Joy for Magpies as they regain their mixed title after exciting shoot-out
- Credit: Archant
Harleston Magpies Mixed have regained the National Mixed crown following a weekend of exciting hockey at the Lee Valley Hockey centre in London.
The squad that have been together for five seasons now have won the competition for the second time in three years.
In the first semi-final Harleston faced Spencer on a baking afternoon in the capital. Harleston started well and dominated the early stages of the game, eventually running out 4-1 victors.
Meanwhile, in the second semi final of the day Khalsa came back from two goals down to beat Stourport 3-2.
In the final then, it was Harleston against Khalsa.
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The two teams had met last year at the quarter-final stage with Harleston running out winners.
Harleston made the worse possible start to the game with only three minutes on the clock they found themselves a goal down following a loose ball breaking to a Khalsa forward in the circle who at the second time of asking was able to beat Chris Leek in goal.
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Despite this set-back, Harleston grew into the game and started to create chances of their own.
Thomas Ridley blazed over the bar after beating three Khalsa players and Maria Andrews deflected a couple of efforts just wide of the goal following a couple of balls being crashed into the circle.
Khalsa then had a glorious opportunity to extend their lead but the half volley effort sailed just wide of the post.
Two minutes after this miss Harleston drew level when Tim Whiteman and Leigh Sitch played out of the left they released Simon Hipwell who found Tim Whiteman again.
The ball was played into Maria Andrews before it found Lizzie Clymer who calmly slid the ball past the advancing keeper. With the teams level at the break an open second half ensued with both teams creating but not converting chances.
The final went to a penalty shoot-out and Harleston took an early lead as Tim Whiteman converted his and Khalsa missed. The two teams continued to trade blows with Leek making two stops and Robbie Kinsella converting his to leave the teams tied again at 2-2.
Whiteman converted his chance in sudden death and Leek forced the Khalsa forward to fire wide as Harleston’s celebrations began.