Goal-den weekend for Magpies

Harleston Magpies had a weekend to remember in the National East Conference as both their teams recorded thumping victories to maintain their bright starts to the season.

Harleston Magpies had a weekend to remember in the National East Conference as both their teams recorded thumping victories to maintain their bright starts to the season.

The men came away from Chelmsford with a stunning 6-0 victory to move up to fifth in their division after four games while the women beat Northampton Saints 5-0 at Weybread to claim second spot.

Early on Magpies' men were grateful to the superb keeping of Richard Harms and a defence which has conceded the fewest goals in the league. But they opened the scoring when Tristan Baynes scored a penalty stroke following a foul on Andy Hipwell when through on goal.

The score remained at 1-0 until half-time, the break coming at an excellent time for Magpies, who emerged a different side, constantly threatening.

This was illustrated on 40 minutes when a surging run from Stuart Leate was rewarded with a penalty corner, which was duly converted by a Hipwell drag flick.

Magpies continued to press forward and got their third minutes later when Duncan Graves beat the keeper after a mazy run by Gareth Furlong from right back. The goals continued to flow, with two moments of magic from Tom Dunnett presenting opportunities to Ben Gowing and Pete Bale, which they converted.

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It was Magpies who had the final say after Neil Toulson's run, with the shot rebounding to Graves who tapped home.

Harleston Ladies also turned in a clinical performance against newly-promoted Northampton to move to within a point of early pacesetters Ipswich.

Magpies took the lead through Cherry Seaborn and from then on they continued to dominate.

Angie Wheelhouse made it 2-0 from a penalty corner and there seemed no way back for Northampton. However untidy defending saw them awarded a penalty flick but goalkeeper Calianne Clark, making her first appearance of the season, dived to make a smart save.

Bryony Lund scored her first National League goal with a strike from the top of the circle and just before the break Angie Wheelhouse made it 4-0 with a classy deflection from a penalty corner.

In the second half Magpies tried to maintain their momentum but just could not produce the clinical finishing again. The one exception was a terrific goal when Artemis Clark intercepted a pass and attacked the circle before releasing a pass to Seaborn who scored with a terrific diving deflection.

There were very encouraging displays from Jas Barlett, making her first-team debut up front, and Eilbhe Whelan, also making her debut in midfield. Ellie Bale had to contend with a physical encounter against her opposite number throughout while Clark completed a good day with a sharp save from a penalty corner strike.

This was Magpies' third successive league win after losing their first game of the season. The defence is looking solid while the midfield and forwards are just starting to show the potential they have.

Harleston Magpies Men's second team made it three wins out of three with a convincing 5-1 victory over Broxbourne, which means that Magpies are now second in the table. Goals from Simon Hipwell, Dave Francis, Hamish Barton (two) and Robbie Kinsella. Next up for Magpies is an away trip to Harpenden who are currently fifth in the table. MoM: Hamish Barton.

Magpies Ladies IV welcomed Watton for a late afternoon push-back, hoping to continue their good start to the league campaign and won 4-1. Treacle Snelling's shot rebounded off the keeper for Rachel Peters to score, Lucie Hadley doubled the lead, Kay Dennis added two more before Watton scored a consolation. A fantastic result for Magpies, continuing their excellent start to the season.

Magpies Ladies' Development team travelled play leaders Norwich City and won 5-2. Norwich went two up but Magpies fought back, Catherine Kilbourne and Kira Wooltorton equalising by half-time. In the second half Kilbourne added three more times and Ruth Denham made three vital saves. An impressive, hard-fought win.