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Hockey team completes pleasing campaign

PUBLISHED: 13:14 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:38 03 July 2010

Harleston Magpies IV 1, Gorleston 2

Gorleston rounded off a very satisfactory season in Division Three North East of the NE14 East Men's League with a deserved victory over their closest rivals.

Harleston Magpies IV 1, Gorleston 2

Gorleston rounded off a very satisfactory season in Division Three North East of the NE14 East Men's League with a deserved victory over their closest rivals.

With several regulars missing the team welcomed back Jason Austin, but the resulting reshuffle up front meant that for a while their attack never really got going.

As a result Harleston Magpies dominated the midfield possession for the first 20 minutes.

This brought the best out of defenders Andrew Lilly, skipper Kevin MacDonald, Jamie Higginbotham and Jason Austin as they fought to contain the skill and pace of their hosts' young principal development squad.

Magpies took a deserved lead on 19 minutes when the Gorleston defence pushed up too far and centre-forward Guy Paul broke away with two colleagues on either side. With no defender able to match their speed, keeper Barney King came out to narrow the angle but Guy skilfully slipped the ball past Barney and into the empty net.

Not for the first time this season Gorleston reacted positively to the set-back and almost at once the tenor of the game changed.

With Monty Raymond, Malcolm Berry, Mark Vaudin and Will Gatley pushing forward mistakes began to appear in the Magpies' defence.

Gorleston went level when Martyn Vaudin fired home a Jamie Higginbotham short corner variation.

And they were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty flick shortly afterwards as another short-corner strike appeared to ricochet off a defender's foot and over the bar.

The second half saw Magpies bring on ex-county player Cobbald to bolster the defence as sweeper, but by now the youngsters seemed to have run out of steam in attack.

As a result Gorleston continued to press forward and when they were awarded another short corner Jamie Higginbotham this time drag-flicked the winner into the net to secure the title of Gorleston's top scorer on 17 goals this season, from Monty Raymond on 15.

On a warm afternoon on the hosts' water-based surface, both sides seemed content to run down the clock.

Training for the summer now reverts to the shorter time of one hour on Tuesdays at the Cliff Park community pitch at 6pm.

New members are always welcome to go along.


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