It was another frustrating weekend for the fixture secretary as the freezing temperatures resulted in yet more cancelled matches. Only the four hardiest teams stepped out to play in the artic conditions with the Ladies Sevenths getting the only Magpies win as they faced horizontal snow in Kings Lynn.

Featuring two mother-daughter duos, Alison and Jessica Menzies, and Bex and Ruby Pottruff, the Sevenths are a force to be reckoned with and Ruby opened the scoring on her Ladies debut after just seven minutes before setting up Bex to slot away the second. Solid defending from Liv, Karen and Daphne, along with a brave diving save from Peg kept Pelicans at bay whilst midfielders Miri, Chy and Alison pushed on for the third goal which came when Bex popped up at the back post to finish 3-0.

The Girls Development team played through the blizzard in Yarmouth and came away with a 0-0 draw against the team just below them in the table. Magpies are now unable to catch Norwich City who have won the league but to finish in second place is highly commendable. The season has given the Girls valuable match experience in preparation for Ladies hockey next season where there will be an abundance of thirteen year olds vying for a place in the Ladies teams.

A young Men’s Fourths headed to Thetford hoping to do the double over the team who narrowly lost out to Magpies at The Nest earlier in the season. The pacey forward line of Toby Hughes, Lewis Belsey and debutant Ben Emms made sure that Magpies were ahead at half time, albeit 4-3. As the snow began to settle on the pitch Toby put away another two goals but Thetford were relentless and eventually won the game 6-5.

Ed Brice (last week) and Ben Emms (this) have both made the step up from the Fifth team and impressed on their Fourth team debuts with a goal each – two to watch out for in the future!

This weekend the Men’s Firsts head to Spalding who are fighting for survival in the East Premier ‘A’ league so are bound to put up a hard fight. The Ladies Firsts play Southgate on Sunday who are second from bottom in the table so the team in Black and White will be on the hunt for three points.

On Sunday, Magpies host the U14 Boys regional finals where our lads face Amersham & Chalfont, Old Merchant Taylors, and Braintree over the course of the day. Our U14 girls will be in Ipswich playing in their finals against IES, Amersham & Chalfont and Cambridge City.

The Mixed team also play on Sunday (2pm) in the hope of getting through to the quarter finals of the National Cup. Facing local rivals Ipswich the team are determined to emulate last seasons success and make it all the way to the final.


Mens 4th Team v Thetford (Away (L) L5-6)

Despite the presence of the captain this was the youngest side the Mens 4ths had fielded for some seasons. Having won the previous game against Thetford 1sts 6-5 at The Nest we were expecting a tough game.

The game was confirmed at 12.00 and by 1.45 our squad of 11 was sitting in the changing room trying to decide how late we could leave going outside to ‘warm up’. The skipper decided to give a long team talk, encouraging the lads to be more vocal, only to be constantly interupted by Oli who was getting in some early practice.

Fielding in Toby H, Lewis and debutant Ben Emms, the quickest forward line in memory we decided to sit deep and hit them on the counter. This tactic worked well initially and although I cant quite remember the order of the goals we scored first and kept kept ahead to go in 4-3 up at half time. Our second goal was a smartly taken debut goal from Ben, to follow last weeks debut goal from Ed Brice. The other two goals were from Toby; the first an excellently taken solo effort and the second a tap in after Lewis took an overhead from the skipper to the line and crossed.

The half time chat took place in a penguin huddle with Cadburys chocolate eggs replacing the customary jelly babies. Conditions were getting worse as the driving snow began to settle on the pitch. This did not prevent our gallent band of supporters out shouting the home crowd and giving us much appreciated encouragement.

Goals were exchanged regularly throughout the second half with Toby getting two more, and with midfield maestro Myles slowing down with a recurrent thigh injury we were relying more and more and the outstanding work rate of the youngsters. With two minutes to go Thetford were awarded an controversial penalty corner (of course!) which they rifled into the roof of the net to make it 6-5. 

This was a hard game played under tough conditions. The young team put in a fantastic effort and were unlucky not to come away with at least a point. Thanks once again to our loyal spectators/taxi drivers. Your support really was much appreciated.



Ladies 7th Team v Pelicans (Away (L) W 3-0)

On a freezing cold Saturday, we battled through the snow and ice up to Pelicans, feeling sure the match would be cancelled at any moment given a whole day’s play had been lost in Harleston to the Beast from the East – mark 2! We arrived to find it was a balmy 2 degrees in Kings Lynn, although that didn’t stop most of the match being played through 40 mph winds and horizontal snow! But the Ladies 7ths are a tough bunch, welcoming both Ruby Pottruff and Katy Davy making their debuts for the Ladies 7th, and Alison and Jessica Menzies to just their second game for the team.
Against a young Pelicans side, Magpies got off to a strong start with Jessica, Miri and Alison moving the ball positively in midfield. Their confident play led to Ruby scoring the first goal after just seven minutes. Magpies stayed focussed, with more great passing play, using Katy and Jo Meyer effectively on our wings to bring the ball back into the D again at sixteen minutes. Ruby made a lovely pass in to Bex Pottruff who scored neatly into the left corner.
Feeling positive, Magpies kept pushing, but failed to score again despite several missed goals during the rest of the first half. Daphne Beckett gave us a rousing half time team talk, encouraging us to pass quickly and accurately. Pelicans upped their marking though, and looked strong at the start of the second half. Liv, Karen and Daphne in defence kept us safe with determined and repeated challenges, and Peg in goal delivered a fantastic brave diving save at one point.
In the final fifteen minutes, Miri, Chy and Alison pushed on strongly in midfield, and after a few scrambles in the D, when Jo narrowly missed out on scoring, Bex popped another into the left corner again to bring the final score to a very well deserved 3 nil victory. It was lovely to have a great mix of young, more experienced and new to the club players, all working together so well as a team.
Player of the match was Karen Hunt with her marvellous hit towards the end of the second half, struck so hard she managed to split the ball impressively into three and was crowned ‘champion ball breaker’ of the match!


Ladies 2nd Team v Wisbech (Away (L) D 1-1 )

Harleston Magpies 2’s were due to travel away to Wisbech, after confirmation that the cold weather had not affected their pitch the girls set off.

The girls got off to a great start and the first ten minutes Magpies had all the possession but were unable to find the net. A quick break from Wisbech caught Magpies out and they went 1-0 up. Undeterred by the goal Magpies fought on to try and get the game back. Their efforts were rewarded near the end of the first when a lovely run down the line By E. Rash was crossed into Laura Tibbenham to slot the ball home and make the score 1-1.

With Woollatt picking up an injury going into the second half Magpies were down to the bare 11 players and had to reorganise and keep the ball. The girls continued to attack Olivia Locke working hard and creating chances and Wisbech were playing the ball around nicely making life difficult for the midfield and defence. Magpies although winning some short corners and making chances were unable to score and the final score was 1-1. The first points that the girls have dropped all season, but the girls were ready to go out and get another three points the next day away at Newmarket.


Ladies 2nd Team v Newmarket (Away (L) W2-0)

The girls traveled away to Newmarket this Sunday for a long awaited rearranged game. A lot of the regular 2’s players were unfortunately unavailable so a number of three’s players stepped up to help out, thank you to all of them.

On a rather cold day the girls layered up and had a god warm up ready to attack from the start. The magpies girls got of to a great start keeping hold of possession and working the ball around. It didn’t take long for the girls to get into the circle and start making chances. New comer to the twos, Ellie Bale and G. Gardens both working hard and making life difficult. The first goal came from a good ball through from G. Gardens to Tibbenham to run on to and have a shot. The first shot was saved and Sophie Child ran in from the right to slot the rebound home 1-0. Newmarket’s efforts to get into our circle were thwarted by Rachel Baynes and Kath Johnson. There were no more goals in the first half and the girls went into half time feeling confident that they could get the three points they wanted.
 In the second half Newmarket continued to push to get a goal but the hard work of the all the midfielders and defence was proving too much. Magpies carried on working for a second goal and chances came. The second goal came when Amelia made a great run down the left hand side of the pitch and rounded two or three players then slotted the ball past the keepers left foot. To make the score 2-0 and her first goal of the season. The rest of the game played out with no more goals and the girls took away a well deserved 3 points.
Next week the girls play another two fixtures Saturday @home vs Watton and on Sunday away vs St Neots.


Ladies 2nd Team v Wisbech (Away (L) D1-1)

Harleston Magpies 2’s were due to travel away to Wisbech, after confirmation that the cold weather had not affected their pitch the girls set off.

The girls got off to a great start and the first ten minutes Magpies had all the possession but were unable to find the net. A quick break from Wisbech caught Magpies out and they went 1-0 up. Undeterred by the goal Magpies fought on to try and get the game back. Their efforts were rewarded near the end of the first when a lovely run down the line By E. Rash was crossed into Laura Tibbenham to slot the ball home and make the score 1-1.

With Woollatt picking up an injury going into the second half Magpies were down to the bare 11 players and had to reorganise and keep the ball. The girls continued to attack Olivia Locke working hard and creating chances and Wisbech were playing the ball around nicely making life difficult for the midfield and defence. Magpies although winning some short corners and making chances were unable to score and the final score was 1-1. The first points that the girls have dropped all season, but the girls were ready to go out and get another three points the next day away at Newmarket.


Boys U18 Team v Rugby & East Warwickshire
( Home (EH -18 Cup) W 2-1)

Magpies welcomed Rugby to the nest in the quarter-final of the U18 Tier 1 National competition. After a good warm-up Magpies settled quickly and forced the early pace. However, 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 when Winter powerfully drag-flicked into the top right corner. Rugby defended resolutely but Magpies always looked dangerous and took the lead through another Winter drag-flick. Halftime score 2-1.

The second half was a more even affair with both sides enjoying plenty of possession but without creating any clear cut chances. Magpies then upped the tempo and should have extended their lead but Hunt shot just wide, Winter narrowly missed from another drag-flick and the Rugby keeper made a couple of good saves. With time running out Rugby won a short-corner but Graver made a good save with Peters completing the clearance. That proved the last chance of the game. Magpies deservedly winning 2-1.

Thanks to all the supporters for their encouragement and for the army of helpers in the kitchen. Special thanks to Andy Bedwell for his valuable input into the pre-match and halftime team talks.

Squad – W Graver, W Simpson, G Hunt, K Peters, J Sewell, J Hobbs, A Winter, J Summers, J Pottruff, C Woodcock, M Bensly, D Cadman, W Do


U18 Girls v Leicester U18 (Away (EH Cup) W 5-1)

The U18 girls made the long trip up to the East Midlands to face a Leicester team who had already brushed aside some of the big guns in that area. With a depleted squad, the 12 brave magpies faced up to a 20 player squad who were keen to impress their home support. The game started at a ferocious pace with both teams trading territory in the final third of the pitch, without any real threat. Charlie marshalled the defence well keeping the Leicester attack at bay and Grace threw some dangerous aerials to set up surprise counterattacks down the left. Our best chance came with Rose crashing a ball back post and the ball just evading Lauren’s reach. Leicester had a flurry of attacks and a couple of corners which were dealt with well by the Magpies defence and a couple of great saves by Alice G.

Magpies took first blood on the 20min mark after a great steal and counter attack. A ball across the circle popped up nicely for Abby who intuitively smashed the ball into the roof of the net on the volley. The home team rallied and put together some good attacks but solid defending from Lottie and Olivia in the middle kept them out of danger and they found little joy down their left hand side as numerous attacks were cut short by great team defence of Sophie and Rose. 1-0 at half time meant the game was still wide open.

During the break the girls discussed patient transfer on outlet and being more aggressive in the press and it was the latter that ultimately led to the Leicester collapse. Superbly led by Lauren, Alice and Tor up front and excellent support from Martha, Rose and Abby in behind.

5mins in and Abby bagged her second with a smart finish and 2mins later Lauren made it 3-0 with a superb diving finish around the GK. As Leicester pushed to stay in the game, gaps appeared and Magpies romped forward even to the extent that Charlie found herself playing pinball with the Leicester GK. Lauren added to her tally after a cleverly worked short corner with Lottie to make it 4-0 and the pair combined again with Lottie sliding back post to finish in an empty Leicester goal. Leicester got a consolation goal with 30sec to play but the damage was done.

The girls showed their class against a good opposition, particularly in their defensive intensity and how well they transitioned from press to attack. This is backed up by their 26 for and 4 against in their 4 matches so far in the competition. The road to the finals will only get tougher, but this team gets stronger every game and today they showed they are prepared to work hard for each other when the going gets tough. Excellent effort girls and your semi final place is truly deserved.


With the weather finally abating last weekend all teams were back in action and raring to shake off the cabin fever with a full schedule of fixtures. Frustratingly, neither First team were able to treat the home crowd to a win, with the Men struggling to replicate their usual intensity in the 3-2 defeat against Cambridge University, and the Ladies suffering a 5-0 loss to top of the table Hampstead and Westminster.

However, the Second teams both maintained their unbeaten runs. Laura Tibbenham (3), Katie Woollatt (2) and Jess Howland were on the scoresheet for the Ladies away at St Ives whilst the Men came back from 3-1 down to beat Pelicans 6-3 thanks to goals from Greg Jagger (2), Lawrence Baynes, Tristan Baynes (2) and Martin Fields.

The Men’s Thirds and Ladies Fourths are both in danger of relegation this season and their fate was not helped on Saturday when neither team picked up a point. The Ladies face a tough game at Norwich City this weekend whilst the Men have another six pointer, this time at UEA with whom they are level on points.

Victoria Spouncer put the Ladies Fifths two goals ahead early on in their late pushback against Norwich City 5ths. This cushion settled the nerves of the young side and enabled them to play some composed hockey and move the ball well. The City ‘keeper had little chance of saving Janna Freeman’s belter of a strike which took Magpies to 3-0 up. Jose Tibbenham got in on the action with a brace of goals, and Tabitha Borrett added the sixth which sets the team up nicely for the top of the table clash with Pelicans this weekend. It is tight at the top with Pelicans, Magpies, Broadland and Diss all fighting for promotion so there is all to play for in the remainder of the season.

The Ladies Sixths got back to winning ways after a disappointing couple of weeks with a 6 goal haul at Norwich City. Goals from Judith Masters, Rachel Clifford and Louise Davy, along with top defending from Marnie Blair and Marie Davy ensured three points for Magpies and a seemingly safe distance from the relegation zone, a fantastic achievement for the team who started 2018 with only three points.

Sunday provided Cup action galore with the Ladies O35s taking centre stage at the Nest and storming through to the National Final with a 5-0 win over Clifton Robinsons. The U16 girls finished as runners up at the Regional Finals where they beat Braintree (2-0) and Saffron Walden (2-0) but were denied an equaliser against Southgate when a shot hit the goal frame. Sadly this means that the girls do not progress any further in the competition but should take heart from the fantastic hockey they have displayed.

Both U18 teams are though to the semi finals which is a brilliant achievement for the players, coaches and club as a whole. The Boys hosted Rugby & East Warwickshire and came out 2-1 victors thanks to flicks from Archie Winter. The Girls travelled to Leicester and found themselves 1-0 up at half time thanks to Abby’s goal and solid defending from Lottie, Olivia, Sophie and Rose, and some great saves by Alice Gooch.  An aggressive press ultimately led to the Leicester collapse and once the floodgates were opened, Abby, Lauren and Lottie sealed the 5-1 win for Magpies.

The Ladies Firsts host Bedford on Saturday (2pm) who sit two places below them in the table. They then travel to Southgate on Sunday in search of another three points.


Mens 2nd Team v Pelicans (Away (L) W 6-3)

After 2weeks of snow disruption, magpies men’s 2nd 11 were glad to be back on the pitch playing again. This week away to Pelicans who sit third in the table.

A lively start to an eventful game saw Magpies take the lead in the first minute, when Greg Jager finished calmly after good work from Jude and Martin down the left flank. Pelies found a reply immediately and then had the audacity to take the lead within two rather frantic minutes. Magpies were maybe missing veteran defenders Dickon and Flatman and the newly formed jnr back line was taking time to settle in, when magpies conceded a third. A physical and vocal first half, void of the usual passing delights so often on show, came to a close with Pelies 3-1 in front.

An inspired half time rallying cry from Stuart Fields led to a much improved second half, where magpies superior fitness led to a flurry of short corners, the first two were converted by brothers Baynes, LB and Tris. With their 100% unbeaten record now looking safer, magpies continued to press their advantage, with excellent wing back work from Cadman and Manly, when over enthusiasm led to AJ receiving two umpire enforced rest brakes. This only galvanised the spirit of the magpies forward line, as they attacked impressively on the break. Greg Jager, ever a danger, was up ended in the D and Tristan  calmly converted the penalty stroke to make it 4-3.
As a tired looking Pelies seached for an equaliser, magpies punished them with late goals from the in form Martin Fields and Greg Jager.
The game finished 6-3 to Harleston Magpies.

Next up are St Ives who travel to the nest nest Saturday at 3:30pm.


Ladies O35 v Clifton Robinsons (Home (O35 Cup )W 5-0)

Magpies thrilled the home crowd with this resounding Investec Women’s Over 35s Tier 1 Championship semi-final victory playing quality hockey from the opening minute against a talented Clifton side. They threatened to open the scoring on several occasions but before doing so were grateful for a good save by goalkeeper Lucy King who was otherwise rarely tested.

In a superb squad performance Emma Lee-Smith was outstanding for Magpies with her strong runs at the Clifton defence and she put the home team ahead in the 23rd minute with a powerful shot from a narrow angle which evaded goalkeeper Sarah Ellis who had earlier made several smart saves. Six minutes later Emma converted a penalty corner with a powerful shot high into the net following some deft stickwork.

Magpies were now in total control with Frances Burrell and Debbie Francis in dominant form in midfield and their position was further strengthened just before half time when after a strong run down the right by Lucy Field the ball found Charlie Harrison to the left of the circle. By sheer persistence and aided by a first-class advantage by the umpire she took the ball along the goal line before squeezing the ball into the net.

Early in the second half Angie Wheelhouse, who had several times gone close to scoring in the first half, was unlucky to see her shot hit the bar before being cleared. Clifton, with Isabel Palmer prominent, responded with a spell of pressure of their own but the fourth goal for Magpies was soon forthcoming when Anouska Stott took advantage of a calamitous mix up in the visitors’ defence to ease the ball past the guiltless goalkeeper.

This made the game safe for Magpies before Anouska latched on to a through ball to race into the circle to fire high into the net to complete the scoring.

This has to rank as one of the finest home performances by a Magpies’ team in recent seasons and in the final at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre on Saturday 5 May (5.00pm) they will play Canterbury who beat Olton & West Warwicks 4-3 in the other semi-final.


Ladies 1st Team v Hampstead & Westminster (Home (L) L0-5)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents this week welcomed Hampstead and Westminster to The Nest. 

The game started evenly with both teams taking their chances in attack and remaining solid in defence.  In the 23rd minute the deadlock was broken when Kate MaCaw was quickest to react to a rebound to give Hampstead and Westminster the lead.  Magpies remained composed and continued to play their game.  Hampstead and Westminster were denied a clear goal scoring opportunity right on the stroke of half time as the whistle was blown to signify the break before they were able to get their shot away. 

Both teams gathered for a quick tactical talk with Magpies reassuring one another they could get the game back on level terms and even try to steal the crucial 3 points.

The second half came with a rain shower but both teams remained focussed despite the adverse weather conditions and fought hard.  In the 42nd minute Magpies conceded a short corner which was unfortunately converted by Amy Askew taking the score 2-0.  Despite determined defending Kate McCaw added to Hampstead and Westminster’s tally in the 44th minute leaving Magpies shaken.  One minute later Amy Askew found the net with a backhand shot from the top of the circle, taking their score to 4. 

Magpies encouraged each other to stay composed and did manage to create a few chances at goal from counter attacks but unfortunately couldn’t quite finish them.  Both teams were fighting hard in the closing stages of the match but it was Hampstead and Westminster who managed to grab the final goal of the game in the 64th minute, which was scored by Melanie Wilkinson.

Whilst Magpies were disappointed with the score line and their second half performance, particularly conceding three goals in quick succession, they accepted that they had been beaten by a quality team with aspirations of playing in the top flight next season.  Magpies will take positives from their first half performance and work hard in training this week in readiness for two crucial games next weekend. 

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.), Lauren Barber, Katrina Sitch, Louisa Greenacre, Lottie Summers, Debbie Francis, Rose Winter, Annie Nunn, Charlie Harrison, Katherine Ridley, Lucy Whiting, Emma Lee-Smith, Lauren Rowe, Martha Lawrence. 


Ladies 7th Team v Loddon 2 (Home (L) L 0-1)

Our morning match started well but we had our work cut out against Loddon who were a strong team. This soon showed when a small mistake in our circle ended up with Loddon taking full advantage – well who wouldn’t? – and scoring a goal. Play was fast and furious with the ball flying from one end to another. We had short corners but Loddon’s defenders swiftly deflected the ball away from their goal.
During the second half, Loddon struck the ball at our goal but it pinged off the goalpost and was sent clear by our strong defenders. At one point, Karen Hunt dived sideways to send a ball clear of the goal and our defence played superbly. The forwards made a great effort to take the ball to Loddon’s circle but any shots at goal either missed or were blocked by their defenders. It was a hard game but exciting.


Ladies 5th Team v Norwich City 5 (Home (L) W 6-0)

This game was more evenly contested than the score suggests although the magpies keeper only had to make a couple of saves. Victoria gave magpies a two goal lead early on with similar goals following up the first strike from the penalty corner tapping in on the near post. This settled the nerves and enabled the team to play some composed hockey. Magpies moved the ball well and when they moved the ball early looked very dangerous. The defence mopped up most attacks outside the defending 25 giving Norwich little opportunity at goal. Victoria and Beth were working tirelessly in midfield and creating many attacks. Janna got the 3rd with a screamer of a strike giving the goalkeeper little chance. The captains request to keep up the effort and double the score in the second half was well executed. In contrast to the last couple of weeks when the team has looked sluggish at times magpies continued to move the ball early and create chances. Tibbenham struck a short corner midway through the second half, a second for Tibbenham soon followed after good interplay down the right and a slick final pass from keira. Tabitha finished the scoring with a deft touch late in the game. A much improved performance from the last couple of weeks setting us up nicely for the top of the table clash next week against Pelicans. Pelicans currently sit top with the 5ths 2nd but with a game in hand on Pelicans. Broadland and Diss are also still in the fight for promotion just one and 2 points behind respectively.


This week Harleston Magpies Ladies 1s, sponsored by Musker McIntrye, welcome Hampstead & Westminster to Weybread in what will be another tough match. Hampstead are sitting top of the table and are currently unbeaten. When Magpies travelled to Hampstead earlier in the season and they were beaten 6-0. Hampstead are a very strong team and hard to play against.

With the bad weather it has been a couple of weeks since the teams last outing in which they lost 2-1 to Cambridge. This was a close game in which the team kept fighting and never gave up, which is what they will be hoping to take into this week.

This week the team welcomes back Katherine Ridley and Emma Lee-Smith.

Squad: Lucy Belsey (Captain), Lauren Barber, Charlotte Peet, Louisa Greenacre, Katrina Sitch, Martha Lawrence, Annie Nunn, Rose Winter, Lottie Summers, Lauren Rowe, Katherine Ridley, Debbie Francis, Lucy Whiting, Charlie Harrison and Emma Lee-Smith.


The wintery conditions forced everyone to take last weekend off from hockey but the forecast looks much better going forward so we hope the full schedule of games will take place this weekend.

There should be plenty of familiar faces at the Nest on Saturday as eight Magpies teams have home fixtures, meaning that both pitches will be in use solidly from 10am until 5pm, and the dishwasher will be working round the clock to keep up with the demand for mugs.

First up are the Ladies Fourths and Sevenths who face Norwich City and Loddon respectively. The Sevenths, captained by Daphne Beckett, sit comfortably in mid table but face the league leaders on Saturday so will need to put in a good performance. The Fourths are second from bottom of the Norfolk Prem and require a string of wins if they are to avoid relegation.

The Men’s Firsts and Ladies Seconds both push back at 12pm. The Men play Cambridge City who are just beneath them in the table, however Magpies have a 9 point lead and far superior goal difference which, with the home advantage, makes them favourites for the win. The Ladies opposition, St Ives, have already been relegated so are sure to throw everything they’ve got at our unbeaten Seconds.

The Ladies Firsts get underway at 2pm when they host Hampstead and Westminster who currently top the Conference East table having remained unbeaten all season (so far). David Blackmore will lead his Mens Fourths out against Lowestoft Railway at 1.30. The youngsters in the side have gone from strength to strength this season and are sure to put on another good display in front of the home crowd.

Last up the Mens Thirds will be fighting to stay in the league against Cambridge University 3s who are also in the thick of the relegation battle. The lads need a win to keep their hopes alive so stick around to cheer them on. Jose Tibbenham and the Ladies Fifths will be playing Norwich City on the sand based pitch at the same time and could go top of the league if the Magpies stars of the future come away with a win.

Sunday’s bill is equally exciting as 12pm sees the Ladies O35s face Bristol side Clifton Robinsons in the semi final of the National Hockey Cup. A win would take them to the final at the Olympic Park in London. The Nest also hosts the U18 boys who play Rugby and East Warwickshire at 2pm in the quarter final of their cup competition. The U18 girls are away at Leicester in their quarter final whilst the U16 girls play their regional finals at Southgate against Braintree, Southgate and Saffron Walden.

Whilst the focus is often on the rising stars at Magpies we are extremely proud of two of our more experienced players, Shirley McAllen (O65s) and Kath Johnson (O50s) who have been selected for the England Hockey Masters squads. This means that they will be involved in the Home Nations tournament and the Masters Hockey World Cup in Barcelona this summer.


We start with Sundays action from Kings Lynn where Magpies U10 and U12 boys and girls teams took on the best in the County and did themselves extremely proud. The girls tournament was played in the morning with the U12s being crowned County Champions and the U10s runners up (on goal difference). The boys had to wait until the afternoon to get started but produced some high quality hockey which resulted in the U10s coming in as runners up and the U12s finishing joint third. Both girls teams and the U10 boys will now represent Norfolk at the East Finals in April which is a great testament to the players and coaches involved.

Despite fears that many games would have to be postponed due to the weather, the hardy Weybread crowds were rewarded for their loyalty by some exciting hockey on Saturday. After a disappointing result against Peterborough last week, the Men’s firsts were determined to put on a good display when they welcomed Bedford to the Nest. Simon Hipwell got the first goal with his reverse stick with Richard Larkin doubling the advantage from the back post. Sam Moore added another in the second half to which Bedford retaliated with their only goal. Hipwell’s second goal cemented the 4-1 result for The Olympic Athletes from Harleston.

The Ladies firsts anticipated a tough encounter with Cambridge City who went into the game just above them in the league. Cambridge converted a penalty corner early on to take the lead and were then awarded a penalty stroke to which Olympic gold medalist Helen Richardson-Walsh stepped up to take. An incredible diving stick save by Magpies ‘keeper Charlotte ‘Tosh’ Peet denied Richardson-Walsh, who scored a crucial penalty stroke in the 2016 Olympic final, the chance to double Cambridge’s lead. Great work by Rose Winter and Abby Gooderham led to Lizzie Clymer levelling the score before half time. Both teams played fast attacking hockey in the second half but Magpies struggled to convert their chances whilst Cambridge were clinical and scored from another penalty corner to win the game 2-1. Magpies remain half way up the league table and travel to Southgate next Saturday who are 5 points behind the Norfolk side.

Both of Magpies’ second teams have secured promotion for next season and both put seven goals past their opponents on Saturday. The Men headed north to face bottom of the league Horncastle and Captain Lawrence Baynes scored within the opening minute. Martin Fields doubled the lead and Tristan Baynes and Stuart Field worked together to score the third from a penalty corner.

Chris Routs was forced to produce a string of fine saves to keep Horncastle at bay but the goals kept coming for Magpies with Fields, Matt Bensly, Jude Pottruff and Tris Baynes contributing for the 7-1 win. The Ladies hosted UEA and piled on the pressure from the starting whistle. Goals from Anouska Stott (4), Laura Tibbenham (2) and Fran Burrell ensured that the unbeaten run continues.

Elsewhere there were narrow losses for both Magpies Third teams with the Ladies going down 2-1 to Norwich City and the Men 4-3 to Peterborough. The Men’s fourths really stuck the knife into bottom of the table North Norfolk 2nds with a 10-1 victory at the Nest whilst their Captain was sipping gluhwein in Austria!

The Ladies 4ths drop back into the relegation zone after a 5-2 loss to Norwich Dragons Thirds. The scoreline didn’t reflect how dominant Magpies were but there were too many missed chances in the Dragon’s ‘D’. With points so tight at the foot of the table Magpies really cannot afford to slip up again. The Ladies Sixths also dropped points against Dragons but, in more positive news, the Ladies Sevenths are up to 5th in the table following a 3-0 win over Norwich Dragons Eighths. Annie Lancaster, Ella Spear and the reliable Shirley McAllen got the goals for Magpies whilst Katy Davy, Daphne Beckett, Liv Carter and Janet Brown were unflappable in defence.


Magpies U10 Girls qualify for the Regionals

In their opening match against Norwich City in the Norfolk Championship Magpies played really well creating a number of good chances, but unfortunately fell a goal behind against the run of play. Magpies battled back to equalise through Evie Wheeler. Against Pelicans Magpies knew they had to win and score plenty of goals to put them in a strong position in case it came down to goal difference. Magpies quickly had a 5-0 lead (Evie Wheeler 3, Mia North and Daisy Wicks). Unfortunately late in the game they conceded a sloppy goal to make it 5-1, which in the end cost them the Championship.

In their final match Magpies just needed a draw to qualify for the Regionals, but this turned out to be Magpies toughest match by far. Dragons put Magpies under a lot of pressure including several penalty corners, which the team defended well. Magpies did have the rare breakaway or two but in the end they were happy to settle for a draw.

Magpies finished level on points with Norwich City and Dragons. Ironically Dragons missed out  on goal difference. With City and Magpies level on goal difference and goals scored it went to penalty flicks to see who came first and second. Unfortunately City won the Norfolk Championship on flicks, but Magpies went home happy knowing they had qualified for the Regionals which take place on April 28th and 29thagainst the best teams in the East of England.

Squad: Daisy Wicks (Capt), Jasmine Freeman GK, Mia North, Floriana Harrod, Molly Denny, Millie Shepherd, Evie Wheeler and Mia Spaull.


Magpies star at the Norfolk County In2Hockey Championships

Harleston Magpies took on the best from Norfolk County U12 and U10 In2Hockey County tournament this Sunday coming away with one title and two runners up spots. All teams will now progress to the East Finals in April.

Magpies’ best chance of success remains in the girls competitions where our strength in depth has led to a history of strong performances and County titles and this year’s crop of U2s and U10 girls did not disappoint.
Taking to the pitch early on Sunday morning whilst air temperatures were still below freezing both teams got off to a good start with goals and wins with both teams remaining unbeaten throughout the morning. The U12s eventually being crowned County Champions the U10s just missing out on goal difference, resulting in being this years’ runners up. Both teams will now represent Harleston Magpies and indeed Norfolk at the East Finals at the end of April.

The afternoon saw Magpies boys teams take to the pitch, with improved performances at recent mini tournaments expectations had been raised and the boys did not disappoint. The quality of hockey displayed was as good as had been seen from Magpies boys teams for many a year. Magpies U10s just succumbed to eventual winners Norwich City but made sure of positive results in their final two matches to be County runners up and go on to the East Finals. The u12s finished joint third a very credible result when the day started badly with the team’s goal keeper calling off sick and no natural replacement being available.
David Johnson, Harleston Magpies Youth Committee Chairmen commented that he was delighted to see yet more success for our youngsters and their coaching teams, saying: ‘Every year it gets harder and harder to reach the East finals as youth hockey gets stronger and stronger with increasing depth across the Count. Our girl’s continual success at the County tournament is something the club should and is immensely proud of, with the boys rapidly catching up”.
It is never too late to join the hockey family. Coaching is winding up for this year however Harleston Magpies will be running a summer taster course during June for anyone in School Years 1 and above. Email for more details.

For more information on Youth Hockey at Magpies and how your son or daughter can get involved visit Magpies website and the Magpies Youth tab.

For more information please contact Bex Pottruff, Press and Publicity Officer for Harleston Magpies Hockey Club on or 07500 945247



Mens 1st Team v Bedford 1 (Home (L) W 4-1)

After last weeks disappointing result against City of Peterborough Magpies M1st sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops were determined to show the home crowd the fight skill that had seen them nearly salvage a draw rather than the lacklustre effort that had led to them falling behind. Frosty weather had curtailed the weeks training and even put the fixture in doubt. Fortunately Magpies manager and part time pitch inspector, Kevin Ridley, had prepped the pitch Friday night with his patented anti-frost measures. Come Saturday morning the tarpaulin was removed and a bouncy soft green astro was revealed ready to welcome an always dangerous Bedford team.

Magpies started the game at a high tempo with the energetic forward line harassing and hassling the Bedford back line. On the ball the midfield were linking well. Marsh, Ridley, Whiteman and Leate were distributing the ball with calm authority and the Magpies forwards and half backs were finding space down the wings. Magpies created the first chance of the game when excellent work down the right saw the ball slid into Simon Hipwell whose first time snapshot agonising flew wide of the far post.

Magpies midfield and defence were coping well with the Bedford aerial threat and the forwards continued to find circle penetrations although no end product could be found. With ten minutes gone Magpies knew they needed to make the pressure count and sent on supersub Andrew Bedwell to step up the pressure. No more than two minutes after the robust full back had come on and the deadlock was broken. Coincidence? A Bedford counterattack was smartly rebuffed and Magpies replied with a counter of their own. Good passing down the pitch ended with Spi Hipwell finding space in the D, with his usual calm confidence in front of goal, he smashed a trademark reverse stick finish into the bottom corner.   

Magpies continued to threaten with their slick passing skills and strong ball carrying from midfield and another smart passing move found Richard Larkin free at the back post to double the advantage. Bedford were always dangerous on the break but Jon Livings and the back line were up to the task. Bedford were never allowed any clean shot at goal and were limited to a couple of short corners.

After an encouraging team talk Magpies were determined to put the game to bed in the second half. More magpie pressure resulted in a penalty corner and after the initial routine broke down Sam Moore was quickest to react. A smart spin and shot from the returning forward snuck under the gk and past the post man to give the home side the lead they deserved.

Magpies were controlling the game but with skillful players across the pitch both teams found themselves with chances to score. John Lvings had made a fine save to deny the visitors but good work down the Magpies right led to the away team converting a cross on the back post. This could have been a nervy time for Harleston but the home team refused to sit back and let Bedford dominate. Magpies continued to press aggressively across the pitch and turnovers were happening more and more. One such turnover led to a slick passing move that went from right to left before Simon Hipwell was left with a simple tap in after the Goalkeeper had been eliminated. This sealed the win for the home side although there was still time for another excellent passing move to find Tim Whiteman at the back post with and open goal. Unfortunately the ex GB player summoned up his international goalscoring form and deftly flicked the ball wide.

The final 4-1 result was justification for a very professional display from the home team who now look to end the season strongly.