Category Archives: Reports

Ladies 1st Team Match Report 17th September 2017

Ladies 1st Team vs Oxford Hawkes (Away (F) W 2-1)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents travelled to Old Loughtonians hockey club to play Oxford Hawkes in their final pre-season encounter.  This week the squad welcomed back captain Lucy Belsey and the experienced Debbie Francis.

Oxford started the game brightly, despite already having played this weekend, creating opportunities to score with quick counter attacks, a good defensive transfer and playing attacking hockey. Oxford dominated possession in the first half, however it was Magpies who opened the scoring from a short corner.  An accurate drag was stopped by Tor Findlay at the top of the circle for Aoife Lowe-Davies to drag low and right where Lauren Mickleburgh was well positioned to deflect past the keeper.

After a positive team-talk Magpies started the second half on top. The midfield of Charlotte Harrison, Lauren Barber, Annie Nunn and Debbie Francis worked hard to lead and create opportunities for the defence to get higher up the pitch.  Despite a bright start, Magpies were guilty on a number of occasions of losing possession in key areas, putting themselves under pressure.  Oxford took their opportunity, winning a short corner which they converted after some confusion in the Magpies’ defence.

Magpies continued to work hard and were rewarded with another short corner opportunity.  Despite the routine not going quite to plan, the ball found Lucy Whiting on the penalty spot, who cooly turned the defender and found the corner of the goal.

Magpies took a lot of positives from the game and now look forward to kicking off their league campaign.

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.) Lauren Barber, Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Louisa Greenacre, Sketch Titley, Annie Nunn, Lauren Mickleburgh, Charlie Harrison, Debbie Francis, Aoife Lowe-Davies, Lucy Whiting, Tor Findlay, Alice Woollatt


Mens 1st Team Match Report 16th September 2017

PLUM Tournament

Magpies 5-1 Letchworth
Magpies travelled south to Redbridge to play two matches in their final preseason fixtures. With Horsham pulling out, Magpies first fixture was against East Prem A rivals Letchworth. Despite the long journey, Magpies started much the brighter. New recruit Dave Gilbert turned his marker before passing to a reinvigorated Richard Larkin, whose lung bursting run was well rewarded with an opportunity for a close range goal, which he took in typically cool style. This spurred Letchworth into life, who broke through the Magpies press and took advantage of some unusually slack marking to equalise with a powerful finish. Harleston were determined to take the lead into the break, and they did so when Elliott Marsh was fasted to react, scoring with a rebound from a short corner.
With the press sorted out for the second half, Magpies went up another gear. Sam Paterson looking in threatening form in a midfield role, dancing round defenders at will to score twice. Letchworth’s chances were limited with good defending by the experience of Andrew Bedwell and Tom Sumner and the ever-growing assuredness of youthful Giles Flatt and Jonty Gosling. John Livings in goal dealt well with the few chances that Letchworth created, but in truth Magpies were quite comfortable. Matt Richardson deserved his goal after a hard working performance, capping off a well deserved 5-1 win against a team that only finished one place below them in the league last season.
Magpies 1-2 Old Cranleighans
Harleston had a long session of stretching in between matches to attempt to regenerate the legs as much as possible for their second opponents, the unknown Old Cranleighans. After a lesson in pressing by the half court master Elliott Marsh, Magpies again started well, forcing the opposition keeper into a number of good saves. Eventually Dave Gilbert broke the deadlock, deceiving the keeper, with a drag flick into the bottom corner of the goal. Old Cranleighans looked dangerous when counter attacking, converting from an overload situation before half time, learning from their mistakes when they should have scored a similarly easy goal 5 minutes beforehand.
Into the second half, Magpies were going for the win and with only 2 substitutes, after Stuart Leate had missed the call for the team, legs were starting to tire. Simon Hipwell was at the heart of the attack but even he couldn’t create a decent attempt at goal. Old Cranleighans dominated the final portion of the game, forcing a number of short corners. George Baldwin, making his debut in goal, dealt admirably with the barrage of shots which he faced, but eventually the weight of pressure was too much and the London club forced what turned out to be a winning goal.
Overall, Magpies have acquitted themselves well for their first league game next weekend after a positive preseason under new player-coach Tim Whiteman. Travelling to Wapping is likely to be one of the tougher tests of the season as they will be looking to bounce back from their disappointment of getting relegated from National Conference East last season. However it is a challenge that a keen Magpies team will be very up for.

Mens 3rd Team Match Report 16th September 2017

Mens 3rd Team vs Norwich Dragons (Home (F) W 3-2)

A friendly against one of the few teams to beat Magpies last year was just what was required as a sharpener for the forthcoming league season.

Norwich Dragons showed their quality in taking a 2-0 lead into half time. However the signs for Magpies were good, lots of attacking purpose and endeavour only denied by good goalkeeping and the defenders on the posts, with Phil Cobbald going closest.

The second half saw magpies take hold of the game creating the majority of chances. With enough chances to run through seven short corner routines it was perhaps fair when a return to the straight strike brought a goal for Matt Brand.

Good forward play continued with the exemplary James Stacey at the heart of it all. However it was his fellow forward Andy Johnson who would equalise when he smashed home from a tight angle. The highlight of the day was still to come when a turnover on the left back baseline would see magpies go the length if the field in a move that was finished by Morgan Manly concluding the 3-2 comeback win.

Ladies 5th Team Match Report 16th September 2017

Ladies 5th Team vs UEA 3rd Team (Home (L) W 4-0)

With a new look team from last season this was an excellent start to the league campaign.  From the outset the girls moved the ball well and kept the UEA defence under pressure.  Vanessa Vigrass opened the scoring early on to settle any nerves and it could have been 3 at half time but the finishing needed improving.  The second half continued in the same vein.  A fine run and reverse sweep finish saw Issy  get on the scoresheet, not bad for a right defender!  Honey’s perseverance paid off with a goal and Vanessa put the icing on the cake with her second.

Mens 6th Team Match Report 16th September 2017

Mens 6th Team vs Norwich Dragons (Away (F) W 3-2)

Today was the mens 6th team first true match of the season, and with the weather being particularly wet prior to push back we were forced into an early team bonding moment as 13 of us tried to shelter from the torrential downpour into 1 dugout! This clearly had the desired effect, as within 10 minutes of the new season, we took the lead against a mainly youthful Dragons team, via the push/shot of Mark Ash. For a change this season, the mens 6s side is looking more youthful also. With the spine of the team the same as last season, we have gained some new blood. Alan has joined us from Dragons, and via Eric, we have recruited Simon and son Harry from a local Cricket club. We also welcome Jack, normally known for his National League Umpiring abilities, he has now decided to pick up a stick on a Saturday. Half time arrived with Magpies still  1 goal to the good. The second half had the tables turned as Dragons took a 2-1 lead, firstly via a neatly deflected goal, and then via a smart short corner routine. Magpies then showed good character to equalise via the stick of Jack, following a scramble in the area and after good work from Joe Walker in the D, including forcing the Dragons keeper into a smart save, Simon hit the backboard, to be what was the winning goal. Magpies showed a solid defensive performance, and played some of the best hockey they have in at least 1 season! Good signs for the rest of the campaign. Everyone played well, however stand out performances from, Jack, Alan, Joe, Mark Ash and Mark Collins.

Ladies 4th Team Match Report 16th September 2017

Ladies 4th Team vs UEA 2nd Team (Away (L) L 1-2)

The Ladies 4ths travelled to UEA for the opening league game of the season with lots of new faces in the squad. We welcomed Heather Brand and Louise Davy from the 6ths who both had strong games in defence, and Sarah Loudon and Cassie Aymes who have seen the light and joined Magpies this season.

With Cassie and Helena Knock holding the fort in central midfield the wide players had space to send balls up the pitch to Rachel Clifford and Julie Davy upfront who put pressure on the UEA defence from the start.

We shipped an easy goal due to slack marking at the back but soon equalised via a sequence of sharp passes from Sophie Maynell Anderson who transferred the ball accurately to Cassie who sent it through for a simple conversion by Rachel.

Thankfully Treacle arrived 15 minutes into the game, providing a sub so that some of us could rest our weary legs. She soon make an impact with her trademark timing and solid tackles.

On the counter attack the students managed to squeeze another goal past Alice Gooch in goal, who otherwise had a great game. A combination of over enthusiasm and lack of communication resulted in a clash of heads between Helena and Rosie Blackmore which halted the game for a few minutes, giving everyone a chance to take on some water and catch their breath.

Overall we shouldn’t be too disappointed with the result and worked well together despite an unfamiliar team. Next week we face Loddon away for an early push back.

The Dame of the Day award was shared by Cassie, Sophie and Helena.

Ladies 2nd Team Match Report 16th September 2017

Ladies 2nd Team vs Norwich Dragons 1st Team (Home (F) W 1-0)

This week the ladies twos had the last of their pre-season games. We faced Norwich dragons 1’s team, we all knew it was going to be a tough game with the opposition being in the league above.

We started well pressing forward and getting opportunities to attack their circle. Dragons looked like strong team and were able to pass the ball around the back and work the ball up the pitch. This meant lots of running for the magpies ladies. However although there was a string of good play by both teams no goals were to come in the first half. And we went into half time 0-0. After a quick conversation about positioning in the press magpies were ready to get going wth the second half.

The second half saw magpies starting strong our press looked much better. And dragons were finding it harder to get out of their defending half. Magpies were patient and continued to attack with a few promising opportunities, until Anouska had the chance to strike the ball in the D. 1-0 to magpies with very little time left on the clock. As the final whistle went magpies had an attacking short corner but unfortunately weren’t able to make it 2-0.

Over all a great result for the ladies twos, and a promising start for next weeks first league game. Next week sees the ladies playing Newmarket away at 12pm.

Mens 5th Team Match Report 16th September 2017

Mens 5th Team vs Norwich Dragons (Away (F) L 1-2)

The weather stole the show and significantly influenced the result for the mens 5ths this weekend.

Magpies started brightly and were deservedly a goal up through a Ben Emms, a well struck reverse stick shot from the top of the D following a series of good interconnecting passes by Tom Caston and Ed Brice but then the heavens opened – and did it rained!

With the pitch flooding the umpires brought the game to a halt, 25 minutes later cold and wet Magpies returned to the pitch but had lost some of that earlier vigour and attacking purpose.  Dragons seizing upon this and working an equaliser and if it wasn’t for a series of fine saves by James Harvey in goal we could have fallen behind.

The second half, was thankfully a drier affair for all and Magpies started to get back into an attacking mind set delivering a number of purposeful attacks many of which should have seen Magpies get back into the lead but in the end it was Dragons who found just a little more composure in front of goal and snuck into the lead with a matter of just minutes to go.

Magpies inexperience then began to show, with the team chasing the game just a little too hard in search of an equaliser, doing just a little too much with the ball or snatching at goal scoring opportunities.  Overall another positive step forward in players and team development setting the team up nicely for their first league game at Magpies next weekend.

Harleston Magpies Ladies 1st Team Match Report – 9th September 2017

Southgate 4 Harleston Magpies 3

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents travelled to Southgate for another pre-season friendly. The team welcomed Aoife Lowe-Davies and Laura Tibbenham, both making their first team debuts.

Magpies came flying out of the blocks right from the whistle, pressing high and aggressively which resulted in a short corner being won within the opening minutes of the game. Captain Lauren Barber stepped up to the plate with her initial sweep finding the backboard to open the scoring. Southgate soon bounced back and started to stretch the Magpies’ press which led to a corner being conceded.  Southgate opened their account when a bobbly ball found its way over the line.   Following this, Magpies had a good spell of attacking hockey down the right side of the pitch.  A flick was won after the Southgate goalkeeper took out Aoife Lowe-Davies on the baseline. Again, Barber stepped up and calmly converted to put Magpies 2-1 up at the break.

After a critical half-time talk, Magpies went out in the torrential weather hoping to add to their score.  They did exactly this, when Charlie Harrison made a good baseline carry, pulling the ball back for Tor Findlay to finish in her usual cool fashion.  Soon after, a defensive error led to a 1v1 with Charlotte Peet in the Magpies’ circle. After an impressive initial save, another Southgate forward was on hand to get the rebound and pull a goal back.

With a small squad, it was evident that Magpies’ legs were starting to tire towards the end of the game.  Some questionable decisions within the defensive 25 led to a corner being converted by Southgate, levelling the scores. Within the closing minutes of the game the Magpies’ defensive unit of Jess Howland, Louisa Greenacre, Katherine Ridley and Sketch Titley were being put under a lot of pressure and were very unlucky to concede another corner on the final whistle.  Southgate took advantage of the opportunity and converted to give them the win.

Despite the scoreline, a great team performance taking into account the squad size and conditions on the day.  Next week the ladies travel to Old Loughtonians where they face Oxford Hawks in their final pre-season encounter.

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lauren Barber (Capt), Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Louisa Greenacre, Sketch Titley, Annie Nunn, Emma Lee-Smith, Charlie Harrison, Aoife Lowe-Davies, Tor Findlay, Laura Tibbenham and Alice Woollatt.

Magpies Mens 1st Team Preseason Cannock Tournament

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport travelled to Cannock to step up their preseason ready for their league campaign starting later in September.
In the first game of the weekend Harleston took on a strong looking Clifton Robinsons team. Harleston found themselves under pressure early on and despite some solid defending they found themselves a goal down after 15 minutes following a good short corner. This set back spurred Harleston on further and they soon started to create more and more chances of their own. With 20 minutes remaining Harleston found the break through in the second half when Archie Winter hit a sweet strike into the top corner past the helpless keeper. From that point Harleston continued to press and dominate the game, however, they were undone on the final whistle when Clifton Robinsons converted a winning short corner.
Despite the defeat Harleston had performed well and worked on the targets from coach Tim Whiteman.
In the second game of the day Harleston faced a strong Cannock side. Despite starting the game the stronger Harleston struggled to convert the chances that they created and were punished at the other end by a ruthless Cannock attack. Harleston again managed to draw themselves level later in the game when Jake Sewell finished from close range. Again in a de ja vu scenario Harleston were undone again by a stoppage time corner which was rifled high into the net.
On the Sunday Harleston faced Bristol University. Again Harleston started on the front foot and soon took the lead through Robbie Kinsella.  As Harleston started to tire it allowed Bristol back into the game and they soon scored a deserved equaliser. At half time Tim Whiteman asked for higher intensity and that is exactly what the squad delivered. Bristol couldn’t cope with the higher intensity and Harleston took the lead through Jack Hobbs at a well worked short corner. Harleston were able to hang onto the win with solid pressing and good 1 v 1 defending.
This result booked Harleston a game against Deeside Ramblers in their final game of the weekend.
Harleston started the game well but soon started to show signs of fatigue as players started to pick up slight niggles. Therefore it was no surprise when ex Magpie Chris Barber opened the scoring for Deeside with a smart roll shot in the circle. Deeside soon double and then tripled their lead one goal coming again from Chris Barber and the second from a well struck short corner. Harleston did manage to respond before the break when Matt Bensley pulled a goal back. Harleston again started the second half well but were undone by a superb ball carry and reverse stick finish. Archie Winter pulled another goal back with a deft lift over an advancing goalkeeper from a tight angle. Deeside again extended their lead but on the final whistle it was Harleston’s turn to respond when Thomas Ridley powered home a drag flick. The final score finishing 5-3 to Deeside Ramblers.
The squads performance showed many positives and built on the good start last weekend. Playing against three National League teams and pushing them all hard will stand Harleston in good stead for the season.
Squad John Livings, Chris Leek, Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Tom Sumner, Jonty Gosling, Adam Lascelles, Will Martin, Thomas Ridley, Stuart Leate, Robbie Kinsella, Archie Winter, Jack Hobbs, Jake Sewell, Matt Bensley, Alex Kilbourn.

Mens Pre Season Fixtures

Please see below pre season friendlies for the Mens teams:

Saturday 9th September;
Mens 2s v NCHC 2s, AWAY, 12.15pm
Mens 3s v NCHC 3s, AWAY, 11.30am
Mens 4s v NCHC 4s, AWAY, 4.45pm
Mens 5s v NCHC, HOME, 1.30pm (Sand)
Mens 6s v NCHC, HOME, 3.30pm (Water)
Development v NCHC Dev, HOME, 10.15am (Water)

Saturday 16th September;
Mens 2s v Dragons 1s, HOME, 3.00pm (Sand)
Mens 3s v Dragons 2s, HOME,1.30pm (Sand)
Mens 4s v Dragons 3, HOME, 3.30pm (Water)
Mens 5s v Dragons, AWAY, TBC
Mens 6s v Dragons, AWAY, TBC

Saturday 23rd September:
Mens 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, & 5s all start League season
Mens 6s – still trying to arrange pre another friendly, hopefully with Dereham

Saturday 30th September;
Mens 6s v Cambridge Nomads, AWAY, TBC

Ladies Pre Season Fixtures

Please see below the ladies pre season friendlies

9th September:
Ladies 2s v Norwich City 1s Away    2.30pm
Ladies 3s v Norwich City 2s Home   3pm – Sand
Ladies 4s v Norwich City 3s Away    10.45am
Ladies 5s v Norwich City 5s Home    12pm – Water
Ladies 6s v Norwich City 6s Away     10am
Ladies 7s  CANCELLED
Girls Development  Inter-club practise game 9:45

16th September:
Ladies 2s v Norwich Dragons 1s Home  2pm – Water
Ladies 3s v Norwich Dragons 2s Home  12pm – Sand
Ladies 7s  CANCELLED

All other teams start league fixtures on this date.

AGM – Thursday 22 June 2017- summary of minutes

AGM – Thursday 22 June 2017- summary of minutes

  1. 40 members attended.
  2. Accounts – bar takings improved. Social functions revenue down so members encouraged to support in the future.
  3. Approval given in principle for work to begin towards the club becoming incorporated.
  4. Presentation of Club’s property included – i) negotiations in progress to purchase land behind the clubhouse, ii) improvement of club’s changing facilities; options presented to include major rebuild, portable facilities, extension to the clubhouse and dome with playing and changing facilities.
  5. Match fees to remain unchanged.
  6. Subscriptions – Associate £35, Social £25, Adult £120, Concessions (13+), Juniors (under 13) £65, Occasional members (new category) £35.
  7. President – Mike Barber, Deputy President – Daphne Beckett.
  8. New Honorary Life Member – Nick McAllen.
  9. New Vice-Presidents – Les Bicker, Kevin Ridley, Roger Sweet.
  10. Chairman – Richard Stacey, Vice-Chairman – Nick Durrant.
  11. Finance Manager – Brian Pring, Treasurer – Jose Tibbenham, Commercial Manager – Joe Cooksey, Chairman Fund Raising & Social Committee – Philippa Taylor, Playing Manager – Tristan Baynes, Facilities Manager – Jeremy Podd, Coaching Manager – Peter Dolton, Youth Strategic Manager – Bob Skinner, Youth Chairman – David Johnson, John Adams – advisory member of Executive committee, Membership and Recruitment Manager – David Johnson.
  12. Presentations were made to retiring Chairman Murray Graham and President Philippa Taylor.

Topcroft Cricket Club: Girl’s soft ball sessions, Ladies’ cricket

Ladies or girls whether you have played cricket before or not do you fancy giving cricket a go? Whether that’s to play for a local team, using it for fitness or just having fun! please get in touch.

All abilities welcome. All equipment supplied.

Girl’s soft ball session – Fridays 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Ladies’ cricket – Fridays 6.30pm – 8pm

First session free

For more information about Topcroft Cricket Club, please visit the club website at

If you would like to come along please register your interest contact

Karen at t: 07789 121953 or

Sarah at t:07920 558980

Address: Topcroft Sports Field, The Street, Topcroft. NR35 2BL

Session coached by

Topcroft Cricket Club are hosting a Ladies Softball Cricket Festival Tuesday 25th July at 6pm

Soft Ball Cricket is a new, fun, fast, social game for all abilities featuring a, you guessed it, soft ball. Women’s Soft Ball Cricket Festivals are set to take over this summer during the ICC Women’s World Cup. Expect something different!

Topcroft Cricket Club are hosting a Ladies Softball Cricket Festival Tuesday 25th July at 6pm

There will be fun, music, processco/Schloer, free t-shirts, Selfie boards and will generally will be a great giggle.

The event will be run by Suffolk Cricket Board with help from Topcroft Cricket Club. The event is officially for those aged 14 and above (Processo for those aged over 18 only) however we are happy for aged 12 and over to join in the fun!

If you and your friends enjoy having a laugh and want to whack a ball please bring them along, this is a free event, the more the merrier!

The ECB have asked for as many of the ladies as possible sign up before the event online , 😊 Please click on the following link to register. 

It only takes 30 seconds, very quick. If you search for the nearest Festival to them and they should see one labelled as Topcroft CC.

If the ladies complete this sign up, they can guarantee their free t-shirt and they will also receive discounts for tickets to upcoming events (the WWC) and the new New Balance England Kit, as well as ensuring there is enough Prosecco!.

Address: Topcroft Sports Field, The Street, Topcroft. NR35 2BL

Congratulations to Danny Kerry MBE and Philip Kimberley OBE

Message from England Hockey

We are delighted to confirm that England and Great Britain Head Coach Danny Kerry has been named an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list, while former Chairman Philip Kimberley has been awarded an OBE, both for services to hockey.

Danny is the most successful coach in the history of modern British hockey, having guided the Great Britain women’s team to an historic gold medal in Rio, and also a bronze at the London 2012 games. In addition, under his stewardship the England team won gold at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in 2015, and silver at both the Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy, among many other medals.

Philip acted as Chairman of England Hockey from 2002 to 2015, leading a complete rebuild of the organisation, from a position of bankruptcy to being recognised as one of the best run governing bodies in British sport. Under his stewardship, the organisation set on the road to its highest ever participation figures, was awarded the right to host major events including the 2018 Women’s World Cup, and also won medals in all of the sport’s major international tournaments, including a first Olympic medal in 20 years.

Chief Executive Sally Munday said, “I am absolutely delighted that both Philip and Danny have been recognised in this manner. Everyone at Great Britain and England Hockey is already fully aware of their contribution to the sport, and it is only right that their achievements are recognised publically.

“Philip deserves huge credit for the role he played in completely revitalising the organisation and picking it up from what can best be described as rock bottom. The Governing Body was on its knees and he set the pathway for a complete recovery, both operationally, financially and from an international performance perspective. He does not seek personal accolades and is humble in the receipt of compliments, but he is hugely deserving of his OBE.

“Danny is also hugely deserving of an MBE for his incredible contribution to the sport. Both he and his athletes captured a nation with their success on the pitch in Rio, but also with the culture he created, of inspiring the future and leaving a true legacy for the sport.

“Without these two gentlemen, hockey in this country would be completely different, and for that reason I am delighted with this news.”

Danny said, “I feel proud and humbled by this award. Importantly it’s recognition for all the brilliant people who work behind the scenes with our national teams and who do such incredible work. Thank you to the many who have supported the athletes in such a tireless, brilliant and selfless way.”

Philip commented, “I am very honoured to receive this award, and the news came as a wonderful surprise. So many people have contributed to the continued growth of England Hockey, and I was fortunate to help steer the ship at a time when it needed guidance. There are some wonderful people in the organisation, and indeed in the sport itself, which made my job so much easier, and I am forever grateful to them. It gives me great pride to see the sport thriving and long may it continue.”

In addition, we would like to congratulate Gibraltar umpire Nathan Stagno, who represented Great Britain in the Rio Olympics and has also been awarded an MBE for services to hockey.

England international returns to Harleston Magpies

magpies hockey

Press Release 11 June 2017

England international returns to Harleston Magpies

Harleston Magpies Hockey Club are celebrating the return of England Hockey international Tim Whiteman to the coaching setup for the 2017/18 season as player and coach of the men’s first team.

Tim is returning to the club where he started his hockey career aged just six, and where he made his debut for the men’s first team at sixteen.

Since leaving Magpies for Nottingham Trent University, after two years in the first team and an indoor national title, Tim went on to play premier league hockey for Beeston Hockey Club. His ten successful years there included securing three national titles and the England Hockey League Cup. As well as a hugely successful club career, Tim has fifty four caps for England and Great Britain, playing in five major international tournaments. Tim will be bringing his wealth of experience of playing at the very highest level of the sport back to Magpies help push forward the men’s side of the club.

Speaking but the season ahead, Tim Whiteman said: ‘It’s a huge honour to be asked to lead the men’s first team for Harleston Magpies. I can’t wait to return to such a fantastic club with and work with talented, dedicated players and coaches. My vision is to create a fun environment with attacking, high tempo hockey whilst at the same time developing individuals and the team as a whole.’

Tim will be supported in the coaching set-up by first team player and captain Leigh Sitch. Leigh Sitch will also be bringing his extensive experience to the team, plus an intrinsic knowledge of the club. A first team player for the last fourteen years, including three spells in the national league, Leigh Sitch also has five years of experience as head coach for England Hockey’s regional tier.

Leigh Sitch welcomed Mr Whiteman back to the club saying: ‘It’s great to welcome Tim back, as a coach and player who can offer expertise on and off the pitch. Tim will be an excellent role model to all members of the club, and importantly inspire our younger members in our growing youth section. I am sure that with Tim’s guidance the men’s first team will play attacking hockey that is exciting to both play and watch.’

If you are keen to get involved with Harleston Magpies and the men first team please don’t hesitate to contact Tim Whiteman direct on

Tim Whiteman

Pictured: Photo credit – Harleston Magpies

For more information please contact Bex Pottruff,
Press and Publicity Officer for Harleston Magpies Hockey Club on

 or 07500 945247

Harleston Magpies Hockey Taster Course a Huge Success

magpies hockey

Press Release 11 June 2017

Harleston Magpies Hockey Taster Course a Huge Success

Friday 9 June saw Harleston Magpies Hockey Club open up its pitches for the first of this year’s hockey taster evenings for boys and girls in school years one ‎to seven.

An amazing response to flyers, posters and social media saw over 80 youngsters take part in the first session. Almost all were completely new to the sport and to the popular local club.

After sticks were provided and warm up exercises completed, the lead coaches, ably assisted by club members both old and young, introduced youngsters to the basic skills of the game before completing the evening with some mini hockey matches.

‘We were thrilled with how well this evening went and to see so many new youngsters at Magpies’, commented James Smith, Magpies Boys Youth Development Officer. ‘Hockey remains one of the highest participant sports in the country and is growing across the age spectrums year on year. The GB Ladies Olympic gold in 2016 is still inspiring and swelling support for our sport. The atmosphere created by our new recruits and their enthusiasm for giving hockey a go made for a really enjoyable evening.’

Magpies location in the heart of the Waveney Valley ‎just outside Harleston provides the club with a great pool of local villages and towns to provide hockey for. This year’s course has attracted youngsters from over 20 local primary schools like Harleston, Dickleburgh, Mendham, Hoxne, Gislingham, Laxfield, Debenham, Pulham, Worlingworth to name just a few.

‘We don’t know yet if we’ve found a star of the future, but there were certainly some very promising signs’, said Richard Larkin, one of the lead youth coaches at the club. ‘Last night we encouraged 80 boys and girls to think about hockey as a sport for their future. We hope they will come and join the club this autumn and carry on with hockey as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.’

‎The Hockey Taster Course continues every Friday up to and including 7 July 2017. For more details see the Clubs website

Pictured: Seth Read, a Magpies young coach, with some of the youngsters at the hockey taster course. Photo credit – Bex Pottruff, Harleston Magpies

For more information please contact Bex Pottruff,
Press and Publicity Officer for Harleston Magpies Hockey Club on

 or 07500 945247


MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 June 2017

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 June 2017
(back as a one-off by popular demand – honestly!)



After triumphs in 2004 and 2015 the Magpies’ squad – kindly sponsored by Parson Estate Agents – and their supporters assembled at Lee Valley Hockey Centre last Saturday in search of a third win in England Hockey’s Mixed Trophy which this season attracted an entry of 148 teams making it EH’s most popular competition.

After missing the signs to the Westfield Shopping Centre I toured the area trying to find somewhere to park eventually settling for a well-known supermarket where a fellow customer kindly gave me a lift to the stadium on a hot day in time for the eagerly awaited semi-final clash with Spencer HC.

Maria Andrews put Magpies ahead early in the game with a typically fierce penalty corner conversion but Spencer were soon level thanks to a superb reverse stick shot by ex-Magpie Duncan Graves. Unfortunately for him and his team Duncan was injured in making the shot and his weekend’s hockey was over. His shot almost did the same for Magpies’ goalkeeper Chris Leek who took a frightful blow and the game was held up for several minutes.

Magpies then had a bad spell but to their relief and that of their supporters they were back in the lead against the run of play seconds before half time when Maria fired one of her trademark reverse stick shots high into the net.

Encouraged by this change of fortune Magpies dominated the second half (despite two yellows) inspired by Tim Whiteman in midfield. Midway through the half Lucy Whiting won the ball and crossed for Simon Hipwell to run into the circle to score in spectacular style. Another goal for Simon who has found his scoring touch in the latter part of the season to go with his mounting card collection!

Maria then scored again to take her Mixed total for the season to nine (to add to her seventeen for the 1sts) and in a spirit of goodwill I will record this as completing her hat-trick! Captain Leigh Sitch was also in commanding form for Magpies in this 4-1 win with another outstanding defensive performance in addition to his three attacking forays causing one spectator to say he didn’t realise how quick Leigh is about the pitch!

We then saw Khalsa (Warks) recover from two down to beat Stourport 3-2 in the other semi with two late goals. Khalsa looked a much stronger team than when Magpies beat them 5-0 in the quarters at Weybread last season so our squad was warned what to expect in the final the next day.

The appalling terrorist outrage in London on Saturday evening was marked by a minute’s silence in the stadium on Sunday.

Stourport beat Spencer 3-0 in the 3rd/4th place play-off and with the number of Magpies’ supporters swelling by the minute it was time for the final played in coolish and mainly overcast conditions.

Khalsa were soon on the attack and they scored after three minutes following an attack down their right. Magpies are rarely behind in their Mixed games. How would they react to this setback in front of their enthusiastic support? The answer was encouraging and they took the game to their opponents without playing at their best. Five minutes before half time after good work by Leigh, Tim and Simon the ball was slipped by Maria to Lizzie Clymer who took the chance in fine style to bring the scores level.

The second half was a tense and exciting affair with Thomas Ridley in midfield and Andrew Bedwell in defence playing particularly well for Magpies. Both sides had chances at penalty corners in the last few minutes and Maria was denied by an excellent stick save by the Khalsa keeper.

So players and spectators alike were left with the dreaded shuffles introduced just for the final. It was 2-2 after each team had taken their five. Scorers for Magpies were Tim Whiteman and Robbie Kinsella with Chris in goal making some excellent saves with one surprisingly resulting in a penalty stroke for Khalsa which they converted.

With nerves jangling (at least in the crowd!) it was now time for the decider. Tim stepped up to coolly convert once again leaving the next Khalsa player needing to score to extend the shootout. With tension mounting even higher Chris forced him to shoot wide and with it a hard earned victory for Magpies in front of their jubilant fans including sponsors Kevin and Jan Parson.

The stadium announcer rightly called it a compelling final in which both teams played their part with so little between them.

It is ‘very well done’ to all members of the Magpies’ squad with special thanks to captain Leigh for all his hard work in organising the team throughout the season including the hotel and other arrangements for the finals weekend.

Congratulations to Leigh, Lizzie, Thomas, Maria and Katherine Ridley who after Saturday’s game were invited to the England Mixed trials.

The weekend marked almost certainly (at least for now) the last game for the club by Maria who this season in particular has shown what an outstanding goal scoring talent she has. She leaves with our thanks and very best wishes for her hockey and further studies. She will always be welcome back at Weybread.

Squad: Leigh Sitch (captain), Chris Leek (GK), Andrew Bedwell, Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Thomas Ridley, Simon Hipwell, Lauren Mickleburgh, Lucy Belsey, Richard Larkin, Tim Whiteman, Maria Andrews, Lucy Whiting, Lizzie Clymer, Robbie Kinsella, Lauren Barber, Laura Tibbenham, Katrina Sitch (coach) and Kevin Ridley (manager).

Lee Valley Hockey Centre – Sunday 25 June 2017
Club secretary Daphne Beckett has 10 complimentary tickets worth £45 each.
Please contact Daphne at if you are interested in attending. If demand exceeds supply a ballot will be held on Sunday 11 June.

at Gawdy Hall, Redenhall, IP20 9NY by kind permission of David and Wendy Green

You are cordially invited to this ticket only event which is always one of the most enjoyable in the club’s social calendar.

For tickets £12.50 (Adults), £5 (Children 7 to 12), Free (U7s) please contact Daphne Beckett at

or Jackie Ridley at

With kind regards and very best wishes

Mike Denham

PS. AGM – Thursday 22 June in the clubhouse at 8.00pm. The agenda will be issued very soon.