Goals galore as Harleston youngsters book place in national final

Harleston Magpies successful under-16 girls squad face the camera. Photo: SUBMITTED

Harleston Magpies successful under-16 girls squad face the camera. Photo: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Harleston Magpies under-16 girls indoor team were convincing winners of the East Regional Finals, winning all four matches in impressive style to qualify for next month's national event.

They made a slow start in their opening match against Ipswich, going a goal down from the first corner they conceded, but after a quick equaliser they controlled the match and ran out 5-1 winners with goals from Abby Gooderham (2), Anna Tighe, Lottie Summers and Lauren Rowe.

Saffron Walden presented a different set of problems but Magpies finished comfortable 6-2 winners (Tighe 2, Tor Findlay, Rowe, Gooderham and Summers).

Canterbury were then put to the sword with a ruthless 11-0 win with the scorers being Findlay (4), Rowe (2), Amelia Preece (2), Gooderham (2) and Summers.

With the tournament already won Magpies finished by beating Old Loughtonians 3-0 with Rowe scoring twice and Findlay once.

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This was a very strong team performance with some excellent hockey, as illustrated by the range of goal scorers.

The only disappointment was a finger injury to Martha Lawrence sustained in the warm-up for the first match.

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Squad: Abby Gooderham (Capt), Holly Riches, Molly Redgrove, Lauren Rowe, Martha Lawrence, Tor Findlay, Lottie Summers, Amelia Preece and Anna Tighe.

Having been runners-up last season, Norwich Dragons were determined to put in a good performance in the East Region's Division One Indoor Championship and they duly came out on top to clinch promotion to the top flight.

Captained by indoor specialist Kate Trelawny Gower and coached by Pete Thomas, the squad of Marie James, Lizzie Moulton, Rachel King, Siobhan Cleeve, Hayley Toleman, Maddie Denman, Olivia Thomas, Niamh Lowe-Davies and Louise Murray got off to a good start against Bishop's Stortford with a 4-2 win.

The squad had a long wait for their next fixture against Wapping and despite moving to a seemingly comfortable lead, Dragons allowed Wapping to get right back into it before holding on for a 7-6 victory.

Dragons knew that avoiding defeat in their last game would secure the title but finished the event in style with a convincing 8-0 win over Broadland.

• In the last round of Empresa Norfolk Women's League Premier Division games before the winter break Harleston Magpies III moved five points clear at the top following an excellent 2-0 win at Norwich City II. Magpies IV, who beat Dereham III 7-0, are now their nearest challengers after Norwich Dragons III were held to a 0-0 draw at Broadland.

Broadland should have taken the lead after Dani Parke set up Holley Becker but in trying to make absolutely sure she failed to hit the target. Dragons had opportunities themselves but Broadland's goalkeeper Lauren Halliwell kept the home side on level terms with some excellent saves.

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