Hockey: Norwich City closing in on promotion to East League's top flight
PUBLISHED: 09:49 27 February 2018
Norwich City stand on the brink of promotion to the East League top flight after winning two crunch games at the weekend.
City saw off main rivals Wapping II 1-0 on Saturday before winning a re-arranged derby game at Dereham 4-2 the following day to move seven points clear in second position.
With just three games left to play they now need just one win to clinch a place in Premier A next season.
City scored the all-important goal against Wapping after a prolonged period of first half pressure. They won a corner through a bit of good stick work from Nick Jones and Dave Skinner converted with a low drag flick to the bottom left corner.
After the break Stuart Wardle almost made it two after slipping the ball past the keeper, only to be denied by a back-tracking defender. Wapping also had their chances but the hosts saw it out to claim a well deserved three points.
The following day City took control of their derby game by scoring twice without reply in the first half. Dereham captain Ed Turner reduced the arrears, as did Falko Rosbergen when the score was 1-3, but Norwich secured all three points with a fourth goal.
Luke Corden scored twice for the visitors while Wardale and Jeremy Elliott were also on target.
On Saturday Dereham had come from behind to beat Waltham Forest 3-2 with the goals coming from Rosbergen, CJ Edwards and Seb Hincliffe, who scored the winner near the end.
Harleston Magpies returned to winning ways in Premier A with an excellent 4-1 win over visitors Bedford, who had started the day five points above them in the table.
Simon Hipwell fired Magpies into an early lead with a trademark reverse stick finish into the bottom corner and Richard Larkin quickly made it two with a back post finish.
After the break Sam Moore scored from a penalty corner before Bedford pulled one back but Hipwell had the final say with a simple tap-in.
In Division Two North East Magpies II made it 19 victories on the trot by winning 7-1 at Horncastle in a top versus bottom encounter.
Norwich Dragons edged past UEA 2-1 to make it three wins out of four, with the goals coming from Rupert Snelling and Alex Browne.