Harleston Magpies 0
Harleston Magpies Men’s Over-50s side suffered yet more heartache as they missed out England Hockey Cup glory for a third time.
Having missed out on the title in 2012 and again last year, Magpies were hoping it would be third time lucky but that was not to prove the case against a very strong Reading outfit at the Lee Valley Sports Centre.
Reading started strongly with Murray Graham making a good save and Jerry Blackmore, who had an outstanding first half in the Magpies’ defence, had to be at his best to nullify former England centre forward Rob Thompson.
Magpies gradually came into the game and they went close in a couple of breaks led by Phil Cobbald but they wasted a 20th minute penalty corner by over-elaboration and were almost punished on the cusp of half-time but their defence were out quickly to smother a Reading penalty corner.
In the fifth minute of the second half Magpies wasted another penalty corner by again not taking a direct shot at goal only to see Reading take the lead a minute later through Thompson with a fierce shot from the edge of the circle high into the top left.
As the game progressed Magpies were relying more and more on the long ball and while some got through to their forwards most were cut out by the Reading defence.
Reading increased their lead with a carbon copy of their first goal with this time Roger Wall firing in from the right edge of the circle.
Five minutes later Magpies were denied a penalty corner when skipper Jon Aldridge was fouled in the circle before they were awarded a penalty corner shortly after following a similar incident.
Peter Dolton stepped up to take the stroke only to see his effort saved by the Reading ‘keeper.
Undeterred Magpies continued to seek the elusive goal but with two minutes to go Tim Armitage made it 3-0 following another penalty corner to wrap up victory and the title.