It’s been a tough season for the Men’s 2s but they are currently third from bottom following a 4-3 win against Potters Bar at The Nest on Saturday. With Rob Kinsella, Andy Hipwell, Jude Pottruff, Greg Jagger and James Osborn rotating through the frontline the visitors struggled to get to grips with Magpies’ pressure. The midfield of James Stacey, Lawrence Baynes, Morgan Manly and Dave Francis were able to find the forwards and Hipwell gave Magpies the lead with a neat flick past the ‘keeper.
Potters Bar fought back with an equaliser but the combination of the home crowd and steadfast back four of Jamie Hudson, Dickon Taylor, Richard Larkin and Jack Richards led to another short corner which Hipwell managed to thread into the bottom corner for 2-1. Seizing the momentum, Baynes picked out Pottruff who beat one, carried the ball into the oppositions half, picked out Hipwell who had pre-scanned and laid an early ball across the ‘D’ for Kinsella to take a calm touch and find the roof of the net to make it 3-1. The combination of Jagger and Richards enabled Hipwell to secure his hatrick before Potters Bar grabbed two quick goals but thankfully the final whistle blew to cement the 4-3 score line, and lift the 2s out of the relegation zone before they travel to bottom place Norwich City this weekend.
The Ladies 2s faced a tricky West Herts side who narrowly won the away fixture and took the lead against the run of play when they travelled to Harleston last Saturday. Going a goal down spurred Magpies into action and Tor Findlay managed to steer the ball home just before half time following a scramble in the ‘D’. A goal line clearance from Jess Howland kept the scores at 1-1 when Magpies were under pressure and the Ladies began to create some good opportunities and play a more fluent style of hockey. After neat interplay down the right Georgie Gardens drifted in field leaving defenders in her wake. The run cross field took her into space at the top of the D which was exploited as Georgie fired home with an unstoppable reverse stick effort to give Magpies the lead and secure 3 points ahead of their visit to league leaders Brom & Becks.
The short trip to local rivals bottom placed Ipswich resulted in a 2-0 win for the Ladies 1s thanks to a penalty stroke conversion from Lauren Rowe and a short corner strike by Emma Lee-Smith. With the top six teams gaining promotion from the National Conference East League this season due to the league restructure, there are three teams level on 25 points including Magpies and this week’s opposition Sevenoaks, push back 1.30pm at Weybread. The Men’s 1s came away from their clash with Bedford with a 4-3 defeat but are guaranteed promotion due to other results in the league. This is an incredible achievement and there will certainly be a celebratory atmosphere after their home match against Norwich City this Saturday, 3pm.
Goals from Tom Caston and Matt Brand meant that the Men’s 3s brought 3 points back with them from Bury whilst the Ladies 5s had a goal fest over in Lowestoft. A hatrick from Jessica Menzies combined with a brace of goals from Talitha Key and one each from Ella Spear, Julie Davy, Mimi Slade and skipper José Tibbenham moves the ladies up to fourth in the league ahead of Saturdays home tie with Yarmouth at 10am. The Girls Development squad hosted Watton and fielded a less experienced team than usual but the young girls proved themselves more than capable on a full pitch winning the game 9-0.
The Ladies 6s have stretched their lead at the top of Division 2 by 5 points following a 2-0 win against Herlings in the top of the table clash last weekend. Defenders Liv Addison-Carter, Elena Flatt, Marie Davy and Kristina Brinkley proved to be more than a match for their opponents, making good tackles and positive clearances. Settling into the game, midfielders Flea Perry, Holly Morris and Georgia Scott forced a short corner which Janna Freeman expertly dispatched as she has done numerous times this season. Herlings fought hard but Georgia Scott got on the end of a Rachael Clifford pass to double the Magpies lead meaning that the 6s can be quietly confident they will be promoted.
This Sunday the U16 Girls travel to Southgate for the regional finals whilst the U16 Boys head to Canterbury for theirs. The Men’s O50s will progress to the National Plate Semi Final if they can win away at Bury at 2pm. England international Phil Cobbald in unavailable due to injury but the team will travel with a strong squad which as ever includes Scotland international Murray Graham and England superstar Jonathon Aldridge.