With 51 goals scored and not a single defeat across the 13 matches, Saturday was a good day to be a Magpie! The ladies 6s were back in action having had last weeks game cancelled due to the frozen pitch and UEA started the game at high tempo, attacking through the midfield and forcing Liv Addison Carter, Marie Davy, Mary Nelson and Jane Collins to man mark. The students scored first but Magpies dug deep and Rachael Clifford found the equaliser before half time.

UEA charged into the second half and caught Magpies off guard with a well taken goal. In response, Judith Masters and Janna Freeman had some attempts on goal before Rachael converted a penalty stoke to even the scores again. Imogen Flatt in the Magpies goal was tested by the students as both teams fought for the win but in a final push, player of the match Mary Nelson converted a short corner to seal yet another three points for the mighty 6s.

On the back of last weekends narrow defeat, the Mens 2s desperately needed points when they welcomed Crostyx to ‘The Nest’ to avoid heading into a relegation battle. Josh Wiggins opened the scoring for Magpies on his return to the team but some sloppy defending allowed Crostyx to equalise. However when a Magpies aerial from midfield fell nicely for Ed Brice he managed to push it into the path of pacy Robbie Kinsella for a cool tap in.

Crostyx levelled the score early in the second half but the Magpies forward line continued to make tireless runs which came to fruition when Andy Hipwell won the ball and picked out Kinsella on top of the ‘D’ who unleashed a cannon strike into the bottom corner. A late short corner for Crostyx took the final score to 3-3 and a single point for the struggling 2s who should use the result as a stepping stone and build on a great team performance going forward.

After victory at home last week the Ladies 2s travelled to promotion chasing City of Peterborough anticipating a tough game. The teams went into half time at 0-0 thanks to a magnificent reflex save from Jade Daly in the Magpies goal and the hosts came out fighting after the break, penning Magpies back into their own half, requiring extremely resolute defending. Holding firm paid dividends when Amelia Herschel Shorland carried the ball past three defenders then passed to Laura Tibbenham who aimed for Anouska Stott at the back post but was deflected into the net via a defender’s foot to give Magpies the winning goal.

A very strong first half spell gave the Mens 3s a convincing win away at Lowestoft Railway with Gavin Cole (2), Johnny Taylor, Ben Emms and Greg Jagger on the scoreboard whilst the 4s hosted IES, with the sides separated by only a point going into the game. Pressure going forwards by James Bensly and Sam Emms won numerous attacking short corners and the harassment paid off when a pinpoint pass from Oli Hall found Matt Bensly who put Magpies 1-0 up. IES fought back in the second half but Bob Skinner and Dan Middleton kept them at bay, ensuring a clean sheet and the win.

The Ladies 4s knew they faced a tough test away at Norwich City who are second in the league having lost only twice this season. Speedy Sophie Meynall Anderson created opportunities by attacking down the right from full back to deliver crosses for Millie Preece and Cassie Ayms on the Magpies forwardline. Abi Lewis, Catherine Kilbourn and Sophie Baxter commanded the defence whilst the midfield pushed forward, forcing a long corner. Emily Woollatt’s ball found sister Katie on the edge of the City ‘D’ who fired goalwards for Cassie to connect with and score. Despite hard battling from Victoria Spouncer, Alice Evans-Hendrick, Keira Wheeler, Immy Ramsdale and Grace Collinson; critical saves by the City ‘keeper prevented Magpies extending the lead but the girls are slowly climbing the table with this fantastic string of results.

Meanwhile, the Men’s 1s journeyed over the border to Ipswich for the local derby and thought they’d taken an early lead through Dave Skinner only for the goal to be disallowed for the use of a foot in the build up. Chances for Dave Gilbert, Thomas Ridley and Raunaq Rai came and went before Ipswich scored on the break however Magpies were level pegging again within 5 minutes thanks to Dave Skinner’s rebound shot falling to Raunaq to calmly slot home.

Magpies gained control of the midfield through Ridley and Pete Bale but against the run of play Ipswich were awarded another short corner which was not converted and the counter attack, led by James Gray, resulted in Dave Gilbert squeezing the ball home. Despite a stunning low save from Chris Routs in the Magpies goal, Ipswich found the equaliser which spurred Andrew Bedwell and Leigh Sitch into a counter attack, resulting in James Gray scoring the winning goal for Magpies who are only three points behind league leaders Wapping.

With the Norfolk Championships just a month away, 9 teams of Magpie chicks took part in Norwich City’s Mini Hockey Festival on Sunday and the progress the youngsters have made since the start of the season was apparent for all to see. 

Its all go next weekend with the Ladies 1s back in league action away to Hampstead and Westminster (1.30pm) and the Men’s 1s hosting Chelmsford at 3pm. Sunday will see a replay of last seasons Womens O35s final when Canterbury travel to Weybread for a 2pm pushback. The U14, U16 and U18 Girls all have cup matches so keep your eyes on the club website and social media for the latest scores.