MIKE’S MUSINGS – 11 October 2016

MEN’S 3RDS MAINTAIN PERFECT RECORD

The Men’s 3rds retained their position as the club’s most successful team so far this season beating Norwich City 4ths 5-0 at Weybread last Saturday with their fourth victory from four games. Captain Matt Brand fired them ahead at a penalty corner on twenty minutes and thereafter there was no doubt which team was going to win. Gavin Cole then won the ball and centred from the left for Phil Cobbald to unleash a firm shot high into the net and seconds before half time Luke Edwards gave the game the scoreline the Magpies’ performance deserved. The home side was slow to get going after the break but they rarely looked in danger of conceding a goal. Midway through the half Luke popped up with his second and on the cusp of full time Gavin maintained his record of scoring in every game so far. In the second half vice-captain Jack Richards had the misfortune to lose half of a top front tooth when deflecting an aerial pass into his face. This coming Saturday the team are away to Bury St Edmunds 2nds (11.30).

An equally good performance was achieved by the Men’s 5ths in the previous match on the water-based when they beat North Norfolk 2nds 2-0. The Magpies’ team was a good blend of youth and experience and it was youth in the very promising form of Jude Pottruff who put them ahead on five minutes with a confident strike before the experienced Chris Hall, playing again after a break of 21 years, scored from close range. Chris’s son Oli was also making his mark on the game with a sound display in the left of defence while Andy Hipwell was in sparkling form in the middle constantly bringing his young colleagues into the game with his accurate short and long passing. Magpies’ form dipped a little in the second half and they were grateful for some good saves and a clean sheet by goalkeeper James Harvey. Also pleasing in good team performance was the promising debut by Jack Largent.

The Ladies’ 7ths were first into action when they entertained Hornets and despite having plenty of the ball somehow found themselves three down at half time. They rallied in the second half and two goals by Evie Tibbenham brought them back into the game but despite continuing to dominate they could not find the equaliser they deserved going down 3-2. At one stage the ‘crowd’ consisted of your scribe and a very pleasant lady who was supporting Hornets but we decided that crowd segregation was not necessary!

The Men’s 2nds lost 4-2 at home to East London and while the visitors looked the sharper side Magpies could have got a draw. The first half was a tale of three converted penalty corners with East London scoring both sides of a good conversion by Tristan Baynes while the second half revolved around two glaring misses by Magpies. Both chances were created by good runs and centres by Matt Bensly but both went begging. The visitors showed their gratitude with another penalty corner conversion with three minutes remaining and a minute later scored again with the easiest of chances after a missed tackle in the home defence. Tristan converted another penalty corner with the last hit of the game. Magpies are a far better team than their four defeats to-date would suggest but they must take their chances and hopefully they will do so on Saturday away to Bishops Stortford (1.30).

In other home games there was a win for the Girls’ Development and defeats for the Ladies’ 3rds and Ladies’ 6ths. The Girls beat Pelicans 4-0 with goals by Olivia Lapage, Anna Cogdell, Ellen Pope and Evie Brice and despite the scoreline player-manager Sandra Elliner said the Girls did not play as well as they did the previous week away to Norwich City which says a lot for that performance as they were always in charge against the Kings Lynn side. The Ladies’ 6ths went down 4-1 to Evergreens 2nds with their goal coming from First Thepcharoen while the Ladies’ 3rds,who are still a team in transition with several of last season’s team having been promoted, lost 2-1 to North Norfolk. They had a lot of possession and Kathryn Bullen put them ahead before the visitors hit back to clinch victory.

Eight of our teams were away last Saturday with seven of them getting at least a point to show for their efforts with the exception being the Ladies’ 5ths who went down 2-1 (Jose Tibbenham) to Reepham. There were contrasting fortunes at the end of the matches involving the Ladies’ 1sts and the Men’s 1sts. While the Ladies were snatching a point with a 68th minute equaliser by Lizzie Clymer in their 2-2 draw with St Albans the Men were conceding a goal with five seconds remaining in their 3-3 draw with Ipswich. Maria Andrews put Magpies ahead in the first half against St Albans with a trademark reverse stick shot after good play by Kara Kilbourn and Debbie McAllen. Magpies continued to create chances in the second half but by now the home team were growing in confidence and they went ahead scoring in open play and from a penalty corner before Lizzie’s equaliser after Lucy Whiting had forced an error in the home defence. This Saturday Magpies are home to Southgate (2.00). The Men were twice ahead against Ipswich, for whom ex-Magpies captain Mark Wheelhouse was in good form, before poor marking on the edge of the circle allowed the home team their late equaliser. Earlier Leigh Sitch (the team’s second highest goal scorer!) had equalised for Magpies at a penalty corner before a brace by Ben Wright. The team are at home to Chelmsford on Saturday (3.45).

The away performance of the day was achieved by the Ladies’ 2nds who beat hitherto one hundred percenters City of Peterborough 3-1. They went ahead in the first half when Laura Tibbenham slipped the ball left at a penalty corner to fellow joint captain Plum Sweet who made no mistake. Olivia Locke then set up Laura for a one-on-one and Laura struck again from a penalty corner in the second half before Peterborough got a consolation. Despite the scoreline this was a really tough game for Magpies who had to withstand a huge amount of pressure but fortunately MOTM goalkeeper Holly Riches was again in fine form keeping her team in the game. This Saturday Magpies entertain Bedford 2nds (12.00).

NB. All three Tibbenham ladies scored on Saturday, i.e. Jose (mum),  Laura (daughter) and Evie (daughter-in-law). A unique record for the club?

ARE YOU PLAYING IN THE CORRECT SOCKS?
Eagle-eyed equipment controller Kirstin Cumming tells me that she can see from the clubhouse that several players are not wearing the correct socks. If you are guilty you have been warned! Club socks are white with black tops and are available from the online shop or from Kirstin in the clubhouse. Kirstin reminds all members to visit the online shop (top left on the website) from time to time to have a look at the range of items on sale.

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 4ths were winning 2-1 for the second successive week in beating Evergreens in a keenly contested match. Magpies dominated the first half but had to wait until after the break before taking the lead which they did through Imi Meynell-Anderson. Evergreens were soon back on level terms despite being a carded player down. Magpies responded and MOTM Amelia Herschel-Shorland combined with Georgie Cantrell to force a penalty corner which led to a penalty stroke. Georgie stepped forward and calmly converted to give her team a hard earned victory thanks to their work rate and resolute attitude.

The Men’s 4ths did well to recover from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Norwich Dragons 4ths. Right defender Max Warde-Aldam and right midfielder David Cadman were in good form for Magpies who pulled a goal back midway through the second half through David before Kieran Peters despatched a rebound from his shot at a penalty corner into the top left. After umpiring earlier in the day it was good to see Quentin Baynes playing his first game of the season due to business commitments. I had told him earlier in the week if we didn’t see him shortly he should perhaps attend the Back to Hockey course!

The Men’s 6ths got their first point of the season when drawing 2-2 with Sudbury 3rds. Magpies controlled the first fifteen minutes due in no small part to good play by Simon Newberry and David Johnson. In-form captain Eric Davy then put them ahead from a penalty corner before they conceded a soft goal followed by a penalty stroke against the run of play. Magpies equalised before half time through Eric with his second but they failed to get the winner in an even second half.

After drawing 4-4 with Norwich Dragons A the previous week the Boys Development beat Dragons B 6-3 with four goals by Sam Emms (adding to the couple he scored against Dragons A) and one each by Freddie Herschel-Shorland and Joe Wicks. There were promising debuts by Elliot Cooper, Oliver Bardwell and goalkeeper Luca Tonkin.

Last Sunday the club fielded nine teams in the Norwich Dragons Minis and all did the club proud with two winning their events and three coming second. Please see the website for all the results.

This coming Sunday the U14, U16 and U18 Girls and the U14 and U16 Boys are in EH cup or league action and they are joined by the Men’s O50s. Unfortunately after entering the Ladies’ O35s the club has been given a first round walkover by Harpenden.

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham
MDenham975@aol.com
11/10/16