Picture gallery: Sea lions predict Norwich-Ipswich derby score!

Sealions with balls at Pleasurewood Hills.
Photo: Andy Darnell

Sealions with balls at Pleasurewood Hills. Photo: Andy Darnell

Archant © 2011

These sea lions have made it clear who they are backing in tonight’s big East Anglian derby clash between Norwich City and Ipswich Town.

The trio have a tough choice in choosing which club to support as they live close to the Norfolk and Suffolk border at Lowestoft’s Pleasurewood Hills.

A final score of 2-1 in the Canaries’ favour was the outcome of their water-based version of tonight’s big match at Portman Road, backing Paul Lambert’s promotion-pushers to beat their fierce rivals for the second time this season.

Eight-year-old Claude put Norwich in front by retrieving a yellow ball and, with the calm finish of a Grant Holt penalty, placed it emphatically in trainer Tracy Jacobs’s hands.

Town soon drew level however when the old man of the triumvirate, 22-year-old Marcus – rumoured to have been named after the Tractor Boys’ reclusive owner Marcus Evans – chose a blue ball to indicate where his allegiance lies. That put all the pressure on the youngest member of the Pleasurewood Hills team, six-year-old George.

But with the style and verve of City’s own young Premier League loan stars Henri Lansbury or Dani Pacheco, the youngster completed the win for Norfolk with a trademark late strike to wrap up the win for the Canaries.

Of course it was all a bit of fun and games for the football-mad sea lions, far from the intense atmosphere that will bring both counties to a standstill tonight.

A beamback service of the game is being held at Carrow Road, as it is not being shown on live television, and many fans will be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself at the screening.

In February 1998 a similar beamback was held on a giant screen in front of the Barclay Stand, with as much anticipation as ever surrounding the derby game.

Few of the fans who attended that beamback will ever forget it either, as the Canaries slumped to a terrible 5-0 defeat at Portman Road, only the third time City had lost the crunch clash by so many goals.

Tonight is the first time since that fateful match that Carrow Road has screened the game and supporters will be hoping it does not prove to be a bad omen.

This time the big screen will stand in front of the Jarrold Stand to allow an estimated 4,000 fans to cram into The Geoffrey Watling City Stand and part of the lower tier of the Norwich and Peterborough Stand.

One fan who will attend the action live at Portman Road is the Sheriff of Norwich and Evening News writer Derek James.

He and Lord Mayor Tom Dylan looked after civic representatives during City’s 4-1 thrashing of Ipswich at Carrow Road in November, and will have the favour returned tonight.

“Norwich were at the top of their game and our guests – Portman Road season ticket holders – were very quiet. We thrashed them. It was a joy to watch. A wonderful day,” said the sheriff. “My money is on City to complete the double – and if anyone spots a double act waving yellow and green scarves in the directors’ box, the chances are it will be Tom and I.”

Do you know of an unusual cross-border relationship? Contact reporter David Freezer on 10603 772418 or email

Make sure you read tomorrow’s Evening News and visit for full match coverage.

For more match build-up, see Sport.

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