MIKE’S MUSINGS – 11 April 2017

THE SCRIBE HANGS UP HIS PEN

The club chairman comments as follows.

Harleston Magpies has had many great servants over the years but surely none more so than the editor-in-chief of Mike’s Musings, Mike Denham. 

Mike has worn many hats at Magpies over the years and since February 2007 he has single-handedly produced weekly newsletters for the enjoyment of this many readers. Indeed there have been 350 newsletters emailed to 500 recipients each time and that excludes visitors directly to the website. 

This is the last of Mike’s Musings and on behalf of everyone associated with the club I would like to express our gratitude for the time and effort Mike has put in to producing this unnervingly regular publication. 

Mike’s Musings keeps us informed, makes us laugh, reminds us of highs and unfortunately the lows, but every Tuesday without fail it lands in our inbox and continues to instil a great sense of community within the club.

Now we have reached the end of the league season (but hopefully success for the Ladies’ O35s and Mixed teams to follow last Saturday’s success by the U10 Girls) the time was right for Mike to hang up his pen. This also provides the club with an opportunity to consider other forms of communication which will endeavour to keep us all informed and continue to instil that sense of community. 

Mike is not departing and will continue to be a constant presence around the club; although a repeat of his 8½ minutes of play for the Men’s 7th team (his only on-field contribution and ended by a pulled hamstring) is unlikely to be repeated!   Murray Graham

I thank Murray for his very kind remarks and for his support during his four years as chairman. I also thank the many club members who have assisted me with the column over the years and those readers (both club and non-club members) who have made kind remarks about the column. This encouragement has played a big part in helping me to keep going as has been the invaluable technical support of Nigel Bedingfield of IceniPost.com. I have enjoyed writing Mike’s Musings (and before that Chairman’s Chat when the title was appropriate) and I thank Matt Brand for coming up with the title – the first edition of which was published in August 2009.  It has been a privilege to have been trusted to chronicle the last 10 years of the life of the club. As Murray says I hope to continue to be a regular at Weybread and to continue to enjoy the company of so many friends. But with my troublesome back I might in future leave the picking up of stray bottles to others!

MAGPIES’ U10 GIRLS RETAIN THEIR EAST CROWN

The club hosted the In2Hockey East Club Championships over the weekend in glorious weather (as the colour of my face will prove) and it was really good to see so many people enjoying the four competitions.

The event started on Saturday with the U12 Boys’ and from the first game when they beat Magpies it was clear that Old Loughtonians would be the team to beat and so it proved. They went on to defeat Norwich City 2-1 in the final after recovering from conceding the first goal. The Magpies’ team, which came into the competition by invitation after the withdrawal of another team played far better, under the coaching team of Mark Emms and Peter Dolton, than their eventual position of ninth out of the ten teams would suggest. Hopefully the players will have gained experience from playing against some of the top teams in the East.

Next into action were the U10 Girls and after drawing their opening game 1-1 against Blueharts, Magpies played some splendid hockey to beat Chelmsford 3-0, Sudbury 4-0 and Cambridge City 2-0. They then had to avoid defeat against Sevenoaks to reach the final which they did winning 2-1. They dominated the final against Old Loughtonians scoring two quick goals before going on to win 3-0 thereby winning the event for the second successive year thanks to a splendid squad performance under the coaching team of  Kathy Gardens and Duncan Cogdell.

On Sunday it was the turn of the U12 Girls and U10 Boys. The Magpies’ U12 Girls were unfortunate to start against Sevenoaks who quickly looked a formidable team winning 3-0. Magpies then went on a run beating Hertford 2-1 (from a goal down), Old Loughtonians 3-0, Ipswich 4-0 and Cambridge City 1-0. In their semi-final against Canterbury they could not maintain their form going down 1-0. But overall this was a really good performance by the squad under coaches Jim Menzies and Duncan Cogdell who finished in joint 3rd place. In the final it came as no surprise when Sevenoaks beat Canterbury 3-1.

It was good to see David Brook at the club on Sunday and in his element watching the other teams on behalf of Jim Menzies. Let’s hope that David will feel well enough next season to resume at least light duties on behalf of the club.

The U10 Boys’ event (in which there was no Magpies’ participation) was won by Blueharts who beat Blue Hornets 1-0 in the final. Norwich Dragons beat Old Loughtonians 3-1 for third place.

Best wishes to the winners and runners-up of the U12 events who go on to the national finals.

The club was delighted to host these very enjoyable events once again in support of the East officials (genially led by Daphne Menear) and the young East umpires, and their mentors, who did so well over the weekend. It is also a big ‘thank you’ to the Magpies’ ‘backroom team’ for kindly helping with marquees, car parking, catering, PA etc.

The Magpies’ league season came to an end on Saturday with the already promoted Men’s 3rds going down 4-3 away to Ipswich 2nds despite a hat-trick by Greg Jagger and the Ladies’ 6ths beat Breckland 4-2 away with all their goals coming from Vanessa Vigrass. Magpies dominated play in the first half with Vanessa scoring in the first two minutes. Vanessa completed her hat-trick before half time and after Breckland fought back with two goals she scored again to round-off an excellent finish to the season by the team.

I take this opportunity to thank all club officials for their hard work over the season. In addition I thank everyone, including a considerable number of club members, who have umpired throughout the season. Finally, it is a big ‘thank you’ to all our sponsors. Their invaluable support is much appreciated.

The season is still not over. The Mixed team will be in EH Trophy quarter-final action (after their 4th round w/o win over Dereham) away to Horsham on Sunday 23 April and the Ladies’ O35s play Timperley in the EH Trophy final at Lee Valley Sports Centre on Sunday 30 April (11.00). Best wishes to our teams. In addition we have the Magpies’ Tournament on Saturday 29 April (Mixed teams) and Monday 1 May (Club XIs).

Please see the club website for more details of the above (including reports) and for regular updates throughout the summer.

With kind regards and very best wishes to all readers

Mike Denham
MDenham975@aol.com    
11/4/17