Men’s East League: Harleston Magpies hit six of the best to stay in title hunt

Norwich Dragons Hockey Club Men's 4ths' goalscorer Robbie Whiting bags one of his brace of goals aga

Norwich Dragons Hockey Club Men's 4ths' goalscorer Robbie Whiting bags one of his brace of goals against Bury St Edmunds in the 5-2 win. - Credit: Archant

Harleston Magpies displayed their attacking talent again as they hit Dereham for six in Premier Division A.

Ben Wright's deflected penalty corner drag-flick opened the scoring for Magpies before Martin Fields doubled their lead. Andy Hipwell made it 3-0 after pouncing on a loose ball before Dereham pulled one back through Mike Timm.

Wright then grabbed his second goal of the game before Hipwell completed his hat-trick to make it 6-1. Dereham made the scoreline look a bit more respectable thanks to Will Edwards' solo effort and a Timm tap-in.

Harleston sit third, a point behind Cambridge University and two adrift of league leaders Wapping – although they do have a game in hand on both.

In Premier B Norwich City shared four goals with Cambridge Uni while Norwich's second team enjoyed what could be a defining moment in their season. City moved seven points clear of the dreaded bottom four with just three games left to play by winning 4-1 at Saffron Walden II. The visitors made the breakthrough 10 minutes in with a well-worked move down the left which fell to Brine Senior who smashed the ball straight into the top right-hand corner of the goal.

That much deserved lead was then doubled with a flowing counter attack. Albeit with a little help from the keeper, Silvester charged through the middle from a good through ball. The keeper decided to kick the ball straight into the path of Silvester who raised his head and squared the ball for an easy tap in for Brine Senior.

City then started to invite more pressure upon their own goal and if it was not for Debutant Watling in goal they may have conceded more. He seemed to be more relaxed then any other player on the pitch tipping the ball around the post with his stick from a definite goal scoring opportunity.

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Eventually after a string of short corners, Saffron Walden got a goal back from a short corner routine.

Through the young legs of Sam Tomlinson, City scored their third in the second half and Silvester added a fourth in what was a must-win game for Norwich. Same-city rivals the Norwich Dragons lost 4-1 at March Town. March came out strongly and aided by some silly defensive errors from Dragons quickly went 2-0 up.

However, with some strong play around the D and some excellent linking play through Nick Deayton, playing in an unfamiliar role of inner, came back to 2-1 with an excellently worked strike from Matt Knights.

A great game for the neutrals showed quick interplaying hockey from both sides and 2-1 at half-time was a fair assessment of the game. After the break Dragons looked to take the advantage but unfortunately were caught through a well improvised short corner and went 3-1 down.

More great play from Dragons showed the improvement that had been implemented all season and with 15 minutes to go full out attack was called. Inevitably Dragons were left exposed on the break and conceded another goal to leave the final score 4-1.

It was a better day for Dragons seconds in Division Three East as they beat Pelicans II 4-2. Pelicans took the lead early on but a good, calm and very composed (especially from the youngsters) response helped Dragons draw level through Alex Browne after Jason Wolfe was able to capitalise on a Pelicans mistake. Cley Hamilton then snuck the ball underneath the advancing keeper just before half-time to ease the nerves.

Jonty Gosling made it 3-1 before Pelicans almost immediately drew one back, and there was a period of defensive pressure that could have seen the visitors back into the game. However, Alex Browne then struck a trademark thunderbolt penalty corner to ease those concerns and see Dragons home to a relatively comfortable win.

Meanwhile, Norwich City III hit the net the same number of times to see off Newmarket – themselves only able to trouble the scorers just once.

In Division 4NE Norwich Dragons III enjoyed a 3-2 win at Ipswich-East Suffolk III. Adam Sayer opened the scoring for Dragons but IES equalised two minutes later before the took the lead just after half-time.

Ives equalised for Dragons but the drama wasn't over yet as Sayer had the final say with the winner.

Second-placed Norwich City IV bounced back from only their second league defeat of the campaign by beating bottom team Watton 3-1. Goodall, Circuit and Gallop found the net. Second-from-bottom Dereham III lost 6-1 at North Norfolk II.

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