England Hockey O50s Masters Cup – quarter final
Harleston Magpies 6 West Wilts 0
With West Wilts having beaten Richmond in the last round, Magpies expected a close game and were determined to start well and take the game to the opposition. This they did in the first minute when having won the ball off Wilts it was moved rapidly through three or four players. The resulting shot at goal was saved but before the ball could be cleared a short corner was won. Although this came to nothing Magpies had put down a marker.
The youthful combination of Simon Bardwell (who apparently arrived at Harleston straight from a modelling shoot for Motty style sheepskins) and Roger Kent were causing many problems for the visitors’ defence. Magpies took the lead when Roger followed up a shot from Philip Cobbald and scored from the rebound.
As well as playing the ball through midfield and dominating possession, Magpies in the form of Andy Law launched an aerial bombardment that needed Barrage balloons to repel it. Younger readers might have to use Google at this point. Magpies doubled their lead with another Kent effort but gave away a short corner just before half time from which goalkeeper Murray Graham made a good save.
The first goal of the second half was going to be important and it took Magpies three minutes to score through the artistry of Jon Aldridge after which West Wilts became overwhelmed and Jon completed a hat-trick in not many minutes.
Thereafter the game became more stretched with Magpies always seeming to have players in space and only profligacy in front of goal stopped the goal tally increasing. The final goal – a reverse stick shot by Philip Cobbald – was the cherry on a well-iced cake.
This was a very good team performance. The draw for the semi-finals is made on Monday 16 March with the games due to be played on Sunday 19 April.
Once more thanks go to Kirstin for the culinary delights and the supporters for their comments.