Mens 2nd Team v Cambridge University 3 (Away (L) W 2-1)
10.30 would normally be way too early for anything when you’re a student, but the boys in blue managed to drag 16 players 3 coaches and some travelling reserves to the fixture. The men’s 2s on the other hand, travelled light, with 11 and the ‘bad magpie’. The game started at a high pace and we had our cursory early chances. The students were intent on playing a good style of hockey with their midfield 3 working the old washing machine rotations on a 1400 rpm spin cycle. This didn’t phase old boys Field and Brothers Baynes as they set about a sturdy press. Missed opportunities in front of the Cambridge goal led to the students countering and taking first blood. But Magpies didn’t flinch. Quick thinking in midField, a great run by Jude and awesome 1st time finish by Fields. 1-1! The game should have continued as a great battle between 2 good hockey playing sides but the umpires were keen to stamp out the constant aggressive chat from both sides… and from that point it began raining cards. It was going to take something special to break the deadlock. The forwards pressed tirelessly and Moore’s ball retention was exquisite, even when prone on the floor. Hugo, Morgan and Cadman defended with real steel and Flatman even took one in the face with his man of the match performance and Baldwin, cat-like in goal, thwarted the Cambridge corner attack. With all in the balance, a likely hero stepped up and drilled one bottom corner; the bad magpie came good and Bean scored the would be winner. The sidelines talked about a tense finish, but this Magpies team only knows winning and the win was never in doubt. Credit to the young boys in blue, but Wiley old Magpies and a smattering of youth made it 16 from 16. Teams continue to make it difficult for us and we continue to find ways to win. Promotion is secured, but the job is far from done. We welcome Bury St Edmunds to the nest next week. Bring it on!