Six-hitters Grove make flying start
The Grove got 2011 off to a cracking start by beating Acle Rangers 6-1, thanks to goals by Nixon (2), Mallet, Clarke, Bee and Brown.
They move above Acle into second place in the Evening News Copy IT Norwich Sunday League Premier Division. Leaders Wymondham Rangers won 7-2 at Costessey, whilst Quebec came back from Poringland with a 2-0 win.
Division 1a leaders Reepham Town won 3-2 at home to Windmill Wanderers and remain seven points clear of second-placed Hellesdon who scored four without reply at Norman Wanderers Reserves. Aslacton put five past Eaton FC, whilst Horsford SC and Hainford drew their local derby 2-2, Nathan Turner and Jimmy Ross scoring for Hainford. The only game in Division One B saw Earlham United win 5-1 at Unicorns.
There was a shock for Division 2a leaders The Castlegate as they were thumped 6-2 at The Griffin. Deopham moved into second spot after a 2-1 (David Darkins, Lewis Mackerell) victory at Norman Wanderers A and Upton scored five without reply against River Garden. Stoke had a 2-1 (David Spauls, Justin Cameron) home win over Acle Wanderers for whom Ryan Flint scored from the spot. Division 2b leaders Rose Tavern went down 3-2 at Wymondham Rangers Res who had started the year at the bottom of the table. The Gordon had a 3-2 (Tom Parsley, Tom Durrell, Craig Sewell) home win over Hethersett whilst Acle Reserves and PL Rangers drew 1-1. PL’s new goalkeeper Connor Widdows took their MoM award.
Division 3a leaders Wellington Pink Uns put eight past 10-man Dancing Farmers and are three points clear of Hockering for whom Morris Elliot grabbed a hat-trick in a 7-0 win over Heartsease Casuals. Hellesdon Reserves are fourth after a 3-2 win over Newsman Celtic. In Division 3b, Maid Marion had a good 6-2 win at Hingham and AFC Oak were held to a 2-2 (Robert Bridge, Mark Ratcliffe) draw by a spirited Aylsham Reserves.
New Buckenham are the new leaders of Division 4a after beating DEF FC by the odd goal in nine. Previous leaders Riverside Rovers were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom side Earlham Colney and Caseys Cosmos Reserves won 3-0 at Eaton Young Boys. Despite burst pipes in the changing rooms, Sporting Longdale Reserves were rewarded for their efforts in getting the game played, beating Silver Fox Reserves 2-1 thanks to goals by Jamie Platten and Matt Atherton. In Division Four B Briston won 3-1 at Bell Inn to go second, Drayton scored six (Sam Lincoln 2, Richard Tubb 2, Tom Frost) at Wendene to go fourth and Eaton Beehive got the only goal of the game at Windmill Elite.
Twenty seven games were played on the first weekend of 2011 with some clubs doing that bit extra to get their game played. Well done to them, although it was disappointing to see games called off on a Thursday for the second time this season, when the council parks pitches were perfectly playable come match day.