Last Sunday Pelicans Hockey Club in Kings Lynn hosted the County Championships and Magpies entered a team of boys and girls in both age groups. The Girls U10s had won the pre Christmas tournament and have been playing some really good hockey in their training sessions but knew that Norwich City and Norwich Dragons had the advantage. Magpies started the morning well with a 1-0 win over North Norfolk with Freya scoring the goal, followed by a tough encounter against Norwich City where both teams produced some fantastic hockey but neither could find the net.
At this level, each game is 13 minutes one way over half a pitch, and Pelicans fought hard to keep Magpies at bay for 8 minutes before Abby opened the floodgates, followed by Lucy and Freya for a 3-0 victory. In the final game Norwich Dragons were physically dominant and edged the lead four minutes in which spurred Magpies to throw everything they had at the game to try and qualify for the regional finals. Charlotte and Havana had a fantastic game in defence but the team ran out of time to find the equaliser, finishing 3rd overall.
Two sets of twins, Guy, Hugh, James and Elliot, proved double trouble in the Boys U10s side who have made huge progress this season but are yet to chalk up a win. George held firm in midfield with Elliot B making some good saves in goal throughout the tournament, and Dax timed his crucial tackles to perfection. The Boys almost drew against overall winners Norwich Dragons but conceded a late goal to finish the afternoon in 4th.
The Boys U12s faced North Norfolk first up and the squad were keen to show what they could do. Archie put in a good performance in defence to keep the scores tied at 0-0 before heading straight into a match against Norwich Dragons. Whilst playing much better attacking hockey the game opened up and it was up to the centre back pairing of Harry and Benjamin to defend resolutely, and on the odd occasion when they were beaten the exceptional Oli came to the rescue in goal. 2 games 2 draws and no goals. However, goals would come in the next match as twice Henry found the Pelicans net in what was the best performance of the day. With Will leading the forward line superbly and captain Billy looking dangerous the defenders and goalie had a well-earned rest.
A slow start against a strong Norwich City side saw Magpies go a goal behind but tireless work from Connor and Finn led to a short corner which Henry converted for a 1-1 draw. Unbeaten, it all came down to the final game against Dereham who took the lead five minutes in. Magpies dug deep and continued to threaten the Dereham defence but were unable to find an equaliser, and with other results going against them, finished in 4th position.
The Girls U12s got their morning off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over season-long rivals Norwich City, before a six goal haul against Pelicans which included a hat trick for Amie and a penalty stroke conversion for Beth. Dereham proved a tough opposition but Harriet and Daisy worked well together in defence meaning the ball could move out to the wing at high tempo where Natalie set up Emily for the opening goal. Evie came on off the subs bench to provide a target upfront and was rewarded with the second goal of the game.
Having already secured qualification for the Eastern Regional Championships, the Girls scored goals for fun against a fatigued Norwich Dragons side, with Beth grabbing five, and Emily and Amie adding one each to finish off the tournament with a 7-0 win and being crowned County Champions.
Congratulations to every single player on Sunday who did themselves and Magpies proud by their hard work, good attitude and demonstration of the progress which has been made since the start of the season.