Magpies - National Indoor tournament

Harleston Magpies maintained their status as a National League side at the weekend, progressing through the first round of the National Indoor tournament after winning four of their five matches at Loughborough.

Harleston Magpies maintained their status as a National League side at the weekend, progressing through the first round of the National Indoor tournament after winning four of their five matches at Loughborough.

Magpies 10 Nottingham 7

(Andy Hipwell 6, James Osborn 3 and Richard Ling)

The Suffolk sides first game was against Nottingham, the Magpies flying out of the traps to go three goals up inside two minutes. Magpies continued to press and found two more goals before the end of the half, however, Nottingham did manage to pull two goals back through well worked deflections.

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In the second half Magpies found them self under pressure and conceded another goal before Iain

Martin made a great diving save to keep Nottingham at bay. The rest of the game was even with the teams swapping strikes.

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Magpies 11 Cheltenham 6

(Andy Hipwell 5, James Osborn 3, Tristan Baynes 2 and Richard Ling)

Harleston, in bouyed spirits for their second game of the day, scored three goals in five minutes to take an early lead. Magpies then extended their lead in the first half to go in comfortably at half time.

Magpies withstood early Cheltenham pressure with excellent defending from Tristan Baynes, Leigh Sitch, Stuart Leate, David Francis and Tom Sumner after the break. The Suffolk side then continued to press forward and convert their chances. With Cheltenham trying to hit them on the break, Iain Martin pulled off another amazing save, leaping like a salmon to tip the ball round the post.

Magpies 5 Wolverhamton 5

(Andy Hipwell 2, James Osborn, Tristan Baynes and Toby Tibbenham)

Harleston went into the second day knowing one more victory would see them through to next weekend and avoid being relegated out of National League.

Against Wolverhampton, a side who had yet to win a game, Harleston started slowly and soon found themselves a goal down. The Magpies then showed good spirit to equalise before again going a goal down. Once again Harleston fought back to equalise though with Toby Tibbenham popping up at the back post to slot home. The teams went in equal at half time.

The second half started at a high tempo with the game becoming more and more stretched. Harleston managed to snatch a two goal lead playing counter attacking hockey before Wolverhampton managed to peg a goal back. Harleston scored again to make the score 5-3 with three minutes to go but Wolverhampton managed to snatch two late goals to draw the game.

Magpies 6 Sheffield Halam 2

(Andy Hipwell 3, James Osborn, Tristan Baynes, Richard Ling)

Harleston's second game of the day came against Sheffield Halam, a team who were dogged by injury.

Hurting after their earlier draw, Harleston came out flying and soon took the lead and, with a solid performance for the rest of the half, Harleston went in 3-0 up.

The second half saw Harleston set up a very good press, forcing Sheffield to give Harleston the ball. Harleston capitalised on this with Andy Hipwell scoring the crème de le crème goal with a cheeky shot through his legs.

Magpies 8 Stourport 2

(James Osborn 4, Andy Hipwell 3 and Tristan Baynes)

Harleston faced Stourport in their last game of the weekend knowing they had already qualified, however, Harelston still took the correct approach wanting to complete the weekend unbeaten. Harleston went two goals up early before Stourport snatched one back. Magpies responded by scoring a quick reply before conceding a sloppy goal.

With the game in the balance at 3-2 Magpies calmed down, set their press and started to dominate forcing Stourport into making errors which were costing them goals.

After half time Harleston continued to stay in control, Bertie Steggles having to stay alert in goal though to make a couple of reaction saves down low.

Through out the weekend Harleston played quality indoor hockey scoring freely in many cases. Next weekend they travel down to Southampton in the next round hoping to gain promotion to National League Division One.

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