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)