harleston magpies hockey club


I just have to start this week with the Ladies’ 4ths. In a very friendly way my decision to start last week with the 0-0 draw achieved by the Ladies’ 1sts instead of the 4ths 6-0 win over Evergreens was challenged on Saturday. To which I replied ‘If you want to write Musings every week ……!’ But I take the point.

Since starting the season with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Magpies’ 3rds captain Treacle Griffin and her 4ths have now put together a run of four successive wins scoring twenty goals and conceding just two. Last Saturday they beat Carrow 4-0 at home with their goals coming from Laura Tibbenham (who unfortunately ended the game with a painful knock), Kate Russell, Rachel Goodson and Sarah Legg. Since last Saturday week the 4ths can boost (and do!) that they are above the 3rds in their league but it is still only on goal difference as last Saturday the 3rds returned to winning ways beating Evergreens away 2-0 with goals by Sophie Baxter and Anna Harrod. This coming Saturday the 4ths have a demanding home game against Loddon (3.15) who are also on twelve points after five games while the 3rds are at home to Carrow (10.15).

The club also had five other wins to celebrate last Saturday starting with early morning victories at Weybread for both the Boys’ and Girls’ Development. The Boys were playing Norwich Dragons and for the first time were playing in a four quarters of 15 minutes format. Tom Caston put them ahead in the third quarter and after Jude Pottruff had to leave the pitch following a nasty accidental blow to the head Sam King finished off a flowing move from defence aided by a good advantage played by umpire David Johnson. Meanwhile on the other pitch the Girls were beating Yarmouth 6-1 in what amounted to a practice match against Yarmouth who had already conceded the game due to insufficient players with Magpies making up the numbers. Scorers for Magpies, although the game will go down as a 5-0 win for league purposes, were Kitty Taylor (2), Grace Collison (2), Emma Williamson and Amy Collison.

Other home wins were achieved by the Men’s 3rds and Men’s 4thsThe 3rds were up against Sudbury 2nds and they were soon banishing memories of their defeat the previous week with early goals by Gavin Cole and Jon Aldridge who was giving a lesson in ball control and accurate passing. Gavin then scored again before Sol Barker added a couple to make it 5-0 at half time. After the break Jon scored again before Andy Johnson found the back of the net. Despite conceding so many goals Sudbury continued to play some attractive hockey but they could not prevent skipper Matt Brand getting on the score sheet just before Gavin got his third of the game – but not a hat trick. This column continues to support the Collins Pocket Dictionary in its definition of a hat trick! A little earlier the Men’s 4ths were also in good form beating Ipswich Cranes 5-0 and after considerable post-match discussion it was agreed the scorers were Ben Kilburn, Iain Cumming (who it is good to see back playing regularly and well), Andy Caston (2) and Stuart Peters late in the game. Stuart’s shot was from the edge of the circle and it failed to reach the back of the net!

The other win came from the Men’s 6ths who continued their promising run with a 4-3 victory away to Ipswich Cranes 2nds with goals by Fabian Mitchell (2) and Greg Jagger (2) while also away from home the Men’s 5ths had an encouraging draw with Sudbury 3rds with Jack Robertson and Alex Kilbourn on target.

Our other seven teams were less successful although both the Ladies’ 2nds and Men’s 2nds can take heart from their performances. Under new skipper Megan Brown (following the decision of Mel Ludlum to join City of Peterborough – thank you Mel for your wholehearted play for the club and best wishes) the Ladies had more of the game at home to Broxbourne who nevertheless were two up at half time. After the break Magpies had almost total domination forcing penalty corner after penalty corner but they could not find the net until with two minutes to go Ellie Tennant scored in a goalmouth scramble. There was also defeat for the Men’s 2nds who went down 4-1 away to Waltham Forest (never a happy hunting ground for Magpies) but not before creating enough chances to have given them a chance of a point. Once again goalkeeper Donnie Archer was in fine form. Their goal was scored by Mark Wheelhouse at a penalty corner. This coming Saturday the Ladies are away to Old Loughtonians (1.30) while the Men are at home to Letchworth (12.00) who have won all their four matches to-date.

The Ladies’ 1sts went down 2-0 away to Chelmsford in a game in which they played well and could have been two or three up before Chelmsford got their goals in the second half. With just three goals in their five matches (and with only five against) it is clear where Magpies need to improve and two successive home games starting with Sevenoaks on Saturday (12.00) gives them a good chance.

Meanwhile the Men’s’ 1sts were at home to Brighton & Hove who were also looking for their first win of the season and for the second successive match Magpies conceded an early penalty stroke and this time I cannot claim that Richard Larkin was unlucky and from what he said after the game he would not disagree. Brighton duly converted the stroke but fortunately goalkeeper John Livings saved a second penalty stroke shortly afterwards. This did not turn out to be a lifeline for Magpies who were disappointing throughout the game. Brighton looked the much sharper and assured team and by half time were three up having added two penalty corner conversions with the second coming on the cusp of the break. Magpies played a little better in the second half, with Zum Akhter voted their MOTM, but the squad continued to be plagued by individual errors with another one leading to the fourth and final goal for Brighton. Magpies can play much better than this as they showed the previous weekend away to league leaders Richmond and they will need to be at their very best when they travel to play Oxted on Sunday (12.45) especially bearing in mind Oxted beat Bromley & Beckenham 8-4 away last Saturday.

The Ladies’ 5ths and 6ths lost away from home to Reepham and Norwich City 6ths respectively with the 5ths bemoaning the fact that, while they had plenty of the play, their opponents had five shots on target resulting in four goals!

This Sunday in their England Hockey Youth Championships the U14 Girls entertain Bury St Edmunds (11.00) and the U18 Girls are away to Dereham (12.00). Bury have conceded the U16 Girls game.

Good luck as always to all our teams this weekend. Please see the Latest News page of the website for the complete list of fixtures. 

A lot of work (big and small) goes on behind the scenes in the clubhouse and on the grounds and over the past few weeks this has included the following with thanks to all involved.

Spraying of both pitches and surrounds to keep algae and moss at bay. Repairs to a rain gun. Fitting of extra electric sockets in clubhouse. Erection of an additional advertising board (Cygnet Care Ltd (Residential Care)). Repairs following a floodlight failure. Cutting of grass and banks. Fitting of new clubhouse heaters. Dealing with two wasps nests. Clearing up of rubbish left on the pitches including last Saturday 12 bottles and assorted gum shields, used paper handkerchiefs etc!!

NB. Teams are reminded to replace the fox on the water-based at the end of play/training each day. 

The FIH has recently decided that indoor hockey should revert back to 6-a-side from 5-a-side which means England Hockey’s flagship indoor competition has changed from Hockey 5s to Super 6s with immediate effect to align the domestic game with the international game. The event returns to The SSE Arena, Wembley on Sunday 31 January and will now include the women’s semi-finals meaning there will be six games instead of four.

The first round of Super 6s matches are on 12-13 December with the second round on 9-10 January to decide the semi-finalists. Tickets for the Finals day cost from £17.50 for an adult and £7.50 for U18’s (plus booking fees) and are now on sale at www.englandhockey.co.uk/super6s

NB. From the beginning of this season an edited version of Musings has been included each week in the Diss Express. Another good reason to buy the paper every Friday! 

With kind regards

Mike Denham
[email protected]

www.magpies-hockey.co.uk web site hosted and managed by IceniPost.com

– – – 


gold star fencing bungay

Gold Star Fencing Bungay