Mixed fortunes for Harleston Magpies teams as National Leagues get under way

Dereham Ladies, who play in the top flight of the East League face the camera Picture: CHRIS AND CAT

Dereham Ladies, who play in the top flight of the East League face the camera Picture: CHRIS AND CATH PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

There were mixed fortunes for Harleston Magpies on the opening weekend of the National League season, with the women picking up a useful point at Canterbury and the men losing 2-0 at home to Wapping.

The women started a new campaign in Division One South against a side who had been relegated from the top flight the previous season and performed admirably to come away with a 1-1 draw.

Magpies absorbed a lot of pressure early on, with the backline of Katrina Sitch, Lauren Barber and Georgia Linnell standing firm and goalkeeper Megan Brown making an excellent save.

Just as the forward line of Emma Lee-Smith, Lucy Whiting, Lizzie Clymer, Annie Nunn, Olivia Thomas and Georgie Gardens were starting to look dangerous Canterbury went ahead when a short corner took a deflection.

Magpies got back on level terms in the second half after winning a well deserved short corner, with a well executed strike from Lee-Smith leading to a Cherry Seaborn goal. Both sides then went for the win but the game ended with honours even.

Magpies men can count themselves extremely unfortunate to have come away empty handed from their opening game on Sunday.

They dominated the first half, winning four short corners to Wapping's nil, but couldn't find a way through and were hit by two breakaway goals after the interval.

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East Women

Dereham bounced back from a disappointing away defeat in their opening Premier Division fixture with a 2-1 home win over local rivals Magpies II at Greenfields Road.

After going behind Dereham got back on level terms when Georgie Edwards won a short corner which Becca Gibbs converted and then withstood some pressure before Becca Taylor latched on to a Grace Gowing through ball to score what proved to be the winner. Dereham's player of the match in a hard-fought win was keeper Siobhan Cleeve.

Norwich City crashed to a 5-1 defeat at East London. Olivia Williams scored in the second half to bring the score back to 2-1 while Ellie Brine had a good game.

Norwich Dragons won 2-1 at Colchester to make it four points from six in Division 1N. Dragons trailed to a short corner goal at the break but scored two excellent goals in the second half to take the points. The first was scored by player of the match Jemima Watson and the second by Kate McKenna after receiving a good ball from Lucy Morton.

North Norfolk picked up their first point since promotion when they returned from St Neots with a 2-2 draw after twice being ahead (Hanna Hall, Issy Christophers).

There was a derby in Division 2NE, with two Hannah Jarvis goals steering early pacesetters Norwich City II to a 2-0 win over Dragons III.

Dragons seconds were beaten 2-0 at home by Ipswich II, with Esme Potter and Shelly Seaman the joint players of the match, while Broadland picked up a 1-1 draw at Yarmouth in their first game back at this level. Broadland were quick out of the blocks and led at the break by a penalty corner goal scored by star player Natasha Blyth. However within 10 minutes of the restart Alexis Williamson-Jones found an equaliser with another well-executed penalty corner strike.

East Men

Norwich City followed up an opening day away draw by beating East London 3-2 at home in Premier A.

Cameron Cooke scored twice in the first half to put City in control. East London pulled on back after the break but Tom Cooke made it three to settle the nerves before the visitors reduced the arrears again at the death.

Dereham are still looking for their first point after taking a 7-1 beating at West Herts.

Magpies II, Pelicans and Norwich Dragons are the three teams to have won both matches so far in Division 2N.

Mapgies cruised home 7-1 at Dereham II, Pelicans won 3-1 at St Ives and Dragons 2-1 at City of Peterborough III, with Oliver King and Jack Hallworth getting the goals.

Norwich City II recovered from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Kettering, with Felix Broadway, Jim Pallister and Richard Silvester on target.

Empresa Norfolk

Loddon are shaping up as the team to beat in the Premier Division after notching up another big win.

They made it 21 goals in two games, with none conceded, as they thrashed Broadland II 12-0.

Magpies IV also have maximum points after seeing off visitors Norwich City III 2-0, as do newly promoted Diss following a 6-0 romp against East Coast II.

City IV drew 1-1 with Reepham while Dragons IV shared the points with Evergreens in a 2-2 draw (Lisa Harwood, Amy Forse).

There are four teams with maximum points in Division One. Carrow won 6-3 at Magpies V1, Magpies V beat Dragons V 4-1, Beccles saw off East Coast III 1-0 and Watton II beat City V 3-2, with Amy Hinchliffe and Lucy McNarry getting the visitors' goals.

In Division Two Thetford beat Loddon II 5-0 (Karen Hodgkinson 2, Abbie Cozens, Maddie Harper, Amalee Neill-Gourlay) and Broadland III registered their first win since March 2018, beating Dragons VII 3-1 (Hannah Killick 2, Aleisha Alexander).

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