Promotion soon from the Empresa Norfolk Premier League to the East League! But which Magpies’ team will it be? It has to be either the Ladies’ 3rds or the Ladies’ 4ths after both achieved notable wins under considerable pressure last Saturday to finally shake off the opposition. The 3rds continue to lead the 4ths by three points and they have two games to go while the 4ths have a game in hand and a superior goal difference which could yet be decisive. After hearing the 4ths had beaten promotion hopefuls Norwich Dragons 3rds 4-1 away in the morning the 3rds went into their 3.30pm home game with in-form UEA 2nds knowing they just had to win to retain their league leadership.

The game started badly for the 3rds with the UEA 2nds soon into the lead and it could have got a lot worse but for a penalty stroke save by Megan Brown deputising in goal for the injured Holly Riches. This spurred Magpies on and they soon began to look the better side but could they break down the UEA defence? The answer came well into the first half when in-form Caz Aldous-Goodge was on hand to score from close range after heavy Magpies pressure with Katie Kinsella and Mia King prominent. Magpies continued to press forward after the break and what turned out to be their winner came when Sarah Legg bundled the ball just over the line. UEA looked dangerous when allowed to run at the otherwise sound Magpies’ defence but they rarely threatened to equalise. Nevertheless the final whistle came as a considerable relief to the Magpies’ players and supporters as they celebrated this 2-1 win. This was the UEA’s first defeat since the 3rds beat them on 14 November.

Earlier the 4ths had played their best hockey of the season against Norwich Dragons 3rds and Rhe Coleman put them ahead at a well-worked penalty corner in the first half. Dragons, with ex-Magpie Kristina Smyth playing well in goal, equalised early after the break before Magpies went back in front through Anna Kilbourn. Laura Tibbenham then scored her thirtieth goal of the season with Rhe making the game safe to clinch the team’s 4-1 win. Kate Russell and Phoebe Preece controlled the game from midfield and Anna Kilbourn was voted Duchess of the Day. This coming Saturday the 4ths are away to UEA 2nds (NB. 11.30) while the 3rds are at home to Broadland (3.30).


Arrive 7.30pm Awards 8.00pm Taxis 12.00am. Dress: Smart
Tickets (which must be purchased in advance) are £20.00 and are available from clubhouse bar or from Jackie and Kevin Ridley 01379 854697 or 07815 199803. Please come to help make this evening both enjoyable and successful.

The Ladies’ 5ths, fielding seven of the U14 team, had set the ball rolling at Weybread on the coldest day of the season beating UEA 3rds 5-0 with some good open hockey. They were 3-0 ahead at the interval through Phoebe Eglington and Georgie Cantrell (2) with Alice Evans-Hendrick and Amelia Herschel-Shorland completing the scoring in the second half. This Saturday the team is at home to Broadland 2nds (3.15).

The Men’s 3rds and Men’s 4ths then followed with splendid wins of their own. The 3rds kept alive their promotion hopes by returning to form to beat Norwich City 4ths 8-3. Phil Cobbald put them ahead with a typically thumping shot from the edge of the circle. Goals then flowed at a gratifying rate with skipper Matt Brand leading by example with four. Gavin Cole added a couple with Jon Aldridge scoring with a deft flick high into the net to make it 8-1 before City hit back with two late goals. The team is at home to North Norfolk on Saturday (1.45).

The 4ths needed to beat North Norfolk 2nds to banish any lingering relegation fears and they did so reasonably comfortably helped by an Andy Johnson hat-trick and a rare but very welcome appearance of Toby Tibbenham who dominated in mid-field. It was 2-0 at half time after two typical reverse stick shots by Andy. After the interval 14 year old Alex Kilbourn showed what a promising talent he is by setting up Andy‘s third before scoring himself from a rebound off a post in the team’s 4-0 win.

Meanwhile the Ladies’ 2nds were taking on Maidstone needing a win to keep alive their slim survival hopes. They dominated the opening twenty minutes without scoring before Maidstone hit back with a quick brace including a smart penalty stroke conversion. Kara Kilbourn gave Magpies hope of a comeback with a goal just before half time. Magpies continued to play some good hockey in a goalless second half which means the team is sadly relegated in a league where four teams drop out. This Saturday they are at home to Bedford (2.00).

There was mixed success for our teams away from home. The Men’s 2nds disappointing season continued when they lost 4-1 away to bottom-placed Felixstowe after dominating the first half without reward despite chances to open up a decisive lead. They did eventually go ahead early in the second half through MOTM Thomas Ridley’s reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle only for Felixstowe to convert four penalty corners with two deflections and two drag flicks. Magpies can still avoid relegation but they must get a minimum of four points from their two games this weekend away to Long Sutton on Saturday (1.00) and at home to Waltham Forest on Sunday (12.00) and then beat Wisbech on the final day of the season to have a good chance.


PLEASE COME TO SUPPORT OUR TEAM! Four years ago Richmond beat us 1-0 in the final at Cannock. Magpies’ impressive looking squad is – Jon Aldridge (captain), Peter Dolton (player-manager), Simon Bardwell, David Blackmore, Jerry Blackmore, Andy Caston, Clyde Camburn, Phil Cobbald, Tony Elston, Murray Graham (GK), Jerry Herod, Roger Kent, Andy Law, Andy Palmer (GK), Bob Skinner, Jon Wells and Alistair Williamson.

After three successive wins the Ladies’ 1sts lost 3-2 away to Maidenhead with ex-England star Jane Smith converting a last minute penalty stroke for the home side. Earlier Maria Andrews and Abby Gooderham had twice equalised for Magpies who this Saturday are away to Wimbledon (2.00).

The Men’s 6ths won yet again beating Norfolk Nomads 4-1. The threat of promotion doesn’t seem to be deterring Eric Davy and his team! Nomads were a goal ahead approaching half time when Jon Wells fired in a penalty corner equaliser. Midway through the second half Roger Kent continued his very welcome return from injury with two quick goals and he completed his hat-trick from a penalty corner after the final whistle. Since early December the team has dropped just two points in nine games and has risen to second place in their league and if they were race horses there would have been a stewards’ enquiry by now! But they have two really tough games to complete their season starting away to fourth-placed Norwich City 6ths on Saturday (10.45) before hosting league champions Bury St Edmunds 5ths on Saturday week.

END OF SEASON SENIOR AWARDS EVENING – have you got your ticket yet? Please see above.

Meanwhile the Girls’ Development were beating Yarmouth 4-1 with goals by Amy Collison (2), Georgie Gardens and Holly Hanrahan although the official score is a 5-0 win as to fulfil the fixture Yarmouth understandably fielded three adults (instead of the permitted two) and some over-age players. There is a home double-header for the team this weekend with Watton on Saturday (10.15) and Norwich Dragons on Sunday (10.30).

The Men’s 5ths went down 5-2 to Thetford Town but they played well. Saul Wells put them ahead before Thetford converted a stroke. They then lost Andy Caston due to injury. James Harvey had an excellent game in goal and James Webster the elder reduced the arrears in the last few minutes. The team is away to Watton this week (4.00).

The Ladies’ 6ths fielded one of their youngest sides of the season away to Norwich Dragons 6ths with the new additions to the team doing well. In a game of few scoring opportunities the Magpies defence kept them in the game before being caught on the break late in the game to lose 1-0. The MOTM honour was shared by Alice Wiseman and Julie Davy.

The Ladies’ 7ths and the Boys’ Development didn’t play last Saturday due to Pelicans 3rds calling off and ‘no fixture’ respectively. This Saturday the Ladies’ 7ths are away to Breckland (10.00) while the Boys’ Development play Norwich Dragons (4.00) away in a game they almost certainly need to win to have a realistic chance of retaining their league title with one further game to play on Saturday week. If Dragons win they are the new champions as they lead Magpies by one point.

On Sunday the Men’s 1sts were given a lesson in how to take penalty corners with Cambridge City converting four of their six on their way to a 5-1 win at Weybread. For much of the game Magpies matched their opponents with Ben Wright reducing the arrears to 3-1 midway through the second half to give his side a glimmer of hope. But shortly afterwards the home defence was caught out by a quickly taken free hit before City converted their final penalty corner. The game which was played in a good spirit ended in a flurry of cards for minor offences. Magpies complete their season away to West Herts on Sunday (2.00).

Several of the Men’s 1sts then stayed on the pitch to help the Mixed team to a 5-0 win over old rivals Norwich City in the 3rd round of the EH Mixed Trophy. City forced John Livings to make a good save in the opening seconds. Magpies gradually settled into the game without ever looking likely to repeat their 9-1 win over the same opponents last season. Goals by Maria Andrews and Katrina Sitch had them 2-0 up at half time. Ben Wright made the game relatively safe for Magpies early in the second half with a delightful lob over the City goalkeeper before Robbie Kinsella took his chance well with a crisp shot from the left of the goal. Ben then presented Lucy Whiting with a chance which she gratefully accepted to round off a game in which City had far more of the play than suggested by the final score.

Our teams in the Norwich Dragons’ Minis did the club proud once again with the U10 and U12 Girls winning their events and with the U10 and U12 Boys ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams all coming second. Youth Development Officer James Smith has asked me to make special mention of Elliott Chapman and Inigo Beuno de Mesquita who kept goal for both teams in their respective age groups and of the U10 Boys ‘A’ who came the first team to beat Norwich Dragons ‘A’ this season.

Best of luck to all our teams this weekend. Please see the website for the full list of fixtures.

300 CLUB March 2016 winners – £20 Susan Tolhurst, £20 Roy Whipps, £15 Caroline Phillips, £15 Philip Banham, £15 Derek Dack, £15 John Hall. If you would like to join the 300 Club (£12 per number for club members and £13 per number for the year for non-club members) please contact Angie Wheelhouse at angiewheelhouseYOU WILL BE VERY WELCOME! The names of all the monthly winners going back to September 2012 are on the club’s website.

Another long article but only because there is so much going on at the club!

With kind regards

Mike Denham
[email protected]
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