Harleston Magpies celebrate their best season yet at annual youth awards!
Harleston Magpies Hockey Club Youth Section has had an exceptional year. Every age group from U10s to U18s, boys and girls, have something to be proud of. Many squads have achieved the highest level possible with national final appearances including the U12 girls, U14 boys and girls and semi-final finishes for both the boys and girls U18s.
On Friday 19 May at Magpies clubhouse, it was all about celebrating this success and recognising the hard work of every player, all team officials, the army of volunteer coaches and assistants and of course the fleet of mum and dad taxi’s!
Over 120 children played games throughout the early evening and then crowded into the clubhouse to see the lucky recipients of the highly prized annual awards, presented by stars of Magpies 1st teams and former junior members, Rose Winter and Jack Hobbs.
The Magpies junior section was also delighted to welcome Andrew Longe, Honorary Life member of Harleston Magpies to present the Longe Trophy for outstanding Youth Coaching services. Since 1994 Andrew has wanted to shine a light on unsung heros in the youth section, those coaches who tirelessly strive to deliver high calibre coaching, giving up evening after evening year after year and this year the entire room agreed that Chris Flatt was a more than worthy winner of the award for his work with Magpies junior goal keepers (pictured Chris Flatt and Andrew Longe).
Club Youth Chairman David Johnson was thrilled at the turnout for the evening, saying: ‘Our awards evening is always a terrific night made even better this year with a glorious summers evening. It was really good to see youngsters from across the age groups mixed up and playing some hockey whilst parents mingled and supported from the side lines before everyone came into the clubhouse for the awards presentation. Well done to all the winners on the night but equally important well done to all who have been part of Magpies youth system. It really has been an exceptional season which everyone can take some credit for.”
[For pictures of the prize winners see below]
David Johnson continued: ‘This year’s event was even more special because before the evenings’ entertainment, Magpies hosted a quick sticks hockey coaching and mini tournament afternoon for three local primary schools. This introduced hockey and Magpies to over 70 year three and four pupils from Pulham, Dickleburgh and Newton Flotman primary schools. We hope many will come back and take part in the clubs summer hockey taster sessions in June’.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our thanks go out to Lauren Goodswen the Sports Coordinator for the Harleston and Diss Primary school pyramid to enable this to happen.
If you fancy getting your kids involved in hockey, check out the summer taster courses running in June and July at Harleston Magpies Hockey Club on their website at www.magpies-hockey.co.uk
The Magpies under-12 Girls team proved themselves capable of rivalling the very best teams in the Country rounding off a decent day’s competition with a 5 – 0 victory over Yeovil to secure 5th place at the national hockey play-offs finals at Nottingham over the weekend.
The team qualified for the national play-offs as runners-up in the regional round of the completion, having previously earned the Norfolk County Championship.
Magpies started brightly winning their first pool match against Thirsk from behind after conceding an early goal. They created plenty of pressure, racking up nine short corners with Evie Brice and then Amy Hunt slotting away their chances for a 2 – 1 win.
The second match was a scrappy affair against the West regional champions Clifton Robinsons with no clear chances in the first half. Magpies applied plenty of pressure through Captain Anna Cogdell in midfield whilst the bulwark defence of Harriet Soper and Alicia Pryce dealt with the Clifton attack. Unfortunately, early second-half Clifton scrambled a goal which enabled them to get every player behind the ball for the remainder of the match to hand Magpies a 0 – 1 defeat.
Magpies conceded early in their third pool game to a cross and tap-in by the Rugby & East Warwickshire forward. They were then faced with similar tactics of a massed defence. A strong drive into the D by Cogdell drew four defensive players to her but she slipped a clever ball to Brice who one-on-one with the keeper finished confidently levelling the match. Further chances fell to the Magpies forwards but each time they hit the keeper rather than the backboard and the game ended in a 1 – 1 draw.
Magpies gave the eventual national champions Surbiton a very early scare with Hunt drawing a great save from their keeper in the opening minute. Georgia Flatt was in equally good form in the Magpie’s goal saving numerous shots from the clever, rapid Surbiton forwards. Eventually Magpie’s conceded two goals, before substitute Tilly Dodds strengthened the back line and effectively blunted the Surbiton attack but the damage was done and Magpies went down 0 – 2.
After the pressure of the pool games Magpies saved their best for last, brushing aside Yeovil in the 5th / 6th play-off game. Cogdell scored with a superb back-hand shot from a narrow angle before Beth Gardens first drew the defenders and then slipped the ball to Hunt for a tap in. Cogdell found the backboard again before Magpies switched the team around with all the younger players on the pitch. Gardens in the middle set up some great runs down each wing by Nathalie Saunders and Emily Clarke feeding Hunt in the centre for a further two goals to reach her hat-trick. Magpies finishing 5th best in the Country and with half the team remaining in this age group there is every reason to think that they’ll challenge strongly again next year.
Full Squad: Evie Brice, Emily Clarke, Anna Cogdell (C), Tilly Dodds, Georgia Flatt (GK), Beth Gardens, Amy Hunt, Alicia Pryce, Nathalie Saunders Harriet Soper
Bookings at email@example.com
Ladies O35 Team v Canterbury 0-0 (3-1 to Canterbury after Penalty Shoot out)
Magpies over 35’s sponsored by Ultimet Films traveled to a very, very sunny Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre to take on defending champions Canterbury in the Over 35’s Tier 1 Cup Final on Saturday.
From the start Magpies worked hard to control the ball in midfield but were unable to find the finishing touch in front of goal. Canterbury’s pressure was rewarded with a number of penalty corners which the Magpies defence manged well including a goal line clearance from Debbie Francis on the stroke of half term.
Magpies started the second half strongly and began to dominate possession in the attacking half of the pitch but were unable to break the deadlock. With five minutes left to play a penalty corner strike from Emma Lee – Smith struck a Canterbury defenders foot on the line resulting in Magpies being awarded a penalty stroke. Magpies were not able to capitalize on this opportunity and the score remained 0-0. Further pressure from the Magpies forwards in the final moments of the game did not bring the team the goal they needed; instead the game was to be concluded with a penalty shootout.
An early save from Lucy King and the pace and accuracy of Lucy Field ensured that the scores remained equal after the first two rounds of the shootout. But the crossbar, the post and an in form Canterbury goalkeeper prevented Magpies from adding to their goal tally. This gave Canterbury the victory and they took the title for the fifth time in seven years. Magpies can be proud of their efforts in only their second season of entering this competition, they will aim to go one better next season!
U10 Girls East Hockey Champions
Magpies U10 Girls beat Chelmsford in the Final to be worthy U10 East Champions.
On paper they had a difficult section with Canterbury, Sevenoaks, Blue Hornets, Hertford, Sudbury and Magpies, with only the top team going through to the final.
Magpies had a tough start having to play Canterbury the Kent Champions in the opening match, but they produced the right performance and an early goal from Evie Wheeler settled the team down and put Canterbury on the back foot for the rest of the match. Magpies defended well when they had to, but despite creating other chances they could not add to their score. This was a huge result to start with and gave Magpies their momentum for the rest of the Tournament.
Sevenoaks proved to be a tough team to crack but eventually Magpies work rate and determination saw them come out 2-0 winners (Evie Wheeler, Honor Wild).
Sudbury made a hard game of it but finally goals from Honor and Evie gave us a 2-0 lead, before Sudbury scored a late goal from a penalty corner for Magpies to win 2-1.
Hertford proved to be a very competitive side, but again with the Magpies defence continuing to be so solid it was only a matter of time before Magpies scored again thanks to Honor and Evie.
With one game to go Magpies had already qualified for the Final having scored four straight wins and it also gave Magpies a chance to rotate the squad to give some players a well earned rest. This did not make any difference to the performance or the result beating Blue Hornets 3-0 (Evie, Honor, Artemis Wild).
Magpies had reached the Final with a series of five impressive wins. The success to date was based on a very strong defence with Jasmine in goal and Boo Harrod and Daisy Wicks giving the opposition few chances. Artemis in centre midfield commanding the middle. Up front Evie and Honor were scoring the goals whilst Mia North worked tirelessly for the team. It was a great team effort from all the squad including Mia Spaull, Millie Shepherd and Molly Denny.
In the final Magpies completely dominated the match but on this occasion they just could not finish off the chances they created so the game finished 0-0. The final was to be decided on penalty flicks and fortunately Magpies had learnt their lesson from the Norfolk Championship and won by two penalty flicks to nil.
This was nothing less than Magpies deserved as they were clearly the best team there.
SQUAD: Daisy Wicks (Capt), Jasmine Freeman GK, Boo Harrod, Millie Shepherd, Artemis Wild, Mia Spaull, Mia North, Molly Denny, Evie Wheeler and Honor Wild.
Harleston Magpies Hockey Club hosted the East Hockey In2Hockey Club Championships this weekend 28 and 29 April, and witnessed a display of brilliant hockey, resulting in one Magpies youth team carrying off the title of ‘Regional Champions’, and the U12 girls finishing runners up and bound for the England Hockey national finals in May at Nottingham.
Teams travelled to Harleston from across the East including Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge City, Chelmsford, Sevenoaks and Saffron Walden, plus Norwich City and Norwich Dragons amongst several others.
The Harleston Magpies U10 girls played very well throughout on Saturday 28 April, finally beating Chelmsford 2-0 on penalty strokes in the final after a 0-0 draw in normal time, and winning the title of Regional U10 girls Champions.
On paper they had a difficult section with Canterbury, Sevenoaks, Blue Hornets, Hertford, Sudbury and Magpies, with only the top team going through to the final.
Magpies reached the final with a series of five impressive wins. The success of this team is based on a very strong defence, a commanding centre midfield , and strong goal scoring up front.
In the final, Magpies completely dominated the match but on this occasion they just could not finish off the chances they created and the game finished 0-0. So the final was decided on penalty flicks and fortunately Magpies had learnt their lesson from the Norfolk Championship and won by two penalty flicks to nil. Coach Nick McAllen said: ‘This was nothing less than the U10 Magpies girls deserved as they were clearly the best team there. They played consistently throughout Saturday afternoon, and they thoroughly deserved to be crowned East hockey champions.’
The u12 girls played their regional campaign in high spirits, against Saffron Walden first with a tough 2-all draw. Next up were an amazingly strong unit from Sevenoaks. Magpies nearly caught them napping in the first few seconds but from then on the girls had to work really hard to hold them at bay with the final score a 3 – 0 loss. So with two matches played and only a draw against our name, the Magpies team had to win every game to make it to the semis. Fortunately this was the case with wins against St Albans, Blue Hornets, Bury and then Cambridge in the semi-final.
The girls were thrilled to make it to the final after a tough journey. This meant that the team had already qualified for the Nationals in May in Nottingham. Playing Sevenoaks again to decide who would be East champions was a challenge. U12 girls coach Kathy Gardens said: ‘We knew if we could keep it tight at the start and spoil Sevenoaks’ wonderful attacking play we might be in with a shout but sadly they were very much in form and passed the ball around beautifully. We lost but disappointment was short lived however as the girls were soon celebrating their achievement in reaching the National Finals in just two weeks’ time’.
Club Youth Chairman David Johnson said: ‘This is an excellent set of results from our teams, with the U10 boys also finishing seventh. Despite the cold wet weather, all the players had fun. My sincere thanks to everybody who helped make the tournament happen, both on and off the pitch. The good news is that for some, the season is still not yet over with our U12 girls, and U14 girls and boys playing in national finals over the weekend of 12 and 13 May. They are all a credit to the club.’
U12 Girls Qualify for the National Finals
Boys U18 v Marlow ( EH U18 Cup L 2-4)
Magpies U18 boys travelled to Marlow in the semi-final of the national competition on Sunday and, in front of a big home crowd, both sides played a out a very entertaining match. With home advantage, Marlow started strongly but Magpies defended resolutely and then, very much against the run of play, opened the scoring. A firmly struck ball found Bensly in the circle who deftly deflected the ball past the Marlow keeper and into the back of the net. The next 10-minues saw Magpies get a foothold into the game only to concede a break away goal having committed too many players to attack. The game swung back into Marlow’s favour and they took the lead when they finally scored after a succession of short-corners. Magpies remained in the game and should have equalised before half-time when a slick move between Bensly and Sewell saw the final shot go just wide. Half-time 2-1 to Marlow.
Following a spirited half-time team talk Magpies started the second half well and were rewarded when Bensly scored his second with a spectacular first time shot from the top of the Marlow circle. Unfortunately, Magpies got caught again on the counter to concede a third goal and before they had time to catch their breath Marlow scored a fourth from another short-corner. However, with plenty of time left Magpies settled down, took control of the game and a tense finish looked on the cards. The final 10-minutes saw Magpies force chance after chance but were just unable to apply the final touch. Then, with the goal begging a Marlow defender illegally stopped the ball on the line but, from the ensuing penalty flick, Magpies missed the chance. Marlow continued to defend resolutely and despite Magpies dominating possession and creating further chances the game finished with no further goals. Final score 4-2 to Marlow.
This was an excellent game of hockey with both sides playing with great passion and skill. Ultimately, the game was decided by small margins with Marlow fully capitalising on the chances they created and Magpies rueing the number of chances they missed, particularly in the second half. This game was the culmination of 10-years hard work from a committed and talented bunch of boys who have carried forward the Magpies tradition of playing free-flowing and totally committed hockey.
Special thanks to Richard Larkin, Andrew Bedwell and Tim Whiteman for the excellent coaching sessions leading up to Sunday’s game and to all the parents for their support this year and for many years before.
Saturday saw the majority of teams play their last game of the season, with only the development squads still to rearrange a few fixtures. The Men’s Firsts travelled to St Albans and held the hosts to 0-0 at half time, only for the Hertfordshire side to score three times in the second half. The squad would like to wish Archie Winter, Jonty Gosling, Sam Paterson and Jake Sewell all the best as they head off to university after the summer.
Both Magpies First teams have finished the season in fifth place, with their away form proving restrictive. Sam Patterson and Lauren Rowe, alongside many other talented young players, demonstrate how integral the Magpies development set up is for providing home grown players who can hold their own at this level. The return of Emma Lee-Smith really boosted the attacking strength of the ladies and the men have developed their mentality and improved tactically. Player Coach Tim Whiteman says ‘It has been a hugely enjoyable season and I can’t wait to work with the squad next year and reach the goals we have set ourselves.’
Goals from old boys Tristan Baynes and Martin Fields ensured that the Men’s Seconds topped off a fantastic season with a 3-1 victory over St Ives on Saturday, meaning they won 22/22 games and are champions with 15 points between them and runners up Norwich City. Despite a 2-2 draw away at UEA (goals from Kieran Peters and Arthur Johnson) the Men’s 3s finish third from bottom and are relegated following a fantastic endeavour with virtually all games going down to the last ten minutes. True to form, the Ladies Fourths lost narrowly away to Norwich City but live to fight another season in the Norfolk Prem due to UEA being docked points for using unqualified umpires.
Thank you to everyone who made the End of Season Fun Day such a success on Saturday. Frisbee and rounders matches were followed by the annual awards where Mike Denham, Treacle Taylor, Lucy Belsey, Bob Skinner, James Smith, Tristan Baynes, Kirsten Cumming and David Johnson were acknowledged for their services to the club.
Each team nominated their player of the season and the following were voted by their teammates; Georgia Hood, Jack Glover, Felicity Perry, Ben Emms, Victoria Spouncer, Seth Read, Sophie Meynall Anderson, Stuart Field, Sarah Legg, Amelia Hershell Shorland, Thomas Ridley and Emma Lee-Smith.
Sunday saw Magpies’ U10 and U12 teams head to Watton where ‘It was great to finally get our teams back on a hockey pitch and play some competitive matches’ commented James Smith, Magpies Boys Youth Development Officer. There has been a number of Minis tournaments cancelled due to the weather but the players have been working hard at training and the improvement was plain to see. Anyone interested in giving hockey a try can firstname.lastname@example.org for details on a summer taster course at Magpies throughout June.
Finally, congratulations to Tristan Baynes and Chris Routs who have been selected for the England O40s squad for this summers tournaments. Also to the unstoppable Jose Tibbenham who, whilst captaining the Ladies Fifths, is this seasons top scorer out of all the Magpie teams with 25 goals.
U12 Girls Mini Tournament at Watton
The Girls U12B team moved up a level and entered the Gold section of the Watton Mini Tournament filling the space of our usual A team who had organised a separate training session in preparation for the East Regional Finals in a few weeks time, so we knew we were going to be against some stiff opposition.This did not deter our girls. We came out strong in the first game against Watton, passing the ball well and using the width of the pitch. Two excellent goals scored by Ellie gave us a comfortable 2-0 win.The next game was against City Lions and again the girls played with determination and showed some great skills, particularly Ellie who scored a fantastic reverse stick shot. Kate was very solid in midfield and distributed the ball well. Florence and Jess made some lovely runs down the wing and the game was secured by an excellent goal from Grace, another 2-0 win.The next two games were the toughest. Dereham A were very strong and although we went down 2-0, Isabelle and Amy played really well in defence, clearing the ball off the line on several occasions and making some very timely tackles.The final game was against Dragons Hinch. We narrowly lost by 1-0 but again the game showed how much all the girls have improved over the season, playing some lovely hockey. Peter shared his wealth of experience with his strategic team talks so we go to Dereham in a couple of weeks time with our heads up, ready to revenge the teams we narrowly lost to todayOverall the team came 2nd in the Gold tournament which was an excellent resultSquad: Lily-Ann Hare (GK), Isabelle Potter, Amy freeman, Kate Ford (Capt), Florence Collins, Ellie Bowden, Grace Seppings, Jessica Smith
Magpies Unbeatable U10’s
Mini Hockey return to Norfolk this Sunday at Watton and it was a day to remember for Magpies U10s teams. After 14 matches of hockey none of Magpies three U10s teams had been beaten – the two boys teams not even conceding a single goal between them.
The morning started brightly with the U10 girls team leading the way and demonstrating how hard they have worked at coaching over the winter months. They defended deeply and attacking quickly but most importantly looking competitive in all their matches. A little more composure in front of goal and they could have converted their possession into more wins and challenged for medals. Their best result, a 3 -1 win over Dragons C but as the headline suggests no one could find a way to beat this young developing team..
Then came the turn of Magpies two U10 boys teams, with a number of tactical changes to test and challenge our youngsters both teams started cautiously and needed their goal keepers to be on top form until they settled into their positions and teams. Both Magpies young keepers responding well to the challenge with neither conceding a goal all afternoon.
A little more work may be required on the training field in front of goal with only the one goal to show for all their efforts but both teams can take great pride in their defensive performances and I am sure in the future will turn possession and chances into goals.
Magpies U12s also got a long awaited run out with both the boys and girls each fielding two teams in their respective tournaments. Magpies U12 girls silver team continued the unbeatable theme, 5 matches played, no goals conceded and one win a hard earned joint 3rd place finish. Magpies U12 girls gold team went one better with a runners up spot. Two fine display of attacking hockey securing wins against the hosts, Watton and Norwich City – so often Magpies nemesis. This set up a title decider with Dereham who on this occasion were just too strong.
Magpies U12 boys had a more challenging afternoon, rusty from a lack of matches and missing a number of influential players the boys played some great hockey but all too often found teams just that little bit sharper or clinical in front of goal.
“It was great to finally get our teams back on a hockey pitch and play some competitive matches” commented James Smith, Magpies Boys Youth Development Officer “Watton hosted a great tournament just the right amount of hockey for all and the chance for our lead coaches to spend time with all our teams. The improvement shown by a number of our players through their dedication at coaching was inspiring but this really was a day to remember for goal keeping. Great saves, good concentration levels and man of the match performances all round.”
Norfolk’s mini hockey season completes at the Alex Hill festival at Dereham on Sunday 29th April. However for those interested to give Hockey a try Harleston Magpies will be running a summer taster course throughout June – email email@example.com for more detail.
Mens 1st Team v St Albans (Away (L) L 0-3)
U18 Girls v Reading (Home EH U18. Cup)
The U18 girls arrived at the nest to face Reading in the Semi final of the England hockey U18 National Cup competition having previously defeated Leicester 5-1 in the quarter final. Magpies had to make changes to the team that played the quarter final, that gave the opportunity for four U16 girls to get a taste of a U18 National Semi final.
Reading started the game strongly, attacking the magpies goal at pace. On 5 mins Reading took the lead with a well struck shot. Magpies began to settle and started to find passes and create a couple of half chances themselves. With Reading breaking from midfield very quickly they doubled their lead on 18 mins following a short corner. As the half went on Magpies were gaining confidence and on the stroke of half time can count themselves unluckily to concede a third goal to go in at half time trailing 0-3.
After a positive team talk from coach Stu Field and captain Charlotte Seaman Magpies started the 2nd half with a belief that they were still in the game, the midfield were breaking up Readings attacks and magpies began creating chances. On 48 mins Mia King pulled a goal back and this was throughly deserved. Magpies had the momentum now and continued to press forward looking for another goal, after a good period of play the Reading goalkeeper made a very good save to stop Mia getting her 2nd goal and put Magpies back into the game. Typically 5 mins later Reading broke away and scored to make the score 1-4.
After 60 mins Charlotte took a full blown hit on her knee and could take no further part in the semi final, in the dying seconds Reading scored again to make the final score 1-5.
The girls can take a great deal of pride in the way they have played throughout this competition, beating Norwich City, Norwich Dragons, Chelmsford and Leicester in the Quarter final. During the campaign Magpies have scored 27 goals and only conceded 9 goals. The squad will lose a few of these players next season due to players becoming to old for the age group but with a great group of youngsters coming into the U18’s next season we will be hoping for another long run in the cup competition.
U18 girls semi final Squad.
Charlotte Seaman (Captain), Alice Gooch (gk), Grace Cresswell, Sophie Child, Aoife Lowe Davies, Alice Woollatt, Lauren Rowe, Tor Findlay, Olivia Locke, Mia King, Molly Warnes, Emily Woollatt, Amelia Herschel Shorland, Phoebe
With the season beginning to wind up for many teams their was a jovial atmosphere at The Nest on Saturday as all the home fixtures resulted in wins for Magpies. The Girls Development squad put six goals past Watton in the early pushback, with Florence Collins making her debut for the team. Sandra Elliner’s side sit comfortably in second place having won an impressive 15 games this season with a +55 goal difference to boast. Watton were also on the receiving end of defeat by Magpies Boys Development squad who won the game 7-0 and are currently tied on points with Norwich City in the second spot in the table.
The home crowd were treated to an exciting game when Bedford travelled to Harleston to face Magpies Ladies Firsts. Magpies took the lead after captain Lucy Belsey quickly took a free hit on the right sideline, beat her player and delivered a pin-point cross into the circle, Lucy Whiting found herself in space and deflected in off her reverse stick in impressive fashion.
Annie Nunn and Charlie Harrison worked tirelessly in midfield to support the attack and create chances for the forwards. After a good run and shot from Lizzie Clymer was saved by the Bedford goalkeeper, the ball fell to Laura Tibbenham, who cooly doubled Magpies’ tally before Bedford converted a short corner to pull a goal back.
Magpies regained their two-goal advantage with 8 minutes remaining after another run from Lizzie Clymer, this time squaring to Emma Lee-Smith in space to fire home. Bedford scored again but were unable to find the equaliser, resulting in a 3-2 win and fifth place league finish for Magpies.
The news then came in that the Men’s Firsts had won away at Blueharts where Jude Pottruff started upfront for his first team debut. Andrew Bedwell released a trademark slider from a short corner to open the scoring and Mark Flatman pounced on a loose ball following another short corner to double Magpies’ lead.
Flatman added another before club stalwart Tristan Baynes found the backboard with a reverse stick hit. The fifth and final goal of the game came when Jonty Gosling passed to Richard Larkin at the edge of the ‘D’ who committed the goalie before slipping the ball to Pottruff to shoot into the empty net. The Men face a tough game next Saturday away against promotion hopefuls St Albans.
A brace of goals from Alice Evans-Hendrick meant that the Ladies Fourths took a point from their penultimate league fixture against Lowestoft Railway, and have kept themselves in the running to avoid relegation by the skin of their teeth. The ladies require a win against Norwich City Fourths on Saturday and then their fate will be in the hands of UEA who could leapfrog Magpies out of the relegation zone if they win both remaining matches. Sadly however the Men’s Thirds have been relegated following a hard battled season.
After Saturdays successes their were disappointing results for our Cup teams on Sunday. The Mixed ‘A’ team headed to Peterborough hoping to replicate last seasons champion success but were on the losing end of a 2-1 defeat. Matt Bensly opened the scoring for the U18 boys in the semi final away at Marlow but the lads found themselves 2-1 down at half time and, despite another Bensly goal, Marlow capitalised on their chances where Magpies did not and scored twice again to win 4-2.
The U18 Girls welcomed four U16 girls to the squad who faced Reading at The Nest but conceded three goals in the first half. Mia King pulled a goal back for Magpies but Reading scored another two to cement their place in the cup final. The girls can take a great deal of pride in the way they have played throughout this competition, beating Norwich City, Norwich Dragons, Chelmsford and Leicester in the Quarter final. During the campaign Magpies have scored 27 goals and only conceded 9. The squad will lose a few of these players next season due to girls becoming to old for the age group but with a great group of youngsters coming into the U18’s next season, Magpies will be hoping for another long run in the cup competition.
A fleet of Magpies headed to Bedford last Sunday to represent Norfolk in the East Region Masters tournament. Jamie Hudson, Myles Taylor, Neil Toulson, David Francis, Tristan Baynes and captain Matt Brand played in the O40s squad who faced Cambridgeshire in the semi final. Norfolk played a very good game and a goal in each half saw them go through to the final 2-0. In the final they would play Essex who had shaded the other semi against Bedfordshire on strokes. Norfolk scored four times in the second half, including one from Jamie Hudson, to win the final.
Murray Graham, Andy Caston, Eric Davy and David Blackmore represented Norfolk O50’s playing a round robin tournament consisting of 4 games, against Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Bedfordshire. Bedfordshire put Norfolk under a lot of pressure but Murray kept them at bay in goal to draw the game 0-0. Suffolk had already won all three of their matches before facing Norfolk so the team anticipated a tough game against their old rivals. However, they played the best hockey of the day and deservedly came away with their 3rd draw of the day against the Champions.
Looking forward, the Men’s Fifths and Girls Development have the early slots at The Nest on Saturday, followed by the Ladies Thirds and Sixths at midday. The Ladies Firsts host Bedford at 2pm who are four points behind Magpies in the table.
Sunday sees our Under 18 teams in the National Semi finals with the Girls welcoming Reading to Weybread (pushback 2.30) and the Boys travelling away to Marlow.
The Mixed team head to Peterborough on Sunday afternoon for the fifth round of the National Mixed Cup. Peterborough knocked the Magpies ‘B’ team out of the competition earlier in the season so the visitors will be determined to come home with a result.
Mixed A v Ipswich (Home (EH Mixed Cup) W 4-1)
Harleston Magpies sponsored by Parson Estate Agent hosted Ipswich mixed at the nest under the lights on Thursday evening.
Harleston started the game well dominating possession and looking dangerous on the attack. The only downside being at times the final pass which allowed an Ipswich interception. Despite starting well Harleston allowed Ipswich to grow into the game and with 20 minutes played it was Ipswich who took the lead after a devastating short corner strike from Lizzie Wheelhouse. Harleston were behind for a couple of minutes after excellent pressing from Stuart Field the forward beat three defenders before finding Tim Whiteman. Whiteman returned the pass to Field in the circle who cleverly deflected the ball past the Ipswich keeper. Harleston then took the lead with 5 minutes of the first half to play. After some excellent interlink play between Katrina and Leigh Sitch down the left the dynamic centre back drove into the circle where he was viciously brought down by an Ipswich defender. The resultant short corner was initially well defended by Ipswich but Lucy Whiting was on hand to smash the rebound home.
At half time Harleston knew that they were in a real fight to progress to the next round of the National mixed cup. Again Harleston controlled the tempo of the half and continued to grow in confidence as the half wore on. The defensive line of Katrina Sitch, Leigh Sitch, Katherine Ridley, Andrew Bedwell, Lucy Belsey and Lauren Mickleburgh rebuffed many Ipswich attacks and when they did break through John Livings was on hand to clear any dangers. Harleston soon scored the vital third goal after some good interlink play between Richard Larkin, Emma Lee-Smith and Lizzie Clymer the team won a short corner. After a comedy of errors Lauren Barber coolly slid the ball to Andrew Bedwell, the dynamic centre back pirouetted in the circle to unleash a pinpoint pass to Lucy Belsey who used all of her goal scoring experience to slot the ball home.
With the game now drifting away from them some of the Ipswich heads started to drop but Harleston were not done and soon added a 4th goal when Thomas Ridley beat two players before shooting violently at goal and burying the ball in the bottom corner leaving the goal keeper as a mere spectator.
Harleston will now face Peterborough in the next round on the 8th April.
The team would like to thank all of the supports who came down to watch on a wet and windy evening at Weybread.
Harleston Magpies Hockey Club is eagerly anticipating a thrilling Sunday of hockey on 8th April which will see both its U18 boys and girls squads competing in the semi finals of the Tier 1 U18s England Hockey national competition.
Both teams secured their semi final places after some astonishing hockey on Sunday 11 March in their quarter finals. Harleston Magpies Hockey Club was delighted to with the achievement of both these young teams teams through to this stage of the England Hockey national competition. Being represented by both teams in this age group at this level and at this late stage of the competition has not happened at the Club for well over ten years. And Magpies is the only club nationally to have both a girls and boys team still in contention. A look back to the quarter finals for both teams which sealed their semi final places gives flavor of the intensity of the competition.
In the quarter finals, the U18 girls made the long trip up to the East Midlands to face a Leicester Hockey Club team who had already brushed aside some of the big guns in the competition. The game was played at a ferocious pace, but the Magpies girls showed their class against a good opposition, particularly in their defensive intensity and how well they transitioned from midfield to attack, with the final result an impressive 5 – 1 to Magpies.
Magpies U18s coach Stu Field said: ‘The road to the finals will only get tougher, but this U18 squad gets stronger every game and I know that in the semi finals they will work hard for each other when the going gets tough. The girls have played superbly so far, and their semi-final place is truly deserved.
The girls face last year’s beaten finalists Reading at home in Harleston at 2.30 on Sunday 8 April. Magpies U18s Manager Andrew Woollatt said: The semi-final sees four U16 players being brought into the squad as sadly four of the U18 girls are away on a hockey tour in South Africa. Whilst these four players will be greatly missed, with the quality the club has through its age groups we can be sure that the U16 girls will be more than able replacements. Most of the team have played together through their age groups starting at U10s. They are very focused and it would be a fitting way to end the season with a National final played at the Olympic park in May. It’s going to be a terrific game!’
Magpies U18 boys were lucky enough to play in their quarter final at home to Rugby and East Warwickshire Hockey Club. Magpies settled into the game quickly and forced the early pace, but against the run of play, Rugby launched a counter attack and opened the scoring from a short-corner. Undeterred, Magpies dominated possession, forcing a series of short-corners and deservedly equalised. Rugby defended resolutely but Magpies always looked dangerous and won through with another goal towards the end of the first half, with the final score 2-1 deservedly to Magpies.
Magpies U18s coach Stu Peters, who has run this boys team for some years and knows them well said: ‘I am so impressed with these lads. They play skillful hockey at a fast pace, but never lose sight of the whole team, and always support each other. The draw away against Marlow Hockey Club in Buckinghamshire will be very tough, but our Magpies U18s are really up for the challenge.’
Looking ahead to the semi finals, both of which will be played on Sunday 8 April, Harleston Magpies Hockey Club Chairman Richard Stacey said: ‘I am immensely proud of the superb quality of play that both our U18s squads have demonstrated in this national competition so far. We are a very ambitious club, but to have both the girls and boys U18s squads in the national semi finals is a real thrill. It’s a credit to our whole youth coaching structure, and to the coaches, managers, parents and helpers that our teams have got this far. Most of these young players have been with us since the tender age of age 7, and their personal hard work and commitment has really paid off. We can’t wait for Sunday 8 April and wish both teams every success!
Mens 4th Team v Felixstowe 2 (Away (L) W 6-4)
Bearing in mind that we lost our first game to Felixstow 2nds 5-4 at home, and our recent results, the odds were that this game was going to be one for the spectators. And so it proved.
With Arthur in to strengthen last weeks electric fast forwards, and with the skipper banished to left back as Max came in to sweeper the team had a more balanced look. We immediately took the game to Felixstow and were soon two goals up, thanks to the prolfic Toby H and another goal from Ben Emms. We then proceeded to completely forget our game plan and to start giving the ball away in midfield. This led to three quick goals for the home team. With Lewis helping another shot from Toby over the line we went into half time 3-3.
The second half was a different game. We stopped giving the ball away and pretty much played the game in the opposition half. With the team now playing fast open hockey many chances were created. Ben scored his third goal in only his second start for us and then inevitably Toby popped up and scored his 23rd goal of the season. Late on Felixstow broke away and scored a consolation goal to make the final score 6-4 to Magpies.
The result was marred by an injury to Lewis. A collision with the goalie led to a serious shoulder injury for which we are still awaiting the diagnosis.
Ladies 1st Team v Southgate (Away (L) W 2-1)
Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents took to the pitch determined to take 3 points from Southgate in their second away game of the weekend. Cheered on again by a large contingent from Harleston, Magpies were quick out of the blocks to assert their authority.
Good work from Lauren Rowe and then Emma Lee-Smith resulted in two early Magpies short corners. Magpies continued to dominate possession and territory but couldn’t get the elusive breakthrough.
In the 12th minute, a break by Southgate brought the first danger to Magpies’ defence but nothing came of it and the ball was cleared. Magpies took control again and from a short corner Rowe slammed home the opener.
Magpies continued to press with Aoife Lowe-Davies having three shots on goal blocked in quick succession. Then from a short corner Lee-Smith saw her shot drift wide. Next it was the turn of Martha Lawrence to bare down on Southgate’s goal but the keeper did well with a couple of blocks to keep the score down to 1-0 in favour of Magpies at half time.
As in Saturday’s game, Magpies made a poor start to the 2nd half conceding a goal in just the 3rd minute. Magpies had to dig in as Southgate showed that they were willing to fight for the win that would provide them another week’s stay of execution from the relegation play offs.
Fatigue was setting in as the match went into the last quarter but Magpies got their second wind and started to show some quality through the whole team. Rowe flashed a pass across the face of goal that Lowe-Davies just failed to get a firm enough connection with and then Lawrence nearly grabbed the vital second goal.
But eventually it did come. A great combination between Lizzie Clymer and Lee-Smith allowed Rowe to smash in the winner from a tight angle. Magpies’ resilience was tested by Southgate as they took off their keeper in favour of 11 outfield players but they kept their heads to see the game out. A satisfying win, making that a season’s double over Southgate, meant that the team could head back to Norfolk with a great deal to be proud about from their two weekend performances.
After a break for Easter, Magpies return to league action with their re-arranged fixture and final game of the season at home to Bedford on Saturday 7th April 2018.
Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.), Lauren Barber, Katrina Sitch, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Rose Winter, Annie Nunn, Charlie Harrison, Katherine Ridley, Lucy Whiting, Emma Lee-Smith, Lauren Rowe, Lizzie Clymer, Aoife Lowe-Davis, Martha Lawrence.