MIKE’S MUSINGS – 1 November 2016

TOP PERFORMANCE BY MEN’S 1STS
The Men’s 1sts accepted my challenge of last week to put in a top billing performance against Cambridge University and they did so in fine style at a remarkably warm and sunny Weybread winning 5-1. In the opening minutes Cambridge University seemed content to move the ball across the pitch and rarely got into the Magpies’ half. There were murmurings in the crowd at this defensive approach but the home team were being patient until on fifteen minutes player-coach Ben Wright fired in a superb shot from the right edge of the circle and on the cusp of half time MOTM Archie Winter scored at the left post after initially appearing to have lost the opportunity. Despite being two down the students continued with their defensive tactics before Jack Knight found James Meek with a crossfield ball and James sped into the circle before despatching the ball into the top left for a goal a forward dreams about. By midway through the second half it was 4-0 with Leigh Sitch popping up with his third goal of the season at a penalty corner followed by Ben taking his tally for the season to thirteen. Cambridge then had their best spell of the game and they pulled a goal back from close range following a run along the goal line. It was good seeing out-on-loan Magpie Louis Totton playing for the students. The match was well umpired by Peter Lemon and Tim Martin who was officiating in his 250th East league game. Magpies will hope to take their good form into their away match against 100% league leaders Old Loughtonians this Saturday (3.00).

The Men’s 6ths were first into action at Weybread against Bury St Edmunds 4ths who after a fairly even first half scored within seconds of the break. For Magpies Duncan Cogdell was showing his skills of old in the forward line while Jerry Blackmore was having a splendid game in defence. Also on the plus side it was good to see Simon Bardwell playing for the first time this season since injury and when he prematurely left the field of play it was of his own volition! Magpies scored a really good equaliser through the centre of the Bury defence when Peter Thornett, after some good ball control, passed to Simon who found Duncan with a pinpoint pass and he made no mistake. Thereafter Bury went for the winner but Magpies held firm for a 1-1 draw. It would have been a more enjoyable game to watch (and I assume to umpire) had the teams been less vocal with the visitors winning comfortably in this aspect of the game!

The Ladies’ 2nds then took on bottom placed Cambridge University 2nds and while from what we saw in the early stages of the game there was little prospect of Magpies slipping up it was nevertheless a relief when Laura Tibbenham swept the ball into the net on twenty minutes after good work by Kara Kilbourn. A few minutes later Jess Howland scored one of the best individual goals seen at Weybread in ages when she went down the left wing before cutting in along the goal line, beating at least five defenders, and instead of passing put the ball into the back of the net. Simple as that! In a commanding second half for the home team Lauren Mickleburgh scored twice before another two goals by Laura (regular readers of this column know my definition of a hat-trick!) and Olivia Locke made the final score 7-0 with a shot a combination of a cricket hook and a tennis smash much to her surprise. This Saturday the team, which has conceded only three goals in their last six matches, is away to Bury St Edmunds (2.00).

FUN CASINO EVENING Saturday 26 November (7.30pm)
Tickets for this prestigious black tie event are £20 each and are available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

The final game of the day between the Men’s 4ths and Bury St Edmunds 3rds ended without my stand-in scoreboard operator being called into action. For Magpies it was good to see James Stacey playing again after a break of some three years, James Plested having a fine game in the middle of the defence and Kieran Peters working tirelessly to cover for this father! I feel this comment will have put paid to any further lifts I might have wanted from Mr Peters senior! Joking apart this was a good point for Magpies against a team just above them in third place in their league.

Away from home the Ladies’ 3rds won for a third successive week beating Christchurch 5-1 to take them up to fifth place in their league. Their goals came from Amy de Selincourt, Charlotte Rourke-Beasley with a brace, Georgie Cantrell (on her debut for the team) and Kathryn Bullen. This Saturday they are at home to league leaders UEA (1.45). The Men’s 3rds maintained their 100% record for the season beating Pelicans 2nds 3-2. With a much-changed team they were twice two ahead with goals by Gavin Cole (2) and Greg Jagger before Pelicans scored their second to give captain Matt Brand and his team a testing last five minutes. The Men’s 2nds went down 2-1 to Bourne Deeping despite having numerous shots but were not able to make any count until Matt Bensly scored a fine goal in the last minute. Goalkeeper George Baldwin was MOTM for Magpies who this Saturday will be determined to record their second win of the season when they entertain City of Peterborough 3rds (2.00). Sadly Jake Sewell looks like being out for the rest of the season as his broken thumb will almost certainly require surgery. The Men’s 5ths fielded a young team against a strong Dereham 3rds going down 8-1 with their second half goal being scored by Chris Hall. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development also fielded a young team against Dereham losing 4-1 in a game played in a good spirit with their goal coming from Sam Emms. Due to the composition of the Dereham side this will go down as a win for Magpies in the league table.

While the Ladies’ 2nds and 3rds were playing last Saturday the rest of the Ladies’ teams were having the day off but they are back in action this Saturday. The matches include the 1sts away to Chelmsford (2.00) and the 4ths, 5ths and 7ths playing Broadland opposition.

Many of our members will be playing twice this weekend as we will have seven teams in EH cup or league action on Sunday. The Ladies’ O35s will be making their debut in their respective EH Cup when they travel to play Bedford (12.30) while the Men’s O50s have familiar and home opposition in the form of Ipswich (2.00) once more. They will again be without ‘big money signing’ Andy Law who is recovering from foot surgery. Best wishes for a speedy recovery Andy. After edging past Bury St Edmunds in the last round Magpies will have to raise their game to beat their Suffolk opponents for the third successive year. Meanwhile the U18 Girls, after their 9-3 away win over Old Loughtonians, travel to play Dereham (2.00) while the U18 Boys host Bedford (12.00) after a first round bye.

Also at home on Sunday will be the U14 Girls in league action against Bury St Edmunds (10.15) and the U14 Boys who welcome Sudbury (10.45) while the U16 Girls are away to Norwich City (1.45).

Good luck to all our teams this weekend. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

MINIS
The club hosted a very successful round of the Norfolk Minis last Sunday and in doing so fielded no less than eleven teams including a club record of four U12 Girls’ teams. There were wins for the U10 and U12 Girls’ and U12 Boys’ ‘A’ teams. All our teams did the club proud and it is a big ‘thank you’ to everyone at the club who helped in the organisation of the event and in the running of our teams and to the teams from other clubs for helping to make day so enjoyable.

FUTURES CUP
Congratulations to Abby Gooderham (with two goals), Hannah de Selincourt and out-on-loan Magpie Molly Redgrove (with one goal) who helped Saxon Tigers to beat Wessex Leopards 6-3 in the U18s final and to Lottie Summers and Rose Winter who helped Saxon Tigers take fourth place in the U16s event.

GROUNDS UPDATE
The bird-scaring hawk will be flying again when the broken pole has been replaced; new foxes have been purchased for the same scary purpose and it is hoped to have one or two new goals for the sand-based shortly. In the meantime the broken goal on the sand-based has been removed to prevent damage to the pitch. NB. The blue VISA goals on the far side of the water-based are NOT to be moved away from the side of the pitch until wheels have been fitted. Hopefully this will be done in the next few days.

WARNING – SCAM E-MAILS!
There has been a recent spate of scam e-mails purporting to come from Officers of the club
requesting bank payments etc. We would ask members to remain vigilant in case such e-mails are not captured by your spam filters.

With kind regards
Mike Denham
[email protected]
1/11/16