MIKE’S MUSINGS – 26 September 2016

LADIES’ 7THS OFF TO GOOD START

The Ladies’ 7ths got last Saturday at a sunny and warm Weybread off to a really good start beating Norwich City 7ths 7-1 in their first match of the season. With the future of the team in doubt (due in no small part to a lack of a captain) it is a big ‘thank you’ to Karen Ray for putting the team together before she leaves us shortly (hopefully only temporarily) for life abroad with partner Richard. The team was soon into the lead and goals continued to flow at a very encouragingly rate with Shirley McAllen leading the way with three. Bex Pottruff added a couple (her first for the club) with Lizzie Adcock and Livvi Carless scoring on their debuts. This Saturday the team are away to UEA 4ths (2.30).

They were followed on the sand-based by the Men’s 4ths who were looking to build on their excellent win the previous week when they took on IES 4ths. But it was not to be as they were soon behind before going down 3-0. The team’s most experienced player summed up the game (in my already doomed wish for brevity this season) by saying ‘They were quite good and we turned up in the second half! Thereafter our generally young side played immeasurably better’.

Over on the water-based, after the Girls’ Development had to play a practice match for the second week running after their opponents had very disappointingly called off (hopefully they will be more successful this week away to Norwich City (5.30)), the Ladies’ 2nds were playing Lindum looking to put their disappointment against Dereham behind them. Play was fairly even in the first half before Lindum took the lead on twenty minutes at a penalty corner. Magpies then quickly forced a penalty corner of their own and Lauren Mickleburgh flicked the ball high into the net for the deserved equaliser. This turned out to be the last goal of a well-contested game in which Katie Woollatt got through a lot of hard work for Magpies on the right and in which Lucy Chubbock had an outstanding second half searching for the elusive winner. Unfortunately the team failed to bring forward Laura Tibbenham into the game enough in the second half. Nevertheless this was an encouraging performance ahead of their home game this Saturday against Norwich Dragons 2nds (12.00).

QUIZ NIGHT – this Saturday (1 October) – Clubhouse – 7.30pm. Tickets £5 on the door. Teams of up to six. Please come even if you do not have a team – these can be made up on the evening.  

Next into action were the Ladies’ 1sts up against newly-promoted Northampton Saints and like the previous week they had the boost of an early goal with Lizzie Clymer scoring from close range. After this the team was never in danger of missing out on the three points as they eased to a comfortable 5-0 win in which goalkeeper Tosh Peet was not called into action. Maria Andrews made it 2-0 at half time with a superb reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle. It was good to see Annie Nunn playing her first game on her welcome return to the club (and after her recent injury) and she popped up with the third in the 47th minute and Tor Findlay quickly made it 4-0 with Maria completing the scoring late in the game with the team’s fifth open play goal. Magpies are top of their league on goal difference but they know far sterner tests await them starting at home to Cambridge City on Saturday (2.00).

It was then the turn of the Men’s 1sts to display their skills after their opening day defeat away to St Albans when they welcomed old rivals Dereham for whom it was good to see ex-Magpies defender Mark Braybrook and goalkeeper Matt Collinge playing. Player-coach Ben Wright put Magpies ahead on ten minutes at a penalty corner and he did so again close to half time after Dereham had forced in an equaliser. Ben completed his hat-trick early in the second half and a fairly comfortable win for the home team, against the typically hard running Dereham side, seemed in prospect. However, with two minutes to go Dereham pulled a goal back with a neatly converted penalty corner but Magpies responded and in a quick attack they made the final score 4-2 with Will Martin beating Collinge at a one-on-one when given a second opportunity. Magpies can play a lot better than they did in this game and they will need to do so when they entertain City of Peterborough on Saturday (3.45). But a win is a win!

CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to the following members who by working hard over the summer have progressed to Tier 1 of England Hockey’s development system (i.e. the Single System) through the Bury St Edmunds JRPC (Junior Regional Performance Centre).

U18 – Hannah de Selincourt, Abby Gooderham, Myles King, Olivia Locke
U17 – Martha Lawrence, Lauren Rowe, Anna Tighe, Archie Winter
U16 – Amy de Selincourt, Mia King, Lottie Summers, Rose Winter
U15 – Michael Ahrens, Georgie Cantrell, Jude Pottruff, Hayden Macaulay, Hugo Thomas

Over the last two Sundays they have represented Bury Tigers in matches against the other two East JRPCs (namely Tonbridge and Northwood) from which the final 18 players (of the original 54) will very shortly be selected to represent the region in October at HIPAC (High Performance Camp) for the U15s and U17s and at the Futures Cup for the U16s and U18s. The venue for the U15 and U17 games was Merchant Taylors’ School and for the U16 and U18 games it was the Lee Valley Hockey Centre.

Last year three of our members progressed right through to the England teams, namely Abby Gooderham (U18s) and Molly Redgrove (now with Chelmsford HC) and Rose Winter (both U16s). Let’s hope we do as well or even better this season. So it is ‘good luck’ to all our members.

Back to play at Weybread and the Men’s 5ths playing the 6ths in their eagerly awaited clash. Archie Derbyshire opened the scoring for the 6ths before Arthur Johnson and Ben Emms replied for the 5ths. In an exciting game Richard Allcock equalised for the 6ths before Andy Caston twice scored for the 5ths both side of a response by Fabien Mitchell to clinch a 4-3 win for his team. 6th team captain Eric Davy tells me that young members Graham Mobbs, Jack Largent and Archie Derbyshire all played very well.

As in the previous week there was mixed success for our teams playing away with wins for the Ladies’ 3rds and Men’s 3rds and defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths and 6ths and Men’s 2nds. The Ladies’ 3rds, with goalkeeper Holly Riches in top form, played well to recover from a goal down to beat Dereham 2nds with goals by Kathryn Bullen and Katie Kinsella while the Men’s 3rds recorded their second successive win beating IES 3rds 4-2. Gavin Cole put them ahead and Toby Hughes made it 2-0. Then with 20 players on the pitch convinced a long hit from the Magpies defence would run of play at the other end captain Matt Brand stealthily ran past every other outfield player to get on the end of a wonderful cross from Toby to sneak the ball passed the IES keeper. That’s leadership! IES then hit back before Gavin took his tally to five goals in two games.

The Ladies’ 4ths lost 4-2 (Amelia Herschel-Shorland 2) to Dragons 3rds while the Ladies’ 5ths lost 4-0 to Norwich Dragons 5ths. But it was not a thumping for the 5ths as suggested by the scoreline. Magpies, who included several players new to the team, started well before Dragons made the most of their chances to go two up by half time. Magpies continued to create chances but couldn’t find a way passed the Dragons’ keeper. Skipper Jose Tibbenham, playing at the back for once, saved a penalty corner before Dragons scored from their next. Dragons then scored again late in the game. MOTM Alice Wiseman and Alice Gooch both had excellent games for Magpies.

Please see the website shortly for the club’s Back to Hockey campaign. If you can encourage any friends or relatives to participate it would be much appreciated.

The Ladies’ 6ths went down 3-1 to Dragons 6ths but the scoreline doesn’t reflect how well Magpies played. Their defence remained strong despite having to face numerous penalty corners. Treacle Griffin was voted MOTM for her performance in midfield, Izzy Slade and Emily Howland made some good crosses and Verity Tomson scored the team’s goal in the second half.

Meanwhile the Men’s 2nds lost 5-3 to newly-promoted Shefford and Sandy. Matt Bensly scored for Magpies in the first minute before the home team scored twice to take the lead. Tristan Baynes then equalised with a deflection from a pass by Jack Hobbs. S & S then regained the lead before Tristan flicked high into the net at a penalty corner to make the score 3-3. The game then turned on a harsh sending off of Magpies’ keeper George Baldwin. S & S converted the ensuing penalty stroke and then scored from a penalty corner before George returned to the action.

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

Finally, I am reliably informed that Katie Crawford is 18 on Friday (congratulations Katie) and that a party will be held in the clubhouse after the 2nds’ game on Saturday. All are welcome to attend the party!! And the Quiz!!

With kind regards

Mike Denham
MDenham975@aol.com 26/9/16