Women’s East League: Two hat-tricks as Dragons return to top form
Having been struggling to find their form since the Christmas break Norwich Dragons finally found their rhythm to beat Framlingham 10-2 and maintain their two point lead at the top of Division 2NE.
Dragons welcomed newcomer Lucy Hopgood who injected some energy in the midfield and played with great composure for someone so young.
They dominated from the start and after opening the scoring through Nat Beal went on to score five more before the break with Beal completing her hat-trick and Karen O'Neill-Simpson – with her first for the season – Laura Shreeve and Marie James hitting the target. It was a similar story after the break, although Framlingham scored a couple of consolation goals. Shreeve completed her hat-trick while Hopgood got a deserved goal and Emma Tabrett completed the scoring.
Norwich City are still breathing down Dragons' necks in second placed after beating their second team 2-0. With two successive draws, it was crucial to get their season back on track and that's exactly what City did.
Shortly before half-time Christie Jones put a ball on a Dragons' foot in the D and the ensuing Emily Anthony shot from the short corner cannoned off a Dragons' stick and flew into the top of the net.
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After the break Becca Green just missed out on a debut first league goal and some brave defending kept out Anna Horsley. Finally, City made things more comfortable when a screamer from Anthony at a short corner made the score 2-0.
Dragons' player of the match was Lizzie Moulton who played a big part in ensuring City only scored twice.
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Yarmouth, who play Dragons next week, remain third, level on points with City, after a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Sprowston.
Sprowston didn't seem to be able play their passing game, as they did so well in the previous week, with many passes being misplaced. The home team enjoyed plenty of possession but lacked the quality in the final ball and struggled to create many clear-cut chances. Yarmouth took the points with a deflection off a defender's stick which left the keeper with no chance.
Sprowston suffered a major blow when key player Fong Chung was taken to hospital with a nasty injury from a ball hitting her knee.
Broadland were beating Loddon 3-0 through a second minute goal from Kerry Paine and further strikes from Helen Brockington and Holly Becker when the match was abandoned just after half-time due the downturn in the weather.
Harleston Magpies took a big step towards claiming the Division 1N title when they won 4-0 at nearest challengers Ipswich II. They are now five points clear at the top, although Ipswich do have a game in hand.
With a good 6-0 win last week against Watton, Magpies wanted to bring their 'A' game again to Saturday's match, and that's exactly what they did.
With strong and precise tactics put into play by the management team of Nigel Wooltorton and David Brook, Magpies started strongly and soon won themselves their first short corner, with Kira Wooltorton's strike finding the backboard. Anouska Hipperson then made it 2-0 before the break.
Hipperson added a third against the run of play and completed her hat-trick after Siobhan Cleeve had made some crucial saves.
In a relegation six-pointer at Coldhams Common, Pelicans beat Cambridge Nomads 3-1. Alanah Moore ran half the length of the pitch to net a fine individual goal. The lead was doubled after a quick free-hit and pass from Kath Johnson found Emma Tilbrook in the D and she applied a cool finish.
Nomads hit back but captain Kirsten Kerry netted from close range just before the break to restore the two goal advantage.