Magpies finish the season with a share of the spoils

BACK ON TRACK: Harleston Magpies Ladies II halted a winless run of five games with a 3-1 victory over Saffron Walden
BACK ON TRACK: Harleston Magpies Ladies II halted a winless run of five games with a 3-1 victory over Saffron Walden
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ENGLAND HOCKEY LEAGUE
CONFERENCE EAST

Harleston Magpies Ladies 1

St Albans 1

Harleston Magpies Ladies ended the season with a share of the spoils against St Albans as they settled for a promising third-placed finish in the table.

The home side got off to a sluggish start and found themselves behind early on as St Albans broke the deadlock with a deflected reverse-stick shot.

Magpies responded well to the setback and pressed hard up the field to pin the visitors back in their own half. This pressure soon resulted in Lizzie Clymer stealing possession from a St Albans defender before calmly slotting the ball past the goalkeeper to level the scores at the interval.

That momentum continued into the second half as Magpies continued to dominate proceedings. A short corner saw Louisa Greenacre go close but she was denied by a fine diving save by the visiting goalkeeper.

Both sides continued to create chances in the later stages but there was to be no further breakthrough as they settled for a point apiece.

After a successful campaign, the departing Amy Campbell and Debbie Franics were voted players of the season.

n Harleston Magpies Ladies II halted a five-game winless run in East Women’s League Premier Division to end the season on a positive note with a 3-1 victory over Saffron Walden.

Following early pressure which the defence of Frances Taylor, Amy Tuffs, Lauren Rowe and goalkeeper Holly Riches did well to thwart, Magpies found themselves ahead as Lucy Whiting opened the scoring from a penalty flick.

Walden fought back following the goal and their pressure in the later stages of the half finally brought its rewards as a well worked short corner routine brought them level going into the break.

After the interval Magpies took control of the game with Lizzie Clymer, Rachel Herod, Mel Ludlam, Georgie Minta and Lauren Mickleburgh playing some free-flowing hockey which eventually resulted in Whiting doubling her tally from a short corner.

Magpies continued to dictate the play and put the result beyond doubt late on as Tor Findlay found herself in space inside the D to fire past the Walden goalkeeper and seal the win.

n Harleston Magpies Men remain on course to secure promotion from East Men's League Premier Division A after winning 2-0 away at Blueharts in their penultimate game.

In what proved a scrappy opening half, Harleston did find a breakthrough as a swift counter attack resulted in James Meek tapping in.

The second half continued in much the same vein as the Magpies continued to dominate proceedings but proving wasteful in fornt of goal.

However, they did manage to double their tally through Meek following another counter attack.

Blueharts attempted to respond but the defence of Sam Rowe, Tristan Baynes, Leigh Sitch, Mark Wheelhouse and John Livings rebuffed any opportunities.

n In an all club affair in East Men’s League Division Five North East, Harleston Magpies V grabbed the bragging rights over Harleston Magpies VI with a 2-0 victory.

In a match where clear cut opportunities proved at a premium for either side, Magpies V sealed the win with two second-half goals as Andy Caston broke the deadlock with Sol Barker adding a second from a well worked short corner.

The sixth team did create a handful of chances through a series of short corners but they could not find a way past goalkeeper Jordan Wiseman.

The result leaves Magpies VI relying on other results to prevent their relegation from the division, while the fifths face Norwich Dragons in their final league encounter tomorrow.