Magpies’ Ladies faced Sevenoaks in a dramatic conclusion to their National League season.It was a case of first against second but Magpies knowing that Sevenoaks needed a huge win to overturn their superior goal difference. The weather was terrible. The pitch just about playable and most other games around the country called off.
Magpies started very nervously and struggled to get the ball (on a slow surface – due to the snow) out of their own half. Joint ‘Man of the match’ Megan Adams (in goal) kept out a series of Sevenoaks penalty corners. A few positional changes brought about a dramatic change in the game. Katherine Ridley and Emma Lee-Smith were now distributing the ball effectively to the Magpies’ forwards. The first half finished scoreless.
Magpies started the second half in more determined mood and soon found a crucial goal by in-form striker Angie Wheelhouse. A large home support was now in good voice. A BBC Norfolk radio journalist was also there giving live reports. The goal gave Magpies self-confidence and the midfield duo of Debbie Francis and ‘Man of the match’ Sarah Brook started to control possession and territory.
Fortunately the snow eased and Magpies’ supporters were counting down the minutes towards their most important result in nearly a decade. Sevenoaks did find a late equaliser but in wasn’t enough to stop Magpies winning the league by 3 points.
An England Hockey Official was on hand to present Magpies with the league trophy. They now go forward to the Premier league play-offs in April. This involves 4 teams competing for 2 places at the elite level of women’s hockey in this country. Magpies have already gained promotion to the indoor premier league for next season; their 2nd team has just won promotion to the East Premier league and Magpies under 18s are involved in the National Finals outdoors and indoors during April. Over all this represents a superb season for the club.