Category Archives: Reports


Harleston Magpies came agonisingly close to winning the under 12 national championship losing one – nil in the final against Sevenoaks Hockey Club.

Earlier in the day the team put in a series of magnificent performances, to come through the group stages unbeaten.  The stand out result being a two – one victory over perennial women’s hockey champions Surbiton.

Many of the girls in this group had the benefit of being part of the Magpies squad that qualified for the same championships last year, albeit as under-elevens.  That maturity showed as the team put in a solid opening performance against Leicester City with centre-forward Amie Hunt scoring all three goals for the win. Magpies then really showed their collective class in the second game against a physical Clifton Robinsons team.  Going behind to a soft early goal the girls rallied to win five – one with excellent work across the mid-field creating the goal opportunities.   Their third victory came against Kirkby Stephen whose obdurate keeper made a series of saves to keep the score down to two – nil to Magpies.

The game against Surbiton attracted a large crowd as both teams went into the match unbeaten.  They were not disappointed as they were treated to a game of the highest quality and drama.  Surbiton played perfect hockey, shifting the ball around rapidly putting Magpies under continuous pressure.  Keeper Catherine Pope pulled off an early save to keep Magpies in it and captain Beth Gardens was at her most industrious at centre-mid screening the defence against probing runs.  Magpies looked to hit Surbiton on the break and went ahead through excellent work from Natalie Saunders down the wing setting up Amie Hunt to run in on goal and score.  

Surbiton hit back immediately after half-time to level the score before a sublime piece of skill from Beth again set Amie free to run in on goal where she scored past the keeper with an outstanding back handed strike.  Magpies then endured wave after wave of Surbiton attack and at the death had to defend two nail biting short-corners before the final hooter confirmed their qualification for the final.

The final against Sevenoaks was a repeat of the Eastern Region Championship match which Magpies had won on penalty flicks a few weeks earlier.  With both teams aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses so it was a tense, nervous affair.   After a scoreless first half Sevenoaks seemed to have a bit more running left in their legs and created more chances than Magpies , which led to a short- corner.  The keeper saved the initial shot well but in the resulting melee Sevenoaks eventually powered the ball over the line. With their noses in front the Kent team then got everyone behind the ball and held out to win leaving Magpies as silver medallists after an outstanding set of performances against the very best in the Country. 

Special mention to Amie Hunt the Magpies Centre forward who finished the day as the tournament’s highest scorer.

Team (goals in brackets):  Alex Pearson-Smith, Amie Hunt (8), Beth Gardens (2), Daisy Wicks, Emily Clarke (1), Evie Wheeler, Natalie Saunders (1), Jasmine Freeman (GK), Catherine Pope (GK), Harriet Soper. Coaches Nick McAllen, Cathy Gardens, Assist Coach Sandra Elliner, Team Manager Michael Soper.  


Ladies 4th Team v Pelicans 2s W 2-1

With a bare eleven players Magpies ladies 4’s set off to play their last league match of the season against a Pelican team that could overtake us and finish 4th if they won the game. With Kings Lynns traffic becoming gridlocked due to road resurfacing the last members of the team arrived at the pitch with 10 minutes to spare. With a quick warm up Magpies started brightly passing the ball well and playing full of confidence.  Sophie Govier Schaay was overlapping well on the right and put in some teasing crosses which Emily Woollatt and Alice Evans Hendrick found the pelicans keeper in excellent form.   Magpies were having the majority of the early possession , the midfield of Katie Woollatt, Grace Collison Cassie Ayms and Imi Ramsdale looked organised and moved the ball quickly.  Grace continued her run of good form and carried the ball well on the left creating chances and causing a problem for the pelican defence. After 20 mins Emily cleverly found a pelicans foot and from the resulting short corner Cassie Ayms beat the keeper with a well struck shot. Shortly after Alice E H almost scored deflecting a short corner that went narrowly wide.   Pelicans looked a threat on the break, centre backs Catherine Kilbourn and Izzy Slade limited pelicans forwards to only a couple of scoring opportunities but  Katy Davy was in good form in the Magpies goal and kept magpies ahead. Minutes before half time Catherine cleverly slipped the short corner to Cassie who scored her 2nd goal to put magpies 2-0 ahead at half time.
With no substitutes half time was welcomed by the players, Magpies started the half Slowly, pelicans were forcing magpies back , The defence of Sophie Baxter , Izzy Slade , Sophie Govier Schaay and Catherine Kilbourn stood firm not allowing pelicans to get a scoring opportunity in the D.  After standing firm magpies broke away quickly, Quick passing from Grace and Katie found Emily who narrowly missed the chance of putting us 3-0 ahead.  Grace Collison and Katie Woollatt were both struggling with injuries but with no substitutes they both played the last 15 mins giving 100% for Magpies trying to ensure we took the 3 points.  With 10 mins left Pelicans pulled a goal back and made the final minutes of the game tense.  Magpies were effectively playing with 9 players In the last 10 mins but managed to hold on to the lead and win the match 2-1, managing to finish the season 4th. After a slow start to the season which saw Magpies second from bottom in October to finish the season 4th, the confidence and belief in the team is the main reason they have gone from strength to strength. Player of the match – Katy Davy.


Ladies 7th Team v Carrow 2s W 10-0

Our last match of the season was played at Langley School on a fine, sunny day.  After searching for the changing rooms, hockey pitch and team, in that order, we began the match.  From the start, we tended to dominate the play; rarely did the ball enter our half of the pitch.  If it did, our defenders, Gillian Stokes, Jenny Meyer and Karen Hunt played their hardest to send the ball back up to the forwards.   First to score was Jess Tarrant with a good strike from the edge of the circle.  Buoyed up with a goal, young Anna Cogdill scored twice more before half time!  

During the second half, Olivia Evans sprinted past Carrow defence and scored.   Annie Lancaster and Alison Priest were invincible on the left wing and took the ball past Carrow defence to Jess Tarrant who scored with a backhand strike.  Next, we were awarded a short corner, the first of the match, and Anna Cogdill struck the ball home from a rebound.  Carrow seemed to have new-found energy and took the ball past our defenders; their forward just had the goalkeeper to beat.  However, Georgia Flatt rose to the challenge and the kicked the ball hard and out of danger.  After a succession of short corners, which the Carrow goalkeeper ably deflected, young Anna Seggons scored.  Next, skipper Gillian Stokes at the edge of the circle, received a pass from Olivia Evans and scored; she was delighted!  Megan Dickson skilfully took the ball through the Carrow defence and passed to Anna Cogdill who smashed the ball home.  A great team effort.


Mens 1st Team v St Albans W 4-3

Harleston Magpies Men’s XI sponsored by Dynamic Sport welcomed league rivals St Albans to the Nest on a fine Saturday afternoon. The touch of warmth and clear skies were a welcome sight to all before a game that had the hallmarks of a dead rubber, after promotion had been confirmed for both sides. However, the strong line-ups and professional approach of the two teams suggested the game to be played would be one worth watching.

Two previous stellar Magpies performances this season, both indoors and out, had the team in white and black consciously aware that St Albans would be seriously hunting for revenge. But an intense warm up and some rousing words from captain Tom Ridley ensured the home side were ready from the off. 

With the whistle blown, an intense first half was underway. Strong tackles, serious skills and an out of breath Ollie Whiteman summarize the opening minutes, as both teams worked hard to gain a foothold in a highly competitive end to end display. But it would be Magpies that felt the thrill of going ahead first, with Captain Tom Ridley demonstrating some trademark magic down left, creating room to fire a ball across the D, allowing a lunging Tim Whiteman time to slap the ball resoundingly into the Albans net. 

This kick started a spell of serious fight back from the opposition, who, with good midfielders of their own, found opportunities within the Magpies 25 several times. But strong performances from a back line led by Leigh Sitch and his sidekick Bedwell allowed Magpies to rebuff the majority of these, with a flamboyant but necessary triple save from keeper Chris Leek drawing admiration from the wide-eyed supporters. However, the hard work of the dedicated back line wouldn’t be enough to keep out the opposition, who after securing a short corner thanks to a questionable (but needed) last man tackle, were able to slot the ball into the right side of the net. A second quickly followed for the away side, with Magpies players scratching their heads wondering who’d allowed their man too much freedom. But the team culture of this tight knit Magpies side prevented any finger pointing, as the game at hand required total concentration. 

As the first half wore on, the high intensity of the game led to disaster for the home team. Defensive guru Tom Sumner, who’s performance up to then had been perfect for Magpies and a pain for Albans, was deemed out of action due to an ankle injury. But this years new defensive additions of Will Tew and Ollie Whiteman were up to the task, only mildly grumbling at the thought of playing more minutes. 

With the game restarted, Magpie went for the throat, displaying an outstanding few minutes of aggressive, high intensity pressure on the Albans backline. But as so often is the case in clashes between league titans, the hard working opposition defense gave as good as they got. Turnover after turnover led to sore necks for spectators, as the end to end hockey had coach Whiteman frustrated at his sides lack of total dominance. But it was during this spell that Whiteman was able to find redemption for his earlier lack of marking (St Albans goal 2), when he opted to employ a disguised ‘slow ball’ style drag flick for Magpies only short corner of the game. The balls relative lack of pace fooled both defender and keeper alike, allowing the home side to enter half time level with their opponents. 

 A determined team talk complete with tactical reminders from the Magpies Coach had the team nodding heads with renewed vigor for the final half of hockey they’d play this season. The intensity and commitment to fitness Magpies had displayed all year was apparent as the two teams lined up, with Magpies displaying a brightness about them, akin to the twinkle in manager Kevin’s eye at the thought of the beers soon to be consumed. This fitness advantage soon told, when, repeated high pressure from the confident Magpies forward line led to James Gray seizing control of the ball from the Albans centre back, only to drive into the D and unleash an unstoppable shot with his New Zebu hockey stick. 

The ongoing intensity of the home teams style of play, led to dominance high up the pitch. However with an Albans team looking lethal on the counter, an unfamiliar back two partnership of Andrew Bedwell and Ollie Whiteman following an injury to Leigh Sitch, resulted in an unfortunate opportunity for Albans to equalize and take the game to 3-3. Nevertheless, the attitude of the boys in monochrome prevented any grey feelings, as they steeled themselves to go again. 

The closing third of the game was awash with chances for Pies, as Raunaq Rai, welcomed back into the team after a stint of school hockey, was able to find room to turn for a spin shot. Other chances, for Dave Gilbert, James Gray, Jude Potruff and Richard Larkin all led to frustrating clearances. But it was at this point that the umpiring duo’s saturation for robust tackles was reached, with an uncharacteristic card for Richard Larkin followed all too quickly by a now familiar card for Will Tew. 

The shortage in numbers, not at all unfamiliar to Magpies, led to a spell of high stress for the home side as they worked frantically to ensure no errand ball entered their net. A goal line diving clearance from debutant youngster Jude Potruff highlighted the commitment all displayed, as the magpies team weathered the storm. Once back up to full strength, it was St Albans turn to be afraid as the confidence and ability of Pies shone through. Great efforts up front lead to a UEA Dave rocket gaining a deflection off of  Tim Whiteman’s Stick to gain the final goal of the match and thus victory. Whiteman, clearly unhappy with the lack attention a home match hat trick would bring, decided to use the games final moments to clinch a head injury that would thus negate his need to buy the team a Jug. 

It is with that, the Mens 1st XI sign off their final match report of the season and UEA Dave’s final game. The sight of his many goals, his eye-catching trousers, and his commitment to Magpies may be gone, but will always be remembered. The team would like to say a huge thank-you for all the support they have received club wide, from the supporters on a Saturday, to the many people who work tirelessly behind the scenes who have enabled us to progress this year. We say thank-you to the tireless work of manager Kevin and coach Whiteman, and look forward to the challenges National league will bring.


U14 Girls – All Aboard The National Express

With the Nest bathed in glorious sunshine we welcomed Spencer HC, Amersham & Chalfont HC and Southgate HC for a regional final and a chance for the U14 girls to compete for a spot in the national finals. Up first were Spencer HC and to their credit they started more fluently than Magpies and retained possession well albeit mostly in their own half. The girls then seemed to throw off the nervous shackles and got into the game. They opened the scoring when a goal bound shot was stopped on the line by a foot and was awarded initially as a shortie, but was then overturned in an umpire consultation and calmly dispatched by Emma W into the bottom left. Emma W then added another quite quickly to send us into HT 2-0 to the good. Hollie D-R then scored quite soon after the break and Magpies saw out the rest of the game to secure our first points of the day.

Up next were Amersham & Chalfont and again we were slow out of the blocks (too much cake between games maybe) and were punished at the back when not clearing effectively and a dribbly dribbler went over the line (just) to leave us 0-1. My brow was furrowed at bit at that but to their huge credit they went up the other end and smashed in three goals in four minutes to turn the game on its head. First another short corner melee with a deflected shot being cleared dangerously that lead to another flick for Emma W to tuck away, then she scored another with Hollie D-R smashing the backboard to make it 3-1 at HT. No more goals in the second half but no real danger from Amersham and we were able to see out the game comfortably. A brief look at the table told us that a draw and even a 2-0 loss would’ve been good enough but that was never the plan as we lined up against Southgate HC for our final fixture. Thankfully we did start this game much more positively and soon found ourselves 2-0 up with another lovely goal from Emma W and a smart centre forward’s finish from Ella S who ran her socks off all day and deserved her goal. We then faced a series of short corners as Southgate upped their game but the girls defend so bravely and kept them at bay. With half time approaching Alicia P scored a proper poacher’s back post deflection that roofed nicely following a pacy delivery from outside the D to leave us 3-0 up at HT. The second half saw the girls play some really good relaxed and confident hockey with some great interplay but no more goals, not for the lack of trying. We conceded a flick that was scored in the last minute but by then the damage was well and truly done and cue the delight from the girls at the final whistle.

Goal scorers often get the headlines so well done to Emma W (5), Hollie D-R (2), Ella S (1) and Alicia (1) but I will point out with satisfaction that this was a genuine all squad display with everyone playing their part and contributing. Loads of effort all round the park so a huge well done to the girls on reaching the U14 Tier 1 National Finals on May 12th.

Squad :- Sophie P (c), Abi L (GK), Georgia F (GK), Ruby P, Talitha K, Evie B, Anna C, Jessica M, Emma W, Holly W, Ella S, Hollie D-R, Loulou F, Alicia P, Jessica T


Ladies 6th Team v Loddon 2s W 3-0

A good win to close out the season.
Played 18, Won 15, Drawn 1, Lost 2.
Goals for 62, Goals against 17. Goal Diff 45
Total points 46.

We would like to thank all those who have played, coached, umpired and supported. Some of the many people who have been a part of our successful season are listed below:
Imogen Flatt, Marie Davy, Mary Nelson, Jane Collins, Louise Davy, Liv Addison-Carter, Heather Brand, Georgia Scott, Georgia Hood, Elena Flatt, Rachael Clifford, Kristina Brinkley, Judith Masters, Shirley McAllen, Laura Woodgate, Janna Freeman, Alyssa Walker, Frankie Wildman, Holly Morris, Grace Clarke, Anna Seggons, Amelia McIntyre, Krystal Jenkins, Megan Dickson, Simon Scott, Matt Brand, Lucy Field, Chris Flatt, Ross Carter, Stu Field, Peter Dolton, David Johnson, Irene Bicker, Fudge Carman, Jose Tibbenham, Flea Perry.


Ladies 2nd Team v Chelmsford L 1-4

Earlier in the season we were denied a victory at home in the last seconds of the game as Chelmsford fought back from 2 down to secure a draw. With Chelmsford promoted last week and our safety secured, we headed down the M11 for our last game of the season.
With the squad depleted by mid-week injuries we took the field with a bare 11 against a home sided who had a full bench so this was going to be a tough assignment. We started the game really well moving the ball around from side to side but fell one down after six minutes when a snap shot on the angle found the net.
We kept playing some lovely pass and move hockey and Anouska Stott  was denied twice in quick succession by the home keeper and a couple of strikes from penalty corners were deflected narrowly wide of the home goal. The game became open with Chelmsford looking to pick us off on the break and they did create opportunities but Abi Lewis made some good blocks in goal. With Georgie Gardens prominent in midfield we were certainly creating problems for Chelmsford as they were struggling to cope with our formation.
Although one down at the break, we felt we were well in the game and were causing the home side plenty of issues. Chelmsford came out hard at the start of the 2nd half and took the game back to us and doubled their lead on 40 minutes.
We were still playing with plenty of spirit and skill and grabbed a well deserved goal on 46 minutes. Georgie Gardens broke up play on half way before driving past the Chelmsford defence to release Anouska Stott  who artfully deflected home from a narrow angle.
The Pies pushed on in search of a leveller and following a move down the right,Anouska picked a run from the gambling Laura Tibbenham who just failed to apply the decisive touch. Chelmsford regrouped and began to push us back as we started to understandably tire from the games efforts. In the last 12 minutes Chelmsford added a further couple of close range strikes to run out flattering 4-1 victors.
With the goal at the start of the season being to maintain our league status, this has been a good year for the Ladies. Here below are a few stats from the season just completed.

Playing record – Played 22, Won 6, Drew 6, Lost 8 , Scored 30, Conceded 42
Most Appearances – Laura Tibbenham 22, Kath Johnson 21, Anouska Scott 20
Most Goals – Laura Tibbenham 9, Anouska Stott  8, Tor Findlay 3
Most Clean Sheets : Jade Daly 3, Alice Wells 1, Lucy KIng 1
34 players were used through the season
We took at least one point off all teams in the league except League Champions BromBeck.
Being a male in an all female world this season, some things have made me chuckle:
1. Being asked, will I be going back on the field as I will have to put my hair up.
2. A word perfect rendition of I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates which was a hit in 1971. Impressive pop knowledge from one of the younger members of the squad.
3. The power pose squad  photo at Olympic Park.
4. Meeting Bruce and Shelia at Christmas.

It’s been a hard year with injuries ravaging the squad at times but the team has showed a great spirit and togetherness throughout. Hope all of the injuries heal soon although certain swellings may take a little longer. All the best to those off to Uni or embarking on new careers. Likewise we look forward to doing it all again in September.

Finally, thanks to everyone back at the Nest for their support and help and a big thanks to the following players who have represented the 2’s this year.
Alice W, Jade D, Shev S, Kath J, Amelia H.S, Katherine R, Jess H, Molly W, Phoebe E, Olivia L, Charley S, Anouska S, Laura T, Lucy W, Sophie C, Georgie C, Georgie G, Eva H, Sophie G.S, Amy C, Cat M, Bobbi W, Sara L, Emily R, Sophia B, Lucy F, Ellie B, Louisa G, Tor F, Aoife L-D, Lucy K, Kristine A, Daisy F and Abi L.

Andrew Bell


Magpies A girls continued their preparation for the East Regional Finals with a convincing run of games at the Alex Hill Memorial tournament.

The first two matches were played back to back on the same pitch and one particular goal took a battering as Beth G and Amie H in attack repeated hit the post, side-boards or cross-bar.  The initial opponents, Dereham A, looked like holding out as we repeated found the metalwork.  Fortunately Amie and Beth stuck to their task and eventual combined to give Amie a brace to start the morning with a win.

The second game saw some truly brilliant goals as the girls hit top gear.  The opening goal was a passing masterclass, from Harriet S in defence to Amie to Beth to Alex-PS to tap in, leaving Norwich B standing.  The second was equally good, finishing with a one handed, one touch reverse-stick flick from Alex to play in Amie for simple finish.  The subs were swapped on and Honer continued the goal rush scoring a further two goals.

The third game saw us up against a resolute Dragons A keeper, who played really well to keep the Magpies margin of victory down to two – nil. Both Beth and then Alex played Amie in to shoot but the keeper repeatedly saved her shots before a change of tactic, dribbling around the keeper, saw Amie score.   The team won a couple of short corners and both routines were well worked and they were unlucky not to score before Beth made the points certain with a second goal.

As per normal our toughest game was against Norwich A, these girls have become our friends during the year as we’ve played out so many close encounters with them.   This time it was honours even as the game ended in a nil – nil draw.  Magpies perhaps had the best chance of the game, Amie’s smart pass playing in Honor for a shot that just went wide.  At the other end both Harriet and Daisy were kept busy by the Norwich forwards as they looked to hit us on the break.

The game against Magpies B was a low key affair, Amie scored three goals and Honor one. For the last game we played Dereham B, Grace S was rewarded for her hard work on the wing with a goal and the girls demonstrated that the flowing moves from earlier in the morning weren’t a fluke, Harriet again starting of a passing move that went through Alex, Amie and then on to Beth to ram the ball home. The team used two goal keepers during the morning and both Jasmine and Kathryn proved able when called upon, overall then a good day out.

Team (scorers in brackets): Honer (4), Harriet, Beth (2), Amie (7), Alex (1), Daisy, Kathryn (GK), Grace (1), Jasmine (GK)


Mens 2nd Team v Wisbech D 5-5

Harleston magpies 2’s made the trip to Wisbech knowing that anything but a win would see them leave Div 1 after only a seasons return.
The team saw John Livings return in goal, the Hipwell brothers were back and on loan magpie James Osborn had patched up his hamstrings enough for one more run out.
Magpies started the game with a ferocious pace and immediately Andy Hipwell, Kinsella and Osborn were starting to link up nicely upfront and with the support of the midfield of Manly, Baynes, Stacey and Simon Hipwell things were looking positive. Things went our way when a clean cross from Kinsella saw the Wisbech keeper kick over the top and allowed Morgan to pounce at the back post to make it 1-0. We were creating numerous chances but were unable to convert until Osborn got a tap in at the back post to make it 2-0.
As has been the pattern of the season we have been unable to keep leads and finish games off and much to our frustration Wisbech struck back twice to make it 2-2 at half time.
Magpies still looked comfortable and after the break we didn’t look like a side that had just given up a two goal lead. John Livings made some tidy saves to keep it tight at the back. The back three of Taylor, Sharky and Max were working well at getting the ball to the midfield where we could then go on the offensive. When Hipwell took a trademark short corner and fired it into the bottom corner we thought something might be changing and when Hipwell got his second with a tap in and Kinsella fired in a trademark backhand shot into the roof of the net it looked like we were going to be staying in Div 1, but fatigue and fear started to show its ugly face and to give Wisbech credit they never gave up. Even with the rolling subs of Dave Francis, Hugo and Jamie Hudson we were unable to keep the work rate going and Wisbech soon clawed a goal back. One goal became two and it was now 5-4 and the horrid sense of the return fixture was soon become very real. Sadly a well executed finish from a tight angle made it 5-5 and Wisbech had the score line they wanted. Time ran out and with it our hopes of Division 1 hockey went with it.
We have had a tough season with multiple changes each week meaning a consistent side has rarely happened but have never given up and no player has ever given less than 100%.
A massive thanks to Bob Skinner for giving up his time in the last few months to manage the side and to Tris Baynes for picking up the captaincy when Stu Field sadly had to be sidelined with injury. We also wish Lawrence Baynes a speedy recovery after he underwent surgery for a hernia.
We will look to bounce straight back next season and look forward to all your support again.


Ladies 1st Team v St Albans L 2-3

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents, travelled to St Albans, who needed a win to secure their spot within the National League Division One for next season. When St Albans visited Weybread earlier in the season, St Albans came out 4-2 winners, so Magpies knew this wasn’t going to be an easy game.
Magpies wanted to start strongly as the team knew that St Albans had everything to play for in this game. Unfortunately for Magpies they started the slower of the two teams and could not keep possession. This caused pressure on the Magpies defence, who managed to deal with this threat for the first 20 minutes. But the St Albans continued pressure and Magpies inaccurate passing resulted in St Albans winning a number of short corners in which they managed to convert one of them. As the first half moved on Magpies started to build their momentum and managed to create some chances for themselves, but couldn’t find the goal.
The second half started as the first half finished with Magpies trying to create a goalscoring opportunity. With this though St Albans were a threat on the break and shortly into the second half Magpies conceded a short corner and again St Albans converted this. This meant Magpies needed to find 2 goals now to even up the scores. This however did spur on the team and the passing improved and they started to cause some problems for the St Albans defenders. The first goal came after Rose picked up the ball, just over the half way line, out paced the St Albans defenders to then strike from the top of the D into the bottom corner of the goal. This gave Magpies the extra boost they needed and they continued to pressurise and create chances, with Lizzie just shooting wide and Charlie having a shot cleared off the line. The equaliser finally came after a well worked short corner found Rose on the post to tap in for her second goal of the game.
Magpies were back in the game, which caused St Albans to push four forwards high up the pitch and stretch the Magpies defence. St Albans managed to secure the win when a ball went to a forward towards the top of the D and they deflected it first time into the goal.
Next week Magpies welcome Southgate to Weybread, for the last game of the season and the team will be looking to finish the season with a home win.
Squad: Lauren Barber (Captain), Jade Daly, Kristine Ayling, Debbie Francis, Charlotte Harrison, Rose Winter, Georgie Cantrell, Katherine Ridley, Lizzie Clymer, Lauren Rowe, Louisa Greenacre, Emma Lee-Smith, Frances Burrell, and Lara Taylor.


Girls Development Team v Pelicans W 5-1

Magpies topped the league with victory in the ‘battle of the birds’ away to Kings Lynn Pelicans.  Congratulations on a brilliant league campaign and special thanks to player / manager Sandra for all her hard work organising the team.

In the first half the team gave a chance to those not normally in attack to experience life in the forward positions.  Emma F, Amy F and Lily M did a great job up front keeping Pelicans under constant pressure however it was Evie B who gave Magpies the lead.  She was the furthest forward for Magpies after taking a short corner, Emma F’s shot was partially cleared before her sister Kate pinged it back in for Evie to nudge home through the keepers legs.   Further pressure saw a series of half chances and Amy was unlucky not to score as she drew a double save from the keeper.

Pelicans looked to create opportunities by countering quickly from defence. Their number seven played well in the centre forward role, looking to hold on to the long pass and play in her midfielders on the break.  One such move brought Pelicans back level as Daisy lunged to clear a speculative shot only to deflect it past Jasmine in goal.  Magpies regained the lead just before the end of half though, Evie B banging in a long range shot. 

Magpies started the second with a more familiar front-line and scored two goals in quick succession.  Kate F showed how well her shooting has developed this year, firing home a short corner, before Evie B rattled in another. At the back, Harriet S starred in the sweeper role; she is another one who has improved throughout the season and now has a very effective passing game.  She snuffed out Pelican’s best attacking moves and launched Magpies on the counter with long-range, accurate passes.

 Flo C and Jessica S were industrious, running up and down the wings and Magpies scored their final goal via this route.  Jess supplying a cross to Evie B in the centre where she was allowed the space and time to wrong foot the keeper and tap home. 

Next week, all twenty-nine girls who’ve played development this year are invited to an end of season game and tea.  It will be a chance to celebrate the league championship with all those who took part and mark the graduation of those moving on to ladies hockey next year.

Players (Goals in Brackets)

Jasmine F (GK), Jessica S, Lilly M, Isabelle P, Emma F, Kate F (1), Dulcie S, Amy F, Harriet S, Ellie B, Daisy, W, Florence C, Rosie M, Evie B (4)

Player Manager: Sandra Elliner 


Having won 14 games and scored an impressive 59 goals this season, Magpies Ladies 6s have topped their league and are going up! The midfield of Flea Perry, Judith Masters and Holly Morris worked hard to force the turnover from Norwich City on Saturday which led to the hosts having a 3-0 lead at half time (Janna Freeman, Rachael Clifford, 2). Building the play as a unit, Rachael scored a further 3 goals with Georgia Hood and Georgia Scott taking the final tally to 8-0, whilst Imogen Flatt in goal ensured her defensive screen of Jane Collins, Marie Davy, Mary Nelson and Elena Flatt dealt with any threats from City. 

With Diss and Reepham both winning last weekend, the Ladies 5s have missed the chance of promotion this year but will finish in third position if they beat Carrow this week, following their win over Norwich City. Magpies started the game on the back foot, with City winning six short corners in the first ten minutes but Ruby Potruff and Talitha Key thwarted the shots on goal with pacey running. Jessica Menzies pounced on a loose ball from an attacking short to give Magpies the lead but City retaliated with an equaliser, and then took the lead midway through the second half. 

Piling on the pressure and utilising the press, Captain Tibbenham forced a goal home to level the scores before Vanessa Vigrass grabbed the winner at the left post to finish 3-2.

The Men’s 5s welcomed struggling Norwich City 6s to The Nest where youngster Elliot Chapman made his debut for the team and impressed with some good runs and two goals. Andy Catchpole, Andy Caston (2), Jake Hayward and Chris Hall also got on the scoresheet but subbing veteran full back Jerry Blackmore with a 7-2 lead left Magpies exposed at the back which City utilised and scored three late goals which may be enough to save them from relegation by goal difference. 

After a tough start to the season the Ladies 2s have been in good form of late and have turned things around to secure their position in the East Premier Division following last seasons promotion. A keenly contested battle against local rivals Norwich City ensued with Lucy King being called upon to make some good saves in goal before Tor Findlay netted twice for Magpies before the break. City’s desperation to get back into the game was rewarded with a goal but the 2s dug deep to end the game 2-1 before the final day of the season away to already promoted Chelmsford. 

The Boys Development team got an impressive 4-4 result against league leaders Norwich Dragons last weekend leaving Magpies 3rd out of 6, whilst the league administrators have raised concerns about too many one sided results for the Girls Development side. True to form, the Girls put on another fine performance with the usual positions being inverted for the final quarter (defenders in attack and vice-versa). Goals from Ellie, Evie, Beth (2), Amie (3) and Harriet led to a 8-0 win. 

The Ladies 7s should finish the season in third having taken all three points when they hosted Norwich City 7s. Club Captain Emma Tolhurst stepped up to convert a penalty stroke to give Magpies the lead before Jess Tarant and Ellen Moodie scored in open play. City fought hard but were unable to break through, full time 3-0.

With the end of the season fast approaching, celebrations have been planned for Saturday 6th April with a family fun day at The Nest including games, food and awards – please see the club website for details. 


Mens 1st Team v Saffron Walden W 5-3

Already promoted Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops headed to Saffron Walden to enforce their dominance on a struggling side who find themselves one off the bottom as the season comes to a close. The lads from the Waveney were in good spirits going into the game, one of the team back from the Alps with the vice-captain going the other way. Ridley Senior didn’t waste much time in reminding the team of their social commitments and the importance of attendance at the upcoming dinner dance, although it wasn’t long until he was rudely interrupted by Coach Tim Whiteman who yet again had forgotten his coaching board. 
During the warm up it was evident that Storm Gareth was likely to have an impact on Harleston’s liquid hockey. 
True to form Harleston imposed themselves on the opposition demanding control of the early exchanges. At points the opposition were able to show glimpses of ability however this was often soon extinguished by some good defensive organisation and execution from the black and whites.
It didn’t take long for Tom Ridley to burst through the middle and fire in a reverse which was easily converted by James Gray. As the control remained with Harleston much of the game was played in the opposition half which at times left the promoted team open to a counter attack goal. Against the run of play Saffron Walden used the long aerial ball with great success finding their sole high player in space who was able to craft an opportunity in front of goal which another Saffron Walden player finished. Apart from this slight setback the opposition posed very little threat to the travelling side for the remainder of the half which allowed Harleston to win many short corners, one of which was converted by league veteran Tom Dunnett.
Typically, Harleston tend to overpower lesser opponents in the second half of the game. This week was like no other, magpies opened the second half with more pace, purpose and precision. Like magic the team were suddenly able to piece together team play they had utilised throughout the season with great success. No pass looked easier than the next but the CM trio of Tim Whiteman, Pete Bale and Tom Ridley demanded the ball from all angles making life easier for the rest of the team. The sustained pressure made life very difficult for the opponents. Harleston were rewarded for their efforts through goals from Tom Ridley, Ollie Whiteman and Andrew Bedwell, two of which came from further short corners.
The result was never in doubt although Saffron Walden were able to take advantage of reduced team numbers from Harleston. Final result 5-3. 


Ladies 7th Team v Norwich City Ladies 7s W 3-0

Both teams met on a very windy, morning to play on the ‘sand’ pitch; thankfully, there wasn’t any sand being blown around.  We met our match with Norwich City as play seemed to be equally divided, yet we were awarded a couple of short corners during the first half and gradually showed our strength.  At one point, the ball was slammed straight into the Norwich City keeper’s feet but not before it had struck a defender’s foot.  Our sharp-eyed umpire awarded us a penalty stroke.  Emma Tolhurst stepped up to the mark and expertly flicked the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.

During the second half, play seemed to be concentrated on our right wing with the ball flying up and down the pitch and some fine crosses made by Alison Priest.  Jess Tarrant, with great skill, managed to storm through the Norwich City defenders and score.   Anna Seggons made some terrific runs and Jenny Meyer, in midfield, fought hard for every ball.   Norwich City fought back hard and managed a strike at goal but, luckily, it was diverted by our goal keeper.  Ellen Moodie ran through the Norwich defence line and struck the ball at goal; it neatly rolled past the keeper’s feet.  A good result!


Ladies 6th  Team V Norwich City 6s W 8-0

The ladies started this fixture determined to put right last weeks’ lapse in form. After a cautious start from both teams Magpies soon found their passing rhythm, great work in midfield from Flea Perry, Judith Masters and Holly Morris regularly forcing the turnover.
As ever Harleston Magpies defence kept alert; Good calling and encouragement from Imogen Flatt in goal ensured her defensive screen of Jane Collins, Marie Davy, Mary Nelson and Elena Flatt barely allowed Norwich to enter the attacking circle.
By half time, nerves had calmed as the team worked together to take to score to 3:0, with a goal from Janna Freeman and two from Rach Clifford.
This has been a season of highs and lows for the Ladies 6s. Sometimes we’ve secured the win whilst maybe all thinking we hadn’t played our best. This week, the whole team displayed their commitment to training and improvement, putting in place much of the tactics advised by this seasons’ coaches, Stu Field and Peter Dolton. Passing the ball well across the whole pitch, building play and working together as a unit. Forwards Janna Freeman, Rach Clifford, Laura Woodgate and Georgia Hood rotated play well between them, working in triangles to put Norwich under immense pressure. Three further goals came from Rach Clifford, and one for Georgia Hood. And much to the delight of our most enthusiastic supporter, Mr Scott, his daughter Georgia Scott completed the scoring with a well taken goal.
Many players, club members and supporters have played a huge part in the success of the Ladies 6s this season, it was pleasing to be able to thank them with such an emphatic last home win of the season that will surely have secured the league title.
Thank you to everyone who has played, umpired, run the bench, coached, trained, supported from the sidelines and generally had good fun with us this season.
Player of the match: Rach Clifford


Ladies 1st Team v Wimbledon L 0-6

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents, travelled to Wimbledon who were second in the league before the game. When Wimbledon travelled to Weybread earlier in the season the game was very close and Wimbledon narrowly won 4-3. 
Magpies knew the game was going to be a hard game, but knew if the could replicate their performance from last week they could compete against Wimbledon. The game started fairly evenly but Wimbledon gradually got into the game and they were moving the ball round he pitch and pulling Magpies press out of shape. The movement of the Wimbledon forwards meant they kept creating chances. Before Magpies knew it they were 2-0 to two well worked short corners from Wimbledon. Magpies kept trying to create some of their own chances, but Wimbledon were showing their class and managed to score two more goals before half time. 
In the second half Magpies continued to try and create some chances and to do the simple things well. The team managed to test the Wimbledon defence more than in the first half. But Wimbledon continued to threaten and the Magpies defence couldn’t keep them out and Wimbledon scored again. Towards the end of the game the Wimbledon pressure was too much and the Magpies defence conceded a penalty stroke in which Wimbledon converted. 
Next week Magpies travel to St Albans, for another tough game as St Albans came out winners when they came to Weybread earlier in the season, but Magpies will want to get back to winning ways to try and get the top four finish they are aiming for.
Squad: Lauren Barber (Captain), Jade Daly, Kristine Ayling, Katrina Sitch, Debbie Francis, Charlotte Harrison, Rose Winter, Lottie Summers, Katherine Ridley, Lizzie Clymer, Lauren Rowe, Louisa Greenacre, Emma Lee-Smith, Frances Burrell, and Lara Taylor.


Ladies 5th Team v Norwich City 5ths W 3-2

Norwich made a very rapid start taking advantage of magpies lethargic start.  Norwich early possession resulted in 6 short corners in the first ten minutes but speedy running our by Ruby and Talitha thwarted and good goalkeeping kept the ball out.  Magpies started to string some passes together and got a short corner of their own at the other end.  Talitha got a strike in and Jess Menzies was on hand to force the ball home getting on the scoresheet for the 3rd week in a row.
The strong wind was causing problems with communication and City soon equalised when a player who left unmarked received a inch perfect pass from Kate on the edge of the D.  She took the ball into the D and with no-one making a tackle calmly slotted the ball home.  Play continued end to end.  South African Kate was dominant in midfield for Norwich -luckily for magpies their forwards couldn’t quite get on the end of the passes.

With probably our worst half of hockey of the season over – half time discussions revolved around ball speed, accuracy of passing and setting a better press.  Something obviously worked as the magpies had more fight in the second half.  The midfield were working very hard to win possession in the middle of the park and confidence lifted.  Magpies started creating more chances and putting pressure on the defence.  Norwich however were solid in every department and took the lead midway through the second half.  If magpies were going to come away with a win they were going to have to dig deep and fight for every single ball.  The press was working better, Tibbenham stole the ball from a free hit and with the defender approaching slipped the ball to Ella whose shot was well saved the keeper.  Magpies were winning the ball just outside their 25 and Beth Moodie was doing some good runs down the right.  Tibbenham persisted in the D and despite having defenders around her managed to push the ball home to get the equaliser.  This seemed to spur magpies on even more and further pressure saw Vanessa Vigrass pop up at the left post to give magpies the lead.  Every player on the pitch fought hard to preserve this slender lead until the final whistle.

Norwich City 5ths had given magpies their toughest game since Christmas and probably deserved a draw.  No less than 9 of the 12 magpies players got a player of the match vote which shows what an all round team effort today was.  With Diss and Reepham both winning the chance of promotion has just been missed this year.  However a win next week will ensure the 5ths finish the season in 3rd.  An excellent performance bearing in mind 90% of the team moved up from development at the beginning of the season.  The progress made by all of these girls is clear to see and hopefully  next year we might gain promotion.


Ladies 2nd Team v Norwich City Ladies 1 W 2-1

After a tough start to the season, a turning point was the first game at Taverham where we enjoyed a fine 3 Nill win. This was the catalyst that saw an upturn in our fortunes as we have been in good form since, leading us to securie our position in the division.

Despite the big defeat last week at the champions ( Although we played well in our opinion ), the Ladies wanted to get back on the points trail. What better than a local derby against a City side who have been unlucky in recent weeks as they battle to survive the drop to Division 1.

As expected the game was a keenly contested battle with City playing a high press that at times had us struggling to move the ball around the park. When they got through, the defence was dogged with Lucy King dealing with any shots on goal. However it was certainly not one way traffic as we found a lot of joy in attacking areas. As mentioned before, this league is about taking your chances and Tor Findlay netted midway through the first half and then just before the break to get us a 2 goal interval league.

The second half through up similar patterns of play with City desperate to get back in the game. In truth their efforts gained reward as the game moved into the final quarter when they netted to halve the deficit. This set up a grandstand finish and despite a few alarms the ladies dug in and worked their socks off to record a solid 2-1 win.

This was a really good, hard earned win against determined opponents but the Ladies signed off their home campaign on a winning note
Magpies ended their home season with a record of Played 11, Won 3, Drew 6, Lost 2 picking up a vital 15 points in the process.
Last game of the season next week is an  away trip to already promoted Chelmsford


Girls Development v Yarmouth W 8-0

With the league administrators raising concerns about too many one sided results, Magpies played this game like someone with nine points on their licence who didn’t want to get caught speeding again.  

The team have a talented front line and took an early lead from a flowing passing move through Evie B to Amie H and on to Beth G for a simple tap-in to score.  An Ellie B goal followed soon after which prompted the coaches to ring the changes bringing on subs. Kate F, whose confidence in front of goal has increased as the season’s gone on, had a firm shot on goal saved by the keeper and Magpies also earnt a couple of short corners to keep the pressure on until the end of the quarter.

Much of the excitement for the second quarter revolved around Evie B who was full of energy all game.  She was at the centre of most the Magpies attacking play scoring a goal and also having a couple of shots saved by the keeper. Amie H also popped up to score to make it 4 goals to nil at half-time.

The second half saw the under-12 attacking duo of Amie H and Beth G combine well. Beth scored with a strong shot that deflected in off a defender’s stick before turning provider in passing moves that saw Amie score twice in quick succession.  Flo C, always a threat, had a decent shot that beat the keeper but rattled out off of the post.

In the final quarter the shape of the team was inverted with defenders in attack and vice-versa.  Harriet S, the team’s defensive rock, was shifted into the centre-forward role and scored a good goal, finding the space to drive into the D and beat the keeper with a low shot to the far post. With eight goals reached the remainder of the game fizzled out as Magpies, following the league protocol, shifted down a gear and took the foot further off the accelerator.

Team (Goals in brackets):
Catherine P (GK), Ellie B (1), Evie B (1), Tilly D, Emma F, Kate F, Amy F, Lily M, Rosie M, Florence C, Beth G (2), Amie H (3), Isabelle P, Jessica S, Harriet S (1).

Team Manager: Jane C


Ladies 7th Team v Norwich Dragons 8s W 9-0

What a difference a week makes and what an amazing score!  With a team of fifteen (mainly) youngsters, we began the match against Dragons, but soon had the upper hand.  We were awarded a couple of short corners and the second one went to Anna Seggons who scored.  With multiple changeovers, we didn’t lose our focus and young Jess Tarrant scored twice more before half time.  In fact, we kept one of the spectators busy changing the score numbers.

During the second half, Ellen Moodie swept the ball up the pitch and there was quite a melee within the circle with Magpie players striking the ball at goal.  Dragon’s goalkeeper diverted quite a few attempts but, eventually, Ellen scored.    Anna Cogdill managed to take the ball past Dragon’s defence into the circle and scored with a nice reverse stick strike.  Dragons’ players never gave up and had some excellent breaks yet Karen Hunt only touched the ball once.  Anna Seggons played superbly and scored twice more giving her a hat trick!  What a girl!  Next, Jenny Meyer, playing Centre Forward, smashed the ball into the goal from a great pass by Megan Dickson.  With the floodlights on the temperature dropping, Anna Cogdill scored our final goal.

Score:  9 – 0