Magpies Men’s 3s are fourth in the East Division 3 table after getting their sixth win of the season last Saturday. The Men travelled to Norwich Dragons where a solid team performance culminated in goals for Phil Cobbald, Ben Emms, Dave Francis, Greg Jagger, Matt Brand and a 5-3 victory. Seth Read displayed commendable commitment when his diving attempt to stop a Dragons shot resulted in an injured knee and the goal moving a couple of feet!
The Ladies 3s showed no mercy against struggling Felixstowe who are yet to pick up a point. A lacklustre goalless first half was turned around with goals from Sarah Legg, Eva Harness and Ellen Pope which encouraged the young side to grow with confidence and transfer the ball quickly at the back between Helena Knock, Alice Evans-Hendrick and Izzy Slade. Eager for more goals, Sophie Meynell-Anderson sped down the right wing and crossed for Sarah to get her second goal of the game before completing her hatrick following a goal line scramble. At 5-0 Magpies maintained composure and found Jess Green in the ‘D’ for a first time slap which was to be swiftly followed by Leggy’s fourth. Seven goals and a strong performance sets the team up for a tough game against league leaders Watton on Saturday.
Following a shaky start to the season the Ladies 4s are finding their stride and have strung together some decent results over recent weeks. O35s superstar Vanessa Vigrass opened the scoring away at Pelicans following a powerful cross from player of the match Honey Lamdin. Magpies led 3-0 at half time thanks to another goal from Vanessa and one for Cassie Ayms, before Pelicans came back fighting and pulled the score back to 3-2. The Fourths managed to settle back into their rhythm and add another two goals (Amelia Slade and Katie Woollatt) to end 5-2.
With Graham Mobbs and Sam Emms travelling to Felixstowe with the 4s (where Magpies won 2-1), the Men’s Fifths fielded a slightly more experienced side than usual. Looking for their second win of the season Magpies put the visitors under pressure from the start and led 3-0 at half time, ending in a 5-0 victory and a very satisfying goal when the two youngest members, Olly Kinsman and Joe Walsh combined to virtually walk the ball into the net.
With only goal difference splitting the teams in the league, the Men’s 1s headed to St Albans aiming to make up for last seasons disappointing result. Twenty minutes in Magpies broke the deadlock when Dave Gilbert forced a save from the St Albans keeper which fell comfortably to James Gray to slot home. Lovely interlink play between Tim Whiteman, Elliot Marsh and Tom Ridley found Gilbert on the right who carried the ball down the base line and pick out Gray who scored again from close range.
Coming into the second half, Raunaq Rai’s scintillating stick stills drew a foul outside the circle and Ridley scored from the resulting short corner to give Magpies a 3-0 lead. Despite some great saves from John Livings in the Magpies goal, St Albans pulled 2 goals back taking it to 3-2 with twenty minutes to play. With a succession of short corners to defend, Magpies threw everything at the game and came away with their ninth win in a row, securing the second spot in the league – just below Wapping who they face next weekend.
The Ladies 2s knew they faced a tough game when they hosted league leaders Chelmsford last Saturday but started well and went ahead six minutes in when Laura Tibbenham scrambled home Cat Maciver’s free hit. Laura doubled the lead before Chelmsford, featuring ‘out on loan Magpie’ Bryony Lund, retaliated with a flurry of penalty corners before half time which Alice Wells and her defence managed to keep out. With the intensity rising, green and yellow cards were shown and Chelmsford pulled a goal back by converting a penalty stroke, then, equalised in the final minute of the game much to the despair of the Magpies supporters.
Grace Clarke and Megan Dickson made their debuts for the Ladies 6s on Saturday and were thrown in at the deep end against Loddon who have had a string of good results. Rachael Clifford scored twice before half time to give Magpies the lead but the visitors came out fighting and levelled the scores. This jolted the Ladies back into action and saw interceptions and excellent defending lead to prolonged possession, another goal for Rachael, and a Janna Freeman short corner special. Full time 4-2.
Years of experience, wisdom and joint replacements ensured that the Men’s O50’s progressed to the third round on the National Plate competition on Sunday. Jonathon Aldridge and Andy Catchpole gave Magpies a 2 nil lead at half time and although IES fought until the end, and despite numerous missed opportunities, a short corner deflection and a skilful solo run from JA doubled the tally for Magpies.
As teams start to wrap up the first half of the season there are still plenty of games to watch on Saturday. The Ladies 6s and 7s play each other in a friendly at 10am followed by the Men’s 6s at 11.30. The Ladies 2s host Canterbury at 1.30pm whilst the Men’s 5s face Pelicans on the sand pitch and the Men’s 2s hope to return to winning ways against Wapping whilst the Ladies 5s have a tough match with league leaders Diss at 3pm.