Empresa Norfolk League: Relief for Broadland as Kerry’s late goal secures dramatic win

SPORT-Hockey

- Credit: Archant

Broadland closed the gap on inactive Premier Division leaders Dereham II to six points with a dramatic 2-1 win over lowly Diss.

The visitors avoided a repeat of last week's heavy defeat at Harleston by playing defensively, looking to hit the home side on the break, which to some extent worked, as they remained firmly in the game at the break.

Broadland took an early lead when Becky Savory's strike at a penalty corner took a deflection off a Diss stick to beat the keeper. Diss responded positively with a superb equaliser when their forward Toni Glover's reverse stick shot fairly flew into the roof of the Broadland goal.

At this point Broadland suffered severe disruption to their attack as their midfield dynamo Helen Brockington had to retire injured but in spite of playing one short, they maintained considerable pressure on the Diss defence for the remainder of the game. Broadland's star player Kerry Payne, with less than a minute or so on the clock, grabbed all the points when she fired home from a penalty corner.

Dereham II's derby match with their third team was one of a number of matches in the league to full foul of the freezing overnight conditions.

Norwich City III moved up to fourth place with a resounding 6-0 win over a depleted Thetford side.

In the biting cold, City maintained tempo and pressure on the visitors throughout the game, and quickly found themselves ahead through a goal from Leo Wills.

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Charlie Hudson-Madge followed with the second with a shot from the top of the circle and Wills put City 3-0 ahead at the break after slotting home a sweetly timed cross from Abbie Ingham - one straight of the training ground.

Thetford battled but were without a number of their regular players and they did well to hold City, who in the second half pulled out some quality hockey.

Two further goals from Wills brought her tally to four and Liv Greenway got her name on the score-sheet after a sweetly timed pass from Emily Greenway.

In Division One leaders Evergreens were given a tough test by visitors Reepham Ladies before edging home 1-0.

A frosty pitch delayed the start of this battle between first and fourth. The previous encounter between these two sides at the start of the season was a tight game with only a single goal to separate them and this was another tight encounter.

The first half was very even with both sides testing each other and the conditions and having their chances to take the lead.

At the break Reepham were asked by their coaches to produce some more of the same in the second half. They had slightly more chances and forced eight short corners in succession but Evergreens' defence and goalkeeper were in top form and prevented Reepham from converting their chances.

As the game went on a draw looked the more likely result until Evergreens were awarded and converted a short corner. Reepham were bitterly disappointed at the result but will draw positives from the performance they put in.

That was the only game to go ahead in Division One and Evergreens are now five points clear at the top.

Norwich City IV won the derby match against their fifth team 3-1 in Division Two with goals from Holly Robinson (2) and Alex Le Mesurier.