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Magpies off to a flyer

By Sport Diss

Harleston Magpies I got their Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference East campaign off to a positive start with a 3-0 win away at Bedford on Saturday.

Weybread, Suffolk. 29 September 2018 ..Hockey action from Harleston Magpies Ladies 4 v Norwich City 3..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (4483692)
Weybread, Suffolk. 29 September 2018 ..Hockey action from Harleston Magpies Ladies 4 v Norwich City 3..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (4483692)

The game started at a frantic pace but with neither team able to retain possession or find a breakthrough in the final quarter as things remained goalless.

Magpies’ best chance in the early part of proceedings was created when Lauren Rowe’s short corner drag was well saved by the Bedford goalkeeper, sending the ball high into the air.

As the ball landed and Rose Winter was about the pull the trigger, the umpire awarded Magpies another corner due to the perceived dangerous play that had taken place.

As the half-an-hour mark approached without a goal the visitors were getting anxious that they needed to make their early possession count.

And they did just that after a quick passing move down the right found Emma Lee-Smith, who burst into the circle and slipped the ball square to Tor Findlay to calmly slot home under pressure from the Bedford goalkeeper.

Two minutes later another positive move down the right found Winter, and after an excellent driving run to the top of the circle she doubled Magpies’ lead with a classy strike into the corner of the goal.

Hosting Bedford came out with more purpose in the second half as they looked to find a route back into the contest.

However, Magpies stood firm to challenge, breaking up any attacks and not conceding one short corner all game.

Meanwhile, with the 60-minute mark approaching up the other end of the pitch, Magpies were able to extend their lead with a third goal.

Lee-Smith picked out Rowe inside the circle and she managed to convert the chance with a reverse stick shot.

Magpies have their first home game of the season tomorrow when last term’s runners-up Wimbledon will be the visitors to The Nest (1.30pm).

* Harleston Magpies Ladies IV are still searching for their first win of the 2018/19 season following Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with their Norwich Dragons counterparts.

The result has left Harleston second-from-bottom in the Empresa Norfolk Women’s Hockey League Premier Division standings, having collected just one point from their opening three encounters.

Tomorrow they will be on the road to Norwich City IV, who currently occupy third place after putting two victories on the board so far this season (4pm).

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