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NDHC League Match Reports: 6th October 2018

This Week’s Results

TeamOppositionH/AScoreScorersPlayer of Match
L1sSt Neots 1A0-0 (D)Sophie Barrow
L2sFelixstowe 1H3-0 (W)Jess Bennett x2
Evie-Mae Thorpe
Jess Bennett
L3sMagpies 3A3-0 (L)Kat Speirs
L4sBroadland 1H1-6 (L)Caroline WolfeStella Windsor Waite
L5sWatton 2A0-7 (W)Gemma Ballard x3
Lizzy McDonnell x3
Beth Elgood
Sophia Haenhelt
L6sBecclesH5-0 (W)Kelly Mills x2
Gill Walker
Amelia Keitley-Webb
Charlotte Dowson
Floss Andrews
Amelia Keitley-Webb
Gill Walker
L7sDereham 4A4-2 (L)Mia McGhee
Adelice Kraemer
Nathalie Crisp
L8sNo Fixture
M1sBourne Deeping 2H4-0 (W)Rupert Snelling x2
Daumantas Matulevicius x2
Pedro Goss
M2sIpswich 2H3-3 (D)Alex Browne x2
Jason Wolfe
Alex Browne
M3sNewmarket 1A0-3 (W)Matt Hull
Tom Vaughan
Will Kirby
Ed Smith
M4sFelixstowe 2H1-1 (D)Alberto EmbarbaJames King
M5sNflk Nomads 1A3-5 (W)Will Bloom x2
Tommy Gale
Dan Ryan
Andrew Cross
Will Bloom
M6sNflk Nomads 2H3-2 (W)Mike Banham x2
Shiv Kapur
Shiv Kapur
BD AMagpiesA0-7 (W)Will Panter x3
Gabe Overton
Will Sexton
Lawrie Williams
Tommy Chambers
Gabe Overton
BD BWattonH1-2 (L)George WilsonGeorge Wilson
GDDereham PenguinsA0-7 (W)Hattie Stuart x4
Ella Peart
Mia Rutterford
Evie Marlee
Hattie Stuart
Ella Peart
Honey Wells
Mia Norris

East League,  Ladies 1N
Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s v St Neot’s 1:  0-0

Dragons Ladies 1s had to settle for a single point against St Neots in their first away game of the season. A cold and wet Saturday saw the Dragons get off to a slow start, struggling to maintain possession in the opening stages of the game. Both teams were giving the ball away cheaply, and neither defence was truly tested within the first 15 minutes. Dragons however began to press forward towards the end of the half, using their skills to break through the St Neots defence and win a number of short corners. Unfortunately, they were not able to convert and the half ended at 0-0.

The team were asked to up the intensity and to play their own game, and the second half saw a number of offensive opportunities. Issy Wolfe showcased her skills to break up the St Neots defence, giving her a number of shots on target, as well as a one-on-one with the keeper, who repeatedly saved her team from going a goal down. A great opportunity was missed after Issy bunted the ball to Sarah Jenkins on the left post, but the shot went inches wide of the goal. Katy Hands saw her shot hit the foot of the last defender on its way into goal, but was unfortunately not awarded a stroke. These chances, in addition to a flurry of short corners, should have seen the visitors seal the deal in the second half, but luck was not on their side.

As Dragons pushed higher up the pitch, this did leave some opportunities for St Neots to counterattack. However, alongside the solid Holly Setchell and Carmel Windsor-Waite, player of the match Sophie Barrow proved an insurmountable obstacle for the host’s strikers, as she put in some cracking tackles and held firm on 50-50 balls. The midfield also put in a hard shift, with youngsters Mima Watson and Saskia Williams refusing to give up and working hard to win the ball back. Despite having all the pressure in the final minutes of the game, the Dragons were unable to find the back of the net and the game finished at 0-0.

While there were a number of positives to take away – including the work rate and atmosphere amongst the squad – this was not the squad’s best performance. They look forward to coming back stronger next week against Cambridge University.

East League, Ladies 2NE
Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s v Felixstowe 1s:  3-0

On the first cold and wet day of the season (though I fear not the last!) Dragons welcomed Felixstowe to the Den. Dragons had a few players missing for various reasons but were excited to welcome Hannah Ellis, Joanna Raymond, Mia Bartram and Evie-Mae Thorpe to the team.
This game did not get off to the best of starts with Dragons team talk being invaded by a children’s birthday party, followed by a very short warm up on the pitch.
Unfortunately Dragons poor preparation showed in the first half as they made several unforced errors. Dragons were never under any great threat but just struggled to play their usual good passing game, which led to the team getting a bit frustrated with themselves! There were no real chances at either end and it wasn’t the most exciting 35 minutes for the spectators to watch in the rain! As a result the Dragons were pleased to hear the half time whistle as it gave them the chance to regroup and sort themselves out.
After a good half time talk from ‘manager’ Hannah, Dragons came out more determined to play their Hockey and up the tempo of the game. Within minutes of the re-start Dragons gained possession of the ball with Gail Thomas passing it to Jess Bennett who passed it to Evie-Mae Thorpe, Evie did a lovely reverse pass back to Jess who chipped the keeper. 1-0 to Dragons! This was exactly what the Dragons needed and the team started to relax and enjoy the game. Not long after this a good ball from Sarah Borrett found Jess Bennett at the top of the ‘D’ who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner. This made it 2-0 to Dragons and their confidence started to grow, enabling them to play better Hockey and earn them several chances. The final goal came from Mia Bartram beating several players down the right wing and passing it into Jess Bennett who found Evie-Mae Thorpe waiting on the ‘P’ spot. Evie firmly pushed the ball into the goal for her first goal for Dragons on her debut! The whistle went with Dragons pushing for more goals and the final score was 3-0. Player of the match went to Jess Bennett.
A much better second half for the Dragons who have made a great start to the season, with 9 point from 9 and 3 clean sheets!
Thanks to all those that watched in the rain and thanks to Hannah for running the sideline.

East League, Ladies 2NE
Norwich Dragons Ladies 3s v Harleston Magpies 3s:  0-3

A wet and windy match for the Ladies 3’s this week at Harleston. The team welcomed some new faces to the squad and worked to build on our previous weeks work using our new formation.

Dragons came under fire very quickly facing a very well drilled Magpies team who had fast feet and speedy passing skills.

The home side scored from two well worked short corner goals and one open play; regardless the visitors persevered and our performance was much improved in the second half. POM keeper Kat Speirs provided a masterclass in goal keeping and made some astounding saves with feet, hands and stick and kept the goal difference to 3-0 to Magpies.

Sadly Dragons didn’t challenge their keeper but have plenty to be proud of and a great team spirit to keep the squad going.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 4s v Broadland 1s:  1-6

After complaining about warm weather last week, this week hockey weather arrived! We welcomed Lilli Ballard and Stella Windsor Waite to the team. This was going to be a tough game against top of the table team. The 4s had first push back and Broadland were quick to shake us down, the midfield battled hard to get the ball up the pitch but Broadland equally took chances and managed to get a ball into the D. After much grappling all round they pushed it across the line. Undeterred the 4s kept pushing, the first chance on goal came from a great run worked up the wing and across into D, just wide of the post. Our first goal game from a nice little lob over the keeper from Caroline Wolfe. At half time Broadland had continued to pick off the ball and take their chances in the D, score line was 1-4. Jason Wolfe gave us his words of wisdom and reformat for the 2nd half. Play linked up better in this half and everyone continued to battle for the ball. Broadland managed to squeeze in another 2 goals before the end of the game. Onwards and upwards next week!!

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 1
Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s v Watton 2s:  7-0

The ladies 5s arrived at Watton still riding on the high of last week’s spectacular win and we were hungry for another convincing win – and we did not come away disappointed. An early cross from Hannah Edwards at bottom of the diamond in to the D after just five minutes of gameplay saw Lizzie McDonnell tuck away the first goal of the match. Dragons worked the ball cleverly, utilising both the width and depth of the pitch and our dominance meant that the defensive line (Steph Samson, Jen Buskell and Georgia Butterworth) were able to contribute to the attack. Along with Amy Beadman who made a tenacious debut from devs taking stints at the bottom of the diamond, the defence played decisive, composed hockey. Watton cannot be undersold here. A young, vibrant team who played with skill who at no point let the scoreline affect their spirits. With that said Mia Somers provided Dragons with the usual fierceness and reliability we’ve become so used to from her in goal making sure not to let them make a comeback.

Anita Mancini, Sue Brumby, Sophia Haehnelt and Mel Widdows worked tirelessly in midfield to support both the defense and the attack as well as working the ball down speedily down the pitch. Particularly in the second half the Dragons midfield were relentlessly feeding the ball to the forwards – Beth Elgood, Gem Ballard and Lizzie – resulting in hat-tricks for both Gem and Lizzie and multiple assists and a goal for Beth.
Final score was 7-0 to dragons and MOM went to Sophia Haehnelt with honorary MOM awarded to Amy for such a fantastic debut performance.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 1
Norwich Dragons Ladies 6s v Beccles 1s:  5-0

Despite the rain and wind Dragons Ladies 6 team played a strong and lively match against a skilful Beccles side of 9 players.

The first half started energetically for Dragons who used the width and played a nice passing game to have most of the possession. Some well timed through balls from the middle allowed Dragons attack to pressure the GK well but despite a number of chances the Beccles defence kept them from scoring. Dragons kept up the pressure and this paid off with a goal, followed by three more. Beccles weren’t allowed any space by Dragons and at half time Dragons had a 4-0 lead.

In the second half Beccles closed down and showed strength and determination to run every ball down and now allow Dragons as much space. Dragons scores one goal from a quick ball out from the defence but despite a few more chances no more goals followed.

Goal scorers: Kelly-Marie Mills x2, Gill Walker, Charlotte Nicole and Amelia Keitley-Webb.

POM split between Gill Walker, Amelia Keitley-Webb and Floss Andrews.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s v Dereham 4s:  2-4

Dragons would not begrudge fellow-strugglers Dereham their first win of the season, but this was one match where Dragons could say the chips did not fall kindly for them. They were down four strong players because of illness and work commitments. Then, only days after coach Jason had urged them to think about preparation and psychology, Bridget Le Good misread the time of the match. By the time the FOTP arrived, Dragons were 2-0 down to some good individual play by an exceptionally strong and smart Dereham player.

Dragons got into their shape midway through the first half. Erin Aldous had a great game at bottom of the diamond, and Lily Crew showed a lot of determination in her tackling. Bethan Greaves gradually built her confidence and Dereham stopped having it their own way. Amy Hunter had made a good job of central defender, but she was glad to relinquish to Bridget and back to the comfort of left defence. Nat Crisp (POM) was tireless in midfield,  distributing the ball up and running back. A short corner just before half time saw Bridget get the ball into the top right corner of the net, but the pen corner injection was judged not to have come out of the circle.

With their tails up and breathing fire, Dragons got off to a great start in the second half. With Nat, Katy Cole, Paige Fisher and Claire Fairhurst laying siege to the Dereham circle, our forwards showed what they could do. First Addi Kraemer and then Mia McGhee forced their shots home. Mia’s running was more directed and purposeful on the right in the second half and she made some good runs. Katy and Claire began to combine well and were unlucky not to score. Dragons could not make quite enough of Addi who is always ready to poach a goal.

But Dereham were far from done. Despite Emma Northie North having her usual excellent game and blocking plenty of shots, their most skilful players could break through. Dragons still need to time their tackles better (more often) and pass accurately (more often). Nevertheless, Captain Claire is confident she has the makings of a squad to win. Soon. She urges everyone in the 7s to show more GRIT, right from the start. That is, Get Right Into Them.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s No Fixture

East League, Men’s 2N
Norwich Dragons Men’s 1s v Bourne Deeping 2s:  4-0

Men’s 1s finally get their season underway with a 4-0 against Bourne Deeping. Goals from Rupert Snelling x2 (who broke Jonathan Chaney Baxter’s heart for one of them) and Daumantas Matulevicius x2. Man of the match was Pedro Goss (who won rock, paper, scissors against Daumantas after a tie) and Dragon of the day was Matt Knights.

Onwards and upwards!

East League, Men’s 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s v Ipswich 2s:  3-3

Mens 2s draw 3-3 with Ipswich 2s in a shortie fest. 2 goals for Al Browne and one for Jason Wolfe. MoM Al Browne

East League, Men’s 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s v Newmarket 1s:  3-0

Goalscorers:  Matt Hull, Tom Vaughan, Will Kirby

POM: Ed Smith

East League, Men’s 4NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s v Felixstowe 2s:  1-1

Mens 4s Drew 1-1 with Felixstowe 2s. Goal from Alberto Embarba. MOTM: James King.

East League, Men’s 5NE(N)
Norwich Dragons Men’s 5s v Norfolk Nomads 1s:  5-3

Men’s 5’s beat Nomads 5-3
Will Bloom with two goal & one each for Tommy Gale, Andrew Cross & Dan Ryan.
Mom – Will Bloom

East League, Men’s 5NE(N)
Norwich Dragons Men’s 6s v Norfolk Nomads 2s:  3-2

3-2 win for Men’s 6th against Nomads 2 – 2 goals for Mike Banham 1 for Shiv Kapur. MOM Shiv Kapur

Development Leagues

Dev Boys A v Magpies 7-0

Dragons Dev Boys A team produced a great all round team performance to beat Magpies 7-0.
Will Panter 3, Gabe Overton, Will Sexton, Lawrie Williams with one each – Tommy Chambers scored the last goal from a short corner, a great team goal, two selfless passes setting up Tommy up for an assured finish right on full time.
Notable debut today from U12 Sam Leeming, who along side U12 Lawrie Williams controlled the middle of the pitch.
MOM – Gabe Overton for tireless running down the right.

Report by Lawry Williams

I thought we played really well on Saturday. We started off playing a very nice passing game and we dominated possession for the first 10 minutes. We got our reward when Ed Cross hit a strong free hit that was deflected in for a goal by Will Panter. We went into the first quarter just 1 goal up. Will got his second goal shortly into the second quarter of Ed’s cross. Gabe Overton got goal 3 shortly afterwards and we really started to build momentum. Goals 4 and 5 followed quite quickly and a nice bit of work from Jake Reynolds earned him a goal to take us to 6-0. A really nicely drilled short corner set Tommy Chambers up to score the last goal and we won comfortably, 7-0, with Will getting his hat trick. It was a really strong start to the season and it was great to see the team working so well together in all positions. It does bode well for next weekend versus City.

Dev Boys B v Watton 1-2

Dev Boys B team lost 2-1 to Watton boys. George Wilson (under 12!) with the goal and player of the match. Thanks Steve Linford for managing and playing, Joel and Lloyd for playing.

Match Report by Fin Dearmer
On the 6 th October 2018 Dev Boys Dragons Hockey Club took on Watton Hockey Club at Goals Soccer Centre. The score was 2-1 to Watton. The goal scorer for Dragons was George Wilson. In my opinion I think he was man of the match because he got the goal and played really well and was a key part in the midfield. Now for my thoughts. It was my first game for Dragons, and apart from us losing I really enjoyed it. I played right-midfield, and it was really hard because I had to help attack and defend but it was good because I did a lot of running. I thought the match was a bit unfair because to me, we were the better team. They scored the first two goals. One in the second quarter and one in the last quarter. We let our heads go down when we went two down. We also scored in the last quarter with about 5 minutes remaining and we all thought we could get back into the game. But unfortunately it was too late and Watton won the game. It was a bit annoying to
lose my first match for Dragons, but it was still really fun and I enjoyed it.

 

Dev Girls v Dereham Penguins:  7-0

Dev girls beat Dereham 7 _ 0. Goals by Hattie Stuart 4, Ella Peart, Mia Rutterford and Evie Marley. An awesome all round team performance.

POMs shared between Hattie Stuart, Ella Peart, Honey Wells and Mia Norris

2018-19 League Structure Women’s Teams

Version 2 of the East League has been published, this should be the final version…….

EAST

DIVISION 1N

Bedford 2
Cambridge City 3
Cambridge Uni 1
Cambridge Uni 2
Dereham 1
I-ES 1
Ipswich 2
Lowestoft Ladies 1
Norwich Dragons 1
St Neots 1
Sudbury 1
Wisbech Town 1

DIVISION 2NE

Bury St Edmunds 1
Christchurch 1
Dereham 2
Felixstowe Ladies 1
Harleston Magpies 3
North Norfolk 1
Norwich City 2
Norwich Dragons 2
Norwich Dragons 3
UEA 1
Watton 1
Yarmouth 1

Norfolk

Final version of the Norfolk Women’s League…….

Premier

Broadland 1
Broadland 2
Dereham 3
Evergreens 1
Harleston Magpies 4
Loddon 1
Lowestoft Railway 1
Norwich City 3
Norwich City 4
Norwich Dragons 4
Pelicans 2
UEA 2

Division 1

Beccles
Carrow 1
Diss
Harleston Magpies 5
Lowestoft Railway 2
Lowestoft Ladies 2
Norwich City 5
Norwich Dragons 5
Norwich Dragons 6
Reepham
Watton 2
Yarmouth 2

Division 2

Breckland
Broadland 3
Dereham 4
Harleston Magpies 6
Herlings
Loddon 2
Norwich City 6
Norwich Dragons 7
Pelicans 3
UEA 3

Division 3

Carrow
Dereham 5
Harleston Magpies 7
North Norfolk 2
Norwich City 7
Norwich Dragons 8
Pelicans 4
Thetford
UEA 4
Watton 3

2018-19 League Structure Men’s Teams

Version 2 of the East League has been published, this should be the final version…….

DIVISION 2N

Bourne Deeping 2
Bury St Edmunds 1
Cambridge Nomads 1
Cambridge South 1
CoP 3
Dereham 2
Kettering 1
Long Sutton 1
Norwich City 3
Norwich Dragons 1
Pelicans 1
St Ives 1

DIVISION 3NE

Bury St Edmunds 2
Harleston Magpies 3
I-ES 3
Ipswich 2
Lowestoft Rly 1
Newmarket 1
North Norfolk 1
Norwich Dragons 2
Norwich Dragons 3
Sudbury 2
UEA 1
UEA 2

DIVISION 4NE

Bury St Edmunds 3
Felixstowe 2
Harleston Magpies 4
I-ES 4
Ipswich 3
Newmarket 2
Norwich City 4
Norwich City 5
Norwich Dragons 4
Pelicans 2
Thetford Town 1
Watton 1

DIVISION 6NE(N)

Dereham 4
Norfolk Nomads 1
Norfolk Nomads 2
North Norfolk 3
Norwich City 7
Norwich Dragons 5
Norwich Dragons 6
Pelicans 4
UEA 4
Watton 2

Norwich Dragons Hockey Club – Mixed Summer League 2018

The highly successful annual Norwich Dragons Hockey Club friendly Adult Mixed Summer League started on Tuesday 9th May.  With 17 teams confirmed this season, there is plenty of hockey on offer at the Den during the Summer.

The current set of fixtures for all teams is shown below…..

9th May7.00Nch School vDragons Patrick
9th May8.30Pies vMagpies
9th May7.00Jason Wolfe 11v Medics
9th May8.30Mark Flatman's 11vUEA
10th May7.00Dragons IvesvBury
10th May8.30Dereham v NC Buccaneers
10th May7.00Watton v Dragons Dan
10th May8.30Eagle Platoon vLowestoft
16th May7.00MagpiesvMark Flatman's 11
16th May8.30Pies vJason Wolfe 11
16th May7.00Dragons Patrickv Dereham
16th May8.30Watton v Eagle Platoon
17th May 7.00Nch School vBury
17th May 8.30Dragons IvesvLowestoft
17th May 7.00Medics v Dragons Dan
17th May 8.30UEAvNC Buccaneers
23rd May7.00Bury vJason Wolfe 11
23rd May8.30Eagle Platoon vDragons Dan
23rd May7.00Lowestoft v Medics
23rd May8.30Pies vUEA
24th May7.00MagpiesvNch School
24th May8.30Dragons PatrickvND Mavs
24th May7.00Dragons Ivesv Watton
24th May8.30Dereham v Mark Flatman's 11
30th May7.00MagpiesvDereham
30th May8.30NC BuccaneersvJason Wolfe 11
30th May7.00Dragons Danv Medics
30th May8.30Pies vNch School
31st May7.00ND MavsvMark Flatman's 11
31st May8.30Dragons IvesvEagle Platoon
31st May7.00Watton v Lowestoft
31st May8.30Dragons Patrickv UEA
6th June7.00Nch School vMark Flatman's 11
6th June8.30Lowestoft vJason Wolfe 11
6th June7.00Pies vDragons Patrick
6th June8.30Medics v Eagle Platoon
7th June7.00Bury vDragons Ives
7th June8.30ND MavsvUEA
7th June7.00Magpiesv NC Buccaneers
7th June8.30Watton v Dragons Dan
13th June7.00Dragons IvesvWatton
13th June8.30Mark Flatman vLowestoft
13th June7.00Nch School vDereham
13th June8.30Piesv Jason Wolfe 11
14th June7.00Dragons Patrick vND Mavs
14th June8.30UEA vNC Buccaneers
14th June7.00Magpiesv Bury
14th June8.30Dragons Dan vEagle Platoon
20th June7.00Eagle Platoon vWatton
20th June8.30Nch School vJason Wolfe 11
20th June7.00Dragons IvesvNC Buccaneers
20th June8.30Piesv Mark Flatmans 11's
21st June7.00Broadand vDragons Dan
21st June8.30Dereham vN D Mavs
21st June7.00UEAvBury
21st June8.30Dragons Patrick v Lowestoft
27th June7.00Watton vN C Bucc
27th June8.30Dereham vJason Wolfe 11
27th June7.00Dragons IvesvMark Flatman 11
27th June8.30Piesv Nch School
28th June7.00Dragons Dan vDragons Dan
28th June8.30UEA vLowestoft
28th June7.00Dragons Patrick vBury
28th June8.30Magpies v N D Mavs
4th July 7.00Magpies vN C Buccs
4th July 8.30Eagle PlatoonvJason Wolfe 11
4th July 7.00Nch School vDragons Patrick
4th July 8.30Piesv Dereham
5th July 7.00Dragons DanvDragons Ives
5th July 8.30UEA vMark Flatmans 11
5th July 7.00Broadland vWatton
5th July 8.30Lowestoft v ND Mavs

This Girl Can – Ladies Only Walking Hockey

To celebrate June being ‘This Girl Can’, Norwich Dragons Hockey Club are hosting a number of events in the lead up to the Women’s Hockey World Cup in July 2018.

For those that don’t feel confident or able to run around the hockey pitch, we are offering a chance to try Walking Hockey.  You will get the same buzz playing a team sport but without the usual stresses on your body.

Sticks can be borrowed.

Register or find out more here.

This Girl Can – Casual Small Sided Hockey

For those ladies that want to continue playing hockey during the Summer and are thinking about joining Norwich Dragons HC, why not get in touch to join in our fun and friendly Monday Night is Ladies Night.

Mondays from 7.30pm to 9.00pm at £3 per session.

 

This Girl Can – Get Back Into or Give it a Go

June is ‘This Girl Can’ month, so if you fancy getting back into hockey or giving it a go, why not register for our Monday Night sessions in June from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.
 
Join like-minded ladies to dust off the hockey cobwebs and have some fun whilst getting fit at the same time!
 
For more information or to register contact us here.
 
 

Norfolk & East Champions!!

Having been crowned Norfolk Champions last month, the Norwich Dragons Under 12 Boys progressed to the East Championships this weekend, where the top two teams from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire challenged for the chance to progress to the National Finals.
 
Norwich Dragons played in Pool B and started with a 2-0 victory over Suffolk Champions Bury St Edmunds, another 2-0 win followed against St Albans.  The preparation the coaches have put the boys through was showing through in the damp conditions and in the next fixture Dragons scored 6 against Bourne Deeping without conceding. A 4-0 win over Saffron Walden then set up a final Group Match against the team expected to be challenging for the title, Old Loughts, the Essex Champions.  However, Dragons managed to keep a cleansheet and scored 2 to secure top spot in the Group.
 
A semi final against Blue Hornets of Essex saw the boys concede their first goal, however they came through 2-1 winners and secured a place in the National Finals and the final of the East Championship.
 
Group opponents Old Loughts had made it to the final and the two teams contested a tight final game, finishing 1-1 in normal time and so on to penalty flicks.
 
3 flicks were taken by both teams and the score was 2-2, so on to sudden death penalties, Old Loughts took their flick first and missed, Dragons slotted their flick away and took the East Champions title.  So off to the National Finals on Saturday 12th May.
 
As a Club we are extremely grateful to Manager Johanne Steward, Lead Coach Rich Smith and all other coaches and players that have helped to prepare the boys for the tournaments.  There is a great team spirit within this group and that shows in their performances on the pitch.
 
Well done boys!!
 
#proudtobeaDragon
 

NDHC Match Reports: 14th, 15th & 16th April 2018

TeamDateOppositionH/ATimeScoreScorersPlayer of Match
L1s14/04/18Cam Uni 1H13.303-1 (W)Gail Thomas
Olivia Thomas
Issy Wolfe
Sarah Jenkins
L6s14/04/18Lowestoft Railway 2H11.454-0 (W)Gemma Ballard x2
Jemima Dorman-Carrott
Anita Mancini
Hannah Woods
L7s14/04/18City 7H09.454-0 (W)Mia McGhee x3
Claire Fairhurst
Maisie Dearmer
L8s14/04/18Carrow 2H10.000-1 (L)Mia Somers
Katy Cole
Nic Harrison
Tracy Stuart-Sheppard
M2s14/04/18IES 3H11.153-0 (W)Alex Browne x3Ed Murphy
M5s14/04/18Ips Cranes 1A14.001-3 (W)Tommy Chapman
Andrew Saunders
Matt Armstrong
Alex Brooks
GD14/04/18Harleston MagpiesH15.000-5 (L)
L4s15/04/18UEA 2H10.301-1 (D)Gina HuntHannah Edwards
L5s16/04/18Broadland 1H19.300-12 (L)Sue Cross

========================================================================

Women’s East Hockey League, Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s v Cambridge Uni 1s:  3-1

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s found the form they have been searching for all season, and finished the season on a high with a 3-1 win over Cambridge University.

The team took to the pitch in high spirits after strong performances the previous week, but were hungry for the as yet elusive win. The game was very evenly matched in the initial stages. While the visitors did a good job of stretching the game and asking questions of the Dragons defence, their high positioning left them exposed to attacking breaks, and the hosts capitalised upon these opportunities. After some excellent work in the midfield from Sophie Mullan and Issy Wolfe, the ball was threaded high up the pitch to the forwards and driven into the circle. After a scramble in front of goal, the ball fell to Gail Thomas, who calmly slotted home to put the Dragons 1-0 up.

Both teams stepped up the intensity as we approached half time, with the students winning a short corner close to the whistle. Gina Hunt dealt expertly with the strong drag flick – one of many excellent saves she made throughout the game – ensuring that the Dragons went into half time with the advantage.

The second half saw much of the same, with the forward line of Maddy Reynolds, Katy Hands and Tabba Tabrett continuing to exert pressure on the Cambridge defence. The pressure paid off and the Dragons were awarded a short corner. Recent changes to the corner set up paid dividends as a slick routine saw Issy Wolfe deflect the ball into goal from the left post. Cambridge responded shortly after, with their own short corner, also finding the back of the net and bringing the score to 2-1.

The hosts were not through, though, and a fantastic interception and a superb piece of individual skill from Olivia Thomas saw her break into the attacking circle. Drawing the keeper out and forcing her to ground, Thomas coolly lifted the ball into the goal to put the Dragons 3-1 up. The students continued to test the hosts, finding spaces for long balls through the middle of the pitch. However, the tight marking by Sophie Thomas, Shelly Seaman and Karen O’Neil-Simpson meant that there was very little to aim for, and allowed player of the match Sarah Jenkins free reign to cut off the direct route to goal. The hosts played some smart possession hockey to eat up the clock and the whistle brought with it a well-deserved victory.

After a tough season, the grit, determination and tenacity shown by the squad bodes well for next year. While it was unfortunate that the team could not find this recent form earlier in the season, the squad will look to build on this heading into next season and are already eyeing up the Division 1N title.

 

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 2
Norwich Dragons Ladies 6s v Lowestoft Railway 2s:  4-0

A cloudy but mild day at the den saw the crowds gather to cheer on the 6’s in their top of the table title clash against Lowestoft Railway. Having lost 4-0 to Lowestoft earlier in the season and knowing only a win would do, Captain Woodsy, fuelled by RedBull, gathered her dragons for the last pre match team talk of the season and fired them up.

The Dragons started strong with some early attempts on goal just falling short but they kept the pressure on throughout the first half. Dragons held most of the possession with Floss, Coco, Clara and Harriet all strong in the midfield and Anita distributing balls to the forwards and the first goal soon came for Gemma.

The forward line of Gemma, Jane, Amy and Jemima continued to challenge Lowestoft, with a cross from Gemma finding Jemima perfectly positioned on the left to slot it home for a second and then Gemma with another to make it 3 just before half time.

Dragons continued to be the dominant team in the second half with every player giving it their all. Lowestoft did look dangerous on the counter attack and won a couple of short corners, but with the 6’s defensive line up of Kate, Hannah, Jen and Jade all staying strong and confident we were soon back pressing Lowestoft and attacking again. With a succession of short corners being awarded to the dragons, but not being able to find the goal, the final goal eventually fell to Anita (literally the ball fell out of the sky) for her to expertly reverse volley onto the backboard with great cheer from all. Kate was finally unleashed from her castle at the back for the last 5 minutes to have a play up front and made an excellent run up the right.

The final whistle blew. An excellent performance to end the season on which crowned the SuperSixes CHAMPIONS!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 3
Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s  v Norwich City 7s:  4-0

Dragons completed the seasonal double over their ‘derby’ rivals to secure second place in Division 3 and are keeping everything crossed this will be enough to secure them promotion. This was almost a re-run of the away game at City, with two goals in each half and this time Mia McGhee being the hat-trick hero. But this time, the goal difference was better because their much improved goalkeeper Emma Northie North kept another very tidy and competent clean sheet. A super way for her to end her season.

This was a good advertisement for Division 3 hockey, with both teams using the squad players who have served them so well this season and giving it everything they had in a very sporting game. Dragons are at their best when they build their attacks from the back, quickly and with plenty of ball speed. Their first came from Bridget Le Good to Maisie Dearmer up to Claire Fairhurst and then Jess Vernon, whose shot was very smartly picked up on the rebound by Mia. Jess was in the mood to run and work hard and she can claim three assists and was very unlucky not to score herself. Emma Dyer and Lily Crew (defenders) also contributed to the quick balls down the line, and were very sharp in picking off the City raiders as they tried to make progress down the wings. City were, in fact, more dangerous through the middle but Louise Brooksy Brooks and Esme Mackinnon-Evans were tackling well at the top and bottom of the diamond. Top class consistent performances are routine each week for Brooksy, and she turned in another against City. When she had to go off with an injury, Maisie and Esme showed their growing confidence by taking responsibility for ‘top and bottom’ and making sure Dragons weathered something of a City storm.

The second half brought Maisie up to her tenacious best, and with a whole hatful of players getting POM votes, she edged it. Brooksy was able to come back, and another slick move from back to front saw a neat pass from Jess find Claire who swept home. No-one deserves her goals more and in a second half ‘action replay’ from the away game, ‘Claire scored a beauty from that little space off the near post that she works so well’ and the 7s should find a way of exploiting that in future.

Meanwhile Mia was bombing along down the right and was always looking to attack. She completed her hat-trick and could have doubled it as she worked on her sharpness and accuracy. She was fed some excellent passes by Becky Gallagher, another player who has notably improved her all-round game since Christmas. Sophie Drew got in some good pitch time and is working her way back after injuries and illness and she made a good contribution.

Dragons are now looking to prove themselves against the likes of Loddon at their strongest, and even working hard in training to keep pace with the brilliant 6s. They still need to work on being first to the ball, keeping up the ball speed and not giving the ball away. But they have had an exceptional season, perhaps being a dark horse for promotion and steadily building their reputation for being a difficult team to beat, particularly thanks to some exceptionally skilful coaching in the second half of the season. Now is the time to celebrate coming through the tough times, looking back on some really enjoyable hockey, some great fun and brilliant team spirit. Well done Claire and the 15 or so regular Super Sevens, and the talented players who have gone onwards and upwards. You can all be proud of yourselves!

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Empress Norfolk Women’s League, Division 3
Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s  v Carrow 2s:  0-1

POM jointly shared between Nic Harrison, Tracy Stuart-Sheppard, Mia Somers and Katy Cole.

Dragons may have started this game thinking that the opposition that they beat previously, would be another simple defeat. However, it was obvious from the beginning that Carrow 2 were keen to up the ante and included two strong players to help the team. It seemed that the Dragons lost some of their confidence in the first half and were not able to match the determination of their opposition until the second half when they were given some firm advice from coach Mike who knew that the 8’s had enough fight in them to equalise in the second half and give as good as they got. Dragons raised their stakes and put in some valiant efforts in the second half but still struggled to score.

8’s newcomer straight up form Dev’s and only 13 years old but has the confidence and will of a much more experienced player, Mia Somers gave a cracking debut performance! With her speed and determination, the score line would surely have been much higher if not was not for her skill. One to watch for the ladies teams.

Jo Baker as centre back was fabulous as always and the defence worked very well with her leadership. Jo gave great direction and continued to take some epic 16 yard hit outs going into some great spaces, she also made good use of the defenders when they were free to pass to. 

Johanne Steward as right back, worked super hard to fend off the fast Carrow forwards and took some impressive side line hits.  

Anna Chapman as left back, she was quick to the ball and made some firm hits up the wing, played lovely and confidently and was a force to be reckoned with.

Louise ‘Bondy’ Bond as bottom of the diamond – it was great to have her back with the 8’s. Bondy took some fierce free hits and put herself in was in some great positions to receive the ball.

Tracy Stuart-Sheppard as right mid.  Played excellently, great work output, always quick for side line hits and didn’t any waste time in attacking.  Made some powerful tackles several times and didn’t give up! Tracey also gave good positive affirmation to players when they did something well. 

Nic Harrison, left mid.  Always reliable, also never gives up. Great work output. Has good speed and grit.

Captain Katy Cole – Top of the diamond.  Made some great interceptions that resulted in gaining the ball on several occasions. Tacked well and made some good passes to available players.

Emma Fielding – played both right mid and covered as centre back. Emma has great speed and is fearless when she attack.  Emma confidently took some good hit outs resulting in the mids driving the ball up the pitch.  

Kim Brenchley – right forward and half right mid.  Kim worked hard and showed determination, got in to some great spaces ready to receive the ball. . 

Emma Young – always has her eye on the ball and takes direction well. Always determined and fought hard to score but was thwarted by the Carrow goal keeper.

Shaniece Claxton played centre forward – worked hard, tackled well and made some great passes to her fellow forwards to try and get around the Carrow strong defence.

Sadie Jacobs as left forward, she ran rings around the defence by constantly moving position whilst in the D – the defence did not like this. Sadie worked hard to gain possession of the ball and had a couple of shots at goal but they were not quite on target.

Next week is the last game of the season – the 8’s need to be confident, have faith in their abilities – continue to post up and go to the ball, on to on too many occasions we are still waiting for the ball to come to us, especially in the first half.  We can’t afford to do this next week.

We need to show Dereham that we DO have grit up front and we are NOT afraid to get in the D and smack it! We can do it ladies – believe in yourself and give it your absolute all for the last game of the season. We can win if we continue to apply what we have learned in training, protect the middle, use the width and post up!

#awesomeeights

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Men’s East Hockey League, Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s v IES 3s:  3-0

Men’s 2nds finish on a high beating IES3 3-0 (2-0 HT) in a dead rubber at the den ending the season in fourth place.  Alex Browne put dragons in front early courtesy of a rare outfield goal, then later doubled the lead via a  more traditional short corner strike. IES3 rarely threatened and Alex Browne secured the points midway through the second half via another short corner. Dragons keeper, felt like arsenal’s Peter czech – finally grabbing a clean sheet! MOM Ed Murphy with DOD going to Olly Buck for breaking his stick then shinguard/shin before and during the game.

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Men’s East Hockey League, Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 5s v Ipswich Cranes 1s:  3-1

 

 

Young Ugandan Dragons

Next Wednesday our very own Beth jumps on a plane to Uganda with an unusual luggage, she will be taking a suitcase full of prosthetic legs, one of them specifically adapted for a young amputee that has been waiting a very long time for a leg. Beth works with Legs4Africa to recycle legs that cannot be reused in the UK.

As if this wasn’t enough, Beth is also taking 34 recycled Young Dragon Polo Shirts, some shorts, socks, stick bags and 10 hockey sticks. These are being taken to Youth Sport Uganda, an organisation that helps youngsters in Uganda to play hockey.

A video showing the inspirational man behind this venture can be seen here teaching youngsters to play hockey in a challenging environment!

We look forward to seeing our Ugandan Young Dragons enjoying themselves in their new kit!

Great work Beth!!

This project strengthens our links with our friends in Africa, just over 40 years ago, the club hosted the Zimbabwean Men’s National Team and two years ago had the pleasure of hosting a Zimbabwean Girls team at the Den.

Dragons host Zimbabwean Girls 40 years after National Team visit to Norwich

Great to see Get Back Into Ladies joining in regular training sessions

After a successful programme of Get Back Into coaching for Ladies and Girls keen to get back into their hockey or start playing at Norwich Dragons, it has been great to see those Ladies and Girls joining in our regular club coaching for ladies.

All were given the usual Dragon welcome and enjoyed their first experience of the weekly coaching sessions.

#thesegirlscan

 

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 7th October 2017

TeamDateOppositionH/ATimeScoreScorersPlayer of Match

Women’s East Hockey League, Premier Division

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s v City of Peterborough 1s: 1-3

The 1st team travelled to Peterborough on Saturday, strengthened in numbers and ready to take 3 points from a team that had beaten them in the pre-season.

Perhaps struggling to get the journey out of their legs, Dragons started slowly and Peterborough looked the dominant team for the first 10 minutes. The Norwich ladies found their form though and were starting to play some good hockey, passing the ball around nicely and maintaining possession. Unfortunately, we were caught napping about 15 minutes in and despite having had most of the possession, Peterborough capitalised on a break and slipped the ball past keeper Siobhan Cleeve.

Dragons again took control and some slick passing between Marie James, who went on to take the well-deserved Player of the Match title, Lou Murray and Lucy Ripman relentlessly pushed back the Peterborough sttack. The forward line of Hayley Toleman, Stacey Lee, Katie Taubman and Katy Hands found space and drove at the D, skilfully winding their way past the defence, but just could not convert. Dragons won 6 short corners in the first half, but in part due to the excellent keeping of the CoP goalkeeper and in part due to some pretty bad luck, the goal just wouldn’t come.

After losing possession in midfield, Peterborough drove at the D and again, they managed to score on the break, to move the score to 2-0 at half time.

Determined to fight back, Dragons started positively, with excellent linking play from Marie James, Lara Taylor and Hannah Philips, who all fought hard throughout the game. Together, they threaded the ball through to Stacey Lee just outside of the D. Lee, looking like she was just headed for the back line, took the ball in and out of nowhere, fired off a reverse stick shot that the rest of us could only dream of. Such was the speed of the shot, no-one even saw it go. But go it did – 2-1 and our spirits were revived!

In the 20 minutes that remained, Peterborough counter attacked and if it weren’t for the lightning reflexes of Cleeve in goal, the score would have been higher. It was end to end for this period, and just as in the first half, Dragons created several chances on goal, won 4 more short corners, but the goal just would not come. It was not going to be our day. Around 5 minutes before the final whistle, Peterborough wound their way down the back line and from an impossible angle, managed to slip the ball into the goal to take the score to 3-1 at the final whistle.

Player of the match Marie James for ‘majestic’ distribution.

A frustrating game for the Dragons, who deserved more.

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Women’s East Hockey League, Division 2NE

Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s v City 2s: 4-3

With illness hitting a number of the squad members, Norwich Dragons fielded a bare 12 against the 16 strong City squad. Dragons were confident however, knowing that they had strength in all departments. 
 
The game got underway with the home team taking time to settle and being pegged back a little, through some strong City attacking down their right, meaning the defensive unit of Sarah Borrett, Esme Potter, Emma Cleland and Karen O’Neill Simpson had to deal with a lot of pressure and were at times a little exposed. To a player, they all made great defensive tackles and Emma Cleland some sharp saves, as always.
 
Once Dragons found their feet, they did so in style, through the strength and skill of Jess Bennett, who waltzed through the middle of the pitch and scored whilst almost on her knees, a great solo effort. Unfortunately Norwich Dragons didn’t build on this and allowed City back into the game far too quickly, a well worked goal again from their right, giving keeper Cleland no chance.
 
Both teams were battling hard, the Dragons midfield were starting to get a better grip on the game with Debs Painter and Gail Thomas holding great shape in the middle and Kiera Goymour and Tash Falzon breaking down play on the flanks. The front line of Issy Wolfe, Jess Bennett and Charlotte Pounder were working extremely hard to make the most of every half chance and won a number of short corners. From one, which was broken down by the City defence, the ever alert Jess Bennett picked up the ball, took her time and slotted past the keeper. Before the break however, City scored an equaliser.
 
Second half saw Dragons react to what was discussed at half time – they held their shape much better and forced the opposition to try and play through them. With Jess Bennett marshalling the troops, everyone knew their role and stuck to their task. The breaks started to come for the home team, via some excellent balls out of defence to the midfielders, who found the willing runs of Charlotte Pounder and Issy Wolfe, regularly getting in behind the City defence and forcing good saves from the strong City Keeper. One such run saw Wolfe break down the left hand side, using her skills to take the ball into the D and fire in a reverse strike, possibly not her cleanest ever, but it found its way into the goal for a 3-2 lead.
 
Dragons had more short corner opportunities, as did City, but both defences and keepers being resolute. With less than 2 mins to go, some City pressure saw a bit of a scramble in the D, with the ball hitting the Dragons post, only for a slightly bobbled shot to be forced over the line, for what most thought to be a point saved at the last. Dragons however had other ideas, straight from the push back, Issy Wolfe forged into the City half – the ball was half cleared, but through some tenacious tackling, Dragons regained possession, the ball was squared by Hannah Hardy into the D where Wolfe, surrounded by 2 defenders and the GK forced the ball goalwards, momentarily time stood still, but the ball made its way into the corner to seal the points for the home team. There was no time to restart the game.
 
Given the low squad numbers and a number of players not being 100%, Dragons were pleased to get the 3 points. Player of the Match was a closely run contest with many players putting in strong performances, but Jess Bennett and Issy Wolfe took the lions share of the votes, with Wolfe sealing it. As always things to work on, but Dragons were pleased with their never say die attitude, right to the last.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Premier Division

Norwich Dragons Ladies 3s v Broadland 1s:  2-1

Norwich Dragons Ladies 3rd Team made their second journey to Taverham in as many weeks to play Broadland Ladies 1st Team. With both teams unbeaten before the fixture, the Dragons were prepared for a tough and close battle on the pitch. The game started with both teams creating opportunities from both open play and short corners.

The first and only goal of the first half came from Norwich Dragons, with the ball being switched quickly and efficiently from defence to attack down the right of the pitch to be slotted into the goal by Hannah Ellis. All attacking chances generated by Broadland were competently dealt with by the defence of Kristina Smyth, Carmel Windsor Waite, Kath Mares and Angela Murgatroyd.

The second half continued with Dragons making more goal scoring chances, Ally Windsor Waite passed the keeper for a Broadland defender to clear the line and Harriet Green supported by player of the match Lucy Morton forced the Broadland keeper to make a first class save. The second goal for Dragons eventually came from a short corner patiently worked through a few Dragons players for Harriet Green to calmly push the ball across the line.

Following the second goal by Dragons, Broadland pressed forward and managed to score from a short corner with only 5 minutes left on the clock. Both teams continued to play attacking hockey right up to the final whistle to create a tense finish for the spectators, thank you to the 6th team for their support.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Premier Division

Norwich Dragons Ladies 4s v Loddon 1s:  0-3

The Ladies 4s were feeling in a buoyant mood and looking forward to a physical tussle with Loddon. Trish Hagan gave us her insider knowledge of who to watch and their style of game play. With Lynne (Neeps) Price still recovering from a table injury! She came to give direction and run the sidelines. Loddon won the toss with first push back and tried to weave through the middle of the field before being picked off my Vicki Earley. Aditi Naik and Ismay Whitaker were holding space out on the wings ready for the pick up. In the first 10 minutes there was an end to end tussle with both teams jossling for the ball. The 4s found their feet and the ball passed up the pitch from Vicki out wide to Aditi, Ismay and Catherine Matthews, eager for the ball and using their pace to pass the opposition. Trish was central offering support and used her skill to feed the ball into the D, where Caroline Wolfe, Lisa Harwood and Ellie James were looking for the pick up. The Loddon defence were quick to close down any advance on the goal. The 4s pressed the Loddon free hits to try and hold play and sometimes they smashed the ball through us to a high waiting forward. The defence commanded at the back by Sarah Wagstaff were responsive and with Ella Kassulke and Amelia Smith on the wing they picked off any advances. Although we had to be wary of the high forward and her position on the pitch. Caroline forced a short corner and Ismay stepped up, fired in and just wide of the charging Caroline waiting for the tap in on post. Loddon smashed the ball out wide and ran the line, with some nice passing around us, finding themselves in the D, the defenders quickly tried to clear the ball but a short was given. Kat Speirs our keeper was at the ready but a well-practised drill slotted the ball into the back of the goal. 0-1 at half time.

The 4s were still raring to go and score some goals, the midfield worked tirelessly to move the ball and create opportunities, Lisa passed the ball through to the D just wide of Caroline, Lucy Buxton at lightning speed surged forward to pick up the ball just before it went off the pitch and went for goal, the keeper dived in and made the save. The 4s continued to press the D but the goal remained elusive, Loddon’s second goal came from what looked like a tennis match in the D, luckily no one was injured! Final score 0-3 to Loddon. An improved performance from the 4s with more linked play and chances on goal.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s v Dereham 3s:  0-1

Thanks to illness, late school match call ups and calls to work, the 5s found themselves bringing up players from the 6s and still travelling to fourth placed Dereham 3s with the bare 11 players.

After a quiet warm up, captain for the day Louise Davis fired up the team to go out and let the ball do the work to conserve energy.

Within a few minutes, the visitors found themselves a goal down to a fortunate deflection from a hit into the D. However, from this moment on, Dragons battled hard and worked their socks off making sure that every player gave there all for the team.

Some solid defending and the creation of a few chances meant that Dragons held Dereham at bay and at times had the home side concerned for the points.

Sadly the final whistle came before Dragons could make one of their chances count and the final result was a very respectable 1-0 loss.

The spread of Player of the Match votes showed how well the team worked for each other.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 2
Norwich Dragons Ladies 6s v Broadland 3s:  2-0

Ladies 6s had a late fixture away to Broadland 3s. Knowing it was a top of the table clash, dragons ahead on goal difference, and that Broadland were yet to concede a goal, a tough game was expected. 

Dragons were out in force with a strong team of supporters containing the injured Gemma Ballard and “goal a game” Jemima Dorman. The sideline, subbing and all-round tic-tacs being managed to Anita Mancini who was faultless in their ability to guide Dragons through the game. 

From the first pushback it was tough – Broadland proved why they were the other top of the table team – pressing Dragons hard. But the Dragons kept cool heads under pressure and moved the ball well. The midfield team of Jade Blanchflower, Beth Elgood, POM Hannah Edwards, Emma Gillard and Louise Brooks held the centre of the pitch well. Distributing some great balls and working up the pitch as a unit. Hannah Edwards working tirelessly for the POM votes! This gave the forward line of Sue Brumby, Harriet Rant, Jane Wells and Amy Forse the ability to make some great runs in the D. The Broadland defence were solid and looked like a team yet to concede.

However they were yet to come up against a centre forward like Amy Forse! She didn’t give up – every hit out she was there faced up to them, pressuring them and making some great interceptions. Her patience prevailed when she collected the ball on the 25, driving into the D and setting herself 1-1 with the keeper striking hard and low making the save impossible. 1-0 at half time but a far from done deal.

Broadland were out fast – wanting to pressure the strong Dragons defence line of Hannah Woods, Kate Atkins and Jen Buskell being expertly led by keeper Kat Speirs. Broadland had their chances but crucial tackles and supportive defence work from Beth Elgood, Emma Gillard and Jade Blanchflower meant the clean sheet was kept.

At the other end of the pitch, the forwards were working hard for another goal. Amy Forse again led the press on the Broadland defence, taking a strike from just inside the D hitting the backboard to the keepers right side. 2-0 and 3 points clear at the top of the table! 

#super6s

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 3

Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s v Watton 3s:  2-0

Dragons dominated the game but it wasn’t a comfortable win, thanks largely to the Watton keeper who was an excellent shot stopper. The victory takes the 7s to the top of the table, but they are all too aware that they did not ‘sparkle’ like they did the week before. A few changes and a last minute call off through illness meant they started tentatively, and were rather quiet, but then the mids and forwards began to fire. Mia McGhee was battering away on the left, fed with a string of passes by the tenacious Stevie Spencer making her seasonal debut. Maisie Dearmer was equally lively on the right and built a good understanding with Claire Stuart, Hattie Gale and Anja Wimmer.

Dragons were relieved to score towards the end of the first half, when Jess Vernon drove hard in the circle and the Watton keeper was a little unlucky to lose the ball between her kickers. But it was no more than Jess deserved for her direct play. Centre forward Claire Fairhurst set the captain’s example by placing her shots into the corners, and she was twice unlucky when the centre back snapped them up with the keeper beaten.

Meanwhile, Watton threatened with breakaways. At times the 7s were not quite on their marking, but Stella Windsor-Waite had another super game at left defence and earned the player of the match vote for a cool display under pressure. Emma Bell at right defence tamed her left wing, and there was some good tackling by Hattie. Keeper Emily Roper marshalled her defence and was called on to make several good saves. Bridget Le Good’s powerful 16s and frees gave the 7s a lot of territorial advantage, and when Anja moved into midfield in the second half, Dragons were constantly pressing and looked as though they just had to score. The second goal was a worthy match winner, and came towards the end. Claire Fairhurst took a free hit quickly and found Anja on the right. One touch and she slammed the ball across the circle, with Mia stepping in front of her marker to touch the ball home. The move had speed, power and precision and was the 7s at their super best. The goal gave Dragons a cushion, and they saw the game out without managing to produce any more quality moves.

The 7s have got the appetite for winning, and are setting their sights higher to improve their game. The marking needs attention; the penalty corners lacked ‘bite’ and too many scoring chances were wasted trying to go through the defenders. But the team might conclude that any time you can grab a win without playing at your best, you take it and move on.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 3

Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s v Carrow 2s:  2-1

Final score – 2:1 to Dragons. Goals by Shaniece Claxton and Charlotte Knight.

Player of the match – Charlotte Knight

The awesome eights continue to thrive each week as they put into practice what they have learned in their training. Determined to improve upon last week’s valiant effort despite losing 4:1 against the UEA, they fought even harder than before and their efforts paid off. 14 eager players including more new faces again this week. Debuts from Charlotte Knight and Sophie James who have progressed from the Devs and from Clara Carrott from Get Back Into ladies.

Initially it took the first 15 minutes or so for the 8’s to ‘gel’ in new positions with new team members. The defence had it tough but it didn’t deter Vice Captain Jo Baker from her solid position as centre back with her timely and accurate hit outs to the side lines. GK Emma ‘Northy’ North continues to get stronger each week and made many solid saves in this time. Jess Lockwood also grows in confidence and took some fabulous side line hits up the wing to the mid fielders. Johanne Steward kept many Carrow attackers at a safe distance with her tackles and short, sharp passes to the likes of Becky ‘the flexi-player’ Gallagher and Clara Carrott who had some great drives up the wing getting the ball across to the forwards.

Aftter the 8’s established their dynamic, it was full steam ahead with the team fighting fit and determined to win. Lois Metcalfe made many fierce tackles within the D and managed to get the ball within a few feet of the goal line. Several deflections later with Sadie Jacobs on the left ready to give it her best shot and Shaniece Claxton on the right, Shaniece scored her first league match goal!

However, literally minutes later whist the Dragons were still on a high from scoring, Carrow had a couple of lucky, long passes straight down the middle of the pitch and before the Dragons knew it, the ball had made it past the defenders, straight past the fabulous keeper Emma ‘Northy’ North and equalized!

This only made the Dragons come back stronger than ever being awarded several short corners. It was 1 all at half time but the Dragons dominated the game in the second half with the ball barely making it past the half way line. The strong mid field section of Nic Harrison, Becky and Clara Carrot on the wing, made some lovely tenacious tackles and kept the opposition at bay. On the odd occasion that the ball got past the Dragons, bottom of the diamond position shared by both Tracy Stuart-Sheppard who always has a keen eye and Sophie James (who was not feeling 100% but was determined to play in her first adult match) made sure that it was not in the danger zone for long.

Captain Katy Cole as top of the diamond assisted the attackers keeping the ball in the 25 zone and made some good tackles passing the ball to the likes of Shaniece, Sadie, Lois and Charlotte Knight who relentlessly drove the ball around the opposition (fully earning her player of the match award) until she finally scored a goal making it 2 all. This increased the Dragons confidence further and there was literally no stopping them at this point. The last 15 minutes of the game the Dragons were all over it and totally owned the game. The game play barely moved away from the 25m line and time after time the ball entered the D and Dragons were awarded more and more short corners. Carrow, now tired and worn out from the seemingly ever-lasting energy of the 8’s, could barely keep up. Finally the whistle blew and this was a well deserved win for the awesome 8’s.

Points so to remember for future games:

  • Always keep 5 metres – green card was awarded and a Dragon player was sent off for 2 minutes because of this
  • Keep using the width
  • Keep practicing short corners
  • Players need to be more aware of their feet, many free hits were given to the opposition because of this
  • Continue to have fun!

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Men’s East Hockey League, Division 2N

Norwich Dragons Men’s 1s v Bury St Edmund 1s:  2-1

Men’s 1s make it two wins in a row, battling back from 1-0 down at half time to beat Bury 1s 2-1. An impressive second half performance was rewarded with goals from golden boy Tom Vaughan and Robin van Patrick (Gordon). 

Man of the match was Peter Dickerson who kept the visitors in the game with some crucial saves and Dragon of the Day was George Bowman – the team look forward to his treats next week.

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Men’s East Hockey League, Division 3NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s v Sudbury 2s: 3-1

Men’s 2s win 3-1 at Sudbury. All 3 goals via short corner rockets by Rich Gill. MoM Garnett Jones. Started with 10 men (and no keeper), but all good in the end.

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Men’s East Hockey League, Division 3NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s v Ipswich 2s:  2-2

Having conceded 4 goals in the opening ten minutes of their first league game and then 5 goals in the opening ten minutes of the second, the Men’s 3s pre match WhatsApp conversations were largely based on the need for a proper pre match warm up and a focussed start.

As ever, it was all talk. The oldsters shuffled round the pitch in their carpet slippers, allegedly warming up their stiff backs and hamstrings, but generally just chewing the fat on key topics such as our wives social lives, Grant Holt and the mysterious disappearance of defender’s face masks.

Meanwhile the youngsters were supposed to be warming up Giles Brooks but were instead showing off their undercutting skills, which did little for Giles, but did petrify the Birthday party in goals and a passing light aircraft.

Once the game started, Dragons started off like a train with both Matt Jenkins and Digger (Jonno Chaney-Baxter….JCB….geddit?…..bet no one thought of that before….oh, they have….rats) going close. However, the veneer of competence couldn’t last and Ipswich slotted a goal after a ‘minor’ defensive mixup – i.e. we passed it to their centre forward on the edge of the D.

However, having only conceded once in the opening minutes, Dragons were full of confidence and pinned Ipswich back in their 22 for long periods although without creating many clear cut chances. The defence of Stu Kelly, Phil Good, Joel Dennis, James Goodson repelled the majority of attacks, with PC Gordon-Brown patrolling his right wing beat to good effect, slapping away any miscreants with a waft of his truncheon.

Halftime came and went (again without any Haribo – this never happened in the Sayer or Walker years) with the match continuing in the same vein during the opening 15 minutes of the second half. 

Ed Smith then unfortunately lost a contact lens and with the team’s focus (excuse the pun) momentarily distracted, Ipswich scored a second goal against the run of play. 

Lesser teams would have crumbled but not our brave boys in red. A Goodson Neopolitan sundae special was served up with Jim Goodson passing to his twin brother Rob who worked it into the D for their younger, fitter and more handsome brother Jon Goodson to poke home.

Time was ticking away and Dragons pressed on with increasing urgency. Pedro Goss and Jon Goodson linked together well on the right hand side for George Wright, on his first league start for the 3s, to sweep home powerfully from around the penalty spot for a thoroughly deserved equaliser.

The final whistle blew shortly afterwards and the Dragons had their first league point of the season.

Paul was yet again an absolute star, quietly and almost invisibly being involved in all the team’s best passages of play. Only his lack of training is getting in the way of a call up to the higher teams.

Jonno Chaney Baxter was the young player of the match, with Jon Goodson replacing Tom Vaughan as oldster MOTM, with Tom winning the popular vote but being disqualified on the technicality that he didn’t actually play for us (at the moment, he’ll be back soon).

Dragons 3s 2 – Ipswich 2 2 (Desmond)

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s v Thetford 1s:  6-2

Dragons secured their first points of the season in a well deserved win over Thetford.  Tom McLean in goal and Johnny Taylor made their debuts for the team whilst Andrew Saunders scored his first 2 league goals.  The first half saw Dragons take the lead through a Saunders penalty corner strike whilst his forward partner Taylor (MoM) settled quickly into adult hockey, causing the Thetford defence plenty of problems.  Thetford equalised with a scrappy goal and at half time the score was 1-1.

Dragons became increasingly dominant during the second half as Thetford tired and added 3 further goals through Taylor, Saunders and Jon Price.  Will Ives neutralised Thetford’s most dangerous player with tight man marking and Pete Davison plucked numerous speculative aerial balls out of the sky.  In central midfield, Sol Blazer continued his impressive form this season and the pace and tenacity of Connor Adams was notable.  Thetford pulled one goal back but never truly threatened a comeback and Dragons could have had further goals with Phil York-Smith hitting the post from a tight angle and the keeper’s pads from close range.

Every Dragons player contributed to a solid team performance and satisfying win, which provided a welcome confidence boost before next week’s trip to Pelicans.

========================================================================

Men’s East Hockey League, Division 5NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 5s v UEA 3s:  6-2

Men’s 5s lost 6-2 to UEA, goal scorers Matt Hull and Eddie Gould whilst  MoM was Shiv Kapur.

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Men’s East Hockey League, Division 6NE(N)

Norwich Dragons Men’s 6s v Watton 2s:  0-1

Although, the mens 6s hadn’t won a game during pre-season much had been learnt and the team was looking forward to our opening match of the season against Watton 2. We had beaten them last season and we expected a close game. Watton turned up with a strengthened side compared to previous encounters and from the start it was end to end stuff. Dragons 6s had mixture of old heads and young guys straight from the boys Dev teams, so were able to set out a spine and defence of older players and use the younger players to take advantage of their speed on the wings. Toby Drake, Angus Blazer, Dan Murphy and Bobby Sheppard slotted straight in and all played with maturity from the start. Harry Brown, who came up from Dev mid way through last season, has continued to develop as a fine defensive player and was solid in the Left Back position alongside the wise heads of Mike Banham, Chris Orme, Rich Davis and Ray Hansell, all who had a good game. The Back third of the team was completed by Chris Miller in goal, who had an outstanding match.

The first half was very close and neither side was able to make a breakthrough. The Dragon’s forward of Rob Lee and Darryl Robinson came close numerous times and the penetrating runs from the wings meant we won half a dozen penalty corners but were unable to convert these to goals. Josh Bingham pulled the midfield together and also made strong runs into the opposition 23 and circle. The match was finely balanced at 0-0 on the halftime whistle.

The second half began very much as the first had finished with wide open play and some good hockey by both sides. In the end, to the Dragons frustration, Watton made a breakthrough and managed to scramble home a goal. All credit to our team for not letting their heads drop and they continued to press Watton, with more penalty corners being awarded, but again, not quite able to be converted. The Watton keeper saving the day for them more than once.

The match finished in a 0-1 defeat for Dragons 6s but it was a very creditable performance from the whole team, who showed spirt and a strong work ethic, to keep pressurising Watton right up to the final whistle.

For excellent work between the posts, the Man of the Match award went to Chris Millar.

“In addition to all the effort of the players, a big thank you also to John Butler, who although not playing due to recovering from injury, is a great help on the touchline with encouragement, insight and making the substitutions. We all hope to see him back playing again very soon.”

========================================================================

Norwich Dragons Hockey Club

Dragons Dev Boys A v City: 5-2

Boys Dev A beat city 5-2. Two goals each for Kit Scott and Tommy Chambers plus a drag flick from James Cross.

On a dull and drizzly day, the first quarter started with City putting the Dragons defence under pressure, but the defence held firm and when they broke forward, Kit scored to make it 1-0 Dragons. More City pressure until the end of the quarter, but once again the defence of Ben, Alexander, Arj and Ed held firm.

The second 1/4 started with more pressure by City leading to an equaliser and 1-1. More stout defending with GK Alex making 3-4 good saves in gaol, as City piled on the pressure, but the defence, with willing help from the midfield of Will, Jack and James, held on to end the quarter at 1-1

The third quarter started with Dragons putting the City goal under pressure resulting in Dragons getting their first short corner of the match, which they executed perfectly, with James scoring to make it 2-1 Dragons. They then controlled the rest of the 1/4 with Isaac breaking forward to set up Tommy for Dragons third, and then the same 2 combining for Dragons  4th. The quarter ended with Dragons on top and leading 4-1.

The fourth quarter, and it’s still dull and drizzly, starts with both sides having chances, but City converting first to get the score back to 4-2  Again City put the Dragons defence under pressure, but a nice break by Dragons led to Kit scoring Dragons 5th, which put the game out of City’s reach.

A deserved 5-2 win with stoic defence when required and nice finishing when the chances appeared.

========================================================================

Norwich Dragons Hockey Club

Dragons Dev Boys B v Magpies: 0-3

Dev Boys B Team lose to Magpies 3-0. No adults played! Well done to all those boys and thanks to Steve Linford for managing. The team had four under 12 boys playing 11 a side hockey for the first time, including Max Nichols in goal. Sam Hancock (u12) player of the match.

=======================================================================

Dragons Dev Girls v City B: 0-8

Dev girls have a disappointing 0-8 loss to Norwich City but worked hard and gave it their all. POM Orla Hardiman.

=======================================================================

 

 

 

Fantastic Achievement for Ben

There was a clear competitive determination at an early age, when our new under 12 boys keeper was getting annoyed at conceding goals back in 2012!

It is little surprise to now see that young man being driven to compete at the highest level, Ben Nkrumah has been nominated by his Performance Centre coaches for, and has been accepted into, the Advanced Award in Sporting Excellence (AASE), which is a government funded scheme led and delivered by England Hockey in partnership with Loughborough College. 

The scheme provides a structured training and development route for high potential hockey players and offers a dual career pathway for athletes who have been recognised and nominated by their National Governing Body. It allows players to undertake the AASE programme at the same time as studying for A-Levels. Ben is studying four A-Level subjects at Norwich School in addition to the AASE programme.

On successful completion of the Programme, participants will receive:

  • NVQ Level 3 Certificate in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance;
  • NVQ Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Sports Performance;
  • 40 UCAS Points; and
  • England Hockey Level 1 “un-assessed” Umpiring Qualification.

Between now and the end of July 2018, Ben will attend four centralised camps (13 days in total) at Lilleshall National Sports & Conferencing Centre and those that are successful at the end of the programme will be selected to play in the International School Games in August 2018 at Loughborough University.

Ben is taking all of this in his stride, studying for his 4 A-Levels, his Club and Performance Centre hockey, coaching and developing young goalies for Club and County teams, as well as a bit of umpiring here and there!!

At the end of last season Ben was also awarded the Club’s Derek Dack Award which is awarded to the young volunteer (U18) who has contributed the most to the club during the season. It is what they contribute together with how they do this that matters:

  • Covers coaching non-playing activities
  • Leadership
  • Proactiveness
  • Engagement with what they are doing and those they are helping (coaches and players)
  • Reliability (doing what they said they would, when they say they will)
  • Going the extra mile to support those who need extra help and responding to these needs.

We rely a lot on these young helpers at all training sessions and they do a great job. This award was presented by Tom Vaughan, the Men’s Club Captain.

Feedback from Coaches on assessing Ben for this Award was that he is there every week – always keen and eager – proactive if he hasn’t been asked to do something & always does whatever he is asked. Has led sessions for around 5 keepers most Thursdays (u12 boys and dev boys). Umpires on Saturdays when he can around school matches. Plays for whoever he can without complaint. Is one of the Young Dragons representatives on the Youth Committee and attends these meetings to put the young perspective across. 

Dragons first in the East Region……

Norwich Dragons Hockey Club is proud to announce that it is the first in the East Region to achieve the new Sport England / England Hockey ClubMark accreditation, with only a handful of awards so far confirmed in England.

In her letter confirming the Award, Sally Munday, Chief Executive of England Hockey said “As we stride towards a ‘Nation where Hockey Matters’ we wanted to acknowledge and thank you for your commitment and dedication to creating more, better and happier hockey players.”.

England Hockey’s Clubs & Facilities Team stated “It is a great achievement, and we were very impressed with Norwich Dragons HC throughout the process.”

Charlie Farrow, Regional Relationship Manager, following his assessment visit to the Club this month said “I was, as always, impressed by the set up last night and it was great to reflect on the amazing progress the club has made over the last few years.”

This Accreditation is recognition of the amazing job that all the volunteers at Norwich Dragons Hockey Club, past and present, have achieved in taking the Club from potential closure (as Norwich Union HC), to one of the largest and nationally recognised clubs in England.

Whilst demand continues to grow for playing hockey at Norwich Dragons, the Committee strive to keep the friendly, family feel to the Club. Recent comments that back this up are:

“please find my membership form attached 
thanks for all the hard work you do so that we can have fun playing hockey.”

“I really enjoyed Wednesday, thank you for helping to make it so inclusive! I will definitely be back Wednesday!”

“please find my membership form attached.
thanks for all you do for hockey I love playing with the dragons”

#proudtobeaDragon

Keeper Sessions underway….

The first Norwich Dragons Specialist Keeper Session of the 2017-18 season took place tonight with 11 keepers keen to develop their skills under the expert guidance of Keeper Head Coach Tom Vaughan and Keeper Coach Lucy King.

All the keepers were put through their paces and were shown new ways to progress in their keeper careers.

Dragons gather at the Den…

Not even a torrential downpour could dampen the spirits on another highly successful Norwich Dragons Adult Club Day at the Den saw 6 Men’s and 9 Ladies’ Teams playing hockey in addition to hosting 5 opposition teams from Ely, Peterborough, Dereham, Broadland and Sudbury.  It was great to see new and existing club members getting to know each other, forming new friendships and renewing old after the Summer break.

Photos from the day can be found here.

Coaching with a Golden Thread

During the Summer the Norwich Dragons coaches made the most of the break and began planning for the new hockey coaching season. One of the big changes for this season has been to introduce England Hockey’s Golden Thread throughout the Coaching Programme.  A session for coaches, run by recently qualified Richard Gill, took the current Dragons qualified coaches through the key changes required to bring the Golden Thread into their sessions.

Feedback from the coach the coaches session and subsequent player coaching sessions has been excellent, with players enjoying the increased intensity of sessions, as well as the move from ‘drills’ to exercises that look and feel like the game.

Norwich Dragons players are very fortunate to have such a strong and talented pool of coaches prepared to give up their own time volunteering for the benefit of all Club Members.

Ladies Adult Coaching kicks off

First Adult Coaching Session of the 2017-18 Season last night. The England Hockey Golden Thread was running through this Ladies East&Norfolk Premier Coaching Session, or based on the GPS Tracker picture, maybe it was a Red Dragon Thread. 4 miles covered, mostly in 5 metre bursts. Ladies Norfolk Div 2, 3 and Get Back Into/Beginners session tonight. Good work ladies and coaches!

Fees Frozen Again!!

With just one rise in 4 years, Norwich Dragons have frozen their Fees for another year!! Whilst some clubs have a complicated method of charging fees for training, certain team matches etc, Norwich Dragons keep it simple and transparent.

Membership Fee: is payable annually as a lump sum and covers the general running costs of the Club, such as affiliation fees, insurances, club owned equipment and kit, coaching pitch hire for weekly coaching sessions during the season and our website.  A Membership Fee does not require a member to play league games but equally does not entitle a member to a league game of hockey.

Match Fee: is payable each time a member plays a game of hockey (pay as you play), it covers the costs associated with playing a game of hockey such as pitch hire, tournament entry, umpiring, travel, and teas.

 

Adult Section Fees:

Full Membership Fee = £100

Concession Membership Fee = £60 (keepers with their own full kit, under 18s playing adult hockey, fulltime students, pensioners or registered unemployed)

Full League Match Fee = £9

Concession League Match Fee = £6 (under 18s playing adult hockey, fulltime students, pensioners or registered unemployed)

Other types of fixtures and events attract different fees that are advised at the time.

Youth Section Fees:

Under 8s – £2 per training session

Under 10s & 12s – £50, or £30 Sept-December, £25 January-April

Tournament Fee of £2 per tournament

Development Team – £60 plus £5 per match

Under 18 playing in adult teams – £60 plus £6 per match

 

Financial Management: our philosophy is that all our events/activities should be self funding and we should live well within our means. Ensuring that all member’s fees are paid on time and for relevant events means that we are being fair to all Club Members.  Careful financial management over the last 6 years has ensured that the Club has a strong financial base on which to move forward with our Club Development Plans, whilst being able to keep fee increases to a minimum.

 

2017-18 League Season Divisions

East League have published provisional Divisional structures for next season, the main change impacting Dragons is the split of Men’s Divisions 6NE & 7NE into 6NE(N) and (S), which means our Men’s 6s play more local games. 

Below are the current view of leagues for our Adult Teams, all of the following East Divisions are provisional until approximately 5th July 2017.

MEN’S DIVISIONS

DIVISION 2N

Bury St Edmunds 1

Cambridge Uni 3

CoP 3

Dereham 2

Harleston Magpies 2

Harleston Magpies 3

Horncastle 1

Norwich City 2

Norwich Dragons 1

Pelicans 1

St Ives 1

UEA 1

 

DIVISION 3NE

Bury St Edmunds 2

I-ES 2

I-ES 3

Ipswich 2

Newmarket 1

Norwich City 3

Norwich City 4

Norwich Dragons 2

Norwich Dragons 3

Pelicans 2

Sudbury 2

UEA 2

 

DIVISION 4NE

Bury St Edmunds 3

Felixstowe 2

Harleston Magpies 4

I-ES 4

Ipswich 3

Lowestoft Rly 1

North Norfolk 1

North Norfolk 2

Norwich City 5

Norwich Dragons 4

Pelicans 3

Thetford Town 1

 

DIVISION 5NE

Bury St Edmunds 4

Dereham 3

Felixstowe 3

Harleston Magpies 5

I-ES 5

Ipswich Cranes 1

Lowestoft Rly 2

Newmarket 2

Norwich Dragons 5

Norwich Exiles 1

UEA 3

Watton 1

 

DIVISION 6NE(N)

Dereham 4

Norfolk Nomads 1

Norfolk Nomads 2

North Norfolk 3

Norwich City 6

Norwich City 7

Norwich Dragons 6

Pelicans 4

UEA 4

Watton 2

 

LADIES’ DIVISIONS

PREMIER

Cambridge City 2

Cambridge Uni 1

Canterbury 2

CoP 1

Ipswich 1

Maidstone 1

Norwich Dragons 1

Old Loughts 1

Sevenoaks 2

St Albans 2

Wapping 1

West Herts 1

 

DIVISION 1N

Bedford 2

Colchester 1

Dereham 1

Harleston Magpies 2

Lowestoft Ladies 1

Newmarket 1

Norwich City 1

St Ives 1

St Neots 1

UEA 1

Watton 1

Wisbech Town 1

 

DIVISION 2NE

Bury St Edmunds 1

Christchurch 1

Colchester 2

Dereham 2

Framlingham 1

Harleston Magpies 3

I-ES 1

Ipswich 2

North Norfolk 1

Norwich City 2

Norwich Dragons 2

Yarmouth 1

 

Norfolk Women’s League

Premier

Broadland 1

Dereham 3

Evergreens 1

Harleston Magpies 4

Loddon 1

Lowestoft Railway 1

Norwich City 3

Norwich City 4

Norwich Dragons 3

Norwich Dragons 4

Norwich Dragons 5

UEA 2

 

Division 1

Beccles

Broadland 2

Carrow

Dereham 4

Diss

Harleston Magpies 5

Norwich City 5  

Pelicans 2

Reepham

UEA 3

Watton 2

Yarmouth 2

 

Division 2

Breckland

Broadland 3

Evergreens 2

Harleston Magpies 6

Herlings

Hornets

Lowestoft Railway 2

North Norfolk 2

Norwich City 6

Norwich Dragons 6

Pelicans 3

Thetford

 

Division 3

Carrow 2

Dereham 5

Harleston Magpies 7

Loddon 2

Norwich City 7

Norwich Dragons 7

Norwich Dragons 8

Pelicans 4

UEA 4

Watton 3

Highly successful Diss High School Hockey Academy

Norwich Dragons HC were delighted to host and coach 30 extremely polite and keen to learn young ladies from Diss High School yesterday, as part of the school’s fantastic Gifted & Talented Hockey Academy.

This regular event gives Diss High School pupils the chance to train and play on an astro turf pitch and to be coached by some of the best coaches in Norfolk, using the latest England Hockey coaching methods.

The youngsters normally play their hockey on a natural grass pitch, however this does not stop them all from working very hard on their skills and also helping feeder Primary School pupils learn to play hockey through England Hockey’s Quicksticks variation of the sport.

9th Year of Norwich Dragons v UEA Tournament

Yes, it was that time of year again when Norwich Dragons and UEA Hockey Clubs play out their annual friendly tournament and things couldn’t have been closer with 8 years of competition the overall position was 4:4.

So who came out on top in Round 9?  UEA Hockey Club did!

On the Day, UEA were convincing winners at 4 points to 1.

Ladies:

UEA 1&2s 5:2 NDHC 2&3s

UEA 3&4s 2:0 NDHC 6&7s

Men:

UEA 1&2s 3:4 NDHC 1&2s

UEA 3&4s 4:2 NDHC 3-6s

Mixed:

UEA 5:0 NDHC

Latest and previous Tournament photos here.

UEA HC Facebook Album of the event here.

Norfolk Schools Quicksticks Championships 2017

Some fantastic hockey played at UEA on Thursday 18th May in the Norfolk Schools Quicksticks Championships. 17 Primary school teams from schools across Norfolk took part. The England Hockey event was lead by Angela Murgatroyd (Spike) with several other Dragons supporting various schools (Ollie King, Katie McKenna, Lewis Wilkins). Eventual gold medal winners were St Martha’s Catholic Primary 1, silver medal went to Terrington St Clements Community School 1 & a very tightly fought inter-school match between Hillside Primary 1 and 2 saw Hillside 2 squeeze the winning goal home just as the final hooter went to gain the bronze medal! A fantastic afternoon was had by all in glorious sunshine – the future’s definitely bright for hockey in Norfolk!

This event was the last of three new tournaments initiated by England Hockey to encourage more hockey to be played in schools. 

  1. Norfolk Schools Hockey Cup –  UEA Sports Park Monday 27th March 3pm till 5pm. This is for children in schools Years 9 and 10, (separate boys and girls 11 a side competitions. ) 
  2. Norfolk Schools In2Hockey Cup – UEA Sports Park Thursday 27th April 3pm till 5pm. This is for children in school Years 7 and 8 In2Hockey / 7 a Side. (separate boys and girls competitions.) 
  3. Norfolk Quicksticks Championships – UEA Sports Park Thursday 18th May 1pm till 4pm. Primary SchoolQuicksticks Festival. Mixed Squads of 10 (6 squad players in each match with 4 players  on the pitch at any one time.) 

Under 6s and Under 8s Tournament at the Den Sunday 14th May

The annual Under 6s and Under 8s Tournament takes place at Norwich Dragons this weekend. Teams in the Under 6s from Cambridge City (1 Team), Norwich Dragons (2 Teams) and Norwich City (2 Teams) and Under 8s from Cambridge City (2 Teams), Norwich Dragons (4 Teams), Norwich City (2 Teams), Bury St Edmunds (3 Teams), Watton (1 Team), Dereham (1 Team) and North Norfolk (1 Team) will take part on Sunday morning at the Den.

Great to see so many youngsters enjoying their hockey!

Good luck to all youngsters taking part!!

 

Norfolk Under 15 Mixed Tournament suffers from team withdrawals

Norwich Dragons and Dereham under 15s Mixed teams will play a friendly tournament against each other following the withdrawal of Bury St Edmunds and Norwich City in this annual friendly event.

Well done to Brian Reid of Dereham and Natalie Beal of Dragons for organising and thanks to Owain Hall and Tracy Barrow for organising the Dragons Team.

 

 

Norfolk & North Suffolk’s Mixed Summer League bully off

Yes, with the arrival of May Day and Morris Dancers, thoughts in the hockey family across Norfolk and North Suffolk turn to the highly successful Dragons Mixed Summer League at the Den. The first month of fixtures are released below and further batches will be published through to the end of July.

Mixed Summer League – it’s back!!

DayDatePitchTimeTeamvTeam
WEEK 13
Tuesday25th JulyRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons WolfevMagpies
Tuesday25th JulyBlue Goals Pitch7.00Dragons ClairevDragons Joel
Wednesday26th JulyRed Goals Pitch7.00Dragons MarkvDragons Rupert
Wednesday26th JulyRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons AdamvDragons Claire
Wednesday26th JulyBlue Goals Pitch7.00BuryvLingy Legends
Wednesday26th JulyBlue Goals Pitch8.30PiesvN Norfolk
WEEK 12
Tuesday18th JulyRed Goals Pitch7.00DerehamvDragons Rupert
Tuesday18th JulyRed Goals Pitch8.30NC BuccaneersvMagpies
Tuesday18th JulyBlue Goals Pitch8.00Dragons WolfevN Norfolk
Wednesday19th JulyRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons MarkvPies
Wednesday19th JulyRed Goals Pitch7.00Dragons ClairevDragons Joel
Wednesday19th JulyBlue Goals Pitch8.30Eagle PlatoonvDragons Adam
WEEK 11
Tuesday11th JulyRed Goals Pitch7.00MagpiesvDragons Mark
Wednesday12th JulyRed Goals Pitch7.00BuryvN Norfolk
Wednesday12th JulyRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons RupertvPies
Wednesday12th JulyBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons ClairevDragons Joel
Thursday13th JulyBlue Goals Pitch7.00WattonvNC Saxons
WEEK 10
Tuesday4th JulyRed Goals Pitch7.00LowestoftvDragons Mark
Tuesday4th JulyRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons WolfevNUGS
Wednesday5th JulyRed Goals Pitch7.00NC BuccaneersvDereham
Wednesday5th JulyRed Goals Pitch8.30Nch SchoolvPies
Wednesday5th JulyBlue Goals Pitch7.00NC MavsvDragons Rupert
Thursday6th JulyRed Goals Pitch7.00Eagle PlatoonvWatton
Thursday6th JulyRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons ClairevDragons Adam
Thursday6th JulyBlue Goals Pitch7.00NC SaxonsvN Norfolk
Thursday6th JulyBlue Goals Pitch8.30MagpiesvLingy Legends
WEEK 9
Tuesday27th JuneRed Goals Pitch7.00MagpiesvDragons Rupert
Tuesday27th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons WolfevNC Mavs
Wednesday28th JuneRed Goals Pitch7.00Bury St EdvLowestoft
Wednesday28th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30PiesvDereham
Wednesday28th JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00N NorfolkvUEA
Wednesday28th JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons AdamvWatton
Thursday29th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons ClairevDragons Joel
Thursday29th JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00Lingy LegendsvDragons Mark
Thursday29th JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30NC SaxonsvEagle Platoon
WEEK 8
Tuesday20th JuneRed Goals Pitch7.00LowestoftvNorwich School
Tuesday20th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons WolfevDragons Mark
Tuesday20th JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.30DerehamvNC Mavs
Wednesday21st JuneRed Goals Pitch7.00UEAvNC Buccaneers
Wednesday21st JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30WattonvDragons Claire
Wednesday21st JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00Dragons AdamvEagle Platoon
Wednesday21st JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30PiesvMagpies
Thursday22nd JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30N NorfolkvDragons Rupert
Thursday22nd JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00NC SaxonsvDragons Joel
Thursday22nd JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30Lingy LegendsvNUGS
WEEK 7
Tuesday13th JuneRed Goals Pitch7.00NC NavsvLowestoft
Tuesday13th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons WolfevUEA
Tuesday13th JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00Dragons MarkvNUGS
Wednesday14th JuneRed Goals Pitch7.00Nch SchoolvDereham
Wednesday14th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons RupertvPies
Wednesday14th JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00BuryvNC Saxons
Wednesday14th JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons ClairevN Norfolk 2
Thursday15th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.00Dragons AdamvEagle Platoon
Thursday15th JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00WattonvN Norfolk
Thursday15th JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30Lingy LegendsvMagpies
WEEK 6
Tuesday6th JuneRed Goals Pitch7.00UEA 2vUEA
Tuesday6th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons WolfevNUGS
Tuesday6th JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00Dragons MarkvNC Mavs
Tuesday6th JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons JoelvDragons Claire
Wednesday7th JuneRed Goals Pitch7.00Dragons AdamvNC Buccaneers
Wednesday7th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30Nch SchoolvPies
Wednesday7th JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00WattonvNC Saxons
Wednesday7th JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30N NorfolkvLowestoft
Thursday8th JuneRed Goals Pitch8.00Lingy LegendsvDragons Rupert
Thursday8th JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00Eagle PlatoonvN Norfolk 2
Thursday8th JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30DerehamvMagpies
WEEK 5
Tuesday30th MayRed Goals Pitch7.00Dragons MarkvLowestoft
Tuesday30th MayRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons WolfevNC Mavs
Tuesday30th MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00NUGSvUEA
Tuesday30th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30UEA 2vMedics
Wednesday31st MayRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons ClairevWatton
Wednesday31st MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00BuryvDragons Adam
Wednesday31st MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30PiesvDereham
Thursday1st JuneRed Goals Pitch7.00Nch SchoolvDragons Rupert
Thursday1st JuneRed Goals Pitch8.30MagpiesvNC Buccaneers
Thursday1st JuneBlue Goals Pitch7.00N NorfolkvNC Saxons
Thursday1st JuneBlue Goals Pitch8.30N Norfolk 2vDragons Joel
WEEK 4
Tuesday23rd MayRed Goals Pitch7.00NUGSvDragons Rupert
Tuesday23rd MayRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons WolfevUEA
Tuesday23rd MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00NC MavsvUEA2
Wednesday24th MayRed Goals Pitch7.00SaxonsvLowestoft
Wednesday24th MayRed Goals Pitch8.30PiesvDragons Mark
Wednesday24th MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00Dragons ClairevMedics 2
Wednesday24th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30DerehamvLingy's Legends
Thursday25th MayRed Goals Pitch7.00MagpiesvNch School
Thursday25th MayRed Goals Pitch8.30WattonvMedics
Thursday25th MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00Dragons AdamvN Norfolk
Thursday25th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons JoelvEagle Platoon
WEEK 3
Tuesday16th MayRed Goals Pitch7.00Dragons MarkvMagpies
Tuesday16th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons ClairevN Norfolk 2
Wednesday17th MayRed Goals Pitch7.00BuryvWatton
Wednesday17th MayRed Goals Pitch8.30Dragons WolfevSaxons
Wednesday17th MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00Nch SchoolvUEA 2
Wednesday17th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons RupertvNC Bucaneers
Thursday18th MayRed Goals Pitch7.00Dragons JoelvMedics
Thursday18th MayRed Goals Pitch8.30PiesvNUGS
Thursday18th MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00Lingy LegendsvN Noroflk
Thursday18th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons AdamvUEA
WEEK 2
Tuesday9th MayRed Goals Pitch7.00LowestoftvDragons Wolfe
Tuesday9th MayRed Goals Pitch8.30Alex Le M - NUGSvDragons Rupert
Tuesday9th MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00Dragons RupertvUEA 1
Tuesday9th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30NC MavsvUEA 2
Wednesday10th MayRed Goals Pitch7.00Nch SchoolvDragons Mark
Wednesday10th MayRed Goals Pitch8.30PiesvMagpies
Wednesday10th MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00Medics 2vEagle Platoon
Wednesday10th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons ClairevWatton
Thursday11th MayRed Goals Pitch7.30Dragons JoelvSaxons
Thursday11th MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00Dragons AdamvN Norfolk 1
Thursday11th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30MedicsvN Norfolk 2
WEEK 1
Wednesday3rd MayRed Goals Pitch7.00Dragons MarkvDave King
Wednesday3rd MayRed Goals Pitch8.30PiesvUEA
Wednesday3rd MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00N NorfolkvBury
Wednesday3rd MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30Dragons JoelvUEA Medics
Thursday4th MayRed Goals Pitch7.00Dragons AdamvWatton
Thursday4th MayRed Goals Pitch8.30Eagle Platoon!(Loddon)vCity Saxons
Thursday4th MayBlue Goals Pitch7.00Alex Le M - NUGSvMC Navs
Thursday4th MayBlue Goals Pitch8.30DragonsWolfievLingy's Legends!

Celebrating being a Dragon – Recognising a Lifetime of Achievement

Another fantastic season making history for Norwich Dragons Hockey Club deserves another fantastic evening celebrating being a Dragon.  Adult Team Members from across all 14 teams joined together to recognise the successes of the season, applaud each Team’s Player of the Season and recognise those that have worked hard across the Club for the benefit of the Club.

A new Award was introduced by President Mike Hardy to recognise the incredible contribution to Club, County and Regional Hockey in a lifetime of commitment to the sport……

NDHC Lifetime Achievement Award

The decision by a highly valued Club Member to step down from her involvement in hockey prompted Mike to introduce the Dragons Lifetime Achievement Award and present it to Hazel Medler

After many many years devoted to the sport she loves, three seasons ago Hazel stopped playing but continued umpiring, however she has decided to now retire the whistle too!

A standing ovation greeted the presentation of the Award to Hazel.

After the evening of celebration Hazel said “To have so many kind words spoken, regarding my long association with the sport and the club, and to receive a standing ovation was truly humbling.”

 

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 08/04/2017

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 5-0 Breckland

What a way to finish the season!!

Dragons 6s arrived early and raring to go at Brecklands pitch. On inspection the pitch was a lot sandier than usual so a thorough hitting practice saw that the dragons were ready.

With getting first push back and the end they wanted for the sun everything was in Dragons favour. We knew we would be facing a tough opposition from previous meetings so they key would be playing our strong passing game.

The forwards were fierce from the off. Amy Forse, Fiona Fletcher and Mia McGhee set themselves in the defence and with support from Hannah Edwards & Elsa Scott the first breakthrough came. Pinning in the Breckland defence and after a lot of scurrying the ball was finally forced over the line by Elsa Scott 1-0 dragons.

A second goal soon followed with a great strike from Mia McGhee after a fabulous run from Kate Atkins down the right flank to set her up – Dragons forwards breathing fire!

With so much space available, Sue Brumby & Lizzy McDonnell had time to pick out precise passes and distribute the ball wide. Before half time a third goal arrived. After Fletch injected the short corner she darted for the post Amy collected and slipped Lizzy who in turn slipped to Fletch lurking on the post who finished with precision.

With a half time team talk from our sideline supremo Tash Falzon dragons were ready for the second half that saw Brecklands danger woman leave the goal and sit into her more comfortable centre mid-field position. She was however no match for Lizzy and Sue who marked her out of the game beautifully meaning she could not enjoy the time or the possession that she is used to.

Defensively Dragons were strong – Kate Atkins, Hannah Woods & Frankie Paul stood firm meaning that keeper Kat Spiers only had one touch of the ball the entire game. Kate & Woodzy both had time to run the wings and support the mid-field while Frankie distributed the ball the elegance hard and wide!

A fourth goal came from great individual skill by Lilly Sore to take on several Breckland players and slot the ball home passed the Breckland keeper.

The fifth and final goal was a team goal. Frankie distributed the ball wide left to Captain Beth Elgood who linked up with Woodzy on the overlap. The ball was drilled into the circle where Amy tenaciously battled through a Breckland team with 11 players defending the goal to drag flick the ball home wrongfooting the keeper!

PoM Ginny Simkin worked tirelessly all game supporting the defence and the forwards well, never giving up and intercepting Brecklands long balls through to their forwards.

Special mention must go to Beth Elgood. Tactically she has been on point this season – this 5-0 display just proved that. #supersixes

New Emerging Schools Hockey Programme Kicks Off in the Sunshine!

Having played such an active part in helping local schools and the Norwich and South Norfolk School Sports Partnerships give hockey experiences to youngsters in our area, it has been very disappointing to see the decline in hockey at the majority of local state schools, with the final nail being the removal of hockey from the Norfolk School Games programme.

However, England Hockey have now picked up the baton and are trying to revive the school hockey scene. 

New Emerging Schools Hockey Programme Kicks Off in the Sunshine!

On the back of the success of the Great Britain girls in Rio a new schools hockey programme got underway at SportsPark this week with the first of three new schools competitions. Eight Norfolk secondary school teams took part in separate boys and girls competitions for children in school years nine and ten.

Three hours of competition supported by local county and club volunteers eventually saw King Edward VII Academy from Kings Lynn triumph in the girls competition and Hartismere High School from Eye winning the boy’s title. (Pictures of winning teams below).

The competitions have been introduced by England Hockey with support from the Norfolk Hockey Association,  UEA SportsPark, Active Norfolk and local hockey clubs. The partners are working together to encourage local schools to play more hockey and to build on big increases in the number of children joining clubs across the county. England Hockey has also offered free training for local primary and secondary school teachers next month and over 50 local teachers signed up.

The local partners have arranged further competitions later this year, a Years 7 and 8 In2Hockey competition on Thursday 27th April and a Years 5 and 6 Quicksticks Festival on Thursday 18th May.

For further information contact Charlie Farrow Tel 07811 336895 charlie.farrow@englandhockey.co.uk

NDHC League Match Reports: 01/04/2017

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division


Norwich Dragons 1s 5-3 St Albans 2

The Norwich Dragons had all to play for after a rewarding season. A win would see them move to 4th position, which had been the objective of Captain Rachel King and Marie James since pre-season planning. A loss would have no impact on their league position. With Siobhan Cleeve away on some sort of mud/fitness bender, Kristina Smyth stepped in to her tiny shoes.

After a peculiar hold up before push back as the umpires sorted out radio comms, the Dragons were on the back foot initially. A St Albans attack down the left hand side of the pitch led to a penalty corner being awarded within the first 5 minutes. Unfortunately for the Norwich team, it was brilliantly taken and the opposition had stolen the lead. The pressure continued for the next 5 minutes and St Albans looked to be much the dominant side. The Dragons gave them too much room and on one such occasion, the ball was struck from the top of the D and rattled in to the back of the net. 2-0 St Albans and the Norwich ladies were fearing a whitewash.

They found our stride however and started playing our brand of fast, attacking hockey, making the ball work hard for them and moving play around. Sophie Thomas received the ball on the left and found Marie James in the centre of the pitch. James sent it out to Liv Leary on the right who drove towards the base line and then crossed it in to the waiting Hayley Toleman. The ball deflected and rose in to the air, but Toleman managed to slap it in to the back of the goal and the Dragons clawed their way back in to the match.

The Dragons started to control play from this moment on. Liv Leary won a free hit just on the 23m line and quickly took it, picking Stacey Lee out as she ran past the last line of defence. Lee found herself one on one with the keeper, but with plenty still to do. A beauty of a reverse stick shot screamed past the St Albans keeper and into the side netting in the goal. Dragons had equalised going in to the half time break.

The second half saw some of the best play the Dragons have produced all season. The younger players Issy Wolfe and Lara Taylor showed the promise they both have, with penetrating runs and fierce tackling. The indomitable foursome of Jenkins, Thomas, Murray and Reding controlled defence and ensured that little got through. Smyth was calm and collected under pressure though and made several excellent saves. Luckily for the Dragons though, this really was a day for the forward line. Aoife Lowe-Davies was exceptional as ever, surging through the St Albans defence time and again. 10 minutes in to the second half, the Dragons regained possession in their defensive half and worked the ball up the pitch through Hannah Phillips and Marie James. Stacey Lee then passed the ball with pinpoint accuracy to Toleman, who rounded the keeper and put the Dragons 3-2 ahead. Another beautiful team goal!

Shortly after, the Dragons had enjoyed a great run of play down the right hand side, with Liv Thomas and Stacey Lee combining brilliantly. Lee self-passed and with some trickery and skill managed to beat three St Albans players and set herself up for a shot on goal. Another perfect reverse stick effort followed and there was nothing the keeper could do to get in the way. The Dragons moved 2 goals ahead. As if that wasn’t enough, with 10 minutes left to play, James found Toleman and Toleman skilfully found her way past the defence. With just the keeper to beat, Toleman lured her in and then slipped it left to an oncoming Lowe-Davies, who wasted no time in slamming the ball home. The Dragons moved 5-2 up.

St Albans pulled one back with an incredibly powerful penalty corner strike, but the Norwich Dragons were home and dry.

An emphatic team performance saw the ladies finish the season in style, achieving their objective of 4th place. Next season – promotion!

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3-1 Magpies 3

An extremely youthful Dragons men’s 2s travelled away to Magpies 3s for their last game of the season, with the home team already promoted and looking for a win to secure their position as 3NE champions.

Apart from the back five (four defenders and goalie), dragons’ line up consisted of entirely under 18s, a testament to our youth team. George Bowman also made his debut as captain and led the troops into battle.

Dragons started the brightest and dominated the early stages of the match. A goal from Ben Watson gave the away team the lead as he kept his cool during a one on one, rounding the keeper and nailing the ball home from a tight angle. Dragons should have doubled their lead after great attaching play resulted in a penalty but it unfortunately wasn’t converted. A lack of discipline meant some dragons spent a few minutes on the naughty step but were able to cope when down to 10 players. Harleston drew level with a well taken short corner just before half time, drilling the ball into the bottom corner.

Coach Jase’s halftime team talk focused on the positives from one of the most encourages halves of the season.

The second half was much more open than the first, as the game ebbed and flowed between the teams. Cards were shown for both sides as tensions rose. A drag flick from Raunaq gave dragons the lead before a scrambled finish from Rohan put the visitors 3-1 to the good. Despite dropping again to ten men for the last five minutes of the match, dragons were able to inflict the Magpies’ first home defeat for over two years.

Richard Gill was awarded man of the match for a sensational return to his former club, thwarting numerous attacks and spraying the  ball around the pitch with ease.

The victory owed to the experience of the back line and the skill and speed of the youth ahead of them, constantly beating players with skill and moving the ball on quickly. It’s clear, from this performance, if the second team could get out their strongest team each week they’d definitely be competing to be champions. However, Jase’s men have secured their place in fourth, so we are looking forward to some midweek champions league hockey next year at the den.

A cracking run of form since Christmas has seen the men’s 2nd team win 7, draw 2 and lose 2, despite hit and miss availability throughout this period.

Thanks to Jason for his commitment as captain over the last two years as he steps down this season and hopefully this cracking end to the season can be carried on into the next.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 3-1 IES 4

Dragons travelled to IES 4 for their final game of the season looking forward to a game with no significant implications on the league position for either side.

In glorious Suffolk sunshine, the game was played in a good spirit and initially saw some end to end action, Ben Nkrumah making some good saves to prevent IES taking the lead.

Dragons showed some great team play as the Chaney Baxter brothers and Pedro Goss, in combination with the experienced Adie Kemp started to create some good attacking opportunities.  The Dragons’ central midfield of Rob Jenkins, Nick Turner and Garnett Jones worked hard and marked tight, restricting the attacks of IES.

Dragons took the lead but shortly after, an unlucky deflection saw IES level the game and 1-1 was the half time score.  Sound defending from Andy Carver, MoM Will Ives, Rich Phillis and Pete Davison restricted IES to a handful of chances, most of which were somewhat speculative reverse strikes.

Dragons increasingly dominated the game in the second half and ended up winning 3-1 with goals from Pedro, Jon CB and Adie.  This game capped a satisfying season for the Dragons who have played with an excellent attitude throughout and combined youth and experience to great effect, the young players improving hugely over the season.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-3 IES 6

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 5-0 Dereham (CW)

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 5-0 Dereham (CW)

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 25/03/2017

A few snaps from a morning at the Den (M5s & L5s) and afternoon at Culford (L2s) here.

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-1 Old Loughts 1

The Dragons 1s went in to Saturday’s match eager to secure 3 points and push the team up in to 3rd position. Whilst neither promotion nor relegation were in store, the team wanted to finish the season as strongly as possible. Old Loughts are in the lower half of the table and a win was definitely on the cards.

The ladies started strongly, with the Norwich team dominating play. A penalty corner early on almost fell to Hannah Phillips, but it was not to be. The Dragons looked to be in control though, maintaining some excellent periods of passing play between Marie James, Sophie Mullan and Phillips in the middle of the pitch. Unfortunately, the Dragons were caught on the break and Old Loughts took advantage, putting one goal past Siobhan Cleeve in goal. It was against the run of play and Dragons knew they could fight back.

With the inimitable Sarah Jenkins controlling affairs at the back and Sophie Mullan running rings around the midfield, the Dragons were controlling play again. An excellent ball sent up the line from Lou Murray resulted in a 16 yard hit out and the Dragons formed their ring of steel around the opposition. The ball fell to Liv Leary who shot from the top of D and managed to find the back of the goal. 1-1.

Old Loughts fought back and found their way through the Dragons defence on a couple of occasions. Siobhan Cleeve kept the home team in it with some outstanding saves, including a lifted shot that she saved, despite being unsighted. Throughout the season, the defence has remained calm in the face of adversity and this match was no exception. They swiftly dealt with the opposition’s marauding runs and at half time, the score was 1-1.

The second half was largely a frustrating affair. Aoife Lowe Davies was splendid up front, driving the base line and causing trouble for the Old Loughts’ defence. It was one such run that led to the ball being cleared off the goal line by the opposition’s feet. A penalty flick was awarded and Holly Reding bravely stepped forward. Despite sending the ball with great power in to the bottom right corner, the keeper saved it and the score remained equal. Stacey Lee, Hayley Toleman and Lowe Davies combined brilliantly up front and they created several chances; it was not to be though and the goal just would not come.

At the final whistle, the score remained 1-1 and the Ladies Dragons sit in 5th position, with one game in hand. A win at St Albans next week, in the final match of the season, would see them rise to 4th.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 4-0 Bury St Edmunds 1

Arriving at Culford in good time, despite a detour into Thetford town centre (just a few minutes away from Culford), the Dragons Dozen were ready for action! With Captain Karen off ‘on the piste’, the team knew that a win was the only result to keep any lingering hopes of survival alive. They welcomed Jess Bennett back into the squad after a lengthy absence, alongside the returning Issy Wolfe.

After a good warm-up in the ‘walled garden’, the team stepped out, in their attacking formation, knowing what they needed to do. The early encounters were quite even, with Bury St Edmunds attacking down both flanks and putting pressure on the Dragons back 3 of Donna Vaughan, Sarah Borrett and Rowie York Smith, however with some strong defending the score remained goalless.

Dragons starting to find their passing game, with Shelly Seaman feeding the wide midfielders Gail Thomas, Kiera Goymour and Helen Busfield – all of whom were having fine games in the wide positions, both breaking down play well and feeding the runs of the forwards. The visitors earned a number of short corners, but failed to capitalise, despite some decent efforts. Dragons were in the ascendancy and eventually they got their rewards – a long through ball from Donna Vaughan on 20 minutes flew deep into Bury territory. Bury looked to move the ball around the back, however Hannah Hardy pounced on some slight hesitation in the D and fired the ball under the Keeper for a deserved lead.

Half time call was for more of the same, with a view to keeping their patience and taking a bit more time on the ball. Dragons knew the game was theirs for the taking and within a minute of the restart, Donna Vaughan stepped forward for a short corner, gliding past two outcoming defenders before blasting home. From then on it was all Dragons. Laura Ward, Jessica Bennett and Issy Wolfe were causing the home defence problems, with some great attacking play. More short corners came and went, despite some good efforts from Dragons.

After 8 minutes of the half, the lively Laura Ward was fed by another Donna Vaughan rocket – with plenty still to do, Ward drove from beyond the 25, beating a number of defenders with sheer pace, and firing confidently past the keeper for a third.

Defensively Dragons remained alert, but for Keeper Emma Cleland, who has been in good form in recent matches, it was a relatively quiet game in the sunshine! The final goal came with 15 mins remaining; a fine team goal with Gail Thomas breaking down play on the left, finding Rowie York Smith who won a free hit, took it quickly with a neat lifted pass into Issy Wolfe. With work to do, the impressive Wolfe drove into the D and fired a strong forehand strike at a good height goalwards, where Ward was on hand with a deft touch at height, to glance past the keeper, for her 10th goal in 6 games.

The visitors could have scored more, however the final whistle went, the 3pts were secured……..alas other results had conspired against Dragons who were relegated and on goal difference. Players of the match were Laura Ward, Gail Thomas and Hannah Hardy. Special mention goes to the umpires, who umpired the game excellently.

Whilst disappointing not to have survived, the team have given it their all – especially since Christmas and know had a couple of results not gone against them, they could have remained in this league. The team vow to bounce back and work harder still, to force their way back stronger than ever next season.

A big thanks to all who have helped the team this season – Coaches Peter Thomas and Richard Gill for their encouragement, expertise and guidance, Mike Hardy for his invaluable sideline support and to Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson for all her dedication, commitment and passion for the Team.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-2 Norwich City 4

The final game for the Dragon’s Ladies’3s was played at Taverham against City 4s. City had a young side out who were well drilled with plentiful pace up front, giving the Dragon’s defence of Carmel Windsor-Waite, Sarah Wagstaff, Angela Murgatroyd and Natasha Falzon plenty of sprinting practice.

Dragons struggled with the City press, and were forced to try and play the long ball up the middle of the pitch, all too often losing possession in the process. The bright evening sunshine made it quite difficult to see at times, and it was City who benefited 20 minutes into the first half, scoring in free play.

Unlike the previous match against Dereham, the Dragons struggled to find the passing accuracy necessary to build play for extended periods and penetrate the opposition’s D, but managed to hold the score at 1-0 for the half time break.

The Dragons’ shape improved throughout the second half, making more use of the width of the pitch. Sam Franklin and Katie McKenna made good progress up the wings, and the visitors eventually gained a penalty corner. A straight strike from the top of the D by Caroline Wolfe was unfortunately stopped from crossing the line on the right hand post by a Dragon’s stick! The goalmouth scramble that followed was eventually cleared by the City defence. This was the closest Dragons got to testing the City goalkeeper.

Dragons’ goal keeper and player of the match, Kristina Smyth, made several quality saves throughout the game, but couldn’t prevent City from extending their lead in the second half to 2-00. Dragons could do nothing more to change that before the full time whistle.

Despite the 2-0 loss, the third team finished a healthy third place in the Empresa Norfolk Premier Division, with the fewest goals (only 16) let in by any team.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division

Norwich Dragons 4s 0-2 Norwich City 2

Ladies 4’s play a whopper of a game against top of the league City 2’s to lose by a mere 2-0 both of which were conceded within first the half. Player Of The Match goes to the amazing fabulous Alice Smith!!!! Thank you for a wonderful season ladies you’ve all been the best!! #FabFours

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-2 Lowestoft Railway 1

This was a top of the table challenge, both teams on same points but Lowestoft have a greater goal difference. The 5’s were on a 7 game unbeaten run but were beaten by Lowestoft when last played.  It was extremely hot and it didn’t take long for the base layers to come off.  Jason Wolfe was on hand for tactical advice, and had been putting us through hard graft at training.  Lowestoft came out of the blocks fast and with the sun on our backs the 5’s started to find their feet.  The ball was end to end and our defence of Jemima Williams, Lou Davis, Amelia Smith and Katie Franks were holding strong picking off any Lowestoft attacks.  Our midfield were clearing the ball our wide up from Vicki Earley, to Neeps (Lynne Price) and out to the speedy wingers who rotated through Catherine Matthews, Rachael Matthews, Helen Marsh and Laura Hansell.  Lowestoft were on constant attack trying to pressurise to pick up any stray balls.  The 5’s were keeping pace even under tropical conditions and were continuing the battle.  The first goal was from Lowestoft a charge through into the D and scrabble over the line.  The Dragons took the challenge and surged forward, ball passed into the D from Aditi Naik, slotted into the keeper from Lucy Buxton, rebound picked up by Lisa Harwood and finally pushed into the back of the D by Amy Forse.   Luisa Valentini our nimble and energetic keeper got to see some action and was quick to command and clear the ball on Lowestoft’s charges, which the 5’s were now picking off higher up the pitch.

At half time, Sarah Wagstaff was giving us words of wisdom and Jason’s plan for the second half was put into action.  The 5’s got stuck into this half and were giving Lowestoft a good battle.  The forwards were pressurising the keeper but unable to convert, trying a few different tactics on short corners, the next goal came from well qualified Neeps, a strike into goal, that rolled up over the keeper into the back of goal.  Unfortunately, Lowestoft were not downbeat and kept the tussle going with another goal.  In the last 10 minutes the Dragons were fighting hard trying for that additional goal but it did not come and the game finished 2-2.  The 5’s have been truly excellent this season after only being promoted last season, they have shown true grit and their competitive nature by battling their way up to the top of this league.  Sadly a few faithful’s are leaving us behind for University this year, many thanks for their positive attitudes and energy – Rachael Matthews, Laura Hansell, Helen Marsh and Katie Franks.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 2-4 Lowestoft Railway 2

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 3-1 Carrow 2

Dragons 7s were pleased that they had a bright sunny spring day for their final match of the season away against Carrow 2.

Having won the toss and chosen to have first push back, Dragons dominated from the start, although Carrow weren’t letting them have an easy ride. Laura McNally had her debut for the 7s and made a great impression in left midfield, stopping the ball and pushing up with the other mids to reach the forwards. Floss Andrews had a brilliant match at top of the diamond, proving herself to be such an asset to the team, always supportive and directing play, dropping back to allow bottom of the diamond Claire Fairhurst to push forward when needed. Her excellent play earned her a fully deserved unanimous POM. Maisie Dearmer in right mid was always in the right place, intercepting the ball and moving it up the pitch. The midfield were supported by the defence of Emma North, Katy Saide and Hattie Gale, all of who proved invaluable at stopping the ball getting through to keeper Alessandra Pellegrini. The forwards of Jess Vernon, Claire Stuart, Kelly Mills and Katie Moulson worked hard in Carrow’s D, having multiple attacks on goal which Carrow stopped time and again. However Claire Stuart got one past the keeper giving Dragons the lead in the first half.

At half time Dragons were reminded to keep their shape, be first to the ball and to mark the opposition, and started the second half much tighter. Dragons persistence was rewarded, as Jess and then Floss each scored lovely solid goals. Carrow didn’t give up and kept pressing, eventually getting through and were awarded a short corner from which they managed to score. Dragons carried on fighting, with the match ending on a short corner for Dragons. Everyone pushed up but another goal wasn’t to be.

Dragons were pleased with the final score of 3:1, knowing this had achieved their final placing of third in the league division. Well played ladies, another great season of fabulous hockey! Bring on the next one!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0-3 UEA 4

What a match! It was, it has to be said, a little on the rough side but this time the awesome 8s truly battled. Each player gave everything she could, and we got a few more balls into the attacking circle. If anyone can explain why the 8s went down by 3 goals to the bottom team last week, and by the same score this week to a team close to promotion, then you will have solved the mystery of this unusual team. The early exchanges were even, with the Dragons defence repelling all the raids. Jo Baker was in the centre upping the strength of her tackles this week. Anna Chapman returned to left back and was much more confident in that position, and Johanne Steward was also on her best form at right back.  Bridget Le Good was at bottom of the diamond and played carefully as medically advised to avoid further risk to the hairline fracture on her cheek. But having been the first Dragon to be upended by a hook stick tackle, she reverted to normal play and her strong hitting found Gem Ballard on the left, who was able to make plenty of progress down the wing and across the park, and to Sophie Drew on the right. Sophie, who dropped into right mid, made some fabulous runs on the right and was POM. Her accurate passes also found Lois Metcalfe, Nic Harrison and Katy Cole and they were able to make progress up the field without quite penetrating the circle early on, but better was to come.

Lois, Nic, Katy and Sophie  also experienced the hook stick tackle treatment and the umpires issued a general warning about stick tackles. But after some close calls it was Helen Walker’s turn for the bloodbath when a high ball from a free hit split her lip. It brought her game to an end, which was a great shame because Helen had shown a good turn of foot and plenty of tackles in midfield, which is what the 8s really needed. Fortunately  Dr Bond was on hand to administer first aid – the 8s never go anywhere without a personal GP in attendance – and this week the 8s were determined not to be distracted. When Helen went off, the 8s reverted to having Bondy and Bridge at the bottom of the diamond, and this reduced UEA’s attack considerably and no more goals were scored.

Another pleasing aspect of the 8s game this week was that they were much more comfortable about being versatile. Nic played across midfield; Tracey Stuart-Sheppard was very effective in top and bottom of diamond, and Liberty Townsend returned to get some more hockey experience at adult level. UEA had several nippy players and were another team who tended to make Dragons look slow in getting to the ball.  Some slick passing enabled them to break through and score two good goals. Their third came after one of their players kicked the ball twice in the circle, and while Dragons hesitated UEA scored. This was very frustrating because Emily Roper had a fine game in goal and blocked loads of shots.

The 8s had another good spell towards the end of the second half. Lois was holding up play on the edge of the circle to enable Gemma, Sophie and Katy to get into good positions. Dragons won some penalty corners, and Lois and Gem had shots on target, and Katy made some penetrating crosses The ‘nearly’ shorty came after Bridget injected, Lois stopped, Gem shot and Bridge pounced on the rebound and the ball flashed inches wide.

Meanwhile, Jo, Johanne, Anna and Bondy were making the defence look more secure at the back than it has done for several games. Yes, the 8s could still do with improving their ‘first to the ball’ and tighten their general marking, but this week the team generally had more confidence in each other, and captain Katy  said she was proud and pleased. Very, very pleased. We had Mr Cole timekeeping the subs, and poor old Brooksy (injured in training and much missed) managed the subs.

After a rather fractious game, which could have boiled over, both team went back for a fabulous tea and fun. The Dragons brought in cakes – hard to choose between Jo Nigella Baker’s chocolate monster with fondant Brian and Dragon eggs; Helen Mary Berry Walker’s lemon drizzle; Katy Davina McCall Cole’s sugar-free sponge with fruit and there were many more. The students came in with a Mexican feast and provided entertainment by drinking pints through (still warm) hockey socks. A great way to end the season. We played as hard as we could and we can’t wait for summer hockey to prove we are improving. We will be a team to be reckoned with next season.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 2-2 March Town 1

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 0-2 Bury St Edmunds 1

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-1 Ipswich Cranes 1

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 4-0 Bury St Edmunds 3

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 6-0 Norwich City 6

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s: No League Fixture 

Although Division 7NE officially finished two weeks ago due to the lower numbers of participant clubs compared to other leagues, the Dragons 6th team were able to play a final game of the season on the final day of the season thanks to, returning from holiday Captain, Mike Banham and Andrew Cross in arranging a match against 7NE league champions Bury St Edmunds 6. This was held at Culford School in glorious sunshine which put a definite spring in everyone’s step in spite of a breeze not quite matching up in temperature. Due to availability and also with one eye on next season, the 6s took a young squad which included some of the players who had made a breakthrough into regularly playing adult hockey this season and two who were making their debut in the adult game.

An analysis of our starting eleven showed that the forward pair and midfield (three of four…) were 16 or below with our wingers Harry Brown and Toby Campbell being the two development team players who were making their debut in adult hockey. The others in the forward half of the pitch, Tommy Chapman, Ed Crosier, Harrison Richards and your scribe (not included in the younger generation, I’m afraid) had played in the 6s squad for the whole season and were now showing a great deal of potential for 2017-2018. The defensive line was made up from a mixture of youth and experience, with James Hansell, Jack Carpenter (developing into a good utility player) and Alex Riddoch, being partnered by the experience of Ray Hansell and Mike Banham. This balance throughout the team, not forgetting our young but skilful goalkeeper, James King would finish off the season showing that the Dragons 6 team has a lot of potential for the coming season. Having played Bury 6s a number of times this year we knew that they were going to be a well organised team who would be able to take advantage of any breakdown in play or lost possession by us. We also had the record of not being beaten by them all season. The three previous games having been draws of various scorecards; 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3.

From the off, Dragons 6 took advantage of the speed of our younger players and strung together numerous periods of play that involved good vison around the pitch and some great cross pitch switching of the ball which allowed our extra speed to break through the Bury midfield and penetrate into their circle. It was these attacks that culminated in Dragons 6s opening the scoring after 15 minutes. The ball was played out from our own circle by Mike Banham and picked up in midfield. The movement and consistent holding of shape by the midfield and forward line allowed this to develop into another penetrating run down the right wing, the sort of which both Toby Campbell and Harry Brown had been making all game, which resulted in the ball being played into the Bury circle. After picking the ball up, Harrison Richards beat two Bury defenders to play the shot in on goal which was happily received and converted by Tommy Chapman. A happy coincidence considering Tommy’s last visit to Culford ended with a cut lip after a hard tackle. This time it was something to celebrate.

As expected from the league champions, Bury came straight back at us and after a period of cat and mouse in the centre of the pitch they were able to break though and equalise. The dragons defence and goal keeper doing all they could to neutralise the threat but the Bury striker was able to work into the goal mouth and score from close range bringing the tally back to 1-1.

A half time team talk emphasised the excellent play that we were creating and no real changes in tactic were required. The whole squad knew their jobs and were carrying them out to the best of their abilities. The skills they individually and collectively have, proving a match for Bury and this was to be shown by the outcome of the second half.

Much as the first half had shown, the young Dragons 6 squad and debuting players, very evenly match the older but more experienced Bury team. The second half was a close fought affair with both teams sharing the action. Some great vison from members of the Dragons 6s saw wide open play using the full width of the pitch and baseline, and it was only the persistence of the Bury defence and goalkeeper that stopped us scoring again to take the lead. At the Dragons goal end, our defence did sterling work in cutting out the Bury attacks with James Hansell especially making a great effort in both defence, and playing the ball out into the middle third, to open up the Bury midfield. This was recognised by the team at teas afterwards and voted James Hansell, Man of the Match. At the whistle the game ended in a fair reflection of the contest, with the final score of Bury St Edmunds 6     1-1           Norwich Dragons 6.

The game was played with an excellent attitude and sprint and both teams should be commended for making this a fitting and satisfying end to the 2016-2017 season. For Bury 6, they now move up to division 6NE and will be playing our Dragons 5 team next year. For the Dragons 6s, we have some great young players both in the squad currently and moving up from the Development Boys squad next year, with potential to make a great combination for next season. Coupling that with the experience of players like Mike Banham and Ray Hansell mentoring their progress, the future looks rosy for the Norwich Dragons 6 team.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 5-2 Dereham

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2-1 Magpies

NDHC League Match Reports: 18/03/2017

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-0 Norwich City 1

Even possession in the first 10 minutes made it a difficult start for both teams.

Dragons had the break with an early short corner which was delivered to Hayley Toleman who slipped to Hannah Phillips  who slotted home in the bottom left corner with ease.

The game opened slightly and city had a break just a few minutes later, which ended in a shot on target which needed the quick feet of siobhan cleeve in the dragon’s goal to execute a fantastic save meaning that dragons continued to hold the lead.

Dragons were unfortunate not to add to the tally when Issy Wolfe had a storming run down the left side beating 2 players and gaining entry into the D to then fire in a reverse stick pass across the goal which would only have needed the smallest of touches.

Possession continued to be even but quality defending by the dragons made it impossible for city to catch a break.

And with that the 3rd short corner of the game was awarded to dragons..initially the ball seemed to stray but determination from Lara Taylor and quick reaction from Marie James meant the ball fell comfortably for Hayley Toleman who smashed it home for goal number 2.

A late counter attack by city meant the dragons defence needed to be o point and once again they did not disappoint.

Half time – 2-0 dragons!

The second half started with the same dynamics as the first. Even possession with neither team dominating meant it was becoming difficult for dragons to increase their lead that was until – the 60th minute when dragons were awarded their 4th corner of the game. A perfect drag from Holly Redding to Olivia Thomas who stopped the ball comfortably for Hayley toleman to slip left for Hannah Phillips who hammered home her second, dragons 3rd and making it 75% goal rate from short corners!

City did not stop the fight and troubled the dragons enough to earn themselves a short corner. The corner from city was well worked which meant the dragons defence had to cover every angle which left the shot for siobhan cleeve who effortlessly cleared the high shot to her right..another fantastic save to keep hold of the clean sheet!

City attacked and with fearless goal keeping again siobhan cleeve came out to make a storming sliding tackle in the dying seconds of the match!

Dragons take a 3-0 win and hope to retain this winning form for the penultimate game against old Loughts at home next week.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-1 Colchester 1

Dragons Ladies 2s welcomed Colchester 1s to the Den for a key game for both teams in the battle to avoid relegation.  The home team were boosted by the availability of two key players in Lizzie Moulton and Marcy Windsor Waite and felt confident with their recent upturn in form and ready to overturn the 3-0 defeat in the away fixture at Colchester.

The hosts started brightly, forcing a few short corners in the first 10 minutes and were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, through the midfield of Shelly Seaman, Lizzie Moulton, Gail Thomas and Helen Busfield.

The introduction of Kiera Goymour and Hannah Hardy after 10 minutes had an instant impact and as a result of some good hassling in midfield, Gail Thomas found Shelly Seaman from a free-hit, Seaman fired the ball into the D towards Laura Ward and Lizzie Moulton who managed to find Hannah Hardy waiting to pounce on a loose ball in the D. 1-0 to Dragons.

Defensively, Dragons looked strong with Donna Vaughan, Sarah Borrett, Rowie York-Smith and Captain Karen O’Neill-Simpson snuffing out attempts by Colchester to find away to Emma Cleland’s goal, however when the defence was breached or from Colchester short corners, the visitors found Cleland was in fine form, clearing the ball with feet, legs and hands!

Unfortunately for the home side, a Colchester short corner on 31 minutes was fired into the corner of the goal, the first half finished with another Colchester short corner, however this time the threat was dealt with calmly, by Keeper Cleland. The halftime teamtalk focused on being more composed on the ball and to look to improve possession of the ball.

With just two minutes on the clock, Dragons had restored their lead.  Some good possession down the left allowed Karen O’Neill Simpson to feed an excellent ball up the line to the ever lively Laura Ward, who drove with pace at the Colchester defence and into the D, the speedy Marcy Windsor Waite had also raced into the D, where Ward played a perfect square pass which Windsor Waite fired goal bound, Ward was then on hand to force the ball over the line.

The whole team gave their all for the remainder of the game, to ensure an invaluable 3 points remained the property of the home team. Dragons joint Players of the Match were the hard working Shelly Seaman and Keeper Emma Cleland, who once again was in fine form.

So with one game to go, three teams are left to fight it out in the relegation battle in Div 1N; Colchester, Lindum and Norwich Dragons 2s all vying for the one remaining place to secure their status in this league. Whatever the outcome, Dragons have gone out fighting and they should be encouraged by their recent form.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 3-0 Dereham 3

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-1 Evergreens 1

With just two wins and two draws, the core of the 4s squad has battled through the season and learnt how to play on with pride despite the results. Consistency of availability for matches has been a challenge for the Ladies 4s this season and Saturday was no exception, resulting in three youngsters being given their adult team debuts. The squad was also boosted by two Gresham’s school girls being given permission to play and a late availability change from another, and so a squad of 13 was assembled, with the luxury of two subs.

With the Dragons Ladies 3s having drawn 0-0 with this opposition the previous week, the 4s knew they were in for another tough match in Holt, however they were buoyed by the travelling supporters and prepared themselves well for the challenge.

The visitors absorbed lots of early pressure and started to grow in confidence as the youthful defence of Bella Capps, Emma Woodhouse and 13 year old debutant Sophie Barrow picked off the Evergreens attack, with Alice Smith issuing instructions from behind and clearing up any balls that did sneak through.

The experience in the team came in midfield, with Hannah Ellis, Clare Moylan (Captain Clare for the day) and Mel Widdows working hard on the game plan of protecting the centre of the pitch and looking to feed the ball wide at every opportunity to the speedy youngsters in the team.

The midfield dynamos of Sophia Haehnelt and another 13 year old debutant, Maddy Reynolds, showed great pace and skill to create problems for the Evergreens defence, linking up excellently with forwards Catherine Longe, Anja Finegan, Lucy Morton and another debutant Niamh Somers.  Chances were created, one falling to Niamh Somers, who calmly swept the ball towards goal, only to see the Evergreens keeper reach low to her left to clear the ball.

Dragons had the ball in the net from their first short corner, and whilst it was awarded by the home umpire, after consultation with his colleague, the correct decision was made to disallow the goal given the ball had not come out of the D.  The determination of this team would not allow this disappointment to impact them and they continued to create chances.  Some good link up play with Maddy Reynolds resulted in Catherine Longe picking up the ball just inside the D, from where she fired a powerful shot at goal and into the back of the net.

Evergreens were an experienced side that pressed well, putting pressure on the Dragons defence for all freehits and eventually they forced an equaliser with a scramble at the near post being forced over the line, much to the disappointment of the young dragon side.

The second half saw a stalemate, with the latter stages seeing the ball getting stuck in Dragons defensive left corner and not being able to bring the ball out, the game finished as a 1-1 draw.

Player of the match was given jointly to the experience of Hannah Ellis controlling the centre of midfield and to Sophie Barrow, one of the 13 year old debutants that showed great composure and skill at right back.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 5-2 Dereham 4

This week the 5th team traveled to Dereham for a tough and crucial game, looking to overturn the 2-1 defeat against Dereham 4s earlier in the season.

With a rare weekend off for their inspirational captain and some other squad changes, a win was needed to keep the teams promotional chances alive.

Team contribution and effort is what the 5th team have excelled at all season and despite some players playing out of position was absolutely what delivered a resounding win on the day. Our thanks must also go to Sarah Wagstaff for her insightful and valuable input at half time and throughout the match it made a real difference.

The first half was end to end and saw Dereham go 1-0 ahead with Dragons struggling to really test the Dereham keeper despite some good periods of play. Dragons having to work really hard to contain the strong Dereham offense. Luisa Valentini having another excellent game, making some key saves and always directing the defense.

However a great move down the left started by Cath Mares saw a probing ball put across the circle and rebound from the far goal post. Adita Naik was well positioned to slot the ball home to bring it back to 1-1.

The second half was a much different affair and Dragons stretched the Dereham team, playing with far more fluidity and confidence.  Creating space and far more chances Dragons capitalised on a number of opportunities and short corners to score 4 more goals. The scorers being Jemima Williams (first goal for the team and what a goal celebration), Lucy Buxton, Helen Marsh and another one for Adita. Dereham pulled another goal back but were never going to threaten the result of the match with majority of play in the Dereham half.

The defense of Louise Davies, Jemima Williams and Cath Mares were superb , composed and organised, smothering any Dereham threat. Vicki Early worked tirelessly as ever  across the whole of the midfield to mitigate Dereham’s strongest players. Ginny Simkin, Kerenza Moffett, Helen March and Lynne Price created a cohesive midfield unit working to create and use space down both flanks which the forwards of Amy Forse, Lucy Buxton, Adita Naik and Laura Hansell capitilised on brilliantly.

Thank you too for all the 3rd team support on the sidelines!!!

So a 5-2 win for Dragons and all to play for next week with all top 4 teams playing each other to decide the promotion and league winners.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 4-2 Herlings

Ladies 6s had another fantastic run on the pitch today, Despite previously having slow starts in matches, Dragons were fierce from the second the starting whistle was blown, this resulted in Anita Mancini scoring our first goal within the first two minutes of the game. After some lovely passing and use of small triangles from the Dragons we were able to get the ball into the Defensive circle to then be awarded a short corner, once it was taken Jemima Dorman was ready on post which resulted in the ball smoothly being slipped into the goal making us 2 nil up. Shortly after Herlings managed to get the ball past our keeper Kat Speirs making the score to 2-1 before half time.

As the second half began Herlings upped their game and grew into the match meaning Dragons had to show more strength and depth from the forward line to the defence, by tracking their players runs and intercepting their powerful hits into the centre of the pitch. During the second half again we were awarded short corners which were all drilled consecutively resulting in another two smashing goals to be scored. Our third goal was scored by Lizzie McDonnell after a slide from our captain Beth Elgood, followed by a belly flopped slide from Liz deflecting the ball to the back board. Our last and final goal was scored by Lilly Sore after a short corner the ball travelled around the D but luckily Lilly was there on the left hand post to get the last touch sending it into the goal. Dragons fought very hard using all the energy they had left in them to score the final 2 goals.

As a whole Dragons worked collectively as a team to continuously keep the ball in our scoring half of the pitch, our defenders being Kate Atkins, Nicola Robinson, Hannah Woods and Ruby-Rose Turrell were very quick to distribute the ball out wide to our mid-fielders, who were able to channel it up the pitch to the forward players. Hannah Edwards played well and was able to consistently keep the pressure on her marked player, unfortunately she then took a hit to her ankle leaving her to be sub off for a short while, but before we knew it she was back on the pitch maintaining the pressure. Beth Coates too managed to maintain the pressure for Herlings and doing some great runs and passing. And with her powerful hits Sue Brumley was always fighting back with her opposition and determined to use the whack she has to hit the ball either across the D or to a team mate.

The Player of Match was a tough decision as everybody played well but the vote went to Jemima Dorman and the Doughnut of the day was awarded to Mia McGhee for her clumsiness and missing the target! As a whole Herlings were a nice team to play against, and they definitely made us Dragons work hard and they didn’t show any signs of giving up and they showed excellent grit and determination just as we did.

What a great way to end our final home game of the season!!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 5-0 Magpies 7

Dragons 7 faced Magpies 7, and after winning first push back, went on the attack from the start. Magpies had some strong, skilled and experienced players but Dragons used what they had learnt in training to get around them and stop them from scoring.

Dragons scored 3 goals in the first half. Goal number 1 came in the first 10 minutes when a scuffle in the D saw Kelly Mills nudge the ball past the keeper. Sophie Thurtell scored next, putting a lovely shot into the goal. The third goal came from a short corner. Defender Frankie Paul (POM) stepped up to receive the ball, giving it a firm strike to hit the back board and her first ever goal for Dragons!

The second half saw Dragons tighten up their play, marking players and being first to the ball. The rotating midfield of Floss Andrews, Alice Bishop, Stevie Spencer, Amelia Keitley-Webb, Maisie Dearmer and Claire Fairhurst worked the ball around, using the width to push the ball up the pitch, making use of the triangles and passing back to get the ball around. The forwards of Kelly, Sophie, Jess Vernon and Katie Moulson were all ready and waiting to receive the ball and get into the D. When Magpies did manage to get hold of the ball, Dragons defence of Frankie, Katy Saide and Emma North were there to stop them, with keeper Emily Roper on hand to watch the play and make all saves necessary. Dragons hard work paid off, and 2 more goals were scored by Katie and Maisie.

Dragons were pleased with the result and the #supersevens are ready for the last match of the season!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0-3 Carrow 2

Another disappointing result for the 8s, but another match in which it could be said they showed some improvements in the areas they are working on. Dragons had some excuses this week, in that four players were suffering the effects of heavy colds, and then four more players were injured during the course of the game.

Carrow showed their intentions from the outset by being first to the ball and picking up any passes that were not properly weighted or accurate. Dragons gradually worked themselves into the game, and began to get their triangular moves going. Bridget Le Good was probably at her most effective at the top of the diamond, and she could find Louise Brooksy Brooks at left mid who sent the ball on to Gemma Ballard covering the left side of the forward line. Tracy Stewart-Sheppard was as effective in reaching Lois Metcalfe and then on to Katy Cole, who did some excellent running across the forward line and led by example in tackling back.

Only one goal down in the first half, Dragons looked very likely to be able to score. They had three penalty corners this week and some more shots on target. A facial injury (stick – again) reduced Bridget’s effectiveness somewhat and in the second half it was Brooksy (POM for her efforts and skills) Gemma and Katy who kept Dragons on the move. Katy was playing right mid in some of the rotations and was very effective.

The 8s welcomed back Shaniece Claxton, who showed no ill effects from her head injury and went bravely in on the tackle and did some good runs.  Ruth Barton was back in defence after several weeks absence, but unfortunately an early injury reduced her mobility. The intention had been to keep the defenders in place, but although Jo Baker, Jess Lockwood, Johanne Steward and Ruth blocked several runs and Ali Pellegrini made several good clearances, it was in the close-scrimmage work that Carrow made their presence felt and succeeded in poking the ball home, so Amy Forse changed the positional play midway through the second half.

Anna Chapman moved back to right back as Dragons tried to re-balance their team as the sore knees, sore elbows and strains began to take their toll. Lois did her best to encourage Dragons to keep their shape, and there was one glorious three-player move – from Jo, to Brooksy to Gem – that got the ball from the defence into the circle, But on the whole, the 8s once again were trying so hard to get the ball up to the forwards that then tended to lose their shape and forget about the marking. Something else that worked well – the free hits were being taken quicker. So, just one more match to and still lots more work to do, but the 8s continue to enjoy their hockey.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 5-1 Norwich City 3

Norwich Dragons Men’s 1s took a step closer to their season’s aim of promotion from Division 2 North with a comprehensive defeat of local rivals Norwich City 3s in a 5-1 victory.  In the process, the Dragons also managed to secure the relegation of the City team who were new to the league this season having just been promoted.

The Dragons were the more dominant of the two teams throughout the opening passages of play, maintaining a great deal of possession and managing to secure most of the early chances.  The first goal eventually came from a deft Matt Knights deflection, after a Richard Gill well-guided hit into the D.  City managed to get a goal back, their only real chance of the game after a dubious short corner was converted.  Rupert Snelling extended the Dragons lead at the end of the first half however and with a 2-1 lead the team went into half-time aware that the score was still close.

The second half display was much more assured from the Dragons and as the game wore on, Dragons extra numbers and supreme fitness showed with Matt Knights extending the lead from a well-executed short corner routine and Dave Sloman making his first appearance of the season for the Men’s 1s added to the lead after a well taken goal, slipping the ball under a helpless City keeper.  Mitch Smith making his final appearance of the season made it 5 with a well taken goal, after some excellent work from eventual Man of the Match Ollie King.

A win next week against March Town will secure promotion for the team.  

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3-2 North Norfolk 1

Dragons Men’s 2s produced a defensive masterclass to somehow beat North Norfolk 3-2. With usual availability low this week, the Petes (Davison and Thomas) and Piers Gordon-Brien were called up and skipper Jason Wolfe was coaxed out of retirement to give the away side a bare eleven.

Dragons went 2-0 up early courtesy of penalty flicks from Jason Wolfe and Lewis James Wilkins. The first flick was awarded for a foot on the line after a Wilkins shot and the second was won after a mazy Jenkins run from virtually the half way line into the D where a Pete Thomas reverse stick effort met a North Norfolk foot on the line.

However, after 15 minutes, the complexion of the game changed as Andy Hipper lost two teeth with a direct hit to the face. With no subs available, Dragons’ 10 men parked the bus in a performance Jose Mourinho would have been proud of.

Dragons managed to repel attack after attack from the home team and relied on some quick counter attacks and individual skill to venture into North Norfolk’s half to release pressure. Just before half time, a Wilkins ‘deliberate’ foot made the task even harder as only 9 Dragon players were left on the pitch.

A half time team talk jumped between the task in hand and Hipper’s inevitable trip to hospital and logistics behind it. Hipper wouldn’t allow Dragons to take anyone away from the game and found his own transport back to Norwich, giving Dragons a glimmer of hope.

The second half followed a very similar pattern to the first. However, this time, pressure eventually told as weary Dragons’ legs meant North Norfolk clawed it back to 2-2.

In a frantic last five minutes, there were numerous green cards for both teams, a disallowed winner for North Norfolk and one last short corner for dragons after Jenkins brought down a Wilkins aerial in the D with a defender punished for not being five yards. Fittingly, Jase, on his return from retirement, nailed in a rebound from a Pete Thomas flick in the last two minutes of play.

It was a Herculean effort from all of the team and every single player played their part to pull off a seemingly unlikely victory. This was represented as the whole team were awarded man of the match. Definitely one for the scrap book and a match that everyone involved will be telling their grandchildren about in years to come.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-2 UEA 2

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 3-3 Norwich City 5

Dragons travelled to Taverham to face City, who fielded a strong side as they looked to secure their spot in the league for next season.

City made a bright start to the game and before the Dragons had a chance to get into it, City had scored 2 goals, with their aerial tactics taking a bit of getting used to.  A third goal followed for City, taking them 3-0 up after about 10 minutes.  Chris Millar in the Dragons goal made several excellent saves to limit the damage.

To their credit, Dragons didn’t allow their heads to drop and started to come back into the game.  The defence of Dave Pentin, Andy Carver, Paul Keating, Jon Price and Phil York-Smith organised themselves to deal with City’s attacking players.  York-Smith showed City a few aerials of his own, aiming towards the Dragon’s forwards Jon Chaney Baxter and Adie Kemp, though the experienced City defenders cut out these balls most of the time.  Dragons continued to improve as the half wore on, Rich Phillis and Rob Jenkins working hard to mark the City midfielders and break up the play, whilst Nick Turner, McCartney Aldous and Rob Chaney Baxter were particularly energetic in moving up and down the pitch on the wings.

The Chaney Baxter brothers started to get more possession and caused City increasing problems with Jon’s slick skills a great foil to the pace and directness of Rob’s attacking runs.  Shortly before half time, they combined to bundle the ball in, Rob claiming the final touch, making the score 3-1 to City at the break.

The second half was pretty even, both sides creating a number of chances, however it was the CB brothers who stole the show.  Dragons pulled a further goal back when Jon received the ball midway into the City half, turned and beat a couple of defenders before slipping the ball to Rob who slotted home.  3-2.  Rob then completed his hat-trick and levelled the scores with a fantastic solo effort, attacking down the right hand side and beating the onrushing City Keeper (ex-Dragon Rob Coyle) with a dinky lifted finish.

The game was played in a good spirit and well umpired.  Dragons finished the happier team, the draw feeling more like a win.

Man of the Match was Rob Chaney Baxter for his excellent work rate and 3 goals.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-8 North Norfolk 3

After handing out a few cricket scores this year we ended up receiving one
after a trip to cloudy cromer with a mixture of 5th and 6th team players. We
lost, but there were some great 5th team debuts for Harrison Richards and
Jack Carpenter who were very keen and gave the team some real energy. Cromer
Academy turned out to be our right winger’s old school to which he gave us
an insight into school life and what he got up to in the shower block?
Needless to say we were changed and in the club house fairly quickly gulping
down a well earned chilli. Well done to James King in goal who is getting
more confident with every game and on to next week.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s: No Fixture 

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 5-4 Norwich City

We started off well in the first 15 minutes and after some amazing running we scored two well deserved goals. Then Norwich City pulled back with a goal from a short corner and a scruffy goal.
At half time our coach gave us a rousing talk and we went back into the game. The talk paid off and we scored another goal early in. After some great passing we got another goal. Even though we were playing well Norwich City slipped another goal in. This goal gave our players the determination to push back hard and we scored our 5th goal. But at the end of the game we lost concentration and in the last minute Norwich City scored a goal from a short corner.
Final score: 5-4 win to Dragons.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 1-2 Norwich City

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 11/03/2017

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 4-4 Bromley & Beckenham 1

Having put 8 goals past Brom & Becks in the first half of the season, the Dragons were confident of a win back at the Den.

The dragons have recently changed formation with the aim of playing a more attacking brand of hockey and at times this formation allowed them to play fast, positive hockey. There is still work to be done however, to ensure that they are not caught on the break. Unfortunately for the Dragons this weekend, as with last, as soon as they scored, the opposition returned to equalise.

The teams seemed very evenly matched throughout the first half but some excellent attacking play from Stacey Lee led to a penalty corner for the Dragons. The initial strike fell to Sophie Mullan, who converted it and put the Dragons 1-0 ahead. Quickly though, the opposition equalised. The Dragons regrouped and some excellent attacking play down the left found Hannah Phillips at the top of the D. The keeper was expecting a cross and Phillips cunningly fired it in to the goal to put the Dragons 2-1 ahead. Despite solid defending from Jenkins, Reding, Murray and Cleeve, the opposition found the back of the net just before half time.

After some stern words at half time from Coach Thomas, the Dragons knew they had to keep possession and eradicate the unforced errors. Sophie Mullan, who went on to win Player of the Match, was dominant in midfield and she combined excellently with Marie James and Olivia Thomas to give the Norwich women the edge. Shortly after half time, the Dragons won another penalty corner and this time, Phillips powered it in to the back of the goal from the top of the D. 3-2 Dragons. Yet again though, Dragons lost possession in the middle of the pitch and were punished by the clinical finishing of the visitors.

Aoife Lowe-Davies who is storming the second half of the season found herself in some space and charged towards the goal. Some individual skill and a clever finish took the Dragons 4-3 up with 10 minutes to go. Sadly, however, the Dragons could not hold on to the narrow lead and with the final play of the game, the jubilant visitors equalised leaving the game tied at 4-4.

The Dragons have much to learn from this game. They will hope to build on their performance in the forthcoming weeks.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 3-3 City of Peterborough 1

Dragons made the long trip west, with some making a lengthy diversion, but still arriving at Bretton Gate in good time. With some unavailability in the squad, Dragons welcomed back U16 Lara Taylor to the squad and gave deserved 2nd team debuts to U18 Charlotte Pounder and U16 Esme Potter, both of whom had been impressing in the 3’s and 4’s over recent weeks. Some would be forgiven for thinking Dragons would be fortunate to take anything away from this fixture, with City of Peterborough all but promoted into East Premier (a win would have secured their promotion), but Dragons have shown some steel in recent weeks and weren’t about to be defeated easily. The team were also ever grateful to Keeper Emma Cleland for travelling with team, despite originally being unavailable, but changing her plans to be there.
In the early minutes, Peterborough looked the stronger team, however Dragons settled and started to find their game, pressing the Peterborough back line at every opportunity. Laura Ward and Charlotte Pounder were putting pressure on the defensive line and managed to win the ball on a couple of occasions, earning Dragons what turned out to be their only short corner of the game after 14 mins. Issy Wolfe injected to Donna Vaughan who calmly stepped past the defensive runner and fired into the corner for an early lead.
The home team were unsettled; to their credit Dragons were hunting in packs and winning the ball in midfield, through the extremely hard working Shelly Seaman and her fellow midfielders Gail Thomas, Issy Wolfe, Karen O’Neill Simpson and Lara Taylor, who were snapping in on the tackles and generally winning the battles in the centre of the pitch.
Dragons continued to pressure the Peterborough defence and Laura Ward, showed her pace and tenacity, by winning the ball from the central defender and taking an early shot at the keeper, the initial effort was saved, but Ward calmly picked up the rebound and rounded the keeper for a 2-0 scoreline at half time. This was a lead the visitors deserved going into the break.
Peterborough were always going to come out strong and to their credit they did exactly that, their dangerous forward picking the ball up on the right and firing a strong right to left effort neatly into the corner, with just 1 minute of the half gone. Dragons knew they were going to be in for a tough half, but with Rowie York-Smith and Donna Vaughan in commanding form in the middle, supported excellently by Sophie Thomas and Esme Potter, the defence was looking strong, however Emma Cleland in the Dragons goal, still knew she needed to be alert, and alert she was, making some fine stops, especially from the many short corners that Peterborough were awarded.
Whilst the home team pushed forward, Dragons always threatened on the break, with the speedy quartet of Ward, Pounder, Wolfe and Taylor getting in behind the Peterborough defence and always creating opportunities. It was from one such break with 12 minutes of the half gone, where the busy Shelly Seaman found Laura Ward deep in the D, her trickery and movement evaded the defenders and keeper to score another goal, (her 5th in 2 games), making the score 3-1.
Peterborough’s coaches pushed the team forward and Dragons were made to pay for a series of sloppy passes on 18 minutes of the half, allowing Peterborough to drive into the D and fire the ball across, which took an unfortunate deflection off a Dragons stick, just evading the keeper. A number of short corners continued to be awarded, however the defence snuffed out the danger well, with Keeper and PoM Emma Cleland making some strong saves. Unfortunately however on 26 minutes, another short corner was deflected off a defender’s stick high, over Cleland in for the equaliser.
Dragons saw out the remainder of the game, despite further home short corners, a fine final save from Cleland sealing the point.
Having been described as the ‘lowly’ Dragons by Peterborough ahead of the last fixture, after which Peterborough were relieved to grab a 2-1 win, Peterborough’s twitter feed this time round, said that Dragons were ‘surprisingly strong’ this week, which is a credit to the squad members that have battled all season and this week’s debutants.
Dragons were all disappointed to not be taking the 3 points home, given the team had worked extremely hard, with the new players to the team slotting in seamlessly and throughly enjoyed their first ever experience of East League Hockey. It’s not over ’til its over, and this team will continue to give their all in the final 2 games.  When Peterborough gain the point they need for promotion, Dragons Ladies 1s will look forward to welcoming them to the Den next season.
Peterborough’s published report on the match here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-0 Evergreens 1

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 4-0 Carrow 1

On a sunny Saturday morning the Ladies 4XI travelled to Langley to play Carrow 1XI in what was arguably the most important game of the season. We had, as ever an inspirational talk on the side-line which saw the girls put their game faces on. We started strong from the off-set and took possession straight away. Harriet Green was playing it down the right, linking well with Clare Moylan and Lucy Morton. We were on the attack from the off-set. The Pressure from Sue Cross, Megan Williams and Catherine Longe were bringing saw the first goal go from Helen Marsh hit the backboard  after 10 minutes of play. We remained calm and maintained possession through the half, having many short corners that we just couldn’t finish. The second goal finally came with a smash from Catherine Longe into the bottom corner. Helen Marsh, Harriet Green and Mel Widdows held the midfield and we scored our third just before the final whistle by Catherine Longe. After a calm team-talk by Sarah Wagstaff and some celebration from Megan Williams, we didn’t get complacent and started as if the score was 0-0. You could tell we were tired and the second half started with a number of attacks from Carrow. With Sarah Wagstaff, Kath Mares and Lou Davis at the back staying strong and Alice Smith making a number of saves we managed to start the attack again.  The fourth goal game from Harriet Green where she nut-megged the keeper to make the score 4-0 to dragons. Lucy Morton and Megan Williams kept attacking but unfortunately we couldn’t finish it. Dragons win 4-0 

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 6-1 Reepham

On our home game the 5’s had drawn against Reepham, a robust team so we had to give it our best.  From the beginning of the game, we looked like we were just warming up until Reepham scored their first goal then it was time to wake up – and we did!!!! Lisa Harwood worked hard to drive the 5’s onwards and upwards to a win, no one wanted it more than her! The determination from our fabulous skillfull defence Jemima Williams, Katie Franks, and Ginny Simkin kept their attackers at bay and had them sussed and worked tirelessly fighting to keep the ball out of the ‘D’! The first goal came from Vicki Earley from a short corner rebounding off the keeper, then the goals came! Lucy Buxton used her amazing skills back flipping a goal in the far corner of the goal, after scoring a fab goal before that making it 3-1 in the first half.

That didn’t stop the 5’s with our amazing team work and camaraderie! We went on to score 3 more goals – 1 from Amy Forse’s amazing strikes into goal, Lynne Price (Neeps) technically calculating and precision guiding it into the goal, and Aditi Naik was well positioned to push the ball into the goal from a cross. Fiona Fletcher held her position on the pitch with great ball skills and strength on the ball, Catherine Matthews stepped up to take on a robust Reepham player with guts and confidence only just missing out but tracking back to defend and win the ball.  Rachel Mattthews was fab at taking the ball along the left and no one could touch her eventually passing it down the line for the attackers to move onto, Kerenza Moffatt was tricky to remove the ball from with her super slick skills.  The team talk at the beginning gave us the motivation we needed, followed by Neeps team coaching to guide us!  Luisa Valentini, our Keeper and POM, was phenomenal, she guided the force at the back giving us the confidence and strength to keep going as well as keep herself going with her brilliant keeper skills – well down 5’s – unstoppable!

6-1

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-2 Evergreens 2

So, the first challenge for a couple of Dragons was to locate the pitch.  That done Dragons got off to a pretty good start but before we could settle properly Evergreens smoothly down the middle scored a goal which sadly Dragons just watched.  Some knuckling down was needed but before Dragons really did that Evergreens scored again with a great strike.  Obviously some changes were needed and it was easy to identify where we were going wrong but not so easy to fix it.  Luckily we had Amy managing the sideline today and she put her mind quickly onto the task.  She made changes in the first half mostly to our midfield to counteract what Evergreens were doing to us  mostly by way of their star player at number 32.

Dragons dogged determinedness and Amy’s strategy turned the game.  Our first goal came from Jemima after some great play between her and Lily in the circle.  Belief and our signature short pass game came back and at half time being behind didn’t  affect the positivity running through the team.  Second half strategy Beth E sacrificed her usual distribution game to mark out Evergreens influential player and Amy moved our midfield around to support back and front.  Dragons settled quickly in the second half to our usual comfortable team passing game and the second goal came from Lizzie with a great strike through the goalie.  Some lovely play all round but particularly from Jemima up front, Hannah Woods dominating our defence working hard with Cat and Beth E (POM) absolutely in control of  that influential Evergreens player.  The winning goal  from Beth Coates was unsurprising.  Her first stint up front she settled in position well resulting in a screaming goal – literally!

Mentioned a few names here but as usual Dragons 6s did it together.  Some interaction with the Umpire (or is it ref!) caused some smiles  to add to what was really an enjoyable game against a side who made Dragons work very hard for another win.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 0-6 Broadland 3

Dragons 7s knew they were going to have a tough match against top of the league Broadland 3s, and they were proved right.

Broadland won the toss, taking the first push back and were on the attack right from the start. Dragons defence of Frankie Paul, Emma North and Katy Saide had their work cut out aiding keeper Emily Roper from keeping the ball away from goal. Unfortunately Broadland’s skilful play and strong hits meant they took the lead early on. The rotating midfield of Claire Fairhurst, Floss Andrews, Alice Bishop, Maisie Dearmer, Stevie Spencer and Esme McKinnon-Evans all worked tirelessly to stop Broadland as much as they could. Dragons remembered their passing play, using the wings and calling for the ball, aiding each other to get to the waiting forwards. Kelly Mills, Katie Moulson, Elsa Scott and Claire Stuart were always ready and waiting to receive the ball, driving into the D. Dragons had many attempts at goal but Broadland were always there to stop the ball and getting it up the pitch to score themselves. At half time Broadland had managed to get to 5:0.

Everyone shared their views during the half time team talk as to where Dragons were going wrong and how to try and turn the game to their advantage. The talk must have worked as Dragons went into the second half with determination, and they definitely played better. Dragons managed to hold play in Broadlands half, keen to get a goal. Time and again Broadlands held them back. Broadlands scored once more in the second half, bringing the final result to 6:0.

Dragons were slightly disappointed with the result, but knew that Broadland would be hard to beat. Well played by all, onwards and upwards for the last two matches!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0-2 Magpies 7

In a close-fought match, Dragons were left to ponder the fact that sometimes the margins between winning and losing can be very narrow indeed. The two teams were evenly matched, with plenty of good hockey, accurate passing and determined  running. Not very many clear-cut chances were made at either end – the Magpies took two of theirs, whereas the Dragons had a couple of narrow misses.

The 8s began with high hopes. They had possibly their strongest squad available, minus just two. Jo Baker was in charge of the defence as usual and could rotate with Jess Lockwood, Anna Chapman and Johanne Steward. They kept Louise Bondy Bond and Bridget Le Good as their double diamonds at the back, and this is starting to work well when a strong defence is needed. The 8s were spicy in midfield, with Louise Brooksy Brooks combining with Tracy Stewart-Sheppard and Helen Walker rotating in. Sophie Drew was back to add some speed to the right mid/right forward position. Katy Cole, Gem Ballard and Laura McInally were the hard-working roving rotating forwards.

Dragons started a little quietly and a little tentatively, but still had the better of the early exchanges They had a lovely penalty corner chance. Laura, trying injection for the first time, sent the ball firmly to Bridget who trapped it cleanly and slipped the ball left to Gem. Her sharp shot was inches the wrong side of the near post, and Laura, following up, was just shielded out by two Magpies. If only the Dragons could have got a few more penalty corners, they could have influenced the outcome – but it was not to be. Brooksy and Gem, Tracy, Sophie and Katy had good combinations going but two very experienced Magpie defenders were cutting out the final ball into the D.

The one, just the one, through ball, gave Emily Roper no chance, but she showed excellent judgement in leaving some of the long passes to roll harmlessly away. In the second half, Magpies scored from a penalty corner, and it was Dragons’ turn to miss when a lovely cross from the left went zinging across the circle.

The 8s analysed the game, frustrated that all their efforts in training  are not getting a reward. Magpies are currently running into a solid vein of form, but they were beatable. Every Dragons player was working hard, none more than Bondy (POM) who covered the ground and put in some terrific tackles when they were needed most. Possibly the 8s are trying so hard for the win that they lose their shape. The forwards are not receiving the ball, so they tended to creep back to get it. The defence, meanwhile, are drifting up to press the opposition, maybe a little high – but at the end of the day, they did enough to get back, and Ropes was there to stand tall and clear hard.

Into the second half, and some Dragons found the pace a bit hot. As tiredness crept in, and footwork deteriorated, attempts to stop the ball on the reverse inevitably ended in turnover to the Magpies, and our re-setting got slower and slower. However, this did not end in disaster, because the 8s were still playing well in patches. The pressing was very strong. The hitouts and free hits have improved immeasurably. Brooksy, Bondy, Gem and Sophie were full of running and creating good positions. Where Dragons were losing out was just not quite managing to get more ball to Laura and Katy, who ran like crazies and never gave up.

Many thanks to Lily for running the subs and encouraging us all the way through. 8s have been practising a drill on Wednesdays that is developing their skill in weighting a variety of passes, controlling the firmer ball and keeping the move going instead of needing to check. Just a bit more of that and we will have cracked it. We also need some more practice at working the ball into the circle – passing back, rolling round and changing direction, all the moves we have been doing in training. One more all-in session on Wednesday and we will be ready for Carrow, Really, really ready for Carrow.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-5 Sudbury 1

Dragons lost their crunch fixture away in Sudbury in disappointing fashion as a string of fast break goals took the game from them. Richard Gill scored for the away side from a corner rebound but Sudbury now retake the top spot and can secure the league with their game in hand. Dragon’s man of the man went to goalkeeper Peter Dickerson who made a number of fine saves and played the second half in extreme discomfort after taking a hit on the elbow from an opposition stick.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 11-1 Sudbury 2

The Norwich Dragons’ Men’s 2nd team had a very strong team on paper for this division 3NE fixture, and so it proved on the pitch as well.

The tone was set in the opening few minutes, with Henry Laming carving open the visitors’ defence with pace and skill, and combined with the deft hands of Alex Stone, the team created a number of chances. In fact the home side could easily have been 3 goals up inside the first 10 minutes.

The deadlock was finally broken after a delightful run from Stone was slotted past the keeper and crossed the line despite the despairing efforts of a Sudbury defender. This seemed to spark Henry Laming, and his brother Max, and several penetrating runs yielded a goal for the senior Laming (Henry). Two further simple, well-worked goals from Rohan Kaushal, including a nice strike from the top of the circle, gave the home side a 4-0 lead at half-time, although having hit the crossbar and post twice it could easily have been more.

Complacency was the biggest risk to the Dragons, and it was pleasing to see the team go further ahead within 40 seconds of the restart (Chris Simmonds). It was at this point that Sudbury hit back with a long ball counter attack that found a forward in enough space to wrong-foot Giles Brooks in goal and pull one back. This encouraged Dragons to tighten up a bit, and a relatively quite 10 minute period was suddenly followed by a flurry of goals right up to the final whistle. Kaushal ended with 4, Henry Laming & Simmonds with 2 each, and one for each of Max Laming, Oli Browne & Alex Stone.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-0 Dragons 4

A much anticipated game and one that the Men’s 3s knew they needed 3 points from to keep them pushing for promotion and the Championship.

It was the Men’s 4s who started the brighter, pushing high and putting the 3s under pressure.  Towards the end of the first half, the 3s started to pass the ball confidently and this opened the game up.  Slick passing culminated in a goal for Matt JENKINS to take the 3s 1-0 up going into half time.

The second half saw the 3s continue to pass the ball well and they managed to cut out balls hit through the middle to keep up their attack.  Short corners didn’t result in any additional goals, though Matt JENKINS bagged another goal mid second half.  Man of Match Rob GOODSON earned his plaudit by being a stalwart in the middle.

With Felixstowe losing, and the 3 points gained from this encounter, the 3s gain promotion.  Next week is a crunch game against league leaders UEA, which may decide who finishes Champions.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-2 Dragons 3

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-0 Sudbury 4

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s: No Fixture 

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 0-0 Magpies

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

Busy, if a little damp, day for Young Dragons

Norfolk B & C Team Tournament Results at Harleston

Boys U10s

1st Norwich Dragons

2nd Norwich City

3rd Harleston Magpies

Boys U12s

1st Norwich City Saxons

Joint 2nd – Magpies Stripes and Norwich City Vikings

4th Norwich Dragons

5th Magpies Red

Girls U10 Gold

1st Norwich City Yellow

2nd Magpies White

3rd Green Dragons

4th Norwich City Green

Girls U10 Silver

1st Norwich City Pink

2nd Red Dragons

3rd Magpies Red

4th Norwich City Orange

Girls U12 Gold

1st Magpies Red

2nd Norwich City Lions

3rd Norwich Dragons

Girls U12 Silver

1st Magpies White

2nd Magpies Blue

3rd Norwich Dragons

4th Norwich City Tigers

 

Norfolk County Championships at Kings Lynn

U10 girls – 3rd
U12 girls – 3rd
U10 boys – 1st – County Champions
U12 boys – 1st – County Champions

Match Reports here.

NDHC League Match Reports: 04/03/2017

A few snaps from the Den here.

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 4-3 Wisbech Town 1

Despite several timing issues, the Dragons 1s arrived at a muddy Wisbech pitch this weekend, ready to fight for the win.

The Dragons started brilliantly. Slick passing between Tabba Tabrett, Hannah Phillips and Sophie Mullan found Stacey Lee, who calmly played the ball past the Wisbech keeper to put the Dragons 1-0 up with only 5 minutes played.

Unfortunately, Wisbech counter-attacked quickly and found their way to the top of the D and slotted the ball past Cleeve in the dragons’ goal. This was to be the pattern for much of the game as Dragons went 1 ahead, only for Wisbech to break and equalise.

Sophie Mullan dominated the midfield throughout the 70 minutes; she was the catalyst for some of our better periods of play and ensured that the Dragons kept the majority of possession.

Another period of excellent passing play and some individual skill found Stacey Lee 1 on 1 with the keeper. The Wisbech keeper took young Lee out at the knees and a dramatic fall persuaded the umpire that a flick was in order. Step forward Tabba Tabrett. Tabrett deftly pinged the ball in to the top right hand corner of the net (she’s got other moves too) and the Dragons went 2-1 ahead.

Swiftly after the Dragons had gone 2-1 ahead, a loss of possession in midfield led to a piercing Wisbech run and the home team equalised. 2-2 at half time.

Throughout the match, despite a lot of provocation, the Dragons ladies kept their cool and it was in the second half that they really took charge of the game. James and Mullan combined excellently in the middle of the pitch and Aoife Lowe Davies, who went on to win Player of the Match, divided the opposition defence with her skilful and attacking runs. It was some of this excellent passing and visionary running off the ball from Hayley Toleman led to the Dragons’ second goal. Toleman converted it with her usual clinical finish.

Cleeve in the Dragons’ goal kept the opposition at bay with a series of solid saves and the defence communicated with a rolling cast of extras to ensure Wisbech couldn’t equalise again. With 10 minutes to go, Toleman found Lowe-Davies making a surging run forward, who slipped it past the last line of defence. Lowe-Davies calmly found her way past the keeper and hit the ball home to take the Dragons to 4-2. A penalty corner just before the final whistle saw Wisbech claw a goal back, but the 3 points were in the bag for the Dragons Ladies.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 3-1 Lindum 1

Dragons went into this encounter knowing that it was going to be a close match against a team with a very similar league record to their own. Clearly 3 points was going to be key to both teams. Dragons welcomed back Laura Ward who had been unavailable the previous week.

The slightly delayed start to the game, saw both teams taking a little time to find their passing game, at times being unnecessarily hurried on the ball, when they could have taken more time. The home defensive unit looked settled and strong and snuffed out any early Lindum threats. Keira Goymour and Gail Thomas provided good width for Dragons and looked to release the forwards early, but clear cut opportunities were few and far between in the first half. Just before halftime a Lindum break, saw a strong leading cross-field run from their right forward, who made her way across the pitch, carrying the ball into top left side of the Dragons D and unleashed a reverse stick strike into the far corner.

Dragons were somewhat unfortunate to be a goal down at this stage, but were not about to be beaten and knew they were very much still in this game. They started the second half brightly and had a number of chances with Issy Wolfe and Shelly Seaman starting to take control of the middle of the pitch breaking down Lindum play. With the defence in control, Dragons had confidence to push forward and with 10 mins of the half gone an attack down the right saw Rowie York-Smith and Kiera Goymour combine well to release the ever willing runner Laura Ward. Attacking the baseline, Ward fired the ball into Hannah Hardy, who collided with Keeper and defender. The ball managed to squirm behind the Keeper and Ward, who had continued her run, picked up the pieces to equalise.

This served to inspire the home team, who knew they had the upper hand. The second followed shortly after, a well worked team goal with opposition play being broken down on the right through Issy Wolfe and Gail Thomas, the ball was pushed forward by Shelly Seaman and Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson picked up a lose Lindum pass, Captain Simpson finding Hannah Hardy in the D who was aware of Ward’s intelligent run across the keeper and found her with a pass that needed a deft deflection past the out rushing keeper.

Again not content with 2-1 Dragons continued to press, forcing a couple of short corners, the first defended well, the second saw Gail Thomas and Kiera Goymour combine smartly, once again though it was Laura Ward who was making the run across the keeper and again deflected Goymours’ excellent shot on goal, high past the keeper.

Whilst Dragons had to remain alert in the last 15 minutes (and were ever grateful to their Goalkeeper Emma Cleland, who made some smart saves from short corners), to a player they gave it their all. With strong communication from the back and tireless running from the midfielders and forwards, Dragons saw out the final minutes with few alarms. Laura Ward was deservedly voted Dragons PoM, not only for her goals but for her excellent running off the ball, however the whole team should be proud of the spirit and commitment shown against a well organised and strong Lindum team.

A tough trip to Peterborough next week, with the home team looking to seal their promotion to East Premier, but Dragons will travel knowing that on their day they can be a good match for any team in this division.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-1 Norwich City 3

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-5 Norwich City 4

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-1 Diss

Last time the 5’s played Diss it was a battle start to finish, so we expected another tough game, and they had one more point than us in the league table.  The 5’s had first pushback, Amy Forse passing back to Lynne Price, across wide to Rachael Matthews. Driven forward and intercepted by Diss, Aditi Naik steps in and wins balls from both Diss players, plays ball into D and strikes, the Diss keeper kicks back and the rebound was picked up Lynne, flicked in and cleared by Diss.  Diss were trying to work out our strategy but Vicki Earley with usual speed picked off any chances in midfield.  On hand in defence pushing up the wings, Amelia Smith, Katie Franks and Ginny Simkin, Ginny’s pass from the sideline into Lynne and up the left wing to Fiona Fletcher.  Diss managed to catch us a few times on the hop when the 5’s didn’t meet the incoming ball.  Diss were ready to take any free hit quickly, so the 5’s had to be alert and get in front of the ball.  Jemima Williams in centre back stayed in position as Diss were trying to get the slip past midfield.  On the left wing the ball was played well between Amelia up from defence to Racheal finding space in the middle.  Both teams having short corners in the first 20 minutes but none converted.  It was end to end and finally a goal came from a short, passed out from Fiona to Lynne, slipped right to Amy, smashed into the goal and a Diss defender stopped it on the line with a foot.  So a penalty flick was awarded, Lynne stepped up to show us her skills and easily slotted it past the keeper.  1-0.  Diss didn’t falter and pushed hard, Catherine Matthews and Aditi were showing their strength in midfield with constant effort and battle. When Diss threatened our D the defence were quick to leap to action and clear the ball.  Our keeper Luisa Valentini was quick to run out and clear any balls, with a massive hoof!  At half time we needed a bit more passion and composure on the ball, knowing the score was close and Diss would come out fighting.

Again the play was end to end and Vicki and Lynne were constantly working to push the ball out wide, the whole team was involved in the game throughout.  Diss won a short corner and tried something different a pass out wide on the right, to a player who smashed in into goal. 1-1.  The 5’s knew the consequences of a draw meaning Diss would still be ahead of us in the table, so we had to keep the pace going.  2 minutes to go and a pass up from Catherine bounced and bobbled past 4 players before being picked up by Lucy Buxton, who calmly weaved past one defender into the D, one on one, the keeper ran out and Lucy slapped it across, and inhale….. it went into the back of the goal.  Massive cheers all round and final whistle called.  Score 2-1.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 1-1 Norwich City 6

We all knew City 6s were to be a tough game but our play has been at its best recently so we battled hard and managed to retain the majority of ball possession throughout. Despite an own goal in the first minute setting us back we then woke up and used short, sharp passes to bring it back. With some excellent defending from Kate, Hannah and Ruby clearing the ball down the wing it gave our midfield a chance to break the ball through. Some great runs were made by Beth Elgood and Lilly to get the ball forward and Anita and Beth Coates was always there with strong tackles to win back lost balls. During the first half the team played really well, fighting for the ball and not being scared of the notorious City hit. Antia’s goal summed up our play in the first half and the high level of possession meant we deserved more, however, their keeper made some great saves which meant we did well to hold them in our half.

During the second half the team was a little more tired and the opposition stepped it up a notch, but we used all the energy we had left fighting for another goal. Some great runs made by Jemima at the beginning of the second half which meant we held them at our end and Nic, playing in the midfield, made some strong tackles to win it back. Despite tiring we played some great hockey throughout the game with Sue and Mia’s runs giving help to those taking the ball. As a team we played outstandingly, really taking into practise what we have done at training recently, we battled hard and did well to hold City at 1-1.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 1-0 Loddon 2

Dragons 7s were keen to get playing again after a 2 week break, facing Loddon 2s.

Dragons got off to an early lead, scoring the only goal of the match within the first 10 minutes. Although buoyed by the early goal and having the bulk of possession, Dragons couldn’t manage to find the back of the goal again. Dragons had lots of chances in Loddon’s D, and were awarded a number of short corners, but lacked the finish required. When Loddon did manage to break through, Dragons stopped them in their tracks and did not let them equalise.

Dragons were pleased with the win, but need to work hard in training and remember to put into practice on match day what they have learned.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0-10 Hornets

Forget the final crushing score and hang on to the fact that up to the 25th minute Dragons had only conceded two goals and looked very much like a team who could make a good game of it against promotion-chasing Hornets. Then, Shaniece Claxton was caught on the forehead by a Hornet stick which absolutely flattened her. Step in Dr Louise Bondy Bond and various assorted nurses and physios to ensure Shaniece got the best treatment. And we even had a proper paramedic with all his proper kit – but even so Shaniece is going to have a massive headache for a few days. Shaniece later went to hospital for stiches.

The game re-started with the second half, and with hindsight perhaps the 8s should have conceded, because we were down to 11 players. We were without Dr Bond for most of the second half, and really missed her. We had been playing a new formation, with Johanne Steward, Jo Baker and Anna Chapman across the back and with Bondy and Bridget Le Good as bottom of the trapezium!! This was a very good idea from our trainers as Bridget and Bondy were able to pick up a lot of the tonking balls Hornets were trying to put through..

Unfortunately for Dragons, they conceded a rash of goals early in the second half when Hales parked a player on their far post. One thing the 8s have to check with their trainers is when a defender has to get in front of a player, and when to stand between them and the goal. This talented young Hornet stung the Dragons at will, despite the bravery of the defenders in going for the ball and slapping the ball away. Anna Chapman had perhaps her best game of the season so far – it was a real blue touch paper day for her as she increased her powered clearances noticeably.

Tracy Stuart-Sheppard and Nic Harrison worked hard and effectively in midfield, but the 8s were under so much pressure that we seldom got the ball through to Katy Cole and Lois Metcalfe. Again. We have practised taking firmer hits, but too many went tamely off the sides. We do have to believe that Bridget (who was POM amidst a cluster of players getting votes) really can get the ball over the half way line and have more players going forward..

We had two more youngsters in the team, Kim Brenchley who could only play for one half, and Liberty Townsend who toughed it out in midfield. Ali Pellegrini stopped loads of shots in goal, and saved a penalty flick! Yay! A slightly disappointing facet of the game was that even after Shaniece’s injury, Hornets hit several more hair-parting high balls. They are experienced enough to know that taking a swing at the ball on a wet pitch without stopping it first is likely to lead to uncontrolled lift. That said, Hornets do what they do very well, and were good value for their win. It was another good workout for the 8s, who yet again worked hard and played with their awesome team spirit.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 8-0 IES 2

Dragons welcomed IES 2’s to the Den with everyone knowing the importance of every fixture from now to the end of the season and with Sudbury losing it was a chance to regain the top spot. After some inspiration from injured captain George Walker and coach Rob Wagstaff Dragons took the field and from the off were in top form moving the ball quickly from left to right running the IES defence ragged.

The early pressure soon payed off with Ollie King converting an early chance with Richard Gill doubling the lead soon after. Before the break, Ben Watson slammed in a special goal, a reverse hit straight into the top corner, making it 3-0.

The half time team talk was very much more of the same due to the quality of the first half from Dragons, with emphasis on trying to score another quickly after the break.

The second half started with IES seeing a bit of the ball however the home side soon got back hold of it and very soon into the second period Ollie King added to his tally. After some more Dragons pressure Ollie King completed his hat-trick just before his stick was shattered due to a hard but fair tackle from an IES defender.

Ben Watson then added to his goal with another reverse hit into the bottom corner this time. In the last 10 minutes’ Dragons took advantage of the fatiguing IES team by winning a succession of short corners with Henry Laming smashing two drag flicks home.

Ben Watson was voted man of the match for some great skill and two good goals.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 5-2 Pelicans 2

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-0 IES 4

After the first 5 minutes where IES pressed high, Dragons got into the game and it wasn’t long until their slick passing and work rate were rewarded.  Lloyd SAYER collected the ball and slammed home a shot into the IES goal.  It wasn’t long after that Will KIRBY hit another in to extend Dragon’s lead.

There was some beautiful hockey on display, with all the team working as a unit, and as a result there wasn’t much that IES could do.  Chances came for a few extra goals and Dragons were unfortunate not to take their lead further.

The second half saw Dragons completely dominate for two thirds.  The midfield cut out any balls through and continued to feed the ball through to the forwards.  The last 10 minutes saw IES rally and put pressure on Dragons.  The defence confidently dealt with short and long corners to once again keep a clean sheet.

Man of match: Will Kirby.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 6-0 Lowestoft Railway 2

At the weekend the men’s 4’s travelled to Lowestoft to face a physical team.

The first half was tight but a few chances did come from Pedro Goss, Rob CB and Jon CB but to no avail. It was only until the last minute of the first half that we scored our first goal of many. A good pass from the back to Jon in the middle allowed him to run past a few players then slip it to Rob. With a quick counter attack, Rob slipped the ball back to Jon and he hit it first time into the bottom corner. It was a relief to score the opener and reflected some good play in the first half. With some great saves from Ben N and some solid defending from Peter and Will we were able to go into the second half in the lead.

The second half came and the team were playing amazingly well as a unit. With great play from the back to Garnett, Nick and Richard, we were able to get forward quickly with fast counter attacks from Adrian Kemp and the other forwards. We soon found ourselves 2, 3, 4-0 up with goals from Andy Carver and Adrian. Rob CB was unlucky to not get a goal but he made sure he assisted the majority of them. We had such confidence in the team and Lowestoft had almost completely given up as the team were playing simple hockey and they couldn’t keep up. They lost their heads and struggled to get a shot on target in the second half. Shortie made some committed runs through the middle from defence almost reaching the D, however when the ball was turned over he would quickly get back.  Our team were solid and organised and 2 more goals eventually came from Jon CB and Pedro. An assist from Garnett for Jon’s goal and an assist from Jon for Pedro’s.

2 in 2 for ‘stand in manager’ John Price and a well-deserved MOM for Ben N. in goal keeping a clean sheet. The men’s 4’s team have guaranteed safety in the league and what a performance to secure it on. The team’s performance was immense and each individual excelled themselves. A 6-0 win well deserved. The play was outstanding and we were too much for Lowestoft in the end as they lost their heads. However that doesn’t take anything away from the performance on the day.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-0 Norfolk Nomads 1

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-2 Newmarket 3

The sun was a welcome addition to the sky and brought the promise of spring as Dragons 6’s lined up against Newmarket 3 at the Den. This was the return leg of a tough pre-xmas match and the squad was in good spirits following a strong run of results. The match started well for the 6’s with the same fundamentals being shown in play as before, with good movement in midfield from Owain Hall and Harrison Richards, with Sam Nutt and Ed Crosier supporting on the wings. Unfortunately, Newmarket showed their strength early on with some neat play and an ability from their defence to play some probing aerial balls in to our half from their 16 yard restart. The game was evenly matched for the first 15 minutes but it started to become clear that Newmarket we playing a man marking game on our two forwards, Rob Lee and Andy Key and this was proving effective in keeping both of the strikers very difficult to find with through balls from midfield. After some pressure from Newmarket, that had been absorbed well by the defensive line up of Ray Hansell, Rich Davis, Chris Orme, Newmarket broke through and found space to slot in a goal from the backhand. Freddie Roques had been meeting every challenge with confidence and skill but despite his best efforts was unable to keep this one out.

Newmarket kept up the pressure from the restart winning a number of penalty corners but the Dragons defence was able to withstand these and continue to give good service up into the midfield. Owain and Harrison along with Shiv Kapur and James Hansell, who were by now playing attacking wide roles, gave 100% effort in trying to break through the Newmarket midfield but were being stifled by the close attention in the centre of the pitch. Half time came with the score Norwich Dragons 0 – 1 Newmarket.

The second half began in similar fashion, with Dragons taking a lot of the possession but being unable to score the crucial goal to bring the game back to even. Newmarket’s unusually tall goal keeper was on top form denying Rob Lee, Andy Key, Sam Nutt and Harrison Richards from scoring. Throughout the pressure and disappointment of being unable to finish the build-up and level the score, everyone continued to play with a huge level of commitment. The midfield especially covering a massive amount of ground to keep the pressure on. Again though, Newmarket’s quality came through and half way through the second half were able to score again to stretch their lead. Norwich Dragons 0 – 2 Newmarket.

The final 10 minutes showed how far the squad has progressed through the season, and although behind, continued to work for each other and never gave up trying to pull the match back. This was important as there was no landslide of more goals against us, or any loss of resilience in the team. Everyone continued to give 100% effort, right up to the final whistle. Ultimately we were beaten by the better team who before the game were looking to gain promotion into 6NE. This was denied by the withdrawal of Ipswich Cranes 2 from 7NE and the change to the division this resulted in. All this means that Dragons 6 should be playing against Newmarket again next season and will be looking to build on this game, to beat them next time we meet.

Unfortunately no goal scorers to list this week, but once again Harrison Richards was voted Man of the Match by the team for his work rate and effort. Due to the I.C. 2 withdrawal, this now concludes Dragons 6 league games for this season. There are still a couple of friendlies to come but the league position finish is now out of our hands. From a personal perspective, I would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome after my (sometimes faltering) return to Hockey this year and for making my time deputising for Mike Banham as Captain, so enjoyable. You are all a great bunch of guys and I look forward to lining up with you all next season. Cheers from your scribe Graham!

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 6-2 Dereham

After a long wait for the Dereham team to arrive at the Den, we finally got under way about 5pm.

Even against two adults, it was a fairly one-sided game, with Dragons playing the better hockey – there were excellent goals scored as we ended up winning 7-2.  Our scorers were Johnny Taylor, Joe Beadman, Will Bowman, Bobby Sheppard, Isaac Diver Hall and James Cross who scored two.

Angus Reid Edwards (keeper) was strong in the goal making good saves.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 2-5 Norwich City

Goals were by: Mac Beaumont
Man of the Match: Mac Beaumont

First half:
Played really well, great goal from Mac, great play all round but city just slipped two goals past, unlucky I must say because it was a great team performance and I think Nat would agree.

Second half:
We came out like we did in the first half, really giving it our all. Mac comes back with another surprise goal to make the game equal at 2-2. City came back and attacked our goal, but Dragons defended well. Eventually City squeezed past our defence and scored a goal making it 2-3  City on the attack and took a shot at goal which was superbly saved by Alex W, play again puts pressure on Dragons defence, another goal  save by Alex W. 2 short corners followed which Dragons defended well. City continued to attack resulting in two more goals.  Final score 2-5

Performance by player:

Arjuna P: great running, wherever they was a space he was there, ready to assist
Alex Brookes: great defending as usual, Brilliant work pace and an absolute star
Alex Wolfe: super saves by this man, pick himself back up every time and he just never gives up
Jacob Hallett: back from a broken leg, this man has still got it, great all round player
Daniel Shirley: good work rate all day, wouldn’t give up on a player even if they pass him
Billy Hall: never gave up, never standing still, always on his toes trying to help
Blue Hempsalll: brilliant defensive play through out the match, always willing to get back
Casper Lind: great mid-fielding play, good tracking back and helping the defence, great work
Will Mares: great working pace from him and always tackling well and stopping their strikers
Mac Beaumont: well what can I say, great work scoring twice and giving our team the confidence to keep going

Well played by all,
See you Thursday, Harry Fuller

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League


Norwich Dragons 6-1 Dereham

During the first quarter of the game Dragons began with a strong start with a narrowly missed goal after a free hit to Dereham. We then ended the first quarter three nil to us. The second quarter almost began with a goal but we narrowly missed. After a free hit though we did score making it four nil to us. We started the third quarter and Dereham began an early attack which was well saved. Dereham then scored making the score four one to us. After Dereham defended against an attack from us we were awarded a short corner from which we scored. The final score was six one to us with great play from everyone on both sides.

NDHC League Match Reports: 25/02/2017

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 0:3 Ipswich 1s

Having suffered a painful defeat to Ipswich in the first half of the season, the Dragons were looking to take 3 points from the visiting team. Ipswich though, sitting in second place, proved to be a difficult opposition.

The ladies started strongly, the Norwich defence controlling play. Lou Murray saw that any opposition breaks were dealt with swiftly and alongside Olivia Thomas, dominated play down the right hand side of the pitch, linking effectively with Marie James in the centre.

The teams seemed very evenly matched throughout the first half; possession was shared and the Dragons looked like they might score on the break. Unfortunately, it was the opposition who took their chances clinically in front of goal, taking the lead in the first half.

The second half saw some brighter spells of play for the Dragons. Lara Taylor surged powerfully down the left hand side and created many chances. The crunching tackles of Hannah Philips and Lou Murray ensured that Ipswich couldn’t relax and the home team kept fighting. Dragons lost possession however, around the 23m line, the ball was hammered in to the D and a freak deflection saw it curve over the defence in to the goal behind. 2-0 Ipswich.

Despite the home team’s best effort to counter-attack, with some fine runs from Tabba Tabbrett and Aoife Lowe-Davies, that elusive goal would not come and eventually Ipswich put one more past the Dragons. The match ended 3-0.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 2:3 St Ives 1

Arriving to a cool and blustery St Ives, Dragons squad were facing their 3rd game in 7 days and one which was important to both teams. Dragons having earned a good point against 3rd place Dereham 1’s in midweek, knew they needed to build on this performance. With Laura Ward unavailable, Shelly Seaman stepped up to the forward line for Dragons.

The visitors started the game brightly, forcing a short corner after two and a half minutes. They took immediate advantage, with a sharp routine saw the ball find Donna Vaughan in space who rifled home. Unfortunately the lead didn’t last long, with the home team finding their passing routine and forcing their own short corner after 5 minutes, which too was powered directly into the goal.

Dragons were winning the ball, but on too many occasions giving away possession too easily, but they had their share of attacks and possession. One such attack saw them secure another short corner after 22 minutes, following good work which could easily have seen them awarded a Penalty Flick. Regardless, Dragons worked another good routine and once again Donna Vaughan stepped up – the effort not quite so cleanly struck, but never-the-less the same result. Once again however, Dragons couldn’t hold onto the advantage long enough, as within just 5 minutes a St Ives short corner again found the back of the net.

Short Corners really were the story of the half and in all honestly, the only way either team looked like scoring; with a final short of the half, a well worked effort by Gail Thomas and Hannah Hardy unfortunately hit one of their own players feet, as it headed goal-wards.

The second half got underway, with both teams knowing the importance of the next 35 minutes. It would seem, the 3 games in 7 days had taken its toll on the Dragons or whether it was that St Ives were just that bit more determined and better drilled, but the home team put the pressure on the earned themselves a Penalty Flick, to the surprise of most players on the pitch. It felt like justice was done with Emma Cleland in goal making a fine save. The hope would be that Dragons would be encouraged by this, but they couldn’t turn their possession into any real attacking threat. With just 8 minutes left, St Ives attacked down their right, and despite some valiant defensive work, the ball was forced past the unsighted Cleland.

Dragons Player of the Match Donna Vaughan looked to push the team up, with her strong hits through the strong St Ives press, however there wasn’t the penetration or the numbers getting ahead of the ball to seriously trouble the home defence. The game fizzled and the points were gone. In all honesty, a disappointing performance in what was a key game for Dragons.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 3:0 UEA 2

Dragons made the short journey to UEA this week, and after a commanding team talk by guest captain Tash Falzon (bring back memories from last season) headed out for an extended warm up.  This week saw a much changed team, with Bella Capps debuting, whilst Esme Potter, Charlotte Pounder and Catherine Longe were welcomed back into the fold.

UEA started strongly, holding a lot of the ball and pressing high, this continued pressure lead to a few short corners for Dragons to defend in the opening 10 minutes, all cleared by the defence of Sarah Wagstaff, Carmel Windsor-Waite, Angela ‘Spike’ Murgatroyd and Bella Capps. Dragons then spung into life and when player of the match Charlotte Pounder received the ball on the halfway line with nothing but space in front of her, she drove forward, round an incoming defender and smashed the ball from the top of the D to make it 1-0 Dragons.

This spurred the team on and made Dragons show what they could do, midfielders Hazel Sumner, Debs Smith, Esme Potter and Trish Hagan moving the ball with pinpoint passing, Dragons were holding majority possession leading to shot after shot but unfortunately no goals. This changed when Catherine Longe received the ball on the baseline, and powered it through a near impossible angle to beat the keeper.

Shortly afterwards, Dragons found themselves camped in UEA’s D again, Catherine crossing to Caroline Wolfe who was poised 3 yards out,  deflecting  the ball into the net for a 3-0 half time score.

The second half saw UEA coming through more often and quicker, leading to keeper Kristina Smyth having to make a number of saves. With the positions slightly out of the norm this week, Tash Falzon who was playing up front was very unlucky not to get on the score sheet when her effort right on the inside edge of post was saved with the toe of the diving keepers stick. Dragons forwards continued to be frustrated by the UEA keeper, who had an outstanding game, and despite some excellent play the game ended with nothing further to show for the Dragons, who should be proud of their performance.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 1:5 Dereham 3

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 3:0 UEA 3

In Division 1 the teams in the top half of the table are very close in points, so a win was needed to keep us close to our competitors.  Although UEA 3’s are low in the table we have found sometimes this does not always reflect the team’s performance.  So, the 5’s needed to be strong from the start and play our usual teamworking game.  Many thanks to Claire Fairhurst and Emma North for running the subs in near freezing conditions!!  The 5’s had first pushback, Lynne Price picked up and distributed wide to Aditi Naik who ran the wing and passed in to the D.  UEA were alert and their defence moved quickly to close down play.  The first 15 minutes was a back and forth affair and the 5’s looked a little lacking in their usual energy, running into the opposition and getting intercepted.  Then several attempts on goal buoyed efforts, Fiona Fletcher and Lucy Buxton were picking up balls and working the UEA keeper, who was like tigger rejecting all attempts.  Catherine Matthews was finding space on the right wing and dodging the opposition. Uea didn’t find much space and couldn’t make much progress through Lynne and Vicky Earley the dynamic duo.  Kat Spiers in goal was almost an ice statue as Jemima Williams, Lou Davis and Amy (Feel The) Forse were quick to close down and out skill any UEA forward attempt.  They were also pushing high to give more support and options for play.  Rachael Matthews mastering the left wing working well with Vicky to distribute the ball.  The first goal came from Rachael picking up the ball from Lynne and bringing it into the D, smashed across the D and just poked into the goal corner by Catherine.  Half time called and although we were winning and had about 10 chances on goal we needed to actually score more goals.  With Lynne’s calm words of wisdom we set out with more enthusiasm.

UEA managed to take a chance and get into the D and Kat was quick to kick the ball clear.  Lynne was pressuring the UEA defence by feeding the ball into the D, again Lucy, Aditi and Fiona were working the keeper.  We had a chance on a short corner, Lucy injected the ball, Lynne passed right to Lisa Harwood, who swept it across to the left post, just missed by Lucy who was in a good position waiting for the pick-up.  Our defence again was pushing high and giving support Lou sped up the right wing dodging the opposition and slotted the ball across into the D, where Lisa crossed it to the left post, for a waiting Lucy, who got this one into the goal.  2-0!  The UEA keeper was on fire and stopped a lot of goals, still the 5’ kept attacking, the next goal came when the keeper went to ground and the rebound was crossed to Lucy on the P spot who calm and collected again found the back of the goal.  3-0 and another 3 points.  Player of the match was Lou who supported and distributed the ball and gave 100% effort.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 2-0 North Norfolk 2

This was always going to be a close game, with North Norfolk being just one place below us in the league and the last game against them resulting in a 0:0 draw. However, the ladies 6s have come a long way since that freezing game in Cromer and with two weeks of solid wins we were feeling confident and strong.

Dragons started well, with some lovely accurate passing along the wings, small triangles enabled us to control pace and allowed the ball to move quickly up the pitch. Good communication between midfield meant Dragons were on the attack straight away, with Anita Mancini and Nicola Robinson (POM) distributing the ball out wide to the waiting wingers who created the space for the forwards to push through the defence. Great runs from Ginny Simkin, Ellie Hipper and Beth Elgood all saw the ball getting close to the goal and Dragons came close to scoring on several occasions.

The first goal came from a short corner that was initially saved, with the ball going out wide, this was picked up and hit straight back at the goal to find the waiting stick of Jemima Dorman, who neatly chipped it into the corner for a goal. North Norfolk tried hard to counter with a couple of quick breaks, but solid communication from keeper Luisa Valentini enabled the defensive line to work as a unit, blocking out players and channelling the ball out. Hannah Woods, Frankie Paul and Kate Atkins all took opportunities to turn the play around and move the ball back towards the opposition’s goal.

The second half saw Dragons continuing to apply pressure, this time mixing up play, varying between using the wings and cutting into the middle, this switching of play enabled us to take the upper hand and take control of most of the play. Lizzie McDonnell had a couple of lovely shots on goal, but a very handy keeper was able to save them on the line. The second goal came from Mia McGhee, a lovely sweep of the ball passed the keeper who had already gone down to save a shot from the top of the D.

North Norfolk found some lovely play towards the end of the second half and made some great runs, putting Dragons on the back foot. A solid effort from all was required to stop them scoring. Some great backing up from Rosie Skipp and Lilly Sore in midfield made sure that the score remained 2:0 when the final whistle blew. A lovely, friendly game that was enjoyable to play and saw the Ladies 6s make it 3 wins in a row.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0:1 Loddon 2

Drat! Everything was set up for the 8s exactly as they wanted it, but in a close fought game they lost by a single goal, a penalty flick. The 8s had perhaps their strongest team available; a 13-player squad and a manager to run the subs, but despite hard work by everyone and some good passing hockey, it just didn’t work out.

The 8s are just on the edge of putting a very good game together, and as always played to give every team member plenty of encouragement and it was a very enjoyable contest – a bit frustrating that they  can’t just nail that win.

For the first quarter, the 8s tended to play without width, and with too many players in the middle, there were times when they were unsure of who was going for the ball. This is partly due to the fact that although the 8s had some good players, they do not play together, and the two-week break took its toll.

However, some constructive shouting from Katy Cole and Jo Baker got the Dragons into order, and Louise Brooksy Brooks on the left began to get Gemma Ballard away. Alice Bishop was pushed wider out right and had more room to use her speed.

This week, the defenders had Jo Baker central, who set a fine example of how to block the through ball and then send it out to a Dragon. Johanne Steward was on the right, Jess Lockwood, Anna Chapman  were in the rotation and Tracy Stuart-Sheppard was particularly strong at the bottom of the diamond and distributed some good balls.

Dragons were eager to score, and the defence and mids pressed on. But Loddon were very good on the counter-attack. Striking their passes a little more firmly on average than the Dragons they had a couple of forwards very capable of picking up the through passes and bi-secting the 8s defence. Dragons were playing well when an umpire spotted just a touch of ‘back of stick’ and awarded a penalty flick. Ali Pellegrini reached it but could not keep it out, and that was the winning goal. After that, Ali was on fire throughout the match and kept Dragons in the game. Standing tall, time and again she did enough to force the Loddon forwards into failing when they were clean through on goal, and she was the Dragons’ POM.

The close-passing game was serving the 8s well, with Brooksy and Gem building their understanding on the left and with Alice feeding Katy  and Lois Metcalfe on the right. But, this was yet another game where what was lacking was the incisive/decisive pass into the circle, and the link play between mids and forwards needs improvement. The Dragons gained no penalty corners and only a couple of longs, and in that they were unlucky because they had plenty of possession in the middle of the park. Nic Harrison was back again at the top of the diamond and impressed with her stamina and her tackling.

Practice in training showed improvement in three areas that the Dragons can be pleased with. The free hits are coming along, especially when Jo or Bridget Le Good take them. The 8s are definitely getting better and quicker at resetting all over the pitch, and their W presses worked well.

However, the football feet were back this week and we definitely need to work on being ‘first to the ball’ in all areas. Our marking was inconsistent. The 8s have a very good short passing game, but do need to work on firmer strokes. We were very grateful to Claire Fairhurst for running the subs for us, and the experiment of giving the mids 7 minutes worked well. Thanks also to Em North for all the support and lots of lovely productive analysis  by the team at teas afterwards. Come on 8s, we can get this win we want so much..

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 1:2 Dereham 2

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3:3 Ipswich 2

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 5:2 Pelicans 3

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 2:1 Newmarket 2

Missing their captain Rob Jenkins who was away with his agent at the newly formed Chinese Hockey league the team took to the field knowing a win would almost guarantee their league status for another year.

To a man the team put in a massive effort and constantly pushed and probed the Newmarket defense with some good attacking hockey. One such move saw new recruit Aaron Curtis smash a reverse hit shot passed the diving keeper to make it 1-0. We kept on pressing and harrying and put their defense under more pressure – maybe a little too much as par as Jono C-B was concerned who earned himself a green card!

Newmarket grew into the game and started to attack with greater resolve. Inevitably a goal resulted and we went into the break all tied.Encouraging words spoken and we started the second half determined to come away with all three points. It was quite an eventful with one of our most experienced players being wiped out and having to leave the field of play. Rob later went to A&E who confirmed his season is over and is now in a sling!.

Not to disappoint Rob we took it upon ourselves to try and win an excellent running and determination from Connor Adams meant Aaron could score his second.

A good effort and result by the whole team but their could only be one man of the match – Nick Turner who controlled the midfield all match.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 0:2 Felixstowe 3

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 5:1 Bury St Edmunds 7 (friendly)

A short but ultimately sweet write up from the Dragons Mens 6 team this week. As this was a slip week for the 6s due to the odd number of teams in the 7NE, a friendly was arranged against Bury St Edmunds 7. Although we had played this non-league team before, they were always a well turned out squad and well coached by the staff at Culford School and the Bury club. The 7s are also joining the league next season so this was another valid test of the Dragons 6s.

We took a squad of 12 to the match and were looking forward to another strong result. Right from the off it looked very much like Dragons were the stronger team and we quickly settled in to a rhythm of possession and movement, camping for long periods in the Bury half. Every so often Bury would break out for their half and had some pace on the ball to run it though to our circle. Nearing the end of the first half Bury made one of their occasional probes into our final third and after some neat play slotted in a goal. Although completely against the run of play this was taken their stride by all of the Dragons team, as they knew that we had dominated so much of the first half that it was only a matter of time before we started scoring. And this is how is subsequently turned out.

After a half time discussion and re-assurance that if we stuck to the plan that we would be able still be able to come away with a result, the second half commenced.

Almost from the off, playing with the same assurance and style of the first half the goals started to come for Dragons 6s. The midfield section of Owain Hall, Jordan Hambling, Tommy Chapman and Harrison Richards were working well, both in support of the forwards, Andy Key, Rob Lee and Ed Crosier, and in their own individual runs into the Bury circle. This resulted in two goals each in quick succession for both Harrison Richards and Rob Lee. Rob with some great movement directly in front of goal and Harrisons weaving runs into and through the Bury defence with assured ball control. While the flood gates were opening at one end, the Bury team continued to push into the Dragons half which resulted in Tommy Chapman picking up a painful looking split lip after collecting a Bury stick in the face. Although he had to go off injured, subsequent checks showed there was no permanent damage. This led a quick reshuffle with Andy Key dropping back to support the defensive line of Ray Hansell, John Butler and Jack Carpenter. As always the defence were having a great game with a solid wall and good vison moving the ball out of defence into the midfield. Our goalkeeper Freddie Roque, playing his first adult away game, showed how much potential he has by pulling off a couple of top quality saves. One from a high Bury ball which he palmed away confidently and then in the last 10 minutes making a fantastic save at full stretch to tip the Bury ball off his foot, on to the post for it to be cleared away.

With Dragons still pressing hard, Harrison Richards stepped up and took the opportunity to score his hat trick from open play. This sealed the match and also won Harrison Man of the Match from the team vote.

The game finished in a satisfying win for Dragons 6 and was the second game on the trot where we have scored 5 goals. A real credit to all the team and sets up the return league game with Newmarket 3 nicely next week. With the home advantage, this scribe is hopeful that we can overturn the away result and show just how far we have progressed as a 6th team squad.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 8:0 Norwich Dragons B

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 0:8 Norwich Dragons A

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2-0 Watton

The match started off well with the ball mostly in our possession and some good clearing from the defenders. We needed more movement upfront in order to get a goal and there was lots of work around the outside of the D but not much inside. In the second quarter both the Charlottes worked well together to get the ball into the D with Sophie Barrow making sure it was always upfront. We got a few short corners and Charlotte Knight set the ball up perfectly for Charlotte Carr to score. During the third quarter an early goal by Becca James gave us more confidence and the ball stayed upfront. The defenders made sure that not many could get past and Stella made some excellent clears. During the last quarter we got many short corners but sadly none of them went in. The ball stayed up our end mainly the whole game with an occasional breakaway from the opposition. Well done to everyone who played.

Girl of the game: Charlotte Knight

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England Hockey u14 Girls Midlands League 4
Norwich Dragons 2-8 City

We had a tough game on Sunday; we played Norwich city and unfortunately lost 8-2.

We kicked the game off with a fantastic goal from Connie Scott. However, this was followed by a strong City attack mainly in the dragon’s half but our defense worked extremely hard to keep them out of the goal area. Dragons very quickly gained confidence and matched City’s attacks with exciting end-to-end hockey.

City’s persistence earned them two quick goals.

There was great teamwork between Lucy Buxton and Mid-Field in the D, creating tension on the sidelines but unfortunately it was a very near miss.

City’s 3rd and 4th goal came from two short-corners.

Our second goal was scored shortly before half time, great teamwork and passing in Mid-Field finished of by Harriet Marlee.

Dragons maintained pressure around the Goal but could not get the ball into the net, finishing the first half 7-2 down.

Despite 5 goals down, Dragons came back out in the second half wanting to win as always! Playing a more determined game and continuing the end to end excitement of the first half , dragons were able to demonstrate how evenly matched both teams were, by only conceding one goal to City.

Today, even though it was hard, we played really well!! Player of the match was Harriet Marlee. Well done everyone!!!

By Tanzin Sisterson

NDHC League Match Reports: 18/02/2017

Photos here from yesterday’s M4s, M2s, L1s & M5s

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division


Norwich Dragons 1s 3-1 Maidstone 1

After a frustrating match against Cambridge University last Saturday, the pressure was on for the Norwich ladies to take 3 points from visitors Maidstone.

The Dragons started strongly, taking their time on the ball and effectively switching play through the on-form defence. Olivia Thomas and Lou Murray combined well down the right, feeding Tabba Tabrett and Stacey Lee up front. A period of sustained pressure led to a Dragons’ penalty corner. The initial strike was saved, but Reding was once again lurking on the goal post, ready to convert. She calmly slotted the ball past Maidstone’s keeper to give the Dragons the lead.

Maidstone turned up the pressure though and Dragons’ defence were put to work. Jenkins, Limmer, Murray and Reding maintained composure and control though and deftly dealt with any marauding runs from the opposition. Sophie Mullan’s athleticism helped on many occasions, as she came back to support the defensive efforts. With 5 minutes until half time, Mullan robbed an attacker of the ball in our defensive D and passed out wide to Liv Leary. Leary found Stacey Lee near the half way line. Lee charged at the Maidstone defence, skilfully beating several players. Toleman meanwhile had made a wonderful run and Lee picked her out at the top of our attacking D. A first time hit beat the keeper easily and Toleman and a great team effort took the Dragons to 2-0 at half-time.

Dragons came out fighting in the second half, with Hannah Philips and Marie James dominating the mid-field. Toleman and Lee were placing pressure on the Maidstone defence and it was their efforts that led to a mistake by the opposition. Dragons played the ball forward and the Maidstone keeper left it to go safely over the line. Unfortunately for her, it hit the post and Lee was there to follow up. The keeper threw herself on the ball and on to Lee, who was unable to move. No penalty flick was awarded though and the match continued.

Some excellent link up play from the Dragons found Olivia Thomas in space towards our 23m line. Thomas drove assertively towards the goal and slipped it left to Hayley Toleman. Toleman found Lee in space and Lee then passed it beyond the reach of the charging goal keeper to take the Dragons to 3-0.

Despite the goal advantage, Dragons then went through a period of sustained pressure from Maidstone. A combination of questionable decisions and some fiery competitive spirit from the Dragons meant that the team spent some time in the second half with 10 players. Yet, once again the defence repelled waves of Maidstone attacks. Some great goal keeping from Cleeve largely kept the opposition at bay, but they eventually managed to claw back one goal.

An excellent team performance but with some areas still to work on, the Dragons will look to capitalise on this performance going in to next week’s game.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-2 Magpies 2

Dragon’s welcomed Magpies to a relatively warm Den, compared to the previous week. The teams were raring to go, although their start was delayed a little, awaiting the arrival of the Umpire from the other pitch! The home team welcomed Aoife Lowe-Davies back into the team.

Once proceedings got underway, it was clear it was going to be a tight game, with Magpies pressing and forcing Dragons defence to be alert from the off, however Dragons themselves looked dangerous on the break, with the visitors relying heavily on Kath Johnson to protect the D. Unfortunately two quick breaks in the first 15 minutes from Magpies, saw the home teams’ defence breached, both goals were well finished by Anna Tighe, leaving Keeper Emma Cleland little chance.

Dragons did not get despondent and continued to play their hockey, with some strong attacks down the flanks through Aoife Lowe-Davies, Karen O’Neill Simpson, Sophie Thomas and Gail Thomas. Issy Wolfe was once again working extremely hard in the middle to break down play and to create opportunities for the willing forwards runners, Laura Ward and Hannah Hardy and whilst they had chances, the Magpies keeper was being well protected.

The second half saw Dragons continue their high workrate and being encouraged by their sideline supporters, started to put real pressure on the Magpies backline. With Shelly Seaman, Sarah Borrett, Rowie York- Smith and Donna Vaughan holding the Dragon’s defensive spine together, they needed to be at their best against an ever threatening Magpies attack. Eventually, Dragons earned only their second short corner of the game through Ally Windsor-Waite attacking down the right. From the short, Gail Thomas slipped to Donna Vaughan whose initial strike was blocked, the rebound coming to Ally Windsor-Waite who reversed the ball into Laura Ward. Ward still had a lot of work to do, but wasn’t about to be defeated and her persistence was rewarded, forcing the ball under the keeper.

Despite further pressure, the equaliser wouldn’t come and Magpies sealed the win. Issy Wolfe earned Player of the Match award for the second consecutive week, but there were other strong performances across the pitch. Whilst sounding like a broken record, it’s heads up, dig deep and keep working for each other, and for the Dragon on our shirts!!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 5-0 Carrow 1

Ladies 3’s win 5-0 away against Carrow 1’s. Dragons had a slow start to the game, playing at the oppositions pace and making many hit-or-miss passes. Not manipulating the space efficiently we often ran into the opposition, closing down the space ourselves and running into contact.

However, once settled into the match Dragons stepped up their game and began to play to their own standard. Increasing the use of 1st and 2nd touch passes enabled them to increase the pace of their game and play effective triangles around the opposition. A strong back line, often pressing forward, created an overload at our attacking goal, leaving the opposition under constant pressure. Now using the space to their advantage and sending 100% passes, Dragons kept possession and worked around the opposition up the pitch. Finishing the 1st half at 3-0 with goals from player of the match Sian Lawrie and Chuckle Brothers 1 and 2 (Katie McKenna and Debs Smith).

The second half saw in more of the same team effort with superb linking play and short, sharp passes working the ball up the pitch. Dragons scored a 4th goal from a lifted ball from Hazel Sumner across the goal to Caroline Wolfe who then volleyed it into the back of the net. Finally, finishing off the game Dragons scored a 5th goal, scored by Helen Busfield with a raised ball into the goal from a broken-down short corner.

Overall, great team effort ladies and a special mention for Kristina Smyth for sticking out 70 minutes despite getting 1 touch on the ball, to Mumma Falzon with her expert timing on the side-line and to Esme Potter who played her first match with the 3’s! Well played everyone!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 6-0 Watton 3

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s: No Fixture

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 4-2 Cambridge Nomads 1

Dragons took to the road for a crucial match against third-placed Cambridge Nomads, knowing that their promotion and championship hopes faced a stern test. With Sudbury not playing this weekend the top spot was ripe for the picking.  Dragons put out their youngest ever first team with call-ups for George Bowman, Charlie Nunn and the more veteran Rob Wagstaff.

The game started poorly for Dragons as they struggled to adapt to a slow pitch.  After several turnovers in dangerous places Nomads were able to break and take the lead with a well-worked goal.  Dragons kept working hard and gradually play improved.  A quick break put Ollie King through to beat the keeper and efficiently set the game level.  The remainder of the first half was finely balanced with a flicked corner goal deceiving the Dragons keeper and a worked tap-in for Snelling levelling things before the whistle.

In the second half the Dragons work-rate began to pay dividends against a tiring Nomads defence.  A penalty corner was smashed home by Ben Watson and Snelling was able to put the game beyond doubt scoring his second and Dragons’ fourth.  Dragons now top East Division 2N with 5 matches remaining.  Man of the match was awarded to Jonty Gosling for a strong midfield performance where he was often the instigator of his team’s best attacks. 

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Mens East League Division 3NE


Norwich Dragons 2s 7-1 Lowestoft Railway 1

Jase’s red army put in their best performance of the season, beating Lowestoft Railway 7-1.

In a match which the home side dominated from start to finish, the score could have easily been double figures. In the opening ten minutes, Alex Browne latched onto a loose ball in the D to score and this was followed up by a cool finish by captain marvel, Jason Wolfe, to put the home side into a two goal lead. Dragons made it three to the good after Richard Gill’s laser guided aerial across half the pitch picked out Ed Murphy, who ghosted into the D and cleverly used a defender’s stick to put the ball over the line. On the stroke of half time, a short corner was converted by Alex Browne, his second, to put Dragons four goals up and with half the game left, the half time talk was about pressing home to advantage to improve the team’s goal difference.

The second half followed the same blueprint as the first. Two more short corners were converted by Alex Browne, and it was Alex Browne, this time from open play, who finished off a cross from Wilkins after he had combined with Pebble. Hit on counter from one misplaced short, Dragons were unable to keep the clean sheet they deserved – a small blip on an otherwise fine performance.

Dragons will be hoping to continue this rich vein of form going into the match against Ipswich next week.

Man of match, unsurprisingly, was Alex Browne who slotted a hat trick of short corners and two neatly taken goals!

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 4-2 Lowestoft Railway 2

The Men’s 3s travelled to the UK’s most easterly pitch to play Lowestoft Railway 2s.  Having beaten Lowestoft 8-0 in the first half of the season, Dragons were confident they should do well.

It was Lowestoft who started brighter, perhaps being used to an incredibly sandy pitch, and slipped a ball through to a very spritely forward, who managed a bobbling cross which was hit into goal.  Dragons didn’t let this get them down and they worked hard to claw back an equaliser through Tom VAUGHAN.

Due to the sandiness of the pitch it took Dragons this first half to get used to the conditions, and the unpredictive nature of receiving the ball, which often spun.

The second half saw Lowestoft take the lead again through a short corner.  Dragons kept their heads up and started to pass the ball around beatifically, and this led to Lowestoft getting frustrated.  One incident led to a Dragons player spending some time on the bench, but was closely followed by a Lowestoft player.

Dragons equalised and then soon after took the lead, with goals from Ali SMYTH and Tom VAUGHAN.  Lowestoft tried again and again to smack the long ball to their speedy forwards, but Dragons worked hard, particularly Man of Match Rob GOODSON, who with the midfield, kept the ball getting through.  Good build up play by Dragons led to Dragons getting another via Matt JENKINS, and there was the sense the game.

Once again, a Lowestoft player was shown yellow for aggressively confronting a Dragons player, and a moment  later, Lowestoft were awarded a short corner.  The umpire informed the Dragon defence that time was up, and they knew they had won, and finished the game strong by clearing the ball.

A very physical encounter, but Dragons proved that cool heads and composure led to better hockey being played, and a victory.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE


Norwich Dragons 4s 0-1 Pelicans 3

After some difficult recent fixtures, Dragons were looking for a win to restore some momentum after the Christmas break.

Pelican’s travelled with a squad of just 11, but this included some wily defenders and skilful and pacey attackers.  In the first half of the match, they created a number of chances and only the excellent Chris Millar (PoM) in the Dragons’ goal kept the scores level at half time.

Dragons’ enjoyed some good possession but struggled to create many clear chances.  Both teams pressed hard for the breakthrough but it was Pelicans who scored what proved to be the decisive goal of the match with about 10 minutes left.

Dragons kept working until the end, but were unable to get back into the game.  The attitude of the side remains positive however and the younger players continue to improve.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE


Norwich Dragons 5s 2:1 Dereham 4

Mens 5s had a good run out against bottom of the league Dereham 4 winning 2-1. Although the scoreline was close the dragons side were fairly dominant and missed countless opportunities up front to increase their advantage. There was some great linking play in the middle of the park from Sol Blazer and MOM George Bowman skipping around the Dereham old boys like they were statues but we struggled to finish the moves off. Great team attitude and morale and it’s great to see the younger players taking responsibility and control the game.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 1:13 Norwich City

Going into the early morning game, Dragons Dev ‘B’ team were hopeful of a good performance. We faced sustained pressure from the outset from a strong passing City team. Unfortunately, despite making some good plays, we didn’t have enough players in the D who could capitalise on the passes. Going into half-time it was 9-0 to City. After an inspiring team talk by Jason (who wanted us all to try our hardest and get one goal) we played much, much better in the second half, even getting some shots on goal. After Owain’s exquisite pass to Johnny, he took it 20 yards down the line and passed to Isaac who neatly finished it: we had our goal and spirits were high. After this, Dragons were up for the game a bit more. Despite a few more goals from City, they didn’t dent our team spirit and we kept the strong opponents to 3-1 in this second half. Alex Wolfe got a deserved MOM. Well done to all players and thank you to our coaches and supporters, Jason, Kath, Owain and Butts. Onwards and upwards, Dragons!

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 11/02/2017

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 2-3 Cambridge Uni 1

After a hard fought draw with top of the league Bedford last weekend, Dragons 1sts were looking to take 3 points from Cambridge University, sitting  just below them in the league. Unfortunately, just 38 seconds in to the match, Lou Murray was struck on the chin and subsequently spent the rest of the match on the sideline. Sophie Mullan stepped in to join the defence and had a great game haranguing the Cambridge attack.

The defence withstood a great deal of attacking play from Cambridge, who were fit and well drilled. Sarah Jenkins, who would ultimately win player of the match, commanded from the back again, ably assisted by Hollie Limmer and Holly Reding. On the attack, Dragons looked dangerous but despite a couple of breakaway efforts, could not convert. The dragons repelled many waves of attack but Cambridge won a host of penalty corners, from which they eventually scored 2 goals. They were 2-0 up at half time.

The opposition caught the Dragons sleeping as the match restarted and they scored a 3rd goal soon after the break. But never a team to give up, the Norwich ladies fought back bravely. Siobhan Cleeve kept the score as low as possible with a handful of incredible saves and the defence worked hard to repel the opposition. With 20 minutes left to play, Stacey Lee and Liv Leary combined effectively down the left hand side of the pitch and managed to scramble the ball over the line to pull one goal back. Lara Taylor battled bravely on the right throughout the game and continued her sterling work. 

Tabba Tabrett’s energy and fight were undiminished in the second half and another goal line scramble led to the Dragons being awarded a penalty flick. Tabrett strode to the spot, and against an old acquaintance in goal, expertly brought the score to 3-2 with a brilliantly taken flick. There were a couple more opportunities, but it was not to be and the match ended 3-2 to Cambridge.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-3 Lowestoft Ladies 1

Whilst the temperature was barely 1 degree, the pitch was clear and games at the Den never in doubt. Dragons warmly welcomed back Natalie Beal and Laura Ward into the the squad, in this key game against Lowestoft, who were buoyed from a great result the previous week.

Dragons had the better of the early encounters, dominating possession and creating one or two good chances, through Laura Ward, Natalie Beal and Issy Wolfe, but as usual Kate Bond was dominant in the Lowestoft goal. Whilst Dragons had the lions share of possession, Lowestoft always threatened on the break and the defensive unit knew they had to keep focussed. They had to defend a couple of Lowestoft short corners, which Emma Cleland and her defensive unit dealt with well.

With no goals going into the break, the Dragons Coach asked for more of the same, knowing their jobs defensively as a team and knowing their chances would come. Laura Ward set up Hannah Hardy whose early sweep strike was well saved. Then with 10 mins of the 2nd half gone, Dragons earned their first short corner of the game, they knew what their plan was and it was executed to a tee, a strong injection from Issy Wolfe allowed Gail Thomas and Hannah Hardy to combine well to force the ball past Bond for the lead. Dragons knew one goal wouldn’t be enough and continued to push forward, Player of the Match Issy Wolfe was holding her position well and helped create opportunities for the forward line, with both Beal and Ward coming close.

A second short corner for Dragons after 20 mins of the half, was a well drilled routine, with the ball coming out to the 25, which was fired back into the D by Karen O’Neill-Simpson, finding Nat Beal, who had an initial strike which popped up, finding Shelly Seaman in perfect position to deflect the high ball home, to give Dragons a 2-0 lead.

Credit to Lowestoft, who were driven forward by their influential Captain and weren’t about to be beaten any time soon. For 60 mins the home team had dominated, but what transpired over the final 10 minutes was difficult to explain……. Lowestoft pulled one back following a strong drive down their right, pulling the ball across the D to be slotted in at the back post. Minutes later, an attack down the left saw an infringement in the D leading to a short corner, which was powered home by Lowestoft to equalise with just 3 minutes left in the game. Then came the complete sucker punch for Dragons, a short corner conceded with just seconds remaining and the ball forced home to seal all three points for the visitors.

Huge disappointment for the home team having dominated the game, but respect to Lowestoft for never giving up. The team will pick themselves up, dust themselves down and go again, as their performance for the majority of the game deserved better – sport can be cruel, but its how you respond that makes you stronger!

A few snaps here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-0 Norwich City 2

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-1 UEA 2

Ladies 4s lose 4-2 to Magpies 4s. Both goals from birthday girl Catherine Longe who was also awarded Player of the Match.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-1 Beccles

Ladies 5s win 3-1 against Beccles in an extremely cold match…Scorers were Captain Lisa Harwood, Fiona Fletcher and Liz McDonnell. PoM was Catherine Matthews who worked tirelessly all game and had some great tackles as well as working the ball up the wing.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 2-1 Norwich City 5

Wow! What a game. Dragons came face to face with a City side on a drive for promotion. Having only lost 1 game, scoring 101 goals and conceding just 11, taking a point, let alone 3 was going to be a challenge.

However, Dragons 6s are a fierce unit always up for a challenge. Team talk? Communicate and have fun!

With the fun of the game in mind, the game started well. With City taking first push back the forward line of Lilly Sore, Anja Wimmer & Jemima Dorman were straight on the offensive – something they did the whole game!

Having got used to dominating games with ease – the city defence pushed high at times having 10 players in our defensive half but they still found it difficult to break down our defence with Kate Atkins, Amy Forse and Hannah Woods standing strong.

It was Dragons that broke first – from a 16 Amy Forse powered the ball through the City forwards with it moving well through the centre of the pitch between debutants Ruby Rose-Turrell (who also secured PoM) & Jess Vernon, making its way to Lilly Sore who passed with precision to a waiting Jemima Dorman on the back post – a fantastically worked team goal.

We knew City would come back at us tougher and harder so we had to keep the work rate up! The midfield diamond of Beth Elgood, Nic Robinson, Beth Coates & Ruby Rose-Turrell rotating with Elsa Scott & Jess Vernon worked tirelessly to support both the attack and defence to keep us in the game. Towards the end of the second half a piece of individual skill led to a city equaliser.

A half-time team talk from our awesome coach Anita Mancini (who did get a PoM nomination for her part in the game) added new found fire to the team. We were 1-1 and definitely not out of it. We started the second half the energy but so did City. With the defence under constant pressure, defending 6 short corners in a row Kate, Amy, Hannah & Ruby along the keeper Alice Smith (who played awesomely) had to dig deep the keep the ball away.

Mid-way through the first half, Lilly Sore found herself on the back line just inside the D to put a cross in – however, to her surprise and amazement this cross and the most difficult of angles went around the keeper and into to far bottom corner of the goal. Giving an elated Dragons side a 2-1 lead.

They now had to keep their heads and defend their well battled lead. Which they did. Every player dug deep and found that extra 10%. We worked as a unit, supporting eat other all the way up the pitch. We have been unfortunate this season with some of the results that we have recorded but today’s result was a fantastic reward for the effort and determination showed by the super sixes!

Proud to be a dragon!!!!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 8-0 Dragons 8

The two Dragons teams had a fine tussle, with some very good hockey being played, and it was the 7s who made their class tell and continued their excellent run of form with a smooth win. During the first quarter, it was the 8s who had the best of the play, camping out at the edge of their attacking circle without quite managing to get the incisive pass into the D that would have given them a shooting chance. This was to prove to be one of the telling patterns in the game.

Both teams had been required to give up players to higher teams; this (and availability) left the 7s without any forwards, while the 8s had the opportunity to give yet another three players their debut in league hockey. Up stepped Nic Harrison, who the 8s have been wanting to play for some time. Strong, fit and determined, Nic made an excellent top of the diamond and looked comfortable throughout the game. She was joined by Laura McNally and Kim Brenchley, young players who gave a good account of themselves in midfield.

The 7s called on Gemma Ballard from the 8s, who showed just what she is capable of when she gets a decent supply of ball. She scored FOUR GOALS from every part of the circle as the 7s attacking midfielders split the defence at regular intervals. Gemma always made herself available and was the 7s POM. Floss Andrews and Alice Bishop also made good use of the space, and each scored twice. The 7s put into the attacking game everything the two squads had been practising in training and it paid off handsomely.

The 7s have a fine midfield force, with Esme McKinnon-Evans and Maisie Dearmer burning the turf; Stevie Spencer was tough and reliable going forward or back; Captain Claire Fairhurst has added some very neat moves to her repertoire and drives her team forward whilst shutting any gaps at the back; Tracey Stuart-Sheppard played a strong blocking and tackling role; whilst Sophie Drew up from the 8s made some strong linking runs and fitted in well.

Those six players formed a very strong core for the 7s. The 8s, with their new players, and less experienced players, gradually lost ground and shape as they fought a desperate rearguard battle to keep the 7s out. Captain Jo Baker was a stalwart in the centre of defence, with Jess Lockwood and Johanne Steward either side and Ruth Barton rotating with an equal role. These four courageously blocked and tackled extremely well. Ali Pellegrini was back in goal (thank goodness) and had a very good game. Contrasting with the 7s, the 8s are still working on their free hits and are a little short of power, but not of grit.

The 7s defence managed to make everything they did look just that little bit easier, and Emily Roper in goal had very little to do. Frankie Paul, with her magnificent hit, has a very good understanding with Emma North and these two coolly played the 7s out of trouble. Katy Saide, who never appears hurried, demonstrated that happy knack of being in the right place at the right time.

Despite conceding a goal at regular intervals, the 8s never dropped their heads. If anyone demonstrated their ‘never say die’ attitude it was Louise Bondy Bond at the bottom of the diamond. Talk about leaving it all on the pitch! Tackling at top speed and distributing the ball well she somehow managed to survive skinning her right thigh and right knee and for her all-action display she was their POM. Not far behind was Louise Brooksy Brooks, who was fully committed in a number of roles and showed plenty of skill. Brooksy took it for the team as their ‘go to’ player – ‘go to here, go to there’, and hopefully in another week she will be able to settle into just one or two positions.

Lois Metcalfe and Bridget Le Good were tested when the 8s went to 4-4-2. It was the first time the 8s have tried this formation and it has potential for them, especially if they get some of their runners playing again to complement Shaniece Claxton. It could help them to get the ball up the pitch quicker. Lois held the ball up well and Bridget showed strength when she went back into defence. So Captain Jo said she was well pleased with her team, who all played with great determination again and kept on working hard, even while they could admire the 7s purring like a well-oiled machine. Jo said it was the best all-round performance by the 8s for several games. Both teams were very grateful to Mike and Hannah Hardy, who turned out early to each manage a team. Their encouragement, handling of the subs and shrewd advice made a significant contribution to a very enjoyable match.

A few snaps here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0-8 Dragons 7

See 7s report above

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 6-2 Cambridge City 4

Dragons Men’s 1s returned to winning ways against Cambridge City in a comprehensive performance, in a perfect mix of youth and experience.

Dragons started convincingly maintaining much of the possession and creating a few creative chances.  The pressure on Cambridge eventually proved too much when Man of the Match Sam Avery deflected a well worked short corner to give Dragons the lead. Not to be outdone Cambridge soon brought the scores level after some good work in midfield.

Keen to get themselves back to winning ways and keeping in touch with top of the leave Sudbury, Dragons saw the opportunity to take the game away from the visitors extending the lead to 4-1 at half time thanks to another Sam Avery deflection from a Matt Knights cross, a trademark strike from promising forward Ben Watson and a clever finish from Mitch Smith after deliberations from the dubious goals panel.

In the second half, the game became increasingly stretched with Cambridge tiring and Dragons looking to improve their goal difference whilst securing the three points.  Another drag flick from veteran forward Rupert Snelling extended the lead to 5-1 before Cambridge got a goal back after some hard work from the visitors.

A strong team performance highlighted by the promising performances of youngsters Laming, Stone, Watson and Kaushal was sealed when midfield maestro Henry Laming finished cleverly from a shot/cross by Watson.

MOTM: Sam Avery.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3-1 Bury St Edmunds 2

With five of the thirteen-man squad 16 years old or younger, speed and skill were never going to be lacked, so captain Jason Wolfe’s team talk focused on moving the ball quickly and working hard as a team. 

From the first minute, Dragons kept hold of the ball in all areas of the pitch and the ball was moved seamlessly from defence to the midfield and forwards and vice versa. With Bury camped in their own half, chances started to flow for the visitors. An early opportunity for Lewis Wilkins was cleared off the line (by a Dragons player…) and Charlie Nunn had a few reverse stick efforts saved from the Keeper. Superb play from Alex Browne led to the first short corner, which Raunaq Rai dragged into the net of the Bury goal, giving the keeper no chance. Shortly after, Dragons doubled their lead as an Alex Browne shot was deflected in off the post by Charlie Nunn. Chances kept coming for Dragons, but were unfortunately unable to capitalise on any of these. Dragons went into half time after dominating the first 35 minutes two goals to the good.

Despite having the lion’s share of possession and chances, Jason urged caution during the interval, knowing a 2-0 lead can still be dangerous and eventually Bury would have at least a couple of chances.

An uncharacteristic nervy five minutes followed for Dragons as an early short corner was conceded, Bury’s first of the game, which was cooly deflected in after a quick, decisive routine. The defence of Dragons held out a couple of nervy attacks and a few last-ditch tackles meant Bury were unable to draw level.  Dragons settled back into the game, holding onto the ball in key areas and began to stretch Bury again. A trademark Browne short corner rifled into the backboard before the keeper even had a chance to move put Dragons 3-1 to the good. Again, chances flowed for the away side, but were unable to stretch their lead to any more than 2 goals.

At the full-time whistle, Dragons could look back at a game they deserved to win after virtually dominating the entire game. Bury couldn’t simply keep up with the pace and skill of a youthful midfield (and Simmo), whilst the defence held out against any attacks and distributed the ball well whilst the forwards created chance after chance.

An even spread of man of the match votes (8 players receiving a vote) demonstrates what a cracking team performance it was. The winner, however, for the second week running was the modest George Bowman, who had big shoes to fill in defensive midfield due to Richard Gill’s absence, and his work rate, tackling and distribution acted as a powerful base for Dragons’ authority in this game.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-2 Felixstowe 2

Dragons 3’s looked to continue their excellent run of form which sees them currently sitting 2nd in Div 3. However they knew this would be a tough game as they were playing 3rd place Felixstowe to whom they narrowly lost to earlier in the season.

Dragons knew they had to start well and keep hold of the ball. Once settled they started to play their regular passing hockey, working the ball and creating g chances both wide and through the channels. Rob Goodson and Lloyd Sayer controlled the midfield well and linked up with the forwards. John Ives, Jon Goodson and Ali Smyth drove the ball down the flanks and crated number of chances for the forwards. Matt Jenkins, Tom Vaughan and Aaron Curtis were all attacking the D and putting pressure on the Felixstowe defence, so it was no surprise when Tom Vaughan scored to keep himself well on track as a golden stick contender. Not much was getting through dragons defence; Joel Dennis, Adam Sayer, Stu Kelly and Jim Goodson controlled the game and distributed the ball well while keeper Dim Ives made some great saves. Max Laming also added extra legs to the midfield attack. Not long after Aaron Curtis slotted home another reverse stick strike to make it 2-0 to Dragons at half time.

The 2nd half was much the same with Felixstowe only really using their long ball up the pitch. However they did manage on one of these long ball attacks to convert to make the score 1-0. Dragons looked in control for most of the game but in the last minute Felixstowe won a short corner which they converted to end the game 2-2. Dragons were disappointed but still happy with a point sees them hold their current position in the league.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-2 Ipswich Cranes 1

Men’s 4s disappointed to lose 2-1 to Ipswich Cranes 1s after taking an early lead through Nick Turner. MOM Ben Nkrumah who made some fine saves in goal.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-0 Norwich City 7

Men’s 5s win 2-0 against Norwich City 7s! Goals from Jordan Hambling and Josh Wiggins on his debut for the Adult Teams this weekend. MOM: James Hansell.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 5-0 Watton 2

There was some doubt whether this match would be played following the weather reports of snow widely broadcast in the media, but following an 8.15am pitch inspection it was decided that conditions were good enough to play, with a 10.00am push back scheduled. 

Dragons 6 had a few last minute withdrawals due to injury and illness, so lined up against Watton 2 with a basic eleven man team and no substitutes. Dragons and Watton had already met twice this season, once in the league and a friendly just before Xmas, so were beginning to learn each other tactics and style of play. Because of this, the game could have become extremely tight to call, but as events were to prove, you can never predict the outcome of a game in League 7NE.

The match started with Watton taking most of the possession and using their strength up front to play the ball into the Dragons end of the pitch. The reshuffled back four of John Butler, Shiv Kapur, Chris Orme and Graham Muff were in control though and stifled the attacking runs of the Watton forwards. James King was ever alert in goal to any danger and as Dragons settled in to the game, it became evident that our best approach was to use the width of the pitch and the speed of our two young wingers Sam Nutt and Harrison Richards to outpace the Watton defence to the back touchline and feed into the circle. This proved the right way to play as a number of occasions presented for Dragons to score. The outcome of this pressure resulted in Harrison Richards taking the opportunity of opening the score sheet for Dragons with some fine ball control in the circle and neat finish.

The work rate continued at a high pace from Dragons and some solid play from Darryl Robinson and Owain Hall allowed Andy Keys a number of chances in and around the Watton goal. It wasn’t all plain sailing though and Watton won a succession of penalty corners which put the Dragons defence under pressure, but they always looked individually, and collectively, in control. The half time whistle was blown with Dragons 6 ahead by 1 – 0.

The minutes following the restart were to really shape the outcome of the game. Watton took the push back but with almost the first attack of the half, Andy Keys ran the ball through to the Watton back line and dragged it back into the middle where Harrison Richards picked the ball up and launched a fantastic backhand shot into the top corner of the Watton goal. It was an eye catching strike and from this point the Dragons confidence grew quickly. This could have all come to a grinding halt when a few minutes later Joel Lawrence had to leave the pitch with strained back muscles. This brought Dragons down to 10 men, having no substitute available, and gave Watton a boost as shown by their renewed effort attacking the Dragons goal. Once again a series of penalty corners were awarded, but the Dragons back four soaked up the pressure and ably assisted by the efforts of the midfield to push the ball up and wide to the edges of the pitch, were able to turn the game back in the Dragons favour, this time for good.

Andy Keys, now playing as the sole forward had been threatening to score all match long and now with assistance once again from Sam Nutt, Harrison Richards, Darryl Robinson and Owain Hall, took the opportunity to play a classic forwards game and score twice in ten minutes to bring the tally to Dragons 4 – 0 Watton. Throughout the match Shiv Kapur, now playing in his preferred position of right back, had been covering tremendous ground on the right side of the pitch both running the ball forward and deep into Watton’s half, as well as always returning to keep the Dragons defensive line solid. This effort was the catalyst for the Dragons fifth and final goal, when another of Kapur’s penetrating runs, ended with the ball being played through to Darryl Robinson, who scored to seal the game for the Dragons 6 team.

At the final whistle it was:            Norwich Dragons              5 – 0        Watton

As your scribe has mentioned in the match reports of the previous three league games, a result like this was waiting to happen and this week all the ingredients came together at the right time to produce some fantastic individual, and overall team, performance. The whole team played with great composure and maturity which brought us the outcome that was richly deserved. The fact that we scored four goals with only ten men, against a full strength Watton 2 team just goes to underline how much effort was put in by everyone this week to secure this victory.

It was difficult to single out one player due to the combined high level of effort shown by all the players, but the team voted Shiv Kapur as a well-deserved man of the match. This scribe also looks forward to some more of Harrison Richard’s #backhandscreamers…

A few snaps here.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2-3 Norwich City

Today we played a close match against Norwich City, but sadly lost 2-3. The goal scorers had some hard competition against the goalie but Sophie Barrow and Niamh Somers managed to score.

Norwich City used the width of the pitch which made it difficult for us, their players managed to find space which then lead onto some great passing. 

The ball went from end to end but we had some great defence from Bethan Greaves, Emily Smith, Stella Windsor Waite and all the others in the defensive unit. I think a special mention is deserved for Jemima Watson and goalie Mia Somers who normally play for U12, but did a really good job today. Jemima Watson did some brilliant stick skills and managed to break away from the defender to make a pass to a free player. Mia Somers managed to clear some balls, even though 3 went past her she did extremely well.

Emma gave us good advise in the breaks and we managed to apply it during the next quarter. Player of the match was awarded to Amy Beadman for her great defending and passing skills, she played at the bottom of the diamond.

It was extremely cold and thankfully the pizza warmed us up. Thank you Tracy for the ‘brilliant’ chocolate cake.

Well played girls!

By Emily Grint

 

New Hockey Competitions for Schools & Free Hockey Training for Teachers

Anyone that works at a school, or has children, should encourage their school to get involved in this fresh attempt by England Hockey to get more hockey in schools.  This is aimed at Emerging Schools and would not be suitable for the stronger hockey schools.

For those that are going to promote hockey within their school there is also a free school teacher coaching course in April…..

http://www.activenorfolk.org/news/2017/02/new-hockey-teacher-training-courses-come-to-norfolk?platform=hootsuite

NEW HOCKEY COMPETITIONS

Dear Norfolk Schools Colleague.

In celebration of the GB Girls Gold medal in Rio England Hockey and Norfolk HA in partnership with the UEA Sports Park are introducing some new schools hockey competitions this spring and summer and we would like to invite your school to take part. All competitions are aimed at Emerging Hockey Schools. There are 3 separate competitions as listed below. Entry is free.

  1. Norfolk Schools Hockey Cup –  UEA Sports Park Monday 27th March 3pm till 5pm. This is for children in schools Years 9 and 10, (separate boys and girls 11 a side competitions. )  Please enter by Friday 10th March.
  1. Norfolk Schools In2Hockey Cup – UEA Sports Park Thursday 27th April 3pm till 5pm. This is for children in school Years 7 and 8 In2Hockey / 7 a Side. (separate boys and girls competitions.) Please enter by Friday 24thMarch.
  1. Norfolk Quicksticks Championships – UEA Sports Park Thursday 18th May 1pm till 4pm. Primary School Quicksticks Festival. Mixed Squads of 10 (6 squad players in each match with 4 players  on the pitch at any one time.) Please enter by Friday 28th April.

To enter or to send an expression of interest please email Melanie Hart at England Hockey east@englandhockey.co.uk Just tell us your school name, provide a contact (email and phone) and tell us which competitions you would like to enter.   Full details will be sent out in advance of each event. Entry deadlines are listed above.

If you would like to discuss any of the competitions please feel free to call me Charlie Farrow on 07811 336895

I hope to see you at one of the events later in the year.

Kind regards

 

Charlie

NDHC League Match Reports: 04&05/02/2017

Matchday snaps for M1s, M2s, M6s & GD here.

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division


Norwich Dragons 1s 1-1 Bedford 1

Despite winning the previous week, the first team knew that they would have to be much sharper against this week’s opponents, Bedford. The opposition were flying several points clear at the top of the league having won the vast majority of their games. The Dragons were confident however, that a win was possible and that a disciplined performance was all that was needed.

The ladies started strongly, the Norwich defence controlling play. Lou Murray saw that any opposition breaks were dealt with swiftly and alongside Olivia Thomas, dominated play down the right hand side of the pitch. Holly Limmer looked strong on the left and Sarah Jenkins at the back marshalled the defence and was frequently the starting point for excellent passages of play.

The teams seemed very evenly matched throughout the first half and it was only when a mix up led to a Bedford penalty corner that the Dragons started to feel the pressure.  A slickly taken corner, straight off the training ground, resulted in Bedford taking the lead 20 minutes in. Dragons fought back hard though, still very much in the game. Marie James found some space in the centre of the field and passed to the powerhouse that is Hannah Phillips. Phillips drove to the top of the D and found Stacey Lee waiting. Lee turned and ran her trademark hazy run at the keeper and then slotted it neatly in the back of the net. The score was 1-1 going in to half time.

Half time gave the opposition time to regroup and they came out fighting. Wave after wave of attack faced our defence, but the ladies stayed strong. Holly Reding looked unbeatable, time and again stealing the ball from the opposition with her excellent timing and on the occasions when the ball did make it through the defence, Siobhan Cleeve was there in full voice, controlling proceedings and dominating her area. Several outstanding saves kept the Dragons in the game. With Aoife Lowe-Davies and Tabba Tabrett looking dangerous on the break, the Dragons fought as hard as they have all season. At the final whistle the score was 1-1; a well-deserved point earned by the discipline and determination of the Ladies 1sts.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N


Norwich Dragons 2s 0-0 Cambridge Uni 2

Dragons arrived at Wilberforce Road with a squad of 13, a luxury given last weeks bare 11. With Ally Windsor-Waite fighting fit again and with Sophie Thomas added to the ranks, the team were keen to continue their positive run of form. With the young University Team having had some improved results more recently, Dragons knew this was going to be a tough game, especially given the home team had strength in numbers.

The match started evenly with both teams having decent spells of possession, but neither side making any real progress into their respective attacking D’s. The Dragons defensive line was once again looking strong and in control, with Sarah Borrett, Rowie York-Smith, Ally Windsor Waite and Karen O’Neill Simpson all going about their jobs, protected by the ever dominant Donna Vaughan.

In attack, Dragons forwards Issy Wolfe and Hannah Hardy were at times a little isolated, despite Issy Wolfe making some strong attacking runs, however the team were never quite able to turn their pressure into real goal threatening opportunities. The midfield were as always needing to work hard, with Gail Thomas, Shelly Seaman, Helen Busfield, Sophie Thomas and Kiera Goymour all putting in a lot of hard miles up and down the flanks.

Dragons reshuffled things a little at half-time, which had the desired effect in ensuring we were tighter defensively, as the Cambridge University teams larger squad and younger legs meant they were slightly the sharper team at times. Donna Vaughan was outstanding in the heart of the Dragons defence, deservedly picking up Player of the Match.

Dragons forward Issy Wolfe managed to earn the only short corner of the whole game, which was fired marginally wide by Vaughan. With the clock winding down, the students had one final foray into the Dragons D, and for a heart stopping moment, there was a one on one situation with Dragons keeper Emma Cleland, however the ever reliable Cleland kicked the ball wide to safety and the danger was gone.

Not Dragons most fluent performance, but a point on the road against a strong squad was better than no points. Lots of work still to do, starting next week against Lowestoft who had a fine win against Dereham.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division


Norwich Dragons 3s 1-2 Broadland 1

Ladies 3s lost 2-1 to Broadland ladies. Fantastic performance all round ladies! Couldn’t be more proud to play hockey with these girls. Player of the match, the face of the team, chuckle brother Debs Smith. Goal from Sian Lawrie. Well battled ladies   Haz we hope your head isn’t too painful in the morning.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division


Norwich Dragons 4s 0-1 UEA 2

Fabulous performance from a team of 10, keeping UEA 2’s down to 0-0 up until half time when an unfortunate goal was scored. Whilst battling on to keep the score at 1-0 till the end. Player of the Match went to a fighting Sophia Haehnelt who went down and almost out twice in the game! Shout out to Clare Moylan for joining the team to up the numbers that went back down about 2 minutes later due to an injury! Great game girls #DoingItForMegan #FabulousFours

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1


Norwich Dragons 5s 3-0 Broadland 2

Broadland were residing at 2nd place in the table and had previously beaten us 3-2 in a very close battling game.  So our mission statement was ‘come out fighting’.  Fiona Fletcher had first push back, passed to Lynne Price, out wide to Karenza Moffatt who with her usual speed and skill passed by the opposition bringing the ball up to the D.  Swept across to Lynne waiting at top of the D and then into Aditi Naik moving dangerously inside the D, slotted the ball into goal and catching a foot on the way.  First short corner injection from Fiona to Lynne, right pass to Vicky Earley shot into goal but deflected by keeper, Vicky hooks the ball back again and goes for another shot, denied again.  Broadland defence were feeling the pressure.  In the first 5 minutes Dragons won 3 short corners but were unable to convert, on the third Lucy Buxton went in hard to pick up the ball in the D but caught a blow to the knuckle making her finger look like a sausage!  At least the ball was kept close to the opposition goal!  Broadland tested our defence with some cracking shots right down the pitch where they had some goal hangers waiting.  Amelia Smith who was feeling poorly but had to man up and be the central defender had a great game, reading the play and picking up those long balls.  Working well with Katie Franks, Rachael Matthews and a late call up to Helen Marsh.  With Lucy out to injury players jiggled around with Mel Widdows working the wings and playing the ball up to Catherine Matthews, who kept finding space in the left corner.  Bringing the ball into the D and firing a shot off, deflected and picked up by Fiona, another deflection, Catherine this time popping off a lovely reverse hit which the keeper dived for and the ball cracked off her helmet.  The keeper making some great saves, the Dragons were building pressure and a goal final came, from a pass out wide from Lynne to Catherine into the keeper, deflection picked up by Lisa Harwood who reverse flicked it over the keeper and into the backboard!  The midfield were working hard to keep feeding the ball up to the forwards, even Katie and Helen were pushing high to move the ball forward, cutting off progress from the opposition, who were finding it difficult to get round us.

At half time we felt energised, we were moving the ball round the pitch, attacking like the force! Broadland were going to come out hard for the second half, so we had to keep up the pressure right till the end.  Broadland were still trying to get those cracking shots through us, one finding the tibial tuberosity of Karenza, who limped off the pitch, luckily she had put in excellent effort in the first half so she was allowed a rest.  Rachael stepped into midfield, gameface on and gave her usual tireless effort and pace.  The second half was a repeat of the first with lots of pressure on the opposition D.  Another scrabble in the D with a ball being fired in from Lynne, Fiona trying another shot, keeper flying around, Lisa picked up the ball and pushed it along side the keeper into goal. Whoop 2-0.  Luisa Valentini our keeper was enjoying the view and calling out to watch those Broadland players trying to make a move.  Aditi was picking up fast balls from Lynne up the right wing and was providing support into the D.  The final goal was like watching rounders, ball passed across the D from Lisa, deflected upwards from the opposition stick and batted into goal by Lynne.  After all this glory we were ready for a cup of tea.  The 5’s played their best game today all working excellently as a team, supporting each other and playing hard from the start to the finish.  Player of the match was Lynne whose positioning is great and always a step ahead of the opposition.  Score 3-0.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2


Norwich Dragons 6s 1-1 Breckland

It was obvious early on the Dragons were dominating the possession and Breckland were planning to break on the counter attack with one player who held their midfield. She, however, was no contest for our Duracell Bunny Sue Brumby who matched her step for step, frustrating her with her self pass runs through the centre of the pitch.

Dragons were caught off-guard and unlucky to concede a goal in the first half completely against the run of play.

After a good second half team talk & a new found coach in Anita Mancini who came off injured in the first half, Dragons were ready to press. Amy Forse left her defensive position to push forward and build the attack. Nic ROBINSON, Hannah Woods and POM Ginny Simkin held the back line. With some fantastic ball distribution from Ginny out towards Rosie Skipp, Beth Elgood and an every active Sue Brumby. Kat Speirs was really called into action, but when needed she used some deft stick and pad skills to clear the ball fast and wide into the paths of waiting player ready to press the attack again.

With Breckland packing their defence, this gave our mids room to play some fantastic hockey working the ball around the width of the pitch. However, it also made it difficult to get into the D. However, after some glorious passing up the right between Beth Elgood, Sue Brumby & Mia McGhee, Hannah Edwards found herself tight to the back line with seemingly no where to go. With a swift turn she fired a sublime pass across the face of goal touched passed the near post by Ellie Hipper into the path of a waiting Lilly Sore who slotted it behind the keeper with precision. This fantastic move completely deserved by the Dragons who had spent their warm up practicing post deflections.

The second half for Dragons was a spectacular display of both individual skill and amazing team work. We moved as a unit, supporting each other all the way up the pitch.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3


Norwich Dragons 7s 5-1 Hornets

Dragons 7s faced second in the league Hornets, who were expected to be formidable opponents, but Dragons were undaunted and relished the challenge.

Hornets won the toss and chose to take the first push back. Both teams fought hard, with the ball going end to end. Dragons played with their usual great passing, with Maisie Dearmer and Jess Vernon linking up to make a great team on the right. The ball was passed across with Kelly Mills, Jemima Dorman and Claire Stuart ready to receive and push into the D. After some scuffles, the ball rolled across the line, giving Kelly her first goal of the match. Dragons were pleased to be ahead, maintaining the good play. Ruby Rose-Turrell again proved that bottom of the diamond is a good position for her, darting about to distribute the ball and tackling Hornets to stop them. Stevie Spencer on the left also had a great game, making good interceptions and passes. Esme McKinnon-Evans yet again proved to be a versatile player, being put in several different positions throughout the game and accepting each one with no qualms and playing well wherever. The defence of Frankie Paul, Emma North, Katy Saide and Hattie Gale were fearless when faced with Hornets big hits, aiding keeper Luisa Valentini and getting the ball up the pitch. Dragons had obviously been paying attention at training, using the width, passing before reaching danger and ready to stop the Hornets 16 yard hit outs. Dragons determination paid off, with another goal, this time by Jemima. Dragons kept pressing and it wasn’t long before they were rewarded with a third goal, Jemima’s second. Hornets constantly put on the pressure, keen to score making Luisa stop a volley of hits, with the ball finally getting knocked out of the way and up the pitch.

The second half got underway with the same spirit as the first. Dragons piled on the pressure but Hornets were not making it easy. However, both Jemima and Kelly managed to get the ball into the back of the goal. Hornets persistence was paid off and they pulled one back. That was all they could manage to get past Dragons defence. The final result being 5:1 to Dragons.

Dragons were elated with the result, with Captain Claire Fairhurst pleased with everyone’s performance, a great team effort by all without exception.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3


Norwich Dragons 8s 1-3 Norwich City 7

This was a very disappointing result for Dragons against a team who had not previously won a game all season. Discussions went on long after the match as the Dragons analysed what can be learned from the game. The 8s took the risk of playing without a goalkeeper, since no-one in the team felt able to put the kit on without a prior practice. But the move did not come off. Jo Baker nobly took on the duties of kicking back and duly earned the player of the match vote for a courageous display and loads of stops. Unfortunately, pulling Jo further back disrupted the defence, who were not their usual solid selves. Captain Katy Cole and Tactician Jo had to make more positional changes to accommodate some different players. They made every effort to give players equal pitch time and to make the best use of the players available. It just did not work out, and perhaps as a squad we do not have the game knowledge to be as flexible as was required.  Praise for Lois Metcalf for switching from forward to defence and getting in some telling tackles. Tracy Stuart-Sheppard was available on a rare occasion and made her presence felt with strong blocking and determined running..

Dragons started brightly, when towards the end of the first quarter Bridget Le Good stopped a loose hit out and ran straight into the circle and shot past the keeper into the far corner. But any thoughts that they could build on this lead were quickly dispelled when City redoubled their efforts, clearly encouraged that there was no keeper. They hunted as a pack, chasing everything in the middle of the park and being first to the ball. City scored their three goals before half time, with the third coming with five unmarked players lining up to whack the ball past poor Jo.

Dragons’ passing game was not up to its usual standard, despite the drills at Wednesday night training. However, they did play better in the second half. Louise Brooksy Brooks, Gemma Ballard and Bridget  were up on the pace and began to ping the ball around and dominate midfield with Amelia Keightley-Web, who had an excellent second half on the right.  What the Dragons lacked was a player to link with the energetic mids, despite Katy’s efforts in making herself available. Several times she and Shaniece Claxton drew players away and created space. Sophie Drew, an improving player, continues to get in some good runs on the left. But Dragons play was too disjointed. They lacked a final pass into the circle to get serious shots away and they lapsed back into their bad old habit of failing to get a player onto the near post to sweep in some excellent crosses from the right.

Perhaps this was destined to be just a bad day at the office. Dragons know what it is like to try your best but not to get a result, and they warmly congratulated City on their win. Every one of the Dragons tried her hardest and are committed to enjoying it all at the next opportunity. The Captain and the Tactician learned a lot about where their players can play well, and must be hoping they can get more of their players back into position before meeting the Super Sevens next week

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Mens East League Division 2N

Norwich Dragons 1s 1-3 Cambridge Uni 3

Norwich Dragons Men’s 1st team had a very early start away to Cambridge University 3s. The game got off to a steady start with Dragons enjoying large portions of the possession, from which they created a couple of early chances that unfortunately did not lead to the opening goal. As Cambridge began to settle into the game, they too created the odd chance to take the lead but were unable to capitalise. Dragons defended well against a side that were obviously looking to attack the baseline and pull the ball back for a tap-in or a penalty corner.

Eventually the deadlock was broken by Dragons after an attack down the left wing. Jonty managed to find Rupert, with both players having to cleverly persist and ride through several last ditch tackles, who then drove into the Cambridge D and found Olly King to slot the ball away.

However, in a very similar fashion to the first time these two teams played each other earlier in the season, Dragons could not hang on to their half-time lead and were thoroughly outplayed in the second half. The consistent movement, slick passing and fitness of the 16 man university side took its toll on the 13 man Dragons squad, and as Dragons began to tire several uncharacteristic mistakes began to creep into their play. The ball was being turned over more and more, and Cambridge soon drew level after one such instance lead to a quick and clinical counter attack. After holding out for a bit longer Dragons then conceded two more goals in quick succession; one coming from poor marking allowing a back post tap-in, and the other from the very bizarre situation where a driven cross rebounded straight off the post to a Cambridge attacker for a simple reverse sweep. After going two goals down Dragons had nothing to lose and started to push more men forward, creating a couple of good chances towards the end of the match but were unable to finish any of these off.

The final score ended Cambridge University 3s 3-1 Norwich Dragons 1s. A disappointing result but no doubt Dragons will work hard and be determined to bounce back next week against Cambridge City.

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Mens East League Division 3NE

Norwich Dragons 2s 2-1 Norwich City 4

Dragons welcomed their local rivals to the Den, hoping to overcome last week’s disappointing result.  The home side were also boosted by the inclusion of Pebble after some recent off the pitch misdemeanours.

The home side, mixed with youth and experience, started off the brightest.  A trademark blast from Alex Brown finished off an excellent move to give Dragons an early lead. Charlie Nunn should have doubled the lead with a sublime upright reverse effort but it was unfortunately disallowed. Alex Brown was unlucky not to have added to his tally in a move that included him bringing down an aerial in the D and half volleying it towards goal on the reverse, only for the goalie to pull off an unbelievable save.

Dragons entered half time one goal to the good, with Giles hardly tested. Jase congratulated the team on what was probably our best performance of the season so far and urged for more of the same.

The second half followed the same blueprint as the first, with Dragons controlling the tempo of the game. Despite having numerous chances in the second half to extend their lead, none of them were converted. With the lead only a goal, City were never out the game. A well worked short corner from City led to a super save from Giles, but this was unfortunately put onto a dragon’s foot and dribbled over the line to draw City level. An even more determined dragons side attacked with numbers, pushing for that elusive winner. Shot after shot rained down on the City keeper and with minutes left on the clock it seemed like it might be one of those days. However, when Wilkins picked up the ball from a City clearance, he drilled the ball towards the goal where the deft touch of Richard Gill put the ball between his legs and into the bottom corner of the City goal, sending the capacity crowd into a frenzy!

A fantastic performance from Dragons and a result they deserved.

Man of the match was George Bowman for his tireless running in midfield, both disrupting City’s attacks and creating opportunities through the middle for Dragons.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE

Norwich Dragons 3s 3-0 Bury St Edmunds 3

Dragons made hard work for themselves during the first half.  Bury pressed high and were ringing up well, making it difficult for Dragons to get the ball out from their defence.  Midway through the first half, Dragons were awarded a couple of short corners, from one of which Tom VAUGHAN drilled the ball towards the goal, only for a Bury defender to stop the ball on the line with his foot.  Adam SAYER sent the keeper the other way to calmly slot home the penalty flick, putting Dragons in the lead.

Dragons now seemed to get into the game and started to link up well, making some good passes amongst themselves.  This was offset by being reduced to 9 players through not retreating 5, but Dragons managed to weather the flurry of Bury attacks, and a few short corners, which were expertly saved by keeper Ben NKRUMAH.

The second half saw Dragons find their groove and they passed the ball around well.  Continued hard work was rewarded with another goal when forward Aaron CURTIS took a free hit outside the D, dribbled the ball to the edge and played a lovely reverse stick shot which found the target.

Good work in the middle from Lloyd SAYER, Rob GOODSON and man of the match Jack O’ MEARA, kept the attacks flowing for Dragons, who came close to extending their lead a few times, with L SAYER hitting the post.  Another goal did come, and it was from leading Golden Stick contender Tom Vaughan.  This sealed the victory for Dragons.

Once again the defensive unit of Adam SAYER, Stu KELLY, James GOODSON and Joel DENNIS worked a treat and complemented each other well.  There was also a good work rate from Will MAIN, John IVES and Jon GOODSON, who caused problems for Bury on the wings.

Dragons remain second in the table, and face Felixstowe 2s next week at the Den, in what will surely be an exciting game.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE

Norwich Dragons 4s 1-6 UEA 2

The Dragons lined up for their first home of the new year against the League leading students from UEA.  The trepidation before the start the game was proved justified within five minutes as UEA dominated and scored in quick succession.  They continued to pile on the pressure leaving Dragons on the back foot and despite strong defending they added a second on the quarter hour mark.

This galvanised the Dragons who began to come back into the game winning several short corners.  These weren’t converted but the continued pressure eventually led to Pedro Goss be fouled in the D.  Peter Davison stepped up to convert the flick superbly into top corner.  Again, Dragons attacked the students goal, but in a breakaway UEA sprinted down the pitch with their final goal-bound hit striking Neil Shorten rather than his stick.  The converted flick was the last action of note before the half.

The second half started the way the first half ended, a quick UEA break leading the fourth goal.  The half played just as the first with many attacks for both teams but the ruthless speed and clinical finishing of the students became the deciding factor.  Two more goals before the end for UEA finished the result, but doesn’t reflect the energy and effort from the Dragons.  Dragons played to the very end, heads didn’t drop but there will be many aching bodies on Sunday morning.

Man of the match for the second week running was Peter Davison.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE

Norwich Dragons 5s 7-0 Pelicans 4

A convincing 7-0 win, goals from Max Laming x3, Josh Bingham x2, Andrew Cross x1, Jordan Hambling x1, player of the match was Joel Lawrence.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE

Norwich Dragons 6s 3-3 Norfolk Nomads 2

Norfolk Nomads 2 were the opposition for this week’s match. Never ones to be underestimated, their combined age didn’t stop them being another tough opposition for a Dragons 6 team that was playing well but still working on converting draws into wins.

The first 10 minutes of the game very much set the scene for the way the whole game was played. It was never the most beautiful hockey ever seen at the Den, but it was a tight match that revolved around the midfield, with possession and accurate passing the key to either team making the breakthrough. Dragons 6 were the first on the score sheet with a great goal from Rob Lee assisted by Andy Key and Sol Blazer. The ball was worked though into Nomads circle and put away cleanly. From this, the game continued very much as before with effort and commitment being shown from both sides. Sometimes a little too much but always with the best intentions. As the half progressed Nomads pulled a goal back to 1-1, closely followed by another goal for the Dragon 6 scored by Sol Blazer. This was again the result of good play and effort from the midfield with Andy Key, Darryl Robinson, Tommy Chapman and John Butler all getting involved in the move that resulted in the ball in the back of the net.

Norwich Dragons 6          2-1          Norfolk Nomads 2.

Unfortunately, Dragons were unable to capitalise on the lead and stretch further ahead. What did happen was that for a short period, Dragons lost the run of play in midfield which allowed Nomads to score two goals in relatively quick succession. This did have the effect of taking the wind out of the Dragons sails for a short while but they had regained composure by the time the half time whistle came.

Half time:            Norwich Dragons 6          2 -3        Norfolk Nomads 2.

Although Mike Banham wasn’t playing due to imminent departure on holidays to warmer climes, he was managing the team and made a number of effective changes to our line-up for the second half. This proved wise as the team then settled into a period of more creative play which tightened up the midfield and allowed some of our younger players to use their speed and fitness to our advantage. Dragons also re-discovered the wings of the pitch and used this to our advantage. The main tactic that Nomads used was an attack through centre midfield and it was realised that we were not going to get back on terms by playing them at their own game, we had to go round rather than through…

The goal that tied the match proved this perfectly. The ball went out of play deep into the Dragons half on the left hand side of the pitch. Graham Muff took the push in with a long cross field ball to Darryl Robinson who immediately pushed up the right midfield drawing the Nomads midfield out to cover, a clever jink in, and then accurate release into the Nomads circle found Rob Lee in a perfect position to take the goal and level the score an 3-3. As the game moved into the final 15 minutes, the Dragons defence of Ray Hansell, Rich Davis and Chris Orme moved as one unit to cut out further Nomads attacks. And as the sun came out at a blindingly low level behind the Dragons goal, the match finished in an increasingly familiar way.

Full time:             Norwich Dragons 6          3-3          Norfolk Nomads 2.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League


Norwich Dragons A: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League


Norwich Dragons B 4-2 Dereham

Good start, with some solid defending by the Dragons, then a nice attack led to a cross from Isaac being turned in by a Dereham player for an own goal. 1-0 Dragons

Dragons were then on top, winning 2 short corners in a row, then Arjuna put Bobby Sheppard through to score. 2-0 Dragons

More stout defending, including a good 1 on 1 save from Alex Wolfe, then Josh Cormack put Arj in to score. 3-0 Dragons

The first half ends with only an excellent save from the Dereham Goalie denying Josh Cormack.

The second half starts like the first with more stout defending from the Dragons, an excellent attack led to the Dragons being awarded a penalty stroke, which Isaac Diver Hall duly converted. 4-0 Dragons

More stout defending and good saves by Alex, but  2 Dereham penalty corners led to 2 goals. 4-2 Dragons

Even more stout defending by the Dragons up to the final whistle, and a well deserved win, overall the Dragons took their chances well at one end of the pitch and defended resolutely at the other, well done.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League


Norwich Dragons 7-0 Pelicans

Coach Report – Fantastic 7-0 win for Dev Girls against Pelicans goals from Maddy Reynolds (3) Sophie Barrow, Niamh Somers, Charlotte Knight and a debut goal from Rebecca James. POM Sophie Barrow
Well done girls!

Player’s Report – Today Dragons won 7-0 against Pelicans, with goals scored from Sophie Barrow, Rebecca James, Charlotte Knight, and Niamh Somers, all scoring 1 goal each; and Maddy Reynolds with a hatrick.

We started off playing mostly through the middle, but once we’d had a quick chat with Emma, we spread the game out, using the width to our advantage. In the first quarter, we were already 2-0 up, even though there was a strong lady playing in defence. But with some great skills from Maddy, and some brilliant passing between Charlotte Knight and mid-field, we managed to break through the Peli’s defence, and get the ball into the back of the net.

Even though Pelicans gained a few breaks, our strong defensive unit, including Tilly Beckett in goal, with some brilliant clears, we fought back and didn’t let one ball in. Maddie Gibbs played some great balls out of the Dragon’s 25, and Bethan and Emily Grint also playing very good hockey. I ‘d also like to mention Emily Smith, who made some amazing flat stick tackles. Player of the match went to Sophie Barrow.

Today was a brilliant match, and everyone should be so proud of themselves because they each individually have talent, and worked as a team together. I’d also like to say that even though we’re not 1st in the league, we deserve to be! Well done girls!!!

By Sophie Barrow

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Sunday 5th February – EH Competitions

Boys Under 18s Last 16

Norwich Dragons 1 v 7 Peterborough

There are times in life, where you play a full part in something, only to be a bye-line on the event; a Michael Collins to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Disappointingly for Norwich Dragons U18s, the outcome of their last-16 England Hockey cup game against City of Peterborough moves their performance on the day, and their cup-run, into this category. 

It is a cliche that sports is described as preparing young people for life. That being said, there are times when all you can control is what you do, to the best of your ability, and there can be no doubting that the 14 young men who represented Norwich Dragons today met this challenge. 

Having progressed to the fourth round of the Cup proper, the side were under no illusions of the challenge ahead of them. Peterborough had been encountered in the East Indoor championships, and deservedly won that event. Dragons felt that they hadn’t given a full account of themselves in that game, and that if they performed to their best then they had a chance.
 
The game was played at an intense pace from the off, both sides moved the ball quickly and effectively, with the forwards making good leads and the ball being recycled well. Defences initially had the upper hand, keeping the game compacted into the middle of the pitch. 
 
Peterborough struck the key initial blow, their centre-forward was forced wide onto their reverse by an organised defence, only to unleash a fizzing reverse stick strike into the far corner of the goal, leaving Ben Nkrumah little chance. 
 
This served to open the game up more. Dragons pushed back and gained some good possession in the final third, whilst Peterborough attacked at pace on the counter. A Peterborough turnover created an overload against the Dragons defence, and a sharp set of passes created space for a clinical finish, again right into the corner. 
 
Dragons responded well and had their best spell of the first half, corners were won, one half-saved by the keeper and cleared by post-man, one bringing a good stick save from the keeper. The best chance of all was an open play move that put Ben Watson clean through, a mis-touch deceived the keeper and as Watson went to put the ball into the empty goal, two Peterborough players made last ditch tackles to prevent this. On another day, Dragons might have received more than a long corner, but after a turnover from that corner, Peterborough broke to create another overload for a crucial third goal. 
 
To their credit, Dragons kept working, however, Peterborough continued to look dangerous in attack and despite the best efforts of an inspired defence led by Jonty Gosling, added a fourth before the break. 
Dragons’ half-time team talk reflected on the fact that they deserved more from the game than the current score reflected, and that if the work rate could be maintained, chances would be created. 
 
The second half was arguably the best performance this group of players has managed. Dragons came out determined to get back into the game and proceeded to defend to the last and build with great passing and movement to create chances and win corners. 
 
Ben Watson duly dispatched a corner with a powerful strike into the corner, and Dragons saw a chance to get into the game. George Bowman, Max Laming, Rohan Kaushal and Raunaq Rai all worked to create opportunities, whilst the skipper Alex Stone led by example, playing through injury to both create chances and provide defensive support. 
 
Peterborough responded well, their defence matching Dragons attacking and their keeper standing tall against fine efforts from a number of Dragons players, most notably, Watson, Henry Laming and Charlie Nunn. 
 
As Dragons continued to push, Peterborough looked dangerous on the counter. The Dragons defence of Gosling, George Wright & Andy Carver, and the outstanding wing-back pair of Tom Harris and Ed Murphy continued to work to stop this, but Peterborough again proved clinical in attack, taking three well-worked opportunities in the closing part of the game. 
 
Overall a result that both reflected the effectiveness of Peterborough’s decision-making in the final third, but that also left Dragons wondering what might have been on another day, especially for those individuals playing their last junior game for the club (as the first male group that Dragons have developed through the junior ranks to U18 level). 
 
Dragons were:
Ben Nkrumah (GK), Tom Harris, Jonty Gosling (VC), Andy Carver, Ed Murphy, Alex Stone (C), Henry Laming, George Bowman, Rohan Kaushal, Ben Watson, Charlie Nunn, Max Laming, Raunaq Rai, George Wright. 
 
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Girls u14
Norwich Dragons 1 v 11 Magpies
 
Coach Report – U14 girls lose ten one to Magpies. Very tough game but they battled so hard. Very proud. Goal from Maddy Reynolds. Player of match Sophie Barrow. One game left against city on 26 Feb. Thanks to Emma Somers and Tracy Barrow for sorting the team and sorting various injuries.
 

Player’s Report – We had a tough game this Sunday, with Magpies team being made up of mostly people playing for the ladies team. We started strong, although we conceded a few goals we fought back and an amazing goal was scored by Maddy Reynolds in the middle of the first half, hitting the top of the goal. We carried the second half out with positive minds with a goal almost scored but a brilliant tackle was made by Magpies. Dragons executed a tough games with strong attitudes and we kept the Magpies working hard throughout the game. The ending score was 11-1.

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Girls u16
Norwich Dragons 0 v 4 Magpies

Girls U16s fought hard against a strong Magpies side, but lost 4-0. Having conceded a goal within the first 2 minutes, it could have been a lot worse.

The girls defended well, and caused the visitors problems at times. It was a good taste of quicker, more intense hockey that we’ll need to aspire to as we improve. The good news is that we are already showing signs of being able to do just that.

Player of the match for an extended display of quality defending was Emma Woodhouse.

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 28/01/2017

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-0 Holcombe 1A

After two weeks of postponed matches due to the weather, the Dragons travelled down to Kent to face Holcombe, the visitors were eager to improve their position in a tightly packed league. Before the match, the Norwich Dragons ladies were sitting in sixth position, tied on points with several other teams, but losing out on goal difference.

Captain Rachel King, heading off to Chile, left the team with some big shoes to fill and so a reshuffle saw Marie James move to a holding central midfield position and young Olivia Thomas come in to the middle of the pitch, so she could influence our attacking play. Dragons started strongly and within 15 minutes had won 3 penalty corners.

Whilst Hayley Toleman looked menacing at the top of the circle, the goal remained elusive. Dragons battled on though and eventually consistent pressure from Hannah Phillips, looking impressive on her debut for the 1s, resulted in another penalty corner. This time the ball found its way through a wall of defence to Holly Reding who was waiting on the post. Reding calmly and efficiently slotted it past the Holcombe keeper and Dragons took the lead, to go 1-0 in to the break.

The second half was a matter of discipline and maintaining our composure. Lara Taylor, Lou Murray and Olivia Thomas combined brilliantly down the right hand side of the pitch and held strong, whilst Liv Leary pushed forward and fed the returning Stacey Lee with some opportunities on goal. Sometimes that goal just doesn’t come though, and Saturday was one of those days.

Thankfully the Dragons defence were solid, with Sarah Jenkins looking strong and Murray refusing as ever to take any nonsense from the opposition’s attack. Whilst Holcombe looked dangerous on the break, Siobhan Cleeve let nothing past her and pulled off some excellent saves. Dragons maintained control and as the final whistle blew, secured the 3 points. The victory sees the team move joint second and though a long way off the league leaders, the team looks forward to securing their position in the top section of the league in the forthcoming weeks.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-0 Bedford 2s

With back-to-back league wins before the Christmas break and a comprehensive post-Christmas friendly win over the team that was sitting top of the Division below, Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s had been disappointed not to get their league campaign back underway until this week.

Bedford 2s had beaten Dragons 4-1 earlier in the season and with their 1st team sitting at the top of the East Premier as runaway leaders, the home side were expecting a tough match.  The Dragons’ squad had dropped to 12 players before the game, however Captain Karen O’Neill-Simpson sent the team out full of confidence and a determination to keep their run going.

Sophie Mullan and Jess Bennett were welcomed to the squad, taking up central midfield positions covering for the unavailable Shelly Seaman and the call up to the 1s for Hannah Phillips.  Both players very quickly slotted into the team and linked up well with wide midfielders Gail Thomas and Ally Windsor Waite, as well as creating good opportunities for the forward line of Issy Wolfe and Hannah Hardy.

Bedford started well and were finding space in midfield, however Bennett and Sarah Borrett in central defence soon recognised the danger and picked up the spare players to snuff out most of Bedford’s creative play.  Donna Vaughan, Rowie York-Smith and Karen O’Neill-Simpson in defence, alongside Emma Cleland in goal calmly dealt with the limited attacks into the D from the visitors.

After just 12 minutes, a ball was struck high by Bedford and Ally Windsor Waite took a nasty blow to her thumb, causing her to head straight off to A&E for an x-ray, thankfully no broken bone, however this left the home side with no substitutes for the remainder of the game.  A slight re-organisation resulted in Kiera Goymour being asked to play out of position at right midfield, a position in which she grew into and performed well for the team.

Bedford, as expected, moved the ball quickly and confidently around the back, however Dragons were disciplined in their press and chose the right moments to look to regain possession, Wolfe and Hardy working hard to defend from the front.

The game was decided in two key minutes during the first half, with two superbly taken goals, one for each of the forwards.  Good work in midfield saw Player of the Match Issy Wolfe pick up a through pass outside the D, with confidence she drove at pace into the D, and unleashed a powerful, high strike beyond the keeper into the net.  Just minutes later, smart work between Bennett and Thomas, saw Bennett play a perfectly weighted pass through into the D for Hardy to pick up and fire a quick, long range strike into the backboard, to give the home side the lead they deserved.

Half time saw the call for the team to let the ball do the work, given they were down to a bare 11. Dragons managed to control the game, keeping very disciplined in their shape, conserving energy when they could and limiting the visitors to very few clear cut chances, whilst still creating opportunities themselves. The game finished with Dragons on the attack and coming close to adding a third, but finishing with a well deserved three points to continue their strong run.

Much work still to do to survive in this league, but the group remain strong, determined to work hard and achieve their goals.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-2 Loddon 1

After 2 weeks without a game due to the freezing temperatures the 3s were looking forward to getting back in the action away at Loddon.

After a slow start Dragons started to find their slick passing game and dominated possession, using Trish Hagan as the pivot player effectively. However, Loddon were tough to break down and were resolute in defence as well as being threatening on the break. It took a well worked move from midfield to open up Loddon’s defence with Debs Smith playing the ball out wide to Christina Musowe who found Sian Lawrie in the D. A cross to the far post found Sam Franklin who deflected the ball home first time. Dragons grew more confident after the opening goal and were unlucky not to score through Caroline Wolfe and Katie McKenna. Then from a famous Chuckle Brother short corner routine Sian’s goal bound shot was stopped by a Loddon foot on the line, resulting in a penalty flick. Katie stepped up to take the flick, but was unfortunately denied by a fine save from the keeper with her outstretched right leg. The well marshalled defence of Sarah Wagstaff, Angela Murgatroyd, Carmel Windsor-Waite and player of the match Emma Woodhouse kept Loddon’s goal chances to a minimum,  with Harriet Green closing the opposition down so well she ended up with a ball print on her thigh! Dragons continued to press until the half time whistle with some crisp passing but couldn’t add to their goal tally.

In the second half Dragons looked to build on their excellent first half performance and continued to test the Loddon keeper, but found it difficult to maintain possession against a determined opposition.  Loddon still possessed a threat on the break but found goalkeeper Kristina Smyth in fine form. However, Loddon continued to press for an equaliser and got their reward half way through the second half with a well worked goal. There were still chances for both sides, but Loddon proved to be more clinical in front of goal and went ahead with a goal on the break towards the end of the game. Dragons worked hard for an equaliser but found the Loddon defence determined to keep their lead. The team were frustrated not to build on their excellent first half but have much to build on for the remainder of the season. Top spot is still all to play for!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-6 Broadland 1

With one dislocated finger and one massive shin. Dragons lost 6-1 to Broadland 1XI. Goal from Lucy Morton and Pom was Helen Marsh who kept on fighting. #wearestillfabulous #fabulousfours

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-0 Thetford

The 5’s were looking forward to this game as Thetford are a nice team to play, they give you a challenge and are better than their table position (bottom) suggest.  From the off we decided 100% effort as per the previous game was needed.  Thetford had first push back and off we set chasing the ball back.  The first 10 minutes the 5’s were chasing and pressuring the opposition, with attacks in the D.  The Thetford defence is solid and goals would need to be worked around and in behind or side of the keeper.  The midfield of Mel Widdows, Racheal Matthews and Catherine Matthews were running back and forth with good link up between Lynne Price at top of the diamond.  Again we had three defenders! Jemima Williams quick to close down any through balls.  On the wings Katie Franks and Amelia Smith were able to push hard and support the midfield without too much pressure from Thetford.  Thetford’s main threat was a lady who to deceive us wore a knee protector and then was like lightening down the wing but was unable to connect with the forwards.  A ball worked up from Vicky Earley into Lynne, who passed it through the opposition to Lisa Harwood lurking in the D, shot into goal, rebound off the keeper picked by again by Lisa and across to the right post, duel effort with Fiona Fletcher the post hanger making sure it goes in.  Many attempts on goal were seen in this half, with Amelia cracking a shot down the sideline to Megan Farrant, resplendent in green skort and weaving through the opposition.  Laura Hansell and Catherine looked fly linking up well on the right wing.

At half time the score was 1-0 but the Dragons looked a bit sloppy and needed to up the pace, meet the ball and weight those passes, and score a few more goals!!  Our defence had good movement and were quick to cut down any progress from Thetford, they thought their luck was in with a cross into goal but the whistle was called prior to this.  Kat Spiers was in goal ready to wallop the ball and with Vicky running at you on a short corner you need to be quick and Thetford could not convert.  In this half there was increased movement and use of space down the right side.  Karenza Moffatt, with her morning gym warmup was quick on the ball and created many chances feeding the ball into the D.  The second goal came from a Thetford short, the ball cleared out to Karenza, across to Amelia into Fiona in the D, one on one with the keeper, calm and composed put the ball past the keeper 2-0! Thetford kept trying to penetrate our D and with a tussle Katie took an injury to the eye, Racheal stepped up to man the defence. Pressure was high now, to keep the goal coming, in the last minute the 5’s gained a short corner.  Injected by Lynne to Amelia struck across to left post and slotted home by Lynne, final score 3-0.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-0 Yarmouth 2

Ladies 6s travelled to Yarmouth for what they knew would be a tough but friendly fixture but grateful for a game of hockey after 2 weeks of postponed matches. After unnerving the opposition from the start after using their changing room and being first out for a thorough warm up, Dragons were ready for the start.

Yarmouth had first push, but Sue Brumby was straight in to disrupt their play. During the first half Dragons moved the ball well, something Ginny emphasised the importance of in her team talk. The ball moves a lot faster than we do. However the Yarmouth pitch was a lot slower than we are used to!

Sue linked up well with Mia McGee, Lilly Sore and Ellie Hipper, creating some brilliant chances with Hannah Edwards working tireless up front with them. The area we knew we needed to be strong was in the centre of the pitch. Ginny Simkin, Beth Coates & Anita Mancini held their ground in the centre of the pitch meaning Yarmouth found it difficult to dominate possession in the way they had been used to.

Rosie Skipp and Nicola Moulton both worked hard on the midfield flanks cutting out several of Yarmouths runs towards goal.

The defensive line up of Kate Atkins, Amy Forse and Hannah Woods stood firm although they were tested with several short corners. The backing up from midfield by Rosie Skipp, Ginny Simkin, Nicola a Robinson and Beth Coates showed the strength and support the sixes give each other week in week out.

PoM Emily Roper was tested and pulled off some spectacular saves. Notably one in the second half that earned a pat on the back from former Keeper Amy Forse.

The second half showed much of the same. Every player gave the all and that showed in the nominations for PoM spread across much of the team.

In her de-brief captain Ginny praised the team on their work rate, communication and teamwork in what was a fantastic point earned on the road at Yarmouth.

What is always nice is the comments we receive from the opponents. With the Yarmouth captain saying they enjoy playing enough. That we pose as a tough opponent but the game is always played in a friendly spirit. Something that we should all be very proud of!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 5-2 UEA 4

Dragons 7 looked forward to another match, buoyed up from their resounding win last week but well aware that league leaders UEA 4 were going to be a challenge.

UEA won the toss and chose to have first push back. Dragons went on the attack from the start, stopping UEA from having an easy ride. The midfield of Stevie Spencer, Maisie Dearmer, Ruby Rose-Turrell, Louise Brooks, Amelia Keitely-Webb or Claire Fairhurst intercepted UEA’s balls, tackling and distributing the ball to forwards Jemima Dorman, Lois Metcalfe, Katie Moulson or Sophie Thurtell. When the ball did get through, the solid defence of Frankie Paul, Emma North and Katy Saide aided keeper Alessandra Pellegrini from keeping the ball out of goal and away from the D. Dragons persistence was rewarded with a goal from Amelia in her 7s debut. Dragons kept up the fight, with Sophie scoring Dragons second. UEA fought back, getting the ball past Dragons for their first goal. Dragons were undeterred, and Sophie scored again, making in 3:1 to Dragons at half time.

Dragons spirits were high going into the second half, keen to keep up the good work made in the first. Dragons tenacity was again rewarded as Jemima, then Amelia both scored. UEA made a break, with a one on one with keeper Alessandra, and UEA managing to slot the ball past for their second goal.

Dragons were ecstatic with the final result, 5:2! Amelia’s great debut for the 7s earned her POM. Dragons are keen to keep up the momentum this side of the season. Well done ladies!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s: No Fixture

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 2-0 Pelicans 1

Dragons got off to a fairly slow start, creating few chances, but with most of the possession were in control. One card for a Dragon meant we were under real pressure for the duration of the sending off, but we managed to keep them out with some great saves from Peter ‘The Keeper’ Dickerson and some sublime defending from our back four. The half ended at 0-0
 
In the second half the home side came out as a new team and brought intensity and fluency to everything they did. Dragons were rewarded for their quick, sharp play with a goal from Ben Watson, with about 20 minutes to play. The home side dominated the rest of the half with Rupert Snelling bagging a goal to make it 2-0. Final score 2-0. MOM Jonty Gosling.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-2 IES 3

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 5-0 Norwich City 5

A local derby this week saw the Men’s 3s host Norwich City 5s at the Den.  The away fixture had resulted in a 2-2 draw and an earlier friendly also a draw, so Dragons were determined to get a win this time.

City started brightly and it took Dragons a moment to settle into the game.  Once this happened, Dragons dominated the next 15 minutes of play.  It seemed as if every attack from Dragons resulted in a goal.  Goals came for Matt JENKINS, Will KIRBY and 2 for Tom VAUGHAN.  Dragons worked perfectly as a unit, with everyone working hard.  Lloyd SAYER and Man of the Match Rob GOODSON controlled the centre of the pitch, with John IVES, Will MAIN and Jon GOODSON providing excellent support down the wings.  It was these attacks down the wings, and linking up with forwards which led to Dragon’s goals.

City got back into the game the last 10 minutes of the first half and had a succession of short corners.  Keeper Dim IVES calmly saved every attempt at goal.  The Dragon defence worked well as a unit.  Centres Adam SAYER and Stu KELLY were a wall, cutting out every attack without fail.  Tom HARRIS confidently dealt with every attack on the right, and made some fantastic runs down the wing.  The left was covered by “brave” James GOODSON, who soldiered on through injury to keep City frustrated.

The second half was more balanced play, but City just couldn’t link up and work as well as Dragons.  Dragons claimed another goal from Tom Vaughan and it was clear City were never going to catch up.  A truly great team performance.

Dragons took the 3 points, winning 5-0.  They are now second in the table, with the most goals scored and the best defensive record in the league.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-2 Magpies 4

Dragons’ first game of the year away to Magpies proved to be a tough fixture with Magpies fielding a strong team.

Early in the match, Magpies opened the scoring through a short corner and Dragons realised they were in for a tough afternoon. Nevertheless, the team put in a lot of work with Pedro Goss and  Connor Adams providing some pace and width to the attacks.

The strong Magpies defence and midfield restricted Dragons’ attacks on goal, though an equaliser almost came shortly before half time.

At half time the score remained 1:0 to Magpies thanks to some strong defending from the Dragons, Pete Davison putting in a MoM performance.

In the second half, Magpies continued to play strongly, pushing the Dragons’ midfield deeper as they enjoyed plenty of possession.  Further short corners resulted in a second goal midway through the half.

Credit to the Dragons, who worked hard to try and get back in the game, but were beaten by a solid performance from Magpies.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-4 IES 5 

James king mom dod Andy key goal scorer matt Armstrong

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 1-1 UEA 4

The start of the 6s match away against UEA 4 was delayed due to previous game overruns and a nasty injury during the preceding match between Sudbury and UEA, so it was under darkening skies and flood lights that this week’s game began. It wasn’t ideal as most of the team had warmed up before the main delay so we had a bit of a slow start to the match. It was useful for Rob Wagstaff though as he was unable to be there for the beginning, this later push off allowed him to play more of the game. And make a very positive impact.

UEA 4 had the look of a well drilled team and although had variable results recently were still above Dragons 6 in the league. There was a noticeable age difference between the teams with the young, early 20’s UEA being faced by the more mature and varied line up from the 6’s. Mind you there is no point getting older without getting wiser, as the game was to prove.  UEA’s main tactics were for a fast build up play and attack in the centre of the pitch to generally to wear us down. Early in the first half UEA’s tactics came good and after a bit of a goal mouth scramble they scored the first goal. UEA 4 1-0 Dragons 6.

Throughout this initial pressure the Dragons defence was working well as a unit with James Hansell, Chris Orme, Alex Riddoch and our captain Mike Banham keeping UEA honest with excellent defending. Joel Lawrence in goal was alert to any danger that broke through and made some great saves from close range including a fine stick save. After 15 minutes Rob Wagstaff rotated onto the pitch and made an immediate impact moving the ball around at pace and working up into the UEA circle. This work along with fine support from Darryl Robinson and Ed Crosier resulted in a Rob making a great strike on goal from just inside the circle, the ball scorching into the back netting of the goal a full 4 feet off the ground. Pretty unstoppable….UEA 1-1 Dragons 6

Because of the pace the game was being played at, and now the game level, things settled into a tight fought battle in the midfield with both sides determined to get the advantage. Tireless running from Sam Nutt and Shiv Kapur on the wings ensured the tempo was kept high and the half time break came with the scores level.

With the restart John Butler took some time off the field but continued to inspire from the sideline with positional advice and encouragement. The game continued where it left off with both side working at 100% effort to make a breakthrough. A couple of Dragons players did come to the notice of the umpire on occasion but it was their commitment to the team that meant they just nudged the boundaries of the rules. UEA tried to take advantage of the loss of a Dragons player for these short periods, but again the whole team dug in and played some great hockey, not just in the defence but right through to the centre forwards, with everyone making the effort to get back on UEA penalty corners. At one point, the Dragons midfield was effectively doing shuttle runs as UEA took three attempts to play a penalty corner…

At the final whistle, both teams were still pushing for the winning goal but neither was able to make the breakthrough. The game finished UEA 4 1-1 Dragons 6. Bearing in mind that we had lost to UEA earlier in the season, this was a great result for Dragons 6 with a point won rather than a point lost. Once again it was a continuation of the spirt and effort shown over recent weeks by the 6s and was a credit to the whole team. Given the outstanding performances by all, it was a tough decision for man of the match, but with a tireless work rate and good positional play, Sam Nutt was awarded man of the match.

With our next game at home against Norfolk Nomads 2, I feel the whole team will be ready to work hard again and get that win.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A P-P Norwich City

Floodlight failure at Taverham meant a postponement.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 0-8 Magpies

Dev boys b battled hard against Magpies, lost 8-0 but a great game played in the best spirit. MOM Will Pank.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 4-0 Yarmouth

Dev Girls have a good win 4-0 against Yarmouth with 3 goals from Maddy Reynolds and 1 from Sophie Barrow. Good to see so many players gaining more game experience! POM Maddy Reynolds.

Get Back Into Ladies See the Light!!

A highly successful programme during 2016 saw 28 Get Back Into Ladies join Norwich Dragons Hockey Club, all of whom are now fully embedded into the Club. With 19 Junior Girls moving up to Adult this season and 23 players joining from other clubs/schools, Dragons has 70 new adult ladies to coach and inspire across their 8 Adult Ladies teams.

Amongst the 28 ladies joining under the Get Back Into banner, the Club had complete beginners, many that played at school 10-15 years ago, but some ladies that haven’t played for 25 years!  Players returning to the sport this season can be found in the Dragons Ladies 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s and 8s.

A few of our ladies were inspired to write some words about their experiences:

Claire:

I last picked up a hockey stick in 6th form. I went to a school which was really keen on hockey and had loved it. However I was too nervous to join the uni team as I didn’t know anyone who played there. So the hockey gear went into the attic for the next 20 years! A few years ago my daughter started playing for Norwich Dragons, I was amazed at how relaxed and inclusive the club was. Watching her play matches made me realise that I was in danger of becoming one of those shouty, competitive parents, purely because I was itching to get back on the pitch myself! I plucked up the courage to attend a “Get Back Into” session this past summer…telling my family it was “just an hour on a Monday night for a few weeks”. 

I was apprehensive about going as I knew no one but the coaches were so friendly and didn’t laugh at us when we started talking about the offside rule. It all came back really quickly, though despite being a runner, the first few sessions caused severe issues walking downstairs the next morning! I have become completely addicted to it and wake up with a smile when it’s hockey day!

After a few weeks I told my husband I had officially caught the hockey bug!

The only challenge is juggling family life, I have to accept I can’t play in all the matches I would like to. My friends call it my mid-life crisis though I think it’s a pretty tame one. Playing team sport again with a group of women who are all so different, but who have such a laugh is really rewarding, way more interesting than running round the block.

Helen:

I wanted to try something new so searched for taster sessions on Active Norfolk. I only played a little bit of hockey at school in P.E lessons but I remembered liking it. Norwich Dragons was just down the road from me and I had also read that they were a really friendly club, which turned out to be true! I was really nervous that I would look silly, be judged for not being very good or fit enough, so I convinced a friend to come with me. I didn’t need to be nervous as the sessions were great fun with a mixture of skills and games. We were able to borrow sticks and shin pads but unfortunately these things didn’t help me from falling over!

Louise:

My Son Alex plays hockey and I have always enjoyed watching him play. I was very nervous in starting hockey, as I didn’t know if I would be good enough, having not played for 25 years. The coaches made the get back sessions very relaxed and welcoming. I have found captain Katy very encouraging and feel the Dragons 8s is very friendly and a good team spirit. 

Wanted to get fit but running not inspiring enough, being part of a team gives the drive to keep going.

Hannah:

I would like to say how easy it was to get involved from the first email – I made an enquiry and was given a wealth of information about different options which made me feel ‘at ease’ about joining in!

It had been 8 years since I last played, and 10 years since I played at school. Having tried out another club in the past, I felt a change of direction was in order. I worked at Goals so became familiar with some of the Dragons faces, and wanted to join about 2 years before I did!

I was nervous, as I knew Dragons was a well-established club and couldn’t possibly imagine I would fit in, but from the first session I was greeted by the coaches and made to feel like I belonged. 

As soon as I got home from that first ‘Get Back Into’ session, I knew I had fallen in love with hockey again and couldn’t wait to train again. That feeling still remains, after every training night and match day. 

I am astounded by the commitment of all involved in Dragons, but most prominent of all, how friendly and welcoming they have been. I wouldn’t recommend anywhere else to anyone who asks.

I am proud to be a Dragon!

Floss:

I stopped playing hockey when I left university, mostly because I was under the impression that any club hockey would be too serious and demanding. I also had no idea how to “find” a club – at school and uni it was there for the taking. So I sort of forgot about it and started playing tennis instead. 

It was only 17 years later when I started taking my 7 year old to sessions at Dragons did the itch begin to resurface. A friend who had recently re-started playing through a Get Back Into session at Dragons was the prompt I needed to go along and give it a go. 

It could have gone either way, and I was sort of expecting to hate it, but after two sessions I was hooked. Nothing beats a team sport, no matter how old you are, and when you also have like-minded friendly people to play with and a very encouraging, enthusiastic and approachable coaching staff it makes you look forward to it every week. 

I am over 40, I hadn’t played in 17 years but I am seriously glad that I gave it a shot. I’m not too sure that my husband is quite so pleased however…

Sue:

So, actually my first “Back to Hockey” session at NDHC was much easier than the second. Having not picked up a stick in 21 years and having previously graduated from the school team to my then local team North Walsham, the one thing that I hadn’t thought about before turning up was that I wouldn’t know anyone. Rather I worried about whether I could still play or perhaps the game had moved on so much that I would be lost.  I needn’t have worried about any of it.

I love the club spirit and had forgotten how much fun it is playing in a team game having filled the last 21 years running marathons and doing other sports challenges I felt I wanted that team thing again. I was made to feel so welcome and I now feel like I’ve been playing for Dragons for years!  

I have to say that having played against other teams this year I’m really glad I joined NDHC. 

Kim:

Never played hockey before and wanted to try something new and different. Norwich Dragons have made me feel very welcome.

Nic:

I played hockey at school and university and am interested in playing again. I last played about 25 years ago just watched your films on the side of the website about back to hockey and it looks fun.

 Karen:

My daughter has just started coming along. It seems like a lovely, friendly club. I was wondering about whether you have a session suitable for me please, mid -30s and not played since my school days! So pretty rusty!

Three of our Get Back Into ladies having just finished another Dragon Training Session, Gemma, Louise (Brooksy) and Anita.

NDHC League Match Reports: 21/01/2017

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s P-P St Albans 2

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s P-P Carrow 1

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-3 Loddon 1

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-3 Watton 2

The Ladies 5’s were glad to be able to get out on the pitch this week, an early frost had cleared and temperature a healthy 2degrees. Lou Davis gave us her usual hokey cokey warm up, left leg in, right leg out and we were fully warmed up.  Dragons had first push back, with Fiona Fletcher passing back to a waiting Lynne Price, we soon realised Watton had some strong central players and needed to maintain our passing around them and not get caught up.  The 5’s held strong and the battle for play was end to end.  We had the strongest defensive line up of Jemima Williams, Amelia Smith and Lou and they were called into action from the start, shielding the D and closing down the opposition.  Jemima showed her silky skills at blocking the ball and weaving it past to clear the D.  Luckily we had 14 players so plenty of subs for this fast paced game.  Laura Hansell got some great runs in up the wing and pinged the ball forward at speed, unfortunately the forwards weren’t quite ready to pick these up and some chances missed early on.  Moving around the D Fiona, Catherine Matthews and Lucy Buxton were trying to create chances to slot the ball in, we knew the Watton keeper liked to come forward of the goal and we needed to take chances on the posts.  Our keeper for the game was Kat Spiers and although we had said she might not see much action this game, she was surprised and pleased to keep warm by leaping forward and producing solid saves from many directions.  At half time the score was 0-0 not for want of trying for a goal by both teams.

Pete gave us a half time talk which was needed to clarify our thoughts and focus us for the 2nd half.  Following Pete’s advice we headed out, motivated and determined.  Good job Vicky Earley is like a machine that never gives up as she hussled the opposition and prevented many balls from reaching our D.  Aditi Naik, Mel Widdows and Rachael Matthews applied constant effort on the wings often thankless charging up the pitch and then chasing back down, kept on their toes.  In this half there was some lovely passing and calling for the ball in a really tough game.  Watton were continuing to threaten our D, and our defence were covering all areas, Lou and Amelia clearing the ball out wide.  Unfortunately, Watton nifty top of the diamond worked the ball in and scored from a wide cross across the D.  Undeterred the 5’s fought on and with Lou pushing the ball wide up the wing, slotted to Aditi and picked up by Lisa Harwood, slotted through the defender legs to Fiona waiting on the post and into the back of the goal. 1 all, massive cheers by supports and players.  The 5’s seemed spurred on by this and on a hit out by the Watton defence a cheeky Lucy nipped in and stole the ball, weaved past the defender and headed to the goal, the keeper was running out and Lucy pushed the ball but keeper went to ground and pushed ball away.  Still pushing hard in the opposition D, a big scrabble ensured to get the ball into goal.  Lynne grit and determination slotted the ball away, 2-1.  The 5’s were in the final throws of the game and we saw another chance on goal by Lucy with another great ball steal.  Watton were still pressing hard and gained a short corner, the ball was being pinged around the D, cleared out, back in and they managed to get it into goal.  2-2.  Now there was only about 3 mins left, the 5’s pushed on and it was a battle of wills, Watton pulling another short corner, breath held, ball cleared returned and another short awarded with the final whistle.  All the Watton players pushed forward and with another scrabble they managed to score.  The 5’s did exceedingly well in a very tough game against a strong Watton team, they battled right to the nail.  Kat on her debut in goal for us, played extremely well under constant pressure.  POM was Jemima Williams.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s P-P Watton 3

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 11-0 Norwich City  7

Dragons 7s were pleased that the pitch wasn’t frozen this week as they were keen to get out and play after last week’s postponement. Their opposition was Norwich City 7s and Dragons faced them with determination.

City won the toss and chose to take the first push back. Dragons pressed forward from the start, winning the ball and putting City under pressure. New to 7s Kelly Mills got the scoring under way in the first 10 minutes, after a scramble in the D saw the ball roll into goal. Dragons carried on pressing City and Jemima Dorman soon followed Kelly’s lead, scoring goal number 2. Dragons continued with their excellent play, with lots of good passing around, making full use of the pitch. City made some good challenges and did give Dragons defence some work to do, although keeper Alice Smith didn’t have the busiest of games. The defence of Katy Saide, Emma North, Frankie Paul and Hattie Gale pushed forward and aided the midfield in stopping any of City’s attacks and got the ball back up the field, with Stevie Spencer always ready to receive the ball and tackle City. Ruby Rose-Turrell had another great game, usually a defender she was placed at bottom of the diamond and proved very useful getting the ball around. Another defender, Esme McKinnon-Evans also played in a different position, this week she was also in midfield, where she excelled so much that she earned herself the POM. After Kelly scored her second goal (where she flew!), Esme slotted in her first, bringing the score line to 4:0 to Dragons at half time.

Both teams continued the second half with the determination they started with. Dragons continued to push, with the forwards of Kelly, Jemima, Katie Moulson, Claire Stuart and Sophie Thurtell all getting the ball into the D. Dragons persistence kept being paid off, with Kelly scoring 3 more times and Jemima also scoring another 3 goals. Katie got herself in great positions on the post and her positioning was rewarded when she touched the ball and nudged it into the corner of the goal.

Dragons were elated with the final score of 11:0! Although the result doesn’t reflect the great effort put in by City, who have improved since the last time the two teams met earlier in the season.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0-6 Broadland 3

Dragons had something of a hockey lesson from Broadland, who did everything expected from a top of the table team.  Earlier in the season, Dragons held Broadland to a 4-4 draw, but Broadland have since moved on to be a hard-hitting, tight-marking team and on this occasion their power play was superior to the Dragons’ passing game.

However, despite the scoreline, Dragons enjoyed the game and their post-match analysis of how they could do better. They stood up to the onslaught with determination in a way they would not have been able to do earlier in the season. They kept their heads up, kept tackling, and their speed in re-setting improved a lot. Every player gave of her best and there were several nominees for player of the match with Amelia Keitley-Webb just taking it with her ability to beat opponents and her flair all over the pitch.  She was pushed close by Kat ‘The Cat’ Spiers who made a string of fine saves and clearances to keep the score respectable. Only the finest placement or the ‘double moves’ across the circle could beat her.

Possibly the biggest indicator of the gap between the two teams was that the Dragons failed to get a penalty corner, whereas in recent games they have been creating plenty of chances. This time, Broadland’s tight marking and strong interceptions meant the Dragons’ penetration was not quite good enough. Katy Cole wriggled her way through on a few occasions, and Lois Metcalfe took up some excellent positions on the left – and did a very good job of holding the game up, hoping that someone could re-lead for her. If the 8s can do more practising together as a unit, it will help their team understanding, and their positional play will improve, leading to more opportunities for shots.

Jo Baker, Johanne Steward, Ruth Barton and Anna Chapman can all look back at some excellent tackling and determined defending, but every so often one of those raking long passes would find its way through, with the Broadland forwards showing how to nip onto the posts and get a shot away. Jess Lockwood also did very well defending on her return to the squad. Sophie Drew stuck to her marking task and also showed plenty of speed in midfield. And a very special mention to Louise ‘Brooksy’ Brooks and Gemma Ballard, our Get Back Intos, who show improvement in every game in speed, ball control and ability to read the game, and are starting to be very good attacking midfielders.

A late call-off meant Dragons went with 13 with tacticians Katy and Jo needing to rework all the subbing plans – not easy when you are trying to give everyone equal pitch time and maintain  a balance in the team. Step forward Amy Forse as manager, who did an excellent job of spotting when players just needed a quick breather, and also how to manoeuvre the squad. She moved Bridget Le Good to left back – not a player used to ‘running 1’ at defensive corners – but this was something that mostly worked, and the player’s ability to shift the ball up the pitch helped to relieve the pressure.

So the 8s, who love a good battle, can’t wait to get back to training on Wednesday and put their lessons into practice. Next week’s opponents have dropped out of the league, but have asked if we can have a friendly, so look out for emails from Katy. Whenever it happens, bring it on.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-1 UEA 1

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s P-P Magpies 3

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-0 Magpies 4

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s P-P IES 4

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s P-P IES 6

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-3 Bury St Edmunds 6

Following a slightly longer than ideal Xmas break, Norwich Dragons 6s played their first match of the new year against top of the table Bury St Edmunds 6s. Bury had been our first opponents of the 2016/2017 season and we came away with a 2-2 draw, so expectations were high for a good result. There were a number of players back after minor injuries before Xmas and we were joined by Chris Orme a player new to our club having previously played over many years for Beeston Hockey Club based near Nottingham. Welcome Chris!

After a bright start by both teams Bury made the breakthrough first, scoring a well worked goal close in on our net. Dragons 6s came straight back and put together some well worked runs into the Bury circle which came very close on a number of occasions to equalling the score. Then, against the run of play, Bury managed to find a hole in a tight Dragons defence and score a second goal. Regular Dragons player Owain Hall had been unable to make the start of the match due to other commitments but arrived 20 minutes into the first half and made an immediate impact. Linking up with Andy Key and Darryl Robinson, Owain passed and then received the ball in the Bury circle, striking home a great goal to bring us up to 2-1 behind. Dragons continued sustained pressure and went into half time with Bury St Edmunds 6s leading Norwich Dragons 6s 2 goals to 1.

The second half once again saw Dragons pushing forward with some fast penetrating play, although Bury were still not to be underestimated and made some good counter plays into our circle. Special mention must go to our Goal keeper James King who made a fantastic one on one save against a Bury striker. Great positioning and reactions. During this time James Hansell was noticeable in being solid in defence and also making some good runs up the left wing.

The game started to turn around for Dragons when early in the second half when good work by Ray Hansell, Darryl Robinson and Rob Lee put Ed Crosier in a great situation for him to slot in a well taken goal, bringing us level at 2-2. From the restart, Dragons continued to pressurise Bury and this led to once more the front combination of Lee, Key and Crosier setting up Darryl Robinson for a well taken strike and goal. Norwich Dragons 3 Bury St Edmunds 2.

Clearly from this position maintaining our lead while keeping the pressure on for a 4th goal resulted in some very near misses for both Dragons and Bury and the game was beginning to climax with some entertaining hockey. Unfortunately the Dragons win was not to be, as with only a few minutes remaining a Bury striker ghosted in to the back post and managed to score pulling the tally up to 3 – 3. The final 10 minutes maintained the pace of the whole game and with a penalty corner awarded to Dragons in the dying minutes there was the hope of a win at the death. Unfortunately Mike Banham’s shot went millimetres wide of the left hand post and shortly after the final whistle was blown.

Although we were disappointed with the draw after pulling back to lead the match towards the end, it was a good result against a strong Bury side who had certainly improved since the first match of this season. The way the game was attacked by the Dragons 6 team and the high and constant work rate, along with our new addition to the team, gives us plenty of encouragement to be able to reverse some of the losses in the first half of the season. We hope to continue this theme next week at the UEA against UEA 4s and make some moves towards a late season push up the table.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 1-4 Magpies

The match started pretty well with several short corners in the first half resulting in a goal from Bobby. This was followed by a goal from Magpies, and then a crucial goal just before half time. In the second half the tide really turned against us and the magpies took control of the game scoring twice. Dragons had a few chances towards the end of the game, but couldn’t quite get the ball in the back of the net. Final score 1 – 4.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 0-0 Magpies

Free Rules Session – Friday 27th January

The Norfolk Hockey Umpiring Association are running a FREE session on Friday 27th January (7.30pm-9.00pm) at Taverham on the interpretation of the lifted and carried ball, the ball deliberately hit over the back line and obstruction.

NHUA are inviting all umpires and players to attend to gain a better understanding of the way these rules are being applied in Norfolk.  Please see details below.

 

We are running another of our Workshops at TRF (Beech Road, Taverham, NR8 6HP) starting at 7:30pm finishing around 9:00pm ish. We have booked the bar so you will be able to refresh yourselves.

Wrap up warm as the bulk of the session will be demonstrated outside on the pitch.

We have asked Phil Skinner to cover the lifted and carried ball; the ball deliberately hit over the back line and obstruction. And I hope we will have some time inside to take you up the “ladder of control”.

All are welcome, no matter what standard or umpiring experience you have.

We also invite the Club ULOs to advertise this session to all players and umpires in their clubs.
Everyone involved in Hockey should be interested and aware of how and what the current interpretations of the rules are.

I hope you all have a prosperous and happy New Year,

Alan Jones (NHUA President)

NDHC League Match Reports: 07/01/2017

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 4-0 Magpies 4

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-2 Norwich City 3

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-2 Magpies 5

This was our away game against Magpies 5’s, we had finished victorious last time but since this they had risen to 3rd position in the league table above us!  It was going to be hard work with the extra winter layers and Christmas break off.  We had a strong team, muscles stretched out thanks to Lou Davis our personal trainer and we were ready.  Magpies had first push back and passed the ball out wide to push up the pitch, for the first 15mins there was a lot of to and fro ing up the pitch.  The Magpies were quick to intercept the ball and we looked a little sluggish.  Emily Roper our keeper showed her flexibility with good movement and a cracking stick save. The game picked up pace when Kerenza Moffatt picked up the ball and ran it up the right wing, Fiona Fletcher was moving dangerously around on the edge of the D, she picked up the ball and swept it across the goal, where Lisa Harwood slotted it between the feet of the keeper into goal. 1-0 up.  Invigorated the Dragons upped the pace and were attacking all opportunities.  The Magpies found it difficult to attack our goal as they were soon closed down by Katie Franks and Lou.  Amelia Smith took on the central defence position, commanding from the rear and clearing the ball out through the opposition.  Magpies had a couple of short corners that they couldn’t convert, as Vicky Earley was running at them at speed.  Aditi Naik on her debut for the 5’s used her speed and skill to bypass the Magpies out on the wing and this matched well with Laura Hansell on the left.  Lynne Price was hassling the Magpies midfield and recognising her skills they tried to close her out of the game.  In the last part of this half Magpies pressed the D with a cross in from the right and a scrabble in the D, a goal! 1-1.  Half time was called.

At half time we confirmed the need to maintain our shape and not get pulled out of position, the passing was looking good and we were having lots of chances in the D.  The game was still ours for the taking, a large amount of Dragon players were on the sidelines to cheer us on, which gave us a boost.  There was some great link up play between Lynne, Catherine and Rachael Matthews working around Magpies players.  Vicky was on her usual form like a streak of lightening, 3D skills, stealing the ball on most opportunities(we won’t mention her own goal!!). The next goal came from a speedy run from Laura up the wing, ball passed centrally across to Lynne and then to Fiona, again giving the opposition the slip in the D.  And a lovely slap into goal behind the keeper. 2-1! Magpies aiming for some payback left a forward hanging high to try and give us the slip.  The battle continued and we wanted to hang onto the win, get those 3 points and start to move back up the table.  In those last few minutes Magpies tried another attack on goal, it became quite crowded, Emily kicked it out, and Magpies kept going, on the edge of the D, their forward got a lifted ball through players which just dropped into goal.  2-2.  Then we thought the 3rd goal was coming, Catherine cracked a shot off into the goal, just wide of the post, Kerenza even made it into the D to try for a goal, ball cleared.  Finally Rachael had a lovely run with the ball whizzing past opposition, Aditi saw her chance and ran forward into the D, ball passed over, calm and collected slotted away into goal. The Dragons had to hold their nerve for the last few never ending minutes! 3-2 great result from the first game back.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-0 Magpies 6

The  ladies 6s returned from the festive season with a fire in their bellies, geared up and ready to deliver. Knowing full well they were to expect a strong, well-drilled Magpies squad they approached the game with focus and determination that was clear from the offset. They pressed the opposition quickly, displaying neat passing sequences which resulted in a goal from Lily Sore from an accurate cross courtesy of Mia McGhee (who went in to score a well-worked-for goal in the second half). Along with Sue Brumby and Hannah Edwards they comprised an effective forward formation which gave the Magipes deft defence a run for their money. Elsa Scott, Bethany Elgood, Nicola Robinson and Beth Coates were tenacious and worked tirelessly in midfield, noticeably confident on the ball which helped to create numerous opportunities inside the D. The second goal came from a short corner in which Ginny Simkin snuck up from the depths of her defensive position to surprise the opposition with powerful sweep in to the goal. Hannah Woods and Katy Saide held steady on the defensive flanks with Amy Forse putting her huge hit-outs to good use as centre back. Kat Spiers debuted in goal.

The 3-0 score line was by no means a breeze and Magpies had a fair few chances but Spiers held them off at every try. The match ended with a short corner awarded to dragons, unfortunately goal number four didn’t come however it was an exciting end to an excellent match. Dragons worked hard for a victory that was fully deserved.

NDHC League Match Reports: 17/12/2016

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-1 Evergreens 1

Flying high after last weeks’ 9-0 victory, Ladies 3s knew that they would have to work hard to take a much needed 3 points from Evergreens, if they were to maintain their push for promotion into the second half of the season.

The 3s started quite sluggishly, struggling to find each other in their usual expansive passing style but instead seeing a number of weak passes snapped up by the opposition, who initially had the upper hand in the game simply by seeming to want the ball more. The first half continued in much the same vein with Dragons failing to hit their stride but still managing to cut out any attacks. Keeper Alice Smith made some strong clearances leaving the score at the halfway mark at a stalemate.

The half time team talk from coaches Mark and Ollie instructed the girls to focus on the bigger picture rather than getting dragged down by the finer points of the game. Dragons took this on board and improved significantly in the second half, although they initially found themselves 1-0 down due to a well-taken strike from a short corner. This seemed to wake the 3s up however as the team were determined not to lose the game and so an equaliser came not long afterwards. A sustained spell of pressure saw a series of short corners and the ball fell for Sam Franklin whose shot looped up from a defender’s stick and sailed into the back of the net. Another penalty corner a few minutes later was struck powerfully across goal and into the far corner by Debs Smith to put the girls ahead.

After taking the lead the result never looked in doubt. Despite a few spectacular falls the defensive line of Harriet Green, Sarah Wagstaff, Angela Murgatroyd and Carmel Windsor-Waite held firm at the back, assisted by Tash Falzon and Claire Canning, in her final game for the team before heading to New Zealand. This allowed the 3s to start building attacks as they had been unable to do in the first half, assisted by a tiring Evergreens side who were unable to press as they had done earlier in the game. Hazel Sumner and Trish Hagan charged forward on the wings, threading passes through to Kate McKenna on the left and Sam Franklin on the right, Caroline Wolfe and Lauren Lawrie working to create space in the centre. This led to several more short corners and sustained pressure on the Evergreens goal, with McKenna seeing a shot on the post go agonisingly wide, and Franklin almost adding her second but instead hitting the post.

Although the 3s were unlucky not to add to their lead it enabled them to look comfortable at 2-1 and take the much needed 3 points, nursing various cuts and bruises after the very physical game. This hard fought win will see Dragons go 2nd in the table; hopefully they can sustain this momentum for the rest of the season. Player of the match went to Sam Franklin for her tireless running down the wings.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-2 Evergreens 2

Ladies 6’s always knew this re-arragned match was going to be a tough one. With that said, we went into the game with open minds and plenty of determination. The first half began as expected with Evergreens pushing hard testing our tenacious defensive line up of Katie Franks, Hannah Woods, Katy Saide and Nicola Robinson. We were successful in defending several of the Evergreens advances with excellence goal keeping from Luisa Valentini (POM), but their persistence eventually earned them two goals. With every attempt they had on goal, our motivated, goal-hungry team went on the counter attack. Mia McGhee in only her second game with us proved a valuable asset, making sure she was in the D and creating opportunities. Lizzy McDonnell, Sophie Thurtell and Rosie Skipp worked hard up front, displaying strong stick skills and sending plenty of balls into the D as well as each having shots on goal themselves, but all were sadly denied.

In the second half, the team were still feeling very much in the game and determined not to concede any further. With continued hard work from the midfield, the ever strong Beth Elgood showed her flexibility playing both top of the diamond and centre back, with Katie Franks also demonstrating flexibility stepping into the midfield role for part of the game. Beth Coates and Elsa Scott showed high work rates and caused problems for the opposition slowing their advances down in the middle of the pitch tirelessly tracking backwards and forwards. Fiona Fletcher provided consistency in midfield, displaying excellent ball distribution and opening up spaces. Ginny Simkin made up the last piece of the midfield team initially playing on the right before returning to bottom of the diamond, working hard to support the defence.

With great determination and team work we succeeded in defending all of the advances from Evergreens in the second half, including back to back short corners. This was due to so many members of the team having defensive skills and the whole team working together to clear the ball away form the danger areas. This team was a pleasure to play with and the work rate was second to none. We were unlucky not to score a goal, a theme that has plagued us this season, however with the determination displayed in this match and throughout the season I have no doubt that this curse will be left behind in 2016.

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Empresa Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 4-1 Dereham

On a murky December Saturday Norwich Dragons Development boys took to the field to play their last game of 2016 against Dereham in a game rearranged from earlier on in the season.

Dragons started the game very well and played some very positive hockey in the first half against a well organised Dereham team. The score at half time was 2-0 to Dragons with 2 very well worked goals being scored by Edward Cross and Daniel Murphy.

In the second half Dragons continued their good team play and a third goal was soon scored when James Cross passed to Edward Cross in the D who finished well to score his second and Dragons third goal of the afternoon. Dereham then scored their first and only goal of the game a great reverse stick hit into the corner of the Dragons goal. Both teams then played out an even second half with short corners being earned at both ends of the pitch.

In the final moments of the game Jonny Taylor combined with James Cross who slotted the ball home with what turned out to be the final hit of the game to make the final score Dragons 4 Dereham 1.

Dragons go into the Christmas holidays on the back of a great team performance and a very good win. Edward Cross was named man of the match in the pizza bar afterwards after a very good personal performance and 2 crucial goals.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Dragons Development Boys. See you in 2017.

NDHC League Match Reports: 10/12/2016

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-5 Wapping 1

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s travelled to The Olympic Park for Captain Rachel King’s final game before heading off to work in Chile.

Dragons were keen to send King off with a win in their last game before the Christmas break and started brightly with a few short corners, one of which was fired into the goal by King, but was slightly too high to be allowed.

This made the visitors even more determined and after soaking up pressure from Wapping, managed to take the lead in open play through Hayley Toleman.  A second goal came from a short corner which King picked up at the top of the D and showed her skills to beat a couple of defenders before Liv Sumpter was on hand to dive full stretch and put the ball in the back of the net.  Dragons looked to be heading into the halftime break two goals to the good, however more pressure from the home side lead to a short corner in the last minute of the half which was blocked on the line illegally and the resultant penalty flick was converted, reducing the halftime lead to 2-1 to Dragons.

In the second half Wapping played the better hockey and with another penalty flick brought the scores level at 2-2 and went on to take a 5-2 lead.

With just 30 seconds on the clock the King/Sumpter combination secured a consolation goal for Dragons with some fine individual skill from
King down the left finishing with a ball across the goal that Sumpter threw herself at to force the ball home to make the final score 5-3 to Wapping.  A disappointing final game for a great Captain in Rachel King, however the girls were able to raise a smile for their last Team Photo together after the game before an emotional farewell.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 9-0 Norwich Dragons 4

The second Dragons’ intra club league fixture for the Empresa Norfolk Premier division was played in perfect hockey conditions on an unusually mild weekend for December. It was also played in understandably excellent spirit.

The 4s came out donning dragon tattoos and festive glitter,  but the war paint was not enough to upset the 3s on their current run of wins, with text book hockey on display. They started the game with the first push,  but the 3s were quickly on top of them,  stealing possession,  and taking command of the midfield.

It was not long into the game when the goals started to flow,  following lots of short sharp passing,  and perfectly weighted balls up the lines on either side of the pitch for forwards Caroline Wolfe,  Katie Mckenna and Sian Lawrie to run on to.  One such ball was picked up by Mckenna on the right,  driven along the back line and slipped to Sian Lawrie to finish,  slotting the ball past keeper Alice Smith.

The second for the 3s came from a short corner. The injection out to Wolfe at the top of the D was slipped left to Sian Lawrie, and a strong strike from there found the backboard.

The third came from a goal mouth scramble,  with Lauren Lawrie tapping in from a metre off the line.

Number four followed for Lauren after an initial shot from the top of the D by Debs Smith. Lauren picked up the rebound from the keeper’s pads, and with a deft spin,  she found the gap between the keeper’s legs.

The 3s recycled play out and around the whole of the pitch,  utilising the space of the defensive players Carmel Windsor-Waite,  Sarah Wagstaff and Angela Murgatroyd. The ball was moved up through the midfield using pivots Claire Canning and Smith, out to Natasha Falzon on the right and Hazel Sumner on the left, with ease.

The fifth goal resulted from another short corner,  slipped by Wolfe again to the left,  this time to Mckenna. Her strike found the keeper,  but Lauren Lawrie poached the ball on the rebound to score from her new favourite position on the floor in front of goal.

Number six came from another goalmouth scramble,  with Lauren getting the final touch.

After half time,  and a cheeky round of Christmas Port,  the 3s maintained control of the majority of possession. Simple passing from the half way line found Debs Smith,  who carried the ball to the D,  finishing elegantly for number seven.

The eighth goal came from Mckenna,  following lots of short triangular passing,  the finish from just one metre from the line.

The final goal,  and Lauren’s fifth of the match,  again came from her being on the deck. Some new astros required perhaps?

The 4s should be commended for their persistence. They did penetrate the 3s defence from time to time during the second half,  gaining a couple of short corners. However,  goalkeeper Emma Cleland was first to the ball and,  together with the 3s defensive line,  cleared any shots with ease.

Lauren Lawrie was the 3s man of the match for her magnificent haul of five goals.

Final score,  9-0 to the 3s

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-9 Norwich Dragons 3

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-3 Pelicans 2

The 5’s started really well and continued to do so throughout the 1st half. The passing between the team was very well composed, and great communication throughout, we had pelicans under pressure at all times. Special mention to Amy, Beth, Lizzie and Fletch for stepping up to play with us, especially to Fletch who set up the first two goals. Harriet got herself into an amazing position to have the ball passed to her to score a 3rd goal with great composure. Lizzie was set to score another goal but unfortunately was taken out by one of her team members! So the half time score was 3-0 to us.

The 2nd half didn’t go to plan from the start and pelicans came out much stronger and more organised than the first half. This threw us a bit, along with some strange decisions made by the umpires, and a couple of sending off’s – this unsettled the team and the final score ended 3-3.

But if I was to comment on the performance of the team,  I would say that they were absolutely amazing and it was good hockey played by all team members, especially in the first half, and great team spirit.  Proud to have captained them for the match, and they gave great support to me, thanks guys

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-3 Pelicans 3

Ladies 6s hosted an overcast but mild afternoon push-back at the Den to Pelicans 3s. The Dragons team was a combination of fresh faces and 6s regulars: in the absence of captain Beth Elgood, VC Ginny Simpkin stepped up to deliver a new substitution tactic and motivational talk to the slightly deflated team. Sue Brumby provided festive cheer in the form of elaborate Christmas hats and bells to wear during the warm-up (and for the end-of-half-season team photo), which every Dragon got into the spirit and jingled their way around the pitch.

Luisa Valentini return to the 6s goal, supported by Katy Saide, Hannah Woods and Kate Atkins who provided an experienced line of defence. Ginny Simpkin formed the bottom of the diamond with Hannah Edwards holding the top, Rosie Skipp to the left and Nic Robinson on the right. Lilly Soare, Sue Brumby and Mia McGhee formed a tenacious attack – all were goal-hungry and keen to pressurise Pelicans.

Mia scored early on, giving the 6s an all-important boost of confidence. Sue Brumby utilised her boundless energy and powerful crossing ability to ensure that balls were fed in from the right with Lilly making numerous attempts on the reverse stick – unfortunately the Pelicans’ defence denied us further goals.

Jodi Rump substituted Lilly and made herself available to receive and drive on the left-hand side, but again faced pressure from the defence and could not break through. Beth Coates and Sophie Thurtell came on for the wingers: a fresh set of legs meant that Dragons continued to make attacking plays with confident stick-work from Beth and nimble runs from Sophie. Rosie then replaced Sue upfront, who worked hard to keep the ball in Dragons possession.

Luisa dominated her goal and confidently stopped the Pellies in their tracks, with decisive defensive sweeps and tackles by Hannah W and Katy, with Kate always looking for the break and sending balls back on the attack. However, Pelicans were carried by a nimble, skilful and fast player who evaded the defence to score on the reverse stick. Dragons lost their footing slightly after restarting, and the same player broke free to score again in quick succession.

A half-time pep talk, fuelled by Fruit Pastilles, prepared the Dragons to return with renewed energy and tactics. Hannah E kept side-by-side with the Pelicans’ key player, ensuring that she did not have the space to receive the ball comfortably or to shoot. Beth took the top of the diamond supported by Rosie and Jodi to her sides. Lily, Sue and Mia maintained their hunger and kept themselves in spaces ready to receive the ball – Lilly took a well-aimed strike from the edge of the D to put Dragons level. Sue was waiting perfectly on the post to maintain our presence but luckily was not needed. Sophie took position on the left and communicated well with those around her and made her presence known to the Pelicans by interfering with hit-outs and their attempts up the wing.

Pelicans again relied on their key player, getting the ball to her was interrupted by Hannah E, but by leaving her side momentarily to approach another player, the ball ended up back in a dangerous position and Pellies took the lead.

Frustrations began to heat up as Pelicans players had been performing some questionable tackling throughout the game, which eventually resulted in Hannah E being sent to the ground, receiving no free hit but a bloody knee. Shortly after this, a further tackle through Hannah’s legs took her down again, with the momentum from her run with the ball resulting in a full 360o roll. Acrobatics aside, Dragons continued to send the ball into space, with the forwards keen to get a goal. Hannah E, now in the centre-forward position, made two further attempts to score from short corners but managed to take herself to the floor both times – the bambi syndrome was blamed on the wet surface on this occasion. Pellies appeared to draw backwards to defend, but one ‘clearance’ struck the foot of Sue from point blank range. She handled the pain well and converted her annoyance into tenacity: scoring a goal was revenge enough and drew Dragons even.

The game ended jubilantly for a Dragons side who found their scoring feet (not literally) after a dry spell and happy in the knowledge that everyone worked hard individually and worked well as a team. PoM was a split across several players once again, but the vote was awarded to Hannah E. DoD also went to Hannah E for her inability to stay standing.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 4-1 Norwich Dragons B

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 1-4 Norwich Dragons A

After a good warm-up, the dev boys B team approached the match very positively. They had a lot of possession, communicated well and defended well against attacks from Dragons A. Despite this, Dragons A managed to get 3 goals past them, all aerial goals, so difficult to defend against.

Mac had a brilliant chance when he sped clear of defenders, heading for goal, all by himself. The defenders caught up with him and he tripped, which meant the ball could be cleared.

Dragons B continued playing strongly and had a few shots just off target, but then with a scramble near the goal, Mac caught the keeper and defenders off guard and scored.

Dragons B played well to the finish and the game ended 4-1 to Dragons A.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 9-0 Dereham

NDHC League Match Reports: 03/12/2016

Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 4-2 Cambridge City 2

The final game before the Christmas break saw Dragons welcome ‘run-away’ league leaders Cambridge City to the Den. The visitors arrived 9 points clear at the top of the league, having been unbeaten all season and having beaten the hosts 3-1 in the corresponding fixture at the start of the season. Dragons were largely unchanged as a squad for this lunchtime fixture, just welcoming back Rowie York-Smith and Holly Reding to the team.

After a quiet warm-up, Dragons Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson, asked for the team to show some of the commitment and desire they had shown in the final 5 minutes of their win against Bury St Edmunds, the previous week. The team weren’t about to disappoint and despite some early pressure from Cambridge City, a quick break from Laura Ward, saw her attack at pace down the right, along the baseline, to then place a perfect pass across the goal. Helen Busfield had ghosted up from the left side of midfield and found the perfect position on the back post, to slam the ball home within the first 2 minutes – a great start for the ‘lowly’ Dragons.

Whilst City were rocked, they continued to look to pass the ball around, however Dragons weren’t going to make this easy, with the defensive team of Ally Windsor-Waite, Donna Vaughan, Sarah Borrett, Karen O’Neill Simpson and Keeper Emma Cleland looking strong and secure and not about to give up this lead any time soon. Dragons always looked dangerous on the break, and one such break saw Hannah Hardy find Issy Wolfe, who attacked at pace on the right, the youngster beat her player with pace and skill and found the perfect pass to the ever impressive Hannah Phillips at the top of the D. Without hesitation, Phillips smashed the ball home, with her trademark slap-hit firmly into the corner, beating both defender and GK, for a 2-0 lead within the first 10 minutes.

Knowing the quality of the league leaders, Dragons had to work extremely hard and be disciplined with their press, not diving in, but holding up their opposition and frustrating them into mistakes. A couple of short corners were earned by both teams – one bravely taken on the arm by the industrious Shelly Seaman who will block anything for the Dragons cause!! The midfield were working incredibly hard as a team to beak down play and frustrate the league leaders. Gail Thomas, Holly Reding and Helen Busfield in the wider positions were winning most of the 50 / 50 balls and feeding the forwards with strong early balls. Dragons deserved their lead going into the break, having been clinical in the D, and this became even better just before halftime, when the home team won a short corner. Donna Vaughan’s strike was well saved by the keeper, however the ball fell to Gail Thomas whose excellent goal bound strike was half stopped, only for Laura Ward and then Issy Wolfe to pounce, with Wolfe forcing the ball over the line.

Half time talk was for more of the same and to maintain the high standards the team had set in the first half, knowing the League leaders would come at them all guns blazing – the game certainly wasn’t won yet! It was however, Dragons who came out firing, none the least their Player of the Match, Laura Ward, who had tormented the defence all half and forced the City back 3 into a mistake, intercepting the ball on the 25 line – with plenty still to do, the classy Ward drew the Keeper, then rounded her with her silky skills, before calmly slotting home from a narrow angle again with less than 2 minutes of the half gone. No more than she deserved in a game where she had given her all. 4 – 0 up with 30 minutes left to play.

Dragons knew Cambridge City would have their spell in the game and so needed to maintain their high levels of concentration and work-rate. This they did despite a couple of goals in quick succession from the league leaders – so with 20 minutes to go, the score was 4-2 and the next goal was going to be crucial. Dragons wobbled just a little, but the call for calm heads came from the sideline, and a slight tactical readjustment lead to key players being nullified from the game and the visitors frustrations grew. The clock ran down and despite chances at both ends, there was no further score in the game, securing the somewhat unlikely 3pts for Dragons.

The result was important, but the performance even more so – given how the team had stuck together despite the tough start to the season. To a player, the team have become more and more determined to prove they are better than their results had shown, and through sheer hard work at training, strong discipline and togetherness they have got the result and the performance they deserve. Thanks go to those who supported from the sideline and to the Ladies 1’s for popping across from their indoor tournament to give us a cheer!

Onwards and upwards from here – the hard work over the break will continue and the team will continue to believe and build on this performance.

Muted apologies from the ‘reporter’ for the long match report……..but felt the team deserved this one!!!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 6-0 Norwich City 4

On a bright and sunny December morning Dragons welcomed Emily Roper to the team, making her 3rd team debut but showed the opposition very little festive spirit as they took on a City. Once they’d settled they switched the ball, transferring with fluidity, their movement with and off the ball complimented the subtle skills of ‘face of the team’ Debs Smith. The opening goal came from a Caroline Wolfe strike from the top of the circle, finished off adeptly by a grounded Lauren Lawrie. Dragons gave City little respite when they followed up from a corner variation which saw Katie McKenna cross the ball for Lawrie to score her second. Dragons followed this up with an extended period of play where they retained possession recycling the ball through the ranks. Any chance City had was quickly closed down by the industrious Sian Lawrie, Sam Franklin and Natasha Falzon. Dragons took the score to three when McKenna again switched the ball to an incoming Falzon who coolly converted her first goal for Dragons. Getting the taste for scoring Falzon then followed up with their second and Dragons fourth, following up a shot and slipping it past the keeper.

Half time: Dragons 4 : City 0

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with player of the match Carmel Windsor-Waite and Hazel Sumner gliding down the right flank and Angela Murgatroyd intercepting loose ball on the left. Claire Canning displaying her cool head and composure by swapping passes in the middle with Smith and the Lawrie twins, which soon began to pay dividends with Dragons fifth goal coming from a Smith strike at a short poached by Canning. Trish Hagon had another commanding game bridging the defence and attack, combining with Windsor-Waite to launch Franklin down the wing. The blend of youth and experience of Wolfe and Mckenna is becoming quite formidable and the expansive way that Dragons played produced their sixth and final goal which saw Lauren Lawrie cooly and unselfishly slip her rebounded shot to Sam Franklin to dispatch into the back of the net. Very little breached the Dragons defence but Roper made a composed clearance to set up another Dragons foray into the City half.

This was a very accomplished performance by Dragons, every player made a huge contribution to the fast flowing hockey that at times was breathtaking. The challenge is to maintain this style of play under more pressure – well done everyone!

Full Time: Dragons 6 : City 0

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-3 Norwich City 2

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-3 Lowestoft Railway 1

After a disappointing game the previous week, the Dragons 5’s were keen for an improved performance.  We were taking on, top of the table Lowestoft Railway 1’s and felt like we were actually on the beach with the sandy pitch.  We welcomed Lizzie McDonnell who came to give us support up front for a bit of post hanging!!  The weather was mild and Lou Davis put us through a vigorous left leg in left leg out warm up, we were ready.  Lowestoft had first push back and tried to play the ball through the middle but it was swiftly picked up by Vicky Earley and passed through to a calling Lynne Price, out wide to Karenza Moffatt who even though had only 3 hours sleep made fast work of the side line.  The ball was fed to Lizzie who was lined up ready to bring the ball into the D, Lowestoft defenders were quick to react and cleared the ball.  It didn’t get far, Lynne picked it up and fed it back in, Lisa Harwood and Racheal Matthews were moving around dangerously in the D.  Play continued like this for the first 15 minutes and Lowestoft found it difficult to play their own game.  The Dragons then seemed to lose a bit of momentum and energy, Lowestoft tried to take advantage but didn’t make much progress through our solid defence of Jemima Williams, Lou and Mel Widdows.  They were strong and quick to close down the opposition.  On the return Catherine Matthews brought the ball up the left and passed through to Racheal who caught a opposition foot in the D.  A short corner and the chance needed, Lynne passed the ball to Lisa, slipped left to Racheal a slap in and picked up by the keeper, flicked forward and Lynne’s lightening skills picked up the rebound and slotted it behind the keeper and over the defenders stick. Whoop.  Lowestoft were still strong and tried to clear the ball though the middle of the pitch, they didn’t count on Vicky’s enthusiastic tackles, and sweet smiles at the umpires!  Luisa Valentini had been watching play from the rear and was only called into action a few times, Lowestoft managed to force a short corner just before half time, a scrap in the D and they scored. 1 all.

At half time, the 5’s were buoyed and felt like the first half had gone well, we needed more and louder calling for the ball.  Off we set, Megan Farrant tried to take her chances and drive the ball through the Lowestoft players toward goal, she was not getting away that easy!  Again the 5’s were energetic in midfield, Lowestoft found it difficult to keep up with Karenza and the ball was worked well between players, Lou and Mel pushing up to support from the rear.  This week the forwards were finding space and opposition feet in the D.  The next goal was a Dragons one worked around the D from Lizzie, into goal by Lynne rebound picked up by Lisa slotted left of the keeper and nudged in by Mel.  Team effort! Lowestoft again pushed forward and their chances on goal only came from shorts, next goal was a short corner and unluckily pinged off a Dragons stick into goal. 2-2.  Both teams were keen for a win and effort was continued, Dragons still pressed the opposition keeper. Lowestoft managed to force another short corner, and the ball was slightly lifted and bounced into the back of goal! We had about 5 minutes left and the Dragons cracked on to try and score again.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time! Final score 3-2 to Lowestoft a really excellent effort by all.  POM Karenza

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-5 Lowestoft Railway 2

Ladies 6s arrived at the den to play a Lowestoft 2s team on a winning streak. Looking at the young legs in their side they knew they would have a challenge controlling their forwards.

The first half started shakily. With Dragons being held in their own half for much of the play under continuing pressure. With that said, Keeper Alessandra Pellegrini made some fantastic saves and the defence team of Katie Franks, Kate Atkins, Hannah Woods and Katy Saide stood strong. Making some great clearances. However, something had to give and Dragons conceded two goals late in the second half.

After a strong team talk and a renewed sense of togetherness, Dragons re-grouped for the second half. They were caught napping early on and conceding 2 goals in quick succession. But, they then found their feet. Some fantastic interceptions and balls forward from POM Fiona Fletcher (Fletch) released Rosie Skipp and Hannah Edwards on the wings.

Dragons continued to press with Nicola Robinson and Lilly Sore putting in some testing crosses. Our Duracell bunny Sue Brumby, Beth Coates & Beth Elgood pressed the Lowestoft defence from the top winning several short corners that saw Kelly Mills put in some clean strikes however we just couldn’t convert.

All in all, a frustrating games for the 6s who are working really well as a team and have played some fantastic hockey to date.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 8-0 Carrow 2

Dragons 7s faced this match against Carrow 2 on a positive note, keen to make their mark.

Dragons saw three new players making their debut for the 7s, Jemima Dorman, Anita Mancini and Louise Bond. Dragons dominated from the start, with Jemima scoring within the first 2 minutes. Dragons kept up the pressure, with Amy Forse soon scoring goal number 2. Jemima was hot on her heels, scoring her 2nd, making the scoreline 3:0. Carrow put up a good fight, with some strong hits through the centre of the field. Goalkeeper Luisa Valentini didn’t have a lot to do, but when Carrow did try to score, Luisa made some strong defensive kicks away from goal. The defence of Hattie Gale, Esme McKinnon-Evans and Emma North made several stops to Carrows attacks, getting the ball up to the rotating midfield of Louise, Claire Fairhurst, Helen Walker, Anita and Maisie Dearmer. The forwards of birthday girl Mia McGhee, Katrina Speirs, Jemima and Amy made numerous attacks on goal, with Amy managing to score her 2nd. Dragons finished the first half with a score of 4:0.

Captain Claire didn’t have a lot to say at half time except to keep up the good work! Dragons went out to the second half exactly as they’d started. Mia found the goal and then so did Katrina, although it was a toss up between her and Mia who had touched the ball last. Katrina scored again but then Mia put the cherry on top of her birthday by scoring her 2nd. Dragons were enormously pleased with the final score, 8:0! A great birthday present for Mia, and a deserved result for the 7s!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0-5 UEA 4

UEA are rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with in this division, and the 8s are tipping them for a promotion spot if they can maintain  consistency after the break. They  kept up a steady flow of goals, but with one at the end of each half being particularly unwelcome when the 8s felt as though they were well into overtime! The 8s had 19 players available this week, so it meant that their talent was once again in demand elsewhere, and those players made their presence felt in an excellent win. With Captain Katy Cole and Jo Baker back in tandem this week, the 8s got down to the business of re-settling their players into another formation, and working on the necessary rotations. Despite what looks like a heavy defeat, as usual the 8s took plenty from the game.

Tactically, the 8s decided to keep their defence intact, and this was a wise strategy. Jo Baker is a very tough central defender to beat, even if she has been unwell for half the week. Anna Chapman grows in confidence every week. We say that each week, and it’s true – just as it is to say that Johanne Steward gets stronger. Emily Roper was back in goal and she had an excellent game. Her keeping skills are developing nicely, particularly the power and accuracy of her clearance kicks.

Also a plus point was that the Availability Fairy sent us Amelia Keitley-Webb and Brooke Simmons. Amelia justifiably received the POM for a high-energy performance in all the positions she played in. She also set a fine example with her dancing footwork as she sped past the opposition, using her stick skills and never getting the ball trapped on her feet. Which is a skill most of the 8s have to work on, giving away several unnecessary free kicks. Brooke is a noticeably more mature and confident player this season, ramming in some super intercepts and getting attack moves going. Our ‘Get Back Intos’ continue to make their mark. Louise Brooksy Brooks and Gemma Ballard  tackled like demons in the midfield, and also showed their continuing improvements in fitness.

The 8s had practised pen corners this week, and they got plenty. Katy  said she could see an improvement in the pens, and more practice in game situations should start to bring results.

The 8s played their nice passing game, with Katy, Gemma, Louise and Lois Metcalf all going on some good runs, but finding the UEA defence was equal to their final passes. Mike Hardy gave us some words of wisdom at half time, and interestingly he picked up on the points that we talk about each week – particularly not getting first to the ball  and failing to get our tackles in. This improved in the second half. There was also something of a ‘disconnect’ between the forwards and the mids, with the forwards tending to perhaps hang too high when the mids needed them to link when setting up attacks.

The rest of the hard-working squad was made up of Liberty Townsend, Sophie Drew, Alice Bishop and Bridget Le Good, who all had their moments. But if the 8s look at this performance honestly, they will recognise their was more they coulda/shoulda/woulda done better to close the gap with the visitors.  Looking forward to a nice friendly pre-Christmas thrash next week – don’t forget to respond to the email invite if you have not already done so, because we won’t get a game if there are insufficient expressions of interest.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-1 Cambridge South 1

League leaders Norwich Dragons 1s hosted newly promoted Cambs South in the first return fixture of the season and the last before the winter break.

Dragons started much the brighter of the 2 teams and despite the absence of talisman and captain George Walker. Forward momentum and decent spells of possession resulted in a short corner, which was converted well by expert Rupert Snelling for his 12th goal of the season.

The Dragons continued to play progressive hockey, but some strong defence and even stronger resolution to stay in the game meant Cambridge saw out the 1st half with some chances of their own and the score remained 1-0 to the hosts.

Unable to keep possession of the ball for extended periods at the start of the second half allowed the visitors back into the game. In an instance in which the hosts might have hoped to close out the game, an energetic, well organised Cambridge team controlled much of possession themselves in the second half and sustained pressure eventually resulted in an equaliser despite some great goalkeeping from Man of the Match Peter The Keeper Dickerson.

1-1 was in the end a fair result, with plenty of food for thought for the Dragons at Yuletide.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-3 Newmarket 1

Eleven 2nd XI Dragons travelled away to second placed Newmarket, looking to build on a very positive performance against other high flyers Bury last week. The starting line-up included 7 masters’ players and a handful of youth. A notable mention to Jose and George who are really stamping their authority in this team with consistently impressive performances each week.

Dragons took a very early lead through Lewis Wilkins. His reverse stick effort on entering the D caused some confusion. As Lewis and George wheeled away in celebration, there were some Newmarket players (and Jose) who think it went in the goal through the side netting. After a quick third umpire referral, the TV replays showed the ball clearly screaming into the inside of the net.

Dragons’ defence soaked up immense pressure and numerous short corners from Newmarket, as the home side became frustrated by the away teams resolute defending. Comfortable to play on the break, Dragons scored their second after a scintillating break away from young guns Jose and George, leading the ball to Jase who was able to square the ball to Robert Wagstaff who squeezed the ball in at a tight angle.

Newmarket’s pressure began to tell as the eleven away legs started to tire. A drag flick from Newmarket brought them back into the game. Their second goal caused confusion as the ball appeared to be lifted into the D, but with the whistle not going, Dragons didn’t react quick enough and found themselves conceding another to level to score to 2-2. With two minutes left on the clock, a short corner was awarded by the umpire on the half way line overturning his colleague’s decision which Newmarket nailed into the top corner.

The 2nd XI remain fourth in the table, but have shown in the last two weeks they are able to match the teams above them in the league comfortably, but fell just short on each occasion. A favourable run of fixtures to come up should see Dragons secure that elusive last Champions League spot.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 7-1 Newmarket 2

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-3 Felixstowe 2

The 4’s travelled to 3NE division leaders Felixstowe their longest journey of the season. The team got off to a slow start coming under some early pressure in the first 10 minutes. However, we soaked it up well and then started to get into the game more as the half went on. Attacks down both wings through.

Rob Chaney-Baxter on the right and Connor Adams on the left saw both possession and time in the D but unfortunately with no reward. A momentary lapse in concentration by Dragons towards the end of the half meant a long clearance from Felixstowe found their CF who after a tussle with Will Ives managed to get a shot off catching Chris Millar off guard and converting to end the half 1-0.

Felixstowe came out strong in the second but Dragons had possession and chances and again utilised the width to get into the D. Unfortunately pressing forward meant that Felixstowe exploited the space left in behind the midfield getting two goals in 5 minutes to go 3-1 up. Dragons continued to fight and had a number of chances go begging. Eventually a well worked short corner was converted by Rich Phillis to end the game 3-1.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 7-3 Ipswich 4

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-2 Felixstowe 4

The 6s were at home again for our last game before the Christmas break. This was the return leg of our first match of the season against Felixstowe 4s which we had won 2-0, so even after our recent run of losses, we were feeling pretty confident of a result going in to the game. Felixstowe travelled with a similar mixture of youth and experience to the Dragons team, so the stage was set for a competitive encounter. As a result of other matches going on over the weekend, player availability was tight, so there was also the added pressure of only starting with one substitute.

The first 10 minutes was played at a high pace, both teams wanting to get an early goal to steady their respective team’s nerves. It was Felixstowe who scored first against the run of play, from a clean strike in open play from one of their experienced midfielders. That goals wasn’t enough to put Dragons 6s off their stride, as with a solid defensive line, the midfield was able to push forward and continue to pressurise the Felixstowe goal. This offensive work resulted in a number of short corners, the third of which gave John Butler the opportunity to inject a perfectly weighted ball to Mike Banham who confidently stroked the ball into the Felixstowe goal. Following the restart, Dragons continued to pressurise the opposition D with some great work by Sam Nutt and Huck Hempsall in running the ball up the side line and individually working their way into the D. As the half time whistle was blown, the score remained 1-1 with the game finely balanced for the second half.

From the restart Dragons continued to move the ball up field although Felixstowe were not there to be a push over and counter attacked well, maybe only being let down by a relatively weak front line. Following a departure from one of our players at half time, due to work commitments, we were left with just the 11 men, so Mike had to drop Owain Hall back into the right back position from the attacking midfield he had played in during the first half. Obviously wanting to get back into the action in the opposing D, Owain made a number of strong runs up the right wing which, after a scramble near the top of the D, culminated in Owain striking a great goal to put Dragons 2-0 ahead.

Dragons taking the lead motivated Felixstowe to come straight back at us and during a period of sustained Felixstowe pressure, James King made a number of well-judged saves as well as showing good control when faced with non-scoring balls fired in from the Felixstowe attacking midfielders.

With the game moving into the last 15 minutes, consistent, match long pressure from our centre forwards, Tommy Chapman and Ed Crosier, in the final third of the pitch resulted in a Tommy Chapman assisted, Ed Crosier goal to give Dragons 6s a more comfortable 3-1 lead. At this point, although still a Development team player, Isaac Hall was substituted on to give him his first taste of adult hockey. Your scribe is pleased to report that Isaac was unfazed and played a confident last 10 minutes of the match. The final whistle brought the game to an end with Dragons 6s having earned a good win against a very evenly matched opposition. With time to reflect on the first half of the season over the break (and a concerted effort to keep away from too much Christmas pud), Dragons 6s should be  back in the new year, ready to turn over some of our recent results and continue winning ways.

For another strong performance in goal, James King was awarded man of the match. Happy Christmas to all, from Norwich Dragons 6th team!

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B p-p Dereham 

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 9-0 Watton

NDHC League Match Reports: 26/11/2016

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-2 Old Loughts 1

The Dragons travelled down to Old Loughts on Saturday, eager to reclaim 2nd position in the league table. The ladies started strongly and dominated the early stages of the game and with their quick and accurate passing, put pressure on the opposition defence. Both Captain King and Coach Thomas had emphasised the need to remain calm and not panic if that first goal didn’t come immediately, and the team took heed of that advice. Sophie Mullan was making dangerous runs down the left and the forward line of Rachel King, Hayley Toleman and Aoife Lowe-Davies were combining brilliantly to attack the opposition D. Eventually, the patience bore fruit and King won a penalty corner. An initial straight strike from King was deflected off a defender, but Toleman who had been lying in wait, deftly put the ball past the keeper.

The Dragons kept much of the possession but a break away attack from Old Loughts earned them a penalty corner. The initial strike was blocked but the subsequent shot took an unfortunate deflection and rattled past Siobhan Cleeve in the dragons’ goal, taking the score to 1-1. As the half time whistle approached, the Dragons were looking to reclaim the lead, but again, a breakaway attack down the right-hand side found its way past the defence and the opposition scored just before half time, taking the score to 2-1.

Dragons came out fighting in the second half however, and the team once again dominated possession and controlled play. The defence of Sarah Jenkins, Lou Murray, Jess Bennett, Holly Reding and Sophie Thomas looked assured and confident as they moved the ball around the back. Any attacks were swiftly dealt with and Cleeve expertly repelled any shots. With some penetrating surges forward from Bennett, Dragons were on the attack again, creating many chances. After some excellent combination play between Murray, Lara Taylor and Aoife Lowe-Davies, Dragons won a penalty corner. They chose to pull out the trademark and highly confidential move that has so often resulted in goals this season and King finished clinically to move the game to 2-2.

From this point on, Dragons had control of the match, they just needed to find that winning goal. Once again, slick passing and a combination of play down the left-hand side fed the ball to King, who with great skill dribbled in to the D, found the waiting Lowe-Davies who slotted it calmly past the keeper and Dragons took the lead.

This was an assured performance from a team who are growing in confidence week by week. This week’s victory takes them to joint 2nd place in the league and with a crunch match against Wapping next week, there is all to play for.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-0 Bury St Edmunds 1

The sun was shining, the Bury music was blasting and the teams were ready for this ‘6’ pointer at the Den. Despite a couple of late call off’s and 3 players bravely taking to the field with broken fingers, the home squad was looking strong and they welcomed Hollie Limmer and Olivia Thomas into the squad – Olivia one of those playing with a broken finger.

Early play was with the Dragons, with the midfield working hard to win possession and feed the forwards. A few chances were created, notably one from a swift move from Gail Thomas in midfield, finding Laura Ward who beat a couple of players and fed Issy Wolfe, who had made a strong run into the D, however her reverse stick effort went narrowly wide. Another excellent effort was created and executed by the speedy Laura Ward, picking the ball up from deep, beating defenders and taking on the Keeper but firing her shot just wide of the far post. Dragons earned short corners but once again,  could not quite find the target.

Olivia Thomas was creating pressure with her tricky stick skills and strong runs, supported by Ally Windsor-Waite on the right who was pushing up from the back. The home defence needed to be on their guard however, with Bury looking dangerous on the break. Sarah Borrett was having another commanding game in the middle of defence, alongside Karen O’Neill-Simpson, Ally Windsor Waite and Hollie Limmer. Helen Busfield and Gail Thomas were battling hard to provide both attacking and defensive cover, doing a lot of running up and down the flanks. From one Bury short corner, Dragons keeper Emma Cleland was forced into action with a good save high to her right from a drag-flick effort. The half finished goalless, despite Dragons having had the run of the play.

The game was always going to be tight, with both teams battling for supremacy. Dragons’ Player of the Match Donna Vaughan was breaking down play in the middle and looking to feed the forwards, supported by the ever willing runs from Hannah Phillips and Olivia Thomas. Again Dragons created their chances, both from short corners and in open play, but they just weren’t getting the breaks.

With time running down, and Dragons pushing for the win, a chance came, with Laura Ward feeding Hannah Hardy on the baseline, her pull back found Issy Wolfe who had again found good space on the P spot, however the keeper saved her effort. The home team continued to force the play and with Hollie Limmer breaking down play on the left the left, the ball was forced into the D, Hannah Hardy picked it up, with her back to goal, turned and forced the ball goalwards with a lifted push, which evaded the defenders and the keeper at the near post.

With 5 minutes to go, and the team elated, Bury then threw everything at Dragons, and to a player and as a team, Dragons defended for their lives, knowing how important the 3 points were. Dragons had dominated the game in terms of possession, but hadn’t made the most of their chances and know they need to be more clinical in front of goal, however the 3pts were well deserved and lift the team to the lofty heights of 3rd from bottom. Next week they welcome run-away league leaders Cambridge City to the Den.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 4-0 Dereham 3

Having been greeted by a frozen pitch the week before Dragons were please to find a clear (and surprisingly warm) November morning hailed them at their home ground. Conscious it was their first game for 14 days the team had a rousing team talk followed by an intense warm up, ready to get their heads in the game from the get go.

The leaving words of coach Flatman before crossing the fence to help the 4’s was “go hard for the first 10 and the rest of the game will follow”. Well the 3’s didn’t disappoint. Dereham may have won the push back but that was the end of their fortune for this game. Within two minutes of Dereham pushing pack, not even making it into the Dragons defending 25, the home side won the ball and drove hard down the right. Katie McKenna passing to Sam Franklin who in turn deflected the strong cross to a waiting Caroline Wolfe. Wolfe pounced on the airborne deflection striking the ball to the left post and in off the keepers pads.

Play reset and once again Dragons went hunting. This time winning their first of many, many short corners. The first hitting a Dereham foot giving Dragons a second try. This time Natasha Falzon injected the ball to Wolfe who slipped it left to Sian Lawrie. A quick cross behind the Dereham runners found Debs Smith who in plenty of space took aim and scored Dragons second.

Ten minutes into the game Dragons started to settle, passing the ball across the pitch, creating neat triangles around the opposition to carve their way up the pitch time and again. A deft pass from POM Smith to a calling Hazel Sumner on the left enabled Dragons to force their way once again into the Dereham 25. With a bullet like pass into the D Lawrie deflected the ball across the face of the goal where a waiting McKenna tapped it past the beaten Dereham keeper.

Following half time Dragons continued their pressure. Any opposition attempt towards the Dragons goal was promptly intercepted and closed down. Maintaining possession the Dragons continued to compress play within the attacking half. Dereham feet continued to attract the ball giving away what seemed an endless succession of short corners at times. Finally Dragons capitalised from a rebound on the keepers pads. Harriet Green on the reverse slotting the ball between the keeper’s legs.

The game concluded 4:0, another solid 3 points for the Dragon side and two games to go until the midpoint of the season.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-0 Evergreens 1

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-2 Dereham 4

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 1-3 Herlings

Ladies 6s played a very strong game against Herlings given the grass pitch and the chilly autumn conditions. We started off the game playing downhill and we had first push back and this enabled us to score quickly putting us in the lead. However, we then struggled to gain any more of an advantage but we battled hard and our strong mid-field pushed the ball up the pitch but the lack of people in the D meant we stayed at 1-0. Aditi played really well on the wing and was able to make some amazing runs and interceptions, this paired with Hannah Edward’s fearless interceptions of some strong hits from the oppositions meant our mid-field played really well. Although we played really well throughout the first half we struggled with coming towards the ball as we weren’t expecting it to slow down at the rate it did but given the grass pitch this was only to be expected.

The coming of the second half meant we were attacking uphill and Herlings used this to their advantage as they scored all three of their goals. This paired with multiple short corners for the opposition lowered team morale but we kept fighting. Needless to say this could not have been done without Sue’s amazing energy that always motivates the team. It was in the second half that you could really notice the team pulling together and particular players stood out as driving the team. Ginny, our stand-in captain, won player of the match for some reliable play that meant she was able to lead the defence and push forward the mid. Overall the game became an uphill struggle towards the end but we fought so hard but it all paid off with Herling’s famous homemade teas. In addition, the Herling’s umpire commented on our ‘great sportsmanship’ and ‘lovely spirit’, this is something the entire team took to heart and rewarded our strong game.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 1-2 Magpies 7

Another bright but frosty morning saw Dragon 7 take on Magpies 7. After an inspection by Dragons and Magpies, both sides were pleased that the pitch had thawed in time for the scheduled push back.

Dragons defence was put under pressure from the start. POM Ruby Rose-Turrell had an outstanding match, tackling Magpies attacks and getting great hits up the pitch. Hattie Gale also had a good match, with Emma North stopping some strong hits from getting to GK Sarah Sheffield, although Sarah made multitudes of great saves, remaining unfazed with any attacks. Dragons midfield had their work cut out trying to get the ball past Magpies to the forwards. Stevie Spencer worked hard on the left, working well with Jess Vernon at top of the diamond. Maisie Dearmer on the right also worked hard, getting the ball to the rotating forwards of Katrina Speirs, Claire Stuart, Mia McGhee and Katie Moulson. Unfortunately, the well drilled Magpies with their strong hits and fast runners proved too difficult to stop and became 2:0 at the end of the first half.

During the half time break, Dragons were reminded by captain Claire Fairhurst to maintain their shape and to mark the opposition. The second half saw an improvement by Dragons, and they managed to hold Magpies at bay, not allowing any more balls into the goal. With 2 minutes left, Dragons were attacking Magpies goal, but their strong defence kept thwarting each one, until a lovely shot by Jess at the top of the D slipped past the keeper into the corner of the goal. Dragons were buoyed up, wanting to score again in the last remaining seconds but they just couldn’t get there. Final score 2:1 to Magpies.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 1-0 Carrow 2

The 8s modestly described this performance as ‘awesome’ because they were so happy to record a win after  setbacks in recent weeks. Some key players were not available, not least their inspirational captain Katy Cole, and with Emily Roper taken ill, they were one kicker short of a keeper. But this was a week when everything that looked wrong went right…

First up, Jo Baker took on the captain’s role and she really galvanised her squad. In fact, only having 12 players helped the team play themselves in and establish themselves in position. The defenders were first to settle, with Jo rock solid in the centre, Anna Chapman picking up everything on the left and Johanne Steward on the right having her best game of the season so far, making some critical tackles.

Carrow made their intentions clear and won a penalty inside three minutes. Goalkeeper Bridget Le Good kicked the ball up to the halfway line and confidence began to flow through the team. The forwards were having a spree, ably backed by the mids who were in attacking mood. Dragons attacked in waves, but lacked the killer blow until Jemima Dorman scored an excellent debut goal, nutmegging the keeper and with Gemma Ballard doing a neat job distracting the defence as she ran through. This was midway through the first half, and Sophie Drew, Alice Bishop and Louise Brooksy Brooks all made excellent runs without having any luck..

All this attacking whizz sometimes left the Dragons exposed, and Bridget was by far the busier keeper. But, as well as the secure play of Anna, Jo and Johanne, Esme MacKinnon-Evans had an outstanding game at the bottom of the diamond. She was asked to close-mark Carrow’s most dangerous forward, and she did this task brilliantly and consistently – and still had enough breath left to distribute the ball beautifully. Liberty Townsend grew in confidence  when Jo moved her into a more attacking midfield role. She normally terrifies her peers with her runs in training, and she brought more of this into her game in the second half. Anita Mancini made a welcome return to the top of the diamond and impressed with her calm distribution, her ability to block some fierce attempted through balls and some neat passing moves.

The 8s were guilty of wasting their penetration into the circle, and so they did not create the clearcut shooting chances that would have put the game beyond doubt. As it was, in this very enjoyable end-to-end game, a sporting Carrow side always looked as though they might spoil the party  – except Bridge was determined to keep a clean sheet. Despite having her kickers on the wrong feet, she somehow managed to achieve ‘one off the bucket list’ and was POM.

Jo created  terrific team spirit and every player had an awesome game. Dragons played without the silly mistakes that have spoiled their performances in recent weeks, and look forward to a massive training session on Wednesday to prepare themselves for UEA, their final game in the first half of the season.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 5-0 March Town 1 (CW)

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 0-2 Bury St Edmunds 1

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 8-0 Ipswich Cranes 1

This game was advantage to Dragons from the start, with Ipswich Cranes starting with 10 players due to a diversion on the A140.  Dragons pushed high and had chance after chance in the first 10 minutes.  A couple of short corners came close, and it was a third which saw Lloyd SAYER slip the ball across to Tom VAUGHAN who opened the scoring.

Ipswich went to 11 players and Dragons actually started working even better as a team.  They worked well off the ball and constantly kept Cranes under pressure.  The Dragon defence were looking sharp and dealt with any attacks, clearing the ball, leading to another Dragon attack.  Dragons got another goal through Tom VAUGHAN before half time.

The second half saw Dragons continue their domination, and it wasn’t long before the floodgates opened and goal after goal went in.  Tom VAUGHAN gained another 3 goals, and bagged himself Man of the Match.  Max LAMING caused a lot of problems for Ipswich and was rewarded with a goal himself.  Another 2 goals came for Will KIRBY, one of which was a tasty top corner flick.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-0 Bury St Edmunds 4

Yesterday’s match saw the 4’s travel to a strong Bury side on a glorious morning. An early start for the team, no one feeling it as much as Jack O’Meara who had been working the night shift. Despite the icy pitch and a few quick breaks from Bury, the team managed to hold at 0-0 going in to half time. The second half came. While both teams were moving it around, Bury’s counter attacks never seemed to trouble our solid defence. Peter Davison, John Price, Will Ives and Andy Carver holding it together at the back.  Where Bury did manage to get a shot on target, Chris Millar made some good saves.  Both teams had well organised midfields, which brought the game to a standstill at some points. It would have taken a single goal to steal the game; it was a tight battle.

Deep into the second half, it was clear to see Bury were becoming frustrated and starting to feel the pressure the Dragons were piling on them. Link up play from Garnett Jones, Rob Jenkins and Pedro Goss was starting to rattle the opposition. One quick counter did it for the Dragons; catching the tiring home side out. As Jon Chaney Baxter played it to Garnett down the right side, Bury scrambled back but to no avail. With the pass from Garnett across the D to Pedro lurking at the back post; he kept his composure to sweep it into the keeper; past the 4 Bury defenders; off the post and finally into the goal making it 1-0 for the better.

With only five minutes remaining, the team had to keep focus and keep Bury out. With the help of Nick Turner – MOM – we slowed the game down to secure the three points.

A real team effort with everyone playing their part. The balance of play was even but we managed to take the win away from an organised Bury side. We were again just the better side on the day.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-1 Norwich City 6

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-3 Ipswich Cranes 2

Another tough game for Norwich Dragons 6s as we hosted Ipswich Cranes 2 at home at the Den. In a similar manner to last week at Newmarket, we played an opposing team with four players playing down from their usual team in Division 4NE, to Division 7NE where we play. Although acceptable under league rules, it caused us problems in the midfield and we found it difficult to break out and into the Ipswich third of the pitch. It became clear early on in the first half that the two Ipswich centre forward were going to be the biggest cause for concern as they adopted a very high, single front runner which meant that he needed to be man marked to try and keep his influence on the game to a minimum. This tactic worked for a while but soon their quality became clear and Ipswich pulled ahead 1-0 from open play.

Dragons continued to try and get the ball moving around in an attempt to play wider out on the wings and get round the Ipswich midfield rather than through it. There were some good passages of play with Jordan Hambling and Sam Nutt making some determined runs up the right wing to release the ball to forwards Andrew Cross (making a guest appearance in the 6s) and Ed Crosier.  Unfortunately, this was to no avail as following a series of short corners to Ipswich, they scored a second, with a shot from their centre forward at close range. A stick deflection from Graham Muff not enough to stop the ball going into the back of the net. After a round of rolling substitutions towards the end of the first half, Dragons started to get their passes to work more effectively but went into the half time break still 2-0 down.

During the half time talk, 6s captain Mike Banham changed some players around in their positions with the intention of getting the Dragons midfield to increase the chances of breaking through at the Ipswich end and hopefully get onto the score card. These changes did make a difference, and with Ray Hansell and Shiv Kapur continuing to provide the vital service of the ball into midfield and further up the pitch, things started to look brighter for Dragons. This resulted in a number of times when we were applying pressure in the Ipswich D, with chances close in on goal, which unfortunately did not end up in the back of the net. This pressure of Dragons player numbers up into their final third unfortunately led to a breakaway mid-way through the second half and Ipswich extended their lead to 3-0. This was against the run of play at that point and was somewhat unfortunate for young Freddie Roque in goal, who despite what the scoreline may suggest, played with maturity and a calm head under considerable pressure.

Credit should go to all team members in not letting their heads drop during the last 15 minutes of the match and everyone continued to work hard for a break through, but unlike last week, the goals wouldn’t come. The game finished 3-0 to Ipswich Cranes 2, although I would suggest that without their higher division players, the result would have been much closer. So, let’s keep our heads up and look to go into the Christmas break with a win over our next opponents at the Den, Felixstowe 4s who we beat away on the opening day of the season.

Due to his mature and composed game in goal, man of the match was awarded to Freddie Roque

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 4-1 Norwich City

After last week’s victory  against Magpies the pressure was on to beat solid and determined Norwich City. The game started well with Dragons constantly attacking  trying to break through the ruthless City defence. After some good attempts from James Cross, Bobby Sheppard, Arj Puvanachandra, Josh Wiggins and myself (Johnny Taylor). Dragons kept at it and despite two agonizing close goal mouth scrambles, Dragons were yet again denied.

Moving into the 2nd quarter, City and Dragons were tied 0-0. After a series of prolonged attacks from both teams, Dragons made the breakthrough. A strong run up the pitch by Josh, Arj was there to professionally place past the goalkeeper making it 1-0 to Dragons. There followed some solid defending from Harry Brown, Xander Wimmer, Joe Beadman and Edward Cross to stop the ravenous City attack. Shortly after Dragons countered and this resulted in a powerful shot by Josh which took a nick of the defender’s stick and darted into the bottom right corner. That left a fairly happy Dragons side going into the half time break 2-0 to Dragons.

You could tell City’s manager had a strong word with them as in the third quarter they came straight out of the blocks forcing Angus Reid Edwards to make some tremendous saves. After a midfield dual, Arj threaded an exquisite pass through to Bobby who made a calm and composed finish into the bottom left corner.

Once again City started the fourth quarter strong forcing some great saves from Angus. Dragons’ legs started to tire which meant City got a consolation goal. But yet again Dragons were at it again after some great team play between Isaac Diver Hall, Will Bowman and Angus Blazer which led to a superb  finish by James. Despite City throwing everything at it, it just wasn’t enough as Dragons held on to claim an important victory against the determined City side. Final score: 4-1 to Norwich Dragons A Team.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 0-7 Magpies (friendly)

Due to lack of availability, Saturday’s Dev B match versus Harleston Magpies was played as a friendly with us borrowing one player and Will’s Dad, Pete making up an 11.

End to end stuff for the first 3 minutes, and then Magpies took an early lead from open play. We then pulled it together and a long sustained spell around their D, failed to produce a goal.  Caspar Lind and Isaac Diver-Hall displayed some good link up play on the wing.

In the second quarter the game continued with end to end play with Magpies strong defending and hitting us on the break.

Will Mares producing some brilliant defending and Harry Brown sweeping up well. The Magpies keeper produced a good save with his feet to deny Caspar a goal, and Paul Delaiche having a couple of chances which he failed to put in the back of the goal. Alex Wolfe pulled off a couple of good saves, turning it onto the post once and kicking it away on another.

The third quarter started with Toby Drake defending well and attacking down the right wing with Josh Cormack putting some dangerous balls in around the D.  Pete took the ball on the half way line and slid Isaac in on the right wing. No one in the middle to receive it resulted in no goal in this phase.

The end result of this match, in no way reflected the even play in the first three quarters, with fitness and effort equalled by both teams. Only in the last quarter the shape was lost, this led Magpies to what appeared a comfortable victory.

Will Mares was player of the match

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2-0 Pelicans

In our match against Pelicans, we won 2-0 with Jemima scoring both goals in the first quarter. Through the third and fourth quarters the Pelicans made some breaks to the goal but the defenders and Tilly  managed to keep them away. The player of the match was Lane for her skills, tackles and overall performance. We all played as a team and there was brilliant individual stick skills. We definitely deserved the win.

NDHC League Match Reports: 19/11/2016

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-0 Norwich City 1

This week, Norwich Dragons faced local rivals Norwich City.  After last week’s illness, injury and other issues that meant they had travelled to Bromley with 12 players and no coach, the team were up to 13 players and a coach this week, whilst still missing several of the regular squad.  Dragons fancied their chances against bottom of the league team. The hosts had a strong start with lots of good attacking play and nice passing around the edge of the D, but with most of the City team camped in defence, it was hard to get the shots off.

Dragons finally managed to break down the resilient defending halfway through the first half when Marie James put together some nice touches in the middle of the pitch and passed it to Rachel King at the top of the D, who put it to Hayley Toleman on the base line, Toleman threaded it back to Liv Sumpter who slotted it in the goal putting Dragons 1-0 up.

Dragons continued to do some great passing and even when City gained possession, the Dragons defence always managed to pick the ball up and worked the distribution beautifully to the midfield, especially Holly Reding who was voted Player of the Match. Although both teams had some good chances, the first half ended 1-0.

After a very motivational half time talk, Dragons went out knowing there were still more goals to be scored. Dragons turned the ball over in City’s half and King skilfully drove into the D and won a short off a City foot. The ball came fast and accurately to King at the top of the D. King played a one-two with Toleman before calmly putting the ball through the City keeper’s legs to put Dragons 2-0 up.

City kept fighting back but all their attacks were again easily dealt with by the fearless Dragons defence. The hosts had great flowing play and many excellent opportunities which were unfortunately cut out by City’s rapid keeper, as well as their whole team who were behind the ball.

Dragons finally managed to convert another one of their attacks. Marie James picked up the ball in the D and had a great scoring opportunity.  Unfortunately, she was fouled, however this won the Dragons a penalty stroke. King took the stroke and precisely put it away on the left side just above back board height. Despite Dragons’ lead, both teams fought tirelessly until the end. City won quite a few short corners but between the speedy defence and Dragons swift keeper Emma, City never managed to get a goal.

The final score was 3-0 to Dragons and everyone should be so proud of the performance.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 0-3 Colchester 1

Arriving at the Garrison in good time and to a beautiful sunny day, Dragons spirits were high, buoyed by the returning Donna Vaughan and welcoming Lucy King in goal for her Dragons league debut, with their own Keeper Emma Cleland called up into the 1’s. A lap of the athletic track, won by Ally Windsor-Waite, saw the athletes ready for a fast start!

A strong start it was too, with Hannah Phillips looking dominant and at ease at the top of the diamond, with the ever busy and vocal Shelly Seaman behind her, ready to sweep up anything that came through the middle. With Donna Vaughan, marshalling the defensive team of Carmel Windsor-Waite and Karen O’Neill-Simpson the early signs for Dragons looked good, with them dominating early possession. However when your luck is down, your luck is down, and influential Ally Windsor-Waite took an early and thunderous crack to the hand, forcing her off the pitch to nurse her nasty looking finger injury.

Undeterred, Dragons continued to play their hockey, without making any real clear cut chances. Once again they were undone by a quick break, with Colchester breaking down their right, getting in behind the defence, and a bouncing ball was ‘batted’ past the outstretched King hitting high into the top corner. Dragons were not to be downhearted – Sam Franklin, Helen Busfield and Gail Thomas were working hard down the flanks, feeding the hard working forwards. A chance came before halftime, with an early ball from Hannah Hardy which found Laura Ward, whose skills took her beyond a couple of players, Ward found Issy Wolfe who had made an excellent run into space in the D, unfortunately however the strong connection wasn’t there, but this encouraged Dragons who knew they were very much in the game.

After the break, Dragons completely dominated the first 15 minutes, with their run-away Player of the Match, Hannah Phillips dominating in the middle, winning every 50 / 50 ball and creating chances for the forwards. A fine Dragons move from deep saw the ball fired into Phillips, whose pin-point pass found Hardy at the top of the D, an early strike saw the GK scrambling but the ball went agonisingly wide of the far post. Dragons’ domination continued, but the defence needed to guard against the quick break and Donna Vaughan needed to be at her best to pick off the ball as Colchester looked to penetrate. A number of short corners for the home team were dealt with well by the ever impressive King in goal, stepping out high and kicking wide to clear the danger.

A 2nd goal came for Colchester against the run of play, but the visitors were not going to lay down, and continued to battle for everything. By this time Ally Windsor-Waite had bravely returned to the pitch, and was tormenting the Colchester defence; alas a break away goal at the end, when Dragons were committed forward in numbers, meant a 3rd goal came, despite the valiant efforts of the flying Lucy King.

It may sound like a broken record, but anyone watching the game would agree this was another harsh scoreline, but sadly for the visitors, the score doesn’t lie. The results will come and everyone is determined, behind Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson, to make it happen.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s P-P Evergreens 1

3s were totally up for the early trip to Evergreens -even if no one could find Hewett gate 4. Certain members of the team even refusing to wear trackies on such a cold morning so they could stay alert. The tunes were pumping out of the fun bus -including the cha cha slide, s club, and avicci although Claire slept all the way through ‘wake me up’. Sadly after travelling all the way to Holt, including a classic wolfie detour through a forest, 3s were informed that the game was called off due to a frozen pitch.

Not ones to waste an opportunity, 3s opted instead for a theory session to discuss tactics in one of Holts famous training centres aka tea shops. After not being quite properly attired for the egon ronay environment of byfords, 3s headed to follies. Drink and cake choice was a real team effort. Notable performances came from several players. Kate enjoyed her hot chocolate so much she lapped it up. Sarah was set up nicely by her 3rd cup of coffee of the day. Debs claimed the player of the match award for the tiny scone served on the giant trophy platter whilst spike went for the unusual selection of the plum Bakewell. Fuelled up nicely and with no soggy bottoms in sight the 3s headed back to Norwich in time to support the other dragons teams around the county, and nicely fuelled up with calories to burn next time we face Evergreens in the rearranged fixture.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-0 Carrow 1

After a touch and go morning the Ladies 4XI opened play at a frosty den. We started off slightly sluggish whilst we tried to work with the pitch conditions. We took control from the start with the attack and Ella Kassulke, Bella Capps, Emma Woodhouse and Lou Davis didn’t let Carrow get past our half way line. Our attack paid off and we won our first short corner. Ella Kassulke injected to Sue Cross who hit the ball straight in. The ball came off the keepers pads for Sophie wood to lift it past the keeper to score. For a moment there was disbelief whilst the reality sunk in and we were winning. This ignited Carrow’s determination and they came straight on the attack, Lucy Morton, Charly Burgess, Rachel Bruce, Holly Bailey and Clare Moylan were working their socks off in midfield running back and forth to help Alice Smith keep a clean sheet. There were some hairy moments but Alice Smith dominated the D to ensure we finished the first half 1-0 up.

After a motivational team talk coupled with a loud entourage we were on the attack once again. The ball was being played round the dragon’s defence to Anja Finnegan and Sue Cross up front who were able to run into the D and setting up Catherine Longe to take a strike. Megan Williams and POM Clare Moylan held the middle and were able to use each other to ultimate effect. Sophie Wood was able to fire a few more shots in backed up by Charly Burgess however we were unable to finish it. It all got a bit fruity but our defence stayed strong directed by keeper Alice Smith however Carrow won a short corner in the final few minutes of the game. Carrow played the short and managed to find themselves with a controversial goal. After an outraged coach, players and entourage and looking at Lou Davis leg (where the ball hit before it went in) the decision was overturned and they lost the goal. Dragon’s stayed strong and played out the rest of the minutes to secure their first win of the season. A well deserved result.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-1 Reepham

With some refreshing weather, Dragons 5’s set out to challenge Reepham, after a loss last week we wanted to get back to winning ways.  For the game we had 15 players available so we decided maximum energy was needed when on the pitch as we could recover when subbed off.  Luckily we had Christina Murgatroyd and Beth Elgood to run the bench.  In the first 15minutes the Dragons had all of the play and many chances on goal which were unsuccessful. Reepham did not want us to get a goal and there were some tough challenges for the ball.  Dragons battled on but were becoming frustrated by the opposition challenges.  Reepham were quick to read the ball and solid on interception.

At half time the 5’s discussed passing the ball before we got intercepted and making sure the forwards were on the post to get those passing shots.  Unfortunately the game still didn’t follow this plan and on a short corner for Reepham, Luisa Valentini saved the ball for it to be picked up on a rebound and slotted away on the post.  The Dragons weren’t downbeat and knew with all the chances a goal would come, and it did on a short corner the pass was passed right to Megan Farrant who slapped it into the goal behind the keeper.  The Dragons continued to battle even when the final whistle got called early and then had to play on for another minute.  Unfortunately not our best game.  Player of the match goes to Chelsea Crawford for her constant energy and defensive power.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s P-P Evergreens 2

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 1-3 Broadland 3

Dragon 7 were keen to get another win but expected league leaders Broadland 3 to make it a difficult task.

Dragons started off well, intercepting the ball and dominating from the start. Claire Stuart put Dragons ahead by getting a goal in the first 10 minutes. Dragons maintained the pressure, keen to stay ahead, but Broadland managed to get through and equalised. Claire and the other forwards, Mia McGhee, Katrina Speirs and Katie Moulson, made wave after wave of attacks on Broadland’s strong defence who kept knocking the ball away. Dragons kept the heads held high, getting most of the possession and putting pressure on Broadland. Maisie Dearmer made her debut for the 7s and proved to be an asset, joining the rotating midfield of Jodi Rump (POM), Jess Vernon, Stevie Spencer, Claire Fairhurst and Helen Walker. Maisie and Jodi made excellent runs down both wings, flying past Broadland’s attempted tackles. However, when Broadland did get through they had to deal with the defence of Amy Forse, Frankie Paul, Esme McKinnon-Evans or Ruby Rose-Turrell. Sarah Sheffield made her debut in goal for Dragon 7s, and proved fearless when faced with Broadland’s strong shots, stopping and kicking them away. She bravely faced her first ever penalty flick, which she didn’t manage to save but made a great effort. This brought Broadland to 2:1 at half time.

Dragons returned to the pitch after the half time break keen to carry on the battle and to equalise the score. Again Dragons dominated, and made numerous attacks on the goal, with the ball being deflected by Broadlands keeper and a Dragon pinging it back. Broadland’s defence stopped every one of Dragons attempts. Broadland managed to fight their way through to score another, and although Dragons kept up the fight to the last whistle, they just couldn’t find the back board again.

Although Dragons were disappointed with the 3:1 loss, they are certain that if they keep up the great teamwork the results will come.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0-1 Magpies 7

Dragons will think they deserved a point against Magpies after putting in a much better performance all round this week. They matched the visitors in every department, and just one small defensive slip let Magpies in for the winner well into the second half. Illness and injury in the higher teams meant that the 8s once again  had four changes to the 15-player squad, but once again the captains and selectors did a tremendous job to ensure every available Dragon was offered a game.

The 8s are still experimenting in order to find their strongest team. This week they had Emily Roper in goal. Normally a defender, Emily made loads of good saves  and her clearance kicks were particularly strong. The 8s  are gradually building a good defence, with Jo Baker pivotal in the centre and flanked by Johanne Steward, Anna Chapman and Ruth Barton. These four rotate, and with Jo and Ruth setting examples in how to tackle, Anna’s confidence is increasing in leaps, and Johanne continues to improve the timing of her challenges. The key role at the bottom of the diamond was filled by Louise ‘Bondy’ Bond,. player of the match, who bossed that position and made it very hard from the Magpies to drive through the middle. Bondy was definitely a key placement in the 8s jigsaw.

The rotating mids were Gemma Ballard, Louise ‘Brooksy’ Brooks, Alice Bishop and Amelia Keitley-Webb. Amelia impressed with her speed and ability to read the game. Brooksy and Ballard were very good at holding the ball up and getting the passes through to the forwards. Shaniece Claxton and Sophie Drew made some very good runs out wide, and as they gain in experience they will be able to drive the ball through or across more strongly. Captain Katy Cole showed the team how to drive down the line, but with the Magpies keeper and defenders playing very securely, there were not too many chances for Lois Metcalfe, who took up some excellent positions, or Bridget Le Good – who can be criticised for not being in the right place, but did lay on several penetrating passes into the circle.

So another end-to-end game, with Dragons being far more solid defensively this week. The next step is for them to add well-directed passes to their firm block tackles. The mids ran their socks off, tackled back and found their own players far more consistently than they did in the last game, but they can improve their passing  still further. The rotating forward line possibly needs some adjustment, and this is one section of the team that needs to build confidence. If they improve their communication and get more penetration with the final pass into the circle, the goals will come.

This was another very enjoyable game for the 8s, with a good contribution from Lily Sore who did an excellent job in running the rotations. Everyone is looking forward to the next game, and hopefully tasting a victory!

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 2-0 Norwich City 3

Norwich Dragons started the game off on the front foot with lots of short, sharp passes to link up with forward leads and after tireless effort and pressure Ollie king managed to grasp a goal from a great string of passes through a T spot circle entry. Norwich city had their phase in the later stages of the first half but some brave defence, and some marvelous saves from peter meant we went into half time 1-0 up. The second half was a lot closer but hard work and simple hockey meant we could come out on top with a late screamer of a drag flick by Henry laming securing the victory and cementing our first place in the league.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3-2 North Norfolk 1

The men’s seconds managed to pick up their third successive victory with a close win against Div 3NE strugglers North Norfolk.

The hosts started strongest and we’re rewarded early with a short corner strike from Graeme Smith driven low beyond the keeper.  As the half progressed the hosts asserted further pressure, and soon doubled their advantage in a similar fashion to the first goal, but it was Andy Hipper whose strike was successful.  The visiting side pulled a goal back just before the break through a well worked short corner.

The visitors started he second half strongly but were unable to take advantage of their early pressure. It was Dragons who eventually drew first blood in the second half through another short corner. Smith slipped the ball back to Richard Gill who slotted it home Cooley past the North Norfolk keeper.  A mazy individual run and finish from a North Norfolk player reduced the arrears giving Dragons a nervy end to the game as they were twice reduced to 10 men, and the umpires watch seemingly slowing down.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-0 UEA 2

Facing top of the table UEA 2s, the Men’s 3s knew they would have a good game on their hands.  They started the game brilliantly, holding off a couple of early attacks by the UEA, and within the first 15 minutes, took the lead.  Good play by Lloyd SAYER in the centre, fed the ball through to forward Will KIRBY, who calmly slotted the ball past the keeper.

The Dragon defence worked excellent as a unit and managed to keep the ball out of their goal.  The Dragon midfield worked tirelessly to keep up with the youthful university side.  Good distribution from Patrick GORDON and James GOODSON allowed Dragons to attack down the flanks and cause problems for the UEA defence.  Dragons continued to work hard and were rewarded with another goal, when Rob CHANEY-BAXTER managed to connect with a ball from KIRBY, and took Dragons 2-0 up into the break.

The UEA attacked Dragons hard this half, but the level heads at the back kept them at bay and the Dragon midfield did a great job at cutting out through balls.  Despite their efforts, the UEA just couldn’t get back into the game, leaving Dragons to take the win.  A fantastic team performance all round.  Man of the match was Adam Sayer, who commanded from the back.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-0 Norwich City 5

Dragons hosted City 5 at the Den with a squad lifted by the return of several players.

The first half saw Dragons playing some decent hockey and creating a number of chances.  Jon Chaney Baxter put in a great shift up front and wasn’t intimidated City’s much larger and more experienced centre back, beating him on several occasions with skill and pace.  Adie Kemp shrugged off an elbow to the eye and brought his usual composure to Dragons’ play, holding the ball up well.

City had one attack of note in the first half, Giles Brooks making an excellent double save to deny them, whilst the defence of Peter Davison, Neil Shorten, Jon Price, Rich Phillis and Andy Carver limited City’s attacking threat.

In front of the defence, Captain Rob Jenkins made a number of interceptions and unusually clean tackles to break up City’s play.  Will Ives and Pedro Goss attacked with pace down the flanks, whilst Nick Turner and Garnett Jones added solidity to the centre of the pitch.  Dragons’ work off the ball was notable, with players tracking back and marking tight to make things difficult for City.

Half time saw the score tied at 0:0.

Dragons finally broke the deadlock immediately after the restart, Adie Kemp popping up in just the right spot to slot home after some good work by Alex Browne in the D.

A number of Dragons’ short corners were well defended by City with one exceptional deflection at the post saving Alex Browne’s goal-bound shot.

Despite a number of good chances, Dragons were unable to add another goal and the final quarter was rather tense as City came back into the game.

The game ended 1:0 to Dragons earning a welcome 3 points ahead of two long away trips in the run up to Christmas.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-1 North Norfolk 3

Dragons dominated the early play through good work from Paul Kassulke &  Adrian Howes, creating several short corners which came to nothing.  Against the run of play N Norfolk went ahead via a short corner – simple strike down the middle of the goal.  Both sides continued to have chances as the game wore on, Dragons missing a flick late in the 2nd half, it was one of those days the ball was not going to go in….

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-5 Newmarket 3

A game of two halves would be the best way to describe the Division 7NE encounter between Dragons 6s and Newmarket 3s. The weather was a pleasant change from last week with it being dry and just enough cloud cover to block out the low sun. The game started about 15 minutes late after the previous match on the single pitch at Newmarket Leisure Centre, eventually pushing back at 3.15pm. The opening few minutes showed that Newmarket were going to be a tough opposition as they put together some neat play and put us under pressure. Dragons 6s tried to string together some passes to move the ball forward into the oppositions third but found the way blocked on numerous occasions. Unfortunately Newmarket took advantage of this and before too long had a seemingly comfortable 3 goal lead and were looking for more.

Towards the end of the first half and the first of the rolling substitutions, things changed for Dragons 6s significantly with first John Butler and then Darryl Robinson coming off with injuries. Pulled muscles seemed to be the culprit and this lead to Graham Muff coming back on from his turn on the bench to take Darryl’s positon at the top of the midfield diamond, in a restructure to the team in the centre of the pitch. This combination played until half time, with some good movement from Shiv and Tom Williams out wide on both wings beginning to make space and open up the game for Dragons.

It became clear during half time that Butts and Darryl wouldn’t be able to play in the second half so the unusual sight of Graham playing behind the forward line, ably supported by both James and Ray Hansell pushing up into mid field support when we were going forward. An increase of tempo breaking into Newmarket’s half payed dividends when we pulled back not one, but two goals in quick succession scored by Rob Lee and Tom Williams with a fine assist by Shiv and hard work from Ed Crosier. This turn around came as some surprise to Newmarket and they pushed forward again with renewed determination, although Alex Riddoch, Rich Davis and captain, Mike Banham did well to frustrate them on a number of occasions. James King made some good saves in goal, but ultimately Newmarket scored two more goals to take it to 5-2 going into the remaining ten minutes of the second half. Credit goes to everyone on the Dragons 6 team for digging in, running hard and chasing everything, which resulted in Rob Lee scoring a late, second goal for him which at the final whistle brought the final score to 5-3 in Newmarket’s favour.

It could be looked on as a disappointing result for the 6s, but I think it is fair to say that when push came to shove, the whole team came back from losing two important players to injury, restructured and went on to play some excellent hockey. This rollercoaster season continues next Saturday at The Den against Ipswich Cranes 2. As was proved this weekend, anything could happen in the next 2 x 35 minutes!

In a first for your scribe, Graham Muff was awarded Man of the Match.  Cheers Guys!

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 4-1 Magpies

Dragons visited old rivals Harleston on a cold but bright morning. Dragons started poorly and soon conceded a goal from a short corner. The boys started to gain a foothold in the match but far to often play broke down with either misplaced passing or a failure to look for players in space being a constant problem. However just before half time Bobby Shepard pounced on a loose ball in the D and calmly swept it into the goal.  Halftime score 1-1.

The 2nd half saw a much improved performance with the ball being moved around the pitch with both width and pace. Following some fine build up play from Josh Wiggins, Ed Taylor scored the Dragons second goal, with Josh quickly following up with a goal from a short corner . Magpies continued to work hard and put together some fine passing moves and caused our defence a few nervous moments. Alex Wolfe made a  couple of fine saves to keep them at bay. Right at the end of the game Dragons were awarded another short corner after a strong run from Johnny Taylor., which James Cross finished to make the final score a slightly flattering 4-1 to the  Dragons.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 4-0 Yarmouth

NDHC League Match Reports: 12/11/2016

A few photos from a very wet Dragons Den are here.

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Poor little car didn’t like going to Bromley and back!

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 8-4 Bromley & Beckenham 1

Norwich Dragons 1XI had a long trip to Bromley and Beckenham this week. After Dragons 1XI coach could not travel, a few morning mishaps involving sickness and getting lost, Dragons travelled to London with only 12. With only 5 minutes to warm up, Dragons had to use the first few minutes of the game to get settled in. This they did, as Dragons began the game exceptionally well and wondered if every game they should miss the warm up! Lovely flowing passes from the defensive four in to Emma Tabrett who quickly transferred to Rachel King who then passed it out wide to Hayley Toleman who calmly hit it to the back where 1XI youngster Lara Taylor was there to push the ball in to the back post. Brom&Becks were struggling to get anywhere near the ball. But a lapse in concentration from the defence allowed the opposition to get a goal.

Dragons head stayed up and continued to battle on. Lara was not done yet as a ball out wide to Lara from King saw her execute some lovely skill. Lara drove in to the circle beating the Brom&Becks defence, and when the keeper flew out – calmly lifted it over her to make the score 2-1. Dragons continued their lovely team play – passing the ball effortlessly around between them.

Louise Murray was on fire in the right back position, constantly driving in to the attacking half with some lovely skill. On the next occasion Murray drove along the baseline and in to the circle, out-skilling the defence easily and passed the ball to the top of the circle where Olivia Thomas was waiting. Olivia Thomas took the ball on the reverse and hit the ball calmly in to the bottom corner. Olivia Thomas was also having a great game and soon after the next goal in another opportunity arose. She took a side-line ball and passed to king who then slotted the ball back along the baseline to Thomas who then passed to Hayley Toleman who was waiting to smash the ball past the keeper.

It was half time and the score was now 4-1 and dragons looked comfortable. King had to ensure in her team talk Dragons did not get complacent. Soon in to the first half Bromley and Beckenham managed to get in to the circle and get a back post goal. With the game now at 4-2 Dragons continued to work hard. Liv Sumpter received the ball up the line from Murray and crossed the ball effortlessly in to Toleman again, who was waiting in the correct position to slot the ball in to make the game 5-2. Dragons were on fire and Bromley did not how to stop their flowing team passing. Olivia Thomas got her second of the game with some great skill in the circle and finished well at the back post. An excellent piece of team play from the forwards driving with the ball in to the Bromley circle allowed Toleman to secure her hatrick with another great finish.

Bromley did not give up easily though as a simple error from midfield allowed them to get in to the circle once more and with a piece of individual skill, managed to get their third. Dragons where disappointed as they felt as they had dominated so much that they didn’t deserve any.

Bromley won another penalty corner. The straight strike from the top of the circle was too high and Sophie Thomas took a nasty head injury. The goal was given and after some debate was allowed to stand to the frustration of dragons.

Soon after the push back from the middle, King hit the ball of a Bromley and Beckenham foot to win a penalty corner with a few minutes left in the game. She took the ball at the top of the circle and beat the first and second runner to have a shot at goal; which was initially saved but King was there to follow up with the re-bound to score the goal.

The game finished 8-4. Dragons played some of their best hockey this season and hope to continue this in to the game on Saturday against Norwich City.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-2 City of Peterborough 1

The visitors arrived at the Den to play ‘lowly’ Dragons, possibly thinking they were in for a straightforward game. This proved to be far from reality, with the home team determined to pick up their game and take it to the visitors, who had beaten the league leaders the previous week.

With a bit of reshuffling in the squads due to unavailability in the 1’s, Dragons welcomed back Ally Windsor-Waite along with daughter Marcy, to join younger daughter Carmel in the team. Rowan York-Smith also returned to the squad, fresh from her Marathon exploits. Finally in a late change, Marie James joined the team at late notice. A good warm up, in beat with the music, saw the Dragons squad ready for action.

The home team had the brighter of the early play with forwards Laura Ward and Issy Wolfe heavily involved and always looking threatening on the break using their pace and skill to beat defenders. A couple of early chances came and went, but Dragons were looking sharp and their play much more fluid than in recent weeks, with Marie James spreading the ball wide whenever possible to wide players Hannah Phillips, Gail Thomas, Sam Franklin and Ally Windsor-Waite.

The break through came on 15 mins for Dragons with their 2nd short corner, which James took wide and passed neatly across the keeper to Hannah Hardy on the back post, to slot home for a deserved lead. Peterborough started to push forward, but the Dragons defensive line were looking solid, with Player of the Match Rowan York-Smith and Sarah Borrett looking sharp in the centre of defence, well supported by Carmel Windsor-Waite and Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson.

With 30 mins on the clock, Dragons were pushing for another goal to double their lead, however a quick break from the visitors saw them get in behind the defence and beat keeper Emma Cleland to equalise.

At halftime, the call was to continue to play the hockey that had seen them edge first half. Unfortunately the first 10 minutes belonged to Peterborough, who seemed to get the upper hand, however Dragons dug deep and kept the scores level. The home team created chances of their own, one in particular following excellent work by the speedy Laura Ward, beating her player and squaring the ball, however the ball couldn’t be force over the line. Short corners were earned by both teams but not converted.

Then, with 15 minutes left, Peterborough closed Dragons down in midfield, from a subsequent free hit, the ball was squared and fired into the D, where a bit of a melee ensued, only for the ball to be forced home. Dragons were determined not to be beaten however and a change in formation for the last 15 minutes meant they forced the play and created further chances, however it was not to be.

A much improved performance by Dragons who were once again disappointed to come away with nothing. Credit to City of Peterborough players and coach who commended the home team on their performance and confirmed that Dragons had played considerably better than their league position would suggest. The team remain strong and determined to change results round, which with hard work and strong team spirit, will undoubtedly happen.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-1 Norwich City 3

Norwich Dragons welcomed Norwich City 3s to the Den for an early afternoon game. The conditions were wet and greasy on the pitch, which took some getting used to by both teams. After an initial 10 minutes of scrappy play Norwich City seemed to settle and eventually opened up the scoring with a goal coming from a short corner.

Dragons picked up the pace and kept the score at 1-0 going into half time. A rousing half time team talk was given by newly appointed captain Lauren Lawrie. This clearly did the trick as Dragons came out into the second half with great fighting spirit which they managed to convert into an equaliser. This came from a lovely run from right back all the way up the wing by Kath Mares, who then slotted the ball to Katie McKenna from the baseline where Katie managed to play the ball into the back of the goal.

Norwich City weren’t going down so easily and kept up the pressure. A great defensive line of Angela Murgatroyd, Kath Mares and Sarah Wagstaff, with support from bottom of the diamond Natasha Falzon, gave as good as they got and kept City at bay until Dragons were able to score their 2nd goal. This was scored from a Dragons short corner, with the ball being stopped at the top of the D by Hazel Sumner, rolled in to Debs Smith, who then slipped it to Katie McKenna. In a true Chuckle brothers style one-two Katie and Debs played around the City defence with Debs having the final strike into the goal.

With around 10 minutes to go both teams kept up the pace, determined to walk away with the win. Dragons held off more attempts from City short corners and managed to create some chances themselves, with great linking play through the middle of the pitch from Trish Hagen and great runs from forwards Caroline Wolfe and Sian Lawrie. A great chance at another goal was sadly missed as Harriet Green was unable to get on the end of a brilliant cross from Sian at the far post, but Dragons were still very pleased with their performance as the game ended and they walked away with a 2-1 win.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-3 Norwich City 4

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-2 Diss

The Ladies 5’s were expecting a tough game with Diss having a similar set of results and game play to ourselves. Many thanks to our supporters who turned out even though the weather was totally crud! Dragons had first push back, with a pass back to Lynne (Ninja Neeps) Price and pushed out wide to Racheal Matthews who ran it up the line. Diss stepped in and we realised they were speedy and had strong strikes out.  A strong battled ensued, with Vicky Earley on hand at bottom of the diamond hunting down the opposition midfield and sweeping the ball out to protect our defence.

The defensive three amigos of Jemima Williams, Helen Marsh and Amelia Smith were solid and Diss were quick on the break so it was vital to clear the ball.  The first goal came from Diss, as Jemima slipped in wet conditions, Diss shot at goal Luisa Valentini shielded the goal and the ball rebounded only to be picked up by their second striker and shot into the left corner.  A stretch too far for our nimble keeper.  Dragons were resilient and had majority of play with lovely runs up the pitch by Karenza Moffatt and Laura Hansell, bringing the ball to the D.  Jenna Inglis and Catherine Matthews were trying to penetrate the opposition defence unfortunately the ball just wouldn’t go in.  Amelia smashed a lovely ball right up the pitch though the opposition to hanging Lisa Harwood, Catherine racing forward into the D picking up the ball, but closed down with double defence.

At half time the 5’s knew a goal could come just by making sure that the forwards could get on the posts and pick up those cross balls from the midfield.   Diss were dangerous when they made the break as they had very fast forwards and we needed to make sure we didn’t push too high.  Off the 5’s set for second half, again we dominated this half Lynne was constantly working the ball and hustling the opposition.  The next goal came from the Dragons with Jenna running the ball at speed past the opposition and passing across to Catherine in the middle and then forward to an unmarked Lisa, who managed to sweep the ball under the charging keeper into the goal.  The 5’ had a few short corners, but unable to convert, unfortunately Diss managed to get away on another break and shot a ball in between Luisa’s kickers which squeezed through into the goal.  The Dragons keep trying right up to the end, constantly battling and playing well as a team.  Bring on the rematch.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-0 Norwich City 6

Dragons 6’s played away to City 6’s on yet another cold and wet Saturday.  Despite this the team went out with a winning attitude and great determination, earning post match compliments from the opposition who said we were the toughest team they’ve played so far this season.

Dragons dominated a lot of the first half with some fluent passing from everyone and some great play in the midfield, with Lilly making some lovely runs down the left.  There were some great balls into the D from Sue (the Duracell bunny) but the opposition’s defence denied us the goal we so desperately crave.  Great play from Dragons defence yet again, kept the ball out of the D and only conceded one short corner, which was cleared with relative ease.

Although the first half was dominated by the Dragons, we were unable to convert and the score remained 0-0.  This only led to more determination and drive in the second half with Aditi (well deserved POM) and Nic making some great interceptions on the right and passing into the spaces where Ginny and Beth were ready and waiting.  Again we appeared to dominate the start of the second half with a strong midfield, with Fletch making some great passes down the line for the forwards to pick up and pass into the D where centre forward Kelly was waiting and hoping to convert but City 6 defence kept denying her.

City had some opportunities denied late in the second half with some great saves from goalie Amy and good clearances from the defence; Kate, Katie, Hannah & Nic.  The oppositions best play came when one of their midfield players was making a great run down the line, only to find she was running the wrong way!

Our best play yet this season but, despite our determination, and bruises to prove it, unfortunately that elusive goal remained unconverted with a 0-0 draw.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 4-1 Loddon 2

Dragons Ladies 7s were keen to get on the pitch after a month with no matches. The weather was a slight draw back but it didn’t dampen the Dragons fighting spirit.

The match got underway with Dragons immediately on the attack. Lovely passing play from the whole team got the ball up to the forwards of Mia McGhee, Sophie Thurtell, Katrina Speirs or Jess Vernon. There were many attempts on goal, with Mia managing to get the ball past the Loddon keeper within the first 10 minutes. Dragons were buoyed up, keen to keep up the momentum of the game. Unfortunately Loddon managed to break through to get a goal and equalize. This didn’t stop Dragons, who weren’t going to let Loddon defeat them. The rotating midfield of Jodi Rump, Elsa Scott, Helen Walker, Stevie Spencer, Claire Fairhurst and Dani Winteringham did a great job of stopping Loddon’s attacks, getting the ball out to the wings and up the pitch. When Loddon did manage to get through, the defence of Frankie Paul, Emma North, Ruby Rose-Turrell and Hattie Gale aided keeper Emily Roper in stopping them from getting more balls in the goal. Dragons kept up the attack, eventually being rewarded with a goal by Sophie before half time.

At the half time break, Captain Claire told the team to keep up the good work, maintaining the shape and to get on the post! Dragons went back on the pitch, keen to get more goals. They made plenty of attacks at Loddon’s goal, and were soon rewarded with a second goal by Sophie. Dragons continued to maintain their shape, with lots of calling and passing, tackling Loddon’s attempts to get past. Dragons kept on making shots at goal and got awarded numerous short corners. Three shorts in a row resulted in a lovely text book goal. Mia injected to Katrina who struck the ball, Loddon stopped it but it got slipped to Mia who slotted it neatly in the corner between the post and the keepers foot.

Dragons were very pleased with the final 4:1 result. Great play, great teamwork, and an enjoyable match despite the weather!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 1-7 Hornets

After an excellent first half, when Dragons were very much in the game, they went through an awful 20 minutes during which they conceded four soft goals. But they recovered, and for the last 10 minutes or so they made it a competitive game.

Once again the 8s had 15 players, with Jo Baker and captain Katy Cole doing sterling work on the rotations. The Plan was re-written in the changing room to make room for Anita Mancini, who was making a return to competitive hockey and showed some excellent skills at the top of the diamond – particularly her ability to stop and control really hard balls intended to split the Dragons’ mids and defenders.

The game was even for the first quarter. Hornets scored first, but Lois Metcalfe quickly equalised when she pounced on a well-placed ball from Gemma Ballard into the circle and gave the Hornets keeper no chance. Maisie Dearmer (player of the match) showed excellent skills with her ability to run past Hornets’ players, and the play was end-to-end. Jo Baker was pivotal to the Dragons’ defence and she constantly thwarted the Hornets attempts to break through.  Dragons’ goalkeeper Sarah Sheffield over the whole game certainly stopped more than went past her! Johanne Steward and Anna Chapman were also playing well in a defence that was looking composed.

The core of the Dragons team was playing nice hockey at this point. It was encouraging to see Katy Cole running strong down the left side, ably backed by Esme Mackinnon-Evans who got even more involved in the second half. Jess Lockwood played a very nice defensive mid game and Louise ‘Brooksy’ Brooks, Louise ‘Bondy’ Bond and Gemma gave Dragons midfield control for long periods with accurate passes. Shaniece Claxton took up some excellent positions on the right, and overall Dragons were well in it.

So where did it all go wrong? One turning point might have been when Dragons so nearly scored from an early second half penalty corner. Esme injected the ball to Bridget Le Good who slipped the ball to Lois whose shot clipped the GK’s thigh and bounced out. Minutes later, Dragons took a very soft sideline ball which Hornets stole easily, swept down the pitch and scored with no tackle going in. After that, if the Hornets were the electric hares, Dragons were the bunnies caught in the headlights, and the goals flowed freely, most of them swift runs through the centre which the Dragons  had earlier been able to deal with. All credit then, to the Dragons  for picking themselves up, adjusting their formation and re-discovering their backbone. Maisie was still full of running, the Louises (‘Bondy’ and Brooksy’), Gemma, Jess and Anita played well in their rotations and Lois was always available in the circle. So the game concluded very much as it began – end to end. Dragons learned some valuable lessons and will return to training ready to develop their skills and continue to enjoy their hockey.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-2 Sudbury 1

Men 1XI faced league leaders Sudbury 1XI in a very cold and wet match. After a short while dragons wonderful attacking play led to several short corners being won. Rupert Snelling scoring the first goal of the game with a drag flick from a well worked routine. The score at half time was 1-0 to Norwich dragons.

Shortly into the second half there was a ball played across the Sudbury D by dragons which was left by their keeper. Much to their surprise the ball hit the post and sat up lovely for Snelling to grab another goal.

Sudbury came back strong playing some good breakaway hockey, getting 2 goals back within a short time. One coming from a short corner and the other a deflection from open play. With the scores level at 2-2 going into the final few minutes it was unclear which team would run out winners. Seconds to go dragons pushed forward and won a short corner. Whilst setting up the short the full time whistle went. Rupert Snelling  stepped up to take the short, this time with the added pressure of winning the game for his team and sending them top of the league. As everyone watched in anticipation Snelling calmly stepped up and scored a drag flick to give dragons the win. Final score 3-2 to Dragons with a hat trick for man of the match Snelling as Dragons now go top.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 5-4 Sudbury 2

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 3-0 Dragons 4

This week the Men’s 3s hosted fellow Dragons the Men’s 4s at the Den.  With both teams suffering from poor availability across the club, they took to the pitch in the drizzly rain.  Both teams started well and all players were eager for the ball.  The 4s pushed hard in the first 20 minutes and used their speed to break through the midfield of the 3s a number of times.  Adam SAYER, Stu KELLY, James GOODSON and 3s debutant Iwan ROBERTS all had to work hard to keep the 4s from getting clean shots off.  A number of short corners for the 4s were luckily stopped, with keeper Dim IVES making some great saves.

The 3s started to get hold of the ball and started to pass it round.  Good distribution from Rob WAGSTAFF meant the ball was put out to the width, where John IVES and Jose San MILAN could pick it up and attack down the wings.  No short corners for the 3s in this half, but a goal from Will KIRBY, who knocked the ball in for the 3s to take the lead going into half time.

The 3s really came into their game in the second half.  They passed, communicated, and worked well off the ball.  Max LAMING and Lloyd SAYER dominated the middle of the pitch and it wasn’t long until Man of Match L SAYER slotted the ball past the 4s keeper to extend the lead.

The 3s defence worked well as a unit and moved the ball from side-to-side, allowing Jon GOODSON to drive the ball down the right from the back to link up with Rob CHANEY-BAXTER.  Forward Matt JENKINS worked tirelessly up front, making some good passes and generally being a bother to the 4s defence.  Another goal from L SAYER sealed the victory and the game ended 3-0 to the 3s.  A very enjoyable game to play, and thanks to the spectators who braved the wet conditions to cheer both teams on.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-3 Dragons 3

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-1 Sudbury 4

Great game from dragons 5s against sudbury (away) on a cold and wet afternoon see us win 1-3 to get our season back on track after a 3 game dip in form.

It was a slow start by dragons with sudbury pinning us in our half with some good play. After a couple of attempts on the dragons goal sudbury opened the scoring on 7 mins from a well worked goal hit in from the left and scuffed over the line. 2 mins later sudbury continued the pressure getting a short corner. The short corner was hit at a relative slow pace but and was an awkward bobbling ball. Matt Armstrong clearing the ball off the line to keep it 1-0.

Dragons capitalised on the break with the midfield of Yorky and Adrian able to young Jordan Hambling who went round 2 players to slot home to make it 1-1. (goal coming about 10 mins into the game). The second goal came quickly after the Andy Key cleared it left wing back position up to Josh Bingham who was up in the final 3rd of the pitch and able to make a good cross into the sudbury D. The pass was intercepted by the sudbury keeper who should of just let it run as he passed it out to young McCartney who was unmarked and able to push the ball tidyly passed the keeper to make it 1-2.

Josh Bingham also found the net from a short but was disallowed as it was just over the backboard. The 3rd goal came near the end of the half. Andrew Cross getting a well worked team goal started by Matt Armstrong and Connor Adams on the right going through Lee, Adrian and Josh Bingham on its way to a good and almost saved goal for Andrew cross. Score 1-3 at half time.

The second half was a much more end to end half with sudbury having the more possession. But lacking that cutting edge, some good saves by the dragons keeper Giles Brooks and a fantastic last ditch last man tackle from Ray kept the game at 3-1. With only 2 mins left Lee became the only casualty of the day after a awful tackle from behind by the sudbury midfield player saw Lee go home with two less teeth.

Very enjoyable and close game, man of the match was Matt Armstrong after winning rock paper scissor against Connor with both players getting 3 votes. On reflection the whole team deserved to win MoM as all played very well.  Thanks to the sudbury umpiring team, who made good decisions and allowed the game to flow.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 8-2 Bury St Edmunds 7 (friendly)

A very wet afternoon at home for the 6s in a friendly against Bury St Edmunds 7s. The match was arranged to keep everyone on their toes as this was our slip weekend in Division 7NE. It turned out to be a great result with an 8 – 2 win in difficult conditions. The flood lights were of great help even with a 1.45pm push back in the gloom and drizzle of a mid-November day.

Right from the off, Dragons were moving the ball around well against Bury and showed strength in the midfield to keep a considerable amount of possession. We took the lead early on in the first half with good work and tenacity in the oppositions D, which continued to pay off later with two more opportunist goals, created from Bury not clearing the ball when they had the chance. The midfield pairing of Paul Kassulke and Darryl Robinson working well, to open up chances for Dragons in the Bury half of the pitch. A rolling substitution of players meant some variation in formation, as it wasn’t always a like for like change, but we still managed to keep mostly on top of the game. Bury pulled two goals back through open play and a short corner, but going into half time we held a fairly comfortable three goal lead.

It was the first time umpiring an adult game for Jono Chaney-Baxter and he continued to impress in the second half with some clear, decisive decisions. Certainly a great debut with the whistle and something to be proud of as he makes his way in the umpiring world.

The second half continued in a similar vein and Dragons 6s extended their lead with a superb solo goal which took Tom Williams almost the half way line, all the way down the right wing and across the base line into the D, where he coolly slotted the ball into the net. This, and his work through the game earned him man of the match. The other Dragons scorers were (in no specific order) Paul Kassulke with two goals, Darryl Robinson with two goals, Ed Crosier with one goal and now settling in to an attacking position, Joel Lawrence with one goal and Rob Lee with one as well, from close range. Freddie Roques in the Dragons goal had a good game, clearing the ball on a number of occasions from Sudbury attacks.

Well done to every one for a disciplined performance with no small amount of flair and Dragons 6s now travel to Newmarket 3s on the 19th November to continue with Division 7NE matches.

 

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 0-3 Norwich City

In a persistent light drizzle, we took to the pitch feeling sure we could improve on our last outing against City (1-7). We soaked up early pressure in the first quarter and the disciplined play of City had us pegged back for 10 minutes, eventually conceding a goal before the break. However, we had been up in their D too and knew there was a chance here.

The start of the second quarter saw Arjuna come out of sweeper to right mid, where he made some excellent runs to get in behind their defence and we had our first short corner but couldn’t capitalise. Alex Brooks ensured the defense remained solid and some nicely picked passes to Isaac on the left enabled him to set off and put pressure on their defense.  Similarly, Will Mares, Captain, did an excellent job of closing out the attacking moves we had seen in the first quarter, reading their game well.

A goalless second quarter was positive, Alex Wolfe making some good saves, and we could sense a frustration creeping  into the City team. Solid play from Bobby Shepherd helped put the brakes on their attacking runs through the middle and he was able to pick out Harry Fuller who was staying up for the through ball.  Strong running from Mac Beaumont  and Josh Cormack in the middle helped strengthen the defence. Paul Delaiche distributed the ball nicely too and again, the ball out to the left saw Isaac Diver-Hall set off on some driving runs down the side line and crossing into the D to earn ourselves two more shorts. Casper Lind did some excellent running both on and off the ball to create space when we were pressing their D, and a heart-in-mouth scrap just one metre off their goal line sadly ended in a desperate clearance by City.

As we pressed, so space opened up and  some clever moves from City gave them two further goals to finish  0-3, despite some instinct saves from Alex Wolfe in the last quarter. Thanks to Will Ives and Owain Hall, (both adult players), for joining the team and helping distribute at the back.

Well done everyone… a great team effort which almost felt like a win!

City 3, dragons 0

PoM vote: Isaac Diver- Hall

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

NDHC League Match Reports: 05/11/2016

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 4-1 Wisbech Town 1

Dragons 1XI welcomed Wisbech 1XI to the den on Saturday with high hopes of gaining three points they have missed in the past few games.

Dragons started off the game with high intensity with fluent movement from the defence in to midfield and then on to the forward line. Dragons had an early chance with Captain Rachel King driving with the ball in to the Wisbech circle. King found herself and Niamh Lowe-Davies with no defenders around them and only the keeper in front of them. King selflessly went to pass to Lowe-Davies but the keeper made a brilliant save with her stick.

Dragons continued to pressure the Wisbech defence with good pressing from Hayley Toleman and the forward line. Olivia Thomas, made an excellent tackle and drove down the right in to the Wisbech circle but there were no Dragons players to touch the ball into goal. The first half continued with countless Dragons’ attacks – but with 11 behind the ball Dragons, began to feel frustrated. Great play from Louise Murray on the right linked with Olivia

Thomas and Marie James ensured no Wisbech player could get in to the circle to score.During the half time talk, Dragons were told by coach Pete Thomas not to get discouraged with the score line when it felt like Dragons should have been 6-0 up.

The half started well with Sarah Jenkins playing some great passes up the line to the forward which were utilised well. Dragons won a penalty corner within the first 5 minutes. At half time the gaps in the Wisbech defensive penalty corner line up were discussed and this allowed dragons to utilise this. King took the ball at the top of the circle and with a great piece of individual skill, beat the first player and then the second – calmly slotted the ball in to the bottom corner.  This gave the boost dragons needed as soon after, Dragons won another penalty corner. The ball was stopped at the top of the circle by Thomas, pushed by King to Toleman on the right which was placed back to King on the penalty spot who slotted the ball past the keeper once more.

Soon after this Dragons dominated again with Liv Sumpter and Sophie Mullan playing some lovely hockey in midfield to the forward line. Sophie Mullan drove to the outside of the circle, played the ball to King who played the ball across to Niamh Lowe-Davies who then passed it across to Hayley who finished off a wonderful team goal.

Dragons looked comfortable for the remainder of the game with countless attacks. After another penalty corner was won by Toleman – Dragons scored the same switching goal with Lowe-Davies deflecting the push high in to the top right corner.

In the last minute of the game Wisbech won a controversial corner and as the whistle had gone they put 10 players at the top of the circle. Wisbech slotted the ball in for the game to finish 4-1. Dragons felt they could have scored a lot more.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 0-3 Lindum 1

Norwich Dragons travelled to Lincoln with optimism, having recognised a few areas to improve on in previous weeks and making a slight tweak to the formation.  Last season’s fixture saw the 2s debut for Lara Taylor, who has gone on from strength to strength, whilst still only 14, unfortunately alarm clock issues meant Lara didn’t travel with the squad, but followed on behind.  This season the fixture saw a debut to the Club for Hannah Phillips.
 
Phillips and Taylor linked up well in the early stages of the game and the adjusted formation, along with work on defensive short corners gave the team a solid first 10 minutes defensively.  However, Lindum eventually broke the deadlock with a deflected short corner, this was after the award of numerous and sometimes bewildering short corners, which player of the match Emma Cleland in goal was seeing off with the solid defensive lineup of Carmel Windsor Waite, Sarah Borrett, Shelly Seaman and Karen O’Neill-Simpson. 
 
The visitors rallied after this and created a few opportunities of their own through the remainder of the first half, with Claire Canning returning to her home county in fine form and fellow midfielder Helen Busfield battling well to keep Lindum at bay, however Dragons were unable to break down the Lindum defence.
 
At halftime the team were told to focus on the things they could influence, the opposition and officials were not part of that, and Dragons’ passing game needed to improve. However, the second half didn’t quite go to plan, with Lindum scoring after a few seconds of the pushback and playing the better hockey throughout most of the second half, going on to score once more.
 
Dragons kept plugging away with Issy Wolfe driving in behind the defence, a reverse-stick effort from Taylor going wide, Hannah Hardy forcing a full length diving save from the Lindum keeper and Laura Ward beating the keeper only to see her shot rebound off the post to safety.  However, it wasn’t to be Dragons day.
 
A big improvement over last week’s performance and a few more things to work on before the talented individuals in this newly formed team get to play to their full collective potential.
 
Many of the team, including captain Karen O’Neill-Simpson who suffered a serious thumb injury in the last 10 minutes, had to brush themselves down, patch themselves up and head to Letchworth on Sunday for the England Hockey Ladies Over 35s Masters Trophy match.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 3-0 UEA 2

On a wet and windy morning, Dragons arrived with a well-stocked team of 14 players to play against UEA 2s. As the match began, the horizontal hail didn’t dampen team spirits as Dragons pressed high into the attacking half, with pressure from midfielders Lauren Lawrie and Hazel Sumner pressing the game in the D. Unfortunately after only 5 short minutes Ally Windsor-Waite left the pitch injured following a crunching tackle. Undeterred, dragons fought back and were rewarded with several short corners, however it soon became clear the UEA keeper would be putting up a fight, blocking shots left right and centre. Dragons became more creative with their short corner routines – including the famous “Chuckle brothers” between Caroline Wolfe and Debs Smith, however to no avail. The score remained 0-0 at half time.

After a team talk from the stand-in coach Sarah Wagstaff, Dragons were ready to up the ante for the second half. UEA clearly also had a strong half time talk as they flew up the pitch with several counter-attacks. Despite this, superb defending from Harriet Green, Angela Murgatroyd and player of the match Kath Mares meant Amy Forse had very little work to do in goal apart from stand her ground. The speedy legs of Danni Garwood helped slow down UEA, making crucial tackles to help regain possession. Building on this, dragons benefited again from another short corner. Following the rebound from the initial shot, Dragons were rewarded with a goal after Trish Hagen hit the ball across the line from the right hand side.

With only 10 minutes left of the match, Dragons were energised after scoring. Forward Sian Lawrie confidentially carried the ball into the D only to have the ball rebound up in the air off the goalie. The ball was brought down safely by Lauren, allowing Caroline to sweep the ball in the net for a 2-0 score line. Dragons quickly reset as UEA began to tire, with Marcy Windsor-Waite making fantastic runs down the right wing keeping the ball glued to her stick. As Marcy reached the base line, she perfectly pushed the ball back into Caroline for a tap in on goal to give a final winning score of 3-0. Dragons worked as a unit for the game and had been patient and persistent for the goals, leading to a great win for the team.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-7 Dereham 3

Despite the abysmal weather ( sleet and rain) we managed to dominate the play for the first and last 10 minutes of the game. It was a shame that so many goals were conceded between these periods.

Claire played well throughout, she was extremely supportive, always in space and made some great distributive passes. She well deserved her POM award.

Everyone worked really hard. We were 3 – 0 down at half time, despite having won numerous short corners and hitting the post on several occasions. Catherine played well, playing with determination on the wing. She was rewarded with a goal early in second half.

Charlotte also had lots of nominations for player of the match, and worked hard in the centre of the pitch.

The defence ( Amy, Sarah, Lou and Ella) were under a lot of pressure at times and remained calm. Working well as a unit they certainly kept the score line down.

Ellie certainly can hit the ball hard on the reverse, and deserved her goal. She was close to scoring on a number of occasions.

Jasmine started well, but was forced to retire after a head injury – the team hope she gets well soon.

Congratulations to everyone for their continued determination and attacking aggressive play right until the final whistle.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-0 UEA 3

After a week off enjoying relaxation and fun the 5’s were glad to only have 1 sub and get some extra match fitness in!  With an earlier start and a chill in the air, the UEA had first push back.  The 5’s had already decided a win was needed and from previous matches to follow the format of passing, holding our shape and being first to the ball.  This took a little time to embed and for the first 15 minutes the ball was taken end to end.  The UEA found it difficult to penetrate our strong defensive posse of Jemima Williams, Amelia Smith and Helen Marsh.  Who are all quick to read and halt play by returning the ball back to the Dragons.   Lynne Price was always on hand charging around the midfield picking up the ball and with those perfect passes finding Mel Widdows or Laura Hansell out on the wings.  At times the UEA were quick to close us down and seemed to pack the D making it difficult to work the ball in.  First chance on goal came from a ball from Racheal Matthews into Lynne a strike into the keeper, who went to ground, Lisa Harwood tried to flick the ball over the keeper but it came off the post.  The 5’s were now finding they had more chances in the D and the midfield were pulling into support.  The first goal was a combined effort with close action, the keeper trying to keep the ball out, a pass in from Catherine Matthews returning the ball in again and finally Lisa pushing it under the keeper and into the backboard.  This gave everyone a boost and the momentum needed.  At half time the effort was on not to get too close to each other, maintain positions and make the ball do more work.

The UEA came out with more effort but the Dragons were highly energised Vicky Earley whipped around the midfield and even showed off some 3D skills tapping the ball pass the gaping UEA players.  This was followed by lovely zig zag passing from Mel, Lynne and Jenna Inglis, who used her speed to bypass the opposition and get the ball into the D.  Another goal soon followed with a lovely slap behind the keeper from Racheal.  Luisa Valentini was giving herself a warm up at the other end of the pitch with a few jumps before she froze solid, her nimble toes were not called into action much during the game and less so in the second half.  The pressure on the UEA was high and constant in the second half, with the ball being fed into the D by Lynne, Catherine, Mel and Jenna.  The final goal was a super example of skills by Catherine, weaving the ball past the opposition defenders and then a solid strike into the back of the goal, the shriek of joy was ear piercing!!  Everyone felt like they had a cracking game.  Man of the match was Jemima for her silky defending skills, solid stance and composure under pressure.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-0 North Norfolk 2

A match to remember probably more for the weather than the score!  Not for want of trying though for the Dragons who again worked tirelessly and with great spirit until the end.

A really positive start put early pressure on Nth Norfolk with a few goal line scrambles with the Nth Norfolk keeper, the first 10 minutes really being Dragon dominated.  Some great early work from Rosie Skipp up front but a lack of Dragon urgency following shots at the goalie couldn’t make it count.

Nth Norfolk came back into the game putting some pressure on a committed  and solid Dragon defence.  The ever dependable Hannah Woods, Ginny Simkin and Katie Franks were always in control with Beth Coates staying strong and firm in the middle effecting some great distribution up the pitch.

Hammered by wind and rain made the game hard work for everyone but didn’t dampen Dragon enthusiasm.

The second half brought Dragons again putting the pressure on straight away.  Short corner injection by Sue Brumby to Kelly Mills who executed an excellent strike with Brumby on the post to deflect in – or at least that was the plan –  the deflection went wide.  Some excellent work from Fiona Fletcher whose work was recognized by her team mates voting her man of the match though sadly the Trophy Dragon hadn’t made it to the game so it was extra cake for Fletch instead.

Some sweet strikes from Lizzy  McDonnell at the goal really should have resulted in at least one goal but again, it just didn’t seem to want to happen for the 6s today.  Some lovely triangle passes up the pitch instigated by Nicola Robinson who always seems to see the space to pass into to get the momentum going was an example of some great team work.

In summary a hard fought game on the part of both teams but frustrating for the Dragons not to have scored.  Full commitment to the game and each other clearly evident in this 6s squad again today.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 3-0 Dereham 5 (Dereham conceded)

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 1-1 Loddon 2

Dragons started brightly and took an early lead. It looked as though they might be able to dominate this game, but Loddon fought back. Once they had equalised, Dragons needed all their strength and determination and some excellent keeping from stand-in goalie Kat Spiers (pom) to hang on to a point.

Strategically the 8s set themselves up very well, with Jo North  commanding the back line and using her knowledge of squad strengths to set out some excellent rotations and formations. With 15 players lined up, the team welcomed the support of Amy Forse and Claire Fairhurst to ensure the subbing went like clockwork and the team (by and large!) did not lose its shape.

In the first ten minutes, Dragons kept the visitors penned in their defensive quarter. Throughout the game, there were speedy runs by Katie Moulson and Maisie Dearmer and then when Amelia Keitley-Webb moved up front in the second half the 8s showed the potential of their attack. After four penalty corners, Dragons were awarded a flick and a very nervous Bridget Le Good managed to scrape the ball into the offside corner. Bridget also gets the DOD award for losing her club shirt. Luckily Ruth Barton had a spare, and that was her last charitable event of the day as she gave nothing away in defence. Also in defence was Johanne Steward, who deserves a mentions for developing her push stroke and taking some very penetrative 16 hits.

Captain Katy Cole led by example as she encouraged her team to keep their shape, and keep passing, and she got some good runs down the left. Sophie Drew was also effective on the left and grew in confidence as the game progressed. Our midfield – Gemma Ballard, Anna Chapman, Louise Brooks, Louise Bond, Jess Lockwood proved that they could put in some good tackles and make neat passes. Very encouraging, given that these players are either stars of the Get Back Into programme, or new Dragon babes just breaking through into club hockey.

Loddon had been slow to start, but they had two strong players capable of creating havoc through the middle. As can be expected with an inexperienced formation, Dragons lost their shape under pressure. Loddon scrambled their equaliser in the 25th minute, but in fairness they had many excellent shots on target. If it had not been for The Kat, and some very acute umpiring, Loddon could have taken a win.

So this was an end-to-end game, with both teams making some good moves but also showing areas for improvement. Dragons will talk to their coaches about adjusting their formation, because the visitors always seemed to have an extra player in midfield. The 8s are very keen to improve and learn, and look forward to many more matches as enjoyable as this one.

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EHB Ladies O35’s Trophy Round 2

Letchworth O35’s   3  v   3   Norwich Dragons O35’s (Dragons won 3-2 on Penalty Flicks)
 
The Dragons ‘Fun-Bus’ left the Den bright and early, alas with just a bare 11 players following 2 players having to withdraw from the squad at late notice. Small in number but big in spirit, the team arrived in good time and in good voice. The clouds rumbled in and the wind blew, but the Dragons were ready for action.
 
Both teams started brightly with chances at both ends. The Dragons defence were working well as a unit, with Kate Bond directing from her goal and Angela Murgatroyd, Sarah Wagstaff and Sarah Borrett having confidence in one another to move the ball around the back, with even time for a little bit of day-dreaming and taking in the surroundings by the Dragons RB! Shelly Seaman was busy as ever protecting her defence and the midfielders of Karen O’Neill Simpson, Gail Thomas and the returning Rowan York-Smith worked incredibly hard as a unit, supporting defence and attack. 
 
The deadlock was broken mid way through the half, with an excellent ball from Shelly Seaman, finding Hannah Hardy in the D, who saw the incoming run from Charly Burgess at the far post, who slotted the ball home smartly. Dragons maintained the pressure, great work down the left saw Karen O’Neill Simpson find Caroline Wolfe, who was making some great runs along the forward line. Wolfe made her way into the D and earned a short corner – Gail Thomas slipping the ball to Hannah Hardy, whose ‘bobbling’ effort was dispatched across the line by the ever alert Caroline Wolfe.
 
With Angela Murgatroyd taking a nasty knock to the knee, Dragons looked like they may be forced down to 10, but the Dragons spirit shone through and she battled on, despite the egg on her knee! Letchworth had their spell in the game and with Kate Bond in fine form and the defence mopping up any threat, Dragons thought they were going into the break 2 up, however a late short corner bullet saw the deficit halved by the home team.
 
At half time, to add to the cold, the rain started to fall and the wind picked up. Dragons knew they were in or a battle, none more so when Letchworth scored the goal of the game with the ball fired into the D and a fantastic glanced effort flew past keeper Bond. The game remained quite even, however mid way through the half a Letchworth short corner glanced off a Dragons stick for a 3-2 lead.
 
Dragons continued to fight, with chances coming and going, but the team were determined to battle on, despite being down to 10 players for 2 minutes. During this time they forced a number of short corners and with 5 minutes to go, Gail Thomas struck a short from the top of the D, this time glancing off a Letchworth stick into the goal to equalise. Dragons then pushed for the winner and had the ball in the net at the very end, however a foot in the D meant this was ruled out.
 
So in the wind, rain and arctic conditions, with most players barely able to hold their sticks let alone feel their fingers, the game was to be decided on penalty flicks. The first 5 penalty flicks were taken and the score again remained even at 2-2, with Hardy and Thomas both scoring and Bond making some good saves. Sudden death saw Hardy step forward to score, leaving Letchworth needing to score theirs to continue the game. Kate Bond stood tall in her goal, and made the vital save, taking Dragons through to Round 3.
 
Thanks to Letchworth who were fine hosts and well played to the 11 who battled for the Dragons cause!

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-2 IES 2

Men’s 1s faced a tricky fixture away to IES 2nds. An excellent match played out on the Rushmere smurf turf: Dragons took a very early lead with a shot and lifted follow-up for Ben Watson’s first league goal of the season. IES countered immediately with a thumped backhand. An open game ensued with IES hitting long to runners in the circle, admirably dealt with by Dragons’ defence. A couple of corners for Dragons led to a goal for Snelling. A bit of a duffed routine but the keeper ended up beached for a easy finish. IES came out hard after the break with the wind at their backs. Dragons played more on the break and stretched the lead with a solid slap by Matt Knights.  IES continued to chase and got back to 2-3 but there the game ended.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 4-1 Pelicans 2

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 3-1 IES 4

The Men’s 3s travelled to Ipswich to play IES 4s on what turned out to be a lovely sunny game.  The 3s welcomed back Stu KELLY and Jon GOODSON into the fold, and decked out in the black kit, Dragons took to the smurf turf.

IES pressed high from the start and Dragons struggled to get the ball out of their area, with IES making a ring and blocking balls through.  Early pressure saw Dragons concede a short corner and which IES slotted into the back corner to take the lead.

This woke the Dragons who started to pass the ball around and worked the ball well around the pitch.  The first half ended and Dragons were determined to have a better second half.

Dragons started strong with all parts of the team working as a unit.  Stu KELLY, James GOODSON, Piers GORDON-BROWN and Adam SAYER kept IES from getting shots off, and the couple of times they did break through, keeper Ben NKRUMAH was at hand to swat the ball away.

Jose SAN MILAN dominated the right and linked up with forwards Max LAMING, Will KIRBY and Matt JENKINS.  As in the past few games George BOWMAN worked tirelessly in the middle and was complimented by Jon GOODSON who cut out many IES balls through the centre.  Lloyd SAYER also caused problems for the IES middle, often winning the ball off them and slipping it through to the forwards.

Dragons won a short corner and a slick passing move by John IVES, left Adam SAYER to flick the ball into the netting, drawing the scores level.  Dragons continued their attack and IES barely got into Dragon’s D.  Again John IVES set up Will KIRBY who smacked the ball in for Dragons, and towards the end of the game, Max LAMING knocked another in.  Dragons saw out the game and finished with a victory, taking much cherished 3 points back to Norwich.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 3-2 Lowestoft Railway 2

Dragons hosted bottom of the table Railway 2 at a wet, windy and chilly Den as darkness fell.

With Railway sitting bottom of the table, it appeared to be a good chance for Dragons to gain 3 points, but Railway stunned the Dragons when they scored early in the game after the ball ran kindly out of a tackle.

Dragons regrouped and started to show some more of the quality seen so far this season.  A slick attacking move saw Adie Kemp control the ball in front of goal and calmly flick the ball past the stranded Railway keeper.  Dragons continued to create chances, with Tim Allen working hard in the centre of midfield, whilst Pedro Goss, Nick Turner and Will Ives provided pace on the wings.  Up front Adie Kemp was joined by Jon Chaney Baxter who returned from a couple of weeks galavanting to put in a Man of the Match performance, creating a number of chances and posing the Railway defence problems every time he got on the ball.  Garnett Jones showed his usual quality, controlling and passing the ball well and getting into excellent positions.  It was he who added a second goal for Dragons with a measured finish.  A third goal followed before half time when Adie Kemp passed across the D from a narrow angle and Pedro Goss slotted home.

3-1 at half time with Dragons playing well perhaps led to a bit of complacency and in the second half Railway posed more of a threat.  As the pressure mounted a few green cards were shown and Dragons’ form dipped.  Unable to convert any more chances it was up to the Dragons defence of Dim Ives in goal, Peter Davison, Neil Shorten, Andy Carver and Rich Phillis, with Rob Jenkins playing defensive midfield, to keep them in the game, marking tightly and making some crucial tackles and interceptions.  With just a minute or two left, a Railway break saw a powerful shot into the corner cut the deficit to a single goal, but the final whistle came before Railway could mount any further attacks and the game ended 3-2.

Dragons climb to 4th in the table and will remain ahead of the 3s regardless of the result in the eagerly anticipated intra-club fixture next week.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-3 Nomads 1

On a chilly afternoon at the Den, Dragons hosted a Norfolk Nomads 1st team, who we knew would be difficult opposition. The first half was very scrappy, with neither side having any chances. This being said Rob Chaney Baxters pace up front was causing several problems, and with a bit of luck he may have bagged a goal. However soon Dragons were awarded a short corner, in which Andrew Cross ejected to Phil York Smith, who very cutely slipped it back to Crossy, who was able to push the ball into an open goal. Another highlight of the half was watching Lee Keeler hurdle a Nomads player, superb athleticism… A chuffed team went into half time 1-0 to the good.

The oranges made their usual appearance, and dragons knew the same discipline was needed in order to gain the three points. However Nomads started the second half strongly, and cross came in that ricochetted to the forward, who happily accepted it to equalise. Very unlucky goal to concede. Sadly Nomads soon scored again, following a nice following move with a good finish. Dragons pressure came, but unfortunately it just wouldn’t go our way, and with a few minutes to go Nomads scored again, with a nice finish. Final Score was 3-1 to the Nomads.

All in all a good performance, the game just didn’t quite go our way unfortunately. MoM went to Sol Blazer in midfield. Move on to next week now.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 2-2 Watton 2

A draw was a fair result in this game. Early game Watton were on the front foot & this led to a mid-half goal. Dragons replied with an equaliser which Ed Crosier just bundled over the line & was well spotted by the umpire in an excellent position. Changes discussed at half time were effected when Watton went 1-2 up. Makeshift forward skipper Mike Banham returned to sweeper & Jon Price moved into attack. This gave a better team formation & was rewarded  when Price found the equaliser from short range. MOM was James King whose save in the 2nd half was immediately followed by our equaliser. Jordan Hambling was excellent as a probing midfielder while Dave Pentin continued his return from injury with a solid job in centre defence

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 6-0 Dragons B

On a very cold evening after a changeable day when it came to the weather, under floodlights at the den the mighty dragon’s B team met their friends in training, the dragon’s A team. Despite the disappointment of a couple of late call offs, under the leadership of Nat Beal the boys in white went into the first quarter with grit and determination to prove to the spectators and coaches that they were going to give the A team a battle. The players worked incredibly hard and I think all would admit matched the A teams work rate and team work early on. However, after some strong defence from Xander Wimmer, Casper Lind and Will Mares led by adult Jason Wolfe dragon’s A took advantage of the B teams fatigue and manged to win a short corner and consequently score from it. Soon the A team made it two from another short corner and dragons B went into the break feeling a little hard done by to be losing. After a short break and a tactical inspection from Coach Nat Beal and an inspirational talk from captain Jason Wolfe the B team took to the pitch with optimism hoping they can real the game back in. Unfortunately, a combination of some good skills, passing and shooting from the A team gave them a doubled lead going into half time of 4-0.

At half time Issy Wolfe came over to assist coach Nat Beal in the dugout and pass on some words of wisdom to the players. This and time to recover from the efforts of the first half the dragons went out to the third quarter and began to boss the game. The midfield of Daniel Shirly, Captain Mac Beaumont, adult George Bowman and colossus in the centre of midfield Jacob Hallet who seemed to take the ball of the A team players every time they got near him, seeing a lot of the ball, winning it then passing it on creating some half chance for Paul Delaiche and josh Cormack who got themselves in from very good positions but unfortunately neither could convert and a good counter attack from the A team saw the B team go in after the 3rd quarter 5-0 down.  Still refusing to give up the Dragons B team went into the final quarter with optimism they will be able to score a goal and they came close many times but unfortunately it wasn’t there day and after a break away the A team converted another chance making it 6-0… unfairly the B teams hard work wasn’t reflected in the score line. I think all those that were there however would agree they gave a very good account of themselves and deserved more out of the game but that’s hockey. After a few candidates being thrown in the mix for man of the match Alex Wolfe came out as deserved winner making some crucial as well as spectacular saves throughout the game and the whole of the B team as well of the A team were thoroughly impressed with his efforts.

Thanks to George Bowman for his efforts through the match too!

The whole of the B team can be very proud of their performance and if the keep improving at the rate they are they will soon be a match for the A team!

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons v Norwich City

NDHC League Match Reports: 29/10/2016

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-6 Ipswich 1

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-3 St Ives 1

A quiet day at the Den, with just 3 home fixtures, meaning plenty of time on the pitch to warm up for the Ladies 2’s. The squad were put through their paces by Rob Wagstaff and were ready for the start and started the game brightly.

There were some early attacks for Dragons, through the lively Laura Ward and Issy Wolfe, who put pressure on the St Ives back line, however the score remained goalless during the first 10 minutes. Defensively Dragons knew they needed to remain on their toes, as St Ives threatened on the break especially attacking down their right and it was through one sharp break, that St Ives took the lead – the ball far too easily moving from St Ives defence to attack, leaving Dragons Keeper Emma Cleland exposed to a one on one.

Dragons were still in this game however and forced a number of short corners through good work from Helen Busfield and Sam Franklin. Their first effort was blocked, however from the resulting short, a disguised slip pass from Donna Vaughan found Hannah Hardy in space, whose bumbled effort found its way through the defenders and the keeper, for the equaliser. Sadly this was to be the end of Donna Vaughan’s involvement in the game, with a sprained ankle forcing her off.

Having to reshuffle, Dragons moved Claire Canning into the middle who in her second game for the team, did exceptionally well to hold the middle. Unfortunately before half time, St Ives took the lead again through their skilful and influential forward, who again attacked down the right, along the baseline and smartly slotted home.

The second half saw a similar pattern, in that Dragons had their spells of play, but all too often, failed to find each other with some basic passing, which constantly heaped pressure on their back line. There were chances at both ends and short corner opportunities for both teams, but the score remained 2-1 for the majority of the half. With 10 minutes remaining there was a major goal mouth scramble, with some excellent last ditch tackles by Sarah Borrett and Player of the Match Kiera Goymour and somehow Emma Cleland keeping the ball out. St Ives forced a short corner out of this melee, where they struck the ball goalwards, finding Sarah Borrett on the line who made a great attempt to clear, however the umpire deemed the ball to have crossed the line.

This sealed the points for the visitors. Dragons will be disappointed as they had some decent spells in the game, but all too often their stray passes are meaning they are putting themselves under pressure. They are a determined bunch however, and know that through hard work in training and with sheer determination, they can and will turn results around!

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-0 Dereham 2

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 0-2 Ipswich 2

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 5-5 Pelicans 3

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-1 Newmarket 2

This Saturday the Men’s 4’s faced a journey to Newmarket. Making the trek with the bare 11, we knew were in for a good game. The first half presented many opportunities for the side but the final ball was lacking for both teams ending the half at 0-0.

With the half-time team talk and the help of our master tactician (also known as Adrian’s granddaughter) over, we headed out for the second half with one aim in mind, winning. However it didn’t all go to plan when Newmarket tried to slip a ball across to their striker but it was met by 2 of our defenders sticks and found it’s way into the Dragon’s goal. We continued to push hard for a goal when we were finally rewarded when a long corner taken by the captain was slipped right for Peter Davison to bury in the bottom left corner of the goal. At 1-1 with about 10 minutes left both teams were pressing hard to find a winner. It was Dragons that managed to find the win though with Adrian Kemp finding a ball to a waiting Pedro Goss at the top of the D who rifled home a shot past the keeper.

The final minutes of the game consisted of solid defending from the Dragons until the final whistle blew, leaving 11 tired Dragons with a well earned win. MOTM was hard to single out but eventually it was agreed that Pedro Goss deserved it for his brilliant skills down the left wing and an excellent late winner

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-3 Felixstowe 3

On a Saturday Afternoon Dragons made the short journey to Felixstowe. It was a top of the table bout, with both teams near the top of the table. Dragons travelled with 12 players, all hungry for victory.

Dragons started well, with most of the play going our way, and a lead looking likely. However Felixstowe scored a goal on the break catching out the whole team by surprise. Dragons responded well, slowly coming into the game.The introduction of Connor Adams caused problems in the Felixstowe defence. However another Felixstowe break saw them double their advantage, and Dragons went into half time trailing 2-0.

Some positive words were said at half time, notably Jon Price who was the teams tactician for the day. The return of Lee’s oranges of power motivated the side and we went out in good spirit. Matt Armstrong had plenty of joy down the right hand side putting in some dangerous crosses, which unfortunately we were unable to score from.

Sadly Felixstowe suddenly found themselves 4 on 2, and got a third goal, finishing in a slightly harsh scoreline of 3-0.

Joint MoM went too Andy Webb and Connor Adams. Andy backed up last week with another solid performance at the back, while Connors dribbles caused several problems to the Felixstowe defence. Anyways, move on to next week.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 1-4 Norfolk Nomads 2

This week M6 had a surfeit of players with an injured John Butler having the difficult job of running the bench. Still lots to learn by way of match craft – particularly not giving the ball away, understanding role when subbed on, posting up, tighter marking. In essence our youthful exuberance was not a match Nomads all round experience. Nomads scored 3 in the first half with 2 of those being self inflicted by giving the ball away. M6 did score when a Mike Banham short corner variation was converted by Alan Quinton.

After halftime talk, M6 played a more controlled game & had good chances squandered to pull level but then allowed Nomads a further breakaway goal. A performance which did warrant a MOM award & from which lessons must be learned to take to Newmarket next week.

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 22/10/2016

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-1 Cambridge Uni 1

After suffering a painful loss away at Bedford the week before, the Dragons were keen to fortify their position in the top few spots of the table and felt confident about their chances against Cambridge University.

Dragons dominated from very early on, moving the ball around quickly and efficiently; the youthful team from the fens fought hard to pressure the home players but it was the Dragons who controlled much of the play. Time and again, Sarah Jenkins, Louise Murray and Liv Thomas combined brilliantly on the right to find an on form Hayley Toleman, or the looping runs of Stacey Lee. Any counter-attacks were calmly seen off by Siobhan Cleeve in the Dragons’ goal and at half time the score remained 0-0.

Captain Rachel King led the charge in the second half, committed and skilful, she dominated much of the pitch. She worked well with Aoife Lowe-Davies and together they forged many chances that were well saved by a strong Cambridge keeper. However, the home side maintained the pressure and the goal eventually came. Louise Murray passed it out of defence to Sophie Mullan, who with a beautifully weighted ball found Jess Bennett, at full steam on the right wing. Bennett cracked it in to a waiting Toleman who finished clinically. King’s goal last week was a beauty but is now in stiff competition with this one for the goal of the season.

The relief was sadly short lived. Dragons lost possession in the middle of the pitch and from what seemed like an innocuous position, Cambridge had the advantage. Despite brave defending from Jenkins and Murray, Cambridge won a short corner and converted it with a skilful deflection. With minutes left on the clock, Dragons fought back and won a short corner, then another, but were unable to convert and the game ended 1 – 1.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-3 Lowestoft Ladies 1

Dragons welcomed Holly Reding into the squad for this important fixture against Lowestoft, who like Dragons had been struggling to get results this season. The warm up was good and the team were ready for this local derby battle.

From the outset, the tone was set, with Dragons forcing the play and putting pressure on the strong Lowestoft defence from the start. It was clear however, that they were up against a determined team, lead by Master GK Kate Bond, who made her mark from the outset, by flying out of her goal to snuff out early chances. An early short corner saw Holly Reding slip the ball smartly back to Hannah Hardy, who should have done better with her effort, finding the Keepers pads rather than the backboard.

Lowestoft forced their way into the game with some good early runs and quick breaks down the right, and from these runs the home team forced a couple of short corners, the second of which they scored from through an unfortunate deflection high of a Dragons stick, looping over Keeper Emma Cleland. Dragons kept their heads up, as they had been creating chances and an equaliser came, following good work from Issy Wolfe in the D, finding a small gap between keeper and defender to slot home for the equaliser.

Dragons continued to push forward, being driven on by Donna Vaughan and Player of the Match Shelly Seaman, who dominated the middle of the pitch. They nearly scored through a quick break and great link up play between Laura Shreeve and Issy Wolfe, with Wolfe playing a great diagonal ball across the D to Hardy who slid in reverse stick, but was disappointed to see the ball just spin wide, having got the ball underneath the outrushing GK. Despite this pressure, Lowestoft pushed themselves and forced another short corner, which they forced home at the near post to take a 2-1 lead into half time.

Whilst the second half was pretty much dominated in terms of possession by Dragons, they produced fewer clear cut chances, as Lowestoft sat a bit deeper and defended well as a team in numbers. Further short corner opportunities came and went and this needs work. Helen Busfield took one great chance late on, with an intelligent run and and sweeping an effort over the keeper, but also just over the bar. Other chances were created, but too often the team try to force the ball through the Keeper rather than work round her or indeed lift over her.

With Dragons having pushed defensive players forward to try to get the equaliser, Lowestoft broke and forced a short corner, which they slipped wide and once again their goal bound effort, took a massive deflection off a Dragons stick to fly over keeper Cleland, who had no chance.

The visitors were disappointed with the scoreline, having dominated possession but they have to learn to be more clinical and take their chances, despite coming up against an outstanding GK who was in inspired form. In addition, they need to defend short corners better with all 3 goals coming from shorts. Undoubtedly work to do as a team and that starts again on Tuesday in training but also off the field too, with high levels of fitness required in what is an extremely tough league.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-2 Broadland 1

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-3 UEA 2

On a sunny Saturday the 4XI made their way to the University to take on UEA 2’s. After a shaky 5 minutes the play was very much back and forth. UEA caught us on a break and with a cheeky back post tap in they had scored their first goal. Our 3 E’s holding up our back line: Emma, Esme and Ella kept cool and calm at the back each receiving a nomination for POM due to their strength and skills on the ball. They used each other well and switched the ball between them to find Rachel and Sophia on the wings. Using their speed with Lucy M, we managed to work it down the pitch numerous times and our attacking earnt us opportunities for Sue, Jasmin, Lucy B and Megan to have a try at the keeper. The attacking finally paid off with a short corner and a goal. Megan smashed the ball for Rachel to pick up the rebound and slot it through the keepers legs. With the wind back in our sails we kept fighting but unfortunately after some cracking saves from Amy the managed to score another leaving the game 2-1 at half time.

After the longest team talk, Dragon’s entered the pitch feeling hopeful to score another. With the triple E defence keen to ping it out to the wings; Clare, Lucy M and Sophia did a great job of working it down the pitch. We were definitely looking the stronger team. Jasmin, Lucy B and Sue giving the keeper lots to do with midfield working hard to give them the balls. Dragon’s managed to get the equaliser with a well worked ball into the D passing round for Lucy M running in and hitting the backboard. Dragon’s looking perky kept working hard with Jasmin noticeably running and screaming to ensure she was heard. Sophia playing behind her and this weeks POM for the second week running due to her effort and high performance. Alas it wasn’t our week to score our first point as a last minute goal saw UEA take the win 3:2 in the final few moments of the game. Great teamwork and work rate see the 4XI hungry for their first points.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-3 Broadland 2

In the Ladies 5’s game against Broadland 2’s we lost 3-2 in a close and unlucky game. In the first half Dragons opened with the a great scoring goal from Laura Hansell off the post within the first ten minutes or so, then unluckily for us they got one back from a short corner a little while later. Lisa Harwood then nearly scored another goal but missed marginally.  The next goal was an unexpected but no less good goal from Megan Farrant which once again put us in the lead. However despite some great defending they got another goal drawing us equal. Throughout the first half it was a tough game but we had confidence we could win it back in the second half thanks to some fast running up the line from Harriet Marlee, Laura, Megan and Catharine Matthews and some great passes from all.

In the second half they unfortunately scored another goal putting us in the losing position despite some great saves from Alice Smith in Goal. Dragons then came back harder to try and get another goal and therefore dominated the last of the second half getting some near misses and some short corners but unfortunately despite how well the attackers played none were lucky enough to get in the goal due to the oppositions strong defense.

Throughout the game Vicki Earley, Holly Bailey and Chelsea Crawford played some great defending and attacking achieving some near misses at the goal and being options for passes throughout. Lisa and Jenna Inglis were strong attackers throughout the game and as always Jemima Williams was a solid defender in the middle. Louise Davis played high in defense throughout the second half repeatedly sending great passes into the D whilst still defending well.  Katy Franks proved herself to be a nippy defender reading the ball and quick to intercept up the left side.

Despite the fact we lost we played a strong game and will be sure to beat them next time.  Man of the match jointly goes to Katy Franks and Harriet Marlee for strong continual effort.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-1 Breckland

This Saturday’s fixture ended in an unfortunate loss for the 6s, in a game where we held a good amount of possession we were unable to come away with a win. Lily Sore debuted for the 6s this week proving her capabilities as left forward, she was able to hold her own against the ever physical Breckland team, sending some really nicely placed balls in to the D. Lily shared the role of left forward with Anja Wimmer who looked as composed as always, keen to create opportunities. Our speedster Rosie Skipp had stints in right wing and right forward, she was notably determined in the D –  working hard to keep possession and not letting feisty players intimidated her (a justified choice for joint POM with Beth Elgood).

Centre forward Kelly Mills focused on staying high in order to be first to the post but on this occasion the balls just weren’t finding her stick. Beth Coates worked tirelessly to keep driving the ball in to the home team’s attacking half as did Liz McDonnell, who gets a notable mention for coming straight from a night shift! Ellie Hipper was initially playing up front but found her form in midfield. She settled in to play a mature game, again refusing to be intimidated by the opposition. This fixture was always going to be a difficult one to be faced with so having the kind of determination Elsa Scott brings to a game was exactly what was needed, she is always a hard working player who never gives up. Beth Elgood got some early runs in – starting on the wing but switching between there and her usual position at the bottom of the diamond. She made sure to distribute the ball plenty and support on the attack as well the defence, although performing the splits mid-game understandably landed her with the D.O.T.D accolade.

Considering the 6s were missing a fair few of their usual players (Hannah Woods, Hannah Edwards, Sue Brumby and Katy Franks) the two on one channeling and team work was impressive, displayed particularly by experienced player Kate Atkins who put in clean tackle after clean tackle. Ginny Simkin’s fitness levels were put to good use whilst she was making extra effort to support midfield whilst holding the defensive line and Katy Said looked exceptionally comfortable as centre back where her reverse stick stops came in very handy indeed. Nicola Robinson had big shoes to fill this week in the absence of Katy Franks but her willingness to get stuck in meant that she held her own as left back.

The first 60 minutes of the match saw Dragons with the majority of the possession, who played with their usual level headedness and with ten minutes to go before the final whistle a penalty flick was awarded to Breckland putting Luisa Valentini under serious pressure. Despite Valentini’s best efforts the flick resulted in a goal and Dragons were unable to utilise any of the chances made in the final part of the match. It just goes to show that anything can happen in a game of hockey and that’s why we love it!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s: No Fixture

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 2-0 Cambridge City 4

The day got off to the best start possible with Sam Avery only turning up 2 minutes late to the meet time, rather than his usually 20. This was shortly followed by captain George Walker pointing out the “beautiful rainbow”. With the words “Look boys, it’s a full arc!” still echoing in their ears, Norwich Dragons Men’s first team set out for the land where cyclists rule over those mere mortals who only have a car; Cambridge. Here the they were met with beautiful sunshine, but only 1 umpire. As the warm-up came to a close and push back drew near, there was still no sign of the second yellow shirted official. Unfortunately, the poor chap was stuck in traffic!

After a further 20 minute wait the match got underway. Dragons started strongly – something that has typified their season so far but eluded them last year. With a short and pacey passing game, they began to apply more and more pressure on the Cambridge City defence. The deadlock was broken when a free hit on the edge of Cambridge D was met with a bursting lead from the back by Olly Buck. He managed to fizz the ball into the opposition area where it was met with a lovely backhanded deflection by striker (and Dragon’s current top goal scorer) Rupert Snelling. The touch completely wrong-footed the goal keeper and gave Norwich Dragons a thoroughly deserved 1-0 lead.

Dragons used this momentum to carry on putting Cambridge under pressure and crafted several more chances, with Alex Stone and Charlie Nunn being denied by the opposition keeper. Ben Watson also had a goal disallowed when his strike from a penalty corner crossed the line above backboard height. However, Cambridge managed to rally and ended the first half looking the more threatening team after dragons went down to 10 men when Mr. Walker was given a 2 minute sin bin for hooking sticks with a Cambridge attacker in the defensive area.

With a psych-up speech at half time from the Dragon’s captain and leader (a speech that could have rivalled that of those delivered in the defining moments of The Mighty Ducks or Space Jam), the team went out determined not to let the match slip away from them. Dragons once again began to dominate the Cambridge side with their electric passing, but a second goal, which would have surely killed off the game, never quite materialised. Then disaster struck! Olly Buck, the superstar that Dragons signed last year from North Norfolk Hockey Club, was given a thoroughly undeserved yellow card (and a hefty 10 minute sin bin). Apparently, he had not retreated 5 metres before reengaging a Cambridge attacker. All I can say is that they must measure 5 metres differently in Cambridge than they do in Norwich.

Morale in the Dragons camp was at an all-time low, but the remaining teammates dug in and fought against all odds to win a penalty corner. Up stepped Rupert. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. A super drag flick managed to make it 2-0 to Dragons. With Dragons 2 goals to the good, and back up to 11 players the victory was all but assured. A last-minute penalty corner for Cambridge City looked as though it had spoiled Dragon’s clean sheet, but the goal was disallowed because an attacker had started with his stick and feet in the D.

Final score Cambridge City 4s 0-2 Norwich Dragons 1s.

A hard fought and thoroughly deserved win where perhaps the score should have been much higher. The juniors played some awesome hockey and not once did any of them look out of their depth. It’s a shame we will be saying goodbye to some of them at the end of this season. A special mention should be made to Grandpa Ed Smith, who had a superb game despite having pulled his back when stretching in the warm up!

MoM – Sam Avery (played extremely well, but mainly won because he wasn’t too late!)

DoD – Olly Buck (very harsh considering the assist of the century that he provided, and the fact that he was one of the few people to remember all his kit. Between a team of 13 players there were only 11 towels, 11 boxers and 10 pairs of socks!)

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-1 Bury St Edmunds 2

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-2 Felixstowe 2

The Men’s 3s travelled away to Felixstowe to play a team that had followed them down from Div 3NE.   Felixstowe were sitting top of the league, so Dragons knew it would be a challenging game. There were 4 third team debuts this week for Andy CARVER, Ben NKRUMAH, George WRIGHT and Pedro GOSS.

Felixstowe started the game with a lot of pressure, pressing high and got an early goal.  This didn’t deter Dragons as they turned the play on Felixstowe.  Rob GOODSON and George BOWMAN worked well in the middle to control the game, cutting out balls coming through and linking up with the forwards.  John IVES and Jack O’MEARA stormed the flanks, providing Dragons with width.  For the rest of the half, Dragons had control of the game.  They were very unlucky not to draw the scores level a number of times, with the Felixstowe keeper making a number of goal line saves.

Unfortunately for Dragons, a counter attack by Felixstowe in the last minute of the half gave them a short corner, and with the half time whistle blown, all their team swarmed the D.  They passed the ball around and slotted it in the corner.  Dragons were not disheartened and kept their heads up as they started the second half.

Dragons completely dominated the second half, and Felixstowe had to work very hard in their area to stop Dragons scoring.  What odd attack broke through the Dragon middle was swiftly dealt with by Andy CARVER, James GOODSON , Adam SAYER and George WRIGHT.  Keeper Ben NKRUMAH was confident in goal and made some decisive clearances.

Max LAMING, Pedro GOSS and Tom VAUGHAN kept the Felixstowe defence busy and winning some short corners.  On one such short, a slip right to John IVES beat the defenders and allowed him to pass the ball across to VAUGHAN who slotted the ball in.

Despite their domination and excellent play Dragons were unlucky not to score another, and Felixstowe were reduced to time-wasting ball in the dying minutes by shielding the ball in the corner, to keep the hungry Dragons away.

The whole Dragons team played well and the younger members of the team played with confidence and skill, a real testament to the Club’s youth development work.  A very promising game for the rest of the season for the Men’s 3s.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-3 Ipswich Cranes 1

Unbeaten in their last four games (W2, D2), Dragons hosted Ipswich Cranes 1 at the Den looking to continue a good run of form.  Dragons’ squad was affected by availability and injury and saw Dim Ives, Phil York Smith and Ali Smyth playing for the team for the first time this season.

Both teams started the game at a high tempo, Cranes having some skilful players in midfield who were able to launch numerous attacks on the Dragons goal.  Dim Ives made some good saves, but Cranes scored midway through the first half and maintained their 1-0 advantage until half time.

Dragons had plenty of possession, but struggled to create many clear cut chances and had to work hard to stay in the game.  Even when Cranes doubled their lead, it still seemed there might be a way back into the game and Dragons were handed a boost when Rob Chaney Baxter poked home to make the score 2-1.  Garnett Jones hit the post during a good spell for Dragons, but Cranes continued to threaten, earning a number of penalty corners.  A third goal came when the ball was deflected past a wrong footed Ives.

Dragons worked hard, but were unable to get back in to the game and couldn’t have too many complaints at the result against a decent Cranes team.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-1 Norwich City 7

On a Saturday evening the 5s faced a Norwich City 7th team, with a few familiar faces recognised. Dragons got off to a strong start, with some good early passing particularly in the middle of the park. This was rewarded when a McCartney Aldous run beat two or three players, before squaring it to Sol Blazer who slotted it home to put Dragons 1-0 up.

From the start the game was very open from the start, with attack vs defence being the main style of the game. However the defence stayed strong, and Chris Millar made a couple of important saves. However dragons were largely on top, and we went into half time leading 1-0.

After re fuelling with new skipper Lee Keelers oranges, a determined dragons went out knowing three points was very achievable. However sadly after a slow start to the half, City equalised with one of their young players getting through. Apart from this I can’t recall any more City chances.

A good response was needed by Dragons and who better than Andrew Cross, who was in fine form after a hat trick the previous week. A Josh Bingham hit found its way to Crossy in the D, and he very cleverly deceived the keeper with a fine finish (no mis-hit involved).

We knew City pressure was to come, and the defence held firm, with father son duo of Ray and James being key in the defensive works, along with Keysy and Graham. Andy Webb was first to every loose ball, and Dragons held on for a fantastic 3 points.

Everyone played their part in victory today, however Andy Webb was rightfully given MoM for a fine performance. On to next week, a lovely trip to Felixstowe.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 1-2 UEA 4

With 2 players not appearing, M6’s set up with 10 outfield players & 2 keepers, playing one half each, but found a sub when Joel handed over to James in goal at halftime, to reappear in the forward line, to allow some youngsters a breather. M6 had their fair share of play but slack marking allowed the UEA winger to get clear in the D for the first goal. After half time skipper Mike Banham slotted a short corner to equalise & several good chances went begging before a clearance went in field to set up a UEA attack & a winning goal. Dave Pentin made a commanding return from injury at centre midfield & with Darryl Robinson was instrumental in keeping UEA pinned in their half. Sam Nutt made an excellent debut. Tommy Chapman again showed excellent attacking & passing skills to earn MOM. Defensively M6 need to mark tighter & clear the ball out to the side rather than give the ball away.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

NDHC League Match Reports: 15/10/2016

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Photos from the day are shown here.

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-2 Bedford 1

Norwich Dragons 1XI travelled to Bedford for a top of the table clash in East Premier. Dragons knew it would be a tough game with Dragons only leading the table by 1 point. The game began with great intensity and face pace. Bedford dominated the fist few minutes with Dragons defence being made to work hard.

Soon after, Dragons began to settle and play some nice fluent hockey up the pitch. Defensively, Sarah Jenkins stayed calm working the ball effortlessly wide to the midfield. Olivia Thomas looked confident and played some lovely passes to the forward line. After some great play, Dragons lost concentration momentarily and before they knew it Bedford had scored a brilliant deflection. Dragons continued their good spell however, and found themselves pressurising the Bedford defence. Stacey Lee received the ball out wide and drove to the circle and squared the ball across the face of the goal where Liv Sumpter, narrowly passed the ball past the post wide.  Dragons were dominating once more with some great play through midfield and exquisite 1-2 passing, effortlessly working the ball past all of the Bedford players. Marie James played a perfect ball to King near the top of the circle. King took the ball and easily reverse hit with a lot of power to the top left corner of the goal in which the keeper did not stand a chance. The game became end to end with both teams gaining chances and both teams determined to get the winning goal. Bedford’s home crowd were loud and continued to shout from the side-line  to encourage their team. Bedford responded by driving in to the circle and scoring a very average scuffle-type goal.

However, Dragons did not let the goal or crowd affect them as within two minutes, Rachel King found herself with Hayley Toleman heading towards the goal with a lot of space. King passed the ball wide to Toleman in the circle who flicked the ball coolly past the keeper only for it to skim the post and go wide with no Dragons player there to tap it over the line. For the next 10 minutes Dragons dominated but came to no avail and Bedford came away with the three points. All of the team played well and were disappointed not to come away with any points they felt they deserved.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-0 Cambridge Uni 2

With the sun shining and temperature rising both teams arrived at the Dragons Den knowing that 3pts was key for both teams. With a strong squad of 15, the Cambridge team looked up for the battle. Dragons welcomed Claire Canning into the team for her East League debut and welcomed back poet Laura Ward. The team also had coach Rob Wagstaff supporting them this week; the team warmed up well and were ready for the off.

Dragons started brightly, with a number of attacks in the firs 5 minutes, one chance created by Emma Tabrett and Laura Ward was bundled towards the goal by Hannah Hardy – goal line technology may have given a different verdict, but no goal was awarded. Dragons continued to put the visitors under pressure with Lara Taylor, Laura Ward, Sam Franklin, Danni Garwood and Claire Canning pressing well and pouncing on any opportunities.

Meanwhile the defensive team of Emma Cleland, Sarah Borrett, Kiera Goymour and Carmel Windsor-Waite, supported by Sophie Thomas and Karen O’Neill Simpson were dealing with any breaks from the Cambridge forwards. As the game wore on more chances were created, a great run by Laura Ward saw her pass a great ball to Hardy, who fluffed her lines in front of goal. The pressure was coming however and Dragons forced a couple of short corners, the first saw a strong drag flick from Emma Tabrett go agonisingly wide, the second resulted in a bit of a scramble in front of goal, which saw Sarah Borrett force the ball goalwards and as it made its way towards goal, Laura Ward got the all important touch to make sure.

With a slender lead at halftime, Rob and Karen called for more of the same, with perhaps upping things a little, as the feeling was the visitors were vulnerable if we put them under pressure. With Player of the Match Emma Tabrett continuing to drive the team forward through the middle, Dragons pushed on with more chances created through the lively Ward and with Lara Taylor back on the pitch, having returned from an earlier injury. Eventually the 2nd goal came, through Laura Ward squaring a ball to the back post, where Claire Canning had ghosted in to finish confidently for her first ever Dragons goal on her debut.

The game followed a similar pattern for the last 15 minutes – Cambridge had a good spell of pressure but the defensive unit worked well and deservedly kept the clean sheet. The final whistle blew, just as another chance went begging for the home team, but the points were secured.

Whilst the performance is probably still not quite where they would want to be, Dragons were pleased to put their first points on the board and give themselves a foundation to build on. Lots of hard work ahead and continued work in training from the team will ensure they get their rewards. Thanks to Rob for his sideline support and to the supporters for their encouragement for the whole team.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 9-1 Loddon 1

In the first 10 mins, Dragons started the match somewhat sluggishly, paying for this when Loddon opened the scoring, following a messy scramble in front of the goal, which Dragons failed to clear.  This seemed to galvanise the Dragons players who then started to play much better passing hockey, enabling their attack to make some driving runs into the D. Dragons eventually scored after another goalmouth scramble at the other end of the pitch, which Sian Lawrie finally managed to slot away. This seemed to settle the Dragons players, who began playing with much more confidence and desire, limiting Loddon to only a few attacks in the first half, which were easily dealt with by the Dragons’ defence.

The Dragons’ attack then took charge, scoring a further two goal before halftime, these coming from Catherine Longe & a second from Sian Lawrie.

After a focused half-time talk from Sarah Wagstaff, Dragons continued to keep the pressure on the Loddon defence, with goals coming in fairly quick succession: the score became 4-1 following some great passing between Debs Smith, Laura Goodbun and Catherine Longe, enabling Catherine to score her second goal, by putting the ball past the keeper into the right hand corner; the fifth goal came through a good finish by Caroline Wolfe after some great passing in triangles round the Loddon defence, culminating in a layoff from Katie Mckenna; a sixth goal, and Sian Lawrie’s hat-trick, came from a short corner which was slipped left to her and calmly but firmly put away;  the team’s seventh goal came from a well taken flick by Player Of The Match, Katie McKenna, after a Loddon foot on the line; the penultimate goal came again from a great run into the D by Catherine Longe and a feint, which fooled the keeper into covering the left, as the ball was slotted inside the right hand post, earning Catherine a hat-trick, the second for the team. The final goal came from a well worked short-corner, which was slipped right from Caroline Wolfe to Debs Smith, back to Caroline and, via a reverse underarm pass, on to a well positioned Sian Lawrie for her to score her fourth and the team’s ninth goal of the match.

The score line would have got into double figures if a Natasha Falzon flick, early in the second half, had not been well saved by the Loddon keeper, after the ball deflected off the stick and into the body of a Loddon player on the line.

Credit must also be given to Loddon’s outfield players, who continued to battle hard and had a few good attacks, despite the onslaught of Dragons.

The Dragons defence, like their attackers, played with confidence, providing good support to the teams’ midfield and forwards with some strong switching of play around the back and feeding the ball forward.

With a double hat-trick, it was a performance about which the whole Dragons team should rightly feel proud!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-5 Broadland 1

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-1 Thetford

The weather report gives a 20% chance of good hockey weather in Thetford, so with the sun on our backs the Dragons were set for a game. Thetford were bottom of the table so would be hungry for a win, Dragons were conscious of playing like the previous game, playing and passing the ball as a team effort. Thetford came out strong and played in a style similar to Beccles, smashing the ball through players to get a pick up. Jemima Williams, Helen Marsh and amateur defender Lisa Harwood were constantly called into action. Guided at the back by a slightly croaky purple horned Alice Smith. Thetford had a strong midfielder who would run the ball down the wing and crack the ball across the D. The Dragons had to close this player down quickly, Vicky Earley with her usual speed and strike rate was on hand to do this. With Lynne Price at top of the diamond maintaining the formation, calling for the ball from Harriet Marlee on her debut for the 5’s and Catherine Matthews. The ball was soon worked into the opposition D. Jenna Inglis, Megan Farrant and Lucy Buxton were working hard to try and clinch that goal working the ball around, but a nifty Thetford defender was quick to clear the ball. The game was end to end and gave the 5’s a good work out. The first goal came from Megan Farrant picking up a deflection and slotting the ball into the back of the goal.

At half time the 5’s needed to get another goal to keep ahead and resist the advances of Thetford. Lynne asserted the need to hold our formation and to work as a unit closing down Thetford’s nippy midfielder. Mel Widdows had dropped back into defence and they worked quickly to close down and return the ball up the field. Helen Marsh who had worked constantly throughout, gained a particularly bad graze to the leg and was lifted off. Our sideline support and part time medic Andrea Matthews was on hand to apply the ice pack. At this time Vicky got tired and needed a 2 minute sit down on the sideline. The Dragons started to press the D again with Catherine passing the ball round to Karenza Moffatt who weaved around the opposition, Thetford were packing the D. Lucy passed the ball in and to Megan across the Jenna on the far post and in behind the keeper. 2-0 and much rejoicing. The Dragons had upped their game and finding themselves in free positions were hussling the keeper. In the last few minutes of the game the Thetford midfielder was determined for that goal and the 5’s had difficulty slowing her up, she cracked a shot across the D. Jemima almost did the splits in trying to stop the ball but it slipped into the corner. 2-1. An end to end battle.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-0 Yarmouth 2

On a damp and cloudy morning, Dragons 6’s arrived at the Den for their fourth consecutive home match of the season. The opposition, a strong and youthful Yarmouth 2’s. Both teams tied on equal points in the league, this was going to be a tough game.

Dragons had a strong line up consisting of Luisa returning to the squad in goal and a solid back line of Hannah R (for the last time!) Katie Franks and Beth E taking on an unaccustomed role at centre back. Arabella had to put her passing and tackling skills to good use, playing a more defensive roll than usual. Sitting at the bottom of the diamond, she offered additional support to the defence when needed.

As the matched progressed, Sue repeatedly found Rosie playing out wide who worked some excellent stick skills, regularly running past the Yarmouth midfield, only to have the crosses cut out by the experienced Yarmouth defence. Two penalty corners in short succession meant that the Dragons could put all the hard work from training into practice. Powerful injections by Arabella saw Sue have a couple of strikes saved by the keeper.

Into the second half, Nicola put in some energetic sprints working the wings and utilising the width of the pitch. This proved difficult for Yarmouth to get to grips with as Dragons really applied the pressure. Link up play from Hannah E and forward Anja meant that she could find Kelly on the top of the D putting her through one on one with the keeper. Unfortunately on this occasion, the pressure was too much and she put it wide.

An inspired midfield drive initiated from Fiona saw the ball into the D and within a metre of goal. Support from Hannah E, Kelly and Anja made the ball cross the line but the referee had blown the whistle for foul play.

Dragons continued to dig deep sensing that a win was possible. Beth C found Ellie on occasions driving the ball forward and attacking aggressively. A super strike from Anja straight at keeper found the rebound bundled in the back of the net but for the second time today, the referee disallowed the goal.

Athletic tracking back from Beth E, Katy, and two fine saves from Luisa, saw that Dragons didn’t concede and saw out the game with a clean sheet.

A frustrating but fair game saw it finish 0-0.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 2-6 Hornets

Dragons were rather overwhelmed by the Hornets steam roller effect, but all credit to the Hornets for sticking to their very direct style of hockey and grinding out a comfortable win. The 7s went one down very quickly when captain Claire Fairhurst suffered a blow on the knee and all the Dragons stopped, expecting a free hit to be awarded. It didn’t happen and the Hornets duly nipped in and scored. Similar misfortune befell them in the second half when, having stopped a Hornets attack through the middle, Dragons misheard the whistle from the neighbouring pitch and stopped, letting the Hornets through for their fourth. Alessandra Pellegrini in goal could have been forgiven for being disheartened by this unnecessary generosity, but she kept her head and stopped lots of hard shots.

Dragons equalised in the first quarter when after a bit of a scramble in the goal Claire Stuart forced the ball over the line. The 7s should be encouraged to keep up this level of determination in the circle, which does bring its rewards. However, far too often Dragons backed off under Hornets’ pressure and chances were lost. One player who never wilted was Elsa Scott, who took the player of the match vote for a midfield performance which was both determined and skilful, pushing the ball through to the forwards left, right and centre.

This is still relatively early days in the season, and with a wealth of Dragons wanting a game the 7s once again had half a dozen changes from the previous week in the squad of 14. For this reason, it is not surprising that the battle-hardened Hornets showed the superior team skills and were able to find their players more effectively. But once again the 7s produced some good moves and showed they have potential. The defenders, with Emma North and Katy Saide particularly strong and with Claire F and Bridget Le Good, managed several moves where the ball was transferred strongly round the back before being cycled to the mids. Rotating in the mids were Elsa, Brooke Simmons (who turned in another praised performance), Helen Walker, Jodi Rump (who showed a notable turn of speed,and Dani Winteringham who got in plenty of tackles.

The forwards are all effective ball carriers, with Claire S, Lilly Sore mostly on the left, Mia Mcghee on the right and Kat Speirs in the centre. This week they improved their positioning in the circle but did not manage to win many penalty corners. There was good backup from the mids, who also showed plenty of appetite for attack.

Dragons seemed to show more determination in the second half and their second goal was a cracker. Half a dozen passes found their players before Kat Speirs placed the ball powerfully wide to the keeper’s left.

Unfortunately there could be a rather long break before the 7s get the opportunity to play competitive hockey again, but there will be plenty of chances to work hard in training. The 7s remain determined to enjoy their hockey and improve their standards all round.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 6-1 Norwich City 7

Dragons 8’s were keen to improve on their last match of a 4 all draw.  From the beginning they were raring to go and the majority of the possession was theirs throughout.  The team managed to get a few short corners but not quite able to score their first goal until a penalty flick shoot was awarded to Dragons as the City 7’s fouled as they used their foot to stop a goal.   Sophie Thurtell stepped up as a willing participant to take the goal and successfully managed to score.  This gave the 8’s a boost of confidence and within the next five minutes Sophie had scored her second goal.

Excellent team work ensured that the mid fielders on the wing including Sophie Drew, Maisie Dreamer and Louise ‘Brooksy’ Brooks received the ball confidently and drove it down to the other end of the pitch ready for the forwards Lois Metcalfe, Shaniece Claxton and Katy Cole to attempt to shoot.  As the team became more confident with this arrangement Lois Metcalfe scored a cracking goal which paved the way for an even more successful second half with Gemma Ballard having already subbed a defender, subbing again and swapping positions from centre half to right forward, proved she is multi talented as she scored an excellent rebound goal, then less than 10 minutes later the same formation of fast runners in the mid, drove the ball down to the D and Gemma managed to score another, seemingly effortless goal.

The strong defence made up of goal keeper Sarah Sheffield, defenders Jo Baker, Johanne Steward, Anna Chapman and Ruby Rose-Turnell gave the City 7’s attackers a run for their money during the few times that they managed to get near the D, with the hard hitters managing to secure excellent passes to the midfielders driving the ball down again to the forwards for further attempted shots.

The opposition were clearly tired and seemed to slow down as Dragons’ confidence and teamwork grew and Alice Bishop was able to secure their sixth and final goal shortly before the end of the match.

All players worked hard to secure this well-deserved win and Sophie Thurtell was awarded player of the match.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-5 Cambridge Uni 3

After a good result in Division 2N the previous week, Dragons Men’s 1st team faced a strong and well organised Cambrdige Uni side who had also made a good start to the season.

The Cambridge stduents made the stronger start of the two teasm controlling the ball well and makign some promising attacks.  Somewhat against the flow of play, but as the result of a good passage of simple passing hockey, the Dragons took the lead with a well taken goal from Henry Laming, who has scored a goal per game so far in the league thsi season.  Cambs Uni then spplied more pressure and were able to draw a goal back, with the scores 2-1 at halftime, thansk to a well taken short corner deflection.

The second half was very much a mixed for the Dragons, with unfortunately more rotten fruit than ripe.  Dragons started much the stronger team and took a 2 goal lead courtesy of goals from the in form striker Ollie King and veteran forward Rupert Snelling.  Spurred on perhaps by going two goals down, the students came back at the Dragons throwing more caution to the wind and more players forward.  With superior fitness and most crucially work rate, the students scored 4 of their 4 remiaing short corners, despite some valliant work from Giles Brooks in goal and the Man of the Match Mark Flatman.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-1 Norwich City 4

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-1 Bury St Edmunds 3

After a couple of slow starts & disappointing results, Dragons 3s were keen to get back into action and enjoyed a good warm-up.

Dragons were strong from the start, but Bury clearly had intentions to do more than just make up the numbers, cueing an even opening period. It was Dragons who broke the deadlock, winning their first short corner, George Bowman’s effort was well saved by the keeper, but Matt Jenkins duly picked the ball out the air and slammed the rebound home, 1-0 Dragons.

Bury fought back and soon won a corner of their own, a straight strike down the middle deflected off the runners’ stick and over the already diving Dim Ives into the goal, 1-1.

Dragons had the best of the rest of the first half, but the final ball wouldn’t quite come together.

The second half saw Dragons really step things up, creating a plethora of chances and winning numerous corners. Despite this, Bury continued to defend stoutly, and when they were beaten, the Bury goal seemed to live a charmed life, with shots flashing across the face of goal and agonisingly wide.

Such was the dominance that Bury managed just one loan attack in the second half, a shot from a tight angle that could only find the side netting.

With time running down Dragons continued to ramp up the pressure, camped in the Bury 23. With time almost expired Dragons won a final overtime short corner, the shot hit a foot, Dragons tried again, a different routine, the same result. A third effort, saved by the keeper, the rebound sent across the goal, again finding a foot, only this time, to Bury’s relief, a Dragons foot and full time.

Not much for Dragons to take from this week’s game, except for shooting practice at training!

MoM was George Bowman for his tireless running and creativity in attack.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-1 UEA 2

Dragons made the short trip to UEA to take on the students (and ex-Dragon Sam Mann).  The 11.30 start proved late enough for UEA to field a squad of 15, whilst Dragons’ 14 became 12 early in the match when Adie Kemp and Paul Keating limped off, both with calf injuries.

This was a high intensity match with UEA showing pace and skill versus the experience and nous of the Dragons (also some pace and skill from the youngsters).  Andy Hipper joined Pete Davison in the centre of defence, with Rich Phillis and Paul Kassulke as full backs.  They all distributed the ball well and proved difficult for UEA to beat.  In midfield, captain Rob Jenkins played deep with the athletic and skilful Tim Allen in front.  On the wings were the nifty Pedro Goss and slippery Garnett Jones, whilst the Chaney-Baxter brothers, Jon and Rob led the attack.  Stu Kelly played across the midfield positions until he too succumbed to injury in the second half.

Dragons earned a number of short corners in the first half and took the lead after 10 minutes or so when Hipper’s well struck shot was deflected past the keeper by a defender.  Tight marking and hard pressing of the man in possession allowed Dragons to restrict UEA to a handful of chances.  Some good attacking play saw Kassulke strike the post, but clear cut chances were hard to come by.

Half time 1-0 to Dragons.  As predicted, UEA came out strongly in the second half and a few feisty tackles saw a player from each side shown yellow as well as a few green cards.  Despite this, the game was played in a pretty good spirit and was well managed by the umpires.

A well taken drag flick from a penalty corner early in the second half saw UEA draw level.  There followed a period of sustained UEA pressure, with numerous short corners bravely defended and Chris Millar coming up with some great saves.  Dragons kept up their work rate and team-play that has been a trademark this season and eased their way back into the game, the last quarter being pretty even.

UEA pressed hard for the winner, but it wasn’t to be as the game finished 1-1.  A satisfying point for the Dragons.  MoM awarded jointly to Chris Millar and Pete Davison.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 8-3 Pelicans 4

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 2-2 Bury St Edmunds 6

A resilient Norwich Dragons 6th team came back from being 2-0 down at half time against Bury St Edmunds 6th to draw the match 2-2 at full time. The first half Bury goals came from a short corner and open play, but after a half time team talk by team captain Mike Banham, Dragons 6th came out for the 2nd half determined to keep their unbeaten record in the 7NE division this season. A close range goal from Rob Lee and a penalty flick from Mike Banham secured the draw in a closely contested tie. Man of the match went to John Butler for a sterling game in centre half.

It was rewarding to see the back line of Graham Muff, Rich Davis(first game this season) & Ed Crozier/Jack Carpenter starting to form an understanding & getting marking tightened. John Butler, at the bottom of the Diamond, got the passing game in place from the start, with Huck Hempsall, Sol Blazer & Tommy Chapman all getting more effective on offensive as the game progressed & they did not buckle despite being 2 down for ¾ of the match. It was this spirit, with Huck moving alongside Sol in the middle, that brought about the moves for the equalising goals. Rob Lee with 5 goals in 3 games is looking lethal & needs to keep shooting on sight.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B v Dereham

Dereham unable to get a team.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

 

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 08/10/2016

celebrations

Photos from the Ladies 3s (and a couple of Men’s 5s) here.

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division

Norwich Dragons 1s 5-1 Holcombe 1A

Norwich Dragons 1XI welcomed Holcombe to the Dragon’s den this week. After a good team talk and warm up, dragons started the game well. Dragons dominated the beginning of the game with all possession being played in Holcombe’s circle with countless shots at the goalkeeper who made some excellent saves. However, after all of this Holcombe managed to slip through the dragon’s press and quickly get down the pitch and a lapse in concentration from everyone on the pitch, allowed Holcombe to score – to the amazement of everyone. Worried that heads would go down, Dragons took a breath and composed themselves and again started to dominate in the Holcombe half. After great play from Dragons’ forwards, they were awarded a penalty corner. King struck from the top of the circle, which was stopped, on the line by a Holcombe defender’s foot. Hayley Toleman stepped up to take the penalty flick, which was brilliantly saved by the Holcombe goalkeeper.

Great passing and attacking play through the midfield and forwards ensured numerous shots were executed and penalty corners won. Dragons’ first opportunity came from a well-worked penalty corner. The ball was stopped at the top of the circle by Sophie Thomas, pushed to Toleman on the right by Rachel King and switched to the centre of the circle, which was flicked in to the goal by King. The pressure continued in the Holcombe defence and after a great run on the back line by King, to Marie James, who passed it to Stacey Lee to slot it in to the goal. Finally, Dragons felt they were getting the goals they deserved. The defensive line stayed calm and strong whenever Holcombe moved down the pitch and they struggled to get near to the Dragons circle. Some great tackles from Louise Murray and Holly Reding, and some great wide passing down the line from Hollie Limmer and Sarah Jenkins. ensured consistent attacking play. Dragons continued their good spell of play and were awarded another penalty corner, which was well rehearsed. After some clever switches from Marie James, King calmly slotted the ball in to the goal for her second of the game.

After clever, attacking play from Olivia Thomas and Marie James, Stacey Lee found herself in the circle and scored a well-placed goal to secure her second of the game. Dragons were now comfortably 4-1 up and were making some great passes wide and down the line.

The final play came from Aiofe Lowe-Davies and King. King drove up the middle of the pitch and found that Aiofe was making a great run beside her. King passed the ball to Aiofe who forced the keeper to come out and calmly slotted the ball to King who pushed it over the line to make the final score 5-1.

Dragons played a fast, attacking style of hockey throughout which Holcombe struggled to deal with.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-4 Bedford 2

A longish trip south for Dragons who went buoyed with a strong squad of 13 including the returning Emma Tabrett, having been unavailable so far this season and welcoming Sophie Thomas into the team. The team went out with words of inspiration ringing in their ears, firstly through Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson and also with added fire through a poem written by absentee Laura Ward.

Despite these strong words, Dragons conceded early, as Bedford came out all guns blazing, putting instant pressure on the team, scoring 2 in the first 10 minutes, the second of which was an outstanding effort. The visitors rallied however, with Sarah Borrett and Shelly Seaman steadying the ship, and with Emma Tabrett working hard in the middle to unsettle the well organised Bedford midfield. Shelly took a ball to the head at one stage, but battled on regardless and almost earned herself player of the match, the accolade instead going to the tireless Emma Tabrett.

Towards the end of the half the visitors were having their best spell and broke well, through Lara Taylor on the right, she squared the ball for Issy Wolfe who found good space in the D. Issy showed strong skills to turn the defender, giving herself time on her reverse to unleash into the corner – a well taken goal by the Dragons young forward.

At halftime and into the second half, Dragons were very much in the game and pushed for the equaliser. Once again Sam Franklin worked exceptionally hard for the team in midfield, despite taking a nasty whack to the hand. Dragons earned a couple of short corners, but could not finish them and Bedford continued to push the visitors defence back and always looked threatening. Emma Cleland made some sharp stops, whilst Kiera Goymour, Danni Garwood and Carmel Windsor-Waite battled hard to keep Dragons in the game.

The pressure told however, and a third went in, when Dragons failed to deal with a short corner and a fourth followed quickly again, a smart strike from a sharp angle. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be again for Dragons, who may be defeated but will not be downhearted, as they know they have the work ethic and togetherness to fight back from this difficult spell. Out of adversity comes opportunity!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 6-0 Carrow

The Ladies 3s looked to build on the positives from the defeat against City 2s last week. On a damp and early morning at the den, they faced up against Carrow 1s. Dragons took their time to settle into the game, sometimes giving the ball away too easily. Play was fairly even to begin with and it seemed like the Carrow forwards might threaten on the break. The team soon began to come into the game however, becoming more confident on the ball and accurate in their passing, enabling them to start building attacks. The deadlock was broken after the ball was played through to an unmarked Kate McKenna on the left side of the D. Kate’s strong strike beat the defence and was tapped in on the post by Lauren Lawrie. After scoring the team began to relax and the attacking play began to flow much more easily. A Tash Falzon run to the baseline and pull back was finished in style by Caroline Wolfe. The third goal came from one of many Dragons short corners, with a neat exchange between Debs Smith and Caroline Wolfe ending up in the back of the net.

At half time coach Sarah Wagstaff wouldn’t allow the team to get complacent and rang the changes, included sending defender Ally Windsor-Waite up front to play on the wing. The gamble paid off, with Ally’s strength and runs up front, ably supported by Trish Hagan, causing the Carrow defenders all kinds of problems and leading to another flurry of goals for Dragons. These included a strong strike from Debs Smith, a very stylish deflection on the right post from Lauren Lawrie and an Ally Windsor-Waite finish, playing the ball back across goal and into the far corner from a difficult angle.

The defensive players had to stay alert but were able to sweep up any potential breaks from the Carrow forwards and play the ball immediately back up the pitch, not needing to call upon Amy Forse in the Dragons goal. This was a real team performance from the 3s, with players rotating across the midfield and showing their versatility playing in multiple positions. The Player of the Match performance came from Tash Falzon.

 

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-2 Loddon

A sunny morning soon turned wet just in time for the arrival of ladies 4s to play Loddon. It was a game that dragons were hunting for their first points of the season however the first challenge was overcoming the layer of sand still on the pitch. One victim was taken in the form of birthday girl Alice Smith’s kicker, a quick gaffa tape repair and the game got underway.

The first ten minutes for Dragons had a very lethargic feel to it, soaking up pressure from Loddon but struggling to connect passes and keep possession themselves. After a succession of good tackles from the back 3 of Kath Mares, Ella Kassulke and Esme Potter, Loddon grabbed their opening goal with a strong sweep shot around the P spot area. This sparked life into Dragons and for the next 25 minutes the work rate and effort of the girls meant a lot of the play was in the opposing half. Gemma Rump and Rachel Bruce began to penetrate their D with strong running and good skills, but not quite connecting the final pass for the forwards to turn in.

The first half ended 1-0, but a one that Dragons could carry a lot of confidence from. The game opened up as the second half got underway, but to dragons benefit. The tireless running down the flanks from POM Lucy Morton, Mia Boormam and Charley Burgess, allowed dragons to convert turnovers into quick attacks and helped the forwards to make leading runs in front. The work paid off as Dragons converted one of their several short corners for the half, albeit in strange circumstances. Another strong injection from Ella set up Sue Cross to send the ball hurtling towards goal with a hop, skip and jump, finally making its way through the keepers pad and over the line. Continued pressure from the front line of Dragons turned up opportunities for Megan Williams and Jasmin Miller, most notably with Megan playing pinball against their keeper’s pads and Jasmin having a sweep shot pass narrowly wide of the back post.

It was all to be a spot of Deja Vu however for Dragons as the sustained pressure did not cough up that much needed second goal. Loddon earned themselves a couple of short corners and from a well worked “off the training ground” move snuck the ball into a bottom corner of the goal to finish the game 2-1 winners. Plenty of positives can be taken from the game, and again another step up in performance from the previous weeks to be proud of.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 4-0 Watton 2

As always the 5’s first thoughts are about the game weather system, and looking out of the window hurrah at last hockey weather had arrived!  But… by the time we arrived in Watton and stepped onto the freshly sanded pitch it was hot!!

The 5’s had a strong line up, except for that rarest of player the in decline defender, we were lucky to have one strong Jemima Williams holding the team steady in centre back.  Due to showing strong skills in defence in previous games Amelia Smith and Racheal Matthews stepped up.  The 5’s also welcomed debut performances from Willow Major and Karenza Moffatt.  In the league table Watton had the same points as us but a better goal difference so we were determined to have a win and move up a place in the table.  The 5’s won the toss and decided on having the sun on our backs so we could actually see the goal without squinting.  The first 15 minutes were closely battled with the ball going end to end, the 5’s were taking a while to settle into their positions and seemed to hang onto the ball just a bit too long which meant we were quickly picked up by the young Watton players.  The 5’s had a couple of short corners which they didn’t convert but it gave the 5’s knowledge about the Watton keeper who was quite nippy and would need drawing out of the goal.  Watton also managed to secure some short corners but Vicky Earley was too fast out as runner 1 and prevented any goals.  The defensive team worked well with Amelia quick to cut off any incoming forward action, showing her skills on the ball to move it fast up the pitch.  Cover behind coming from Jemima who slotted the ball out wide on any free hits, to Laura Hansell and Willow Major who were quick to dodge past the opposition and draw the ball up to the D.  By now the 5’s were playing much more smoothly, passing at the right opportunity, moving around and finding those forwards.  The first goal came from a well-positioned Lucy Buxton.  Lynne Price and her tireless energy and ambition for a win was working the ball through and into the D, with a pass out wide to Racheal who then slapped it across the goal into the stick of Lucy and into the back of the goal.  The next goal was shortly followed, another pass in from Racheal, found Lisa Harwood unmarked in the D who passed it through the keepers feet into the back of the goal.  Half time 2-0

At Half Time the 5’s reiterated the need to pass the ball at the right opportunity and calling more. Lynne reminded us to use techniques we learnt at training passing out wide and bringing it back to the top of the D.  The 5’s were pumped and ready for the second half.  Luisa Valentini was our keeper for the game and although she was called into action at the start of play, she had also had time to catch a few rays! With our push back to Holly Bailey, play started Holly cracked off a great strike to move the ball up the pitch, to a well spaced Catherine Matthews.  Catherine was hungry for a goal and was on hand to slip the ball into the D, Willow slapped one of these into the goal unfortunately deflected by the keeper.  Watton had also increased their game and tried to intercept our passes, channelled by Laura the 5’s hung onto the ball.  The next goal was a Lisa and Lucy set up, with the keeper running at Lisa and going to ground, the ball was retrieved from the keepers feet and passed round to Lucy to was waiting on the post another goal slotted in.  The passing in this half was faultless everyone moving around, finding space and another goal from hat trick Lucy!  Who has found her place up front, always in a free position, challenging for the ball which earnt her player of the match.  Great team effort.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-0 Watton 3

Ladies 6s welcomed Watton 3s at home for another week in unprecedented sunshine. The weather reflected the mood as the confident team put the previous week behind them. Luisa Valentini was sadly drafted away this week but was with us in spirit. We gratefully received Amy Forse into our ranks as goalkeper, who dominated the goal throughout the game.

Kelly Mills secured Dragon’s first goal using deft reverse-stick skills. Lois Metcalf, who joined the 6s for her returning match, supported Kelly in this attempt, making the Dragons look like a force to be reckoned with.

Katie Franks, Hannah Reeve and Frankie Paul stood firm and unwavering in defence.They played the ball efficiently to the centre, left and right after successfully stopping Watton in their tracks. This meant that the Dragons were able to make continuous attacking attempts, keeping the opposition on their toes. Ginny Simpkin and Beth Coates held the centre of the pitch with decisive passes and confident drives forwards, whilst Hannah Edwards and captain Beth Elgood manned the wings, with Beth E busying herself with defensive play and bringing the ball back on the attack.

Taking advantage of the available substitutes, Dragons were directed pitch-side by the captain’s very own father. Keeping a close eye on time, he ensured that legs were rested and players got a taste of their preferred positions. Sue Brumby covered a lot of ground, tirelessly on the pursuit of a goal. On numerous occasions, she placed herself outside the D to the right, sending the ball in to the awaiting forwards.

At half-time, the team received motivational words from the captain and keeper, reminding us not to lose focus. With the words fresh in our ears, the 6s went out with the intention of increasing our goal difference. Nicola Robinson and Lizzie McDonnell made sure that a pass was available at all times, driving the game forwards; the ball was moved wonderfully across and up the pitch. Anja Wimmer sent a screamer past Watton’s goalkeeper – a Dragons’ short corner saw a powerful injection from Kelly straight to the goal-hungry Anja. A simple touch and an excellent hit sailed past numerous defenders and hit the backboard with conviction.

Dragons had the potential to score more goals, but Watton defended deeply and ultimately prevented a bigger defeat.

In the closing minutes of the game, Hannah E drove the ball along the right wing, where Beth Elgood was perfectly waiting at the top of the D. A pass through two defenders found Beth, who scored a well-placed goal to make the final result 3-0 to Dragons.

All in all, each dragon worked their green socks off! Player of the Match was awarded to the deserving Beth Elgood and Anja Wimmer.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 0-1 UEA 4

Dragons were very annoyed with themselves at losing a game where they had three quarters of the possession and spent most of the match in the attacking half. All 14 players did some very nice things, but they all contributed to their downfall either by giving the ball away or by failing to keep position.

The 7s started brightly, and within the first 10 minutes had attacked strongly down the left, the middle and the right. They won two penalty corners, and from the second Lilly Sore charged the ball home but it was ruled to be too high. Lilly on the left, Kat Speirs in the centre and Katie Moulson on the right set up waves of attacks, but the students were solid in defence and their keeper was an excellent shot-stopper.

The mids kept up the pace and the pressure and are beginning to form a powerful  engine. Stevie Spencer has plenty of pace; Aditi Naik is a tricksy player with lovely ball carrying skills; Dani Winteringham is solid wherever she is put  and in this match it was Brooke Simmons who won the POM award for yet another step up in class as she made some excellent tackles and skilfully directed her passes.

The 7s missed Mia Mcghee’s attacking skills as she took her turn in goal. She had definitely been Tangoed, looking like a beacon in new orange kit and bravely dealing with the occasional forays. The shot that beat her was an annoying thigh-high cross goal effort, but overall she did very well.

The 7s have picked up two new defenders and Ruby Rose-Turrell and Esme McKinnon-Evans made encouraging debuts. They have pace off the ball and both can hit a good clearance. Emma North played her usual solid game and led the line. Bridget Le Good is not a natural defender but her hard hits gained the Dragons a lot of territory.  Claire Fairhurst also put herself in defence and as always was reliable and effective, as well as running the rotations which is no mean skill, and ensured the team worked smoothly as a team.

There was no score in the second half, which if anything was edged by the students as Dragons showed their lack of experience as they became more frantic in their efforts to score and either ran into trouble or each other. Although it was a frustrating match, it has to be said that this is a very happy squad, able to discuss their challenges and confident that with a bit more work on their passing skills they will reap the rewards of their endeavours.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 3-0 Dereham 5 (Dereham conceded)

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-0 Pelicans 1

After their first defeat last week Dragons had a lot to prove against Pelicans.
Captain George Walker exerted his leadership by making sure the pre-match meet time and warm up was sufficient to allow a professionalism not seen this season! The first half tactics of playing a full half court press in our half of the pitch, lulled Pelicans into a false sense of security.  This gave Dragons the one opportunity they needed to break away and win a short corner. Rupert Snelling, Dragons short corner specialist was adamant that one chance was all he needed as he roofed the ball in the top of the net! Half time was soon upon us and Dragons felt thankful for the wise leadership of coach Rob Wagstaff and captain George Walker who both inferred that effort would win this game.

The second half saw Dragons open up the play more, providing further opportunities with a powerful cross from right-back Ed Smith finding the stick of wonder boy Henry Laming to make it 2-0. Pelicans however never gave up, but could not penetrate the tight defence of Giles Brooks, Mark Flatman, Ollie Buck and the two smiths Rich & Ed. dragons finally sealed the result when veteran Rupert Snelling roofed the ball in the top of the net again!! From a textbook deflection inside the d. Coach Rob Wagstaff although impressed new that experience was needed to shore up the team, so sacrificed one of the younger players to make his debut experience for this season. A new steadiness was installed in the team as the younger players looked on in ore at such talent. After the final whistle Dragons reflected on the game. Although their best hockey had not been played the spirit and determination of the team won through, which is testament to all the players in the team.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-0 IES 3

 

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-1 Norwich City 5

The Men’s 3s travelled to the other side of Norwich this week to play 2nd placed Norwich City 5s.  They welcomed Matt JENKINS and Jose San MILLAN to the team in their 3rd team debut this season.  The sun turned out for the game and it proved to be a tiring battle in the midday heat.  City initially pressed well but soon Dragons settled into their passing game and utilised the space on the pitch.

Skilful dribbling by Jose MILLAN saw him beat 2 City players, then cross the ball to the waiting John IVES who knocked the ball past City’s keeper.  City pushed back and put Dragons under a lot of pressure for the next ten minutes with a few short corners, but Dragons managed to ride this out until half time.

Dragons dominated most of the play in the second half, winning a few short corners, and having a few chances in the City D, however these chances weren’t taken and the score became level after a City counter attack.  City did have other attacks, but solid defending kept the scores level.  Dragons became increasingly frustrated as they felt they should be leading after having had the most attacks, but as in previous games, Dragons just couldn’t find the mark.

The game finished a draw and Dragons left the pitch knowing they could have won the game.  A home game next week to look forward to as Dragons welcome Bury 3s to the Den

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-2 Magpies 4

Before the start Dragons were a little apprehensive after the 3rds fixture against Magpies saw them defeated 4-0 last week. However, Dragons started well with some quick passing and had some good attacking moves; and after three minutes were 1-0 up with a good goal finished by Jono Chaney-Baxter.

As the first half progressed, Magpies started to show their skills and Dragons were more on the defence. Peter Davison kept the defence in shape, and Dragons managed to obstruct them from getting clean shots on target.  Dragons’ midfield controlled the game for a lot of the half and were quick on the break with a number of good counter attacks, but couldn’t get another goal.

Tim Allen did a great job in marking their key midfielder Stuart, and combined well with Garnett Jones to move the ball up to the forwards.

Pedro Goss, defending against one of Magpies quick breaks, made a tactical stick tackle, taking a green card.

Half time saw Dragons 1-0 up and playing well.

From the start of the second half Dragons were on the back foot for much of the first 10 minutes as Magpies strived to get back in the game, but a quick break from Andy Carver clearing the ball out to Tim who then beat a couple of players and made a great through pass to Will Kirby who picked it up, teased the goalie out and went round him to make a wonderful fine-angled finish and put Dragons 2-0 up.

This seemed to spur Magpies into action and with some great play they scored two goals in quick succession, both of them coming from short corners.

The final 20 minutes were quite tense with both sides making some good attacks and equally good defence. Chris Miller made some excellent saves for Dragons and Andy Carver deflected a couple of shots wide.

Rob Jenkins had a good game running all over the place making some key tackles, one a bit too eager, earning a green. Soon afterwards Nick Turner also received a green. However, despite being down to ten on three occasions we didn’t concede a goal during this time and kept playing as a team.

Garnet Jones, after his regular Friday night out, was as ready as ever; and initially after frequent sub requests for breathers, stayed on for the last 20 minutes, putting in some good tackles and instrumental at putting Dragons onto the offensive on many occasions.

Despite being 2-0 up, Dragons were satisfied with a point, which was a fair reflection after a strong second half performance from Magpies.

Once again, the number of fine performances across the team made choosing a MoM difficult, but Jon Price earned if for his awesome first half defending and Andy Carver for the second half!

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-5 IES 5

The result didn’t really tell the true tale of the game.

They scored 3 goals in the first 15 mins as we adjusted to ….. the weather? We then settled down and had most of the possession winning 8 short corners to their 1 during the match. We had the edge on fitness and drive, they had the edge on skill and hockey nous.

Nobody likes losing but we took some good positives away from the game with all the young players stepping up, not backing off and taking a huge step forward in their development. We have to remember that it is not about the result it is about the journey.

But…lets remember the loss and fire it up for Pelis away next week.

I am visualising my drag flick going in already! If only I could.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 5-0 Dereham 5 (Dereham conceded)

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 2-1 Norwich City

1st Quarter: Dragons put City under pressure for much of this quarter, which included several good chances which were unfortunately missed. However, City returned to form by the end of the quarter and it ended 0-0.

2nd Quarter: It began well with a goal by Will Bowman. Unfortunately City soon equalised. We looked a bit tired and didn’t capitalize on good linking play. This quarter saw the beginning of a streak of short corners for Dragons.

3rd Quarter: Again, more short corners for us but we couldn’t reach the back of the net.

4th quarter: Finally, after changing the short corner plan, James Cross made it 2-1 to Dragons in the 9th or 10th penalty corner. The game ended 2-1 and according to Tracey, it was a “tough fight”. City made it too hard for us because they closed down the space. General comment: “We need to work on our short corners.” Everyone played well, though.

Man of the match: Split 3 ways: Johnny Taylor, James Cross, Joe Beadman

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 3-6 Magpies

Just a week ago, Magpies had to travel down to the den again playing against our A team and they drew 4-4. This time they got a win, but Dragons B made them fight for it. In the first quarter Alex Wolfe denied the Magpies making some amazing saves, but they were bound to score as they were constantly coming and coming. The first quarter ended and we were 3-0 down.

In the second quarter George Bowman came on and he did a great through ball to Arj puvanachandra who passed it for Daniel Shirley to sweep the ball into the open goal. It was a well worked goal and Dragons defended well to win the quarter 1-0.

In the third quarter Dragons scored again with Arj passing it for Harry Fuller this time to sweep into the goal. Magpies were worried and some players were calling for their older boys to come back on as Dragons attacked again and again looking for the equaliser. But tired legs appeared and during the third and fourth quarters they put two more past us. Both adults made saves off the line and Alex Wolfe again was making great saves.

Then we attacked again in the last quarter and Arj linked with Toby Finch before finding himself 1v1 with the keeper and pushing it in. Magpies scored again but Dragons were very happy with their performance as the final whistle blew.

Alex made loads of great saves in goal and there was nothing he could have done to stop the perfect goals from the Magpies.

Xander Wimmer played well in his best position – right back, Alex Brooks played very well in the centre of defence and made some important block tackles in the D and Toby Finch also played very well in lots of positions and skilled a lot of people. Noah Bradbury played well on the wing and made some good passes, Harry Fuller scored a goal and played very well upfront and Daniel Shirley also scored a goal and got himself into some great positions. Arj was voted man of the match scoring one and assisting the other two, Caspar Lind played really well as CDM and made lots of important tackles, we missed him when he got injured in the third quarter and we hope he is feeling better and Josh Cormack also played very well making great tackles and passes.

Despite it being a loss, Dragons should be happy with their performance.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2-1 Dereham

Today’s game against Dereham Dev Girls was tough for both teams. But as a result Dragons came away with a well deserved 2-1 win! We showed really good teamwork with an outcome of lots of short corners, from one of which we scored.

Our scorers today were Niamh Somers and Sophie Barrow. Sophie scored in the 2nd quarter and Niamh in the 4th. Sophie was also our Player of The Match. During the first quarter Izzy Hipper was injured but carried on after a short break and continued to play really well. The whole team with midfield in particular made some strong and accurate passes. Stella Windsor Waite played outstandingly in left defence taking on and succeeding in stopping many Dereham attacks. Tilly Connors Beckett our goalie amazingly stopped a really great shot at the goal from a Dereham player but unfortunately Dereham scored in the third quarter. Both teams played outstandingly and came away with smiles on their faces.

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NDHC League Match Reports: 01/10/2016

img_7527Photos from just a few games this week here.

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 4-2 St Albans

Norwich Dragons 1st XI were back on home soil this week and hoping to get back to winnings ways against early league leaders St Albans 2nd XI.

Keen to put on a strong team performance, the Dragons came out of the blocks the hungrier team and had a strong spell of possession which helped them settle into the game.

The Dragons where first to change the score line when they went ahead.  The home team’s opening positive passage of play culminating in a great through ball into the circle by Holly Reading, which was helped on by Marie James. The keeper made the initial save, but Stacey Lee was first to react and hit the target to give the home team the lead.

The girls were spurred on by this goal and went from strength to strength as the half progressed. Team structure and press was coming together and indeed this pressure lead to a series of penalty corners. Good link up play by captain Rachel King and Hayley Toleman created Dragons second goal with the penalty corner finished by King. The Dragons took a convincing lead into half time.

Determined not to give up their lead early in the second half, the Dragons had their turn of absorbing a spell of pressure from St Albans, with Player of the Match Jess Bennett marshalling her defence. Dragons worked hard and earned themselves another penalty corner, courtesy of King. A well worked routine allowed Toleman to find her spot with a deflection and leave the St Albans keeper with no chance.

The home side now 3-0 up and looking comfortable; the away side had other ideas of a relaxed finish for the Dragons. The away side continued to push and finally broke the Dragons back line. Dragons tried to find their stride again but the Albans girls were buoyed and managed to pull the game back to 3-2.

The home side started to settle again and began the passing game which saw them take a first half lead.  Not willing to give up their lead, Dragons dug deep and pushed until the end and their hard work was rewarded in the remaining minutes. A driving run into the circle by Lee earned the home side a final penalty corner, which was calmly dispatched by King for her second of the game. Leaving the final score 4-2 to Dragons, letting their unbeaten start to the season continue.

Thanks to Pete for coaching and the home support on the side line.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 0-3 Magpies 2

For the first time in a number of years, Norwich Dragons Ladies 2’s took on Harleston Magpies 2’s in the League. Dragons gave another league debut this week this time to Kiera Goymour, who moved up from the 3’s and welcomed back Donna Vaughan into the heart of defence. Going into the game with a number of injuries Dragons cause wasn’t helped early on, when their influential midfielder limped off with a recurrence of an old injury, forcing the visitors to battle on with 12.

The first 15 minutes had been pretty even, with some cagey hockey from both teams, however a couple of lapses in concentration from Dragons gave chances to the hungry Magpies forwards, which they took clinically giving Keeper Emma Cleland no chance. Dragons regrouped, with Donna Vaughan and Sarah Borrett who both having outstanding games, settling things at the back, alongside Kiera Goymour, who settled in well and Carmel Windsor-Waite and Danni Garwood.

Dragons showed glimpses of what they know they are capable of, with the pace of Laura Shreeve and Issy Wolfe getting in behind the Magpies high line. On one occasion an early aerial ball into space found Shreeve who beat 2 players and then squared a perfectly weighted ball into the incoming Sam Franklin, Franklin took an excellent early strike, however the outrushing Magpies Keeper Holly Riches, made a sharp save.

With the score 3-0 at half-time, Dragons Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson called for better defensive shape and discipline and to a player, her words were heeded, with a much improved performance in the 2nd half. With joint players of the match Sarah Borrett and Donna Vaughan dominating in the centre of defence, the team started to build attacks of their own. Sam Franklin on the left side of midfield was tireless in her work, showing excellent fitness, getting up and down the flanks supporting both attack and defence. Lara Taylor was working hard in the centre of midfield, despite taking a nasty bump to the head.

The odd chance was created, largely earned by Laura Shreeve’s individual skill, pace and relentless energy, constantly harassing the Magpies defence, however any efforts were well dealt with by the Magpies Keeper.

So the second half remained goalless; Dragons should be encouraged by the improvement they showed during the game, and but for a 15 minute spell in the first half, when the visitors were a bit ‘sloppy’ and Magpies forwards were clinical, the game was relatively even. The team will pick themselves up, dust themselves down and go again, firstly by working hard at training, then in their next fixture away to Bedford.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-2 Norwich City 2

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-2 Magpies 4

Ladies 4s headed to Harleston hoping for their first win of the season. Dragons started fairly brightly, with a particularly strong performance from the back 3 of Ella Kassulke, Christine Musowe and Clare Moylan, Clare having an impressive game at the back despite playing out of position.

Dragons unfortunately went 1-0 down as Magpies were very quick to break in numbers through the midfield line and leave our defence exposed. The team rallied however and equalised through a classic Lucy Morton run as she led onto a through ball from Sue Cross and slotted the ball home. The two of them worked tirelessly all game defending from the front and chasing the ball down along with Jasmin Miller.

Magpies were a physical and determined side and the central midfield duo of Megan Williams and Gemma Rump stood up well, using their strength and experience. The younger Dragons, some of whom have just come up from the Development squad, also held their own, putting into practice the hard work they had done in training on pressing the opposition.

The Player of the Match performance from Alice Smith in the away goal kept Dragons in the game until late on, when a tired team lost concentration and failed to keep the rampaging Magpies forwards out. Although disappointed to lose, this strong performance gives the team lots of positives for the coming games.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-2 Beccles

This was the Voldemort game for the Ladies 5’s.  The opposition Beccles had moved up from league 2 with us this season, so we knew what to expect a strong team, who always train and play together.   Unfortunately what looked like perfect hockey weather when pulling the curtains back turned into hot hot hot when on the pitch.  Luisa Valentini’s nimble toes stepped up to support us in goal this week and with a full complement of defenders in position, Jemima Williams, Kate Atkins and Katie Franks.  The 5’s had first push back and eyes into the sun, play started well with some lovely passing from Lynne Price always attacking at top of the diamond, to Laura Hansell and Mel Widdows out on the wings.  With Catherine Matthews, Racheal Matthews (birthday girl) and Lisa Harwood lurking in the D waiting for a chance on goal, we fancied our chances as the opposition keeper seems quite static.  We won a series of short corners which we couldn’t convert.  Beccles were quick on the turn and have set play which involves smashing the ball out to a well positioned midfielder and onto a lingering forward.  The 5’s then made hard work for ourselves by not holding positions, or using our passing teamwork style and letting certain decisions dishearten us.   At this time Beccles managed to work the ball round, and slip a couple of goals in.

At half time we had to give ourselves a serious talking too and get back on the pitch and score some goals.  Will Helen Marsh working very hard at the bottom of the diamond, tirelessly giving chase and holding up the opposition (POM).  Amelia Smith trying both ends of the pitch stepped up to support in defence as well as her usual role up front.  The defenders had a tougher game this week and were working the ball out well, so no more goals were conceded.  Next week the 5’s need to get their mojo back!!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-4 Norwich City 5

Ladies 6s suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of a strong City 5s side. Nevertheless Dragon’s played with positive minds and worked hard.

Katie Franks’ absence meant that Nicola Robinson played the first half at left back and Hannah Reeve (joint PoM with Luisa Valentini – who perfomed exceptionally in her second consecutive match of the day) assumed the position of centre back. Unfamiliar positions for the two players however neither were fazed only highlighting that they are experienced, versatile payers. Katy Saide’s reverse stick skills on the defensive right always prove useful and this match was no different. Ginny Simkin worked hard as bottom of the diamond for the first half before resuming her usual position in defence in the second half. Bethany Elgood, Beth Coates and Lizzie McDonnell rotated throughout midfield, a tiring job as always with City. Fiona Fletcher played brilliantly in her first match for the 6s switching between mid and forward, a determined and hard-working player. As always Kelly Mills, Sue Brumby and Hannah Edwards were keen to score but unfortunately on this occasion it wasn’t to be. Ultimately City presented us with a side the was experienced, skilled and always one step ahead. Dragons put in a huge amount of effort and regardless of the final score that’s all that can be asked for.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 5-0 Norwich City 7

Dragons 7s were lucky with the weather for their second league match of the season, enjoying the glorious sunshine to face Norwich City 7.

Dragons had first push back and dominated from the start, attacking City’s goal. Dragons persistence paid off with 2 goals in the first 10 minutes by forward Claire Stuart. Dragons kept up the pressure on City with Claire and the other forwards Mia McGhee and Lilly Sore making numerus shots at goal, which the City keeper kept kicking away. The midfield of Stevie Spencer, Helen Walker, Dani Winteringham, Aditi Naik (POM) and Katie Moulson kept up the pressure, not allowing City to break through so the defence of Emma North, Bridget Le Good and Claire Fairhurst didn’t have a lot to do. When City did manage to make a break for it, the Dragons defence stopped them or keeper Katrina Speirs kicked the ball away, although Katrina didn’t have many touches of the ball. Dragons pressure and persistence was paid off by 2 further goals in the first half, one by Lilly and a third for Claire.

The second half got underway in much the same way as the first, with Dragons dominating. Dragons slightly lost their focus and allowing City to break through, however Dragons stopped them before they could score. Again Dragons put a lot of pressure on City’s defence, making shot after shot on goal. Dragons were awarded with another from Lilly.

Dragons were pleased with the 5:0 result, buoying them up for the next match.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 4-4 Broadland 3

Having had their first experience of league hockey last week in the friendly environment of the Dragons 7s match, the newly formed Dragons 8s, made up of some experienced players, returners to hockey and Development Girls moving to adult hockey, didn’t know what to expect this week hosting Broadland 3s.

The visitors included lots of familiar faces from higher teams in previous seasons and were determined to hit the ball from the back through the middle of the pitch to their forwards and in the first 6 minutes that tactic worked with Dragons finding themselves 2-0 down, as they took time to settle and were still learning to play together.

Dragons did settle and started to pass the ball from the back and use their skill in midfield and upfront, to move forward.  Amelia Keitley-Webb slotted the ball away to give the home side some confidence.

Broadland managed to grab another goal before halftime, however Dragons were very upbeat at halftime and could sense that with their positive attitude and growing team spirit, they could grab the momentum in the second half.

A change of formation and some great discipline in player’s positions meant that Dragons were able to snuff out the attempted long balls of the opposition and the youth in the home side kept running, hassling and driving forward, playing round a tiring opposition.

Dragons won the second half 3-1 and finished with a well earned point from the 4-4 draw.  Amelia completing her hattrick and getting a fourth, however this was most definitely a team performance, from Sarah Sheffield in goal, through the defence of Johanne Steward, Jo Baker and Anna Chapman.  The midfield strength came from Player of the Match Olivia Syder, supported by Gemma Ballard, Louise ‘Brooksy’ Brooks, and the pace of Sophie Drew and Maisie Dearmer, the forward line of Amelia, Captain Katy Cole and Lois ‘back from the big smoke’ Metcalfe.

Another great performance from this new team, with plenty more players waiting in the wings for their chance to experience the special team spirit from these girls. #awesomeeights

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 2-3 UEA 1

Norwich Dragons started well against UEA hoping to extend their run to 3 wins for the season so far. Early pressure and strong forward play from Ollie King lead to a short corner from which Matt Kinghts opened his account for the season, smashing home from the top of the D.

A well organised and dynamic UEA team, then started to impose themselves on the game and despite some good work in midfield from birthday boy Henry Laming and Rohan Kaushal, UEA equalised and then took the lead before half time.

Stern words at half time proved fruitless as a direct run through the heart of the Dragons midfield and defence lead to an early UEA goal. Dragons spent the rest of the half pressing further up the pitch, bombarding the UEA D. Another backhand screamer from Henry Laming, after a mazy run shortened the deficit to one goal. However, strong UEA defending meant the Dragons were unable to gain a point they may well have deserved.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-5 Magpies 3

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-4 Magpies 4

An early away game saw the Men’s 3s playing Harleston Magpies 4s.  After their 8-0 victory last week, Dragons were hoping for a similar scoreline.

The game was fast-paced, and the young magpies team put Dragons under pressure from the start.  Magpies pushed high and Dragons struggled to get the ball out of their 25.  They eventually settled into the game, though never really got used to the bounciness of the water base pitch.

Dragons worked hard in the sun, and were rewarded with some short corners, though the ball just didn’t fall right.  Magpies gained a short corner themselves, which they slotted away, leaving Dragons trailing going into halftime.

The game continued in much the same way for the second half.  Dragons had a few chances, which weren’t converted, which added to frustrations.  A spell of fast attacks for Magpies saw them break through the middle and put away another couple of chances.  Dragons found it difficult to keep their heads up, though there were some great examples of determination, particularly Man of Match Max Laming.

Another goal from Magpies sealed the game and Dragons were left feeling frustrated and thinking what if?  Lots of things for Dragons to ponder before next game.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 3-2 IES 4

Dragons made it back to back wins with another impressive team display in wet conditions at the Den.  Dragons saw Rich Phillis making his debut for the 4s, joining the experienced Pete Davison and Jon Price in defence.  Will Ives was also recruited to the defensive line where he had a great game.  Throughout the match, excellent distribution from the back allowed Dragons to launch rapid attacks which IES found it difficult to cope with.  Dragons settled quickly into the game, with Tim Allen and Rob Jenkins controlling the centre of the park and the pace and trickery of Pedro Goss, Connor Adams and Jon Chaney-Baxter helping to create some good chances and earning a number of short corners.  Nick Turner did some great work down the wing whilst Adie Kemp and Garnett Jones held the ball up well and caused IES problems in the final third.

Dragons soon took the lead, Adie Kemp’s short corner strike being deflected beyond the stranded IES keeper.  A second goal followed soon after when Garnett Jones expertly controlled a pass into the 23 from Tim Allen, beat a couple of defenders and rifled home from the right hand side of the D.

IES remained positive and created a few chances themselves, pulling a goal back through an accurate short corner shot which keeper Chris Millar could do little about.  At half time, the score was 2-1 to Dragons.

In the second half, Dragons continued to play some impressive hockey, with a good mix of passing and dribbling.  Another short corner goal from Adie Kemp restored the two goal lead.  Dragons continued to press, but couldn’t add any further goals.  When IES pulled a goal back with about 10 minutes left things became a bit tense, Millar making a handful of solid saves and clearances.  Dragons held on for a well deserved win and move above the 3s in the league table.

As in previous games, the number of good performances from all areas of the pitch made it difficult to pick a MoM, but it was awarded to Adie KEMP when he pointed out he hadn’t been MoM “for a while”!

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 8-1 IES 5

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 2-0 Felixstowe 4

Dragons 6’s travelled for an unusual midday start in Felixstowe with most of their originally selected 13. James King, Tommy Chapman, Ed Crozier & James Carpenter were all young rookies making their M6 debut while senior Graham Muff also started his first game for the team. Early play was disjointed as the players got to know each other & they gave their opposition early opportunities as several passes failed to make their target. When they eventually got it together, it was a fine flowing move that resulted in a goal. Sol Blazer & Carpenter moved the ball from halfway to find Lee Keeler whose shot hit the post but Rob Lee followed up to slot M6’s into the lead at HT.

The HT team talk & a couple of positional changes made M6’s look more solid for the second half, with the middle power triangle of Blazer, Keeler & McCartney Aldous imposing themselves on the game. James Hansell had the ball in the net ruled out for being hit outside the D. McCartney probing forward from centre back took the ball to the by-line, crossed to Keeler who found Rob Lee to put M6’s into a final 2-0 victory position. A late Felixstowe attack was thwarted by a John Butler clearance off the goal line. M6’s came away with their 4 win at Felixstowe in the last 3 years.

MOM – Sol Blazer who ran himself into the ground without getting a break.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 4-4 Magpies

DEV DRAGONS DIG DEEP AND NEARLY SNATCH VICTORY

Dev dragons entertained dev Magpies on Saturday which developed in to an enthralling encounter.
From the push back the Dragons just could not get out of the starting blocks and it was pretty much one way traffic for the first quarter and Dragons quickly went down 2-0 with goals that their defense will be more unhappy with.
It would of been easy to get disheartened and loose focus , as it was clear that this was a more than capable Magpies team and they were knocking the ball all over the place with ease, However the Dragons re grouped and stabilized matters and started to match their opponents and man of the match James cross was starting to control all avenues to their goal .
The second quarter Magpies new they were in a game when the Dragons piled on the pressure and quickly scoring two goals to level matters from short corners, it was clear that the only way to rock the magpies team was attack and the dragons duly obliged .
There was more end to end attacks and the match leveled to 3-3 in the third quarter and it was really pleasing to watch flowing Hockey and both teams using the wide channels.
The fourth quarter brought the lead to the Dragons and they were well worthy of their lead and they continued to press but alas near the end of the match Magpies snatched victory away from the dragons to level the  score at 4-4 ,,probably a fair result? Maybe …but well done to all and lots to learn from this game at training this week well done to goal  scorers…..James Cross x 2 , Edward  Cross x1 Bobby Sheppard x1

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 0-0 Watton

A significantly weakened Dragons Dev Girls’ squad played some great team hockey at Watton, with three u12s (Saskia Williams, Connie Harris & Isabelle Harris) stepping up to help the squad out.  During the first quarter of the match Watton were awarded a short corner but this was cleared well by Bethan Greaves.  During a tackle near the Watton goal, Saskia Williams was hit in the foot by the ball but put on a brave face and continued to play. There were two more short corners awarded to Watton during the first quarter but all of them were cleared and no goals were scored. During the second quarter, Dragons made an early attack on the Watton goal and after a shot at the goal, were awarded a free hit, but were unable to convert it into a goal. Despite Watton making an attack on the Dragons goal, nothing was scored. In the third quarter of the game, a short corner was awarded to Dragons where Saskia Williams took a shot at the goal but unfortunately still nothing was scored. After this there was a counter attack by Watton which forced Tilly Connors Beckett, the Dragons’ goalie into action where she very successfully defended the goal. Watton were then awarded a free hit, but again nothing came of it.  Although a goal was almost scored by Watton during the fourth quarter, the final score ended in a nil – nil draw. There was excellent play from both teams and everybody put in lots of effort.  A very deserved POM was awarded to Saskia Williams and thanks were given to the adult players & supporters.

Young Dragons in Futures Cup & HiPAC

Four Norwich Dragons HC youngsters selected for Futures Cup and HiPAC 2016 squads 

Futures Cup is an annual tournament (Thursday 27th October to Saturday 29th October for  U16 Boys) for some of the best junior hockey players in the country. Players are selected for one of four squads, Mercia Lynx, Pennine Pumas, Saxon Tigers and Wessex Leopards also squads from Scotland and Wales will be attending the tournament for the first time as Caledonian Cougars and Celtic Jaguars.

This tournament is a chance for the players to have their first experience of a major tournament. This will give the opportunity for the players to be seen in a competitive environment and best surroundings to impress national junior coaches.

Futures Cup – Saxon Tigers

U16 Boys – Charlie Nunn and Raunaq Rai

 

HiPAC is the abbreviation for the High Performance Assessment Camp

HiPAC is a two day high performance assessment camp run for some of the best players in the U15 and U17 age groups. National age group selectors attend the camp and select U16 and U18 England squads.

This year it takes place from Sunday 23rd October to Tuesday 25th October.

HiPAC – Saxon Tigers

Under 15 Girls – Lara Taylor
Under 15 Boys – José San Millan

 

Many congratulations to all!

 

England Hockey have reviewed the Single System/Player Pathway and things will change for next season, see here for details.

 

Previous post:

Well done to the following Dragon youngsters for being selected to play in the JRPC Tier 1 competition, representing the Bury St Edmunds JRPC Group:

U14 Lara Taylor, José San Millan.

U15 Issy Wolfe, Charlie Nunn, Raunaq Rai, Ben Nkrumah.

U16 Aoife Lowe-Davies

 

Previous post:

Congratulations to those selected from that group to go on to the first tier of East Hockey’s Junior Regional Performance Centre.

East Region JRPC Tier 1 Invitations:

East Youth Hockey

U14 Lara Taylor, Zara Howes, José San Millan.

U15 Issy Wolfe, Carmel Windsor-Waite, Charlie Nunn, Raunaq Rai, Ben Nkrumah.

U16 Aoife Lowe-Davies, Ed Murphy, Ben Watson (Ben not taking up invite to JRPC due to other commitments).

U17 Pip Howes.

 

Congratulations to all the Young Dragons that were selected to play in the Norfolk Junior Academy Centre this season.

Norfolk Selections:

norfolk_english_county_flag

U13 Maddy Reynolds, Sophie Barrow, Harriet Marlee, Ed Taylor, Johnny Taylor, Bobby Stuart-Sheppard, Toby Drake, James Cross, Blue Hempsall.

U14 Elsa Scott, Lara Taylor, Esme Potter, Jodi Rump, Zara Howes, José San Millan, Tom Bailey.

U15 Issy Wolfe, Carmel Windsor-Waite, Lilly Sore, Lucy Morton, Ella Kassulke, Charlie Nunn, Raunaq Rai, Ben Nkrumah, George Wright, Ollie Shippam, Huck Hempsall.

U16 Aoife Lowe-Davies, Ed Murphy, Ben Watson.

U17 Pip Howes.

 

 

 

EAST JRPC PUBLISHED DATES 2016

TIER 1 TRAINING
U15/16 U17/18
Sunday 19th June Saturday 18th June
Saturday 2nd July Sunday 3rd July
Sunday 10th July Saturday 9th July
Wednesday 24th August and

Thursday 25th August

Monday 22nd August and

Tuesday 23rd August

Saturday 3rd September Sunday 4th September

 

TIER 1 COMPETITION
U15, U16, U17, U18
Sunday 18th September
Sunday 25th September

 

TIER 2 PREPARATIONS
U16 and U18
Sunday 9th October
Sunday 23rd October

 

HIGH PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT CAMPS (HIPAC)
U15 U17
Sunday 23rd October to

Tuesday 25th October

Sunday 23rd October to

Tuesday 25th October

 

FUTURES CUP
U16 U18
Thursday 27th October to

Saturday 29th October

Thursday 27th October to

Sunday 30th October

 

Development Team Club Day

Well done to all those involved in the Norwich Dragons Development Team Club Day, plenty of great hockey on display from our older Young Dragon group at the Den as they prepare for their Development season ahead and adult hockey in the not too distant future.

A few early photos from the Day here.

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NDHC League Match Reports: 24/09/2016

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Historic moment for the Club as the first ever league game takes place for the first ever Ladies 8th Team at the Club.  More photos from the morning at the Den here.

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-1 Maidstone

Dragons first team had a 300 mile round trip to Maidstone this week. Dragons started the game well, forcing Maidstone to make mistakes in which they could counter-attack on. Big gaps in the Maidstone defence allowed Rachel King, Hayley Toleman and Stacey Lee to constantly drive at the Maidstone circle and force the keeper to keep making good saves. However, Maidstone kept the score at 0-0 with some great saves from their keeper. The ball continually moved up the left side of the pitch with some great play from Sarah Jenkins and Holly Reding. The middle of the pitch was crowded, which allowed Dragons to continue to use the width to attack.

The break came in the first half when Rachel King received the ball just over the half way line from a great pass from the defence. She dribbled down the left until the circle, and when the Maidstone keeper flew out low and fast, King calmly flicked it over her in to the top corner.

At half time Dragons wondered why they weren’t more than 1 goal ahead with numerous chances at goal and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty stroke.

In the second half Maidstone started to gain confidence and were awarded a  few penalty corners which were all saved by Siobhan Cleeve and well defended by the defensive team. Dragons started to show gaps and with the heat of the sun and travelling legs, allowed Maidstone to continue with pressure. After a controversial penalty corner was awarded, Maidstone got a goal back.

Dragons kept their head up with 10 minutes to go and continued to drive at the Maidstone defence, with great runs from Louise Murray from defence and passes from Marie James, allowed consistent penalty corners to be won, however, Dragons could not advance on these opportunities. With 2 minutes to go King, found herself on the back line and beat three players and with acres of space passed it across the goal line to Hayley Toleman, who was just about to smash the ball to a Dragons victory when the Maidstone keeper pulled off which must have been the best save of her career!

Dragons knew they could have got three points but must not be disappointed with a draw after such a long journey.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-6 Dereham

Second league game of the season saw bright sunshine at the Den, with Dragons 2’s welcoming Dereham 1’s , who were new to the league having played Premier League Hockey last season. Dragons gave East Div 1 debuts to both Sam Franklin and Carmel Windsor-Waite, whose strong performances for the 3’s have earned them their well deserved call ups. In addition, Natalie Beal joined the ranks, helping to provide cover for the girls on JRPC duty.
Dereham started the game strongly, putting pressure on the Dragons defence from the start. Dragons held firm with Emma Cleland making some sharp saves and the central duo of Sarah Borrett and Shelly Seaman dealing with the waves of attack. Dragons were still in the game and put the Dereham defence under their own pressure for a while, with Laura Shreeve combining well with Sam Franklin and Nat Beal, well supported by Helen Busfield and Gail Thomas.
Dereham however, were first to make their pressure count with a smartly taken goal, which was quickly followed up by a second. Dragons didn’t allow this to deter them though and kept pushing forward, an attack down the right saw Gail Thomas find Sam Franklin in good space at the top of the D, she confidently fired the ball into the crowded D, finding Nat Beal in amongst a number of Dereham players, to deflect the ball home. The score was 2-1 to the visitors at halftime with not much between the teams.
Captain O’Neill Simpson called for better ball speed and for the team to defend better as a unit. Dereham however, upped their game and were by far the stronger team in the second half, putting immense pressure on the Dragons defence, who continued to battle hard, but ultimately lose out. Dereham were clinical in front of goal, scoring goals from deflected drag flicked short corners and taking their half chances well.
Whilst 6-1 was possibly a slightly harsh scoreline, Dragons didn’t deserve any points on their 2nd half performance. Dragons always knew they were in for a tough start to this season, playing two teams that played East Premier last season (Dereham 1s & Magpies 2s) and one team (Cambridge City 2s) that was widely considered the best team in Division 1 last season, in their first three fixtures, so will continue to work hard in training and work for each other, and know they will turn results round.
Sam Franklin was voted Player of the Match in her debut for the 2s, Sam is clearly in great form, having been voted Player of the Match for the 3s last week.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 4-2 Magpies 4

Ladies Dragons 3s took the winning momentum from last weeks game and were hoping to gain another 3 points against magpies 4s this week.

Despite Dragons starting strongly, Magpies opened the scoring with a quick break in open play catching the team off guard.

Dragons remained calm and re-set with the midfield of Hazel sumner, Debs Smith, Natasha Falzon, Lauren Lawrie and Trish Hagen distributing the ball across the pitch. This enabled Laura Goodbun to make a storming run at the Magpies defence and capitalised on a superb strike from the top of the D, making the score 1-1.

Magpies continued to put the defence of Angela Murgatroyd, Christine Musowe, Emma Woodhouse and Harriet Green under pressure, but with several superb saves from keeper Amy Forse the Dragons put pay to any Mapgies advances.

In quick succession Dragons scored two more goals. The first coming from a Caroline Wolfe short corner strike. The dragons third goal came from a fast paced run by Hazel Sumner who passed a strong ball to Laura Goodbun which was crossed into the Magpies D to a waiting Caroline Wolfe to put  another goal on the score board.

The forwards of Laura Goodbun, Katie McKenna, Sian Lawrie and Caroline Wolfe pushed on and continued to threaten the Magpies keeper throughout the game. However, it was a powerful shot by Goodbun and a follow up strike to finish the game with Dragons scoring 4.

Despite Dragons high possession Magpies still kept strong and scored another goal to end the game at 4-2. Carrying three more points into next weeks game against City 2s gives the Dragons side a good boost of confidence.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-4 Norwich City 3

This week saw an optimistic Ladies 4XI welcome City 3’s to the Den on a bright and sunny day.

City started off the game strongly forcing Dragons to showcase their new press they had been working on in training which forced City back. The team had several crosses across the D unfortunately these were on breaks by Sophie Wood and Megan Williams and Dragons struggled to get anyone on the end of it. City played a quick counter attack and opened up the scoring to 1-0. The game then became a defence one with Bella Capps, Kath Mares and Ella Kassulke struggling to get the ball up the field with Kristina Smyth making some excellent saves. City then scored 2 in succession leaving the Dragons 3-0 at half time.

Half time saw a change up in positions with Dragons now playing 4 in defence which saw Gemma Rump and Megan Williams added to the back line to channel out City’s midfield. This saw Dragons pressing and utilising their wings giving Ellie James, Rachel Bruce, Jasmin Miller and Lucy Morton the chance to play the ball down the field. Sue Cross and Mia Boorman held the middle well whilst Dragons tried desperately to attack, switch the play and attack some more earning us penalty corners but without the goals. Unfortunately City caught us on another break and scored again leaving the final score 4-0.

A big thanks to all the girls who played this week especially those who had their 4’s debut. Onwards and Upwards!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 4-0 Magpies 5

Ladies 5’s turned up to the den with excitement and enthusiasm after winning the previous week. Ready for anything the 5’s didn’t know what to expect from what appeared to be a very youthful Magpies 5’s team. Despite that, the Dragons 5’s went on and from start to finish gave it everything they had and came out with a 4-0 win.

Dragons had the first push back and it was mostly attacking from the 5’s with break aways from Magpies towards our goal but quickly Kate Atkins broke them out of their stride and got the ball out of our end of the pitch. After the strong start it soon became an even match with Dragons just having the upper hand. With some of Magpies youth running down to our goal in chances which they seemed to take well, Alice Smith calmly came out of the goal and kicked the ball well up the pitch. The 5’s soon changed the game back with passing as a team around midfield. Lynne Price (MOM) was always in free space in the middle and doing a perfect pass to either Catherine Matthews, Mel Widdows or Rachael Matthews to run onto and try and get it into the attacking D. The 5’s used their passing and teamwork to take it round the opposition and Amelia Smith and Lisa Harwood (C) had many shots on goal. After several near misses Megan Farrant was the first one to get a well-deserved goal. Celebratory jumps and shouts and then concentration went straight onto getting that second goal. Determination following the first goal, 5’s were in nearly full position with the occasional turn over. With only one natural defender, 5’s put Helen Marsh and Rachael Matthews into new roles in defence, alongside Kate Atkins who assisted them creating a solid defence. Meanwhile the midfielders and forwards were fighting for that second goal which was scored by Jen Inglis, who had made some brilliant runs into the D and battled around Magpies strong defence. A brilliant first half with a finishing score of 2-0!

Subsequent to a focused and needed half time talk from Jason Wolfe about positional issues, 5’s were able to go onto the pitch and finish what they had started. They took into account what they needed to improve and applied it to the game to come out even stronger and unfortunately so did Magpies. Nonetheless Dragons still persisted anytime the ball came into our defending D the whole team helped and constructed their play to get it out and up the field. This skill was mainly followed through by Vicky Earley and Sophia Haehnelt using their lightning speed to get it back up the pitch. With new addition Lucy Buxton making excellent judgements and being as cool as a cucumber when on the ball, there really wasn’t much to fault with our game. However the heat was turned up high and there was barely a cloud in the sky. Slowly the weather took its toll and affected some of the players, despite this the 5’s made regular substitutions and kept up moral. The Dragons persevered and with help from the whole team, Jen Inglis scored her second goal of the game. Realising that we were in for another win Dragons did everything they could to not concede a goal from the opposition. Whilst doing this Lisa Harwood scored the 4th goal of the game and we were victorious! Another win for Ladies 5’s!!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-1 Magpies 6

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 3-0 Norwich Dragons 8

A warm sunny day gave Dragons 7s a bright start to the season, facing the newly created Dragons 8s.

Dragons 7s have welcomed new players to the squad, some of the team having graduated from the girls development and a couple who have joined the club as a ‘Get Back Into’. From development are Hattie Gale, Aditi Naik, Jodi Rump, Lilly Sore and Elsa Scott. The ‘Get Back Into’ ladies are Claire Stuart and Helen Walker. All of these players have been welcomed by captain Claire Fairhurst and stalwarts from last season Katrina Speirs, Frankie Paul, Anja Wimmer (POM), Brooke Simmons, Bridget Le Good and keeper Alice Smith.

Dragons 7s went on the attack from the start, putting pressure on Dragons 8s defence. Wave after wave of shots were hit towards goal, but Dragons 8s keeper Alessandra Pellegrini kept knocking them away to Dragons 7s disappointment and frustration. Dragons 7s won a couple of short corners but were unable to convert. This didn’t put off the 7s, and their persistence was rewarded with a goal by Katrina. Buoyed up, the 7s kept up the attack, although Dragons 8s made a couple of breakthroughs, these were soon stopped by the 7s defence, getting the ball back up on the attack again. Before the half-time break, 7s were rewarded with another goal, this time by Elsa.

Dragons 7s got back on the pitch after the break, keen to carry on as they had been, putting pressure on the 8s defence. 7s made shot after shot at goal, eventually being rewarded with their third goal and a second by Katrina. 7s kept up the fight till the end.

Dragons 7s enjoyed their first game of the season, buoyed up with the 3:0 win and keen to keep up the fight for the rest of the season!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 0-3 Norwich Dragons 7

A squad of 13 history makers took to the pitch on Saturday for the first ever Norwich Dragons Ladies 8th Team league match.  Eight of the squad had never played a league game for Dragons, most of those had come through the Club’s excellent Get Back Into hockey programme.  A tough first match was scheduled against Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s, themselves with some Get Back Into hockey ladies, a number of experienced players but most worrying for the 8s were the quick youngsters in the 7s.  HOWEVER, Player of the Match Alessandra had a fantastic performance in goal, helping the defence to keep the scoreline respectable and every player gave their all to the shape and tactics to counteract the pace of the opposition.

Captain Katy, led from the front alongside Alice, Shaniece and Amelia in attack.  The defence stayed strong with Ruth, Jo, Johanne (up against her daughter in the 7s) and Jess in front of Alessandra and the workrate and commitment of the new midfield was fantastic, Anita, Gemma, Bondy and Brooksy worked tirelessly all match.

It was particularly pleasing to see a late counter-attack by the forwards was supported in full by all of the midfield despite it being a hot and tiring game.

Well done to all involved, it is great to see so many players given the opportunity to play this fantastic sport. #awesomeeights

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-1 Cambridge Nomads

Dragons hosted one of the four Cambridge based teams at the Den this week, keen to keep the momentum going from the positive preseason games and the superb season opener last week.

The game started well with a lot of fast paced flowing hockey from Dragons.  Cambridge Nomads have been a team that Dragons have struggled to create chances against in the past as they have a strong back line.  After a motivating pep talk from skipper Walker, Dragons took the advice to make short passes and not run into the flat sticks of the Cambridge defense.  This worked well and after a few chances came close, Mitch Smith converted with a cool push/flick into the near post corner.

The game became a tougher for Dragons beyond that point, Nomads playing some great 1 touch counter-attack hockey.  Despite this, the back line held firm with some solid saves from the veteran keeper Giles Brooks, who took up the challenge of playing for the men’s 1XI with relative ease, earning himself three MOM votes in the process.

As the first half wore on, Henry Lamming’s skill and pace proved too much for nomads and he rifled home his second reverse hit screamer in as many weeks, this time from an impossible angle into the bottom right corner.

Confidence was high, and despite Nomads pulling one back, Dragons looked on top.  Rupert Snelling then helped to further seal the game with a cleverly played 1-2 with the keeper from a short corner, to slap home Dragons third.

The final ten minutes of the game then became a bit of a free for all, Dragons slipping into some old habits of giving possession away cheaply, inviting huge pressure from a Nomads side desperate to pick up anything from their travels.  Dragons managed to hold strong and 3 points were deservedly won.

Man of the match went to Henry Lamming for another solid performance in the middle of the park and a another quality finish.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-1 Lowestoft Railway

A warm and dry day at the Lowestoft ground meant playing on a slow pitch, which hampered the visiting Dragons side’s ambitions of playing their usual passing game.

Dragons had a strong team on paper, welcoming some youngsters to the team for the first time this season (Ben Nkrumah, Charlie Nunn and Ed Murphy). A cagey start to the game resulted in plenty of pressure for the visitors, who couldn’t then find a way through the disciplined Lowestoft defence.

It was perhaps against the run of play when Lowestoft intercepted an underhit Dragons pass at the top of the circle and then counter-attacked the length of the pitch and slotted home to go one ahead.

Dragons responded with further pressure and finally levelled through Ben Miles just before half time, but not before squandering a number of good chances.

The second half was better for the visiting Dragons, but still Lowestoft threatened on the break. Young Ben Nkrumah in goal had to work hard to keep the scores level, before Ben Miles finished after some scrappy play in the circle and clinched the team’s first 3 points of the season.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 8-0 Lowestoft Railway 2

After a disappointing draw last week to Newmarket, this week the Mens 3s kick –started their league campaign in style.  They hosted Lowestoft Railway 2s at the Den and after a brief warm up, started the game.

Dragons put a lot of pressure onto Lowestoft early on.  Short corners were won, with one of them resulting in a penalty flick.  Captain Adam SAYER stepped up and put Dragons ahead.  Dragons passed well, moved off the ball and worked together to dominate this half.  The goals came crashing in, with Rob CHANEY-BAXTER, Ali SMYTH, Piers GORDON-BROWN, Jon GOODSON and Lloyd SAYER all getting a goal each.  Dragons went into half time 6-0!

The second half started slower and it took Dragons a little while to get complete control of the game again.  It wasn’t just the attack that worked well for Dragons, but also the defence.  All members worked hard to get back behind the ball.  Keeper Simon LONG wasn’t called on much, and Lowestoft didn’t get a single short corner.

Two more goals came for Dragons from Lloyd SAYER and George BOWMAN, to extend Dragon’s lead.  Dragons saw out the game and celebrated their biggest victory in recent times.  This was a true team performance, where all worked hard on and off the ball.  Dragons need to continue this form going into the game next week away to Harleston.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 4-2 Pelicans 3

This Saturday the Dragons 4’s ventured to Kings Lynn’s new pitches. During the warm up the team felt the pitch would only work in our favour and it eventually proved to do so. The pacey pitch allowed the young bright-sparks to give Pellys’ defenders a run for their money – literally. The slightly altered team from the previous match got off to a positive start; with great attacking and defending play coming from Shorty (Neil Shorten) and Peter Davison holding form at the back and Pedro Goss’ speed and skill moving it from midfielders Rob Jenkins, Connor Adams, Will Ives and Tim Allen, towards the scrambling defenders. Even when going down a couple of goals, the team was passing it around with quality and had the Pelly’s breaking a sweat.

The second half came and so did another great half from the boys. The action came straight after the whistle as Jono Chaney-Baxter (Mash), had a brutal injury from a tired defender. While he was off being nurtured by dentist, first aider and all round handy man Garnett Jones, the boys carried on performing and the match was now all in favour of the Dragons. With great link up play coming from the back, going wide with Andy Carver and Ray Hansell to Adie Kemp and Jon Price. Garnett finally got us on the board and we dominated from there. We had the Pelicans scrambling. Two from Garnett soon became 3 with Pedro adding to the tally. It almost seemed as Jono returned to the pitch, Pelly’s became completely lost, as we turned up the pace against their tiring team. With great play from Garnett with a through ball to an unselfish Pedro, the ball was simply played to Jono and he passed it into the goal. Many more patches of outstanding play came from the boys as we were enjoying our hockey more than anything. The team seemed more solid, the chemistry was there and we were bouncing and pinging it around with ease.

Shortly after Jono almost took Garnett’s head off with a wild shot, Garnett got himself into a great shooting position, only to hit the post with a cracking effort. The last ten minutes were brilliant for the boys. Each attack was quickly dealt with by Peter, Ray, Shorty and Andy each time; then going through midfield with John, Tim, Connor, Rob and Garnett. The team were continuously getting it forward as fast as possible to catch the Pelicans out. Relentless attacks coming thick and fast. The opposition clearly couldn’t wait for the final whistle to go. While all the action was going on towards their keeper’s end, Chris Millar held the fort at the back and Pelly’s weren’t getting it past him when we turned up.

The final whistle went and the boys knew we had put in a quality performance. Every player out-played themselves; couldn’t have asked for a better performance to grab our first win of the season. The squad is looking in great shape to hopefully keep the work rate up and keep the excellent play throughout the season.

Tim was a worthy winner of MOTM as he shone out from an already extremely bright team.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 5-0 Dereham 4

The team went up the road to Dereham for a fairly one sided game. Dereham only had 10 men and went down to 9 for some of the match due to an injury but credit to them for getting a team out and giving us a game.

We had 7 school boys on our team who ran their socks off all day and showed great commitment on and off the ball. Huck Hempsall had his first game of adult hockey scoring a great goal from the top of the D and MOTM Tom Williams got on the score sheet as well.

Big man Joel Lawrence (the lion king) donned the pads for the first time in a long while and made a couple of useful saves in what was a very quiet game for him.

Other scorers were the captain and also Crossy got 2, one from a well placed flick. The celebration Crossy performed after scoring was more impressive than the flick. He unleashed a mighty roar followed by a huge fist pump. Get in there!

The result was 5-0 but could have been more.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 6-2 Dereham

Dev Boys won 6 – 2 against Dereham in a hard fought battle. Some good interceptions from the back with strong passing down the line created the first goal which Issac Driver-Hall slotted in. Bobby Sheppard slotted in the second goal and remained composed to dribble round the keeper and finish off confidently to score the 3rd.  Josh Wiggins hit the the 4th into the goal.

Josh smacked another shot at the goalkeeper and Bobbys quick reactions caught a high ball to volley it into the back of the net for the 5th goal.  James Cross pushed an fantastic drag flick in to score our 6th.

Dereham scored one from a short corner , had a goal disallowed from a short and scored their second goal playing the ball across the goal with a tap in from the back post.

All round our boys did a good job, regaining possession midfield, using the width of the pitch and defending relentlessly. A strong team effort and deserved win. Our second match in this league allowed the squad to come together, signs of a good season ahead.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 1-7 Norwich City

A very bizarre game indeed. Three boys did not turn up for varying reasons which meant that our two adults (Adam and Lloyd Sayer) had to play the entire match to enable us to field 11. We then went down to 9 following two injuries and actually it was 9.5 as Jake Reynolds hobbled around up front. City lent us a player to make it ten a side and Adam Sayer ended up playing kicking back as one of the injuries was to Alex Wolfe in goal!

So the game… it was a very hard game for the boys. City are going to be a good team this year at Dev Boys level, but the injuries made it very hard indeed! Also it was some of the boys’ first 11 a side game and for some, their first game of hockey!

I am very proud of how the boys played. They kept on going, listened to the instructions, did not give up and did the club and themselves very proud. At times, the hockey the boys played was very good indeed and we can build on that. The boys should not feel deflated following that game and I can assure those new to dev and new to hockey that now all games are like that!!!!

A little bit about each player.

Alex Wolfe in goal was brilliant! He made some great saves including a double save – saved the ball on the floor and as getting up made another save. Got injured half way through but mum says he is ok.

Blue Hempsall – could not play A team today so helped the B team out. Held position well and made some important interceptions. Worked hard.

Xander Wimmer – when asked to play right defence, responded saying ‘er, ok’ and said he had not played there before. Player of the match performance! A revelation in this position. Some great tackles and even the opposition coach remarked on his composure on the ball!

Jacob Hallett – worked hard in central defence which is not his usual performance. Made some great interceptions and broke down play. Great running out at short corners which is where he got injured and had to go off at half time.

Lloyd Sayer and Adam Sayer – adults for the match, turned up expecting to play half a game each but played entire game with Adam going as kicking back. Great attitude and played the adult role ever so well!

Arjuna P – so composed on the ball and worked hard. Very good game as defending midfield.

Jake Reynolds – half fit, played entire game, spent some as goal hanging. Brought up from u12 boys to help out. Had a part in the goal.

Will Mares – held position well and keen to play in defence as we went down to 10 players. Worked hard and very positive attitude.

Harry Fuller – worked hard in an attacking role. Times when he and Paul were two on two up front, but the final pass did not happen. His support play led to him being in the right place at the right time to slot the ball home from close range for the goal.

Paul Delaiche – first game! Followed instructions well and made some important contributions. Tried hard in the game.
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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 5-1 Pelicans

The match was very interesting , goals by Charlotte,Lily and Maddy.

The game started off with dragons having push back. Dragons came out of that quarter 1-0 down with disappointing faces. Emma gave us positive feed back and changed the formation a little, and we went back on the pitch wanting to win. We equalised 1-1, goal by charlotte. We then came off hungry for more goals. So when we went back on the match it soon became 2-1. We were winning, another goal by charlotte. Then we went on for the last quarter winning 5-1. Goals by lily who got 2 and maddy who got 1.

Overall the match was really good with great defending by everyone. And great passes also by everyone.our long passes from the back to mids was the greatest part because when we got it the mids shot it forward to our forwards and that is how we got are goals.  Player of the match was maddy. But the whole team played extremely well and worked together to get the goals.

 

Under 10&Under 12 Club Day Success

Superb work from Spike today and her band of merry helpers, including young umpires, older umpires, team managers and age group coaches for organising the Young Dragon under 10s and under 12s Club Day for our boys and girls. Some excellent hockey on display from all groups, so the future is extremely bright. Amongst many great volunteers it was inspiring to see former National League playing parents handing on their knowledge to the youngsters and our Ulster International and Ladies’ 1st Team Captain Rachel providing advice to the under 10 Girls. Well done to all Young Dragons and our team of dedicated volunteers.

NDHC League Match Reports: 17/09/2016

Photos from some of the some fixtures here.
img_6460Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 2-1 Wapping

The opening game of the season in East Premier Division for Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s saw them entertain Wapping Ladies 1s.

Dragons started the game well putting pressure on the Wapping defence. Fast attacking play came from the left and right with both player of the match Sarah Jenkins and her defensive teammate Jess Bennett making good passes inside and up the line. Captain Rachel King, Hayley Toleman and Stacey Lee worked tirelessly in attack driving forwards with the ball, with opportunities being created with almost every attack. Olivia Thomas, Liv Sumpter, Sophie Mullan and Marie James worked the ball neatly around the opposition in midfield.

One such attack resulted in the home side’s first penalty corner. The team were confident of causing problems for the visiting defence given their work on penalty corners in training, however it took individual improvisation from King when the routine didn’t go to plan, the skipper ghosted past the outrunning Wapping defence and calmly flicked the ball over the out-stretched keeper.

Dragons kept gaining confidence but the final ball in the circle ended up on the end of a Wapping stick. After the halftime break, Dragons showed great teamwork from defence, through midfield to forwards, all working well together to snuff out any pressure from Wapping.

The home side were awarded several more penalty corners in the second half from one of these, the Wapping keeper pulled off a number of saves, however after what felt like a lifetime of scuffling, the ball evaded the Wapping defence to find a patiently waiting Olivia Thomas on the back post, Thomas calmly pushed the ball across the line.

Unfortunately, Dragons momentarily lost composure and Wapping scored two minutes later.  This gave Wapping more confidence to press forward and Dragons looked nervous and kept giving away the ball, which meant the defence were under constant pressure. Lou Murray kept guiding the defence of Sophie Thomas, Holly Reding, Bennett and Jenkins to ensure Wapping did not score again.

Wapping won a short corner and the umpire blew her whistle, so the entire Wapping team surrounded the circle but thankfully Dragons keeper, Shiobhan Cleeve and the defensive team were able to keep their cool and prevented Wapping from scoring again.  Final score a 2-1 win for the hosts.

Great positive play from Dragons after hard work in training, strong pressing and movement forward allowed excellent hockey to be played! The home side look forward to building on this hard work and great opening result through the rest of the season!

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-3 Cambridge City 2

Norwich Dragons faced their second season in Div 1N, with a few new faces to welcome into the squad. Summer signings Helen Busfield and Danni Garwood joined the team, alongside a welcome return for Sarah Borrett in the heart of the defence. In addition, GK Emma Cleland and young forward Issy Wolfe also took their places in the squad, having played a few games with the 2’s towards the end of the season. Once again, the team were well marshalled by Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson.

Dragons began proceedings confidently, moving the ball at pace, with strong running along the front line particularly from Laura Shreeve and Issy Wolfe. One attack saw Issy Wolfe earning a short corner for her team with some good close skills. The short was delivered at pace to the top of the D by Wolfe, Gail Thomas receiving and quick thinking by her, changed the planned routine, finding Karen O’Neill Simpson in plenty of space at the top