Boys’ U14 Championship
Norwich City 3 – 4 Harleston Magpies
Having won their previous three round robin cup fixtures the boys were confident they could put in a good performance in their final group game. However Magpies knew Norwich were likely to be tougher than their previous opponents and a strong performance was required.
Magpies started the game strongly passing the ball around their opponents. Good work down the right wing was exposing the opposition defence and the back four were transferring the ball with confidence. The Magpies pressure finally told when a short corner was won and converted with a fine strike from Jude Pottruff. Magpies continued to dominate and doubled their lead with a fine flowing move. The ball started at the back where it was transferred by Ed Brice to the right. The ball was carried down the line by Hugo Thomas before some intricate passing found Jude Pottruff. A silky piece of skill saw Jude eliminate the last defender before slipping the ball round the goalie for Ben Emms to slot into an empty net.
Magpies were unable to continue their excellent passing and the game became a slightly scrappy affair. Both teams were fighting hard with the ball becoming bogged down in midfield. Magpies conceded to a well worked Norwich City corner routine and went in at half time 2-1 up.
Magpies came out second half and were unable to fully find their passing hockey. Norwich were battling well and Harleston were still looking threatening with some fast counter attacks. One such counter attack saw more good work down the right resulting in Ollie Mayhew finding himself in the D with the ball. A cool reverse stick finish found the bottom corner and Magpies looked in control. Magpie however failed to learn from previous errors and another Norwich City short corner cut the lead to just one. Both teams were fighting hard and Magpies broke away again with Jude finishing with aplomb to bag his brace. Harleston conceded yet another short corner with two minutes to go to to set up a nervy finish but stout defending ensured the victory was achieved.
A big thank you to the Harleston management team that got all the boys ready and to the parents and supporters who provided great support as always. Four wins from four means Magpies top the group and will progress the the next rounds. The team have played some excellent hockey but know there are plenty of areas for improvement. The results have been down to a great effort from the whole squad and the boys should look forward to greater challenges ahead.