Ben Underwood


Top billing goes this week to the Ladies’ and Men’s 1sts for their battling performances over the weekend. The Ladies thoroughly deserved their home 0-0 draw on Saturday with St Albans while on Sunday the Men gave hosts and table topping Richmond their toughest game of the season in going down by three goals to one. A return of just one point from the two games was a meagre reward for the efforts of our two teams but reflects the standard of the opposition they are facing each week.

The Ladies went into their game missing three regulars, including Kath Johnson due to illness, and they were given a stern test by St Albans who despite having more of the play rarely looked likely to get the better of the home defence which once again was in excellent form. In midfield Emma Lee-Smith was playing at her very best with her tackling, ball control and passing a delight to see. If ever a team deserved to get something out of a game it was Magpies for whom goal scoring still remains a problem. I haven’t remarked on the efforts this season of captain Lucy Belsey so I would like to put that right by thanking Lucy for the sausages, potato and beans she served me after the game! Joking apart Lucy was again in excellent form at the back together with Louisa Greenacre while in front of them Debbie Francis was her usual reliable and committed self in a really good team performance. This coming Saturday the team are away to Chelmsford (12.00) who last weekend had a good win away to Hampstead and Westminster.

Jon Livings and Leigh Sitch

The Men started well against Richmond winning an early penalty corner without reward before in the fourteenth minute they conceded a penalty stroke which even the Richmond supporters thought was harsh. As the ball was crossed from the left into the circle (well away from the goal) Richard Larkin impeded the Richmond forward when going for the ball. Richard was sent to the sin-bin with a yellow to make matters worse and Richmond converted. Magpies’ goalkeeper John Livings, later voted MOTM by his peers, then made two good saves before Richmond put away a penalty corner. Toby Price, who was having his best game of the season, shot narrowly over the bar before Magpies scored the goal of the game. Leigh Sitch found Ben Wright with a long ball down the left and he centred for Ben Underwood to deflect home in spectacular style for his first goal for the club. Magpies matched Richmond – for whom ex-England star Mark Pearn played as well as ever in midfield – for most of the second half but once again the home team showed the value of penalty corner conversions to complete the scoring. During the second half and following my comments a Richmond supporter asked me, in the best of spirits, which game I was watching! This Saturday Magpies are home to Brighton and Hove (2.00) in a ‘must win’ game.

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THIS SATURDAY (10 October), Clubhouse, 7.30pm
Tickets £10 from behind the bar or on the door. Please come!
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It has to be said that last Saturday was far from being the most successful in the club’s history but I will do my best to find the positives where they exist. After the excellent draw achieved by the Ladies’ 1sts pride of place must go to the Ladies’ 4ths (who will almost certainly think they should be headlining this week!) and the Ladies’ 7ths. The 4ths dominated their game at home to Evergreens winning 6-0 and after considerable post-match discussion the general consensus was that their goals were scored (in this order) by Sarah Legg, Laura Betts, Laura Tibbenham, Mia King, Rhe Colman and Laura T again with the sixth. Meanwhile the 7ths were beating Carrow 3rds 1-0 away with a goal by Charlotte Underdown to give them a very timely boost. This week the 4ths are at home to Carrow 1sts (3.15) while the 7ths are away to Norwich Dragons 7ths (11.30).

Next on the sand-based were the Girls’ Development and after going two goals down to Pelicans they made an excellent recovery to draw 2-2 with a late brace by the prolific Georgie Cantrell. They were followed by the Men’s 2nds who went down 6-2 (Myles King and Lawrence Baynes) to an in-form and high scoring Spalding. It was then the turn of the Ladies’ 3rds who lost for the first time this season going down 3-0 to Norwich Dragons 3rds for whom it was a happy return to the club for their goalkeeper and HMHC’s ex-club captain Kristina Smyth. Magpies were without skipper Lucy Field who will now have to content herself with management duties as she is expecting her second child in April. Best wishes to Lucy and husband Stuart.

Over on the water after a 5-0 defeat for the Ladies’ 5ths by Norwich Dragons 4ths the Men’s 5ths went down 3-0 to an experienced Lowestoft Railways 2nds. In at times a tetchy encounter Magpies did not help themselves by some hurried passing when a little more thought could have paid dividends. After the game a disgruntled Simon Bardwell said ‘I made my one clean tackle of the year and I got blown for it!’ Later the Men’s 6ths drew 1-1 with Norfolk Nomads 2nds in a game they should have won comfortably. Their equaliser was a little special with Lewis Belsey powering in a cross from the right for James Webster to fire home. It was good to see Graham Ramm umpiring the game.

Away from home the Ladies’ 2nds went down 6-0 to West Herts (after the score was 0-0 at half-time); the Men’s 3rds lost 3-2 (Tristan Hipper 2) to Lowestoft Railway after being 2-0 down at one stage and the Men’s 4ths lost 4-3 to league leaders IES 3rds after being 3-1 up. Their goals were scored by Stuart Peters, Ben Kilburn and James Smith.

If Saturday’s results were disappointing the wins on Sunday in their respective England Hockey championships by the U14 Boys and U16 Girls and Boys were very encouraging. The U14 Boys beat Norwich Dragons 5-2 (Tom Caston 4, Jude Pottruff) away; the U16 Girls beat Sudbury 6-0 (Abby Gooderham 2, Tor Findlay 2, Lottie Summers and Mia King) away while at home the U16 Boys beat Norwich Dragons 7-0 with goals by Josh Mayhew (2), Alex Kilbourn (2), Jack Robertson, Will Donsworth and Matt Bensly. Meanwhile the U14 Girls lost 5-0 at home to Pelicans.

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

– TIER 2
Congratulations to the following members who after their Tier 1 matches have been selected to progress on the England hockey ladder as follows. 

U18 Girls (Futures Cup)– Maria Andrews
U17 Girls (HIPAC)– Abby Gooderham
U16 Girls (Futures Cup) – Molly Redgrove and Lauren Rowe
U15 Girls (HIPAC) – Millie Preece, Lottie Summers, Rose Winter
U17 Boys (HIPAC) – Zaman Akhter and Alex Emsden
U16 Boys (Futures Cup) – Archie Winter

It is tough on the members who have not been selected. I urge them not to be downhearted but to keep developing their skills. I always cite ex-Magpie Richard ‘Ratty’ Alexander who after being disappointed to miss out on the Junior World Cup in Australia went on the play many times for England and Great Britain including representing GB in the Beijing Olympics.

Vaughan Dearling was at the club on Saturday and he is recovering well from his left knee replacement surgery eight weeks ago. Sam Moore should be playing this weekend for the first time for twelve months following his anterior cruciate ligament injury which necessitated two operations (the second after an infection following the first) and plenty of rehab work. Andy Hipwell hopes to be back in action this Saturday following the deep head wound he sustained playing last Saturday week while Simon Hipwell hopes to ease back into first team contention starting in a couple of weeks following his broken collar bone.

I apologise to Tom Norton for crediting his goal for the Men’s 4ths against Ipswich 3rds in last week’s edition to Sol Barker. This was particularly unfortunate as Tom played extremely well and his goal was a really good one. Message to Sol – you may keep your other goal in the 5-1 win!

With kind regards
Mike Denham
[email protected] 6/10/15 web site hosted and managed by

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