magpiesChairman’s Chat


Splendid turnout – excellent game

What a splendid turnout for last Sunday’s EHL Men’s Qualifying Tournament game against Fareham! My thanks to the approximately 300 people who came along and witnessed an excellent game. After our two-goal lead evaporated I must say I was happy with a point – especially so as with five minutes to go I was prepared to settle for just that! I wish the squad all the very best for their away game this Sunday (27 April, 2.00pm) against Kingston upon Hull. It would be good to go into the May Bank Holiday weekend at Cannock with four points.

The Mixed team also established a two-goal lead last Sunday, against Banbury, and how the game was going a comeback by our visitors never entered my head. Then all of a sudden the game was level with a dreaded penalty shootout looming. But on came Super Sub Colin Wheelhouse for another starring cameo performance and his cross led to the late winner. And it was his speed and determination which created the penalty corner and which led to him slotting home from close range for the first goal before a typical run and shot by Richard Larkin gave us what seemed like a safe two-goal lead. Well done to the team who are now at home in the national quarter-finals against Eastcote (who ended my brief managerial career some years back when we lost to them on penalty strokes) on Sunday 11 May – a date which clashes with the U18 Boys’ and Girls’ national finals and the men’s county championship!

Good luck also this Sunday to the U15 Girls who are away to Leicester in the semi-finals of the national plate – let’s hope they can repeat the fine performance they gave against Old Loughtonians in the previous round – and to our teams in the Dereham minis.

This Saturday and Sunday the Club is hosting the East Minis with the U11s on Saturday (11.30am) and the U13s on Sunday (11.00am). Although no Magpies’ teams have made it through to these national qualifiers please come along for what should be an enjoyable weekend. On Sunday we have an U9 team playing in a fun event on England Hockey’s inflatable pitch. And there will also be a bouncy castle for us all to enjoy!

Followers of England hockey will be sorry to have learned of the retirements from all hockey of Helen Grant (due to an ongoing knee injury) and from international hockey of Brett Garrard. Helen played 105 times for England (scoring 30 goals) and 11 times for Great Britain scoring 4 goals and defender Brett made a record 193 appearances for England and 68 for GB.

The Summer Mixed Hockey will once again be played on Monday nights (7.30pm) commencing on 12 May and continuing on 2 & 16 & 30 June and concluding on 14 July. Please bring a white and coloured shirt and £3 match fee! I’m grateful to David Francis for kindly agreeing to run the evenings – with, no doubt, some help from Debbie!

More dates for your diary please!

Saturday 17 May
End of Season Bash
(open to all ages) 7.30pm at the Club
by ticket only £10 (U13s £5) (including food)
(obtainable from Mary Wright 0774 779 5481, Mike Denham 01603 506925 or at the bar)
Dancing to ginger tom & the GO cats

Sunday 22 June
Strawberry Luncheon
Shotford Hall, Harleston
(by kind permission of Jill and Roy Whipps)
Tickets (including a drink) are £10 (adults), £5 (children 7 to 12) with children under 7 free
are obtainable from Daphne Beckett (Tel: 07850 709297) or David Alexander (Tel: 01508 530237)

Sunday 13 July
In The Mood
(a trip down Memory Lane)
bring your picnic and relax
to the live music of TIMESCAPE
Bone Hill, Rouse’s Lane off Low Road, Starston
Gates open 3.30pm Music starts 4.30pm
Tickets £10 Adults, £5 U16s, U5s Free –
obtainable from Mike Denham 01603 506925
(event organised jointly by Harleston Lions, Scouts and Magpies HC)


With kind regards and best wishes to all members, supporters and friends of the Club.