EAST MEN’S LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION A
Harleston Magpies 4
St Albans 1
Harleston Magpies moved to within two points of league leaders Wapping with a 4-1 win over St Albans to keep their title dreams alive.
The home side started the stronger of the two sides with Andy Hipwell firing narrowly wide before Harleston found the breakthrough their early pressure deserved as Richard Larkin fed Toby Price to fire home.
St Albans responded well to the setback and soon found themselves level following a series of short corners despite the best defensive efforts of Leigh Sitch and Sam Rowe, who was injured following a blocked effort.
Back came the Magpies, with Ben Wright firing them back in front from close range following a flowing move before the same player doubled his tally shortly after slotting in a powerful effort from a short corner to put the home side in control at the interval.
The second half saw the visitors enjoy the better opportunities but the defensive unit of Andrew Bedwell, Tristan Baynes, Mark Wheelhouse and John Livings stood firm throughout.
And their doggedness was rewarded with four minutes to play as a quick counter attack saw Will Martin release Price who made no mistake to slot home and seal the victory.
n There was less joy for Harleston Magpies V in Division Five North East as they suffered a 4-2 defeat at home against IES IV.
Harleston proved no match for the visitors in the first half as they raced into a three goal lead.
It became 4-0 shortly after the restart before James Smith and Ewen Cumming added late consolations.
n Harleston Magpies Ladies moved up to second in the England Hockey Conference East League with a fourth straight victory after overcoming Sevenoaks 3-1.
Magpies quickly broke the deadlock as Charlotte Harrison fired in after just five minutes.
That momentum continued and Harleston put themselves in a commanding position at the break with two further quick fire goals from Emma Lee-Smith and Maria Andrews.
The second-half belonged to Sevenoaks who pulled a goal back from a short corner but it proved too little too late as Magpies held out for the win.
n Harleston Magpies Ladies II got back to winning ways in East Women’s League Premier Division with a spirited 2-1 victory over Ipswich.
Having suffered a 3-1 defeat away at Norwich Dragons a day previously in which Lauren Mickleburgh scored, Magpies got off to another poor start against their struggling opponents who took the lead early on from a rare attack.
However, Harleston responded well to the setback and got themselves level before the break as Tor Findlay deflected Lauren Rowe’s strike in past the Ipswich goalkeeper.
That momentum continued with the Magpies after the break who got themselves ahead shortly after the restart as Izzy Knowles found herself free at the far post to tap in the winner.
n Harleston Magpies’ Men’s Over 50’s secured their place in the semi-finals of the Now Pensions England Hockey Masters Cup following an emphatic 6-0 win over West Wilts.
A Jon Aldridge hat-trick was added to with a brace from Roger Kent and further strike from Cobbald to complete the scoring, while there was solid displays from Murray Graham, Simon Bardwell, Rob Bensley and Andy Caston.
They have been drawn to play Barford Tigers away in the semi-finals on Sunday, April 19.