MEN’S 3RDS GALLOP PAST NEWMARKET FOR PROMOTION
It was the last day of the season for most of our 15 league teams last Saturday and while all were obviously hoping to go out on a high there were special incentives for four of them with the Men’s 3rds and Ladies’ 1sts achieving their objectives while the Men’s 2nds and Girls’ Development came up a little short.
The Men’s 3rds needed to beat fellow promotion hopefuls Newmarket to clinch promotion after being in the top two all season and they did so with ease winning 10-1. They were soon 3-0 up against a less experienced Newmarket side than usual and thereafter the outcome was never in doubt. Scorers were Tristan Hipper (3), Gavin Cole (2), Greg Jagger (2), Jamie Hudson, Matt Brand and James Stacey. Congratulations to captain Matt Brand (who has worked extremely hard once again with the team both on and off the field of play) and to his squad. They still have two games to play and victory in both would ensure they overtake Bury St Edmunds for the league title. They are at home on Saturday to Norwich Dragons 2nds (2.00) and away to Ipswich 2nds seven days later.
Meanwhile playing on the other pitch were the Ladies’ 1sts and their incentive was to get back to winning ways after three successive defeats and they did so in style beating St Albans 4-0 to round-off a highly satisfying season with an excellent fourth place in England Hockey’s East Conference. There was not much between the teams in the first half but Magpies went into the break leading with a splendid goal by Lizzie Clymer when she swept home a cross from Maria Andrews, the team’s player of the season. Magpies dominated the second half. Maria skilfully created space for herself to add the second goal and soon afterwards, following a fast pushout at a penalty corner by Debbie Francis, she fired in her seventeenth goal of the season to finish as the league’s leading goal scorer – a wonderful achievement. Abby Gooderham completed the scoring with an exciting finish high into the net. Very well done to captain Lucy Belsey and her team and to coach Rob Sorrell and manager Nick McAllen.
The Men’s 2nds needed to beat Wapping 2nds (who came into the game at Weybread with the league title virtually assured) to avoid relegation or failing that for Cambridge City 3rds to slip up in their last two games. In the event Magpies fought hard to get something from the game after going 3-0 down early on. Tristan Baynes converted a penalty corner just before the break and Robbie Kinsella narrowed the gap fifteen minutes into the second half but thereafter Magpies were unable to maintain their momentum leaving Wapping to make it 4-2 in their favour before celebrating the league title by spraying themselves with bubbly! We then heard that City 3rds had beaten second placed Bourne Deeping 8-2 to add to their 3-2 victory the previous week over third placed Shefford & Sandy. There is no doubt that things have gone against the Men’s 2nds in recent weeks, e.g. failure to beat Norwich City 2nds after leading, Cambridge City 3rds recent revival and the late penalty stroke the previous week against Upminster. But the real reason for the team’s relegation (their second in successive seasons) was their failure to take any points from their first five games combined with some recent late goals suggesting fitness issues as a leading member of the squad told me after the game. The upshot is that the Men’s 2nds and Men’s 3rds will next season be in the same league something which would have been hard to contemplate as recently as the start of last season when they were three leagues apart.
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2018 – TICKETS England Hockey is hosting this event at Lee Valley in July 2018 and wishes to reward the Hockey Family for their continued loyalty by offering from Thursday 6 April a priority window for the purchase of tickets. Please see the top left of the England Hockey website (available from the England Hockey logo at the top right of the club’s website) for full details.
The Girls’ Development needed to beat Norwich Dragons in their last game of the season to clinch their league title but it wasn’t to be despite a wholehearted effort by the squad. After Dragons had taken the lead a fine strike by Anna Cogdell put Magpies back on terms only for Dragons to win the game 2-1 with an even better shot from the edge of the circle. Despite this defeat it has been an excellent season by the squad under the enthusiastic leadership of player-manager Sandra Elliner who throughout has sought to be fair to all members of the squad in her team selections. It says much for the work that Sandra has done that nine Development girls have progressed to adult hockey this season.
In other home games the Ladies’ 3rds drew and there were defeats for the Men’s 5ths and Ladies’ 6ths. The Ladies’ 3rds played out a 0-0 draw with Ipswich 2nds for whom out-on-loan Magpie Connie Bedingfield had a good game in midfield while for Magpies goalkeeper Holly Riches was as impressive as ever. The Magpies squad can be pleased with how they have played in their first season in the East League. Meanwhile the Men’s 5ths knew they were in for a tough game against league champions and goal machine that is Ipswich 3rds (Andy Cook got his inevitable goal against Magpies together with a blow to an ankle!) and they played far better than the final score of 6-1 would suggest. Magpies fielded six U14s and they did not look out of place at this level. Tom Caston got their goal in the second half with a good finish. The Ladies’ 6ths also knew they were in for a demanding game against 4th placed Norwich City 6ths and they played some good hockey with plenty of determination despite going down 6-1. Ellen Pope scored their second half goal following a strong penalty corner strike by Vanessa Vigrass.
There was mixed success for our teams away from home. The Men’s 1sts, including at least three injured bodies, lost 1-0 to a late Bedford goal and for the record this was the first time in 46 East Premier ‘A’ games the team had failed to score. This coming Saturday they complete their programme with a re-arranged away game against City of Peterborough (1.00) who lost their chance of promotion back to the national league going down last Saturday to Old Loughtonians who have finished the season strongly to take the promotion spot. Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds rounded off their good season in style beating St Ives 4-0 with their goals coming from Jess Howland, Anna Tighe, Lottie Summers and Alice Woollatt. MOTM was Kath Johnson who has had another fine season following her return from injury.
TASTER CRICKET SESSIONS FOR LADIES AND GIRLS AT MAGPIES on Tuesdays 4 and 11 April (6-7 pm) in conjunction with Topcroft Cricket Club – please click image for details.
The Ladies’ 4ths returned to winning ways beating Norwich City 3rds 2-0 with their best performance of the season. Their goals came from Imi Meynell-Anderson and moved the team up to a very satisfactory 6thplace in their league. The Men’s 4ths ended a most successful season with a slightly disappointing 6-2 defeat against Pelicans 3rds. Their cause was not helped by having to start short of players due to traffic delays on the outskirts of Kings Lynn and they were 4-0 down after twenty minutes. Thereafter they drew the game 2-2 (!) and they dominated the second half with goals by Arthur Johnson and David Cadman. The Ladies’ 5ths drew 3-3 with Diss. After falling a goal behind Grace Collison and Rachel Clifford put them ahead only for Diss to equalise following a mishit by the visitors’ captain! Diss then took the lead before Rachel got her second late in the game to round-off an excellent season by Jose Tibbenham and her team. The Men’s 6ths were required to change alfresco in the car park at Thetford as the changing room was locked! With their usual pre-match routine now badly disrupted (!) they soon fell a goal behind and they eventually went down 5-1 with their goal coming from Lewis Belsey. It has been a tough season for the 6ths but to their credit they have battled away. The Ladies’ 7ths completed their season with a 0-0 draw against Loddon 2nds. At the beginning of the season the future of the team looked bleak but an influx of players has seen the team get to the end of the season in good heart.
Like the Girls the Boys’ Development were also hoping to win their league title by beating Norwich City away but after City called off due to a lack of available players Magpies’ manager Mark Emms agreed in the best spirit of development hockey to postpone the game to this coming Saturday (but now at Weybread at 10.45) instead of claiming the three points.
U14 BOYS EAST LEAGUE REGIONAL FINALS Congratulations to James Smith and Bex Pottruff and all members of their ‘team’ on a very successful management and hosting of Sunday’s Pool B.Cambridge City emerged as deserved winners of the 4-team pool winning all their three games thereby progressing to the national finals. For Magpies, who played well in spells, it was a case of what might have been at the end of a really good season. In their opening game they were beaten 1-0 by Cambs City when with a little more accurate passing they could have got a point. They then eased passed Southgate with goals by Ollie Mayhew and James Webster and in their final game they were edged out 2-1 (James again) by Sevenoaks who after beating Southgate and then leading City before going down 2-1 had earlier looked favourites.
MAGPIES’ LADIES RUNNING FOR CHARITY They would much appreciate your support via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Magpies-Ladies-Hockey?utm_id=27 For more details please see the club’s website.
END OF SEASON SENIOR AWARDS EVENING This successful event was held at Wortwell Community Centre last Saturday. Joe Cooksey, the chairman of the Fund Raising & Social Committee, acted as MC and he got the presentations underway with some interesting and varied statistics about the season before thanking club officials and team captains for all their hard work and enthusiasm during the season. Joe then introduced the team captains who said a few words about their season and club president Philippa Taylor made the team presentations. Club vice-chairman Nick Durrant then read out the citations of the trophy and cup winners and Philippa made the presentations. Nick concluded the presentations part of the evening by thanking the Fund Raising & Social Committee for organising the event and by paying tribute to Philippa for all her hard work and dedication during her three years as deputy president and three years as president.
(Betty Whipps Cup – for player of the year)
(Young Player Of The Year Trophy)
(Leeder Cup – for player of the year)
(Young Player Of The Year Trophy)
|Jon Aldridge and Phil Cobbald (support to captain)
|Phoebe Eglington (Most improved player)
|Alex Kilbourn (leading goal scorer)
|Kieran Peters (Most improved player)
|To be awarded later
Flatt (Most improved player)
|To be awarded later
|Sophie Govier-Schaay (most improved young player)
WardTrophy (For outstanding long service)
|Female Club Person of the Year
|The Magpie Cup
(To mark a season of outstanding service)
|Craig Whipps Cup
(For club’s ‘unsung hero’)
|Male Club Person of the Year
Trophy (For outstanding youth coaching services)
|To be awarded at youth awards evening
|80th Anniversary Cup
(For outstanding service to the club)
Cup(For significant contribution to the Magpies community)
Good luck as always to all our teams this coming weekend including the U14 Girls in the Midlands League Regional Finals where in Pool B on Sunday at Leicester Grammar School they play Reading, Cirencester and Leicester. Please see the website for the list of fixtures.
EAST REGIONAL FINALS Best wishes to Matt Brand, Tristan Baynes and David Francis who have been selected to represent Norfolk O40s in the regional finals at Lee Valley on Sunday and to Eric Davy who will be representing Norfolk O50s.
Finally, congratulations to out-on-loan Magpie Tom Graham and his University of Durham team-mates on winning the North Conference of the England Hockey League with 18 victories from 18 games! Best wishes to them in the promotion play-offs.
APOLOGIES FOR THE LENGTH OF THIS MUSINGS. Fortunately reading it is not compulsory!
With kind regards