MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 September 2016


Another season will soon be in full swing under, I’m pleased to say, the continued presidency of Philippa Taylor and the chairmanship of Murray Graham. Philippa is now in the final year of her three-year term while Murray is now into his fourth year after finding no member wishing to depose him despite his best efforts to find a successor! This season Murray will have the additional support of Nick Durrant and Julian Taylor who have kindly joined the Board as vice-chairman and trustee respectively.

Off-field preparations for the new season have included the following – fixtures and playing times, clubhouse redecorations, fence and other outdoor painting, clubhouse cleaning, hedges and bank cutting, kit and equipment checking and ordering, financial and commercial activity including handbook, etc. It is a big ‘thank you’ to all involved. I will not mention names for fear of important omissions!

With regard to the playing preparations it is thanks to all the relevant club officials, team coaches, managers and captains for what they have done to-date in readiness for another busy season.

On-field preparations for the start of the league season on Saturday week continued last Saturday and it was good to see so many people at the club. The Ladies’ 1sts enjoyed an encouraging win over Ipswich and it was welcome back to Bryony Lund, Katherine Ridley and goalkeeper Jade Daly (who since leaving us eight years ago has had spells at Ipswich and Lowestoft) and it was welcome to Hannah de Selincourt who has joined the club from Dereham. Several players were missing due to injury including Kath Johnson who following a fall and an x-ray has had her wrist injury confirmed, unfortunately, as a break. Hopefully Kath and her injured team-mates will be back in action as soon as possible. It was also welcome back to Jess Howland who was playing for the Ladies’ 2nds who beat the 3rds. In other pre-season friendlies (in addition to the Club Day games) the Men’s 2nds drew with Norwich City 2nds, the Men’s 5ths/6ths, a combination of youth and experience to put it mildly, beat City of Peterborough 7ths and away from home the Men’s 1sts lost 1-0 to Milton Keynes.

It was good to see Andy Smith turning out for the 5ths/6ths but as I said to him afterwards he will be more use to the club in the forthcoming season as an umpire! There was more to my remark (sportingly appreciated by Andy) than mere jest. I had in mind what Jose Tibbenham told me a little earlier that there could well be a shortage of umpires this season following the loss of several regulars (including very sadly Vaughn Dearling) and the way the fixtures have turned out with the Ladies’ 1sts and Men’s 1sts often being away on the same day thereby reducing the number of players available for this vital role.

Pre-season matches continue this Saturday. Please see the website for details which are constantly being updated.

Membership subscriptions
Due to an administrative hiccup there has been a delay in the issue of the annual subscription notices but these should now be issued in the next few days. Members are politely reminded they have until the end of September to pay up!

Despite strenuous efforts over recent weeks
to fill vacancies several remain including Men’s 4th team captain, Ladies’ 4th team captain and Ladies’ 7th team captain.

Volunteers do not have to be players to help with these critical roles and they don’t have to do the whole job themselves. Hopefully we can find a couple of volunteers to help share the running of a team.

If you are able to help please contact one of the following; they will be delighted to hear from you.

Tristan Baynes playing@magpies-hockey.co.uk
Louisa Greenacre ladiesclubcaptain@magpies-hockey.co.uk
Adam Lascelles mensclubcaptain@magpies-hockey.co.uk

It is vital for the running of the club that we find members/parents/friends of the club to help with the above roles. There are also other roles on the playing side of the club which need filling, e.g. organising a pitch inspection rota during cold spells or helping with umpire co-ordination.

Help with these roles would be very much appreciated.

Congratulations and best wishes to Laura Betts and Thomas Ward on the birth of Wrenna Betsy Joy Ward (6lbs 7ozs) on Monday 15 August. All are doing well including brother Otto.

Grand Cricket Challenge between Magpies All Stars and Topcroft (Weybread, Sunday 4 September)
The young Topcroft team batted first (with Magpies later discovering they had 12 fielders!) and were all out for 169 (wicket takers included Ewie Cumming (3), Andrew Bedwell and Iain Cumming with two apiece) and the mighty Magpies replied with 172 for 7 with Thomas Ridley (dropped three times!) top scoring with a splendid 52 retired. Other significant contributions were made by Adam Lascelles, Lewis Belsey (following his spectacular catch earlier in the afternoon), Eric Davy, Iain Cumming, Peter Dolton and Andy Hipwell, the latter hitting two sixes to put Magpies on the cusp of victory. Thanks are due to Simon Bardwell for arranging this first cricket match at the club in almost living memory and to George Hunter for preparing the wicket and outfield. A very enjoyable match for all involved including the spectators.

Other news in brief
a) Olympic Gold Medallist Laura Unsworth is opening Culford School’s new hockey pitch this Saturday (10 September) at 2.00pm.

b) Rachel Holloway has kindly taken over as men’s fixture secretary in succession to Yvonne Long. Thank you Yvonne for carrying out this role so efficiently in recent seasons.

c) The club’s annual handbook is being printed this week. Meanwhile an online version is available on the club’s website from the link on the left of the Latest News page.

d) Date for your diary – Quiz Night, Saturday 1 October, Clubhouse, 7.30pm.

With kind regards

Mike Denham