On the last scheduled day of the league season two further issues were decided, namely the Men’s 2nds avoided relegation and the Men’s 3rds missed out on promotion by one point. But the destination of the Norfolk Premier League title remains undecided after leaders Ladies’ 3rds and second-placed Ladies’ 4ths both had comfortable home wins.

The Men’s 2nds won for the third successive game beating Wisbech 6-1 at home for East Premier B survival. James Meek put them ahead and after Wisbech converted a penalty stroke David Francis and Sam Moore had them 3-1 ahead at half time. Immediately after the break Robbie Kinsella converted from a narrow angle and the decision incensed the visitors who subsequently lost their composure. Thomas Ridley then converted a penalty corner with a fiercely hit shot before Sam completed the scoring. This win was a fine performance by the team who were without skipper Lawrence Baynes, the player of the season, who was confined to the manager’s role following his broken rib sustained the previous weekend.

The Men’s 3rds needed to beat Norwich City 3rds away for promotion but fell agonisingly short after a splendid 4-4 draw during which in the second half City learned a point would be enough for their own promotion hopes. After an early setback Gavin Cole equalised for Magpies and after a 60 metre aerial caused confusion in the away defence and with it another goal for City Luke Edwards soon had Magpies level again. Skipper Matt Brand then put Magpies ahead only for the home team to make it 3-3 on the cusp of half time. Magpies then tried to force the issue but City scored next before Matt made it 4-4 and that was the end of the scoring. To miss promotion by one point was obviously a big disappointment but Matt and his team can be proud of the hockey they have played this season.

The Ladies’ 4ths were soon into their stride against Norwich City 3rds and as soon as Kathryn Bullen and Laura Tibbenham had scored to give them an early two-goal lead there was no doubt which team was going to claim the three points. By half time the home team was 6-1 ahead with further goals by Anna Kilbourn, Laura, Kathryn and Laura in that order. After the interval Laura scored her fourth to make the final score 7-1. The Ladies’ 3rds then followed them on the sand-based needing to beat Dereham 3rds in their last game of the season to regain their three-point advantage over the 4ths who have a game in hand and a much better goal difference. The 3rds have rediscovered their goal scoring touch of late after three goalless draws on the resumption after Christmas and they demonstrated this with Sarah Legg firing them ahead early in the game. After half time they hit top form with five more goals much to the delight of their supporters. Sarah banged in three more with the others coming from Katie Kinsella and Millie Preece with a superb piece of individual skill to complete a 6-0 win.

The Ladies’ 4ths now hope they can beat Evergreens this coming Saturday at Gresham’s School (11.00) to win the Norfolk Premier league on goal difference from the 3rds and while Evergreens languish near the bottom of the table they can defend resolutely as they demonstrated at Weybread in holding the 3rds to a goalless draw before nearly winning in a last minute breakaway. Whatever the outcome of the match the club will have the satisfaction of a second ladies’ team in the East league structure next season.

The Ladies’ 1sts under skipper Lucy Belsey completed their season with an excellent 3-1 home win over second-placed Cambridge City to finish a very satisfactory fifth place in the East Conference. Susan Wessels put them ahead in the first half before with a trademark reverse stick shot she rifled in a second half penalty corner. Lizzie Clymer then made it 3-0 before City hit back with a late penalty stroke conversion in a high quality match. Tosh Lee-Smith made a series of outstanding saves in goal for Magpies while Emma Lee-Smith once again gave a masterclass of how to play the game with her stick work, pace and passing.

There was mixed success for the club in other home games. The Men’s 6ths looked anything but the all-conquering promoted team of late but from 3-0 down against league champions Bury St Edmunds 5ths they recovered well with two second half goals by the impressive Lewis Belsey (who only took up hockey at last year’s May Day Weekend Tournament) to lose by the odd goal. The Men’s 5ths completed their satisfactory season beating Norwich Exiles 4-2 with goals by Andy Caston 2, Tim Goodge (father) and Tom Goodge (son) while Andy’s son Tom and Michael Ahrens scored for the Boys’ Development in their 2-0 win over Norwich City. The Ladies’ 6ths rounded off play for the day with a good 1-1 draw against North Norfolk 2nds with Molly Warnes scoring and Grace Collison in impressive form.

The away performance of the day was achieved by the Ladies’ 2nds who surprised high flying hosts Bromley & Beckenham winning 3-2 for a much-deserved change of fortune after a series of narrow defeats. Maria Andrews put them ahead with two penalty corner conversions before BromBeck hit back to level the scores. Maria then got an open play winner for a splendid hat-trick. Yes Maria – I do call that a hat-trick! Meanwhile the Ladies’ 5ths, for whom Heather Brand deputised well in defence for the absent Janet Brown, went down 3-0 against Dereham 4ths. Unfortunately Georgie Cantrell had to go to hospital with a hand injury.


The Ladies’ 7ths lost a very close match with Loddon 2nds conceding the only goal of the game in the last five minutes. Daphne Beckett was MOTM making many vital tackles in the centre of the field. The Men’s 4ths lost 4-1 (James Webster the elder) to Norwich City 5ths and the very young Girls’ Development lost 4-1 (Emma Cogdell) to Norwich Dragons.

The Social and Fund Raising Committee took the decision early in the season to move the Senior Awards Evening to the Apollo Club in town and to combine the presentations with a buffet and disco and they were rewarded with an attendance last Saturday of over 150 members and supporters (with thanks to Kevin and Jackie Ridley for selling the tickets) making it a very enjoyable and successful evening. Club chairman Murray Graham thanked club officials and team captains for all their hard work and enthusiasm during the season and he summed up the highlights of the last few months. Following a few words by the team captains about their season he congratulated and made presentations to the team winners listed below. Murray concluded the presentations part of the evening by congratulating and thanking the various club trophy winners who are also listed below. It was then time for the buffet and what nowadays passes for dancing! Whatever happened to the Paso Doble? But it was good fun!

Team Awards

Player of the seasonMost improved playerPlayer of the seasonMost improved player
1Emma Lee-Smith
(Betty Whipps Cup)
Young Player Of The Year Trophy –
Abby Gooderham
Ben Wright
(Leeder Cup)
Young Player Of The Year Trophy –
Toby Price
2Lauren MickleburghVictoria (Tor) FindlayLawrence BaynesJonty Herschel-Shorland
3Victoria (Plum) SweetSophie ChildMatt BenslyTop scorer –
Gavin Cole
4Laura TibbenhamPhoebe PreeceRobert NealTop scorer –
Kieran Peters
5Imogen Meynell-AndersonPhoebe EglingtonJames HarveyTeam member of the year (Spirit of Magpies) – Jack Robertson
6Julie DavyMolly WarnesLewis BelseyTeam member of the year – Ross Carter
7Lili MohiddinEmily HowlandN/AN/A


Other Awards

Award WinnersAward Winners
Rushworth WardTrophy (For outstanding long service)Nick McAllenFemale Club Person of the YearKatrina Sitch
The Magpie Cup
(To mark a season of outstanding service)
Karen RayCraig Whipps Cup
(For club’s ‘unsung hero’)
Eric Davy
Male Club Person of the YearJames SmithLonge Trophy (For outstanding youth coaching services)Sandra Elliner
80th Anniversary Cup (For outstanding service to the club)Andrew LongeChairman’s Cup
(For significant contribution to the Magpies community)
Mike Denham


Congratulations to the U10 Girls ‘A’ and U12 Girls ‘A’ on winning their respective tournaments at Watton while James Smith comments on the Boys’ teams at Watton as follows.

magpies minis

A tough afternoon on the hockey pitch saw all Magpies’ teams having to defend hard and slip to the occasional defeat. In the U12s the squad tried a few new ideas but too often came out on the wrong end of the score line despite some excellent goal keeping by Jacob Fairweather. It was a long afternoon of hockey against some determined oppositions. The U10 ‘B’ team found life equally as tough finishing fourth in their group with the lack of natural goal scorers hampering the team resulting in too many 0 – 0 score lines to be a title contender. The U10 ‘A’ team fared better finishing runners-up with a string of strong performances and playing some good quality hockey under stand-in manager Chris Flatt.

Meanwhile the Norfolk O50s side including Magpies’ Simon Bardwell, Jerry Blackmore and Murray Graham won the East O50’s tournament in Cambridge.

Courses etc.
Please see the Latest News page of the club’s website for details of the following:

(a) Level 1 Umpire Course at Framlingham HC on Sunday 3 April (deadline for entries tomorrow Wednesday 23 March).

(b) Introduction to Hockey Coaching at Langley School on Sunday 24 April.

(c) Magpies May Day Weekend Hockey Festival (Saturday 30 April and Monday 2 May) and how to enter teams.

(d) Magpies summer training for Boys and Girls 2016.

Dates for your diary please:
Strawberry Luncheon – Sunday 19 June (details to be announced)
Annual General Meeting – Thursday 23 June (7.30)

You will be spared a Musings next week! Thereafter until the end of the season they will be more mini than maxi you will be pleased to know after this monster edition!

With kind regards

Mike Denham
[email protected]

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