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Magpies warm-up for nationals with runners-up at regional event

HOME DEFEAT: Harleston Magpies men were in action outdoors at Shotford Heath on Saturday, losing 3-2 to Bedford (see report bottom right)
HOME DEFEAT: Harleston Magpies men were in action outdoors at Shotford Heath on Saturday, losing 3-2 to Bedford (see report bottom right)

Harleston Magpies Ladies’ first team scooped second place at the East Indoor Hockey Championships at St Albans.

It was good preparation for this weekend, which is the first double-header of the Women’s Indoor Hockey 5s Premier Division in Bromsgrove.

Magpies started last weekend’s event well with a 10-1 win against hosting St Albans.

The Norfolk side controlled the game, using and trying out formations to manipulate the play to create chances.

The St Albans ladies were unable to keep up with the pace and movements of the game, allowing Magpies to take control and keep a host of names on the scoresheet.

Chelmsford proved to be much tougher opposition and the first half of the game saw all of the five goals scored, making it 4-1 to Magpies.

The second half was a battle with both teams trying to change tactics to gain the advantage, but with defences coming out on top the score remained the same as it was at the break.

These two wins allowed Magpies to progress in to the semi-finals against Old Loughts.

This game was very close and physical with goals being scored at both ends.

But as players got more tired and tackles became more erratic, green cards were given, taking Magpies down to four players on the pitch.

The half ended 1-1, but the start of the second half taught Old Loughts you must be on the pitch when the hooter goes as Magpies’ player Emma Lee-Smith strolled to her second goal.

But both teams did not give up the battle with Old Loughts equalising.

Magpies continued to use all their knowledge and skill to pull Old Loughts’ goalkeeper out of position and place the final goal in the net with minutes to spare, to book a place in the final.

With only a short break, the ladies were playing again against Holcombe, who are another good indoor team.

The game was even in the first half with both teams holding the other and only scoring one goal each.

Green cards were shown again in the second half, and for periods both teams were down to four, but Magpies could not keep out Holcombe who scored to go 2-1 ahead.

The Norfolk side had plenty of chances in open play and short corners, but the Holcombe goalkeeper had a great game to keep Magpies out.

Holcombe gained two short corners near the end of the match and scored from the second, leaving the final score 3-1 to Holcombe.

Magpies will take the knowledge they have gained into next weekend’s matches, and hopefully will come away with some wins.

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