Magpies Under 14s – Midlands Regional Group A Results – Sunday 2 April 2017

Magpies under 14 girls with a young team of predominantly of year 8s – four year 9s in total – and a year 7 debuting in goal arrived at Leicester Grammar school on a warm sunny day with high hopes.

Team: Abi Lewis (GK), Alice Wiseman, Amelia Slade, Amy Collison, Beth Moodie, Ellen Pope, Holly Hanrahan, Honey Lamdin, Georgie Cantrell (Capt), Georgie Gardens, Keira Wheeler, Molly Warnes, Tabitha Borrett, Victoria Spouncer

Undefeated in competition all season a tough round was expected with toughest game up first.

Game 1: Reading 2-1 Magpies (Leicester 0-1 Cirencester on other pitch)

Goals: Georgie Cantrell

Classic Magpies we gave Reading a half start in this one getting a thorough 1-0 thrashing in the first. The score-line merely shows what a nervy start it was by both sides and the tremendous defence we displayed during a period when we barely got out of our own 25 including at least one phenomenal diving save by Abi to prevent a goal with her stick. Wave after wave of penalty corners ensued with Reading misfiring until eventually toward the end of the first half they inevitably scored.

This part of the team strategy I was clearly not privy to.

The same eleven stepped on the pitch in the second half but it was a completely different team.

Wave after wave of Magpies attack ensued and Reading were rumbled. With around four minutes to go a mazy run from Georgie C through the D ending in a close quarters nerveless push past the keeper broke the deadlock. Game on. And we continued to press for the winner.

Knowing full well that you’re at your most vulnerable when you’ve scored it was in this period that the team manager lost his voice. And sure enough, from a Magpies attack Reading countered getting a ball through our midfield and defence to a group of three attackers camped out in our D behind our defence. Abi handled two but the ball fell to the third who reversed it into the goal with less than two minutes to go.

We picked ourselves up and immediately went for the Reading goal but despite giving it everything the whistle came too soon.

It was small consolation to know that we had give Reading their toughest game of the season.

Game 2 Magpies 0-2 Cirencester (Leicester 0-3 Reading)

A strange one this. It neither felt as intense nor did Cirencester feel to be as good a side as Reading. Nevertheless we couldn’t take our chances and Cirencester got two relatively simple goals at key stages in each half.

After on paper our two toughest games, we’d played all our 14 girls all of whom had given absolutely everything. I shan’t forget Georgie G’s look towards me towards the end of the second game when I helpfully suggested another run – even telepathy has ***s in it – and despite a strong sense that the 50/50s were not to be going our way every team member stayed positive, committed and dedicated to the team.

So with one game to go and our first outing on the water pitch anticipated…

Game 3 Leicester 0-7 Magpies (Reading 2-1 Cirencester)

Despite the official score sheet saying 6, it was 7.

Goals: Alice Wiseman, Ellen Pope, Georgie Cantrell (3), Georgie Gardens, Molly Warnes

A tactical tweak, a ringing of the changes, the shackles off and only pride to play for… and it all came together. We played with freedom and our fitness showed, by the end Leicester understandably looking the more tired. Goals were now coming from everywhere with both Bobby and Molly getting their first u14 goals of the season and Georgie C her regulation hat trick. The one small disappointment was that one of our most skilful, dedicated, hard working, deserving and above all modest players, Amy, didn’t quite get on the score-sheet this year – saving it up for next!

Thank-yous abound:

Firstly to Wendy and her team at Leicester who put on a great event and supplied us with a very fair and calm umpire in Graham who is welcome at Weybread at any time – bring a responsible adult to drive you home Graham, we have a very good bar!

Secondly as always to our wonderful supporters and support crew. Our parents and especially to Grace, Izzy and Rob who helped me run the bench, especially to Rob for all the running player repairs! We can rebuild her….

Penultimately to Martin, Nick and Sandra for all their dedication, hard work and unlimited patience (especially with me!) throughout the winter.

And finally to all the girls. The team, the wider squad and birthday girl Grace our regular GK. We couldn’t want for better. We hope you come back wanting more next season. And good luck to Alice, Beth, Georgie, Liv and Molly in the u16s.

We have (at least – I’ve just seen a note possibly about another from Sandra!) two remaining fixtures

Sunday 30 April – Braintree Blue Hornets end of season friendly – details to follow

Friday 19 May – Youth Presentation Evening (remember to let Alison and Nick know that you’re coming!!)



Topcroft Cricket Club Exciting News – When Cricket Meets Hockey

Topcroft Cricket Club Exciting News

When Cricket Meets Hockey

We are both pleased to announce an exciting project to link two of the premier sports clubs in the region. Topcroft Cricket Club and Harleston Magpies Hockey Club are only a matter of a few miles apart and already share a few players and supporters.

With both sports seasons complementing each other and both sports focussed on hand/eye co-ordination, the link and joint promotion of each other’s activities to attract more people playing both sports seems an ideal one. The clubs played a friendly cricket match last year at Magpies, played on a temporary wicket, and the idea of the a close working relationship blossomed from there.

Initially both clubs will joining forces to help promote the growth of
both sport clubs and moving forward looking to establish a more
permanent association for the mutual benfit to both sports.

With Topcroft CC adding a 3rd Saturday Senior Side for the 2017 season, the club would welcome any new players and are hoping some new or ex cricketers from Magpies will be interested in playing. Topcroft CC are also very keen to develop a girls cricket team and encourage more Ladies players and are planning on running some taster training sessions at Magpies in April.

Topcroft CC Chairman Rob Allen said “We are very excited to be working in partnership with such a large and prestigious club as Harleston Magpies and look forward to developing more sporting opportunities for the local community and in particular attracting new ladies and girls to the sport”.

Harleston Magpies Commercial Manager John Rowe said “This represents an excellent opportunity to further enhance our reputation as a community club and at the same time help encourage cricket with Topcroft CC in the South Norfolk Area. Although in the early stages this also dovetails well with our long term strategy to maximise the potential on offer here at our Site”.

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 28 March 2017


It was the last day of the season for most of our 15 league teams last Saturday and while all were obviously hoping to go out on a high there were special incentives for four of them with the Men’s 3rds and Ladies’ 1sts achieving their objectives while the Men’s 2nds and Girls’ Development came up a little short.

The Men’s 3rds needed to beat fellow promotion hopefuls Newmarket to clinch promotion after being in the top two all season and they did so with ease winning 10-1. They were soon 3-0 up against a less experienced Newmarket side than usual and thereafter the outcome was never in doubt. Scorers were Tristan Hipper (3), Gavin Cole (2), Greg Jagger (2), Jamie Hudson, Matt Brand and James Stacey. Congratulations to captain Matt Brand (who has worked extremely hard once again with the team both on and off the field of play) and to his squad. They still have two games to play and victory in both would ensure they overtake Bury St Edmunds for the league title. They are at home on Saturday to Norwich Dragons 2nds (2.00) and away to Ipswich 2nds seven days later.

Meanwhile playing on the other pitch were the Ladies’ 1sts and their incentive was to get back to winning ways after three successive defeats and they did so in style beating St Albans 4-0 to round-off a highly satisfying season with an excellent fourth place in England Hockey’s East Conference. There was not much between the teams in the first half but Magpies went into the break leading with a splendid goal by Lizzie Clymer when she swept home a cross from Maria Andrews, the team’s player of the season. Magpies dominated the second half. Maria skilfully created space for herself to add the second goal and soon afterwards, following a fast pushout at a penalty corner by Debbie Francis, she fired in her seventeenth goal of the season to finish as the league’s leading goal scorer – a wonderful achievement. Abby Gooderham completed the scoring with an exciting finish high into the net. Very well done to captain Lucy Belsey and her team and to coach Rob Sorrell and manager Nick McAllen.

The Men’s 2nds needed to beat Wapping 2nds (who came into the game at Weybread with the league title virtually assured) to avoid relegation or failing that for Cambridge City 3rds to slip up in their last two games. In the event Magpies fought hard to get something from the game after going 3-0 down early on. Tristan Baynes converted a penalty corner just before the break and Robbie Kinsella narrowed the gap fifteen minutes into the second half but thereafter Magpies were unable to maintain their momentum leaving Wapping to make it 4-2 in their favour before celebrating the league title by spraying themselves with bubbly! We then heard that City 3rds had beaten second placed Bourne Deeping 8-2 to add to their 3-2 victory the previous week over third placed Shefford & Sandy. There is no doubt that things have gone against the Men’s 2nds in recent weeks, e.g. failure to beat Norwich City 2nds after leading, Cambridge City 3rds recent revival and the late penalty stroke the previous week against Upminster. But the real reason for the team’s relegation (their second in successive seasons) was their failure to take any points from their first five games combined with some recent late goals suggesting fitness issues as a leading member of the squad told me after the game. The upshot is that the Men’s 2nds and Men’s 3rds will next season be in the same league something which would have been hard to contemplate as recently as the start of last season when they were three leagues apart.

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2018 – TICKETS England Hockey is hosting this event at Lee Valley in July 2018 and wishes to reward the Hockey Family for their continued loyalty by offering from Thursday 6 April a priority window for the purchase of tickets. Please see the top left of the England Hockey website (available from the England Hockey logo at the top right of the club’s website) for full details.

The Girls’ Development needed to beat Norwich Dragons in their last game of the season to clinch their league title but it wasn’t to be despite a wholehearted effort by the squad. After Dragons had taken the lead a fine strike by Anna Cogdell put Magpies back on terms only for Dragons to win the game 2-1 with an even better shot from the edge of the circle. Despite this defeat it has been an excellent season by the squad under the enthusiastic leadership of player-manager Sandra Elliner who throughout has sought to be fair to all members of the squad in her team selections. It says much for the work that Sandra has done that nine Development girls have progressed to adult hockey this season.

In other home games the Ladies’ 3rds drew and there were defeats for the Men’s 5ths and Ladies’ 6ths. The Ladies’ 3rds played out a 0-0 draw with Ipswich 2nds for whom out-on-loan Magpie Connie Bedingfield had a good game in midfield while for Magpies goalkeeper Holly Riches was as impressive as ever. The Magpies squad can be pleased with how they have played in their first season in the East League. Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths knew they were in for a tough game against league champions and goal machine that is Ipswich 3rds (Andy Cook got his inevitable goal against Magpies together with a blow to an ankle!) and they played far better than the final score of 6-1 would suggest. Magpies fielded six U14s and they did not look out of place at this level. Tom Caston got their goal in the second half with a good finish. The Ladies’ 6ths also knew they were in for a demanding game against 4th placed Norwich City 6ths and they played some good hockey with plenty of determination despite going down 6-1. Ellen Pope scored their second half goal following a strong penalty corner strike by Vanessa Vigrass.

There was mixed success for our teams away from home. The Men’s 1sts, including at least three injured bodies, lost 1-0 to a late Bedford goal and for the record this was the first time in 46 East Premier ‘A’ games the team had failed to score. This coming Saturday they complete their programme with a re-arranged away game against City of Peterborough (1.00) who lost their chance of promotion back to the national league going down last Saturday to Old Loughtonians who have finished the season strongly to take the promotion spot. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds rounded off their good season in style beating St Ives 4-0 with their goals coming from Jess Howland, Anna Tighe, Lottie Summers and Alice Woollatt. MOTM was Kath Johnson who has had another fine season following her return from injury.

TASTER CRICKET SESSIONS FOR LADIES AND GIRLS AT MAGPIES on Tuesdays 4 and 11 April (6-7 pm) in conjunction with Topcroft Cricket Club – please click image for details.

The Ladies’ 4ths returned to winning ways beating Norwich City 3rds 2-0 with their best performance of the season. Their goals came from Imi Meynell-Anderson and moved the team up to a very satisfactory 6thplace in their league.  The Men’s 4ths ended a most successful season with a slightly disappointing 6-2 defeat against Pelicans 3rds. Their cause was not helped by having to start short of players due to traffic delays on the outskirts of Kings Lynn and they were 4-0 down after twenty minutes. Thereafter they drew the game 2-2 (!) and they dominated the second half with goals by Arthur Johnson and David Cadman. The Ladies’ 5ths drew 3-3 with Diss. After falling a goal behind Grace Collison and Rachel Clifford put them ahead only for Diss to equalise following a mishit by the visitors’ captain! Diss then took the lead before Rachel got her second late in the game to round-off an excellent season by Jose Tibbenham and her team. The Men’s 6ths were required to change alfresco in the car park at Thetford as the changing room was locked! With their usual pre-match routine now badly disrupted (!) they soon fell a goal behind and they eventually went down 5-1 with their goal coming from Lewis Belsey. It has been a tough season for the 6ths but to their credit they have battled away. The Ladies’ 7ths completed their season with a 0-0 draw against Loddon 2nds. At the beginning of the season the future of the team looked bleak but an influx of players has seen the team get to the end of the season in good heart.

Like the Girls the Boys’ Development were also hoping to win their league title by beating Norwich City away but after City called off due to a lack of available players Magpies’ manager Mark Emms agreed in the best spirit of development hockey to postpone the game to this coming Saturday (but now at Weybread at 10.45) instead of claiming the three points.

U14 BOYS EAST LEAGUE REGIONAL FINALS Congratulations to James Smith and Bex Pottruff and all members of their ‘team’ on a very successful management and hosting of Sunday’s Pool B.Cambridge City emerged as deserved winners of the 4-team pool winning all their three games thereby progressing to the national finals. For Magpies, who played well in spells, it was a case of what might have been at the end of a really good season.  In their opening game they were beaten 1-0 by Cambs City when with a little more accurate passing they could have got a point. They then eased passed Southgate with goals by Ollie Mayhew and James Webster and in their final game they were edged out 2-1 (James again) by Sevenoaks who after beating Southgate and then leading City before going down 2-1 had earlier looked favourites.

MAGPIES’ LADIES RUNNING FOR CHARITY  They would much appreciate your support via For more details please see the club’s website.

END OF SEASON SENIOR AWARDS EVENING This successful event was held at Wortwell Community Centre last Saturday. Joe Cooksey, the chairman of the Fund Raising & Social Committee, acted as MC and he got the presentations underway with some interesting and varied statistics about the season before thanking club officials and team captains for all their hard work and enthusiasm during the season.  Joe then introduced the team captains who said a few words about their season and club president Philippa Taylor made the team presentations. Club vice-chairman Nick Durrant then read out the citations of the trophy and cup winners and Philippa made the presentations. Nick concluded the presentations part of the evening by thanking the Fund Raising & Social Committee for organising the event and by paying tribute to Philippa for all her hard work and dedication during her three years as deputy president and three years as president.

Team Awards

Players’ player Captain’s player Players’ player Captain’s player
1 Maria Andrews

(Betty Whipps Cup – for player of the year)



(Young Player Of The Year Trophy)

Thomas Ridley


(Leeder Cup – for player of the year)

Andrew Bedwell

Thomas Ridley

(Young Player Of The Year Trophy)

2 Jess Howland Alice
Jonty Herschel-Shorland Tristan Baynes
3 Amelia Herschel-Shorland Rheanna Lascelles Jamie
Jon Aldridge and Phil Cobbald (support to captain)
4 Helena Knock Phoebe Eglington (Most improved player) Alex Kilbourn (leading goal scorer) Kieran Peters (Most improved player)
5 Alice
To be awarded later Ollie
6 Isabel
Flatt (Most improved player)
To be awarded later
7 Sophie Govier-Schaay (most improved young player) Karen


Other Awards

Award  Winners Award  Winners
WardTrophy (For outstanding long service)
Daphne Beckett Female Club Person of the Year Louisa Greenacre
The Magpie Cup

(To mark a season of outstanding service)

Jose Tibbenham Craig Whipps Cup
(For club’s ‘unsung hero’)
Male Club Person of the Year Tristan
Trophy (For outstanding youth coaching services)
To be awarded at youth awards evening
80th Anniversary Cup

(For outstanding service to the club)

Cup(For significant contribution to the Magpies community)

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including the U14 Girls in the Midlands League Regional Finals where in Pool B on Sunday at Leicester Grammar School they play Reading, Cirencester and Leicester. Please see the website for the list of fixtures.

EAST REGIONAL FINALS Best wishes to Matt Brand, Tristan Baynes and David Francis who have been selected to represent Norfolk O40s in the regional finals at Lee Valley on Sunday and to Eric Davy who will be representing Norfolk O50s.   

Finally, congratulations to out-on-loan Magpie Tom Graham and his University of Durham team-mates on winning the North Conference of the England Hockey League with 18 victories from 18 games! Best wishes to them in the promotion play-offs.

APOLOGIES FOR THE LENGTH OF THIS MUSINGS. Fortunately reading it is not compulsory!

With kind regards

Mike Denham
[email protected]

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 25 March 2017

Magpies’ Men’s 3rds 10 Newmarket 1

After defeat to Bury St Edmunds last week Magpies were expecting a tough game against a Newmarket side just behind them in the league and especially since Newmarket had won the reverse fixture 6-1 just before Christmas. However with a full squad available Magpies felt confident that they could produce their best form when it mattered. As it turned out it didn’t matter as much as they thought, because despite playing some of their poorest hockey for several weeks they went into the break 5-0 up with good finishes from Tristan Hipper (2) and Gavin Cole and slightly scruffier efforts from Jamie Hudson and Matt Brand.

The second half saw both teams playing much better and despite Newmarket being much more resolute in defence they still found it hard to deal with a rampaging Magpies’ team who were clinical down both wings. Five more goals came with Tristan getting a third, Greg Jagger, who had a goal in the first half disallowed, adding two and Gavin and James Stacey completing the Magpies’ tally. It was not, however, the last goal as Newmarket would (in the words of defender) Tiger Brice (who was in superb form again) “ruin magpies afternoon” when they scored in the 69th minute.

So a 10-1 win, a top two finish and promotion guaranteed and with every team in the league beaten at least once Magpies can cast one eye over next season. Horncastle away anyone? However before then Magpies must complete this campaign at home to Dragons and away to Ipswich.

Results – Saturday/Sunday 25/26 March 2017

Saturday 25 March
LADIES 1s v St Albans (L) (H) 2.00 (W) 4-0 W
LADIES 2s v St Ives (L) (A) 12.30 4-0 W
LADIES 3s v Ipswich 2s (L) (H) 12.15 (S) 0-0 D
LADIES 4s v Norwich City 3s (L) (A) 12.15 2-0 W
LADIES 5s v Diss (L) (A) 11.30 3-3 D
LADIES 6s v Norwich City 6s (L) (H) 10.15 (W) 1-6 L
LADIES 7s v Loddon 2s (L) (A) 3.00 0-0 D
GIRLS Dev. v Norwich Dragons (L) (H) 10.45 (S) 1-2 L
MENS 1s v Bedford (L) (A) 2.45 0-1 L
MENS 2s v Wapping 2s (L) (H) 3.30 (W) 2-4 L Relegated
MENS 3s v Newmarket (L) (H) 1.45 (S) 10-1 W Promoted
MENS 4s v Pelicans 3s (L) (A) 1.00 2-6 L
MENS 5s v Ipswich 3s (L) (H) 12.00 (W) 1-6 L
MENS 6s v Thetford Town (L) (A) 2.30 1-5 L
BOYS Dev. v Norwich City (L) (A) 5.30 postponed until next Saturday
with game to be played at Weybread 10.15

Sunday 26 March
U14 BOYS (East League Regional Finals – Pool B: HMHC)
11.30 Sevenoaks 3 v Southgate 0, Magpies 0 v Cambridge City 1
12.40 Cambridge City 2 v Sevenoaks 1, Magpies 2 v Southgate 0
1.50 Southgate 1 Cambridge City 2, Magpies 1 v Sevenoaks 2

Congratulations to Cambridge City on winning the pool
and best wishes to them in the national finals

Magpies ladies 2’s Vs St. Ives

The 2’s went into the last league game of the season with plenty still to play for, as a win would give them a fighting chance of finishing 3rd in the league. At a sun drenched California Road the Magpies warm up was very relaxed as the teams prepared to do battle.

In an open start to the game both sides were keen on using the flanks which lead to a number of early penalty corners. However both were having great problems injecting from the by-line which resulted in wasted opportunities. Magpies finally perfected the routine when Jess Howland sent a reverse stick effort past the keeper and into the net.
In truth the Magpies were looking very threatening in the D with Laura Tibbenham, Anna Tighe and Alice Woollatt making some great leads but we were just missing the final clinical touch. At the other end the defensive trio of Plum sweet, Shev Wooltorton and Kath Johnson kept the home side reasonably quiet although St. Ives were still a danger on the break. However the Pies deservedly went to half time a goal up.

St Ives came out the sharper in the second half and forced a couple of penalty corners from which Jade Daly made a smart save to keep the scores level. The Pies burst into life with a fine second goal. Good ball retention at the back allowed Kath to send an ariel into space for Tibbs to brilliantly drive into the D, draw the keeper and find yet another strong run from Lottie Summers who slotted home.
The Magpies were now pressing home the advantage with Olivia Locke and Howland in charge of the middle of the park, allowing the platform to launch fast breaks with Lottie, Martha Lawrence and Sophie Child driving deep into the opposition D as the game became stretched. This lead to further goals being added by Anna Tighe and Alice Woollatt as Magpies ran out comfortable winners 4-0.

Following Dereham’s win at the league champions, Magpies finished in 4th place but can look back on a solid enjoyable season and with a little bit of luck in certain games could have pushed Peterborough and Cambridge even closer.. The party bus departed for the last time this season with everyone looking forward to a quiet beverage at the Awards Evening.

The players would like to thank Sam Tea for coaching the side as well as a big thank you to everyone back at the club whose efforts behind the scenes are really appreciated by the team. Likewise thanks to our band of loyal supporters who follow the team offering advice and support on the field and pay the occasional match fee as and when required off it.

Player of the Match – Kath



Harleston Magpies Ladies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents played at home this Saturday against St Albans in their last match of the season. The women wanted to end the season on a high and after an emotional and motivating highlights video from Coach Rob Sorrell they were ready and focused on the game. The large crowd that was down at the nest also helped spur on Magpies to put in a great performance and so they did!

The first half started with both teams fighting to gain momentum and at first this did not go Magpies way as quickly St Albans won a succession of short corners. Magpies were prepared and defended the corners well keeping the score 0-0. After riding this wave of attacks from St Albans, Magpies worked hard to retain possession with Debbie Francis putting through some good balls to link with the forwards who were making some great leads. Magpies had chances to take the lead but the St Albans keeper kept them a bay with shots also just going wide of the post. Magpies continued to work hard and make good tackles all over the pitch as well as creating chances upfront. The game was well matched with both teams having chances to take the lead but it wasn’t until the 33rd minute that Magpies broke into a counter attack and scored from a cross into Elizabeth Clymer, taking them 1-0 up and ending the half.

The second half started a little shaky for Magpies with St Albans having some good chances to equalise but these were defended well and Magpies held on. The momentum shifted with Magpies pushing St Albans back into their half and putting pressure on their defence which allowed the forwards to gain possession of the ball high up the pitch. After some good attacking play up the right hand side of the pitch, Maria Andrews picked up the ball in the circle and flicked it in to the St Albans goal. Soon after, Magpies pressure high in the away team’s half led to a short corner and this was again put away by Andrews, leading to her becoming the top goal scorer in the National League and later being rewarded by being voted Magpies 1st Team’s Player of the Season. This formation, pressing high, at times left Magpies vulnerable to counter attack and at times this called for the home team’s defence to make some excellent tackles and saves. The last and final goal of the season for Magpies was scored after some great skill by Abby Gooderham who calmly flicked the ball in to the St Albans goal making it a 4-0 win for Magpies! Magpies finished the season 4th in the league and retained for another year their National League status. Congratulations also to Victoria Findlay and Charlotte Peet for receiving Young Player of the Season and Captains Player of the Season respectively. What a great season Magpies have had and let it continue into next season!

SQUAD: Lucy Belsey (Capt), Lauren Barber, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Katherine Ridley, Charlotte Peet, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Maria Andrews, Charlotte Harrison, Lucy Whiting, Bryony Lund, Abby Gooderham, Rose Winter and Lauren Rowe.

Magpies Ladies 7s match report

Harleston Magpies Ladies 7th team versus Loddon Ladies 2nd team.

Our last match of the season was played away at Loddon in lovely sunshine. With a full team and two new players, the game started well and, although evenly matched, we managed to send the ball to Loddon’s circle a few times but without that finishing touch. Loddon made a few strikes at our goal but to no avail and Karen Hunt made a fine job of stopping any forwards in their tracks.

The second half saw Loddon play well and with formation and we needed to ‘up our game’ also. Georgia Hood was superb at sprinting up the wing but Loddon defenders were ready. Then, Sophie Govier-Schaay worked hard to take the ball through the middle with Lili Mohiddin stopping any forwards from scoring. One Loddon player was taken off the pitch with an injury and within minutes the game was over.

Score: 0 – 0

Joanna Meyer

Harleston Magpies Ladies Preview


Harleston Magpies Ladies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents are at home this Saturday against St Albans HC starting at 2.00pm. This is the final League game of the season and Harleston Magpies need a result this Saturday to be assured of 4th place in the League which would be a good return for all the work they have put in this season. Unfortunately Magpies are at present finishing the season having lost their last three games, but in those three matches there have been periods when their play has been excellent. They just need a performance for the full seventy minutes.

Their nearest rivals at the moment are St Albans who are two points behind and Cambridge City who are three points behind. At the moment Magpies have a better goal difference than both those teams.

Last week at second placed Sevenoaks it was bound to be a very tough fixture and so it proved to be. To be three goals down after 21 minutes was the worst start possible. However all credit to the team after that as they battled through until half time without further damage. In the second half Magpies came out a different team and were the best side and created a number of chances. It was obviously a testing League debut for both Alice Woollatt and Martha Lawrence but they both acquitted themselves very well.

Congratulations to Rose Winter for being selected for the England Under 16 Girls squad against Holland over Easter and to her brother Archie Winter being selected for the England U18 Boys. A big day for the family and a few more miles to clock up!

This week both Annie Nunn and Lauren Mickleburgh remain out injured with Rose Winter and Lauren Rowe both returning to the squad.

SQUAD: Lucy Belsey (Capt), Lauren Barber, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Katherine Ridley, Charlotte Peet, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Maria Andrews, Charlotte Harrison, Lucy Whiting, Bryony Lund, Abby Gooderham, Rose Winter and Lauren Rowe.

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 21 March 2017


There is more to writing this column each week than just putting words on paper so to speak. One of the first decisions is to decide which team deserves top billing and in doing so to make a judgement between the various competing egos. The Men’s 1sts say they didn’t get this recognition even when they beat league leaders Old Loughtonians away (correct – I was trying a different format that week) and the Ladies’ 2nds say they deserve the headline this week despite me reminding them they actually lost to Cambridge City 2nds. Yes Laura Tibbenham your team did play well and yes Katie Woollatt you deserve a mention as you played well!

I feel on balance the headlining team should have won so I have gone as you can see (and at last) for the Men’s 1sts just ahead of the Men’s 4ths with, in a generally disappointing weekend of only five league wins, a nod in the direction of the Ladies’ 3rds, Ladies’ 6ths and Girls’ Development and the Ladies’ 2nds for their excellent performance against Cambs City.

Tom Sumner

The Men’s 1sts went into the second game of their post-Wrighty era at home last Saturday missing five players (in addition to Ben) from their season’s strongest line-up against relegation threatened Saffron Walden and they had to battle hard for the three points after twice being behind. In addition to the loss of the missing players defender Andrew Bedwell was only able to play for a few minutes due to injury and he was replaced by Iain Cumming who did well in his first senior game for eleven years. Saffron Walden took the lead against the run of play before Thomas Ridley equalised at a penalty corner and the in-form Simon Hipwell put Magpies ahead after bursting into the circle before finding the net with a reverse stick shot. Inspired by their number 7 Matt Wells (the game’s best player) the visitors hit back and levelled with a penalty corner conversion on the cusp of half time. Soon after the break and with rain now falling heavily they regained the lead at another penalty corner only for Magpies to draw level with a superb reverse stick shot by their MOTM (for the fourth week running) Thomas Ridley. With time running out and shortly after being struck on the head by the ball at a SW sixteen yard hit Richard Larkin got the 4-3 winner for Magpies in a scramble following a penalty corner. NB. In case you don’t spot it the match report on the website was written by Larky!

Richard Larkin

THIS SATURDAY (25 March) 7.30 – 11.30pm Wortwell Community Centre IP20 0HS
Hot buffet, music, presentations. Please come with your team-mates.
FOR YOUR TICKET(S) (£20 each or £18 each for groups of 5 to 15 (subject to limited availability)) please go to

The Men’s 4ths had to play their entire 3.30pm game against Newmarket 2nds in now steady rain and they played well to win 4-0. They were two-up at half time with goals by Alex Kilbourn and Lewis Belsey. After the break Newmarket hit a post with a penalty stroke and on other occasions were unable to find a way past George Baldwin our outstandingly promising young goalkeeper. Magpies ensured victory with an excellent run and finish by Arthur Johnson and a penalty stroke conversion by Luke Edwards.

Earlier and in the dry the Ladies’ 2nds played some of their best hockey of the season in going down 2-1 to league champions Cambridge City 2nds who admitted it was one of their toughest games of the campaign. In a top quality encounter Magpies deservedly took the lead early in the second half through Lottie Summers following a good run and pass by Laura Tibbenham. But City hit back and were level from a penalty corner within two minutes. Magpies then forced two unfruitful penalty corners of their own before City got the winner at another penalty corner with eight minutes left when a draw would have been a fair result. MOTM for Magpies in a fine squad effort was Jess Howland for her strong all-round performance.

In other home games there were losses for the Ladies’ 4ths, Ladies’ 5ths and Men’s 6ths and a walkover win for the Boys’ Development against Norwich Dragons’ ‘B’ who were unable to raise a full team. The Ladies’ 4ths took the lead through Molly Warnes against UEA 2nds before the visitors won the game with two quick goals while the Ladies’ 5ths went down 1-0 to UEA 3rds. The students scored early in the game and their goalkeeper made some good saves in the first half. Treacle Griffin played well for Magpies as did stand-in captain and MOTM Emma Tolhurst. The Men’s 6ths went down 4-1 to an experienced Norwich Exiles. For Magpies Graham Mobbs and Jack Largent had especially good games while their goal came from captain and leading scorer Eric Davy with his fourth of the season. As often happens with the sixth team of six in a club the team has had to cope with many changes and while the team has been relegated this is, frankly, no bad thing. Next season with hopefully a more settled line-up the team should be able to return to winning ways.

THE CLUB HOSTS POOL B OF THE U14 BOYS EAST LEAGUE REGIONAL FINALS ON SUNDAY so it is very best wishes to our team which has reached this stage of the national competition with wins over Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, IES and Norwich City. They play Cambridge City (11.30), Southgate (12.40) and Sevenoaks (1.50). The pool winner goes through to the national finals.

We had eight teams playing away producing wins for the Ladies’ 3rds, Ladies’ 6ths and Girls’ Development, a draw for the Men’s 2nds and defeats for the Ladies’ 1sts, Ladies’ 7ths, Men’s 3rds and Men’s 5ths. The Ladies’ 3rds beat Bury St Edmunds 2nds 2-0 with goals by Helena Knock and Katie Kinsella while the Ladies’ 6ths got back to winning ways beating North Norfolk 2nds 3-1 with Vanessa Vigrass, Annie Lancaster and Lydia Barrett finding the net. The Girls’ Development maintained their fine run and league leadership beating Watton 4-0 with two clinical penalty corner strikes by Anna Cogdell and further goals by Evie Brice and Alyssa Walker. I was a little premature last week in saying victory over Watton would clinch them the league title. They will do so if they beat Norwich Dragons at home this Saturday (10.45) in their last game of the season. The Boys’ Development will make it a very happy double for the club if they beat Norwich City away (5.30).

It was a particularly disappointing weekend for the Men’s 2nds. They went into their double-header requiring four points for safety and emerged with just one. Away to Upminster on Saturday they were 2-1 ahead after goals by Peter Bale and Martin Fields only to concede a penalty corner in the last second of the game. This was changed to a penalty stroke and duly converted. On Sunday at home against Shefford & Sandy (who had surprisingly lost at home the previous day to lowly Cambridge City 3rds allowing them to close within one point of Magpies) they went 2-0 up with goals by Archie Winter. After some splendid saves by goalkeeper Murray Graham S&S converted a penalty corner on the stroke of half time and this changed the momentum of the game. S&S then went ahead before David Francis made it 3-3 only for S&S to find the winner. This leaves Magpies’ Division One survival very much in the balance and only a win at home this Saturday against league leaders (and certain champions) Wapping 2nds (3.30) is likely to be good enough for them to avoid relegation with four teams going down.

CONGRATULATIONS TO Archie Winter (U18s) and Rose Winter (U16s) on being selected to represent England against Holland over Easter. This will be Archie’s international debut while Rose played for her country last season. Congratulations also to Matt Brand and Jamie Hudson on being selected to play for Norfolk O40s in the regional finals at Lee Valley in two weeks time.

After conceding three goals in the first twenty minutes to lose 3-0 against second-placed Sevenoaks the Ladies’ 1sts (who gave promising debuts to Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt) will hope to finish their season on a high when they host St Albans this Saturday (2.00). A point will ensure them of fourth place in their league while a defeat would see them overtaken by St Albans and possibly Cambridge City. Meanwhile Wimbledon seem certain to win the league title as they only need a point away to Northampton Saints who have failed to register a point since the opening day of the season.

The Ladies’ 7ths went down 5-0 to Norwich Dragons 7ths while the Men’s 3rds failed to score for the first time this season losing 3-0 to fellow promotion hopefuls Bury St Edmunds. Magpies are at home to free-scoring Newmarket on Saturday (1.45), the third team left with a chance of one of the two promotion spots. Even if they lose Matt Brand and his team will still have two other games in which to secure the three points which could secure them promotion although a heavy defeat by Newmarket would bring goal difference into the calculation. Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths lost 3-1 to an experienced Bury St Edmunds 4ths. There were some good performances by the Magpies’ youngsters including James Harvey (in goal), Louis Calvert, Hugo Thomas and Jake and Tom Caston. Chris Hall was on target for the team in the second half.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend. For most of our league teams it will be the end of yet another season. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham
[email protected]

Harleston Ladies’ 2nds 1 Cambridge City Ladies’ 2nds 2

On the last home game of the season, Magpies Ladies 2s were faced with the league leaders and already promoted Cambridge City.

Magpies starting 11 flew out of the blocks in the first 10 minutes, pressing high and looking for an early lead. Having majority of possession Magpies were rewarded with a penalty corner, which was only just went wide. With City’s centre midfield player looking dangerous, distributing disguise passes all over the field, the Magpies press was tested to the max. With Kath Johnson and Charley Seaman making some outstanding one-on-one tackles this kept City from finding the net. With both teams having chances, we went into the break level.

After a constructive half time chat, Magpies knew they were going to have to convert their chances and be clinical to get 3 points out of a strong Cambridge side.

From the whistle, Magpies played some great attacking hockey with the midfield of Katie Woollatt, Lottie Summers, Olivia Locke and Jess Howland distributing some great passes to the forward line. This effort and determination was rewarded when Laura Tibbenham drove the baseline and then pulled the ball back for Lottie Summers to slot away. 1-0 Magpies. After restarting, City soon looked very dangerous playing fast, flat, diagonal balls all over the pitch. This lead to City winning their first penalty corner of the game after finding a Magpies’ foot in their defensive D. After a slick and obviously well reversed routine, Cambridge had now made the score line level.

Although disappointed, the home side were determined to bag three points, and had majority of the possession for the remainder of the second half. Within this time they were awarded with 2 penalty corners, where Tibbenham was unlucky not to convert after her strike was stopped on the line. With 5 minutes left, City’s centre mid played a deadly disguise pass to their centre forward, and quick break won them their second penalty corner of the game. With Magpies initially stopping the first strike, a frantic scramble at the ball ended in City rolling the ball over the line. With only a couple of minutes left, Magpies continued to fight and more chances came for the home side. The Cambridge goalie was having to make several saves to deny Pies from levelling the score again.  With the final whistle being blown, Magpies were disappointed not to get 3 points out of the league leaders after being ahead. However, this was definitely the performance of the season!!

MOTM – Jess Howland.

Squad: Jade Daley, Kath Johnson, Siobhan Wooltorton, Charlotte Seaman, Katie Crawford, Jess Howland, Olivia Locke, Katie Woollatt, Sophie Child, Lottie Summers, Laura Tibbenham, Lucy Chubbock, Plum Sweet, Sketch.

Mens 1s Match Report

Magpies Mens 1s 4-3 Saffron Walden Mens 1s

Harleston, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, came in to the game with a slightly depleted squad. Sam Paterson was missing with school commitments, meaning that Iain Cumming made his long awaited return to the first team. However, Magpies still went into the match full of confidence after last week’s gritty win in Cambridge.

The game started with both teams camped in the Saffron Walden half, but a failure to convert chances cost Magpies as a fast Walden counter attack led to the first goal. The home side continued to look dangerous with the ball and scored a well deserved equaliser through a smart short corner routine. Matt Richardson’s world class delivery was skilfully deflected by Leigh Sitch towards the target only for Thomas Ridley to poach the goal from under his nose, as he finally achieved his first goal of the season. With the momentum growing, a typically direct Simon Hipwell run saw him collect his own rebound and smash the ball home to give Magpies the lead. The advantage was short lived. With Magpies having lost their main centre back, Andrew Bedwell, to a groin injury, there were moments of confusion in the defence. Saffron Walden took advantage of this and converted a short corner of their own – Thomas Ridley, on the line, blown away by the sheer power of the drag flick.

A solid half time team talk from Andrew Bedwell (settling into his new player/coach role well) led to more pressure being applied to the visitors’ most influential player by Richard Larkin, leading to more turnover ball for Harleston. Against the run of play, Saffron Walden attacked down their right hand side winning another short corner after Stuart Leate’s mistrap inexplicably ballooned the ball high into the air. The resulting short corner was converted with another flick to retake the lead. This did little to change the flow of the game though. Thomas Ridley coming out of midfield with the ball, found his partner in crime Richard Larkin who, with some typically quick thinking, returned the pass to Ridley to set up the goal of the game- Ridley’s trademark reverse stick hit finish showed his class to his ever growing legion of fans in the crowd. With the game building towards a tense finish, Magpies needed to redouble their efforts if they were to come away with 3 points. Richard Larkin, leading the forward line, stole the ball away from the defender on the half way line before rounding another, only to be cynically brought down outside the circle, before he could get his chance to potentially score the winner- leading to Saffron Walden being temporarily reduced to 10 players. Larkin’s influence on the game would not end there though. Just as Magpies were beginning to lose hope, the man of the moment would step up to the plate. With the umpire playing a good advantage, Larkin was on his toes to react the fastest to a saved Vincent Leruth strike, pouncing on the loose ball to heroically turn home and take the score to 4-3. The drama was not over though, Magpies kept out a late corner and had to play out the last couple of minutes, before getting the result that their play deserved.

Photos Courtesy Pat Leate

Simon Hipwell
Richard Larkin
Iain Cumming
Tom Sumner
Stuart Leate

Results – Saturday/Sunday 18/19 March 2017

Saturday 18 March
LADIES 1s v Sevenoaks (L) (A) 12.00 0-3 L
LADIES 2s v Cambridge City 2s (L) (H) 12.00 (W) 1-2 L
LADIES 3s v Bury St Edmunds 2s (L) (A) 10.00 2-0 W
LADIES 4s v UEA 2s (L) (H) 1.45 (S) 1-2 L
LADIES 5s v UEA 3s (L) (H) 10.15 (W) 0-1 L
LADIES 6s v North Norfolk 2s (L) (A) 11.30 3-1 W
LADIES 7s v Norwich Dragons 7s (L) (A) 10.45 0-5 L
GIRLS Dev. v Watton (L) (A) 10.00 4-0 W
MENS 1s v Saffron Walden (L) (H) 2.00 (W) 4-3 W
MENS 2s v Upminster (L) (A) 1.00 2-2 D
MENS 3s v Bury St Edmunds (L) (A) 12.00 0-3 L
MENS 4s v Newmarket 2s (L) (H) 3.30 (W) 4-0 W
MENS 5s v Bury St Edmunds 4s (L) (A) 12.00 1-3 L
MENS 6s v Norwich Exiles (L) (H) 12.15 (S) 1-4 L
BOYS Dev. v Norwich Dragons ‘B’ (L) (H) 10.45 (S) W/O W

Sunday 19 March
MENS 2s v Shefford & Sandy (L) (H) 2.00 (W) 3-4 L
Alex Hill Memorial Minis (Dereham)
U10 GIRLS – Gold Tournament – ‘A’ team 3rd, ‘B’ team 4th
Silver Tournament – ‘C’ team 4th
U12 GIRLS – Gold Tournament – ‘A’ team 3rd, ‘Red’ team 4th
Silver Tournament – ‘White’ team 2nd, ‘Blue’ team 3rd
U10 BOYS – Gold Tournament – ‘A’ team 4th
Silver Tournament – ‘B’ team 6th
U12 BOYS – Gold Tournament – ‘A’ team 4th
Silver Tournament – ‘B’ team 4th
U14 GIRLS v Braintree – game 1 (F) (H) 2.45 (S) 0-2 L
U14 GIRLS v Braintree – game 2 (F) (H) 3.30 (W) 2-0 W

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 18 March 2017

Bury St Edmunds 3 Magpies 3rds 0

After not being severely tested for the last 3 weeks Magpies knew they would have to up their game against the 15 man squad of Bury St Edmunds first team. Delighted to welcome back Phil Cobbald, Jon Aldridge, Jamie Hudson and James Stacey as well as coaxing one more guest appearance from Nick Whitehead, the away team were hoping that experience in the predicted close game would count.

As in most encounters between these two teams the first goal would be key and unusually for Magpies they could not convert their short corners or take a couple of early open play chances. So when Bury bobbled in a corner of their own the pattern of the game would be set. Bury, who have conceded less than a goal a game, defended robustly as Magpies tried all they had to get back into the game. Bury had a strong period just after half-time but goalkeeper Chris Flatt and his defensive team seemed to have weathered the storm. However, with the game moving on the push forward by Magpies left them vulnerable to the counter attack and with two ruthless breaks the game was settled. Magpies continued their good hockey particularly down the flanks with Tom Norton and James Stacey but a shut-out meant they came home empty handed.

Match Report – U14 Girls – Regionals warm up matches v Braintree Blue Hornets – Sunday 19th March

Braintree and Magpies met up for a sociable and highly competitive warm up match at Weybread.

With both teams looking to up the ante a high tempo high quality encounter ensued. Using the regionals model of 15 min each way games we held two game one on sand and one on water and by the end honours were even with Braintree winning the sand encounter 2-0 and Magpies winning the water encounter 2-0.

A big thanks to Marcus and all the Braintree girls and their families for making the Sunday trip out and a big thanks to all our usual support crew for all their pitch side support, backroom support and the after match refreshment.

Two weeks to go!


Magpies Team: Abi Lewis (GK), Alice Wiseman, Amelia Slade, Amy Collison, Beth Moodie, Elena Flatt, Ellen Pope, Georgie Gardens, Hattie Reader, Holly Hanrahan, Honey Lamdin, Keira Wheeler, Lily Reader, Molly Warnes, Tabitha Borrett, Victoria Spouncer



Harleston Magpies Ladies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents played away this Saturday against Sevenoaks. The home side are second in the league and the last time the two teams met, Magpies came out on top giving Sevenoaks their first defeat of the season. Magpies travelled down on a windy day to try and deliver a performance like last weekends against Wimbledon and hopefully bring home a win.

Despite Magpies good warm up and preparation the game started with Magpies unable to work together as a unit and this allowed Sevenoaks to gain momentum and take free hits quickly, making it hard for Magpies to set their press. Even though Magpies were putting in the effort the momentum would not swing their way, with a decision for a short corner against them coming quickly after the starting whistle. This was saved by Charlotte Peet but quickly after another corner was given and this one was put away by Sevenoaks despite Magpies calling for a foot. Magpies tried to compose themselves and did make some good leads up the pitch with Elizabeth Clymer holding the ball up and slipping it through whilst Maria Andrews and Victoria Findlay used their pace and skill to earn some shorts corners for Magpies. However, these did not bring any success with some good saves being made by the Sevenoaks’ keeper. Sevenoaks defended well and broke quickly moving the ball around and with some quick skills from one of their forwards, managed to break through the Magpies defence and make it 2-0. Shortly after Magpies received another blow as Sevenoaks again gained a short corner and with a hard strike from the top of the circle made it 3-0. Despite being 3-0 down Magpies picked themselves up and fought hard to get themselves back in the game. Moving the ball round well, they changed the momentum and reduced the amount of attacks by Sevenoaks as well as increasing their possession and their own offense. Unfortunately none of the attacks by Magpies would hit the backboard and the first half finished 3-0 to Sevenoaks.

After a motivating team talk Magpies were ready for a comeback. They worked hard as a unit, successfully holding onto the ball to keep Sevenoaks from attacking and producing good opportunities to bring Magpies back into the game. With Charlotte Harrison having a great game making leads and tackles on the left and the rest of the midfield fighting hard and putting some great balls through to the forwards, Magpies were able to keep the ball in the home sides half and successfully gained short corners and attacking chances. At the other end Sevenoaks were reduced to only a few chances in this half which were stopped by the Magpies defence even when at times Magpies were reduced to ten. Sadly, even with a good performance and determination there was no luck for Magpies and the score remained the same until the end. Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt stepped up to the plate this week in their first league match and both played very well and brought new energy to the game. Magpies have their final match of the season next weekend against St Albans at home at 14:00 and hope to see a large crowd down at the club to hopefully finish on a win.

SQUAD: Lucy Belsey (Capt), Lauren Barber, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Katherine Ridley, Charlotte Peet, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Maria Andrews, Charlotte Harrison, Lucy Whiting, Bryony Lund, Abby Gooderham, Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt.

Magpies Ladies 7s Match report

Harleston Magpies Ladies 7th team versus Norwich Dragons Ladies 7th team.

Magpies played away at ‘Goal’ in Norwich and with a couple of players feeling a bit under the weather, the match started late. With only ten players we needed to work extra hard but Dragons soon showed their strength by scoring after a quick skirmish in the circle. However, play during the first half was excellent with some superb crosses from Jane Collins which, frustratingly, weren’t picked up. Dragons’ defenders were always ready to send the ball swiftly back to our circle and scored twice more before half time.

The second half saw Dragons up their game and the ball tended to stay in our half of the pitch. Any free hits were stopped by Dragons and trying to smash the ball right at them just didn’t work. They were awarded a few short corners and scored a goal from one of these. It was a delight to see Sophie Govier-Schaay sprinting past the Dragon defenders to their circle but with a hole in our middle, they scored again. Good defence work by Karen Hunt and Peg Bridges kept the score down and, boy, did we deserve those giant pizzas!

Score: 0 – 5

Joanna Meyer

Harleston Magpies Ladies Preview


Harleston Magpies Ladies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents are away this Saturday against Sevenoaks HC starting at 12.00pm. Last week Magpies lost 3-1 at home against the League leaders Wimbledon. Despite the result Magpies produced one of their best performances of the season and on another day Magpies might have come away with a draw. In going for the equaliser Magpies were at risk from a counter attack and that is what happened with eight minutes to go. Unfortunately having lost away 2-1 to Cambridge City the week before Magpies are currently going through a sticky patch of results.

Life does not get any easier this week as Sevenoaks are second in the League and pressing Wimbledon very hard for the title with just a three point gap between the teams and separated by a goal difference of two goals. Magpies will need to reproduce the same performance and attitude they showed against Wimbledon but with a disciplined approach.

Despite this Magpies remain in 4th place having had a good season so far and will want to make sure they hold on to this position for the final two League games of the season. This was helped last week by Cambridge City losing at home to Hampstead and Westminster and St Albans drawing away at Chelmsford. Magpies play St Albans at home in their final match of the season.

This week both Annie Nunn and Lauren Mickleburgh remain out injured as well as Rose Winter, Anna Tighe and Lauren Rowe being unavailable.

This means League debuts for both Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt.

SQUAD: Lucy Belsey (Capt), Lauren Barber, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Katherine Ridley, Charlotte Peet, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Maria Andrews, Charlotte Harrison, Lucy Whiting, Bryony Lund, Abby Gooderham, Martha Lawrence and Alice Woollatt.

Magpies Ladies 2s report

Lowestoft Ladies 1s v Magpies 2s

We went to Lowestoft needing 3 points to keep our slim chances of promotion alive. We started the match positively and we were passing the ball quickly. The majority of the play in the first 15 minutes was in the Lowestoft half. Kath, Charlotte, Shev, Plum and Holly in goal gave us a good platform to build on.

Just before half time Lottie made a good run down the left and crossed the ball to Alice who at full stretch scored a well deserved goal to go 1-0 ahead.

The second half started with both teams battling for possession in midfield. Our excellent team spirit showed when magpies went down to 9 players on the pitch, constantly pressing on the ball and working hard.

After a brilliant team performance, Magpies won 1-0. We will be looking for another 3 points next week when we play league leaders Cambridge City at Magpies.

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 14 March 2017


Ladies’ O35s after their 2-1 away win over Jersey Back row L-R. Shirley McAllen (manager), Laura Betts, Kath Johnson, Charlotte Rourke-Beasley, Anouska Stott, Charlie Harrison, Karen Fletcher, Treacle Griffin, Rachel Goodson Front row L-R. Lucy Field, Plum Sweet, Debbie Francis, Louisa Greenacre, Jose Tibbenham, Becky Baker, Angie Wheelhouse. – Photo courtesy of Sue Sweet

Despite what the Men’s 1sts will say after their 3-1 win over bottom placed Cambridge City 2nds there is only one place to start this week and that is with the Ladies’ O35s trip to Jersey last Sunday and their splendid 2-1 win over Jersey in the semi-final of the England Hockey Trophy. The squad of sixteen, with one hanger-on, stayed overnight on Saturday near Gatwick in readiness for their 7.45am flight to Jersey. All was proceeding nicely until we discovered the check-in procedure could not cope with our group booking. So we were asked to wait at the stand-by desk. Would we be going after all? Would the system be able to cope with the team’s bags? Not too well as we later discovered with one bag never arriving. Fortunately it didn’t contain vital playing gear. When we eventually got on board one irate passenger blamed us for being late! As we approached Jersey the captain announced dense fog over the airport (we later learned that all flights in and out had been cancelled for two days earlier in the week) and the plane would have to circle for a while. He said he had plenty of fuel to do so. Luckily a break in the fog allowed him to land the plane seconds before the fog rolled in again restricting visibility to some forty yards. Welcome to sunny Jersey! (In fairness the weather had been glorious on Saturday). At least we were there. Would we be able to return to Gatwick in the middle of the afternoon? In the event the fog dispersed and did not return so all was well and we were back at Gatwick by 4.30pm.

With this win the squad is through to the final of the England Hockey Trophy and on Sunday 30 April will play Timperley at the Lee Valley Sports Centre in the Olympic Park. Magpies dominated much of the game but found the Jersey goalkeeper in outstanding form. Angie Wheelhouse put Magpies ahead five minutes before half time and early in the second half Anouska Stott increased their lead. Jersey hit back with a penalty corner conversion before Magpies were again thwarted on several occasions by the Jersey goalkeeper. Please see the club’s website for a more detailed report. Finally, it is a big ‘thank you’ to Jose Tibbenham and Louisa Greenacre for all their hard work in arranging this fixture by way of contact with the Jersey HC, hotel and car park bookings, flight bookings (kindly paid by Jersey for the squad) as well as making all the team arrangements.

Meanwhile the Men’s O50s were beaten at home 4-1 by Reading in the semi-final of the England Hockey Cup. Fielding several former full internationals Reading were the younger and clearly the better side and they scored two goals in each half before Jon Wells scored a consolation for Magpies. This defeat should take nothing away from Magpies who have once again had a good run in this event under team manager Peter Dolton. Reading, who beat Magpies in the 2015 final, now play Ben Rhydding.

Saturday 25 March 2017 7.30 – 11.30pm Wortwell Community Centre IP20 0HS
Hot buffet, music, presentations. Please come with your team-mates.
For tickets (£20 each or £18 each for groups of 5 to 15 (subject to limited availability)) please go to

The Girls’ Development got the ball rolling at Weybread on Saturday when they beat Yarmouth 3-0 with early goals by Evie Brice and Anna Cogdell before Kiera Wheeler made the game safe in the last quarter of the game. If they beat Watton away on Saturday (10.00) Magpies will clinch the league title. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development drew 0-0 with close league rivals Norwich Dragons ‘A’ and the game was much more exciting than the score might suggest. Thanks are due to umpires Lauren Barber and Seth Read for controlling a tense fixture. This Saturday Magpies play Dragons ‘B’ at home (10.45) and they will also need to beat Norwich City seven days later to win the league title from Dragons ‘A’ and even then it might come down to goal difference.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 3rds and they made heavy weather of beating Colchester 2nds 1-0 but their goal when it came was a good one. With ten minutes to go Phoebe Preece brought the ball out of defence before switching it left to Mia King who then drew the defence before passing to the impressive Amy de Selincourt who made no mistake. Over on the other pitch the Men’s 5ths were unlucky to find themselves 2-0 down at half time against UEA 3rds. They fought back well with goals by Jake Caston and Gus Wilkinson with the assistance of the hardworking Andy Caston before the students took charge once again. There was a promising first men’s game for Archie Derbyshire.

Next into action on the sand-based were the Men’s 3rds and they ran out 4-1 winners over North Norfolk with their goals coming from Iain Cumming (2), Gavin Cole with his 24th of the season and Greg Jagger. Matt Brand and his team remain top of their league and with four matches to go are well placed for promotion but over the next two weeks they play second placed Bury St Edmunds (this Saturday away at 12.00) and third-placed Newmarket at home the following week.

The Ladies’ 1sts hosted league leaders Wimbledon, who were without Olympic Gold Medallist Crista Cullen, but included out-on-loan Magpies Cherry Seaborn and Lizzie Jones. This was one of the games of the season during which both teams played some exciting and flowing hockey. Wimbledon eventually took charge of the game with goals in the 39th and 44th minutes before Magpies pulled one back with Lauren Barber firing in a penalty corner. Magpies pressed for the equaliser before Wimbledon made the game safe with their third with eight minutes to go. After successive defeats Magpies will look to get back to winning ways when they visit second placed Sevenoaks on Saturday (12.00).

The Ladies’ 7ths completed the double over Norwich Dragons 8ths winning 2-0 with goals by Georgia Hood, after good work by Evie Rogers, while their second came at a penalty corner when Jo Meyer and Jane Collins combined for the latter to smash the ball into the net.

The final game of the day at Weybread was by far the most disappointing for the club with the Men’s 2nds who badly needing to beat fellow strugglers Norwich City 2nds could only draw 2-2. When Martin Fields put them ahead in the fifteenth minute all was going to plan but City were level within sixty seconds when Magpies failed to clear their lines. Magpies then missed a penalty stroke. City were the better team in the second half and they took the lead. With time running out Magpies produced their best move of the game with Tom Hughes finding the equaliser which virtually condemned City to relegation as the team said after the game. This weekend the Men’s 2nds have a double-header playing Upminster away on Saturday (1.00) and Shefford & Sandy at home on Sunday (2.00). Three points from these two games could well mean survival.

Away from home there were wins for the Men’s 1sts, Men’s 4ths and Ladies’ 2nds but defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths, Ladies’ 5ths, Ladies’ 6ths and Men’s 6ths.

After a draw and a defeat the Men’s 1sts played well in beating Cambridge City 2nds 3-1 with goals by Simon Hipwell (his first of the season), Sam Paterson with a penalty stroke and in the last seconds of the game by Matt Bensly with his first for the team after more good work by the in-form Simon. This Saturday the team are at home to Saffron Walden (2.00). The Men’s 4ths beat Felixstowe 3-2 with two goals by the impressive Ben Kilburn with the equally promising Alex Kilbourn getting the third with his 18th strike of the season. The Ladies’ 2nds beat Lowestoft 1-0 and from all accounts it was not a game for the purists but ‘a win is a win’ and the team’s fourth in succession with Alice Woollatt finding the vital goal.

The Ladies’ 4ths were 2-0 down at half time to Dereham 3rds but during the break they made some tactical changes and with communications much improved pulled level with goals by Helena Knock and Georgie Cantrell before Dereham found the winner. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 5ths were giving Dereham 4ths a three-goal start. Jose Tibbenham then scored twice after the interval before Dereham scored again. Jose then completed a proper hat-trick (three in a row!) and the game continued to be an end to end affair with Dereham restoring their two-goal advantage. Janna Freeman then scored for Magpies who were unable to convert three penalty corner chances in the last two minutes leaving Dereham 5-4 winners.

The Ladies’ 6ths went down 2-0 to Herlings while the Men’s 6ths went down 8-2 to champions Ipswich 3rds. Eric Davy is very grateful to Graham Mobbs, George Baldwin and Max Warde-Aldam for doubling up. Graham had earlier played for the Development and Max and goalkeeper George had played against each other in a school match. George was MOTM with the best performance seen by Eric this season. Meanwhile Lewis Belsey scored twice for the 6ths. I would never have heard the end of it had I omitted his name!

Finally please see the website for a report of the U16 Girls in the Midlands Regional Finals. They won one game, drew one and lost one with hosts Stourport going forward to the national finals.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including those in the Alex Hill Memorial Minis at Dereham on Sunday. Alex was a very promising young man in every respect but his life was cut tragically short in a car accident. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham
[email protected]