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Duane's strike enough as Riverside Rovers close gap on Schoolhouse in Norwich Sunday League Premier

PUBLISHED: 11:11 14 February 2018

Action from the game between Hewett OBs (red) and Phoenix in Norwich Sunday League Division One. Picture: Ben Casey

Action from the game between Hewett OBs (red) and Phoenix in Norwich Sunday League Division One. Picture: Ben Casey

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A Duane Eastall goal was enough to move Riverside Rovers to within a point of leaders Schoolhouse after a 1-0 win over Sprowston Wanderers in the Norwich Sunday League Premier Division.

Action from the game between Hewett OBs (red) and Phoenix in Norwich Sunday League Division One. Picture: Ben CaseyAction from the game between Hewett OBs (red) and Phoenix in Norwich Sunday League Division One. Picture: Ben Casey

Aaron Sanders struck four times as third-placed Acle Rangers were 5-2 winners over Horsford Utd in what was a dress rehearsal for their County Cup semi-final on March 4. Matt Cullumbine added the fifth.

I saw the only game played in Division One and it turned out to be a bit of a thriller. Hewett OBs entertained Phoenix and with both sides in the top three, this was always going to be a close encounter.

Hewett started well and took the lead when Jordan Crane tapped home from close range and 15 minutes later Callum Speck scored an excellent goal to increase the lead. This seemed to shake Phoenix into action and they soon reduced the arrears when a long ball into the box was controlled well and fired home by Shaun Dunthorne.

Before the break the visitors were level when a corner was deflected into his own net by a Hewett player. The second half proved to be end-to-end stuff, but the home side missed a great chance to go in front when Matt Giles was tripped in the penalty area, but the resultant penalty came back off the post.

Action from the game between Hewett OBs (red) and Phoenix in Norwich Sunday League Division One. Picture: Ben CaseyAction from the game between Hewett OBs (red) and Phoenix in Norwich Sunday League Division One. Picture: Ben Casey

Jamie Smith went close for Phoenix and brought a fine save from Connor Widdows, before Hewett thought they’d taken the lead only to be denied by an offside flag which to be fair, looked debatable. With less than 10 minutes left the visitors got their noses in front. Another effort from Smith came back off the post, but Dunthorne was on hand to smash the ball high into the net for his second and what proved to be the winning goal. A good game to watch and a great comeback to win by Phoenix but the home side will feel a touch hard done by.

The top two in Division Two recorded comfortable victories. Leaders Woolpack saw Chris Holmes hit a hat-trick in their 6-2 win over Sprowston Ath Wildcats and Drayton Dazzlers ran out 8-2 winners over Briston, whilst third-placed Mischief stayed in touch as they scored four without reply at home to Mad Moose. Marlborough also collected three points at the weekend as they won 3-0 at Vale Longo.

There are new leaders in Division Three.

The top two faced met and it was the visitors who came out on top as DCS Rapid were 3-2 winners at Brooke Res. DCS now lead the table by a point, but expect a few twists and turns before the season ends, as Norman Wanderers A have three games in hand on the top two and trail the leaders by six points after a Reece May double in their 2-0 win over Acle Rangers Res.

Action from the game between Hewett OBs (red) and Phoenix in Norwich Sunday League Division One. Picture: Ben CaseyAction from the game between Hewett OBs (red) and Phoenix in Norwich Sunday League Division One. Picture: Ben Casey

Silver Fox ran out 5-1 winners as Haydn Cunningham (2), Jason Lambert, Ryan Tebble and Craig Boyles all scored at MC Rovers, whilst Hempnall won their South Norfolk derby 4-0 (Jamie Ellis, Lewis Frost, Ashley Gray, George Macrae) against Harleston Town.

In Division Four, leaders AFC Norwich were held to a 3-3 draw against Nelson Athletic, but know that a win in their final game will secure the title.

In the only Under 19 game played, strikes by Rhys Manley and Max Spelman helped Hellesdon to a 2-1 win over Heigham Park Rangers.

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