Men’s Trophy / East League: Wisbech go through with crushing win
Wisbech cruised into the quarter-finals of the national Men's Trophy competition with a crushing 8-2 win at Saffron Walden.
The visitors took the early initiative with goals from Gavin Johnstone and Sam Blunt. Sam Markille grabbed a third, before Gary Freear and Blunt made it 5-0 at the break.
Saffron Walden pulled two back in the second half, but Blunt added two more and Markille tapped in his second as Wisbech booked a quarter-final showdown against Middlesex side Ashford.
It completed a high scoring weekend for Wisbech, who beat Long Sutton 9-2 in the East Men's League Premier B Division on Saturday.
Brad Apted gave Wisbech the lead and Blunt's drag flick doubled the advantage. Drew Harvey made it three from a short corner before Markille netted the goal of the day following a slick move. Markille bundled home another before half-time and although Long Sutton scored twice early in the second half, Apted and Blunt completed their hat-tricks to confirm Wisbech's superiority.
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Dereham continued their impressive run of form with a 1-1 draw at home to second-placed West Herts in Premier A Division.
After three successive wins, Dereham faced the high-fliers without regular keeper Tom Vaughan, meaning George Boldero stepped up for his Premier A debut.
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Boldero made a sharp early save, while at the other end Dereham were denied by the visitors' keeper on several occasions.
Matt Stainthorpe's goal-line clearance denied Herts an opening goal, but they broke the deadlock before half-time when Boldero was left exposed against two attackers and one of them swept the ball into an empty net.
There were further chances at both ends in the second half, but with 15 minutes remaining, Dereham snatched an equaliser as Ric Timm finished smartly from inside the D.
West Herts had a player sin-binned for arguing with the umpire and Dereham came agonisingly close to a winner when Richard Stainthorpe's shot was dragged wide.
Norwich City remain bottom of the table after a 4-0 defeat at home to Ipswich.
Ipswich scored twice in each half as City – who face a crucial clash at relegation rivals Wapping this weekend – failed to make the most of their opportunities.
City's second team produced a battling display in a 4-4 draw at Cambridge City III in Division 2N.
Will Marshall put City in front after five minutes, but the visitors lost their discipline and trailed 3-1 at half-time.
Marshall scored early in the second half to revive City's hopes and James Bradley-Watson steered in an equaliser. Cambridge regained the lead with 10 minutes remaining, but Chris Key thundered in a short corner strike to earn a point for City.
Wisbech II secured a 2-1 victory at Ely City in Division 3NW.
Sam Dunn put the visitors ahead before Ely equalised in the second half from a penalty corner. An acrobatic save from Wisbech keeper Tom Peggs kept the scores level and Dunn then scored the decisive goal. Despite Lee Peck being sent to the sin bin, Wisbech held on to claim the points, ahead of their meeting with undefeated league leaders Bourne Deeping on Saturday.
Wisbech IV showed rustiness following their recent inactivity as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Cambridge Nomads IV in Division 5NW. Cambridge scored a goal in each half as Wisbech rarely threatened the opposition goal.
Will Kirby and Adrian Kemp grabbed all of the goals between them as Norwich Dragons III romped to a 7-1 win against Ipswich & East Suffolk IV in Division 6NE.
Kirby completed a first half hat-trick and Kemp also registered as Dragons led 4-1 at the break. Kemp bagged two more in the second half and Kirby notched his fourth, leaving Dragons needing one more win to be crowned as champions.