EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
Harleston Magpies 2
Old Loughtonians 3
Ben Wright’s final Harleston Magpies first team match before he headed off to pursue a professional hockey career in Australia ended in defeat to league-leading Old Loughtonians on Saturday.
Traffic problems meant that Magpies only warmed up with eight players, and as a result a sluggish start was made to the encounter, with the visitors scoring twice during the opening exchanges.
The hosts responded positively and managed to halve the deficit when Simon Hipwell beat three opposition players at the back post, before picking out James Baker at the back post to score.
However, the momentum was stunted heading into the break as Old Loughts struck for a third time.
Magpies dominated the second half with wave after wave of attacks, one of which — with 20 minutes remaining — saw captain Leigh Sitch slide in to cut the away side’s lead to 3-2.
And it seemed they had salvaged a point five minutes from time when Richard Larkin turned the ball home, but the goal was ruled out for an earlier infringement.
Magpies return to action tomorrow away to Cambridge City II (3pm).
n In the third round of the England Hockey Trophy, Harleston Magpies Mixed Team recorded a 4-1 win on the road at Letchworth.
After a bright start, Magpies went in front through Maria Andrews, but they were soon pegged back by the home team.
But it was the visitors that scored again before half-time when a move involving Robbie Kinsella and Laura Tibbenham was finished off by Andrews.
Tibbenham turned scorer in the second half as Harleston took a firm grip on proceedings.
Her first of the encounter came courtesy of a counter-attack from debutant Archie Winter and Andrews, before she slotted in another Andrews pass to make it 4-1.
The win has moved Magpies into round four of the national competition, with that draw yet to be made.