Men’s East League: Barber opens his Harleston account with hat-trick
- Credit: Archant
Harleston Magpies were far too strong for newly promoted Felixstowe, coming away with a 7-0 win to maintain their unbeaten start in the Premier A Division.
Captain Mark Wheelhouse fired home a penalty stroke past ex-Magpie Mark Lloyd to open the scoring before Chris Barber finally opened his account for the season with a well taken shot into the bottom corner.
Magpies then broke with speed with Ben Wright converting at the back post and the onslaught continued, with the visitors 5-0 up at the break as Wright and Barber both added to their tallies.
Magpies weathered a storm at the start of the second period and when a drag-flick by Wright was well saved by Lloyd the ball dropped to Martin Fields who despatched into the top corner. Man-of-the-match Barber rounded off the scoring with his third goal.
Dereham battled hard at Chelmsford before falling to a 7-4 defeat. The Reds took a 4-3 lead into half time against the team coached by former England and Great Britain captain Glenn Kirkham but the home team netted four unanswered goals in the second half.
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The opening 15 minutes of the game were absolutely thrilling for the neutral as two attack-minded sides took the score to 3-3 at break-neck speed. Dereham drew first blood, with Rich Stainthorpe crashing a shot into the roof of the net before Chelmsford tied the scores a minute later.
Dereham put their noses in front again moments later when Mike Timm burst through on goal before slipping a pass to strike partner James Lavers for a close range tap-in before Chelmsford netted a quick-fire double to move into a 3-2 lead. However, man-of-the-match Lavers grabbed his second of the game with another poacher's goal after more good work from Stainthorpe.
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An expertly finished penalty corner from Mike Timm on the stroke of half-time gave the Reds a genuine chance of causing an upset but Chelmsford showed their class after the break.
'We were outstanding in the first half and asked a very good side some serious questions,' said skipper Andy Lawrence. 'They deserved the win but not many teams will come here and score four times.'
At the bottom of the table Wisbech lost 5-2 at home to Blueharts and have still to pick up their first point.
Harleston Magpies II are also pointless at the bottom of Premier B after losing 7-2 at home to Saffron Walden.
Norwich City had a free weekend following scheduled opponents Ramgarhia's decision to pull out of the league.
Pelicans maintained their solid start in Division 1 with a 6-3 victory over Crostyx that took them up to sixth in the table.
Norwich City II finally got their season up and running in Division 2N when they won 3-2 at City of Peterborough IV. A keenly contested encounter was locked at 2-2, with Tom Hindle scoring both the City goals, when Adie Land pounced on a rebound to net a late winner.
In the same section Norwich Dragons bounced back from last week's disappointment with a commanding 5-1 win away at old rivals Dereham II. Dragons were led by stand-in skipper Matt Knights who snared a classy hat-trick.
They took the lead with a fine team move, the ball being dummied by Dom Samways, leaving Knights to crash home past the despairing keeper.
Inspirational words from coach Rob Wagstaff at the break saw Dragons blow Dereham away in the first 15 minutes of the second half. First Knights poached a scrappy second, collecting a misplaced pass that others had given up on and somehow steering the ball past the keeper from an acute angle. Nick Charlish then went one better, a mazy run followed by a bobbly finish from an even tighter angle.
Knights thumped home his third from a short corner and then Avery, released by a fine ball from Dave Sloman down the left, showed terrific skill and composure to beat his man and then hold up the ball for an onrushing Henry Laming to crunch home at the near post.
Dragons took their foot off the pedal and a mistake from Nick Deayton let Dereham pull one back, but it was a good performance and a good win.
North Norfolk slipped to their second defeat of the season as they went 3-2 at Ely.
Pelicans II had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Newmarket in Division 3NE after the visitors scored from a late penalty corner. The goals came from Hall and Vinson while Middleton Aggregates man-of-the-match was Emmerson Collingwood -Smith
Norwich Dragons II succumbed to another disappointing defeat, losing 5-2 at home to Ipswich Cranes. The home team never really got going in the first 20 minutes and this allowed Cranes to race into an early 3-0 lead. Rory Jackson tucked home from an Alex Browne cross before the break and a Jason Wolfe goal put the home team back in the game but Cranes had the final say.
A determined performance saw Norwich Dragons III win 2-1 at Bury St Edmunds II in Division 4NE. Two quick goals either side of the half from Matt Jenkins sealed the win.