Magpies under 10 girls arrived at the County Championships more in hope albeit well founded optimistic hope, than expectation. On paper we were the third best team with both Norwich sides holding the advantage each having comprehensively won their own tournaments.
That said our young Magpies team have been showing great promise having started the season propping up the tournaments, winning the pre-Christmas tournament at Pelis and having started playing some really good hockey over the past few weeks in training.
A beautiful sunny day greeted us at King’s Lynn and we were last up so with plenty of warm up time we had a chance to get a glimpse of the opposition. Dragons v City ended in 0-0 and in North Norfolk v Pelis, North Norfolk proved to be the Dark Horses in beating a very young Pelicans side.
Forewarned, our first game against North Norfolk proved a tight affair with Magpies getting out of the blocks well and producing some confident flowing hockey. Four minutes in Freya hit a cracker from the right-hand side diagonally to the left side of goal. Magpies looked to add to the score but North Norfolk, alongside a few counters of their own, managed to keep us at bay.
A tough encounter with City followed and whilst ending 0-0 both sides played some wonderful flowing hockey with neither side looking to settle on a draw neither managing to find the net either.
We rang the changes in our third game against clearly the youngest side in the tournament, Pelicans, who fought and played really well to keep Magpies out for 8 of the 13 minutes one-way game. With a few tweaks to set-up Abby opened the Magpies account with a good shot again from the right which opened the floodgate. Lucy followed up a couple of minutes later with an equally well taken shot from the top of the D and Freya closed out in the dying seconds with a repeat of her shot against Norfolk.
So final game coming up and strong possibility of positions and qualification being settled by goal difference – City, Dragons and Magpies with the possibility of finishing with two draws, two wins apiece. Like City, Dragons predominantly if not all composed of year 5s, against our balanced year 3,4,5s, were physically dominant and used this to full effect to edge into the lead in the first four minutes. From then on, but for a few counters to the high player they left in our D – and on every occasion snaffled out by our mighty defence of Charlotte and Havana – Magpies were in the ascendency throwing everything we could at Dragons, rotating subs, pushing Dragons back into their D, winning PCs that Dragons managed to scramble to safety and much to their relief we ran out of time.
Every single one of our players gave their best and left everything on the pitch. Even more importantly we played some really good hockey throughout, our best of the season, and everyone did themselves proud and the club proud. We won’t be getting too mad about this, a little bit disappointed maybe, but in years to come this team most certainly will be getting even.
Thanks as always to our coaches Abi and Katie and to all our supporters.
As always the very proud team management.
Team: Abby, Bea, Caitlan, Charlotte, Ellie, Freya, Havana, Lola, Lucy, Olivia
Game 1 Magpies 1-0 North Norfolk (Freya)
Game 2 Magpies 0-0 Norwich City
Game 3 Magpies 3-0 Pelicans (Abby, Lucy, Freya)
Game 4 Magpies 0-1 Dragons