Hockey: One goal enough for Harleston Magpies IV

Magpies Ladies IV 1 Lowestoft Railway 0

After a closely contested match at Lowestoft back in November, Magpies were desperate to avenge their unfortunate one nil loss with the return fixture at Weybread at 12.15.

With the rain falling steadily, Magpies made a good start, determined to press on with their improved formation, and they made ground into Lowestoft's defensive D. After the opening exchanges the play settled down into an evenly contested first 25 minutes. Magpies passed the ball competently, communication within the team working well, and enjoyed some positive play, with Emily Parsons finding acres of space on the left wing. Bella Hall made an impression when she came on midway through the half on the right wing, and this seemed to galvanise the home side, and when frustration in the Lowestoft defence gained their left back a green card, Magpies won a short corner. Unfortunately Sarah Legg's strong strike was saved well by the Lowestoft 'keeper. As the half drew to a close the Magpies forwards pressed the away side back into the D blocking the 16 yard hits, but couldn't find the final ball.

As the rain fell heavier the second half started with a quickened pace, Magpies confident they could get the win they so desperately craved, and the home side certainly had the initiative on their side. The defence of Gina Scott, Treacle Griffin, Emma Tolhurst and an impressive Katherine Ridley held strong, and the midfield passed and linked up well with the forward line; Tina Neill playing the ball around in her pivoting central role. Forwards Kay Dennis, Josie Tibbenham and Rosie Blackmore pressured the Lowestoft 'keeper with shots, and Emily parsons was just a fraction too late at the far post to give Magpies the lead. Some quality stick work from Bella Hall earned Magpies a short corner, and as she has done on numerous occasions Sarah Legg stepped up and fired the ball past the 'keeper, giving Magpies a deserved lead. And the home side continued to push forward, Kay Dennis going close twice, before a lovely cross from Legg saw Dennis brilliantly saved with the Lowestoft 'keeper diving low to her left. Magpies held strong, and with the final whistle came an excellent victory.

A fantastic, hard fought performance from all 14 players involved today, and hopefully this will give the squad a much needed boost going into their final two games.

Lets finish the season on a high ladies!

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