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Livvy Smerdon and Abbie Barrett hit hat-tricks as Bishop's Stortford start East Women's League season with comprehensive 7-1 win over Ipswich-East Suffolk

Debutante Livvy Smerdon and Abbie Barrett both hit hat-tricks as Bishop's Stortford started the East Women's League season with a comprehensive 7-1 home win over Ipswich-East Suffolk.

Kate Robinson, who was also making her first appearance for the side, was the other player on target as the hosts played with real intensity throughout to triumph in the Premier Division contest.

Smerdon opened the scoring after just seven minutes from Barrett's cross before the roles were reversed and Smerdon teed up Barrett to double the advantage.

The visitors responded by pulling a goal back, but it was 4-1 at the break as Smerdon struck again after robbing a defender and Robinson scored from a short corner.

With Robinson, Katie Richards and Imogen Basavaraj pulling the strings in midfield, Stortford continued to dominate after the restart and Barrett blasted home from the top of the circle.

Smerdon then completed her hat-trick – she could have had a fourth goal but saw her penalty flick saved – before Barrett also completed her treble from another well-worked set-piece.

With the points in the bag, Stortford took the opportunity to experiment as forwards Charlie Leonard, Rowena Ricketts and Millie Andrews showed versatility with shifts in midfield.

Team manager Mark Surridge was delighted with the performance and the result, which, despite the emphatic scoreline, was built upon some excellent defensive work by the likes of Lexi Guthrie, Liz Egan and Claire Farley in front of goalkeeper Ali Martyn.

The second XI won 2-1 at Herford in Division 2SW and the third XI beat Stevenage II 1-0 in 3SW while the Acolytes thrashed Old Southendian IV 9-0 in 6SE.

The Archdeaconesses lost 3-2 at St Albans IV in 3SW and the fifth XI were beaten 3-1 by St Albans VI while the Curates were beaten 2-0 by Luton II in 7SW.

In the East Men's League, the first XI started their Division 1S campaign with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Upminster.

There was better fortune for the second XI as they registered a 4-3 home win over Shefford & Sandy II in 3SW while, in the same division, the third XI triumphed 6-2 at Southgate Adelaide.

A big 10-0 victory was registered by the sixth XI at home to Stevenage IV in 8SW, with the fourth XI drawing 1-1 at Rickmansworth in 4SW and the fifth XI losing 6-2 at Welwyn III in 5SW.

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