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.