Category Archives: social events


The club is very grateful to Bungay & Waveney Golf Club and to the twenty three teams of four players (in Ladies, Gentlemen and Mixed sections) who helped to raise £1253 for club funds.
This was the club’s sixteenth annual golf day (all held at Bungay & WGC) and as in the past it raised a very considerable sum to help the work of the club while boosting the profile of the club in the local community.
The event comprised one round of golf with Stableford scoring (the best 3 out of 4 per hole to count playing off full handicaps) followed by lunch and presentations.
The winning teams were
Mixed (5 entries) – 1st LMB Services (122 points) including club vice-president Les Bicker; 2nd Hazbeens including George & Kay Hazell of Bury St Edmunds HC (107).
Ladies (4 entries) – 1st Happy Girls (116); 2nd Sprowston Ladies (112).
Gentlemen (14 entries) – 1st Tramps (121) including keen Magpies’ supporter Rob Holmes; 2nd Where, Where Is Nick Moss? (120, 64 on count back) with Phil Oldroyd and Magpies’ Pete Thornett and Andrew Bedwell and East umpire Jason Evans; 3rd It’s In the Genes (120) featuring Magpies’ Kevin & Thomas Ridley and John & Archie Winter with Archie contributing a remarkable 43 points (!) off a handicap of 5; 4th White Harters (119).

Hockey Fest 2nd September 2017

Harleston Magpies are opening up the Club to all on Saturday 2nd September as part of HockeyFest 2017 with mixed hockey for all the family.

Existing Magpies, returning friends and new faces are all welcome from Under 10’s to Over 60’s.  If you currently play, have played or just currently enjoy hockey at school even if this is in the dim and distance past this is your opportunity to come down to Magpies and get on the pitch for some light hearted mixed hockey.

Take a look at the schedule below and plan your day :

10.30am – 12 noon – Under 10s Mixed Mini Hockey –  (School Years 3, 4 & 5)
10.30am – 12 noon – Boys Under 12s Mini Hockey – matches (School Years 6 & 7)
10.30am – 12 noon – Girls Development – water based pitches (School Years 6, 7)
11.30am – 12.30pm – Parent Play – For those always on the side line the chance to step onto the pitch with a family audience
11.30am till 1pm – U14s Mixed 7 a-side Hockey (School Years 8, 9)
1pm till 2.30pm  – Ladies 2s vs Ladies 3s & Mens 2s vs Mens 3s – Spectators Welcome
2.30pm – 5pm – Open mixed hockey – for all whatever your playing experience

All activities will finish with a drink in the bar and a bite to eat from the kitchen.

Come down – Get active – Make new friends – Have loads of fun – Bring the hockey family together

For more info and register your interest contact:

  • Your 2016/2017 Magpies Captain at their usual contact address
  • Over 14 Enquiries – Adam Lascelles or Emma Tolhurst Magpies Club Captains at:
  • Existing Magpies U10s to U14s and their parents please follow the email you will receive from team officials
  • New U10s to U14s please contact Magpies Youth Development Officers


Girls’ Youth Development Officer

Nick McAllen –

Boys’ Youth Development Officer

James Smith –



AGM – Thursday 22 June 2017- summary of minutes

AGM – Thursday 22 June 2017- summary of minutes

  1. 40 members attended.
  2. Accounts – bar takings improved. Social functions revenue down so members encouraged to support in the future.
  3. Approval given in principle for work to begin towards the club becoming incorporated.
  4. Presentation of Club’s property included – i) negotiations in progress to purchase land behind the clubhouse, ii) improvement of club’s changing facilities; options presented to include major rebuild, portable facilities, extension to the clubhouse and dome with playing and changing facilities.
  5. Match fees to remain unchanged.
  6. Subscriptions – Associate £35, Social £25, Adult £120, Concessions (13+), Juniors (under 13) £65, Occasional members (new category) £35.
  7. President – Mike Barber, Deputy President – Daphne Beckett.
  8. New Honorary Life Member – Nick McAllen.
  9. New Vice-Presidents – Les Bicker, Kevin Ridley, Roger Sweet.
  10. Chairman – Richard Stacey, Vice-Chairman – Nick Durrant.
  11. Finance Manager – Brian Pring, Treasurer – Jose Tibbenham, Commercial Manager – Joe Cooksey, Chairman Fund Raising & Social Committee – Philippa Taylor, Playing Manager – Tristan Baynes, Facilities Manager – Jeremy Podd, Coaching Manager – Peter Dolton, Youth Strategic Manager – Bob Skinner, Youth Chairman – David Johnson, John Adams – advisory member of Executive committee, Membership and Recruitment Manager – David Johnson.
  12. Presentations were made to retiring Chairman Murray Graham and President Philippa Taylor.

Topcroft Cricket Club: Girl’s soft ball sessions, Ladies’ cricket

Ladies or girls whether you have played cricket before or not do you fancy giving cricket a go? Whether that’s to play for a local team, using it for fitness or just having fun! please get in touch.

All abilities welcome. All equipment supplied.

Girl’s soft ball session – Fridays 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Ladies’ cricket – Fridays 6.30pm – 8pm

First session free

For more information about Topcroft Cricket Club, please visit the club website at

If you would like to come along please register your interest contact

Karen at t: 07789 121953 or

Sarah at t:07920 558980

Address: Topcroft Sports Field, The Street, Topcroft. NR35 2BL

Session coached by

Topcroft Cricket Club are hosting a Ladies Softball Cricket Festival Tuesday 25th July at 6pm

Soft Ball Cricket is a new, fun, fast, social game for all abilities featuring a, you guessed it, soft ball. Women’s Soft Ball Cricket Festivals are set to take over this summer during the ICC Women’s World Cup. Expect something different!

Topcroft Cricket Club are hosting a Ladies Softball Cricket Festival Tuesday 25th July at 6pm

There will be fun, music, processco/Schloer, free t-shirts, Selfie boards and will generally will be a great giggle.

The event will be run by Suffolk Cricket Board with help from Topcroft Cricket Club. The event is officially for those aged 14 and above (Processo for those aged over 18 only) however we are happy for aged 12 and over to join in the fun!

If you and your friends enjoy having a laugh and want to whack a ball please bring them along, this is a free event, the more the merrier!

The ECB have asked for as many of the ladies as possible sign up before the event online , 😊 Please click on the following link to register. 

It only takes 30 seconds, very quick. If you search for the nearest Festival to them and they should see one labelled as Topcroft CC.

If the ladies complete this sign up, they can guarantee their free t-shirt and they will also receive discounts for tickets to upcoming events (the WWC) and the new New Balance England Kit, as well as ensuring there is enough Prosecco!.

Address: Topcroft Sports Field, The Street, Topcroft. NR35 2BL

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 June 2017

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 June 2017
(back as a one-off by popular demand – honestly!)



After triumphs in 2004 and 2015 the Magpies’ squad – kindly sponsored by Parson Estate Agents – and their supporters assembled at Lee Valley Hockey Centre last Saturday in search of a third win in England Hockey’s Mixed Trophy which this season attracted an entry of 148 teams making it EH’s most popular competition.

After missing the signs to the Westfield Shopping Centre I toured the area trying to find somewhere to park eventually settling for a well-known supermarket where a fellow customer kindly gave me a lift to the stadium on a hot day in time for the eagerly awaited semi-final clash with Spencer HC.

Maria Andrews put Magpies ahead early in the game with a typically fierce penalty corner conversion but Spencer were soon level thanks to a superb reverse stick shot by ex-Magpie Duncan Graves. Unfortunately for him and his team Duncan was injured in making the shot and his weekend’s hockey was over. His shot almost did the same for Magpies’ goalkeeper Chris Leek who took a frightful blow and the game was held up for several minutes.

Magpies then had a bad spell but to their relief and that of their supporters they were back in the lead against the run of play seconds before half time when Maria fired one of her trademark reverse stick shots high into the net.

Encouraged by this change of fortune Magpies dominated the second half (despite two yellows) inspired by Tim Whiteman in midfield. Midway through the half Lucy Whiting won the ball and crossed for Simon Hipwell to run into the circle to score in spectacular style. Another goal for Simon who has found his scoring touch in the latter part of the season to go with his mounting card collection!

Maria then scored again to take her Mixed total for the season to nine (to add to her seventeen for the 1sts) and in a spirit of goodwill I will record this as completing her hat-trick! Captain Leigh Sitch was also in commanding form for Magpies in this 4-1 win with another outstanding defensive performance in addition to his three attacking forays causing one spectator to say he didn’t realise how quick Leigh is about the pitch!

We then saw Khalsa (Warks) recover from two down to beat Stourport 3-2 in the other semi with two late goals. Khalsa looked a much stronger team than when Magpies beat them 5-0 in the quarters at Weybread last season so our squad was warned what to expect in the final the next day.

The appalling terrorist outrage in London on Saturday evening was marked by a minute’s silence in the stadium on Sunday.

Stourport beat Spencer 3-0 in the 3rd/4th place play-off and with the number of Magpies’ supporters swelling by the minute it was time for the final played in coolish and mainly overcast conditions.

Khalsa were soon on the attack and they scored after three minutes following an attack down their right. Magpies are rarely behind in their Mixed games. How would they react to this setback in front of their enthusiastic support? The answer was encouraging and they took the game to their opponents without playing at their best. Five minutes before half time after good work by Leigh, Tim and Simon the ball was slipped by Maria to Lizzie Clymer who took the chance in fine style to bring the scores level.

The second half was a tense and exciting affair with Thomas Ridley in midfield and Andrew Bedwell in defence playing particularly well for Magpies. Both sides had chances at penalty corners in the last few minutes and Maria was denied by an excellent stick save by the Khalsa keeper.

So players and spectators alike were left with the dreaded shuffles introduced just for the final. It was 2-2 after each team had taken their five. Scorers for Magpies were Tim Whiteman and Robbie Kinsella with Chris in goal making some excellent saves with one surprisingly resulting in a penalty stroke for Khalsa which they converted.

With nerves jangling (at least in the crowd!) it was now time for the decider. Tim stepped up to coolly convert once again leaving the next Khalsa player needing to score to extend the shootout. With tension mounting even higher Chris forced him to shoot wide and with it a hard earned victory for Magpies in front of their jubilant fans including sponsors Kevin and Jan Parson.

The stadium announcer rightly called it a compelling final in which both teams played their part with so little between them.

It is ‘very well done’ to all members of the Magpies’ squad with special thanks to captain Leigh for all his hard work in organising the team throughout the season including the hotel and other arrangements for the finals weekend.

Congratulations to Leigh, Lizzie, Thomas, Maria and Katherine Ridley who after Saturday’s game were invited to the England Mixed trials.

The weekend marked almost certainly (at least for now) the last game for the club by Maria who this season in particular has shown what an outstanding goal scoring talent she has. She leaves with our thanks and very best wishes for her hockey and further studies. She will always be welcome back at Weybread.

Squad: Leigh Sitch (captain), Chris Leek (GK), Andrew Bedwell, Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Thomas Ridley, Simon Hipwell, Lauren Mickleburgh, Lucy Belsey, Richard Larkin, Tim Whiteman, Maria Andrews, Lucy Whiting, Lizzie Clymer, Robbie Kinsella, Lauren Barber, Laura Tibbenham, Katrina Sitch (coach) and Kevin Ridley (manager).

Lee Valley Hockey Centre – Sunday 25 June 2017
Club secretary Daphne Beckett has 10 complimentary tickets worth £45 each.
Please contact Daphne at if you are interested in attending. If demand exceeds supply a ballot will be held on Sunday 11 June.

at Gawdy Hall, Redenhall, IP20 9NY by kind permission of David and Wendy Green

You are cordially invited to this ticket only event which is always one of the most enjoyable in the club’s social calendar.

For tickets £12.50 (Adults), £5 (Children 7 to 12), Free (U7s) please contact Daphne Beckett at

or Jackie Ridley at

With kind regards and very best wishes

Mike Denham

PS. AGM – Thursday 22 June in the clubhouse at 8.00pm. The agenda will be issued very soon.

HMHC Youth Awards Evening – Friday 19 May 2017

Press Release 21 May 2017

Harleston Magpies celebrate bumper crop of youngsters at annual youth awards!

Harleston Magpies Hockey Club Youth Section celebrated a bumper crop of youngsters at their annual Youth Awards Evening on Friday 19 May. Over one hundred children played games and crowded into the Clubhouse to see the lucky recipients of the highly prized annual awards, presented by two young first team players, Maria Andrews and Archie Winters.

Boys Development Officer James Smith said: ‘We had 121 girls and boys from 7 to 16 celebrating a brilliant year of youth hockey at our annual youth awards ceremony on Friday 19 May. We have been so impressed by the high numbers of youngsters joining us this season, on the back of Great Britain’s Olympic hockey win and our active outreach programme with schools.’

He continued: ‘It’s been a tremendous season with success at regional level for several of our teams, and the bonus of being able to field more girls and boys teams than ever before at tournaments across the county.’

Club Youth Chairman David Johnson praised the attitude of the youngsters saying: ‘Our awards evening was a terrific night. We start with mixed team games with girls and boys from 7 upwards, which are always great fun and highly competitive, then move onto the serious stuff with presentation of awards. It’s great to hear the children guessing who might have won what! They all conducted themselves brilliantly, and were a real credit to the club. Well done to all the winners on the night!’

If you fancy getting your kids involved in hockey, check out the summer taster courses running in June and July at Harleston Magpies Hockey Club on their website at

Presentations were made by first team players Maria Andrews and Archie Winter

U9 Boys Most Improved Player
U9 Player of the Season
U9 Player of the Season (2)
U10 Boys Player of the Season
U10 Most Improved Player
U10 Most Improved Player (2)
U10 Player of the Season
U11 Girls Most Improved Player
U11 Boys Most Improved Player
U11 Boys Player of the Season
U11 Girls Player of the Season
U12 Boys Most Improved Player
U12 Boys Player of the Season
U12 Girls Player of the Season
U13 Boys Most Improved Player
U13 Boys Player of the Season
U13 Girls Most Improved Player
U13 Girls Player of the Season
Boys Dev Player of the Season
Girls Dev Player of the Season
Girls dev Most Improved Player
U14 Boys Most Improved Player
U14 Boys Player of the Season
U14 Girls Most Improved Player
U14 Girls Player of the Season
U15 Girls Most Improved Player
U15 Boys Most Improved Player
U15 Girls Player of the Season


Results – Sat/Sun/Mon 29/30 April/1 May 2017

Sunday 30 April
LADIES O35s (EH Trophy Final) v Timperley (Lee Valley SC)
11.00 (Pitch 2) 8-0 W
(Anouska Stott 3, Angie Wheelhouse 3,
Treacle Griffin, Jose Tibbenham)
Congratulations to the squad on this outstanding win

* * * * *

Saturday 29 April and Monday 1 May
Saturday (Open Mixed Challenge)
Cup Final – Dalmations 3 Tye Dye Pye 0
Player of the Final – Simon Hipwell (Dalmations)
Plate Final – You Wine Some You Booze Some 3 Chubby’s 0
Player of the Plate Final – Josh Bailey (YWSYBS)
Monday (Ladies & Mens Club XIs)
Ladies’ Cup Final – City City Bang Bang 1 Norwich City 0
Player of the Final – Matilda Warde-Aldam
Ladies’ Plate Final – Dragons White 1 Loddon 0
Player of the Plate Final – Sam Franklin (Dragons)
Men’s Cup Final – Norwich City 1 Ely 0
Player of the Final – Andy Kind (Ely)
Men’s Plate Final – Magpies 0 IES 0 (Magpies win on strokes)
Player of the Plate Final – Jack Frere-Smith (Magpies)



Saturday 29 April and Monday 1 May


This weekend is the club’s May Day Hockey Festival with a mixed tournament on Saturday and club XI day on Monday.  Team entries are coming together but we are very short of helpers to enable the weekend to run smoothly.  The weekend is not only an enjoyable way to bring the season to a close but also a great money earner for the club coffers and therefore please can you all consider again whether you can help with the tasks set out below.

If every club team finds one volunteer from your regular playing squad to give up a couple of hours to help in the kitchen over the weekend we would be fully provided for.  Likewise umpires do not need to be level one qualified so if you are comfortable with umpiring you can volunteer and get some experience in a more light hearted environment.  If you can spare half or a whole day please step forward.

Without the support of the entire club membership this event will struggle to survive.  So your opportunities to volunteer are as follows:

Friday 28th – pitch preparation during the day – marking and goal moving.

Friday 28th – marquee erecting at the club – 6pm till 7pm

Please contact James if you can help with the above – 07800 699074 or

Saturday 29th – umpires required from 10am to 5pm.  Half day or full day positions exist.

Saturday 29th – tournament officials to join James and Kirstin in the nerve centre managing the event over the day.

Saturday 29th – kitchen helpers to assist with the sales of filled rolls, cakes and bacon butties.  Ideally we are looking to have three people in the kitchen at any one time doing two hour slots, i.e.  9 – 11am, 11 – 1pm, 1 – 3pm, 3 – 5pm.

Please contact Kirstin if you can help with the above – 07908 700960 or

Monday 1st May…….all the same opportunities exist again for a new willing team of volunteers.

Please have a think and see what time you can donate over this coming weekend to the club to make this year’s event as enjoyable and successful as ever.

Many thanks

James Smith




MAGPIES MAY DAY HOCKEY FESTIVAL – your opportunity to Play, Umpire or Volunteer

We hope you have all had an enjoyable Easter Weekend.  Many years ago for those of a certain vintage at the club Easter involved a trip to Colchester to take part in their hockey festival, more often than not played on grass pitches which were generally waterlogged before returning to a steaming clubhouse for a cup of tea or something a little stronger at the end of the day.

This tournament is sadly no more as indeed are so many across East Anglia. However, here at Magpies our May Day Weekend Hockey Festival is going strong and we will be looking to run this again this year with a day of Mixed Hockey on Saturday 29th April and Club Men’s and Ladies’ teams on Monday 1st May.

But this will only be possible with the entire club – players, spectators, umpires and family members – coming together to make the weekend possible by volunteering some of their time.

As always Kirstin and James are looking for help in many ways over the weekend including:

Friday 28th – pitch preparation during the day – marking and goal moving.

Friday 28th – marquee erecting at the club – 6pm till 7pm

Please contact James if you can help with the above – 07800 699074 or

Saturday 29th – umpires required from 10am to 5pm.  Half day or full day positions exist.

Saturday 29th – tournament officials to join James and Kirstin in the nerve centre managing the event over the day.

Saturday 29th – kitchen helpers to assist with the sales of filled rolls, cakes and bacon butties.  Ideally we are looking to have three people in the kitchen at any one time doing two hour slots, i.e.  9 – 11am, 11 – 1pm, 1 – 3pm, 3 – 5pm.

Please contact Kirstin if you can help with the above – 07908 700960 or

Monday 1st May…….all the same opportunities exist again for a new willing team of volunteers or the same looking for more.

Please can you give the above request due consideration and wherever possible please volunteer.  The more we all lend a hand the easier and more enjoyable this event becomes for the club and indeed our visitors.

Of course there are also playing opportunities – the point of holding the tournament.  The club team event is specifically designed for players from our lower club teams, i.e. Men’s 3rds to 6ths – your regular captain during this season should have already been in touch with you but if not contact them or indeed your club captain via and for Ladies regular players from the 4ths to 7ths again if you have not heard from your captain but want to play contact them or indeed your club captain via

As for the mixed event a number of club members have begun organising teams. This event is open to all HMHC players who during this season have regularly played men’s or ladies’ league hockey.  If you have not had a chance to pull together a team of friends or been contacted by a team organiser so far but would like the chance to play in a Magpies team please let your club captains know (as above).  We are desperately seeking some Magpies Ladies at the moment to make up a Magpies team currently being put together.

Both the Saturday and Monday tournaments will involve hockey matches from 10am with the finals being played at 5pm.

Whether you are interested in playing, umpiring or volunteering in some way, shape or form please can you get in touch with James and Kirstin by the end of next weekend (23rd April) to enable the final plans for the weekend to be put together.

Many thanks

James & Kirstin




MIKE’S MUSINGS – 11 April 2017


The club chairman comments as follows.

Harleston Magpies has had many great servants over the years but surely none more so than the editor-in-chief of Mike’s Musings, Mike Denham. 

Mike has worn many hats at Magpies over the years and since February 2007 he has single-handedly produced weekly newsletters for the enjoyment of this many readers. Indeed there have been 350 newsletters emailed to 500 recipients each time and that excludes visitors directly to the website. 

This is the last of Mike’s Musings and on behalf of everyone associated with the club I would like to express our gratitude for the time and effort Mike has put in to producing this unnervingly regular publication. 

Mike’s Musings keeps us informed, makes us laugh, reminds us of highs and unfortunately the lows, but every Tuesday without fail it lands in our inbox and continues to instil a great sense of community within the club.

Now we have reached the end of the league season (but hopefully success for the Ladies’ O35s and Mixed teams to follow last Saturday’s success by the U10 Girls) the time was right for Mike to hang up his pen. This also provides the club with an opportunity to consider other forms of communication which will endeavour to keep us all informed and continue to instil that sense of community. 

Mike is not departing and will continue to be a constant presence around the club; although a repeat of his 8½ minutes of play for the Men’s 7th team (his only on-field contribution and ended by a pulled hamstring) is unlikely to be repeated!   Murray Graham

I thank Murray for his very kind remarks and for his support during his four years as chairman. I also thank the many club members who have assisted me with the column over the years and those readers (both club and non-club members) who have made kind remarks about the column. This encouragement has played a big part in helping me to keep going as has been the invaluable technical support of Nigel Bedingfield of I have enjoyed writing Mike’s Musings (and before that Chairman’s Chat when the title was appropriate) and I thank Matt Brand for coming up with the title – the first edition of which was published in August 2009.  It has been a privilege to have been trusted to chronicle the last 10 years of the life of the club. As Murray says I hope to continue to be a regular at Weybread and to continue to enjoy the company of so many friends. But with my troublesome back I might in future leave the picking up of stray bottles to others!


The club hosted the In2Hockey East Club Championships over the weekend in glorious weather (as the colour of my face will prove) and it was really good to see so many people enjoying the four competitions.

The event started on Saturday with the U12 Boys’ and from the first game when they beat Magpies it was clear that Old Loughtonians would be the team to beat and so it proved. They went on to defeat Norwich City 2-1 in the final after recovering from conceding the first goal. The Magpies’ team, which came into the competition by invitation after the withdrawal of another team played far better, under the coaching team of Mark Emms and Peter Dolton, than their eventual position of ninth out of the ten teams would suggest. Hopefully the players will have gained experience from playing against some of the top teams in the East.

Next into action were the U10 Girls and after drawing their opening game 1-1 against Blueharts, Magpies played some splendid hockey to beat Chelmsford 3-0, Sudbury 4-0 and Cambridge City 2-0. They then had to avoid defeat against Sevenoaks to reach the final which they did winning 2-1. They dominated the final against Old Loughtonians scoring two quick goals before going on to win 3-0 thereby winning the event for the second successive year thanks to a splendid squad performance under the coaching team of  Kathy Gardens and Duncan Cogdell.

On Sunday it was the turn of the U12 Girls and U10 Boys. The Magpies’ U12 Girls were unfortunate to start against Sevenoaks who quickly looked a formidable team winning 3-0. Magpies then went on a run beating Hertford 2-1 (from a goal down), Old Loughtonians 3-0, Ipswich 4-0 and Cambridge City 1-0. In their semi-final against Canterbury they could not maintain their form going down 1-0. But overall this was a really good performance by the squad under coaches Jim Menzies and Duncan Cogdell who finished in joint 3rd place. In the final it came as no surprise when Sevenoaks beat Canterbury 3-1.

It was good to see David Brook at the club on Sunday and in his element watching the other teams on behalf of Jim Menzies. Let’s hope that David will feel well enough next season to resume at least light duties on behalf of the club.

The U10 Boys’ event (in which there was no Magpies’ participation) was won by Blueharts who beat Blue Hornets 1-0 in the final. Norwich Dragons beat Old Loughtonians 3-1 for third place.

Best wishes to the winners and runners-up of the U12 events who go on to the national finals.

The club was delighted to host these very enjoyable events once again in support of the East officials (genially led by Daphne Menear) and the young East umpires, and their mentors, who did so well over the weekend. It is also a big ‘thank you’ to the Magpies’ ‘backroom team’ for kindly helping with marquees, car parking, catering, PA etc.

The Magpies’ league season came to an end on Saturday with the already promoted Men’s 3rds going down 4-3 away to Ipswich 2nds despite a hat-trick by Greg Jagger and the Ladies’ 6ths beat Breckland 4-2 away with all their goals coming from Vanessa Vigrass. Magpies dominated play in the first half with Vanessa scoring in the first two minutes. Vanessa completed her hat-trick before half time and after Breckland fought back with two goals she scored again to round-off an excellent finish to the season by the team.

I take this opportunity to thank all club officials for their hard work over the season. In addition I thank everyone, including a considerable number of club members, who have umpired throughout the season. Finally, it is a big ‘thank you’ to all our sponsors. Their invaluable support is much appreciated.

The season is still not over. The Mixed team will be in EH Trophy quarter-final action (after their 4th round w/o win over Dereham) away to Horsham on Sunday 23 April and the Ladies’ O35s play Timperley in the EH Trophy final at Lee Valley Sports Centre on Sunday 30 April (11.00). Best wishes to our teams. In addition we have the Magpies’ Tournament on Saturday 29 April (Mixed teams) and Monday 1 May (Club XIs).

Please see the club website for more details of the above (including reports) and for regular updates throughout the summer.

With kind regards and very best wishes to all readers

Mike Denham    




MIKE’S MUSINGS – 4 April 2017


Top billing just has to go this week to the Boys’ Development after their 1-0 home win over Norwich City last Saturday which gave them the Norfolk league title on goal difference from Norwich Dragons ‘A’. This was a nervy game for the home team and their supporters and it was a considerable relief to all concerned when Ed Brice found the net at a penalty corner with five minutes to go.

There was not much between the teams for the majority of the match and while both defences played well they had to survive some anxious moments. Elliot Chapman gave an assured performance in goal for Magpies while Ed Brice caught the eye in midfield as did Ben Waters with some strong runs down the right wing. Magpies were let down on occasions by their poor choice of pass and an over reliance on the speculative reverse stick pass. But this is not the time to be critical. Well done to the squad under manager Mark Emms for an excellent season in which they have been defeated just once in sixteen games. They have done the club proud. The victory was a good way for defender Jack Largent to celebrate his fourteenth birthday.

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.

In the only other competitive home game the already promoted Men’s 3rds needed to win to keep alive their title chances and they went into their game against Norwich Dragons 2nds with just four of the players who clinched promotion the previous week against Newmarket. This churn has been a feature of the team in recent weeks and has made life more difficult than it should be for captain Matt Brand who has remained stoical over the situation. If the team is to be successful next season more players will need to be available more often and, frankly, that applies to some of our other teams, both men and women.

Dragons, with ex-Magpies star player Richard Gill in good form in midfield, took the lead following a fast break down the right. Magpies’ goalkeeper Chris Flatt, who had a good game, then saved a penalty stroke before Robbie Kinsella fired the home team level at a penalty corner. Just after the break Magpies missed a golden opportunity to take the lead. In a team not playing as well as the occasion demanded Stuart Field was outstanding for Magpies with his drive, speed and accurate passing. Dragons regained the lead and – after Magpies failed to take advantage of a number of penalty corners – they caught the home team on the break to ensure a deserved 3-1 victory. While this defeat and the news that Bury St Edmunds had beaten Ipswich 2nds 5-0 to take the league title was disappointing it should take nothing away from what has been an excellent season for the 3rds which concludes on Saturday away to Ipswich 2nds (12.00).

Away from home the Men’s 1sts went down 10-1 (Myles King) to City of Peterborough in another re-arranged match. The team already weakened in recent weeks by work and other commitments went into this tough game with several other changes due to parental responsibilities, injuries and holidays and I was not the only one fearing the worst. Despite the score line the eleven players played some good hockey against a full strength Cof P which until the previous week still had a chance of the league title.

From the middle of October when they won six games in succession, highlighted by a 4-3 away victory over eventual champions Old Loughtonians, the season was going well for the team but with the gradual weakening of the squad the second half has been a disappointment.

There can be little doubt that what our top three men’s teams need next season is rebuilding (1sts), promotion (2nds) and consolidation (3rds). Hopefully these objectives will be achieved by a core of present players, recruitment of others and opportunities to be grasped by the undoubted emerging talent in the club.

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 see website for details.

The curtain comes down on another league season this Saturday with as already mentioned the Men’s 3rds playing the last of their re-arranged games while the Ladies’ 6ths play Breckland away (2.30). The original match on 25 February with Breckland was abandoned with three minutes remaining, with Magpies leading 3-2, when Magpies’ Louise Davy had a nasty fall which necessitated her going to hospital for treatment. The league management subsequently ruled that the score should not stand as with only one goal between the teams Breckland still had a chance for an equaliser. Best wishes to our two teams.

EAST CLUB MINIS This coming weekend the club is hosting for the ninth successive year the East Club Minis or to give them their correct title the East Club IN2Hockey Championships. On Saturday the U12 Boys (from 10.30) and U10 Girls (from 1.25) will be in action and on Sunday it will be the turn of the U12 Girls (10.00) and U10 Boys (1.00). The club will be represented in each of the events except for the U10 Boys. The U10 and U12 Girls qualified by finishing first and second, respectively, in the Norfolk championships while the U12 Boys have been pleased to accept a late wild card entry following the withdrawal of another team.

All the very best to our teams, listed below, for an enjoyable and, hopefully, successful weekend.

Saturday 8 April (Weybread)
U12 Boys
Oliver Bardwell, Oliver Currie, Sam Emms, Jake Hayward, Oliver Kinsman, Freddie Kirk, Stanley Glenn, Charlie Hall, Jake Jackson, James Laurie (GK), Mark Emms (manager), Peter Dolton (coach).
Section B: Magpies v Old Loughtonians (10.30), Cambridge City (11.14), Norwich City (11.40), Bury St Edmunds (12.24) followed (hopefully) by the semis (1.40) and final (2.35).

U10 Girls Rebekah Moss (GK), Daisy Wicks, Catherine Pope, Harriet Soper, Alex Pearson-Smith, Emily Clarke, Natalie Saunders, Ophelia McCausland, Amber Whittingstall, Beth Gardens, Kathy Gardens (manager/coach).
Section Y: Magpies v Blueharts (1.55), Chelmsford (3.10), Sudbury (3.30), Cambridge City (4.20), Sevenoaks (5.00) followed (hopefully) by the final (5.30).

Sunday 9 April (Weybread)
U12 Girls
Ruby Pottruff (captain), Georgia Flatt (GK), Jessica Menzies, Holly Wills, Emma Williamson, Anna Cogdell, Evie Brice, Molly Largent, Alyssa Walker, Sophie Pettitt, Jim Menzies (manager/coach).
Section B: Magpies v Sevenoaks (10.00), Hertford (10.22), Old Loughtonians (11.06), Ipswich (11.32), Cambridge City (1.22) followed (hopefully) by the semis (2.05) and final (2.40).

The winners and runners-up of the two U12 events will go on to represent the East in the national finals to be played at Beeston HC on Saturday 13 May.

MIDLANDS LEAGUE U14 GIRLS REGIONAL FINALS In Pool A at Leicester Grammar School last Sunday our team had the frustration of going down 2-1 to the eventual winners Reading in their opening match after conceding a late goal. In their next game they were unable to find a way past Cirencester losing 2-0. But they finished on a high note beating Leicester 7-0. Well done to the players and manager John Pope on a really impressive season which bodes well for the club in the years ahead. Please see the club’s website for a full report from Leicester.

WATTON MINIS There were good performances last Sunday by our teams including wins for the U12 Girls and U10 Girls in the Silver events and second place for the U12 Girls in Gold and a season best second place for the U10 Boys.

Two wags contacted me after last week’s Musings to say it would have saved them a lot of time had I put at the beginning and not at the end that reading the column was not compulsory!

With kind regards

Mike Denham

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

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

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

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 7 March 2017


I am very pleased to start this week’s column with a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported last Saturday’s auction by donating lots, attending, making bids either successful or unsuccessful, helping to run the event on the night including, of course, our splendid auctioneers Nick Durrant and Robbie Kinsella. They helped to make it a really enjoyable evening for the one hundred members and supporters who attended.

I also thank Adam Patterson, Agricultural Manager of Barclays Eastern Agricultural Team, for the £1000 matched funding donation from his company. Including this much appreciated donation and other income we raised the splendid sum of £6000! Please click here to see how much each of the 67 Lots raised.

We also had a lot of hockey to enjoy both on Saturday and Sunday while Sunday might be remembered just as much for the wet and windy weather which plagued the Norfolk Minis in Kings Lynn and the Magpies Minis in Weybread. The bad weather was not confined to Norfolk as the Men’s O40s encountered considerable rain to and from Canterbury.

We had to wait until the last game of the day at Weybread for the top performance by a home team when the Men’s 4ths beat Ipswich Cranes 8-1. The team started slowly and were only one goal ahead at half time with joint MOTM Arthur Johnson combining for fellow joint MOTM Alex Kilbourn to score with ease. Early in the second half Kieran Peters, Morgan Manly and Arthur helped Alex to complete his hat-trick before Cranes pulled a goal make after a mazy run and good finish by one of their forwards. Magpies continued to press forward with Oli Clarke and Harry Haigh prominent and further goals flowed from Arthur (3), Alex (taking his tally to 4) and in the final minute from Kieran from a pass by Mr Peters senior. It was good to see Jordan Wiseman back in goal.

The midday game saw the Ladies’ 2nds beat Bury St Edmunds 2-0 with goals at penalty corners by Kath Johnson and Laura Tibbenham but there should have been many more goals as at times the game resembled one long penalty corner as Magpies won at least 30 in the game! As coach Sam Tea said later they have something to work on in training this week!

Next up were the Men’s 1sts against league leaders Old Loughtonians and within fifteen minutes we were three goals down and heading for an embarrassing defeat. But to their credit the team responded well with James Baker pulling a goal back and then hitting the bar from a narrow angle just before half time. Magpies continued to play some excellent hockey after the break and with the OLs getting rattled captain Leigh Sitch converted a penalty corner to make it just 3-2 to the visitors. With five minutes to go Magpies equalised to the cheers of their supporters. A few seconds later the umpires conferred (always a bad sign for one of the teams) and the goal was ruled out – the same happened to the OLs in the first half – meaning that Magpies had missed out on a deserved point in player-manager Ben Wright’s last game before his move to Australia. This coming Saturday Magpies are away to Cambridge City 2nds (3.00).

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 system is easy to operate as I found when I bought my ticket.

In other home games the Ladies’ 4ths lost 6-1 (Imi Meynell-Anderson) to Norwich City 2nds; the Men’s 6ths went down 5-0 to Bury St Edmunds 5ths while the Ladies’ 6ths were beaten 4-1 by Norwich City 5ths. Magpies had 16 players for this match in which City started well in contrast to Magpies who improved as the game progressed. Victoria Spouncer and Vanessa Vigrass were joint MOTM while Vanessa got the goal.

Away from home the outstanding result was achieved by the Men’s 3rds who beat Sudbury 2nds 9-4 (6-1 at HT) despite seven players (!) being unavailable from the 11-0 home win the previous week. As captain Matt Brand told me he was lucky that former regular Nick Whitehead was available for a rare outing as was Stuart Field from his usual Saturday teaching commitments. Between them they scored five goals (with four from Nick) with the others coming from Jamie Hudson (with his first two goals for the team) with another two from Tom Norton.

The Men’s 2nds, Ladies’ 5ths and Girls’ Development also won beating, respectively, City of Peterborough 3rds 4-3, Beccles 3-1 and Pelicans 6-0. It was a must-win for the Men’s 2nds against already relegated C of P but they made hard work of it letting slip a 3-0 lead given them by Jake Sewell and captain Lawrence Baynes (with their first goals of the season) before Tristan Baynes added the third. Fortunately Tristan was in good flicking form and he got the winner with his nineteenth goal of the season. This Saturday the team has another vital game at home to Norwich City 2nds (3.30). Meanwhile the Ladies’ 5ths and Beccles decided the pitch at Loddon was safe to play on despite a lot of standing water. Their goals came in the first half through Fiona Brice, Janna Freeman and Jose Tibbenham with Beccles getting a consolation midway through the second half. The team was pleased to welcome back Becky Baker (formerly Lee-Smith). The goals for the Girls’ Development were scored by Olivia Lapage, Hannah Gartland, Beth Gardens (2) and Evie Brice (2).

There were away defeats for the Ladies’ 1sts, Ladies’ 3rds and Men’s 5ths. The Ladies’ 1sts lost for only the third time this season going down 2-1 (Maria Andrews) to Cambridge City while the Ladies’ 3rds, with just ten players after a late call off due to illness, did well to hold league leaders UEA to 2-0 while the Men’s 5ths went down 5-1 (Jon Wells) to Watton. This Saturday the Ladies’ 1sts host league leaders Wimbledon (2.00) who include out-on-loan Magpie Cherry Seaborn and Olympic gold medallist and penalty corner specialist Crista Cullen.

The Men’s O40’s are out of the England Hockey Cup after going down 3-1 away to a strong Canterbury side in their semi-final clash last Sunday. Canterbury dominated the early stages but failed to take the lead due to some glaring misses, some good saves by Murray Graham in the Magpies’ goal (including one remarkable point blank stop) and stout defending by the Magpies’ defence in which Jamie Hudson was outstanding. Magpies, who were missing captain Tristan Baynes due to a family illness, hit back and took the lead through Bill Williams. They went close to increasing their lead early in the second half before Canterbury made their pressure pay with a strike from the edge of the circle. They then took the lead from close range before ensuring a deserved victory with a penalty corner conversion. Canterbury play Isca in the final. Our team can be proud of the way they have played in their debut season in the competition.

The Mixed team are now into the 4th round of the EH Trophy after their 4-1 away win over Letchworth. For the second game running all our goals were scored by ladies, namely this time by Maria Andrews (2) and Laura Tibbenham (2). I have it on good authority that the men do all the hard work leaving the tap-ins and the resulting glory to the ladies!

We have two further teams in EH semi-finals this weekend. The Ladies’ 035’s are off to Jersey from Gatwick on Sunday morning to play Jersey HC (11.30) in the EH Trophy. Let’s hope the plane isn’t delayed! So far in the competition they have beaten Norwich Dragons 4-0, Bury St Edmunds 4-1 and Teddington 5-0. Two hours later the Men’s O50’s will be hosting Reading who beat them in the final two years ago so they are in for a very tough game. To reach this far they have beaten Bury St Edmunds (on strokes after a 3-3 draw), Ipswich 3-1, City of Peterborough 3-1 and Cambridge City (w/o).

Last and certainly not least it is congratulations to all players, event organisers, team officials, umpires and spectators for battling the wind and rain in the Norfolk and Magpies Minis last Sunday. Well done to all our teams with the U10 and U12 Girls winning through from the Norfolk Minis to the East finals to be held at Weybread over the weekend of 8/9 April. Please see the website for match reports.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including the U16 Girls in the Midlands League finals at Stourport HC. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 28 February 2017

Ben Wright


This Saturday at home to league leaders Old Loughtonians (2.00) Men’s 1st team player-coach Ben Wright plays his last game for the club before taking up his playing and coaching role with Old Aquinians HC in Perth, WA and I know he goes with the best wishes of all members and supporters of the club. This is a wonderful opportunity for Ben to further develop his hockey career. His departure also, of course, leaves a huge gap for the club to fill bearing in mind that Ben is by far and away the team’s leading goal scorer. His worth to the team was again demonstrated last Saturday when he scored both goals in the away 2-2 draw with Cambridge University (taking his total for the season to 28 and his career total to 96) and needless to say his coaching will also be much missed.

The club now has the task of replacing Ben as coach or as player-coach, starting in July, and the position is being widely advertised including via England Hockey, Active Norfolk, Norfolk Hockey and The Hockey Paper. Informal enquires are very welcome and should be directed to coaching manager Peter Dolton on 07773 069327 or via   with applications by letter and/or CV by email to Peter by 31 March 2017.

AUCTION OF PROMISES – the excitement continues to grow!
THIS SATURDAY 4 March 2017 – Clubhouse 7.00pm with auction to commence at 7.30pm
£5 entry to include glass of wine on arrival (or soft drink), nibbles and entry to raffle.
We need your support – please come; payment on the door. 
Please click here for the 65 Lots.
f you would kindly like to make a ‘postal’ bid please send to me at

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 first three results at Weybread on Saturday were 1-1 draws for the Ladies’ 5ths, Girls’ Development and Ladies’ 3rds and after narrow defeats for the Men’s 5ths, Ladies’ 7ths and Men’s 2nds we had to wait until the last game of the day for a home victory. But when it came it was a splendid 11-0 effort by league leaders Men’s 3rds over Pelicans 2nds. After the frustration of their run of 18 home wins coming to an end the previous Saturday captain Matt Brand and his team were keen to get back to winning ways. They were 4-0 up at half time through Gavin Cole, Phil Cobbald (pc), Greg Jagger and Matt (pc). After the break Gavin got a hat-trick with typical tap-ins at the left post before Tom Norton fired in the best goal of all with a shot into the top left. Adam Lascelles then got in on the act with a brace before Gavin got his fifth taking his total to the season to 23. Meanwhile Pelicans were playing far better than the final score might suggest.

Jose Tibbenham put the 5ths ahead against Broadland 2nds early in the second half before a firmly struck ball into the home circle was touched high into the net much to the astonishment and delight of Broadland forward for the equaliser. Meanwhile league leaders Girls’ Development battled to a very good point against Norwich City with Keira Wheeler getting their late goal from a pass by Jess Tarrant.

Next into action were the 3rds against Christchurch and it was a game of injuries with the worst suffered by captain Sarah Legg early in the game when her firmly hit penalty corner strike rebounded off a defender’s foot and hit her in the forehead and later in the game when Charlotte Rourke-Beasley took a nasty blow to her face. This meant Magpies were now down to ten players and Christchurch took advantage to score a well taken breakaway equaliser. Charlotte had put Magpies ahead in the first half when at a well worked penalty corner she took a return pass from Amy de Selincourt before thumping the ball into the net. For Magpies Sophie Child and Phoebe Preece were prominent with some strong attacking down the right and Rhe Lascelles hit the bar in the second half.

The Men’s 5ths equalised against Dereham 3rds when Hugo Thomas went down the right before skilfully creating a chance for Chris Hall to sweep the ball into the net but the team was unable to find a second after the visitors had retaken the lead. The Ladies’ 7ths had the luxury of a squad of fifteen players and they did extremely well to hold league leaders Broadland 3rds to 2-1 with their goal coming from Lizzie Adcock. As for the Men’s 2nds it was a case of what could have been before they went down 4-3 to second placed Bourne Deeping. They were twice two goals ahead through strikes by Martin Fields, James Osborn and Duncan Steven before the visitors made it 3-3 at half time. The home defence looked more secure in the second half before Bourne Deeping got their winner in a late goalmouth scramble. A draw would have been a fair result but as we all know sport doesn’t work like that.

Away from home there were wins for the Ladies’ 2nds, Ladies’ 6ths and Boys’ Development, draws for the Ladies’ 1sts, Men’s 1sts (as mentioned above) and defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths, Men’s 4ths and Men’s 6ths.

The Ladies’ 2nds beat Cambridge University 2nds 2-0 with their goals coming in the first half through Anna Tighe and Laura Tibbenham. This was Laura’s 15th league goal of the season (she also has two for the Mixed) one behind mother Jose in their family competition! Anna and Lucy Field were Joint MOTM with the team’s loyal supporters kindly looking after Lucy’s young son Ziggy allowing her to play. This coming Saturday the team is at home to Bury St Edmunds (12.00). The Ladies’ 6ths dominated the bulk of the game against Breckland winning 3-2 with goals by Honey Lamdin, Izzy Slade and Ellen Pope. With three minutes to go Louise Davy was injured in a collision while clearing the ball from her circle and was taken to hospital for X-rays on her neck. Fortunately she has suffered no serious damage and should be fit to play again after a few days of prescribed rest.

The Boys’ Development beat Dereham 8-0 with their goals coming from Ben Emms (2), Ed Brice (2), Ben Waters, Joe Wicks, Ollie Currie and Freddie Herschel-Shorland. Elliott Chapman played well in goal while Sam Emms was outstanding in defence with his well-timed tackling. The team is without a game this weekend prior to their vital game home clash with Norwich Dragons ‘A’ on Saturday week which will almost certainly decide the league title. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 1sts drew 2-2 away to Southgate with goals by Maria Andrews (her 14th of the season) and Abby Gooderham and this Saturday they are away to Cambridge City (12.30) who scored a shock win last Sunday against league leaders Wimbledon. The Ladies’ 4ths, for whom Alice Evans-Hendrick was making her debut and Lottie Nickson was making a welcome return after being away for five years, went down 7-1 to a strong Broadland team. Magpies’ consolation goal was from a fine strike by Harriett Celerier. Alex Kilbourn converted a first half penalty stroke for the Men’s 4ths who went on to lose 3-1 to Bury St Edmunds 3rds in a game in which they failed to turn their pressure into goals. Finally the Men’s 6ths went down 5-0 to a strong Bury St Edmunds 4ths with four of the home team’s goals tantalisingly finding the net just inside the posts so goalkeeper and captain Eric Davy tells me! Eric is grateful to Arthur Johnson and Harry Haigh who doubled up having already played for the 4ths.

Last Sunday the Ladies’ O35s reached the semi-finals (away to Jersey on Sunday 12 March!) of the EH Trophy beating Teddington at home 5-0 with their goals in an excellent performance coming from Anouska Stott (with 3 taking her total to 8 in four games), Kath Johnson and Angie Wheelhouse.

Are you interested? For full details please see under RECENT POSTS on the club’s website.

This Sunday it is best wishes to our U10 and U12 Boys’ and Girls’ ‘A’ teams in the Norfolk Minis at Pelicans HC and it is to be hoped they qualify for the East Finals to be hosted by the club over the weekend of Saturday 8 April (U10 Girls & U12 Boys) and 9 April (U10 Boys and U12 Girls) . Meanwhile the club is hosting a tournament for ‘B’ teams this Sunday following the informal ‘warm up’ tournament last Sunday. Please see the website for the brief report together with a plea from James Smith and Nick McAllen for help in running this Sunday’s tournament at Weybread.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including on Sunday the Men’s O40s away to Canterbury (2.30) in the semi-finals of the EH Cup. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

FINALLY a plea for help from Steve Halliley  . His garden fence was damaged by Storm Doris. If you mend fences or know of anyone who could help Steve would you please contact him.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 21 February 2017


With the exception of the two 1st teams it was ‘catch-up Saturday’ for 10 of our teams at the weekend following the postponements in January due to frost and what a day it turned out to be for the club with eight wins, two draws and just two defeats and one of those to another club team. No wonder the clubhouse was ‘buzzing’ (as umpire Rod Larwood kindly commented) and as it was again the next day for the ‘thank you’ reception for club helpers.

So where do I start this week? The Men’s 1sts complain I never give them top billing (even when they beat league leaders Old Loughtonians!) so there will be more moaning this week as they miss out again despite their away win over Dereham and with it their first clean sheet of the season. The Ladies’ 5ths and Men’s 2nds both have strong claims after their home wins but for the second week running the accolade goes to the Ladies’ 1sts.

Captain Lucy Belsey and her team were at home to old rivals Chelmsford coached by Glenn Kirkham, one of England and GB’s best ever players, and they included out-on-loan Magpies Molly Redgrove and Hannah de Selincourt. As the previous week Magpies made a strong start but this time missed chances to take an early lead. They continued to look the side more likely to score but it was a relief to the home supporters when Tor Findlay put them ahead approaching half time. Soon after the break Chelmsford equalised when for once the home defence went missing. Magpies responded well to this setback and Maria Andrews put them back in front with one of her trademark reverse stick thunderbolts. Lauren Barber made the game safe for Magpies when she coolly converted a penalty stroke two minutes from time. This was the team’s fourth consecutive win and this coming Saturday they will be hoping to do the double when they travel to play Southgate (12.30). Annie Nunn, who was injured during the indoor season, told me she will not be fit to play again this season which is a big blow to the team.

AUCTION OF PROMISES – the excitement is growing!
Saturday 4 March 2017 – Clubhouse 7.00pm with auction to commence at 7.30pm.
£5 entry to include glass of wine on arrival (or soft drink), nibbles and entry to raffle.
We need your support – please come; payment on the door. 
Please click here for the first 61 Lots now in catalogue order.
f you would kindly like to make a ‘postal’ bid please send to me at

The Ladies’ 5ths beat Reepham 3-1 with all their goals coming from Georgie Gardens. At 2-1 up goalkeeper Gillian Stokes (following her goals in recent weeks for the 6ths) saved a penalty stroke. In the clubhouse Heather Brand said that, unlike her husband Matt, she never gets a mention in this column. So I put that right now by saying that Heather conceded the penalty stroke! In fairness I also have to report that as usual Heather played well and unlike Matt in his game for the 3rds was not invited to take a five-minute breather!

The Men’s 2nds were up against Long Sutton and this was a six-pointer as both teams battle to avoid the four relegation spots. There was not much between the teams although the visitors from Lincolnshire seemed to have the edge and Magpies were indebted to a series of fine saves by goalkeeper Chris Leek. But the battling Magpies were always in the game and to a roar from their supporters Matt Bensly thrashed the ball into the net with fifteen minutes remaining in the second half for the only goal of the game. This Saturday Magpies will need to put in another strong performance to take points off Bourne Deeping (2.00) in the feature game at Weybread.

Are you interested? For full details please see under RECENT POSTS on the club’s website.

The first game of the day was the eagerly awaited return clash of the Men’s 5ths and 6ths with the generally more youthful 5ths winning 4-1. Ben Emms put them ahead before Chris Hall scored probably the luckiest goal of his career. His shot was saved on the line by Ross Carter. The ball then hit the back of goalkeeper and captain Steve Halliley’s stick and rolled slowly back into the goal! But as Chris said if he had not made the shot …..  Joe Walker then reduced the arrears for the 6ths with a fierce hit from the edge of the circle before in the second half, with skipper James Smith off with a hamstring problem, the 5ths added further goals by Ben, with his second, and Jude Pottruff, two of the club’s most promising talents. For the 6ths new member Greg Whitbread was making his very welcome debut.

Next into home action were the Ladies’ 3rds and they never got into top gear in a tight game with Dereham 2nds. The only goal came in the second half when Dereham took advantage of a mistake midway in the home half and with it they inflicted the first defeat on the home team since 5 November. MOTM for Magpies was left defender Amelia Herschel-Shorland. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 7ths, with the luxury of a squad of thirteen players, had a good 1-0 win (Rosemary Turney) over UEA 4ths.

The Men’s 3rds were also at home and after a remarkable run of 18 consecutive home wins stretching back to 7 March 2015 (when they went down 2-1 to Norwich Dragons 2nds) they had to settle for a fair 2-2 draw against IES 3rds. They were twice a goal down with their equalisers coming from Gavin Cole and Jon Aldridge. The last few minutes of the game saw several cards being flourished and Magpies’ second equaliser came when the team was down to nine players. The team has now dropped to second place in their league on goal difference but have two games in hand on leaders Newmarket and one game in hand on Bury St Edmunds who are one point behind.

Away from home there was yet more success for the club with wins for the Men’s 1sts, Ladies’ 2nds, Girls’ Development and a draw for the Men’s 4ths. The Men’s 1sts match against local rivals Dereham was always a potential banana skin for the team but fortunately there was no slip up with their goals coming from Archie Winter and Ben Wright in their 2-0 win with goalkeeper John Livings MOTM. They are away again on Saturday to Cambridge University (1.30). The Ladies’ 2nds needed the boost of a win after two narrow defeats and a draw and it came with a 2-1 win over Norwich Dragons 2nds with Anna Tighe getting both their goals in the first half. MOTM was Kath Johnson. The Girls’ Development beat Watton 3-0 with their goals coming from Hannah Gartland, Anna Cogdell with a superb reverse stick shot into the bottom left (the day after her eleventh birthday) and Olivia Lapage. With a few regular players missing player-manager Sandra Elliner gave promising debuts to Georgia Scott and Evie Nesling. Meanwhile the Men’s 4ths had a hard fought 0-0 draw with a surprisingly strong and experienced IES 4ths. Captain David Blackmore reports that ‘young’ Eric Davy (‘Mr Versatile’) played well in his annual goalkeeping appearance for the team which included another tremendous performance from the youngsters with Seth Read and Max Warde-Aldam in particular playing with strength and confidence. It was also good to welcome back Jack Frere-Smith.

On Sunday 26 February and Sunday 6 March (10.00am – 1.00pm) we are hosting a morning of hockey for our boys and girls U10 and U12 teams. As part of organising these events we are to provide the umpires – a fair trade for not having to travel. Therefore I am looking for some volunteers to lend a hand – do not worry you do not have to be a qualified umpire for this. Our plan is to have a pool of 6 to 8 regular umpires who will partner up with less experienced umpires so you can gain some experience in a very relaxed and friendly environment. If you are able to help please let me know either by email or drop me a text 07800 699074.

Last Sunday at Weybread we witnessed a very special team performance when defending champions Beeston beat our U18 Girls 7-1 in the quarter-finals of the EH Cup. But from 5-0 down at half time our team responded with some good hockey of their own rounded off by Abby Gooderham firing in a penalty corner in spectacular style. Away from home the Mixed team progressed to the third round of the national Trophy (away to Letchworth on Sunday 5 March) beating Bourne Deeping 6-0 with their goals coming from Maria Andrews 3, Lucy Whiting 2 and Lizzie Clymer (where were the men?!) while the U14 Girls qualified for the regional finals drawing 2-2 (Ellen Pope 2) with Pelicans.

With the disappointing withdrawal of Cambridge City from last Sunday’s scheduled quarter-final our Men’s O50s are now through to the semi-finals of the Masters Cup where on Sunday 12 March they are at home to either Jersey or Reading. In the other semi Isca are away to Ben Rhydding.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including on Sunday the Ladies’ O35s who entertain Teddington (2.00) in the quarter-finals of the EH Trophy. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

Finally, the club will be hosting an ‘Introduction to Hockey Coaching’ course at the end of the season run by England Hockey staff coaches. Please see the website for more details.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 14 February 2017


There is as usual a lot to cover this week so here goes and I will try to be a little less wordy than of late! The first thing is to decide who gets top billing and it does not go to the Men’s 1sts although they provided us with a lot of thrills and spills in their 5-5 draw with Letchworth. I’m giving it to the Ladies’ 1sts for their hard fought 2-1 home win over Hampstead and Westminster edging out the Men’s 4ths who had an excellent 2-1 home win over league leaders UEA 2nds.

The Ladies’ 1sts got off to a splendid start scoring quick goals by Maria Andrews (her 12th of the season) and Lizzie Clymer and they continued to play some sparkling hockey and thoroughly deserved their two-goal half time lead. After the break Hampstead and Westminster looked far more dangerous and they reduced the arrears following a poor clearance by the home defence. Thereafter Magpies, for whom Rose Winter was making a well-deserved debut, had to battle hard to retain their lead which they did despite a ‘goal’ for the visitors being ruled out by the umpires (to the delight of the home supporters) after some initial confusion. This coming Saturday Magpies are at home to Chelmsford (2.00).

The Men’s 4ths gave their best performance of the season in terms of consistency over the seventy minutes in beating a skilful and quick UEA 2nds 2-1. They took the lead in the second half when veteran Stuart Peters moved forward to send a crisp shot into the bottom right hand corner. The students equalised with five minutes remaining after some good saves by goalkeeper Murray Graham had kept them out but Magpies were not to be denied and Alex Kilbourn coolly put away a penalty stroke awarded after a well-worked penalty corner. MOTM was Kieran, Mr Peters junior.

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds were playing Colchester and they dominated the first twenty minutes but only had Alice Woollatt’s goal (created by sister Katie) to show for their efforts. Colchester had an outstanding player in their team and it was no surprise that she scored their equaliser. Magpies continued to look for a deserved winner but they failed to recapture their earlier form in an ultimately disappointing 1-1 draw.

The Ladies’ 6ths got the cold Saturday off to a good start with a 3-0 win over Pelicans 3rds. MOTM Beth Moodie put them ahead before captain Gillian Stokes scored for the third week running to her delight and that of the team’s supporters! In a good team performance Lydia Barrett made the game safe with the third goal.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017 – Clubhouse 7.00pm with auction to commence at 7.30pm. £5 entry to include glass of wine on arrival (or soft drink), nibbles and entry to raffle.
We need your support – please come; payment on the door.

Please click here for the first 59 Lots now in catalogue order.
f you would kindly like to make a ‘postal’ bid please send to me at

The Men’s 1sts were 4-2 ahead at half time against Letchworth with two penalty stroke conversions by Ben Wright (taking his total of goals for the season to 25) and goals by Archie Winter and captain Leigh Sitch. Defender Leigh waved to his fans in celebration! A lively Letchworth team hit back after the break when first the home defence failed to clear after a good save by goalkeeper John Livings (who was in top form) to be followed by a shot from the left which was deflected in off a home stick. With five minutes to go Archie looked to have won the game for Magpies with his second goal only for Letchworth to win and convert a penalty stroke. This Saturday Magpies are away to Dereham (1.30).

In the other home game the Men’s 6ths lost 4-0 to North Norfolk 2nds and they were indebted to good displays by defender Peter Finnie (rolling back the years) and goalkeeper Steve Halliley. The team was pleased to welcome new member Ed Overbury.

Away from home there were wins for the Men’s 2nds, Ladies’ 3rds and Ladies’ 4ths with, arguably, the most vital being achieved by the Men’s 2nds who beat fellow strugglers Cambridge City 3rds as both teams fight to avoid relegation. Their goals were scored by Matt Bensly, Tristan Baynes and Robbie Kinsella. Robbie’s clincher was a cracker. He collected a clearance from the goalkeeper before advancing into the circle. He then beat the keeper in the one-on-one before despatching the ball high into the net. I fear we are going to hear a lot from Robbie about this effort! On Saturday the team are at home to Long Sutton (3.30) in another vital clash.

The Ladies’ 3rds beat Ipswich 3rds 3-0. Amy de Selincourt put them ahead in the first half before Georgie Cantrell scored her 34th goal of the season (spread across three teams) with Sophie Meynell-Anderson (who stepped up into the team on the Friday) getting the third. The joint MOTMs were Amelia Herschel-Shorland and Phoebe Eglington. The Ladies’ 4ths beat Norwich Dragons 4ths 4-2. Imi Meynell-Anderson scored the first with an assist by Amy Collison before Harriett Celerier deflected in after good work by Emily Evans and Rachel Goodson. Grace Collison (making her debut for the team) made it 3-0 at half time. In the second half Imi finished off a fine team move before Dragons hit back with two goals. Molly Warnes was MOTM.

The Men’s 5ths lost 2-1 to Norwich Exiles but they had enough chances to be two or three goals ahead at half time instead of one down. Jude Pottruff equalised in the second half before against the run of play Exiles got a lucky break leading to their winner. James Harvey again had a good game in goal for Magpies. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 7ths went down 1-0 to Norwich City 7ths after having most of the play in the first half. City used their superiority in numbers to clinch victory after the break.

The Men’s 3rds are now three games behind schedule as their away game against Ipswich 2nds fell victim to snow but their position at the top of the league was strengthened by second placed Newmarket drawing with bottom placed Sudbury 2nds. This Saturday captain Matt Brand and his team are at home to mid-table IES 3rds (1.45).

magpies men over 40s

Last Sunday the Men’s O40s clinched a place in the semi-finals of the EH Cup (they play Canterbury away on Sunday 5 March) by beating Cambridge City 4-2 away on strokes after a 2-2 draw. After taking an early two-goal lead through Matt Brand and Gavin Cole Magpies had to withstand a strong response by their hosts who scored their second and deserved goal with four minutes to go. But in the penalty stroke decider Matt, Gavin, David Francis and captain Tristan Baynes, with the clincher, were cool personified and with goalkeeper Murray Graham making a vital save Magpies edged through to the delight of their small band of very cold supporters.

There is a lot of hockey to look forward to this weekend and the weather forecast is encouraging as the club catches up with fixtures lost to the frost in January.

In addition the club has five matches on Sunday in England Hockey competitions with three of them at home. At 11.00 the U16 Girls play Pelicans in their Midlands League 1 clash having already clinched their place in the regional finals while at 12.45 the U18 Girls entertain Beeston in the quarter-finals of the EH Cup. So far in the competition the U18 Girls have beaten Old Loughtonians 9-3, Dereham on strokes and Norwich City 15-0. Last but not least we have another quarter-final game with the Men’s O50s hosting Cambridge City in the EH Masters Cup at 2.30.

Away from home the U14 Girls play Pelicans (12.30) looking to clinch a place in the regional finals and the Mixed travel to play Bourne Deeping (12.45) in the second round of the EH Trophy.

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

Finally, readers of last week’s Hockey Paper will have been interested to read the views of 1st team captain Lucy Belsey regarding the team’s season to-date. Well spoken Lucy!

With kind regards

Mike Denham