With the weather finally abating last weekend all teams were back in action and raring to shake off the cabin fever with a full schedule of fixtures. Frustratingly, neither First team were able to treat the home crowd to a win, with the Men struggling to replicate their usual intensity in the 3-2 defeat against Cambridge University, and the Ladies suffering a 5-0 loss to top of the table Hampstead and Westminster.
However, the Second teams both maintained their unbeaten runs. Laura Tibbenham (3), Katie Woollatt (2) and Jess Howland were on the scoresheet for the Ladies away at St Ives whilst the Men came back from 3-1 down to beat Pelicans 6-3 thanks to goals from Greg Jagger (2), Lawrence Baynes, Tristan Baynes (2) and Martin Fields.
The Men’s Thirds and Ladies Fourths are both in danger of relegation this season and their fate was not helped on Saturday when neither team picked up a point. The Ladies face a tough game at Norwich City this weekend whilst the Men have another six pointer, this time at UEA with whom they are level on points.
Victoria Spouncer put the Ladies Fifths two goals ahead early on in their late pushback against Norwich City 5ths. This cushion settled the nerves of the young side and enabled them to play some composed hockey and move the ball well. The City ‘keeper had little chance of saving Janna Freeman’s belter of a strike which took Magpies to 3-0 up. Jose Tibbenham got in on the action with a brace of goals, and Tabitha Borrett added the sixth which sets the team up nicely for the top of the table clash with Pelicans this weekend. It is tight at the top with Pelicans, Magpies, Broadland and Diss all fighting for promotion so there is all to play for in the remainder of the season.
The Ladies Sixths got back to winning ways after a disappointing couple of weeks with a 6 goal haul at Norwich City. Goals from Judith Masters, Rachel Clifford and Louise Davy, along with top defending from Marnie Blair and Marie Davy ensured three points for Magpies and a seemingly safe distance from the relegation zone, a fantastic achievement for the team who started 2018 with only three points.
Sunday provided Cup action galore with the Ladies O35s taking centre stage at the Nest and storming through to the National Final with a 5-0 win over Clifton Robinsons. The U16 girls finished as runners up at the Regional Finals where they beat Braintree (2-0) and Saffron Walden (2-0) but were denied an equaliser against Southgate when a shot hit the goal frame. Sadly this means that the girls do not progress any further in the competition but should take heart from the fantastic hockey they have displayed.
Both U18 teams are though to the semi finals which is a brilliant achievement for the players, coaches and club as a whole. The Boys hosted Rugby & East Warwickshire and came out 2-1 victors thanks to flicks from Archie Winter. The Girls travelled to Leicester and found themselves 1-0 up at half time thanks to Abby’s goal and solid defending from Lottie, Olivia, Sophie and Rose, and some great saves by Alice Gooch. An aggressive press ultimately led to the Leicester collapse and once the floodgates were opened, Abby, Lauren and Lottie sealed the 5-1 win for Magpies.
The Ladies Firsts host Bedford on Saturday (2pm) who sit two places below them in the table. They then travel to Southgate on Sunday in search of another three points.