Hockey : Artificial pitch a boost to depleted Norton

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Norton have made light of the departure of four of last year's squad, including their player-coach and former Great Britain international Peter Boxall, to head the North Premier Division with maximum points after their 4-2 win at Harrogate at the weekend, writes Bill Colwill.

Their captain, Richard Finney, attributes their success to having their own artificial pitch: "Training is now almost unlimited." Finney, the division's joint top scorer, also feels the club has got to grips with the no offside rule, due in a large part to a pre-season trip to Scotland, where they have been playing without offside since last season.

Cambridge City, 5-2 winners away to Bishops Stortford, where Gareth Machin scored four times from penalty corners and Andy Knight collected the fifth, also remain unbeaten in the Adams East League.

Ipswich's Andy Cook went one better, scoring five in their 8-0 rout of Sudbury to stay in second place.