Magpies celebrating promotion double
INDOOR HOCKEY: Harleston Magpies Ladies had a second successful weekend as they won the Division One title to secure promotion to the Premier League after an absence of several years.
The return of Emma Lee-Smith to the club provided the fire power that was missing with an impressive total of 23 goals over the two weekends. Bryony Lund also did well, scoring nine goals in her first full season of Indoor National League.
Magpies started the weekend in pole position and their first game against Bradford was a tough one, although late goals gave Magpies a 6-1 win (Lund 3, Lee-Smith 2 and Artemis Clark). The next match was against bottom team Barnes and Magpies managed to scrape home with a 3-2 win after surviving a last minute penalty corner.
On Sunday morning Magpies played an end-to-end match against Birmingham University and were 4-3 down with a few minutes to go but snatched a late equaliser to secure the point that would ensure promotion (Lee-Smith 2, Verity Blyth and Lund).
Magpies then produced some of their best hockey as they beat Poynton 5-2 to finish like champions (Lee-Smith 4, Debbie Francis).
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Harleston's men were also celebrating at the weekend after finishing second in Division One to secure their return to the top flight at the first attempt.
Magpies got off to an excellent start when they beat promotion rivals Brooklands 6-4.
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They then lost 8-6 to eventual champions Sevenoaks, after leading 5-3, but went on to clinch promotion in the next game as they game from 2-1 down to beat Bournville 4-3.
Harleston lost the final dead rubber 4-3 to Stourport, but overall this was a tremendous effort from the squad.
Top scorers: A Hipwell 5, T Shelley 3, M Riches 3, D Ling 3, T Baynes 2.