Anxious waits for hockey teams
DEREHAM hockey teams must wait on championship and relegation verdicts following the weekend's games.Dereham gave themselves a chance of winning the East Women's League Premier Division title as they completed their season with two victories.
DEREHAM hockey teams must wait on championship and relegation verdicts following the weekend's games.
Dereham gave themselves a chance of winning the East Women's League Premier Division title as they completed their season with two victories.
Survival hopes in East Men's League Premier A were boosted with a crucial 2-1 win at home to Bedford.
Convincing wins against Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds put Dereham Ladies one point clear of Cambridge City, who still have one game to play - away to Tunbridge Wells.
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Saturday's 4-0 victory at home to Lowestoft saw all the goals scored in the second half.
Donna Causten opened the scoring from a short corner and Kath Malvern doubled the advantage. Malvern then added a third, before Georgie Edwards made it 4-0 with Dereham's 100th goal of the season.
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On Sunday, Dereham travelled to Bury St Edmunds and recorded a thumping 9-0 success.
Holly Allen converted Hannah Palmer's cross to put Dereham ahead and Palmer added the second, deflecting in Causten's short corner.
Evie van Poortvliet - the league's top scorer - then struck four goals before half-time as Dereham cruised into a 6-0 lead.
Holly Allen netted the seventh after the break, before van Poortvliet fired home a penalty flick. Dereham added a ninth before the end and must now wait to discover whether they have landed the title.
Dereham men's team were able to field a full squad for the first time this season and responded to some disappointing recent results by attacking from the outset.
Dereham were camped in the Bedford half for the first 20 minutes, but were unable to make the breakthrough.
Bedford recovered and gained in confidence, leading to a spell of pressure just before half-time which resulted in a number of short corners, although the Dereham defence held firm.
Bedford began the second half strongly, but Dereham were soon in the ascendancy and won a short corner. Andy Lawrence fired a low shot which was going wide, but a Bedford defender deflected the ball past his own keeper to give the home side the lead.
Buoyed by that piece of fortune, Dereham won another corner soon afterwards and this time Lawrence's shot was saved, but Mark Braybrook pounced on the rebound to double the lead.
Bedford were then reduced to 10 men as a player was sin-binned, but Dereham failed to take advantage and with 10 minutes remaining, the visitors pulled a goal back with a stunning strike from a tight angle.
That led to a nervous finale, but Dereham held on and now stand one point clear of the relegation zone ahead of their last match of the season, at fourth-bottom Ipswich II on Saturday.