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 today
Overall the team came 2nd in the Gold tournament which was an excellent result
Squad: 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 for more detail.


Mens 1st Team v St Albans (Away (L) L 0-3)

Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Sport travelled to St Albans on a sunny April afternoon for their final game of the season. The squad welcomed back Ben Watson and Jude Potruff.
Harelston started the game well and managed to string some good moves together with some good passing moves. Defensively the team worked hard and sat in their half court zone well. St Albans started to thread balls through as the half wore on, however, the defensive unit of Jonty Gosling, Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell and Tom Sumner stood firm and John Livings made some excellent saves when called into action.
Harleston were unlucky not to steal the lead following good play from Archie Winter and Jack Hobbs in midfield found Jake Sewell wide on the right. The youngster smashed the ball into the D which narrowly avoided the diving Tim Whiteman.
With the scores at 0-0 at half time Tim Whiteman asked for calm on the pitch as the temperature started to boil on the pitch.
In the second half both teams where soon reduced to 10 minutes for 5 minutes which meant both teams sat back for a the reduction in players. Harleston were soon undone when they were reduced to 10 players again. A long ball was deflected just outside the 25 which found an unmarked St Albans forward in the circle which he cooly finished past the on rushing Livings.
St Albans soon made it 2-0 capatilisng on a misplaced aerial that was expertly picked. With the Harleston defence out of position the St Albans forward was able to lift the ball expertly over John Livings.
As Harleston legs started to tire due to low numbers and the intense heat St Albans started to dominate possession. The Hertfordshire side should have made it 3-0 but Andrew Bedwell picked a thunderbolt of a drag flick on the line. Unfortunately from the resultant short corner St Albans did score their drag flick. Harleston did try and rally with what little time was left but despite an up right reverse stick from Archie Winter which fizzed past the back post they were not able to pull a goal back.
This was the last game for some of the Harleston players who are off to university. The squad would like to wish Archie Winter, Jonty Gosling, Sam Paterson and Jake Sewell.
The squad would also like to thank Leigh Sitch who is stepping down as captain following over 10 years at the helm.


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. 


Ladies 1st Team v Sevenoaks (Away (L) L3-4)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents came very close to completing a remarkable comeback at high flying Sevenoaks only to end up disappointed on the wrong end of a 4-3 defeat.


Thanks to massive delays on the M25, the hosts agreed to a delayed 2.15pm push back and it was Sevenoaks that exerted the initial pressure spending a lot of time in Magpies’ half without seriously threatening their goal. Despite the dominant possession enjoyed by Sevenoaks they found it difficult to penetrate the Magpies’ D.  As the half wore on, Magpies gained some traction with more possession and territory but after 20 minutes Sevenoaks opened the scoring with a strike from the top of the D. 


Despite this setback Magpies continued to go toe-to-toe with their opponents and looked good value for an equaliser but a sloppy pass out of defence was intercepted and a quick fire move ended in Sevenoaks’ second goal and a 2-0 half-time lead for the home team.


The second half started badly for Magpies conceding a goal within 2 minutes of the restart. But rather than be down-hearted by this setback, Magpies turned in a fantastic half an hour of attacking hockey. After 10 minutes of dominant play Aoife Lowe-Davies picked up on a loose ball in the D and was fouled in the process of shooting in a one-on-one with the Sevenoaks’ keeper.  A penalty flick was awarded and Lauren Rowe stepped up to calmly slot the ball home and start the comeback.


Within 2 minutes Lowe-Davies robbed the ball from a Sevenoaks defender and slipped it to Emma Lee-Smith in the D. After a scramble in the goal mouth Lee-Smith found the net to make it 2-3. Magpies continued to press with Lucy Whiting, Lizzie Clymer, Lee-Smith and Katherine Ridley causing havoc in the Sevenoaks’ half.


Completing a mad 10 minutes, Magpies got their third goal to draw level at 3-3 when Lizzie Clymer shot past the stranded Sevenoaks’ keeper. The game then got quite feisty with several green and yellow cards issued and Lucy Belsey suffered a head injury from a deflected ball.


There only looked to be one team that would win from this point but Sevenoaks pulled themselves together and from a strong hit into the D a Sevenoaks forward dived to deflect in what turned out to be the winner.  It was a cruel blow for Magpies as their comeback warranted at least a point but they must have taken heart that they can compete at the highest level. With less than 24 hours rest the team stayed over in London in preparation for their match with Southgate on Sunday.

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. 



On Saturday, which should have been the last day of the season (before the weather wiped out two weekends worth of matches) Harleston Magpies fielded 11 teams to scrabble for the last few points up for grabs.

The Men’s Fourths found themselves at 3-3 by half time in their away fixture at Felixstowe after Toby Hughes (2) and Ben Emms had put Magpies ahead only for the team to completely forget their game plan and concede three quick goals. Playing fast and open hockey in the second half, Magpies kept the game mostly in Felixstowe’s half and Ben doubled his tally via one of the many chances that were created. Inevitably, Toby then popped up to score his 23rd goal of the season, resulting in a 6-4 win for Magpies who sit comfortably at fourth place in the table.

In the first of two games in three days, the Ladies Fourths welcomed Evergreens to The Nest searching for a more representative scoreline than of late. Despite having the majority of the possession and a huge effort from Sophie Maynell Anderson, Imogen Ramsdale, Cassie Ayms, Megan Beckett, Imogen Maynell Anderson and debutant Beth Moodie in midfield, Magpies were caught on the break and conceded the only goal of the game.

Monday evening’s rearranged fixture began in much the same vain, relentless pressure on the Dereham ‘D’ and numerous chances but no goals. The hosts scored twice against the run of play but, in a desperate search for three points, Magpies maintained the intensity and finally found the backboard. Goals from Jess Green, Alice Evans Hendrick, Helena Knock and Kara Kilbourn ensured a fantastic comeback and takes the Fourths into the Easter break one point clear of the relegation zone with two games to play.

The Ladies Firsts have secured National League status for next season following this weekends double header against Sevenoaks and Southgate. Sevenoaks were winning 3 nil when Magpies mounted a comeback via Lauren Rowe who slotted away a penalty flick after Aoife Lowe-Davies was fouled in the ‘D’. Magpies continued to press with Lucy Whiting, Lizzie Clymer, Emma Lee-Smith and Katherine Ridley causing havoc in the Sevenoaks’ half. Lee-Smith found the net after a goal mouth scramble to make it 3-2 and Lizzie Clymer got the equaliser with a shot past the stranded ‘keeper. Cruelly, Sevenoaks pulled one back before full time to snatch all three points.

Magpies started well against Southgate on Sunday and took control of the game when Lauren Rowe scored the opener from a short corner. Fighting to avoid the relegation play offs, Southgate dug deep and equalised early in the second half but Rowe claimed the winning goal for Magpies following a great combination by Clymer and Lee-Smith.

The Men’s Firsts got off to a flying start away at Spalding when Tom Ridley unleashed a reverse stick shot which a defender turned into his own net. Goals from Mark Flatman and Matt Bensley followed before Spalding scored from a short corner against the run of play. Ridley and Flatman grabbed another goal each before Matt Richardson swiftly dispatched a penalty flick, taking Magpies into halftime with a five goal lead.

Flatman completed his hat trick from a close range deflection before Captain Leigh Sitch got in on the action following a precision pass from fan favourite, Richard Larkin.  Ridley finalised his hat trick and Tim Whiteman slotted the tenth goal home to take the team into the Easter break with the third best goal difference in the league.

Finally, huge congratulations to both the Boys and Girls U14 teams who have qualified for the England Hockey U14s National Finals in May after bossing the regional finals at the weekend.


Mens 1st Team v Spalding (Away (L) W 10-2)

Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops travelled to Spalding on a warm spring day. Harleston welcomed back Mark Flatman after a spell on the sidelines with injury. After an inspirational team talk from player coach Tim Whiteman the team knew that they had to play through their attacking channels and get their flair players on the ball in the name of Tom (David Silva) Ridley and Tim (Kevin De Bruyne) Whiteman.

Spalding pushed back and Harleston quickly won the ball with a good interception from Jonty Gosling released the ball through Elliot Marsh who fed Tom Ridley. The young midfielder quickly accelerated through two challenges before unleashing a fierce reverse stick shot across goal where a Spalding defender turned it into his own net. Harleston continued to win the ball in midfield allowing quick counter attacks at the Spalding defence and within 8 minutes were 3 goals up and the game was out sight. Mark Flatman scored a neat deflection before Matt Bensley smashed home from close range following a good save from the Spalding goalkeeper.

Against the run of play Spalding did pull a goal back when the ball unfortunately found Stuart Leate’s foot in the circle, the resultant corner was dispatched with a low and powerful drag flick. Harleston started to turn the ball over a little too often as they tried to play forward at every opportunity. Despite not stringing many passes together at times there were still patterns of unbelievable hockey. A neat one-two from Elliot Marsh and Thomas Ridley allowed the vice captain to score his second of the afternoon before Mark Flatman grabbed his second.

Harleston were awarded a stroke just before half time when a powerful Tim Whiteman drag flick hit a defenders body on the line. After some confusion in the rules as to whether Matt Bensley was allowed to take the stroke Matt Richardson stepped up with a swagger and dispatched the flick into top left hand corner of the goal leaving the goal keeper handcuffed.

The team went into half time pleased with their efforts and the performance level. Tim Whiteman asked for more composure at times on the ball and to keep scoring goals.

Harleston were very composed in the second half, keeping the ball for long periods of play and deciding when to hit Spalding on the counter attack. Many good patterns starting from Tom Sumner and Leigh Sitch in a new centre back pairing.

Mark Flatman quickly completed his hat-trick from a close range deflection. Leigh Sitch then got on the score sheet from open play (a rarity) with what the umpire described as goal of the season. The dynamic centre back started off the move by carrying out from centre back he eliminated two players before feeding the ball back to Tom Sumner. As the ball was transferred across the back and up the right through Matt Richardson and Thomas Ridley the athletic centre back carried on his run leaving Spalding players in his wake. The ball eventually found Richard Larkin on the right just outside of the circle and looking up, with delight, he saw Sitch arrive. The ball was played across and Sitch had to use all of his attacking flair to deflect the ball skillfully into the roof of the net off his back foot. A loud cheer from the majority of the team showed the significance of the vital 8th goal.

Harleston continue to press forward and soon added their 9th and 10th goal. Firstly Thomas Ridley completed his hat-trick with a reverse stick thunderbolt before Tim Whiteman found space in the circle to slot home. There was still time left for Spalding to grab their second goal. Stuart Leate slotted in at centre back as Leigh Sitch and Tom Sumner were rested for the final few minutes. After a Spalding counter attack Leate was adjust to have brought down the attacked as he raced through on goal. Spalding dispatched the stroke to make the final score 10-2.

Harleston have a week off next week before travelling to Blueharts were they will look to replicate their best performance of the season.


Ladies 4th Team v Dereham 3 (Away (L) W 4-2)

Two days later and we were back at it, this time in a rearranged evening fixture away at Dereham who are fourth in the league. The first half summed up our season, relentless pressure and opportunities for Magpies but the opposition scored on the break. Undeterred, we packed the forward line and maintained momentum, firing in shot after shot and practising a variety of short corner routines to no avail.

Dereham doubled their lead against the run of play but Magpies continued to play attacking hockey with Emily Woollatt and Sophie Maynell Anderson bossing the midfield and Sophie Govier Schay enjoying the freedom to run with the ball and create chances.

Finally we got on the scoreboard when Jess Green connected with a cross into the back post. A come back was in reach now and the goals kept coming. Kara Kilbourn struck from a short corner and Alice Evans Hendrick deflected the ball into the net.

Not satisfied with just a point Magpies kept up the intensity and Helena Knock (accidentally) scored a wonder strike from long range. Finally our luck was changing and Kara bagged the fourth goal after silky stick work took her past the last defender and around the ‘keeper.

The win takes the Fourths into the Easter break one point clear of the relegation zone with two games left to play.


Ladies 4th Team v Evergreens (Home (L) L 0-1)

It’s tight at the bottom of the Norfolk Prem with Magpies, UEA 2s and Norwich Dragons 5s battling to avoid the dreaded drop zone, with two of the three teams destined for relegation.

Having won only three games all season the Fourths knew that a win on Saturday would really boost their chance of survival and as the game panned out we settled into our stride and pressed Evergreens high in their half. Beth Moodie came up from the fifths to make her debut for the team and stood her ground against physical opposition. Sisters Imogen and Sophie Maynell Anderson pinged the ball nicely between them in midfield and Cassie Ayms, Megan Beckett and Imogen Ramsdale worked relentlessly to get the ball up to Janna Freeman in the oppositions ‘D’.

Magpies commanded the game but frustratingly were caught on the break and allowed Evergreens to score the only goal of the match.


Ladies 7th Team v Carrow (Away (L) W2-0)

Our afternoon match at Langley School was played in very mild weather conditions …so different to last week’s blizzard. With a strong squad of 13, we managed to divert the ball from travelling rapidly towards our goal and sent it swiftly to the Carrow end. Some excellent play from Miri, Alison and Daphne helped to keep our defence strong. Shirley McAllen was ready in the Carrow circle to send the ball home when Georgia passed the ball from the right wing.
During the second half, play out to the wings helped to keep the width and with some superb running and stick skills, Bex, Ruby and Jess kept the ball heading up towards the Carrow circle. At one point, both Jo Meyer and Annie Lancaster managed shots at goal but the ball pinged off the same left-hand goalpost! Then Bex Potruff was ready and waiting by that same goalpost to receive a pass from Shirley and sweep the ball into the goal. Carrow had a couple of short corners but Katy Davy kicked any stray balls clear. All in all, it was a great game with a great team.


U14s Magpies Girls and Boys through to England Hockey National Finals in style!

Harleston Magpies hockey club are celebrating a super Sunday of hockey which saw both the U14 girls and U14 boys team quality for the England Hockey U14s national finals in May.

After two tough matches for the boys, who hosted the regional finals at home in Weybread, and three challenging matches for the girls away in Ipswich, the two young teams can now look forward to the national finals at Lee Valley London on 12 and 13 May.

Mark Emms, team manager for the u14 boys said; ‘Our boys played some really strong hockey today and they thoroughly deserve their chance to represent Magpies in the last eight at the national finals. It’s fantastic to see the club getting both of its U14’s teams through to this stage of the competition.”
U14s manager John Pope said: ‘It’s been seven years of hard graft for this Magpies U14 girls’ team. We are absolutely delighted that today they deservedly qualified for the national hockey finals. The girls’ performance was marked not least for the hard graft across the whole team, starting line-up and subs alike. Defence and midfield fought like Trojans to give our attack the platform to succeed. All our team were stars on the day. I want to play tribute to everyone who has worked so hard to get this result, but most particularly to our friend, mentor and sorely missed Magpies senior coach, David Brook, who recently lost his two year battle with cancer. David coached most of these girls from aged seven, and he would have been immensely proud of their achievements today.’
Magpies Boys hosted the East Pool B Area regional finals on Sunday 25 March at Weybread. Due to the late withdrawal of Braintree, Magpies were reduced to two games only to be played against Old Merchant Taylors (OMT) hockey club and Amersham and Chalfont (A&C) hockey club.
Magpies played the better hockey in the first game against OMT and led 1-0 at half time from an Ollie Currie tap in. Magpies gave OMT a couple of chances in the second half, but held on to win their first game, a slightly nervy 1-0.
Knowing a win or a draw would qualify them for the national finals Magpies saved their best hockey for the final game against A&C. Magpies took the lead when they finally decided to transfer the ball round the back of the defence, much to the relief of their management team. This released Ben Waters to move down the baseline to cross for Taylor to finish from close range. Against the run of play, A&C then showed great character to score an equaliser. Magpies quickly responded, moving the ball from the push back and winning a short corner. Captain Brice varied the play to dribble in past the four defenders and gave Ollie Currie to get the final touch on the line to make it 2-1 to Magpies. The second half saw A&C pushing for an equaliser, but this left gaps in the midfield which allowed Bardwell to find Currie, who’s threaded through ball launched a rampaging Waters down the right, who then crossed from wide out on the baseline to find Taylor on hand around the p-spot to make it 3-1 Magpies. With A&C tiring, Taylor was released for a breakaway solo effort making the final score 4-1. The whole team played with great effort, in the right spirit and really deserve their chance to progress to the National Finals on 12th May, with pool games at Old Loughtonians Hockey Club and finals at Lee Valley in London.
The girls played away in Ipswich, with three games against Ipswich and East Suffolk (IES), Cambridge City and Amersham and Chalfont. The first game against IES saw Magpies attack from the outset, with a fast pace from both sides, but Magpies had the upper hand throughout and won 4 nil.
The next match was against A&C, who looked to be tougher opponents. Magpies started where they left off with IES and after an end-end skirmish, Georgie found herself clear in midfield to dribble through the third quarter finding Keira in the D who, snuck the ball past the keeper. Amersham continued to put up fierce resistance with pressure of their own. Minutes later, Honey found herself clear in the D after Georgie had yet again pierced the opposition’s armour, and calmly slotted in the second goal. The second half was marked by, one minute in, a classic Georgie reverse that surprised the A&C defence before they were back into their stride and that settled the second match, three nil.
The Magpies girls entered the final match against Cambridge City knowing a draw was sufficient to qualify for the finals, but seeking a win. It was our toughest game by far. Magpies shaved the first half and it was and end-end battle throughout but ended nil nil after a tense final few minutes. With a tournament clean team sheet for goalkeeper Grace and the defensive team, Magpies deservedly took the top slot.
Pictured: Magpies’ U14s girls and boys youth teams who have qualified for the England Hockey national U14s finals in May, plus an action shot of the girls playing Ends…

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


One final footnote: this is the final of many teams, several of whom have received national honours, that our friend, mentor and sorely missed senior coach, David Brook, who recently lost his 2-year battle with cancer, saw through to their teens. He was not a believer in the afterlife but there was a definite sense he was with us today and would have been very proud.

Team: Abi, Amelia, Amy, Ellen, Emma, Georgie, Grace, Holly, Honey, Jessica M, Jessica T, Keira, Ruby, Sophie, Talitha, Victoria
Bench: Jim Menzies (Coach), John Pope (Team Manager), Rob Slade (Patching up)


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!