Category Archives: U18 Boys reports


Boys U18 Team V Norwich Dragons L 1-3

It was a sunny Autumn day down at Dragons Hockey club.
Magpies with the help from Vicki and Nicky managed to eventually bring a team of 11 together and with the kind help of Tim Whiteman to manage the team.
The match started off with good passages of play on and off the ball and our defence matched our determination.
Magpies gained the first penalty corner and Raunaq Rai scored first with a drag flick going top right corner of the net within the first 15 minutes.
Magpies then defended 6 short corners in the first half of the match from a determined Dragons side and some great saving from our goalkeeper Ollie Juszt kept the score 1-0 to Magpies up until half time.
After half time Dragons scored an unexpected, fast-paced goal within minutes to equalise the match and then Dragons took a short corner and scored to make it 2-1.
With no subs, all the players started to tire but they never gave up. They continued to make more promising chances but sadly could not find the back of the net. The match finished 1-3.
The boys should be very proud of their play without any practice as a team and showed a very good attitude throughout the game.

Thank you to all for stepping up to represent Magpies.

Youth Awards 2018

Harleston Magpies celebrate their best season yet at annual youth awards!

Harleston Magpies Hockey Club Youth Section has had an exceptional year.  Every age group from U10s to U18s, boys and girls, have something to be proud of. Many squads have achieved the highest level possible with national final appearances including the U12 girls, U14 boys and girls and semi-final finishes for both the boys and girls U18s.

On Friday 19 May at Magpies clubhouse, it was all about celebrating this success and recognising the hard work of every player, all team officials, the army of volunteer coaches and assistants and of course the fleet of mum and dad taxi’s!

Over 120 children played games throughout the early evening and then crowded into the clubhouse to see the lucky recipients of the highly prized annual awards, presented by stars of Magpies 1st teams and former junior members, Rose Winter and Jack Hobbs.

The Magpies junior section was also delighted to welcome Andrew Longe, Honorary Life member of Harleston Magpies to present the Longe Trophy for outstanding Youth Coaching services.  Since 1994 Andrew has wanted to shine a light on unsung heros in the youth section, those coaches who tirelessly strive to deliver high calibre coaching, giving up evening after evening year after year and this year the entire room agreed that Chris Flatt was a more than worthy winner of the award for his work with Magpies junior goal keepers (pictured Chris Flatt and Andrew Longe).

Club Youth Chairman David Johnson was thrilled at the turnout for the evening, saying: ‘Our awards evening is always a terrific night made even better this year with a glorious summers evening.  It was really good to see youngsters from across the age groups mixed up and playing some hockey whilst parents mingled and supported from the side lines before everyone came into the clubhouse for the awards presentation.  Well done to all the winners on the night but equally important well done to all who have been part of Magpies youth system. It really has been an exceptional season which everyone can take some credit for.”

[For pictures of the  prize winners see below]

David Johnson continued: ‘This year’s event was even more special because before the evenings’ entertainment, Magpies hosted a quick sticks hockey coaching and mini tournament afternoon for three local primary schools. This introduced hockey and Magpies to over 70 year three and four pupils from Pulham, Dickleburgh and Newton Flotman primary schools.  We hope many will come back and take part in the clubs summer hockey taster sessions in June’.

For more information email  Our thanks go out to Lauren Goodswen the Sports Coordinator for the Harleston and Diss Primary school pyramid to enable this to happen.

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


Development Most Improved Boy
Development Most Improved Boy
Development Most Improved Girl
Development Most Improved Girl
Development Player of Season Boy
Development Player of Season Boy
Development Player of Season Girl
Development Player of Season Girl
Development Special Award Girl
Development Special Award Girl
U9 Most Improved Boy
U9 Most Improved Boy
U9 Most Improved girl
U9 Most Improved girl
U9 Player of Season Boy
U9 Player of Season Boy
U9 Player of Season Girl
U9 Player of Season Girl
U10 Girl special award
U10 Girl special award
U10 Most Improved Boy
U10 Most Improved Boy
U10 Most Improved Girl
U10 Most Improved Girl
U10 Player of Season Boy
U10 Player of Season Boy
U10 Player of the Season Girl
U10 Player of the Season Girl
U11 Most Improved Boy
U11 Most Improved Boy
U11 Most Improved Girl
U11 Most Improved Girl
U11 Player of Season Boy
U11 Player of Season Boy
U11 Players of the Season Girls
U11 Players of the Season Girls
U12 Most Improved Boy
U12 Most Improved Boy
U12 Most Improved Player Girl
U12 Most Improved Player Girl
U12 Player of Season Boy
U12 Player of Season Boy
U12 Players of the Season Girls
U13 Most Improved Girl
U13 Most Improved Girl
U13 Player of Season Boy
U13 Player of Season Boy
U13 Player of Season Girl
U13 Player of Season Girl
U14 Most Improved Boy
U14 Most Improved Boy
U14 Most Improved Girl
U14 Most Improved Girl
U14 Player of Season Boy
U14 Player of Season Boy
U14 Player of Season Girl
U14 Player of Season Girl
U15 Player of Season Boy
U15 Player of Season Boy
U15 Player of Season Girl
U15 Player of Season Girl
Youth Coach of the Season
Youth Coach of the Season


Boys U18 v Marlow ( EH U18 Cup L 2-4)

Magpies U18 boys travelled to Marlow in the semi-final of the national competition on Sunday and, in front of a big home crowd, both sides played a out a very entertaining match. With home advantage, Marlow started strongly but Magpies defended resolutely and then, very much against the run of play, opened the scoring. A firmly struck ball found Bensly in the circle who deftly deflected the ball past the Marlow keeper and into the back of the net. The next 10-minues saw Magpies get a foothold into the game only to concede a break away goal having committed too many players to attack. The game swung back into Marlow’s favour and they took the lead when they finally scored after a succession of short-corners. Magpies remained in the game and should have equalised before half-time when a slick move between Bensly and Sewell saw the final shot go just wide. Half-time 2-1 to Marlow.

Following a spirited half-time team talk Magpies started the second half well and were rewarded when Bensly scored his second with a spectacular first time shot from the top of the Marlow circle. Unfortunately, Magpies got caught again on the counter to concede a third goal and before they had time to catch their breath Marlow scored a fourth from another short-corner. However, with plenty of time left Magpies settled down, took control of the game and a tense finish looked on the cards. The final 10-minutes saw Magpies force chance after chance but were just unable to apply the final touch. Then, with the goal begging a Marlow defender illegally stopped the ball on the line but, from the ensuing penalty flick, Magpies missed the chance. Marlow continued to defend resolutely and despite Magpies dominating possession and creating further chances the game finished with no further goals. Final score 4-2 to Marlow.

This was an excellent game of hockey with both sides playing with great passion and skill. Ultimately, the game was decided by small margins with Marlow fully capitalising on the chances they created and Magpies rueing the number of chances they missed, particularly in the second half. This game was the culmination of 10-years hard work from a committed and talented bunch of boys who have carried forward the Magpies tradition of playing free-flowing and totally committed hockey.

Special thanks to Richard Larkin, Andrew Bedwell and Tim Whiteman for the excellent coaching sessions leading up to Sunday’s game and to all the parents for their support this year and for many years before.




Boys U18 Team v Rugby & East Warwickshire
( Home (EH -18 Cup) W 2-1)

Magpies welcomed Rugby to the nest in the quarter-final of the U18 Tier 1 National competition. After a good warm-up Magpies settled quickly and forced the early pace. However, against the run of play Rugby launched a counter attack and opened the scoring from a short-corner. Undeterred, Magpies dominated possession, forcing a series of short-corners and deservedly equalised when Winter powerfully drag-flicked into the top right corner. Rugby defended resolutely but Magpies always looked dangerous and took the lead through another Winter drag-flick. Halftime score 2-1.

The second half was a more even affair with both sides enjoying plenty of possession but without creating any clear cut chances. Magpies then upped the tempo and should have extended their lead but Hunt shot just wide, Winter narrowly missed from another drag-flick and the Rugby keeper made a couple of good saves. With time running out Rugby won a short-corner but Graver made a good save with Peters completing the clearance. That proved the last chance of the game. Magpies deservedly winning 2-1.

Thanks to all the supporters for their encouragement and for the army of helpers in the kitchen. Special thanks to Andy Bedwell for his valuable input into the pre-match and halftime team talks.

Squad – W Graver, W Simpson, G Hunt, K Peters, J Sewell, J Hobbs, A Winter, J Summers, J Pottruff, C Woodcock, M Bensly, D Cadman, W Do


Boys U18 v Saffron Walden (Away (EHC) W 4-1)

Harleston Magpies U18 won a tough encounter against Saffron Walden to progress to the quarter finals of England Hockeys National U18 Cup Competition.
Starting brightly Magpies scored within two minutes when a great break and then cross by Matt Bensly found Jake Sewell who score at the far post. They doubled their lead from a short corner after the initial shot was saved but Jolyon Summers picked up the rebound and calmly slotted home. Ben Watson then made it 3-0 with a strong run and reverse stick strike.
The second half was a more even affair with both sides creating chances and neither side really taking control of the game. Saffron Walden scored to reduce the arrears but the goal spurred Magpies on and it was no surprise when Ben Watson scored his second with another powerful strike. Magpies controlled the final minutes of the game to run out 4-1 winners.
Thanks to Saffron Walden for their hospitality and to the strong contingent of Magpies supporters who made the trip. Plus, a big thanks to James Smith for umpiring.

U18 Boys Match Report 15th October 2017

U18 Boys vs Norwich City U18 (Away (C) W 2-0)

A very competitive match saw Magpies take the honours making the most of the chances they created and being indebted to their goalkeeper for making a number of fine saves, particularly in the first half.

The game started at a frenetic pace with neither side really taking control. City looked dangerous on the counter-attack and having soaked up some early pressure threatened to take the lead but couldn’t find a way past Will Graver in the Harleston goal. With Archie Winter working tirelessly in midfield Magpies started to enjoy more possession, winning a couple of penalty corners but failing to capitalise on them. Then from another corner, the initial shot was well saved but Winter jumped on the rebound and calmly lifted the ball into the goal. Half-time 1-0′ to Magpies.

The second half continued in the same vein with Magpies having reasonable possession and City looking dangerous on the counter-attack. Magpies doubled their lead when Ben Watson slotted home from a short corner. With both sides tiring in the hot conditions the last few minutes were scrappy with lots of turnover ball and end-to-end play with neither side looking like scoring. Final score 2-0 to Magpies.

A very good game of hockey played between two very even and talented sides. Whilst Magpies took the honours both sides played some very good hockey and, but for some great goalkeeping, the result could have a silky been a win fat r the home team.

After the game Coach Peters said “This was a tough game, against quality opposition. Our work rate was excellent but we  need to work really hard on our ball pace in the next round”.

Squad W. Graver (GK), W. Donsworth, W. Simpson, J. Hobbs (VC), K. Peters, C. Woodcock, A. Winter (Capt), G. Hunt, C. Cadman, J. Sewell, A. Kilbourn, M. Bensly & B. Watson

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

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

Surbiton 6 – 1 Magpies

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

Ashmoor 2 – 3 Magpies

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

Timperley 2 – 5 Magpies

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

Lichfield 1 – 5 Magpies

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

Canterbury 4 – 2 Magpies

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

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

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

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

Coach – Richard Larkin

Manager – Stuart Peters

Match report – U18 Boys – Saturday 10 December 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stuart Peters (manager)

Match report – U18 Boys v Norwich Dragons U18 Boys – Sunday 20 November 2016

Magpies U18 Boys 2 Norwich Dragons U18 Boys 2
Dragons won 5-4 on penalty strokes

Magpies boys went into the game looking to avenge their defeat to Dragons in the indoors the previous week. The game started at a fast pace with Magpies enjoying plenty of possession. Unfortunately, a lapse of concentration at the back, a poor tackle resulting in a yellow card and the resultant short corner saw Dragons open the scoring. Undeterred, Magpies continued to push forward with Sam Paterson dominating midfield and the forwards of Matt Bensly and Sol Barker, ably supported by Myles King causing the Dragons defenders lots of problems. Eventually, Magpies scored when Sam Paterson worked his way into the circle and coolly slotted the ball home. Despite forcing a few more chances Magpies couldn’t score again. Halftime 1-1.

The second half was an even affair with Magpies just edging possession but not being able to find a way past the Dragons defence. From one drag flick the Dragons defender on the line superbly deflected the ball over the crossbar. The move of the game, starting with Kieran Peters moving the ball swiftly into the right channel for Matt Bensly to pick up, resulted in Jolyon Summers neatly scoring from the middle of the circle. At this stage, Magpies looked the most likely winner and forced a couple of more chances to extend their lead. However, as at the start of the game a moment of indiscipline led to a Dragons short corner. Despite breaking up the initial shot the ball fell to Ben Watson who smashed the ball into the far corner for the equaliser. Dragons then spent the last few minutes on the attack and Magpies were grateful to hear the final whistle. Final score 2-2.

The game was decided on penalty strokes where Dragons won 5-4 on sudden death! Well done to Sam Paterson, Sol Barker, Matt Bensly, Jack Hobbs and Myles King for stepping up to take a flick.

This was a good game of U18 hockey with both teams playing very well and entertaining the crowd. Thanks to the umpires Richard Larkin and Jon Price for umpiring the game very well.

Good luck to Dragons in the next round.

Match report – U18 Boys at National Indoor Club Finals 23/24 January 2016



Magpies Boys U18s travelled to Nottingham seeking national glory against the best clubs in England. The first day started strongly, with Harleston opening their account with an important opening 5-3 win against a very strong Surbiton side. This set the tone for the weekend and gave Magpies confidence going forward into the rest of the tournament. Next up were Ashmoor Hockey club; Harleston scored freely playing very attacking hockey, spreading the goals around the squad nicely in a 7-1 victory, leaving them leading their pool at the end of the first day.

The second day began by pitting the Norfolk side up against an improving City of York. Magpies again played strongly and ran out comfortable 5-0 winners, with Zum Akhter again showing his short corner scoring prowess. Needing only a draw from their final pool game to top the group, Magpies ground out a 3-1 win against a very strong Stourport team, in a cagey match, setting up a semi final clash against fellow East team, City of Peterborough. Magpies had used their squad well meaning the team was still fresh enough to further raise their game, delivering their best performance so far. Zum Akhter again put on a masterclass from the back scoring a memorable reverse stick goal and with goalkeeper Donnie Archer in top form making some breathtaking saves, Magpies were able to hold on win 5-2 in convincing fashion, earning a spot in the final against tournament favourites, the star-studded, Beeston. Magpies were in inspired form and played at a high intensity that Beeston couldn’t match. An early Akhter penalty stroke followed by a mazy solo dribble and the goal of the tournament from Toby Price set Magpies up well at half time. Beeston pulled one back, but a trademark Akhter flick gave Harleston Magpies the cushion they needed to hold on for a 3-1 win.

This really was an incredible performance by the Magpies boys squad, finishing their Magpies junior careers on the highest possible note by crowning themselves champions of England and the announcing themselves as the best junior team in the country.

Richard Larkin

NB. A fuller report will follow later.

Magpies U18 Boys National Indoor Finals Tournament Report

After January’s tournament was postponed because of weather, Magpies waited until Late April to play their national finals. Despite the shortened matches and the unavailability of Rhodri Furlong (who was training with the Wales senior squad) it was well worth the wait.

Arriving with a small squad of 8 and playing in a first national finals against some formidable hockey clubs were all reasons why magpies would be excused to start nervously against Doncaster in their first match. However, after settling into the game, Magpies asserted their superiority. Thomas Ridley moving the ball wide of the keeper before sliding it low into the goal with a reverse stick finish. The match remained fairly even with Doncaster equalising with a scrambled goal after the ball was only half cleared from the Magpies defence. However, with only a few minutes remaining, a strong run and powerful pass by Tom Graham found the willing Mitchell Tompkins who finished smartly at the back post to make the score 2-1. Magpies were still made to work hard for their win, as when with seconds remaining Doncaster found a foot in the circle to create a final chance to equalise from a full time short corner. Magpies had the outstanding James Graham to thank for rushing out and saving the shot high over the baseline to complete a 2-1 victory and a very pleasing start.

After a short rest Magpies had found their feet and were ready for a match turned out to be the crucial one of the pool against Bath Buccaneers. Magpies looking very solid as a defensive unit with the whole squad working hard for each other to limit the opportunities for their opponents, but with short corners being left unconverted, it looked like the match may have been heading for a rare 0-0 draw. Luckily Dom Absolon showed great determination and strength in the circle to force a late winner with an accurate finish. Magpies played out the last few minutes with good composure and made their 62% match possession tell (Stat credit to Andrew Johnson) to finish as 1-0 victors.

Magpies were next focusing on the major scalp of Beeston, who had previously ended the outdoor squad’s cup run. Eyes were drawn to Beeston’s talented central player, but the well thought out strategy saw man of the moment Thomas Ridley nullify the threat who had terrorised other opponents. Beeston still threatened through other outlets and opened the scoring from a penalty stroke after the umpire had adjudged the ball hit the arm of a Magpies defender on the way to the goal. With the introduction of Giles Flatt causing problems for Beeston with his size and strength, Magpies got the goal their play had deserved through Dom Absolon and a victory looked well within grasp. However despite an end to end finale which saw v-drag after damaging v-drag from Tom Graham and the defensive pair of Will Blyth and George Anthony excel time and again, Beeston scored the winner, with appeals for a lifted ball falling on deaf ears.

Two wins and one loss meant that Magpies had to win the final game against reigning champions Wycombe to qualify for the semi-finals. After an inspirational pre-match talk Magpies were suitably prepared for the match ahead. Right from the start Magpies superiority was made clear when Will Blyth converted well from a rebound at a corner. As Wycombe pushed on to get back to level terms, Blyth’s tackle count just kept on rising allowing for more attacks from the frontline with the ball skills of Tom Graham causing particular damage. Goals for Absolon and Ridley were inevitable and Graham joined the list of scorers with one of his own ending the match total at 4-0, completing Magpies’ 2nd clean sheet of the day and blazing a very convincing trail into the semi finals with their best performance of the day.

Magpies met City of Peterborough in the semi finals. Unfortunately Magpies were not able to re-create the sparkling form they had shown in their previous match with tiredness perhaps starting to creep in after a long day. Peterborough opened the scoring when James Graham in the Magpies goal was finally beaten by a cruel deflection from a short corner (which was to be the only goal he let in from a corner in the whole tournament!). As Magpies gave everything to push forward for an equaliser, gaps started to appear in the otherwise watertight press leading to Peterborough scoring a second goal to which their was no way back for Magpies and the dream of a national title was ended.

The tournament was won by worthy winners Beeston, with Magpies finishing joint 3rd. The squad can be very proud of themselves after all 8 players brought their A games to the national finals and worked so hard for each other in a display which has to go down as the most impressive indoor team showing since Magpies last won the national U18 title 10 years ago. For many of the boys this was the last performance for Magpies as a junior and gladly it has come in such a positive manner. It has been a pleasure for us to help out with a team which have shown such great attitude and team spirit at this tournament and throughout the season and who are a real credit to both themselves and the club.

Magpies Squad: James Graham (GK), Will Blyth (C), George Anthony, Thomas Ridley, Tom Graham, Dom Absolon, Giles Flatt, Mitchell Tompkins.
Manager: Bertie Steggles
Coach: Richard Larkin

Magpies player of tournament: Thomas Ridley

Tournament report written by Richard Larkin

Beeston U18 Boys 4 Harleston Magpies U18 Boys 1 – Sunday 3 March 2013

U18 match report

After goals from some of the U18 players on Saturday we went into our quarter-final match v Beeston with high hopes. Magpies set off early for their 3 hour journey, with plenty of banter aimed mainly at the coach (Kevin Ridley) and manager (Murray Graham). The team stopped en-route at Downtown garden centre for breakfast and a bit of team bonding. We also got the pleasure of meeting our newest member of the team (Oli Bailey) drafted in as a replacement to the injured Will Blyth who broke his finger a few days before the much anticipated match due to his skiing antics on the nursery slopes.

With a very inspiring team talk from our captain (Giles Flatt) ‘c’mon boys, no chat to the umpires’ the team was ready for whatever Beeston were going to throw at us. The game started quickly with both teams enjoying some of the possession but neither team taking advantage of this. Until, a sweeping move from the back up the left hand side of the pitch, the ball found its way to the feet of James Graham who not sure whether he was going for a shot or a pass found James Bensly at the back post to make it 0-1. After that, Beeston came back at us, giving us no time or space on the ball leading to us giving possession away.

After Felix made some solid saves to keep us ahead, Beeston then brought the game level finding their striker in acres of space taking the shot early which took our keeper by surprise 1-1. Shortly after levelling the game they went ahead from some tidy work around the D a reverse strike leaving our keeper with no chance. With Mike Denham and Richard Larkin on the sidelines, we started playing some better hockey with Tommy Graham and our Welsh International (Rhodders) making some good solo efforts sadly not leading to anything.

About 10 minutes before half time, Harleston gave away a short corner to our captain’s dislike, (so much for saying nothing to the umpires then Giles). From this, their future Olympian found the bottom corner giving no one on the line the chance to keep the ball out making the score
3-1. Another goal just before half time meant the team had a mountain to climb in the second half.

After Giles shed a tear and a stern talking to by Kevin and his right hand man Murray at half time, Harleston came out a lot stronger in the second half. We started to keep possession of the ball, with the back 4 growing into the game (Matt Judge, Giles, Tim Alexander and Dom Absolon) becoming more composed at the back not being frightened to keep the ball, waiting for the correct pass to open up for our either pace man Mitchell Tompkins or our muscle man Toby Williamson. There were chances for both teams with a hard low hit into the D, towards Mitchell deflecting the ball towards goal to only be denied by their outstretched keeper. Another was a reverse hit across goal which was just out of reach of our new signing. Felix continued to keep the score at 4-1 with all parts of his body, but this time his helmet not sure how much he knew about it though.

The game finished 4-1 with neither team scoring in the second half.

MOTM – Timmy Alexander
Coaches Votes MOTM – Matthew Judge and Rhodri
DOTD – Giles Flatt

Thanks to all the supporters making the trip up to Nottingham

Team – Felix Trash, Matt Judge, Tim Alexander, Giles Flatt (Cap), Dom Absolon, Mitchell Tompkins, Rhodri Furlong, Tom Ridley, Tom Graham, Toby Williamson, Oli Bailey, James Graham, James Bensly


U18 Boys EHB Cup – Sunday 3 February 2013

Harleston Magpies: 4 Belper: 3

The under 18 boys welcomed the Derbyshire team to the nest of the magpie empire expecting to be in for a tough examination. They came well supported but our honest and loyal fans were not to be outdone. (Bertie was nowhere to be seen). The boys were up for the game, many thanks to the variety of different music genres from the captain’s phone and a vast selection of Harbio Starmixs sweets provided by indoor captain Will Blyth. With Dom cancelling on Saturday night due to injury the side came begging for an old face of Tim Alexander to come to the sides’ moment of need. Tim agreed. The squad came to 12 players but then Toby Williamson was obliged to pull out due to injury. The team’s faces dropped with disappointment, pies were in doubt as to whether an 11 man squad could do the business.

Belper looked strong during the warm up, and brought this into the game. Magpies turned their A game on and won 3 short corners in quick succession. Short corner number 2 was converted excellently; it had all the quality of a national league team. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Yeaaaaaahhhhhh coco shouted. Will Blyth finished in style!!! Well done Will. After this Belper hit back in determined fashion and were soon on equal terms despite an excellent initial save by Felix. But Magpies responded catching them on the break. The ball fell to Mitch just inside the half way line and he saw his chance to explode into the space. He picked up speed and there was no stopping him. Some fans say they didn’t even see the goal due to it being that quick. The Belper players inside the D believed he was going to pass it to the left of him to an open James Bensly. This allowed Mitch space and with the quick thinking of the talented young man he decided to fake the pass and continue his great run. Within a second of entering the D the ball flew into the bottom left corner. Unstoppable. Magpies were now 2-1 up. A yellow card was given to a Belper player and with the extra man pies created another chance for Mitch which he took in style to make the half time: Magpies 3- Belper 1.

With a strong, inspirational and uplifting team talk from coaches Riddles and Muzzaa the lads felt confident they could to the business to secure a quarter final place but Belper were soon back in the game with another goal. Like a true captain I urged the boys to keep their heads up and we started playing with style. More robust tackles were made by both team and both teams were punished! Will and Tom saw yellow cards raised towards their faces. When Tom and Will returned they created the best move of the match! William saw the opportunity to lift the ball over the top of the defenders from the half way line for an excited milky to latch on to. This saw him one on one with the keeper, milky did what he does best and saw space to go around the keeper and bang the ball between the posts. Fifteen minutes were left in the game and Belper seemed to push more bodies forward and with this they scored a very cheap and easy goal with two minutes to go. This gave them the motivation that they still had hope and pressure grew on the Magpies defence. Belper then won a short corner and time was up. We knew we had to defend this corner with our lives and see out the victory. The ball was flicked in which astonishing speed and unsure if the ball way flying into the right corner I gave it the lightest of touches and the ball went out of play!! Magpies had won!!

A quality performance from the lads and a special thanks to the Belper team and supporters for travelling so far and for making this a great memory in our youth hockey careers.


Team: Felix Trash (GK), Matt Judge, Giles Flatt (capt), Tim Alexander, James Graham, Will Blyth, Rhodri Furlong, Tom Ridley, Mitchell Tompkins, Tom Graham, James Bensley.

East U18 Boys Indoor – Sunday 9 December 2012

National Finals Here We Come
The boys arrived early at Colchester ready for a good day of hockey with Coach and Manager, Martin and Larkin in charge. The warm up looked strong with the boys fine tuning their skills ready for the games ahead.
The game against Peterborough got off to a fast start with balls flying left, right and centre, a few good runs from Milky and Rodders but no delivery. We seemed a bit shaky at the back but soon George and Blythy found their stride. We had some short corners but we could not get the ball in the back of the net.  But after a few unstable minutes, Rhodri dribbled round a few men and with only one player to beat his shot was stopped by a players leg leading to a well deserved p flick! Will Blyth fashionably slipped it top left giving the Magpies the lead. 1-0 up, the Pies looked stable but struggling to hold possession, a break for Peterborough gave them a short corner, which escaped James’s grasp, levelling the score. The second half contained strong tackles from both sides, and resulted in Tommy G being awarded the first yellow card of the tournament, swiftly followed by Dominic A.  A last minute short corner was conceded, and then dispatched leaving the team in low spirits (2-1 loss).
The game against Saffron Walden began with a much more positive attitude. The game flowed well and two straightforward goals were created by Rhodri. The defence got their act together, helping keep the opposition attackers at bay. The rest of the game was well played leading to another three goals, but once again the boys became too relaxed and conceded in the last few minutes. With the full time whistle gone, there was hope in those young boys eyes! (5-1 win).
The game against Old Loughtonians developed into a game of cat and mouse, but it was not long until a quick ball diagonal across the pitch from Will Blyth was stylishly lifted into the net by Rhodri. A great ball from the back (George), was again tapped in by Rhodri, which some may say to be a bit lucky.  Old Loughts had a couple of short corners which were cleanly whisked away by keeper James.  Goals were then scored by both teams leaving the score 3-3 at half time. From the balcony spectators were hoping the team could keep it together in the second half.  In the end hat trick hero Rhodri gave Magpies the 5th goal, the game ending with a narrow win over the rivals leaving us only one more game away from the nationals. (5-4 win).
The last game against Sudbury was waited for with anticipation. The boys knew they needed a win and produced the best indoor hockey of the day beating Sudbury (7-2 win)!
The boys were ecstatic to have come second in the tournament and now look forward to the national finals.  Well Done.
Reporter: Andrew Johnson

U18 BOYS MATCH REPORT Sunday 18 November 2012


A large expectant crowd boosted by high profile figures such as but not exclusively Mike Denham, Richard Larkin and the Johnson brothers emerged at the Canaries nest. The Magpies team this time boasting 12 finely tuned athletes galvanised by the effervescent Kevin Ridley and his partner in crime Murray Graham. The first goal came from a period of well worked fluid hockey from the Magpies’ team finding an ever present, charismatic and dapper Tom Ridley at the back post, who guided the ball into the net. The second goal came from a quick break from a well groomed Tom Graham taking on the Norwich defence only to find himself in an unfamiliar position, lost and requiring guidance in front of goal. Seeing his largely more experienced brother, James Graham who was in space in the opposition area shortly lobbed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper into the goal.

The third came after a trademark penetrating run from Dom Absolon who exploited a gap in the Norwich midfield cracking the ball into a the busy opposition area. In the confusion the Norwich keeper was unfortunate as the ball struck him before the backboard.

At the break Kevin Ridley took the time to rally his troops in a Churchillian fashion, eager for a stronger performance in the 2nd half.

Shortly after the restart it was the chance of Gentys Barbers pin up model Mitchell Tompkins to add himself to the score sheet. Expertly pouncing on a loose ball in the D, to the delight of his plethora of female fans. The next and fifth Magpies goal came from a piece of play very similar to the second goal, but this time Tom Graham choosing not to seek assistance from his brother, took the ball round the Norwich Goalkeeper and into the goal.

El Capitano Giles Flatt, nobly stepped up to the penalty spot, perhaps hindered by his outstandingly masculine facial hair that had been emerging over the cold November nights, managed to slap/flick the ball past the pads into the net.

Despite the cries of Mike Denham no further goals were to come from a Magpies shirt. Norwich gained a late upper hand and capitalised with a consolation goal, to the credit of the Norwich attacker from a very tight angle. Final score magpies 6 Norwich City 1.

MOM- James Graham, DOD- Giles Flatt.

JG 18/11/12


Bensly’s Best!!

Spalding HC: 0 Harleston Magpies HC: 8

Magpies set of on a foggy Sunday morning in the hope of their first cup win under Kevin Ridley’s new management. Our first mission of the day was to locate two Graham twins who were partying in the early hours of the morning. Did they think this was a good thing to do on the day of a cup game? Only time will tell. With both twins heads throbbing it was time to stop off to McDonalds for hot morning beverages. We then departed for the 1 hour remaining car journey to Spalding. The fog started to clear and the sun arose. This was unknown to the twins due to them wanting to catch up on their beauty sleep. Murray’s Land Rover rumbled up to Spalding HC 15 minutes late. We didn’t get the best approval from a well-dressed Kevin Ridley. The green knitted jumper went very well with his oil patched jeans. This didn’t matter as he had a typical plumbing pencil hanging from his left ear to make tactical changes on paper of the great game. Roberto Mancini’s hockey twin? Manager Kevin went into central heating mode as the team still had their morning faces on during the warm up.

With James Graham wanting to make an early and a long lasting impression on the opposition he took matters into his own hands by volleying the ball over the fence, with the ball narrowly missing a small boys head. James Graham 1 – Small Innocent Defenceless Boy 0. DOTD Award was already awarded to him for this reckless attitude towards the next generation of hockey players.

Our 10 man squad looked strong and solid in the opening 10 minutes apart from James Graham who we had to play left back. Magpies had so much domination and had lots of time on the ball. We were in total control. Quick and flashy passing with stick work resulted from this. It wasn’t long until James Bensly opened the scoring at 1-0. After this goal, the flood gates opened towards Spalding’s goal. Goals came flying in from everywhere. Bensly then deflected the ball past the goalkeeper from a fast Furlong hit from the top of the circle. Magpies went 2-0 up. A Tom Graham goal then came. It was a typical milky goal. Nothing special. (He just dribbled around the whole defence and pushed the ball into the goal). 3-0. After Tom scored Bulldog Bensly was in the pursuit towards his hat trick. This hard work paid off as he was given a first half hat trick. (No Jug). Half time was looming and Rhodri still hadn’t scored. But it wasn’t for the fact of trying. But the ball came to him at the top of the D and he drilled the ball home. 5 goals to the good. With excellent defending this ensured we went into half time at 5-0. Trash only touched the ball once.

The second half got underway and Magpies looked shaky with miss placed passes going everywhere. You could tell from everyone’s face that they were willing to settle with a 5-0 win. It was extremely difficult to keep working hard with the heat and away fans pelting abuse at us. Problems got worse when Hung Over James decided to stop working. As a result of this we left a lot of open space for Spalding’s to exploit us. A wake up call was given to us when a shot came from outside the D and pinged away for a sixteen. Inspiration came from the side-line from our number 1 fan CoCo, this motivated the team to dig deep. Tom Graham then scored an average goal again, but always wanting to overtake Bensly he kept pushing for his hat-trick. We started upping the pressure as a result of this Ridders found himself with time and space to find the net from just inside the top circle. 7-0 Pies. A short corner came along and a new face stepped up to take a drag flick. A fast injection (Giles) with a controlled stick stop (Ridders) enabled Dom to rocket the ball bottom left just above the backboard. 8-0 Final score.

Felix Trash (GK)
James Graham (LB) Dimwit Of The Day
Dominic Edward Absolon (CB)
Giles Flatt (CB) (C)
Matt Judge (RB)
Toby Williamson (LW)
Tom Ridley (CM)
Mitchell Tompkins (RW)
Rhodri Furlong (CAM)
Tom ‘Milky’ Graham (ST)
James Bensly (ST) Man Of The Match


Magpies U18s travelled at dawn to local rivals and one of the tournament favourites Ipswich and put up a brave fight going down 4-2 and consequently being knocked out of the cup. Played in front of a good size crowd the game was played in good spirit and was an advert for youth hockey.

Although bleary eyed the Magpies team gave an excellent first half performance. Whilst Ipswich had more possession Magpies looked dangerous on the break with good inter-play from Chrissy Barber, Jamie Legg, and Freddie Merritt. At the other end the defence, which consisted of Ewan, louis, Craig, Gus and Ben G worked hard to shut the door on the Ipswich attacks.

Ipswich had several short corners but lack of composure at the top of the circle allowed the defence to clear. Magpies then took the lead on the stroke of half time, when Barber linked well with Merritt who made a good run along the back line and laid the ball across for Will Martin to score.

Ipswich started the second half more determined and continued to put pressure on Magpies and Livings was forced into several more good saves. As the pressure told Ipswich finally equalised when their forward went through several tackles and executed an excellent reverse stick shot into the corner. This seemed to shake the Magpies defence and Ipswich took full control, scoring three more goals in the next 10 minutes.

Things looked like they may get worse when Snelling was yellow carded for expressing his thoughts to the umpire despite the advice from his keeper. This however seemed to give Magpies a renewed burst of energy and they started to threaten the Ipswich defence. Chris Barber scored Magpies second 5 minutes from the end, but despite late pressure Magpies were unable to force the match into extra time.

Although Magpies have been knocked out of the cup, they still have a trip to Bedford to look forward to next week for the first round of the East Region Indoor League.