Harleston Magpies Ladies in national indoor action
- Credit: Archant
Harleston Magpies Ladies missed out on promotion to the top flight of indoor hockey after finishing a respectable fourth in Division One at Nottingham.
Starting the day in second place after a good show at Bristol the previous weekend, Magpies had to settle for a 3-3 draw in their opener against Gloucester, with their opponents equalising right at the death. Emma Lee-Smith, Lara Taylor and Debbie Francis got the goals.
In the second match against Reading Magpies were 4-1 down at one stage but hit back to win 6-4 with Sarah Brook, Lauren Barber and Lee-Smith all scoring twice,
On Sunday Magpies had to beat Sevenoaks to stay in contention but the opposition proved too strong and won 6-2 (Brook, Barber).
Magpies finished by playing some excellent hockey and drew 3-3 with promoted Sutton Coldfield after being 2-0 down at half-time (Lauren Rowe 2, Lee-Smith).
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Squad: E Lee-Smith, L Barber, M Brown, L Rowe, K Ayling, D Francis, C Harrison, L Taylor, A Lowe-Davies, S Brook, A Nunn.
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Norwich City marked their return to East League Premier Division action after the festive break with a 1-1 home draw against fellow strugglers West Herts.
City started brightly, with Krystal Bishop rattling the crossbar, and got their noses in front just before the break when Bishop finished well after being picked out by Oli Williams.
The second half saw both teams create chances and it was West Herts who took one of their's to leave with a point.
City are now level with fourth from bottom Harleston Magpies II, who were beaten 1-0 at Cambridge City II.
Dereham were made to work hard for their 13th straight win in Division 1N, a 1-0 home success over Ipswich & East Suffolk. The all-important goal came midway through the first half when Grace Gowing slipped the ball home in a one-on-one with the keeper.
It was a disappointing day for Norwich Dragons, who went down 3-0 at Wisbech, while Lowestoft dropped to the foot of the table after losing by the same scoreline at Bedford II.
Dragons started well, with player of the match Liv Thomas and the forward line of Maddy Reynolds, Lucy Morton, Issy Wolfe, Katy Hands and Mia Bartrum stretching the game. But Wisbech held firm, scored before the break and went on to add two more goals in the second half to wrap up a deserved win.
An exciting battle for promotion in Division 2NE shows no signs of letting up, with the top four all winning again.
Watton and North Norfolk are locked together on 34 points while Bury St Edmunds and Norwich Dragons II are breathing down their necks four points in arrears.
Watton won a nine-goal thriller at Christchurch 5-4, North Norfolk beat Dragons III 2-0 at Cromer and Dragons II saw off their Norwich City counterparts 2-1 at The Den.
Dragons, who welcomed back Sophie Barrow from long term injury and Liv Leary from maternity, went in at the break on level terms after Donna Vaughan had cancelled out Leigh-Ann Worrall's opener.
They got the winner when Donna Vaughan glided past a couple of players and passed to Kate McKenna who coolly converted.
In Division 2NW Pelicans had just 11 players at Cambridge South and despite a brave display went down 1-0. Laura Tea and Suzi Lemon were players of the match.
Broadland maintained their six point advantage at the top of the Premier Division of the Norfolk Empresa League - and their 100 per cent record - by winning 4-1 at Evergreens in a game that ended early because of an injury to star player Abi Dennison.
Dennison found Helen Kelly who set up Kelly Allen with a tap-in for the opener and the visitors doubled their lead at a penalty corner, with Natasha Blyth picking out George Stannett who returned the ball to Blyth for a smart finish.
Evergreens pulled one back just before half-time but Broadland started the second half with determination and were rewarded with a penalty corner goal scored by Stannett after good work by Helen Brockington and Kelly. Dennison set up Parke for Broadland's fourth before receiving a blow to her face which halted proceedings. Realising the game was all but over Evergreens sportingly conceded as Dennison was stretchered away.
Norwich City III, still doggedly chasing the leaders despite losing to them last week, kept up the pressure with a comfortable 6-1 win over Broadland II.
Effie Bowley gave them an early lead with an extraordinary deflection which ballooned over goalkeeper Jen Crawford and Norwich scored again soon after with another finish from Bowley.
A brace before half-time from Holly Robinson put the home side in cruise control but some dogged defending kept the score down to two further goals from Ellie Hobden and Kim Lusher. Broadland's captain Nikki Kent put her side on the scoresheet with a solo run and smart finish.
With Evergreens and Broadland II both losing Norwich City IV moved closer to the safety mark by crushing bottom team Dereham III 6-0 at Greenfields Road with goals from Emily Greenway (2), Florence Duffield (2), Frances Cooke and Hannah Sangar.
Loddon remain four points behind City III in third place following a 9-0 drubbing of UEA II while in the other top flight fixtures Pelicans II won 3-2 at Lowestoft Railway and an in-form Harleston Magpies IV side won 4-1 at Norwich Dragons IV, with Caroline Wolfe scoring the consolation.
It's as you were at the top of Division One with leaders Diss winning 3-0 at Lowestoft II and the chasing pack of Carrow, Magpies V and Reepham also claiming maximum points.