Harleston Vets keep alive their hopes for national glory
Two of Harleston veterans' sides scored victories in national competitions – but in very different fashion.
A 7-0 win at Long Sutton saw Magpies into the third round of the Senior Mixed Trophy, while the Over-50s came within 45 seconds of being knocked out of the Masters Cup at home to ISCA, only for a late goal to secure them a penalty shootout and then sudden death, from which they emerged victorious.
The over-50s were in control after goals from Jim Stather and Philip Cobbald in the first 20 minutes, but they conceded a soft goal before half-time.
Being forced to play deeper and deeper it was inevitable that short corners would be conceded and from two of them, ISCA took the lead.
But in the last two minutes, Magpies managed to force a short corner of their own and a well-worked move saw Jon Aldridge deflect the ball high into the ISCA net.
The game went to a penalty shootout, with each side to take five. Despite falling behind, a magnificent stick save from keeper Murray Graham took it to sudden death. Cobbald scored and Graham made the match winning save, sending Magpies through to the semi-finals.
The Over-35s mixed team started well at Long Sutton. There were chances in quick succession for Sam Moore and Martin Fields, who saw their shots sail wide. The deadlock was finally broken when Leigh Sitch threaded an inch perfect pass to Moore, who deflected the ball into the bottom corner.
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Harleston doubled their lead just before the break after Simon Hipwell made a battering run down the left and fed Andrew Bedwell, who found Martin Fields with a defence splitting pass, allowing Fields to finish.
The third came in the second half when Lizzie Clymer smashed the ball at Moore who jumped over it to deceive the keeper as the ball thudded the back board. Mel Ludlam scored the fourth against her old club with an excellent reverse stick shot from a tight angle.
Harleston continued to press forward with Frances Taylor making over-lapping runs down the right and Katherine Ridley dominating the left of the pitch. Goal number five came from Mel Ludlam, with Clymer grabbing her second before Andrew Bedwell completing the rout when he slotted the ball past the keeper.