Harleston Magpies Mixed 2 Lewes 1
Harleston Magpies welcomed Lewes to the nest on another glorious sunny Sunday for mixed hockey. The loss of Sophie Mullan saw Holly Baker make her first mixed appearance for 2014.
Magpies started with their normal expansive hockey and normal inability to score. Katrina Sitch smashed into her reverse stick tackles to set the defensive tone for Magpies. Magpies early pressure paid off as a flick was awarded, up stepped Martin Fields who became perplexed by a dancing Lewes goalkeeper and saw his flick saved but settled for the long corner. Following this Simon Hipwell’s explosive effort from the top hit a clueless keeper’s helmet after good work from Lauren Barber and Princess Whiting.
As the anguish of the capacity crowd began to grow, Holly Baker forced the ball over the line in a goal mouth scramble only for the umpire to be unsighted. Andrew Bedwell then received the ball after good work from Frances Taylor and rhinoed forward, his crashed ball found Sam Moore who applied the simple finish. Magpies then looked to double their advantage as Lewes where still struggling from a night out in Ipswich. Co captain Katrina Sitch freed Sam Moore who found Andrew Bedwell in another total hockey move, Holly Baker was once again harshly treated as she was fouled with the goal beckoning. Magpies where awarded a second flick of the game. Andrew Bedwell bravely volunteered, the man who cost Magpies from the spot in last year’s competition looked for retribution after a year of hurt. Bedwell’s flick was emphatically saved as Magpies’ hearts sank. The camaraderie and love of this close mixed team then came to fruition as Andrew Bedwell was picked up from his lowest hockey ebb.
Silence then descended on the nest as a excitable Moore tackle dealt out a nasty neck injury to a female Lewes defender after some screams everyone was relieved as the Lewes player left the field under her own power. Moore then substituted himself to profusely apologise.
The second half began with Magpies 1-0 up and in total control of the game. Fantastic forward play from Holly Baker, Toby Price, Princess Whiting, Simon Hipwell, Lizzie Clymer, Tom Ridley, Katherine Ridley, Lauren Barber and Martin Fields created chances at will. Martin Fields finally added a second with a deft touch from a Lauren Barber shot and out came his individual celebration.
Magpies could have been six to the good and the game effectively over when a rare Lewes break culminated in majestic lob, leaving Rees Leonard a spectator. Lewes sensed a equaliser and came at the Magpies defensive unit of Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Frances Taylor, Katrina Sitch, Richard Larkin and Rees Leonard with everything they had. Fortunately this defence is the best defence in mixed hockey and they were only troubled once. Leigh Sitch capped a perfect captain’s performance with a full length diving clearance when a goal looked certain. With this epic defence from Leigh Sitch the game was won.
Harleston Magpies Mixed progress to the quarter finals of the National Mixed Trophy to be played on Sunday 18th May when they entertain reigning mixed champions Cannock at the nest. Please come down and support your team as they hope to progress to the finals for a second year running. Please keep an eye on the website for push back times.