Norfolk Women’s League: Sheringham and Holt Panthers secure the Marshall Motors Premier Division title
Sheringham and Holt Panthers secured the Marshall Motors Premier Division title with a 4-0 win at Beccles.
The home team, despite playing with only ten players, were much the better team in the first half as Panthers struggled to find their usual flowing game. Only the heroics of keeper Natalie Brooks kept the league leaders in the game.
Against the run of play Helen Morter put Panthers ahead in the last minute of the first half – and the half-time team-talk emphasised the need to go out and play like they had all season.
The second half was a different story. Gail Rudd claimed the second goal with an excellent strike from a penalty corner and scored again soon after following a precise cross from Morter to the top of the circle.
The final goal came from Georgina Stannett following a solo run down the centre of the pitch.
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Panthers still have two games to play, at Harleston on Saturday and at Lowestoft on Sunday week.
UEA clinched second place by beating third-placed Norwich City II 2-1 – an improvement on the part of the losers, who lost 6-0 in the previous meeting. Caroline Illing scored the City goal.
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Thetford won 1-0 at Evergreens with a first half goal from Kathy Hammond. Evergreens forced at least 10 short corners in the second half but were unable to convert any of them.
Bottom of the table Harleston IV raised their hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon by beating Lowestoft Railway 1-0. They now trail their opponents by one point with two games to play.
The goal came in the second half following some quality stick work from Bella Hall to earn a short corner, from which Sarah Legg stepped up to score.
With one weekend to go Norwich City III and Diss are neck and neck for the Division One title – separated only by goal difference after both managed nap hands in the penultimate round.
While Diss won 5-0 at Norwich Dragons III, City III won 5-1 at UEA II. Chris Fraser opened the scoring for City only for the students to equalise. That shocked City into life, marshalled by Bev Cushion, and the result was thereafter never in doubt.
Two goals from Anya Farrow and two from Jess Harris – who made the last quarter of the pitch her own – sealed an ultimately comfortable win.
With nearly half their regular players supporting the first team in their East Women's League match at Yarmouth, Broadland II played valiantly against a younger Dereham IV side but lost 2-0. Kari O'Brien, playing for the first time since breaking her arm in early November, was Broadland's star player.
Reepham had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw against bottom of the table North Walsham II, despite holding on to a first half lead until 27 seconds from the final whistle.
Right winger Becky Briggs put Reepham ahead in the first half following a short corner.
Walsham had a defender injured prior to the goal when the ball lifted awkwardly and caught her on the side of her head. After being forced to reorganise they were stronger in the second half, pinning Reepham in their own half for long periods. But they needed a stroke of luck to equalise when a cross in front deflected off a Reepham defender to leave stand-in keeper Jenny Mawe wrong footed.
Division Two champions UEA III were too strong for Norwich City IV, winning 4-0.
It was goalless until the last five minutes of the first half when UEA broke the deadlock.
In the second half City managed to absorb the pressure until mid-way in the second half, when UEA increased the intensity of the play and were rewarded with a well-taken goal.
Another goal followed, deflected off a City stick to sail over the keeper's head, and UEA completed the scoring with a late fourth.
Norwich City V are neck and neck with Herlings for second place after thrashing Loddon II 7-0.
Olivia Greenway soon put City ahead, followed by another goal from Julia Marchant, who was on top form. Cheryl Brown made it 3-0 before the interval with a stunning goal from Greenaway's perfect through pass..
After an uplifting half-time talk from Guy Marchant, City continued to dominate. Marchant scored her second and completed her hat-trick following a lovely pass from Carol McNarry.
Emily Greenway put her name on the scoresheet after a magnificent 16 yard hit out from McNarry and she finished off another superb team move to get her second goal to complete the scoring.
Despite the scoreline, Herlings hold on to second place on goal difference after a 2-0 win over Norwich Dragons IV.
Old Buckenham raised hopes of avoiding last place when they beat Hornets 3-0.