed shots at goal but the ball pinged off the same left-hand goalpost! Then Bex Potruff was ready and waiting by that same goalpost to receive a pass from Shirley and sweep the ball into the goal. Carrow had a couple of short corners but Katy Davy kicked any stray balls clear. All in all, it was a great game with a great team.

MENS 4TH TEAM REPORT 18TH MARCH 2018

Mens 4th Team v Thetford (Away (L) L5-6)

Despite the presence of the captain this was the youngest side the Mens 4ths had fielded for some seasons. Having won the previous game against Thetford 1sts 6-5 at The Nest we were expecting a tough game.

The game was confirmed at 12.00 and by 1.45 our squad of 11 was sitting in the changing room trying to decide how late we could leave going outside to ‘warm up’. The skipper decided to give a long team talk, encouraging the lads to be more vocal, only to be constantly interupted by Oli who was getting in some early practice.

Fielding in Toby H, Lewis and debutant Ben Emms, the quickest forward line in memory we decided to sit deep and hit them on the counter. This tactic worked well initially and although I cant quite remember the order of the goals we scored first and kept kept ahead to go in 4-3 up at half time. Our second goal was a smartly taken debut goal from Ben, to follow last weeks debut goal from Ed Brice. The other two goals were from Toby; the first an excellently taken solo effort and the second a tap in after Lewis took an overhead from the skipper to the line and crossed.

The half time chat took place in a penguin huddle with Cadburys chocolate eggs replacing the customary jelly babies. Conditions were getting worse as the driving snow began to settle on the pitch. This did not prevent our gallent band of supporters out shouting the home crowd and giving us much appreciated encouragement.

Goals were exchanged regularly throughout the second half with Toby getting two more, and with midfield maestro Myles slowing down with a recurrent thigh injury we were relying more and more and the outstanding work rate of the youngsters. With two minutes to go Thetford were awarded an controversial penalty corner (of course!) which they rifled into the roof of the net to make it 6-5. 

This was a hard game played under tough conditions. The young team put in a fantastic effort and were unlucky not to come away with at least a point. Thanks once again to our loyal spectators/taxi drivers. Your support really was much appreciated.

DB

LADIES 7TH TEAM REPORT 17TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 7th Team v Pelicans (Away (L) W 3-0)

On a freezing cold Saturday, we battled through the snow and ice up to Pelicans, feeling sure the match would be cancelled at any moment given a whole day’s play had been lost in Harleston to the Beast from the East – mark 2! We arrived to find it was a balmy 2 degrees in Kings Lynn, although that didn’t stop most of the match being played through 40 mph winds and horizontal snow! But the Ladies 7ths are a tough bunch, welcoming both Ruby Pottruff and Katy Davy making their debuts for the Ladies 7th, and Alison and Jessica Menzies to just their second game for the team.
Against a young Pelicans side, Magpies got off to a strong start with Jessica, Miri and Alison moving the ball positively in midfield. Their confident play led to Ruby scoring the first goal after just seven minutes. Magpies stayed focussed, with more great passing play, using Katy and Jo Meyer effectively on our wings to bring the ball back into the D again at sixteen minutes. Ruby made a lovely pass in to Bex Pottruff who scored neatly into the left corner.
Feeling positive, Magpies kept pushing, but failed to score again despite several missed goals during the rest of the first half. Daphne Beckett gave us a rousing half time team talk, encouraging us to pass quickly and accurately. Pelicans upped their marking though, and looked strong at the start of the second half. Liv, Karen and Daphne in defence kept us safe with determined and repeated challenges, and Peg in goal delivered a fantastic brave diving save at one point.
In the final fifteen minutes, Miri, Chy and Alison pushed on strongly in midfield, and after a few scrambles in the D, when Jo narrowly missed out on scoring, Bex popped another into the left corner again to bring the final score to a very well deserved 3 nil victory. It was lovely to have a great mix of young, more experienced and new to the club players, all working together so well as a team.
Player of the match was Karen Hunt with her marvellous hit towards the end of the second half, struck so hard she managed to split the ball impressively into three and was crowned ‘champion ball breaker’ of the match!

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 17TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Wisbech (Away (L) D 1-1 )

Harleston Magpies 2’s were due to travel away to Wisbech, after confirmation that the cold weather had not affected their pitch the girls set off.

The girls got off to a great start and the first ten minutes Magpies had all the possession but were unable to find the net. A quick break from Wisbech caught Magpies out and they went 1-0 up. Undeterred by the goal Magpies fought on to try and get the game back. Their efforts were rewarded near the end of the first when a lovely run down the line By E. Rash was crossed into Laura Tibbenham to slot the ball home and make the score 1-1.

With Woollatt picking up an injury going into the second half Magpies were down to the bare 11 players and had to reorganise and keep the ball. The girls continued to attack Olivia Locke working hard and creating chances and Wisbech were playing the ball around nicely making life difficult for the midfield and defence. Magpies although winning some short corners and making chances were unable to score and the final score was 1-1. The first points that the girls have dropped all season, but the girls were ready to go out and get another three points the next day away at Newmarket.

LADIES 2ND TEAM REPORT 18TH MARCH 2018

Ladies 2nd Team v Newmarket (Away (L) W2-0)

The girls traveled away to Newmarket this Sunday for a long awaited rearranged game. A lot of the regular 2’s players were unfortunately unavailable so a number of three’s players stepped up to help out, thank you to all of them.

On a rather cold day the girls layered up and had a god warm up ready to attack from the start. The magpies girls got of to a great start keeping hold of possession and working the ball around. It didn’t take long for the girls to get into the circle and start making chances. New comer to the twos, Ellie Bale and G. Gardens both working hard and making life difficult. The first goal came from a good ball through from G. Gardens to Tibbenham to run on to and have a shot. The first shot was saved and Sophie Child ran in from the right to slot the rebound home 1-0. Newmarket’s efforts to get into our circle were thwarted by Rachel Baynes and Kath Johnson. There were no more goals in the first half and the girls went into half time feeling confident that they could get the three points they wanted.
 In the second half Newmarket continued to push to get a goal but the hard work of the all the midfielders and defence was proving too much. Magpies carried on working for a second goal and chances came. The second goal came when Amelia made a great run down the left hand side of the pitch and rounded two or three players then slotted the ball past the keepers left foot. To make the score 2-0 and her first goal of the season. The rest of the game played out with no more goals and the girls took away a well deserved 3 points.
Next week the girls play another two fixtures Saturday @home vs Watton and on Sunday away vs St Neots.

BOYS U18 TEAM REPORT 11TH MARCH 2018

Boys U18 Team v Rugby & East Warwickshire
( Home (EH -18 Cup) W 2-1)

Magpies welcomed Rugby to the nest in the quarter-final of the U18 Tier 1 National competition. After a good warm-up Magpies settled quickly and forced the early pace. However, against the run of play Rugby launched a counter attack and opened the scoring from a short-corner. Undeterred, Magpies dominated possession, forcing a series of short-corners and deservedly equalised when Winter powerfully drag-flicked into the top right corner. Rugby defended resolutely but Magpies always looked dangerous and took the lead through another Winter drag-flick. Halftime score 2-1.

The second half was a more even affair with both sides enjoying plenty of possession but without creating any clear cut chances. Magpies then upped the tempo and should have extended their lead but Hunt shot just wide, Winter narrowly missed from another drag-flick and the Rugby keeper made a couple of good saves. With time running out Rugby won a short-corner but Graver made a good save with Peters completing the clearance. That proved the last chance of the game. Magpies deservedly winning 2-1.

Thanks to all the supporters for their encouragement and for the army of helpers in the kitchen. Special thanks to Andy Bedwell for his valuable input into the pre-match and halftime team talks.

Squad – W Graver, W Simpson, G Hunt, K Peters, J Sewell, J Hobbs, A Winter, J Summers, J Pottruff, C Woodcock, M Bensly, D Cadman, W Do

U 18 GIRLS TEAM REPORT 11TH MARCH 2018

U18 Girls v Leicester U18 (Away (EH Cup) W 5-1)

The U18 girls made the long trip up to the East Midlands to face a Leicester team who had already brushed aside some of the big guns in that area. With a depleted squad, the 12 brave magpies faced up to a 20 player squad who were keen to impress their home support. The game started at a ferocious pace with both teams trading territory in the final third of the pitch, without any real threat. Charlie marshalled the defence well keeping the Leicester attack at bay and Grace threw some dangerous aerials to set up surprise counterattacks down the left. Our best chance came with Rose crashing a ball back post and the ball just evading Lauren’s reach. Leicester had a flurry of attacks and a couple of corners which were dealt with well by the Magpies defence and a couple of great saves by Alice G.

Magpies took first blood on the 20min mark after a great steal and counter attack. A ball across the circle popped up nicely for Abby who intuitively smashed the ball into the roof of the net on the volley. The home team rallied and put together some good attacks but solid defending from Lottie and Olivia in the middle kept them out of danger and they found little joy down their left hand side as numerous attacks were cut short by great team defence of Sophie and Rose. 1-0 at half time meant the game was still wide open.

During the break the girls discussed patient transfer on outlet and being more aggressive in the press and it was the latter that ultimately led to the Leicester collapse. Superbly led by Lauren, Alice and Tor up front and excellent support from Martha, Rose and Abby in behind.

5mins in and Abby bagged her second with a smart finish and 2mins later Lauren made it 3-0 with a superb diving finish around the GK. As Leicester pushed to stay in the game, gaps appeared and Magpies romped forward even to the extent that Charlie found herself playing pinball with the Leicester GK. Lauren added to her tally after a cleverly worked short corner with Lottie to make it 4-0 and the pair combined again with Lottie sliding back post to finish in an empty Leicester goal. Leicester got a consolation goal with 30sec to play but the damage was done.

The girls showed their class against a good opposition, particularly in their defensive intensity and how well they transitioned from press to attack. This is backed up by their 26 for and 4 against in their 4 matches so far in the competition. The road to the finals will only get tougher, but this team gets stronger every game and today they showed they are prepared to work hard for each other when the going gets tough. Excellent effort girls and your semi final place is truly deserved.

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 10TH MARCH 2018

Mens 2nd Team v Pelicans (Away (L) W 6-3)

After 2weeks of snow disruption, magpies men’s 2nd 11 were glad to be back on the pitch playing again. This week away to Pelicans who sit third in the table.

A lively start to an eventful game saw Magpies take the lead in the first minute, when Greg Jager finished calmly after good work from Jude and Martin down the left flank. Pelies found a reply immediately and then had the audacity to take the lead within two rather frantic minutes. Magpies were maybe missing veteran defenders Dickon and Flatman and the newly formed jnr back line was taking time to settle in, when magpies conceded a third. A physical and vocal first half, void of the usual passing delights so often on show, came to a close with Pelies 3-1 in front.

An inspired half time rallying cry from Stuart Fields led to a much improved second half, where magpies superior fitness led to a flurry of short corners, the first two were converted by brothers Baynes, LB and Tris. With their 100% unbeaten record now looking safer, magpies continued to press their advantage, with excellent wing back work from Cadman and Manly, when over enthusiasm led to AJ receiving two umpire enforced rest brakes. This only galvanised the spirit of the magpies forward line, as they attacked impressively on the break. Greg Jager, ever a danger, was up ended in the D and Tristan  calmly converted the penalty stroke to make it 4-3.
As a tired looking Pelies seached for an equaliser, magpies punished them with late goals from the in form Martin Fields and Greg Jager.
The game finished 6-3 to Harleston Magpies.

Next up are St Ives who travel to the nest nest Saturday at 3:30pm.

LADIES O35 TEAM REPORT 11TH MARCH 2018

Ladies O35 v Clifton Robinsons (Home (O35 Cup )W 5-0)

Magpies thrilled the home crowd with this resounding Investec Women’s Over 35s Tier 1 Championship semi-final victory playing quality hockey from the opening minute against a talented Clifton side. They threatened to open the scoring on several occasions but before doing so were grateful for a good save by goalkeeper Lucy King who was otherwise rarely tested.

In a superb squad performance Emma Lee-Smith was outstanding for Magpies with her strong runs at the Clifton defence and she put the home team ahead in the 23rd minute with a powerful shot from a narrow angle which evaded goalkeeper Sarah Ellis who had earlier made several smart saves. Six minutes later Emma converted a penalty corner with a powerful shot high into the net following some deft stickwork.

Magpies were now in total control with Frances Burrell and Debbie Francis in dominant form in midfield and their position was further strengthened just before half time when after a strong run down the right by Lucy Field the ball found Charlie Harrison to the left of the circle. By sheer persistence and aided by a first-class advantage by the umpire she took the ball along the goal line before squeezing the ball into the net.

Early in the second half Angie Wheelhouse, who had several times gone close to scoring in the first half, was unlucky to see her shot hit the bar before being cleared. Clifton, with Isabel Palmer prominent, responded with a spell of pressure of their own but the fourth goal for Magpies was soon forthcoming when Anouska Stott took advantage of a calamitous mix up in the visitors’ defence to ease the ball past the guiltless goalkeeper.

This made the game safe for Magpies before Anouska latched on to a through ball to race into the circle to fire high into the net to complete the scoring.

This has to rank as one of the finest home performances by a Magpies’ team in recent seasons and in the final at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre on Saturday 5 May (5.00pm) they will play Canterbury who beat Olton & West Warwicks 4-3 in the other semi-final.