An unhappy end to year for Dereham
MEN'S EAST LEAGUE: Dereham went into the Christmas break with a disappointing 3-0 defeat at high-flying Bedford.
The visitors were missing four regular first team players and Bedford dominated possession in the first half. Despite that, Dereham carved out the best chances and could have gone into half-time holding a lead.
Bedford continued to push forward in the second half, but Dereham held firm and almost took the lead when James Lavers lobbed the keeper, only to see his effort cleared off the line.
With just 10 minutes remaining, Bedford broke and scored the opening goal, before firing in two more in quick succession.
In Division 2N, Norwich Dragons held on to third place with an exciting 6-4 victory at Cambridge City III.
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Alex Browne seized on Rupert Snelling's fine pass to put Dragons ahead and the duo combined again for the second goal, this time Browne feeding Snelling to score.
When Cambridge failed to clear from a penalty corner, Snelling followed up to put Dragons 3-0 ahead.
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The hosts pulled one back before half-time and a close range strike after the break brought it back to 3-2.
Snelling eased Dragons' nerves by completing his hat-trick but again Cambridge responded to reduce the deficit.
A well-taken low flick from a penalty corner saw the home side produce an equaliser, but Dragons dug deep and Jason Wolfe shot through a crowded circle to put them back in front.
Richard Moulson made the game safe for Dragons with their sixth goal, earning them their first away win of the season.
Norwich City II fought back from 3-1 down to earn a 3-3 draw at home to Gorleston.
The visitors raced into a two-goal lead before James Bradley-Watson dragged City back into it, only for Gorleston to score again, leaving it 3-1 at half-time.
Chris Key gave City hope with a second goal and their patience was rewarded when, with the last play of the game, Matt Brine slotted in the equaliser.
Norwich City's challenge at the top of Division 4NE faltered with a 1-0 defeat at Felixstowe III, with the only goal of the game arriving in the first half.
In Division 6NE, leaders Norwich Dragons III lost their 100pc record as they slipped to their first defeat of the season, at lowly Ipswich & East Suffolk V.
Ipswich took the lead from a short corner when their winger drag flicked the ball into the top corner.
The hosts soon increased their lead and stunned Dragons by adding a third. At last the visitors began to settle and pulled a goal back when Will Kirby fired in from a short corner.
Dragons dominated the second half and won a series of short corners but could not find the target. Even when Ipswich had their captain sin-binned, Dragons could not find a way through and the frustration led to a Dragons player also entering the sin bin, as the game finished 3-1.