East Women’s League: Norwich Dragons’ Laura hits hat-trick to win derby
Broadland were brought crashing to earth after a run of four successive wins when they were beaten 4-1 by Division 2NE leaders Norwich Dragons.
Dragons, boosted by the return of Charly Hemmant following an injury in the previous meeting of the teams on the first day of the season, pushed Broadland deep into their own half from the off.
They took the lead when a fine effort from Laura Shreeve forced keeper Lauren Halliwell to parry the ball down, only for Nat Beal to be first to the rebound.
The Dragons continued to push forward, only for Broadland to catch them with a counter attack – Dani Parke's reverse strike flying sweetly into the top corner. It was by far the best goal conceded by the Dragons so far this season.
Dragons responded almost immediately with captain Marie James' fierce strike from the top of the D being deflected into goal by Shreeve.
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And they stepped up their pace and workrate in the second half to dominant the game while playing some attractive attacking hockey.
Their third goal came when Shreeve diverted in a strike from Emily Rolls. And Shreeve completed a well deserved hat-trick when she took a pass from James and slipped the ball past Halliwell.
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As well as their attacking threat the game was notable for another solid defensive performance in which Sarah Borrett had another fine performance at right-back.
Yarmouth are second after a goalless draw against Norwich Dragons 2nds. Dragons were looking to overturn their defeat in the first game of the season and they managed to frustrate Yarmouth in the first half.
Yarmouth started to get more possession, however, and it took some strong tackles from player of the match Angela Murgatroyd and Sarah Wagstaff to ensure the teams went into the half-time break goalless. Both teams had their spells in the second half, when Yarmouth forced a series of short corners which the Dragons defence dealt with well.
Ally Windsor-Waite started to have more and more impact on the game, with some mesmerising runs down the right hand side earning the side more short corners.
Dragons had a couple of good opportunities to break the deadlock, with Hannah Hardy forcing a good save from the keeper, the follow-up required a Yarmouth defender to make a last ditch clearance on the line.
With Niamh Lowe-Davies pushing up front, Dragons continued to threaten, and another short corner near the end was well struck to the near post by Debs Smith, where Ruth Willmott, managed to get a good deflection which was just wide of the post.
North Walsham cemented fourth place with a 5-1 thrashing of bottom club Loddon in the only other match played in the division.
Only two matches were played in Division One North – bottom club Ipswich 3rds winning 2-0 at Cambridge Nomads while Bury St Edmunds won 3-0 at Long Sutton to cement their own third place behind leaders Harleston Magpies 2nds and second place Ipswich 2nds.