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Harleston hoping it will be third time lucky in title quest

Harleston Magpies’ Men’s Over-50s will hope it is third time lucky when they face Reading in the final of the England Hockey Masters Cup.

In 2012 Harleston lost 1-0 to Richmond in the final, before suffering the same fate last year as they went down 2-0 to Ben Rhydding, missing out on glory for a second successive season.

Two years ago, Magpies had no answer to Richmond’s greater pedigree with their inclusion on international players, while last year a lacklustre Harleston performance was seized upon by Ben Rhydding, with a large proportion of their squad being just over the 50-age mark.

However, this season Magpies will travel to the Lee Valley Sports Centre at the Olympic Park on Sunday (11am), strengthened by the inclusion of guest player Andy Law and by their just over-50 contingent of Simon Bardwell, Rob Bensly, Andy Caston, Roger Kent and Alistair Williamson.

Goals have also not been a problem this year with the free-scoring Magpies netting 26 goals in their five games, a tally they will be hoping to build on in what promises to be a very testing encounter.

Magpies squad from: Jon Aldridge (captain), Peter Dolton (player-manager), Simon Bardwell, Rob Bensly, David Blackmore, Jerry Blackmore, Andy Caston, Phil Cobbald, Tony Elston, Peter Finnie, Harry Flatt, Murray Graham (GK), Jerry Herod, Roger Kent, Andy Law, Bob Skinner, Jon Wells and Alistair Williamson.

n Meanwhile, the club are also due to host their annual end-of-season fun tournament event over the bank holiday weekend, with 20 11-a-side teams in action from within and outside the club.

Tomorrow will see the Open Mixed Challenge competition take place between 10.30am and 5pm, before Monday will see the Magpies host the ladies and men’s club XI match, again from 10.30am to 5pm.

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