MIKE’S MUSINGS – 21 September 2010


We had goals galore at Weybread last weekend – no less than 57 in 7 games! Five of the seven games were friendlies before all our teams are in league action this coming Saturday. The goalfest presented my small and dedicated team of scoreboard operators with an early season test of their concentration and dexterity and I’m pleased to say they came through with flying colours!

The Ladies’ 3rds got Saturday off to a good start with a 6-0 win over Watton 2nds and next up were the Men’s 6ths who beat Dereham 5ths 4-2 helped by two rocket-like goals by skipper Kevin Ridley. The Men’s 2nds came from behind to beat Long Sutton 6-3 assisted by a couple of goals by Martin Fields and a well taken effort by Robbie Kinsella who has started the season in fine form. However, the icing on the goal scoring cake was the clash between the Men’s 3rds and Dereham 2nds, who included former Magpie Mark Braybrook, and from 3-3 at half time the game eventually finished 6-6. Did I hear a reference to spot-betting on the touchline?!

But in many ways the most significant match on Saturday was the first game for Magpies in the inaugural Norfolk Boys’ Development League when they played Dereham. Teams are allowed two adults, as in the comparable Girls’ league, but we went with just David Brook giving excellent on-pitch guidance to his young team-mates. In an excellent game with plenty of promising hockey being played Magpies went behind before Tristan Hipper had the distinction of scoring the first goal for his team just before half time. He added another in the second half and although Soloman Barker later put Magpies 3-2 up after a second Dereham goal, three goals late in the game gave a strong Dereham side, with two adults, a 5-3 win in a league where just playing must always be more important than the results.

The goals continued on Sunday when a strong Men’s Vets side beat Southgate 12-0 with hat-tricks from Martin Reader (all from a yard out!) and David Blackmore before the Men’s 1sts got their league season off to the perfect start by beating Southgate 3-1. In the squad’s best performance since returning to the national league at the start of last season it was particularly pleasing to note the impressive performances of Duncan Graves (after his illness), Richard Harms (outstanding in goal), Will Martin (on his league debut) and Carl Sitch and Toby Tibbenham on their return to the club.  This Saturday the squad will hope to build on this fine win when they travel to play Kent side Holcombe (2.00).

The Ladies’ 1sts have centre stage at Weybread on Saturday when they take on newly-promoted Surbiton – who are coached by former GB and England international Brett Garrard – and they will hope to put their 5-0 defeat at Chelmsford firmly behind them. Please note the game starts at 12 noon and not 12.30pm. Other home matches include the Ladies’ 2nds who entertain Pelicans (2.15) after their promising 2-1 league win away to Ipswich 3rds; the Men’s 2nds who play Dereham (1.45), now coached by former Magpie Peter Hogg, and the Girls’ Development who play Pelicans (12.15) after their 0-0 away league draw with Dereham last Saturday.

Good luck to all our teams in action this Saturday including the Ladies’ 4ths and 5ths who play each other at 10.00am (not 10.30am). Please see the Home Page of the website for a full list of fixtures.  

Each year we say a reluctant farewell and very best wishes for their studies and hockey to members going off to university for the first time. This year they are Clemmie Ardley-Forder, Artemis Clark, Calianne Clark, Ben Gowing, Lucie Hadley, Cherry Seaborn (who unfortunately is out of action with a broken finger), Craig Snelling, Duncan Steven, Louis Steven and Jessie Withers. They know they will always be very welcome back at the club during and at the end of their studies. Also going to university with our best wishes are Katrina Warnes and Siobhan Wooltorton who is now thankfully recovered from her long-term injury. I am pleased to say that Katrina and Siobhan will still be able to play for the club.  

The England Hockey Board (I must say I’m still coming to terms with this new title for England Hockey) rightly adopts a zero tolerance policy to doping offences in our sport and this has been highlighted by the two-year ban given to a player following a dope test after a league match in March 2010. Anabolic steroids were found in his urine sample. Please see the EHB’s website for full details. 

For your social diary please:
·         Curry-Oke Night (Saturday 2 October, 7.30pm) – tickets on sale at the clubhouse bar.
·         Fireworks Evening – Friday 5 November.

With kind regards and best wishes    
Mike Denham   01603 506925    MDenham975@aol.com 21/9/10