East Men’s League: Graham grabs brace as Magpies move up
Harleston Magpies leapfrogged Bedford into second spot following a resounding 4-0 victory in the Premier A Division on Saturday.
Magpies started strongly and were rewarded by going 2-0 up in the first 10 minutes. The first goal was converted from close range by Tom Graham after a well worked move while the second came from a well taken corner by Andy Hipwell.
With 10 minutes to go in the first half, Simon Hipwell extended the lead after another well worked opportunity.
The resounding win was capped off with the second goal of the game from Graham – again converting from close range after a flowing Magpies move.
Dereham overcame a disappointing 6-1 home defeat against top-of-the-table St Albans on Saturday to emerge triumphant on Sunday thanks to a vastly improved, battling display against Watford's West Herts.
Second half strikes from twin brothers Ric and Mike Timm helped Dereham grab a 2-1 victory, moving them on to 32 points – a new club record in the East's elite division. Dereham's previous best tally in Premier A was 31 last season.
That was the perfect response to Saturday's game, when Dereham trailed 3-0 inside the first 25 minutes.
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It was four shortly after half-time. before Dereham hit back thanks to a smart finish from Ric Timm. But any hopes of a comeback were thwarted when central defensive duo Mark Hunter and Matt Stainthorpe were sent off in quick succession before St Albans added another two goals to take the final score to 6-1.
In Premier B, Norwich City's eight-match unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of Harleston Magpies II who completed the double over City with a 3-1 win.
Martin Fields opened the scoring for Magpies with a neat finish and added another before half-time.
With ten minutes of the game remaining, Fields crossed for David Francis to turn and bury the third.
City pulled one back with a few minutes remaining when Dave Skinner got a touch on a pass into the circle.
Wisbech enjoyed an excellent weekend as they held Premier B leaders Ramgarhia to a 3-3 draw on Saturday, before beating Crostyx 4-2 on Sunday.
Ramgarhia took the lead before Sam Blunt equalised for the visitors when he rifled in a drag flick, but the home side led 2-1 at half-time.
Wisbech pulled level again when Joe Melton despatched a penalty flick high into the net. Ramgarhia regained the lead shortly afterwards from a well worked penalty corner routine, but Blunt rounded off a fine performance with another drag flick to make it 3-3.
On Sunday, Sam Blunt set the ball rolling for Wisbech before Joe Melton added a second from a penalty flick.
Gary Freear made it 3-0 at half-time before Crostyx pulled a goal back in the second period.
Gavin Johnstone capped his fine performance with a well taken goal and although Crostyx scored again from a penalty corner, it was a comfortable win for Wisbech.
Pelicans moved closer to safety in Division 2N with a 2-1 win at Cambridge University III.
Pelicans went ahead when a ball into the circle from Sean Kerry was deflected high into the net by Jack Major. A smart penalty corner move brought an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, but Ruggy Simons rifled in the winner after the break.
Norwich Dragons lost 5-2 at home to Spalding, despite taking an early lead through Steve Woodward.
Spalding surged into a 5-1 lead before Alex Browne netted for Dragons.
Dragons' second team enjoyed a better day as they won 6-1 at Dereham IV in Division 4NE.
Adam Sayer put Dragons in front before Dereham equalised, but second half goals from Rich Phillis, Cley Hamilton (2), Dan Cheesman and an own goal sealed the points.
The top of the table clash in Division 5NE between Norwich Dragons III and Bury St Edmunds III ended goalless – but that was enough to ensure that the unbeaten Dragons will win the title.
Dragons' fourth team saw their promotion hopes in Division 6NE dented with a 2-1 defeat at Norwich Exiles.
The hosts took the lead on 25 minutes before Jake Hardesty equalised for Dragons in the second half.
Exiles stole the victory in the dying minutes with a powerful shot from just inside the D.