Dereham hit 12 in stunning display
Bishop's Stortford 3, Dereham 12
Dereham men's first XI recorded a stunning 12-3 away victory against Bishop's Stortford on Sunday to maintain their charge for a fourth place finish in East Hockey's Premier Division.
Man-of-the-match Mark Hunter scored four times in the rout, with Rich Stainthorpe, Mike Timm, Matt Turner and Will Edwards adding two apiece as the Norfolk side become the first Premier A team to reach double figures in a match this season.
The result was the perfect remedy to a frustrating away defeat against City of Peterborough II on Saturday, where Dereham created far more chances than their opponents but failed to make the most of their opportunities.
Trailing 1-0 at half-time, striker Ric Timm levelled the scores shortly after the break with a surging run from the right, but two quick goals gave Peterborough a commanding 3-1 lead in appalling playing conditions. A penalty corner from Mark Timm gave Dereham a chance of redemption 10 minutes from time, but despite constant pressure the Reds just could not get the ball over the goal-line.
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In terms of productiveness in front of goal, Dereham's match against Bishop's Stortford was an entirely different matter.
Dereham captain Rich Stainthorpe opened the scoring after just three minutes when he fired home a penalty corner from close range before Hunter added a second with another set piece. Stortford striker Vernon Brown pulled a goal back for the home team, but Hunter gave Dereham a 3-1 lead when he started a move in his own half before charging into the circle and slamming home a pin-point accurate return pass from Will Edwards.
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Stortford again hit back, but Hunter claimed his hat-trick from the penalty spot before providing a perfect penalty corner pass for Mike Timm to give Dereham a commanding 5-2 lead at half-time.
That lead rapidly turned to 7-2 when teenage substitute Matt Turner netted a quick-fire double from close range before Mike Timm grabbed his second of the game when he finished off a defence-splitting pass from Rich Stainthorpe.
Stortford's Brown scored his second of the game midway through the half before Stainthorpe, Hunter and a late double from Edwards completed an emphatic 12-3 score-line, Dereham's highest ever winning margin in East Hockey's elite division.
The victory means that Dereham remain fourth in the table with a club record 35 points in the bag. The Reds currently sit five points clear of Cambridge University in fifth and six ahead of sixth placed Chelmsford, who both have games in hand over the Norfolk side.
This weekend, Dereham play their final match of a hugely successful season when title chasers Bedford travel to Greenfields Road. The match takes place on Saturday at noon.
Dereham Ladies II 1, UEA 2
After being defeated earlier in the season away at UEA, Dereham went into this game determined not to be beaten.
Despite the terrible weather making it hard to control the ball, both teams kept piling on the pressure. Dereham won the first short corner but were unable to convert it into a goal. With a lot of their players up high they were caught on the break and the UEA forwards got round the defence and managed to score their first goal.
Early into the second half Dereham got their equaliser through a great cross from Bex Hazel to Helen Kiddle-Morris who neatly slotted the ball past the keeper.
Dereham defended hard to try and keep their point but UEA forced a run of short corners and although Emma Milton made some fantastic defensive blocks they managed to get another goal.
Dereham pushed hard in the last five minutes but could not get the second equaliser.
n Dereham Girl's Development Team thrashed Pelicans 14-0 in the Norfolk Women's League.
n Dereham's Boys Development team were trailing 3-1 at Norwich Dragons when their match was abandoned due to the adverse weather conditions.
Dereham started well in the cold weather with an early goal from Harry Cresswell. Dragons responded well with an equaliser after 10 minutes.
Dereham pushed up and tried to go in front but soon Dragons were on the counter attack and moved in front.
Dereham let in another goal, but just as they were getting back into the game the half-time whistle went and the umpires decided to abandon the game.