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Mixed emotions for Dereham HC

PUBLISHED: 11:17 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:48 07 July 2010

It was a distinctly mixed weekend for Dereham Hockey Club, with the women taking a huge step towards the National League - and the men suffering the bitter disappointment of relegation.

It was a distinctly mixed weekend for Dereham Hockey Club, with the women taking a huge step towards the National League - and the men suffering the bitter disappointment of relegation.

Dereham Ladies edged past Wapping on Saturday, winning their home clash 2-1 to move within touching distance of the East League Premier Division title.

They now only need a point from their final game of the season at struggling Saffron Walden on Saturday to clinch a place in the National East Conference for the first time in their history.

The emotions could hardly have been more of a contrast in the men's camp as a 5-3 defeat at Cambridge University, coupled with a win for rivals City of Peterborough, condemned them to relegation from the Premier A Division.

The women won a tight game to move one point behind league leaders Canterbury II and level with Holcombe, who have both completed their programmes.

Goals from Hannah Palmer and Evie Gardner sealed the win and coach Karen Cleaver believes her side will now get the result they require.

“We've still got to go there and get a result but I am confident we'll do it,” said Cleaver. “I am so proud of the team. They have played some excellent hockey this season and have also worked very hard as well.

“They are a credit to the club and I'm so pleased to be on the verge of promotion after missing out by just one point last season.

“That was tough to take but the girls have responded superbly and fully deserve to be where they are.

“Cambridge City went up last season and have held their own in the National League and I'm sure we can do the same. It will also be nice to play Harleston Magpies again - they'll certainly be interesting games!”

Dereham's men travelled with the bare 11 due to other commitments but went ahead through Will Edwards, before Cambridge hit back to lead 3-1 at the break. The hosts scored twice more in the second half, before Dereham replied with strikes from Edwards and Andy Lawrence.


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