It was goals galore for Magpies Fifth teams on Saturday with the Ladies scoring 9 against Yarmouth and the Men putting 6 past Lowestoft Railway. The youthful Ladies side gave a lethargic first half performance with only two successful attempts on goal against a team who are yet to pick up a point this season. Some stern words from captain Jose Tibbenham boosted the girls with Vanessa Vigrass getting four goals, Jose two, Talitha converting a penalty flick and Ella Spear adding the ninth.

The Men’s Fifths have had a tricky start to the season having notched up three draws and five defeats going into Saturdays game. However they were determined to press high and inhibit the opposition which was executed well, enabling Sam Emms, Evie Cumming (2) and Sam Moore to get on the scoresheet before half time. Despite Railway scoring three times, Sam Emms scored again in the second half and Simon Bardwell added the final goal to clinch the Fifth’s first win of the season.

There seems to be no stopping the Ladies Sixths who welcomed Norwich Dragons to The Nest last weekend and had a frustrating first half with a lot of possession but no goals to show for it. Eventually Rachael Clifford broke through the Dragons’ defence to give Magpies the lead which produced a renewed vigour from the home side. Kristina Brinkley and Hollie Morris battled hard in midfield, providing passes into space for Janna Freeman and Judith Masters who made some excellent runs into the ‘D’. Rachael converted a penalty stroke and Georgie Hood scored the third to end the game 3-1. The Ladies Sevenths move up to fourth in their league following a 5-0 win over a struggling Dragons 8th team. The goals came from player of the match Anna Seggons (2), Ellen Moodie (2) and a classic penalty corner strike from Shirley McAllen.

With three wins from eight games the Men’s 2nds are starting to adapt to life back in Division One and go into this weekends game against Sudbury boosted by their defeat over local rivals Norwich City last Saturday. Good intensity from debutant Max McCauly, Dave Francis, Morgan Manly, Andrew Johnson, Robbie Kinsella and Dave Skinner forced a string of saves from the City ‘keeper before James Osborn deflected in Laurence Baynes’ precise cross on his return to the club after a number of seasons out on loan. City equalised before the break but, desperate for three points, Magpies fought on and scored the winner when Andrew Johnson struck from Jude Potruff’s pass which was saved but fell to Tristan Baynes who safely dispatched the ball for a 2-1 win.

On a six game winning streak the Men’s 1s also faced Norwich City and, despite early chances from Tim Whiteman and Simon Hipwell, City scored first in response to having a goal disallowed. Magpies answered by growing in confidence and levelled the scores with an impressive bit of individual skill by U18 Raunaq Rai. Asserting their dominance in the second half, and following some commanding hockey from Thomas Ridley and Pete Bale, Magpies took the lead for the first time in the game. This was extended thanks to a well taken short corner from Ben Gowing, cementing the win and the seventh consecutive win.

The Men host Saffron Walden (3pm) on Saturday who are currently joint bottom of the league with Cambridge City and Letchworth. The Ladies 1s face a tough last match before their winter break when league leaders Hampstead and Westminster travel to ‘The Nest’ for a 1.30pm pushback. After going a goal behind last weekend goals from Emma Lee-Smith and Lauren Rowe put Magpies ahead only for Horsham to pull back an equaliser for a 2-2 draw.

Sunday saw plenty of cup action with wins the U14 Boys winning 3-1 over Saffron Walden and the U14 Girls travelling to IES where they found themselves 4-0 up at half time with Jessica grabbing a brace of goals and Hollie and Emma getting on the scoresheet. Anna added two more in the second half to put the game to bed before the final group game in February. The U16 Boys drew 2-2 with Cambridge City and the Girls continued their good form with a 8-0 victory away at Hertford. The U18 had their second consecutive cup game conceded by the opposition whilst the U18 Boys got a good 5-1 win against Long Sutton.  

The O35 Ladies got their cup campaign off to a good start against Ipswich with a first half hatrick from Emma Lee-Smith. A cracking strike from Anouska Stott took Magpies to 4-0 before debutant Vanessa Vigrass scored with her first touch of the game. Angie Wheelhouse and Jose Tibbenham added a goal each to take the team comfortably into the quarter finals with a 7-0 win.  

Along with a full day of fixtures on Saturday, this Sunday will see three more cup teams playing and the U10s Minis Tournament held at Weybread. The Mixed ‘A’ team have their opening game of the season at home against Norwich Dragons (1.30pm) where they hope for a strong performance and to go on to emulate their tournament win of two seasons ago. The Men’s O40s host Norwich City (3.15pm) in their second round and the Mixed ‘B’ team head to Dereham for their opening draw. Dereham were finalists in the plate competition last season so a tough game is anticipated but captains Sarah Legg and Nick Moss hope “the enjoyment of the game will be at the forefront of the teams minds.” Greg Jagger and Andrew Johnson join the squad this season alongside club veterans Sam Moore and Emma Tolhurst.