MIKE’S MUSINGS – 15 November 2016

LADIES’ 1STS BEAT LEAGUE LEADERS

There is no doubt that the Ladies’ 1sts deserve top billing this week for their superb 1-0 win over previously 100% Sevenoaks at Weybread last Sunday. In front of the largest crowd of the season on sponsors’ lunch day Magpies were the dominant team in the first half and they went close to scoring on a number of occasions. It was still 0-0 at half time but seven minutes after the break a sweeping move across the pitch from right to left resulted in a penalty stroke for Magpies when Tor Findlay was impeded in the circle. Maria Andrews stepped up to put the ball high into the net for her eighth goal of the season. Sevenoaks responded putting the Magpies’ defence under severe pressure forcing captain Lucy Belsey and her fellow defenders to make tackle after tackle. In a tense last few minutes Sevenoaks forced a series of penalty corners and in a resulting scramble hit the left post. Two minutes from time the visitors were awarded a penalty stroke which was saved by MOTM Tosh Peet much to the delight of her team-mates and the home supporters. This coming Saturday third placed Magpies have another tough game away to second placed Wimbledon (2.00). It was good to see Kath Johnson at the game and she gave me the very welcome news that she hopes to soon resume training (again) after her double setback in recent weeks of broken wrist (non-hockey) followed by a leg injury sustained when she made her first return to training!

Neil Toulson (with ball) and Matt Brand
Neil Toulson (with ball) and Matt Brand

The Ladies’ match was preceded by the Men’s O40s making their debut in the EH Cup when they entertained City of Peterborough. Magpies, jokingly referred to by a spectator as the O50s academy team, were two goals ahead from Neil Toulson (making a very welcome reappearance after an absence of six years) and Gavin Cole in the first three minutes. Approaching half time and the score still 2-0 Magpies’ goalkeeper Steve Halliley made a series of good saves. After the break Magpies moved to a comfortable 5-0 win with a goal by Matt Brand and further efforts by Neil and Gavin.

Magpies’ squad: Tristan Baynes (captain), Steve Halliley, Eric Davy, James Smith, Andy Smith, Phil Cobbald, Bob Skinner, Jerry Blackmore, David Francis, James Stacey, Matt Brand, Martin Reader, Neil Toulson, Gavin Cole, Angus Wilkinson.

In the next round Magpies are away to Luton Town on Sunday 4 December.

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

While the weather was good for watching on Sunday it was the exact opposite at Weybread on Saturday where it rained all day. The Ladies’ 5ths opened proceedings by recording their fourth successive win beating Beccles 4-1. Tabitha Borrett opened the scoring for Magpies on her adult team debut and Janna Freeman added a couple before half time. After the break captain Jose Tibbenham proved the wisdom of shooting on sight when from the edge of the circle she found the inside of the left post. Beccles scored a late and deserved consolation goal.

Next into action on the water-based were the Ladies’ 2nds looking for their seventh win in their last eight games (the other was a draw) and they were made to work hard for their eventual 3-2 win by a Lowestoft side which played far better than their league position would suggest. In fact they were twice ahead with Lauren Mickleburgh firing in Magpies’ first equaliser. After the break Magpies took control of the game with a brace from Kara Kilbourn. MOTM was Alice Woollatt for another fine performance on the right wing. On Saturday the team are away to league leaders Cambridge City 2nds (12.30).

Over on the sand-based the Men’s 4ths were giving one of the best performances that umpire John Pestell said he has ever seen from a Magpies’ team as they beat league leaders Felixstowe 2nds 3-0. Ben Kilburn put them ahead at a penalty corner after Kieran Peters found him at the back post and Kieran also provided an assist for the next goal with Neil Watson dinking the ball over the goalkeeper. Ben made certain of this excellent win with a penalty corner drag flick.

Thomas Ridley
Thomas Ridley

The Men’s 1sts probably feel they deserve top billing for their 6-1 win over Cambridge City 2nds and in the visitors’ team it was good to see out-on-loan Magpies Zum Akhter, Dominic Absolon and goalkeeper Donnie Archer. City went ahead from a penalty stroke (converted by Zum) with their first away goal of the season before Magpies’ player-coach Ben Wright put away a penalty corner in thrilling style. Ben soon added a second before Jack Knight deflected another penalty corner high into the net. Matt Richardson, who is enjoying an excellent season, added a fourth. After the break and with the weather continuing to be miserable the versatile Richard Larkin, playing upfront, scored his first ever outdoor goal for the team when he lifted the ball past Donnie. Ben, who was again in fine form, scored the sixth from the penalty spot to cement the team’s fifth successive win after their slow start to the season. On Saturday they are away to Saffron Walden (2.00).

By now it was time to head for the warmth and dry of the clubhouse leaving three hardy souls (joined by your scribe much later) to see the Men’s 6ths take on 100% league leaders Ipswich 3rds in what they correctly expected to be a tough game. But despite losing 6-0 they gave their visitors a good game in which Ewie Cumming, in his first outing of the season, and David Johnson played especially well for Magpies. Andy Cook scored three goals for Ipswich. Has goal machine Andy ever failed to score when visiting Weybread?! In the other home match the Ladies’ 7th were up against a strong Dereham 5ths and despite losing 3-0 played some good hockey putting pressure on the visitors’ defence.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
As you will have seen, hopefully, from last week’s email you are invited to donate Promises or items for auction at this event which is the club’s major fund raiser of the year. Full details are also on the club’s website.

Away from home there were wins for the Ladies’ 3rds, Men’s 3rdsLadies’ 6ths and Men’s 5ths, a draw for the Ladies’ 4ths and defeats for the Ladies’ 6ths and Men’s 2nds. The Ladies’ 3rds, after defeat the previous week by UEA, resumed their winning ways beating Colchester 2nds after their hosts had taken the lead. By half time Amy de Selincourt had brought Magpies level with a fine individual goal and Katie Kinsella did likewise after the break to give her team a well-deserved win. The Men’s 3rds retained their 100% record by beating North Norfolk 3-1 with goals by Greg Jagger and Phil Cobbald (2) and this Saturday they face their toughest test of the season when they entertain second placed Bury St Edmunds (3.15). Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths were beating UEA 3rds with two goals by Andy Johnson. He converted a first half penalty stroke and after the students drew level against the run of play Magpies, for whom Hugo Thomas was in impressive form, had a good second half and Andy clinched victory five minutes from time.

The Ladies’ 4ths had to settle for a 3-3 draw after being 3-1 up with two minutes to play. The prolific Georgie Cantrell scored a hat-trick with two straight penalty corner strikes and a penalty corner conversion. The Ladies’ 6ths lost 3-0 against Norwich City 5ths but they played well and captain Gillian Stokes says they can be proud of themselves. MOTM was Izzy Slade while Treacle Griffin was also in good form. The Men’s 2nds are clearly less than the sum of their parts this season and they went down 5-2 to Norwich City 2nds. Tristan Baynes was once again their goal scorer.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday our five youth teams who will be in either EH Cup or league action. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

OTHER NEWS AND COMMENT
It was good to see John Pestell umpiring last Saturday despite undergoing cardioversion the previous day to reset his heart’s rhythm back to its normal pattern. He says he was electrocuted! Best wishes John.

Congratulations and very best wishes to Tiger Brice and Kelly Holzinger on their recent engagement.

It is congratulations and thanks to commercial manager John Rowe for organising last Sunday’s very successful sponsors’ lunch and to Kirstin Cumming and Philippa Taylor for the excellent buffet.

Jake Sewell has had his broken thumb wired and pinned and while it would be good to see him playing again before the end of the season it is too early to say if this is likely. Best wishes to you Jake.

The men’s showers were working again last Saturday following the installation of a new tank and it is a big ‘thank you’ to Jose Tibbenham and Paul Nelson and his team for all their hard work to make this possible.

A club member who claims not to be a pedant says the bird scaring hawk flying above the water-based is actually a kite (the avian variety) and a hawk is not appropriate as it will prey on magpies!

With kind regards

Mike Denham
MDenham975@aol.com
15/11/16