Title race in Empresa League poised for a thrilling finish

Broadland's Jade Bolton defends a Norwich City attack as Lydia Lawrence prepares to help out. Pictur

Broadland's Jade Bolton defends a Norwich City attack as Lydia Lawrence prepares to help out. Picture: PHIL SKINNER - Credit: Archant

The Premier Division title race is poised for a thrilling finale next weekend after the two contenders both won again on Saturday.

Norwich City II beat bottom side Carrow 5-0 and Broadland saw off City's fourths 3-1, leaving the promotion chasers level on points with just one round of matches to be played.

But City are firmly in the driving seat, with their goal difference now three better than their rivals, meaning a win in their final game at Norwich Dragons IV will leave Broadland with it all to do at Loddon.

Ellie Brine and Kate Hartland both scored twice, and Hannah Jarvis was also on target, as City showed no mercy on a Carrow side who have lost all their games this season.

Broadland had a far tougher game against City's fourths, despite going ahead when Carre Varley fired home a tremendous strike after being set up by Catherine Brewster.

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City found an equaliser when Fiona Spencer deflected a penalty corner strike past Jen Crawford but within two minutes of the restart Lydia Lawrence restored Broadland's advantage with a cool finish and she scored again when Dani Parke's third rebound off the post fell kindly into her path.

Third-placed Norwich Dragons III won 3-0 at their Dereham counterparts while Norwich City III were also away winners, 5-2 at Loddon (Emily Greenway 2, Caroline Illing, Alex Le Mesurier, Jennifer Stanghan). Evergreens and Dragons IV shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw, with Catherine Longe scoring for the latter.

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Lowestoft Railway and Norwich Dragons V both stayed on course for promotion from Division One by recording away wins. Railway beat Broadland II 3-1 thanks to two goals from Becky Ingles and one from Karen Wright, with Sophie White replying for the hosts, while Dragons saw off Dereham IV 5-2 (Adita Naik 2, Jemima Williams, Lucy Buxton, Helen Marsh). Diss stayed in the hunt thanks to a 6-2 victory at Thetford.

Broadland III sealed promotion from Division Three in their first season together when they won 4-2 at Loddon II. Kat Maddox led the way with a hat-trick while skipper Carolyn Duthie rounded off the scoring.

The team were formed last season following a successful 'back to hockey' campaign.

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