East Men’s League: Vet Mark shows no sign of losing touch
Veteran defender Mark Braybrook was the star of the show as reinvigorated Dereham powered to a convincing 3-0 Premier Division A victory over City of Peterborough 2nds.
Braybrook, who turns 40 next month, netted a brace of penalty corners to assure the Reds of a fifth win of the season and help them back to fourth in the table.
Dereham coach Peter Hogg will be concerned, however, about his team's wastefulness in front of goal.
They went into the game knowing they needed a victory to rebuild confidence following their 6-0 defeat at St Albans. After a nervous side in which goalkeeper Tom Vaughan was forced into two impressive saves, Dereham settled to play their usual brand of attacking hockey.
Braybrook, Mike Timm and Ric Timm forced great saves from the visiting goalkeeper while young James Lavers crashed a shot against an upright moments after replacing injured team captain Richard Stainthorpe.
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The deadlock was not broken until the second half, when Mike Timm deflected in a pin-point accurate penalty corner strike from Braybrook. Braybrook fired a powerful shot through the goalkeeper's legs to double the advantage before completing the scoring seven minutes from time from another well-worked penalty corner.
Table-topping Harleston Magpies made short work of Bishop's Stortford, beating their pointless visitors 8-1.
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Tristan Baynes put them in front after four minutes and had taken his tally to four by the interval, by which time Magpies led 5-0 with Andy Hipwell also on target. Baynes added his own fifth goal after the interval, with Sam Moore and right-back Tom Sumner also on target before Bishop's Stortford claimed a late consolation goal.
Magpies 2nds were also involved in a high-scoring encounter in Premier B but lost 4-3 to leaders Ramgarhia.
Norwich City put the disappointment of their previous week's defeat to Magpies 2nds behind them with a solid performance in a 1-1 draw at home to second-placed Havering.
Chris Perry hit an upright before Norwich went ahead five minutes later with a reverse flick finish by Jez Elliott. Havering drew level early in the second period after an unfortunate slip by Alex Scott.
Dereham 2nds won 2-1 at Norwich Dragons in Division Two North, though Dragons had dominated possession.
Alex Browne gave the home team a deserved interval lead but they couldn't build on it in the second half. Dereham equalised with a penalty stroke converted by John Allison, and though Robbie Whiting twice saved a Dereham penalty to keep the scores level Tom Lovesey showed some fantastic individual skills to score a stunning winner.
Norwich City 2nds extended their lead at the top of Division 3NE after a thrilling 6-4 win over Sudbury 2nds.
Sudbury were first on the scoreboard and although Matt Brine soon equalised the visitors led 3-1 at the interval.
Norwich started tentatively in the second half and perhaps had their weakest spell of the game as they were unable to maintain and meaningful possession.
Goals from Stuart Wardle, Will Marshall and James Halls turned the game round in the second half and Brine completed his customary hat-trick before an own goal gave Sudbury the last word.
City are now four points clear because closest rivals Holt Harlequins were held 2-2 at Gorleston
Holt trailed 2-0 at the interval and only a series of fine saves from Andy Day stopped it being more. But they showed their fighting spirit in the second half with Charlie Mack's diving one handed deflection and a ferocious strike from Ben Plumb which went in off a Gorleston defender.
On Sunday Mack scored four goals as Holt beat Rutland 8-2 in the English Hockey Vase. Henry Sayer, Mark Farmer-Wright (two) and James Nichols were also on target. Holt will play South Buckinghamshire in February for a place in the quarter finals.
There was an amazing encounter in Division 4NE, with Norwich Dragons 2nds winning 6-5 at Dereham 3rds. The previous week Dragons beat Dereham 4ths 1-0 – but this couldn't have beem more different.
Three times Dereham led, only for Dragons to equalise through Andy Kelsall, Dan Cheesman and Henry Laming. Ricky Powley gave the Dragons the lead for the first time and Cheesman made it 5-3. Dereham continued to made a game of it with two more goals but Cheesman completed his second hat trick of the season to complete the scoring.
Norwich City 4ths beat UEA 2nds 4-2 with goals from Armstrong, Matthews, Fletcher and Circuit.
In Division 6NE Dragons 4ths won 3-1 at North Walsham 3rds with two goals from Mike Banham and one from Ben Harvey.