Category Archives: U18 Boys reports

U18 Boys National Cup

Magpies U18 boys defeated Bury St Edmunds 6-0 in their first appearance in this season’s cup. Whilst the score line looks impressive and Chris Barber will gain the headlines for scoring 4 goals, but goalkeeper John Livings deserves equal billing for an impressive display and keeping a clean sheet.
Magpies started very slowly and it was apparent that they hadn’t played together as a side before, Livings was soon brought into action with a good clearance at his near post. Bury were passing the ball around well and forced Livings into an excellent save pushing the ball around the post full length from close range. Bury continued to dominate and Livings made several more good saves.
Magpies eventually found some rythym and a series of quick passes found Chris Barber in space and he coolly put the ball over the keeper into the roof of the net. Bury continued to give as good as they got but were unable to find a finishing touch whilst at the other end a quick passing move allowed Barber brake and score to give Magpies a 2-0 half-time lead.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were fairly equal until Magpies scored their third from a goal mouth scramble which was forced over the line by Will Martin. Barbs completed his hat-trick finishing off a well worked short-corner routine. Jamie Legg proceeded to upset the umpire and earn’t himself a yellow card, Bury almost pulled one back but Livings turned a close range shot onto the post and Craig Snelling remained calm under pressure and cleared the rebound off the line.
Magpies last two goals were both superb fast flowing moves, with the finishing touches applied by Chris Barber and Ben Wright. The game finished on a worrying note when Wright unleashed a fearsome shot which struck the Bury defender on the head. Both sides and sets of supporters were very pleased to see him back on his feet after a few minutes. Magpies proceed into the next round with new found confidence and goal machine.

U18 Boys – EHA CUP

The boys under 18 squad travelled down to Canterbury for the finals weekend of the National Cup Competition for the first time in the clubs history. The squad knew this would be a testing weekend for everyone involved.

Bowden 0 – Harleston 0
The first game saw the team face Bowden, the game started at a blistering pace despite the heat with Bowden having the upper hand and creating many chances. Despite the pressure the defensive unit held firm denying Bowden at every opportunity. With no score at the break it was all to play in the final 25 minutes. Harleston fought back this half and started to create more chances of their own, but despite this neither side could find the break through. Harleston started to force more penalty corners but neither team could take advantage and the game ended in a hard fought draw.

Harleston 1 – Beeston 2
The second game of the day saw a tired Harleston side face a very strong Beeston team. With the energy used in the first game the squad started slowly, despite with standing a lot of pressure within the first 20 minutes the teams defence was only broken from a well taken goal 5 minutes before the break. The team started the second half well but Beeston could have extended the lead but 2 excellent stops on the line from William Johnson kept the team in the game. Despite his heroics the wall could not stop Beeston doubling their lead from a well worked short corner. With 5 minutes to go Harleston grabbed a life line when Carl Sitch scored with a reverse stick from an impossible angle. There was no team for celebrations as the team could see another goal as Beeston started to wobble. With seconds on the clock Will Harrison through an ariel over the Beeston back line which Chris Barber latched onto with just the keeper to beat the hooter cruely went which saw the team loose 2-1.

Despite a hard fought first day the squad was impressed with their efforts and knew that a win on the sunday with results going their way would see them grab second place.

Reading 3 – Harleston 3
On another hot sunny day the team faced reigning champions Reading who had yet to secure any points this weekend. With the team starting slowly they found themselves 2 goals down within the first 8 minutes. Despite this the squad showed their team spirit by fighting back well and Chris Barber snatched a goal with a well worked short corner. Reading continued to crank up the pressure but none of the numerous short corners they won could be converted. With the team trailing at half time it was all to play for. Ben Gowing pulled the team level 5 minutes into the second half with a well taken goal, keeping his composure when 1 on 1 with the keeper. The team were fighting for everything when they were harshly reduced to 10 men after Will Harrison was sent off for an innocuous challenge. Shortly after this the team found themselves a goal down following a well taken goal. Despite this the team continued to press and equalised again through Jamie Legg with a well taken reverse stick goal. Despite more pressure from Reading the team held out for the draw.
For their first time at the Finals weekend the boys did the club proud and with 8 of the squad still eligable for next year there is a lot to look forward to. The results over the weekend all came from excellent team work digging deep for each other.

U18 Boys and Girls National Finals at Canterbury


Harleston Magpies U18 Girls and U18 Boys teams have both reached the National Finals taking place at Canterbury this weekend in a tremendous double achievement for the Club.

The U18 Boys have reached the Finals with some fairly comfortable results whilst the U18 Girls have had some very tight games. The U18 Boys are making their first appearance in the outdoor National Finals but also reached the Indoor National Finals this season, which is a great achievement for Coach Leigh Sitch and his squad.

The U18 Girls are making their second successive appearance in the National Finals having finished third at Birmingham last season.

11.30 U18 BOYS v BOWDON

16.30 U18 BOYS v BEESTON

10.15 U18 GIRLS v BELPER
13.00 U18 BOYS v READING


The U18 Girls reached the Finals with the following results:
Round 1 – Bye
Round 2 – Ipswich Drew 2-2 won on pen strokes
Round 3 – Saffron Walden Won 4-0
Round 4 – Dereham Won 2-1
Semi Final – Exe Won 4-3

U18 Boys reached the Finals with the following results:
Round 1 – Bye
Round 2 – Cambridge Nomads Won 4-0
Round 3 – City of Peterborough Won 3-1
Round 4 – Chelmsford Won 4-1
Semi Final – Richmond (Yorks) Won 7-1

U18 Girls Squad for the weekend
Jess Hull (Capt), Becky Marshall, Calianne Clark, Cherry Seaborn, Bryony Lund, Artemis Clark, Lauren Barber, Jade Daly, Amy Tuffs, Lizzie Clymer, Jessie Withers, Katrina Warnes, Helen Brook, Josie Molloy, Siobhan Wooltorton, Amelia Thomson

Manager: Nigel Wooltorton
Coach: Nick McAllen

U18 Boys Squad for the weekend
Richard Larkin (capt), Charlie Garrard, Harry Blandy, Will Harrison, Will Johnson, Dan Legg, Carl Sitch, Ben Gowing, Fred Merrett, Chris Barber, Craig Snelling, Louis Steven, Jamie Legg, Toby Hughes, George Moore

Manager: Bertie Steggles
Coach: Leigh Sitch

U18 Boys – EHA CUP

Magpies boys u18s 7-1 Richmond (Yorkshire) boys U18s

As the snow came down in Weybread Magpies had one aim and one aim only, to win the game and therefore ensure a place at the national finals next month.

The game started well for magpies, who managed to contain the visitors mainly into their own half of the pitch. However from this spell of pressure a goal was needed. It soon came in the form of captain Richard Larkin who slotted home after a strong run from Carl Sitch.

With the defensive unit working well, more goals could be built up and scored before half time. Fred Merrett scoring from a well struck short corner and Will Harrison converting a penalty stroke after Chris Barber had his shot blocked on the goaline.

Going into half time Magpies were satisfied with their 3-0 lead. The good work continued into the second half. Chris Barber scored early on slotting the ball home past the keeper. Richard Larkin added another with a reverse stick finish from Jamie Legg’s cross.

Richmond scored their only goal after a rare defensive mix up, however after this the defensive line up re-assumed their control, and even after Chris Barbers ruthless yellow card, Magpies still scored twice more short-handed through 2 marvellous finishes from Fred Merritt to complete his hat-trick.

A wonderful team display putting Magpies into the National finals in Canterbury after a strong and well deserved performance.

Magpies are safe in the cup and the cup run goes on and on!

U18 Boys – EHA CUP

Magpies U18 Boys 4-1 Chelmsford U18 Boys

Harleston hosted Chemlsford in the fourth round of the National Cup with a place in the quarter finals at stake. Boths sides started well playing some flowing hockey. With 10 minutes Harleston started to take control of the game forcing Chelmsford back into their own half for sustained periods. Chelmsford struggled to break through the well set Harleston press, with Harleston picking up a lot of ball high up the field the team were creating many chances. Harleston deservedly took the lead through a sublime bit of solo skill from Carl Sitch allowed him to slot past the advancing goal keeper. The remainder of the first half saw Harleston continue to apply pressure on the Chelmsford defence, Carl Sitch fired just over after a run that would have topped his first effort. Chelmsford goal keeper Martin Sully made a fantastic reflex save to deny Dan Legg at a short corner to keep the score at 1-0 going into half time.

The team knew the next goal would be vitally important after half time, again the team pressed well and doubled their lead following a well worked short corner converted by Jamie Legg. Chelmsford had to push now which left gaps in their defence, Harleston played some excellent passing hockey which exploited these gaps, their only down fall was when they started dribbling and holding onto the ball for that split second too long. Richard Larkin grabbed Harleston’s third from close range before Will Johnson in an advanced position finished from a short corner. Chelmsford managed to pull a goal back in the last minute after Harleston conceded a penalty stroke when Will Johnson booted the ball of the goal line.

This was an excellent team performance, the defence holding firm with Charlie Garrard only called into action a couple of times. The team now look forward to playing in the quarter finals hoping to go one better than last season.

U18 Boys – EHA CUP

Harleston U18 Boys 3-1 City of Peterborough U18 Boys

On a cold Sunday morning Harleston faced a strong Peterborough side in the third round of the national cup competition. The team started slowly struggling to string passes together and being beaten to every ball. The team soon rallied and managed to take the lead following a build up of pressure at short corners when Chris Barber’s shot was turned in on the line brilliantly by Richard Larkin. The lead was short live as Harleston took their foot off the pedal allowing Peterborough to equalise through a well taken short corner of their own. With the game becoming more open Harleston started creating more chances and following superb play down the right by Ben Gowing allowed Chris Barber to calmly slot home past the advancing goal keeper.

The second half saw a similar pattern to the first with Harleston struggling to find their form and loosing a bit of shape in the process. With resilient defending from Harry ‘Chopper’ Blandy Peterborough were unable to extend their lead. With the Harleston press working well Jamie Legg turned over the ball deep in the Peterborough half allowing Chris Barber to grab his second of the game as he smashed the ball past the helpless keeper.

U18 Boys National Indoor Results

Harleston travelled down to Kidderminster to take part in the under 18 boys indoor National Tournament. The boys had been drawn in a tough group with Millfield School, Sevenoaks Hockey Club, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

The boys first game saw them face tough opposition from Millfield School. Harleston started slowly with a few nerves showing and soon found themselves two goals down. Despite this set back Harleston rallied and manager to pull a goal back from Chris Barber before Will Harrison slotted home at a short corner. With the scores level at half time it was all to play for in the second half, Harleston this time coming out the strongest of the two sides and managed to take the lead through Mike Warlow after a great ball from Will Harrison which was dummied by Carl Sitch leaving Mike in space to slot home. This goal made Millfield step their games up and they started to apply more pressure on Harleston, they eventually equalised after sloppy play from Harleston gifted the opposition a goal. Things could have got a lot worse for Harleston as Millfield pressed but a superb double save from Julian Waelzholz ensured Harleston hung on for a point.

Harleston’s second game of the day saw them face a fresh Sheffield side yet to play a game. Harleston started better this game but soon took their foot off the gas before finding an opener through Chris Barber. With the first goal Harleston could relax and start playing their general flowing hockey. Harleston increased their lead through James Wheeler slotting home before half time. The second half saw a more even affair, Fred Merrett pushing forward well from defence creating problems for the Sheffield defence, Harleston soon sealed victory when Chris Barber helped himself to another goal. Despite a barrage of short corners resloute defending from Harleston saw them keep a clean sheet.

After an excellent days work Harleston sat top of the group on goal difference having to play the team second early Saturday morning. The only set back of the day was an arm injury to Mike Warlow which required a hospital visit which would rule him out of the important match.

Harleston faced Sevenoaks and again in customary fashion started the slower of the two teams and found them selves again two goals down at the break. Despite this the team rallied and managed to pull them selves level just after half time following goals form James Wheeler and Chris Barber. Harleston then took the lead through Carl Sitch after an excellent passing move. As the game became more open Harleston hit the post with the scores at 3-2, a pivotal moment in the game as Sevenoaks responded with a goal of their own. With time running out both teams went in search of the important winning goal. Harleston conceded a short corner in the dying seconds of the game and with the ball goal bound Will Johnson shouldered the ball off the line to deny a certain goal and keep Harleston in the game despite conceding a flick. The flick was dispatched by Sevenoaks and with no time to restart the game Harleston suffered their first defeat.

The last game saw Harleston play Wolverhampton, with second place up for grabs in the group goal difference was important at this stage of the tournament. Harleston started better knowing only a win would do. The team soon took the lead when Richard Larkin wriggled through the Wolverhampton defence to slot home. Harleston then doubled their lead as Mike Warlow back from injury came on and scored. Harleston were then dealt a blow as Wolverhampton scored, this made the team determined to score more goals but despite all the hard work they could only manage to convert one more time. The final score 3-1.

Harleston now had to wait and hope that Millfield would slip up or not score enough goals to guarantee Harleston’s passage to the semi finals. Millfield were in dominant form though and Harleston missed out on goal difference finishing third in their group. The squad would like to thank all of the parents who travelled down to support us at the tournament.

Squad – Julian Waelzholz, Will Harrison, Will Johnson, Fred Merrett, Carl Sitch, Mike Warlow, Chris Barber, James Wheeler, Richard Larkin

U18 Boys East Indoor Champions

Harleston Magpies boys under 18 side travelled down to Colchester on Sunday with high hopes of progressing through the regional round to reach the National Finals weekend.

The squads first game saw them beat a strong Perse side 2-0. This was a good display from Harleston with great defensive work from Will Harrison, Will Johnson and Julian Waelzholz ensuring Harleston kept a clean sheet.

The second game saw Harlerston face one of the tournament favourite Framlingham College. Fram started the better side and found themselves a goal up early on, this set back seem to wake to Harleston up. Harleston started to play fluid hockey the forwards linking well together. Harleston soon started to find the net with some well worked short corners and although Fram did pull a couple of goals back Harleston ran out 6-3 winners.

The next game saw Harleston face Bedford School, the opposition again struck first going a goal up. Harleston soon equalised and from there on in it was one way traffic as Harleston won in style 6-1.

The next game was the toughest of the day facing Old Loughts, the other team flying high. Again Harleston went behind to a stong Loughts side before they woke up. Harleston were moving the ball well round but found them selves 2 goals down after good Loughts finishing. Harleston managed to pull a goal back before finding themselves 3-1 down before the break. Harleston came out stronger in the second half and 2 goals in quick succession saw Harleston level following good link up play between the Harleston midfield and forward line. With the match drawing to a close Harleston managed to find the vital fourth goal and hung on to win 4-3.

With Harleston already through their last game saw them face Watford Grammer School. Yet again Harleston found themselves a goal down but the team pulled through to win 4-1.

A good day saw Harleston finish top of the group and with it qualifying for the indoor finals weekend in two weeks time at Kidderminster.

Squad – Julian Waelzholz (Gk), Will Harrison, William Johnson, Fred Merrett, Carl Sitch, Richard Larkin, Jimmy Wheeler (c), Mike Warlow, Chris Barber, Andrew Bedwell (coach), David Johnson (manager)

U18 Boys – EHA CUP

Harleston Under 18’s 4-0 Cambridge Nomads Under 18’s

Harleston Magpies hosted Cambridge Nomads in the Under 18 National Cup competition for the third successive season looking to continue their string of good results against the opposition. Harleston came out of the blocks flying, pressurising the Cambridge defence at every opportunity. With only 2 minutes on the clock Harleston found a break through following a short corner struck by Dan Legg forced a save from the goal keeper and Carl Sitch was the quickest to pounce on the rebound to slot home.

Harleston continued to push on playing scintillating flowing hockey going forward, the movement off the ball simply cutting the Cambridge defence to shreds. With the sustained pressure Harleston scored their second through Chris Barber following a decisive ball from Richard Larkin.

With George Moore coming on with a fresh pair of legs caused immediate problems for the Cambridge left back with his stick skills, it was on one of these mazy runs that George won a short corner which Richard Larkin was able to convert following a good routine.

With Harleston cruising at half time they took their foot off the gas and allowed Cambridge back into the games as they came out fighting. The second half was a much more even contest as Harleston started to dribble with the ball too much which disjointed their flowing hockey.

Despite the game becoming more open the Harleston defensive unit of Johnson, Legg, Blandy, Snelling and Stevens held firm, their dominance so superior that Julian Waelzholz didn’t even have a save to make. With chances few and far between Harleston rounded off a good performance when Chris Barber scored his second at a short corner.

U18 Boys – EHA CUP

Harleston 3-7 Canterbury

Harleston hosted Canterbury the under 18 defending champions in the quarter finals of this years competition. In a game in which Harleston were always the under dogs they lost their 1st choice goal keeper Bertie Steggles during the week after he broke his ankle. This gave an opportunity to Charlie Gerrard and Tom Baldwin as goal keepers.

After a brilliant warm up Harleston started the stronger taking the game to Canterbury and winning an early short corner which the Canterbury keeper made a good save to keep out. With Harleston dominating possession they were then dealt a cruel blow when they lost Carl Sitch to a facial injury. After this the game swung Canterbury’s way when they scored two break away goals. Harleston continued to pressurise Canterbury and control possession but again they were hit on the break and Canterbury scored two more from well worked short corners. With Harleston pushing to get back into the game Canterbury scored a fifth before the end of the half with a good reverse tick shot.

Harleston came out in the second half knowing they had nothing to loose and again took the game to Canterbury, after a good save from the Canterbury keeper Harleston won another short corner which Toby Tibbenham converted after taking it round 3 players before slotting the ball home. Canterbury scored a sixth following good play down their wing before slotting the ball home. Harleston were not dead and buried though and came back strong scoring their second after a free hit on the left of the D took a deflection from Chris Barber before Ben Gowen smashed the ball past the advancing keeper. With Jimmy Wheeler, Mike Warlow, Toby Tibbenham and Chris Barber pressurising the Canterbury defence they started to make mistakes. One of these mistakes led to Harleston winning another short corner which Toby Tibbenham flicked but the keeper saved only for Richard Larking to follow up like a fox in the box and slot home on his reverse stick. Good defensive work from Will Harrison was keeping the Canterbury attacks to a minimum but they did sneak their 7th with the last touch of the game.

On a hot Sunday after noon this was a whole team effort with every member putting in 120% and never giving up, the team did Magpies proud. With the commitment shown on Sunday and most of the team being available next year hopefully the team will be able to go one better.

A big thank you must also be given to the amount of support that came down to watch the boys play.

U18 Boys – EHA Cup

Belper under 18’s 1-2 Harleston under 18’s

Harleston travelled up to Belper on sunday in the hope of progression to the last 8 of the national cup. With the day getting off to a bad start when at the hotel defender Harry Blandy locked himself in the toilets. With this dilema over the team left however a postcode mishap saw the team heading towards Belper’s team secretary’s house rather than the clubhouse.

When the team did get there they were greeted by a downpour and a very slow waterlogged pitch. Despite this Harleston started strongly and were unlucky to go behind to Belper’s first shot of the game which left Bertie Steggles with no chance. Harleston battled back strongly and deservedly equalised through a thunder bolt of a shot by Toby Tibbenham. Harleston continued to press and were unfortunate not to take the lead when the Belper goal keeper made an outstanding save.

The scond half started with Belper on top and with a lot of the play they were pushing Harleston back. With some superb defending from Will Harrison the Belper attack was kept at bay. With the pressure mounting a series of short corners won Belper nearly took the lead but they didnt take into consideration Will “the wall” Johnson on the goal line who made a brilliant stop. The whole team was working hard defending the lead when Harleston got the breakthrough they were looking forward when Jimmy Wheeler was upended by the goalkeeper when clear through on goal. The penalty stroke was saved by the keeper, this spurred Harleston on and as they believed more and the team pushing up managed to push Belper back. With Belper on the back foot the ball broke to Toby Tibbenham who skinned the defender at the top of the circle and smashed his shot home on the reverse stick. With two minutes remaining this was the ideal time to score.

The last two minutes were nail biting but the team kept the ball and closed the game out and seal their place in the last 8 of the competition.

Carl Sitch England U18 International

Young star takes England step-up in his stride
Report taken from the Diss Express

Harleston Magpies’ Carl Sitch expanded his international horizons last week with three appearances for England Ul8s.

Sitch, 17, spent the week with the Young Lions at the Belle Vue Complex in Manchester and played in all three of their training matches against Ireland.

The visiting Irish side got the better of their English counterparts, winning the first and last fixture, while the home side won Wednesday’s match 2-1.

The former Archbishop Sancroft High School pupil said he had enjoyed the experience, which came on top of winning 12 caps for England Ul6s last year.

“I was told that I had done well by the coaches,” said Sitch, who played left and right-half for England during the week.

“We would have liked to have won all three games but the training was also important and it was the first time we had all played together.

“It was a big step-up from the Ul6s squad, with the speed and the core skills needed.”

The Needham teenager is waiting to hear if he has retained his place in the England squad for the four nations tournament, which will be held in Exeter at Easter.