NATIONAL LEAGUE: Ladies fail to match their bright start

Harleston Magpies Ladies 1, St Albans 4: There was little comfort for Harleston's opening home fixture of the new season as St Albans left with an impressive victory.

Despite making a positive start at Chelmsford last week, the Magpies failed to reproduce the quality of performance.

Magpies were first to show with an early penalty corner that was well saved – but St Albans were more clinical when they won a penalty corner of their own, Kerri Lendon's effort deflecting off a Harleston stick and looping into the top of the net.

St Albans were comfortable – a pattern that continued for the rest of the half – and they doubled their lead through Sarah Cullum before ramming home their advantage with two goals in two minutes through Lendon's second and a Samantha Archer effort – both penalty corners.

The hosts improved in the second half but were unable to convert their chances – be it penalty corners or taking advantage of a defensive error that left a Magpies forward one on one with the keeper.

Finally, in the 66th minute National League debutant Lizzie Jones won the ball on the right before crossing to Naomi Hull, whose unstoppable hit gave the Magpies a consolation.

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• City of Peterborough 8, Harleston Magpies Men 2

Peterborough proved to be too hot for Harleston to handle as the visitors were thrashed on Saturday.

Scott Gilmour took just two minutes to fire the hosts into the lead before David Appleton and Gareth Andrew made it 3-0 lead at the break – on an afternoon where Richard Gill's sin-binning made things even harder for the Magpies.

Carl Daniels continued the scoring after the break before Andrew completed his hat-trick and Chris Porter got in on the act.

Magpies' Tristan Baynes and a Ben Wright penalty corner added a modicum of respectability to the scoreline, before Appleton had the last word – completing his brace in the final moments.

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