Harleston forced to settle for a share of the spoils in derby

SETTING SIGHTS: Tom Sumner sets his sights on goal during Harleston Magpies Men's V 1-0 success over Bury St Edmunds II in East Men's League Division Five North East. The result leaves the Magpies fifth in the table
SETTING SIGHTS: Tom Sumner sets his sights on goal during Harleston Magpies Men's V 1-0 success over Bury St Edmunds II in East Men's League Division Five North East. The result leaves the Magpies fifth in the table

Harleston Magpies Ladies were forced to settle for a share of the spoils against rivals Ipswich as the teams played out a goalless draw in Investec Women’s England Hockey Conference East.

In their first game back since the winter break, Magpies found themselves on the backfoot for much of the first half, with stout defending from Lucy Belsey, Kath Johnson and Katrina Sitch, as well as some good saves from Charlotte Lee-Smith, keeping them in the game.

Harleston eventually found a foothold in the match towards the end of the first period and almost went ahead as Maria Andrews was denied with a last-ditch tackle, while Susan Wessels also tested the Ipswich goalkeeper with a reverse stick shot as the score remained goalless at the break.

That momentum continued over into the second half as Magpies continued to dominate proceedings, pushing forward at every opportunity.

Ipswich also caused Magpies some problems as both teams battled hard.

However, with only a few opportunities of note which were easily saved, the rivals settled for a point apiece as the match ended 0-0.

n There was less joy for Harleston Magpies Ladies II in East Women’s League Premier Division B, as they suffered a 3-1 defeat against a strong Cantebury side.

Despite dominating the early stages, Magpies found themselves 2-0 down at the break.

Magpies came out rejuvenated after the interval and struck back as Tor Findlay lifted the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.

The midfield — including the returning Lauren Mickleburgh, Lucy Field, Abby Gooderham, Mel Ludlam and Ellie Tennant — worked hard to contain a lively Canterbury side, but their efforts were not rewarded as the visitors scored a third to seal victory.

n It proved a more successful weekend for Harleston Magpies Ladies VII, who cruised to a 4-0 victory over UEA Ladies IV in Empresa Norfolk League Division Three.

Dominating the match from the start, Harleston broke the deadlock through Emily Woollatt before Julie Davy converted Annie Lancaster’s cross to double the advantage before the break.

The second half proved much of the same with Georgina Saunders converting a pass from Shirley McAllen before Woollatt added her second and Magpies’ fourth to complete the scoring.

n Another team to enjoy that winning feeling was Harleston Magpies Men V, who battled their way to a narrow 1-0 win over Bury St Edmunds III in East Men’s League Division Five North East.

After an even start to the match, Magpies opened the scoring when an excellent passing move involving Sumner, Dolton, Pope and Matt Bensly resulted in the latter placing his shot into the goal.

Although the Magpies continued to pour forward and create a host of further chances there was to be no further breakthrough in a match where young Jamie Hinsley was handed a debut and Tom Norton also impressed.