With nearly 160 games undertaken since September, featuring 14 teams and 200 odd players, the Christmas break provides a chance to reflect on how the Magpies teams are doing at the half way point of the season.
On the Men’s side, the 4th, 5th and 6th XI are each sat mid table in their respective leagues which, considering the youngsters strewn throughout the teams are improving week on week, should hopefully keep them safely out of any relegation zones providing there are no disasters on the horizon.
The Men’s 2nds and 3rds are at opposite ends of Division 2 North with the 2nds boasting a magnificent goal difference of +51. The Men’s 1st team, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, are 5 points behind leaders St Albans in East Premier ‘A’.
The addition of Elliot Marsh, Dave Gilbert, Jonty Gosling, Tim Whiteman and Ben Watson to the squad has encouraged a more expansive style of hockey but, despite a focus on solid defending, Magpies have dropped too many points. The home crowd have been treated to some high scoring games (8-0 v Ipswich and 13-0 v Spalding) but Harleston have struggled to replicate this form on the road and know that if they have any chance of promotion this season they cannot afford to drop any more points.
The Ladies teams have also had varying degrees of success so far. The Ladies 1s, sponsored by Musker McIntyre, are determined to maintain their National League status and currently take 5th spot despite only winning 3 from the first 10 games. Whereas the seconds top their league but have Norwich City 1sts hot on their heals so cannot afford to be complacent.
In a very tight league the Ladies 3rds have it all to play for, sitting in joint eighth, and the 4th team appear to be firmly cemented to the bottom of the Norfolk Premier Division having scored only 8 goals so far.
The 5ths appear safe as they occupy 3rd spot, the 7ths are mid table and the 6ths are in the process of turning their season around after some heavy defeats at the start of the season. The break though came against table topping Norwich Dragons early November and the 6ths haven’t lost a game since. Thanks to coach Robbie Kinsella the team are improving, gaining confidence and enjoying their hockey.