Double delight for Magpies

Harleston Magpies U18 Girls and Boys teams will both play in the National Finals at Canterbury over the weekend of May 10 and 11 - which is a tremendous achievement for the club.

Harleston Magpies U18 Girls and Boys teams will both play in the National Finals at Canterbury over the weekend of May 10 and 11 - which is a tremendous achievement for the club.

Harleston Girls reached the finals for the second year running by beating Exe Girls 4-3.

But they made hard work of it in the first half as they did their level best to help Exe.

In the first 10 minutes Magpies were on top and could easily have taken a 2-0 lead before Exe struck twice in a ten minute spell to take a 2-0 lead due to some terrible defending. A shocked Magpies team reduced the arrears when Artemis Clark made it 2-1 from a penalty corner strike, but again they allowed Exe to increase their lead to 3-1.

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Just before half-time Magpies reduced the arrears to put themselves back in the game when Katrina Warnes scored. Fortunately a different Magpies team turned out in the second half with the defence showing more composure and the Magpies midfield led by Captain Jess Hull completely dominating the game as they camped in the oppositions half.

Magpies created chances as first Lizzie Clymer was clean through and then Artemis Clark, but both shots went wide.

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Magpies were playing much better and eventually they scored a deserved equaliser as Katrina Warnes popped up again to make it 3-3.

It seemed only a matter of time before they would take the lead and finally Cherry Seaborn scored the winner. In the final 10 minutes Magpies had to defend two very harsh penalty corners but goalkeeper Calianne Clark ensured there were no more slip ups.

And Magpies Boys also reached the national finals by beating Richmond (Yorkshire) Boys 7-1.

As the snow came down in Weybread Magpies had one aim and one aim only, to win the game and therefore ensure a place at the national finals next month.

The game started well for Magpies, who managed to contain the visitors mainly into their own half of the pitch. However from this spell of pressure a goal was needed.

It soon came in the form of captain Richard Larkin who slotted home after a strong run from Carl Sitch. With the defensive unit working well, more goals could be built up and scored before half-time. Fred Merrett scoring from a well struck short corner and Will Harrison converting a penalty stroke after Chris Barber had his shot blocked on the goalline. Going into half-time Magpies were satisfied with their 3-0 lead.

The good work continued into the second half. Chris Barber scored early on slotting the ball home past the keeper. Richard Larkin added another with a reverse stick finish from Jamie Legg's cross.

Richmond scored their only goal after a rare defensive mix up, however after this the defensive line-up reassumed their control, and even after Chris Barber's ruthless yellow card, Magpies still scored twice more shorthanded through two marvellous finishes from Fred Merritt to complete his hat-trick.

A wonderful team display putting Magpies into the national finals in Canterbury after a strong and well deserved performance. Magpies are safe in the cup and the cup run goes on and on!

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