The Girls Development team extended their lead at the top of their league with a fantastic 11-0 win against Pelicans Girls last weekend. With a large squad to rotate through the team has a different feel each week, providing valuable opportunities for the youngsters to experience hockey on a full sized pitch and the positions and tactics that comes with it. The girls shared the goals around between Amy (3), Florence (4) and Ellie (4) with Georgia keeping a clean sheet in goal which should fill them with confidence going into a top of the table clash against Norwich City on Saturday. 

Mixed results for the Magpies 1st teams kept the crowds on the edge of their proverbial seats with Jess Bloom netting an early goal for the Ladies who went on to concede three times against St Albans. Simon Hipwell put the Men ahead before some lacklustre defending led to two goals from Bedford. Pete Bale had a goal disallowed before Dave Gilbert found the equaliser at the far post following fine skills from Tom Ridley and Leigh Sitch, only for Bedford to go ahead just before half time.
Two veterans of the Magpies side, Leigh Sitch and Andrew Bedwell took Magpies into the lead by converting short corners with fifteen minutes to go. Captain Tom Ridley won a short corner which Tim Whiteman dispatched, much to the relief of those on the sideline. The visitors pulled a goal back with two minutes to go but thankfully Magpies held out for the 5-4 win which takes them within two points of the league leaders Wapping. Both of the 1st teams are away this weekend with the Ladies at Horsham and the Men nipping down the road to Norwich City. 

Apart from a loss for the Men’s 2s it was a successful weekend for the Men’s side of the club with the Thirds notching up a 6-0 win at Bury, the Fifths bringing a point home, and the Sixths winning 6-2 against Ipswich. The Fourths went a goal behind when they hosted Bury before Jack Caswell-Dodd equalised at the end of the first half. An improved performance and goals from Arthur Johnson, Stuart Peters and Oli Hall ensured a 4-1 victory for the Fourths who sit mid table. 

The Ladies Sixths have had a fantastic start to the season but approached Saturdays visit to East Harling with trepidation for the top of the table clash, on grass. Despite the heavy rainfall overnight, the leaves were raked up and the pitch was in good condition and both teams were determined to take three points from the match. The defensive formation of Jane Collins, Marie Davy, Liv Addison-Carter and player of the match, Mary Nelson kept the Herlings attacks at bay and goals from Judith Masters and Janna Freeman gave Magpies the 2-0 win.

Sunday saw both ends of the age scale in action with Magpies welcoming nineteen teams of U12s to the club. The U12 boys and U12 girls were declared champions in the gold tournament, albeit the boys did not have the final all their own way and had to share the title with Norwich City.  Whilst in the silver tournament, Magpies looked increasingly competitive, a fifth and joint second finish for Magpies girls and a third place finish for the boys. The day showcased the enthusiasm and strength of youth hockey across Norfolk and the club would like to thank everyone who helped to make the event run smoothly, especially our young umpires who did a fantastic job. 

Due to the usual injuries and ailments associated with middle age, Captain Jerry Blackmore was delighted to field a full team for the first round of the Men’s O50s Cup against Ipswich on Sunday, at least five of whom had picked up a stick in the last 12 months! Losing Scotland O60s goalkeeper Murrey Graham to illness was a blow to the already depleted squad but Eric Davy stepped in and had a brilliant game between the sticks, just as well considering he had Kevin Ridley, Mark Collins and Tiger Young in front of him! The ever youthful Simon Bardwell had a fantastic game in midfield and, to everyone’s delight, the dynamic duo of Roger Kent and Jon Wells came through the match unscathed. John Pope scored Magpies’ only goal in the 4-1 defeat but the attitude of the team epitomises what it means to wear the  Magpies shirt and we wish the lads a good run in the plate competition. 

There is yet more Cup action this weekend with the U14, U16 and U18 Boys and Girls teams aiming to secure their spot in the second round. The Ladies O35s travel to Ipswich for their first cup game following last seasons defeat against Canterbury at the Olympic Park. Goal machine Vanessa Vigrass joins the squad who lost the cup final on shuffles and will be aiming to go one better this year.