Lawrence’s double steers Dereham to derby victory
MEN'S EAST LEAGUE: The two Norfolk sides battling it out at the top of the Premier B Division both returned from trips west with hard earned victories.
Dereham won 3-1 at near neighbours Pelicans to remain six points clear while Norwich City kept in touch by scoring twice in the final 12 minutes to secure a 3-2 victory at Wisbech.
Pelicans are struggling at the bottom of the league, and from the start it was clear that their game plan was to sit back and hold on for a draw.
Dereham broke the deadlock when man-of-the-match Andy Lawrence was quick to react to the reward of a free hit and moved the ball swiftly to Mark Timm, who drilled it across for Chris Vernon to convert.
Dereham doubled their advantage just before half-time when Lawrence hammered home a short corner.
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The game was over as a contest just after the second half started when Lawrence was able to double his tally from a further short corner.
Despite being 3-0 down Pelicans showed little desire to attack although they did pull one back near the end.
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Norwich City started brightly at Wisbech and it did not take long for them to break the deadlock as George Anthony slid the ball across the area to an unmarked Jim Pallister, who slotted home.
The visitors then let their standards drop and Wisbech went into the break on level terms. Worse was to follow as the hosts took the lead early in the second half but a late double earned City the points.
Meyer engineered a short corner and Chris Perry rifled the ball into the right hand side of the goal to equalise and with three minutes left Anthony fed Jez Elliott who tipped the ball past the keeper before beating the covering defender.
Harleston Magpies II improved their position in Premier B with a 3-1 victory over Ramgarhia while in Division 1 Dereham II avoided defeat for only the third time this season when they drew 2-2 with Upminster.
Norwich City II came out on top in the derby in Division 2N, beating Norwich Dragons 3-2.
Dragons started strongly but it was the home side who went in front when Matt Brine scored from a penalty corner.
Dragons continued to play well and Gould scored a well taken reverse stick shot to level before the break.
Both teams enjoyed good spells of possession in the second half and Dragons took the lead when Snelling launched an unstoppable penalty corner.
While Dragons were down to 10 men following a poor tackle City levelled from Tom Hindle's well worked penalty corner strike and, with both teams pushing for a winner, it went to the hosts when Richard Silvester slotted home.
Dragons evened things up when their second team beat high-flying City III 4-3 in Division 4NE. Guy Marchant scored a hat-trick for the visitors who are now 11 points behind runaway leaders Lowestoft Railway, who won 11-2 at Ipswich IV to make it 12 straight wins this season.
City IV hammered UEA III 11-1 in Division 5NE, with Luke de Pear Brown netting a hat-trick, Tim Armstrong, Mike Marrison and Richard Sparrow scoring two apiece and Tim Crane and Jamie Cross also on target.
Norwich Dragons III lost 3-1 at home to Felixstowe III. They took the lead after George Walker had a couple of shots saved and Mark Flatman converted and were then grateful to some fine saves from Nick Franklin before the visitors took control.