Magpies Back In Top Flight

Indoor Hockey League

Harleston Magpies men’s indoor team travelled to Birmingham for their second weekend of matches hopping to return back to the top flight of English indoor hockey at the first attempt after last season’s relegation back in Jan 2010.

After the first weekend Magpies were in a good position top of the table with nine points but with a large chasing group and some teams at the top to play this position could have been miss leading. This was not the case as Harleston secured another two wins over the weekend to secure second spot in the league and more importantly a place alongside the country’s elite at Indoor hockey for next season.

Harleston Magpies 6 Brooklands 4

This was a first versus third in the table game with both sides knowing a result either way would be important in the overall standings. Brooklands started the better of the two sides, putting early pressure on the Harleston defence which they with stood well without getting into their own pattern of play. On 11 minutes this all changed as Andrew Hipwell scored for Harleston as they found some form firing themselves into a 4-0 lead with goals from T Baynes (2) and M. Wheelhouse. This relentless pressure from Harleston was stemmed slightly as Brocklands pulled one back straight after half time only for A.Hipwell and M. Riches to make it 6-1. The remaining 5 minutes saw Brocklands pressing hard but it was too little to late as the score finished 6-4 to Harleston.

You may also want to watch:

Sevenoaks 8 Harleston Magpies 6

Harleston second game of the day saw a top of the table clash which could be considered a title decider leaving the other to battle for second place. Harleston started well continuing the good hockey they’d played against Brooklands entering into a 2-4 lead through M Riches, D Ling, S Leate and T Shelley. Sevenoaks then pulled one back before T Shelley made it 3-5 at half time.

Most Read

Sevenoaks came out strong in the second half levelling back to 5-5 when ill disapline cost Harleston a yellow card (two minutes one player down). Sevenoaks took control as they went 8-5 up only for A. Hipwell to respond but it was too late in the game.

Bournville Men’s 3 Harleston Magpies 4

Harleston knew a win against Bournville would virtually put them back in the premier league but Bournville once a premier league outfit were fighting their own battle at the other end of the table. This game was tight all the way through with Harleston just doing enough but not able to break Bournville. Harleston then came from 2-1 down midway through the second half to storm three quick goals past Bournville as Magpies relentless second half pressure payed off. A Hipwell (2) and M Riches scoring. Bournville pulled one back in the last seconds making it 3-4 to Harleston.

Harleston Magpies 3 Stourport 4

The last game was a dead rubber at face value but still provided much entertainment as a dogged Stourport overcame Harleston with a gritty display. D. Ling (2) and T Shelley had put Harleston into a 3-2 lead and a position to win the game with only three minutes remaining. Stourport never say die attitude came through as they scored twice in the closing moments to win 3-4 as once again Harleston paid for their ill discipline receiving two yellow cards during the game.

Overall this was a tremendous effort by the whole squad over the two weekends to be able to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Much credit must also go to the Martin Fields (manger), Tristan Baynes and Leigh Sitch who all spent many hours planning and preparing behind the scenes.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter