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Report – HMHC Minis – Sunday 26 February 2017

HMHC MINIS SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2017 and Minis at Pelicans and HMHC on Sunday 5 March 2017

18 teams from Magpies, Felixstowe, Watton and IES at U10 and U12 ages took to the pitches at Magpies this morning and after 2 and a half hours of good fun hockey, in the sun at times, Felixstowe B topped the Girls’ U10 league with four wins from four, Magpies Red took the Girls’ U12 league title, again with an unbeaten record and without conceding a goal.

Magpies’ U12 Boys’ teams

As for the Boys IES were unbeaten and topped the U12 league although having scored 13 goals against Felixstowe A, Felixstowe B and Watton they failed to get past the two Magpies’ team in this tournament.

Magpies’ U10 Boys’ teams

Good defending lads. As for the U10s, Richard Larkin’s boys are showing signs of real progress with Magpies Black taking the league title although Magpies White did not let them have it all their own way defeating them 1-0 in their opening meeting.

A real team effort from our band of team managers, catering experts and our young and experienced umpires as a result of which our guests for the day have already said what a great time they had:

“It was a wonderful tournament, pitched just at the right level with the usual HM organisation and family feel to it, and we loved it!”  Felixstowe Hockey Club

Needless to say they would love to come back for more.  On behalf of the youth committee and wider club please accept our thanks to all those who contributed in making this such a good fun morning.

However, the mini Hockey does not stop there and next weekend, Sunday 5th March our ‘A’ teams in each age group will be representing the Club at the Norfolk Championships at Pelicans HC.  Good luck squads.  Meanwhile the rest of the youth section will get an opportunity for another round of matches at Magpies with Norwich City and Norwich Dragons coming to visit.  With our resources stretched with teams in two locations any help club members or parents can offer will be appreciated and needed – umpiring, kitchen duties, team management or tournament organising will be appreciated please let James or Nick know if you can help in any way or

EH U14 Girls Championships – Midlands League 4 – Sunday 19th February – Pelicans v Magpies 2-2

With all to play for, Pelicans needing to win by a clear 4 goal margin and anything less than that meaning group leaders Magpies would qualify for the next round, a hotly contested final round was expected. And with three quarters of the players on the pitch playing for Norfolk or Suffolk we weren’t to be disappointed. The quality and intensity were both high.

Both teams set themselves up to attack. Magpies, operating under the caretaker management of Clare Moodie and Mel Slade and interpreting the umpire-for-the-day-and-not-really-looking-forward-to-it-team-manger John’s hieroglyphics (crikey – spelt that right first time!) took two or three minutes to adjust to their self management and within ten minutes of end to end absorbing hockey with chances at both ends opened up the Pelis defence with a cross-cum-pullback across the D from Georgie C finding Ellen some 10 metres out on the left who calmly slotted perfectly into the far corner beyond the keeper.

With around 10 minutes gone, Georgie G limped off with a sore ankle and having failed to be provided with the what-to-do-when-one-of-your-strongest-players-gets-injured procedure the reserve team management improvised with aplomb putting on our most versatile trouble-shooter Bobby who, throughout the afternoon thereafter, popped up in all manner of places from sweeper to centre forward to either save the day or create genuine concern in the Pelis defence.

Despite several attacks the Pelicans defence was resolute and precise with several great tackles in their own D and no penalty corners conceded in the entire first half. This gave them a tremendous platform to counter attack and on one such they finally made the most of the Magpies attacking defence getting around them with a superb long range right to far left shot past Grace, who throughout the day was commanding of her D and defence.

Honours even at half time and the hope and expectation was that Pelicans would tire and Magpies, as in several of their previous games, would prove the stronger throughout and wear down their opposition. But it wasn’t to be with several Magpies tiring from their league efforts the day before and Pelicans pounced with a swift counter putting them deservedly in front.

And with 15 minutes to go Magpies tried to up the intensity even more. Georgie G, defying instructions from Framlingham High Command, brought herself back on finding it easier to run than walk! Bobby, Georgie C, Molly and the entire team went into overdrive and with 10 minutes to go another ball randomly bobbling all around the Pelis D again found Ellen in almost identical space who again slotted an even more precise shot home.

2-2 and it was anybody’s. And both teams gave it their all with, at the death, Ellen just missing a pinging ball across the D for her second hat trick of the season. At U14s that’s just a grounding for three weeks!

Both teams contributed to a high quality intense encounter and a draw was probably a fair result on the day. Pelicans will rue their early season performances and they were deservedly in the mix at the business end of the group.

Thankfully we enjoyed Pelis excellent hospitality after the game as I fear it would have been a waddle-over had it been before. Bar two players, Pelis U14 girls will be identical next year and will be a formidable opposition.

And thanks to our ever loyal supporters and most of all Clare and Mel for running the team today. I think they went for a good lie down after. Yes, all of them.

So at the end of the group stage despite not losing a game and beating Cambridge City, Magpies find themselves second in the group, so likely to face the tougher regional group on 2nd April.

The stats to date read as follows:

3-3 Norwich City – a game where we snatched a draw from the jaws of victory (3-1 up)
9-1 Bury – against a good young team we overwhelmed them before they could get into gear
2-1 Cambridge – a tough resolute backs-to-the-wall performance in which the better team did not win
9-1 Norwich Dragons – another game against a young team where the result belies the hard work and level to which Dragons made us rise to eventually win through
2-2 Pelicans – all out attack and a high quality entertaining (for the impartial bystander) game

Squad used so far: Grace R (GK), Alice W, Amelia S, Amy C, Beth M, Ellen P, Georgie C, Georgie G, Hattie R, Honey L, Holly H, Keira W, Lily R, Molly W, Olivia L, Tabitha B, Victoria S

Scorers to date

13 – Georgie C (+3 beyond permitted 8 gd)
5 – Ellen
3 – Georgie G (bar a stewards inquiry this could be +1 GG, -1 GC re Norwich tbc)
2 – Keira
1 – Alice
1 – Tabitha

P-5, W-3, D-2, F:25, A:8
Cambridge City 1st by 1pt, Magpies has the best league defensive record – not bad when you play just two at the back – and identical goal difference with Cambridge.


Match report – Men’s Over 40s – Sunday 12 February 2017

Cambridge City Men’s O40s 2 Harleston Magpies Men’s O40s 2

Magpies won 4-2 on penalty strokes

Magpies are through to the semi-finals of England Hockey’s Men’s Over 40s Cup after this narrow and hard-earned win over a Cambridge City side which played better as the game progressed. Magpies seemed in total control of the game at the Cambridge University ground when Matt Brand put them ahead from close range on five minutes and Gavin Cole added a second from further out three minutes later.

magpies men over 40s
Back row L to R. David Francis, Eric Davy, Andy Smith, Dan Kinsman, Gavin Cole, James Smith, Gus Wilkinson, Murray Graham (GK) Front row L to R. Martin Reader, Stuart Peters, Matt Brand, Tristan Baynes (captain), Bill Williams, James Stacey

But City gradually came into the game and they pulled a goal back at a penalty corner in the twenty-second minute. Magpies responded with their best move of the game only to see the resulting shot go just wide of the post. Shortly afterwards Eric Davy cleared the ball off the line to ensure that the visitors went into half time with a narrow lead.

City dominated much of the second half but Magpies kept them at bay due to some impressive tackling, notably a double effort by Andy Smith, some good saves by goalkeeper Murray Graham and a goal line clearance by Stuart Peters.

With four minutes to go Magpies forced a penalty corner but their shot was blocked and in seconds the ball was in the net at the other end for a deserved City equaliser.

In the penalty stroke decider Magpies were indebted to calm conversions by Matt, Gavin, David Francis and the clincher by captain Tristan Baynes after a good save by Murray and later a post had denied City.

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 5 – Letchworth 5

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1sts sponsored by Dynamic Shop entertained Letchworth, a side sitting two places below them in mid table.

Magpies started brighter, maintaining possession and creating several early openings. Shortly into the first half the bright start paid dividends with Magpies earning a penalty stroke, which was duly converted by Ben Wright. Letchworth hit back after a run down their right hand side culminated in a cut back, which was slotted past keeper John Livings. Magpies responded well, with two goals to extend their lead to 3-1 – Ben Wright from a second penalty flick and Archie Winter on his return to the side following a period of absence due to school commitments.

The team were not able to build on this lead though and gain the resultant 3 goal cushion required, and after some Letchworth pressure a pass found its way through to a lurking Letchworth player who slotted it in under the keeper. Just before half-time, Magpies again hit back to extend their lead to 4-2 at the interval. Skipper Leigh Sitch, took advantage of a wide injection from a penalty corner, to place a clean strike in the bottom right of the Letchworth goal. The two goal lead at half time feeling like just rewards.

The second half was a more even game. Letchworth were the first to strike, pulling two goals back to level at 4-4, the equaliser being an unfortunate own goal. Magpies again responded through Archie Winter to take the lead with 7 minutes to go. However, a few minutes from full time Letchworth again equalised, converting a penalty stroke to round off a 5-5 draw and a pulsating game.

Magpies will be disappointed not to have closed out the game, after leading numerous times. Next week the team travel to Dereham in a re-arranged fixture.

MOM – Archie Winter

Photos courtesy Pat Leate

Stuart Leate
Leigh Sitch celebrates his rare goal while fellow defender Andrew Bedwell looks away in disbelief!
Ben Wright
Ben Wright

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 31 January 2017


The club’s star player last weekend was undoubtedly 5th team captain (and club treasurer) Jose Tibbenham who not only played for her own team but also played for the 4ths (strictly within the rules) and scored the only goal of each game. She was also the MOTM of each game!

Her first game was for a much-changed 4ths (due to illness) away to Carrow and her goal was created by Immi Meynell-Anderson (as she did the previous week for Anouska Stott’s vital goal) and her second game was at home for the 5ths against Watton 2nds. The goal came late in this game. Ellen Pope played well on her debut for the team while Alice Gooch made some good saves in goal. But even Jose would be hard pressed to double-up this coming Saturday as the 5ths are away to Thetford at 12.00 and the 4ths at home to Loddon at 1.45!

Play got underway on Saturday at a thankfully frost-free Weybread with the Girls’ Development having a fun inter-club game involving twelve girls, three older sisters and seven mums with the mums, split between the teams, playing on the same side as their daughters. A repeat game has been suggested.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 2nds looking to complete the double over fellow promotion hopefuls City of Peterborough who included ex-Magpie Mel Ludlam. Magpies dominated the early stages forcing several penalty corners but Peterborough were first to score following a right wing cross. As the game progressed Magpies deserved to be at least on level terms but they had to wait until ten minutes from the end for their equaliser when leading scorer Laura Tibbenham found the net at the left post. Magpies went looking for a second goal but with a minute to go Peterborough broke away for the winner. This Saturday Magpies are away to Bedford (2.30). Olivia Locke will hopefully be back playing again for the team in three weeks after unfortunately breaking a finger playing for the U18s in the national indoor finals.

Richard Larkin and Mark Wheelhouse (Ipswich)

The Men’s 1sts then took on lowly Ipswich and they were ahead in the opening fifteen seconds (without Ipswich touching the ball) when Richard Larkin scored his first goal for the team from beyond a yard out and for the first time with a hit! Spurred on by ex-Magpies captain Mark Wheelhouse Ipswich were soon looking the better team but despite this Magpies were two up at half time following a penalty corner conversion by Ben Wright. Midway through the second half Ipswich scored three goals in five minutes to turn the game on its head. All three came from penalty corners with the first two fired low and hard inside the left post by Tom Dunnett (another ex-Magpie) and the third touched in at the left post by Josh Cutting. Magpies who were clearly lacking outdoor practice and missing six regulars (including one with a self-inflicted hand accident involving an axe!) responded with a host of penalty corners of their own including one on the final whistle. But Ipswich kept them all out for a deserved win. Magpies’ captain Leigh Sitch was as ever on top form at the back while Chris Leek made some good saves in goal on his outdoor debut. It was also good to see former vice-captain Pete Bale in the team. This Saturday Magpies are away to Chelmsford (2.00) who they beat 9-2 at home in October.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.30pm – clubhouse)
You may have noticed that I have advertised this event before! We have now gratefully received a total of 44 ‘Promises’.
The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction. This is the club’s major fund raising event of the season.

The outstanding home performance came from the Ladies’ 6ths who beat Watton 3rds 6-0. They were three up at half time through a brace from MOTM Vanessa Vigrass and captain Gillian Stokes’ first goal for the club. After the break the team continued to play their best hockey of the season with Vanessa scoring her third and Honey Lamdin adding two further goals in the last ten minutes. The Men’s 6ths lost 3-1 to Sudbury 3rds but the scoreline could have been much different had the team taken their chances after Pete Thornett equalised in the first half from a penalty corner. Murray Graham played well in goal while Graham Mobbs, Jack Largent and Ben Emms also had good games.

Meanwhile Robbie Kinsella was playing for the 4ths – in their 2-0 win over Norwich Dragons 4ths –and bravely so he told me following his recent operation for the removal of kidney stones! Kieran Peters put them ahead with a penalty corner conversion but he was not so accurate with his next shot from near the penalty spot as the ball had to be retrieved from the car park by stand-in (and still injured) manager Bob Skinner! Toby Evers was enjoying a good debut having been welcomed to the club very recently. Alex Kilbourn made the game safe for Magpies, for whom Morgan Manly was in good form as right defender, in the second half with a neat reverse stick shot at a penalty corner. I was admonished by umpire Andy Smith (with a smile on his face?) for telling umpire John Pestell that he should have carded Dragon’s Jon Price for hitting the ball away at an infringement! Jon claims he was innocent!

These have been announced and it is congratulations and best wishes to the following members who have progressed to the Bury St Edmunds centre via their county centres.
U15 Boys – Michael Ahrens, Jude Pottruff, Hugo Thomas.
U15 Girls – Georgie Cantrell, Keisha Hilaire.
U17 Boys – George Baldwin, William Donsworth, Archie Winter.
U17 Girls – Amy de Selincourt, Abby Gooderham, Martha Lawrence, Lauren Rowe, Lottie Summers, Rose Winter.

Away from home there was a mixed bag of results for the club with wins for the Men’s 3rds and Boys’ Development, draws for the Ladies’ 3rds and Men’s 5ths and defeats for the Men’s 2nds and Ladies’ 7ths. The Men’s 3rds retained their league leadership with a 5-1 win over Norwich City 4ths. They were 3-0 up approaching half time through Greg Jagger, Vincent Leruth (looking sharp after his indoor season) and Tom Norton before City pulled a goal back. Chris Flatt on debut for the team in goal was forced into one good save before Vincent and Gavin Cole completed a competent win for a team still rusty after their 8-week break. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development consolidated their league leadership with a 7-0 win over Norwich Dragons ‘B’. Magpies were 6-0 up at half time after which Dragons strengthened their side with another adult and the Magpies manager Mark Emms tested out a few players in new positions. Scorers for Magpies, who gave a promising debut to Bruce Daniels, were Sam Emms 2, Ben Emms, Ben Waters 2 and Ollie Currie 2.

The Ladies 3rds drew 2-2 with North Norfolk. Laura Betts equalised for them in the first half in open play before captain Sarah Legg made it 2-1 to Magpies at a penalty corner. The home team brought the scores level in the second half. With fifteen minutes to go Rachel Baynes took a tumble and very unfortunately has a fractured and dislocated wrist. Best wishes Rachel for a speedy recovery. Next on the pitch at Cromer were the Men’s 5ths who played out a 1-1 draw with North Norfolk 2nds. The home team took the lead four minutes from time before two minutes later Andy Caston was on hand after shots by Jude Pottruff and son Jake were saved. There was still time for Jude to be denied the winner by a good goal line save. Steve Halliley was in outstanding form for Magpies in goal. The Men’s 2nds went down 4-0 to East London on the main Olympic legacy pitch at Lee Valley. In a good spirited game Jonty Herschel-Shorland was on top form while the team was delighted to welcome back Martin Fields after illness. Please see the website for the entertaining report of the game. The Ladies’ 7ths came second to Hornets!

The club is through to the second round of England Hockey’s Mixed Trophy after our team’s excellent 2-1 away win last Sunday over Bedford 2-1 with both goals scored in the first half by Laura Tibbenham.

KATH JOHNSON (England and GB and now HMHC)
In a recent edition of The Hockey Paper Tina Cullen MBE includes Kath in her Dream Team and she says  “Nothing got past Kath, she was an unbelievable tackler. The opposition called her ‘The Wolf’ because they thought she was really scary but she was the nicest person you could ever meet”. Well said Tina.

Saturday 28 January

It is a big ‘thank you’ to Rob Chase, from Adnams, for making
this event so enjoyable with his expert knowledge of wines. It is also a big ‘thank you’ to all who attended and to our hosts
Julian and Philippa Taylor. It was an excellent evening in delightful surroundings.


The club’s bar steward and O50s star Simon Bardwell is providing chilli and rice in the clubhouse for those who wish to watch this game. You will be very welcome – charge £2 on the day.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including on Saturday the Ladies’ 1sts –after their 1-0 (Maria Andrews) warm-up win over St Albans last Sunday – who will be in outdoor league action for the first time since 26 November when they travel to play Northampton Saints. On Sunday the Ladies’ O35s and U14 Girls will be in home action while the U16 Girls and U14 Boys will be playing away. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the complete list of fixtures including times.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston 2 – Ipswich 3

In the first game back from the Christmas break, Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport hosted Ipswich to reignite the old rivalry. The squad were without several key figures, Robbie Kinsella, Matt Richardson, Archie Winter, Jack Knight, Simon Hipwell and John Livings all unavailable. The squad did welcome Chris Leek in goal to make his debut for the first team and also welcomed Pete Bale back into the fold.

A superb start from magpies saw them score within the first minute, with Richard Larkin latching on to a well placed pass from Ben Wright, driving into the D and drilling it home, bottom left corner making it 1-0. Magpies then took control of the game pinning the opposition into their half with some supreme attacking work from Tom Ridley, and strong defensive play from Leigh Sitch.

As the game progressed, Ipswich slowly started to get into the game with some long balls that troubled the Harleston defence resulting in some short corners which were well saved by Man of the Match Tom Ridley running 1, and Chris Leek.

Magpies then re asserted their dominance winning numerous short corners, one of which was scored by Ben Wright with a trademark late release flick into the bottom right hand corner of the net to leave Harleston 2-0 up at half time.

With the game in their grasp Harleston struggled with fitness and numbers in the second half and not being able for two months started to show. Ipswich scored two unstoppable drag flicks and a clinical deflection off the keepers pads to leave Harleston shell shocked.

Photos Courtesy Pat Leate

Richard Larkin and Mark Wheelhouse (Ipswich)
Ben Wright
Andrew Bedwell
Tom Sumner

Match Report – U18 Boys National Indoor Finals – Sat/Sun 21/22 January 2017

U18 Boys National Indoor Finals – Phoenix Leisure Village, Dawley, Telford
Harleston Magpies Report

Surbiton 6 – 1 Magpies

Magpies opened their defence of their national title with a tough looking game against Surbiton. Surbiton quickly took control of the game opening up a 4-0 lead, which could have been more but for some superb saves by Will Graver. The second half was much tighter as Magpies pressed better and started to exert pressure in the attacking half. However, Surbiton extended their lead before Sam Paterson grabbed a deserved goal. Unfortunately, Magpies conceded another goal to see Surbiton close out the game as 6-1 winners.

Ashmoor 2 – 3 Magpies

Knowing 3-points were vital from their second game, Magpies started well outsmarting the Ashmoor press and forcing a number of good opportunities. Eventually, the deadlock was broken by Archie Winter as Magpies took the lead. Unfortunately, Ashmoor grabbed an equaliser just before half-time to see the score level at 1-1. With vociferous support now cheering them on, Ashmoor took a surprise lead in the second half. Magpies didn’t panic, stuck to their game plan and were rewarded when Archie scored his second of the game. Magpies were now in control of the match and a flowing team move resulted in Vincent Leruth scoring the third. The final couple of minutes were frenetic but Magpies held their nerve to secure a 3-2 victory.

Timperley 2 – 5 Magpies

Taking a lot of confidence from the victory the previous evening, Magpies started strongly against Timperley and raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time courtesy of a goal from captain Myles King and a brace for Jack Hobbs. The game was effectively over shortly into the second half with another goal from Myles and one for Sam. With an opportunity to rest legs the final few minutes were a little scrappy as Magpies used their bench, allowing Timperley to grab a couple of consolation goals. However, Magpies closed the game out as Timperley lost their discipline spending most of the final few minutes with at least one of their players in the sin bin.

Lichfield 1 – 5 Magpies

The final game would see the winner advance to the semi-final. With confidence high Magpies were the quicker team to settle and, as in their previous game, raced into a 3-0 lead with 2 goals from Myles and one from Sol Barker. Lichfield threatened briefly at the start of the second half but the goal they scored galvanised Magpies with Matt Bensly and Sam scoring twice more to seal a comfortable 5-1 win.

Canterbury 4 – 2 Magpies

Having improved as the tournament progressed Magpies, whilst underdogs, new they had every chance to progress to the final. Both sides set-up well and the first few minutes were very even. Magpies went closest to scoring but the final touch just eluded them. Half-time 0-0. The second half saw Canterbury slowly take control and with a good short-corner routine they moved out to a 4-0 lead. Magpies, though, were always in it and goals from Archie and Sam narrowed the gap and ensured Magpies were on the front foot for the final few minutes. However, Canterbury defended very well and closed out the game as 4-2 winners.

Magpies should be very proud of themselves for their effort and commitment across the weekend. Starting slowly but improving game on game they thoroughly deserved their semi-final spot and only narrowly lost out on making the final in which Surbiton beat Canterbury. The tactical input from coach Richard Larkin, who was superb all weekend, was invaluable and the boys executed the game plan excellently in every match. This was a big squad effort and everyone played their part, which made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

A big thanks to all the supporters that made the trip to Telford and for your support and encouragement across the whole weekend.

Squad – Will Graver (GK), Myles King (C), Sam Paterson, Jonty Herschel-Shorland, Sol Barker, Ben Kilburn, Matt Bensly, Kieran Peters, Archie Winter, Jack Hobbs, Jolyon Summers, Vincent Leruth.

Coach – Richard Larkin

Manager – Stuart Peters

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 17 January 2017


The indoor season comes to an exciting conclusion this coming weekend when our two U18 teams compete in the national indoor club finals.

The Girls go into their finals at Whitgift School in South Croydon as East champions and in Pool B they play Isca (West 1, 2.45) and Wycombe (South 2, 5.05) on Saturday and Beeston (Midlands 1, 9.35) and Brooklands (North 2, 11.55) on Sunday before, hopefully, the semis and final. In Pool A the teams are Stourport (Midlands 2), Surbiton (South 1), Canterbury (East 2), Taunton Vale (West 2) and Fylde (North 1). Squad – Tor Findlay (captain), Alice Gooch (GK), Katie Crawford, Charlotte Seaman, Lauren Rowe, Alice Woollatt, Anna Tighe, Sophie Child, Olivia Locke, Rob Sorrell (coach), Andrew Woollatt (manager).

The Boys (as East runners-up and defending national champions) travel to the Phoenix Leisure Village in Telford and in Pool A they play Surbiton (South 1, 2.10) and Ashmoor (West 1, 5.40) on Saturday while on Sunday they face Timperley (North 2, 10.10) and Lichfield (Midlands 2, 12.30). Hopefully they will progress into the semis and final. The Pool B teams are Beeston (Midlands 1), Doncaster (North 1), Canterbury (South 2), City of Peterborough (East 1) and Taunton Vale (West 1). Squad – Myles King (captain), Will Graver (GK), Sam Paterson, Jonty Herschel-Shorland, Sol Barker, Matt Bensly, Ben Kilburn, Kieran Peters, Jack Hobbs, Archie Winter, Jolyon Summers, Vincent Leruth, Richard Larkin (coach), Stuart Peters (manager).

The indoor season is over for the Ladies’ 1sts and Men’s 1sts after they battled hard over the weekend (the second of two) in Bristol and Nottingham respectively for the two wins both teams thought they would need from their four games to virtually make sure of retaining their Division One status in the national indoor league. In the event both achieved their target with the Ladies – who were without the injured Annie Nunn while welcoming Lucy Belsey back from her injury – managing to do so with four points. With two wins on Saturday the Men did so more comfortably than the Ladies who after heartaches from letting slip opportunities in their first three games had to beat Surbiton in the very last game of their championship to avoid relegation on goal difference which they did coming from a first minute goal down to win 5-2 with goals by Lauren Rowe (2), Maria Andrews (2) and Sarah Brook.

Earlier in the weekend they had disappointingly lost 3-2 (Lauren R, Maria) to Bristol Firebrands before drawing 5-5 (Sarah 2, Anna Tighe, Maria, Lauren R) having lead 5-2 at half time. In their penultimate game they lost 3-2 (Lauren R, Sarah) to Leicester who got their winner in the last minute after Magpies had recovered from two goals down.

The Men started their weekend with a 6-0 win over Cannock with goals by Ben Wright 3, Richard Larkin, Thomas Ridley, Tristan Baynes and followed up by beating Sheffield Hallam 6-3 (Chris Barber, Jack Knight, Tristan, Ben (2) and Simon Hipwell). On Sunday they lost 11-4 (Chris 2, Richard, Ben) to Brooklands MU before (with their Div 1 status now assured beyond any doubt) they scored a last minute goal to draw 3-3 (Jack 2, Chris) with Beeston to leave them in 6th place in the nine team league on 10 points.

Congratulations to both our squads including, of course, the coaches and managers. Let’s hope the club can build on these successes next season.

Saturday 28 January 7.30pm – Starston Place, Starston, IP20 9PF

Tickets £12.50 (from Jackie Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803 or the clubhouse bar) to include the tasting of 8 wines – plus cheese and biscuits. The wine tasting challenge to be run by a wine expert from Adnams with teams (organised on the night) competing against each other. PLEASE COME!

Only two of our twelve scheduled outdoor league games survived the wintry spell last weekend and both resulted in excellent victories for the club.

The Ladies’ 2nds, after their early start and long trip to Lincoln to play Lindum at 12 noon, were keen to get their 2017 programme off to a good start. They began the game strongly and created some good chances but were unable to find a way passed the in-form Lindum goalkeeper. Without their injured co-captain Plum Sweet Magpies continued to work hard as a team but despite numerous chances for them the game was still goalless going into the closing stages. The elusive goal came when Jess Howland (in her words) “fired in a stormer of a goal with four minutes left on the clock”! Well done to Jess and all members of the team on their best performance of the season. Their game and that of the Men’s 2nds scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed until Saturday 18 February in view of the U18s playing in the national indoor finals.

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 5ths had a shorter distance to travel but they still had to go to the other end of Nelson’s County to take on Pelicans’ 2nds. After their disappointing loss before Christmas to Norwich Dragons 5ths captain Jose Tibbenham and her team needed a good performance to get back to winning ways to maintain their promotion bid and this exactly what they delivered. Molly Warnes, Alice Wiseman and Emily Woollatt were outstanding in a strong defence and this allowed the team to attack from the back creating two first half goals for Jose taking her total to the season to fourteen. Magpies continued to dominate after the break winning 2-0 with a strong team performance. On Saturday third-placed Magpies host fifth-placed Reepham (12.15) who beat them 2-1 early in the season.

CONGRATULATIONS and very best wishes to Annelli Clarke and Simon Bardwell on the birth of their son (8lbs 14 ozs) on Tuesday 10 January. All three are well with the name of the young man yet to be decided.

The Men’s 1sts will need to get back to outdoor mode when they travel to play promotion favourites City of Peterborough on Saturday (NB. 11.30) and they will need a win to retain any realistic promotion prospects of their own. Hopefully their hosts will also be affected by U18 indoor calls!

League leaders Men’s 3rds host Norwich Dragons 2nds (3.15) while the Ladies’ 3rds are at home to table topping Watton (1.45) so both teams should be in for a testing afternoon. The Men’s 4ths will be without Bob Skinner, who unfortunately chipped a bone in his wrist playing for the Men’s O50s against City of Peterborough, when they play Norwich Dragons 3rds (1.30) away while the Ladies’ 4ths will be hoping to complete the double over Evergreens when they entertain them at 3.30.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.30pm – clubhouse)
We have now gratefully received 32 ‘Promises’. The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go to achieve this number. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction. If you are thinking of kindly donating a Lot you might wish to think of gardening, theatre tickets, riding lessons, use of a holiday cottage for a week, lifts to the theatre, use of a caravan, music lessons etc. Or you might have an item for auction. This is the club’s major fund raising event of the season.

The Men’s 5ths are also at home when they play Sudbury 3rds (12.00) who are having a tough season while the Men’s 6ths face a tricky game away to mid-table Watton who beat them 3-2 at Weybread in early October. The Ladies’ 6ths also have a considerable challenge when they travel to play Evergreens 2nds (10.00) who beat them 4-1 earlier in the season while the Ladies’ 7ths are at home to UEA 4ths (10.15) who conceded their first meeting of the season.

The Girls’ Development, and league leaders, are away to third placed Norwich Dragons (2.15) while the Boys’ Development have a vital away test against unbeaten Norwich Dragons ‘A’ (3.45) who are three points above them at the top of their league.

In a very busy weekend for the club the Mixed team starts their bid for the EH Trophy on Sunday with an away game against Bedford (12.30 ) while also on Sunday (10.00 – 2.00) the club hosts a friendly tournament involving Girls’ U14 teams and Girls’ U14 Development teams from Blue Hornets, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge City, Ipswich and Magpies.

Good luck as always to all our teams this weekend.  Please see the Latest News page of the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 10 January 2017


After the first weekend of the national indoor league both our teams have all to play for this coming weekend when they fight to avoid the two relegation places from their respective Division One. At the UWE in Bristol the Ladies’ 1sts finished the first of their two weekends with four points from their four games to sit in sixth place with three teams below them while at Nottingham Trent University the Men’s 1sts finished with three points from their four games to sit in eighth place.

The Ladies will have been disappointed not to have gained more than one point from their games on Saturday going down 5-2 (Sarah Brook 2) to Chelmsford and drawing 4-4 (Sarah 2, Annie Nunn, Lauren Rowe) with Ipswich before on Sunday gaining a splendid 6-3 win (Anna Tighe 2, Sarah, Maria Andrews 2, Lauren R) over Brooklands Poynton. They then lost 5-3 (Lauren R, Maria, Sarah) to league leaders Clifton Robinsons for whom out-on-loan Magpies Hannah Coulson and Jess Bloom were playing. This coming weekend Magpies play Bristol Firebrands and St Albans on Saturday and Leicester and Surbiton on Sunday looking for a couple of wins to retain their Division One status for next season.

Ladies 1 v Chelmsford 07/01/2017

The Men got off to a bad start losing 11-3 (Ben Wright 3) against  West Herts on Saturday before they had a superb 7-5 win (Ben 2, Thomas Ridley 2, Tom Hughes, Chris Barber 2) over Southgate. The scores were level at 4-4 after 32 minutes before Magpies pulled away with three goals in five minutes. On Sunday they went down 4-3 (Chris 2, Thomas) to St Albans after twice being in the lead before St Albans hit back with three goals. Magpies then reduced the arrears but were unable to find another goal against their East Premier ‘A’ rivals. In their last match they were up against a star-studded Holcombe team going down 12-1 (Ben). This all leaves Magpies with the demanding task of needing the minimum of two wins from their four games this weekend. On Saturday they play Cannock and Sheffield Hallam while on Sunday they take on Brooklands MU and Beeston.

Saturday 28 January 7.30pm – Starston Place, Starston, IP20 9PF

Tickets £12.50 (from Jackie Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803 or the clubhouse bar) to include the tasting of 8 wines – plus cheese and biscuits. The wine tasting challenge to be run by a wine expert from Adnams with teams (organised on the night) competing against each other. PLEASE COME!

Meanwhile at an overcast Weybread we had four Norfolk league games to watch before the East leagues resume this coming Saturday after the Christmas/New Year break. Three of the games were against Norwich Dragons and they didn’t go well for Magpies with defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths and 6ths to get the club’s second half of the outdoor season off to a disappointing start.

All three games followed a similar pattern with the Magpies’ teams having plenty of possession without creating gilt-edged chances while the Dragons’ teams were clinical in front of goal. The Ladies’ 4ths started well against Dragons 3rds, who had ex-Magpies’ club captain Kristina Smyth in goal, and a win looked a distinct possibility in the early stages but they were unable to put away several penalty corners. In contrast Dragons converted their first chance before going on to complete a comfortable 4-0 win. This Saturday Magpies are away to Norwich Dragons 4ths (10.30). The Ladies’ 5ths conceded a first half goal against Dragons 5ths before Janna Freeman made it 1-1 at half time with her ninth goal of the season. After the break Dragons went into a 3-1 lead before in the last few minutes Amy Collison rounded-off an impressive personal performance when she converted in a goalmouth scramble. The final whistle came with the team looking for the equaliser. Hopefully they will be return from Pelicans 2nds (1.45) this Saturday with the three points.

The Ladies’ 6ths were next into action against Dragons 6ths and they included four members making their debuts in ladies hockey after reaching the age of 13 in December. They were Ellen Pope, Holly Hanrahan, Honey Lamdin and Victoria Spouncer and all did well against a strong Dragons team who scored early in the first half. Magpies responded having a considerable amount of play in the Dragon’s half but they found the visitors’ goalkeeper in good form while at the other end Imogen Flatt was having a splendid game in goal for Magpies. Dragons eventually went on to win 3-0. Players of the Match for Magpies, who are at home to Pelicans 3rds this Saturday (1.45), were Verity Tomson and Ellen Pope.

One can normally rely on the Girls’ Development, under player-manager Sandra Elliner, for a win and last Saturday was no exception despite the team going a rare goal down (only their third conceded all season) to Yarmouth. After their slow start Magpies, who were all aged between 9 and 12, came into the game and Jessica Tarrant equalised in open play before half time. Their deserved winner came when Jessica crossed from the right and the ball was deflected into the goal off two defenders. Magpies continue to lead their league three points ahead of Norwich City and this Saturday they are away to Watton (10.00).

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary and please excuse me going on about this event! We have now gratefully received 28 ‘Promises’. The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go to achieve this number. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction.

The resumption of the East leagues feature some vital games for Magpies with none more important than those involving our 2nd teams. The Ladies’ 2nds have their longest trip of the season when they travel to Lincoln to play Lindum and they will be looking to get back to winning ways in pursuit of promotion after their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Dereham before Christmas. They drew 1-1 with Lindum early in the season before embarking on their fine run with 22 points from their next eight games.

Meanwhile the Men’s 2nds, who are battling to avoid relegation, will be encouraged by their 4-1 win over Blueharts 2nds as they entertain joint league leaders Shefford & Sandy (2.00) who have done extremely well following their promotion. When the teams met earlier in the season the Bedfordshire side won 5-3 but with a little luck Magpies could have come away with at least a point.

The Ladies’ 3rds, who have taken nineteen points from their last eight games, host Dereham 2nds (12.00) who are just one point behind them in 6th place and both teams are still in with a chance of promotion.

The Men’s 3rds still lead their league despite dropping five points in their last two games so they will be keen to take the three points from their home game against IES 3rds (3.30) while the Men’s 4ths travel to play IES 4ths (1.00) looking to boost their promotion hopes in a very open league. Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths entertain Magpies 6ths (12.15) and when the teams met early in the season it was a very exciting affair. Archie Derbyshire opened the scoring for the 6ths with Arthur Johnson and Ben Emms replying for the 5ths. Richard Allcock then equalised for the 6ths before Andy Caston twice scored for the 5ths both side of a response by Fabien Mitchell to clinch a 4-3 win for his team. Let’s hope for similar fare on Saturday!

The Ladies’ 7ths get their post-Christmas/New Year programme underway when they play Norwich City 7ths away with a late start of 4.45.

The fortunes of our team in the second half of the season (especially the Men’s teams) will depend on the availability of players. It is hoped that those with school commitments will make themselves available whenever possible.

The Boys’ Development are without a game this Saturday but as last weekend (when Dereham called off) a training game is planned for 10.45 at Weybread.

Good luck as always to all our teams this weekend. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham


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U18 Girls Indoor East Regional Final


East U18 Club Indoor Champions

Harleston Magpies won the Norfolk U18 girls indoor hockey final and qualified for the East regional final which took place on Saturday 17th December 2016 at Essex university. Magpies had five games to play against teams from Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Cambridgeshire with the top two teams qualifying for the National final which takes over the weekend of 21st/22nd January 2017.

Harleston’s first match was against Canterbury who were representing Kent. Magpies won the opening game 2-0 with goals from Sophie Child and Lauren Rowe.

The next match was against St Albans representing Herefordshire and after Magpies going a goal behind won the match 2-1, goals scored by Sophie Child and the winner from Charlotte Seaman.

Our third match was against neighbouring Suffolk rivals Ipswich, goals from Anna Tighe, Tor Findlay, Lauren Rowe and Sophie Child meant we won the match 4-2.

Three games played and with two games remaining Magpies knew they had a great chance to qualify for the U18 girls National indoor hockey final in Croydon on 21st/22nd January 2017 and next up to play was Peterborough representing Cambridgeshire. Magpies played some great attacking hockey and won the game 7-1, goal scorers were Lauren Rowe 4, Anna Tighe 2 and Sophie Child.

Alice Gooch was having a good afternoon in goal for Magpies and the whole team were growing in confidence as the competition went on. The final game was against Old Loughtonions from Essex who also went into this match knowing a positive result would send them through to the National final.

Magpies started the game strongly and soon went 1-0 ahead thanks to a goal from Lauren Rowe, this was soon followed by the best goal of the afternoon when a slick passing move involving all five outfield players was finished by Anna Tighe. Anna then added a third and Katie Crawford completed a fantastic afternoon by scoring the fourth goal and securing a 4-0 win. Magpies finished the afternoon with the proud record of played 5, won 5 and finished U18 girls indoor hockey East champions.

Magpies will now represent the East region at the National final.
Harleston Magpies squad: Victoria Findlay (captain), Alice Gooch (GK), Alice Woollatt, Anna Tighe, Lauren Rowe, Charlotte Seaman, Katie Crawford, Sophie Child.

Match report/press release of Santas v Elves – Saturday 10 December 2016

Santas and elves take time out for hockey at Harleston Magpies

On Saturday 10th December Harleston Magpies Hockey Club hosted what is hoped to become an annual Dads – v- Lads Christmas hockey fixture. The game was played at Weybread over four quarters in high spirits between thirteen Santa dads, just one Mrs Claus and twenty two keen and highly excitable elves.

A jovial crowd warmed by mulled wine cheered on the players and were treated to a festive game of hockey, which ultimately finished 1-1 after an overtime short corner was converted by the Elves.

Event organiser and Magpies Boys Development Team Manager Mark Emms said: ‘The spirit of this summer’s Rio Olympics GB hockey success still lives on at Magpies Hockey Club, and we had lots of dads keen to try out their stick skills with a festive twist. A Christmas fancy dress Dads –v-Lads match seemed just the ticket!

Mr Emms continued: ‘We all enjoy the competitive cup and league hockey we play across the different age groups here at Harleston Magpies, but it’s also important to make time for friendly socials like this’.

After the game players and spectators enjoyed hot turkey rolls and hospitality in the club house provided by parents. James Smith, the Club’s Boys Youth Development Officer was delighted with the turn out, saying: ‘It’s great to be able to celebrate our achievements so far this season in such festive style. With our growing youth membership, we’ll be arranging more friendlies and fun tournaments in the future’.

Bex Pottruff

Match report – U18 Boys – Saturday 10 December 2016


Having qualified for the East finals as a lucky loser, Magpies were determined to acquit themselves well in this round-robin event and to try to qualify for the national finals to defend their title.

City of Peterborough – Lost 3-2
Magpies were handed a tough opening match against a strong looking Peterborough team. The game started at a frenetic pace with both sides playing some good hockey. Unfortunately, Magpies didn’t convert their early chances and found themselves 3-0 done at half-time. Undeterred, the team upped the intensity in the second half and it was no surprise when Archie Winter scored to reduce the arrears. Magpies now had control of the game and Sam Paterson scored the second to ensure a tense finish. With Peterborough now on the back foot an equaliser looked possible but the final touch eluded the hard working Magpies’ forwards so the boys had to settle for a loss despite a very encouraging performance.

IES –  Drew 4-4
Next up were IES and in a good opening spell Archie put the team 1-0 up and seemingly in control of the game. However, IES were in determined mood and pulled a goal back to show we had another tough tie on our hands. Matt Bensly restored the lead only for IES to score 2 quick goals to lead 3-2 at the break. The second half continued in similar vein with Vincent Leruth scoring the third only for IES to take the lead again. However, in the final couple of minutes Archie scored again and, with time running out secured a short corner, but despite a superb drag flick from Sam, Magpies just couldn’t apply the final touch.

Norwich Dragons – Won 5-2
Knowing a win was vital to stand any chance of qualifying for the finals Magpies started well quickly taking the lead through a goal by Sam. Unfortunately, a lapse in concentration saw Dragons equalise. Again, Magpies upped the intensity and goals from Myles and Sam saw them lead 3-1 at the break. Dragons had to come out in the second half to try and get back into the game, which opened up the pitch and Magpies capitalised on more space taking a 5-1 lead with Sam grabbing his third and Archie scoring from a short corner. Dragons scored a 2nd goal but Magpies closed out the final stages of the match to record their first victory.

Saffron Walden – Won 7-0
Next up was a potential banana-skin as Saffron Walden had a young but talented side. Nerves were quickly settled when Myles opened the scoring and Magpies took control with goals from Vincent, Archie and Sol Barker to lead 4-0 at the break. The second half was slightly scrappy as the squad was rotated to ensure we could rest everyone before the final game. However, goals from Matt, Sam and Sol gave us a real boost going into the “win-at-all-costs” tie against Old Loughtonians.

Old Loughtonians – Won 3-2
The game started in the worst possible way with Old Loughts scoring in the 1st minute. Magpies slowly took control of the game and went in 2-1 at half-time via goals from Sam and Myles. Knowing the next goal was crucial Magpies extended their lead with another goal from Myles. The final few minutes should have seen the game killed-off but Magpies couldn’t beat a determined Old Loughts keeper. With time running out Old Loughts scored to make it 3-2 but with time up Magpies knew they had secured the victory to see them finish as runners-up to C of P and with it a place in the national finals to be played in Telford over the weekend of 21/22 January.

Overall, this was a superb team performance with Magpies improving in each match and deservedly finishing in second place. Well done to the whole squad and to coach Richard Larkin for his tactical input throughout the day.

Squad – Will Graver (GK), Myles King (C), Sam Paterson, Archie Winter, Vincent Leruth, Jonty Herschel-Shorland, Sol Barker, Ben Kilburn, Jolyon Summers, Matt Bensly

Stuart Peters (manager)

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 December 2016


I have to admit that on occasions my hockey glass is half empty and last Saturday was one of those occasions! From the moment the Girls’ Development conceded their first goal of the season in losing to Norwich City in the opening game at Weybread until the Ladies’ 4ths lost to Norwich City 3rds I was not the only one to feel a sense of gloom. Played eight, lost seven was our home record. Fortunately the weather was mild for the considerable number of spectators and we were cheered by the Ladies’ 7ths beating Loddon 2nds 5-2. We were further cheered by the news that away from home the Men’s 2nds had beaten Blueharts 2nds 4-1, the Boys’ Development had beaten Norwich City 7-2 and that there were draws for the Ladies’ 3rds, Men’s 3rds and Men’s 5ths.

The Ladies’ 7ths and Men’s 2nds deserve joint top billing this week for their excellent wins and I will start with the Ladies’ 7ths who are a happy blend of youth and experience including some ‘back-to-hockey’ Mums. Fiona Brice, playing in central midfield, put them two up against Loddon 2nds in the first six minutes and after a response from Loddon Fiona completed her hat-trick by half time. Evie Tibbenham put them further ahead with her seventh goal of the season and while Loddon again hit back Fiona was on hand to make the final score 5-2. The team celebrated with sherry and After Eights!

I always ask our away captains to give me a few words regarding their games and I can do no better than quote Lawrence Baynes in full regarding the Men’s 2nds very welcome win over Blueharts 2nds.

We got our first away win on Saturday. Tris [Baynes] scored a short corner, then Vince [Leruth] scored a tap in after Matt Bensly had done some good work down the base line. 2-0 at half time. We soaked up a lot of pressure with George [Baldwin] playing well in goal. Tris scored an open play goal then got his third with a cracking drag flick into the top left corner. They scored a consolation in the last minute. Tris MOTM.

Back to Weybread.

The Girls’ Development, under player-manager Sandra Elliner, have enjoyed an excellent season (when their opponents are not calling off) and their 2-0 defeat by a talented Norwich City side was a reminder that losing is an inevitable part of playing sport and they are sure to bounce back after Christmas.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
We have now gratefully received eighteen ‘Promises’ – please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction! This is the club’s major fund raising event of the season and provides an opportunity for everyone to make a contribution by offering Lots and/or attending the evening to make bids.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 5ths looking for their seventh straight win and when 2-0 up against Diss with goals by Jose Tibbenham (the team’s leading scorer with 10) and Grace Collison all seemed to be going nicely. However, Diss hit back in the second half to win 3-2. This was an awful and lethargic display by the team and their worst in three years. Not my words I hasten to add but those of skipper Jose! Let’s hope a 10.00am start at bracing Lowestoft away to Railway this coming Saturday sees them return to form.

After losing to Dereham in the closing seconds on the first day of the season the Ladies’ 2nds were looking to right matters in their return game but it never happened as, frankly, they never really got going after Dereham converted a fifth minute penalty corner. Dereham looked sharper throughout and they increased their lead with a sweeping move from right to left. To their credit Magpies didn’t concede again in a goalless second half and despite this disappointing defeat they can be pleased with their season to-date.

If you want to see goals and some fast and exciting action the Men’s 1sts are your team – with plenty of goals at both ends! Wearing their smart new waterproof shirts for the first time, supplied by team sponsors Dynamic Club shops, they were up against second-placed St Albans looking to reverse their 4-1 opening day defeat in a game which the St Albans’ management admitted could have been won by Magpies. In another exciting game Magpies started and ended the game on top. Between these phases they went 3-0 down (2-0 at half time) before fighting back to draw level with ten minutes remaining.

Ben Wright converted a penalty stroke for his 22nd goal of the season before a brace by MOTM Myles King (a skilful deflection and a shot just inside the left post) had the home support buzzing and urging their team onto victory. But with two minutes to go and with Magpies’ skipper and defender Leigh Sitch off injured St Albans mounted an attack down the right and their bench were cheering the winner before the ball hit the back of the net. A draw would have been a fair result but sport doesn’t work like that. ‘Well done’ to St Albans, coached by England manager Andy Halliday, and the same praise to Magpies, despite their first defeat since 1 October in a game a credit to our sport, and to umpires Peter Lemon and Nick Lockhart.

James Meek in action against St Albans Photo courtesy of Pat Leate
James Meek in action against St Albans Photo courtesy of Pat Leate

The game was sadly the last for Magpies by James Meek. James, who is an avionics technician, is leaving the army at the end of the month and returning to Doncaster where he has bought a house. His plan is to join Doncaster HC while looking for another engineering job either in this country or abroad. Meeky, who has played for the Army, joined Magpies in December 2013 and quickly established himself as both a hard working first team player and a very popular and committed member of the club. We will miss him and we wish him all the very best for the future. James knows he will always be very welcome back at the club as a player or just socially.

A quick look now at other home games. The Men’s 4ths copied the Ladies’ 5ths in surrendering a 2-0 lead after goals by Neil Watson and Alex Kilbourn to lose 3-2 to Lowestoft Railway 2nds; the Men’s 6ths were up against third placed Dereham 3rds going down 5-0 while the Ladies’ 4ths were not at their best in losing 3-0 to Norwich City 3rds in the last game of the day.

While I type away it has just dawned on me that we got something from all our away matches so Saturday’s gloom has lifted a little! I have already covered the Men’s 2nds. The Ladies’ 3rds got a good point in their 1-1 draw with Yarmouth who are just above them in their league. The club’s leading scorer Georgie Cantrell got their goal taking her total for the season to 26 (including goals she has scored for the 4ths and U14s). The Ladies’ 6ths got an excellent 1-0 win over high flying Norwich City 6ths with Lydia Barrett scoring in the second half while the Men’s 5ths drew 3-3 with Thetford Town. Two down in the first five minutes they fought back well with a brace from Andy Johnson bringing them level. James Harvey was in top form in goal. After the break Andy completed his hat-trick before Thetford got a deserved equaliser.

Despite a strong start the Men’s 3rds found themselves 2-0 down against Lowestoft Railway before Greg Jagger created an opening for Gavin Cole. Now playing the better hockey Magpies drew level when Gavin scored his second with a penalty stroke conversion and they went ahead five minutes from time through Jon Aldridge only for Railway to get a deserved equaliser making the final score 3-3. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development were scoring seven goals for the second successive week in beating Norwich City 7-2. They were 3-1 ahead at half time through Ed Brice, Joe Wicks and Archie Derbyshire before further goals by Joe, Ben Emms and two from Sam Emms after he was moved to centre forward.

The club is through to the quarter-finals of the England Hockey Men’s Over 40’s Cup following their 6-0 away win on Sunday over Luton Town. First half goals by skipper Tristan Baynes, who was in commanding form before tearing a hamstring in the second half, and Gavin Cole, with a brace, had Magpies three up at half time. After the break Magpies continued to dominate, except for a good spell by Luton near the end of the game, and further goals came from Roger Kent (2) and Gus Wilkinson. This was an excellent performance by the Magpies ‘eleven’ who will be hoping for some of their injured team-mates to be fit, including Tristan, for the next round on Sunday 12 February away to Cambridge City.

The U18 Boys have been granted a lifeline with the news that Norfolk now has two representatives in the East Indoor Finals so they will be joining Norwich Dragons at the UEA on Saturday.

With most league fixtures now over until after Christmas our only teams playing on Saturday, in addition to the U18 Boys, are the Ladies’ 3rds, in a re-arranged fixture against Ipswich 2nds  (NB.  now 11.00), and the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths and 6ths. Good luck to all our teams. Please see the website for more details.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 3 – St Albans 4

Magpies, sponsored by Dynamic Club shops, hosted St Albans at The Nest looking to finish on a high before the Christmas break, while also looking for revenge for the 4-1 defeat suffered in the reverse fixture. While player-coach Ben Wright distracted the opposition management the rest of the squad avoided dawdling and warmed up like they meant business.

As the game started Pies immediately showed their intent with some slick moves. Before long, Jack Knight was played through and with clearly no other possible options he was forced to wildly swing at the ball, narrowly missing at the near post. Undeterred, Pies continued pushing and the game picked up to a frantic pace with both teams turning over the ball repeatedly. Eventually it was St Albans who broke the deadlock with a baseline carry before pulling the ball back to score. Magpies continued to push and created more chances but it was St Albans who would stike again when the usually solid Leigh Sitch misjudged a reverse stick pick and Albans snuck in behind to win a corner. Magpies didn’t stand a chance as the ball was riffled in at unstopable speed. 2-0 Albans.

After some stern words at half time, and much soul searching, Magpies returned to the pitch knowing that they had overturned a worse deficit to win at Old Loughts. This optimism was promptly tested when another Albans penalty corner found its way into the net. It fell to Magpies’ other centre back to provide uplifting words of encouragement to the team and it wasn’t long before the frontline made a breakthrough. Ben Wright made a good run down the left of the pitch and fortunately his mis-hit shot fell to Myles King, who confidently slotted home. Magpies finally started building some momentum and pushed to carry on the comeback and it wasn’t long before Knight collected a long aerial and was brought down as he raced past the keeper. Wright selflessly stepped up to take the penalty stroke and make it a one goal game.

Magpies were determined not to concede another and threw their bodies on the line when Leigh Sitch took a nasty blow to his knee. With the resilience of the back 4 allowing a platform for Magpies to continue to build on Man of the match King completed the comeback when he rushed onto Wright’s pass and pushed the ball into the bottom corner. The momentum was all with Magpies and when St Albans went down to 10 men, after a harsh yellow, Pies pushed for the all important winner. Another goal looked certain as the pressure continued to build but as Magpies piled players forward it was Albans who snatched the winner, catching Magpies on the break and rushing up the pitch to slide the ball under Livings. A disappointing result in a game the Pies will feel they could have won.

Photos courtesy of Pat Leate

James Meek
James Meek
Tom Sumner
Tom Sumner
Leigh Sitch
Leigh Sitch
Ben Wright
Ben Wright

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 4 – Bedford 4

Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Sport entertained Bedford at the nest on a sunny Autumn day to complete their first round of fixtures in the league. Harleston welcomed back Archie Winter who had missed last weeks game due to an England training camp.

Harleston started the game the better side and were soon able to pick the ball off the faltering Bedford back four. Despite turning the ball over regularly it wasn’t until super sub Richard Larkin broke the dead lock after winning the ball the dynamic utility man broke forward before receiving the ball back before slotting in at the back post with only his third touch of the ball. In a half which Harleston started to dominate the home side had to wait for their second goal following a sweeping counter attacking move Archie Winter’s first shot was blocked but the bouncing rebound found Jack Knight at the back post who volleyed the ball into roof of the net. Harleston continued to play well but couldn’t extend their lead. With 30 seconds left to play Harleston were reduced to 10 players when a turn over in midfield meant that Matt Richardson had no choice but to bring his man down and correctly received his marching orders for a 2 minute sit down. This meant that Harleston were forced onto the back foot for the remainder of the half but had Leigh Sitch to thank when he made a clean diving reverse stick tackle in the D to prevent a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Although Harleston had the lead they knew that Bedford would not roll over in the second half. As predicted Bedford came out fighting and continued to press Harleston back into their own 25. With 10 minutes of the second half play a ball into the Harleston D caused confusion after two miss traps the ball fell to a Bedford forward for a simple tap in. This goal woke Harleston up and they soon added a third goal when the front three of Jack Knight, Ben Wright and Archie Winter combined wonderfully to allow Archie Winter with a simple finish at the back post.

Despite continuing to dominate possession some turn over of the ball allowed Bedford to start to look dangerous as their man of the match David Appleton started to cause havoc in midfield. This allowed Bedford to score two quick unanswered short corners, the first with a good deflection and the second with a powerful strike. The game was then completely flipped on it’s head as Bedford took the lead after John Livings had made a good initial save the rebound fell kindly to the Bedford attacker and he lifted the ball over Livings.

Harleston decided to change their press and the aggression paid off as Thomas Ridley won a strong tackle on the right which released Ben Wright who won a short corner. The resultant corner allowed Jack Knight to deflect the ball into the post man and the resultant penalty stroke was tucked away by Ben Wright.

Although the home team salvaged a point it very much felt like 2 dropped. The team know that next week they will need to be at their defensive best as they face St Albans at home.

Photos courtesy of Pat Leate

Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Thomas Ridley
Thomas Ridley

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Saffron Walden 1 – Harleston Magpies 8

Harleston Magpies travelled to Saffron Walden looking to continue their fabulous run of form. The squad travelled with Archie Winter away on England duties and were still without Robbie Kinsella and although Ben Wright travelled he was far from 100% fit.

Harleston started the game the better side but were occasionally caught out by long balls played through from the Saffron Walden centre backs. In an open 10 minutes it was Harleston who took the lead when a superb solo effort from Jack Knight settled into the bottom corner through goal keepers legs after a mazy run along the base line. Harleston soon found themselves two goals to the good following a couple of short corners which were not injected well eventually Matt Richardson injected the ball with pace and the half fit Ben Wright fired a drag flick past the goalkeeper. Harleston now seemed to be in control but in a twist of fate they were reduced to 10 players when Stuart Leate was sin binned following a robust challenge and conversation with the umpire. This pushed Harleston onto the back foot and eventually Saffron Walden were able to convert one of their short corners following a re-bound.

Despite going into half time only one goal ahead Harelston were not worried knowing that they had played the better hockey of the first half and they knew that a similar performance would ensure that they travelled back with all 3 points.

Harleston again started the second half well looking to hit Saffron Walden on the counter attack. The away side continued to play good flowing hockey and got their rewards from their reliable short corner routines. Sam Paterson scored a quick fire brace rifling in two powerful and accurate short corner drag flicks. Ben Wright then grabbed his second of the day before Jack Knight also scored his second with a neat deflection at the near post into the roof of the net. After scoring his first senior goal last weekend Richard Larkin continued his scoring streak with a neat deflection in front of the goal keeper. Ben Wright then tried to complete his hat trick with a short corner drag flick but his effort lacked the power and accuracy that Sam Paterson’s had shown. Luckily Harleston did win one more corner and Sam Paterson stepped up and completed his hat trick from the top of the circle.

Next Saturday Harleston entertain Bedford at home at 12:00pm.

Photos courtesy Pat Leate

Andrew Bedwell
Andrew Bedwell
Leigh Sitch
Leigh Sitch
Matt Richardson
Matt Richardson
Richard Larkin
Richard Larkin

Match Report: Magpies Girls U14 Championships – Midlands League 4 – Match 3 v Cambridge City


Magpies travelled to Cambridge knowing the winner of this top of the table clash would top the group with three games played and two to go.

A clash of the titans was what we expected and was exactly what we got. Where in previous games players of both sides had enjoyed the luxury of space and time no quarter was given in this game. Tackles were full on and the pace was relentless, mistakes, even by the very best, were inevitable. But who was to prevail?

Magpies started the better with runs from right, left and centre all making inroads to the Cambridge final quarter who in turn stood resolute and made more effective counter-attacks with our midfield seemingly unable to cut out defence to attack balls. With 15 minutes gone and nothing on the board to show the tables were starting to turn and Magpies early dominance was starting to be reversed by the hosts.

Then we really did it! After a period of hard fought possession in around the 20th minute in the City final third Georgie C found an opening in the D and slid the ball past the keeper to the opposite left hand posting quite literally edging Magpies in front. And how City responded. The final 10 minutes of the first half was a Cambridge onslaught during which our defence, and Grace in particular rose their game to the occasion. A combination of Cambridge misfiring at PCs and very brave #1 running from Molly kept our clean sheet at half time.

We expected a response in the second half and Cambridge gave it. Whilst out possession may have been even in the first 15 minutes of the second the territory all belonged to Cambridge who tried every route possible to penetrate our defence and eventually and deservedly equalised. The Cambridge pressure continued but our defence stood resolute and the harder we worked the luckier we got. Several counter attacks ensued and on one Georgie G made a fabulous run giving her a one on one with the keeper which she coolly despatched.

Ten minutes left and the every member of the team gave everything – no-one singled out so the team sheet below because every one of the team gave their defensive all.

Cambridge literally tried everything to win and would have tunnelled their way to goal if it had been an option but they weren’t to be given the chance and with much relief and a few hoarse voices we celebrated the final whistle.

And with that Magpies edge their way to the top of the table with two games (Dragons and Pelicans) to go:

  1. Magpies 7pts
  2. Cambridge 6pts
  3. Norwich City 5pts
  4. Pelicans 4pts
  5. Bury 3pts
  6. Norwich Dragons 0pts

Team: Alice Wiseman, Amelia Slade, Amy Collison, Beth Moodie, Ellen Pope, Georgie Cantrell, Georgie Gardens, Grace Robertson, Honey Lamdin, Molly Warnes, Olivia Lapage, Victoria Spouncer

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 6 – Cambridge City 2nds 1

Harleston Magpies hosted Cambridge in a fixture that saw the return of a few familiar faces to the club, Zum Akhter and Donnie Archer were representing Cambridge after their brief stints at Harleston last season. With the harsh weather conditions subsiding the game got underway and chances were created at either end. The majority of possession was with the home side, but the first blood was drawn by ex-magpie Zum Akhter when a short corner flick hit a foot on the line and he neatly converted the subsequent penalty flick.

The home team rallied after this initial setback, dug deep and started producing some attacking flair producing chance after chance. Harleston player coach Ben Wright continued his vein of fine form scoring their first drag flick of the match. The momentum well and truly shifted and the Harleston team’s quick counter-attacking hockey became too much for their opponents. Ben Wright added a second, Jack Knight scored another superb diving deflection before Matt Richardson rounded off the first half scoring with an expertly taken upright reverse stick finish.

With the home team in control they struggled to play at the same intensity as they did in the first half and although John Livings was rarely troubled in goal thanks to excellent defensive displays from Sam Paterson, Andrew Bedwell, Leigh Sitch, Tom Sumner and man of the match Tom Ridley the home side were only able to add two more goals to their tally. Ben Wright completed his hatrick before Richard Larkin calmly sat Donnie Archer down before flicking the ball over him to score his first 1st team goal. Harleston did create more chances but some ambitious finishing meant that they could not extend their lead.

The final score ended 6-1 to the home team who look to continue climbing the table and keep their aspirations of promotion alive.

Photos courtesy of Pat Leate

Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Thomas Ridley
Thomas Ridley
Tom Sumner
Tom Sumner
U18 Magpie
U18 Magpie
U18 Magpie
U18 Magpie