Mens 5th Team v Dereham 3 W 5-4

The Mens 5th team set off for their match against Dereham 3rds with 10 players and an umpire of questionable provenence! Luckily when we arrived Matt Wicks had not only brought Joe but also his own kit ‘just in case’. Magpies initially failed to cope with Derehams fast direct style and were soon 3-0 down. Not detered Magpies stuck to their own game plan and led by Joe Wicks storming down the right were soon back in the match when Sam Moore scored the first of his three goals. On the stroke of half time Chis Hall expertly converted to take us into half time 3-2 down.
The second half opened up and became a game of two contrasting styles. Dereham crashing the ball into the D from the halfway line while Magpies worked the ball well through the midfield. Luckily most of Derehams balls ended up on the sticks of either Blackmore junior or Ewie while Sam Moore driving through the middle continued to cause chaos in the home sides defense. Goals from Sam Moore and Dan Klinsman took Magpies into a 4-3 lead, only for Derham to get one back. At 4-4 Magpies continued to press and there really only looked to be one winner, and so it proved when Sam finished off another fine team move to score his third and Magpies 5th. 


Harleston Magpies sponsored by Durrants Estate Agents travelled to Nottingham for the 2nd weekend of Indoor action. Magpies started the day in second place in League Division 1 from Surbiton on goal difference and three points behind the leaders Sutton Coldfield.
Magpies did not play that well in their opening match against Gloucester City, but still managed to lead 2-1 and 3-2 but just could not play out the final 50 seconds and Gloucester equalised from a penalty corner with no further time left on the clock. Magpies goal scorers were Emma Lee-Smith, Lara Taylor and Debbie Francis.
In the second match against Reading Magpies found themselves 3-0 down, 4-1 down but pulled back a crucial goal just before half time to make it 4-2. In the second half Magpies responded very well and went on to finish 6-4 winners. Goal scorers Sarah Brook 2, Lauren Barber 2 and Emma Lee-Smith 2.
On Sunday Magpies had a crunch match against Sevenoaks which they needed to win to stay in contention for promotion. Unfortunately Sevenoaks proved too strong and really punished Magpies on the counter attack leaving Magpies 4-1 down at half time. As hard as Magpies tried they could not get back into the match and finally lost 6-2. Goal scorers Sarah Brook and Lauren Barber.
Before the final match Surbiton had won the League and Sutton Coldfield were confirmed in second place. However Magpies finished the Tournament playing some excellent hockey and came back from losing 2-0 at half time to score three goals at the start of the second half  to take a 3-2 lead. Sutton Coldfield levelled the scores at 3-3 and that is how the match finished. Goal scorers Lauren Rowe 2 and Emma Lee-Smith.
After two hard weekends of hockey Magpies finished in a respectable fourth position but were not quite able to challenge the top two teams who won promotion to the Premier Division.

Squad: Emma Lee-Smith (Player Coach), Lauren Barber (Capt), Megan Brown, Lauren Rowe, Kristine Ayling, Debbie Francis, Charlotte Harrison, Lara Taylor, Aoife Lowe-Davies, Sarah Brook and Annie Nunn.


Ladies 7th Team v Watton W 4-1

A late afternoon game played on the water pitch was welcomed by the ladies 7s after a very long christmas break.
We started off with great intensity but it was to be watton that found the net first, soon after ellen moodie found the goal and made the scoreline even. Watton had a disallowed goal just before half time much to our relief.
Half time team talk resulted in some much needed changes to our set up so that there stronger player was man marked which made a massive difference in our game. Annie lancaster opened the game up furthur by adding a goal. An excellent link up between gillian stokes and jessica tarrant resulted in jess smashing the ball home in a fine strike from within the D. Some excellent defence work from megan, karen and louise kept watton at bay. Annie then scored another goal to make the score 4-1. Really good team performance after a long break. Next week we take on top of the league, north norfolk at Cromer. 


Ladies 4th Team v Norwich Dragons 4 W4-1

The Formidable 4’s made the journey to the goals centre to play Norwich Dragons 4’s who were 3 points ahead of them.  Magpies knew that if we won by more than 2 goals they would leap frog Dragons to 5th in the league.  We were forced to make a couple of changes from last weeks impressive victory over Lowestoft, welcoming back Sophie M A and Abi Lewis in goal, Sophie M joined up with the 3’s and Millie had to work.
The match started with Magpies attacking the dragons goal and if it wasn’t for good saves from the dragons keeper Cassie would have opened the scoring in the opening 2 minutes. We should have been 0-2 ahead after 10 minutes,  but with dragons first attack a moment of hesitation allowed dragons to opening the scoring.  Earlier in the season heads would have dropped and it would have been a up hill struggle to get back into the game but the togetherness of this team made them roll their sleeves up and were back in the game a few minutes later when Honey beat the dragons keeper with a calmly taken finish to level the scores.  Magpies looked to put dragons under pressure at every opportunity, Victoria Spouncer continued where she left off last week, growing into the wing back role and making that position her own, she combined very well with Grace Collison who had a great game to create many attacks down the left flank. After 15 mins we lost Captain Treacle to a nasty looking knee injury, Sophie Baxter slotted in at CB with Catherine Kilbourn and both coped well with the dragons attacks. Katie Woollatt was having a very good match, protecting the CB’s and winning all the 50/50 balls. After 20 mins Magpies won a short corner after hard work by Alice E H, this resulted in a goal for Catherine K who rifled the ball into the dragons goal to give Magpies the lead. Magpies were buzzing and just before half time quick play from Emily Woollatt in CM beat her player and spread the ball wide for Honey who easily beat her defender and looked up to see Cassie arriving at the back post, her cross was inch perfect for Cassie who took the ball in her stride and calmly beat the keeper to make the score 1-3 at half time.
Magpies started the 2nd half knowing that the next goal would be important,  Sophie M A and Victoria  pushed up high up the pitch allowing Honey and Grace and Emily  to continue to create chances for the forwards of Cassie, Alice and Imi. 15 mins into the half Katie W picked up a loose ball in the dragons D after good battling from Imi and Katie W smashed the ball into the dragons goal to make the score 1-4.   Dragons didn’t give in , Abi Lewis in the magpies goal was equal to anything that dragons put at her, making excellent saves.  Magpies finished the game looking for a 5th goal but not for the lack of trying were unable to add to the final score of 1-4.  A great result that sees the 4’s go from strength to strength, we are now 5th in the league and will be looking to continue this great run and put pressure on the top teams and try to make the top 3.

Joint players of the match – Victoria Spouncer and Grace Collison.


Ladies 2nd Team v Cambridge City 2 L 0-1

The outdoor season resumed with a trip to Wilberforce Road for a fixture against Cambridge. The fixture earlier in the season was a scoreless draw and as that score suggested it was a game between two evenly matched sides.With conditions ideal for hockey, another close battle was expected in front of a sizeable crowd that included plenty of encouragement from the Magpies supporters.

The first 15 minutes of the half was fairly scrappy in fairness as both sides were showing plenty of honest endeavour but neither were getting their passing games going. However the high press from the hard working Magpies was causing Cambridge plenty of issues as they struggled to transfer the ball out from the back into midfield. With this being the case we were picking the ball up in good attacking areas and started put some decent passes together and getting some joy down both flanks. Cambridge were also struggling to deal with aerial balls that were being launched into the D and from one of these Tibbs did force the ball home but it was correctly ruled out.
With Cambridge only offering a threat on the break, we were still the dominant force in the match as our attacks were now being rewarded with crosses flashing across goal as well as a number of penalty corners in quick succession. From one of these, the Cambridge keeper made a good double save and Ridders also found the net but again it was correctly chalked off. Cambridge did come back into the game towards the end of the half and forced a couple of penalty corners that were well dealt with by the defence and Alice Wells in goal.
Having got to half-time all square was the least we deserved to be fair as we had dominated for large periods of the first half but could not find that elusive opening goal in what was always going to be a tight game.
Cambridge began the start of the second half in a very business like manner as they squeezed us back into our own half as they were now winning the 50/50 balls and started to get some slick passing moves going. When we did manage to get the ball, their intensity was causing us to rush our work and we were struggling to get any passing going and any dribbles were coming up against a wall of red. Cambridge were then creating some opportunities in our D and we had a let off when a fierce shot hit both posts before going to safety. Midway through the half, the home side went ahead after some ping pong in our D, before a home forward got enough on the ball to send it over the line.
This setback jolted us and for a few minutes we looked as if we may concede again as the home side looked for a second. To the teams credit we came battling back into the game as Cambridge looked to hang on to what they had got. We got back to moving the ball in and around their area and were only thwarted by some last ditch defending and a couple of shots flew narrowly wide. However we were unable to pick the lock to create a clear opening in the last few minutes as Cambridge were hung on to their advantage to bag a hard fought narrow victory.
As mentioned in previous reports, this is a very even league but the trend seems to be that you need to get ahead in the tight games when you are on top. Credit to the home side who upped the ante at the start of second half and netted a scruffy goal when on top. Once again there were lots of good things to be seen in our performance and also some that we need to work on. We were certainly worth a point on the day against good opposition but you don’t always get what you deserve. 
Next week, we are back to the Nest where we are looking forward to pitting our wits against the joint league leaders Broxbourne at 1.30pm. The team would appreciate a good crowd to back the Ladies in what will be yet another hard encounter.


Ladies 6th Team v Broadland 3 W 3-0

The ladies 6s were pleased to get back out onto a pitch after a long Christmas break. With a few newer faces and the memories of Christmas celebrations having had an impact on match fitness, it took the squad a while to find a positive rhythm of play.
Good interplay between Marie Davy, Holly Morris and Laura Woodgate led to some great attacking play down the left hand side of the field. Broadland worked hard to intercept and show that despite their bottom of the table position they are a team worthy of playing in our League. Magpies created a lot of chances in the attacking D from Janna Freeman and Anna Seggons, but somehow Broadland managed to keep the goals at bay.
A quick player shuffle resulted in good connection between Georgie Hood and Flea Perry, who together worked to ball fowards allowing Georgia Scott to finally break the deadlock with a well taken strike.
A quick drinks break and team talk allowed Magpies to come out more determined in the second half. Although Broadland called last defender Liv Addison-carter and goalkeeper Imogen Flatt into action a couple of times, Magpies claimed much more possession this half. Kristina Brinkley scored her first goal for the 6s to bring the score to 0:2 to the away side. In a much more controlled performance Magpies passed more accurately to each other, several chances flashed agonisingly close across the face of goal, and finally Rachael Clifford was rewarded for her attacking efforts with our final goal of the day to take the win to 0:3.

Player of the match: Georgia Scott. 

A super start for the 6s who need to find five more wins this half of the season to ensure a top two finish and promotion.


Mens 2nd Team v Upminster 3 L 2-3

Harleston Magpies Men’s 2’s made the trip to Upminster after the Christmas break looking to start to put their season back together again. As seems to be the pattern of this year we had another well changed side and Magpies welcomed in Nick Moss in goal, Ollie Whiteman, Andrew Bedwell in at the back and Simon Hopewell in the middle. 

Magpies started brightly and were creating chances. It was Upminster however who play the long game well and were able to hit us on the break to make it 1-0. It was sloppy play in the middle and too much turnover ball that led to another Upminster goal. 2-0 but by no means out of it.  

The back four of Manly, Bedwell, Whiteman and Warde-Aldam were keeping the ball well and with the dynamic midfield of The Baynes brothers, Hopewell and Potruff a two goal deficit was not beyond us. 

After a few tweaks in the press we came into the second half with new drive and determination and this told when constant pressure from AJ, Kinsella, Dunnett and Skinner caused Upminster into sloppy mistakes. The midfield were threading the eye of needle and some great passing soon created chances and T.Baynes pounced on a ball in the ‘D’ to dispatch perfectly. 

Upminster hit us on the break again to make it 3-1 but it was Magpies that had all the ball but couldn’t make it tell. Some super saves from Moss kept the score line within touching distance. Another well taken goal from T.Baynes made it 3-2 but we just couldn’t sneak a third and with time against us that is how it finished. Frustrating but plenty of positives to take into the next two home games. 

MOM: T.Baynes 


Girls Development v Yarmouth W 4-0

Maintaining consistency is going to be key for the Magpies’ girls as they look to keep ahead of Norwich City at the top of the development league.  For periods of today’s game against Yarmouth they put together some fine attacking moves, passing from the back, using the width of the pitch to move the ball through mid-field on to willing runners upfront.
Magpies, had much the better of the early exchanges earning a short corner that Kate Ford converted well.  Her firm shot defected up into the roof of the net off a defender’s stick.  Magpies continued to have most of the attacking play but got bogged down in heavy traffic in front of the opposition D.  The second quarter saw much better build-up play, Grace S provided menace all match, receiving the ball out wide on the right before linking with the familiar attacking trio of Evie B, Ellie B and Flo C.  Grace set up a one-two between Ellie and Evie which the keeper did well to save and also drifted in on the back post missing out on two half-chances in quick succession.  Rosie M provided similar support down the left and a flowing team goal, crisp passes from front to back, went via her to the attacking trio with Ellie B providing the finishing touch.
The second half had a similar tempo, Ellie B scored her second after a series of consecutive short corners and the best play continued to come through the wider area.  Georgia in goal didn’t get a touch all game with the defensive line snuffing out any Yarmouth attack high up the pitch.   Yours truly then went in to sort out the pizza for teas so missed Flo C celebrating her 12th birthday with goal in the last quarter.  With cake and a rousing rendition of happy birthday rounding off proceedings, what’s not to like about Saturdays at The Nest?

Team (goals in brackets): Evie B (2), Rosie M, Amy F, Emma F, Kate F, Flo C (1), Ellie B (1), Harriet S, Isabelle P, Jessica S, Grace S, Lily M Georgia F (GK).

Player / Coach: Sandra E


Harleston Magpies Ladies Indoor squad sponsored by Durrants Estate Agents travel to Nottingham University this weekend. Last weekend at Bristol, Magpies recorded three wins and a draw. At the half way stage they are currently in second place on goal difference from Surbiton, but two points behind the leaders Sutton Coldfield, who won all four of their matches. The top two teams will be promoted to the Premier Division, so there is everything to play for and it promises to be an exciting weekend of hockey all round.
On Saturday Magpies play Gloucester City at 13.30 and Reading at 17.30. On Sunday Magpies meet Sevenoaks at 11.00 and League leaders Sutton Coldfield at 17.00 in the final game of the Tournament.
Magpies squad changes slightly from last weekend with Debbie Francis and Annie Nunn joining it, but losing Charlotte Harrison.

Squad: Emma Lee-Smith Player Coach, Lauren Barber (Capt), Megan Brown, Kristine Ayling, Lauren Rowe, Debbie Francis, Sarah Brook, Aoife Lowe-Davies, Lara Taylor and Annie Nunn.


Ladies 4th Team v Lowestoft W 7-2

Magpies ladies 4’s welcomed Lowestoft to the nest for their opening match of 2019.  Pre Christmas we had enjoyed a 5 match unbeaten run in which we have climbed to mid table to just below todays opposition and we wanted to start 2019 positively and continue to climb the table.  Magpies started the game brightly and for the opening 10 mins play was all being played in the Lowestoft third.  Against the run of play Lowestoft scored the opening goal. Magpies didn’t panic and continued to play the way they had set out to play at the start of the game with the full backs Sophie M and Victoria S pushing high up the pitch, this allowed us to press high and soon we were level thanks to a goal from Millie P.  As the game progressed the team were growing in confidence and they were settling into the new formation, moving the ball quickly and working hard for each other.  A well taken goal from Alice E H and a well struck short corner from Catherine K quickly made the score 3-1, this was deserved on the balance of play, just before half time Millie and Imi R scored to make it 5-1.
After a half time team talk which gave us the chance to take a well deserved drink, Magpies again looked assured passing the ball quickly and accurately from the defence and midfield, this created chances and  2 more goals for Alice E H  completed her well deserved hat trick to make the score 7-1.  Alice Gooch made two great saves late on but Lowestoft managed to score again to make the final score 7-2.   This was an all round excellent team performance in which the players worked hard for each other displaying a great team spirit and showed that we are capable of climbing the table even further.

Player of the match – Sophie Matsell.


Harleston Magpies Ladies Indoor squad were involved in their first weekend of action at Bristol in Division 1. It proved to be a very successful weekend with three wins and one draw leaving Magpies in second place on goal difference from Surbiton. Sutton Coldfield are top at the half way stage with four wins.
On Saturday Magpies opening game was against Chelmsford and they made the perfect start winning 8-2 with goals flowing from Sarah Brook 2, Emma Lee-Smith 2, Lara Taylor, Lauren Rowe, Charlotte Harrison and Aoife Lowe-Davies.
In the second game against Surbiton this proved to be a much harder match. Magpies went a goal down went 2-1 up, 3-2 up but just could not quite secure the win and in the end had to settle for a 3-3 draw. Nevertheless a good result. The goal scorers were Sarah Brook 2 and Kristine Ayling.
On Sunday morning Magpies beat Cambridge City 4-2 in what proved to be a more cagy match but after going a goal down early on recovered well to go 4-1 up with an excellent performance, before conceding a late goal. Scorers Kristine, Emma 2 and Lara. In the final match Magpies beat the University of Birmingham 6-2 in not their best performance, but still a great result. Scorers Lauren Rowe 2, Emma, Lara, Charlotte and Sarah.
The team were very well led by Player Coach Emma Lee-Smith and Magpies are in a great position going into the second weekend. Next weekend will be at Nottingham with the matches as follows:

Saturday Gloucester City at 13.30 and Reading at 17.30. Sunday Sevenoaks at 11.00 and Sutton Coldfield at 17.00.

Squad: Emma Lee-Smith (Coach), Lauren Barber (Capt), Megan Brown, Kristine Ayling, Lauren Rowe, Sarah Brook, Charlotte Harrison, Aoife Lowe-Davies and Lara Taylor.


Girls Development v Norwich Dragons W 3-1

The girls must have all enjoyed Christmas to the fullest as they commenced this game in a post-holiday daze.  Dragons, much the brighter at the start, were rewarded with a soft goal five minutes in.  After numerous chances to clear, the ball broke loose in the Magpies D and was pushed past the keeper. Dragons were probably equally disappointed with the Magpies levelling goal, some indecision from their defenders gifted Evie B a chance and she made no mistake with a confident shot.  Judging by my notes incidents of note were in short supply for the rest of the half as both teams battled the ball around a congested midfield.
The immediate improvement (thanks to the half-time team talk and further shouted coaching from the side-lines) was Magpies use of the width of the field.  At every opportunity the girls looked to move the ball wide.  This spread the Dragon’s midfield considerably allowing Flo C to burst free through the middle, Evie B running ahead of her latched onto the through pass and scored through the keepers legs to give Magpies the lead.  Dragon’s didn’t give up and pressed strongly for an equaliser.  Georgia F in goal was called into action on a number of occasions, most notably when the Dragon’s forwards had a break away chance right at the end of the game.  Georgia came confidently off her line presenting a sliding wall of pads to defect the shot away. Immediately Magpies worked the ball down the wing with Jessica S and Grace S linking well to get the ball into the Dragons D where the ball broke to Flo C who scored the a poachers goal and put the result beyond doubt.

Team (goals in brackets): Evie B (2), Rosie M, Amy F, Emma F, Kate F, Flo C (1), Ellie B, Harriet S, Isabelle P, Tilly D, Jessica S, Grace S, Boo H, Georgia F (GK).

Player / Coach: Sandra E


Harleston Magpies hosted the 3rd Santa vs Elves (Dads v Lads) hockey match to bring to a close the first half of the season with the Snowflake Cup and following FIH Lapland sanction the inaugural Icicle Trophy for Mr & Mrs Claus’s and her Reindeer (Mums & Dads v Girls).
With the winds switching on Friday night to northerly’s, Julie Raingauge had to make an early morning pitch inspection but apart from confirming a chilly morning was in store for all the pitches were once again playable and over 70 Santa’s, Mrs Claus’s, Elves and Reindeers took to the pitches.  Many thankful for the extra layers their costumes offered.
With many of the Santa’s / Mrs Claus’s new to hockey there was plenty to cheer as family took on one another with many personal battles being played out leading in the Dads v Lads match to two Santa’s spending time in the sin bin for inappropriate behaviour towards elves!  The was the first time any warnings have had to be issued in the 3 year history of the Santa vs Elves Snowfalke Cup and Santa Emms, tema Captain /Manager and Coach will now have to face the FIH Lapland disciplinary panel before next seasons match.  Santa Emms defence “the elves in question had been asking for it all year” did not wash with the match officials neither is it likely to be accepted by the disciplinary panel.  Although it goes to show just how much the Snowflake Cup and Icicle Trophy means to those taking part.
In both matches the deadlock was broken first by the Santa’s / Mrs Claus’s.  The unstoppable Santa Emms scoring to give the Dad’s an early lead, Santa Bowden putting the Mixed Santa’s ahead against the girls.  However the lure of mince pies proved to be the downfall for both Santa teams.
Whilst mince pies were being eaten and mulled wine was sipped the Elves were planning, penalty corner variations, attacking formations and slick passing routines and following the restart both Elf teams used their planning and fitness to devastating effect, equalising, going ahead and finally putting the result beyond doubt with well taken third goals.
With the scores beyond the reach of the Santa’s and Mrs Claus’s and turkey rolls beckoning in the clubhouse matches where abandoned and all assembled heading in to the warmth of the clubhouse for festive food and the presentation of the Snowflake Cup and Icicle Trophy – deservedly won by the Elf’s.  

Photos on facebook


Mens 1st Team v West Herts W 5-2
Harleston Magpies, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, welcomed West Herts to The Nest on a blistering cold Saturday. A crucial game in the race for top 4 with Magpies looking to get back to winning ways after their defeat last week and West Herts wanting to apply pressure from below. 
Despite the cold, an impressive crowd accumulated and they were in for a fantastic display of hockey. From the start, Magpies showed the intensity and creativity they lacked in the 1-0 loss over Wapping. With the West Herts players still warming up, the team took a very early 1-0 through Dave ‘UEA Dave’ Gilbert. A beautiful turn and top D strike to finish his dry spell. Magpies continued to look dangerous with connections from the Whiteman brothers on the right side. True reflections of the importance of fitness, nutrition and hard-work. Continued pressure paid off as the team won and converted a beautifully worked short corner, Tom Ridley the scorer. Individual battles soon emerged as West Herts became frustrated.  Despite some good opportunities and solid work from ever consistent rampaging full back Leigh Sitch, the team entered half-time 2-0 up. 
There was plenty of work to be done. Magpies had been 2-0 up only to draw 2-2 earlier on in the year. Nonetheless, the Magpies players continued to play smart hockey, retaining possession and working hard off the ball. Another Harleston short corner was won, this time by some smart 3D skill from Raunaq Rai. After an initial save Tom Ridley was able to put in the rebound to put Harleston 3-0 up. More foul play crept into the game from West Herts which sent Ollie Whiteman flying on the baseline. Unimpressed, the umpire was reluctant to award a short corner. As Magpies continued to press some cracks began to develop in our press. West Herts broke past two Harleston players, crashing a ball into the D which was not dealt with and fell to a West Herts attacker, 3-1. However, in a matter of minutes Simon Hipwell smashed the 4th goal in from, arguably, the top of the D. The crowd enjoyed seeing a Harleston veteran score and began chanting ‘He’s one of our own’. The tie was wrapped up with a selfless act from James Gray who set up Dave Gilbert expertly using the post from outside the D. Post-match James later said he was glad that Dave could score some goals today, it will do his confidence wonders. West Herts won and converted a short corner in the last 3 minutes. The game finished 5-2 to Harleston Magpies. 
Magpies head into the Christmas break sitting 2nd, behind Wapping and ahead of St Albans. Kevin Ridley described the performance as superb and there was rumours he even shed a tear of joy. 
Man of the Match Leigh Sitch


U18 Girls Indoor Regional Finals

Magpies U18 girls travelled to Queenswood School in Hatfield to represent Norfolk in the East Regional indoor hockey final.  Our first game was against Old Loughtonians who were representing Essex.  We won the match 6-1 with goals from Lottie Summers x4, Emily Woollatt and Sophia Basset.  We then had to play back to back matches, first match was against Sudbury who were representing Suffolk and we managed to defeat Sudbury 5-1, goal scorers were Lottie Summers x3,  Sophia Basset and Emma Williamson after a quick drink and re organise we played Southgate ( Hertfordshire ) and at half time found ourselves 0-4 down.  A few tactical changes at half time and in the  2nd half we managed to create chances and match Southgate,  Lottie scored our goal. Final score 1-5.
We finished the Regional final as runner up and have qualified for the National finals at Whitgift school Croydon taking place over the weekend off 19th and 20th January 2019.


Magpies Girls Development team top their league on goal difference following Saturdays 6-0 win over Watton. Kate, Emma and Rosie patrolled the midfield and linked up well with the attacking trio, breaking the deadlock when Evie slipped the ball to Florence who scored. Watton then enjoyed a brief period of possession but Georgia calmly organised her defenders to keep any shooting opportunities out. 

Constant pressure broke through the Watton defence in the second half and opened the floodgates with Evie scoring three in a row. Florence added another with a fantastic solo effort using her skill to pass two defenders and finish from a tight angle. In the dying minutes of the game Magpies were awarded a penalty stroke which Kate bravely stepped up to take and score to put the game to bed. 

A strong Men’s fifth team hoped to extend their recent good run when they hosted Pelicans 3rds on Saturday. Despite good organisation, the visitors struggled to cope with the Magpies pace. Freddie Hershel-Shortland opened the scoring and the goals kept coming at regular intervals. Sam Moore bagged a hat trick, Andy Caston added another and Dan Kinsman got on the scoresheet to end 6-0 and take the team fourth from bottom. The Men’s 3s go into the Christmas break third in their league following a 3-2 win against Ipswich with goals from Ed Brice, Phil Cobbald and Greg Jagger. 

A string of good results has lifted the Ladies 4s to a much more comfortable mid table position with this week’s opposition UEA 2s just above them. Izzy Slade, Emily Woollatt, Treacle and Sophie Baxter coped well with the UEA pressure and Magpies won numerous short corners which the students’ goalkeeper dealt with well. Imi Ramsdale had a goal disallowed which spurred on forwards Victoria Spouncer, Cassie Ayms, Catherine Kilbourne and Honey Lamdin who continued to push for the first goal. With 15 minutes left on the clock UEA broke through and scored, Magpies were unable to find the equaliser despite the best efforts of Julie Davy, Sophie Matsell and Katie Woollatt. 

Encouraged by last weeks performance against Chelmsford, Magpies Ladies 2s welcomed Canterbury to ‘The Nest’ and moved the ball around with good tempo from the start, creating chances for Laura Tibbenham, Anouska Stott, Eva Harness and Tor Findlay who were all denied the opener. Canterbury upped their intensity but Jess Howland, Cat Maciver, Charley Seaman, Katherine Ridley, Alice Wells and Lucy Field dug in to keep the score 0-0 at half time. 

The visitors penned Magpies back into their own half as the second half began, forcing five short corners which were doggedly defended by Shev Steggles, Louisa Greenacre and Kath Johnson. Gradually coming back into the game, the 2s attacked down both wings with the breakthrough coming when Jess Howland’s quickly taken free hit found Anouska Stott who rolled the keeper to take Magpies ahead. Canterbury fought back and equalised with ten minutes to go to leave both teams with a point each.  

With four wins so far this season the Mens 2s desperately wanted to bounce back from last weeks painful 5-4 defeat. Hosting Wapping, who are second in the league, Magpies pressed hard, forcing the turnover ball and building pressure which culminated in Oakley Elsom breaking down the right, slipping the ball to Robbie Kinsella who fed Dave Skinner in the ‘D’ who calmly dispatched into the goal. A lapse in concentration saw Wapping win a short corner which Ollie Juszt initially saved only for a Wapping forward to poach the rebound. Whilst pushing for the winner Magpies were left exposed and Wapping broke away to grab a crucial second goal, ending 2-1. 

Following last weekends defeat, Magpies Men’s 1s host West Herts this Saturday at 1.30pm and anticipate a tough match against the team who are just two places below them in the table. The teams drew 2-2 when they faced each other in September so spectators can expect an entertaining seventy minutes. This is the only league game of the day as everyone else has broken up for Christmas, but Saturday sees the U16 and U18 Girls head to Hatfield in Hertfordshire for the East Indoor Championships. 


After last year’s Pelican’s tournament, where we battled with the elements and suffered hypothermia, it was a relief to be greeted by sunshine and no rain as we arrived in deepest Norfolk for an early Sunday morning start. Unusually for us the Harleston team did not require the first match to get out of the starting blocks and hit the ground running. In fact, due to us not concentrating on the instruction that our pitch was working on a horn and the U10s were on the bell, we managed to stage an impromptu pitch invasion in our eagerness to get our GK in the end away from the sun with a mis-timed charge. Perhaps it was this that woke everyone up but the result was that we scored against Dragons in pretty much the first move of the game. That goal very much set the tone for the whole tournament in which time after time the Magpies girls worked the ball out wide before stringing more passes together en route to goal. Some of the goals had moments of excellent individual skill (a lovely reverse hit strike from Amie springs to mind) but many involved so many quality passes that the final touch was just a simple tap in, the hard work already having been done. The final score against Dragons was a comfortable 5 – 0  win (Amie 1, Beth 2, Evie 2). Next up was Norwich – and the question was, were the Norwich Pixies or the Norwich Elves their A team?? As it happened, they had split their strength and the Harleston team proved too strong for both with 5-0 v the Pixies (Amie 4, Beth 1) and 6-0 v the Elves (Amie 4, Beth 1, Evie 1). It was a very dominant performance by the Magpies team that left the City teams struggling to create many attacks at all as they were under constant pressure from both flanks. The morning finished with a match against our B team. We were concerned that this would be tough for our B team but in the end they defended strongly and made it hard for the A team to take their chances in this game. A couple of goals close to the end resulted in a 4-0 score-line. So, all in all a successful morning and a really good demonstration in how to play simple hockey in order to get results!


Mens 5th Team v Pelicans 3 W 6-0

A strong looking 5th team  was looking to extend their recent unbeaten run against visitors Pelicans 3rds. Pelicans were well organised but struggled from the start to cope with Magpies pace and speed of movement. Once Freddie H-S had opened the scoring, goals came at regular intervals. A 3-0 half time lead finished as a 6-0 victory. Young Sam Moore scored a hat trick with Andy Caston and Kinsman Senoir adding goals. 


From our home tournament in November where we had three evenly balanced teams we merged into two for Pelis with more of an A and B team slant this time. Overnight heavy wind and rain abated to leave a glorious sunny morning in King’s Lynn – what a treat! Even with more getting-to-know-yous both teams got off to a good start, especially whites opening with an emphatic 3-0; blues had a few unlucky 1-0 losses in evenly balanced games completing the tournament with a deserved and hard fought draw. Whites eventually completed as tournament victors winning all their game with 11 well spread goals – 5 players on the score-sheet and 6 clean sheets! Lots of work to do in training with development points for everyone on passing – strength and direction – pre-scanning and connections with one another. Thanks once again to team managers Abi and Katie W and to all of you for making it such a lovely day. The progress since September has been phenomenal and the whole squad is developing nicely; nice to get some medals, though I get the impression even nicer to get some sweets!
Squad for Pelis – Abby, Caitlin, Dilly, Ella, Ellie, Evie, Freya, Havana, Imogen, Layla, Lola, Lucy, Maisy, Olivia, Phoebe, Serena, Skye


Ladies 4th Team v UEA2 L 0-1

On a four game unbeaten run the 4’s played away against UEA. Magpies started brightly and quickly put the UEA defence under pressure.  UEA who are just above Magpies in the league grew into the game, Magpies defence of Izzy Slade, Emily Woollatt, Treacle and Sophie Baxter coped well with the UEA attack and they were backed up well by Katy Davy in goal. Magpies were having the majority of possession and continued to force numerous short corners which the UEA goal keeper dealt with very well.
Magpies thought they had taken the lead following a short corner after 15 mins when Imi Ramdale shot found the net but the umpires conferred and after a lengthy discussion the goal was disallowed as the ball was adjudged not to have come out of the D.  After the half time break Magpies raised their game, both teams continued to look for the opening goal which was looking like who ever scored it would go on and win the match.   Victoria Sppouncer  and Cassie Ayms put the UEA defence under pressure well, Cassie Ayms had a couple of shots saved by the UEA keeper who was having one of those matches, and Catherine Kilbourne who found good space in the D just failed to apply the finishing touch to a great cross from Honey Lamdin.  With 15 mins to go Magpies were caught on the break and UEA broke away and scored. Magpies pushed forward and threw everything at the UEA goal looking for a equaliser. Sophie Matsell, Imi Ramsdale, Julie Davy and Katie Woollatt continued to fight for the 50/50 balls, we had chances to score in the last few minutes but again we were denied by the keeper.
The 1-0 defeat didn’t really reflect the possession and chances we had but although the unbeaten run comes to an end we can start the new year in great spirits at home to Lowestoft and hopefully continue to climb the league.

Players of match were Emily Woollatt, Spouncer , Honey Lamdin and  Izzy Slade