Dereham Hockey Club men maintain excellent start in East Men’s League

Dereham Men 6, Wapping 1

Dereham men's first XI continued their best ever start to an East Premier A campaign with a thumping 6-1 victory over Wapping at Greenfields Road.

The home side scored three goals in each half to earn a fine win over a team that came into the match level on points with their opponents. The result puts Dereham up to third place in the table, five points behind leaders St Albans and a point behind Harleston Magpies, who Dereham play this weekend.

The opening stages of the match were evenly fought, with Wapping aiming to catch Dereham on the break, while the hosts were a constant threat, with Matt Plater and Mike Timm looking particularly lively.

Dereham thought they had taken the lead in the 15th minute when Mark Hunter slammed a penalty corner drag flick high into the Wapping net, only for the match officials to correctly rule out the strike for an infringement at the top of the circle. It proved to be only a minor setback, with Dereham taking the lead a minute later when Richard Stainthorpe forced an error from a Wapping defender before moving past the keeper and passing into an open net.

Dereham quickly established a 3-0 lead thanks to an own goal and a superb strike from Mike Timm, who smashed a fierce effort into the net following a fine run and pass from elder brother Mark.

Dereham maintained their dominance in the second half and moved into a 4-0 lead when Mark Hunter scored a penalty stroke after Mike Timm was denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

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Wapping gave themselves a life-line with 20 minutes of the match remaining through a terrific penalty corner flick, but Dereham made it 5-1 when Mark Timm scored the simplest of tap-ins after another decisive attack.

The scoring was completed when Plater earned Dereham their second penalty stroke of the game, with Hunter again stepping up to convert before Stainthorpe almost made it seven when his slap-shot crashed against the crossbar.

Dereham 4, Wisbech Tn 1

Dereham were looking to improve on last week's disappointing draw, against Wisbech who started the day above them in the East League Division 1N table.

The home side welcomed back Kath Malvern and Chloe Short to the heart of the defence and they made a significant difference.

The home side put together some excellent build up play and scored a deflected goal courtesy of Becky Loveday. Not long after, Becca Taylor scored to make it 2-0, which was the half-time score.

At the start of the second half, Wisbech got a goal back after a quick break, but it wasn't long before Dereham were celebrating again, after a clever short corner routine saw Kath Malvern smash the backboard from the top of the D.

Wisbech earned a few short corners which Dereham coped with well, before the hosts finally finished one of many chances with an awesome, open play strike by youngster Ali Waters, marking her first team league debut with a goal.

n Dereham Ladies II remain unbeaten in the Norfolk League Premier Division after a 2-0 win at Diss.

After a goalless firest half, Helen Kiddle Morris scored a magnificent reverse stick goal and Rachael Leavers added a second.

n Dereham's men's third team lost 3-1 at home to Bury St Edmunds, Gareth Wilton scoring for the hosts.

n Dereham Girl's Development team beat Norwich Dragons 3-1 with goals from Amy Keeley, Pip Howes and Catherine Longe.