Category Archives: social events

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 7 February 2017


Four games played last Sunday in various England Hockey competitions and four good wins for the club – two at home and two away.

The U14 Girls set the ball rolling at a sunny Weybread and they were soon ahead against Norwich Dragons through Georgie Cantrell but it was not until the sixteenth minute did they make their pressure count with another goal scored by Keira Wheeler. Dragons then pulled a goal back but by half time Magpies were 4-1 ahead through Alice Wiseman and Georgie Cantrell’s second. Magpies went on to dominate the second half inspired by Georgie winning 11-1 but to their credit the visitors never let their heads drop in an entertaining game. Second half goals for Magpies were scored by Keira, Tabitha Borrett, Georgie Gardens and Georgie C with another four.

Next into action were the Ladies’ O35s against Bury St Edmunds in their EH 4th Round Trophy match and this was an even more entertaining and much more competitive encounter. Magpies looked the stronger side in the opening minutes but they had to wait until the twenty-third for their goal but when it came it was a cracker: a long ball from defence from Debbie Francis to Anouska Stott who slipped the ball to Lucy Fields who found Angie Wheelhouse to her left and Angie completed the move as of yesteryear. Shortly afterwards Angie set up Anouska for the second and an easy win home win seemed in prospect. But Bury had other ideas and Sharon Holton pulled a goal back early in the second half with a crisp shot from the left. Magpies then survived a penalty corner scare before they were relieved to restore their two-goal lead when Kath Johnson lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper’s head at a penalty corner! Charlie Harrison made it 4-1 to Magpies five minutes from time in a goalmouth scramble.

Away from home the U14 Boys had a tough game against Norwich City winning 4-3 with goals by Jude Pottruff (2), Ben Emms and Ollie Mayhew while the U16 Girls beat Norwich Dragons 4-0 with their goals coming from Martha Lawrence (2), Alice Evans-Hendrick and Amy de Selincourt.

Saturday’s results were mixed but nevertheless there were some encouraging performances.

The two 1st teams were away to sides bottom of their leagues but fortunately there were no slip-ups with the Ladies easing to a 7-1 win against Northampton while the Men won less comfortably 4-3 against Chelmsford. As I was reminded on Sunday the Ladies’ 1sts includes three Laurens, two Lucys and three members who have a twin brother or sister, namely Maria Andrews, Lizzie Clymer and Katherine Ridley. It was Lauren Mickleburgh who scored the first two goals (and her first national league goals) with Lauren Rowe scoring on her debut between two goals by Abby Gooderham. Tor Findlay and Lizzie completed the scoring. The team will not need me to remind them that they face a far bigger challenge this coming Saturday (2.00) when they host Hampstead and Westminster who beat them 4-1 back in October.

Meanwhile Matt Bensly and Vincent Leruth made their debuts for the Men’s 1sts with Vincent scoring twice with their other goals coming from player-coach Ben Wright and Matt (Ricco) Richardson. After the shock defeat by Ipswich this win was heartening despite the team (still missing several regulars) conceding two goals while 4-1 ahead and this Saturday they are at home to Letchworth (3.45).

AUCTION OF PROMISES  Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.00pm – clubhouse)
We have gratefully received a total of 51 ‘Promises’. The target is now a minimum of 60! Please see the club’s website for more information (including the list of ‘Promises’) and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction. Just as important please note your diary regarding date and start time. You will be very welcome at the event to help raise funds for the club.

In other away games there was a win for the Girls’ Development, draws for the Ladies’ 5ths and Ladies’ 7ths and defeats for the Ladies’ 2nds, Men’s 4ths and Men’s 6ths. The Girls’ Development retained top spot in their league with a 4-1 win over Dereham. The scores were level 1-1 at half time with Jessica Menzies converting a penalty corner for Magpies and after the break further goals came from Alyssa Walker, Beth Gardens and Molly Largent.

From what I was told the Ladies’ 2nds were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Bedford 2nds. One member said that Laura Tibbenham hit the post ten times (!) apart from her goal (her fourteenth league goal of the season) but she did go close on several other occasions. This Saturday the team is at home to Colchester (12.00). The Ladies’ 5ths drew 2-2 with Thetford. Janna Freeman put them ahead and after Thetford drew level at a penalty corner Rachel Goodson put Magpies back in the lead before Thetford equalised ten minutes from time with a surprise shot from a narrow angle. Fiona Brice on her debut for the team was MOTM. The Ladies’ 7ths, for whom new member Lizzie Govier-Schaay was making a welcome debut, drew 0-0 with Carrow 2nds while the Men’s 6ths lost heavily to a good UEA 3rds. Captain Eric Davy is grateful to Louis Calvert for stepping down from the 5ths at short notice and for his mother Nicole still kindly looking after the teas for the 5ths.

The Men’s 4ths (with 10 players after a late call-off) lost 3-1 to Norwich City 5ths. James Plested, Tom Goodge and David Cadman played well in defence and Lewis Belsey (making a rare appearance due to work commitments) pulled a goal back in the last minute.


The Boys’ Development got play off to a good start at Weybread with a 4-2 win over Norwich City. Goals by Ed Brice and Ollie Currie had them 2-0 ahead at half time before Ben Emms added a third. City then hit back to make it 3-2 before Sam Emms made the game safe with a typically cool finish.

Next into action were the Men’s 5ths who beat Bury 5ths 2-1 with Boys’ Development manager Mark Emms playing his first ever game. Mark was nervous before his big moment but I put his mind at rest by telling him “If you have the skill and fitness you have nothing to worry about!” Lo and behold after Chris Hall put Magpies ahead (before limping off injured) Mark scored from close range to put his team 2-0 ahead! Luckily for his fitness Mark was not required to play the entire game as Ewie Cumming arrived to play well in midfield. Simon Bardwell (in his own words) was in commanding form at the back (despite Bury scoring in the second half) and without incurring the wrath of the umpires (!) while James Harvey played well in goal. Ben and Sam Emms and Dad all scoring on the same day with Mum Jo watching; well done!

The Ladies’ 3rds and 4ths both drew. Rhe Lascelles put the 3rds ahead against IES with her second goal of the season in the twenty-fifth minute following sustained Magpies pressure but after the break IES got the equaliser their fight back deserved. The Ladies’ 4ths, for whom Emily Woollatt and Molly Warnes were in particularly good form, drew 0-0 with Loddon.

The Ladies’ 6ths went down 2-1 to Yarmouth 2nds. Captain (and often goalkeeper) Gillian Stokes is now on a goal scoring roll with her second in successive weeks and she scored with a reverse stick shot (much to her surprise and pleasure!) before the visitors hit back to snatch victory with their second goal in the final two minutes. Unfortunately both Amelia and Izzy Slade were injured while Verity Tomson was MOTM.

The Men’s 2nds lost 2-0 to Bishops Stortford despite a good performance by Chris Leek in goal but as I have said before this season they played better than this defeat might suggest. It was good to see Martin Fields playing his first home game in nearly two years after illness and he went close to scoring on a number of occasions and it was equally good to see Jake Sewell playing again following his serious thumb fracture early in the season. This Saturday the team is away to Cambridge City 3rds (3.00) and a win is vital in their attempt to avoid relegation.

Last but certainly not least league leaders Men’s 3rds were up against Bury St Edmunds 2nds who took the lead with a class finish high into the net but Phil Cobbald soon thumped in an equaliser at a penalty corner. Shortly afterwards Jack Richards set up Gavin Cole for a typical close range Gavin goal and before half time captain Matt Brand had made it 4-1 with some nifty stickwork before twice firing in from the top of the circle. Magpies had their best spell of the game after the break but could not add to their tally before Bury pulled a goal back. This Saturday the team is away to Ipswich 2nds (10.30).

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the complete list of fixtures including the Men’s O40s away to Cambridge City on Sunday (2.00).

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 31 January 2017


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

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

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

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

Richard Larkin and Mark Wheelhouse (Ipswich)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 28 January

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


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

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 24 January 2017


The club has received a big blow with the news that Nick McAllen is stepping down as Girls’ Development Officer but his decision is understandable. Nick wishes to ease his very considerable club workload.

Youth chairman David Johnson has written a tribute to Nick marking the enormous contribution he has made to the youth side of the club and a copy is on the club’s website. HMHC – Youth Development Officer – Nick McAllen

As supporter, former club chairman and scribe I have appreciated the remarkable day by day, week by week commitment that Nick has made to youth development at the club over the years (to say nothing of his years as Ladies’ 1st team coach and now manager) with the full and active support of his wife Shirley.

Last week it was announced that Ben Wright has resigned as Men’s 1st team player-coach to further his playing and coaching career abroad. He is the sort of player you want on your side with his determination, skill and goal scoring prowess. Hopefully he will be back with us one day. In the meantime I wish him well.

The U18 Girls missed out on progressing from their pool in the national indoor finals at Whitgift School last weekend losing narrowly to Isca 6-4 (Lauren Rowe 2, Tor Findlay 2), Wycombe 3-1 (Lauren) and Beeston 4-1 (Lauren) before beating Brooklands 7-2 (Lauren 2, Sophie Child 2, Tor 2, Anna Tighe). Meanwhile the U18 Boys, as defending champions, did well to progress to the last four of their finals in Telford before losing to 4-2 (Archie Winter, Sam Paterson) to Canterbury. In their pool games they lost 6-1 (Sam) to Surbiton (the eventual champions) before beating Ashmoor 3-2 (Archie 2, Vincent Leruth), Timperley 5-2 (Myles King 2, Jack Hobbs 2, Sam) and Lichfield 5-1 (Myles 2, Sol Barker, Matt Bensly, Sam). Hopefully both squads will have enjoyed the experience of playing in the finals and will benefit from this experience in future indoor competitions. It is a big ‘thank you’ to the coaches and managers respectively of both squads for all their hard work, namely Rob Sorrell and Andrew Woollatt (Girls) and Richard Larkin and Stuart Peters (Boys).

Last weekend the frosty weather again cost us matches with on Saturday those affected being the Men’s 1sts at Peterborough and, at home, the Men’s 3rds (v Norwich Dragons 2nds), Ladies’ 5ths (v Reepham) and Ladies’ 7ths (v UEA 4s). Our thanks go to Tristan Baynes and Kirstin Cumming for their time in assessing the state of the pitches at Weybread, in advising the teams affected and in answering the calls to the clubhouse. Unfortunately the friendly Girls’ U14 Tournament scheduled for Sunday at home and the Mixed game away to Bedford were also called off. We now have a backlog of 16 games. Please see the website for the list which will be updated as new dates are agreed.

While the sand-based pitch was frozen all day the water-based was fit for play by 12 noon and we were able to play the remaining three games – at times in an almost warming sun!

The Men’s 5ths set the ball rolling against Sudbury 3rds who belied their lowly league position by playing extremely well and they took the lead before Jude Pottruff equalised with a piece of individual skill. But by half time Magpies were 3-1 down due to a fine run and shot by an opponent and a piece of sloppy defending. But after the break inspired by captain James Smith, who was in fine form, Magpies dominated play and hit back with Jake Caston scoring from close range before his father Andy got the equaliser with a deft shot. With seconds to go Sudbury broke down the right but from the pass the open goal chance was squandered leaving the final score 3-3.

CONGRATULATIONS and very best wishes to Katrina and Leigh on the birth of twins Archie (5lbs 14ozs) and Oscar (6lbs 12 ozs) on Tuesday 3 January. All four are doing well which is excellent news.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 3rds against high-flying Watton and captain Sarah Legg gave the home team the best possible start when she thumped in a penalty corner. Magpies continued to have the upper hand in a quality match but were unable to get a second goal despite creating several opportunities. Watton looked dangerous on the break and Magpies were obliged to do a considerable amount of defending. With seconds remaining Watton were awarded a penalty corner. Would Magpies now regret their lack of a second goal? No! Holly Riches in the home goal made a fine save to ensure Magpies secured the three points.

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

Tickets £12.50 from Jackie Ridley (01379 854697 or 07815 199803) or on the door although for catering purposes a call to Jackie before the night would ideally be appreciated. The wine tasting challenge will include the tasting of 8 wines and will be run by a wine expert from Adnams with teams (organised on the night) competing against each other. PLEASE COME!

The next question was with the temperature dropping would the pitch be fit for the 3.30 game between the Ladies’ 4ths and Evergreens and luckily it was. It was good to see Anouska Stott playing her first league game of the season for Magpies and after Evergreens had dominated the opening twenty minutes it was Anouska who put them ahead. Rachel Goodson found Immi Meynell-Anderson down the right and Immi’s centre was converted by Anouska for what turned out to be the only goal of the game. Magpies had to do a lot of defending in the second half to hold on for a good win.

Away from home there was one win, one draw and three defeats for the club. The Boys’ Development pulled off the win of the day beating Norwich Dragons ‘A’ to overtake them at the top of the league on goal difference. After going behind to a scrappy goal James Webster and Ollie Currie had Magpies 2-1 ahead at half time. After the break Ed Brice and Ollie, with his second goal, made it 4-1 to Magpies for whom centre forward Archie Derbyshire was in fine form. Meanwhile the Girls’ Development, without injured player-manager Sandra Elliner, were showing tenacity and determination against an older and equally determined Norwich Dragons in an entertaining 0-0 draw. There were notable performances from Grace Robertson (GK), Anna Cogdell, Alyssa Walker and Ruby Potruff in defence, Jessica Menzies in midfield and Olivia Lapage, Molly Largent and Beth Gardens up front but all 13 girls played well.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.30pm – clubhouse)
I continue to promote this event which I am determined will be a success! We have now gratefully reached a total of 35 ‘Promises’. The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction. This is the club’s major fund raising event of the season.

The Ladies’ 6ths had the longish trip to Holt to play Evergreens 2nds at 10.00am with 10 players and club captain Louisa Greenacre who in the event was not required to umpire! She stayed to give valued advice to the team before going to Weybread to umpire the 3rd team game. Typical commitment from Louisa. Evergreens scored early in the game but thereafter Magpies worked really hard and at times looked the better team without being able to score. In a good team performance Amelia Slade was MOTM while goalkeeper Imogen Flatt made some good saves to keep the score down to a 2-0 loss.

The Men’s 4ths fielded a much changed and promising young squad against Norwich Dragons 3rds and they took a while to settle into the game and an early injury to Rob Neal was a setback. Seth Read playing his first game for the team looked very much at home at left back. Dragons scored two turnover goals while Magpies were unable to pull a goal back despite piling on the pressure including a succession of penalty corners with five minutes to go. Despite defeat captain David Blackmore says this was an encouraging performance by the team boding well for the future. The Men’s 6ths also put in a good all round performance with just 10 players – with David Johnson (the younger) and goalkeeper Steve Halliley outstanding – going down 4-0 to Watton in a good spirited game.

Good luck as always to all our teams this Saturday. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the full list of fixtures which include at home the Men’s 1sts playing Ipswich (2.00), the Ladies’ 2nds taking on fellow promotion hopefuls City of Peterborough (12.00), the Men’s 4ths against Norwich Dragons 4ths (3.30) and an inter-club friendly (including hopefully some Mums!) for the Girls’ Development (10.15).

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 17 January 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham

HMHC AUCTION OF PROMISES: Saturday 4 March 2017


Dear Member/Parent/Supporter                                                             

January 2017



Saturday 4 March 2017 (7.00pm)
in the clubhouse

This is the major event in our fund raising calendar for season 2016/17 and when we held a similar event in 2013 we raised £3638! So the challenge this season is to top that figure!  

We hope, therefore, that you will support this year’s event by offering “Promises” for auction as well as attending the event to make bids for the range of Lots on offer.

We invite you, via the form below, to offer one or more “Promises” for auction. For example we have in mind – gardening, baking a cake for five weeks, theatre tickets, round of golf, cooking for a dinner party, riding lessons, use of holiday cottage, lifts to the theatre, use of caravan, use of beach hut, music lessons, etc. We also invite items for auction.

If you are able to help would you please complete the form below and kindly return to me at (or hand to me at the club) by no later than Saturday 18 February 2017.

Yours sincerely

Mike Denham (On behalf of the organising committee)

NB. Please put the date in your diary!

Click here for list of lots:

AUCTION OF PROMISES – Saturday 4 March 2017


click link to download auction-2017


MIKE’S MUSINGS – 10 January 2017


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

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

Ladies 1 v Chelmsford 07/01/2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham


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MIKE’S MUSINGS – 3 January 2017


I wish readers and their families (and by association all our sponsors, teams and club officials) the very best for 2017 as we look forward to a busy and important few months for the club with some exciting challenges facing a number of our teams.

Will the Ladies’ 2nds, Ladies’ 3rds, Ladies’ 5ths, Men’s 3rds and Men’s 4ths be able to maintain their promotion bids? Will the Men’s 1sts be able to reignite their promotion hopes after dropping five points in their last two games and will the Ladies’ 1sts be able to maintain their excellent form? Will the Girls’ Development be able to hold on to their league leadership and will the Boys’ Development be good enough to overtake Norwich Dragons ‘A’ at the top of their league? Will our Mixed and Men’s O50s teams do as well as last season and will the Men’s O40s maintain their fine start to the season? Will our promising Boys’ and Girls’ U10/U12 teams do as well as we hope? Will the U14 Girls, U16 Girls, U18 Girls and U14 Boys maintain their form as they press for national honours? Will the Men’s 2nds and Men’s 6ths get enough points to avoid relegation? Turning to the indoor game will the U18 Girls and U18 Boys win their respective national indoor events and will the Ladies’ 1sts and Men’s 1sts at least maintain their league positions? A lot of questions with the answers to be revealed as the second half of the season unfolds.

We have only a few days to wait to at least get some idea how the Ladies’ 1sts and Men’s 1sts Super 6s indoor teams, sponsored by Durrants Estate Agents, are likely to do as both are in action this coming weekend.

The Ladies open their demanding Division 1 campaign at the UWE Centre for Sport in Bristol on Saturday when they play Chelmsford (12.30) and Ipswich (5.30) while on Sunday they face Brooklands Poynton (12.00) and Clifton (4.00). Their four other round-robin games will be played at the same venue a week later when they take on Bristol Firebrands, St Albans, Leicester and Surbiton. The team coached for the first time by Rob Sorrell contains several changes from last season with the inclusion of Maria Andrews, Lizzie Clymer, Bryony Lund, Annie Nunn and Lauren Rowe but will unfortunately be without captain Lucy Belsey who was injured at the East Championships last month. In her place the team will be led by Lauren Barber.

The Men, after gaining promotion by winning the Division 2 Championship last season, will be in action in a tough looking Division 1 at Nottingham Trent University. On Saturday they are up against West Herts (12.30) and Southgate (4.30) while on Sunday they play St Albans (9.00) and Holcombe (2.00). A week later at the same venue they play Cannock, Sheffield Hallam, Brooklands MU and Beeston. The squad will be captained by Andrew Bedwell in the absence of Leigh Sitch who is understandably concentrating on imminent family matters.

Our squads are as follows:

Ladies – Lauren Barber (captain), Tosh Peet (GK), Debbie Francis, Lauren Rowe, Bryony Lund, Annie Nunn, Lizzie Clymer, Anna Tighe, Sarah Brook, Maria Andrews, Rob Sorrell (coach), Louisa Greenacre (manager).

Men – Andrew Bedwell (captain), Chris Leek (GK), Richard Larkin, Simon Hipwell, Sam Paterson, Chris Barber, Tom Ridley, Ben Wright (player-coach), Archie Winter, Jack Knight, Myles King, Jack Hobbs.

NEXT SOCIAL FUNCTION – CHEESE & WINE TASTING EVENING – Saturday 28 January 2017 Please note your diary! Details to follow shortly.

The majority of our outdoor teams return to league action at the end of next week but we do have five teams playing on Saturday with all of them at home. After two successive defeats the Ladies’ 4ths are up against Norwich Dragons 3rds (12.00) who beat them 4-2 early in the season before our team went on a winning run of four games while the Ladies’ 5ths will also have friendly revenge in mind when they play Norwich Dragons 5ths (2.00) who beat them 4-0 at the end of September. Since then Jose Tibbenham and her team have only lost two games so they will be looking for a good performance to get off to a winning start to 2017. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 6ths also lost to their opponents of tomorrow, Norwich Dragons 6ths (3.30), when they played each other earlier in the season so they too will be looking for a change in fortune.

The Girls’ Development, who have only lost once this season and have only conceded two goals, entertain Yarmouth (12.15) who they beat 2-0 in the middle of October with goals by Olivia Lapage. The Boys’ Development take on Dereham (1.45) in a game held over from 10 December at the request of Dereham. When the teams met at the beginning of November Dereham won 4-1 but the game was awarded to Magpies 5-0 as Dereham fielded some ineligible players. LATE NEWS This game has now been called off at the request of Dereham! Please see the website regarding the possibility of a training match in lieu at 10.30 (S).

Good luck as always to all our teams this weekend.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017.
Please put the date in your diary! 
We have now gratefully received 25 ‘Promises’. The target is a minimum of 50 so we still have some way to go to achieve this number. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction.

a) Out-on-loan Magpie Carl Sitch and Dani Farrow on their recent engagement.
b) The GB women’s squad on their awards in the New Year’s Honours List.
c) Our U18 Girls who, since the last Musings, have triumphed in the East Indoor Finals at the University of Essex winning all their five games. Best wishes to them and our U18 Boys in the national finals to be played over the weekend of 21/22 January.

A NEW YEAR’S PLEA that members make every effort to be available for selection as often as possible please. This is essential if we are to help our hard working team captains fulfil all our fixtures. This applies to both the men’s and ladies’ teams.

The beginning of a new year is an appropriate time for this column to pay tribute to all who umpire our matches whether they be appointed umpires, club members umpiring before or after their own games or other club members helping out on a regular basis including our pool umpires. We are indebted to them. It hardly needs saying, but I will nevertheless, that without umpires our sport would wither and die. If a player is tempted to have a moan about an umpire I suggest that the umpire will have made less mistakes (assuming any) than the player!

In view of the U18 Girls having reached the national indoor finals the Ladies’ 2nds game against Norwich Dragons 2nds scheduled for Saturday 21 January will now be played (away) at 12.45pm on Saturday 18 February.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 13 December 2016


While the match between the Dads and the Lads was a lot of fun at Weybread last Saturday I have to start this week with the U18 Boys who took full advantage of their ‘lucky loser’ inclusion in the East Indoor Championship at the UEA.

After coming second behind Norwich Dragons in the Norfolk Championship they thought their chance to defend their national crown had gone but they were given this reprieve following the withdrawal of another team and they went on to claim a national final spot finishing second to City of Peterborough.

They started slowly losing 3-2 to C of P before letting slip a lead against IES to draw 4-4. In this round-robin event they just had to beat Norwich Dragons in their next game to retain any hope of progress and Dragons had thumped them 8-1 in the Norfolk Championship. This time they beat them 5-2 and their hopes were still alive. Magpies then beat Saffron Walden 7-0 and with C of P doing them favours by continuing to win their matches they needed to beat old club rivals Old Loughtonians in their last game. This was duly achieved with a 3-2 win with the OL’s second goal coming at the end of the game.

Very well done to the squad including, of course, coach Richard Larkin and manager Stuart Peters. Please see Stuart’s full report on the website.

The finals will be held at the Phoenix Sports & Leisure Centre in Telford over the weekend of 21/22 January.

Continuing on the subject of indoor hockey the U18 Girls will be playing in the East Championship at the University of Essex on Saturday looking to match the U18 Boys by clinching a place in the national finals while the Ladies’ 1sts have entered the East Championship to be played at Kelsey Kerridge SC in Cambridge on Sunday. In a three-team event their opponents will be St Albans (9.30) and Chelmsford (12.00). This is in effect a warm-up event for their national league division 1 campaign in Bristol over the weekends of Saturday/Sunday 7/8 and 14/15 January. Good luck to both our teams. The Men’s 1sts have chosen not to enter their respective East Championship prior to their national league division I campaign over the same two weekends. After going to Bristol for the past four seasons they are happy to leave the trip to the ladies this year while they go to Nottingham!

NEXT SOCIAL FUNCTION – Cheese & Wine Tasting Evening
Saturday 28 January 2017
Please note your diary! Details to follow in New Year.

With the Boys’ Development game last Saturday postponed until January 7, at the request of Dereham, team manager Mark Emms had the brilliant idea of the Dads (Santas) versus Lads (Elves) game. The two teams came duly attired for what turned out to be a very enjoyable and competitive (in the right spirit) game with some interesting family duels taking place across the pitch! To begin with the Elves threatened to overwhelm the Santas (who included a skilful Mrs Claus at the back following her four goals the previous week!) but the Santas began to make their mixed bag of hockey skills and fitness (and undoubted determination not to be beaten) to pay off to say nothing of the occasional use of the wrong side of the stick! Santa Emms, in full working regalia, put his team ahead in the third quarter and his team now had something to defend with Santa Chris Flatt in good form in goal, while the lucky spectators had mulled wine, mince pies, Scotch eggs and sausages to enjoy pitchside as well as the hockey.

Youth development officer James Smith umpired with an appropriately light touch throughout the game. With time running out and with the Elves back in the ascendant they won yet another penalty corner just before James blew for full time. Could the Elves make the final score 1-1 with all of them seemingly surrounding the circle? The ball went to Elf Hugo Lewis who slammed it past Santa Chris for a happy equaliser. We then retired to the clubhouse for turkey rolls etc. Here’s to next year for another instalment. Well done to Santa Mark and his band of helpers. Please also see Bex Pottruff’s press release regarding the game which is on the website.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
Please excuse me for going on about this event. We have now gratefully received twenty-three ‘Promises’ with the target being in the region of fifty. Please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction.

The last five outdoor league games of the year produced away wins for the Ladies’ 3rds and 5ths and Girls’ Development and defeats for the Ladies’ 4ths and 6ths. The 3rds beat Ipswich 2nds 3-2 in their rearranged match. Georgie Cantrell put them ahead from a penalty stroke and captain Sarah Legg added a second before half time. After the break Ipswich pulled a goal back but Magpies restored their two-goal advantage through Amy de Selincourt. Ipswich responded with a second but Magpies held on to their lead for a valuable three points to consolidate their fifth place following promotion at the beginning of the season. The 5ths were away to league leaders Lowestoft Railway and while they travelled with limited expectations they came home having secured an excellent 3-2 win after their disappointing defeat by Diss seven days earlier. Magpies, captained for this game by Emma Tolhurst, had to work hard to keep the game goalless at half time with goalkeeper Alice Gooch making some good saves. Jose Tibbenham put them ahead in the second half before Railway hit back. Unlike in the Diss game heads did not drop and Jose restored their lead (with her twelfth goal of the season) only for the home team to equalise again. Magpies kept battling away and Amy Collison found the winner.

Meanwhile the table-topping Girls’ Development were away to Pelicans and they put behind them their first defeat of the season the previous week to win 6-0. Evie Brice put them ahead after two minutes but despite constant pressure they were unable to find the net again before the end of the second quarter. Thereafter they put matters right with five more goals from Anna Cogdell, with a brace, Molly Largent, Honey Lamdin and Olivia Lapage. Well done to player-manager Sandra Elliner and her squad on their excellent first half of the season during which they have conceded just two goals.

At Weybread the Ladies’ 6ths (who have enjoyed an encouraging season to-date) were up against a talented Lowestoft Railway 2nds, coached by former Magpies’ coach Jason Harness, going down 4-0 not helped by two late goals. In the second half ex-Magpie Ellen Harness (daughter of Jason) received a nasty blow when the ball hit her forehead. Jason gave me the excellent news on Sunday that Ellen has made a good recovery and they both appreciate the help they received at the club.

Meanwhile away from home the Ladies’ 4ths went down 5-1 (Sophie Meynell-Anderson) to Norwich City 4ths in a game much closer than the score might suggest. Despite this defeat the team can be pleased with their season so far.

a) It is a big ‘thank you’ to Phil Alexander for making the step/platform outside the kit container.
b) Equipment controller Kirstin Cumming tells me that at the beginning of the season 72 balls were provided in each of the two training-ball bags. Over half have now disappeared. If members know of their whereabouts I suggest they return them to the bags when Kirstin is not looking!

Musings will be back in early JanuaryIn the meantime please see the website for any important breaking news.

I hope all readers and their families will be able to have a peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

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

Santas and elves take time out for hockey at Harleston Magpies

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

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

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

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

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

Bex Pottruff

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 6 December 2016


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

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

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

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

Back to Weybread.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 29 November 2016


Last weekend was another good one for the club with twelve wins from seventeen matches plus a highly successful social event but I am beginning this week’s column with the Men’s 1sts who didn’t win. This is bound to strike the team as ironic as I have not headlined them during their splendid run of six successive wins and I do so now after their last gasp home 4-4 draw with Bedford. Such is life!

During the six games they scored a remarkable 36 goals and in their eleven games to-date they are East Premier ‘A’ top goal scorers with 51 from 11 games. But the other column doesn’t read so well with 27 against and if one member is to be believed (there some egos in the team!) the reason is solely due to him being moved to another position! Both these aspects of their play were highlighted against a very lively Bedford team but despite having less possession than their opponents, for whom former England U21 international David Appleton played well in midfield, Magpies were 2-0 up (Richard Larkin with his third goal in three games plus a rocket shot on the turn into the top right by the in-form Jack Knight) and 3-1 up (Archie Winter with the third) victory was in prospect after fifteen minutes of the second half. But things changed after a couple of errors in defence and with the Bedford penalty corner routine working well Magpies were soon 4-3 down and facing defeat for the first time since early October. With the remaining seconds ticking away Magpies won two penalty corners with the second leading to a penalty stroke. The umpires then consulted (purely to appease the protesting Bedford players?) and with the whistle blown for full time player-coach Ben Wright stepped forward to calmly despatch the ball into the net for his twentieth goal of the season. This coming Saturday fourth-placed Magpies are at home to second-placed St Albans (2.00) in their first game of the second half of the season and their last before the indoor break and they will be looking to make up for the 4-1 defeat they suffered in the reverse fixture way back in the middle of September.

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

The Ladies’ 7ths got Saturday off to a good start at Weybread with a 2-1 win over Norwich Dragons 7ths with goals by Shirley McAllen and Evie Tibbenham with the visitors’ goal coming late in the game. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development were returning to form beating Norwich Dragons ‘B’ 7-0 with six of their goals coming in the last quarter with Sam Emms moving into the forward line and creating chances for his team-mates. Sam scored twice with the other goals coming from Joe Wicks, Ben Emms, Ollie Currie, Matty Nesling and Archie Derbyshire. Over on the sand-based, while the Men’s 1sts were battling it out with Bedford, the Ladies’ 2nds were returning to winning ways edging past St Ives by two goals to one to move into second place in their league. Sarah Legg, promoted from the 3rds – after their game away to Ipswich 2nds was frosted off – put them ahead in the first half after good work by Lucy Field before Laura Tibbenham, who was still struggling with injury, added the second with her twelfth goal of the season. Kath Johnson and goalkeeper Holly Riches were in good form at the back for Magpies. St Ives hit back to make the closing minutes a little nervy for the home team who this Saturday entertain third-placed Dereham (12.00) who beat them 4-3 on the opening day of the season with a very late goal. With coach Sam Tea absent co-captain Plum Sweet has asked me to thank 1st team coach Rob Sorrell and “Mr Woolly” for running the bench. It was good to see David Brook at the game following very encouraging news regarding his treatment.

THE HOCKEY PAPER Please see for details about and how to subscribe to this new publication which I feel deserves the support of hockey players and supporters.

Next into home action were the Ladies’ 1sts looking to put behind them their narrow defeat away to Wimbledon when they took on struggling West Herts whom they beat 5-2 away on the opening day of the season. For the first twenty minutes there was not much to choose between the teams before Annie Nunn, who is enjoying an excellent season on her return to the club, put Magpies ahead at a penalty corner. Tor Findlay soon added a second and on the cusp of half time Maria Andrews picked the ball up some twenty yards outside the circle before powering a reverse stick shot high past the goalkeeper. Lucy Whiting added a fourth before Tor and Maria (making her the league’s leading scorer with eleven) scored again to make it 6-0 to Magpies who go into their indoor season (beginning in mid-December) in a very satisfactory third place behind leaders Wimbledon and second-placed Sevenoaks. My MOTM was captain Lucy Belsey for another very sound overall performance.

In other home games there were wins for the Men’s 4ths, the Men’s 6ths and for the Boys’ Development and a narrow defeat for the Ladies’ 6ths. The Men’s 4ths conceded the opening goal to Pelicans 3rds before Kieran Peters equalised before half time. After the break Alex Kilbourn and Lewis Belsey (with his first goal of the season in only his fourth game due to work commitments) put Magpies 3-1 ahead and Saul Wells scored their fourth between goals by the Kings Lynn team. With captain Eric Davy playing for the 5ths at Ipswich the captaincy of the Men’s 6ths was in the safe hands of Ross Carter and he led the team to their first win of the season when they beat high flying Thetford Town 2-1 with goals by Simon Bardwell (yes!) and a second half winner by David Johnson. After the game Ross said he was doing a Sam Allardyce and resigning after just one game in charge! Meanwhile the Ladies’ 6ths had a 2-1 defeat at the hands of North Norfolk 2nds with their equalising goal coming from First Thepcharoen before North Norfolk regained the lead.

FUN CASINO EVENING It is a big ‘thank you’ to the 105 members and friends of the club who attended this event last Saturday and who helped to make it so enjoyable. The club’s thanks are also due to the organising committee under the chairmanship of Joe Cooksey and to our hosts the Taylor family for providing such a splendid setting for the event and for all their hard work before, during and after the evening. For the record the overall winner with the most ‘money’ won was Jon Aldridge – a winner at roulette and hockey! Well done Jon!

Away from home there was mixed fortune for our teams. The Men’s 2nds had the deep frustration of losing 2-1 to promotion seeking Wapping 2nds who converted a penalty corner with the last hit of the game after Duncan Steven had scored a twelfth minute equaliser for Magpies. On Saturday the team are away to Blueharts 2nds where a win would be a big boost to their hopes of avoiding relegation in a league where four teams drop down. The Ladies’ 4ths beat UEA 2nds 2-0 with two goals by Imi Meynell-Anderson and the Ladies’ 5ths had a 6-2 win over UEA 3rds. Captain Jose Tibbenham and Georgie Gardens put them two ahead before the students pulled a goal back. Georgie then made it 3-1 at half time before Jose scored again. After a second UEA goal Janna Freeman scored twice to round off a convincing win by her team.

The Men’s 5ths were up against a vastly more experienced Ipswich 3rds (who look certain to deservedly win the league with ease) and their cause in their 12-0 defeat was not helped by James Smith having to go off in the first half with a hamstring problem. They were reduced to ten players when Jude Pottruff had to leave the pitch due to injury with twenty minute still on the clock. There were no such problems for the Girls’ Development who eased to a 6-0 win over Dereham. In a good team performance, with all members playing their role, Anna Cogdell scored the first goal with the other five coming from Emma Williamson. The team, who have still to concede a goal this season, are at home to Norwich City on Saturday (10.15). All good runs in sport come to an end eventually and so it was that the Men’s 3rds, after ten successive wins, lost 6-1 against Newmarket and the defeat was in no way due to a lack of effort. 2-1 down with their goal scored by Tom Norton, Magpies were still in the game but a quick double by the home side decided the issue. Tom, Rob Neal, David Cadman and Ben Kilburn all promoted from the 4ths grew into the game to win praise from captain Matt Brand.

Last Sunday the Men’s O50s and Ladies’ O35s both made progress in their England Hockey events with good away wins. The Men won through to the quarter-finals of the Cup (against Cambridge City or Canterbury at home on Sunday 19 February) with a hard-earned 3-1 win over City of Peterborough. The home side opened the scoring midway through the first half but Magpies were soon level when Roger Kent deflected in a shot by Jon Aldridge. Soon afterwards Phil Cobbald put Magpies ahead at a penalty corner and early in the second half Roger scored again when he very skilfully went round the goalkeeper when put through by Phil who then went off with an injury. Magpies spent most of the rest of the game battling hard to keep the Peterborough forwards at bay which they did despite Clyde Camburn taking a nasty blow on a thumb. Fortunately it is not broken as first feared.

Meanwhile the Ladies progressed through to the 4th round of the Trophy beating Norwich Dragons 4-0 with first half goals by Anouska Stott (3) and Lucy Field. Magpies continued to press forward in the second half but were unable to convert a series of penalty corners and open play chances due to numerous outstanding saves by Dragons’ and former Magpies’ goalkeeper Kate Bond.

Last night at the UEA the U18 Girls edged past Norwich Dragons 4-3 to win the Norfolk Indoor Championship thereby qualifying for the East finals. The event was reduced to just two teams with the withdrawal of Norwich City after late call-offs. Alice Woollatt gave Magpies a first minute lead but by half time they were 3-1 down and heading for defeat. Whatever coach Rob Sorrell said during the break worked as they came out for the second half looking a much better team. Charlotte Seaman reduced the arrears before Alice scored another two goals to give her team their narrow win but only after they survived a last second penalty stroke.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday the Men’s O40s in EH Cup Round 3 action away to Luton Town (1.30) at Challney Girls School, Addington Way, Luton, LU4 9FJ. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards
Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 22 November 2016


The Ladies’ 3rds, Men’s 2nds, Men’s 1st and U18 Girls (in playing order) all have a strong claim to top billing this week after their excellent wins over the weekend but pride of place has to go to the Men’s 3rds and not just because skipper Matt Brand kindly got me a coffee when I was updating the website on Saturday! By beating Bury St Edmunds 2-1 at Weybread they notched up their 10th successive win and their record for the season reads P10, W10, GF 41, GA 14, Pts 30. I know that my decision to headline this special achievement will get some of the Men’s 1sts chuntering, especially as they didn’t receive the accolade when they beat league leaders Old Loughts from three goals down, but they will get over it!

Matt and his team knew they were in for a tough game against second placed Bury St Edmunds and so it transpired. Gavin Cole put them ahead in the first half with a typical opportunist strike and Sol Barker converted a penalty stroke with fifteen minutes to go. In between these efforts Bury put considerable pressure on the Magpies’ defence and after replacing their goalkeeper with an outfield player they won a penalty stroke with two minutes left on the clock which they converted expertly. Thereafter Magpies retained possession at the other end of the pitch for a hard earned win. This coming Saturday they have another demanding game away to Newmarket (3.00).

Tickets are still available for this prestigious black tie event. They are £20 each. Please contact Kevin or Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803 as soon as possible. You will be very welcome. 

The Ladies’ 3rds were soon into their stride against Bury St Edmunds 2nds with Georgie Cantrell opening up the visitors’ defence for Rhe Lascelles and Katie Kinsella to put their side two up early in the game. The third goal was always going to be vital and it was scored by Georgie who went on to find the net three more times in a highly impressive performance by one of the club’s most promising players of recent years. Katie then scored her second to make the final score 7-0. Also in especially good form for Magpies was Amelia Herschel-Shorland in defence.

With two goals by Mrs Kinsella the challenge was thrown down to Mr Kinsella to at least match his wife’s achievement when the Men’s 2nds took on Upminster in the next game and Robbie duly delivered despite being sidelined by illness over the past two weeks. Magpies were strengthened by the first appearance in their colours for several years of James Osborn who has now all but retired after a distinguished career with Wimbledon which saw him help his club to England Hockey Premier Division glory over the past two seasons. It was also a warm ‘welcome back’ to Duncan Steven and it is a great pity that he and James will not be available on a regular basis as both live in London.

James put Magpies ahead in the 12th minute when deflecting in a penalty corner strike by Tristan Baynes and a few minutes later Lawrence and Tristan Baynes created a chance for Robbie which he gratefully accepted. Tristan scored with two quality shots early in the second half before Upminster pulled a goal back with a superb deflection from a ball fired into the circle. Duncan then set up Tom Hughes for goal number five and Robbie saw his team, for whom Peter Bale was also in good form, to a well-deserved 6-1 win. This Saturday they are away to high-flying Wapping 2nds (11.30).

I believed the captain of the Men’s 1sts when he said they were off to Saffron Walden with just eleven players including an unwell Ben Wright but after their excellent 8-1 win (their sixth in succession) I learned they actually took a squad of fourteen! Jack Knight and Ben put them 2-0 up and after the home team pulled a goal back just before the break Ben made it 3-1. Sam Paterson then weighed in with three class finishes while Richard Larkin told me later he scored ‘the all-important seventh’ (his second goal in two weeks). Jack also scored again in the second half to continue his run of good form.  This Saturday the team are at home to Bedford (12.00).

Moving forward a day the U18 Girls made a strong start away to Norwich City in the 3rd round of the EH Cup with Abby Gooderham putting them ahead after five minutes and with goals continuing to flow they finished 15-0 winners. Their goals were scored by Abby 4, Tor Findlay 3, Lauren Rowe 3, Holly Thomsen 2, Hannah de Selincourt, Olivia Locke and Georgie Warren. After three away games (in which they have scored 27 goals) Magpies have been drawn to play Beeston at home in the quarter-finals on Sunday 19 February. In the 3rd round Beeston beat Stourport 8-1.

AUCTION OF PROMISES  Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
Nine ‘Promises’ have already been gratefully received – please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction!

The Boys’ Development got the ball rolling at a cold Weybread on Saturday and all looked well when Ben Emms put them ahead against Norwich Dragons ‘A’. But it soon became clear Magpies were in for a difficult time against impressive opponents who went on to beat an off form home team 4-1, albeit the final score was a little flattering to the Norwich side.

Also in home action were the Men’s 5ths and the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths and 6ths. The Men’s 5ths beat Bury St Edmunds 4ths 3-2. Andy Caston put them ahead following up a penalty corner shot by Jude Pottruff and after Bury drew level Jude coolly converted a penalty stroke before Chris Hall made it 3-1. In the closing stages Andy took a nasty tumble following a hefty tackle and Bury pulled a goal back after Magpies’ missed several chances to clear their lines. The Ladies’ 4ths, with Alice Wiseman and Janna Freeman playing well on their debuts for the team, came from behind to draw 1-1 with a strong Dereham 3rds with Rachael Clifford getting their equaliser. The Ladies’ 5ths won for the fifth successive game beating Dereham 4ths 3-2. Emily Woollatt put them ahead and after a Dereham equaliser skipper Jose Tibbenham put her side back in front. In a ding-dong game Dereham again drew level before Georgie Gardens got what turned out to be the winner but only after Dereham put a late penalty stroke wide.

Earlier the Ladies 6ths had an exciting 3-3 draw with Herlings. Julie Davy put them ahead only for Herlings to respond with two goals. Beth Moodie then equalised and after Herlings went back in front Julie stepped up to put away a penalty stroke in style. Tegan Smart played well for Magpies on debut for the team while Fiona Brice was outstanding in central defence.

Away from home there was mixed success for our teams with defeats for the Ladies’ 1sts and 2nds and Men’s 6ths and wins for the Ladies’ 7ths and Men’s 4ths. Wimbledon is never a happy hunting ground for the Ladies’ 1sts and so it proved again on Saturday with the home team dominating the first half during which they went ahead in open play. Magpies responded after the break with Maria Andrews converting a penalty corner. Both teams went for the winner with Wimbledon securing the three points with a penalty corner conversion. This Saturday Magpies are at home to West Herts (2.00) in their last outdoor league game before the start of the indoor season.  Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds travelled to play league leaders Cambridge City 2nds and they put in a strong performance before going down 2-0 – their first defeat since the opening day of the season. The team were delighted to welcome back MOTM Kath Johnson playing her first game of the season following two separate injuries. This Saturday they are at home to St Ives (12.15). The Men’s 6ths lost 5-0 to Norwich Exiles. End of report as agreed with skipper Eric Davy!  

The Ladies’ 7ths beat Norwich Dragons 8ths 1-0 with a goal by Georgia Hood and they are grateful to Jane Collins and Annie Lancaster for stepping down from the 6ths to help them field eleven players. The Men’s 4ths won again beating Newmarket 2nds 3-1. Neil Watson put them ahead at a penalty corner (with an assist being modestly claimed by Kieran Peters!)  before Alex Kilbourn coolly lifted the ball over the goalkeeper for the second. With Arthur Johnson playing well on his debut for the team the third goal came with a crisp shot by Tom Norton. Newmarket stepped up their game in the second half scoring with a slick penalty corner routine and thereafter Magpies’ goalkeeper (and club chairman) Murray Graham made several fine saves.

In addition to the U18 Girls we had four other youth teams in either EH league or cup action on Sunday. At Weybread the U14 Boys did well to recover from two goals down to beat IES 4-2 with goals by Jude Pottruff, Tom Caston (2) and Ollie Mayhew while the U18 Boys had a well-contested and well-umpired  cup game with Norwich Dragons going down 5-4 on penalty strokes after a 2-2 draw. Goals by Sam Paterson and Jolyon Summers put Magpies ahead after an early Dragons’ effort before failure by the Magpies’ defenders to follow instructions from the umpire led to a penalty corner ten minutes from time which Dragons converted. In the third and final game at Weybread the Sudbury U16 Girls came expecting a thumping and they must have feared the worst after Lottie Summers scored two early goals for Magpies’ U16 Girls. But they fought back well and after Ellie Fawkner put Magpies 3-0 up at half time they pulled a goal back after the break. In the closing stages of the game Magpies reasserted their dominance and Lottie made the final score 4-1. Away from home the U14 Girls had a splendid 2-1 win over Cambridge City with goals by Georgie Cantrell and Georgie Gardens.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday our Ladies’ O35s and Men’s O50s. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.  

Bill Colwill, OBE
The many friends of Bill around the world will have been saddened by his death at the age of 86. Bill was one of hockey’s most distinguished journalists writing for The Independent and many other publications. He had a remarkable knowledge of the game. For a full obituary please go to –

With kind regards
Mike Denham  



MIKE’S MUSINGS – 15 November 2016


There is no doubt that the Ladies’ 1sts deserve top billing this week for their superb 1-0 win over previously 100% Sevenoaks at Weybread last Sunday. In front of the largest crowd of the season on sponsors’ lunch day Magpies were the dominant team in the first half and they went close to scoring on a number of occasions. It was still 0-0 at half time but seven minutes after the break a sweeping move across the pitch from right to left resulted in a penalty stroke for Magpies when Tor Findlay was impeded in the circle. Maria Andrews stepped up to put the ball high into the net for her eighth goal of the season. Sevenoaks responded putting the Magpies’ defence under severe pressure forcing captain Lucy Belsey and her fellow defenders to make tackle after tackle. In a tense last few minutes Sevenoaks forced a series of penalty corners and in a resulting scramble hit the left post. Two minutes from time the visitors were awarded a penalty stroke which was saved by MOTM Tosh Peet much to the delight of her team-mates and the home supporters. This coming Saturday third placed Magpies have another tough game away to second placed Wimbledon (2.00). It was good to see Kath Johnson at the game and she gave me the very welcome news that she hopes to soon resume training (again) after her double setback in recent weeks of broken wrist (non-hockey) followed by a leg injury sustained when she made her first return to training!

Neil Toulson (with ball) and Matt Brand
Neil Toulson (with ball) and Matt Brand

The Ladies’ match was preceded by the Men’s O40s making their debut in the EH Cup when they entertained City of Peterborough. Magpies, jokingly referred to by a spectator as the O50s academy team, were two goals ahead from Neil Toulson (making a very welcome reappearance after an absence of six years) and Gavin Cole in the first three minutes. Approaching half time and the score still 2-0 Magpies’ goalkeeper Steve Halliley made a series of good saves. After the break Magpies moved to a comfortable 5-0 win with a goal by Matt Brand and further efforts by Neil and Gavin.

Magpies’ squad: Tristan Baynes (captain), Steve Halliley, Eric Davy, James Smith, Andy Smith, Phil Cobbald, Bob Skinner, Jerry Blackmore, David Francis, James Stacey, Matt Brand, Martin Reader, Neil Toulson, Gavin Cole, Angus Wilkinson.

In the next round Magpies are away to Luton Town on Sunday 4 December.

FUN CASINO EVENING Saturday 26 November (7.30pm)
Have you got your tickets yet please for this prestigious black tie event? They are £20 each and available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

While the weather was good for watching on Sunday it was the exact opposite at Weybread on Saturday where it rained all day. The Ladies’ 5ths opened proceedings by recording their fourth successive win beating Beccles 4-1. Tabitha Borrett opened the scoring for Magpies on her adult team debut and Janna Freeman added a couple before half time. After the break captain Jose Tibbenham proved the wisdom of shooting on sight when from the edge of the circle she found the inside of the left post. Beccles scored a late and deserved consolation goal.

Next into action on the water-based were the Ladies’ 2nds looking for their seventh win in their last eight games (the other was a draw) and they were made to work hard for their eventual 3-2 win by a Lowestoft side which played far better than their league position would suggest. In fact they were twice ahead with Lauren Mickleburgh firing in Magpies’ first equaliser. After the break Magpies took control of the game with a brace from Kara Kilbourn. MOTM was Alice Woollatt for another fine performance on the right wing. On Saturday the team are away to league leaders Cambridge City 2nds (12.30).

Over on the sand-based the Men’s 4ths were giving one of the best performances that umpire John Pestell said he has ever seen from a Magpies’ team as they beat league leaders Felixstowe 2nds 3-0. Ben Kilburn put them ahead at a penalty corner after Kieran Peters found him at the back post and Kieran also provided an assist for the next goal with Neil Watson dinking the ball over the goalkeeper. Ben made certain of this excellent win with a penalty corner drag flick.

Thomas Ridley
Thomas Ridley

The Men’s 1sts probably feel they deserve top billing for their 6-1 win over Cambridge City 2nds and in the visitors’ team it was good to see out-on-loan Magpies Zum Akhter, Dominic Absolon and goalkeeper Donnie Archer. City went ahead from a penalty stroke (converted by Zum) with their first away goal of the season before Magpies’ player-coach Ben Wright put away a penalty corner in thrilling style. Ben soon added a second before Jack Knight deflected another penalty corner high into the net. Matt Richardson, who is enjoying an excellent season, added a fourth. After the break and with the weather continuing to be miserable the versatile Richard Larkin, playing upfront, scored his first ever outdoor goal for the team when he lifted the ball past Donnie. Ben, who was again in fine form, scored the sixth from the penalty spot to cement the team’s fifth successive win after their slow start to the season. On Saturday they are away to Saffron Walden (2.00).

By now it was time to head for the warmth and dry of the clubhouse leaving three hardy souls (joined by your scribe much later) to see the Men’s 6ths take on 100% league leaders Ipswich 3rds in what they correctly expected to be a tough game. But despite losing 6-0 they gave their visitors a good game in which Ewie Cumming, in his first outing of the season, and David Johnson played especially well for Magpies. Andy Cook scored three goals for Ipswich. Has goal machine Andy ever failed to score when visiting Weybread?! In the other home match the Ladies’ 7th were up against a strong Dereham 5ths and despite losing 3-0 played some good hockey putting pressure on the visitors’ defence.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
As you will have seen, hopefully, from last week’s email you are invited to donate Promises or items for auction at this event which is the club’s major fund raiser of the year. Full details are also on the club’s website.

Away from home there were wins for the Ladies’ 3rds, Men’s 3rdsLadies’ 6ths and Men’s 5ths, a draw for the Ladies’ 4ths and defeats for the Ladies’ 6ths and Men’s 2nds. The Ladies’ 3rds, after defeat the previous week by UEA, resumed their winning ways beating Colchester 2nds after their hosts had taken the lead. By half time Amy de Selincourt had brought Magpies level with a fine individual goal and Katie Kinsella did likewise after the break to give her team a well-deserved win. The Men’s 3rds retained their 100% record by beating North Norfolk 3-1 with goals by Greg Jagger and Phil Cobbald (2) and this Saturday they face their toughest test of the season when they entertain second placed Bury St Edmunds (3.15). Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths were beating UEA 3rds with two goals by Andy Johnson. He converted a first half penalty stroke and after the students drew level against the run of play Magpies, for whom Hugo Thomas was in impressive form, had a good second half and Andy clinched victory five minutes from time.

The Ladies’ 4ths had to settle for a 3-3 draw after being 3-1 up with two minutes to play. The prolific Georgie Cantrell scored a hat-trick with two straight penalty corner strikes and a penalty corner conversion. The Ladies’ 6ths lost 3-0 against Norwich City 5ths but they played well and captain Gillian Stokes says they can be proud of themselves. MOTM was Izzy Slade while Treacle Griffin was also in good form. The Men’s 2nds are clearly less than the sum of their parts this season and they went down 5-2 to Norwich City 2nds. Tristan Baynes was once again their goal scorer.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday our five youth teams who will be in either EH Cup or league action. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

It was good to see John Pestell umpiring last Saturday despite undergoing cardioversion the previous day to reset his heart’s rhythm back to its normal pattern. He says he was electrocuted! Best wishes John.

Congratulations and very best wishes to Tiger Brice and Kelly Holzinger on their recent engagement.

It is congratulations and thanks to commercial manager John Rowe for organising last Sunday’s very successful sponsors’ lunch and to Kirstin Cumming and Philippa Taylor for the excellent buffet.

Jake Sewell has had his broken thumb wired and pinned and while it would be good to see him playing again before the end of the season it is too early to say if this is likely. Best wishes to you Jake.

The men’s showers were working again last Saturday following the installation of a new tank and it is a big ‘thank you’ to Jose Tibbenham and Paul Nelson and his team for all their hard work to make this possible.

A club member who claims not to be a pedant says the bird scaring hawk flying above the water-based is actually a kite (the avian variety) and a hawk is not appropriate as it will prey on magpies!

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 8 November 2016


With water dripping from the clubhouse ceiling and early results disappointing, except for the excellent win by the Girls’ Development over Watton, last Saturday seemed to be heading for the worst day of the season so far. But gradually the sun began to come out even if only metaphorically. The Men’s 2nds beat City of Peterborough 3rds in a must-win home game and gradually news filtered through from away that the Ladies 1sts, 2nds and 5ths had all won and the Men’s 1sts had come from three goals behind to beat league leaders Old Loughtonians 4-3.

Photo Courtesy of Pat Leate
Photo Courtesy of Pat Leate

With two really tough games coming up, including at home to 100% league leaders Sevenoaks this coming Sunday (2.00), it was desirable that the Ladies’ 1sts got back to winning ways against Chelmsford (after their defeat by Hampstead and Westminster) so the news of their 2-1 win was heartening to say the least. Maria Andrews put them ahead after a driving run and centre by captain Lucy Belsey before Maria doubled their lead with an unstoppable strike at a penalty corner. Further opportunities came and went before Chelmsford pulled a goal back early in the second half but the Magpies’ defence held firm for three vital points to take the team up to third place. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds beat Bury St Edmunds 2-0 without being at their best in a game described by captain Plum Sweet as having a frantic feel about it. Jess Howland got the first goal with Laura Tibbenham clinching victory in the second half. This Saturday the team host Lowestoft (12.00).

The Ladies’ 5ths won for the third successive game coming from behind to beat Broadland 2nds 4-1. Georgie Gardens rounded the goalkeeper for their equaliser before captain Jose Tibbenham scored twice following good crosses from Rachel Holloway and Grace Collison and Janna Freeman scored the fourth.

The Men’s 2nds just had to beat Peterborough 3rds and they did so by two goals to one. Tom Hughes put them ahead early in the game and the visitors equalised fifteen minutes into the second half with a neat deflection at a penalty corner. Magpies hit back quickly and Matt Bensly scored for the second week running hooking the ball into the net at a penalty corner for the vital winner. Dickon Taylor and Iain Cumming were in good form at the back with Iain reminding me after the game that he didn’t give away a penalty corner! This Saturday the team are away to Norwich City 2nds (2.30).

It’s about time I commented on the Men’s 1sts remarkable win over 100% league leaders Old Loughtonians. Two down at half time Magpies slipped further behind ten minutes into the second half before the floodgates opened at the other end (shades of Oxted last season but in reverse) with goals by Myles King (18th minute), Jack Knight (25th), Matt Richardson (28th) and the winner from Jack with his second four minutes from time. Two of the goals were from penalty corners so things are really looking up in this aspect of the team’s play. They went into the game without Robbie Kinsella due to illness and they had to play the second half without the injured James Meek. Just five points behind new league leaders St Albans Magpies are at home to Cambridge City 2nds this Saturday (2.00).

FUN CASINO EVENING Saturday 26 November (7.30pm)
Have you got your tickets yet please for this prestigious black tie event? They are £20 each andavailable at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

Last weekend got off to a bad start when on Friday evening Kirstin Cumming and Nick McAllen noticed cold water dripping from the ceiling in the lounge area of the clubhouse and things got even worse at about 1.00pm on Saturday when hot water began dripping from the ceiling!

Back to Friday evening. Kirstin and Nick called for the urgent help of local builder Paul Nelson and Jose Tibbenham and the problem was diagnosed as a leaking cold water tank. With the help of Paul’s wife Sally the tank was drained and the loft mopped up saving the ceiling from falling in while a cover was put on the carpet below. This meant the men’s showers were out of commission over the weekend pending the installation of a new tank. The club’s thanks are due to the aforementioned for all their trouble.

All seemed to be under control on Saturday except for the lack of men’s showers (the visiting teams having been contacted and told that alternative arrangements would be made for showers elsewhere in the clubhouse) when the next dripping episode reared its ugly head. Once again Kirstin jumped into action and with the advice of sundry members ringing in her ears managed to get the dripping to stop. Thanks go to Kirstin and to the other members for their help and to the visiting men’s teams for their understanding. The matter is now in the hands of Paul and his plumber.

Playing-wise Saturday got off to an encouraging start with the Girls’ Development producing a really good team performance to beat Watton 8-0 with goals by Evie Brice (3), Jessica Tarrant, Anna Cogdell, Beth Gardens and Kiera Wheeler (2). But gloom (and rain) set in with the Ladies’ 6ths going down 4-1 (Beth Moodie) to Breckland while on adjoining pitches the Ladies’ 4ths were going down 4-0 to Broadland after conceding a first minute goal and the generally young Men’s 5ths were losing 7-0 to a strong Watton side. Both Magpies’ team had good spells with the Men pressing hard both sides of half time while the Ladies mounted several promising attacks without finding a way passed a sound Broadland defence. We then heard that the Men’s 6ths had lost 4-0 away to a very strong Bury St Edmunds 5ths despite good performances by Louis Calvert, Jack Largent, Graham Mobbs and goalkeeper Steve Halliley. So no cheer there. Back to Weybread where the Ladies’ 3rds were up against league leaders UEA and they put in a good performance despite going down 3-0 thereby bringing to an end their excellent run of results.

AUCTION OF PROMISES Saturday 4 March 2017
Details to follow later this week. Please put the date in your diary!

Away from home the Ladies’ 7ths went down 4-0 to Broadland 3rds while the Men’s 4ths lost 3-2 to Ipswich Cranes in a game they let slip in a poor 10-minute spell just after half time during which the home team scored all their goals. Morgan Manly had put Magpies ahead in the first half and Kieran Peters reduced the arrears with a trademark reverse stick shot during the last twenty minutes played largely in the home half without Magpies being able to find the equaliser.

The gloom gradually began to lift as detailed earlier and things got even better when in the last game of the day at Weybread the Men’s 3rds retained their 100% record by beating Sudbury 2nds 4-1. Magpies took the lead through Greg Jagger but Sudbury hit back. However, with two minutes remaining in the first half their goalkeeper took a frightful blow which his protection quite evidently did little to soften. The umpires sensibly blew for half time and the restart was delayed by several minutes while the player was assisted from the pitch and a team-mate padded up. Magpies took advantage of Sudbury now being down to ten players with Phil Cobbald firing in a penalty corner, captain Matt Brand scoring a fine individual goal and Gavin Cole finding the net for the eighth successive game. The game was also notable for Gavin’s father Brian (and my chief assistant and highly trained scoreboard operative) being absent for the first time in many seasons following a knee replacement operation last Thursday. Best wishes Brian for your speedy recovery.

It is now time for a quick canter through the England Hockey league and cup matches featuring our sides on Sunday. On a cold Weybread morning the U14 Girls were soon into their stride going on to beat Bury St Edmunds 10-1 with goals by Ellen Pope (3), Georgie Gardens (2) and Georgie Cantrell with five in an impressive squad performance while over on the other pitch the U14 Boys were also in league action doing even better (in the unlikely event of such comparisons being valid) beating Sudbury 12-0. Jude Pottruff followed up his seven goals in the team’s previous match with another six while Ollie Mayhew (on debut) scored 3 with the other goals coming from Michael Ahrens, Ed Brice and Tom Caston.

Later in the day at a now slightly warmer Weybread the Men’s O50s were moving into the 3rd round of the EH Cup with a 3-1 home win over old adversaries Ipswich. The teams were well matched in a goalless first half before captain Jon Aldridge put Magpies on the road to victory with a spectacular shot into the top corner of the Ipswich net. David Blackmore put Magpies further ahead with a firm shot from the edge of the circle and Roger Kent (making a welcome appearance with Jon Wells and Clyde Camburn) added the third after good work by Andy Caston. Ipswich pulled a goal back five minutes from time when Andy Cook converted a penalty corner. Magpies are away to City of Peterborough in the next round on  Sunday 27 November.

Away from home the U18 Girls edged into the 3rd round of the EH Cup the hard way beating Dereham 6-5 on strokes having earlier let slip a 3-0 lead gained with goals by Alice Woollatt, Hannah de Selincourt and Abby Gooderham to draw 3-3. The scorers in the penalty shoot-out were Abby (2), Charlotte Seaman (2), Hannah and Anna Tighe with goalkeeper Alice Gooch making some good saves. The U16 Girls drew 1-1 away to Norwich City with Mia King scoring in the first half and Holly Riches playing well in goal before City got a deserved equaliser in the last two minutes.

Last but not least the Ladies’ O35s making their debut in the EH Cup went down 4-2 on strokes after a 3-3 draw away to a younger Bedford side. Magpies were three times ahead through Anouska Stott, Kate Russell and Charlie Harrison before being edged out by a last minute equaliser followed by the strokes.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday the Men’s O40s hosting City of Peterborough (12.00) in their EH Cup clash and our teams competing in the Pelicans’ Minis and the Norfolk U16/U18 Boys and U16 Girls’ indoor championships. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards
Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 1 November 2016

The Men’s 1sts accepted my challenge of last week to put in a top billing performance against Cambridge University and they did so in fine style at a remarkably warm and sunny Weybread winning 5-1. In the opening minutes Cambridge University seemed content to move the ball across the pitch and rarely got into the Magpies’ half. There were murmurings in the crowd at this defensive approach but the home team were being patient until on fifteen minutes player-coach Ben Wright fired in a superb shot from the right edge of the circle and on the cusp of half time MOTM Archie Winter scored at the left post after initially appearing to have lost the opportunity. Despite being two down the students continued with their defensive tactics before Jack Knight found James Meek with a crossfield ball and James sped into the circle before despatching the ball into the top left for a goal a forward dreams about. By midway through the second half it was 4-0 with Leigh Sitch popping up with his third goal of the season at a penalty corner followed by Ben taking his tally for the season to thirteen. Cambridge then had their best spell of the game and they pulled a goal back from close range following a run along the goal line. It was good seeing out-on-loan Magpie Louis Totton playing for the students. The match was well umpired by Peter Lemon and Tim Martin who was officiating in his 250th East league game. Magpies will hope to take their good form into their away match against 100% league leaders Old Loughtonians this Saturday (3.00).

The Men’s 6ths were first into action at Weybread against Bury St Edmunds 4ths who after a fairly even first half scored within seconds of the break. For Magpies Duncan Cogdell was showing his skills of old in the forward line while Jerry Blackmore was having a splendid game in defence. Also on the plus side it was good to see Simon Bardwell playing for the first time this season since injury and when he prematurely left the field of play it was of his own volition! Magpies scored a really good equaliser through the centre of the Bury defence when Peter Thornett, after some good ball control, passed to Simon who found Duncan with a pinpoint pass and he made no mistake. Thereafter Bury went for the winner but Magpies held firm for a 1-1 draw. It would have been a more enjoyable game to watch (and I assume to umpire) had the teams been less vocal with the visitors winning comfortably in this aspect of the game!

The Ladies’ 2nds then took on bottom placed Cambridge University 2nds and while from what we saw in the early stages of the game there was little prospect of Magpies slipping up it was nevertheless a relief when Laura Tibbenham swept the ball into the net on twenty minutes after good work by Kara Kilbourn. A few minutes later Jess Howland scored one of the best individual goals seen at Weybread in ages when she went down the left wing before cutting in along the goal line, beating at least five defenders, and instead of passing put the ball into the back of the net. Simple as that! In a commanding second half for the home team Lauren Mickleburgh scored twice before another two goals by Laura (regular readers of this column know my definition of a hat-trick!) and Olivia Locke made the final score 7-0 with a shot a combination of a cricket hook and a tennis smash much to her surprise. This Saturday the team, which has conceded only three goals in their last six matches, is away to Bury St Edmunds (2.00).

FUN CASINO EVENING Saturday 26 November (7.30pm)
Tickets for this prestigious black tie event are £20 each and are available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

The final game of the day between the Men’s 4ths and Bury St Edmunds 3rds ended without my stand-in scoreboard operator being called into action. For Magpies it was good to see James Stacey playing again after a break of some three years, James Plested having a fine game in the middle of the defence and Kieran Peters working tirelessly to cover for this father! I feel this comment will have put paid to any further lifts I might have wanted from Mr Peters senior! Joking apart this was a good point for Magpies against a team just above them in third place in their league.

Away from home the Ladies’ 3rds won for a third successive week beating Christchurch 5-1 to take them up to fifth place in their league. Their goals came from Amy de Selincourt, Charlotte Rourke-Beasley with a brace, Georgie Cantrell (on her debut for the team) and Kathryn Bullen. This Saturday they are at home to league leaders UEA (1.45). The Men’s 3rds maintained their 100% record for the season beating Pelicans 2nds 3-2. With a much-changed team they were twice two ahead with goals by Gavin Cole (2) and Greg Jagger before Pelicans scored their second to give captain Matt Brand and his team a testing last five minutes. The Men’s 2nds went down 2-1 to Bourne Deeping despite having numerous shots but were not able to make any count until Matt Bensly scored a fine goal in the last minute. Goalkeeper George Baldwin was MOTM for Magpies who this Saturday will be determined to record their second win of the season when they entertain City of Peterborough 3rds (2.00). Sadly Jake Sewell looks like being out for the rest of the season as his broken thumb will almost certainly require surgery. The Men’s 5ths fielded a young team against a strong Dereham 3rds going down 8-1 with their second half goal being scored by Chris Hall. Meanwhile the Boys’ Development also fielded a young team against Dereham losing 4-1 in a game played in a good spirit with their goal coming from Sam Emms. Due to the composition of the Dereham side this will go down as a win for Magpies in the league table.

While the Ladies’ 2nds and 3rds were playing last Saturday the rest of the Ladies’ teams were having the day off but they are back in action this Saturday. The matches include the 1sts away to Chelmsford (2.00) and the 4ths, 5ths and 7ths playing Broadland opposition.

Many of our members will be playing twice this weekend as we will have seven teams in EH cup or league action on Sunday. The Ladies’ O35s will be making their debut in their respective EH Cup when they travel to play Bedford (12.30) while the Men’s O50s have familiar and home opposition in the form of Ipswich (2.00) once more. They will again be without ‘big money signing’ Andy Law who is recovering from foot surgery. Best wishes for a speedy recovery Andy. After edging past Bury St Edmunds in the last round Magpies will have to raise their game to beat their Suffolk opponents for the third successive year. Meanwhile the U18 Girls, after their 9-3 away win over Old Loughtonians, travel to play Dereham (2.00) while the U18 Boys host Bedford (12.00) after a first round bye.

Also at home on Sunday will be the U14 Girls in league action against Bury St Edmunds (10.15) and the U14 Boys who welcome Sudbury (10.45) while the U16 Girls are away to Norwich City (1.45).

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

The club hosted a very successful round of the Norfolk Minis last Sunday and in doing so fielded no less than eleven teams including a club record of four U12 Girls’ teams. There were wins for the U10 and U12 Girls’ and U12 Boys’ ‘A’ teams. All our teams did the club proud and it is a big ‘thank you’ to everyone at the club who helped in the organisation of the event and in the running of our teams and to the teams from other clubs for helping to make day so enjoyable.

Congratulations to Abby Gooderham (with two goals), Hannah de Selincourt and out-on-loan Magpie Molly Redgrove (with one goal) who helped Saxon Tigers to beat Wessex Leopards 6-3 in the U18s final and to Lottie Summers and Rose Winter who helped Saxon Tigers take fourth place in the U16s event.

The bird-scaring hawk will be flying again when the broken pole has been replaced; new foxes have been purchased for the same scary purpose and it is hoped to have one or two new goals for the sand-based shortly. In the meantime the broken goal on the sand-based has been removed to prevent damage to the pitch. NB. The blue VISA goals on the far side of the water-based are NOT to be moved away from the side of the pitch until wheels have been fitted. Hopefully this will be done in the next few days.

There has been a recent spate of scam e-mails purporting to come from Officers of the club
requesting bank payments etc. We would ask members to remain vigilant in case such e-mails are not captured by your spam filters.

With kind regards
Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 25 October 2016

Top billing goes to the Men’s 2nds this week following their 2-0 victory over Cambridge City 3rds last Saturday at Weybread. After five successive defeats this was a well-deserved and much-needed victory for Lawrence Baynes and his team who have played better hockey this season than their results would suggest. One of the problems has been the team’s almost total reliance on Tristan Baynes for their goals and this was again in evidence when he converted a penalty stroke eight minutes into the second half and when twelve minutes later he powered in a reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle. The City goalkeeper made a series of fine saves to deny Magpies until the penalty stroke and at the other end George Baldwin made two excellent late saves to ensure victory for his team. Jake Sewell sadly suffered a broken thumb during the game. Tristan, Jonty Herschel-Shorland and Jack Hobbs were outstanding in this vital win and it was good to see Simon Hipwell playing again after injury. He claims the victory was all down to him! This Saturday the team are away to Bourne Deeping (12.30).

The day got underway at Weybread with the generally young Men’s 5ths playing a very experienced Norwich Exiles team who gave them few chances but a 3-0 defeat was harsh on Magpies who played some good hockey before conceding in the first half. After the break Andy Johnson went close to equalising at a penalty corner but his shot was marginally too high. Soon afterwards Magpies missed a good chance before Exiles scored on the break. Jude Pottruff was unlucky to see his shot hit the left post and in the final seconds the visitors got their third.

In the only game on the sand-based the Ladies’ 5ths secured a comfortable 5-0 victory over 10-man Thetford and based on their dominance the Magpies’ score could well have been in double figures. Their goals came from captain Jose Tibbenham (2), Grace Collison, Janna Freeman and Laura Betts. It was good to see Laura playing again nine weeks after the birth of Wrenna. MOTM was Georgie Gardens in her first adult match since turning thirteen earlier in the week.

FUN CASINO EVENING Saturday 26 November (7.30pm)
Tickets for this prestigious black tie event are £20 each and are available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

Back to the water-based and the Ladies’ 3rds who were soon two-up against Ipswich 3rds with goals by Katie Kinsella and Amy de Selincourt. Ipswich then came into the game although Magpies rarely looked like losing their grip on the three points. In a hectic last few minutes Katie scored again, Rachel Baynes saved a shot on the line and Kate Russell made it 4-0 to Magpies.

In the final home game of the day the Men’s 3rds were defending their 100% record against Ipswich 2nds and they had the game virtually wrapped up by half time. Tristan Hipper put them ahead with a lopping reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle before Vincent Leruth soon made it 2-0. Phil Cobbald then chipped in with a goal and Gavin Cole made it four with his almost inevitable goal followed by his Cristiano Ronaldo-like pose in celebration! Ipswich pulled a goal back before the interval. 4-1 turned out to be the final score due to Phil going off with an injury, midfield maestro Jon Aldridge replacing Phil at the back and most of the rest of the team deciding to be too clever with their stick skills when a more direct approach was being urged by their loyal band of supporters.

During the game I had to admonish one of my highly trained scoreboard operatives for being slow off the mark with one of the goals. His pathetic excuse was that the remote was caught up with an old crisp packet in his pocket!

Away from home there was mixed success for our teams with wins for the Men’s 1sts and Ladies’ 4ths, draws for the Ladies’ 2nds and Men’s 6ths and defeat for the Ladies’ 1sts and 6ths and Men’s 4ths.

The Men’s’ 1sts moved up to fourth place in East Premier A with a good 4-2 win over Letchworth. They twice went ahead with goals by Ben Wright and Myles King, who had a good game following his promotion from the 2nds, before Letchworth again drew level. Archie Winter put Magpies back in the lead from open play before in the final seconds he put away a penalty corner. After the game the team’s most loyal supporter said all the team played well while Leigh Sitch was ‘marvellous’. ‘Does his ego need any further boosting?’ I say in jest! This Saturday the team are home to Cambridge University (2.00) and let’s hope their performance deserves their first top billing in the column this season.

The Ladies’ 4ths came from behind to beat Loddon 2-1 with their goals coming from Georgie Cantrell who has now scored eight times in three games over the past two weekends. Well done Georgie! The Ladies’ 2nds had a frustrating game against Colchester failing to find the net despite good work down the right by Phoebe Preece and Alice Woollatt. In the end the team was happy to settle for a point in their 0-0 draw as Colchester had numerous second half attacks and they had MOTM Jade Daly in goal to thank for keeping them in the game. This Saturday they host Cambridge University 2nds (12.00). The Men’s 6ths were two down against North Norfolk 2nds but unlike in the first half they had most of the play after the break. Their first goal came from a penalty stroke after Lewis Belsey was fouled by the goalkeeper and Peter Dolton, rested last week prior to the O50s game, stepped up to convert and in the last fifteen seconds David Blackmore converted a penalty corner to give the team their third successive 2-2 draw. The ages of the Magpies’ scorers total, give or take a year or two, 126!

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 1sts were going down to defeat for the first time this season when losing 4-1 to Hampstead and Westminster. Magpies had the boost of a first minute goal by Abby Gooderham before the home team equalised before half time and they took the lead early in the second half. Magpies pressed for the equaliser and had two shots saved on the line before HW extended their lead with clinical finishing. Magpies have Saturday off this week (along with all our other ladies’ teams apart from the 2nds and 3rds) to recharge their batteries prior to some more stern tests ahead.

The Men’s 4ths went down 3-2 to UEA 2nds after the score was 2-2 at half time with all the goals coming from penalty corners. Neil Watson put Magpies ahead with a near post deflection and after the students took the lead Kieran Peters fired in a penalty corner. UEA had the better of the second half and took the lead with a deflected shot. Despite numerous penalty corners Magpies could not find the equaliser. Morgan Manly made a strong debut stepping up from the 5ths and David Cadman again played well. The Ladies’ 6ths went down 8-0 to Yarmouth 2nds.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL OUR TEAMS THIS WEEKEND including those representing the club in the Magpies’ round of the Norfolk Minis at Weybread on Sunday (Girls 9.30, Boys 1.30). Please see the website for the complete list of fixtures.

KAREN RAY – off to Spain
As I mentioned briefly last week the club will be without the invaluable services of Karen for what could well be a few seasons as she is off to spend the winter in Spain with her partner Richard and next season they could well be even further afield. They go with the best wishes of their many friends in the club. Karen has played for the club since the mid-1970s and during that time she has captained several teams including Colts, Mixed, Tournament XIs and the 7ths. She has also been club captain and she has served on various committees including social, development and playing. She has also umpired and she has been a keen supporter of the club’s social events and we hope to see her and Richard at next year’s strawberry luncheon before they are off again. In 2006 Karen was the Female Club Person of the Year and last season she was awarded the Magpie Cup to mark a season of outstanding service. The last two words sum up Karen’s contribution to the club for which in 2015 she was made a vice-president. Throughout the years Karen has quietly carried out her duties with a pleasant smile on her face and has always been willing to help out as evidenced by what she has done this season for the Ladies’ 7ths. Thank you Karen. You will be missed.

BEST WISHES TO THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS who will be representing the Saxon Tigers’ teams (i.e. the East) this week in either the Futures Cup (U18s and U16s) or at HIPAC (High Performance Camp) (U17s) having progressed via Tier 1 of England Hockey’s development system. U18s – Hannah de Selincourt, Abby Gooderham. U17s – Martha Lawrence, Archie Winter. U16s – Lottie Summers, Rose Winter.

Former 2nd team captain Frances Taylor is now playing for Battersea Wanderers with Jess Hull and it was good to see her at the club recently. The following ‘out-on-loan’ Magpies have scored in the national league this season – Jess Bloom and Hannah Coulson (Clifton Robinsons), Tom Graham (Durham University), handball Olympian Louise Jukes (Liverpool Sefton), Molly Redgrove (Chelmsford), Cherry Seaborn (Wimbledon) and Tim Shelley (Doncaster). They will be very welcome back when their loan spells are over!

With kind regards
Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 18 October 2016


Played eight, won eight. What a Saturday it was for our ladies’ teams – and the men didn’t do too badly either on a day when the 1sts hit top form with an emphatic win. In all we had twelve wins, one draw and just two losses in fifteen games with 53 goals for and 20 against.

But the day belonged to the ladies and the 7ths set the ball rolling at Weybread with a 5-0 win over Carrow 2nds with all their goals coming in the first half. After her brace the previous week Evie Tibbenham went one better with a hat-trick following goals by Shirley McAllen and Karen Ray. This was Karen’s last game before her move to Spain for the winter with her partner Richard. Karen has done an enormous amount for the club and will be greatly missed. More about Karen next week.

Karen (sixth left) with her triumphant team-mates
Karen (sixth left) with her triumphant team-mates

Next on the water-based were the in-form and impressive 2nds and they were soon into their stride against Bedford 2nds with goals by Laura Tibbenham and Alice Woollatt. Following a response by the visitors Laura scored again and after the break Kara Kilbourn made it 4-1 to secure victory for her side which has taken ten points from their last four games. This coming Saturday they are away to Colchester (12.30).

On a day almost ideal for playing and watching hockey the question was could the 1sts make things even better for the club on captain Lucy Belsey’s birthday (she is a little over 21!) when they took on Southgate. The answer was ‘yes’ but they twice had to come from behind before making sure of an excellent and exciting 5-3 victory. Former South Africa Olympian Alex Fenwick gave Southgate an early lead with a reverse stick shot after initially appearing to have lost control of the ball and they continued to look dangerous before in a good spell of home pressure Maria Andrews equalised with a reverse stick chip. Fenwick scored again early in the second half but within five minutes Magpies were level when Tor Findlay took a pass from Maria before rounding the goalkeeper for the goal of the game. In the 58th and 59th minutes Lucy Whiting was on hand to convert two penalty corners before Debbie Francis made it 5-2 six minutes later. Fenwick completed her hat-trick in the final minute with another rasping penalty corner conversion. On Saturday Magpies are away to Hampstead and Westminster (1.30).

Over on the sand-based the 4ths were beating Carrow 3-0 with a hat-trick by the prolific Georgie Cantrell. Georgie scored her first from a penalty corner and after the break made the game safe for her team with two open play strikes.

Away from home the wins also kept coming for the ladies’ teams with three points each for the Girls Development and for the 3rds, 5ths and 6ths. Olivia Lapage scored both goals for the Girls’ Development (who have yet to concede a goal this season) in their 2-0 win over Yarmouth. There were encouraging debuts for Abi Lewis (in goal), Maddison Forrest, Hannah Gartland and Megan Dickson while Molly Largent was playing her second game having made her debut the previous week. The 3rds came from behind tobeat IES 2-1 with two goals by Mia King on her welcome return from injury while the 5ths beat Watton 2nds by the same score with goals by sisters Grace and Amy Collison. Grace scored in the first half after good work by Molly Warnes and Ellie Fawkner while Amy scored ten minutes from the end at a penalty corner created by captain and defender Jose Tibbenham.

Meanwhile the 6ths were having a field day beating Watton 3rds 8-0. In a dominant display by captain Gillian Stokes’ team the goals were scored by Beth Moodie (2), Izzy Slade (2), Annie Lancaster, Jenny Meyer, Julie Davy and Lydia Barrett.
Avril Adams
Before the IES versus Ladies’ 3rds match a minute’s silence was held in memory of Avril who so sadly died last Tuesday after her very short battle with cancer. Our condolences go to her husband John and daughter Megan (Brown) and all members of the family on their great loss. In recent seasons Avril, who was a former IES goalkeeper and a much-respected secretary of the Suffolk County HA, has been a regular supporter at Weybread watching Megan play in goal for the club while John has managed the Ladies’ 2nds.
Turning now to the performances of the men’s sides there is no better place to start than with the 9-2 win of the 1sts at Weybread over Chelmsford. This was a timely and encouraging victory with player-coach Ben Wright in commanding form. He scored his 75th first team goal for the club when converting an early penalty stroke. Jack Knight then opened his account for the team with a deft shot from a narrow angle before Ben scored in open play. Archie Winter fired a penalty corner high into the net with Matt Richardson making it 5-0. Chelmsford pulled a goal back just before half time. In the second half Ben took his personal tally to five (and ten for the season) while the visitors converted a penalty corner which seemed to take for ever with the home defenders one by one being ordered from their goal for breaking before the whistle. Sam Paterson completed the scoring with his first for Magpies who this Saturday are away to newly-promoted Letchworth (2.00).

Tickets for this prestigious black tie event are £20 each and are available at the clubhouse bar or from Kevin and Jackie Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. You will be very welcome.

The Boys’ Development, for whom Ben Waters made his debut with a strong performance in defence,moved back to the top of their league alongside Norwich Dragons ‘A’ with a deserved 1-0 win over Norwich City with a goal by Ben Emms while the 4ths were three up at half time against Norwich City 5ths before nearly letting things slip in their 3-2 win. Toby Hughes put them ahead before Kieran Peters scored with a favoured reverse stick shot and he then scored again with some assistance from his father Stuart (or so Stuart claims!). The 6ths were up against UEA 3rds who celebrated as if they had won Olympic gold when they took a first half lead but Andy Smith came to the rescue of his team with a shot he described as a reverse stick undercut. He is now one goal behind 1st team captain Leigh Sitch in their personal battle for goal scoring honours this season! The students took the lead again after the break before Greg Jagger made the final score 2-2. Will Graver played well in goal for Magpies.

Away from home the 2nds went down 6-3 to Bishops Stortford which leaves them still looking for their first point of the season and hopefully it will come this Saturday at home to Cambridge City 3rds (2.00). Magpies went ahead after ten minutes through Myles King who together with Tristan Baynes was the pick of the visiting team. Bishop’s Stortford scored two goals each side of half time before Tristan converted a penalty stroke and at 6-2 down he scored again with a late drag flick. Meanwhile the 3rds maintained their one hundred percent start to the season coming from behind to beat Bury St Edmunds 2nds 3-1. Gavin Cole brought them level with his eighth goal of the season before Phil Cobbald put away a penalty stroke. Captain Matt Brand then converted a penalty corner with a drag flick to ensure victory. The 5ths were up against Bury St Edmunds 5ths in a game which was decided by a couple of umpiring decisions. BSE took the lead before Arthur Johnson equalised for Magpies following up a save from his own shot. The home team then made the final score 2-1 in their favour converting a penalty corner when Magpies, who deserved a point, were reduced to ten players.

On Sunday the club had another good day with four of our teams playing away in England Hockey events. In their cup matches the Men’s O50s edged past Bury St Edmunds 4-3 on penalty strokes after conceding a late goal in a 3-3 draw (Phil Cobbald 2, Duncan Cogdell) in normal time while the U18 Girls beat Old Loughtonians 9-3 with goals by Hannah de Selincourt (4), Alice Woollatt, Abby Gooderham (2) and Tor Findlay (2). Meanwhile in league action the U14 Girls drew 3-3 with Norwich City with another hat-trick by Georgie Cantrell while the U14 Boys beat Bury St Edmunds 10-1. Seven of their goals were scored by Jude Pottruff in a remarkable personal performance while the others came from Ben Emms (2) and Michael Ahrens.

Good luck to all our teams this Saturday. Please see the website for the complete list of fixtures.

Please see the website for recent winners
((including September and October 2016) and for how to join. If you are not already a member you will be very welcome. NB. If you are a member have you paid your annual sub yet please? Notices went out in August. If you have paid ‘thank you’.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

Girls U18’s vs Old Loughtonians

We set off with a depleted but very capable team to play Old Loughtonions away in the first round of the cup.

Magpies started the game well and the result of early pressure was a goal scored in the first 5 minutes by Hannah de Selincourt. The lead didn’t last for long as Old Loughtonions equalised with a soft goal. Abby Gooderham quickly made the score 1-3 with 2 goals in the space of 5 minutes.

Old Loughtonions continued to look dangerous in the magpies D and looked capable of scoring. Alice Woollatt scored to make it 1-4 only for Old Loughtonions to pull a goal back, just before half time Hannah made it 2-5.

Old Loughtonions came out strongly after the break and reduced the score to 3-5. This was their last goal as magpies fitness showed and they dominated the final quarter of the match. Hannah made it 3-6 and Tor Findlay scored a quick brace to make it 3-8.

This performance was not helped by the downpour just before half time resulting in the pitch flooding and a change of pitches for the 2nd half.

A very good team performance was rounded off with a goal from Hannah to make the final score 3-9.

Many thanks to Rob Sorrell for coaching and to Nikki Butcher for umpiring.

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 11 October 2016


The Men’s 3rds retained their position as the club’s most successful team so far this season beating Norwich City 4ths 5-0 at Weybread last Saturday with their fourth victory from four games. Captain Matt Brand fired them ahead at a penalty corner on twenty minutes and thereafter there was no doubt which team was going to win. Gavin Cole then won the ball and centred from the left for Phil Cobbald to unleash a firm shot high into the net and seconds before half time Luke Edwards gave the game the scoreline the Magpies’ performance deserved. The home side was slow to get going after the break but they rarely looked in danger of conceding a goal. Midway through the half Luke popped up with his second and on the cusp of full time Gavin maintained his record of scoring in every game so far. In the second half vice-captain Jack Richards had the misfortune to lose half of a top front tooth when deflecting an aerial pass into his face. This coming Saturday the team are away to Bury St Edmunds 2nds (11.30).

An equally good performance was achieved by the Men’s 5ths in the previous match on the water-based when they beat North Norfolk 2nds 2-0. The Magpies’ team was a good blend of youth and experience and it was youth in the very promising form of Jude Pottruff who put them ahead on five minutes with a confident strike before the experienced Chris Hall, playing again after a break of 21 years, scored from close range. Chris’s son Oli was also making his mark on the game with a sound display in the left of defence while Andy Hipwell was in sparkling form in the middle constantly bringing his young colleagues into the game with his accurate short and long passing. Magpies’ form dipped a little in the second half and they were grateful for some good saves and a clean sheet by goalkeeper James Harvey. Also pleasing in good team performance was the promising debut by Jack Largent.

The Ladies’ 7ths were first into action when they entertained Hornets and despite having plenty of the ball somehow found themselves three down at half time. They rallied in the second half and two goals by Evie Tibbenham brought them back into the game but despite continuing to dominate they could not find the equaliser they deserved going down 3-2. At one stage the ‘crowd’ consisted of your scribe and a very pleasant lady who was supporting Hornets but we decided that crowd segregation was not necessary!

The Men’s 2nds lost 4-2 at home to East London and while the visitors looked the sharper side Magpies could have got a draw. The first half was a tale of three converted penalty corners with East London scoring both sides of a good conversion by Tristan Baynes while the second half revolved around two glaring misses by Magpies. Both chances were created by good runs and centres by Matt Bensly but both went begging. The visitors showed their gratitude with another penalty corner conversion with three minutes remaining and a minute later scored again with the easiest of chances after a missed tackle in the home defence. Tristan converted another penalty corner with the last hit of the game. Magpies are a far better team than their four defeats to-date would suggest but they must take their chances and hopefully they will do so on Saturday away to Bishops Stortford (1.30).

In other home games there was a win for the Girls’ Development and defeats for the Ladies’ 3rds and Ladies’ 6ths. The Girls beat Pelicans 4-0 with goals by Olivia Lapage, Anna Cogdell, Ellen Pope and Evie Brice and despite the scoreline player-manager Sandra Elliner said the Girls did not play as well as they did the previous week away to Norwich City which says a lot for that performance as they were always in charge against the Kings Lynn side. The Ladies’ 6ths went down 4-1 to Evergreens 2nds with their goal coming from First Thepcharoen while the Ladies’ 3rds,who are still a team in transition with several of last season’s team having been promoted, lost 2-1 to North Norfolk. They had a lot of possession and Kathryn Bullen put them ahead before the visitors hit back to clinch victory.

Eight of our teams were away last Saturday with seven of them getting at least a point to show for their efforts with the exception being the Ladies’ 5ths who went down 2-1 (Jose Tibbenham) to Reepham. There were contrasting fortunes at the end of the matches involving the Ladies’ 1sts and the Men’s 1sts. While the Ladies were snatching a point with a 68th minute equaliser by Lizzie Clymer in their 2-2 draw with St Albans the Men were conceding a goal with five seconds remaining in their 3-3 draw with Ipswich. Maria Andrews put Magpies ahead in the first half against St Albans with a trademark reverse stick shot after good play by Kara Kilbourn and Debbie McAllen. Magpies continued to create chances in the second half but by now the home team were growing in confidence and they went ahead scoring in open play and from a penalty corner before Lizzie’s equaliser after Lucy Whiting had forced an error in the home defence. This Saturday Magpies are home to Southgate (2.00). The Men were twice ahead against Ipswich, for whom ex-Magpies captain Mark Wheelhouse was in good form, before poor marking on the edge of the circle allowed the home team their late equaliser. Earlier Leigh Sitch (the team’s second highest goal scorer!) had equalised for Magpies at a penalty corner before a brace by Ben Wright. The team are at home to Chelmsford on Saturday (3.45).

The away performance of the day was achieved by the Ladies’ 2nds who beat hitherto one hundred percenters City of Peterborough 3-1. They went ahead in the first half when Laura Tibbenham slipped the ball left at a penalty corner to fellow joint captain Plum Sweet who made no mistake. Olivia Locke then set up Laura for a one-on-one and Laura struck again from a penalty corner in the second half before Peterborough got a consolation. Despite the scoreline this was a really tough game for Magpies who had to withstand a huge amount of pressure but fortunately MOTM goalkeeper Holly Riches was again in fine form keeping her team in the game. This Saturday Magpies entertain Bedford 2nds (12.00).

NB. All three Tibbenham ladies scored on Saturday, i.e. Jose (mum),  Laura (daughter) and Evie (daughter-in-law). A unique record for the club?

Eagle-eyed equipment controller Kirstin Cumming tells me that she can see from the clubhouse that several players are not wearing the correct socks. If you are guilty you have been warned! Club socks are white with black tops and are available from the online shop or from Kirstin in the clubhouse. Kirstin reminds all members to visit the online shop (top left on the website) from time to time to have a look at the range of items on sale.

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 4ths were winning 2-1 for the second successive week in beating Evergreens in a keenly contested match. Magpies dominated the first half but had to wait until after the break before taking the lead which they did through Imi Meynell-Anderson. Evergreens were soon back on level terms despite being a carded player down. Magpies responded and MOTM Amelia Herschel-Shorland combined with Georgie Cantrell to force a penalty corner which led to a penalty stroke. Georgie stepped forward and calmly converted to give her team a hard earned victory thanks to their work rate and resolute attitude.

The Men’s 4ths did well to recover from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Norwich Dragons 4ths. Right defender Max Warde-Aldam and right midfielder David Cadman were in good form for Magpies who pulled a goal back midway through the second half through David before Kieran Peters despatched a rebound from his shot at a penalty corner into the top left. After umpiring earlier in the day it was good to see Quentin Baynes playing his first game of the season due to business commitments. I had told him earlier in the week if we didn’t see him shortly he should perhaps attend the Back to Hockey course!

The Men’s 6ths got their first point of the season when drawing 2-2 with Sudbury 3rds. Magpies controlled the first fifteen minutes due in no small part to good play by Simon Newberry and David Johnson. In-form captain Eric Davy then put them ahead from a penalty corner before they conceded a soft goal followed by a penalty stroke against the run of play. Magpies equalised before half time through Eric with his second but they failed to get the winner in an even second half.

After drawing 4-4 with Norwich Dragons A the previous week the Boys Development beat Dragons B 6-3 with four goals by Sam Emms (adding to the couple he scored against Dragons A) and one each by Freddie Herschel-Shorland and Joe Wicks. There were promising debuts by Elliot Cooper, Oliver Bardwell and goalkeeper Luca Tonkin.

Last Sunday the club fielded nine teams in the Norwich Dragons Minis and all did the club proud with two winning their events and three coming second. Please see the website for all the results.

This coming Sunday the U14, U16 and U18 Girls and the U14 and U16 Boys are in EH cup or league action and they are joined by the Men’s O50s. Unfortunately after entering the Ladies’ O35s the club has been given a first round walkover by Harpenden.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend. Please see the website for the complete list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham

MIKE’S MUSINGS – 4 October 2016


It is a toss up this week between the Men’s 4ths and the Ladies’ 2nds for top billing as both gained equally impressive home wins last Saturday. But I will give it to the Men’s 4ths for no other reason than that they got the day off to an encouraging start with their 4-0 win over Norwich Dragons 3rds for whom it was good to see ex-Magpies James and Rob Goodson playing. Magpies won by virtue of taking their chances in a game far tighter than the score would suggest. Ben Kilburn put Magpies ahead in the first half from a penalty corner before Magpies scored three excellent open play goals after the break. Lewis Belsey sped down the right and his centre was converted in fine style by Alex Kilbourn. Tom Norton soon made it 3-0 with a neat finish and Toby Tibbenham, making a welcome appearance, completed the scoring.

The Ladies’ 2nds deservedly beat Norwich Dragons 2nds 3-0 to record their first win of the season after their tough last second defeat away to Dereham and their home draw with Lindum. Laura Tibbenham gave them the lead midway through the first half with a typically classy finish from a pass from Alice Woollatt and Hannah de Selincourt quickly made it 2-0 following a deft pass from Laura. Goalkeeper Holly Riches, who was in top form, then came off her line to save a certain goal before in-form Alice scored what turned out to be the last goal of the game. Magpies continued to press forward but found Dragons, who included ex-Magpies 1st team captain Donna Vaughan making a welcome return to Weybread, far more resolute in the second half of a very watchable game.

Next into action were the Ladies’ 1sts and in Cambridge City they were facing their toughest opposition of the season and this was confirmed when City took advantage of hesitancy in the home defence to take an early lead. Thereafter Magpies, with their youthful and skilful forwards surging forward, looked the more likely team to score but as chances came and went (both sides of a torrential half time downpour) the home supporters were beginning to think the game was destined to be decided by the one goal. But with fifteen minutes to go Maria Andrews was on hand with a thoroughly deserved equaliser while City rarely looked likely to add to their score against a sound Magpies’ defence in which Charlie Harrison was in excellent form. This coming Saturday Magpies are away to St Albans (1.00) where they are sure of another searching examination despite St Albans’ slow start to the season.

It was really good to see David Brook watching the City game and he knows that his many friends at the club wish him all the very best for the treatment he is receiving for his illness. We look forward to seeing David at the club again whenever he feels well enough to attend.

By now the water-based was living up to its name and next into action on it were the Men’s 1sts who were taking on City of Peterborough. Magpies took the lead on ten minutes when Ben Wright deflected the ball through the legs of the goalkeeper. But they were soon behind, despite some good saves by MOTM John Livings in goal, when Peterborough converted a penalty corner before an aerial caused confusion in the home defence. While not appearing to be as threatening in attack as their opponents Magpies gained a host of penalty corners without any success due in no small part to some determined and skilful defending. The visitors then took advantage of a penalty stroke awarded for a clash of sticks on the edge of the circle (this column never criticises umpiring decisions!) and shortly afterwards a seemingly innocuous shot crept into the home net. Thereafter to their credit the home team fought back with goals by Matt Richardson and Robbie Kinsella but they could not find the equaliser. After two defeats in their first three games Magpies need a win away to Ipswich this Saturday (11.00).

Saturday 15 October 2016 – Sunningdale Suite, Dunston Hall, Norwich, NR14 8PQ
Magpies’ members Robbie and Katie Kinsella invite you to this event to raise funds for the charity which is very close to their hearts as their charming young daughter Evie is a severe allergy sufferer.
Tickets are £45 each with all proceeds going to the charity. The evening includes a three course dinner, auction, entertainment and dancing commencing with a champagne reception at 7.00pm. Black tie. Carriages at midnight. Tickets are on sale until this coming weekend. Please contact Robbie at or Katie at

Following on from what was issued last week I am pleased to include some words from James Smith who has headed up the campaign.

Dear Magpie

Following the success of the GB Women’s Hockey Team in Rio the Hockey family is keen to spread the word about the attractions of our sport. We hope you can help promote the club and the enjoyment of hockey by circulating the poster issued last week (and which is also on the club’s website) to any friends, neighbours, relations or work colleagues who might be interested in taking part.

Alternatively if you are able to display a copy of the poster in your local post office, village stores, sports centre, library, supermarket, primary school notice board please do. Either print a copy issued last week or from the website or collect a hard copy from the bar in the clubhouse.

The poster has already gone live on the club’s Facebook page and twitter account. Please look out for this and then “Like It”. The more we ‘Like’ our promotions the wider our message spreads.

Thank you    James Smith

On the other pitch two goals by Georgie Cantrell gave the Ladies’ 4ths a 2-1 win over Norwich Dragons 4ths and the Ladies’ 5ths won by the same scoreline against Pelicans 2nds with goals by Molly Warnes and Janna Freeman. Between these games the Men’s 6ths were lucky to be only one down at half time to Watton. But after conceding two more goals soon after the break they mounted a determined fight back with goals by captain Eric Davy and Mark Ash before losing 3-2.

Away from home the Men’s 3rds recorded their third successive win beating Norwich Dragons 2nds 5-1 and they are now three points clear at the top of their league assuming positions count for anything at this early stage of the season. Their goals were scored by Luke Edwards, Jon Aldridge, Phil Cobbald, Greg Jagger and Gavin Cole. The young Men’s 5ths dominated the early stages of their game against Sudbury 3rds before having to survive torrential rain and a break due to lightning with the score at 0-0. Against the run of play Sudbury scored from their only penalty corner before Magpies responded quickly through Andy Caston but they were unable to find the winner with the very enjoyable game finishing 1-1. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 6ths won for the second time in their three games beating Pelicans 3rds 1-0. Magpies, who made several changes from the previous week due to illness, were the stronger team throughout with Jenny Meyer earning the MOTM accolade for her impressive left wing performance. Lydia Barrett scored the second half winner on her debut.

The Development sides both played well in Norwich in their first competitive matches of the season with the young Boys side (aged 10-13), with Joe Wicks and Ollie Currie and others making promising debuts, drawing 4-4 with Dragons A with their goals coming from Sam Emms and Ben Emms with two apiece. Meanwhile the Girls had the majority of the play against City winning 1-0 with their first half goal scored by Georgie Gardens.

The Men’s 2nds went down 4-1 (Tristan Baynes) to Long Sutton and they will hope for better luck when they entertain East London on Saturday (2.00) and the Ladies’ 3rds lost 3-0 against Watton.

Well done to all our teams who did so well in last Sunday’s Norwich City Minis.

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

CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to the following members who have progressed via Tier 1 of England Hockey’s development system (i.e. the Single System) to the Saxon Tigers’ teams (i.e. the East).

U18 – Hannah de Selincourt (non-travelling reserve), Abby Gooderham. U17 – Martha Lawrence, Archie Winter. U16 – Lottie Summers, Rose Winter. The U18s and U16s go forward later this month to the Futures Cups while the U17s go forward to HIPAC (High Performance Camp).

It is to be hoped that our members who have not made it through to the Futures Cups or HIPAC will remember that they did very well to reach Tier 1 from the Bury JRPC and it is also hoped that the experience they have gained will help them to further develop their hockey skills for future advancement.

QUIZ NIGHT – this event last Saturday was a big success and thanks are due to the many members and friends who attended and to organiser Joe Cooksey, the chairman of the club’s fund raising and social committee.

It is ‘best wishes and thanks’ to Mike Eastaugh the club’s gardener who has gone to live in Lancashire. Mike has given first class service to the club over the past three years and he will be greatly missed not only for his gardening but for the many other tasks he has skilfully carried out at the club.

With kind regards

Mike Denham