MIKE’S MUSINGS – 16 February 2010


Another seven league fixtures need to be rescheduled by our long suffering fixture secretaries, Irene Bicker and Merna Merrett, following last Saturday’s frost and snow in Weybread’s microclimate. In contrast all of our away matches were played including that of the Men’s Veterans who hit the road for the first time since November 14 – when drawing 2-2 at distant Bury St Edmunds! One match survived at Weybread with the Ladies’ 4ths beating Reepham 3-1 on the sand and it was also ‘well done’ to the Men’s 4ths who beat Lowestoft away by an identical score.

With three games completely lost on Sunday at Weybread (when the weather could not be blamed), including the U18 Girls EH Cup clash with Old Loughtonians, due to the latter’s 9.00am concession, it was left to the Men’s 1sts to provide the highlight of the weekend with their much needed 3-2 win over Chelmsford. The team did well to hit back after going behind to an early penalty corner strike when Andy Hipwell scored from close range after good work by Tristan Baynes and Richard Gill put us ahead early in the second half when he anticipated an opportunity coming from a superb piece of close control from Simon Hipwell. Andy added a third when he squeezed the ball past the goalkeeper from a narrow angle following a run begun from well outside the circle. What a goal! At times the game resembled musical chairs with a succession of players being sent to the sin bin – with one returning within seconds of getting back on the pitch! – but it all ended well for Magpies, for whom Gareth Furlong was in fine form, despite another successful penalty corner strike by Chelmsford very late in the game which did nothing to calm nerves on the touchline!

Congratulations also to the U16 Girls who beat Chelmsford 4-0 away to progress to the quarter-finals of the EH Plate where they have an away game with Havering on Sunday 7 March.

There are several big matches this Saturday with perhaps the biggest being at the top of East League 3NE where at Hobart School in Loddon (3.00) the Men’s 3rds, as league leaders, play Norwich Dragons who are three points behind with a game in hand and with a superior goal difference. With both teams well ahead of third placed Pelicans 2nds and having dropped just two points each all season (when they drew 2-2 at Weybread in early November) this match will almost certainly decide the winners of the championship. Good luck to Mark Lewis and his team – who last Sunday were given a 3-0 walkover by Dereham 3rds. Meantime the Men’s 2nds (in fourth place) travel to London to play unbeaten leaders Wapping (2.30) needing a win to retain a realistic hope of promotion from Premier B while the Ladies’ 1sts will be looking for a win to kick start the second half of their league campaign when they entertain Horsham (12.30). The teams drew 1-1 earlier in the season with Magpies winning the corresponding match 2-1 last season.

To round off the weekend there are two big games on Sunday with the Men’s 1sts seeking to build on their win against Chelmsford (now 9 points behind Magpies) by beating Bromley and Beckenham away (1.30). Bromley and Beckenham are now four points behind Magpies following their 3-2 defeat by Indian Gym who remain five points behind Magpies. Meantime the Men’s Veterans entertain Holcombe (12.00) in the fourth round of the EH Masters Cup.

Best wishes to all our teams in action this weekend including the U11 and U13 Girls and U13 Boys in the Norwich City Minis on Sunday.

News and comments in brief

§ Jeremy Podd is the club’s acting chairman until Mark Legg resumes his duties next month. Until then any matters for Mark should be referred to Jeremy. Please see page six of the club’s handbook for his contact details.

§ The U18 Girls are away to Wycombe in the quarter-finals of the EH Cup on Sunday 7 March.

§ I hope the Auction of Promises to be held on Saturday 13 March (clubhouse 7.00pm) is noted in your diary! The catalogue will be sent out by email later in the week.

§ And another hope! This time that you are able to sell your Spring Draw tickets and return the stubs with money a.s.a.p. please. The draw will be held during the Auction of Promises.

§ Last Saturday Amy Tuffs (who is away at university) played for Northampton Saints against the Ladies’ 1sts. Have we received the transfer fee yet?!

With kind regards and best wishes

Mike Denham 01603 506925 MDenham975@aol.com 16/2/10