MIKE’S MUSINGS – 7 February 2017

SUPER SUNDAY

Four games played last Sunday in various England Hockey competitions and four good wins for the club – two at home and two away.

The U14 Girls set the ball rolling at a sunny Weybread and they were soon ahead against Norwich Dragons through Georgie Cantrell but it was not until the sixteenth minute did they make their pressure count with another goal scored by Keira Wheeler. Dragons then pulled a goal back but by half time Magpies were 4-1 ahead through Alice Wiseman and Georgie Cantrell’s second. Magpies went on to dominate the second half inspired by Georgie winning 11-1 but to their credit the visitors never let their heads drop in an entertaining game. Second half goals for Magpies were scored by Keira, Tabitha Borrett, Georgie Gardens and Georgie C with another four.

Next into action were the Ladies’ O35s against Bury St Edmunds in their EH 4th Round Trophy match and this was an even more entertaining and much more competitive encounter. Magpies looked the stronger side in the opening minutes but they had to wait until the twenty-third for their goal but when it came it was a cracker: a long ball from defence from Debbie Francis to Anouska Stott who slipped the ball to Lucy Fields who found Angie Wheelhouse to her left and Angie completed the move as of yesteryear. Shortly afterwards Angie set up Anouska for the second and an easy win home win seemed in prospect. But Bury had other ideas and Sharon Holton pulled a goal back early in the second half with a crisp shot from the left. Magpies then survived a penalty corner scare before they were relieved to restore their two-goal lead when Kath Johnson lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper’s head at a penalty corner! Charlie Harrison made it 4-1 to Magpies five minutes from time in a goalmouth scramble.

Away from home the U14 Boys had a tough game against Norwich City winning 4-3 with goals by Jude Pottruff (2), Ben Emms and Ollie Mayhew while the U16 Girls beat Norwich Dragons 4-0 with their goals coming from Martha Lawrence (2), Alice Evans-Hendrick and Amy de Selincourt.

Saturday’s results were mixed but nevertheless there were some encouraging performances.

The two 1st teams were away to sides bottom of their leagues but fortunately there were no slip-ups with the Ladies easing to a 7-1 win against Northampton while the Men won less comfortably 4-3 against Chelmsford. As I was reminded on Sunday the Ladies’ 1sts includes three Laurens, two Lucys and three members who have a twin brother or sister, namely Maria Andrews, Lizzie Clymer and Katherine Ridley. It was Lauren Mickleburgh who scored the first two goals (and her first national league goals) with Lauren Rowe scoring on her debut between two goals by Abby Gooderham. Tor Findlay and Lizzie completed the scoring. The team will not need me to remind them that they face a far bigger challenge this coming Saturday (2.00) when they host Hampstead and Westminster who beat them 4-1 back in October.

Meanwhile Matt Bensly and Vincent Leruth made their debuts for the Men’s 1sts with Vincent scoring twice with their other goals coming from player-coach Ben Wright and Matt (Ricco) Richardson. After the shock defeat by Ipswich this win was heartening despite the team (still missing several regulars) conceding two goals while 4-1 ahead and this Saturday they are at home to Letchworth (3.45).

AUCTION OF PROMISES  Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.00pm – clubhouse)
We have gratefully received a total of 51 ‘Promises’. The target is now a minimum of 60! Please see the club’s website for more information (including the list of ‘Promises’) and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction. Just as important please note your diary regarding date and start time. You will be very welcome at the event to help raise funds for the club.

In other away games there was a win for the Girls’ Development, draws for the Ladies’ 5ths and Ladies’ 7ths and defeats for the Ladies’ 2nds, Men’s 4ths and Men’s 6ths. The Girls’ Development retained top spot in their league with a 4-1 win over Dereham. The scores were level 1-1 at half time with Jessica Menzies converting a penalty corner for Magpies and after the break further goals came from Alyssa Walker, Beth Gardens and Molly Largent.

From what I was told the Ladies’ 2nds were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Bedford 2nds. One member said that Laura Tibbenham hit the post ten times (!) apart from her goal (her fourteenth league goal of the season) but she did go close on several other occasions. This Saturday the team is at home to Colchester (12.00). The Ladies’ 5ths drew 2-2 with Thetford. Janna Freeman put them ahead and after Thetford drew level at a penalty corner Rachel Goodson put Magpies back in the lead before Thetford equalised ten minutes from time with a surprise shot from a narrow angle. Fiona Brice on her debut for the team was MOTM. The Ladies’ 7ths, for whom new member Lizzie Govier-Schaay was making a welcome debut, drew 0-0 with Carrow 2nds while the Men’s 6ths lost heavily to a good UEA 3rds. Captain Eric Davy is grateful to Louis Calvert for stepping down from the 5ths at short notice and for his mother Nicole still kindly looking after the teas for the 5ths.

The Men’s 4ths (with 10 players after a late call-off) lost 3-1 to Norwich City 5ths. James Plested, Tom Goodge and David Cadman played well in defence and Lewis Belsey (making a rare appearance due to work commitments) pulled a goal back in the last minute.

END OF SEASON AWARDS – SATURDAY 25 MARCH –
DETAILS TO FOLLOW. PLEASE NOTE YOUR DIARY!

The Boys’ Development got play off to a good start at Weybread with a 4-2 win over Norwich City. Goals by Ed Brice and Ollie Currie had them 2-0 ahead at half time before Ben Emms added a third. City then hit back to make it 3-2 before Sam Emms made the game safe with a typically cool finish.

Next into action were the Men’s 5ths who beat Bury 5ths 2-1 with Boys’ Development manager Mark Emms playing his first ever game. Mark was nervous before his big moment but I put his mind at rest by telling him “If you have the skill and fitness you have nothing to worry about!” Lo and behold after Chris Hall put Magpies ahead (before limping off injured) Mark scored from close range to put his team 2-0 ahead! Luckily for his fitness Mark was not required to play the entire game as Ewie Cumming arrived to play well in midfield. Simon Bardwell (in his own words) was in commanding form at the back (despite Bury scoring in the second half) and without incurring the wrath of the umpires (!) while James Harvey played well in goal. Ben and Sam Emms and Dad all scoring on the same day with Mum Jo watching; well done!

The Ladies’ 3rds and 4ths both drew. Rhe Lascelles put the 3rds ahead against IES with her second goal of the season in the twenty-fifth minute following sustained Magpies pressure but after the break IES got the equaliser their fight back deserved. The Ladies’ 4ths, for whom Emily Woollatt and Molly Warnes were in particularly good form, drew 0-0 with Loddon.

The Ladies’ 6ths went down 2-1 to Yarmouth 2nds. Captain (and often goalkeeper) Gillian Stokes is now on a goal scoring roll with her second in successive weeks and she scored with a reverse stick shot (much to her surprise and pleasure!) before the visitors hit back to snatch victory with their second goal in the final two minutes. Unfortunately both Amelia and Izzy Slade were injured while Verity Tomson was MOTM.

The Men’s 2nds lost 2-0 to Bishops Stortford despite a good performance by Chris Leek in goal but as I have said before this season they played better than this defeat might suggest. It was good to see Martin Fields playing his first home game in nearly two years after illness and he went close to scoring on a number of occasions and it was equally good to see Jake Sewell playing again following his serious thumb fracture early in the season. This Saturday the team is away to Cambridge City 3rds (3.00) and a win is vital in their attempt to avoid relegation.

Last but certainly not least league leaders Men’s 3rds were up against Bury St Edmunds 2nds who took the lead with a class finish high into the net but Phil Cobbald soon thumped in an equaliser at a penalty corner. Shortly afterwards Jack Richards set up Gavin Cole for a typical close range Gavin goal and before half time captain Matt Brand had made it 4-1 with some nifty stickwork before twice firing in from the top of the circle. Magpies had their best spell of the game after the break but could not add to their tally before Bury pulled a goal back. This Saturday the team is away to Ipswich 2nds (10.30).

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the complete list of fixtures including the Men’s O40s away to Cambridge City on Sunday (2.00).

With kind regards

Mike Denham
MDenham975@aol.com
7/2/17