East of England Regional Hockey Finals
Magpies had a frustrating day at the regional finals on Saturday. They opened their account losing 3-1 to eventual winners Bury. Having soaked up early pressure, Magpies scored against the run of play when Matt Bensly latched onto a through ball and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper. Magpies then started to settle down and should have extended their lead from a well worked short-corner. However, a defensive lapse allowed Bury to equalise just before half-time. The second half was also tight but, again, Magpies gifted Bury two goals and, despite late pressure could not find the back of the net again.
The second game was against Blue Hornets and Magpies knew a win was needed to keep them in with a chance for qualifying for the semi-finals. Magpies started well and went ahead after a great run and shot from Jolyon Summers. Magpies then dominated play but paid the price for failing to score from the many chances they created by conceding a soft goal just before half-time. Magpies started the second half in determined mood and were rewarded when Will Hall scored from a well struck short-corner. However, despite outplaying their opposition with seconds of the game remaining another defensive lapse saw Hornets equalise.
Magpies entered the final game knowing they needed to win convincingly against Louth to keep alive their semi-final place. Magpies finally started to play the hockey they are capable of and ran out very comfortable 4-1 winners. The quickly went 2-0 up with gaols from Matt Bensly & Tristan Hipper. Louth did pull one goal back jut before half-time but Matt & Tristan scored another goal each in the second half to complete the win.
Unfortunately, Magpies missed out on the semi-final place to Hornets by one-point. Magpies then played two more games to finish the competition in style. A scrappy 1-0 win against Luton, courtesy of another Will Hall goal and a comprehensive 5-0 win against Colchester. Goalscorers were Sol Barker, Jolyon, Tristan & Matt.
Despite the disappointment of not making the semi-final this was a good experience and most of the squad will be eligible at this age group next year.
Squad – Jordan Wiseman (GK), George Donsworth, Will Hall, Alex Lawrence, Jolyon Summers, Sol Barker, Tristan Hipper, Matt Bensly. Absent – Jack Hobbs & Jonty Hershel-Shorland.
Sunday U10 Boys Regional Final
Magpies started the 6-team round robin tournament slowly. Despite lots of possession, Magpies often tried to hit the ball too hard, all around the pitch, in the first half of their opening game against Old Loughtonians. Nerves quickly settled when Archie Winter scored early in the second half after a very good run and pin-point shot. However, Magpies couldn’t add further goals even though they played virtually the second period camped in the opposition half.
Second game up was against a skilful looking Ipswich team. The early exchanges looked like it was going to be a tight game but in a 3-minute spell Magpies took complete control of the game. Archie opened the scoring, Kieran Peters then thundered home a short corner before another great run from Archie left Will Simpson with a simple tap-in to make it 3-0. Magpies took their foot of the gas at the start of the second half and allowed Ipswich to score. However, the defensive unit of Oliver Scovell (goalkeeper), Will Donsworth and Sam McCluskey repelled all other attacks and with great running from Alex Kilbourn in midfield Magpies completed a 3-1 win.
In the next match Magpies faced Spalding who had narrowly lost their opening two games. It wasn’t long before Magpies took the lead from a cheeky reverse stick flick from Kieran and they were 2-0 by half-time when Archie scored again. Magpies dominated the second half and wrapped up a 4-0 win with further goals from Will Simpson and a fantastic short-corner by Will Donsworth.
Next up were Cambridge City, who had also won their first three games. A stunning opening spell saw Magpies score three times with goals for Archie, Kieran and Will Simpson. The game then became even for the rest of the first half with Oliver called on to make a couple of good clearances and good contributions from Cameron Woodcock and David Cadman. The second half saw Magpies play probably their best hockey of the tournament scoring 5 times. Great passing between Archie & Kieran saw both players complete hat-tricks and Will Simpson grab his second of the match. Final score 8-0 to Magpies.
The final game was against Broxbourne and Magpies started eagerly to try and maintain their 100% record. However, they were guilty of taking too many touches and good tackling from Broxbourne kept them at bay. Eventually, Magpies started to play more fluently and scored two goals, both from Archie to lead 2-0 at half-time. Now full of confidence it wasn’t long into the second half before it was 3-0 as Archie completed his hat-trick and then 4 more goals followed from Archie, Will Simpson, Cameron & Kieran. Final result 7-0 to Magpies, making Magpies East Region champions.
This was a fantastic team performance, especially given half the team have only been playing tournament hockey since March! A big mention should be made of our goalkeeper Oliver who stepped in at the last minute and Cameron Woodcock playing in his first tournament for Magpies.
Squad – Oliver Scovell (GK), Kieran Peters, Archie Winters, Will Simpson, Will Donsworth, Sam McCluskey, Alex Kilbourn, Cameron Woodcock, David Cadman. Absent – Josh Butler (GK).