Harleston Magpies May Day Hockey Festival 2013 – Review
Apart from a sharp shower on Saturday the weekend was perfect for the final significant hockey fixture at Harleston Magpies this season, the May Day Hockey Festival. For over 25 years Magpies have hosted a weekend of tournament hockey over the May Bank Weekend and this year the event attracted 40 teams from across East Anglia.
On Saturday 4th May it was the Mixed event, 20 teams gathered with players from Spalding, Bishop Stortford and Aberdeen forming teams to compete for the title of best East Anglian Mixed Hockey team, out of those who entered. Following a series of round robin matches on both astro turf and grass pitches Marvel Loss (a team consisting of players mainly from Lincolnshire clubs) met Hula Girls (a Harleston Magpies social team) in the Cup Final. At the end of full time penalty flicks were needed to separate the teams with Marvel Loss taking the title just before sudden death penalties loomed. Alex Slater of Hula Girls was named player of the final and the team best dressed!
In the Mixed plate competition Norwich Dragons, a last minute additional to the days line up over came a spirited Norwich City team to take the trophy. Hannah Jarvis being named player of the match.
On Monday 6th May the men’s and ladies club XI’s took centre stage. 10 men’s teams and 10 ladies teams competed in both Cup and Plate competitions with surprising enthusiasm and fitness on what turn out to be a very hot day.
In the Ladies Section it was good to see two local sides coming to the fore. Harleston Magpies Ladies reached the Cup Final and Diss Ladies the Plate Final. Diss sadly fell just a goal short of winning the plate competition with Newmarket pipping them to the post, April Atkinson of Newmarket was named player of the final. However Magpies were able to go one better and won the Cup beating Grasshoppers 1-0 in final. The Grasshoppers skipper, and former Magpie, Micayla Tootill was named player of the final.
In the men’s event defending champions, Newmarket rose to the occasion and beat a tiring Norfolk Pies in the final 2 – 0 to retain the title. Will they make it three in a row next year? Stuart Wardle of Norfolk Pies was named player of the final. In the Plate Norwich Dragons won their second title of the weekend. Despite a steady start with only one victory during their round robin matches they fought hard in the knockout stages progressing to the final were they overcame IES 1 – 0. Goal scorer and team captain Simon Nesbet also received player of the final.
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