We start with Sundays action from Kings Lynn where Magpies U10 and U12 boys and girls teams took on the best in the County and did themselves extremely proud. The girls tournament was played in the morning with the U12s being crowned County Champions and the U10s runners up (on goal difference). The boys had to wait until the afternoon to get started but produced some high quality hockey which resulted in the U10s coming in as runners up and the U12s finishing joint third. Both girls teams and the U10 boys will now represent Norfolk at the East Finals in April which is a great testament to the players and coaches involved.
Despite fears that many games would have to be postponed due to the weather, the hardy Weybread crowds were rewarded for their loyalty by some exciting hockey on Saturday. After a disappointing result against Peterborough last week, the Men’s firsts were determined to put on a good display when they welcomed Bedford to the Nest. Simon Hipwell got the first goal with his reverse stick with Richard Larkin doubling the advantage from the back post. Sam Moore added another in the second half to which Bedford retaliated with their only goal. Hipwell’s second goal cemented the 4-1 result for The Olympic Athletes from Harleston.
The Ladies firsts anticipated a tough encounter with Cambridge City who went into the game just above them in the league. Cambridge converted a penalty corner early on to take the lead and were then awarded a penalty stroke to which Olympic gold medalist Helen Richardson-Walsh stepped up to take. An incredible diving stick save by Magpies ‘keeper Charlotte ‘Tosh’ Peet denied Richardson-Walsh, who scored a crucial penalty stroke in the 2016 Olympic final, the chance to double Cambridge’s lead. Great work by Rose Winter and Abby Gooderham led to Lizzie Clymer levelling the score before half time. Both teams played fast attacking hockey in the second half but Magpies struggled to convert their chances whilst Cambridge were clinical and scored from another penalty corner to win the game 2-1. Magpies remain half way up the league table and travel to Southgate next Saturday who are 5 points behind the Norfolk side.
Both of Magpies’ second teams have secured promotion for next season and both put seven goals past their opponents on Saturday. The Men headed north to face bottom of the league Horncastle and Captain Lawrence Baynes scored within the opening minute. Martin Fields doubled the lead and Tristan Baynes and Stuart Field worked together to score the third from a penalty corner.
Chris Routs was forced to produce a string of fine saves to keep Horncastle at bay but the goals kept coming for Magpies with Fields, Matt Bensly, Jude Pottruff and Tris Baynes contributing for the 7-1 win. The Ladies hosted UEA and piled on the pressure from the starting whistle. Goals from Anouska Stott (4), Laura Tibbenham (2) and Fran Burrell ensured that the unbeaten run continues.
Elsewhere there were narrow losses for both Magpies Third teams with the Ladies going down 2-1 to Norwich City and the Men 4-3 to Peterborough. The Men’s fourths really stuck the knife into bottom of the table North Norfolk 2nds with a 10-1 victory at the Nest whilst their Captain was sipping gluhwein in Austria!
The Ladies 4ths drop back into the relegation zone after a 5-2 loss to Norwich Dragons Thirds. The scoreline didn’t reflect how dominant Magpies were but there were too many missed chances in the Dragon’s ‘D’. With points so tight at the foot of the table Magpies really cannot afford to slip up again. The Ladies Sixths also dropped points against Dragons but, in more positive news, the Ladies Sevenths are up to 5th in the table following a 3-0 win over Norwich Dragons Eighths. Annie Lancaster, Ella Spear and the reliable Shirley McAllen got the goals for Magpies whilst Katy Davy, Daphne Beckett, Liv Carter and Janet Brown were unflappable in defence.