The Ladies’ 3rds, Men’s 2nds, Men’s 1st and U18 Girls (in playing order) all have a strong claim to top billing this week after their excellent wins over the weekend but pride of place has to go to the Men’s 3rds and not just because skipper Matt Brand kindly got me a coffee when I was updating the website on Saturday! By beating Bury St Edmunds 2-1 at Weybread they notched up their 10th successive win and their record for the season reads P10, W10, GF 41, GA 14, Pts 30. I know that my decision to headline this special achievement will get some of the Men’s 1sts chuntering, especially as they didn’t receive the accolade when they beat league leaders Old Loughts from three goals down, but they will get over it!

Matt and his team knew they were in for a tough game against second placed Bury St Edmunds and so it transpired. Gavin Cole put them ahead in the first half with a typical opportunist strike and Sol Barker converted a penalty stroke with fifteen minutes to go. In between these efforts Bury put considerable pressure on the Magpies’ defence and after replacing their goalkeeper with an outfield player they won a penalty stroke with two minutes left on the clock which they converted expertly. Thereafter Magpies retained possession at the other end of the pitch for a hard earned win. This coming Saturday they have another demanding game away to Newmarket (3.00).

Tickets are still available for this prestigious black tie event. They are £20 each. Please contact Kevin or Jackie Ridley on 01379 854697 or 07815 199803 as soon as possible. You will be very welcome. 

The Ladies’ 3rds were soon into their stride against Bury St Edmunds 2nds with Georgie Cantrell opening up the visitors’ defence for Rhe Lascelles and Katie Kinsella to put their side two up early in the game. The third goal was always going to be vital and it was scored by Georgie who went on to find the net three more times in a highly impressive performance by one of the club’s most promising players of recent years. Katie then scored her second to make the final score 7-0. Also in especially good form for Magpies was Amelia Herschel-Shorland in defence.

With two goals by Mrs Kinsella the challenge was thrown down to Mr Kinsella to at least match his wife’s achievement when the Men’s 2nds took on Upminster in the next game and Robbie duly delivered despite being sidelined by illness over the past two weeks. Magpies were strengthened by the first appearance in their colours for several years of James Osborn who has now all but retired after a distinguished career with Wimbledon which saw him help his club to England Hockey Premier Division glory over the past two seasons. It was also a warm ‘welcome back’ to Duncan Steven and it is a great pity that he and James will not be available on a regular basis as both live in London.

James put Magpies ahead in the 12th minute when deflecting in a penalty corner strike by Tristan Baynes and a few minutes later Lawrence and Tristan Baynes created a chance for Robbie which he gratefully accepted. Tristan scored with two quality shots early in the second half before Upminster pulled a goal back with a superb deflection from a ball fired into the circle. Duncan then set up Tom Hughes for goal number five and Robbie saw his team, for whom Peter Bale was also in good form, to a well-deserved 6-1 win. This Saturday they are away to high-flying Wapping 2nds (11.30).


I believed the captain of the Men’s 1sts when he said they were off to Saffron Walden with just eleven players including an unwell Ben Wright but after their excellent 8-1 win (their sixth in succession) I learned they actually took a squad of fourteen! Jack Knight and Ben put them 2-0 up and after the home team pulled a goal back just before the break Ben made it 3-1. Sam Paterson then weighed in with three class finishes while Richard Larkin told me later he scored ‘the all-important seventh’ (his second goal in two weeks). Jack also scored again in the second half to continue his run of good form.  This Saturday the team are at home to Bedford (12.00).


Moving forward a day the U18 Girls made a strong start away to Norwich City in the 3rd round of the EH Cup with Abby Gooderham putting them ahead after five minutes and with goals continuing to flow they finished 15-0 winners. Their goals were scored by Abby 4, Tor Findlay 3, Lauren Rowe 3, Holly Thomsen 2, Hannah de Selincourt, Olivia Locke and Georgie Warren. After three away games (in which they have scored 27 goals) Magpies have been drawn to play Beeston at home in the quarter-finals on Sunday 19 February. In the 3rd round Beeston beat Stourport 8-1.

AUCTION OF PROMISES  Saturday 4 March 2017. Please put the date in your diary!
Nine ‘Promises’ have already been gratefully received – please see the club’s website for more information and for full details of the event including how to offer ‘Promises’ or items for auction!

The Boys’ Development got the ball rolling at a cold Weybread on Saturday and all looked well when Ben Emms put them ahead against Norwich Dragons ‘A’. But it soon became clear Magpies were in for a difficult time against impressive opponents who went on to beat an off form home team 4-1, albeit the final score was a little flattering to the Norwich side.

Also in home action were the Men’s 5ths and the Ladies’ 4ths, 5ths and 6ths. The Men’s 5ths beat Bury St Edmunds 4ths 3-2. Andy Caston put them ahead following up a penalty corner shot by Jude Pottruff and after Bury drew level Jude coolly converted a penalty stroke before Chris Hall made it 3-1. In the closing stages Andy took a nasty tumble following a hefty tackle and Bury pulled a goal back after Magpies’ missed several chances to clear their lines. The Ladies’ 4ths, with Alice Wiseman and Janna Freeman playing well on their debuts for the team, came from behind to draw 1-1 with a strong Dereham 3rds with Rachael Clifford getting their equaliser. The Ladies’ 5ths won for the fifth successive game beating Dereham 4ths 3-2. Emily Woollatt put them ahead and after a Dereham equaliser skipper Jose Tibbenham put her side back in front. In a ding-dong game Dereham again drew level before Georgie Gardens got what turned out to be the winner but only after Dereham put a late penalty stroke wide.

Earlier the Ladies 6ths had an exciting 3-3 draw with Herlings. Julie Davy put them ahead only for Herlings to respond with two goals. Beth Moodie then equalised and after Herlings went back in front Julie stepped up to put away a penalty stroke in style. Tegan Smart played well for Magpies on debut for the team while Fiona Brice was outstanding in central defence.

Away from home there was mixed success for our teams with defeats for the Ladies’ 1sts and 2nds and Men’s 6ths and wins for the Ladies’ 7ths and Men’s 4ths. Wimbledon is never a happy hunting ground for the Ladies’ 1sts and so it proved again on Saturday with the home team dominating the first half during which they went ahead in open play. Magpies responded after the break with Maria Andrews converting a penalty corner. Both teams went for the winner with Wimbledon securing the three points with a penalty corner conversion. This Saturday Magpies are at home to West Herts (2.00) in their last outdoor league game before the start of the indoor season.  Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds travelled to play league leaders Cambridge City 2nds and they put in a strong performance before going down 2-0 – their first defeat since the opening day of the season. The team were delighted to welcome back MOTM Kath Johnson playing her first game of the season following two separate injuries. This Saturday they are at home to St Ives (12.15). The Men’s 6ths lost 5-0 to Norwich Exiles. End of report as agreed with skipper Eric Davy!  

The Ladies’ 7ths beat Norwich Dragons 8ths 1-0 with a goal by Georgia Hood and they are grateful to Jane Collins and Annie Lancaster for stepping down from the 6ths to help them field eleven players. The Men’s 4ths won again beating Newmarket 2nds 3-1. Neil Watson put them ahead at a penalty corner (with an assist being modestly claimed by Kieran Peters!)  before Alex Kilbourn coolly lifted the ball over the goalkeeper for the second. With Arthur Johnson playing well on his debut for the team the third goal came with a crisp shot by Tom Norton. Newmarket stepped up their game in the second half scoring with a slick penalty corner routine and thereafter Magpies’ goalkeeper (and club chairman) Murray Graham made several fine saves.

In addition to the U18 Girls we had four other youth teams in either EH league or cup action on Sunday. At Weybread the U14 Boys did well to recover from two goals down to beat IES 4-2 with goals by Jude Pottruff, Tom Caston (2) and Ollie Mayhew while the U18 Boys had a well-contested and well-umpired  cup game with Norwich Dragons going down 5-4 on penalty strokes after a 2-2 draw. Goals by Sam Paterson and Jolyon Summers put Magpies ahead after an early Dragons’ effort before failure by the Magpies’ defenders to follow instructions from the umpire led to a penalty corner ten minutes from time which Dragons converted. In the third and final game at Weybread the Sudbury U16 Girls came expecting a thumping and they must have feared the worst after Lottie Summers scored two early goals for Magpies’ U14 Girls. But they fought back well and after Ellie Fawkner put Magpies 3-0 up at half time they pulled a goal back after the break. In the closing stages of the game Magpies reasserted their dominance and Lottie made the final score 4-1. Away from home the U14 Girls had a splendid 2-1 win over Cambridge City with goals by Georgie Cantrell and Georgie Gardens.

Good luck to all our teams this weekend including on Sunday our Ladies’ O35s and Men’s O50s. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.  

Bill Colwill, OBE
The many friends of Bill around the world will have been saddened by his death at the age of 86. Bill was one of hockey most distinguished journalists writing for the Independent and many other publications. He had a remarkable knowledge of the game. For a full obituary please go to –

With kind regards
Mike Denham
[email protected]