Broadland keep outside Empresa League title hopes alive

Hockey action

Hockey action - Credit: Archant

Broadland kept their outside Premier Division title hopes alive with a 2-0 win at Loddon on a day when they were the only top three side in action.

They held the whip hand right from the start but failed to turn their sustained attack into goals in the first half.

Broadland continued to control the game in the second half as their defence led by Hattie Hobart mopped up a number of through balls, with Sarah Craig being rarely troubled.

The breakthrough came after an illegal foot on the line which led to a penalty stroke which was converted by Rachel Fields.

Broadland continued to press forward, with Helen Harper and Lydia Lawrence keeping the Loddon defence occupied. They wrapped up the game when Lawrence snapped up a half chance by the far post.

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Broadland moved seven points behind inactive leaders Norwich Dragons III - who they visit next weekend - having played the same number of matches. Norwich City III, whose game against their fourth team was postponed, are two points further back with a game in hand.

In the two other top flight games Harleston Magpies IV beat UEA II in a basement battle while Evergreens won 4-1 at Dereham III. Player-of-the-match Lily Kidd scored twice while Chantelle Baker and Kat Hewson were also on the scoresheet.

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The battle for promotion is warming up nicely, with the top four in Division One separated by just four points. Magpies V did their chances no harm at all with a 9-1 win at UEA III while second placed Broadland II were beaten 3-0 at home by Diss.

A weakened Broadland were no match for a determined team who have been quietly building up an impressive run of results.

Natasha Blakely put Diss ahead with their first real attempt on goal after five minutes and just before the break Toni Brimson robbed isolated home skipper Sophie White and squeezed the ball past Emma Piddock to make it 2-0. The hosts, who had to field five third XI players, worked hard to get back into it but Brimson forced her way through a tiring defence to seal the win with a fine solo goal.

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