News from the Nest

Having taken just a point from the opening two matches Magpies Men’s 4ths faced Newmarket at ‘The Nest’ on Saturday and had a fantastic first half scoring 5 goals without conceding. A shaky start to the second half saw Newmarket score twice before the hosts secured the win pulling back another two goals. James Bensley (2), Pete Thornett (2), Jonathon Aldridge, Arthur Johnson and Lewis Belsey provided the goals to ensure all three points came to Magpies.
Norwich Dragons’ Thirds had one both their league games before they came up against our Ladies 3s who fielded a changed side to last weekend. Millie Preece and Lucy Field linked well up front and Millie opened the scoring by skilfully driving into the ‘D’ and striking cleanly. Plum Sweet, Helena Knock and Emily Woollatt protected Abi Lewis in goal on her league debut and Laura Betts and Sophie Govier – Schaay performed solidly on the wings preventing Dragons from building momentum. Magpies possession led to a number of short corners, with Bettsy and Jess Green getting on the scoresheet for a 3-0 result.
Following an ‘edge of your seat’ match between the Ladies 1s and Wimbledon where Magpies came back from 2-0 down, to lead 3-2 but end up losing 4-3, the Men’s 1s got off to a slow start against Letchworth. Forcing the visitors back into their half for the majority of the game, Dave Gilbert’s penalty stroke conversion took Magpies into half time with a one goal lead, having failed to convert a number of short corners and given possession away too cheaply. A higher intensity in the second half led to more opportunities and the hosts put the game to bed with goals from James Gray (2), Pete Bale and Dave Gilbert. Magpies host local rivals Ipswich next weekend (PB 1.30pm) where an improved performance will be necessary in anticipation of a more testing physical game.
Wins for the Ladies 6th and 7th team over UEA 3rd and 4th teams is a reflection of the attendance and work rate at training and a positive attitude on the pitch. Mary Nelson, Laura Woodgate and Janna Freeman linked up well for the Sixths leading to sustained attacks into the UEA ‘D’ and providing Rachael Clifford two excellent goals in the first half. The students responded with a goal but Alyssa Walker and Lucy Basey-Fisher were relentless in their tackling from midfield which created the opportunity for Georgia Hood to get on the scoresheet, and Rachael Clifford to bag her hat trick.
With Magpies stalwarts Daphne Beckett and Karen Ray at the helm, the Sevenths broke the deadlock via Georgia Scott, followed by goals from Anna Seggon and Ellen Moodie. Three more girls, Rosie, Tess and Lily, made their Girls Development debuts away at Watton this weekend and impressed in their first game on a full sized pitch where Ellie scored the only goal of the game, meaning Magpies go clear at the top of the table. The next generation of Magpies tasted their first competitive hockey of the season at Norwich Dragons Mini Hockey tournament on Sunday. Eight teams of boys and girls ages U10 and U12 had a fantastic experience and showed a lot of potential.

Boys National Cup Preview
Magpies boys U14’s start this years England Hockey Teir 1 Clubs competition with an away fixture against City of Cambridge this Sunday. Manager Mark Emms is hoping to repeat last seasons success of reaching the National Finals and is pleased to have 6 of last years successful team available again this year. ‘Hopefully if we can work hard again this season under the coaching of Richard Larkin, the lads may put another good run together, a lot of them are already playing men’s hockey and this will help them’.

The Magpies boys U16s are feeling positive at the start of their campaign, with some talented youngsters to select, including some new faces who have joined the Club at the start of this season. The first match is on Sunday away to Norwich City, with the Magpies group also including Bishops Stortford, Saffron Walden and Cambridge City.

Manager Chris Hall said: ‘The boys enjoyed our U16 cup hockey last year, but we didn’t progress beyond the group stage, as we had hoped. We knew this season we would be able to field a stronger side with lots of capable U14s moving up.  With plenty of talent to chose from, its great to be in the position of being able to select a strong side for our first fixture away to Norwich City. What we’re most pleased about this year is to have Andrew Bedwell as our U16s boys coach. Bedders knows the team well, and we are looking forward to having him pitch side this season to bring the very best out in our boys. We have some tough sides to play, and we’re up for the challenge’.