East Women’s League: Pelicans unable to hold on against high-flyers

Pelicans let an early lead slip as they lost 3-1 at home to high-flying Ipswich II in Division 1N.

The hosts took the lead in the fifth minute when Jo Bland played to the whistle while everyone else stopped and she went on to score.

This stung the promotion chasing visitors into action and they soon equalised from a well rehearsed penalty corner routine.

Ipswich went in front after a slick move but Pelis were well in the game and looked a threat on the counter attack. Ipswich netted a third on the stroke of half-time and there was no additional score after the break.

Harleston Magpies II maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 6-1 mauling of Watton.

Magpies got off to the best possible start with Anouska Hipperson making a driving run into the opposition's circle, forcing the last defender to commit a foul and winning a stroke. This was calmly dispatched by Hipperson.

Kira Wooltorton added a second from a short corner and it was 3-0 when Mel Ludlam threaded a ball into the D for Emily Brown to score from close range. Hipperson scored the fourth before Watton clawed one back just before the break. Brown started the scoring again for Magpies in the second half and Lucy Whiting completed the rout.

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In Division 2NE, leaders Norwich Dragons fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat at Sprowston.

Dragons were dominant throughout, but through sheer determination, team spirit and hard work, Sprowston dealt with everything thrown at them by the strong and skilful visitors.

The Sprowston defence had to deal with a string of short corners in the first half, while goalkeeper Sharon Weeks made a number of crucial saves. Sprowston held the score to 0-0 at half-time and struck the decisive blow after the break.

Marie Hood took a quick free hit and played an excellent early ball into the D, which Trish Hagan put away with her first-time shot.

Sprowston still had 15 minutes left to keep their composure and concentration, which was severely put to the test with yet more short corner routines for Dragons. But both Fong Chung and player of the match Sarah Miller closed the opposition down superbly to prevent them from scoring.

Dragons are now just two points clear after closest rivals Norwich City and Yarmouth drew 1-1, with Emily Anthony scoring City's goal.

Norwich Dragons II enjoyed a 3-1 success against North Walsham.

A much-changed Dragons side started the game brightly, with Kerri White playing some neat hockey on the right hand side of midfield, and captain Debs Smith and Lynne Price dominating the middle.

Dragons managed to force a number of short corners through the attacking threat and hard work of Claire Baker, Sarah Radley and Lizzie Cheesman. Midway though the half a well worked short corner routine was smartly finished by Smith.

Walsham began to put pressure on Dragons in the second half, with ex-Dragon Rachel Miles showing her usual class and tenacity, however the Dragons defence was in outstanding form. Dragons continued to work hard and were rewarded with a second goal, an excellent strike from a short corner from Smith.

Walsham pulled one back from a short corner, but following some great build up play from Lizzie Moulton and Olivia Thomas on the left, Sarah Radley slotted away neatly to seal the three points.

Lydia Lawrence struck a late equaliser to hand Broadland a 3-3 draw at bottom side Old Buckenham.

Lawrence gave Broadland the lead before Bucks levelled and the hosts then went ahead. Old Buckenham grabbed a third, but Holley Becker and then Lawrence saved a point.