The Magpies Under12 girls played some exceptional hockey on their visit to the wild west (of Norfolk) to become County Champions and qualify for the Eastern Region Championship.

The fixture schedule handed Magpies an early shootout against season-long rivals Norwich City. But a comprehensive warm-up saw ‘Pies first to the draw with Beth G and Amie H probing down the right hand side.  Norwich defended in numbers and looked to hit Magpies on the break, one such move was broken up by a super tackle from Harriet S in defence. Consistent pressure brought the reward of a short corner from which Beth’s low shot caught the ankle of a City defender.  After a minute’s pause for her to be carried off in obvious pain Magpies repeated the same routine and with no one keen to get in the way this time, Beth scored. From the restart Norwich created one chance down the other end that Jasmine F in goal kicked away.  Magpies though maintained momentum and much to the game was played in the Norwich half, Nathalie S eventually breaking through the defence to put the ball across to Amie H who scored a second to confirm the win.

The following match against Pelicans showed no let up in Magpie’s intensity with Amie H rattling in three goals in quick succession, the best of them being a strong backhanded shot to finish off a chance created by Beth G. Grace S scored a winger’s goal getting on the end of a cross at the far post.  Beth then won a rare penalty as she was denied a scoring chance, she converted it confidently.  Pelican’s then scored a consolation from pretty much their only attack of the game before Evie W sealed the six – one win.

Dereham proved to be a surprise package, coming up with a one – nil win over Norwich City (knocking them out of contention for regional qualification) before facing off against Magpies.  Their number eight had rattled in a number of goals against Dragons and ran Norwich ragged however Magpies defending duo Harriet S and Daisy W have worked well together all season and were able to tackle and follow-up together to keep her quiet.  Beth G at centre-mid also provided excellent screening when needed.  Along with high tempo play Magpie’s hallmark for the morning was exceptional wing play. Natalie S and Emily C were full of running and combined to open the scoring, a Beth G pass setting Natalie S free to execute a run and cross which Emily C converted.  Magpie’s pressure continued and Evie W subbed on as centre forward provided a target for repeated Magpie’s crosses and was eventually rewarded with a goal after being picked out by Natalie S. The two – nil win securing qualification for the regionals with a game to spare.

The final game showed that the team still had plenty of energy to burn, a must for a successful tournament; in contrast Dragon’s energy had certainly dipped.  Beth G was on form, scoring five goals to finish as Magpies top scorer with Emily C getting another before Amie H unleashed a glorious backhand shot to finish the tournament off with a seven – nil win for Magpies and a County Champions medal. 

Squad (Goals in Brackets): Evie W (2), Daiy W, Jasmine F (GK), Emily C (2), Beth G (7), Natalie S, Harriet S, Amie H (5), Grace S (1), Kathryn P (Reserve GK).  Coaches Kathy G and Nick M.