Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team indoor squad sponsored by Durrants made the short trip to Cambridge at the weekend for their indoor warm-up tournament. Harleston took a young squad to the tournament to allow younger members an opportunity to experience men’s indoor hockey before the National Competition starts in January.
The first game of the day saw Harleston face old rivals West Herts. Harleston started the game slowly and soon found themselves a goal down, however, they did manage to pull a goal back through Tristan Baynes with a trademark drag flick. However, by half time Harleston were 5-1 down after some high pressing by West Herts allowed them to create goal scoring opportunities. After some strong words at half time from Leigh Sitch the team came out fighting in the second half and despite conceding early against the run of play Harleston did manage to pull themselves back into the game with the final score finishing 6-5 to West Herts. Goals from Myles King, Tristan Baynes with a second, Richard Larkin and Carl Sitch.
Next up Harleston faced St Albans who had recently qualified for the National Division 2 competition following their win at UEA. Harleston again started slowly and soon found themselves a couple of goals down to some very good flowing hockey from St Albans. Again Harleston rallied and pulled goals back but they were unable to stop St Albans patterns of play which they had been working on in their previous tournament. Ill discipline did not help Harleston’s cause as they had to play two different spells of the game with 3 players outfield. The final score finishing a disappointing 10-5 to St Albans.
In the third game of the day Harleston faced Old Loughts. Harleston started this game a lot better and soon found themselves 3-1 up. Despite starting slowly and struggling with the Harleston press Old Loughts soon adjusted and managed to find a way back into the game. Going into the last minute of the game Harleston found themselves trailing 5-4 before Tristan Baynes popped up at the back post to score an equalising goal. Unfortunately Harleston conceded a corner with seconds left and with the full time hooter going Old Loughts converted the corner leaving no way back for Harleston.
In the last game of the day following a mass exodus by Harleston players who had other commitments Harleston faced old rivals Ipswich with only 6 players and no subs. Already facing an uphill task things were made worse when 4 minutes in Leigh Sitch was hit with a stick in the face. The injury leaving the player with a broken nose and requiring several stitches. Harleston decided to fulfil the fixture despite playing with a player down. Ipswich did run out winners but the 5 Harleston players left battled bravely for the full 40 minutes.
Squad – John Livings, Leigh Sitch, Tristan Baynes, Richard Larkin, Sam Rowe, Chris Barber, Carl Sitch, Louis Totton, Zum Akhter, Myles King and Thomas Ridley.