Norwich City’s men and women claim important wins to boost hopes of staying up
- Credit: Archant
Norwich City finally had something to smile about as they recorded only their second win of the season in the top flight of the East League.
They cruised to 4-1 victory over fellow strugglers Saffron Walden at Taverham, with man of the match Josh Bailey scoring twice and Stuart Wardle and Pete Morgan also among the goals.
The hosts never looked back after going 2-0 up in the opening 10 minutes, with the performance delighting coach Ali Wardale.
The win took City four points clear of the bottom two while Harleston Magpies remain three behind leaders Wapping after edging a tight game at Ipswich 3-2.
The Magpies went behind just before the break but Raunaq Rai quickly got them back on level terms after Dave Skinner's shot had been saved. Dave Gilbert then made it 2-1 from a quick counter-attack, only for Ipswich to score again, but the visitors had the final say when Pete Bale delivered to James Gray who squeezed home what proved to be the winner.
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Dereham's promotion hopes suffered a setback when they lost 2-1 at close rivals Bourne Deeping in Premier B while in Division 1N Magpies seconds picked up a useful point when they drew 3-3 with Crostyx. Norwich City II suffered another defeat, losing 5-1 at Old Southendian with Jeremy Elliott getting the consolation.
There was an excellent result for Norwich Dragons in Division 2N as they beat third placed Cambridge South 5-4 in a real thriller at The Den thanks to a hat-trick from Matt Knights and further goals from Sam Avery and Alex Browne.
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Dereham II also won, beating City of Peterborough III 4-3, while Pelicans lost 4-2 at home to Bury St Edmunds and winless Norwich City III went down 5-0 at St Ives.
Norwich City boosted their hopes of staying in the top flight when they came away from bottom side Sevenoaks II with a hard-fought 3-2 win.
Krystal Bishop was a clear choice as player-of-the-match after scoring a hat-trick that took the visitors to within three points of the safety mark.
Harleston Mapgies II also had a good away win, 1-0 at City of Peterborough, to stay just above their Norfolk rivals. The all important goal came 12 minutes from time, with Laura Tibbenham firing home via a deflection.
Dereham made it 14 straight wins in Division 1N when they travelled to lowly St Neots and came away with a 2-0 win.
After a goalless first half the leaders upped their game and the deadlock was broken when Becca Gibbs scored from a route one penalty corner. Dereham saved the best to last with a well worked move down the left which resulted in Becca Taylor slipping the ball to Hayley Toleman who calmly rounded the keeper and slotted home.
It was a tough day for Norwich Dragons, who were hammered 7-0 at second placed Cambridge University, with Shelly Seaman, Gina Hunt and Liv Thomas all playing well on a difficult afternoon. Lowestoft drew 2-2 with visitors Sudbury.
Dragons II moved up to second in Division 2NE, just two points behind leaders North Norfolk, following a 3-2 win over fellow high-flyers Watton.
Dragons were two up at the break, courtesy of goals from Kate McKenna and Hannah Hardy, and after being pegged back added a third through McKenna before the visitors had the final say. Keeper Issi Mumbray had an impressive game.
North Norfolk were held to a 2-2 draw at Dereham II while Norwich City II hammered bottom side Felixstowe 6-0 (Rachael Phillips 2, Milly Brown, Helen Busfield, Georgia Cleveland, Annabel Pounder) and Dragons III went down 3-2 at Christchurch (Beth Prakesh, Ally Windsor-Waite.
Pelicans went down 4-1 at St Ives II in Division 2NW with Ellie Burt scoring a late consolation.
Empresa Norfolk League
Broadland are closing in on the Premier Division title after maintaining their 100 percent record with a thumping 9-2 win at Lowestoft Railway.
With Cassie Ayms' goal condemning Norwich City III to a 1-0 home defeat against Harleston Magpies IV Broadland are now 12 points clear and only need three more wins to seal the title.
Dani Parke gave the visitors the lead with a solo effort and Kelly Allen put them in the driving seat a few minutes later with a deflected effort. Allen and captain Lydia Lawrence made it 4-0 and Parke added a fifth before the break after Railway had pulled one back.
Broadland scored four more in the second half, with Allen and Parke completing their hat-tricks and Georgie Stannett and Natalie Brooks also on target.
Loddon strengthened their challenge for second place by winning 6-0 at Broadland II while Evergreens won 3-2 at UEA II.
Goals from Millie Clarke (2) and Caroline Illing earned Norwich City IV a 3-3 draw with Pelicans II while Norwich Dragons IV beat bottom side Dereham III 5-0.
Diss beat Yarmouth II 3-0 to stay four points clear at the top of Division One.
Norwich City Hockey Club hosted a successful youth tournament, with 39 teams participating from seven different Norfolk clubs.
The inclement weather made it tough for the 400 or so youngsters who took part but some good hockey was played as the trophies were shared around.
In the morning Norwich City's Under-10 girls yellow team were overall winners of the Gold Tournament.
Coach Anna Horsley commented: 'The girls had a fantastic morning and really gelled as a team, scoring 18 goals and conceding none. It was a brilliant overall performance by the whole team.' Pelicans took first place in the Silver Tournament.
Harleston Magpies White team won the U12 Girls' Tournament with Magpies Warriors winning the Silver Tournament.
In the afternoon, Dragons Saphira won the U12 Boys' Gold Tournament and Norwich City Rhinos took first place in the Silver Tournament.