I am very pleased to start this week’s column with a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported last Saturday’s auction by donating lots, attending, making bids either successful or unsuccessful, helping to run the event on the night including, of course, our splendid auctioneers Nick Durrant and Robbie Kinsella. They helped to make it a really enjoyable evening for the one hundred members and supporters who attended.

I also thank Adam Patterson, Agricultural Manager of Barclays Eastern Agricultural Team, for the £1000 matched funding donation from his company. Including this much appreciated donation and other income we raised the splendid sum of £6000! Please click here to see how much each of the 67 Lots raised. 

We also had a lot of hockey to enjoy both on Saturday and Sunday while Sunday might be remembered just as much for the wet and windy weather which plagued the Norfolk Minis in Kings Lynn and the Magpies Minis in Weybread. The bad weather was not confined to Norfolk as the Men’s O40s encountered considerable rain to and from Canterbury.

We had to wait until the last game of the day at Weybread for the top performance by a home team when the Men’s 4ths beat Ipswich Cranes 8-1. The team started slowly and were only one goal ahead at half time with joint MOTM Arthur Johnson combining for fellow joint MOTM Alex Kilbourn to score with ease. Early in the second half Kieran Peters, Morgan Manly and Arthur helped Alex to complete his hat-trick before Cranes pulled a goal make after a mazy run and good finish by one of their forwards. Magpies continued to press forward with Oli Clarke and Harry Haigh prominent and further goals flowed from Arthur (3), Alex (taking his tally to 4) and in the final minute from Kieran from a pass by Mr Peters senior. It was good to see Jordan Wiseman back in goal.

The midday game saw the Ladies’ 2nds beat Bury St Edmunds 2-0 with goals at penalty corners by Kath Johnson and Laura Tibbenham but there should have been many more goals as at times the game resembled one long penalty corner as Magpies won at least 30 in the game! As coach Sam Tea said later they have something to work on in training this week!

James Baker

Next up were the Men’s 1sts against league leaders Old Loughtonians and within fifteen minutes we were three goals down and heading for an embarrassing defeat. But to their credit the team responded well with James Baker pulling a goal back and then hitting the bar from a narrow angle just before half time. Magpies continued to play some excellent hockey after the break and with the OLs getting rattled captain Leigh Sitch converted a penalty corner to make it just 3-2 to the visitors. With five minutes to go Magpies equalised to the cheers of their supporters. A few seconds later the umpires conferred (always a bad sign for one of the teams) and the goal was ruled out – the same happened to the OLs in the first half – meaning that Magpies had missed out on a deserved point in player-manager Ben Wright’s last game before his move to Australia. This coming Saturday Magpies are away to Cambridge City 2nds (3.00).

John Livings

Saturday 25 March 2017 7.30 – 11.30pm Wortwell Community Centre IP20 0HS
Hot buffet, music, presentations. Please come with your team-mates. For tickets (£20 each or £18 each for groups of 5 to 15 (subject to limited availability)) please go to The system is easy to operate as I found when I bought my ticket.

In other home games the Ladies’ 4ths lost 6-1 (Imi Meynell-Anderson) to Norwich City 2nds; the Men’s 6ths went down 5-0 to Bury St Edmunds 5ths while the Ladies’ 6ths were beaten 4-1 by Norwich City 5ths. Magpies had 16 players for this match in which City started well in contrast to Magpies who improved as the game progressed. Victoria Spouncer and Vanessa Vigrass were joint MOTM while Vanessa got the goal.

Away from home the outstanding result was achieved by the Men’s 3rds who beat Sudbury 2nds 9-4 (6-1 at HT) despite seven players (!) being unavailable from the 11-0 home win the previous week. As captain Matt Brand told me he was lucky that former regular Nick Whitehead was available for a rare outing as was Stuart Field from his usual Saturday teaching commitments. Between them they scored five goals (with four from Nick) with the others coming from Jamie Hudson (with his first two goals for the team) with another two from Tom Norton.

The Men’s 2nds, Ladies’ 5ths and Girls’ Development also won beating, respectively, City of Peterborough 3rds 4-3, Beccles 3-1 and Pelicans 6-0. It was a must-win for the Men’s 2nds against already delegated C of P but they made hard work of it letting slip a 3-0 lead given them by Jake Sewell and captain Lawrence Baynes (with their first goals of the season) before Tristan Baynes added the third. Fortunately Tristan was in good flicking form and he got the winner with his nineteenth goal of the season. This Saturday the team has another vital game at home to Norwich City 2nds (3.30). Meanwhile the Ladies’ 5ths and Beccles decided the pitch at Loddon was safe to play on despite a lot of standing water. Their goals came in the first half through Fiona Brice, Janna Freeman and Jose Tibbenham with Beccles getting a consolation midway through the second half. The team was pleased to welcome back Becky Baker (formerly Lee-Smith). The goals for the Girls’ Development were scored by Olivia Lapage, Hannah Gartland, Beth Gardens (2) and Evie Brice (2).

There were away defeats for the Ladies’ 1sts, Ladies’ 3rds and Men’s 5ths. The Ladies’ 1sts lost for only the third time this season going down 2-1 (Maria Andrews) to Cambridge City while the Ladies’ 3rds, with just ten players after a late call off due to illness, did well to hold league leaders UEA to 2-0 while the Men’s 5ths went down 5-1 (Jon Wells) to Watton. This Saturday the Ladies’ 1sts host league leaders Wimbledon (2.00) who include out-on-loan Magpie Cherry Seaborn and Olympic gold medallist and penalty corner specialist Crista Cullen.

The Men’s O40’s are out of the England Hockey Cup after going down 3-1 away to a strong Canterbury side in their semi-final clash last Sunday. Canterbury dominated the early stages but failed to take the lead due to some glaring misses, some good saves by Murray Graham in the Magpies’ goal (including one remarkable point blank stop) and stout defending by the Magpies’ defence in which Jamie Hudson was outstanding. Magpies, who were missing captain Tristan Baynes due to a family illness, hit back and took the lead through Bill Williams. They went close to increasing their lead early in the second half before Canterbury made their pressure pay with a strike from the edge of the circle. They then took the lead from close range before ensuring a deserved victory with a penalty corner conversion. Canterbury play Isca in the final. Our team can be proud of the way they have played in their debut season in the competition.

The Mixed team are now into the 4th round of the EH Trophy after their 4-1 away win over Letchworth. For the second game running all our goals were scored by ladies, namely this time by Maria Andrews (2) and Laura Tibbenham (2). I have it on good authority that the men do all the hard work leaving the tap-ins and the resulting glory to the ladies!

We have two further teams in EH semi-finals this weekend. The Ladies’ 035’s are off to Jersey from Gatwick on Sunday morning to play Jersey HC (11.30) in the EH Trophy. Let’s hope the plane isn’t delayed! So far in the competition they have beaten Norwich Dragons 4-0, Bury St Edmunds 4-1 and Teddington 5-0. Two hours later the Men’s O50’s will be hosting Reading who beat them in the final two years ago so they are in for a very tough game. To reach this far they have beaten Bury St Edmunds (on strokes after a 3-3 draw), Ipswich 3-1, City of Peterborough 3-1 and Cambridge City (w/o).

Last and certainly not least it is congratulations to all players, event organisers, team officials, umpires and spectators for battling the wind and rain in the Norfolk and Magpies Minis last Sunday. Well done to all our teams with the U10 and U12 Girls winning through from the Norfolk Minis to the East finals to be held at Weybread over the weekend of 8/9 April. Please see the website for match reports.

Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including the U16 Girls in the Midlands League finals at Stourport HC. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

With kind regards

Mike Denham
[email protected]