Norwich City relegated - but seconds stay up
It was a mixed weekend for Norwich City hockey club as the final day of the season saw the first team relegated and the seconds complete a great escape.
City headed down to St Albans for their final Premier A match of a tough campaign knowing they needed to win to leapfrog third from bottom Bishop's Stortford.
But they returned home empty handed, a 5-0 defeat confirming a second from bottom finish.
Meanwhile, Norwich City II's 4-0 win against Dereham II saw them avoid relegation from Division Two.
Going into the game they knew they had to better Cambridge City III's result and after they lost out 7-5 to Bury Norwich took advantage.
Norwich took the lead thanks to Richard Silvester's close range finish and they soon doubled this lead through Matt Brine. Norwich's third was a thing of rare beauty and could have been a training ground exercise. The ball was played around the midfield and fired to the backline, for it then to be pulled back to Brine who thundered an unstoppable shot in at waist height. Norwich quickly added a fourth, with Brine grabbing another.
Norwich City's mixed XI progressed into the last 16 of the National Plate competition after beating previous finalists Wisbech 2-1 on golden goal.
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The game got off to a lively pace and end to end action was the pattern of play for the majority of the match, with a great deal of pressure being made on the Wisbech goal, with the home goalkeeper pulling off numerous fantastic saves to continue to frustrate the City attacks.
A lapse midway through the first half saw the ball dispossessed as the City team surged forward, leaving a quick pass to the Wisbech playmaker unmarked high up the pitch. He took on Tom Franks in the City goal and slotted home a straight forward one-on-one.
Norwich's pressure was finally rewarded when Matthew Brine picked up the ball just outside of the circle and shot home to make it 1-1.
It looked like the match was going to penalty flicks until with only a few minutes left in extra-time Debbie Painter and Emily Anthony linked up well at the top of the circle. Anthony let fly with a good strike and although it took a slight deflection it found its way into the net to put Norwich into the last 16 of the competition thanks to the golden goal rule.
In Division Two of the Marshall Motor Group Norfolk Women's League Norwich Dragons lV squeezed past Norwich City V 3-2 to finish the season sharing fourth place on points, with City having the better goal difference.
Dragons' player of the match Bridget Le Good opened the scoring, forcing the ball home in a goalmouth scramble.
Ellie Brine equalised with a beautifully struck penalty corner and then more persistance in the D resulted in Amelia Dawson giving Dragons the lead. Lynne Price looked to have given them breathing space with another superb penalty corner, but back came City and Olivia Greenway scored from the edge of the circle. City pressed hard, but Dragons had the grit and determination to shut them out.
Fakenham Evergreens II travelled to Watton on Saturday to play their two remaining matches, one straight after the other.
They totally dominated their opponents Breckland in the first game but could not score, despite many chances.
After a ten minute break, Evergreens started their second must-win game against Old Buckenham II knowing they had to win to clinch promotion.
They started strongly and, backed by a good squad of players who were available to provide fresh legs, they soon took control of the game. Goals came in abundance with Tracy Brain scoring four, Rose McCourt two, and one each from Dee Clipston, Carole Ransome and Harriet Segasby.
It was a resounding 9-0 win and completed a fantastic season for Fakenham.