Harleston Magpies 7
Harleston Magpies’ Mixed Team reached their fourth semi-final in five seasons by winning comfortably on the road at Horsham on Sunday.
The visitors were keen to make a positive start and they did just that when Simon Hipwell pounced on a loose ball and raced through one-on-one with the home goalkeeper, whom he beat with a low shot.
Now in the ascendancy, Magpies set about scoring a second goal which arrived via Hipwell again.
On this occasion it took him three attempts to get the ball over the line, but nevertheless he extended his side’s lead.
It was 3-0 soon after as Richard Larkin’s reverse stick shot was diverted into the net at waist height by Lucy Whiting.
Horsham ended the half strongly and they sought a route back into the game via counter-attacks, all of which were rebuffed by Leigh Sitch and Andrew Bedwell.
The hosts managed to pull a goal back at the start of the second half, but Magpies’ three-goal advantage was soon restored when former England international Tim Whiteman played a quick one-two with Hipwell, before sneaking between two defenders and deftly lobbing the goalkeeper with his reverse stick.
Whiteman was then green carded for a sliding challenge, but Magpies continued to attack despite their numerical disadvantage.
Maria Andrews scored a fifth goal via a tap-in, with Laura Tibbenham getting in on the act after Hipwell had played her through on goal.
The scoring was completed by Robbie Kinsella, who struck the ball home after a long run.
Magpies will now head for Lee Valley on the weekend of June 3-4 for finals day along with Spencer, Khalsa and Stourport.
n Magpies duo Maria Andrews and Abby Gooderham have been voted by the players of the other clubs into the East Conference Team Of The Season.
In addition, Andrews — the division’s leading scorer with 17 goals — was selected as the Player Of The Season.
n Harleston Magpies Ladies’ Over-35s travel to the Olympic Park on Sunday to play Timperley in the final of the National Trophy buoyed by their 2-1 semi-final win away to Jersey last month.
In their debut season in the event, Magpies have also beaten Harpenden, Norwich Dragons, Bury St Edmunds and Teddington.
n On Saturday and Monday, Magpies are hosting their annual May Day Weekend Hockey Festival — visit www.magpies-hockey.co.uk for more details.