Category Archives: Match Reports

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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Triple Dragons out of England Hockey Competitions

Boys Under 14s playing in Midlands League 3 of the England Hockey Junior Leagues, lost out on goal difference to a second place and progression to the next round, however they finished the campaign in fine form beating Bury St Edmunds by 3-1 with goals from Jono Chaney Baxter, Joe Beadman and Ollie Shippam. Jose San Millan was awarded player of the match.

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Girls Under 18s playing their first match in the England Hockey u18 Cup at the Quarter Final stage, due to concessions by previous teams, were knocked out by Old Loughts, losing 3-5.  Goals from Polly Watson, Pip Howes and Aoife Lowe-Davis who was also player of the match.

u18 Girls

Ladies Masters over 35s were also knocked out at the Quarter Final stage, although this was their fourth fixture in the Investec Women’s Masters Over 35s Trophy.

Norwich Dragons Hockey Club hosted Jersey Hockey Club.  The home side went ahead in the first half through a Hannah Hardy strike from the top of the D.  However, the visitors, having flown in via Gatwick Airport the night before, were in no mood to roll over and head home with nothing and they brought the scores back level with some great pressure in the second half.  With two minutes of normal play left and penalty flicks looming, the visitors won a short corner which was struck goalwards and cruelly deflected off a defender’s stick over the out-stretched keeper Kate Bond giving the keeper and defenders no chance.  Jersey, last season’s beaten finalists, progress to the semi final of this year’s competition and happily set off back to Gatwick for their flight home.

Over 35s

Photos from the match here.

NDHC League Match Reports: 20/02/2016

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

This was a disappointing result for Dragons who seem to be going through a difficult patch at the moment. Following the recent defeat to Watton 2, Dragons really needed a good win to keep them in the promotion race.

Dragons took the initiative by scoring first. When Dragons play well they are able to move the ball around. Dragons had been under a lot of pressure from the start , after defending 5 short corners in the opening 5 minutes. The ball was eventually cleared and moved swiftly up the pitch from Gemma Rump, to Sophie Farrow, Megan Williams and eventually to Claire Canning who swept the ball towards Kate McKenna to slot the ball away on the far post.

Kate had a good game, and was unlucky on a number of occasions not to add to her goal tally.

Christine Musowe and Sophie Farrow also had a good game in the defensive line.

The majority of the game Dragons lost their composure, passing the ball into dead spaces and letting Magpies dictate the play by not posting up .

The forwards had a disappointing time. They were no match for the Magpies who defended well.

Laura Tuck saved even more embarrassment for the home side, when a Magpies player slipped through the defence and was one on one with the keeper, however Laura kept her cool and made the save.

The final score was 2 -1.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2

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Norwich Dragons 5s 3-2 Beccles

This is the match the 5’s were all eager to play, Beccles are the contenders for the top table position. They had a similar set of results to the 5’s but were behind on games due to pitch issues meaning the two teams hadn’t met yet this season. Chiara started us off with match statistics, basically she told us we had to win 3 out of the next 4 games to maintain a high league position, no pressure!

We arrived early to practise and get warmed up, the team were ready and for this game also welcomed a debutant for the club, Clare Moylan into midfield. Beccles had first push back and the first 10 minutes were quite evenly matched, the playing styles quite different, the 5’s having more of a passing game and Beccles going for long strikes through the pitch. At bottom of the diamond Vicky Earley was on hand to intercept and hussle the Beccles players and move the ball up the pitch and out wide to waiting wingers Mel Widdows and Clare. The ball was passed around the opposition picked up by Lisa Harwood and pushed forward to Zara Howes running forward out on the wing. Beccles quickly pushed into defensive mode and thwarted our first efforts. The 5’s were keen to stay in the opposition D, ball fed back in by Rachel Bruce across the D and pushed in on the post by Zara. Cheers by all in white!

Beccles were now keen to match the score and it was end to end. Beccles trying to break through the centre of the pitch. In the D, Jemima Williams was controlling the centre, with Jess Tye-Leech and Helen Marsh supporting either side. Beccles were resilient and managed to gain a short corner, using their powerful strikes, they managed to slip the ball at lightning speed onto the back board.

The 5’s maintained their effort and pushed forward, Chiara Bond with go-go gadget arm reach was supporting the forwards firing the ball up into the D. The second goal came from a scramble in the D, Zara passing ball in, keeper deflection, opposition defence trying to clear the ball, Chiara finally getting that final push to edge it over the line.

At half time the score was 2-1. With the 5’s, 13 pairs of legs and Beccles with their 11 players, the pace and focus needed to be maintained, Chiara’s words echoing in our minds.

In the second half we and Amy Forse in goal had a nervous moment when a long strike passed all players, looking like it was heading off the pitch, it pinged off the post and back into the D. Amy charged, so did Beccles, the ball was cleared we all breathed out! Laura Hansell and Rachael Matthews swapped in to pick up play in midfield and ran the ball through and down the wings.

The battle was continuing and the defence were continuing to hold strong, charging on shorts, intercepting and feeding the ball out wide. Beccles managed to squeeze another ball into goal. 2-2. The final and winning goal of the game came from another pick up from Zara, who by now was attacking at will down the right and having beaten several players to get into the D, she unleashed a lovely reverse strike into goal behind the keeper.

The last 10 minutes of the game was like being in slow motion, the score had to be maintained till the end! And it was. 100% effort given by whole team, impressive performance against a good opposition.

Zara was deservedly voted player of the match for her great game.

Photos from the game here.

 

Golden Oldies Master their way to QFs

Both Masters Teams were in action today at the Den looking for a place in the Quarter Finals of their respective competitions.

Men

Up first for a 12pm pushback were the over 40s Men.

Most had played yesterday, so ageing legs were already a bit weary, however the brave souls took to the pitch not sure what to expect of their opposition.

15 minutes in and an inspired substitution saw the switching of Wolfe for Wagstaff and running straight onto the pitch, Wagstaff found himself in the D with just the keeper to beat and with his first involvement in the game slotted the ball into the back of the net.  So quick was his introduction to the game, his goal celebration involved tying his shoe laces!

Nerves were settled and the team went on to a 6-0 lead with further goals from Snelling x2, Wolfe, Simmonds and York-Smith. With minutes left on the clock Sudbury found the net for a consolation goal.

Photos from the game can be found in the Gallery here.

The team head off to Leicester Westleigh HC for a Valentine’s Day fixture in the Quarter Final.

Ladies

By 2pm the Ladies over 35s Masters were ready to get their game underway, buoyed by the return to the bench of Donna Vaughan and all keen to match the result of the Men.

Captain James set up an attacking formation with instructions to move to a more defensive line up if required, given that Chelmsford were an unknown entity.

Dragons used their slick passing triangles to put pressure on the visitor’s defence creating several short corners and from one such corner Hardy slotted the ball away.  Space on the right from another short corner gave O’Neill-Simpson the chance to fire in Dragons’ second and before her visit to the naughty bench (for a dodgy tackle) Smith scored the home team’s third.   The introduction of Vaughan reminded everyone of her class, despite only recently having given birth to little Eva.

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Further goals in the half from Shreeve and James gave a comfortable 5-0 lead at half time, although the later stages of the half became scrappy.  Bond was called into action more often than previous rounds and dealt with everything with her usual dexterity and calmness.

Half time called for more triangles, letting the ball do the work as the team would inevitably tire.

Second goals for both Hardy and Shreeve and a Chelmsford goal from a short corner brought the score up to 7-1 and that was then end of anything noteworthy.  Oh, but then up stepped Windsor-Waite with a run from deep on the right, charging into the D and firing a bullet into the far corner, the celebration lasted longer than most hot dinners!  Final score 8-1 and progress to the Quarter Finals for a home draw against Jersey.

Well played to the full squad of Bond, York-Smith, Windsor-Waite, Murgatroyd, Wagstaff, Vaughan, O’Neill-Simpson, Smith, Moulton, James, Shreeve, Seaman, Harwood and Hardy.  Injury in Saturday’s game resulted in Gail Thomas missing out for this round.

Photos from the match in the Gallery here.

Thanks to all the sideline supporters for both matches and umpires Joel Lawrence and Hazel Medler.

 

 

 

Mixed Team through to next round

Mixed

Dragons mixed team won the first round of the mixed cup competition 5-1 against Bury st Edmunds!! Great team performance and great fun!! Goals from Stacey, Mitch, Tabba and #ollieking!!!! Bring on the next round on 21st Feb! DOD was initially Henry Laming but was transferred to Mitch!! MOM Was also Mitch!

First Round scores here.

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 09/01/2016

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-3 Bedford 1

The first game after the festive break saw Norwich Dragons host Bedford 1s, who had beaten the dragons in their opening fixture 2-1. With both teams in the top 4 of the league at the start of the day, it promised to be a close encounter. Dragons were missing 5 of their regular first team players, but welcomed Shelly Seaman, Nat Beal, Sophie Thomas and Pollyanna Watson (on her debut) to the team.

Bedford started the game the more positively of the two teams, encountering lots of possession, but the Dragons newly formed defensive line up (Maddie Denman, Shelly Seaman and Sophie Thomas) kept the chances to a minimum. At times when the home side had the ball, their passing looked phenomenal, easily beating the Bedford defence but unfortunately not creating any clear cut chances. It was the away side who broke the deadlock first, scoring 2 quick goals after Dragons failed to clear the ball and were caught on the back foot too often. Dragons were not deterred and one of their fine passing moves down the left hand side saw Marie James pick out Nat Beal in the circle who calmly slotted home to halve the deficit. The home side were buoyed by the goal and by the fantastic home support but unfortunately found themselves down by 3 -1 at half time after Bedford clinically finished to score just before the break.

The second half, in contrast from the first, saw Dragons on the front foot and playing some great hockey. Coach Pete Tomas called for dragons to be more positive and on the front foot and players responded accordingly. Rachel King driving forward with the ball at every opportunity caused the Bedford defence major problems. It was one of her amazing runs that led to Dragons second goal. King took the ball down the left and round on the baseline to cut the ball back, past the outrushing goalkeeper, to find Nat Beal who was perfectly placed to score hers and Dragons second of the match.  Bedford still kept pressing forward themselves and earnt themselves many short corners but were unable to convert any of these thanks to some great work from Player of the Match Siobhan Cleeve and the defensive line. Dragons were patient and disciplined, keeping their shape and moving the ball round the pitch effectively and were soon rewarded with their third and equalising goal. Once again King attacked the Bedford defence but this time she was rewarded when her cleverly driven shot from the top of the circle went into the corner of the goal giving the Bedford GK no chance.  Both teams continued to push forward looking for a winner but the match ended in a highly entertaining draw, which on reflection the home side were more than happy with.

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

After the extended Christmas break, Dragons Ladies 2’s were keen to get going again and made the trip down to a much improved Bedford 2’s team. Due to unavailability issues, there were a few changes to the squad,  which saw the return of Ally Windsor-Waite from injury and welcomed back Laura Goodbun and gave a deserved 2nd team debut for Lauren Lawrie.

Despite a decent warm-up, things didn’t start well for Dragons, with Bedford scoring on their first attack of the game within the first 2 minutes, a break down Bedford’s left, saw the ball fired into the D and the forwards were quickest to react. Dragons knew they had to settle and respond, which they did with a good spell of possession and a number of quick breaks, getting in behind the home team’s defence. From one such spell, Laura Goodbun managed to steal the ball from the home team and find Laura Shreeve who broke at speed, drawing the defender and the goalkeeper before slipping a perfect ball to Hannah Hardy to slot home for the equaliser.

The remainder of the half saw Bedford continue to threaten, as Dragons weren’t quite on their game, but were working hard together to get into their flow. The midfield needed to dig deep and work hard defensively as a unit – Gail Thomas on the left was breaking down a number of the Bedford attacks, whilst the defensive line of Rowan York-Smith, Ally Windsor-Waite, Angela Murgatroyd and Amy Forse needed to be extremely well organised, to nullify the Bedford overload. Unfortunately a second goal came before the break, meaning the home team took a 2-1 lead into halftime.

Dragons had to sharpen up a little, take more care of the ball to retain possession better and look to become more compact when they didn’t have the ball. This they did right from the start of the half, with Pip Howes in the centre mid position working with Karen O’Neill Simpson, managing to quell the main Bedford threat in the centre. Marcy Windsor-Waite threatened going forward on the right and was well supported by some good running from both Geo Beckwith and Lauren Lawrie, who was having a strong debut.

Midway through the half Dragons deservedly found an equaliser; Marcy Windsor-Waite cleverly intercepted a ball across the D and did not hesitate to make a pass into Hannah Hardy who’s first time shot was saved by the keeper, only for Laura Shreeve to react quickly by picking up the rebound and placing the ball under the keeper.

From here on both teams had chances, with Bedford probably having the better opportunities, but Dragons were defending much better as a team and managed to prevent any further goals, despite needing to defend a number of short corners. The visitors always threatened on the break but never really had clear cut opportunities.

Dragons know they can play better, but a point away from home, against much improved opposition was not a bad start to the New Year. Player of the Match was split amongst the team (notably the defenders). The team will continue to work hard in training with a tough run of fixtures coming up.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 8-0 Loddon 1

Dragons came back from the Christmas break invigorated, and quickly stole possession from the Loddon push back. Passing was sharper from the off, with players finding space to utilise the whole of the pitch, creating triangles and using the weighted pass into the corners for forwards to run on to.

Play was dominated by the Dragons, who pressed high and took every opportunity to attack the goal. The breakthrough came after just five minutes when a second short corner awarded to Dragons was converted with a change from the usual straight strike to start, opting for a short ball to Sian Lawrie. Catching the Loddon runners of guard Lawrie expertly returned the ball to a waiting Issy wolfe to tuck it in on the post.

With the pressure maintained, the second goal soon followed in free play with a back foot squeeze from the top right of the D by Caroline Wolfe. The bobbling ball bounced over the keeper’s foot into the left post of the goal.

Play was recycled well through the midfield and around the back, with the Dragons defence soaking up the odd Loddon break through. Bottom of the diamond Natasha Falzon, along with left and right defenders Laura Bruce and Carmel Windsor-Waite all met the loose balls which came through to them, and they distributed out wide with ease to the midfielders. Any threat that did break through was well covered by Sarah Wagstaff, smothering any opportunity early on.

The third goal was another well-worked short corner: the injection being slipped right to Natasha Blyth, who then wall-passed back to Caroline Wolfe on the p-spot to tuck the ball clear of the keeper into the net.

Number four was another short corner, following text-book recycling around the D (practiced at Tuesday’s training session), where Hazel Sumner struck from the top of the D with immense force, injector Issy Wolfe waiting to deflect the ball just over the line on the left hand post.

Half time Score Loddon 0, Dragons 4

Dragons remained consistent in the second half with their attacking play, and use of the whole of the pitch, transferring the ball right around the back through Sarah Wagstaff. Issy Wolfe claimed her hat trick with an open play goal scored from the left with a tomahawk, supported by POM Lara Taylor.

Issy’s fourth, again in free play, came when she took the ball across the top of the D to space on the right and struck it home.

Tireless work from Natasha Blyth, Sam Franklin and Hazel Sumner opened up further opportunities, and another short corner was awarded. This time, the simple straight strike from the top of the D by Caroline Wolfe straight down the middle to hit the backboard for her hat trick.

Loddon should be commended for their effort, which never dropped. They gave our defence a wake up call where keeper Kristina Smyth was, at last, called into action, kicking the ball wide and clear to avert any embarrassing slip up.

The Dragons’ final goal, initiated by a Caroline Wolfe strike from the top was almost seen clear by the Loddon keeper. However, waiting on the right hand post Sian Lawrie swiftly retrieved the clearance and tapped in.

Full time score Loddon 0, Dragons 8

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More photos here.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 3-1 Lowestoft Railway 1

This was a very good start to the New Year. Lowestoft Railway were one place below Dragons in the league and with the top of the table exceptionally tight every point matters.

Dragons Ladies 4s have a reputation for being a slow starting team, and yet again they conceded an easy early goal. Lowestoft Railway didn’t have many chances to score, but they took their opportunity when a player was left unmarked to slot the ball past the keeper Laura Tuck.

Dragons tried a number of different approaches to get the ball in the Railway net. They tried hitting from the edge of the D, unfortunately the opposing defence were too good at blocking the shot.  Short corners were again not clinical enough, and the home side were beginning to get frustrated.

Two goals came in fairly close succession, the first from a well worked short corner that saw Debs Smith pass to Sophie Wood, who’s shot came off the keeper and looped in, the second created by the young forwards moving the ball quickly around the D, dragging the keeper out of position before a well placed Anja Finegan slotted the ball in at the far post.

The last five minutes saw an impressive attacking display with player of the match Claire Canning hitting the post, and a number of shots just drifting wide.

Debs Smith was instrumental in midfield controlling the play, and scoring the third goal.  Bella Capps made some very important tackles at the back. Megan Williams and Sophie Farrow worked very hard.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 4-0 Norwich City 6

This was the Ladies 5’s first game in 3 weeks, so the first 10 minutes looked rather slow as bodies were getting used to moving at speed.  After this the flow and pace was back to normal and the ball was doing the work pinging between the opposition players.

The Dragons defence of Jess Tye-Leech, Freya Clogan and Jemima Williams were a force and prevented many of the opposition balls passing them by.  City were playing long balls through to their forwards which were being read and intercepted by the defence.  Communication was coming loud and clear through from Alice Smith in Goal, guiding players.

Once the Dragons found their flow, the play ran smooth from Vicky Earley tenacious at the bottom of the diamond passing the ball out wide to Mel Widdows or Helen Marsh who both had lovely runs up the pitch.  Megan Farrant was playing centre forward waiting for those balls to be passes through and shaking off the opposition who were packing the D.

Chiara Bond is able to use her speed and skills to shake off the opposition and find space at top of the diamond and support the midfield.  On one of these passes from a run up the D, Chiara passes the ball round the opposition to Lisa Harwood waiting in the D, who slapped the ball into the left corner of the goal.

The Dragons were fired up and ready for more.  At this point the defence were pushing high, passing up the line to Laura Hansell, who showed her skill at picking the ball up at speed, passing to Rachel Bruce who has become a calm and collected goal scorer.  Weaving the ball into the D and across the goalie who tried to kick it clear but didn’t bargain on a waiting Lisa who pushed it behind the line. The third goal is a blur from too much excitement at scoring a third time for Lisa.  Half time score 3-0 to the Dragons.

The Dragons knew that the opposition were becoming frustrated at the score line and would be coming out determined to score or hold us back. We needed to continue playing in the same style, supporting each other.

With Holly Bailey having a run at bottom of the diamond and Lucy Morton adding her skills to the forward line both had the speed to outrun the opposition, Lucy running the ball into the D.  At this point even the defensive players were nearly in the opposition D, the Dragons were ready for the next goal and it came from Rachel slipping past the opposition and passing across the goalie to a waiting Holly, sweeping it in!

City tried a few long hits past the Dragons midfield, one slipped though and was chased down, the City forward hit a lifted shot and Alice testing out her new body armour gave it a chest bump and it was hit away.  Final score 4-0 and the Ladies 5’s are back to top of the table.  Great work!!

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

All credit to Watton for making a good game of it with only 10 players. But the Dragons came away with the biggest grins  because they overcame their traditional problems of starting slowly and failing to find the net to record a handsome win. In fact, in the first half it was more a case of Carrow Road than Hall Road as first Catherine Matthews ‘scored’ a brilliant rebound off her shin which eagle-eyed umpire Jess Tye-Leech refused to allow, and then nearly everyone on the pitch booted, heeled, shot over the bar, nearly hit the corner flag and generally got the Christmas break out of their system. However, Dragons began to put their passing game together, and when POM Gill Walker (who can claim assists on all the goals) fired a pass across the goal, Beth Elgood swooped and slid from the left first on one foot then on no feet at all to crash the ball home.

Watton threatened, and although the plan had been to bring Jo Eke up to create a more attacking formation, her speed was needed  to track back as the opposition occasionally managed to overrun our defence, who were a little bit too keen on pressing up. But the defence steadied, and for the first time proved that Katy Saide, Katie Franks, Alice McNeile and Ginny Simkin could rotate through all the positions, which gives the 6s a new element of flexibility. ‘Frank’ even had a very creditable spell at left mid, and we’ll be using her there again. The end result was that Laura Tuck kept a nice clean sheet.

In the second half, Dragons really began to use their passing game. The mids looked particularly strong with the addition of Rachel Matthews and Jade Blanchflower who both have plenty of speed and excellent tackling skills. Jade combined well with Beth down the left, and when Rachel moved to the right to back up Catherine or Jess Vernon, Dragons began to threaten down both channels. This created more space in the middle, where Gill Walker had her strongest game to date at the top of the diamond. A penetrating pass through the middle found Sarah Norman poised and ready to sweep the ball across the face of the goal to finish beautifully in the corner. Well into the second half the move was repeated and though we originally credited Sarah with the goal, the umpires gave Catherine the last touch from her poacher’s position.

This was an excellent start to the second half of the season. Go 6s!

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

Norwich Dragons 7 were eager to play their first match for 6 weeks, and welcomed Carrow 3 to the Den.Dragons dominated from the start, passing the ball on and around the Carrow players. The Arabella Sabberton in midfield made great interceptions, dodging around the tackles and passing up to waiting forward Mia McGhee. Dragons persistence was awarded with a short corner that resulted in a goal by Mia. Buoyed up by the first goal Dragons kept on attacking, making numerous attempts to score. One of Dragons attacks resulted in injury for the Carrow goalkeeper, causing a short stop to the match while she received first aid.
Dragons had been awarded a short corner before the stoppage, so when play resumed Dragons had another attempt. After 2 false starts, one due to the keenness of the Dragons injector before play had restarted and one due to a Carrow defender running early and therefore having to go to the halfway line, Dragons succeeded in being awarded another short corner. This time Dragons scored their second goal and the second goal by Mia. Dragons went into half-time being 2:0 up.

The second half got under way with Dragons eager to continue with their great play. Beth Coates (POM) was in great positions in midfield, making great tackles and stopping Carrows attacks. When Carrow did get through, the defenders of Emily Roper, Emma Cadley, Frankie Paul or Jo Baker aided goalkeeper Alessandra Pelligrini in denying them to score. Emma North at bottom of the diamond was a great asset in getting the ball up the pitch, passing forward to the midfield or top of the diamond Amy Hunter or Becky Gallagher. The forwards of Jasmine Mansfield, Katrina Speirs and Claire Fairhurst were always in the right position, running ahead for the ball to be passed to them, making shots at goal or passing around the D. Dragons persistence was awarded with goals by Arabella, Jasmine and Katrina.The match ended with Dragons winning with a score of 5:0, simply the best score for them to date. Hallelujah! Dragons now look forward to their next match against Norwich City.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 0-3 Cambridge Nomads 1

It was a disappointing start to the year for Dragons mens 1’s. Despite having the majority of the possession in the first half and very much dictating play, dragons failed to convert, struggling against a well organised and experienced Nomad defence. As expected Nomads employed a very direct approach, bypassing the midfield with long balls straight to the forwards on the break. If not for some great saves from Robbie Bell Dragons could have easily seen themselves behind at the break.
The second half was very much a similar story. Weary legs and a lack of composure from the Dragons attack resulted in a high number of turnover balls. Nomad continued to break well eventually converting their efforts through two break away goals and a short corner. A lot of hard work will be required across the coming months to ensure Dragons avoid the drop.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 4-1 Sudbury 2

Dragons travelled away to Sudbury with a squad of 12 and average average age of over 40 and Matt Jenkins being the only under 30. This means bags of experience and Christmas turkey. The 2nd XI were keen to claw their way into a solid mid-table position against a Sudbury side with 2 wins to their name this season and are currently 11th in 3NE.

Dragons started well and for the first 15 minutes dominated possession and played some nice passing hockey. Graeme Smith, sweeping in front of the defence, distributed well assisting Rich Gill at defensive midfield. Good play up the wings from Chris Simmonds and Rich Moulson and cutting along the baseline saw Dragons threaten early on but a good goalkeeping from Sudbury kept these goals out. Dragons earned some short corners early on but struggled to convert these until an improvised routine saw Rupert Snelling opening the scoring up. 1-0. Sudbury didn’t sit back though and capitalised on some loose, long passes from Dragons which saw Giles Brooks called into action on a number of occasions and making some very good saves. Piers Gordon-Brown made a couple of last man and goal line clearances from incomplete Sudbury moves. Sudbury soon equalised though having seen one of their long balls up the pitch find their right winger and Dragons seemed to find themselves a short of defenders for some reason. Piers Gordon-Brown moved over from right back to meet the winger and caught a deflection from the pass which found a Sudbury player in the middle of the D whose deflected shot was recycling to their left winger who managed to evade Andy Hipper and Glenn Masterson to find the backboard. 1-1. Some untidy defending perhaps and possibly playing the high press for a period of time. Dragons worked well back into the game and again saw the lion’s share of possession and executed some very tidy passing plays. Piers Gordon-Brown, Glenn Masterson and Andy Hipper picked out balls aimed at Sudbury forwards in the Dragons D efficiently and looked tight at the back. Matt Jenkins and Jason Wolfe worked well at the top continuing to test the Sudbury GK and found more feet in the Sudbury D, winning more short corners but no goals came. HT, 1-1.

The second half started and Dragons pushed hard from the off with Dragons working hard to increase short and accurate passing. This paid off and Dragons spent a good portion of the second half threatening the Sudbury goal. Rupert Snelling picked up and deflected in a ‘spinny thing’ from Jason Wolfe to make it 2-1. Graeme Smith worked tirelessly and picked balls from Sudbury players and made some incredible long passes up the field to Rich Moulson who had set up camp in the top right corner of the pitch. Rich Gill had also found the middle of the 25 metre line to be a good place to set up shop and work the ball around most of the Sudbury team who were in the final quarter. Chris Simmonds threatened the D, Matt Jenkins worked the baseline and caused conern for the Sudbury GK and Rupert Snelling didn’t have to wait too long to complete his hattrick. Picking up the ball outside the left post Rupert Snelling rode a couple of Sudbury challenges and went round the Sudbury keeper to find the net. 3-1. Sudbury appeared to pick up injuries but this didn’t stop them from making inroads into the Dragons D on a few occasions. An Andy Hipper moment occurred, having displaced a Sudbury player and looking to calmly pass the ball out of the D decided that he’d test out the back of his stick on the ball. 2 short corners followed and the second allowed Dragons to counter attack. Play slowed down and Dragons were happy to pass around. Piers Gordon-Brown dispossessed a Sudbury player and worked up the right to find Rich Moulson who pulled across the Sudbury D to Ali Smyth who safely tapped in from about 6 inches. 4-1 and not long after full time. MOM was awarded to Piers Gordon-Brown.

Dragons 2nd XI moved up to 7th place with 18 points, 3 points behind Lowestoft Railway 1st XI. Next week Dragons take on Felixstowe 2nd XI who are currently 9th with 14 points.

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

With the first half of the season finished and having found themselves slightly lower in the league than they would have liked, the Mens 3s were determined to start the second half of the season with a bang.  They welcomed the return of Will MAIN and Matt KNIGHTS to the side, and with only a few mutterings of Christmas overindulgence, the 3s faced Harleston Magpies 3s, who were sitting top of the league.

Straightaway Magpies pressed Dragons hard, and it took a few minutes for Dragons to break the ring of white shirts.  Get it together they did, and Dragons went on the attack.  Swift passing amongst the midfield, fed balls through to the forwards, with Adam SAYER and Will KIRBY linking up well.  It wasn’t long until Dragons took the lead through a Lloyd SAYER short corner strike, who slotted the ball away into the corner.

Magpies kept up the attack and Dragons worked hard in defence to deny the attackers.  Dim IVES made some fingertip saves to keep Dragons in the lead.  Jon GOODSON had some brilliant distribution down the right flank and linked up well with Stu KELLY and Will MAIN in midfield.  Despite their defensive efforts, Magpies did equalise through a short corner, which only served to galvanise Dragons, who kept their heads up.  The work started at the back, with Peter DAVISON and James GOODSON feeding the ball out from the centre of defence into Stu KELLY and Rob GOODSON, who spread the ball out wide.  Lloyd SAYER picked it up and fed to his brother Adam SAYER, who in turn slipped it through to Will KIRBY, to take Dragons into the lead again.

The half ended and Dragons knew they would have to fight hard to maintain their lead.  Skippers John IVES and SAYER praised their team and after devouring some chewy sweets to keep energy levels up, Dragons started the second half.

The game continued in the same pace as the first half where both teams were looking to score.  Dragons again continued to play their passing game and this paid dividends again when they were awarded another short corner.  Lloyd SAYER slipped the ball left to Matt KNIGHTS  who swept the ball into the Magpies goal, extending Dragon’s lead.

Magpies upped their game and put Dragons under a lot of pressure.  It is testament to the hard work of the Defence that Magpies were denied as long as they were, before they snatched a goal back.  The game became very end-to-end, and Dragons pushed well down the flanks, with John IVES on the left and Rich PHILLIS pushing down the right.  A tense last 10 minutes saw Magpies try to get an equaliser, but Dragons counter attacked and came close to taking their lead further a few times.  The time ticked away and the game ended.  3-2 to Dragons!

Another challenge for Dragons next week who face North Norfolk, again a team near the top of the table.  A strict pre-game diet of turkey for the 3s, who hope to continue their good form next week.

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

Dragons travelled with a bare eleven to a cold and wintery Ipswich School to do battle with Cranes 1st team who were looking to close the gap on the top 3 in the league.

It was the home team who settled quickest in to the match and created several half chances but found a solid defence of Dave Pentin, Paul Keating, Andy Carver and Matt Armstrong holding firm. The new pitch surface was causing problems for the Dragons not being able to play their usual passing game, but Cranes’ experience with the bounce was showing.

Despite controlling the possession and using aerials to break the Dragons defensive wall, Cranes were becoming frustrated at the lack of clear cut chances coming their way and started the throw more players forward. This created space for Razzaq Fazail and Rob Chaney-Baxter to break forward down the wings, and it was the latter who had the best chance of the half for the away side. In truth, Dragons should have taken the lead when a deflected effort on goal from Adie Kemp fell to Rob Chaney-Baxter, only for his shot to roll harmlessly wide of the goal.

Within 30 seconds of this attempt on goal, Cranes charged down the other end of the field and scored the opener. The lead soon doubled in controversial fashion when a bouncing ball in the area was defended by Andy Carver, only to have two Cranes players swinging sticks preventing him from clearing the ball. The ball popped up and one of the two attackers then volleyed the ball in to the goal, via the head of keeper Chris Millar.

A formation change saw an extra man in midfield, meaning Dan Ryan and Rob Jenkins had help in the middle to try to drag Dragons back in to the match. This change meant the travellers now had more firepower going forwards to aid the strike force of Adie Kemp and George Bowman who were isolated up to this point.

Dragons grew in to the game but failed to create any chances, and were kept in the match by some heroic goalkeeping from Chris Millar. Millar made a world class stick save from a drag flick short corner, and numerous other saves – including two with his face! Captain Rob Jenkins decided to take a two minute breather after a poorly timed tackle, but came back on to lead the revival with a reverse stick shot that took a deflection and looped over the keeper.

With time running out Dragons piled forward and after Adie Kemp saw his effort blocked, Dan Ryan was on hand to score with a ‘dambuster’ shot that expertly deceived the goalkeeper and the covering defender on the line. With the last touch of the game Adie saw a half volley fly over the bar, but the draw was a fair result and everyone needs to be praised for their fighting spirit, especially man of the match Chris Millar.
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More photos here.

Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 6-3 Ipswich Cranes 2

After going 1-0 down in the first 5 minutes of the game due to a sleepy start from the home side’s defence, the Dragons galvanised together to produce a fairly one sided affair for most of the game and dominate the travelling Ipswich Cranes side.

Within another 5 minutes the Dragons were awarded a flick to level the score which Andy Keys converted with such ease as if he had been practising all day for. From then on the game continued with attack after attack from the dragons resulting in a good 6-3 win but all credit to the Cranes goalie and defence as the score could easily of been in double figures.

The other scorers in the game were Tim Allen with a lovely scoop, Crossy also scored probably at the far post but I missed it, and the on form Josh the Bosh Bingham smashed in a fine Hatrick.

There were also some great performances from the two young dragons wingers, namely  George Wright who held his own against a man twice his height and four times his weight who played even harder as the game progressed and also Pedro Goss who seemed to have grown a foot over Christmas, had a faultless game and was awarded a well deserved MOTM. Sol Blazer also had a solid game in the middle for his first outing with the 5s and Ben made a couple of very useful saves in goal.

Great performance from everyone all round.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-0 Felixstowe 4

The 2nd match of 3 against Felixstowe was a one-sided affair which should have ended with a more comprehensive win & sets up the chance of the treble in March. Freddie Dixon spent much of the game sat on his backboard , only having one dive to cover a shot which hit the post late in the 2nd half.

Dragons opened the scoring when skipper Mike Banham’s early short corner was blocked & Joel Lawrence converted the rebound. A slick move saw Club captain, Tom Vaughan make it 4 goals in 5 games & several good chances went begging. After the break it was massive Dragons pressure again as Dragons increased their lead with another Banham corner.

Owain Hall had great control of centre field which allowed Hamish Packham & Connor Adams to operate effective around him. Defensively James Hansell & MOM McCartney Aldous made telling probing runs from the back. Late in the game a magic long through ball from Adams almost found a diving Vaughan on the back post.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 1-3 Norwich City

Dragons had some different levels of players this Saturday, some inexperienced and some experienced. The home side had played Norwich city in October away and won. In the first quarter Dragons were already losing 2-0 even though they did have some good chances with the ball. A few minutes into the second quarter Lilly Sore scored a reverse push past the keeper. Unfortunately after that the home side didn’t get any more goals. But all their players played fantastically and had some great clearances and runs. Sometimes our defenders got caught up in defending short corners and Norwich city in the attacking position anyway. The final score was 4-1 to Norwich City.

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 02/01/2016

Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 2-3 Watton 2s

The first half of the match which finished 1-1 could have seen either side lead by a margin. McCartney Aldous opened the scoring with a high shot from the top of the D after a period of fine attacking play by Tom Vaughan, Joel Lawrence & George Bowman produced some great first touch interchanges. This led to a period of short corners which several variations failed to extend the lead. Watton equalised with a down the middle attack & were deigned twice by goal line clearance by skipper Mike Banham. With Dave Pentin, Alan Quinton, Pedro Goss & Sol Blazer running midfield it was a solid first half which seemed to be forgotten after the break as the middle seemed to get bypassed. Still the defence of Ray & James Hansell(who had a really strong first half) with  Andy Carver & Aldous were not troubled until late in the second half after a flowing move saw Tom Vaughan score for the 2nd game running. Watton did equalise with minutes remaining & dragons lost Quinton in the same move to a shoulder injury. Watton then decided to mount a full attacking rush with 2 minutes remaining & Dragons turned the ball infield when playing for the corner was the best option & suffered the consequences. Freddie Dixon in goal was as confident as ever & James Hansell was awarded MOM.

Ladies crowned Indoor Champions

IMG_9976A busy weekend of East Indoor Hockey culminated in Norwich Dragons Ladies being crowned East Indoor Women’s Division 1  Champions.

Having been runners up last season, Norwich Dragons HC Ladies Indoor Team were determined to put in a good performance in this season’s East Region Hockey Association’s Women’s Division 1 Championship this weekend.

Captained by indoor specialist Kate Trelawny Gower and coached by Pete Thomas, the squad of Marie James, Lizzie Moulton, Rachel King, Siobhan Cleeve, Hayley Toleman, Maddie Denman, Olivia Thomas, Niamh Lowe-Davies and Louise Murray got off to a good start against Bishop’s Stortford with a 4-2 win.

Expected to be the toughest game of the day, the squad had a long wait for their next fixture against Wapping and despite getting ahead quickly and moving to a seemingly comfortable lead, Dragons allowed Wapping to get right back into the match, holding on for a 7-6 victory.

With Wapping having beaten Bishop’s Stortford in the penultimate game of the Tournament, Dragons knew that avoiding defeat in their last game would secure the title.

With a convincing 8-0 win over Broadland, Norwich Dragons finished undefeated and were crowned East Region Hockey Association Women’s Division 1 Champions, giving them promotion to the East Premier event next season.

IMG_9624The Men were also in action and finished 7th in a tough tournament.

On Saturday, the Men were edged out 3-4 by Waltham Forest (Pebble stroke, Rohan x2). Second game got off well with a stroke from Ben but ended 1-9, with 2 disallowed. Lost to a well organised Bourne Deeping side by 3-11.  Goals for Pebble (glorious solo effort), Mitchell Smith and a BD foot (Henry). Tough day at the office but enjoyable all the same. Perhaps a bit late to get things organised on the pitch but Jason is giving it a good try. Mentions too for Richard Smith, Ali Smyth, Robbie Bell, Sam Avery (upgraded from Manager to winger in an unselfish transfer by Phil York-Smith) and Peg-Leg Snelling(cameo).

First up on Sunday was the Old Southendian’s side featuring a suspiciously familiar left back. A close fought game ran out 4-7 in OSE’s favour with goals from Alec Steele, Jason Wolfe and Sam Avery x2.
In the second game things didn’t quite seem to go right. What seemed like a largely even contest ran out 1-6 to Wisbech with Alec slamming home another goal.

Last up were Bedford – Prem A side and likely champions this was a daunting final game and there were some slightly negative pre-match conversations. Not a bit of that showed in the game with Dragons forcing Bedford to forget any thoughts of an easy win. Wolfe, exhausted by his exertions fell asleep on a Bedford shoulder late in the first period and was rewarded with a 1 minute “rest” by the umpire. With the score 1-3 at half-time (an incredibly “experienced” link-up between York-Smith and the slightly hobbling Snelling) an upset was a real possibility. A coolly taken corner from Pebble Billy-Stone set up a dramatic end to the day’s play and another was added again by Pebble. The game finally ran out 3-5 and Bedford were duly crowned champions.

Well done everyone who played. Indoor hockey is a gruelling game at times but we fought all the way to the end. The final day was wildly polarised between youth and experience and there will be some sore bodies tonight.

NDHC League Match Reports: 12/12/2015

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

Following on from last week’s impressive victory over Loddon Ladies 1st Team, Dragons were looking to finish the season strongly with a convincing win against Broadlands Ladies 1sts in order to secure their place at the top of the League once more.

Broadland brought the game to Dragons straight away, who were caught slightly off guard and did not seem fully prepared in the first 5 minutes. The Ladies 3s have been working hard on training in developing their distributive play, particularly moving the ball around the back in order to outlet the ball. This was badly needed against an energetic and switched on Broadland team who closed down play quickly and were swift on the break.

Dragons worked hard to keep possession of the ball, but struggled to ajust to the bouncy pitch, meaning many passes and interceptions were not kept fully under control. They worked on hard on this throughout but did not appear to be in control of the game in the way that previous results would have suggested against this Broadland side.

Debs Smith worked particularly hard at top of the diamond, driving forwards at speed with the ball and distributing it out to the wider players where Lara Taylor and Sian Lawrie made some excellent runs. Laura Goodbun caused Broadland their biggest problems, running at her trademark pace into the D to put some crosses and shots away. Whilst a couple hit the target Dragons were unable to convert these into goals.

Player of the match Kristina Smyth had her fair share of work to do to keep the clean sheet, with some brilliant saves and some brave keeping off of her line. Carmel Windsor- Waite was her usual calm and collected self under pressure, clearing many balls from the D and getting them down the line to the midfield.

Dragons were, unfortunately, very lucky to gain a 0-0 draw after a Broadlands goal was disallowed for not touching the backboard on its way to crossing the line and a separate open goal was missed, placing the ball inches wide of the posts. This wasn’t the type of performance that Ladies 3s are used to giving and there is lots to take back to training to work on for January.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-3 Broadland 2

After a convincing win last week over a Carrow side, Dragons were optimistic about this weekend’s battle against Broadland 2, especially after they beat them so convincingly in the first leg at the Den.

Yet again Dragons had the lion share of the procession. They worked hard to keep the ball, especially in midfield with Claire Canning, Megan Williams and Gemma Rump having a particularly good game. Dragons did commit a few loose passes especially when not under pressure. They have been working on our communication and passing in training, and although this has improved over previous weeks in still an area they can improve on.

Player of the match Charlotte Pounder returned to this team, and was obviously feeling a lot more confident after her debut last week. After taking a particularly nasty knock to the shoulder from a lifted free hit, it seemed to make her more determined and she took the game to Broadland, never giving up.

The Dragons forwards were missing the pacy Anja, and had to rely on passing the ball and moving into space to get the ball around some solid Broadland defenders. This week they lacked accuracy and unfortunately a lot of our chances were wasted by poor final touches and a good goal keeping display.

Yet again Dragons were awarded a dozen or so corners. These are becoming a frustration to the forwards as again they failed to convert any of them. This is something Dragons must work on after Christmas. The only time Dragons came close to scoring at a short was from a tremendous strike from Sophie Wood, the ball rising in the air, sailing over the keeper’s head and into the goal before dropping. The goal was initially awarded, and them following a discussion between the umpires was disallowed. Sophie Farrow did well injecting the ball.

Sue Cross scored Dragons only goal today. It was similar to her goal last week, with this time Claire Canning intercepting the ball, and having the vision to pass the ball into the D, were Sue was unmarked near the post and able to slot it in.

Dragons allowed Broadland to score three times. The majority of these started from “big hits” that bobbled and bounced through the midfield. The defence were unlucky, because the few times they lost their player or their shape they seemed to be penalised. Chelsea Crawford had a great game as centre back stopping many of these big hits, but Dragons struggled when the ball bounced past her to regroup.

Although the score was emphatic, Dragons can feel proud of the effort today.

POM : Charlotte Pounder

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

What the 5’s would like to remember from the weekend game against City 5’s is how the second half was played.  Unfortunately the first half lacked the 5’s usual attack from the start which was needed against a strong robust opposition who regularly play together and strike those long balls through to speedy forwards.  The 5’s were damp but warmed up, team positions organised ready for the off.  The defence of Jess Tye-Leech, Freya Clogan and Beth Elgood were quickly put to test and held off the charging opposition.  The 5’s regained possession with some excellent interceptions from Vicky Earley, to pass the ball up to midfield.  The opposition were quick to try and close down the home team and the midfield of Racheal and Catherine Matthews, were working hard to pass the ball around and through to players before getting picked up.  The first City goal caught the 5’s on the hop with a long strike perfectly placed to a waiting forward who slotted it home At half time the home team knew that the game play had not been our best but was better toward the end of the half.  We were determined to improve this for the second half.

There was more pace and aggression to keep possession and score.  The defensive trio were working hard with Freya channelling those City players. Chiara Bond was on a mission and was firing balls up to the forwards, she blocked the opposition and was lightening around the pitch.  Megan Farrant and Lucy Morton both picked up wide balls and out ran the opposition.  The 5’s had several chances on goal but none passed the keeper.  Toward the end of the game all players were pushing high really wanting that elusive goal.   Nothing was getting in Helen Marsh’s way and she weaved through the City players, steam coming from her ears.  Beth was reading the opposition play well and could pick up those through balls before City players.   This was a much better half and the effort was doubled by everyone.  A couple of considerations for the next game, no faffing about in the D, smash shots off and just having an awareness of your team players around you when passing.  The next game will be played in the mode in which we started the season.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-4 Dereham 5

Dereham 5’s go 3-0 up as Dragons fail to crisply hit their passes or intercept the through ball which are stopping on the tricky surface.  Alan Quinton & Tom Vaughan hit back with a goal each.

After halftime Dereham get a fourth and goal line clearances by Mike Banham & McCartney Aldous with fine keeping by Freddie Dixon ensured that Dragons ended 2-4 down but closer than in the first match against them. Come the 3rd game at the Den, Dragons might just show them how far they have improved. Thanks to Tom Vaughan & Andy Carver for coming into the side late. Thanks to Pat Goss for running the bench. Thanks to Rob Coyle for taking the umpiring appointment at short notice. Well done Ray , Sol, Guy, Butts, Rob L, Pedro & George for the 100% effort again with the other guys mentioned above.

Well done lads, Christmas off for fine performances recently & lets start the year with the same team & go through January unbeaten starting at Watton on Jan 2nd.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 4-1 Norwich City

Dragons started strong with quick and confident passes in the first quarter allowing them to maintain possession and attack well. Unfortunately they were not that coordinated and this along with a lucky break from City allowed them to capitalise.

However the home side came back strong in the second quarter and played well with a great mixture of passing and skills. Continuing to play well on and off the ball for the rest of the game, with some great individual and team performances allowing Jonathan Chaney Baxter to score three goals and Jose San Millan to score one. It was a great game and well played by all involved.

Final score: 4-1 to Dragons

Captain: Joe Osborne

Man of the match: Jose San Millan and Jonathan Chaney Baxter

 

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 05/12/2015

A number of photos from the day here.

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-0 Harleston Magpies 2

The last match before the Christmas break saw Dragons make the short trip over the border to Harleston. With Dragons unbeaten in 5 and Magpies form improving this was always going to be a closely fought encounter, unlike the opening match of the season where Dragons put eight past their local rivals.

The game started evenly with both teams unable to keep the ball particularly well. Dragons start was well below par and it took a while for the players to settle into the game. Magpies capitalized on this and were able to win a succession of early short corners to put the Dragon’s defence under pressure. Determined work in the windy conditions by Maddie Denman and Hollie Limmer, meant that nothing came of these attacks. Dragons eventually started putting their passing game together with the endless running of Rachel King creating some good chances with one spectacular reverse stick shot going inches wide.

The second half was of much better quality from Dragons and they looked like the team who were fourth in the table. However, they still had to rely on some fantastic saves from player of the match Siobhan Cleeve to thwart Harleston when they did break forward. With minutes remaining Dragons won their first short corner of the match when Rachel King burst through into the box. It was King herself who took the initiative from the corner, neatly sidestepping a defender and striking the ball. The GK saved the first shot but could do nothing about the venomous strike from Stacey Lee that put the Dragons ahead. Dragons were able to hold on for the last few minutes to complete their first double of the season and extend their unbeaten run to 6, with 5 wins amongst them.

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

The final game of 2015 saw joint league leaders City of Peterborough Ladies 1’s arrive, in style to the Dragon’s Den. With their music beating in the changing rooms and during the warm-up, the Peterborough team were clearly ‘upbeat’ and preparing well for the match. Dragons had their very own ‘Beater’ with Shelly Seaman replacing the unfortunately injured Ally Windsor-Waite in defence. Dragons were also missing Rowie York-Smith, meaning the defence had a slightly different look for the final game before the break. In addition, the home team welcomed back Aoife Lowe-Davies, who kindly helped them out this weekend, as injuries were taking their toll on the squad.

Dragons got off to a flying start, looking to get in behind the very high press of the Peterborough team, right from the first push back. Dragons had the luxury of the pace of Marcy Windsor Waite, Aoife Lowe-Davies and Laura Shreeve meaning they could exploit the space in behind the back 3. An early break lead to the winning of a short corner, which was expertly struck from the top of the D by Gail Thomas, taking a slight deflection on the way through and flying into the goal, for an early lead.

The home team looked up for the fight and continued to press their opponents, rather than rest on this early goal lead – a break down the left saw Pip Howes find Aoife Lowe-Davies, who beat her defender with pace and skill, and fired the ball across the D, which was neatly glanced in behind the keeper by the prolific Laura Shreeve (Dragons very own ‘goal a game’ Jamie Vardy!), for a 2-0 lead mid-way through the half.

The score flattered the home team a little, as Peterborough were very well drilled, with some quick attacking players and strength in the middle. This meant the Dragons defensive unit of Shelly Seaman, Angela Murgatroyd, Sophie Thomas and GK Amy Forse needed to be at their sharpest and make quick decisions to clear the danger. This they all did extremely well and despite the travelling team earning a number of short corners, these were expertly dealt with, with Karen O’Neill Simpson particularly showing great pace and bravery to charge down a number of well struck efforts.

Dragons knew they were going to have to continue to show the same workrate and desire in the 2nd half, as the young Peterborough team were ‘hurting’ going into the break at 2-0 down and their coaching team were clearly demanding a reaction from them. Peterborough continued to press high, however to their credit, so did Dragons, forcing Peterborough to play the ball round the back, leading to a number of unforced errors.

A spell of early Dragons pressure in the half, saw them earn a short corner. This was initially broken down, however the ball fell to Pip Howes in a good position in the D, whilst she could easily have attempted the shot, her quick thinking and awareness of the position of the Keeper, meant Howes calmly passed the ball wide to the left post, where Hannah Hardy in space, and was able to fire home for a 3-0 lead.

Peterborough then showed why they were joint leaders in this league, attacking with pace particularly down their right. A first goal came from one such attack, the ball being pulled across the D to an attacker at the back post, who drilled home for 3-1. The second followed not long afterwards, with a short corner which was neatly worked beyond the strong Dragons defence. So, with around 15 minutes left on the clock the game was very much in the balance at 3-2.

From here on Dragons needed to battle and that they did, to a player, giving everything they had for the good of the team. The forward line of Laura Shreeve, Geo Beckwith, Aoife Lowe-Davies and Hannah Hardy ran down every hit out, forcing the visitors into errors. The midfield of Gail Thomas, Pip Howes, Marcy Windsor-Waite and Pollyanna Watson got their stick to every lose ball and managed to break Peterborough’s rhythm. Finally the defensive unit, including Player of the Match, Shelly Seaman, Karen O’Neill Simpson, Angela Murgatroyd, Sophie Thomas and GK Amy Forse remained completely solid and quelled any threats to the goal during that last, tense 15 minute spell.

So the final whistle blew to seal the 3pts and a reversal of the 3-2 scoreline at Peterborough in the first game of the season. Having secured 13 points from a possible 15, Dragons will be delighted with their recent form, as they get to grips with this League. Still lots of work to do, and important to now rest and recover from injuries over the break but also maintain their fitness levels. Well done and thanks to all the Coaches, players and sideline support, for their efforts and commitment to date!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 9-0 Carrow 1

Starting the second half of the season comfortably in the top half of the table Dragons 3s were ready to return to their winning form, and they did so with style. From the offset Dragons played with composure, holing their shape and moving the ball well across the pitch. The first half saw three goals from the Dragons, all from short corners. The first a straight strike from PoM Debs Smith, next a patient one-two between Natasha Blyth and Debs Smith around the Carrow side to secure the second. The third out to Holly Bailey to strike, the rebound followed up to be secured by the teamwork of Debs Smith and Issy Wolfe (who secured the goal on the post).

When Carrow contested goal a sharp Kristina Smyth kept the conceded goals to nil with a stick deflection on the right corner.

Lots of positive play with textbook triangles, and switching swiftly through the defenders (Laura Brice, Sarah Wagstaff and Carmel Windsor-Waite) helped create lots of space for the Dragons.

Half time score Carrow 0:3 Dragons

Going into the second half the one aim given from Captain Natasha Falzon to the players was to score in open play. The team promptly responded working hard no matter the score line. A long corner taken by Natasha Falzon to a waiting Natasha Blyth just outside the right of the D was expertly stepped in to the area and struck with great force, deflecting off of a Carrow defender and into the roof of the net.

Gaining in momentum and seizing every opportunity Dragons continued. Wolfe taking a quick free hit from half way, slipping it right to Katie McKenna who in turn moved the ball swiftly onto a waiting Sian Lawrie to get the fifth goal.

Capitalising on another short corner opportunity a strike from Smith was pinched off of the line by Wolfe seeing the score to 0:6.

Still not stopping this time Smith and Sian Lawrie worked in duo to score from a tap in on the left post.

Still making use of all of the pitch Lauren Lawrie switched through Windsor-Waite with a mighty ball to an again waiting Blyth. Her magnificent cross was expertly deflected into the goal by a sprinting S Lawrie.

The final goal was worked in well between Blyth and McKenna.

Final Score Carrow 1’s 0:9 Dragons 3’s

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 6-0 Carrow 2

Dragons’ ladies enjoyed another win this weekend. This time they travelled to Langley school on a particularly blustery Saturday. They were delighted by the win, but the score possibly didn’t reflect on how dominant the visitors were today.

Dragons were awarded at least a dozen short corners. They were all well executed with Sophie Farrow doing a sterling job at injecting them. The visitors tried a number of different approaches involving the entire forward and midfield lines. The ball agonisingly avoiding the goal on all but one occasion. Sophie Farrow converted the only goal from set play; having injected the ball she waited at the left post to deflect the ball into the goal. This is still an area the Dragons aim to improve, as their conversion rate all season has been low. They also had at least a dozen shots that were either saved or drifted wide.

In the first half Dragons tried to take the game to Carrow. Anja Finegan, Sophie Wood and Charlotte Pounder were all using their pace to attack the goal from both flanks. Sophie Wood broke the deadlock with a great strike after fifteen minutes.

A flick was awarded to Dragons when the Carrow captain stopped the ball on the line with her foot. Unfortunately, Sue Cross stepped forward and lifted it straight at the keeper.

The second goal was down to some insightful play from centre midfield Megan Williams, she received the ball just over the half way line, looked up and slotted the ball through a gap in the Carrow defence to find Sue Cross unmarked in the D with only the keeper the beat.

The ball rarely came over the half way line. Not only did Laura Tuck keep a clean sheet, but she only touched the ball in the warm up.

After half time, Dragons only had a 2 – 0 advantage.  Following a stern talking to by Captain Kate Atkins at half time and her words “ keep away from number 8” and “PASS the ball!” still ringing in the Dragon ears they tried a different tactic. Instead of running straight at the goal, the team passed the ball around Carrow and found it much more effective. The Carrow defence were strong, but they were not as agile as the young Dragon forwards. The third goal came quite quickly after the break.

Charlotte passing the ball to Sophie Wood, receiving it again, then forwarded it to Anja Finegan who swept it first time past the home team’s keeper.

The fifth goal saw Gemma Rump receiving the ball, pushing it into the D to Megan, who passed it back to Louise Davis and then to Sophie Farrow. Sophie took a shot that was saved by the keeper, but was only cleared a far as Sue Cross who bundled the ball and herself over the line.

The last  goal was a lot more stylish. The ball was moved into the D by Megan Williams , Charlotte pushed to back to Gemma Rump. Gemma swept it to Sophie  Farrow who lost no time in finding the back of the net.

Megan Williams was very unlucky not to be on the score sheet, two of her shots crossed the line just after the umpire had blown for a short corner.

Scorers : Sophie Wood, Anja Finegan, Sophie Farrow X2, Sue Cross X2

POM : Sue Cross

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

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

The 5s duly completed their expected win over the 6s in some style, but with the result never in doubt the 6s played with great determination and no pressure. The goals came at regular intervals, and highlighted the differences  between the two teams. The 5s have more power in the attacking circle and a little more steel in the defensive circle.

The 6s believe themselves to be a stronger team than at the beginning of the season, and indeed team selection could be a challenge in the second half with so many players at a similar skills level competing for games. So in one sense they were disappointed not to have kept the score down, but at least they scored – a beauty from open play. Lucy Morton picked up a long ball and raced through, beating a defender before slotting the ball confidently past the keeper.

The 6s consider they held their own in the speed and passing moves down the pitch, with Lucy, Catherine Matthews, Jess Vernon, Beth Elgood and Sophie Thurtell all prominent in the attacks. But once entering the attacking circle, the forwards were duly nailed and unable to work a single penalty corner. Once the 5s went a couple of goals up, Beth dropped back and showed tenacity in the tackle, with Rosie Skipp and Sarah Norman also doing plenty of defensive work. Jo Eke dropped to the bottom of the diamond and played her usual 100 per cent game. Ginny Simkin continues to improve week by week, and Katy Saide and Katie Franks got POM votes.

The 5s proved very skilful at pressing the 6s hit outs, which enabled them to keep the 6s penned back in their defensive quarter. Moving Bridget Le Good into defence in the second half relieved the pressure somewhat, and Catherine at the top of the diamond was able to get Jess, Lucy, Rosie and Sophie away more easily. Several players got POM votes and four players shared the honours – Lucy for a great goal, Catherine for her energy, Beth for her tenacity and Kat (the Kat) Speirs for yet another awesome performance in goal. So 5 went in, but you should have seen the ones she saved, blocked, kicked clear. So 6s and 7s – enjoy the festive 7  a side next week from 10 – 12.30 and the relax until January. But not too much!

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

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 2-3 Cambridge City 4s

 

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 6-0 Lowestoft Railway 1s

A remarkable bout of high availability meant the Dragon’s 2nd team entered the game against Lowestoft Railway with perhaps their strongest side of the season. This allowed them to play a more aggressive formation than normal, with young Richard Gill slotting into the pivotal central midfield role.

In truth Dragons dominated possession through the majority of the game, and it was clear that the additional midfield strength along with a high workrate and slick passing was likely to avoid a repeat of the 4-1 loss suffered against Lowestoft in the opening game of the season.

A number of early half-chances went unconverted, but after a marauding run from Chris Simmonds saw the left back pop up on the right hand side of the visitor’s goal, a pull back to Wolfe for a relatively simple goal set the home side on their way.

Lowestoft attempted to play a counter-attacking game, but they struggled to get through the midfield and tended to turn the ball over too often. This gave Dragons an excellent platform to pressure for more goals. It wasn’t too long before a second was added as Alex Browne slotted home after a cross from Jason Wolfe. Further pressure failed to yield any more goals, and the half time whistle blew with the score at 2-0.

The 2nd half very much followed the pattern of the 1st, before the overwhelming dominance of the Dragons game helped them score a couple of late goals and finish 6-0 winners (via Alex Bilalis-Stone, Tom Rutledge, Jack O’Meara and a 2nd for Wolfe). Lowestoft battled gamely and pressed hard for a consolation goal, but it wasn’t to be – largely because of the defensive excellence of Gill, Robbie Kay, Glenn Masterson and Simmonds. A comfortable result for the home team, who will be hoping to be able to call upon this group of players more after Christmas.

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

A game of two halves for the Mens 3s this week, as they travelled down to Ipswich for a very blustery late game.

IES started strong and put the press on Dragons, proving they were more in-tune with the smurf-turf.  They linked up well with their forwards and some strikes on goal, gave them the lead, quickly followed by another.  Dragons then got into the game and started to work the ball out of defence.  Graeme SMITH provided some excellent distribution, particularly to the left side, where James GOODSON was waiting to pick it up.  The SAYER brothers (Adam & Lloyd) were in the centre of the pitch and passed well with wingers John IVES and Nick TURNER.  However, Dragons only managed a few chances in this half, as IES were putting Dragons under alot of pressure, showing how well drilled they were.  IES were rewarded with another 2 goals before the half ended.

Dragons were not to be deterred and came out fighting in the second half.  Early on, a shot from Lloyd SAYER just got pipped over the cross bar, and Will KIRBY came close as well.  IES still managed to attack strongly and Peter DAVISON and Rich PHILLIS countered, and distributed the ball well out to midfield.  Once again Geoff ROBERTS showed good attacking hockey and was unlucky not to get a shot off.

This was a much better half for Dragons, where their passing and determination was evident.  Try as they might, Dragons couldn’t get another goal and the game ended with an IES win.  Good work in the middle by Nick TURNER earned himself Man of the Match, and a special mention to Robert COYLE, who put in a valiant display in goal for Dragons.

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

The Mad Hatters (see photos) welcomed IES to the Den on a blustery Saturday morning hopeful that the result wouldn’t emulate the 7-1  drubbing they received in the first fixture of the season. With a blend of youngsters and the more seasoned players – with not much in between, the game started brightly with both teams settling in to what would be a very competitive match.

IES’s first goal came from a rocket of a drag flick at a short corner, beating GK Ben Nkrumah high and wide in the roof of the net. You don’t see many of those in Div 4NE and Dave Pentin did well to get out the way although his beanie would have saved him. Dragons were undeterred and pushed for an equalizer for the remainder of the half but to no avail.

The second half saw our youngsters growing in confidence and man of the match Charlie Nunn tested the IES defence with numerous penetrating runs. It was , however , one of the old guard (Price Snr) who gifted a pacey IES forward a chance which he took well from just inside the ‘D’ beating Nkrumah at the far post. Determined to make things right he immediately took him self off in the hope that talisman Paul Keating (late again!) would make the difference and indeed we did pull one back through the ever willing Will Ives.

2-1 and renewed vigor to try and get something from the match but IES spoilt it by scoring again. This should have settled them down but the reverse happened with Dragons dominating the closing passages of play. A number of short corners went missing as did their captain for a yellow but to no avail. A good game with many positives to take to the second half of the season.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-3 Norfolk Nomads 2s

On this Windy Saturday afternoon at the UEA, the mighty Dragons faced off against the Experienced Nomads 2s. Dragons started the game well with some steady passing in the middle from Matt (Sat-Nav) Armstrong and Hamish (Usain Bolt) Packham running around like a wild fire. Nomads then came at Dragons with some quick-fire passing and managed to score 2 goals in a matter of minutes.

Dragons then turned the tables with a great passage of play which enabled Joel (Iron Man) Lawrence to cross the ball superbly into the path of Adrian (The Big Cheese) Howes for a lovely goal at the far post. There were also some great balls distributed out by Andy (The Rock) Carver to give the visitors some good attacks before the half was over.

Dragons realised at half time that their game needing improving and an inspiring team talk came in from Adrian (The Big Cheese) Howes which put energy into the Dragons. At the start of the Second half the Nomads were starting to get tired (One of their players may have even been asleep as the second half started) and the Dragons capitalised on this well with some skilful runs down the wing from Tom (Skills) Williams and some great passing and speed in the Nomads half from Hamish (Usain Bolt) Packham and Adrian (The Big Cheese) Howes. Then somehow out of nowhere Josh (Terrible Balance) Bingham managed to laser one through the keeper’s legs to make it 3-2. Nomads then had a few good breaks back at Dragons but Rich (Jürgen) Davis made some great tackles and Chris (Best in the Business) Millar made some outstanding saves to keep the score to just 3-2. Dragons continued to work tirelessly in the midfield and pushed for a third to make it a draw but it didn’t come.

Although the Dragons lost the game they certainly won the second half of the game by a mile. The MOTM with energy and drive to win every ball in the midfield and produce some great passing play was Hamish (Usain Bolt) Packham.

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

Not a great start as a call off & non-appearance left skipper Mike Banham seeking out Club Captain Tom Vaughan, who supports the club with his full kit on his back, to play at 5 minutes notice.

The game was delayed as keeper Freddie Dixon, with help from Club coach Jason Wolfe, put together an assorted ensemble (see above). IES started forcibly for 10 mins with Freddie in early action but it was Dragons who struck first with Mike slotting home the first short corner. IES then equalised from open play & went ahead from a flick from a short corner, which Freddie almost got to. The rest of the half was end to end hockey.

Pedro Goss was covering a great deal to the pitch behind the attacking force of Tom & George Bowman & Dragons were unlucky not to draw level. After the break IES got clear to increase their lead. Back came Dragons & the skipper again scored after the keeper parried his initial shot. The game was then run by the Dragon midfield of Sol Blazer, Ray Hansell & Guy Cranfield who pressed forward. This was a relief to the defense of James Hansell(suffering stitch), Rob Lee(still felling a training knock on the head) & McCartney Aldous( who was adding impetus to the attack with several runs down the right).

A third Dragons short was pushed passed the post & a flowing move saw Tom’s rasping shot for an equaliser saved. The standard of hockey in Div 7NE is high & intense &  Dragon’s 6’s are capable of competing with them all. The next game v Dereham will be a real test but 4 games in January are within their ability to put a run of results together.

MOM – Mike Banham although the MOM from the skipper(and opposition) was Pedro Goss

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 5-5 Pelicans

On Saturday in a windy Kings Lynn, the dev boys drew 5-5 Pelicans. Jose put us 1-0 up with a brilliant reverse stick effort which flew into the top-left corner. Pelicans then equalised shortly after before Tommy went through 1 on 1 and put us 2-1 up. Pelicans again equalised shortly before  James and Isaac scored to put us 4-2 up. Pelicans clawed 2 back bringing it to 4-4, and in a nervous last few minutes, Will and Pelicans scored making the final score 5-5 . Overall, we played some very good hockey up top, but a lot to improve on at the back. Joint players of the match were Jose and Bobby.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2-0 Dereham

 

Dragons Masters through to Shield

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Norwich Dragons Masters Over 40 Men have progressed safely though to the England Hockey Shield competition having been knocked out of the Trophy today in a 5-2 defeat at home to Dereham.  Jon Price’s team progressed to the final of the Shield last season at the Olympic Park, so the old boys will be drifting off to sleep this evening (in front of the TV) dreaming of another successful cup run.

A link to photos from today can be found on the Masters Men’s Page here.

 

Dragons in England Hcky Knockout Action

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EH Masters Ladies Over 35s Trophy

Pelicans 0:7 Norwich Dragons

A repeat of last season’s opening round of the Knockout Trophy, Norwich Dragons Masters Ladies over 35s took on Pelicans, although this season saw an away rather than home fixture.  Dragons took a little while to find their rhythm and it was Ally Windsor-Waite that opened the scoring from right midfield. Determined to improve on last season’s 3-0 win, Captain Marie James pushed the team on and alongside late call up Lizzie Moulton in the middle of the pitch, Dragons were dominating possession.

The second goal took a little while to arrive, however further goals from Caroline Wolfe x2, Marie James, Laura Shreeve, Hannah Hardy and Lizzie Moulton, saw the visitors finish with a 7-0 victory.

Guest keeper Kate Bond was superb in goal when called upon, although an unexpected sideline back pass did catch Kate and Rowie chatting, resulting in a hasty retreat by keeper and defence to protect their cleansheet!

A great team performance from all members of the squad.

Team: Kate Bond, Marie James, Sarah Wagstaff, Rowie York-Smith, Angela Murgatroyd, Karen O’Neill-Simpson, Lizzie Moulton, Ally Windsor-Waite, Laura Shreeve, Lisa Harwood, Hannah Hardy and Caroline Wolfe.

EH Championship Boys Under 14s
IES 3:4 Norwich Dragons

Dragons went into this match with a strong squad which included goalkeeper Alex Wolfe stepping up from the Under 12s. The early pressure was from IES who managed to convert a good chance to take a 1-0 lead. Shortly after Jose San Millan scored an equaliser for the Dragons. Jonathan Chaney Baxter cooly slotted the ball home for the Dragons to take the lead before his strike partner Joe Beadman added to the tally to put the Dragons 3-1 ahead. The first half was dampened by Jose having to be taken to A&E with a split eye lid meaning Dragons had to finish the game with only eleven players.

IES kept the pressure on Dragons and scored to bring the game back to 3-2. Dragons reopened a two goal cushion after Raunaq Singh Rai scored after a mazey run from the top of the ‘D’ follow a short corner. As Dragons tired they had to work hard to limited IES chance but were stuck in their defensive half. IES pulled one back but the Dragons’ defence of Harry, Blue, Edward and William held firm as Dragons came away with all three points. Raunaq was voted man of the match by his teammates.

EH Championship Boys Under 18s
Bury St Edmunds 2:1 Norwich Dragons

Dragons went down 2-1 to a good Bury outfit but with only 11 men Dragons put in a performance to be proud of.  Superb passing hockey and solid defending was topped off with a top right drag flick goal from player of the match Henry Laming.  Many thanks to David Pentin for travelling as a late call up umpire.

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 03/10/2015

A few photos from Matchday are here.

IMG_7075Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 0-3 Bromley & Beckenham

Dragons played host to a strong Bromley and Beckenham side on a warm Saturday afternoon at the Den, which felt more like June than October.

It was the visitors who started brightly putting the Dragons’ defence under early pressure and through a scrappy short corner took the lead. The home side grew into the half and non-stop running from player of the match Rachel King created chances and short corners. The visiting goal keeper making some good saves to deny any chances being converted.

Coach Pete Thomas called the Dragons to step forward in the second half, but it was the London side who started it strongly and soon doubled their lead within minutes of the restart. Dragons were encouraged by the tremendous home support and continued to push forward, the ever tireless King combining well with Hayley Toleman to create further chances, but could not force the ball over the line.

Bromley and Beckenham were well organised and disciplined and they made it difficult for the home side.They continued to push forward and Dragons’ goal keeper Siobhan Cleeve made some excellent saves but could do nothing about a deflected short corner effort which extended the away sides lead and effectively sealed the game.

Dragons need to seek encouragement from the chances they created, which on another day could have seen a different result. Another home game against newly promoted Maidstone awaits next week where Dragons will aim to add to their points tally for the season.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 0-1 Norwich City 1

Dragons Ladies 2’s arrived bright and early for this local derby against a much changed City 1st team. Welcoming Natalie Beal back into the squad, Dragons were looking forward to what was likely to be a tight game.

City started much the brighter of the two teams and put the visitors under pressure from the off. Amy Forse in the Dragons goal was forced into some good saves early in the game. However, against the run of play, Dragons thought they had taken the lead within the first 10 minutes, only to see the goal was ruled out. The home team continued to pile on the pressure but the back 3 of Sophie Thomas, Rowie York Smith and Ally Windsor Waite battled hard and were well protected by Shelly Seaman and Karen O’Neill Simpson. Eventually the deadlock was broken by City, following a smart short corner routine, the ball broke to Rachel Reynolds at the top of the D and her firm strike deflected off a Dragons stick to fly past the keeper at head height.

The remainder of the half saw further pressure from the City 1st team, however Dragons Player of the Match Amy Forse and her defence stood firm and kept the deficit to just one at half-time.

At the break, Dragons talked about moving the ball on quicker and faster on the bouncy surface. The midfielders of Gail Thomas, Aoife Lowe-Davies, Marcy Windsor Waite and Pip Howes, worked really hard to get the balls through to the forwards and Dragons started to get a much better foothold into the game. The pacey Laura Shreeve made a great break into the D and unselfishly slipped to ball to Hannah Hardy whose diving effort went wide of the target. Other half chances came and went and despite having the better of the second half, the equaliser was not forthcoming.

A strongly competitive game played in good spirits by the two teams.

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

Dragons played away at Harleston to face their rivals Magpies 3s. The pressure was on in this highly anticipated match with both teams being undefeated in the season thus far.

A slow warm up didn’t prepare Dragons for an intense start to the match, with the first 10 minutes of play being dominated by Magpies pushing high and winning an early short corner. The opening shot was high at the top corner, which did not faze goal keeper Kristina Smyth who made a fantastic glove save. Dragons were resilient to the continued attack with great defending from Captain Natasha Falzon, picking perfect tackles and keeping attackers of out the D.  Unfortunately a quickly taken shot from a short corner caught Natasha on the foot, forcing her to the bench for some much needed ice.

Dragons finally found their fire with Sam Franklin making darting runs through the middle of the pitch, distributing the ball wide to attacker Caroline Wolfe. Magpies were quick to defend, blocking all attempts to enter the D. Perseverance paid off when Natasha Blythe received the ball from a free hit in the 25, driving into the right of the D and calmly passing the ball across goal to Laura Goodbun who provided the finished touch, slapping the ball into the goal.

Dragons lead 1-0 at half time, knowing they still had a lot of work to do to. Re-fuelled on jelly babies, Dragons were able to maintain their intensity whilst keeping their cool when under pressure from attacks from Magpies. Angela Murgatroyd consistently made accurate tackles and interceptions whenever the ball entered the from the left, with Sarah Wagstaff making a crucial save off the line following a stray ball heading towards the left post.

60 minutes into the match, dragons maintained their possession well and fed the ball out wide to winger Holly Bailey who was able to travel at speed with the ball and pass through to Kate McKenna, unfortunately the ball was intercepted before a shot on goal could be played. Dragons kept on the pressure with great defensive clearances from Laura Bruce to help keep the ball in attacking half. A lose ball on the half way line was quickly picked up by the speedy Laura Goodbun who was able to hit the ball straight into the left corner of the goal to give Dragons a 2-0 lead.

Magpies were not disheartened and continued to press the Dragons defence. Carmel Windsor-Waite chased down every ball to stop the attacks and was not deterred even when having her legs swiped from underneath her from a magpies stick. Midfield worked hard to remove the ball from danger with Hazel Sumner hitting the ball into space for the attackers to run on to. Some skilful play in the D was rewarded with a short corner. The pass out to the top of the D was swiftly passed left to Lauren Laurie who hit the ball perfectly into the left hand corner of the goal, strengthening Dragons lead to 3-0.

Despite their best efforts, magpies were not able to score passed goalie Kristina, who repeatedly made saves to continue her clean sheet record for the season. As the final whistle was blown, Dragons rejoiced at winning the match, having worked hard to resist attacks and capitalising on every chance to score. A fantastic result which was earned by every player on the dragons’ team.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 5-0 Magpies 5

 

This was the fourth league game of the season, and with three wins under our belt and 20 goals we felt that a win was achievable despite the stronger opposition. In contrast to our trip to Lowestoft where Dragons started confidently and dictated the play in the opening 20 minutes, Dragons started slowly.  Dragon ladies then settled into a slow tempo game that suited our opposition well and were frequently caught watching the ball.

The first goal came from an opportunity for Megan Williams. The ball was passed in the D by Anna Brook after a clever interchange with Sophie Wood. It then found Megan Williams unmarked who was able to slap the ball low into the right corner.

The second goal involved Sue Cross making contact with the ball on the P spot, and in a very crowded D the ball somehow managed to crawl over the line without the keeper spotting it.

Anja Finegan was able to use her pace to trouble the Magpies defence on several occasions, and was rewarded with the third goal. After taking the ball up the field she slipped it right to Issy Wolfe, who took on the defender before unselfishly returning the ball to a waiting Anja.

Issy Wolfe made the score sheet with a goal in the second half. The ball weaved it way up the pitch starting with Debbie Santa Clara in midfield, then wide to Mel Widows and onto Sophie Wood. Anja Finegan took a shot towards the far right post which was stopped by the keeper but fortunately for Dragons rebounded to Issy who took it on the reverse to beat the keeper on Dragons second attempt.

The final goal came from Sophie Wood. The irrepressible   Lara Taylor intercepted the ball at the half way line, and broke quickly down the right into a crowed D. She was rewarded with a short corner after the ball came into contact with a defenders foot.  Sophie injected the ball to Anja Finegan who switched it right to Lara Taylor. Lara took the opportunity to shoot at goal, and found Sophie on the left post to make the final score 5-0.

The player of the match was Chelsea Crawford. Lara Tuck in goal touched the ball twice during the entire game, predominately down to the back three who all worked exceptionally hard to quash any Magpies attacks. Gemma Rump as centre back illustrated how versatile she is, playing in defence for the first time and making the position hers. Bella Capp had to work hard in the absence of Louise Davis, and Captain Kate Atkins was also charging up and down the pitch closing players down.

Next week sees Dragons L4 pitched against Thetford Ladies 1 at home.

Scorers: Megan Williams, Sue Cross, Issy Wolfe, Sophie Woods, Anja Finegan.

Player of the match : Chelsea Crawford

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 7-0 Magpies 6

It was Racheal Matthews’s birthday so the team knew it was going to be a good day, especially as there was chocolate cake to celebrate afterwards.  The sun had started to warm up as we have become used to playing in hot conditions.  The 5’s welcomed the experience and vigour of Lynne Price to the team.  Also thanks to Alice Smith to giving her morning to us.  Analysing the oppositions past performance and with a slight re-jiggle of positions we set out on the pitch.  Magpies had first push back and we opted for sun in our eyes the first half.  The Dragons set out a blistering pace and the Magpies did not have much of a chance, Lynn was on hand to pick up any balls at the bottom of the diamond and read the play well to intercept.  She gave the wings a shout and the ball was pushed out wide to Racheal and Rachel Bruce. The Dragons were putting into practise items we had previously mentioned would give us more options and better game play.  Again Rachel and Zara Howes played the ball well between them, working it into the opposition D.  Helen Marsh up front was ready to slot a ball away and worked her way round to pick up those through balls.  At top of the diamond, Charlotte Pounder continued to show her skills with interception and speed, pushing the ball up the pitch.  Alice was being to get quite bored and had to entertain herself, likewise the defensive team of Jess Tye-Leech, Emma Buxton and Laura Hansell.  The defence pushed up as there was little threat and they were on hand to round up any opposition forwards.  Jess even weaved her way up the field to push the ball up.  There were 5 goals scored in the first half and lots of high 5’s and whooping.

At half time to give Laura and Emma a chance to stretch their legs, Chiara volunteered to take on a defensive position, as she had already taken a ball to the leg and been dragged off the pitch! Vicky Earley was determined a goal was coming for her in this half and she slotted into the top of the diamond position.  Two goals came this half, one from Vicky as predicted and at last Lisa Harwood slotted one through the opposition keeper’s legs.  The final score 7-0.  The goals scorers’ were Zara, Racheal, Helen, Rachel, Vicky, Charlotte, Lisa.  There were so many it was hard to recall, Racheal had a lovely lifted goal, Zara slotted one from the side behind the keeper.  The whole team worked hard the entire game, first to the ball, passing round wide, goal scoring determination.  Players of the match Charlotte and Racheal. 

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

Dragons continued to improve their form and build their side with a comfortable win over Evergreens. The visitors started with 9 players and finished with 10, and on several occasions looked as though they might unpick the Dragons defence, who unaccountably presented them with several direct ‘passes’ from hit outs, but then recovered well. What Dragons really lacked was incisive play in the attacking circle, and with a two player advantage clearly should have made the numbers tell, However, these are points to work on – and there was some really good aspects to the Dragons game. Catherine Matthews was POM, and had an assist to both goals. In the first Gill Walker made a strong run to the top of the D and her pass to Catherine then found Lois McGregor who swept across the goalkeeper to score. The second was Dragons’ move of the match. Katie Franks cleared the ball out wide to Bridget Le Good, who swept the ball down the line to Catherine who had got ahead.

Catherine, full of confidence and running, beat a player and crossed for Lucy Morton to score on the far post. This was one of the few times Dragons got a player on the post and it was the way to beat a tight Evergreens defence who were very solid in the circle. Catherine and Lucy. now playing regularly in the 6s, caught the eye with Gill and Jo Eke impressing in midfield. So another step forward for Dragons as they chase their goal of consolidating a position in this division. Next week they face a very different challenge when they meet Herlings on grass.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 2-1 Loddon 2Another gloriously sunny day saw Dragons geared up to take on Loddon 2 away. Dragons had the first push back with forward Anja Wimmer passing the ball to Brooke Simmons in midfield. Dragons pushed forward up the pitch with some great passing play between midfield and the forwards. Dani Winteringham at bottom of the diamond consistently intercepted the ball, passing it to either Claire Fairhurst at top of the diamond or other midfielders Amy Hunter or Persy de Magdalene. The forwards of Mia McGhee and Katrina Speirs made some great runs up the pitch, calling for the ball and pushing up into the D. When Loddon did pick up the ball and get it out of the D, Brooke kept stopping it and passing it up again. Anja was tireless in trying to score a goal, calling for someone to get on the post. Loddon had made several attempts at goal themselves, but the defence of Emma North, Frankie Paul, Emily Roper or Jo Baker kept fighting them off, protecting goalkeeper Alessandra Pelligrini who made some excellent saves. With one minute to half time, Loddon broke through and managed to slip the ball past Alessandra, making them 1:0 up at half time.Dragons went back on the pitch after rehydrating in the shade, keen to keep battling, certain that their persistence and skills must surely pay off. 10 minutes into the second half Dragons were rewarded with a great, skilful goal from Katrina. Buoyed by the equaliser, Dragons continued to fight in the hot weather. They were again rewarded by yet another great goal from Katrina.Dragons finished happy with their first win of the season. The drills practiced in training are showing on match day, so this is surely the first win of many. Fantastic effort put in by all!

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s v UEA 1 

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

Norwich Dragons Men’s 2nd team set off to Felixstowe in search of their first away points. After settling for a 1-1 draw, they will feel that it was probably a fair result, but one that could easily have gone their way if they’d been a little more clinical in front of goal.

The game started well, with Dragons beginning to play a more composed game of possession hockey after the early weeks of the season. Masterson and Farrow provided plenty of confidence at the back, but the Felixstowe high press made it hard for Dragons to turn possession into continued pressure

The deadlock was finally broken in the first half when Browne converted a penalty corner, only for Felixstowe to hit back just before half time in one of their relatively few attacks against the Dragons goal.

After half time, on a relatively warm day, the game settled into a pattern of midfield possession – first for Felixstowe and then for Dragons. Neither side managed to create too many opportunities though until the final 10 minutes when Dragons somehow found an extra attacking impetus and managed to force a number of penalty corners and a couple of clear open-play chances. Unfortunately for the visitors they were unable to convert any of those and the game ended in a draw.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-4 North Norfolk 1

This week the 3s had a home game to recently relegated North Norfolk 1s.  Dragons knew this was going to be a tough game as NN had been scoring alot of goals in previous games.  Dragons welcomed some new faces this week, and with the sun appearing, took to the pitch.

The game started evenly and both teams had some good chances.  Rob WAGSTAFF, Peter DAVISON, James GOODSON and Rich PHILLIS kept NN out of the Dragon area and fed the ball well into midfield.  Through some good play, John IVES, Rob GOODSON and Stu KELLY linked up forwards Adam SAYER and Ben HARVEY.  Dragons were unlucky not to take advantage of some chances midway through the first half, which they would regret later.

Cameron MCFAYDEN showed some good skill down the left flank, as did Dan RYAN, cracking balls into the NN area.  Unfortunately for Dragons, NN took advantage of their chances and this lead to 2 goals.  Dragons continued to look dangerous, and with Ben WATSON leading the attack, they were once again unlucky not to score.

The second half continued in very much the same way, with both teams working hard in the midday sun.  Geoff ROBERTS put in a good performance upfront for Dragons, but they just couldn’t get the ball in the goal.  Keeper Dim IVES made some good saves, but NN managed to slip another 2 goals in on the break.

A frustrating game for Dragons, who should remember this was a team who played Div 2N last year.  Dragons showed some promising hockey which they hope next week will get them their first points this season.

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

The Men’s 4s were away on Saturday against the UEA 2s, led by Rob Jenkins. The game began evenly with the Dragon’s defence keeping the young UEA team at bay. Meanwhile the midfield were working hard to link up with Adie Kemp and Rob Chaney Baxter at the top. A series of penetrating passes from Phil York-Smith supported the Dragons attack but unfortunately chances on goal seemed illusive.  Will Ives and Matt Armstrong provided the team with persistent play along the wings. UEA had more luck in front of goal but Chris Millar did his best to save as many as possible but after some good saves UEA managed to score and Dragons were headed into the second half a goal down.

Still Dragons fought on in an attempt to equalize; Alberto showing some silky close skills making the UEA defence and midfield work to stop Dragons attacking down the wings. Alberto’s skill and determination helped earn him a well deserved man of the match. Paul Keating and Jon Price were working hard at the back defending against repeated attacks from the fast UEA forwards. Dave Pentin showed he was fearless in defence after resuming play quickly after taking a ball to his nose. His display of heroism was not enough as UEA continued to score past the Dragons who were themselves finding it hard to link between the midfield and forwards meaning it seemed unlikely they were to come back from 4 goals down. Dragons tried hard until the end receiving two short corners just before the final whistle – neither were fruitful, as, in the end, it proved it wasn’t dragons’ day losing 4-0 to a strong side.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-5 UEA 3

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

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 3-0 Dereham

Last weekend the Development Boys played Dereham in Dereham and it was a game of 4 quarters.  The team entered the day with a really strong team and all players having such ability, 1 player had even played men’s that morning. We knew the game would be close but we always believed we would take a win out of it.

The first quarter the team was on top of Dereham so much that Ben, the keeper barely saw the ball. Despite such pressing play we couldn’t convert a goal although the changes were fast and of pure quality. The second half was another brilliant show of the teams class. Again, we were attacking well and when they got a chance the defence broke it down and instantly turned it into attack. A great run from JCB allowed James to dink the ball perfectly onto his open stick. This was followed by JCB flicking the ball up to himself before volleying a clinical finish into the top right corner of the goal. An amazing finish ended the second quarter, and this momentum and confidence was followed through into the 3rd quarter. Switching ends wouldn’t jolt the lads’ confidence as a phase of extra effort was applied by  Will with a storming run around the baseline; passed in with pure precision to JCB, with a easy tap in, taking it to 2-0.

Soon the final quarter had arrived and the boys had no fear of losing this now. The game was closed out with another great run around the baseline the opposite side passed into JCB in a good position to take it and control the ball around the keeper to pass it into the goal. A hat trick from JCB and a brilliant game from all the lads and gives us all confidence going into future games knowing that if we play like that every time around we will be doing great. Just a shame Ben didn’t have an eventful
evening but I suppose the defenders are just too good sometimes.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 1-1 Dereham

This was an exciting game between two evenly matched teams. Dragons had the best of the early exchanges, with Lucy Buxton finding Alice Young free in the middle to use her speed. Other Dragons came up to support, but there was no way through the Dereham defence. Then Dereham began to fight their way back, and Esme Potter (POM) had an outstanding game in defence sweeping away from danger and setting up attacks with accurate passing. Dragons went under pressure when Dereham won a series of penalty corners. The defence, and particularly Tilly Connors-Becket in goal, coped magnificently with a series of hard strikes, but it was a mishit which bobbled frustratingly over the line. Dragons kept their heads up, and played their best hockey in the third quarter. Aditi Naik and Lucy Buxton both injected well and Dragons won their own penalty corners. Alice, Ellie Hipper and Lucy (who had her usual excellent game with 100 per cent effort) attacked tenaciously in the circle for no reward.

It was Lily Sore, who improved as the match progressed, who made no mistake with a hard shot from almost the edge of the circle to score her second goal in consecutive games. Back came Dereham, and Ella Kassulka and Esme were once again tested in defence with Niamh Somers, Harriet Marlee and Sophie Barrow all working hard particularly in the last minute of a game when Dereham won two more penalty corners.  Dragons defence then showed true character in pushing the ball away. Once again Dragons used two adult players, Gail Thomas and Katy Saide, who gave them every encouragement and helped them to understand positional play.

NDHC League Match Reports: 26/09/2015

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-2 Bedford 1

Dragons set off early on a chilly, but sunny morning to face a very competitive Bedford team who recently played National League Hockey. Although Dragons had an emphatic win last week, they knew this week would be a new test.

Bedford started the brighter, having much off the possession and made Dragons work hard to keep possession of the ball. Bedford won numerous short corners but were unable to convert thanks to some excellent defensive work from Maddie Denman and Niamh Lowe Davis. The home side continued to push players forward and were rewarded with two similar types of goals, both coming from wide areas and Dragons unable to prevent the ball going in at the back post. Dragons’ player Louise Murray was forced off for part of the game due to a clash of heads which meant a reshuffle but this didn’t deter the Dragons who created a few opportunities and were rewarded with short corners but, unlike last week, were unable to convert them, thanks to some good work from the Bedford goalkeeper.

Dragons started the second half much better and were rewarded for their patience with a well worked team goal. The ball starting in defence with Niamh Lowe Davis was passed to Olivia Thomas who quickly moved the ball to Stacey Lee, whose cross was met expertly by Hayley Toleman to score her 4th goal in 2 league games. Dragons felt they could get something from the game and after another head injury, this time to a Bedford player, they pushed forward in search of an equalizer. Lee worked  herself in the Bedford circle to be challenged by the keeper winning a short corner which unfortunately came to nothing. Bedford had chances to increase their lead but for some fine saves by goal keeper Siobhan Cleeves.

Dragons, although downhearted should be pleased with their team work against this well organised side and will look to bounce back next week at home to Bromley and Beckenham.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 6-0 Bedford 2

Another warm day at the Den saw Dragons take on Bedford 2’s who finished 3rd in Div 1N last season. Dragons welcomed Pollyanna Watson to the team for the first time this season.

The game started well for the home team with Aoife Lowe-Davies ‘flying’ straight out of the blocks, and immediately putting the Bedford defence under pressure. With Marcy Windsor-Waite supporting with pace on the right and Laura Shreeve causing her usual problems in behind the defenders the game started brightly for the home team. One such attack at pace saw Gail Thomas find Marcy Windsor- Waite who flew down the right, on reaching the by-line she drove into the D and fired in a great cross where Laura Shreeve had taken up a perfect position to glance the ball past the GK for a deserved lead.

The remainder of the half saw the bulk of the pressure on the Bedford goal, with a number of short corners being forced, but despite their efforts Dragons couldn’t further trouble the scorer. Bedford to their credit continued to battle hard.

Captain Karen O’Neill-Simpson called for more of the same at halftime and her team didn’t disappoint. A spell of pressure saw a flurry of 3 quick goals. The first saw Lowe-Davies and Shreeve combine well, Shreeve then played a quick ball up to Dragons player of the match Hannah Hardy, who spun and turned the ball past the GK. The next came from good work on the right, with Shelly Seaman picking the ball up, driving into the D and scoring from the tightest of angles. The fourth from the dynamic combination of Shreeve and Lowe-Davies, Shreeves’ shot saved by the keeper, only for Lowe-Davies to smartly pick up the rebound and fire home.

As a team Dragons were working incredibly hard for each other – the defensive line looked assured and communicated well together and dealt with any threats. The wide midfielders of Geo Beckwith, Pollyanna Watson and Marcy Windsor-Waite attacked with paced and looked to move the ball on early, whilst Karen O’Neill Simpson and Gail Thomas, helped to snuff out the threat in the middle.

The final 2 goals came following a good spell of pressure from Bedford – the fifth with the ball being won well on the left by Pollyanna Watson, who found Hardy in space, her firm push into the D found the incoming Shelly Seaman who timed her run perfectly and placed in at the far post. The final goal came from a short corner slipped to Hardy who fired goalwards for Shreeve to run in and deflect perfectly past the Keeper.

A performance that Dragon’s 2’s should be proud of. As always there is still plenty to work on, but this is a result which confirms they are more than ready to compete in this higher league.

A few photos from the game here.

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L3s CelebrationEmpresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 3-0 Loddon 1

Missing a few of their usual significant players, instead welcoming some rising stars into the foray,  and on the back of a good win last week, Dragon 3 were keen for the start of the game against current second place rivals Loddon 1.

Winning the toss Dragons started with the ball. Caroline Wolfe initiating play with a firm pass to Sam Franklin, setting the tone for the game. Finding their way to the Loddon D, unfortunately for the opposition Dragons found a foot and were awarded a short corner. The Loddon defenders quickly closed down the straight strike from Wolfe, the strike picked up by the keeper who deftly cleared the ball wide, denying Dragons a goal. Another onslaught came from the Dragons, however they found the back line, not inside the goal.

Now on the attack Loddon seized the opportunity, using the fast centre midfielders to pass the ball around some of the Dragon players. This break was kept out of the Dragons defensive D by the strong defensive line-up of Angela Murgatroyd, Sarah Wagstaff and debut performance from Carmel Windsor Waite. Excellent communication between the trio closed off the opportunity and allowed play to continue in the opposite half with an excellent clearance.

Loddon being forced to play a deflection off their back line gave Dragons a long corner and their second opportunity of the game. Taken by player of the match Natasha Falzon, who drew in Loddon defenders creating space behind for a strong pass to the waiting stick of Laura Goodbun. With slick stick skills Goodbun wove her way through several defenders and smashed it to the back board giving Dragons their first goal.

Dragons were now hungry for the ball, quickly intercepting the Loddon’s first pass after the restart of play and again hunting the goal. Lauren Lawrie’s shot from top D smothered by the solid barrier of the Loddon keeper. Goodbun followed in close having another attempt with the rebound from the keeper’s pads. Again the keeper kept strong, denying yet another goal. This time the rebounded ball was returned to Lauren Lawrie at top D. With a slap to right post the Dragons fusillade finally managed to seek out the chink in the diving Loddon keeper’s armour. Mere millimetres inside the right post Dragons had their second goal.

Loddon now had their 5 minutes. A great combination of possession and passing allowed them to break into the Dragons D. Their attempt on goal thwarted by the expertly placed toe of keeper Kristina Smyth.

The second half saw similar share of possession as the first. Dragons intercepting Loddon passes and keeping a sustained attack on the Loddon D. A clean reverse shot from Sophie Farrow again forcing a nimble save from the Keepers top left corner. Undeterred Dragons continued. A crash ball in from Wolfe, struck by Natasha Blyth was again saved. Quickly in on the keeper’s pads for the rebound Sian Lawrie slapped the ball past the keeper giving the final score of 3-0.

A valiant effort by every player on the pitch on an unusually hot late September morning.  Today’s win sees Dragons more securely at the top of the Premier Division and Loddon down to 5th, however only 3 games into the season there’s still all to play for.

Photos from the game here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 4-1 Lowestoft Railway

Dragon Ladies were looking forward to a challenge at Lowestoft this morning.  After scoring in total sixteen goals in the last two league games (nearly half of our goal tally for last season) confidence was high despite a new line up.

Dragons were a number of players light, Gemma Rump who has been instrumental in midfield the previous two weeks featured in defence, and we welcomed Christine Musowe, Megan Williams and Anna Brook.

The first twenty minutes of the game were the best Dragons had played all season. Demonstrating good communication, the ball was moved quickly between midfield and defence, enabling us to switch the play between the right and left wings.

It took a while for the Dragons to break the deadlock with Lowestoft Railway packing the D, and the forwards having to consider alternative tactics from those that had served us well the previous weeks.

Dragons’ first goal was a result of taking opportunities at a short corner. Sophie Wood injected the ball to Amelia Dawson who took a shot herself, which was saved by the Railway keeper only to rebound to Sophie who was waiting at the post to push it into the goal.

Player of the match Anja Finegan made some fantastic individual runs up the middle. Her first goal again was from a short corner. She received the ball and player it around the rapidly approaching defenders before taking a powerful shot which sailed past the Railway keeper.

The third goal came from Melanie Widdows. Similar to Dragons’ first goal, Mel injected the ball at a short corner and then waited at the post to receive the ball from Anja Finegan and then proceeded to slot it past the keeper.

The last of Dragons goal came in the second half when Anja Finegan received the ball from Debbie Santa Clara and ran at pace up the centre of the pitch. On reaching the D she took a shot unchallenged.

Captain Kate Atkins had to work hard in the heat to get the better of the Lowestoft Railway’s forwards. Louise Davis showed great composure when challenged in our quarter to pass the ball out of trouble and into safety.

Christine Musowe had an excellent game in midfield. Megan Williams and Anna Brook were invaluable in ensuring Dragons won their third league victory this season.

Next week Dragon Ladies 4 take on Magpies 5 at Harleston.

Scorers: Anja Finegan 2, Mel Widdows, Sophie Wood.Player of the match : Anja Finegan

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

As the Ladies 5’s stepped out onto the shiny blue pitch we knew to maintain our position in the table we had to secure a win and hopefully increase the goal difference.  City 6’s had the first push back and off we chased, they tried to put long balls through to their forwards.  But with Holly Bailey reading the play and her long strides the balls were quickly intercepted.  Pushing up the pitch Zara Howes, Helen Marsh and Charlotte Pounder used their skills to bypass City.  The Dragons forwards of Den Howes, Lisa Harwood and Megan Farrant were in the D and moving the City defence around to get some shots in.  Unfortunately goals denied. The majority of play was favouring the Dragons and we knew a goal would come. Chiara Bond at the top of the diamond was always on hand outside the D to intercept the ball and pass it right back.  With City trying to halt Den from getting her stick on the ball in the D she weaved around the defenders and cracked off a lovely shot into goal.

City were getting frustrated and it showed in their game, they only had a few chances in our D before being picked up by our speedy strong defence of Jess Tye Leech, Freya Clogan and Laura Hansell.  They passed the ball around the back to move it further up the pitch and also pushed forward as City tired.  Rachel Bruce had an excellent game moving into free positions and lovely passes along the wing between herself and Zara.  At half time the score was 1-0 and with some words of wisdom from Krystina Smyth and advice from David Bond we were set for more goals.

The Dragons had a shuffle of positions to give Laura a chance to stretch her legs up the wing, Helen’s grit required at the bottom of the diamond and Holly in on defence.  Charlotte who is often a blur on the pitch from high speed interception, passed the ball around well and out to the forwards.  Megan ran out wide to pick up balls and run them up to the D.  With a few balls hitting the feet of City players and several short corners later, we felt a goal must be coming! With a slip to Chiara and a lovely slap into the goalie, the rebound was picked up by Zara and pushed in.  2- 0.  With the game becoming quite physical we were pleased when the final whistle was called.  Congratulations to Rachel, player of the match for her skills, continued effort and first player to receive a green card!

A few photos from the game here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 1-4 Watton 3

The 6s are gradually bonding as a squad and there were improvements in all areas compared with their first match of the season. Possibly the final score does not reflect how close the game was – the main difference being that Watton were able to create several penalty corners, and converted some of them, while Dragons needed to be more positive in the attacking circle.  Beth Elgood made a welcome return, and quickly settled into the defence. However, she has lost none of her ability to run with the ball and added some bite to the attack when she moved up to midfield. Fitting in behind her was Brooke Simmons, making her debut and showing a welcome versatility in a number of positions. Sophie Thurtell again impressed  and scored a super goal from a penalty corner. Lucy Morton injected the ball flat and hard to Bridget Le Good who achieved a clean stop. Sophie called for the slip left  and then swept the ball hard past the keeper.

Dragons played much better in the second half, restricting Watton to a single goal. Izzy Ferguson and Rosie Skipp made some telling runs on the left and right.  Mids Gill Walker and Ellie James vied for POM  for their determination and tackling back, with Ellie getting the nod for some great distribution and increasing confidence to lead from the top of the diamond. Jo Eke stepped back to the bottom of the diamond and continues her path to fitness with typical energy and bravery in the tackles. Alice Smith in goal made some good clearances and Katy Saide and Katie Franks are continuing their good defensive understanding. Lois McGregor took up some good forward positions, and the 6s will learn to release the ball to take advantage of them. The 6s have a clear idea of what they need to work on to improve and look forward to the next match.

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

Another fine, sunny day saw Dragons 7 take on Norwich City 7 in their first home match of the season.Dragons started off well with some good passing play, pushing the ball up towards City’s D. The forwards of Mia McGhee, Sarah Norman and Katrina Speirs made several attempts at goal, but were continually stopped by City’s defence. Jasmin Daniels at bottom of the diamond was a force to be reckoned with, intercepting the ball from City and passing it up to top of the diamond Claire Fairhurst or wingers Sophia Gilbert, Anja Wimmer or Beth Coates. Dragons defence of Ginny Simkin, Emma Cadley, Jo Baker or Frankie Paul kept fighting off City’s attack, with goalkeeper Alessandra Pelligrini making some good saves. Unfortunately City managed to find the backboard twice before half time.

The second half got underway with Dragons keen to keep their heads up and not let the score affect their determination. Dragons made several attempts on goal, with lots of near misses. City managed to score another goal but Dragons kept on fighting. Play was stopped for a few minutes when one of City’s players received an accidental hit to the face, forcing her to leave for hospital and play continued with a bully off.Final score was 0:3 to City, although the score does not reflect the effort put in by Dragons. Player of the Match was shared by Sarah and Jasmin. Thanks to the supporters and especially to the awesome sideline support.

A few photos from the game here.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-3 Cambridge Nomads 1

Dragons 1s made the journey to Cambridge Nomads, full of hope, taking many positives form the previous week’s fixture.  After an incredibly slow start last week, Dragons started very strongly, turning the ball over high up the pitch in the first few minutes, creating a good chance, which was not unfortunately converted.    From the resultant 16 Yard hit, Nomads hit the Dragons on the break, from a well executed aerial and converted to make the game 1-0 to the home side.

Once again Dragons fought hard and managed to gain a lot of possession, yet this was not to bear any fruit as an experienced Nomads team, were able to deal with all the Dragons threw at them.  Nomads extended their lead after an unfortunate piece of defending lead to a penalty for the home team, which busy keeper Robbie Bell, who always runs the show, was unlucky not to save (despite some supposedly impressive “mind games”).

Dragons dug themselves back into the game and eventually got on the score sheet, after Man of the Match Mitch Smith’s drag flick was parried into the chest of the skillful winger mark Flatman.  The ever calm and alert, Lewis Wilkins took advantage of the umpires advantage to put a shot carefully and precisely onto the foot of an unsuspecting Cambridge defender.

Nomads caught the Dragons on the break again, with the final score mirroring the result from the previous week.  

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 9-1 Sudbury 2

Dragons started this game in solid, if unspectacular, fashion – looking to keep hold of the ball and challenge a young Sudbury side to work hard on a warm day. The home team created a number of good chances, and when Wolfe slapped the ball into an empty goal after good approach work from Moulson, the plan appeared to be working well. However a nervy 10 minutes followed and Sudbury were gifted a goal when a deflection from O’Meara sent the ball past Wang. The game threatened to be a frustrating one for Dragons at this point, with a number of good chances going begging, and the game evenly poised at 1-1 at the break.

Immediately into the 2nd half though the home team came out and scored 3 goals within 5 minutes, effectively ending the match as a contest. Sudbury managed to regroup a little, but goals came at regular intervals as the passing and movement of the more experienced Dragons team asserted itself. The game ended 9-1, with 4 goals to Jenkins, 2 for Wolfe and 1 each for O’Meara, Allen and Rutledge.

A few photos from the game here.

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

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

The game started with Ipswich Cranes 1st team scoring within 5 minutes with some very creative play from their forwards. Dragons after getting over the initial shock started to pass the ball around well and the youngsters in the midfield with Captain Jenkins at he helm started to develop a few chances for us to equalize. Adie, Crossy and RCB all worked hard chasing and hassling their defense up until the break. After half time Cranes came out looking to extend their lead but the Dragons defense held firm with Elliot making some excellent saves. The midfield with some excellent help from PYS were again creating chances and with about 5 minutes to go we got our just rewards. Phil fired the ball into the D where Max Laming guided it sweetly into the back of the goal. Both teams had chances to win the game but a well earned draw was the final result

A few photos from the game here.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-2 Ipswich Cranes 2

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-0 Watton 2 (f)

Dragons Mens 6’s kicked their season off with a friendly against Watton 2’s. Despite the glorious sunshine, it was a less than ideal start as Dragons had to begin the game with 9 players. Owain Hall quickly arrived to make it 10 and Dragons energy and workrate ensured that they never looked a man short. In a game largely played in midfield, chances were few and far between and some solid defending from both teams ensured it was 0-0 at half-time.

Both teams had chances in a more open second half. Superb defending from Dragons, especially from Man of the Match Andy Webb and sweeper, Adrian Howes, ensured that Watton failed to benefit from a series of short corners.

At the other end, Rob Lee managed to get several balls across the goalmouth but missing player showed as there was nobody there to connect with the crosses. Two players made their senior debut in this game and looked perfectly at home. George Bowman worked tirelessly up front, Harry Williamson defended brilliantly, especially in the second half and we look forward to more great performances from them!

Captain Robert Coyle was delighted to keep his first clean sheet as a goalkeeper (largely due to a superb back 4) and the 0-0 final score was a fair result all around. We look forward to doing it all again next weekend when we meet Watton again in our first Div 7 league game.

A few photos from the game here.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons P-P Watton

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 19/09/2015

 

EEN L1 Headline

Some photos from the day here thanks to Sue for the home photos.

20150919L1_5

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 8-0 Magpies 2

The sun and the crowd were out to support Dragons on their first league match of the season. After three great performances in pre-season friendlies and some new faces to the team, Dragons were excited for what lay ahead.

The home side started strongly with their first goal coming early on from a well placed pass from right back Holly Reding to Hayley Toleman who drilled it into the corner. Dragons played the ball around the pitch determinedly and Emma Tabrett gave Dragons their second goal, with an unstoppable strike from a penalty corner. Harleston defended well, but were no match for Dragons’ penalty corner routines. After good work from Marie James, Tabrett scored the third shortly after. Dragons’ fourth was another short corner goal coming from a deflection from Toleman.

So half time score was 4-0 to Dragons, the team were happy, but knew there was still more to do. Our captain Lizzie Moulton was in need of a little break after ending up with a couple of unfortunate bruises whilst fending off Harleston’s attackers.  Coach Pete who was celebrating his 30th (tiny fib) birthday gave Dragons a few handy tips before his debut for the Men’s 1s.  The home side started strong with their first goal of the second half slotted past the goalie by Hannah Tipping after some textbook open play.  

Dragons continued to win short corners and goal number 6 came from James’ straight strike that went looping over the line. Harleston, to their credit, continued to try and break the Dragons defence, they were quick and had strong skill but Player of the Match Louise Murray was a solid force at the back. Her wonderful drive forward and through ball into the circle allowed Toleman to knock past the keeper, completing her hatrick.  The final goal came from Tabitha (also completing her hatrick) with open play working its way past Harleston’s defence.

In admirable strength, Harleston in the final minutes continued to put pressure on Dragon’s defence, needing Reding to make a reverse save on the line to keep the final score at 8-0.

Many thanks to the umpires, all the spectators and players for a great start to the season.

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

Norwich Dragons 2’s made their debut in Division 1N, following their successful promotion campaign during 2014/15. With Pip Howes and Rachel Cramp making their Norwich Dragons League debuts, the squad arrived early despite one of the cars having to make a lengthy diversion via Downham Market.

After a rousing teamtalk by new Dragons Captain Karen O’Neill-Simpson, the team had a good warm up in the 20c sunshine at Bretton Gate. The game started evenly with both sides having their share of attacking play, Laura Shreeve returning from injury for the visitors picked up where she left off, always causing a threat to the Peterborough back line, well supported by Aoife Lowe-Davies who as always worked tirelessly for the team.

City of Peterborough looked dangerous on the break, with some pacey forwards. From one such quick break, they forced a short corner which they dispatched clinically with a sharp routine slipping the ball to space on the right and firing into the goal, despite a great saving effort by Amy Forse. Dragons failed to be downhearted and responded quickly with Gail Thomas placing a great ball into Laura Shreeve who turned her player and fired across the D for a well taken goal to equalise.

For Dragons, Pip Howes and Geo Beckwith were putting in Player of the Match performances in the wide midfield positions, working exceptionally hard in the heat to breakdown play and launch Dragons’ attacks. Unfortunately Dragons were caught pushing forward, and Peterborough’s right forward showed great pace to get round the back and drive along the baseline to feed the ball across the D, which was slotted in at the back post.

Dragons knew they were very much in the game and went into the 2nd half determined to claw their way back. Peterborough however had a really good spell of pressure and but for some strong defending and great Goalkeeping from Amy Forse, the deficit could have been more. Eventually another short corner was conceded and once again a smart routine created gaps in the Dragons defence and the goal was forced over the line (just!).

This only served to fire up the Dragons who then bossed the last 15 minutes. Unfortunately Dragons’ Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson was forced off through injury, however with Shreeve and Lowe-Davies combining well the visitors created a number of opportunities and short corners. From one short, Gail Thomas slipped the ball back to Hannah Hardy, who fired the ball goalwards, the Keeper saved however Laura Shreeve was quickest to react and neatly put the ball past the keeper at the near post.

The final 5 minutes was all Dragons and the equaliser so nearly came with another quick break Shreeves’ pace once again got in behind the defence and, faced with an out rushing keeper, Shreeve slipped the ball to the back post where Hardy and a defender were coming in, somehow the defender managed to get her stick to the ball and deflect it past the post, to ensure all 3 points stayed at Bretton Gate.

A good game to start the season, really well umpired and played in good spirit. Plenty for Dragons to build on, in what will undoubtedly be a hard fought season in this new League.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 4-0 Broadland 1

 

EEN L3 Headline

The Ladies’ 3s expected their first tough game of the season against Broadland 1s,  who last season came third in the Norfolk Empresa Premier Division to Dragons’ fourth place.

Conditions for the second league match of the season were hot and sunny,  so having three subs on the bench was a sensible move,  enabling players to remain hydrated and able to put their all into the game.

Dragons took command of play as soon as the starting whistle blew,  making short thrift of the Broadland side. Passing in short sharp triangles,  Deb Smith passed to Natasha Blyth, who then found Sian Laurie in front of goal. Laurie slipped the ball neatly past the Broadland keeper,  the resulting goal coming within the first 60 seconds of play.

Broadland then seemed to rally and found their shape for a while,  but Dragons kept their cool, along with the majority of the possession.

The second for Dragons came from a long run from midfielder Pollyanna Watson,  who picked up the ball from just inside the Broadland half and sprinted for a one-on-one with the keeper. Watson swept the ball with a neat lift up and over the sliding keeper.

Broadland had some opportunities winning a few short corners,  but the Dragon’s defensive line proved too good for them to score. It was good to see some short corner aerials from a ladies’ side, but speed and accuracy in those attempts were lacking from Broadland,  ensuring another clean sheet for Dragons’ keeper Kristina Smyth.

The score remained 2-0 at half time.

The second half showed a great improvement by Dragons in the transfer and release of the ball up the wings to Natasha Blyth and POM Sam Franklin.

Tireless work by midfielders paid off when Hazel Sumner took a quick long corner/attacking 23 from the left hand side if the pitch. She found Smith at the top of the D, who took a first time hit of the ball to score Dragons’ third goal.

At 3-0, Dragons decided to try out a stick stop for the next short corner. Precision from Sumner at the top of the D allowed a sharp strike from Wolfe which rebounded off of the keepers pads for Wolfe to slip right to Smith. Her strike missed the right post by a whisker.

The final goal for Dragons came from a ‘short’ short corner. Watson dummied the injection to Sophie Farrow,  standing at the left slip position. She passed straight back to Watson,  now on the left post,  who worked the ball into the goal for the second of her day.

Final score 4-0

A special mention to the Broadland side who never gave up and certainly didn’t make it easy for the Dragon side.

A great start to the season sees Dragons Ladies 3s sitting at the top of the divisional table.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 8-0 Broadland 2

After opening the league campaign with a spectacular 8 – 0 win over Carrow 2, Dragons were expecting a much tougher game this week. In both meetings last season our visitors Broadlands 2 were victorious, and we knew they were quick on the break.

Dragons took the game to their opponents with some fluid play from the off. We had numerous goal scoring opportunities in the first half, and were denied by some confident keeping from the visitors and the post. The stale mate was broken after 25 minute, when Debbie Santa Clara lost her marker to nudge the ball off her reverse stick into the goal. This was the turning point in the game.

Amelia Dawson added to her goal tally with two fine goals. The first again leaving her defender behind managed to run at the post and diverted the ball into the goal. Her second from a well worked short corner. The ball was received by Anja Finegan who passed it to Amelia who struck from the top of the area.

Issy Wolfe also added to her three goals last week with a reverse deflection off a short corner. Her pace and confidence on the ball troubling the visiting defenders and was unlucky not to score more.

Lara Taylor was voted player of the match for her determination on the left side of the pitch. She was involved in many of the attacks up the left flank.

Kate McKenna was on devastating form with four fine goals. Two were from short corners with Kate finding herself unchallenged on the right, one clear strike and one deflecting the ball on her reverse stick into the goal. Her last was a reverse volley at the far post.

Confidence was high with both Gemma Rump and Louise Davis steaming up the pitch to take shots. Carmel Winsor Waite and Bella Capp looked in control in defence resulting in the keeper Laura Tuck having little to do again this week except watch the match.

Sophie Woods played some creative hockey on the right, and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet herself.

Next week the dragons L4 away to Lowestoft.

Player of the match: Lara Taylor

Scorers: Debbie Santa Clara, Amelia Dawson (2), Issy Wolfe, Kate McKenna (4)

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

The mission for the game was to maintain our position at the top of the table.  For a winter sport it was an extremely hot day but feeling powerful and ready we hit the pitch.  The midfield section of Chelsea Crawford, Emma Buxton, Chiara Bond, immediately fired off up the pitch passing the ball between and around the opposition players and played the ball into the D.  The forwards were ready to receive the ball and Denise Howes on the end of a pass cracked off a strike.  The City goalie read the play well and deflected the shot.  In the next 15 minutes the City goalie deflected about 10 more shots, and the Dragons tried a few different manoeuvres without success.  The opposition played the ball centrally and tried to get the run on the defensive Dragons players.  The ball was picked up quickly by Freya Clogan, Abi Cowe and Jess Tye Leech who were pivoting up the pitch to push the ball out wide.  Christina Murgatroyd guiding us with her view from the back and making sure City players were picked up.  City made a break down the wing with a pass into the D finding a player and then the back board.

The score at half time was 1-0, the Dragons were still fired up and not despondent about the score. We knew we could pull it back and were ready for round 2.  With Mel Widows and Vicky Earley picking up and battling those central City players, they played the ball out wide, trying to pass along the City’s weaker side.  Zara Howes, Laura Hansell and Jade Blanchflower ran the ball along the wings using their speed to pass players.  Again we had the ball in the City D it was passed round before Chiara Bond picked it up and slapped it straight into the left corner, boom! 1-1. Both teams continued to battle with the aim of scoring more goals.  Christina made a magnificent save reminiscent of superman diving to stop the ball.  The final whistle blew on an evenly matched game, with some disappointment that we should have had more goals.  Lots of players received man of the match votes but the winner was Vicky for her continual drive.  Some points to take forward for the next game are to use the full width of the pitch to play the ball and remember our training when faced with a skilled goalie.  As usual many thanks go to David Bond for giving up his Saturdays to keep us motivated and in position!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-0 Dereham 5 (match conceded by Dereham)

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 0-5 Carrow 3Dragons were keen to get the season started although Carrow proved to be a well coordinated team.Dragons welcomed goalkeeper Alessandra Pelligrini into the team on her debut for the adults from development. She was supported in defence by returning Dragons Jo Baker and Emma North and new players Emily Roper and Ruth Barton. Emily also was making her debut for the adults from development, along with forward Mia McGhee. Mia was joined up front by Katrina Speirs, who did her usual strong passes, and captain Claire Fairhurst. Mid-field was made up of Jasmin Daniels at bottom of the diamond and Frankie Paul at top of the diamond, Amy Hunter, and returning to hockey players Beth Coates and Katy Cole.The first half saw Carrow manage to get through Dragons and be 4:0 up at half time. Although Dragons put up a lot of fight, not making it easy for Carrow.Second half got under way with Dragons still with their heads held high, getting into Carrow’s D but not being able to get the ball past the keeper. Carrow managed to get another shot into goal, despite Dragons efforts to stop them. In the last few minutes of the match, Dragons continued to battle but unfortunately had a goal disallowed.At the end of the match, the 5:0 score for Carrow didn’t reflect the effort by Dragons. Dragons know that they need to work hard in training and the results will surely come.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-3 Cambrige City 4

Norwich Dragons Mens 1s hosted newly promoted Cambridge City at the TCH Dragons Den, full of positivity for the season ahead. Much of that positivity soon evaporated, when the visitors scored two goals within the opening 10 minutes, which turned out to be crucial in deciding the eventual result.

After this slow start, Dragons became increasingly dominant in the game, maintaining much more possession.  However, the team as a whole were unable to apply the requisite finishing touch and only late in the second half, having chased the game for the majority, was Sam Avery able to open his and the teams league account for the season, with a sharp finish in the bottom corner, to make it 2-1.

With Dragons chasing the game, their defence was left exposed at times and inevitably a strong Cambridge forward, who had caused trouble all game, extended the visitors lead to 3-1, out of the reach of the home side.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-4 Lowestoft Railway 1

Norwich Dragons 2nd team undertook the trip to Lowestoft on a sunny afternoon and after a fine pre-season. Brimming with confidence, the visitors took an early lead after Wolfe found Jenkins in front of an empty goal.

That was to prove the highpoint however, as Lowestoft fought back well. The home team showed themselves to be a strong counterattacking side, and Dragons failed to tighten up sufficiently, allowing them to score twice just before half time.

The tiring legs of the Dragons players were no match for the impressive Lowestoft midfield in the second half, and despite creating more chances they were hit twice more on the break before ending up 4-1 down. The worthy winners from Lowestoft showed Dragons that they still have work to do to get their season under way.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-2  IES 2

After two wins and a draw during pre-season, Dragons were looking forward to their first game in Div 3NE.  Dragons know that there will be some difficult games this season and they will have to work hard to earn every point.  IES 2s finished mid table last season so Dragons knew it would be a good introduction to the hockey played in 3NE.

IES started strongly and pressed the attack on Dragons, doing well to make it hard for Dragons to get the ball out of their half.  After 10 minutes, and some brilliant defending by the Dragon defence of Peter DAVISON, James GOODSON, Jon GOODSON and Rich PHILLIS, Dragons started to get hold of the ball and string some passes together.  Stu KELLY made some good runs down the right side, and this was repeated by John IVES on the left.  Centre midfielders Adam SAYER and Rob GOODSON were picking up IES players in the middle and playing the link role well.  Dragons looked strong on the ball when playing the trademark 3s style of short, sharp passing.  This created some chances upfront for strikers Will KIRBY and Geoff ROBERTS, who were unlucky not to score.

Halfway through the first half, IES scored through a strong short corner strike.  Despite this setback, Dragons continued to work hard and were rewarded for their efforts by an equaliser.  Showing good composure on the ball, Will KIRBY held the ball up in the IES D, allowing fellow forward Nick TURNER to run around the IES defence, and to slot home the ball from KIRBY.  The half ended and Dragons were very pleased with their performance so far.

The 2nd half continued in very much the same vein, with play becoming ever-increasingly stretched out across the pitch.  With only one substitute, Dragons were becoming tired, but still fought on.  Keeper Dim IVES once again put in a great performance and kept out the IES attack.  It was from another short corner that IES took the lead, to which Dragons couldn’t find another equaliser, and despite some other chances, Dragons just couldn’t get the draw.

A 2-1 loss for Dragons, but a game where a draw could have easily been the result.  Dragons were pleased with their performance and this gives them confidence as they continue their season in Div 3NE.  Player of the match – Rob GOODSON for tireless work in midfield.

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Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-7 IES 3

Up against a very strong opposition Dragons failed to adjust to the pace of the game and combined with general rustiness this made for a very tough first half.  Four goals to the bad and things could only get better.

Moving protagonist Dan Ryan to midfield helped combat some of IES’ s flowing play and the defence and debutant goalie Robert Coyle showed true grit in restricting the opposition to 3 second half goals.  There were also bright spots in Adie Kemp scoring a consultation goal and Chiv and Bangers putting in sterling performances on the flanks.

The day was marred by a nasty hand injury to Chiv at the end of the game and we all wish him a swift recovery.   Thanks to Andy Hipper for taking him to A & E at Ipswich hospital a place the writer knows only too well.

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

It was a fine morning at the Dragons Den that witnessed Norfolk Nomads 2s playing the Men’s 5ths. Whilst Dragons had more possession we lacked the fighting spirit to capitalise on it. It was the third short corner for Dragons that saw Rob Wagstaff pass the ball to Josh Bingham who sent it rocketing into the backboard to make it 1-0. Whereas, Dragon’s keeper Robbie Bell only had to make one save in the first half.

In the second half, Lee Keeler opened up a lot of space on the left. However, Nomads coming closer and closer to scoring in the last 10 minutes of the game but they were kept out by the fine defending skills of the back four; in particular Andy Carver, who got man of the match. The game was played in good spirit throughout with the final score 1-0 to Dragons.

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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 0-5 Norwich City

Dragons started their season with a performance which looks very promising for the season ahead.  Playing a strong City team, Dragons showed good determination and some great hockey.  Dragons welcomed some players making their debuts for the Boys Dev, Isaac ROWE and Freddie ROQUES.  This was also to be a game which was played in quarters of 15 minutes, allowing more team talking time.

City started strong and it tested the Dragons defence.  Keeper Angus REID EDWARDS did well to marshal his defence but City managed to score a couple of goals.  Dragons didn’t let this affect their play and worked hard to get the ball moving out of defence.  Sol BLAZER, Tom BAILEY, Angus BLAZER, Tommy CHAPMAN and Jo OSBORNE battled in midfield and fed the ball through to the forwards, giving Dragons some chances at goal.

Dragons were unlucky not to score from a couple of short corners, and credit has to go to the City defence for keeping a clean sheet.  Excellent play from Isaac ROWE, Freddie ROQUES and Sam NUTT upfront really kept City on their toes.

As the game continued, the Dragons defence of Jack COLLINS, Harry BROWN, Toby DRAKE and Sol BLAZER worked tirelessly to keep City at bay, but were unlucky to concede 3 more goals.

A loss, but a game from which Dragons can take many positives.  Man of the Match – Sol BLAZER.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 1-3 Pelicans

This was an exciting end-to-end game in which the Dragons steadily improved during each of the four quarters. They quickly went down by two goals in the first quarter whilst they were still getting to know each other’s names. All the Pelis goals were scored by Polly Beales, their player of the match, who was a classy striker at penalty corners, whereas Dragons do not have as much power – yet.

Once our defence settled, Ella Kassulka and Niamh Somers produced some excellent clearances. Esme Potter was injured and could not sustain her usual strong runs out of defence, but she was composed as always and very little got passed her. In midfield Dragons had two players making their debut – Harriet Marlee, and Sophie Barrow, who both impressed with their strong running and determined tackling. Aditi Naik is now a senior player in this team and showed a willingness to run into flexible positions and work hard. Alice Young took up some excellent positions at high forward and frequently outran her opponents, and looked capable of scoring a hatful of goals soon.

Special praise to Lily Sore, who led by example as captain and kept driving in hard at the Pelis defence. She was rewarded with a goal when she pouinced on a cross from Sophie and wrong-footed the goalkeeper. Lucy Buxton, Dragons’ player of the match, was outstanding at centre mid, tackling fearlessly, distributing the ball beautifully and running tirelessly. Tilly Connors-Beckett has been promoted from the Under 12s to the Development team and was only beaten by the very best shots – she made loads of blocks and earned a special round of applause from her team mates. Finally, we were delighted with our two adult players who encouraged our young players throughout the match and gave them loads of tips. They played lovely controlled hockey with carefully weighted passes and contributed massively to making it an enjoyable game for both teams.

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 12/09/15

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The Norfolk Women’s League campaign started this weekend, with Norwich Dragons HC Ladies 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th teams all in action.

Match reports below for the Ladies 3s and 4s who both had convincing wins over Carrow teams, 4-0 and 8-0, respectively.

A season opener in Division 2 saw Dragons Ladies 5s play the Dragons 6th team, with the 6th team having achieved promotion last season.  A win for the 5th team came in the form of a 7-0 victory with mother and daughter newcomers to the Club scoring 5 of those goals, Den Howes bagged four goals with 13 year old daughter Zara also on the scoresheet, another newcomer Sophie Wood also netted and completing the scorers was Jade Blanchflower.

No game for the Ladies 7s, they start their campaign next week.

The Ladies 1s completed their very successful pre-season with previous wins over Dereham 1s (4-0), Royston 1s (6-2), this weekend saw an away trip to play Wapping at the Olympic Park, the visitors returned with a 2-1 win to spoil Wapping’s Club Day celebrations.

The Ladies 2s took on a strong Ipswich 2s side at the Den in their last pre-season friendly and came away with a good 1-1 draw.  That’s a win, draw and loss for the 2nd team’s pre-season with lots of positives to take into a league campaign at the highest level the 2s have played in the club’s history, however after winning 22 of 22 games last season, expectations need to be reset for a tough campaign ahead in East Division 1N.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 4-0 Carrow 1

On a surprisingly hot and sunny afternoon Dragons took on local rivals Carrow in this opening league game. Dragons quickly asserted themselves and moved the ball efficiently around the pitch leaving little opportunity for Carrow to get into the game. Tash Falzon and Laura Bruce were able to press forward and which enabled the wide players of Sam Franklin and Hazel Summers to over lap the forwards and dominate the goal area. Eventually Dragons were awarded a penalty corner which was neatly converted by Sian Lawrie after Debs Smith’s shot from Caroline Wolfe’s slip was initially saved. After this Dragons played with even greater freedom, with Tash Blyth, Lawrie and Laura Goodbun driving round the back of the Carrow defence. Carrow were defending stoutly until Dragons scored from another short corner, Tash Blyth scoring spectacularly from another half clearance of a Smith shot. Smith and Pollyanna Watson were combining brilliantly in the central midfield roles and instigating most attacks whilst snuffing out anything Carrow managed to turnover. Sophie Farrow and Lauren Lawrie were getting on the end of moves and giving the Carrow defence little respite and Dragons hit the post and had many near misses. They were eventually rewarded with another short slipped to Smith who converted her second of the game.

Half-time score: Dragons 3 Carrow 0

Carrow rallied at half-time and came out stronger and were able to make forays into the Dragons half but the Dragons defence were equal to it and keeper Kristina Smyth making some smart clearances and Dragons player of the match Watson moping up anything loose to launch another attack. Carrow had little answer to the stranglehold on the game that Watson and Smith had and their neat penetrating passes and willing runners opening up space meant for some very attractive hockey. As in the first half Dragons had many near misses and hit the post but eventually were successful in converting another short with a well struck Wolfe strike.

This was a fine start for Dragons with each player performing well and creating patterns of play which should provide a good platform for future games.

Final score: Dragons 4 Carrow 0

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 8-0 Carrow 2

This Saturday Dragons L4 played their first ever league game on the new pitch at the Den. We welcomed Carrow L2 on this drizzly autumn morning. It was the first opportunity many of our team had had to play together. The youthful energy possessed by many of the new team members (Izzy Wolfe, Anja Finegan, and Lara Taylor) complemented the experience of the “old guard”( Kate Atkins, Louise Davis, Sue Cross, Gemma Rump and Mel Widdows), resulting in a convincing 8:0 score line at the final whistle.

The Dragons started well with some very fluid passing through mid-field to our waiting forwards. In the first half we were awarded ten short corners, which illustrated our dominance in their quarter. The first goal came from some slick passing with Carrow only able to look on. A ball from Gemma Rump at the bottom of the diamond, to mid field, one touch out to Kate McKenna on the wing and straight in to Izzy Wolf who slot it past the keeper. This was to be the first of her three goals. The second goal came from some exquisite play from our new recruit Lara Taylor who showed maturity beyond her years as she hit the ball from the base line, pass two defenders and a keeper into the goal. Everybody including her own team had anticipated a pass.

At half time we were two nil up, and after some words of support from the bench we took to the field with confidence. Six goals followed in the next thirty five minutes. Kate McKenna scored her first of the season with a powerful slap from the edge of the circle.

Then followed a devastating period when Anja Finegan (player of the match) and Izzy Wolfe slotted 5 goals between them past the Carrow keeper. As legs began to tire they used their speed to stretch Carrow’s defence with attacks down both flanks. Amelia Dawson also had several shots saved by Carrow’s keeper.

Although the excitement was mostly in the Carrow half special mention needs to go to the Dragons defence, who managed to close down every Carrow attack efficiently so that the ball rarely entered the final quarter. Carmel Windsor Waite made some timely interceptions to turn over the ball, and Bella Capps looked comfortable in her new role in the back line. Gemma Rump as always was there to switch the ball and dictate the play. Chelsea Crawford demonstrated her versatility playing all over the pitch.

Uncharacteristically Louise Davis ran forward to the edge of the D and finding herself unchallenged took a shot which was narrowly saved. In reality we had many chances to score more.

It was a very pleasing and promising start for the season.

Goals : Issy Wolf 3, Anja Finegan 3, Kate McKenna 1, Lara Taylor 1.

POM : Anja Finegan

Dragons closing the gap on UEA Students

IMG_3801In the 7th year of this fantastic end of season tournament between UEA Hockey Club and Norwich Dragons Hockey Club, Dragons managed to squeeze through on sudden death penalty flicks to give an overall tally of UEAHC 4 tournament wins to NDHC’s 3.

This season’s event was played in the best spirit ever, showing the great friendship between the City Centre Clubs, as well as the personal friendships between players.

Dragons were concerned that the emerging trend of winners might continue, with UEA the bookies’ favourites to grab the trophy back, particularly when UEA Ladies ‘upper’ team took the lead in one of the first games, however Captain Kingy inspired the troops to recover the situation.  A great drag-flick from Tabba to get the sides level, a fantastic solo goal from the skipper Rach and then young Aoife stepped up to score what turned out to be the winner.  She had to leave the pitch before the end to throw the javelin in the Norfolk Schools Athletics Championships and win her event, meaning she represents Norfolk at the East Championships!  Credit to UEA though, they never gave up and scored a goal with two minutes left on the clock, to give a final score of 3-2 to Dragons.

On the other pitch, the Men’s ‘lower’ teams were battling out a 2-1 win to Dragons, giving the underdogs a two point advantage, however, the students were enjoying the sunshine and upped the stakes by securing a late equaliser in the second Ladies’ match (2-2) and victorious over the Men’s ‘upper’ Dragons team 4-0!!

So after 4 matches the tournament score was 2.5 to Dragons and 1.5 to UEA, meaning the Mixed game would play a major part in the destination of the trophy.

UEA played far better than Dragons, making full use of the team and came away with the 4-1 win, which tied the overall event at 2.5 points each.

As per the tournament rules, penalty flicks had to decide the eventual winner.

With the 5 flick takers decided on each side, up stepped Hannah to take the first for Dragons, the deadly sin of a late change of mind meant she flicked the ball at the keepers hand for an easy save.  However having scored two great goals during the Mixed game Jo didn’t manage to convert her flick for UEA, Robbie making a strong save.

So 4-4 in flicks meant sudden death.  Under the excellent umpiring control of Mason Wright supported by Henry Eades, the order was changed for the flicks with UEA stepping up first and Robbie made another great save.

Hardy redeemed herself by slotting her flick away to seal the win for Dragons!!

Excellent umpiring by all, special mention to Henry for his three games and to Gary and Hazel for their help on the day.  Thanks to all our supporters and to the Teas Ladies Amelia and Persy!

Photos of the penalty flicks here.

 

Dragons help Norfolk to success…..

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Congratulations to Esme Potter and Lara Taylor for their part in an excellent day for Norfolk u13 Girls on Sunday, being crowned East Champions with 6 wins from 6 games, the team scored 22 goals and conceded just 1, a long but highly successful day, well done girls!!

 

 

Dragons Dev Teams mix it up….

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The Norwich Dragons mixed development team, captained by Sol Blazer, had a very impressive day at Dereham on Saturday 16th May. Fielding only 4 outfield boys, the team was nonetheless very strong and indeed it was the allround strength of the group that led them to some excellent results.
We were scheduled to play 4 games, each of 2 x 10-minute halves. Our first game was against another strong side in Harleston Magpies, and the team fought out a creditable 0-0 result. The defence of George Wright, Esme Potter and Sophia Haehnelt snuffed out all of Magpies attempts to score, leaving keeper Ben Nkrumah very little to do. There was some good counter-attacking, but a goalless draw was probably a fair result.
The second game was against the home side, Dereham, and the team really started to find their feet in this one. The ball was passed around really well, and a good number of opportunities were created. Our attacking players Jono Chaney-Baxter, Catherine Mathews and Lucy Morton benefiting from excellent work by the midfield. A comfortable result and a good sign of the level of talent in the group.
Back-to-back games were scheduled, so we were straight into our next game against a good Pelicans side. Again our willingness to pass the ball around rather than just try and run through the opposition was well rewarded. Defensively strong, we secured a 1-0 win, which could easily have been more. Probably our best hockey of the day.
The final game against a young Watton side was one where our midfield of Issy Wolfe, Lara Taylor, Sol Blazer and Cameron Tasker really came into their own. Dragons mixed up a passing and more direct running game, and with Lily Sore and the rest of our forward line, secured a strong win.
Scores weren’t officially being recorded and no trophies were on offer in this friendly (and genuinely pleasant) tournament, but the young Dragons can be very proud of their efforts.

Some photos of the Dragons here.

Dragons’ Under 8 Tournament teams from Norfolk, Suffolk & Lincs

11101509_10155689708450438_5992265383256245672_n15 teams took part in the annual Norwich Dragons HC Under 8s Tournament at the Den today, playing some great hockey.

Final positions:
1: Spalding
2: Dragons Green
3: City Blue
4: City Yellow
5: Bury St Eds C
6: Bury St Eds B
7: Bury St Eds A
8: Dereham
9: City Pink
10: Dragons Purple
11: Dragons Orange
12: Watton B
13: Watton A
14: City Black
15: Dragons White

Feedback from Bury St Edmunds:

Natalie and Team from Norwich Dragons…
Wow!! what a tournament!! Thank you all so very much for all your hard work both leading up to and today itself. All 3 of our teams from Bury loved it and it has ended our season brilliantly. Great day.
Thankyou Nats
Regards
Mel

Some tweets from Clubs:

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Match report for Dragons teams here.

A few snaps from the day superbly organised by Natalie Beal and her band of merry helpers…..

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Over 40s Men do us proud at National Finals!!

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After the success of the Boys Under 16 Indoor Team making it to the National Finals this season, the Men’s Masters Over 40s were today at the National Final of England Hockey’s Over 40s Shield at the Lee Valley Centre against Taunton Vale.

Having had most of the possession in the first 10 minutes, NDHC lost their way a little and allowed Taunton Vale to gain some momentum and a number of short corners.  After 20 minutes a foot on the line from one short corner resulted in a flick, which the Somerset side converted. Then with 2 minutes left of the first half, Taunton score again, Dragons 2-0 down at halftime.

A better second half for Dragons and with just 14 seconds left on the clock they are awarded a flick which Jason Wolfe calmly slotted away, unfortunately too late to change the outcome of the game and Dragons finish on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline.

Congratulations to Taunton Vale.

Photos from the day are here and a video clip of their walkon here.

You did us proud boys!!

 

 

 

 

Under 10 Boys crowned East Champions

NDHC East of England Champions Boys Under 10s

Dragons Under 10’s went to the East Regional Finals on Sunday 19th April on the back of 5 Tournament victories in a row….the boys in Dragon Red Shirts had yet to be beaten….

The squad of
Theo Korn – Gk
James Cross – Captain
Tom Jackson
Edward Cross
Ben Panter
Harvey Nkrumah
Jake Reynolds
Freddie Royall
Sam Reynolds.

We were in a Pool of 5 teams – one each from Essex, Herts, Suffolk, Cambridge plus Us…top two go through to the Semi Finals…

Game 1 v Blueharts(Winners from Herts)

The team didn’t know what to expect…how good were we…  The supporters nerves were soon eased as the team thanks to a quick double from the every reliable poacher, Freddie Royal, raced into a 2-0 lead.  A slight lapse at the back gifted Blueharts a sniff of a comeback, thanks to Tom and Edward the defence held firm & victory number 1 was achieved.  This regional lark isn’t too bad after all….

Game 2 v St Ives (r/up from Cambs)

Once again the team raced out of the blocks….the team tactic of getting James to dribble through the opposition straight from the start worked well. It was back to normal service…attack , attack , attack….and 7 minutes later half time arrived with the team 5-0 up, two goals each for Freddie and James plus one for Ben.  Ben and Jake were both enjoying plenty of success down each flank whilst James controlled the middle of the pitch..  At Half time, James & Freddie took a rest and Harvey and Sam entered the action.  Sam & Tom kept things tight at the back and no alarms were experienced…5-0 being the final result.

Game 3 v Old Loughts (Winners from Essex)

Sadly the team had watched Old Loughts and knew how strong they were , this seemed to put us off….we sat off them and allowed them to play, in particular giving their No.11 far too much space. Old Loughts went 1-0 very early and made it 2-0 on the stoke of half time when a injury to Tom forced a re shuffle. No.11 struck home from a short corner.  A few stirring words were exchanged at half –time – the team being reminded of how good they were and not to keep fighting.   The 2nd half was a different story – we won the half 2-1 with goals from Freddie & Jake. Yet again though No.11 was given too much space from a short corner allowing him to pick his spot for what proved to be the winner…

Game 4 v Sudbury (r/up from Suffolk)

A win and we were in the semi finals.  James was back to his controlling best, dictating most of what happened on the pitch & king poacher Royall picked up another brace. Harvey made another appearance from the bench and scored a very good goal to seal the win & a spot in the last 4 as runners up.

Its not time to go home yet…..

Semi Final – v Blue Hornets – winners of the other section and R/up from Essex.

Not the start Dragons wanted  – 0-0 and a crunching tackle is made in the D…the umpire signals for a penalty flick!  What the flick taker didn’t know is that Theo has secret Jedi powers, the flick was well taken however Theo ensured it swerved and hit flush on to his post….danger averted, still 0-0 all to play for.  From that point onwards there was only one winner – James once again controlled the middle of the pitch, Tom and Edward had the defence covered – Tom using his size and strength whilst Edward relied on calm and assured tackling…or maybe it was the other way round!   Ben and Jake did as asked of them, stayed wide creating chances down either flank.  James scored two goals, one more from Freddie and one from Jake. The team were buzzing, back to their best and now in the final…surely we cant win…..

FINAL v Old Loughts.  14 minutes plus 2 minutes half time to go….

The team were reminded of their 2nd half performance from the previous game v Old Loughts and James was allocated a new best friend…stick with their No.11!!  The team were on a high after the semi final performance & produced their best display of the season, they all fought, chased, harried as much as their legs would allow them.  James produced a dominating display – there was no way anyone was getting passed. James continued to drive the team forward and following great work down the left from Jake – King Poacher Royall bagged one more…..the crown went wild …surely we weren’t going to win. There were 3 minutes left….James ensured there No. 11 had no time or space to play (collecting a green card for his troubles)  Edward,Tom & Theo snuffed out any half chance that made it through. Old Loughts were leaving it more and more to No.11 who was unable to produce any answers.  The whole Dragons team worked their socks off to see out those long final minutes. The final whistle resulted in scenes of joy – the boys did the club and themselves very very proud. It was a genuine team effort that saw us through.   Only one final act required before leaving the pitch …..James removed No.11 from the pocket he’d had him in all game  and led his team to collect their trophy.

This age group doesn’t have a National Final, however the boys have shown they are the best in the East this season.

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NDHC Winter League Season Report Book

Hockey Report Card for Winter League Season 2014-15

Name:  Norwich Dragons Hockey Club

Class: of 2014-15

Teacher: Hockey Coaches Extraordinaire

Position in Year Group: 1st in some, not 1st in others but all round great season

Summary of Final Placings for Winter League:

Ladies 1s following back-to-back promotions secure their position in East Premier with a 7th place finish  and 7 point buffer from the 4 teams that are relegated.

Men’s 1s achieve second consecutive 3rd place finish.

Ladies 2s Champions and 100% of wins, not just invincibles, incredibles!

Men’s 2s recover from shaky start to finish 8th to improve greatly on last season.

Ladies 3s finish one place better than last season in 4th with a good finishing run, after a bizarre win-lose-win pattern to their games.

Men’s 3s were in danger of finishing 2nd but managed to make 3rd place their own, a massive improvement over last season.

Ladies 4s didn’t quite get the consistency they needed to match last season’s 5th place and finished 8th, albeit with 4 points more this season.

Men’s 4s our second Champions of the season, leaving it until the last game to hold off Ipswich 3s.

Ladies 5s achieved 4 points more than last season despite finishing 2 places lower.

Men’s 5s finished 9th following promotion last season.

Ladies 6s having finished bottom of Norfolk Division 3 last season secured 2nd place and subject to any weird reshuffles of the league should see them promoted to Norfolk Division 2.

Men’s 6s a new team for this season and finished a fantastic 4th.

Ladies 7s were our other new team for this season, seeing a core of the team being our Get Back Into and Girls Development rising stars and proving that 7 is a lucky number they finished a comfortable 7th.

Detail of Final Places:

Ladies 1s

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Men’s 1s

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Ladies 2s

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Men’s 2s

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Ladies 3s

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Men’s 3s

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Ladies’ 4s

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Men’s 4s

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Ladies’ 5s

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Men’s 5s

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Ladies’ 6s

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Men’s 6s

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Ladies’ 7s

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Dragon U16 Boys in National Indoor Finals

Norwich Dragons Under 16 Boys were amongst the top 10 teams in the country in Wolverhampton in January for the England Hockey National Indoor Finals, for the first time in the Club’s history.

Facing eventual winners, Beeston Hockey Club, in their first match the Dragons were given a tough introduction to the tournament with a 7-0 loss.  A little more aware of what the tournament had in store for them, the boys played a much closer match against Ben Rhydding, being just 1-0 down at half time, however finishing the game with a 5-0 loss.

This match signalled the end of the first day of competition for Norwich Dragons, so the boys were able to gather their thoughts and take on board the wise words from the coaching team of Ali Smyth and Phil York-Smith.

Sunday started well with a 5-2 win over Plymouth Marjon thanks to a hat-trick from Henry Laming and a brace from Ben Watson.

A tight final match in the Pool stages against Marlow finished with a 5-2 win for the opposition, both goals from Ben Watson.

Norwich Dragons Hockey Club is very proud of the boys for reaching the finals of this National event, well done to the squad of Ben Nkrumah, Alex Stone, Jonty Gosling, Henry Laming, Tom Harris, Rohan Kaushal, Ben Watson and Tom Williams.
u16 Boys Indoor

Having beaten local rivals Norwich City and Harleston Magpies to qualify as County Champions, the Norwich Dragons U16 boys took on the representatives of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in the East Regional Indoor tournament and finished runners up to Old Loughts to qualify for the National Finals.

The boys are the first Norwich Dragons HC side to represent the club at National Level, the full set of fixtures for the weekend are shown below:

Saturday 17th January 2015
13.00 Old Loughtonians v Cannock U16 POOL A
13.35 Beeston v Norwich Dragons U16 POOL B
14.10 Wycombe v Bradford U16 POOL A
14.45 Ben Rhydding v Plymouth Marjon U16 POOL B
15.20 Taunton Vale v Old Loughtonians U16 POOL A
15.55 Marlow v Beeston U16 POOL B
16:30 Cannock v Wycombe U16 POOL A
17.05 Norwich Dragons v Ben Rhydding U16 POOL B
17.40 Bradford v Taunton Vale U16 POOL A
18:15 Plymouth Marjon v Marlow U16 POOL B
Sunday 18th January 2015
09.00 Cannock v Bradford U16 POOL A
09.35 Norwich Dragons v Plymouth Marjon U16 POOL B
10.10 Wycombe v Taunton Vale U16 POOL A
10.45 Ben Rhydding v Marlow U16 POOL B
11.20 Old Loughtonians v Bradford U16 POOL A
11.55 Beeston v Plymouth Marjon U16 POOL B
12.30 Cannock v Taunton Vale U16 POOL A
13.05 Norwich Dragons v Marlow U16 POOL B
13.40 Old Loughtonians v Wycombe U16 POOL A
14.15 Beeston v Ben Rhydding U16 POOL B
15.05* Winner U16 Pool A v Runner-Up U16 Pool B U16 SEMI FINAL*
15.40* Winner U16 Pool B v Runner-Up U16 Pool A U16 SEMI FINAL*
16.40 Semi Final Winner 1 v Semi Final Winner 2 U16 FINAL

The boys are shown below after securing second spot in the East Championships, Tom Williams and Henry Laming are also in the squad.

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NDHC League Match Reports: 14/03/2015

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-1 Magpies 2s

Norwich Dragons Ladies played hosts to arch rivals Harleston Magies for their last home game of the season and, having been beaten earlier in the season by them, they were determined to prove they are closing the gap on their fellow Norfolk based team who have dominated over previous years.

The Dragons were at the heart of the Harleston defence immediately and within the first 5 minutes Harleston found themselves a goal down. Some excellent work from Dragons forward Kate TRELAWNY-GOWER who beat the Harleston defence with a ferocious pin point pass from the left into the path of Hayley TOLEMAN who showed great composure skilfully taking the ball around the keeper .

The Dragons tails were up and they did not let up as they forced Harleston back into their own half  dominating this match and creating a number of chances. A through pass from Marie JAMES put TRELAWNY-GOWER through on goal but her effort was closed down by the keeper. On another occasion  TRELAWNY-GOWER, through on goal,  stumbled to the ground as she set herself up for a strike. JAMES went close when she was put through by TOLEMAN only to see her effort closed down by the keeper too.  Unfortunately the fact that the Dragons were unable to capitalise on the chances created proved to be detrimental as the visitors were awarded a short corner from which Lauren MICKLEBURGH saw her strike from the top of the D end up in the Dragons goal.

This goal gave HARLESTON a life line and new found belief. As the second half got underway the Dragons, who perhaps were dwelling on their earlier missed chances, now  looked nervous and began playing deeper but in doing so invited pressure from Harleston and made it unnecessarily difficult for themselves.  It allowed Harleston to grow into this match who were now pushing and testing their opponents.

The Dragons defence held strong with player of the match Lizzie MOULTEN having a monumentus performance allowing nothing to get past her supported by 16 year old defender Maddie DENMAN who, although put under intense pressure, showed maturity and resilience in her play as she has throughout the season making the left defence position in this team her own.

These were nervous moments for the players and spectators alike as the match was on a knife edge.  The second goal was to be crucial and although the Dragons dominated much of the first half, opportunities were now falling equally to both sides.  Finally a second goal came and to everyone’s delight it was to the Dragons; some good work again by TRELWANY-GOWER who got herself in a goal scoring opportunity only to be fouled by one of the Harleston defence resulting in a penalty stoke being awarded. TOLEMAN confidently stepped up burying the ball in the corner for her second of the match.

Joy turned to dismay as almost immediately TOLEMAN was shown a yellow card for a tackle from behind on her opponent resulting in the Harleston player falling to the ground. This was disappointing as everyone knew that this card meant, not only were the Dragons down to ten players, more importantly that TOLEMAN would be suspended for the Dragons next and final match of the season.

With ten players the Dragons worked hard to protect their lead and relied on their experience to get them through the next ten minutes or so whilst TOLEMAN was off the pitch. They stretched Harleston and managed to keep possession of the ball preventing the visitors opportunities. As TOLEMAN returned to the pitch the Dragons surged forwards and increased their lead through, in form, TRELAWNY GOWER who finished in style firing the ball in the roof of the net; a real crowd pleaser to end the match.

Overall a good performance by the Dragons and an excellent well deserved three points.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 10-0 Bury 2s

On a sunny spring day in the park, Dragon’s squad arrived early and were in high spirits for their final away game of the season. Sadly still missing their injured forward duo of Laura Shreeve and Natalie Beal, they welcomed Shelly Seaman and Rachel King into the squad, the latter returning after 6 months out following a nasty ankle injury. The warm up was good, with Freddie Briscoe ‘the woman in black’ taking care not to overheat in the spring sunshine, making some great stops, to show she was ready for action.

The game got underway with Dragons keen to continue their good recent run of form.  An early goal got things moving with Shelly Seaman sneaking in on the near post to slot home. Dragons capitalised on this early goal and quickly made it 2, with Rachel King scoring her first following some good work in the D from Aoife Lowe-Davies. The third came quickly following a good advantage by the umpire, Lowe-Davies found Gail Thomas, who had found an excellent position at the back post, to calmly fire home.

It was all Dragons pressure and the defensive line up of Sophie Thomas, Ally Windsor-Waite, Angela Murgtroyd supported this excellently whilst retaining their concentration in defence when required.  Freddie Briscoe, who despite seeing limited action, was doing a great job vocally for the team, ensuring her defensive troops were in position when called upon.

Before half time, Hollie Limmer scored with one of her trademark reverse stick sweeps to find the back of the net and then came possibly the goal of the game, following great work by Marcy Windsor-Waite to rob a Bury midfielder, she then drove into the D and struck towards the far post, where Aoife Lowe-Davies deflected the ball high into the net – a fine goal from the youngest members of the squad and shows how bright the future is for this team.

Dragons called for more of the same in the second half and they didn’t disappoint. At one point even defender Ally Windsor-Waite found herself in the attacking D, unleashing a fine strike, which was well saved by the Bury keeper. Midfielders Karen O’Neill Simpson, Gail Thomas, Hannah Ellis, Hollie Limmer and Marcy Windsor Waite, put in their usual hardworking shift, to put continuous pressure on the Bury defence.

Rachel King scored her second from a penalty flick, and then her third quickly after, following some good close skills in the D. Shelly Seaman then scored her second of the day, as always getting in on the P spot and making it difficult for the Bury defenders to clear, before slotting home from close range. Dragons Player of the Match, Rachel King then rounded off her afternoons work, with a one on one with the keeper, which was well saved only for her to follow up and calmly put home the rebound. The final goal came from a somewhat fortuitous effort by Hannah Hardy from a short corner, the pace and bounce of the strike deceiving the goalkeeper.

A final score of 10 – 0 didn’t overly flatter the league Champions and it has to be said it could have been more, had it not been for some good work by the Bury keeper. Next week sees the final league game, of what has been an outstanding season for the Dragons Ladies 2’s. Currently 13 points ahead of their nearest rivals, the team has produced outstanding results this season and to a player, should be extremely proud of what they have achieved. The squad look forward to their swan song in Div 2NE at the Den (thanks to the Ladies 5’s) and equally to some ‘Smashed Hits Partying’ later in the day ;-).

More photos from the game here.
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division

Norwich Dragons 3s 4-2 Dereham 3s

This week, on a sunny but surprisingly cold morning, Dragons 3s headed to Dereham to face their closest rival. Needing a win to stay 4th in the league, and top of the very congested middle table with the top 3 teams unreachable by the rest of the pack.Finally breaking their win-loose-win streak the week previous, the whole team were in high spirits prior to the match. Bringing the talents of Louise Davis and Sue Cross once again into the fold, 3s started their vigorous warm up, eager for the game to start.

Early in the day, with the sun remaining a nonissue Dragons won the toss and took first push back.
With their usual pre-game sideline roar the team were ready to take on their rivals hungry for the 3 points.An unfortunate turn of play saw Dereham on the attack. Entering the Dragons D and closing down on goal keeper Amy Forse dove at the play, both keeper and attacker low to the ground. The ball passed to another Dereham forward was lifted into the net narrowly missing the sticks of the Dragon defenders.The early goal gave Dragons the lust for points with increasing fervor. Ever quick to the ball, intercepting Dereham passes, making the ball do the work and eventually winning a short corner. Quickly out from Pollyanna Watson to Caroline Wolfe, who with practiced precision smashed the ball to the left post scoring the Dragons first goal.

Not long did the score remain even as Dragons constant pressure on the Dereham D resulted in another short corner. This time Wolfe slipped the ball to a waiting Debs Smith, who in turn moved it to Laura Tompson Wright. Tompson Wright again showing her deft 3D skills, beating Dereham defenders and keeper alike to secure a second goal.  Although Dragons managed to keep good pressure for the remainder of the half they were unable to find any further goals for this part.As the second half began Dereham took their opportunity, catching the Dragons sleeping and scoring a quick goal. Again, the score line was not to stay even for long. This second conceded goal found the fire in Dragon bellies and they began their onslaught of the Dereham half. Joint players of the match Debs Smith and Natasha Falzon picking up Dereham balls from all areas of the pitch. It was clear which team was more hungry for the points, with Dereham rarely able to get play out of their half. Flooding their D with players, Dereham made it very difficult for Dragons to find a way through. Eventually winning another short corner Dragons varied their routine. A slick ball from Smith at top D to Tompson Wright, the two wove their way through the Dereham defenders and again found the goal.

Again Dragons on the attack, any stray players or balls picked up by Davis and Laura Bruce to send the play back into the attacking half. Hazel Sumner and Sophie Farrow both making some amazing runs, breaking up the opposition. Cross was able to draw play, creating yet more space for the Dragons. The rapid pace of Laura Goodbun, unbeatable by any of the Dereham legs forced them to back off of play allowing free run at the D. Although packed with defenders, this also left Dereham susceptible to a higher chance conceding a foul. Again Dragons capitalised on the situation. Making the most of the retreating defenders Smith and Tompson Wright once again found the back of the goal.

Final score, Dereham 3s 2:4 Norwich Dragons 3s.

With only 3 games left for this season there is still everything left to play for for the Dragon side, with nothing set in stone, and some of their hardest games still to come.

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

A slow start on this cold and cloudy afternoon for Dragons, who took some time to find their feet and positions. Holly Bailey and Charlotte Pounder worked well in the first few minutes of the game, making use of the space and creating depth up front, which allowed some lovely passes from the midfield. Mel Widdows and Chelsea Crawford used the wings to great effect and switched play several times to throw the opposition off balance and create opportunities for the forwards. Dereham’s strength was in hitting long balls across the pitch with great accuracy, once Dragon’s locked this play down and surrounded the ball more effectively Dereham had few outlets for play and they started to dominate.Gemma Rump and Emma Buxton battled for every ball and continued to distribute play well, the forwards were very unlucky not to have scored by this point as continuous pressure was applied to Dereham. Abi Cowe made some great runs from defence to take the ball back towards the D and some well communicated little passes saw the ball constantly heading for the goal, but a good Dereham keeper saw off all attacks. Dereham had only one or two chances in the first half and both were stopped and cleared by goal keeper Laura TuckAfter the second half Dragons still looked strong with some solid play coming from all. Freya Clogan worked the left hard and made a couple of good runs down the line to force the ball back into the oppositions D, from this a short corner was awarded and an excellent strike form Amelia Dawson, sailed past the keeper into the left hand corner.

Dereham were not going to stop fighting and continued to track the ball back into the Dragon’s D, there were several close calls, but some wonderful clearances from Carmel Windsor Waite (PoM) kept Dragons in the lead.Dragons kept working hard to move the ball towards a second goal, with Charlotte and Holly having some excellent runs with the ball being slipped across the D, Gemma and Emma both came close to scoring with some good hits, which missed the goal by just an inch or two. Dereham’s equalising goal came in the last five minutes of the game when they packed the D and surrounded the outside, meaning that every time a ball was cleared Dereham were straight back on it and the constant attacks eventually resulted in a goal.

Dragons tried valiantly to score again in the last few minutes and were on the attack when the final whistle blew, another 5 minutes might have resulted in a different score.

A few snaps from the match here.
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IMG_3348Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 4-3 Dereham 5s

In one of the toughest matches played so far, this 12-man Dragons team played some beautiful and resilient hockey to win the match 4:3. It was hard fought, and Dragons knew to expect a tough Dereham side, having previously lost 5:2 to them earlier on in the season.Within the first 5 minutes, Dragons were 2:0 down, both goals well-worked efforts from Dereham, with not much goalkeeper Christina Murgatroyd could do to stop them. However, rather than being discouraged, Dragons continued to push forward, with excellent runs being made by Anja Finnegan, Issy Wolfe (joint POM’s) and Rachael Matthews, and this determination was rewarded when Anja, perfectly placed by the post, slipped the ball past the keeper.  This lifted our confidence, and Dragons kept going strong, with any attempts by Dereham to break our defensive line stopped by the exceptional work of Carmel Winsdor-Waite, Bella Capps and Jade Blanchflower. The second Dragons goal came from a short corner, where a strong strike from Jade Blanchflower was swept in by Chiara Bond. Dragons continued to run tirelessly, and were again rewarded just before half time when the ball found an expertly placed Lois McGregor on the P spot, who proceeded to strike it home.

This meant Dragons finished the half 3:2 up, and after quick half time talks by Lois and David, it was clear that Dereham would be coming back strong.Dragons started the second half well, however Derehams determination really started to show, and Dragons had to work even harder to try and keep them at bay. Victoria Earley again did very well against a strong Dereham player, and especially well done to Bella Capps, who really stepped up when she again found herself marking Dereham no.59, who was an exceptional player with brilliant stick skills to match. The game was end to end, with both Dereham and Dragons driving the ball up the pitch, however Dereham started to increase the pressure, and after a mistake on a long corner, they were able to whack the ball past Christina to make it 3:3.

Dereham kept the pressure up and gained a series of short corners, which were excellently defended by Dragons, especially Jade Blanchflower, whose quick reactions ensured the ball stayed well away from the goal. Dragons started to push back harder, with players like Helen Marsh, Rachael and Issy taking the ball in midfield and bring it all the way to the opposite end. This hard work was finally rewarded when a strike on goal caused the Dereham goalkeeper to catch then drop the ball, which allowed Issy Wolfe to sweep it home. Despite interruptions such as Jade getting injured and going off, Christina sustaining injuries and the opposite goalkeeper changing her shorts, Dragons held on to their lead until the final whistle blew. All in all an excellent game of hockey with everyone playing exceptionally well, which was reflected in the player of the match in which nearly everyone got a vote. Well done to everyone who played, you were all amazing!
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L6s TeamPhoto

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

Dragons gained revenge over the Magpies with a sparkling win which secured them second place in the division and hopefully promotion. The 6s have not been beaten in the second half of the season, and they truly are a team where the sum is greater than the individual players, talented though they are.This was a thoroughly workmanlike performance, built from the back, with the awesome Jasmin Daniels in control in the centre, flanked by the very capable Lottie Korn and Katy Franks. With Katie Saide unavailable, two players from the 7s stepped up to do a marking job on the Magpies’ distributing player. Frankie Paul and Gill Walker did  extremely well, and this tactic meant the regular 6s could hold their shape and play their usual fast passing game.

They were inspired by Anna Brook (player of the match) down the right and with Jo Eke and Bridget Le Good threading passes into the circle the goals flowed in at regular intervals.In the first half of the season, the 6s could not hit a barn door if they sat on the snick, but their up front speedies – Megan Farrant, (2 goals), Sarah Norman (2) and Izzie Ferguson (2) have disciplined themselves to get onto the posts and have grown in confidence and skills and the goals now rattle in from everywhere. Magpies packed their defence, and Dragons could not score from their penalty corners, but they more than had the edge in open play.Alice Smith kept her third clean sheet in a row, kicking almost to the halfway line for fun to save the 16 hit outs.Dragons can perhaps be forgiven for revelling in their superiority, having lost to a single unfortunate goal at Magpies in a game that is now buried.

The 6s have in the past two seasons held the league record for the most players used. This time, they have been able to field a consistent side, with their captains Bridget Le Good and Jo Eke ever-present, and Jas Daniels, Katy Saide, Katy Franks and Sarah Norman at the heart of the team. The 6s have trained hard and benefited from the coaching of Pete Thomas and Mark Flatman, and they have had sympathetic hearings at the selection committee when they have asked for players to play a specific role which we knew made sense to us at the time. All the best teams have unique characteristics!

Finally, we don’t forget the umpires, the people who have volunteered to run our subs, particularly Christina Murgatroyd,  the supportive parents and everyone who turned up to cheer us on, especially at the last match. If the Beckhams can produce a Seven, we think the Club Captain might be having a Six. She may have temporarily slowed a little, but there is nothing wrong with her voice.Thank you from the happy, happy 6s.A few snaps from the match here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s – No Fixture as City 7s withdrawn

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

The news this week for the Dragons Mens 1XI:

Dragons went 1-0 down

Dragons then won a short corner brilliantly with some excellent set-up play with the awe-inspiring Captain Overstall interlinking with the ever present Dom Samways before placing it on the foot of the unsuspecting Ipswich defender, bringing to mind a Lionel Messi Vs Robert Huth type situation.  With Mark Flatman out having horribly damaged his foot this week in an accident that shocked the Mens club, #prayformark, Captain Overstall stood up to be counted and volunteered to inject the short-corner.

Some would say that the following injection wouldn’t have looked out of place in National League hockey arenas, as straight as an arrow with speeds that defied belief straight onto the stick of Dom. Dom, with the precision of a surgeon, stopped the ball dead. taking the spin off the ball and allowed the Herculean-proportioned Messer Browne to step up and crush the ball with enough power to bring down a dictator. The ball, at speeds only referred to in science fiction travelled on course with the bottom corner of the goal, Robbie Bell was already celebrating, everything looked awesome.

However, with reactions of a cat the Ipswich goalkeeper got down and saved the goal drawing gasps and sighs from the Dragons team. Robbie Bell shed a tear.

But……. up stepped Captain Overstall.

The Prince Charming to a damsel in distress, like Jason to the Argonauts and like Robin Hood to the people of Nottingham there was Alex. He looked up saw, saw the goalkeeper was off his line and made the decision, lets get Dragons back on track. With all the skill trained over many weathered hockey seasons he delicately lifted the ball to the tip of his stick where he pushed it with all the power he could muster. The ball shot past the desperate goalkeeper and defenders, kissed the far post and into the goal. Shock took over the Dragons team – did Alex just score? In celebrations similar to those when the UK were awarded the Olympics Alex ran across the pitch hands aloft referencing Alan Shearer circa 1999…..no one followed. Every was awesome.

In the rest of the game some other stuff happened, Deats got injured (shocker), Rupert is now our left back, Matt Knights did something, Charlish did nothing, Shaggy pulled more hair out (that’s quite a lot missing over the last four weeks) and Dragons lost 4-2.
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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3-0 Magpies 4s

Dragons came into this match confident after a well-worked win the week before against a strong Magpies 3rds.

From the start of the match it was clear that the home side were ready to show their ability as a team, moving the ball well and keeping the Magpies threat to a minimum. However, whilst the Dragons’ ball speed and defensive play were good their finishing was not and subsequently the half ended 0-0.

After an inspiring team talk from at half time, the teams mind-set changed. And within 5 minutes of the second half starting, the home side had their first goal, scored by Jonty Gosling from a very tight angle.  Soon after this came a second, which was a top corner flick from a short corner by Henry Laming. Though Magpies did up their attacking play, the home defence did well to keep them at bay and a final goal was another by Jonty Gosling assisted by Lewis Wilkins.

All in all a good team performance to bag another win.

Man of the Match; Jonty Gosling with goals that can only be described (by himself) as ‘Jamie Dwyer-esque’.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-1 Pelicans 3s

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Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 5-1 Norwich Exiles

A 5-1 win over Norwich Exiles saw Dragons 4 clinch promotion.  2 points from the remaining 2 games will guarantee they finish top, regardless of other results.

A 9.30 pushback might have been a bit early for some, but Dragons started the game well and even had some supporters, including Birthday Boy Garnett armed with a bottle of champagne.

Coach Wagstaff was a late addition to the squad, claiming an attacking position vacated by the injured Andy Cross.  After last week’s MoM effort, Danny Knights also made himself available.  Former regular Andy Saunders was another payer welcomed back into the side, following his return to Norfolk from overseas.

Alongside Wagstaff upfront were Oli Browne and Robbie Whiting who all saw plenty of the ball, creating a number of chances and earning regular short corners.  Oli Browne opened the scoring with a composed finish, and Wagstaff soon added a second, poking home from extreme close range.  A second goal for Browne saw Dragons 3-0 up at half time.

In midfield, Chris Wilkinson put in one of his best performances of the season and subsequently announced his imminent retirement to the Caribbean, meaning he will play no further part in this campaign.  Sam Mann showed his usual pace and enthusiasm on the wing, whilst Saunders added a calming influence and was always available as an outlet down the left.  Phil York-Smith added a bit of trickery with his range of passing and extensive use of the V drag.

Half time analysis by Jon Price and the Yorkie bar kid emphasised the need for a bit more composure on the ball, earlier passing and better movement off the ball.

Dragons enjoyed the second half as the prospect of promotion loomed ever nearer.  In defence, Jon Price, Paul Keating, Dave Pentin, Danny Knights and Andy Hipper dealt comfortably with Exiles’ long ball attacks.  Dragons soon added a fourth goal as Oli completed his hat trick.

Exiles pulled a goal back with 10 minutes to go as the ball was skilfully lifted over Dragons’ keeper Giles Brooks, who was having a little lie down at the time.

York-Smith destroyed any inklings of a comeback for Exiles when he added a fifth for Dragons.  His celebrations were muted, but not many players have the skill to place a shot so precisely as to deflect off the keepers hand, land on top of his head and bobble into the goal.

A good performance from Dragons, but disappointment when Garnett decided his champagne wouldn’t be used to celebrate promotion.

More photos from the game here.
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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-1 Bury 5s

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s No Fixture – Season complete

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture 

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

 

u14 Girls riding high

The u14 Girls 7-a-side team excelled again in the England Hockey Tournament, this time in Cambridge.  With a 4-1 win over the hosts, being 1-0 down at halftime and a walkover result of 8-0 against Chelmsford who didn’t send a team.  The girls then had a friendly match to finish of the day with a 12-0 win.

The Dragons are sitting pretty at the top of the Division.

Photos from the day here.

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NDHC League Match Reports: 07/02/2015

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Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 0-3 Tunbridge Wells

Norwich Dragons were hoping to get back to winning ways against Tunbridge Wells after suffering defeats since the Christmas break. This was always going to be a tight match; both teams being mid table with only 3 points separating them.

The Dragons started the stronger putting the visitors under some early pressure but were knocked when, completely against the run of play, Wells took the lead from a short corner routine.

The home side did not look defeated and enjoyed the majority of the possession and pressure in the first half with player of the match, Sarah RICHARDS, doing some great work in the centre of the park. Unfortunately it just didn’t seem to be the Dragons day and uncharacteristically they were unable to covert the chances that they created in open play and at short corners.

Almost immediately after the restart Wells got their second. This clearly dampened the Dragons spirits but lifted Wells who were now playing with confidence and gradually eased the Dragons out of the match.

Wells went on to score the third and final goal of the game through another short corner seeing the Captain Rebecca ROSS complete her hatrick.

The Dragons travel to Ipswich next week so will need to put this match behind them and focus on getting three points away from home.

Photos from the second half here.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 6-0 Framlingham

With no frost forecast, the Dragons wended their way down the Suffolk country roads, to Framlingham College.

Dragons were buoyed by the addition of Niamh Lowe-Davies to the squad. They knew this was going to be a tough game against a well drilled Framlingham team. The pitch was hard and zippy, meaning controlling the ball took a bit of getting used to, and the first 10 minutes this showed, with Dragons struggling to settle into their usual flowing passing game.

An early goal settled things though, this coming from a broken down short corner, which Marcy Windsor-Waite pounced on on the left and drag flicked the ball towards the goal, going in off a Framlingham defender. Dragons created more chances, with Alfie Lowe-Davies, Marcy Windsor-Waite and Laura Shreeve’s tricky stick skills and pace, ensuring the Framlingham defence were always under pressure. The second goal came soon afterwards, following good work in the D, the ball was squared to Hannah Hardy who swept the ball home.

Dragons were begining to pile on the pressure, with the midfield quartet of Gail Thomas, Hannah Ellis, Niamh Lowe Davies and Karen O’Neill Simpson starting to win the battle in the middle of the pitch. It was hard graft however, with Framlingham always looking dangerous on the early break. This meant the usual Dragons defensive line could not afford to relax and remained on top of their game. Player of the Match, Karen O’Neill Simpson held an excellent position at the bottom of the diamond, allowing her space to be that pivot in attack, but also to protect the defence when necessary.

With Natalie Beal still recovering from illness, she joined the fray mid way through the half and added to the scoring, linking up with Laura Shreeve to slot home at the back post, to make it 3-0 at halftime.

Second half saw a similar pattern start to emerge. Framlingham changed their formation a little and to their credit put pressure on Freddie Briscoe in the Dragons goal, who was required to come out and make some strong saves. As always Sophie Thomas, Ally Windsor-Waite and Angela Murgatroyd were tenacious in the tackle and well organised, to ensure the clean sheet was kept intact.

Further goals came, the fourth a scrambled effort from Hannah Hardy fllowing good advantage by the umpire. The next, following one of Dragons quick breaks, saw the pacey Marcy Windsor-Waite combine with Laura Shreeve, who squared to Alfie Lowe-Davies, who calmly slotted the ball home with a reverse stick effort at the back post. The final goal to complete the scoring was from a short corner, Gail Thomas slipping the ball to Nat Beal, who found Laura Shreeve in perfect position to glance the ball home from the P spot.

Dragons knew they were going to need to work hard in this fixture, and this they did, to a player and as a team, being ‘relentless’ for the 70 mins. With Framlingham complementing the Dragons on their fast attacking play, Dragons were delighted to ‘wend’ their way back to Norfolk, with 3 points in the bag. With this continued high work rate, excellent team spirit and with the humility this team continue to show, this squad of players will get the rewards they are striving for.

A few photos from the game here.

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

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-0 Magpies 5

For the first time in weeks there was no threat of a frozen pitch and Dragons made the trip to Harleston, for a second time, to take on Magpies 5th team, currently placed second in the league.The game was evenly matched from the start, with both teams having solid midfielders who turned play quickly and made good use of the space. Dragons went on the offensive straight away with some excellent work on the wings from Mel Widdows and Kate McKenna. Magpies were very good at channelling play and Dragons soon learnt that in order to make progress, quick passes and clear communication were needed. Debbie Santa Clara and Holly Bailey made an excellent team up front and brought the ball to the D on several occasions.

The first goal however came from Louise Davis (PoM) who made a beautiful run from bottom of the diamond all the way to the top of the D, where a clean strike saw the ball rocket past the keeper into the far left hand side of the goal.A strong central core of Gemma Rump and Sue Cross meant that Magpies were put under lots of pressure, the defence tried hard to clear the ball but there was always a Dragon ready and waiting to bring the ball back into play. Chelsea Crawford and Katie Buxton both did excellent work in keeping play in dragons favour. While a second goal didn’t appear in the first half you could tell Dragons wanted it and were determined to keep up the pace.

The second half saw Magpies come out hard, they made several excellent breaks in play that saw keeper Laura Tuck put under extreme pressure at times, but some lovely team work between her and Freya Clogan saw a ball cleared from the line in the nick of time. Continued hard work up front, from Dragon’s forwards, saw another short corner awarded in our favour and it was from this that the second goal came. An initial clearance by the keeper was struck again by Holly Bailey, saved, only to meet the stick of Sue Cross, but was saved again, before finally Kate McKenna was able to find the angle to beat the keeper – more a game of pinball than hockey.

Magpies were now fighting for a goal and this saw the defence going all out to clear the ball out of the D. In the last five minutes of the game, Carmel Windsor Waite dominated on the left and was able to clear the ball up the wing and out of danger. Dragons remained in control as the final whistle blew. This wasn’t always the prettiest game of hockey, but it was a determined, gritty match that saw Dragons really working as a team to get a well-deserved win.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-2 Norwich City 4

Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s put in an excellent performance against Norwich City 4s. Sadly it was a 2-0 loss, however the performance was the best all season.

Dragons aimed to put pressure on from the beginning closing down Norwich City’s classy attack. A well drilled city team worked the ball well, however the defence (comprising of Jess Tye Leach, Emma Buxton and Charlotte Pounder) closed down any offer of attack dragons had. Laura Hansell worked hard and stopped the ball with great skill putting in some text book block tackles. This was always going to be a defensive game with City giving dragons little opportunity on the attack closing them down quickly.  Christina Murgatroyd worked well with the defence ensuring any balls were cleared with no question. The game pinged up and down the pitch thanks to our midfielders Jade Blanchflower and Chiara Bond with Victoria Early (Man of the Match) working hard to win back any loss of possession using the jab tackle wisely throughout and never ever giving up. This game showed a ladies 5s team who really wanted it and it was a convincing 0-0 at half time.

At half time Dragons had a rousing team talk to win possession and get some goals. Alas it was not meant to be….a few shots on goal (but no short corners 😉 ) were easily cleared by Norwich City defence and keeper. The defenders remained under pressure and hats off to them they continued to closed down repeated short corners and attacks. A sliding tackle got the attention of city who could not help but comment on the excellent goal keeping. Sadly the 2 goals were conceded in quick succession with a well worked movement around a tired defence. The last goal quite literally saw Dragons end in a heap on the ground. We will rise again next week with renewed vigour and passion which will be much needed against UEA. Well done girls despite the loss I think we did ourselves proud. 

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 1-1 Yarmouth 2

 

The 6s clash against top of the division Yarmouth was a bruising affair, and Dragons showed plenty of character to come back from a goal down to win a hard-earned point. There was a big contrast in styles between the two teams. The 6s like to pass and run; Yarmouth have some powerful hitters and will exploit any weakness  through the middle. After having the better of the early exchanges, Dragons went behind to a fairly soft goal from a weak cross, but after that the defence were as usual excellent. Jas Daniels again shone at the bottom of the diamond, and with increasing confidence moved up to join in the attacks. Katie Franks absolutely took on board the exhortation to ‘play like a big player’ and put in some great tackles. In the centre, Katy Saide was a reliable sweeper and Lottie Korn  had another terrific game at right back.  Once again Alice Smith made some dramatic and powerful clearances – each one going beyond the 23.
There was some ugly play in the first half, with far too much stick swinging and body-checking to be a credit to the top of the division, but thankfully the umpires took a grip and Dragons began to impose themselves on the game without managing to control it. Izzi Ferguson, Ellie James, Ciara Willmott and Sarah Norman all exploited the channels, but 6s did not quite achieve the penetration of recent games, which meant that Megan Farrant did not get clear-cut chances in the circle. However, this has to be put in the context of playing against the best in the division, still unbeaten. Dragons were inclined to lose the ball at the essential last pass, but they enjoyed plenty of possession.
Dragons’ equaliser was a well-worked penalty corner. Knowing that chances would be hard to come by they had planned to ‘get something’ from their forays into the circle. But only one chance came their way. Helen Marsh injected with great power and Ellie James stopped accurately before rounding a defender and getting a clean shot. Ellie’s performance at right mid and top of the diamond earned her the player of the match vote.
With the Dragons defence playing superbly and the mids learning when to pass and when to run, a little more bite in the D might have given the 6s the opportunity to win. But they can look forward to their succession of tough matches knowing that they still have some tactical ideas to increase their fire power. Jo Eke, who held up so much play in the centre of the pitch, is still recovering from virus, and the talented midfielders will give them some more options.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 4-0 Loddon 2

Dragons 7 were keen to get on the pitch after the frost last week prevented play and were not disappointed with the result against Loddon 2.

Dragons formation was heavy on the defence in an attempt to stop Loddon from getting through, with Jo Baker, Emma Cadley, Emma North and new member Dani Winteringham across the back. Although Loddon were down to 8 players, they had some big hitters and nifty runners who managed to get the ball down the pitch. Christina Murgatroyd in goal stopped a number of attempts by Loddon with some strong kicks on the ball.

Dragons dominated the first half, with plenty of attempts at goal in the D and managing to keep the ball up the pitch when outside the D. When the ball did go down the pitch, Katrina Speirs stopped Loddon in their tracks on a number of occasions, in a new role at bottom of the diamond. Right mid Gill Walker again did sterling work intercepting the ball and bringing it up the pitch, passing on to Lucy Morton at top of the diamond or Jane Morton up front. Lucy passed a lovely ball on to waiting Claire Fairhurst in the D, who slotted it into the corner of the goal. Dragons were determined not to let Loddon equalize and so carried on pushing forward, keen to get another goal. Rosie Skipp in left mid was doing excellent runs up the pitch, getting the ball and passing it onto Lucy or the forwards.

After half time, Dragons had a slight reshuffle, realising the heavy defence wasn’t required and so Katrina moved up to be a high forward and Emma North slotted into the vacated position at bottom of the diamond. This formation paid off, with Katrina being ready to receive the ball, resulting in a hat-trick by her. The final score was 4-0 to Dragons, but Loddon fought valiantly. A great game of hockey, with good passing and an excellent result.

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

Coach Wagstaff laid down the hammer ahead of this week’s promotion push tie with Ely City, dropping both Overstall and E.Smith. Overstall was asked to take a fortnights vacation to help get his hormones under control whilst Smith was cut due to a slippery game the week before. And Wagstaff did not stop there, clearly taking notes from the Friday night thriller in Cardiff, the squad were held back in the changing rooms until 10 minutes before pushback leaving Ely to bare the elements of a rare dry and sunny Saturday.However the game started well for Dragons, early possession allowed the team to march forward working the ball side to side through the midfield, gaining good territory. Jackson, taking notes from the previous 16 weeks of training, drove the ball deep to the base line only to pluck out a 78 degree (thanks to Farrow for the accurate measurement) pass back to Knights waiting at the top of the D, a trademark slap to the left of the keeper put dragons 1 up.

However this was to their downfall as they started to slip with possession, turning over the ball in dangerous areas and releasing Ely to a quick succession of breakaways. Bell and his new look defence stood tall and it was on a quick release 16 pass from M.Smith, that Flatman stumbled down the line only to force a pass into the D. A few bounces later it fell to the deadly stick of Browne, with a huge wind up and putting his all into the shot it eventually rolled into the bottom corner from 5 yards out, 2 up for dragons heading into half time.Wagstaff came out firing with the team talk touching on discipline, composure and quality of play. Ten minutes into the second half it was clear that the side paid more attention to the jelly babies than to the coach. However it was evident who ate most the jelly babies as Deayton marched forward with a rare sprint and subsequently won a short corner. Browne stepped up and for once kept his first penalty corner shot below head height, striking both the keepers and defenders foot before rattling the backboard. The restart was held up by Deayton, still making his way back to the half way line following his creative run. It wasn’t easy sailing from there on in for dragons, Ely pressed hard and if it wasn’t for the heroics of Smith’s one handed diving tackles and Farrows dreadful chat then the score line could have been worse. Ely got their break in a similar fashion to Dragons previous goal, taking a well struck short corner.

Despite a lack in quality from dragons, they dug deep and managed to break into Ely’s D once again, a goalmouth scramble left the ball on a plate for Avery to slot away.  It was the turn of Ely once again after dragons left a man unmarked at the top of the circle. In a truly heroic stand-off, Bell filled the goal, Deayton and Farrow took the posts and the rest of the team ran away, 4-2. After a strong passing game from the dragon’s midfield, it seemed the final ten minutes for them were spent discussing Walkers flapjack recipe or Jackson’s plans for the evening. However it was Knights who finished off the day’s proceedings with a dragons penalty corner moments before the full time whistle. After declaring he would flick and keep the ball low, the roof of net shook and dragons walked off with a 5-2 win.A helpful 3 points for dragons in their hunt for promotion, with six games remaining they sit in a strong second place. Jackson continued the day’s festivities into the night after being handed a hallpass from Avery. After bidding his student loan on a horse and using his library card for a few rounds of credit card roulette, he opted for the controversial method of securing his place for the following week, hitting on the captain. This may be Overstall’s preferred selection process however Flatman will be considering Jacksons position for the next game, a potential E.Smith return in the forward line could be on the cards?

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

Men’s 2s had a hard fought match against UEA 1st. After a well mannered first half and a Rohan precision strike gave the dragons a well deserved lead at half time. Persistent corners from UEA finally allowed them back in the game after stunning saves from Elliot Wang keeping the game alive for the dragons. A second goal was scored after the youthful UEA team pushed more into the attack. Finishing the game 2-1 to UEA. The dragons took a lot from the game ready for next week.

Elliot Wang man of the match

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

After having last week’s game postponed due to a frozen pitch, Dragons were keen to get back playing hockey.  They travelled many miles to local rivals Norwich City, in what would be a 2nd and 3rd place clash.  There was slight panic before the game as Dragons seemed to be missing their Keeper Dim IVES.  Thankfully, 15 minutes before the game begun, a pearly white chariot driven by the GOODSON brothers arrived, having picked up keeper IVES after suffering a puncture.

With all ready, the game begun.Dragons started well and pushed City hard in the first 10 mins.  A short corner strike from Stu “Sarge” KELLY hit the post, for the ball to fall to John IVES, having his hit narrowly saved by the City keeper.  Further attacks saw Will KIRBY nearly slot the ball home as well, if only he was wearing his super grippy shoes.City then started to take control, and were passing the ball through the midfield, resulting in some good attacks.  Keeper Dim IVES put in some terrific saves and kept Dragons clear.  Unfortunately one of the attacks resulted in a short corner, and this allowed City to drag flick the ball into the net.Dragons didn’t give up and equalised through Will KIRBY after a superb run by Dave SLOMAN.After halftime, Dragons pressed hard and were linking up really well with each other.  Dragons worked the ball up the pitch starting in defence, and City had trouble to get hold of it.

Defenders Jon GOODSON, Peter DAVISON and James GOODSON, were all shifting the ball up to midfield, who in turn fed the forwards.  As always, Rob GOODSON worked tirelessly and even took a ball to the head whilst defending.  Only concerned as to whether a short corner was given as a result, GOODSON played on.During Dragon’s good play, did come some City attacks, and one of which resulted in two City forwards breaking through to one Dragon defender.  A tackle was made, the ball was taken cleanly, but the City player went down as well.  There was confusion as to what the outcome should be, and after conferring, the umpires awarded a penalty flick which City scored.  This event would become the talking point after the game.

Dragons let their concentration slip after this, and City soon had another, after Dragons just couldn’t get the ball out of their half.  However, not all was lost!  Dragons battled back and once again dominated play, playing their quick passing, link up play which is when Dragons play at their best.  A short corner flick from Dave SLOMAN led to a City player blocking the ball on the line, and a penalty flick was awarded to Dragons.  Brushing off his previous miss, Will KIRBY stepped up to the spot, and slotted the ball in the goal.The last 10 minutes saw Dragons continue to push and put City under pressure, with City mainly launching an aerial ball from their centre back to their forwards, as their attack.  Forward Ben MOSS was unlucky not to score for Dragons, and there were a few more opportunities that came and went.  The last minute of the game saw City awarded a short corner, and the game was over when they scored.A loss for Dragons, who now have to win every game, and hope for City to drop a few points, if they want to look for promotion.  Despite this, a more promising performance by Dragons, who must look to continue their form into the rest of the season.

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

Dragons dominated Magpies and improved their goal difference with a 6-0 win.  They are now 5 points clear with a game in hand.Magpies couldn’t be faulted for their effort, but were outclassed in every area of the pitch.  Their attacking play amounted to two short corners and the Dragon’s goal was rarely threatened.

Giles Brooks was unusually quiet (vocally) in goal as he had little to do, but maintained his concentration well to shepherd some long balls over the goal line and make a couple of regulation saves.In defence, regulars Andy Hipper, Jon Price, Dave Pentin and Paul Keating were joined by debutant and MoM Tom Harris who demonstrated skill and composure as he made some well timed tackles and interceptions and distributed accurately.  Utility player Chris Wilkinson helped out the defence as required and also played well.In midfield, Rob Jenkins, Rich Moulson, Garnet Jones and Alex Stone saw plenty of the ball and set up numerous attacks which allowed under-pressure Andy Cross to silence his doubters with a hat trick of close range finishes.

Robbie Whiting was again on the score sheet as was Ricky Powley and short corner specialist Andy Hipper.  Alex was unlucky to be hit in the mouth by an accidental lifted hit and his team wish him a rapid recovery.Dragons were slightly disappointed not to win by a greater margin after leading 4-0 at half time, but overall a solid team performance.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-9 Norfolk Nomads 1

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

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 1-1 Pelicans

On a Saturday evening at goals the boys development team faced the Pelicans.

The Pelicans had only 9 players meaning the match was a friendly but Jono Chaney Baxter and Angus joined the Pelicans so they could scrape a team of 11. The game was quite scrappy with neither team being able to really cause any worry or problems for the other team. Towards the end of the first half Pelicans started having some chances. However Ben Nkumrah in the goal was as good as always making several good saves. Just before the end of the half a long hit from Harry Williamson found the quick George Bowman 1 on 1 with the keeper and he cooly took it round the goalkeeper to make it 1-0 to Dragons. That was the end of the first half after that.

Half time Dragons 1-0 Pelicans

The second half so Pelicans come out strong but the Dragons, particularly James Hansall, were defending well. Also Ben Nkumrah continued making stunning saves. Then midway through the second half things began favouring Dragons. Several chances were being made but we were struggling to find the end product and chances for Jack Small and Joe Osbourne were unluckily not taken. Then a Pelicans player got injured meaning that George Bowman went over to the Pelicans so the numbers could be made up. With 5 minutes left a controversial free hit was taken (it went straight in the “D”) and also struck George’s foot – but no whistle was blown and the Pelicans got a short corner. There was nothing anyone could have done as the Pelicans player struck the ball cleanly into the corner of the goal from the short levelling the scores. And that was that

Final score Dragons 1- 1 Pelicans

Ben Nkumrah was voted the man of the match by almost everyone after several good saves and he was unlucky not to keep a clean sheet. Everyone played well and on another day we would have got the win.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 0-2 Watton

 

The match got off to a strong attacking start from Watton who forced Tilly to make a string of brilliant saves.  After this defensive start the match became more evenly balanced. Dragons were forced to clear a number of short corners, without Watton scoring.  The first half saw Lucy play some fantastic hockey which prevented Watton getting on the scoreboard.  She was justifiably made player of the match.

The second half then saw some great attacking play from Lara, however, unluckily this did not result in a goal.  The two teams battled it out and were fairly evenly matched throughout the second half.  Unfortunately a late goal from Watton was quickly followed by a second which saw the final score line reach 2-0.  Overall it was a great game with some confident playing from several girls new to the team.  Congratulations to Lucy and Tilly who all had a good first match.

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 31/01/2015

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Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s A-A Cambridge City 2

Started game at Perse school only to be interrupted by a freak snowstorm making the game unplayable and dangerous after 25mins!

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 5-1 Ipswich 3

With the early matches succumbing to the icy pitch at the Den, Dragons were delighted that the forecast was spot on, with the temperature rising to a balmy 3 degrees and even a hint of sun at midday, meaning a perfect playing surface at the Den.

Following an ‘average’ warm-up, the game got underway, with the visitors making by far the brightest start, forcing early short corners, the second of which was forced home by the Ipswich forwards. This served as the wake-up call Dragons needed, knowing they needed to be first to every ball and move the ball on quicker as the visitors were, as ever, keen to be the first team to take points off the league leaders.

Dragons settled and got their game going, moving the ball at pace up to Laura Shreeve, Aoife Lowe-Davies and Marcy Windsor-Waite – who began to get in behind the experienced Ipswich defence. A number of short corners we forced by Dragons, the third of which was slipped to Hollie Limmer whose strike was saved high by the GK only for Laura Shreeve to score with the rebound, however after long deliberation by the umpires, the goal was disallowed. Ipswich took the resulting hit out, however the ball was intercepted by Shreeve, whose fierce strike from the top of the D, deceived the keeper with the sheer pace, to thump the backboard.

From here Dragons pushed on, with the normal midfield quartet of Han Ellis, Gail Thomas, Karen O’Neill-Simpson and Hollie Limmer, putting in their usual disciplined and tireless shift and starting to win the 50:50 battles and spread play well to the flanks or in behind the defence. Similarly Natalie Beal, who had been unwell all week, put in an ultimate cameo performance playing just 5 minutes in each half. Her first half ‘cameo’ resulted in the second goal for Dragons, a fantastic run up the right by Beal, followed up with a smart one-two with Marcy Windsor-Waite and a pinpoint pass into the D, for Laura Shreeve to calmly finish, making it 2-1 at half-time.

The second half saw Dragons firmly in their stride, with some lovely flowing hockey. The defensive line was assured with Freddie Briscoe, Ally Windsor-Waite, Sophie Thomas and Angela Murgatroyd comfortably dealing with Ipswich attack. The Windsor-Waites were rampant down the right, with both combining well to cause the Ipswich defence problems.

Dragons’ fast flowing play was rewarded with more goals, with Laura Shreeve completing her third hat-trick of the season. Hannah Hardy then swept home an effort from a pin-point pass by Dragons Player of the Match, Aoife Lowe-Davies, who then got her rewards for her tireless and unselfish play, with a smartly taken sweep into the corner to take the score to 5-1.

More chances came……..and went, with Ipswich GK Lorna Hassel making some strong blocks to keep the score to 5. Following a slow start, Dragons reacted well as a team and ran-out worthy winners. As always, there are a few things to work on in training, but overall a ‘good day at the office’, from this squad of players who continue to show great commitment and togetherness.

Photos from this game here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 6-0 Magpies 4

On an extremely wet and cold late afternoon Ladies Dragons 3s donned their baselayers to face an equally wet and cold Magpies 4s team. With two player debuts from Sian Lawrie and Christina Murgatroyd, together with the return of Debs Smith from down-under, and despite several player injuries/illnesses, Dragons were able to field a strong 13.

With a slightly slow start, Dragons defence were immediately put under pressure by a fast Magpies attack. This was quickly controlled though by the defence of Natasha Falzon (skipper) and Laura Bruce. Laura Goodbun also played a key role in defence and made some superb runs all the way up the right wing and into the D. This new found talent is definitely going to be an ongoing asset to the team!

The first goal came 13 minutes in with Smith (PoM) dominating in the centre of the pitch. A swift ball across the D found a Magpies foot for Dragons first short corner. A fast ball from Sophie Farrow to Debbie Santa Clara at the top of the D, was expertly laid off to Caroline Wolfe to take a strong strike to the bottom right corner. Short corner training in practice seems to be paying off!
Magpies continued to push forwards with the defence taking quite a beating from a physical Magpies team – with Falzon having the bruises to prove her strong defensive efforts! Strong man marking from the defence left Magpies little space to get near goal and a resulting shot was disallowed. After this slight scare Dragons really found their feet. A quick run up the pitch from Hazel Sumner, and a swift pass to Laura Tompson Wright was completed by a beautiful touch to Smith and a slap to the bottom left corner of the goal.
2:0 Dragons.

The goals continued to come with Wolfe demonstrating some fancy foot and stick work to get out of a tight corner and get the ball to Smith, who ‘creamed it’ into the top left corner of the goal, not leaving the Magpies Keeper any chance. The score now 3:0 Dragons but Magpies were not deterred and just before the half time managed to break through the attack to create a 1 on 1 with keeper Murgatroyd, who calmly applied the pressure and cleared the ball strongly wide.
Again the 2nd half started with strong play from both sides, with some particularly skilful midfield play being demonstrated by Harriet Green and Geo Beckwith. A scramble in the Magpies D finally found Wolfe, who provided a perfectly weighted ball to trickle across the Magpies goal line.
4:0 Dragons.

The 5th goal came soon after and was worked up the pitch with swift, accurate passes from all involved. Green to Falzon, to Beckwith, to LTW, who expertly lifted the ball over the keepers head to dink off of the inside of the left hand post at the top cornere and into the goal.

Magpies continued to apply the pressure, only to be intercepted by the speedy Goodbun, who promptly ran the length of the pitch to take on the Magpies goalkeeper. The committed goalkeeper intercepted the ball, for it to be picked up and calmly played around her by LTW and passed to Lawrie to be swept into the goal.

Final score, Norwich Dragons win 6:0.

A fantastic game and well deserved result from all involved in very difficult conditions. Hopefully by the time of reading all players and spectators will have managed to thaw out their frozen fingers and toes. Lots of positive team play and plenty of skills to continue to work on going into next week’s game against a strong Magpies 3s team.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1

Norwich Dragons 4s 5-2 Magpies 6

Another game that was able to escape the worst of the weather, while we saw some rain, a touch of sleet and right at the end, a bit of snow, the game went ahead without any delays.Dragons took a little while to settle into the swing of things this week and as a result the first 10 minutes saw play solidly stuck in midfield. Once Dragons had gained their feet, play quickly turned in their favour with brilliant passing and team work from all involved. Chelsea Crawford, Sue Cross and Louise Davis did amazing work down the right moving play swiftly and accurately towards Magpies’ D.

We didn’t have to wait long for the first goal to come, a lovely cross in front of the goal from Gemma Rump (PoM) to the waiting stick of Holly Bailey, who slotted the ball in behind the keeper. In return Magpies came close to scoring a few minutes later with a well-paced switch of play through the midfield but Laura Tuck came off her line and took control of the ball taking it out of harm’s way.The second goal came from a well-executed short corner and saw Kate McKenna positioned perfectly on the post to receive a deflected ball and edge it past the line. There were numerous other chances in the first half and Sue Cross was unlucky to be denied two goals where the ball was involved in a scramble of sticks on the line. Louise Davis also had a great strike on goal, but a quick footed keeper cleared it well. Carmel Windsor Waite made some beautiful switches in play in the last few minutes of the half, meeting the ball well and passing it off to Mel Widdows, who was waiting on the left to drive the length of the pitch.

At the end of the first half Dragons were comfortably 2:0 up and looked very much in command.The second half saw Dragons attacking straight away, scoring their third goal in the first 5 minutes. A classic one on one situation where Amelia Dawson dummied the ball right before sweeping it left past the now wrong footed keeper. Magpies however weren’t giving up and after winning the ball in midfield made it to the Dragons’ D and were awarded a short corner which they slipped twice, before slotting it home. Dragons answered with a cracking goal, a long drive down the wing by Issy Wolfe was passed to Sue Cross who slammed it over the line. Moments later Freya Clogan made a wonderful run all the way from the defensive line to the opposition’s D and stuck the ball straight and true, but some experienced defending saw it cleared off the pitch.

The last 5 minutes saw a goal from each team. Another short corner for Magpies saw them score in a packed D, where the number of players involved made it difficult to see the ball and even harder to clear it successfully and Magpies dogged determination saw the ball eventually cross the goal line. In the last two minutes the final Dragon’s goal came, a lovely run straight at goal from the top of the D found Gemma Rump on her own with the keeper, the ball was expertly pushed into the left hand side of the goal with the keeper barely able to move off the spot before it had hit the back board.As the snow started to fall the final whistle blew and Dragons won a crucial game. An excellent team effort.

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

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 4-0 Carrow 2

Proof of Dragons sweeping all before them is to be seen on Facebook, where our young players warmed up nicely with a big broom (and Alice Smith and Jasmin Daniels got rid of some excess energy with a snowball fight). Carrow and Dragons both have to travel to Langley and agreed to try the pitch – the groundsman’s opinion being that we would not cause any damage – and actually the surface was fine, perhaps a little faster than usual. All credit to Carrow who are determined to complete their season with a small squad. On this occasion, their ten players kept us down to a single goal in the first half but we wore them down in the end.

Dragons started brightly, and from their first penalty corner, Bridget Le Good saw her shot beat the keeper only to be stopped by the far post defender. She tried the same shot at the next penalty corner and this time kept it a little lower for it to sneak in on the bounce. Both shots were set up by excellent slips from Megan Farrant. Megan had a quiet first half because she was suffering from a cold, but the cold air and unselfish running got her into shape, and she scored Dragons’ third goal from a well-struck penalty corner and the fourth from her own forcing run. Our second goal was a beautiful reverse sweep from Anna Brook, who once again showed she is totally comfortable at this level and able to make a valuable contribution to the team.

Our defence had plenty of work to do in the first half. We were fortunate to have Lottie Korn available when we needed her to mark the very dangerous Carrow left wing out of the game, which she duly did. She channelled, jab tackled and generally made a right little nuisance of herself. Alongside her Katy Saide (centre) and Katie Franks were equally composed to deal with the breakaway runs. Alice Smith in goal did not have too many shots to deal with, but she kept an immaculate clean sheet.  Jasmin Daniels had an excellent game at the bottom of the diamond, and in the second half when Jo Eke rested herself because of a chest infection and a hand injury, Jasmin moved up at every opportunity to support the attacks.

Possibly the unluckiest player not to get onto the scoresheet was Rachel Bruce. Her super speed and excellent positional sense meant she was available to pick up the passes time after time, but Carrow saved their best defending for her work in the circle. Izzi Ferguson, Sarah Norman and Helen Marsh gave Dragons plenty of attacking moves from wide mid, and Helen also did some excellent work in defence.  These players gave Dragons opportunities to rotate without losing fluency.

When Jo was on the pitch, she was her usual influential and tenacious self and Dragons will need her to be back at full strength for the sterner tests to come. Bridget got the player of the match vote, with her threaded passes from the attacking third setting up plenty of attacking moves for the fast young players. This was just the all-round performance the 6s needed to build their confidence.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s P-P Lowestoft Railway 2

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 4-3 Dereham 2

Dragons earn a gritty 4-3 win over Dereham 2s. A massive win for the team whose promotion ambitions are continuing to gain momentum. Switching Captain Overstall to the back and recalling the elusive J. Gosling gave dragons the spark they needed after conceding an early goal. With some excellent play from the irreplaceable Samways and the fiery Deayton Dragons fought back with goals from Alex Browne and R. Snelling to lead into the break. More well worked play lead to a 4-2 lead after another goal from A. Browne and some shocking defending at short corners by Dragons. With 3 minutes to go Dragons conceded a short and true to form all game long conceded a goal from this. With the final whistle gone and down to 10 men a heroic effort was needed to repel the 4 after-time short corners in order to gain a tough but well deserved win at home.

10 other things to take away from the game:
1. Mike Farrow lived up to pre-match predictions and earned himself a DoD award. With a 47% pass completion percentage and 100% awkward clichéd motivational defence prep talks, it was no surprise that a DoD award was well earned.
2. If anyone knows any good car mechanics please contact Mike Farrow
3. Matt Knights new stick made a solid appearance. In an exclusive interview, the new equipment stated “I am a class act; light, strong and extremely agile. If only the same could be said of my handler”
4. Nick Charlish takes over as the teams resident glass man
5. A. Browne continues to maintain a 87% fear percentage when laughing shots at peoples heads.
6. R. Snelling still can’t grasp the concept of buying Jelly Babies
7. Coach Wagstaff losing his head on the sideline is a sight to behold. Like the migration of wilder-beast across the African planes this episode deserves justice in HD with David Attenborough commentary overlaid
8. Eating cold jacket potatoes like apples as a snack is still weird and always will be. Always.
9. GOOD NEWS – Robbie Bell doesn’t have to go to Harry Potter land!
10. Harry Potter land have been unable to deny reports of arson instigated by a man in goalie pads
In true transfer day form the rumour mill has been working overdrive with reports of a major player moving abroad on loan. A source close to Coach Wagstaff has said “The club is worried. To lose a star defender to Morzine HC could be a real blow. We can only hope that a big pay rise will enough to keep in here”
On reports that Nick “Torres” Charlish would be making a permanent move abroad have been confirmed by Captain Overstall “sometimes, you just have to cut the dead wood out of the team. He promised goals at the weekend and didn’t deliver. There will be ramifications”


Photos from this game here.
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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3-4 Ipswich Cranes


Now, this is a story all about how
Dragon 2’s this Saturday went 4-3 down
Playing cranes on a smurf turf
So just sit right there
I’ll tell you how the match played out in a town called… IpswichWe left goals as the weather became hazed
With Piers not knowing all of the ways
Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool
Ready to shoot some h-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started making trouble in our D-hood
They got two lucky goals and we all got scared
We said ‘Let’s get movin’ were having a mare’

We fought and pushed forward with play after play
But Wolfe pushed the ball past Ben; sent him on his way
Half time came and we were down, eager now to win it.
We put our heads back on and said, ‘make sure you don’t kick it’.Second half, yo this is ball

Snow coming down in a winter mass.
Is this what the people of Ipswich deal with?
Hmmmmm this might be a fight.But wait I hear Wolfe and Jenkins and all that
Great goals, is this where the comebacks at?
I don’t think so
Cranes scored soon after there
I hope theyre prepared for the prince of bel air

The final whistle came, the weather came clearer
If anything I could say that this loss wasnt rare
4-3 loss  ‘Nah, forget it’ – ‘Yo, homes to Norwich’

We pulled up goals about 7 or 8
All shattered we yelled ‘Yo homes smell ya later’
We looked at the table
It was getting tight there
To sit on our thrones as Mid-Table champions…

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s P-P Bury 2
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Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s A-A Magpies 5
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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-0 Sudbury 4 

On a wild weather day Sudbury braved the snow and sleet to visit a perfectly playable Dragons Den. With both teams having the bare cold and wet 11 it was all set for a perfect contest. Dragons started strongly as Sudbury tried to find their formation. Open spaces were exploited by Rob (“Bangers” CB) and Razzaq in the midfield resulting in numerous chances early on. Dragons first goal came from a nice run from Sayer across the Sudbury defence who failed to commit to stopping the run as Sayer slotted in past the keeper. This stirred Sudbury’s midfield and the two central players started to connect and string together useful session of play. Dragons defence of Keeler , Spinks , Carver and Ryan combined well to limit the chances as the opposition always looked in with a chance.Having weathered this Dragons nicked another before halftime with the injured York-Smith turning calmly in the D to find the energetic Spinks in the perfect position to slot home past the useful Sudbury keeper.The second half started with larger flakes and a more open style. Sudbury still threatened and Ryan was “sold” again by the same trick only to be saved by a great strong stick save from keeper Declan Cobb. This backed up a fine faultless keeping display in less than ideal conditions. Meanwhile Key and Lee kept up tireless work to help ensure another goal was on the cards. The right hand side run by Rob (“Bangers” CB) proved a constant threat and eventually the ball came across to find Razzaq free to slot home his second in two games.

After that the game whilst competitive called for the final whistle to be blown and a hot shower. Thanks again to Sudbury for making the trip in thankless weather and to the umpires who braved the conditions. In the joint  Men of the Match Keeler and Rob CB fully deserved their praise.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-1 Dereham 5 

After a morning of waiting anxiously to see if yet another game would be called off, Dragons arrived at Dereham to find the pitch perfectly playable. After the customary loss of the toss by captain Robert Coyle (still hasn’t won one this season), Dereham started the game and it was clear they were intent on attack from the start. The Dragons defence of John Butler, Rich Davis, Steven Trivett and Mike Banham was more than a match and anything that did get through was well dealt with by goalkeeper Chris Millar. Dragons had chances on the break, with some excellent through balls from Josh Bingham but couldn’t quite create shooting opportunities. Man of the match Sam Hobdell was covering immense ground, creating a good link between attack and defence. Owain Hall and Connor Adams tried to bring the play wide but were met by some very strong defence from Dereham.The second half was dominated by heavy snow showers that made it difficult to create any fluid hockey. Dereham continued to push forward and when Dragons failed to clear after a good save by Millar, the rebound was slotted home. Dragons continued to push for an equalizer but as the game became scrappier and the weather deteriorated, they struggled to get into the opposing D. This was a solid Dragons performance against a team that had beaten us 6-0 earlier in the season. They were further strengthened by extra players on the day and it is a measure of the progress the 6th team have made that they were disappointed to come away without a a point.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 3-4 Norwich City 

In the worst condition seen for years the Dev boys from both teams braved the sleet and snow to put on a performance that our first teams would be proud of. Dragons held control of the middle of the pitch for most of the game. Finishing in the circle however was not so clinical. Ball running from Charlie Nunn , Raunaq Rai and Edward Murphy was outstanding. Passes finding the wing where Louis Cann played a strong role in building attacks. Dragons first goal was a bit of a scramble but it was City who got the goals with one scramble a superb strike to go in with a half time lead.The second half saw Dragons take more and more control but City still managed another with a great reverse stick strike. Dragons then dominated the game with some superb attacks. Dragons came back to 4 -3 and looked like getting even but were eventually beaten by the whistle. Dragons inability to finish in the D cost them this game.Goals from Charlie Nunn, Lois Cann and ?. MOM a three-way split between Charlie, Louis and Raunaq.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 0-2 Yarmouth

Dragon Ladies Masters fire through to Round 3

IMG_7843Norwich Dragons Ladies Over 35s beat Norwich City 6-0 in Round 2 of the England Hockey Knockout Trophy on Sunday.  With two goals from Natalie Beal early in the first half, the home side were quickly in their stride.  The first came from a great ball into the D from influencial player Laura Shreeve, to fellow forward Lisa Harwood, who laid off the ball to Natalie Beal to slot home.  Before her second goal, Beal also came close when she lobbed the ball over the City keeper, only to see the ball strike the crossbar.  However, no such bad luck a few minutes later when Shreeve played an inch perfect cross for Beal to slot into an open goal.

On the stroke of halftime Dragons won a penalty corner which found its way to Hannah Hardy who drove the ball past the keeper for a 3-0 halftime lead.

Just 8 minutes into the second half, Beal was on the scoresheet again with her third and Dragons’ fourth.  Another great ball from Shreeve found Beal, who scrambled the ball home.  Beal scored her fourth from a pin-point angled cross by Hardy.

Dragons had several further opportunities to increase the victory, however just one further goal was scored, a second for Hardy.

The home sides’ defence of Ally Windsor-Waite, Angela Murgatroyd, Louise Davis and Lucy King in goal had a few penalty corners to deal with and one or two breaks, which they coped with well, allowing the usual defenders Donna Vaughan and Lizzie Moulton to move further up the pitch to join captain Gail Thomas and Karen O’Neill-Simpson in midfield.  Injury to forward Sue Cross brought a premature end to her match in the first half.

Photos from the match can be found here.

NDHC League Match Reports: 10/01/2015

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s – No fixture

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s – No fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 2:0 Loddon 1s
A very blustery game welcomed Dragons back from their extended Christmas break (as their previous 2 games had been postponed due to frozen pitches).Determined to get straight back into their hocey groove Dragons were hard on the attack from the start. Taking the first push back Caroline Wolfe dropped the ball back to Geo Beckwith (PoM), who inturn crossed the ball out to the right hand side. The Loddon 10, despite being one man down, weren’t going to make things easy for the 14 strong Dragon side. Intercepting a pass and with the wind on their backs they made their first bid for goal. Driving down the left side of the pitch, with some neat one-two’s, they made their way into the Dragon D. Their first strike on goal was safely seen away by the dragon keeper, Amy Forse, but sadly onto the foot of a Dragon defender.Loddon promptly took their short corner. Quickly to the top of the D, but closed down by the speedy 1 runner, Natasa Falzon, Loddon slipped the ball right and took a strike at goal. Deflected by Forse Loddon again picked up the deflection. Closed down by Laura Bruce Loddon lost the ball and Bruce allowed Dragons to turn play sending it down the right line to Hazel Sumner. Keeping the Loddon 10 on the back foot as they made their way back down the pitch Dragons started to use the extra man to their atvantage, stretching play in both length and width. From right to left, Sumner, Pollyanna Watson and Harriet Green switched the ball through the mid field creating gaps where Loddon would have had their 11th player. Using this to their advantage Dragons pressured the Loddon D.Taking time to bring the ball out of the D and play it around the outside, changing their direction of attack allowed forward Caroline Wolfe to take a shot. Quickly closed down by the Loddon defneder Wolfe had to take the shot with her back to goal. On target for the right hand top corner but just tipped onto the crossbar by the Loddon keeper Dragons were denied the goal and awarded a long corner.Still with pace in their legs, Loddon hounded the Dragons back into their own half. A pair of strong Loddon forwards using their pace and the wind to their advantage. Dragon defenders Sarah Wagsraff and Natasha Fazon traked the players and guided them on to the waiting stick of their fellow team mate. Once again on the attack Dragons continued to make use of their extra man. Crossing the ball through Geo Beckwith they managed to fing the fast legs of Laura Goodbun. Along woth Marcy Windsor-Waite the three of them passed the ball around the Loddon defenders allowing Geo Beckwith to take a strike on goal. Once again quick on her feet the Loddon keeper managed to tip the ball wide of the goal but his time keeping in on the pitch. The deflecting ball was quickly picked up by Sophie Farrow who swiftly swept it in passed the keeper on the lleft post.

Determined to keep in the game Loddon took their center ball from the restart and were immediately on the attack. However, with 11 behind the ball it didn’t take too long for Dragons to win possesion again. Pressure resumed on the Loddon D, eventually winning a short corner from the Loddon defenders. Out to the top of the D and slipped right, sever strikes were unable to make it passed the remainding Loddon players.

As the half time whistle blew Dragons were in the lead 1:0

Back from the break Loddon took the push back. Their two forwards with some great linking play manouvered the ball around the Dragon players and into their D. A strike on goal was saved by the diving left glove of Amy Forse, maintaing the Dragons clean sheet for the game.

Continuing to use the extra player to their advantage Dragons made the ball do the work, using good switching play and adding fluidity to their game. Despite the wind they managed some great weighted balls allowing their team mates to run into the growing gaps created by the tiring Loddon team. Charging onto the ball Laura Goodbun found her self in a one-on-one with the Loddon keeper. Determined not to give Dragons an easy goal the Loddon goalie ran at the ball, sliding and winning it. Sadly Goodbun was unable to avoid the charging keeper and was taken out by the tackle, hurting her shoulder and rendering her unable to play the remainder of the game.

Fatigue was clearly getting to both sides as the play became increasingly frantic. The break in play, as the injured Dragon player was taken from the pitch, allowed Dragons time to gather and refocus their approach. Undetterred the Dragons soldiered on.

Dragons sideline ball, taken by Windsor-Waite was passed back to Laura Bruce, who in turn crossed it to Watson. Finding Debbe Santa-Clara Dragons continued their forray into the Loddon D. Once again using the extra player to their advantage Santa-Clara passed the ball wide to Alice Guest, finding space she continued the ball to Hazel Sumner. Dragon play was starting to gain momentum again as Sumner crossed the ball to Beckwith. Quick thinking and her eye on the player Beckwith spotted Wolfe waiting on the P spot. Her sure pass allowed Wolfe to take a strong sweep of the ball securing the Dragons second goal.

Final Score Norwich Drgon Ladies 3’s 2:0 Loddon 1’s
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 1:2 Evergreens 1s

With the game starting in the worst weather conditions I have seen in a long time both teams retreated to the dugouts with less than 2 minutes played as visibility was terrible and the rain was hitting like bullets! After 5 minutes sheltering, very damp teams returned to the pitch to continue the match.Both teams were a little slow after the Christmas break and it took a little while for Dragons to find their hockey brains but once found there were some lovely demonstrations of passing down both sides with Kate McKenna and Chelsea Crawford (joint PoM) working well down the right and Abi Cowe and Mel Widdows doing the same on the left.Due to the great passing the forwards received the ball well and made a good few attempts on goal with Holly Bailey crossing the ball neatly in front of the goal, but no one could get a stick to it to nudge it across the line.The first goal came from Evergreens, they broke in midfield and were able to get ahead of the defence, while the initial shot was saved by keeper, Laura Tuck, but the Evergreens player didn’t give up and gave the ball a second push which made it over the line. Dragons as usual rallied quickly and with some lovely play through the middle from Gemma Rump and Katie Buxton (joint PoM) gotthe ball back into the oppositions D. The goal came from Amelia Dawson who cracked the ball at goal, hitting a stick as it went, which deflected the ball up and over the keeper’s head.At half time the game was tied and Dragons seemed to be playing well, communication was better and the neat passing remained. It was bad luck that in the first 10 minutes of the second half a penalty flick was awarded after the ball hit a defenders foot on the line during a short corner. Laura Tuck made a valiant attempt to dive and save the goal, but just missed.

Dragons had at least 70% of the possession after this and had several short corners awarded in their favour but Sue Cross and Amelia Dawson were unable to get clean strikes on goal and the Evergreens defence where strong and therefore able to intercept slipped balls. In the last 10 minutes of the game Dragons tried hard to draw level, with Louise Davis pushing up from right back and managing to drive the ball into the D on more than one occasion. While many attempts were had they just couldn’t beat the keeper.It was a well fought game, against the team at the top of the league, and there are a lot of positives to move forward with next week.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 0:0 Evergreens 2s

Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s had a slightly shaky start back after Christmas. A 0-0 draw was not quite the result they were looking for against Evergreens 2s, however the clean slate was testament to the excellent defence work by the re-jigged defence of Bella Capps, Jess Tye Leach and Emma Buxton. With the wise owl Christina Murgatroyd in goal i felt this defence looked confident and well organised. Taking up bottom of diamond and man of the match Carmel Windsor-Waite showed her maturity and ball distribution skills to their up most. Lisa Harwiid and Laura Hansell held some excellent positions but the ball could not find them.

Despite these efforts it was nil nil at half time.Dragons came out stronger in the second half, however the whole game required a bit more pace & passion especially up front and connections in mid field. A cracker of a shot from Rachael Matthews was unlucky not to go in. There were some excellent efforts with long runs from from Issy Wolfe, Jade Blanchflower and Anja Finegan, however all these players need to start to think more about releasing the ball with a considered pass. Chiara Bond continues to own it at top of the diamond and showed what you need from mid field; tireless attack and defence which was aided by her obvious maintenance of fitness over Christmas.

All in all I think we will feel more room ready for next week against Watton.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 3:1 Norwich Dragons 7s

A cloudburst just as the match began could not dampen the spirits of the 6s and 7s as they renewed their rivalry at the start of the second half of the season. The season had started with a comfortable win for the 6s, but the 7s showed how much they have learned and improved by pushing their rivals until the final whistle. Megan Farrant, player of the match for the 6s, scored a hat trick. Her third goal was worthy of any team – she injected a penalty corner for Bridget Le Good to crash towards the near post for Megan to deflect in. All the more remarkable, the 6s thought, because most of them were dying on Wednesday and had not been able to turn up for training and pen corner practice.Plenty of sympathy for Amy Hunter, who nearly called off herself through illness but had an excellent game in goal. She stopped every hard shot from every angle and it took the ‘work rounds’ to beat her. A pass from Bridget to Megan in the first 10 minutes saw Megan slip the ball in from the right. 6s may have thought they could go on the rampage, but  7s had other ideas.Lucy Morton, now moved up from the development squad, was a speedy handful through the middle of the pitch, and the 6s had to send in two defenders whenever she approached the circle. Lottie Korn took her on when Lucy went left, and Katy Saide, now playing central defender, was solid in the middle.The 6s dropped their concentration and 7s equalised through Kat Speirs, the kind of smart straight slap shot that she can do well.  With Jane Morton also dangerous on the break, Jasmin Daniels wisely held back at the bottom of the diamond for the 6s, or Lucy, Tracy Stuart-Sheppard or Gill Walker would have been through.

The 7s’ mids made some impressive runs, and Claire Fairhurst was again effective both on the edge of the circle and on the baseline, but the 6s defenders, completed by Katie Franks, held their nerve and Alice Smith did not have too many direct shots to deal with.Up the other end, the 6s put the 7s under plenty of pressure.The 7s defenders, with Emma Banks (7s player of the match) displaying some excellent reach and Jo Baker putting in some brave tackles, kept Megan at bay (most of the time) and prevented Rosie Skipp from getting clear shots on target. Emma North is another player who improves with every game, either in defence or moving through the centre.  But the 7s defence was caught square at one point, and a ball slipped through to Megan gave her another clear sight of goal. She doesn’t miss those.Vicky Earley added some extra determination in the second half, but the tackles kept on coming.  Persy de Magdalene and Emma Cadley get more confident with each match.

6s varied from some lovely flowing passing moves using plenty of width to some pretty ropey finishing in front of goal. Ciara Willmott is now an assured right mid, and Sarah Norman, another player struggling with illness, may not have been her usual sparky self but she turned in a good team performance. Jo Eke has moved up to the top of the diamond and with her skilful distribution, the mids kept on creating opportunities. Ellie James, making her Dragons’ debut, had an excellent game for the 6s. Operating mostly on the left she showed speed and stick skills, read the game really well, and blended into the team as though she had been playing for them all season.The 6s won in a workmanlike way, showing that they do have a good new formation that should bring them more goals. The 7s played really well, and with renewed confidence. They need fear no team and proved that the more they relax and enjoy their game, the better they play.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s – See above

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s No Fixture

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 7:2  Lowestoft Railway 1s
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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 3:0 City 5s (friendly)

For the first game of 2015, Dragons travelled to Taverham for a friendly with Norwich City 5s.  City 5s are currently in the same league as Dragons and this was seen as a good game to help run off some of the turkey consumed over the Christmas period.

Dragons started well and were linking up play nicely.  John IVES once again dominated the right midfield and got off a few crosses to the Dragon forwards.  One chance fell to Adam SAYER who swept the ball just outside the City goal.  Another ball in found Adie KEMP who again was unlucky to have his shot blocked by the City keeper.  The Dragon pressure kept up and a short corner saw a neat slip left from Will KIRBY to SAYER.  The shot went through the City keeper’s legs and hit his ankle where it deflected sideways, not unfortunately into the goal.City did start to press Dragons and managed to break through midfield.  Defenders Peter DAVISON, Will IVES and Sam MANN calmly dealt with any danger.  Any balls that came through were then dealt swiftly by keeper Dim IVES.

Once again Dragon midfield generals Stu KELLY and Rob GOODSON got the ball up to the forwards.  Nick TURNER showed some strong runs down the left and looked dangerous in the City D.  Dragon’s efforts were rewarded with another short corner and this was put away from a straight strike from KIRBY.The second half saw more of the same type of play as Dragon’s worked themselves up the pitch, completing passes and working off the ball for each other.  Chances came again and weren’t converted, but Dragons kept on working.

Sam MANN showed he has a place in gymnastics if he ever quits hockey, with some flying and rolling tackles against the City forwards.  Will IVES made some strong runs down the side of the pitch and made some good passes through to the Dragon forwards.  One pass that did come through to Dragons, found Robbie WHITING on the left of the City D.  WHITING took the ball on his reverse stick and let rip with a shot that rocketed into the City goal.Further pressure from Dragons saw Will KIRBY get another goal and the game was as good as over.  Dragons win 3-0, but could have had more if their finishes were more clinical.  Despite being the first game this year, Dragons displayed some very promising hockey and are looking forward to their game against Dereham next week at the Den.

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Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s No Fixture

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s No Fixture


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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 1:1 IES 5s
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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 6:1 Dereham

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 6:5 Lowestoft Railway

The girls played a fantastic match on the 10th of January 2015 against Lowestoft Railway at the UEA. Winning with an excellent score of 6-5. We dominated the game and we were 4-3 up by half time. Anna Brook scored the first goal, Lara made an excellent pass into the D where Anna took advantage of this pass and scored our first goal. Sophie Thurtell (captain) then scored the next goal.

However, Lowestoft fought back and scored 2 goals. But we were determined to take the lead again, Lily Sore who played left forward scored our third goal. Ellie Hipper had a great game and was awarded player of the match, she scored an amazing hat trick.The girls used the width well getting the ball out onto the wing to and then drove it into the D for many shots on goal. Brooke Simmons played at excellent game as left defence pushing up when needed and passing the ball down the line.

Chelsea our adult was very strong in defence with Isobel Keane as they cleared the ball very well to our mids. We had a few new members who played fantastically and didn’t give up.  We would like to thank Bridget for her excellent support and coaching.

Dragons in East Indoor Action

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Both the Men and Ladies took part in the East Indoor Division 1 Championships this weekend.  The Men had some tough opposition including Ipswich, Bourne Deeping, Bishop’s Stortford, Wapping, Wisbech Town and Sudbury.

The ladies played 5 and won 4, losing to winners and last season’s Premier Division team West Herts.

Results as follows:
vs Broadland – 8-1 win

vs Phoenix – 7-1 win

vs Royston – 14-1 win

vs Bishop Stortford – 4-1 win

This set up a deciding game against West Herts.  Unfortunately the time of the game had been changed without the team being advised, so one player was not at the Sportspark and the rest had just eaten, expecting another hour until the game.

West Herts pressed hard from the start and soon found themselves 2 goals up, they scored another before Dragons replied to make the score 3-1 at halftime.  Another two goals for West Herts in the second half gave them the 5-1 win and promotion to the East Premier.

A fantastic performance for the Ladies in their first experience of this tournament. Well done to coach Tom Vaughan, Captain Kate Trelawny Gower and the squad of Freddie Briscoe, Donna Vaughan, Maddie Denman, Lizzie Moulton, Emma Tabrett, Hannah Hardy, Laura Tompson-Wright and Hayley Toleman.

Some photos from Saturday’s games here and Sunday here.

NDHC League Match Reports: 20/12/2014

Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-6 Ipswich Cranes 2s

After a mammoth struggle to put a team together, 13 players made the trip to Ipswich for the rearranged match against Cranes. With 4 players making their 6s debut, the pre-match talk was about learning names, a too-frequent experience this season. Cranes proved to be quick on the break and after some pressure scored a well taken goal from a short corner. A second followed but a stunning goalline save from Ben Nkrumah kept Dragons in touch and a good through ball from Rich Davis was well dispatched by Gary Burgess to leave the score at 2-1 at half time.

Cranes started the second half strongly and scored early. Dragons continued to build good pressure and create chances but a Cranes short corner was well stopped by Robert Coyle, 6 inches behind the line, to make the score 4-1. Cranes continued to attack but learned that they could not play the ball around Ben Nkrumah as he thundered out to flatten a not-insignificantly sized Cranes forward (got the ball first). Andy Key pulled one back but an unlucky deflection to a Cranes forward (might have been Coyle again) gave Ben no chance and the two goal cushion was restored. Mike Banham scored yet another short corner but Cranes continued to find ways through the Dragons defence and the match eventually finished 6-3.

Man of the Match was Ben Nkrumah who looked like an experienced keeper despite making his first outing in Men’s Hockey. Some excellent stops and great, calm, decision making.

Many super performances from our players young and old, we were just a step behind them for most of the match. Despite the result, an enjoyable end to Men’s 6 action for 2014.

We have used 34 different players and 8 goalkeepers, had 2 games conceded to us and 2 postponments. It’s been an exciting half season. Roll on Part 2!

Boys u16 Indoor Team through to Nationals

The Dragons Boys progressed to the England Hockey National Finals as runners up in the East Competition with results as follows:

2-1 loss to Sudbury
9-1 win over Berkhamsted
3-2 win over City of Peterborough
4-3 loss vs Old Loughtonians

Goalscorers:

vs Sudbury – Ben Watson 1
vs Berkhamsted – Tom Williams x2, Jonty Gosling x3, Ben Watson x4

vs Peterborough – Ben Watson x3
vs Old Loughtonians – Ben Watson x3

Fantastic to be the first Norwich Dragons HC to represent the Club at National Finals.

Full Report:

Having beaten local rivals Norwich City and Harleston Magpies to qualify as County Champions, the Norwich Dragons U16 boys took on the representatives of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in the East Regional Indoor tournament at UEA, being used as a full size indoor hockey pitch.

Dragons opened the tournament against the Suffolk representatives, Sudbury. Dragons started the game in confident style, with Sudbury seemingly content to sit deep and absorb pressure before launching attacks on the break. Despite creating the majority of chances, Dragons fell behind mid-way through the first half, and trailed 1-0 at the break.

After a half-time team-talk that focussed on increasing the tempo, Dragons had a disastrous start to the second half, going 2-0 down within 30 seconds. After this, the performance improved markedly, but with a 2-goal cushion and a strong defence, Sudbury proved extremely difficult to break down. With 2 minutes to go, Ben Watson did pull a goal back following good work by Jonty Gosling, but it was too little too late for Dragons.
Final Score: Norwich Dragons 1-2 Sudbury

Dragons second game was against the Hertfordshire side, Berkhamsted. Dragons played this game at a far higher tempo, and with Berkhamsted very new to indoor hockey, Dragons started to create chances quickly, with Jonty Gosling scoring a first half hatrick, before setting up Tom Williams at the back post. Berkhamsted pulled one back from a penalty corner, only for Ben Watson to coolly flick home a Dragons corner on the stroke of half-time.

The second half saw more of the same, with clever movement from the Dragons forwards creating space behind the Berkhamsted defence for the the backline of Tom Harris and Alex Stone to exploit the walls to good effect, leading to second half goals for Tom Williams and a further three for Ben Watson.
Final Score: Norwich Dragons 9-1 Berkhamsted

Dragons third game was a must win match against a good City of Peterborough side that had confidently dispatched Sudbury in their previous game. A very tight game followed, with neither side giving up much in the way of chances, Peterborough struck first to go 1-0 up, but Dragons levelled through Ben Watson via a penalty corner, and the score remained tied at the break.

In the second half, Dragons struck first, Watson finishing smartly after good work from Stone and Gosling. Peterborough pushed strongly, but the Dragons defence stood strong and when Peterborough did manage to fashion a chance Ben Nkrumah in the Dragons goal proved up to the challenge. With Peterborough pushing on by taking their keeper off they were vulnerable to being hit on the break, and Dragons ruthlessly took an opportunity to increase their lead courtesy of Watson with his hatrick. There was still time for Peterborough to force and convert a late corner, but not to restart the game, giving Dragons the win.
Final Score: Norwich Dragons 3-2 City of Peterborough

Dragons fourth game was against Old Loughtonians, who were on course to win the tournament having dominated their games against Peterborough and Berkhamsted, despite not playing with a goalkeeper. Dragons knew goal difference could be a key factor in the tournament final positions; and were determined not to let Old Loughtonians over-run them. A tight opening few minutes saw little in the way of chances for either side, but Old Loughtonians were clinical with theirs, scoring 3 times in the opening 8 minutes. Dragons took the bold move of removing their keeper and going man for man with Old Loughtonians, which seemed to cause Old Loughtonians to sit a little deeper and settle on their lead.

At half-time, Dragons stressed the importance of keeping the work-rate as high as possible and converting our changes. The boys took this to heart and produced a 12 minute period of incredible work-rate, frustrating their opposition, limiting them to just two real chances, one well-converted penalty corner, and a second that was superbly stopped on the line by Rohan Kaushal. At the other end, Dragons proved clinical, Ben Watson scoring twice in open play and converting an unstoppable penalty stroke after good work by Kaushal. Further chances did come, Kaushal chasing down what appeared a lost cause, only to see the effort come back off the post with Watson unable to collect the rebound; Stone finding his way into the D but seeing his cross touched away at the last second as Kaushal looked set to score; and Kaushal converting from Watson’s pass, only for the equaliser to be ruled out for a questionable foul. Despite a great second half performance, the result meant Dragons had to rely on other matches to determine their fate.
Final Score: Norwich Dragons 3-4 Old Loughtonians

As it happened, Old Loughtonians comfortably overcame Sudbury to confirm the title as theirs, and despite a spirited effort, Peterborough were unable to overturn the goal difference deficit to Dragons in their match against Berkhamsted, meaning Dragons finished runners-up and qualify for the National Finals in January.

IMG_1164 IMG_1165 IMG_1166 IMG_1167 IMG_1168 IMG_1169 IMG_1170 photo (2)

NDHC League Match Reports: 13/12/2014

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 2:1 Canterbury 2s

Double Delight for Dragons – a second successive double for Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s in the East Premier Division

On a cold and frosty morning the ladies 1s set off on their 340mile round trip to Canterbury in search of 3 more points and their second double of the season.  Arriving in good time, thanks to the A11 opening the day before and the new ‘free flow’ system on the Dartford Crossing, the players were able to get the journey out of their legs and prepare for the tough game ahead.Although losing the toss, Captain Donna Vaughan chose to swap ends with the winter sun unusually playing a prominent role in the game.  As expected Canterbury started strongly and put the visitors on the back foot. Great defending all over the pitch, especially from Player of the Match Hollie Limmer and Emily Rolls, enabled the Dragons to weather the early pressure and grow into the game. Canterbury won numerous short corners to which the defence stood strong and keeper Siobhan Cleeve cleared her lines well making some effective saves. Sarah Richards and Sophie Mullan took control of the midfield, supported by the energetic youngsters, Olivia Thomas and Niamh Lowe-Davis, and chances for the visitors started arriving.Emma Tabrett and Kate Trewlawny Gower combined well up front to see Trewlawny Gower’s shot fly over the crossbar.Dragons were rewarded shortly afterwards with a short corner which captain Vaughan fired home, a smart strike which deflected over Canterbury’s players on the line giving them no chance.  Dragon’s 2nd goal quickly followed, another short corner, this time Kate Trewlawny Gower expertly drag flicking into the corner. A fantastic first half!The second half saw the Dragons playing into the low sun, which proved difficult to pick out their players. However, this did not thwart the hard working Dragons who continued to play the ball around well.   Tireless work up front from Hayley Toleman helped relieve the pressure that the Canterbury team exerted.  The home team did get some reward when they scored from a well worked short corner.Dragons finished strongly to ensure the 3 points came safely home to Norwich and add their excellent tally of the season so far.  A great squad effort.A massive thanks to coach Pete Thomas for all his efforts, including driving the bus and putting up with our singing on the way home (although if you listened carefully we are sure you could here him joining in most of the time!)

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1:0 Newmarket 1s

Dragons went into their 13th League fixture of the season on the 13th of the month, knowing another win would continue their 100% record through to the restart in January 2015. With temperatures barely above freezing, but the sun shining brightly, the pitch at the Den recovered well from the early frost, to ensure the fixture went ahead.

Dragons started well, putting pressure on Newmarket defence, with strong attacks by Natalie Beal, Laura Shreeve and Aoife Lowe-Davies. Newmarket held firm however and started to build in confidence, meaning the Dragons defence of Freddie Briscoe, Angela Murgatroyd, Sophie Thomas and Ally Windsor-Waite needed to continue their strong form and remain compact as a unit, which they did excellently.

Dragons continued to force the pace and had opportunities, one particular effort found Hannah Ellis in great space, having made an excellent run to the back post. As the ball made its way to her, the whistle went for an earlier infringement, meaning Dragons were awarded a short corner, rather than what could have been the first goal. Dragons forced further short corners, alas the breakthrough didn’t quite come, particularly as Newmarket GK Sade Atkinson and their Captain Faye Andreou were having outstanding games in defence.

Half time saw the team talk about being patient playing the Dragons way, knowing they would get their opportunities. Straight from the push back Dragons were back into the Newmarket D, forcing an early save from the keeper. It was with the next attack the breakthrough came – following good work on the left, Laura Shreeve picked up the ball and went on a mazy run across the D, eventually firing the ball goalwards, which saw number 13 Captain Hannah Hardy, get her stick to the ball to poke the ball home.

The pressure was now all Dragons, with joint player of the match Gail Thomas working hard in midfield alongside, Shelly Seaman, Karen O’Neill Simpson and ‘Birthday Girl’ Laura Tompson-Wright, to break up play and ensure Dragons continued to pressure the Newmarket goal. Further opportunities came and went, one great break saw the other joint Player of the Match Ally Windsor-Waite fire the ball quickly out of defence, her pass finding Natalie Beal in the Newmarket half, Beal ran half the length of the pitch, well supported by Laura Shreeve. Unselfishly Beal squared the ball to Shreeve, however once again the Keeper was in a perfect position to smother the goalbound effort. Another quick break saw Shreeve, Beal and Hardy combine well, only for the shot from Hardy to canon off the post – Coach Pete Thomas would have been proud, as this is what the team had been practising in training!

The final whistle went and Dragons achieved their 13th win of the season – an achievement borne out of hard work and ultimately great teamwork. Whilst the scoreline didn’t quite reflect the game in terms of possession, it was the 3 points the team had set out to achieve.

There remains plenty of hard work ahead for this team to achieve their targets for the season and it will be important for the team to maintain fitness levels over the festive period. Competition for places will become even more fierce in the New Year, with players returning from injury and general availability improving.

From a Captain’s perspective, I couldn’t have asked for more from this team / squad at this stage of the season, and I thank everyone for their continued enthusiasm, commitment and desire to achieve – let’s keep it going and keep believing ladies!

Huge thanks and best wishes for Christmas to Pete Thomas for his incredible patience and enthusiasm, to Mike Hardy for continuous sideline support and to Richard Gill and Mark Flatman.

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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 Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s P-P Carrow
 
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 0:3 Herlings
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Norwich Dragons 6s & 7s Club Friendly – Sunday 14th December
The 15 6s and 7s (and the one ‘3’ and the 3 dev girls) would like to thank everyone who contributed to our fast, flowing, fun and friendly club game on Sunday. It was a crisp, cold afternoon and with 19 players the play opened up and it was very encouraging to see the ball really being used around the pitch. The final score was something like 5-4, but both Natasha Falzon and Alice Smith made some excellent stops and initiated the attacks with bold clearances.
The Blue Dragons roared into an early lead, with Jane and Lucy Morton scything through the defence. But then the Green Dragons defence squad  (Isobel Keane, Katie Franks, and Emma Banks) grew their understanding, and when they were joined by Cath Power at the bottom of the diamond, the Greens had a spell on top. It was most encouraging to see Izzi Ferguson and Rosie Skipp forming a speedy partnership down the left with good overlapping runs and some strong crosses which Kat Speirs was there to push home, and Heather Tasker was also there to tonk in.  With the Greens taking a lead, Heather switched to the Blues for the second half.  Determined Tracy Stuart-Sheppard and Amy Forse (still awesome for an unwell player and goalkeeper by day) gripped the midfield along with Heather, and the scores evened up again, the pick of the goals being a hard shot from the top of the D by Lucy.  The Blues worked out how to construct a strong defensive line, and Jo Baker, Persy Magdalene and Katy Saide locked the Greens out, but worthy of mention was Isobel’s runs as an overlapping attacking defender, and the way Cath used wriggly stick skills to get into the circle.
A most encouraging aspect of this game was that by playing ‘Dragons hockey’ two scratch teams could come together and play to a good standard, with younger players like Jasmine Mansfield, Lucy Morton, Arabella Sabberton, Heather Tasker, Rosie Skipp and Izzi Ferguson whizzing and overlapping, whilst the defensive work of Arabella, Isobel and Katie was very composed and mature. They blended well with the ‘Get Back Intos’ who really play with gusto and demonstrated just how much they have improved this season. Both these teams play much better when they relax, and they are then capable of stroking the ball around with better pace and accuracy.  We are most indebted to our two umpires for giving up their Sunday afternoon.  Mark Flatman and Sophie Farrow kept the game flowing but demanded quality in the D and awarded several penalty corners. From the sidelines, the Blues were urged on by Christina Murgatroyd and the Greens by Bridget Le Good. Then afterwards we ate the 4s tea and refreshments from Mrs Franks. Yummy.


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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 5:2 Cambridge Uni 3
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 Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1:4 Newmarket 1

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1:0 Newmarket 2After drawing against fellow 4NE highflyers Felixstowe last week, Dragons were at home to Newmarket 2s.  Newmarket are the only team to have beaten Dragons this season, and so Dragons were looking to reap some revenge.  With Pete “Iceman” DAVISON ironically feeling under the weather in the chilly climate, Dragons welcomed back Glenn MASTERSON to complete what has been one of the most successful defences in the league so far.The floodlights were on and the game started as both teams were keen to get a full game for risk of ice.  Dragons started strong and an early chance for Will “Toby” KIRBY was unlucky not to put Dragons ahead.  Dragons won a couple of short corners this half, but unfortunately goals were not meant to be at this stage.  Good defensive work from James GOODSON, Ali SMYTH, Jon GOODSON and Glenn MASTERSON led to many balls coming to the midfield after taking the ball from Newmarket.Will MAIN showed he is definitely powered by Duracell as he worked hard up and down the Dragon left flank, linking up well with the Dragon forwards Adie KEMP and Matt “Santa” JENKINS.Newmarket did get some short corners of their own, and were unlucky not to score when they hit the post.  It was through good defending and the tenacity of Dragon Keeper Dim IVES that kept a clean sheet.  Halftime and it was 0-0.Dragons came out fighting as they knew they had to capitalise on chances and get a goal to secure the 3 points.  Once again John IVES produced some great runs down the right and made Newmarket work hard to keep it out of their goal.  The unstoppable duo of Stu KELLY and Rob GOODSON made a Hadrian Wall style barrier to keep Newmarket from the Dragon 25.  Chances came for Dragons, but the final touch just wasn’t there.  A whistle was blown for a short corner just as the ball crossed the Newmarket goal line, leading Dragons to miss another opportunity.  Adie KEMP was unlucky not score as the ball just didn’t fall right for him, as was Will KIRBY who just didn’t have luck on their side.

With under 10 minutes to go it was looking like Dragons were heading to another draw, until that is, a slick ball was delivered to Adam SAYER at the top of the D from Rob GOODSON.  Pirouetting like the Lord of the Dance, SAYER took the ball to the right, then shot, and the ball crossed the goal, ending in the far corner.  In pure disbelief at finally getting a goal this season, the celebrations were awkward and let us not speak of them again.

The remaining minutes saw Dragons really put the pressure on, and were denied another goal when John IVES’s shot was saved by the Newmarket keeper.

The final whistle went and Dragons claimed another 3 points to add to their ever increasing tally.  A well deserved break over Christmas for the 3s, who will return in the new year with only one thing on their mind: promotion!


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Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s P-P Ipswich 3
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 Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 2:0 Ipswich 4

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s P-P IES 5

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons P-P Pelicans
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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons – No Fixture

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 06/12/2014

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 4:1 Saffron Walden 1s

Norwich Dragons welcomed Saffron Walden to the Den determined to do the double on them having beaten them earlier in the season.

The Dragons started the stronger and time after time got the better of the Walden defence. They took an early lead with Sarah Richards getting her first goal of the season. Dragons continued to dominate the match playing some attractive hockey zipping the ball around and finally got their second just before half time; some intricate play from the Dragons saw player of the match Kate TRELAWNY-GOWER unselfishly pass to Hayley TOLEMAN who had found space behind the keeper who made no mistake giving the Dragons a 2-0 lead going into the break.

The Dragons continued to pile on the pressure as the second half got underway and within the first 10 minutes got a third goal. This time it was Donna VAUGHAN who struck the bal sweetly from the top of the D from a short corner.

The Dragons seemed to relax when the third goal went in and allowed the visitors too much time and space. Walden took full advantage of this and were not giving up without a fight. They enjoyed more possession than they had previously and put pressure on the Dragons defence causing their keeper, Siobhan CLEEVE, to make some excellent saves. For 15minutes the Dragons lost control of the game and Walden managed to get a goal back. The home side regrouped fighting back and got a fourth goal through Kaye TRELAWNY-GOWER who executed a drag flick from a short corner routine. This dashed any hope that Walden had of a come back and the match finished 4-1.

An excellent team performance from the Dragons who go into the last game before Christmas in a fantastic position in the league. Some great performances  from all but in particular the young Dragons Maddie DENMAN, Olivia THOMAS and Niamh LOWE-DAVIES continue to impress and grow in strength and confidence with each match played in this league.

Photos from the game here.
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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3:0 Yarmouth 1s

Dragons arrived early at Cliff Park and were delighted there was no frost, bright sunshine and no biting wind; infact it almost felt as though gloves and ‘under armours’ were surplus to requirements! Dragons were forced into a number of changes this week due to unavailability and injuries, meaning both Geo Beckwith and Pollyanna Watson stepped up to the 2nd Team squad.

After a good warm-up Dragons were quickly into their game, forcing a couple of early short corners, the second of which was slipped to Laura Tompson-Wright, who dispatched the ball clinically, for an early Dragons lead within the first 5 minutes.  Dragons continued to retain possession well and attacked strongly particularly down the right, through the Windsor-Waite ‘duo’ of Marcy and Ally, who with their tricky stick skills, looked to get in behind the Yarmouth defence. Pollyanna Watson and Natalie Beal were connecting well down the left flank and Geo Beckwith was having an impressive debut upfront, combining well with Aoife Lowe-Davies. Dragons continued to threaten the Yarmouth goal, however with Yarmouth getting players behind the ball and with a keeper in top form, the score remained 1-0 at half time.

With the call at halftime to keep their patience and retain ball possession and shape, Dragons did just that, moving the ball confidently across the back through Ally Windsor-Waite, Hannah Ellis and Sophie Thomas. With Karen O’Neill Simpson and Gail Thomas pulling the strings in the middle, Dragons always felt their patient hockey would pay dividends. Space in the D proved to be difficult to find, so short-corner routines were always going to be important. After a period of concerted pressure mid-way through the half, Dragons earned another short corner and the call came from the defensive line, advising where the potential gaps were; Gail Thomas took this advice on board and found Aoife Lowe-Davies with an inch perfect pass, and Lowe-Davies made no mistake, bravely deflecting the ball home from close range.

Dragons continued to have the lions-share of possession, although credit to Yarmouth who defended stoutly as a team. The final goal came from an ‘alternative’  short-corner routine! The ball eventually found its way back to the red-faced injector, who fed the ball back in towards the P Spot, where Marcy Windsor-Waite had found a great position and calmly placed the ball past the outcoming keeper.

Yarmouth always put up a strong performance at home, so Dragons were delighted to come away with the points but more importantly in the way they played against a team looking to defend in numbers. Joint Players of the Match were Ally Windsor-Waite and 2s debutant Geo Beckwith, however once again it was a fine overall team performance, with every player playing their part.

The team were once again very grateful for the Dragons sideline support this week, makes a big difference, particuarly for an away game.

With one game to go until a well deserved break, Dragons will be looking to maintain their high standards and put in a strong performance against visitors Newmarket.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s P-P UEA 2s

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 1:3 Reepham 1s

Another disappointing loss this week for Dragons, there were glimpses of some lovely hockey this week, but not enough to see us back to our winning ways. Reepham are a strong, well gelled team and Dragons just couldn’t seem to find their pace and joined up play from earlier in the season.

Reepham dominated from the start, for the first 15 minutes the Dragon’s midfield and defence were constantly fending off attacks, trying desperately to switch play and move the ball in the other direction. Louise Davis and Carmel Windsor Waite worked hard on the right, giving Sarah Moore several chances to take the ball forward, but strong defending from Reepham meant the ball never reached the D. Abi Cowe and Mel Widdows worked well on the left and on a couple of occasions managed to slip the ball to Chelsea Crawford, who made some lovely runs to the D but couldn’t quite get the angle for an accurate shot on goal. Reepham opened the scoring with a strike from a rebounded save from Laura Tuck, there just wasn’t enough time to readjust after the first shot.

Dragons saw this first goal as an indication to try that little bit harder and Katie Buxton and Emma Buxton (PoM) worked really well through the midfield to get the ball to an awaiting Amelia Dawson who drove into the D, after a bad tackle a short was awarded and Amelia slammed it into the right corner of the goal. For the rest of the first half Dragons took control of the play and looked close to scoring a second goal with both Gemma Rump and Sue Cross making good attempts from open play.

The second half didn’t see Dragons keeping hold of the better play seen just before the whistle, passes became a little less tight and Reepham took advantage of this intercepting several balls and making breaks in play, their pace and strength on the ball saw them score a second only 5 minutes into the second half. Dragons continued to work the ball and never lost their determination, but plays just didn’t come together, there just wasn’t enough space made in the D when the ball got there and there wasn’t enough pace to catch the Reepham defence on the hop, though Amelia Dawson and Chelsea Crawford had several good attempts.

The result was sealed with a well-executed long corner, a Reepham forward being perfectly positioned on the post to slot it in behind the keeper. For the remaining 10 minutes of the game Dragons tried hard to pull back another goal or two and were rallied on by the loud cheers of the spectators, but were denied any and all opportunities.
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s P:P UEA 3s
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s – No Fixture
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s – No Fixture
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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3:1 North Norfolk 1s

Dragons Mens 1XI took the short trip to Cromer on a cold Saturday afternoon knowing that  3 points would put them right back in the hunt for promotion.

Needless to say the boys stepped up to plate and played some stunning, fast flowing hockey. Led by the bullish workhorse Dom spreading it around the middle and the deceivingly quick Charlish combining well with the wing-backs, it wasn’t long before Dragons went 1-0 up. Overstall bombing the line giving Ru a ball across the D which was superbly put away to lead going into the break. More goals followed after the break with Rory putting away two well taken goals to take a 3-0 lead. A consolation goal for NN brought the final score to 3-1 and proves once again that Ed Smith should never leave the pitch when Alex goes wondering into the opposition half. In preparation for the imminent creation of Dragons 1XI Top Trump cards ratings have been provided below:

Robbie Bell – 6/10 – A lot less action between his legs this week

Mitch – 8/10 MOM – What?! You’re not 36?!

Ed Smith – 7/10 – Hockey once again providing the serenity on a Saturday

Rich Smith – 6/10 – Solid

Alex Overstall – 1/10 – Same as his average mph to away games

Mike Farrow – 50/10 – 1 mark for each wax strip bought for him this week

Mark Flatman – 0/10 – Mr Norfolk once again on trend with white socks

Matt Knights – 30/10 – Signing up for a Saga holiday this week

George Walker – 7/10 – Improved performance, flapjacks suffered as a result. Improvement needed

Dom Samways – 7.5/10 – Confusing the whole of Cromer with his disguised passes

Sam Avery – 10/10 – Fantastic hair

Rory Jackson – 9/10 – Stepped up to the mark, two great goals. Fantastic performance

Rupert Snelling – 8/10 – The race for the golden stick starts here

Nick Charlish – 5/10 – Vanilla

Photos from the game here.
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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s P:P  Lowestoft Railway 1s

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1:1 Felixstowe 2s

Dragons travelled to Felixstowe for a top-of-the-table clash. Dragons had beaten Felixstowe on the first day of the season, but due to a loss and draw, Dragons were placed second.

Dragons started well and narrowly missed taking the lead in the first minute, when a penetrating run by Adam SAYER led to a cross to the waiting Will KIRBY who forced the Felixstowe keeper to make a good save. Dragons defended well and Felixstowe struggled to get the ball through; Stu KELLY and Rob GOODSON once again proving the stalwarts of defensive midfield.

Despite these efforts, Felixstowe managed to break down the right and rather unfortunately the ball fell to a Felixstowe forward in the middle of the Dragon’s D, who slipped the ball past keeper Dim IVES. This goal was against the run of play and made Dragons push to get an equaliser.

A couple of short corner routines saw Dragons come close to scoring but to no effect. Good, strong play down the right by John IVES, linking up with forwards, Adie KEMP, Matt JENKINS and Will KIRBY, again led to some chances for Dragons, but they were just unlucky not to get past the Felixstowe keeper. The halftime whistle came and Dragons were trailing 1-0.

The second half started and Felixstowe, looking to extend their lead, went on the attack. The Dragon defence of Peter DAVISON, James GOODSON and Ali SMYTH were truly tested, but once again, proving why they are one of the best defences in 4NE, kept Felixstowe at bay. A few short corners by Felixstowe were expertly saved by MOM Dim IVES, who with a diving save kept the score from creeping up.

With the Dragon defence doing their job, the rest of the team had to work hard to get the ball up the pitch. Tireless running from Will MAIN and Sam MANN left doubts as to how many Duracell batteries they were powered by.

With time ticking down, Dragons were starting to feel the pressure, and both teams were vocal in their passion for the game. With 5 minutes to go, Dragons had a resurgence down the right. Good link up play from John IVES and Ali SMYTH saw the defender on the edge of the Felixstowe D. A cracking shot from SMYTH saw the ball fly into the back net. Dragons had equalised and were fired up. The remaining minutes saw Dragons looking to score another but it wasn’t to be. The game ended 1-1.

A hard-fought game for Dragons , versus a team who have won all of their matches except against Dragons.  Next week, Dragons have a home match to Newmarket, and are looking to avenge their earlier season defeat to the side.

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

Dragons welcomed Sudbury 3 to the Den, where they were pleased to see the sun come out to melt the frost that had caused the earlier match to be postponed.  This week’s availability issues saw a number of changes but a strong Dragons team nonetheless.  Giles Brooks “retained” his place in goal, having conceded just 7 goals so far this season.  Into defence came Dan Ryan and Danny Knights to join Chris Wilkinson and Dr Karl (AKA Jon Price).  Will Ives and Rohan Kaushal were welcome additions to the (Dragons’) wings whilst Ricky Powley and Rob Jenkins played in central midfield.  Up front Ollie Browne joined Rob Chaney-Baxter and Robbie Whiting.

At the start of the game, it looked like Sudbury might pose Dragons problems with some strong midfield players and attackers playing high up the pitch.  However, once Dragons organised their marking the Sudbury threat was reduced and Dragons came into the game.

Dragons distributed well from the back, using their wide players to attack down the flanks and getting some good balls into the D.  A few half chances were spurned before Whiting managed to get onto his favoured reverse side and score from a Dan Ryan assist.

In defence, Wilko organised and distributed well and Knights showed his quality with a number of well timed tackles and interceptions, whilst Dr Karl and Dan got forward when the opportunities arose.  Brooks made several saves to keep Dragons ahead at the break.

Powley and Jenkins marked tightly to nullify Sudbury’s midfield threat, whilst Rohan and Will attacked with pace and skill down the wings.

Half time analysis focussed on the flat sticks in the Sudbury defence and the need to find a few more passes in the attacking 25.

Sudbury started the second half with intent and a few feisty encounters resulted.  Dragons soon scored a second goal through Whiting with a reverse side deflection past the keeper from a Ryan hit down the middle, and this subdued the opposition.  A number of short corners for Dragons resulted from their increasing domination of the game, though they were unable to convert these.

A third goal followed for the deserving Powley after a trademark bullish run through several defenders and a well struck finish.  Ryan tried to claim an assist for this goal too.

Bangers (R C-B) was rewarded for his persistence when he added Dragons’ fourth goal, tenaciously forcing the ball in at the near post and completing a comprehensive win.

Overall, an excellent team performance and result that reflected Dragons’ effort and increasingly confident play this season.

Man of the match Danny Knights was decided by rock-paper-scissors, Rohan’s stone unfortunately being smothered by the paper of Knights after a tied vote.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-4 Norfolk Norfolk 3s

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 5:0 Norfolk Norfolk 4s  (conceded win)

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 2:4 Norwich City
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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons – No Fixture

NDHC League Match Reports: 29/11/2014

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Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 3:2 Broxbourne 1s

With their disappointing defeat last week, the Dragons were determined to bounce straight back this week as visitors Broxbourne visited the Den for the first time.

After a good warm up the Dragons put pressure on Broxbourne who were obviously nervous of the home side as they set up a defensive half court press.  Dragons managed to counteract this style of play with slick passing and great movement and within 5 minutes were 1-0 up; a great team effort ending with Hayley Toleman finding inform Kate Trelawny-Gower in space who finished in style.  Broxbourne retaliated within 10 minutes and drew level from a short corner routine.

The home side continued to put their visitors under pressure surging forwards in numbers and forced the Broxbourne defence to concede a penalty stroke.  Emma Tabrett stepped up and coolly placed the ball out of the keepers reach for her first goal of the season (photo submitted).  The Dragons were rampant and had Broxbourne against the ropes and were rewarded 5 minutes before the end of the half when Toleman, being provider again, drove the ball to the back line and unselfishly pulled it back to find Sophie Mullan who fired the ball into the corner of the net (photo submitted).

Broxbourne came into the match in the second half enjoying more possession in the Dragons half and putting the defence under pressure, forcing the Dragons to make mistakes. They got a second goal mid-way through the first half which left for a nervous end to the game and the Dragons finding it difficult to regain control in a match which they had dominated for so long.  They defended well, limiting the number of chances for the visitors and the experience of Donna VAUGHAN and player of the match Lizzie MOULTON, both in the centre of defence, was vital. The home side held on to take all three well deserved points.

A much improved performance from last week, particularly in the first half when, at times, the visitors could not compete with the Dragons fast flowing attractive hockey.

Photos from the game here.
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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2:0 UEA 1s
Dragons arrived at UEA in high spirits, knowing they were likely to be in for a challenging game, against the 3rd placed UEA 1st Team squad of 16 players. With Natalie Beal included in the squad, the Dragons had a 2-strong subs bench of their own, meaning they could rotate players, with minimal disruption to the team.Dragons started the game brightly with Marcy Windsor-Waite making some really strong determined runs on the right of midfield, well supported by Ally Windsor-Waite in behind her, both players threatening down the right flank.  The versatility of Laura Tompson-Wright was put to full effect with roles upfront and in midfield.  On the left Hannah Ellis and Sophie Thomas were moving the ball upfield at pace and releasing the forwards who were running the high channels well, getting in behind the UEA defence.Dragons scored within the first 8 minutes to settle any nerves; an excellent team goal, started in the centre of midfield by Gail Thomas with a pass to Aoife Lowe-Davies who had found great space. Lowe-Davies then played a pin-point pass into Hannah Hardy who had made the run up the line. Hardy in turn, found fellow forward Laura Shreeve, making one of her classic runs across the top of the D. With plenty of work still to do, Shreeve beat her defender, to then launch her strike from the top of the D, which was inch perfect beating the outstretched keeping at the far post. A great team goal on the counter attack.UEA had good spells of pressure, and the Dragons defenders of Sophie Thomas, Angela Murgatroyd and Ally Windsor-Waite needed to be on top of their game and this they were, with all 3 making some outstanding tackles. They were also extremely well supported by Freddie Briscoe, who earned Dragons Player of the Match for an outstanding effort in the Dragons goal, dominating her D and making some excellent stops in both halves.The first half finished with Dragons holding a slim 1-0 advantage, with both teams having had further opportunities to score.

The second half started with UEA the brighter of the 2 teams, forcing Dragons deeper and earning a number of short corners, which Dragons defended excellently. Once again Karen O’Neil Simpson was at her competitive best, charging down a number of straight strikes. Dragons again looked dangerous on the counter attack, breaking quickly but just not quite being able to force home the all important 2nd goal. The pace of the game was high and Dragons needed to work really hard to retain their advantage.

It remained end to end stuff and mid-way through the 2nd half, Freddie Briscoe made a fine one-handed high save from a short corner, tipping the ball over the bar. As play moved to the UEA defensive D, Dragons forced a couple of short corners of their own and came close, however the all important 2nd goal came from open play.  The ball made its way to Natalie Beal, who had found good space at the top of the D. Turning quickly, Beal unleashed an early strike, which beat the keeper, and doubled the advantage for Dragons, settling any nerves along the way.

There was still defensive work to do, however, and to a player, Dragons desire to work extremely hard for each other, meant the cleansheet remained intact.

A tough, challenging game for Dragons, resulting in one of their best all-round team performances of the season. Having now played every team in the league, Dragons have “Played 11, Won 11”, which is a fantastic achievement at the half way point. The team know however, that there is still a long way to go, and the strong opposition in this league will continue to throw challenges at this team, but if they continue to work hard (particularly during the Christmas break), and continue to believe in themselves and their strong team ethic, they will get their rewards.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-2 Broadland 1s

Ladies 3s were going into this game on the back of a great performance last week. With the table very tight in the middle (only 2 points separating 4th and 6th) it was important for the Dragons to go out and give it their all.

Broadland 1’s, recently relegated and fighting for promotion, played with great skill and dominated play from the start. Quick stick skills allowed them to find their way through the Dragons and into the D. Determined not to give Broadland an easy game the defenders clamped down on the loose Broadland forwards, Sarah Wagstaff (PoM) intercepting the ball time and again, clearing it wide and with precision to Laura Bruce. Accurate passing from the young defender allowed Dragons to move out of their half and return the pressure on Broadland.

Attacking in packs, Hazel Sumner, Geo Beckwith and Pollyanna Watson pushed their way up the field of play with some quick passing around the opposition. Passing up the wing to the speedy forward Laura Goodbun, Dragons seemed to put Broadland defence on their back foot. A swift cross into their D sadly didn’t find the stick of a Dragon forward.

Broadland are to be commended on their fast turn of play, rarely giving Dragons time to get back behind the ball. Again on the attack, Broadland once again managed to find their way to the Dragons D. Following a spectacular diving save from keeper Amy Forse, the ball rebounded to the oppositions forwards. With a scramble around the keeper they managed to find a Dragon foot and were awarded a short corner. With precision Broadland injected the ball, and took a straight strike from the top of the D. Saved by the keeper, Broadland continued their onslaught taking the ball back to the top D for another strike. This time, despite the quick reflexes of Forse, Broadland struck the ball and found the backboard.

The start of the second half saw Broadland return with increasing pace. Relentless in their persuit for another goal Broadland continued their barrage on the Dragon defence. Several short corners ensued, each saved by the Dragons. Retuning from the clearances with more and more force, each time channeled into the corners by the Dragons, breaking up play and stopping the Broadland attack.

With 10 minutes to go, Dragons starting to tire, Broadland seized their opportunity. A strike in open play from the edge of the D, lifted to head height, whipped past the Dragon keeper.

Final score Dragon 3s 0:2 Broadland 1s.

Some excellent defensive play on show from the Dragons side, although the stick skill and play style of Broadland is to be commended. Although they didn’t secure a win, Dragons certainly made the win difficult for Broadland, never giving up.
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 0:3 Broadland 2s

While there were still elements of last week’s beautiful hockey throughout this game there didn’t seem to be the same well linked play, communication wasn’t as clear and passing wasn’t as neat and a strong Broadland team took advantage of that.

The game quickly went in Broadland’s favour with them being award two short corners in a row, excellent work from Louise Davis saw several strikes deflected out of the D and to a waiting Dragons player. Laura Tuck was kept busy with multiple attempts to drive the ball back into Dragon’s D. Gemma Rump and Abi Cowe worked well together trying to move the ball out wide, but several passes were intercepted putting the pressure back on Dragons. Broadland scored twice in fairly quick succession, one from a well-positioned player on the post, and the other came from a long run down the centre of the pitch, which finished with the ball crossing the line just inside the right post.

Dragons hit back and went on the offensive, finding their feet and moving play towards the D, Issy Wolfe and Chelsea Crawford made some lovely runs down the wings but just couldn’t get passed the experienced Broadland defence. There were a couple of near misses from short corners, with Sue Cross taking some lovely hits, but there just wasn’t the space to get the ball across the line, although Katie Buxton came very close to edging Dragons back into contention, only to be denied on the line by the keeper.

In the second half Freya Clogan (PoM) made some excellent runs across the back to switch play and made several attempts to drive the ball back into Broadland’s 25. Emma Buxton made some lovely passes down the wing, getting the ball on more than one occasion to the waiting forwards but they just couldn’t get the ball over the line. Mel Widdows made a couple of excellent runs down the left wing, passing the ball off at just the right moment. Dragons seemed close to scoring several times and were therefore incredibly disappointed to concede another goal in the last 10 minutes of the game, a well-timed break, beat the majority of the defence and a strong strike beat the keeper.

Dragons can keep their heads held high, as they continued to battle right to the end, never giving up, playing their hardest against and physically strong team until the final whistle.
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 2:5 Dereham 5s

Ladies Dragons 5s were extremely happy to complete their Breckland match 4-0 which secures them 4th position in the table again (although the next 2 matches will be critical to whether they retain it!).

Opening the scoring with 3 goals in 12 minutes was Sarah Norman in her debut for the 5s.  In an excellently lifted strike by Rosie Korn, Sarah got the final touch to place the ball through the keeper’s legs. Rosie Korn was on fire securing goal number 2 with a text book sweep which placed onto the p spot. Some excellent play outside the D by Chiara Bond kept the balls coming into the D and the hard work by Rachael Mathews and Laura Hansrell distributed the ball excellently. Sarah Norman taking residence of the post was always in the right place at the right time slotting in goal number 3. At this point Breckland started to up their game and made it hard to penetrate them leading to some very scrappy hockey.

Half time came and discussions were had and Dragon’s really wanted to improve the standard of their hockey but alas it continued to be a slog with many short corners won. Some excellent play by Lotte Korn, Jess Tye-Leech, Carmel Windsor Waite & Christina Murgatroyd kept a clean sheet.

In a bid to try and hold the scoreline, Breckland brought some players from upfront to defence which proved hard to penetrate. Jade Blanchflower completed some lovely runs, one of which finished with an excellent strike and goal (unfortunately disallowed for being just outside the D).

The final goal came through a slightly interesting reverse stick move from Lois McGregor to Helen Marsh who took the opportunity to score a cracker of a goal. Her position in the D and execution were excellent!! This finished off this somewhat interesting game and they do same variety keeps things interesting. I have no doubt next week’s game will hold differing challenges.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 3-0 City 7s (City 7s withdrawn from the league)

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

Forget the score, this was a really positive performance from the 7s as they worked hard to put into games the skills and tactics they have been learning in training. With Captain Claire Fairhurst off playing underwater hockey for the dolphins versus the sharks somewhere exotic, Christina Murgatroyd took on the role of manager, Natasha Falzon and Amy Forse were on hand for 1:1, and Lead Coach Pete Thomas dashed back to organise team shape. The 7s were immensely appreciative for this galaxy of support, but as is often the way, putting the ‘right hockey’ into place did not bring immediate rewards.

Goalkeeper Alice Smith, returning after a broken arm, was kept busy and earned the player of the match vote for her determined kicking, and was not beaten by the long range shots. The goals came from the scrimmages in the circle, where the Dragons’ were dragged out of position and often unable to get their tackles in on time.  In open play, Emma North showed confidence and control in the centre of defence, and together with Jo Baker made some solid block tackles. Persy Magdalene, full of determination to learn, would still rate herself as a beginner and improved her clearances in defence and made some good runs when moved up to play forward.  So she’s not frightened of a challenge! Katy Saide played well at the bottom of the diamond and was able to get her square passes out to Gill Walker and Ciara Willmott. Gill, Ciara, Tracy Stuart-Shepherd and Amy Hunter have genuine pace on the ball. Ciara showed her creative abilities when she moved outside on the right to cut back in again and pick up a pass and cross from the base line, and this is a move she should work on. Amy made a similar successful foray down the left, and running past two defenders should give her confidence.

We were left wondering what might have happened if we had had more luck from a very determined run from Jane Morton on the right who put the ball right on the ‘P’ spot. Kat Speirs met the ball instinctively, and her shot was just wide. At that stage, Dragons were only one goal down and trading Hornets run for run.  In the second half, Christina set us up in a more attacking line up to get that elusive goal. Unfortunately, it did not really come off, but it was worth a try. What we learned was to keep a shape, and to try to play the ball out safely wide from the back and to work it down the line, combining stick skills and positive passing. When Jane Morton moved up front, exchanging lateral runs with Kat, and Bridget Le Good went back to the top of the diamond, Dragons stemmed the goals. The defence were playing with more confidence, and with Emma, Jo, Gill, Tracy and Jane all moving with energy and purpose. Dragons thoroughly enjoyed this game, which was played hard but in a sporting manner.  Hornets are a stronger team than their league position indicates, using the hard hits of their mature players to effect to find their two young players (Ellie Kirby and Emma Taylor) who have speed and stick skills.

The 7s know that with more hard training and the return of their regulars, they have nothing to fear in this division for the second half of the season.

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3:2 Sudbury 1s

This weeks the Men’s 1XI headed down to Sudbury hoping to build on some solid performances over the last few weeks. Immediately there was the sense that it could be a good day for Dragons; the flapjacks were moist, the pre-game hype mix was on and the in-car entertainment was in full flow.

The first half started with a solid half court press enabling Dragons to scope out the opposition. A cagey start by all meant that soon after the start Dragons found themselves 1-0 down after a Sudbury forward walked his way from the right flank avoiding the Dragons diving tackles that made him look like Lionel Messi. Heads didn’t drop however and we continued to play some solid hockey switching it around the back and some good forward play through Deats, Knights and Dom. Charlish came alive on the left hand side dinking in over sticks, turning guys inside out and generally anti-skilling his way into the D to win several shorties. Shortly before the break Sudbury won several corners on the bounce but luckily some solid saves, some by sticks on the line (some not) meant that Dragons went into the break 1-0 down which at least gave Smith a chance to get some freeze spray on his ankle  for quote “A pre-existing injury”

Coach Wagstaff tried to rally the team at the half with words of encouragement whereas a different tact was taken by the Captain who turned it up to a 6/10 “talking to”. Straight into the second half dragons conceded a shortie and decided that it was a better tactic to try and surprise Sudbury by not running out and instead watching them have shots on goals. Many thought that Bell would be up to such a challenge however as the ball slipped through his legs he was heard to mutter “That Harry Potter is such a nerd, he would 100% get bullied at school”.

Dragons rallied after played some spell-binding balls across the pitch spreading play allowing Deats to walk into the 25 unchallenged before pinging a terrific cross into the D where Knights rolled back the years to finish a very well worked goal, further cementing claims that a move back up front was on the cards for 1XI top goal scorer. Continued pressure and a 1.5 increase in effort from Mr Avery allowed dragons to create chance after chance. It, however, came to Mr Knights once again to bring the scores level with another superb back post gamble. The winning goal came after a goal mouth scramble where to be honest no one is really too sure what happened. After the game the goal was awarded to Flatman who said “Honestly I thought I’d run into another flatstick but hey seeing as I might not score again all season I’ll take the credit”. During the last 10 minutes both teams had good chances but Dragons held out for the second win in consecutive weeks.

After the game Coach Wagstaff said “Honestly I couldn’t watch the last 10 minute, I was too busy choosing my bollywood film to watch tonight”. Captain Overstall said of Man of the Match Knights “An ageless wonder who continues to get goals for Dragons, I’d be surprised if the club doesn’t retire his jersey soon”.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 4:2  Sudbury 2s

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 3:1 City 5s

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Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 4:0 Lowestoft Railway 2s

Dragons are now 7 points clear at the top of the table after a comprehensive 4-0 win over Lowestoft Railway 2, whilst nearest rivals IES could only draw at Bury.

Dragons were missing half their regular defence but drafted in quality replacements in the form of Robbie Kay and Neil Shorten to join the ever reliable Mr Pentin and versatile Wilko and managed a 5th clean sheet of the season.  Keeper Giles Brooks’ only touch of the game was to retrieve the ball from the corner prior to a Dragons 16 yard hit sometime in the second half.

Railway started the game well enough, but once Dragons settled down and organised their marking, Railway struggled to make any impact in the attacking part of the pitch.

Dragons put in an excellent team performance, with slick passing moves and good movement off the ball when in possession and hard work closing down the Railway players when they were on the ball.

Dan Ryan was another player enjoying a rare game for Dragons and scored the first goal when he, quote, “lashed home” after a pass from Andy Cross.

Dragons created a number of chances and shortly before half time, a great cross from the Yorkie Bar Kid was met by Ricky Powley who smashed the ball into the roof the net to make it 2-0.

Half time analysis saw general agreement that we were having a good game and playing decent hockey.

Nothing changed in the second half as Dragons continued to dominate, soon adding a 3rd goal when Rob Jenkins beat a couple of defenders in the D before finding Robbie Whiting who slid the ball under the keeper from close range.

Whiting also scored the 4th goal when he picked up a fantastic long ball down the right from Kay.  His dodgy first touch took him past his marker.  As Bangers (R C-B) charged into the D, ready to receive the cross, Whiting unleashed what is becoming his trademark (since he learnt it last week) reverse strike, beating the keeper from a narrow angle.

With four players named Rob/Robbie, MoM voting caused some confusion, with Robbie W claiming it for a second successive week of ‘hat-trick avoidance’.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-4 Norfolk Nomads 2s

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

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development LeagueNorwich Dragons 1:1 Harleston Magpies

Captain: Ben Nkrumah
Player of the match and why: Sol Blazer for a great midfield performance
Memorable Moments:

  1. Tom Williams goal off the short corner
  2. Dominance throughout the second 10 minutes of the first half and first part of the second half with great ball skills being played as well as strategic thinking to find space and play the width of the pitch
  3. Great defence throughout the second half by McCartney Aldous and James Hansell

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 1:2 Harleston Magpies

Well done to all the girls who played on Saturday against Magpies. It was a challenging match but we had lots of opportunities. The final score was 2-1 to Magpies and Catherine scored the Dragon’s goal. This was the highlight of the match. Well done Catherine!

Thank you to the adults who helped us. The new girls also did well, especially Katie who also got man of the match. She had many opportunities and took them well. Alex was strong at the back and I hope both girls enjoyed their first Dragon’s Dev match. Overall, we played really well and just need to work on getting it past the defenders. Thank you to Jason for being coach and to Katie’s dad for helping as well. By Lara Taylor.

 

u14 Girls get soaked, u16 Boys & u18 Girls stay dry!!

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On a very wet, grey Sunday in East Anglia the older Young Dragons had the better plan by playing indoors at Town Close School, whilst the under 14 girls had to travel to St Neots to get wet outside!!

Outdoors:

The Under 14 Girls 7-a-side team went to Cambridgeshire to play the next round of matches in the England Hockey Girls Under 14 Development league.  Having beaten Colchester 17-0 and Cambridge City 5-2 in the first round, they went off this morning with lots of confidence.

Hosts St Neots proved the tougher opposition and the girls fought hard for a 4-3 win with goals from spread around the attacking players of Anna Brook, Heather Tasker, Lara Taylor and Lucy Morton.  Next up were Colchester and having beaten them convincingly in October, the girls were hoping for a similar result, however what the coaches and travelling supporters hadn’t expected was exactly the same score, the girls winning 17-0 again, what are the odds on that??

Well done to the sideline for keeping a note of the scorers, being Lucy Morton with 5, Issy Wolfe 3, Heather Tasker 3, Anna Brook 2, Lara Taylor 2, Catherine Matthews and Carmel Windsor-Waite.

Next round on 15th Feb hosted by Cambridge City.  When updated, the table will show Norwich Dragons sitting at the top of the table here.  Just in case you are worried, the photo above is not from today, just the Editor’s bit of fun!!

Indoors:

The Norfolk Indoor Championships for the under 18 Girls and under 16 Boys took place in the Town Close School sports hall today under the watchful eyes of Ali Smyth and Pete Thomas.

The Girls under 18s team had there first outing in the event and with just one training session under their belts were delighted to get a 3-1 win in their first game against Dereham, goals from Lucy Hopgood, Olivia Thomas and Maddie Denman.  However, they knew that the indoor experience of Magpies was likely to prove a tougher challenge, and so it was to be.  The girls had taken great confidence from their start to the tournament and caused Harleston plenty of problems but couldn’t quite find the crucial touch for a goal.

Magpies beat Dereham 7-2 in the final game to take the Norfolk title and move on to the Regional round.

The U16 Boys ran out winners, following a nail-biting 11-8 victory over Norwich City, after both sides had beaten Harleston, 5-2 (Dragons) and 9-4 (City). Dragons scorers were: Jonty Gosling, Ben Watson and Henry Laming x3 against Magpies, and Ben x3, Henry x2, Jonty x3, Tom Harris, Alex Bilalis-Stone and one unclaimed versus City.  The boys were indebted to Ben Nkrumah who stepped up to play in goal at the last minute and pulled off a crucial save from a top-corner destined drag-flick against City for what would have been an equalising goal.

The Boys move on to the Regional tournament on 13th December at UEA.

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 22/11/2014

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 1:2 Magpies 2s

Norwich Dragons travelled along the A140 to play their closest rivals Harleston. This was always going to be a closely contested match as it is a local derby game with pride at stake and there was only a point separating  the teams in the league.

The Dragons took the match to the home side from the start pressuring the defence and forcing them to play their hockey in their own half. It felt like it was only a matter of time before they took the lead however Harleston, to their credit, defended strongly and the Dragons were unable to find the final pass in the final third to test the Harleston keeper and were unable to convert any of short corners that they had been awarded to them.

The wind was well and truly taken out of the Dragons sails as the first time Harleston found an opportunity to push forwards the Dragons defence left their keeper, Siobhan CLEEVE, exposed; there was little more she could do but to concede a penalty stroke which Harleston made no mistake of giving them the lead.

Before Dragons could dust themselves down, within 5 minutes, Harleston won their first short corner of the match which they finished off in style. The Dragons undoubtedly had the majority of the possession in the first half and played the better hockey, however it goals that count and at half time they found themselves 2-0 down.

The visitors went into the second half full of confidence as they were playing the better hockey and the score line did not reflect the game. They pressed and pressed but Harleston packed their defence and held strong protecting their keeper who really had not been tested.

Finally after a number of short corners throughout the match the Dragons got a goal back; Lizzie MOULTON, who had an outstanding game got her first goal of the season through a strike at the top of the D. As the half wore on the Dragons became sloppy in their play and gave the ball away far too easily which put their own defensive back line under constant pressure.  Harleston got stronger the latter part of the second half and it was difficult to see the Dragons getting another goal. In the end this proved to be the case as the match finished 2-1.

Disappointing for the visitors as for much of the match they were by far the stronger but became frustrated with decisions being awarded against them and Harleston packing the defence making them difficult to break down.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 8:2 Bury St Edmunds 2s

Under wet, grey cloudy conditions at the Den, the Ladies 2’s went out in good spirits following their team talk, lead this week by Daniel. With Niamh and Aoife Lowe-Davies both making themselves available, and with Ally Windsor-Waite taking an extended lunch break, the squad of 12 looked strong. Captain Hannah Hardy continues to be extremely grateful to the squad, for making themselves available on a regular basis, meaning there is great consistency in the team, so the understanding being developed is a key factor to the teams’ current successes.

From the start Dragons took the initiative, with a quick break from the push back, almost seeing a goal within the first 30 secs. However, in the very next attack the forward line of Aoife Lowe-Davies, Laura Shreeve and Hannah Hardy combined well for the first goal by Hardy with less than 2 minutes on the clock. Credit to Bury, who didn’t let their heads drop, despite the early goal, and within 5 minutes they were level, a short corner being initially well saved high on the line by Ally Windsor-Waite, only for Bury to react quickest and force the ball over from the rebound.Dragons were a little unsettled initially, however they quickly regained their composure and took the lead again following strong work from Laura Shreeve who found Aoife Lowe-Davies in a good position, to turn and slot the ball past the keeper. With no more than 15 mins on the clock, Dragons made it 3-1, following a pacey run down the right from Niamh Lowe-Davies who found Laura Shreeve in space, who picked up the ball cleanly and placed it past the outcoming keeper.

The defensive unit of Ally Windsor-Waite, Angela Murgatroyd, Sophie Thomas and Keeper Freddie Briscoe worked well together to cut out any threats from Bury St Edmunds forwards,  and in addition they supported the Dragons attacks exceptionally well from deep. Special mention must go to Dragon’s Player of the Match Karen O’Neill-Simpson, who had an exceptional game at the bottom of the diamond, breaking up play in her usual commited way, but also finding some good space deep in the middle and distributing the ball excellently out wide.Just before the half-time break, Dragons scored a 4th from a short corner routine, clinically slotted away by Gail Thomas.The second half saw continued Dragons pressure, with some good sharp passing moves and fast flowing hockey. Marcy Windsor-Waite and Hannah Ellis in the wide positions, helped release the forwards with strong early passes, working good space in behind the Bury defence.

A number of short corners were forced, one of which was clinically dispatched by Gail Thomas for her  2nd of the game, a perfect strike into the corner. Laura Shreeve was next on the scoresheet creating space for herself with some tricky stick skills, to score at the near post. Shreeve then completed her hat-trick, with more tenacious work infront of goal, working the ball beyond the outrushing keeper and once again stretching from a seemingly impossible angle, to nudge the ball home at the far post. Gail Thomas, (with new stick), quickly followed suit completing a hattrick of her own, once again a smartly taken effort, from another well worked short corner routine.To their credit, Bury St Edmunds continued to look to push forward and a momentary lapse in concentration just before the end, saw a somewhat soft effort sneak in at the Dragons left post. This completed the scoring, making the final score 8-2 to Dragons.

An enjoyable day at the office, despite the wet conditions. The manner in which this game was won was the most pleasing, with the team playing their strong passing game and working hard for one other, to get their just rewards. Dragons will continue to work hard as a team in training, to ensure their fitness levels remain high, as they go into the final 3 games before the Christmas break, looking to continue to build on the strong base they have built for themselves.

Photos from the game can be seen here.

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

On a dark and drizzly late November evening, 13 Dragons assembled at the Den readying themselves to face a well matched Dereham 3’s.

From the first whistle both sides started with great vigor, neither side offering much breathing space to the opposition. Dereham, strong on the attack, hunting in groups made their way down the left side of the pitch for their first shot on goal. Goal keeper, Amy Forse, with a keen eye on the ball got a toe to the strike, tipping it wide of the goal. Dereham, still with a taste for the net, continued their attack. Working it around the Dragons D but unable to secure the goal, the ball was repeatedly snapped up by the Dragon defenders Sarah Wagstaff, Natasha Falzon and PoM Laura Bruce.

Taking advantage of the turn of play the Dragon midfielders switched the ball from left to right. Linking passes from Hazel Sumner, Debs Smith and Harriet Green quickly progressed play into the Dereham half. A shot into the D, deflected by a Dereham defender saw its way to the backboard, but due to the change of rule the own goal was disallowed. Determined not to allow the ball out of the Dereham half Dragons set their defensive circle around the Dereham hit out picking up the strong hit and returning once again to the D. A strike from Pollyanna Watson just outside of the D to the left post made its way past the keeper but with out a touch from a Dragon forward, once again the goal was denied.

Half time was soon upon the evenly matched sides. An encouraging half time talk from coach Pete Thomas saw the Dragons even more fired up for the second half, eager to continue the fantastic play.

Dereham had the pushback to start the final half of the game, and didn’t put it to waste. Once again strong on the attack they made their way toward the Dragon D. A strike from the top found its way to the Dragon goal but it was Derehams turn to have the celebrations denied as the shot was outside the D.

Intense play from both sides saw the teams lock horns, play stretched from one end of the pitch to the other, both searching for goal. A hit out from the Dereham defense, lifted into their player, temporarily gave the teams a break in play allowing both sides to regroup and prepare for the next skirmish. More determined than ever, the tenacious Dragons continued the battle, starting to dominate the play. Attacking from all angles, midfielder Holly Bailey running the ball up the left wing, switching it across the pitch and then again from the right. A hit out from defender Wagstaff finally found the Dragons in their stride. Deftly picked up by Laura Goodbun, sprinting the length of the pitch, stick never leaving ball until she reached the Dereham back line, crossed with force from right corner to left post. Ready and waiting, forward Sophie Farrow snuck the ball behind the keeper and into the goal.

It was clear from the following ten minutes that Dereham wouldn’t let Dragons take the three points easily. Relentlessly attacking the Dragons they had several shots and short corners, each denied by the Dragon defenders. Once again capitalising on the quick turn of play Dragons made their way to the Dereham D. Crossed to the right post by Amelia Dawson, Debbie Santa Clara sealed the final score and three points, whipping the ball in on the post.

Some fantastic hockey on show from both sides, putting on a great show for the great supporters who joined us on the dark, damp evening.

Final score, 2:0 to Norwich Dragons Ladies 3’s.

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

This game saw Dragons at their most determined, there was clearly something in the air as the team battled for the win from the first whistle to the last.

Dragons started on the attack and straight away Sue Cross was in the D striking on goal and it looked like Dragons might take an exceptionally early lead, but the keeper managed to get a well-placed foot to the ball at the vital moment. Katie Buxton continued to put on early pressure with several well timed runs into the D, but it was packed with Dereham players and the shots simply weren’t possible. It was actually Dereham who scored first from a well-executed short corner, which had the ball recoiling off Laura Tuck’s pads and back in over the line. Dragon’s fought back and attacked almost continuously for the rest of the half with Emma Buxton and Sarah Moore working the wings moving play forwards. Issy Wolfe made some lovely runs to the D but just couldn’t get on target with the final shot and Chelsea Crawford battled through several players in order to reach the D, only to have it saved on the line. While Dragon’s dominated the first half, they just couldn’t quite converted the opportunities into goals.

The second half saw a determined performance from all, with Gemma Rump (PoM) making her scoring debut with a lovely reverse hit, which took the keeper by surprise and brought Dragons level. This signalled a change in pace for Dragons with every player fighting for possession, we were resolute in our belief that we could win this game. Dereham had a couple of runs on goal but with strong defending from Abi Cowe and Freya Clogan most runs stopped well outside the D. Louise Davis made some expert plays from bottom of the diamond, distributing balls out wide to the awaiting players. It was from one of these wide balls that Sue Cross was able to make a lovely run into the D and score the second and winning goal.

With 5 minutes left Dragons kept on the attack, with both Katie and Emma Buxton having a go on goal, as the final whistle blew a short corner was awarded and all the Dragons pushed up trying to grab another goal but the ball was efficiently knocked out of the D by the opposition and the game ended 2:1.

This game really showed the 4s at their best, excellent team work and support and really well executed passes and use of the whole pitch – well done ladies.
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 2:5 Dereham 5s

On a dreary drizzly day the Ladies 5s turned up at Dereham highly motivated and ready to rock!  With Dereham one point above us in table Dragons knew it was going to be a tough game and one they did not want to lose.

The pace was fast from the start and with Jess Tye-Leach at the centre of defence holding back any oncoming action from Dereham.  Dragons quickly realised that Dereham were looking to get the ball to one, extremely strong player, whenever they were in possession of the ball.  Not expecting to see a player of that strength in this Division, Bella Capps was given the job of man-marking her and did a great job at channelling her threats and managed to maintain pace throughout the game.  Unfortunately for Dragons, she did manage to evade her marker and scored!  Undeterred the Dragons pushed up the pitch with Carmel working the bottom of the diamond, picking up any long balls from Dereham and distributing them out wide to Laura Hansell or Anja Finegan.  Helen Marsh, a great battling midfielder, who under no circumstance wants the ball taken from her and will weave her way around the opposite.  The Dragons held the ball and threatened the goalkeeper with charges in from Megan Farrant, Chiara Bond and Jade Blanchflower.  A short corner awarded to the visitors with Blanchflower stepping up with full power ready and delivered!  First goal.  Fired up by this the battle continued, with Dereham unfortunately scoring another.

With coach David Bond giving us his usual top tips at half time, no-one was ready to give up.  The game flowed back and forth up the pitch, until what Dragons felt was a strike from outside the D was given as a goal.  This spurred Dragons on, passing the ball up the pitch supporting each other until a pass to Farrant, who seems to find herself in the D in the right place and right time pushed the ball past the keeper!  Dereham also weren’t ready to settle there and Lottie Korn found herself sweeping out balls from the D.  Laura Tuck leapt into action on several occasions to hoof the ball out and scare off the Dereham forwards.

After the game the Young Dragons seemed downcast but they should be proud of how well they played and kept their heads up and played professionally.  Bring on the home game!

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VV9A7466

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-1 Magpies 7s

Dragons learned the hard way in the last minute of this hard fought match when a defender slipped and fell heavily on the greasy pitch and our first concern was for the injured player.  Magpies played on and slotted the ball past the keeper with 30 seconds left to play.

Gill Walker is speedy and uses the ball well; Kat Speirs played with intelligence in each position on the forward line and Rebecca Elkins is useful in midfield and in defence. Our defence was excellent. This week the lineup was Christina Murgatroyd in goal, who marshalled the defence well and kicked some powerful clearances; Jasmin Daniels was central, with Katy Saide on the right and Katie Franks on the left, and Jo Eke at the bottom of the diamond.

It did not matter how hard Magpies hit the ball, or where they tried to place it, the Dragons picked up the ball magnificently and got the ball away to Ciara Willmott and Izzi Ferguson, the hard-working mids, or further out to Jasmine Mansfield  who improves with every game. Our player of the match was Rachel Bruce, playing at the top of the diamond but also injecting penalty corners, taking long corners, and distributing the ball beautifully. It was Rachel who almost got us a goal, when one of several well taken penalty corners just eluded her off the post. We go into the long break with plenty to think about, not least how we can turn the tables on the teams that have got the better of us in the first half. We think we have five defenders who are the best in our division, and changing our formation slightly could give us a stronger attack and a better grip in midfield.

Photos from the game can be seen here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 3-0 (CW) City 7s

City 7s have conceded 4 games in the league and are therefore due to be removed from the league at the next Norfolk League meeting.  A friendly fixture was offered but not enough interest.
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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 1:0 Ipswich 2s

Men’s XI entered this game on the back of a strong performance last week, knowing that a win would be pivotal for the season. Calling up Cley Hamilton and Jonty Gosling, Coach Wagstaff called for a disciplined first 10 minutes and that is exactly what was delivered. Man-marking and superb tracking by the forwards ensured that Ipswich were repelled again and again. But this was no sit back and get battered like waves against the shore game, no instead Dragons produced again a masterclass in switch the ball, creating space and movement. Wing Backs Alex and Nick combining excellently with the forwards to produce some sublime forward play up the left and right hand-side. Unfortunately, as has been the case all season the ball in the final third was seen to be lacking and chances went begging.

After a stirring half-time speak by Captain Overstall that left some with a tear in their eye (the unkind would say tears of laughter) Dragons came out firing after the break with intent on getting all three points. Again excellent control of the ball and some mazey runs by Messers Knights (who had learnt that hockey is better when the stick isn’t between your legs), Browne and Avery created more and more chances. However the break came when the play was switched effectively through the middle out to the right where Flatman, Knights and Overstall combined well to set up a reverse stick shot from the top of the D for the captain. Luckily for the team the captain choked (definitely not a backstick hit!) as per normal, mishit the shot allowing Sam Avery to tap it in for the lead.

A frantic last 10 minutes had the Dragons defending a lead that had been so hard-fought for. With excellent tackling by the back line and Ed Smith confusing the opposition by making them think there was a 3 year old girl screaming on the pitch Dragons held onto the lead for a “season defining” win.

Coach Wagstaff said after the game “It just goes to show…..when we have Sam Avery banging them in, who needs Nick Charlish”. Upon rumours of some tension after the game Captain Overstall said “Whilst we are a cohesive team and I will not be drawn to comment upon these rumors – if George Walker doesn’t sort out his Flapjack recipe soon then there will be a riot”

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photo (14) (1)Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 4:2  Magpies 4s

Dragons travelled to Magpies in this proverbial ‘6 pointer’ knowing that a defeat would leave them staring at the reality of 4NE hockey next season. An inspiring team talk in the changing rooms before the game roused the troops. Nick Turner, Chris Simmonds and Sam Worster were welcomed back and a few positions were tinkered as Simon Nisbet and Lewis Wilkins moved to the forward line and Rory Jackson dropped into midfield.

Starting with a high tempo, Dragons compiled a lot of possession and looked threatening. A few half chances were created but Dragons, crucially, couldn’t convert penetrations into the D into goals. It was on the break that Dragons were stung. A swift counter attack allowed a young Magpies player to clinically finish a good move into the roof of the net. Dragons found themselves trailing 1-0 at half time.

A positive half time team talk focused on not treating the ball like a bomb and in time the goals would come. Unfortunately, due to an injury, Graeme Smith would no longer be able to take a part in the game.

Dragons stormed out of the blocks in the second half. A swift attack down the left from Simmonds unleashed Jason Wolfe who managed to win a short corner. With the usual hitter off the pitch, up stepped Rory ‘Dragflicker’ Jackson. Jackson’s ‘flick’ was well evaded by the limbo-ing keeper and brought Dragons level. Immediately after, in a positive move on the left, Simmonds threaded to Wilkins who put the ball into Magpies’ D. Worster found himself in space and with a cool flick over the floored keeper to put Dragons ahead.

Unfortunately, as Dragons looked to consolidate their newly found lead, two yellow cards were issued within a minute of each other.  Down to nine men, however, Dragons looked more dangerous than ever. Wilkins moved to the lone striker whilst Nisbet and Turner tucked into midfield. Instead of defending with nine men behind the ball, Dragons followed the philosophy that ‘attack is the best form of defence’. Focusing on keeping the ball in the opposition half, the reds frustrated Magpies. Turner’s battle in one corner for a succession of side-line hits was a particular highlight. Rich Moulson, Jackson and Worster held strong in the middle. Good play through Jackson in the center of the park allowed Turner space in the D. His initial shot was pushed into the path of Simmonds whose reverse stick shot put nine-men Dragons two goals ahead.

Nine-man Dragons continued to dominate proceedings. The inspirational defending between captain Piers Gordon-Brown, Mitch Smith, Glenn Masterson and Simmonds ensured Magpies had no chance to take advantage of their superior numbers. Nisbet burst through the right and put Wilkins through in the D who nutmegged the ‘keeper to make it 4-1 to Dragons. A few close chances fell to Dragons, but were unfortunate not to add to their lead; in particular an audacious reverse stick shot by Wilkins which flew past the post.

With eleven men back on the pitch Dragons continued to fashion chances through some total hockey with every person involved. Pushing everyone forward in the last few minutes, Magpies pulled a goal back. There would be no fairytale ending for the hosts, however, as the final whistle blew just minutes later.

Gordon-Brown’s men had avoided falling to the bottom of the table and must build on this performance in the next two matches as they face the two teams just above them. Man of the match was the dynamic Turner who was a constant threat whenever in possession. DOD was Wilkins who one can only assume was voted because of his team mates’ jealously of his witty-charm and handsome looks.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 4:0 Pelicans 3s

This week the Dragons Men’s 3’s were at home Pelicans. Pelicans are sitting 1 place above the UEA who gave the Dragons a testing game the previous week, so nothing was taken for granted and the team talk mainly focused around keeping it simple, short accurate passing and keeping possession but more importantly getting ahead in the 1st half.

It was very wet and the pitch a bit slippery so both teams had to get used to the ball speed but Dragons were making early runs with both Will Main and James Goodson working the ball out wide from the back and James snubbing out any runs into the D down the right. When Pelicans did manage to get through Dim Ives (No, he’s not my son.) made some fine saves as he has done in the last 3 games. Pelicans also worked the ball out wide a few times but could not penetrate through the defensive midfield of Rob Goodson and Stu Kelly, who were both winning the ball and distributing well.  1st goal was on the cards and another fine strike from the on form “Mexican Matt Jenkins “and Dragons were 1-0 up. We had more chances in the D created from runs down the left from Will Ives (No, he’s not my son either…) and down the right from John Ives (that’s me).  Alex Stone then came on and also worked well testing the Pelicans defence down the left. Adam Sayer came on in his position of top of the diamond and created some good runs into the Pelican’s D.

Excellent work upfront from Ben Watson who was unlucky not to get on the score sheet. Recently Dragons have been working on short corners and once the chance arose a short was superbly put away by Stu Kelly, who I’m sure was pleased  judging by his war cry, Goal face and double fist pump!!!  So 2-0 to Dragons at half time.

The half time team talk was all positive but we did focus on keeping our shape so that we could work the ball better. This was taken on board straight away as Dragons were moving the ball around really well and creating changes. Ali Smyth worked really well down the right winning the ball and creating space down the right to John Ives also putting in some great aerial balls up the pitch to the forwards. Once again though every time Pelicans made a break they just could not get past Stu, Rob and James and then finally Peter “The ice man” Davidson who again tackled hard and distributed the ball really well.

Will Main also pushed up into attack giving extra movement linking up well with Adam Sayer and the wings. The 3rd goal came when a ball was pulled back to the top of the D, Adrian Kemp stepped up and nobody was in any doubt that is was going anywhere other than in the back of the net.  When you’ve scored as many goals as Aide he manages to make it look easy, it was rumoured that he had time to change out of his slippers, put his cigar out and still managed to put the ball firmly past the Pelican keeper.  Dragons kept pushing on and creating chance and then another great strike from MOM Matt Jenkins made the final score 4-0 to Dragons… Next week we face big rivals Norwich City 5’s but on current form are feeling confident.

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Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 4:1 Norwich Exiles

Dragons travelled up to Taverham to take on an experienced Exiles team and got back to somewhere near their best form with a solid team performance and comfortable win.

Exiles had push back to start the game, and were unable to leave their half before conceding a short corner.  Up stepped Andy Hipper (legitimately in an advanced position this time) to strike from the top of the D.

Within a matter of minutes Dragons had made it 2-0, Robbie Whiting making a great run down the right, turning inside and hitting an unstoppable shot on the reverse side (not like a Wilko/Pentin backstick, which is not the same as a reverse hit).

Exiles then joined in the game, and quickly pulled back a goal with a classy lifted finish.

The game then settled down, Dragons enjoying the bulk of possession and creating some half chances.  The Exiles’ playmakers were well marked in the centre of the pitch by Rob Jenkins, Wilko and the Yorkie bar kid, whilst the vocals of Dave Pentin and Giles Brooks ensured the defence remained organised.  Jon Price and Paul Keating snuffed out a number of attacks and distributed effectively down the wings to Ricky Powley and Bradley Howlett.

Up front, Andy Cross and Rob C-B worked hard to support Robbie who scored Dragons’ third before half time, putting his bloodied body (well, knees) on the line to lift over the onrushing keeper.

The second half saw Dragons controlling the game and Exiles never looked like getting back in the match as tight marking and solid tackling broke down their attacks.  Midway through the half, Dragons scored their fourth goal via a well taken Phil York-Smith drag (sort of flick) from another short corner.

Despite not scoring any further goals Dragons were delighted with the performance and Rob C-B was notably impressed with the teas, demolishing the curry and claiming not to realise it was supposed to be for the whole team.

Dragons Exiles
Average age / years 41 68
Pass completion / % 83 60
Possession / % 65 35
Shots 15 4
Cards 1 Yellow 1 Yellow

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IMG_5520

Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-3 Bury St Edmunds 5s

 

Photos from the game can be seen here.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 1:1 City 7s

After a tough pre-season friendly, Dragons knew what to expect against a young, skilful and organised City outfit. City started strongly and superb defending from Mike Banham, Ben Dures, Steven Trivett and James Hansell kept them at bay.

On the rare occasion that they did break through, Joel Lawrence, making his 6’s debut in goal, was more than a match for them. As the half progressed, Dragons came more into the game, Tom Williams and Josh Bingham providing good wide options and the tireless running of Sam Hobdell ensuring a link to Rob Lee, who excelled as alone striker for much of the game. Rick Stuart-Sheppard and Sean McKenna came into midfield to provide a new burst of energy and Dragons finished the half strongly.

With the score still at 0-0 at half time, Dragons believed a better result was possible and tried to focus on using width to get around some very solid City defence. Disaster struck early in the second half. After a series of many short corners, one eventually found its way through and despite another superb save from Lawrence, the rebound was slotted home.

Undeterred by this blow, Dragons went straight on the attack and finally started to create some good chances. After the shortest cameo in history by captain Robert Coyle (hit by a ball as he ran on), Ray Hansell came back on and pushed higher up the pitch. This proved an inspired decision as a pinpoint pass found Tom Williams and although his shot was well saved, Josh Bingham showed cool composure to crack the rebound home with only three minutes remaining.

There was still some pressure to absorb but with the unflappable John (You don’t lose when I play) Butler rock solid at the back and Ray and Sam continuing to cover more miles than the Norwich Half-Marathon, we held on to achieve an excellent result.

This was a superb team performance and a game played with superb energy and spirit, with every player displaying their best hockey and it sets us up nicely for an important run of games to come. Our game in hand means we are lurking nicely beneath the surface, waiting to strike at the top of the table.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League

No fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League

No fixture

Sunday & Monday Dragons’ Fixtures

Norwich Dragons were in action on Sunday and Monday this week.  On Sunday the Men’s Masters played in their England Hockey Knockout fixture and on Monday a combined Ladies 1s/2s Team gave Norwich School 1st Team a warm up game in preparation for their East Finals.

Norwich Dragons Men’s Masters 5 v Wisbech 5 (Wisbech win 5-3 on penalty strokes)

What a game! what weather ! what if !

Dragons entered the Mens Masters o40’s this year in round one with the hope of having a more even game than in the cup last year when we suffered a 7-0 drubbing from Norwich City.  A more even match you could not have asked for with the scores 0-0 at the start (obviously) 4-4 at half time and 5-5 at full time. Flicks were traded, 1-1,2-2,3-3,4-3 and then the game was finally decided when Wisbech converted their last flick and won the match 5-3 (or 10-8 to be precise).

Every player played their heart out in a good spirited game and the spectators (my wife!) were treated to a goal fest.  Thanks go to the umpires and Wisbech, who nearly conceded, for making it a fun, if not wet Sunday afternoon. The Trophy may be over but we now move onto the Shield happy in the knowledge we can score plenty of goals!  Probably the kiss of death for our next match which will be a 1-0 slog!

Jon Price
Masters Manager

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s/2s 4:0 Norwich School Girls 1st Team

With several current and ex Norwich Dragons Players making up the Norwich School 1st Team; Freddie Briscoe, Ruth Willmott, Alice Guest, Lucy Hopgood, Emma Moolman, Klara Moolman, Sophie Cullens, Laura Bailey, Amy Brown and Sarah Radley, it felt more like a Dragons training game.

Lucy Hopgood had an excellent game for the School, creating problems for the Dragons when she played in the centre and then on the right.  Freddie pulled of some great saves and Alice and Ruth worked hard in defence feeding the ball out to the midfield at every opportunity.  On the Dragons team strong saves from Siobhan and a couple of goal line clearances from Donna and Shelly ensured a cleansheet for the hosts, however, the fire power and link up play of the midfield and forward line came through, with Hayley x2, Sarah and Karen bagging the goals.

Young Dragons in Tournament Action

The Young Dragons were in action at Harleston on Sunday 2nd November.

Dragon’s Girls U12 A Team came 6th in the Magpies tournament this Sunday. The team was Annabelle Hodgson, Charlotte Knight, Francesca Sabberton, Harriet Marlee, Lucy Buxton, Nicky Dawson, Sofia Groves, Stella Windsor Waite and Tilly Connors Beckett. The results were:

won 5 – 0 (Harriet x 2, Charlotte, Lucy, Sofia) v Dragons B
lost  1 – 3 (Lucy) v Magpies A
drew 0 – 0 v City B
lost 1- 0 v Dereham
lost 0 – 3 v City A
drew 1 – 1 (Annabelle)  v Pelicans
won 1 – 0 (Nicky) v Watton
drew 0 – 0 v Magpies B

A new look U12 Girls B team travelled to Harleston with many of the players getting their first taste of tournament hockey. Although it was a tough day with a draw against Watton and an unlucky defeat to Dereham the highlights, a huge number of positives were to be seen throughout the tournament.
Poppy was superb in the early matches, making save after save, icluding a superb triple save against Magpies. Yllandah (what a goal line clearance!!) and Charlotte both looked increasingly confident in defence and improved their positioning. Sasha and Beatrice worked tirelessly and tracked back well to aid in defence, making important tackles.
Emily and Orla were superb on the wings and increased in confidence with every game, finding space and taking on players.
Although we faced some very strong teams (and miserable weather), all of the players should be delighted with the experience gained and the leaps of improvement they have made.
Overall 1st & 2nd Places:
U10 Girls – 1st Norwich City A, 2nd Magpies A
U12 Girls – 1st Magpies A, 2nd Norwich City A
U10 Boys – 1st Norwich City, 2nd Dereham
U12 Boys – 1st Pelicans, 2nd Magpies A

 

Girls u12A Boys u10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 01/11/2014

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 3:2 Ipswich 2

Norwich Dragons played hosts to Ipswich Ladies second team. The Dragons who had been defeated in the last four games were in desperate need of a win and although Ipswich had not chalked up any points so far this season, the Dragons took nothing for granted and knew this was going to be a battle especially as this Ipswich team were strengthened as their first team, who are in the National League, did not have a match this week.

The Dragons on the other hand are having horrendous injury problems this year; four of their regular first team players being unavailable to play so the Dragons were reliant on the youngsters stepping up to the plate.  Fielding one of the youngest starting 11 sides for many seasons the team were understandably nervous and took some time to settle and find their attractive flowing hockey that they were capable of.  Ipswich took advantage of this and were the first to score. The Dragons were quick to respond; a short corner routine was saved by the keeper fell to stand in skipper Donna Vaughan who finished in style.

The half was fairly even with end to end chances by both sides. Ipswich took the lead for the second time in the match but just before half time the Dragons responded through a drag flick by Kate TRELAWNY GOWER.

The second half the Dragons came alive and started believing in themselves and were by far the better of the two teams and finally got their reward from the continued pressure that they put the ipswich defence under.  A short corner delivered by Shelly SEAMAN found Kate TRELAWNY GOWER on the post to steer the ball past the keeper. The last 10 minutes were so tense. The 3 points being so valuable to the Dragions caused the nerves to return to the players, the crowd and the sideline support.  Ipswich could sense this and tested the Dragons defence earning a short corner right at the death. Fortunately, Ipswich failed to stop the injection and Dragons were relieved to hear the final whistle.

There were many great performances but Player of match was awarded to Niamh LOWE-DAVIES who had a brilliant match in midfield and Sophie MULLAN who worked tirelessly in the centre of the park.

This young Dragons team battled and worked  PROUD TO BE A DRAGON and got a well deserved win. There was much home support for the Dragons which they were very appreciative of and undoubtedly this spurred them on for this victory.

Some snaps from the game here.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 5:2 Christchurch

Dragons arrived in Ipswich in good time at the shiny new blue and pink pitch – only to find our actual pitch was 100 yards further on, and not quite as blue or shiny! After a decent warm-up, the team called for a high level of intensity and workrate and to ensure they kept good possession of the ball in the early encounters, however these words were not heeded with possession being given away too easily, meaning this strong Christchurch team had some good early pressure.

Despite the slowish start, Dragons managed to take the lead following some strong work from Hannah Ellis, who picked up the ball just inside the 25, and fired it into the D for Hannah Hardy to get the slightest of touches to take the ball past the GK. Rather than settle Dragons, this seemed to serve to inspire Christcurch, who continued to press and eventually got a deserved equaliser before the break.

The half-time talk asked for the team to play more as they had discussed and a few tactical tweaks were made, to look to stifle the Christchurch threat. This  message was heeded and Dragons started playing more of their normal game. An early breakthrough at the beginning of the half, saw Marcy Windsor-Waite make a good run into the D and her goal bound effort was helped over the line by Laura Shreeve.

With Karen O’Neill Simpson, Hannah Ellis and Gail Thomas looking to shore up things in the middle, this gave license for the pace of Laura Shreeve and Aoife Lowe-Davies to break on a number of occasions. From one such opportunity, the two linked up with a great series of passes, resulting in Shreeve scoring her 2nd.

Credit to Christchurch, who refused to be beaten. They forced a number of short corners. One firmly struck strike from the top of the D was almost saved by Freddie Briscoe and then Angela Murgatroyd on the line, but it just forced its way over, to take the score to 3-2.

Dragons however continued to break at pace, with Shreeve, Hardy and Lowe-Davies again combining well to see Lowe-Davies get a well deserved goal to take the score to 4-2. The final goal was following a move started in her own half by Dragons Player of the Match Laura Shreeve, who, combining well with her teammates, picked up the pass from Lowe-Davies and stretching to her right, placed the ball past the outcoming keeper.

The final result of 5-2 potentially flattered Dragons a little, and Christchurch should be commended for their spirited performance. Dragons showed they have a really strong team spirit, high levels of confidence and good goal scoring ability in this team, to get the results even when they are not fully on their game.

Thanks to Rob for photos of this game here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3s to 7s: No Fixtures

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 1:3 Saffron Walden 2

Dragons’ stuttering start to the season continued with a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Saffron Walden. The side may have had their minds elsewhere – distracted by the twin offerings of Dorrington’s famous mediterranean slice and Jamie Oliver-inspired teas bookending the small matter of a match in between. Or perhaps they had their tactics wrong, set out as they were to combat a side originally known as Chipping Walden. Or it might have been the selections, the ironically named Alex ‘Capability’ Browne returning to the side for the first time this season in the hope that he might continue his good work at Audley End, comic-book villains Flatman and Sloman changing places, and the wrong Smith turning up as the result of the club’s latest clerical error. The late loss of Laming was also a blow – the gifted youngster picking up an ankle injury during a hotly contested game of FIFA 14 on Friday evening.

Dragons started brightly enough – benefitting from Jackson’s early ejection – though there was always the sense that their cavalier approach was on risky ground in this former New Model Army stronghold. They even took the lead via a cracking goal from the indomitable (and appropriately named) Knights, who turned strongly to crunch past the keeper from the top of the D. The game turned on an incident at the end of the half, Farrow forced to limp from the pitch after taking a blow from a misdirected shot – one that on another day might have looked like it was heading for the backboard. Dragons were forced into a reshuffle, Rutledge slotting in at centre-back and Charlish into midfield. Wagstaff reflected ruefully on the changes after the game: “You wouldn’t have thought it was possible for anyone to make us miss Farrow’s turn of pace.” And having controlled the first half, Dragons were well off it in the second.

Chipping Walden lived up to their name, first equalising from a well-taken short corner and then going ahead through an impudent goal as Dragons fell off a series of tackles. Farrow returned briefly but was quickly forced to come off for another ten minutes and a third goal followed, a quick break leaving man-of-the-match Bell with too much to do. Dragons pushed valiantly to get back into the game but the final scoreline would have been worse but for the heroics of Bell who pulled off a series of stunning double-saves.

Wagstaff preferred to concentrate on the positives after the match: “To be honest, I missed much of the game as I was over at the church of St Mary the Virgin. The trefoiled arches on the font there are very fine. Anyway, every cloud’s got its silver lining: the result’s disappointing, of course, but fingers crossed Rutledge’s injury’s more serious than it looks and he’s out for the season.”

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1: 3 Bury 1

The Men’s 2nd XI this week took on top of the league Bury St Edmunds 1st XI. Bury had dropped only 2 points out of 18 so far having won 5 games and drawn 1-1 against UEA during their opening game of the season. At this point Bury had only conceded 5 goals leaving them with a healthy goal difference of +28.

Elliot Wang made his 2nd XI debut this weekend after great work put in with the 3rd XI. Dave Sloman also made his 2nd XI debut owing to “Baby watch” and we welcomed back Ollie King courtesy of his reading week at university.

The game started at a good tempo which was manifested by Bury as Dragons started as the more cautious side, looking to get a feel for what this Bury side was made of. This once more put a lot of pressure on the Dragons defence who did a good job to repel early Bury attacks into the D with Ali Smyth and Piers Gordon-Brown rekindling a centre back duet that dated back to 2005. Dave Sloman managed the DMF position incredibly well and bore the brunt of some heavy handed tackling which the umpires began to produce green cards for. Dragons produced some attacking efforts up the right, utilising Sam Mann, Simon Nisbet and Ollie King well which saw that the defensive line of Bury put under some pressure and realising some of their weak points. Bury were much stronger in the middle and up front as a team and produced some very good individual efforts that missed the mark on their early attacks and made the Dragons’ defence work hard. A free hit to the right of the Dragons D saw a Bury player skip passed Lewis Wilkins and suddenly Bury had two men over in the D and a shot was taken at the near-post which Elliot Wang could not quite keep away with a good diving effort catching the ball with his stick. 0-1. Dragons felt that this was a bit of a soft goal having defended well and for only a very small defensive lapse creating the goal for Bury. Dragons started back up well but already looked a little tired in midfield with more movement off the ball needed. Bury seemed to be given more and more time to move their ball around the back and side to side from free hits. Bury’s second goal came around 10 minutes later having worked their way into the Dragons D again, on the left hand side this time, that saw another great diving effort from Elliot Wang rebounding back to a Bury player who then worked the ball back into the near side of the goal. 0-2. Dragons restarted again feeling that this goal could have been easily avoided and that their chance at goal was coming and Will Kirby and Jason Wolfe found themselves in the Bury D a handful of times before the whistle was blown for half time just as Bury began a counter-attack. Half time, 0-2.

Bury started the second half and pressed forward hard on this Dragons side, while Dragons worked on better ball retention and cleaner, more simple passes to improve the efficiency of our game. Dragons’ passes unfortunately continued to stray from their intended destination too regularly and/or Bury did a good job of picking these up in midfield and getting the ball back to the skilful forward line. The defensive line-up this week did not allow for a defensive sub and a recent injury for Piers Gordon-Brown impeded a good deal of movement which was a worry. Rich Phillis battled well under pressure out at right wing back and some great balls were fed down both the left and the right wing. Sam Mann even found himself in the Bury D at one point forcing the keeper to log and who caught the ball at the right post thus denying any goal. Ollie King had the ball delivered to him from Ben Watson from the right-hand side across the D and to the P spot only for the ball to bounce and to be be caught and sent straight up and only just over the crossbar. A narrow miss for goal of the season. Nick Turner also produced a strong display doing well to retain the ball despite the pressure of the Bury players and again some of the tackling from both sides drew more and more fouls and warnings from the umpires. Dave Sloman made it difficult for Bury to remove the ball from him and found himself spread-eagled on the astro turf on a couple of occasions. Bury had a glut of chances across the goal including numerous short corners that were denied by Elliot Wang and his defence which was encouraging to see. An overload into the Dragons’ D from the right-hand side after a good tackle but unfortunate clearance allowed bury to find the netting from the near post again. 0-3. Dragons battled on despite the midfield looking a little overwhelmed at times as Bury seemed to dominate here and control the play. A couple of lovely periods of hockey were produced by Dragons down the right right wing and along the baseline with Ollie King picking up from Simon Nisbet and moving on to Ben Watson who beat the goalkeeper and finished off on his reverse – a well deserved goal. 1-3. Bury finished off the game with a their strongest lineup up front and really pressurised the Dragons’ defence but who were able to deny a final goal for Bury. Full time, 1-3.

Another defeat for this Dragons side, possibly a performance that could have been stronger and could have resulted in some points coming from this game but not a bad result against a top of the table side. This result leaves the 2nd XI one off the bottom of the table but only 2 points off mid-table and if results go their way next weekend could elevate us to 8th from 11th.

Next week the 2nd XI are travelling to Pelicans 2nd XI for a 15:00 pushback. Pelicans 2nd XI are currently sat in 5th place with W4 D2 L1 GF20 GA15 Pts14 and who drew with UEA 3-3 this same weekend and lost to this Bury 1st XI side 6-2 in the second game of the season. Possibly another tough game on the cards and one that this Dragons side will be well rehearsed for after a tough run of games so far.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-0 North Norfolk 2

In the afternoon sun, Dragons travelled to Gem-of the-Norfolk-coast, Cromer.  North Norfolk 2s were only 3 points behind Dragons so both teams knew it would be a tough game.

It was North Norfolk that started strong, with them pushing the Dragon defence hard.  However, this was a day where Peter DAVISON, James GOODSON, Jon GOODSON and MOM Dim IVES earned their keep.  Every NN attack was blocked, and shots on target were masterfully saved by keeper IVES.

Dragons did get some attacks, but this was definitely a half where Dragons just weren’t linking up together yet.

Halftime saw the score still at 0-0.  With the usual Jelly babies substituted for Percy Pigs, the team spoke about a need to pass more, with pace, and win these 50/50 balls, in what was a physical game.

The second half saw Dragons put the pressure on.  Stu KELLY and Rob GOODSON working well together to guard the base of midfield, were getting the ball out and up to the Dragon attackers.  Dragons particularly attacked strong down both sides of the pitch.  Will IVES storming down the left a few times worried the NN defence and was unlucky not to score on one occasion.  John IVES pushing down the right managed to win Dragons a short corner.  A slip to the left from Adam SAYER saw the ball come to striker Adie KEMP.  An accurate strike saw the ball hit the backboard of the NN goal.

NN continued to push and did win a couple more short corners, but the stalwart Dragon defence kept the ball out.  Dragons made more attacks, with some strong play by Oli BROWNE and birthday boy Matt JENKINS, who was unlucky not to score himself.

The clock ticked down and Dragons secured victory.  A hard fought game once again in the heat.  Dragons picking up 3 points moves them to 3rd in the table.  A great team performance.

Further congratulations to Dragon Robert GOODSON and his wife Louise, whose baby daughter was born post-match, allowing her dad to play the full game. 

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

Dragons consolidated their position at the top of the table with a hard fought win over a strong Bury team.

A tense first half saw each side create a number of chances, but no goals thanks to solid defending and some good saves from the keepers.

Dragons welcomed back Neil Shorten in defence alongside Dave Pentin, Captain Keating and Phil York-Smith.  Despite the pace of the Bury forwards, Dragons were able to contain them and break down the attacks with some well timed tackles.  Phil Y-S distributed particularly well from the back with his aerial balls causing Bury problems.

In midfield, Rich Moulson, Rob Jenkins and Chris Wilkinson worked hard in the middle, whilst Bradley ‘Marathon Man’ Howlett was tireless on the wing.  Rohan Kaushal added some stick skills and youthful enthusiasm to the Dragons.

Up front, Robbie Whiting and Andy Cross worked hard and got in some great positions, but couldn’t quite find the goal that Dragons deserved.

Encouraging half time team talks from Moulson and Y-S helped Dragons maintain their momentum into the second half.

Dragons continued to create chances and midway through the second half Robbie Whiting found Rob Jenkins on the top of the D and the deadlock was broken with a powerful shot on the half volley into the corner.  Moments after taking the lead, Dragons were kept ahead thanks to a fantastic save off the helmet by Giles Brooks.  Despite this anxious moment, the goal changed the tone of the match, with Dragons gaining in confidence and starting to dominate, whilst Bury’s lack of substitutes was also a factor.

Garnet ‘Supersub’ Jones defied injury to come off the bench and score two goals within a few minutes , putting Dragons 3-0 up and ending Bury’s hopes of getting anything from the game.

The game was played in a good spirit, helped by consistent and decisive umpiring by Roy Burson and Adie Kemp. 

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-6 Felixstowe 3

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IMG_4603Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 1:6 Dereham 5

An ever changing Men’s 6th team welcomed more new faces this week with Robbie Bell, Pete Thomas, Ben Dures, Owain Hall and Max Laming making their first appearances. We were given little time to settle as Dereham attacked from the start and quickly showed that they would be quick and skillful. Despite some resolute defending and a very uncharacteristic goal line clearance from Robert Coyle (Butts would be proud), Dereham grabbed two early goals. James Hansell and Steven Trivett were kept very busy at the back but repelled attack after attack. The pressure continued and Robbie Whiting was called on time and again to make some stunning saves. An unfortunate miscalculation and some quick play from Dereham led to a third just before the break.

Dargons started the second half energetically and were immediately more attacking. Josh Bingham released some early passes to cut out the strong Dereham midfield and allow us to go forward. Hansell, Thomas and Dures worked tirelessly in the middle and Rob Lee, Pedro Goss and Rick Stuart-Sheppard made use of the rare attacks to create some better chances.Dereham were particularly dangerous on the break and despite another excellent goal line stop, this time from Mike Banham and some amazing Whiting saves from short corner flicks, 3 more goals followed.Not to be deterred, Dragons continued to attack and create chances. A short corner gave Mike Banham the opportunity to pull one back and ruin Dereham’s clean sheet. Robbie Whiting ensured that the scoreline remained respectable and was a deserved man of the Match. An enjoyable game but one in which we were always chasing an impressive Dereham side.

Some snaps from the game here.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 1:4 Pelicans (rearranged)

It was a warm, sunny day and every member of the team played really well. There was some outstanding passes, sprinting to the ball, clearance from the D and goals saved. Unfortunately with only 9 players verses 11 in the Pelicans team, the Dragons players were outnumbered!

At the end of the first half the score was 0:2. Refreshed at the start of the second half and playing as a team, Harry Williamson scored after some great midfield passes, starting with a kick straight up the centre of the pitch by Ben Nkrumah. Later on Ben did some great saves, boldly coming out of goal to intercept the ball.

Huck Hempsall pushed forward midfield, dribbling and running down the side of the pitch. Sol Blazer managed to play at least two positions midfield, passing to other players. Angus Blazer sprinted out front after the ball on a number of occasions, helping to line up shots at goal.

George Bowman passed and moved into spaces. Harry Brown and George Wright held the defense steady and Freddie Dixon cleared the ball, hitting the ball confidently, especially the free hits from the D.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

NDHC League Match Reports: 25/10/2014

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 0:2 Tunbridge Wells 1

Norwich Dragons travelled to Tunbridge Wells hoping to end their run of three consecutive defeats but the home side had other ideas. They welcomed three new comers to the squad due to unavailability because of half term and injuries and their work rate and commitment was second to none and nobody looked out of place in this league.

The Dragons started the more spritely of the two teams and dominated for the first 20 minutes however could not convert their chances. The home side eased there way into the match and at half time it was goalless.

The second half saw the Dragons press forwards and were awarded a number of short corners throughout the match but we’re unable to convert. This proved to be criminal as the home side capitalised on a mistake by the Dragons who gave possession away cheaply. The home side took full advantage and took the lead.

This proved to be fatal for the Dragons who lost their shape as the clock was ticking down and Wells growing in confidence resulting in a second from a short corner routine with 10 minutes left.

This was frustrating for the Dragons as they had the better of the chances but in this league if you don’t take them you get punished. Good experience again and a match that proved to the visitors that they are comfortable in this league and are able to compete but need to take their chances.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3:0 Framlingham

In perfect conditions at the Den, Dragon’s Ladies 2’s entertained Framlingham 1’s in a game which the home side were looking to extend their 100% record, however were fully aware that Framlingham always provided strong opposition, and hadn’t conceded many goals so far this campaign. Due to an unfortunate run of injuries and unavailability particularly in the 1’s, the 2nd team saw a few changes, notably Pollyanna Watson making her first appearance for the 2’s this season.

Having talked about the need for patience in the early stages, Dragons could not have got off to a better start, with initial pressure resulting in a smartly taken first goal for Pollyanna Watson, who made the run from right mid, collecting a pass from Gail Thomas, and firing the ball in to the GK’s left post.

Dragons continued to play their strong passing game, with Lizzie Moulton and Gail Thomas showing good strength in the middle, and Hannah Ellis, Shelly Seaman and Pollyanna Watson, working tirelessly up and down the flanks.

The second goal followed midway through the first half, with an excellent effort by Dragons Player of the Match Aoife Lowe-Davies. Aoife picked up a square pass from Hannah Hardy about 10 yards inside the attacking half. She used her pace and skill to take the ball beyond the back tracking defenders. On reaching the D with the choice as to whether to slip the ball to her supporting forwards (with Marcy Windsor Waite having made up good ground in support) or take the keeper on, Aoife chose to coolly strike the ball past the outcoming keeper, to make the score 2-0.

Framlingham had their spells in the game, however the excellent Dragon’s backline of Freddie Briscoe, Ally Windsor-Waite, Angela Murgatroyd and Sophie Thomas showed what a great combination they are becoming, ensuring that chances were few and far between.

The second half saw a similar pattern, probably with fewer clear cut chances for Dragons. They did however force a number of short corners, and from one the routine worked to perfection, with the ball coming out smartly, well stopped at the top and perfectly dispatched in at the right post by Gail Thomas, to make the score 3-0.

Framlingham kept pushing and had a couple of short corners themselves, Ally Windsor-Waite took one goal bound effort off the line with an excellent stop to keep the clean sheet intact.

The final whistle was blown by umpires Hazel Medler and Mason Wright, (who kept a strong competitive game flowing really well), securing another 3 points for Dragons and maintaining their great start to the season. This team continue to work really hard for each other, both in training and on a Saturday. They are growing in spirit and in their all round understanding of how to play together as a team, which is a huge credit to all involved.

To  see a few snaps from this game click here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3s 2:4 Magpies 3

This visit to Weybred was always going to be tough and the low autumn sun made it difficult for both sides when heading into it.

Magpies were strong from the off, playing a fast paced game. Dragons struggled to keep good ball speed on the water based pitch. The dragons defence soaked up a lot of pressure with goal keeper Amy Forse diving left and right and harrying Magpies forwards one on one.

Magpies kept a good press on the Dragons free hits, often managing to intercept the pass. Following an interception in their defending 25, a nimble and talented Magpies player drove the length of the pitch, single handedly beating any Dragons player in her path. Once at the top of the D she struck the ball past the sun blinded Forse.

Following the reset of play Harriet Green played a strong sideline ball to Debs Smith in midfield, who in turn manoeuvred through a sea of Magpies players, delivering the ball to PoM Laura Goodbun. Carrying the ball to the base line, despite the pressure of the persuing Magpies defenders, Goodbun played an excellent cross flush against the base line to a ready to receive Geo Beckwith. With minutes to half time Beckwith slipped the ball past the Magpies kepper bringing the score line to 1:1.

Following the mid game break Dragons conceded a short corner. Neatly slipped right and passed to the left hand post Magpies slipped in their second goal. Unrelenting Magpies continued to press on the Dragons players, pushing hard into the D from many angles and increasing their lead to 3:1.

Undeterred, Dragons were faster at utilising their turns of play. Goodbun, notably, picking up a ball from one such break catching Magpies on the back foot. Sprinting the length of the pitch, the PoM seemed uncatchable, sealing the deal by scoring as she entered the Magpies D, pulling back a goal for the Dragons and bring the score line to 3:2.

Magpies kept on the attack, forcing play deep into the half of the Dragons. Several short corners were awarded to Magpies and despite the best efforts of the defence a clinical strike from the Magpies top D receiver smashed its way into the bottom corner finalising the score for the game at 4:2.

A hard fought, but throughouly enjoyable match. Magpies were a tough opposition, but one that played a fair and clean game, which was superbly umpired.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 1:0 Magpies 5

What a glorious morning for hockey, bright and fresh with just the right amount of warmth.

This was always going to be a challenging game, with Magpies 5s only having lost to top of the league Evergreens. Magpies are a young, well drilled and determined side but we were equally as determined to hold our own and play to our strengths this week.

The game was well matched throughout the first half, with play moving consistently back and forth down the pitch. The game started well with Dragon’s having the pushback, Sue Cross, Kate McKenna and Gemma Rump all worked hard moving the ball out wide and towards the D and there were several moments when an initial early goal seemed possible, including a lovely ball played across the goal, which just went past the left-hand post. Magpies used their speed to try and take advantage, but solid defending from Freya Clogan, Louise Davis and Laura Bruce kept Magpies in check and stopped the majority of play before it reached the danger zone. When shots were had, Laura Tuck (PoM) took each attack calmly and cleared ball after ball, a stunning performance that kept the score 0:0 throughout the first half.

The second half saw Magpies come out hard and strong, determined to find the win. Dragon’s would not surrender easily with Chiara Bond, Carmel Windsor Waite and Sarah Moore all working consistently well in the mid-field, pulling the play out wide and producing some lovely little passes down the wing, again a goal seemed possible but wasn’t quite ready come due to a strong defensive line of Magpies. In the last 10 minutes of the game, although everyone was beginning to feel the effects of a hard and physical game, the pace seemed to pick up even more and at last a goal came. Freya Clogan made a stupendous run from defence to inject the ball into the D, Laura Parry received the ball with her back to the goal, did a neat little turn and flicked the ball through the narrowest of gaps and across the line. With only 5 minutes remaining Dragons where put under constant pressure by Magpies who were desperate to draw level. But outstanding team work kept the ball up and in their half, if anything Dragons looked likely to score a second goal. When the final whistle blew a very tired, but happy Dragons team took the 3 points.

A great game of hockey that had everyone on the side-line engrossed – well done ladies. 

To see some photos from this game click here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 1:4 Norwich City 4

Norwich Dragons 5s had a disappointing first defeat of the season to a cohesive Norwich City 4s.

Dragons 5s had the early shift this week and were heavily challenged from the start by Norwich City 4s who put up some excellent attacks right from the start to wake them up.

Hats off this week to our defence and Laura Tuck as  our excellent keeper who made some wonderful saves.  Jess Tye Leach was put under extreme pressure as the only regular 5s defender but she put in some excellent tackles and prevented a number more goals that City drove forward for.  Lotte Korn did a good job at finding her feet in this team which was new to her this season.

At half time Norwich Dragons were dismayed at the fact they were 3-0 down. This has always been a Dragon’s 5s weakness in terms of being able to turn a game around when they are down.

We did come back stronger in the second half and even managed to score a somewhat weird and flukey goal off the opposition from a brilliant run from Issy Wolfe (Player of the match). There were some breaks from Dragons through Rachael Matthews, Helen Marsh, Rosie Korn and Laura Hansell. Lisa Harwood and Anja Finnegan put in some good work and some good hockey but we couldn’t quite seem to get it in the D upfront and took our time a bit too much.

The defence continued to be under constant pressure with a number of saves by Jade and Lotte on the line. Unfortunately  Jess was not feeling too well and needed a break, with no other defenders as an option this Captain stepped in a left back unfortunately she got caught on the break to conceded a 4th goal. Luckily Jess felt good enough to get back on the pitch  or else the devastation in the score could have been much worse.

You win some you lose some and Norwich City 4s were always going to be an extreme challenge for Dragons. They have now retrieved their position of 4th in the league table.  I remain positive about Norwich Dragons 5s and know we have the gumption to shine again.

All 5s should read the Mens 6s match report (when available) about 9 men that went all the way to Felixstowe and won 1-0 this tells you anything is possible.

Onwards and upwards girls. Keep fit over half term and we’ll come back fighting.

To see a few photos click here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6: No Fixture

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

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To find out if Tom came out on top, click here to see photos from this game.

Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3:3 Ely 1

Dragons again dropped points at home on Saturday, held 3-3 by a battling Ely City side. It was a fine advert for Division 2 hockey – an end-to-end match played in excellent spirit, testimony to the long-standing relationship between Dragons and one of their feeder clubs (where gifted, young players often spend time on loan).

Dragons started positively if sloppily, pushing the visitors back but giving the ball away with some careless passing. Ely looked to play on the break, protecting old legs at the back with a deep defensive line, and releasing the ball quickly to their pacey forwards. And, despite Dragons’ pressure, Ely had early reward for their efforts, hatrick hero Reay taking the ball past Farrow with his first touch and then dispatching past Bell with his second. It was a sign of things to come – the visitors three times taking the lead and three times being pegged back. First it was Samwise who at last got his name on the score-sheet, steaming in at the back post to tuck home Charlish’s driven cross. Ely bounced straight back, scoring with almost the next move of the game, Hunt’s pace down the right creating confusion in Dragons’ defence before Reay deflected a driven ball past the onrushing Bell. It was all-square before half-time, though, Knights’ rich run of goal-scoring form continuing with a crunching strike from a short corner.

Dragons started the second half as they’d finished the first – controlling territory and possession and looking likely to go ahead. Instead, though, it was the visitors who took the lead for a third time, another surging run from Hunt down the right leaving Reay to glance the ball into the far corner. As Dragons pushed for the equaliser they left themselves exposed on the break, leaving Farrow to collect a veritable harvest of warnings and cards for serial Overstalling. Samwise twice almost got on the end of dangerous crosses, and Knights and Charlish were constant threats breaking from midfield. In the end, it was another fine short-corner strike from Knights that got the team level and spurred a hectic final push for the win. Ely were certainly the happier side with the point, but having thrice gone behind, Dragons left themselves too much to do.

Samwise was understandably delighted with his first goal for the club: “It’s a great feeling; you don’t really feel you’ve contributed as a forward if you haven’t scored.” Wagstaff was more laconic: “I sort of thought he couldn’t really miss and then it occurred to me that he usually finds a way to.” On man-of-the-match Smith he added “he’s a terrific player. You have to be, I suppose, to win man-of-the-match as a centre-back when the guy you’re supposed to be marking’s scored a hatrick.” And he finished with a comment on the rough reception Rutledge received from his old side: “It was hardly a surprise; you wait and see what he gets if he ever plays against us.”

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1: 6 UEA 1

10th place Norwich Dragons made the trip across the city to take on 2nd place UEA at the Sports Park. Another tough test for this Dragons side with the hope of providing a stronger performance than in the previous weeks.

Dragons started the game with a good tempo and made efforts forwards to ensure that they did not get stuck in their own half by the strength of the UEA forward line. The passing play was good and using the width of the team looked like a promising start for the Dragons side. Dragons had a few early chances on goal but nothing came from these. UEA were also quick out of the blocks and after mopping up defensively came back with speed and strength.

UEA worked themselves into Dragons’ D on a number of occasions and the ball started to find its way across the Dragons goal-line. Piers Gordon-Brown was unlucky to pick up a green card for possibly catching a tackle on the back stick. Rich Moulson worked very well as DMF, distributing and moving the ball from defence through the middle and around the sides. Mitch Smith played more than 15 minutes for the first time this season and put on a strong defensive display. Alex Browne and Jason Wolfe hassled the UEA D early on and continued to threaten when given the chance. The first UEA goal came in from a close range deflection into the goal, the second goal was worked around the goalkeeper and third goal from a well worked a short corner. Lewis Wilkins was also unlucky to get a yellow card towards the end of the first half for tripping a UEA player on approach to the D, despite this good sportsmanship was shown by both sides as a helping hand up was offered to the fallen player and a hand shake exchanged. Dragons kept their heads up and continued to attempt to press forwards and at points the game didn’t look too and uneven. UEA managed to squeeze in a fourth goal before half time. 0-4.

The second half started with the sun in Dragons’ eyes but again dragons started well and managed to force a penalty stroke not long after the start of the second half. Jason Wolfe converted this with ease, placing the ball to the right of the goalkeeper and around the side netting. UEA continued pushing towards Dragons’ goal and may have had more of the ball in the second half as dragons grew tired. UEA soon found their fifth goal having won a number of short corners in a row. Chris Simmonds was bundled to the ground and reacted in a way which saw a green card turn into a yellow card. UEA found the goal for their sixth and final time not long afterwards from a penalty stroke. Dragons soldiered on but looked tired and disheartened, but strong performances from Chris Simmonds, Rory Jackson, Alex Stone and others was pleasing to see in light of the score line. Sam Mann again put himself in contention for another MOM award with some exceptional reactions and saves, albeit missing out on some of the less fierce attempts on goal. Full time. 1-6.

MOM Rory Jackson. Next week Dragons take on 1st place Bury St Edmunds 1st XI at home at 11:30 and also have a Sunday cup game against East London Men’s 2nd XI at home at 14:00.

Photos from this game courtesy of UEA HC Photography click here.

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

This week Dragons played Norwich Citys 4ths who were sitting just above them near the top of the table only by goal difference.  Dragons knew this would be a challenging game and as the sun shone down, Dragons took to the pitch.

The pre-match talk must have paid off as Dragons scored within the first 2 minutes.  Some build up play down the right ended with forward Adie KEMP hitting the backboard.  Dragons continued to press City though things did settle down as City came more into the game.

As the half went on, City did manage some attacks and broke through the Dragon defence to equalise.  Dragons kept their heads and through some determined play managed to keep putting the pressure on City.  A quick turn from Adam SAYER at the top of the D and a shot on goal forced the City keeper to make a save where the ball fell to Will IVES.  After a saved shot, the ball fortuitously fell to Will again, who flicked the ball into the net.

A few short corners from both teams resulted in no more goals scored this half.  Halftime: 2-1 to Dragons.

The second half saw City really put the pressure on Dragons.  The stalwart defence of James GOODSON, Neil SHORTEN and MOM Peter DAVISON kept the City forwards out of the D.  Good interception work by DAVISON made sure the City aerials got nowhere near their forwards.  Dragon midfielders Stu KELLY, John IVES, Dan RYAN, Will MAIN, and Rob GOODSON were linking up nicely to pass the ball onto the forwards.  Dragon forward Oli BROWNE was unlucky not to score after some promising runs.

The game became a drawn-out affair, with the ball going from end-to-end.  Despite the valiant efforts of the Dragons defence, including a goal line save from Dan RYAN, City kept the pressure on by taking short corner after short corner.  As in previous weeks, Dragon keeper Elliot WANG made some magisterial saves, swatting away many City drag flicks.  However, eventually City were rewarded for their efforts and managed an equaliser.  The game ended and it was a draw, 2-2.

Overall a hard fought game, where both teams had opportunities to win.  A draw it seems, was a fitting result.  Next week, Dragons head to North Norfolk 2s where they look to return to their winning ways.

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Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 2:1 Magpies 6

Dragons men’s 4th team beat Magpies 2-1. Dragons started well and took control of the game, creating most of the early chances. One of these led to a foot on the line and the award of a penalty flick. Up stepped Ali Smyth, current 100% record from the spot!  This form was continued as the keeper saved well. Dragons continued to press are were unlucky not to convert a short with Rob Chaney Baxter just tipping the ball wide. Phil York-smith finally converted a short corner just before halftime. Magpies equalised midway through the 2nd half before Andrew Cross deflected in the winner from a firm pass from Phil York-smith.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1:2 Nomads 1

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 1:0 Felixstowe 4 

The Man of the Match at Felixstowe were the 9 men who travelled to grind out a magnificent 1-0 victory thanks to a first short corner strike by Josh Bingham midway through the first half. Everyone showed they not only had superior skill but the energy & discipline to snuff out the opposition. Rob Lee took the sweeper role & grew threw the match. Rich Davies was so good at centre back to be anonymous, so good was his marking the ball was nowhere his centre forward. James Hansell on his league debut was superb while the evergreen John Butler kept 2 forwards at bay on the left. Ray Hansell & Andy Webb were tireless in mid-field from box to box.

This was no defensive entrenchment with Josh Bingham & Rick Sheppard sharing the attacking role. In goal, Mike Banham set a new record playing for all 6 XI’s in goal, keeping a rare clean sheet(Hoof point) & when beaten he had Butts on the line to turn the ball away. All 9 players are now looking forward to a long awaited home match & hope those with travel sickness
recover soon.

This was one of the best Dragons/NU team performance I have had the privilege of being part of. Beats making the East Prem league back in 1970’s where we belong.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

Young Dragons in Sunday Action

1926830_10152754934311730_4868552900175441655_nOn Sunday the youngsters were all in action, with the Under 14 Girls 7-a-side Team setting off early to Colchester for matches against Cambridge City and Colchester, their long trip was rewarded with a 5-2 win over Cambridge and then a 17-0 over Colchester (games were 20 minutes each way)!! Links to Team Photos and League Table are here.

The boys were also in action, although home fixtures for the u14 and u16 Boys.  The u14 Boys hosted Bury St Edmunds and lost 2-1, goal from George Bowman, POM Ben Nkrumah (links to photos and league table here). Then the u16 Boys hosted Magpies in an evenly matched game finishing in a 2-2 draw with goals from Rohan Kaushal and Ben Watson, photos and league table links here (including photos of Rohan’s masterclass in the reverse stick lob).

Under 14 Girls Match Report:

Ten members of the Girls Development Squad  went to Colchester on Sunday to play their first triangular tournament in the England Hockey Under 14 7-a-side Development League, and came away with two excellent wins, beating Cambridge 5-2 and Colchester 17 – 0. We set off with some apprehension, having never entered a tournament at this level before. We were excited at the prospect of playing different teams. Coaches Jason Wolfe and Bridget Le Good decided on a very attacking 2 – 3 – 1 formation, giving the midfield plenty of responsibility for running and tackling back.

Dragons began brightly, with plenty of possession, but initially the attacks were breaking  down in the circle, where we were not taking shots or following up. Cambridge had four strong attacking moves, and although Alessandra Pellegrini made two good saves our failure to get  back meant they had two shots on target and scored twice.  Dragons believed they could still come back, and in the second half everything that had been going wrong went right. Arabella Sabberton and Carmel Windsor-Waite were solid in defence, and the Dragons’ midfield of Lara Taylor on the right, Issy Wolfe in the middle and Anna Brook on the right were controlling the game, with Heather Tasker and Catherine Matthews  doing equally well when they rotated in. It was the midfielders (Anna Brook 3 and Issy Wolfe  2) who achieved the clinical finishing to complete a remarkable second half turn round, with the forwards Lucy Morton and Anja Wimmer working hard up front and doing plenty of unselfish running.

We understood that Colchester, who had lost to Cambridge, were strengthening their team so Dragons were sent out with the instruction to continue to press hard and take their chances. Dragons scored inside three minutes, and after that it was an avalanche. Anna Brook was on fire and scored 6; Heather Tasker got 4, Issy Wolfe 3, Lara Taylor 3 (and she made many more with her midfield crosses from right to left) and Lucy Morton 1. Alessandra impressed by coming out to the edge of the circle and making some excellent clearances.

To their credit, Colchester kept their heads up, tried to keep their shape and their goalkeeper bravely continued to stop shots from every angle.

On 19 November, Dragons play Chelmsford, St Neots  and City of Peterborough in the second triangular tournament. There is little danger that the Dragons will let this first amazing day go to their heads, because most of this squad can remember it was not long ago that they too were on the end of some pounding defeats.  But the girls are now playing well, and at last bringing into their matches the skills they are developing in training. Today’s success was built on the  confidence they have earned from two successive wins in the league.

Our thanks to the supportive families who provided the transport to make this day a memorable one.

Under 16 Boys Match Report:

Norwich Dragons U16 boys hosted Norfolk rivals Harleston Magpies in their latest group stage match in the England Hockey cup.

With a win and a draw from their first 2 games, Dragons were a point ahead of Harleston in the table, but expected a tough test based on Harleston’s results to date.

The game proved to be a tight affair, with the majority of playing in the middle third, and both teams struggling to create real clear cut chances.

Harleston took a first half lead after winning a short corner, which was coolly converted after their forward beat the Dragons runner and shot into the far corner beyond the reach of Declan Cobb in the Dragons goal.

Dragons levelled things up before the break when Ben Watson’s snapshot was only half cleared and Rohan Kaushal followed up with a reverse stick effort over the keeper and high into the net.

The second half saw Dragons start stronger and have the majority of possession, however, with the side pushing on they played themselves into trouble by over-committing and allowing the Harleston forward to intercept a pass and run clear before drawing Cobb in goal to finish on the reverse stick.

This seemed to click Dragons back into gear, and for the next ten minutes they looked the more dangerous side, however, the breakthrough didn’t look like it was coming, until, somewhat fortuitously a Harleston defender deflected Ben Watson’s cross past his own goalkeeper.

Dragons had a couple of good chances to take the lead, Watson unable to get a clean shot off following a good break, and Rob Chaney-Baxter unable to get a stronger touch on a good cross to divert it goalward.

The last ten minutes saw the pendulum swing back to Harleston, who camped in the Dragons’ half. Despite this intense pressure, Dragons managed to limit them to half chances from difficult angles, and were able to keep them at bay.

Full Time: Norwich Dragons 2-2 Harleston Magpies

Under 14 Boys Match Report:

Norwich Dragons u14 boys – 1

Bury St Edmunds u14 boys – 2

Dragons started the game very slowly and seemed to spend most the first half chasing the ball. Tricks that usually work did not and players that usually dominate their position were struggling. This saw Bury St Edmunds go two nil up with not the most amazing of goals you will see. But dragons had their chances to score in the first half, with Jono Chaney Baxter going close on a couple of occasions. Bury St Edmunds passed the ball around Dragons very well, showing great composure on the ball. Bury seemed more determined that Dragons and were winning the 50:50 balls easily.

Dragons were a different team in the second half! Ben N in goal was making some great saves and was never going to let a goal in, the defence were marking much better, Raunaq Rai dominated central defence, Edward Murphy showed off his snazzy stick skills on the right, Freddie Dixon at right defence was winning every tackle or interception he made, George Bowman was sprinting back from up front to help the defence, making tackles at the top of Dragons’ D and Charlie Nunn started to control central midfield. The change was amazing and resulted in many chances for Dragons to score. George Bowman took such a chance after a smooth passing move saw George in front of the keeper, calmly slotting the ball home between the keeper’s legs. But despite the better play and pressure, that second goal would just not come. There were chances for 1v1 with the keeper, goal mouth scrambles and shots flying just wide of the post. But unfortunately, it was not to be on this occasion.

The boys should be proud of their second half performance, but need to learn that they need to work hard and play good hockey for the whole of the match. The boys have played two, won one and lost one in this league. Ipswich East Suffolk are next on 9 November!

Player of the match was Ben Nkrumah.

Performances of note: George Bowman’s tacking back showed great determination and willingness to be a team player, Raunaq worked tirelessly in central defence, McCartney’s leadership as captain was impressive and Ben N’s saves in the second half kept the boys in the game.

Thanks to Ray for his help, even though James was not playing. Thanks to Laura Tompson Wright for umpiring.

 

Celebration for Boys, Disappointment for Girls

Sunday’s Young Dragon fixtures brought reason for the boys to celebrate a good win, however a long away trip for the girls ends in disappointment.

The Boys under 14s team had the odd situation of making a short journey across the border to Weybread, for a ‘home’ fixture against Magpies.  Magpies were due to be hosting our boys and IES in a triangular event, which IES then withdrew from.

However, the Young Dragons showed they don’t mind where they play and came away with 3 points from their first game in England Hockey Midlands League 4.

Goals were scored by Edward Murphy (2), Charlie Nunn and Harry Williams. POM Edward Murphy.

Other teams in the initial league round include Magpies, Bury St Edmunds, IES and City, the Boys take on Bury at the Den on 19th October at 11.30am in their next fixture.  For full details of the league, results and fixtures click here.

The Under 18 Girls had a slightly longer journey in round 2 of the England Hockey knockout, having beaten Long Sutton 7-2 in the first round, the girls were confident heading into the next round at Spalding HC.  Whilst creating lots of opportunities and dominating play, the girls couldn’t convert their chances and found themselves up against a strong keeper.  At halftime honours were even at 1-1 thanks to a goal from Aoife Lowe-Davies and the visiting supporters were sure that the Young Dragons would make more of their opportunities in the second half, unfortunately that was not to be and the score remained at 1-1 when the final whistle blew.  No extra time for the girls, so straight into flicks, which Spalding managed to win with 3 goals to 2.

 

NDHC League Match Reports: 04/10/2014

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 0:3 Bromley & Beckenham

Norwich Dragons suffered their first defeat of the season when they played hosts to Bromley and Beckenham. The visitors, who missed out on promotion last year, were always going to be the Dragons toughest test so far in this league.

The first half saw both teams having an equal share of possession without creating any clear cut chances until the visitors were awarded a short corner mid way through the half which they dispatched cleverly giving them the lead. Just before the half time whistle the Dragons had the chance to draw level. A determined Kate Trelawny Gower made an interception on the attacking 25 yard line and drove the ball past the Bromley defence. The keeper was quick off her line and Trelawny Gower skillfully dribbled the ball beyond her reach and struck the ball towards the open goal only to see it drift wide of the post.

The Dragons remained upbeat and positive in the second half believing that they could get something from this game. It was end to end hockey but the home side were frustrated as they were not able to play their free flowing hockey due to the visitors work rate and physical strength however they did create some chances to score but unfortunately could not capitalise. Bromley put further pressure on the home side as they doubled their lead; a short corner resulted with defender Donna Vaughan blocking the ball on the goal line with her body. A penalty stroke was  awarded which Bromley converted. Bromley grew in confidence with this 2-0  cushion and although the home side kept fighting it did not seem like it was going to be their day.  As they pushed forwards searching for a goal Bromley broke and although some determined defending on the top of the D by Lizzie Moulton the ball fell to Charlotte Ridout who clipped the ball brilliantly at the top of the D and dispatched the ball like a bullet high into the roof of the net leaving the keeper no chance. This wasn’t the Dragons best performance but some credit has to go to Bromley who halted their play.  They put the Dragons defence under immense pressure at times and player of the match was rightly awarded to Maddie Denman who had an outstanding performance at left defender demonstrating maturity, strength and composure for someone so young against a side who were strong, physical  and well seasoned at playing this level of hockey.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 8:1 Norwich City 2

With the rain clouds threatening up at Taverham, Dragons were keen to continue where they left off last week, this time with a full complement of players!

Despite having the lions share of the early possession, the score remained nil – nil for some 15 minutes. It was important for Dragons to keep their shape and remain patient, which they did well, being strongly marshalled by Hollie Limmer and Gail Thomas in the middle of the pitch, who helped stretch and spread the play for Dragons.  The first goal was somewhat fortuitous, after the ball appeared to hit a number of sets of feet in the D, a scramble then ensued and the ball was forced over by Hannah Hardy.  The second and third followed quickly, following some excellent individual skills by Dragons Player of the Match, Laura Shreeve – the second of which was a brilliant run along the back line, beating a number of players before firing the ball into the roof of the net from an acute angle; the third was created by Shreeve and finished off well by Laura Tompson-Wright. Dragons went into the break 3 up.

The half time talk focused on maintaining our shape and continuing to show the strong teamwork and work ethic that had proved successful in the first 35 mins. Dragons continued to apply the pressure from the whistle and the goals quickly followed; Laura Tompson-Wright scored early on, then completed her hat-trick with a smartly taken reverse stick strike. Shreeve and Hardy each added another, whilst Aoife Lowe-Davies also got a well deserved goal, following her tireless running for the team.

Full credit to City, who continued to work hard and push forward when the opportunities arose. A spell of pressure in the last 5 minutes, saw City force a good save from Freddie Briscoe. Further pressure saw the home team earn a couple of short corners, the second of which was slipped left, the strike hitting a Dragons defender on the line. The penalty flick was awarded and was well dispatched into the corner by Hannah Jarvis, despite Briscoe getting her right foot to the ball.

Another good performance by Dragons 2s, who are developing nicely as a team.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3s 1:0 Norwich City 3

With autumn finally starting to settle in, Norwich Dragons 3’s faced Norwich City 3’s at a very wet Taverham.

From the offset both teams were well matched in both skill and pace with some beautiful hockey being played by both sides. City started with the push back in the first half and came at the Dragon defense strong. Driving through the center and calmly switching the ball to the left side of the pitch they looked as though they may score. However, these efforts were thwarted by the combined defending efforts of Sarah Wagstaff, Abi Crowe and Natasha Falzon. Any balls and players that did make it through were easily closed down and picked up by the skilful goalkeeper Amy Forse. Clearing the balls wide, Dragons were quick on the attack. Notably, Pollyanna Watson (PoM), Harriet Green and Marcy Windsor-Waite played some beautiful technical hockey beating several players as they progressed up the pitch. For a large portion of the first half Dragons and City took it in turns, both with strong attacks on the opposing D, but both without the end result. Heading towards half time, a fault in their defending D by City offered Dragons the opportunity to change this.

A strong injection from Pollyanna Watson, expertly stopped and rolled into the D by Debbie Santa Clara for Caroline Wolfe to pelt into the bottom left corner of the goal past the City defence saw the score line to 0-1 for the Dragons, which it remained at for the remainder of the first half.

With the rain still pouring both teams started the second half eager to increase the score line. An interception from City following Dragons second half push back saw a lone City player attack the D, sending the ball wide of the goal. Once again, both teams were strong with play evenly spread across the pitch. Short corners conceded by both sides remained fruitless, City’s picked up at the top of the D or shots intercepted, and Dragons unable to find a stick on the post to secure the goal.

Despite unrelenting efforts from both side the final score line remained Norwich City 0-1 Norwich Dragons.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 3:3 Watton 2

This was a game that showed both teams to their best, clean, fun hockey, with a result that reflects that.

With the threat of rain ranging over us we took to the sandy UEA pitch with a strong team of Dragons, raring to go and score a few goals. Unlike previous games where we have been rather slow to find our scoring feet the first Dragon’s goal came fairly quickly from Kate McKenna, it was a lovely combination of good passing and making sure to follow up a deflection from the keeper. Sue Cross (PoM) and Chelsea Crawford aided in some further attempts on goal in the first ten minutes of the game but weren’t quite able to finish their lovely drives into the D. From a short corner Watton came back to level the score with a well-paced pass to the left-hand post.

Gemma Rump, Mel Widdows and Sarah Moore all worked well in the midfield distributing the balls out wide and moving play forwards, at one point there were so many attempts on goal it felt more like a game of pinball than hockey, but a determined Watton keeper and good defending stopped every shot. The second Dragons goal came from Sue Cross, a well place ball into the right corner, with the initial run and pass coming from Kate McKenna, who received it from a kick out by GK Laura Tuck. Again Watton came straight back and equalised with a classy ball, that took everyone by surprise, through a players legs, just before half time.

In the second half Louise Davis, Freya Clogan and Laura Bruce put on pressure from the defensive line and continued to move the ball forward. A lovely crossed ball from Sarah Moore allowed Sue Cross to score her second goal and edge Dragons ahead once more. Katie Buxton made some lovely intercepts at the top of the diamond and tried to take advantage of the space in midfield to turn play and while Dragons had several more shots on goal, including hitting the post it was Watton who scored next, making it 3 apiece. This was how the score would stay despite some excellent efforts from Chelsea and Holly to bring the ball back into the oppositions D.

A well balanced, well-mannered game came to an end without a drop of rain falling.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 3:0 Watton 3

Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s were very happy with their 3-0 win over Watton 3s.

Only their second league game of the season (due to Evergreens conceding last week) Dragons 5s were keen to do a good job and secure a win. Anja Finnegan who has been showing more confidence and skill each week as a forward worked well with Issy Wolfe to secure a number of excellent breaks down the wing working the ball to Lois McGregor in the circle who proceeded to take a number of lifted shots (but none succeeded).

Many shots and shorts later finally we opened the score line with a cracker from Lisa Harwood. Dragons did make hard work of getting the ball in the back of the goal given the volume of chances they had and the Watton keeper should really win man of the match.

Watton had little possession in the game but when they tried to break the Dragons defence made sure that they would not get through to the defensive D.  Showing their youth and fitness Emma Buxton, Carmel Windsor-Waite, Jess Tye-Leech and Jasmin Daniels were able to push up and create chances whilst also covering the defence to ensure Laura Tuck (GK) did not touch the ball.

The second goal finally came from a short corner (one of many) with a straight strike from Lois McGregor at the post followed up by the short sharp reactions of Chiara Bond who deflected it in.

In the second half, Watton came back stronger with more determination making it harder work for Dragon’s midfield. Luckily the excellent work of Jade Blanchflower and Rachael Matthews kept them at bay. Racheal Matthews development in her game and her constant work rate should not go unmentioned, she is relentless in her play and a true 5s spirited player. Creating excellent chances Carmel Windsor-Waite also showed her diversity and ability to get the ball into the D when it’s needed.  Some of the hockey was text book stuff  but wasn’t given us goals and after a little inspiration that she may fall behind the family goals table the final one came from Issy Wolfe.  Wolfe  shot a blinder with a reverse stick lift unfortunately the keeper was a bit too sharp and saved it. Luckily Issy got another chance with a rebound from the keeper and popped the ball straight in with a simple push (showing sometimes it’s the simple things).  Leaving the final score at 3-0.

For me the player of the match would be the team with excellent effort from all, however I know we have more to give as we form as a team and pull off goals from those shorts and polish our play. Roll on next week.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6 1:0 Hornets

Dragons had plenty of possession and played some good hockey, but only managed to put a single goal past Hales Hornets. Hornets sometime struggle to get a full team, so their results are not always consistent. But when, as on this occasion, they have almost their strongest team available they are very difficult to beat because they are well organised in defence and counter attack with speed.

The pattern of the game was that the 6s had most of the possession, with Hornets confined to the occasional foray. Jo Eke played as sweeper in defence, and cut out the attacks so that Alice Smith had little to do in goal – but kept a tidy clean sheet. Jo Shadd made her 6s debut at right back, and did not need to worry about her ability to cope at this level. She played a whole game and made some good block tackles. Lottie Korn at left back was typically able to tackle high up the pitch and get the attacks going.The 6s dominated the midfield. Charlotte Pounder is unusually quick as a bottom of the diamond defender and applied plenty of pressure on the Hornets, matched by Victoria Earley at the top. Rosie Skipp and Helen Marsh were hard working midfielders, and Helen impressed with her driving runs.So the 6s were well on top, but with Hornets packing their defence it was clear Dragons needed faster acceleration into the circle, a little more aggression, and players getting onto the post.  It took something different to create the goal. A swift break out of defence, a determined run by Helen Marsh and a well-timed pass to Megan Farrant found Megan on the 23 and still with plenty to do, but she had broken past the defensive block and kept her cool to score with style from the edge  of the circle.6s thought they might get a few more, but it was a case of ‘coulda woulda shoulda’, as Izzy Woodcock pounced on a rebound only to see her shot go wide, Helen and Megan also missed narrowly and Bridget Le Good’s reverse flick from the left just flew past the top right upright.Hard working Alice Whitmore was voted player of the match. She flexibly subbed into midfield and forward positions, made some excellent runs and tackles and was unlucky with her penalty corner strikes.The 6s know they can work on becoming a more dynamic attacking force. They can work on keeping their passes accurate, and will get to know each other as the season progresses. This was a tough game, but the team said it was thoroughly enjoyable and they move on with growing confidence.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7 0:3 Yarmouth 2

Dragon Ladies 7s played host to Yarmouth 2 in what turned out to be dismal rainy conditions. Dragons were prepared for a difficult match against the Yarmouth team, who are younger yet possess more recent playing experience than the Dragons, most of who are newly returned to hockey this season.

Yarmouth dominated play in the first half, putting the pressure on the defence of Rebecca Elkins, Katy Saide, Jo Baker and Emma Banks. Keeper Alice Smith made some excellent saves, stopping Yarmouth from making a mark on the score sheet, until one of their attacks made its way through for them to go 1:0 up. Dragons didn’t let this upset them and carried on the battle. Izzi Ferguson did some great runs down the left, not letting Yarmouth’s attempts to take the ball deter her, earning her Player of the Match. Dragons managed to get the ball into the D on a number of occasions, but could not find the goal. Shortly before the end of the first half Yarmouth scored again, bringing them to 2:0.The second half got underway with Dragons showing that they weren’t going to let Yarmouth have an easy time. Cath Power at the bottom of the diamond got in a lot of tackles, hitting the ball out to the left or right to be picked up by Gill Walker or Emma North on the wings. Tracy Stuart-Sheppard at the top of the diamond was strong in the centre of the field, trying to bring the ball up to the forwards. Katrina Speirs picked up the ball and had a few shots at goal, but couldn’t manage to get past the Yarmouth keeper. Other forwards Helena Lewis and Claire Fairhurst were both ready to get the ball in the D, but Yarmouth proved too quick. Yarmouth scored their third of the match and Dragons increased the intensity; however their inexperience showed when positions weren’t maintained so no one was ready to receive the ball in some instances.Overall it was a great match, Dragons not entirely disappointed with the result as they can see the areas for improvement which will come with playing experience. Dragons 7s are definitely not lacking in enthusiasm, something that wasn’t dampened by the rain!

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

A few snaps from the first half of the game here.

Tradition speaks of the figure of the Old Man of Crete, with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, a belly of brass, and iron all below but for one foot of clay.  He is the image of decline, from a golden age of innocence to a modern world of deceit, corruption, and sin.  The omens, then, were gloomy, when Dragons, in addition to offering a debut to Jackson and swapping Smiths, were forced into the late change of turning from Alec Bidet-Steele to Cley Hamilton.  And the omens glowered over the opening exchanges of the local derby with fierce rivals Norwich City, the side going two goals behind in the first fifteen minutes before rallying brilliantly to snatch the three points in an epic tussle.

In the first move of the game, Dragons turned the ball over cheaply and conceded a soft short corner which the home side swiftly hammered into the roof of the net.  It was a chastening start and worse was to come, former Dragon, Dan “Cheeseman” Cheeseman converting another quick break with a fine reverse-stick finish.  The goals reflected City’s dominance of the opening period – Dragons started very poorly, giving the ball away cheaply, giving their markers a yard of space, and generally looking half a step off the pace; the home side, though, had also started extremely well, moving the ball quickly and playing with sharpness and precision.

The match turned with the introduction of veterans Ed Smith and George “Walker” Walker, Smith giving composure and organisation to the rattled defence and man-of-the-match Walker’s decising-making and assuredness on the ball allowing Dragons to control possession, build from the back, and get numbers forward.  Dragons controlled the rest of the half, the pace of Samwise and Jackson a constant threat up front, Deayton dominating the right flank and, when City did look to get out of defence, the back four picking off interception after interception to keep the side on the front foot.  The first goal back came from a short corner, the City keeper only able to parry Snelling’s fierce first-time strike into the back of the net.  Hamilton then twice went close to equalising, nicking the ball off his marker before being betrayed by his own footing when through on goal and then unable to get a touch on Deayton’s brilliant cross.  It was left to make-shift midfielder Knights to bring the team level before the break, slipping the ball past the keeper with an improvised reverse-stick strike from another short corner.

Dragons got a rocket from Wagstaff at half-time – the words are unprintable, though he did concede that they might have been worse still had the break come twenty minutes earlier.  And the side should quickly have gone ahead, the latest driven ball from Knights coming back off the post only for Snelling to channel his inner feet of Cley and stumble around the ball rather than patting it into the open net.  City carried a threat from short corners and only a brilliant clearance off the line from Gosling kept them out, inspiring similar efforts from Farrow and Smith.  The third goal for Dragons finally came following patient build-up play, Walker, Deayton, and Samways again prominent, before a deflected strike from Knights floated with an almost lyrical, reflective, self-deprecating beauty into the far corner.  Dragons should have had a fourth, Hamilton bruising air when it might have been politer to volley a rebound into the net and then Jackson declining to slip in Hamilton or Samwise when three-on-one with the City keeper and opting instead to buy the side time by nudging the ball towards the corner flag.  At the other end, skipper Flatman was inspirational, a one-man wrecking-ball determined to keep the local foe at bay.  Just before half-time, the City centre-back/full-back, attempting to rouse his troops, had clamoured at them they were the better side; by the end of the game, few could agree, but it had been a test of character for the visitors.

After the match, Wagstaff defended his players:  “I was surprised, to be honest – I think anyone who knows Rutledge knows he doesn’t have a sarcastic bone in his body.”  Jackson, on his debut, offered “yeah, the game was good, but the real highlight was the team trip to Saint Peter’s in Ringland on the way back.  That hammerbeam roof has to be one of the best in the county and the glass is sensational.”  In a touching gesture, Walker dedicated his man-of-the-match award to his mum.

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

The Men’s 2nd XI faced a Norwich City 3rd XI at UEA at the earliest PB available of 10:00. This team finished 7th last year with W6 D3 L9 GF46 GA53 Pts21. The results for our 2nd XI last year against this team were a close loss at home followed by an end of season draw. Norwich City 3rd XI had got off to a good start by picking up points from some of the suspected weaker teams in the leagues, a 3-2 win over Magpies 4th XI and a 2-1 win over Lowestoft Railway 1st XI. This was expected to be a reasonably close match.

The lineup this week was very similar to last week’s decent result against a strong Newmarket Ltd side. Mitch Smith and Sam Worster returned from a weekend away and Oli Browne returned to hockey after over a year out and so his season debut for the 2nd XI. A strong defensive line up and a familiar midfield bode well but this week we were with Rory Jackson who had been snapped up by the 1st XI after some strong performances for the 2nd XI.

The 2nd XI got off to a sluggish start which we could have blamed on the early start, the sandy and unfamiliar pitch or planetary alignment (Mercury was going into retrograde after all). The first half tactic was that of sitting further back then maybe we should have done. This resulted in City being able to push forward and dominate the play in the middle of the pitch. The defence were quite capable of batting away attacking plays which they did time and time again, but getting the ball through midfield and to our attackers proved more difficult than it should have been and so Dragons didn’t get many chances on goal at all in the first half. This allowed City to force a few short corners with one being awarded for “ball below the knee” on Piers Gordon-Brown which was disappointing because of the instantaneous bruise that appeared on the forearm. Dragons again cleared any threat of goal despite the City 1st/2nd XI player on the pitches attempts. Glenn Masterson again showed some terrific defensive displays and Rich Phillis and Rich Smith took switch the ball wide and out of defence well. Unfortunately Mitch Smith only lasted 5 minutes of the pitch which may take his total Dragons pitch time to just about half a match, aggravating a new hamstring injury. Continued pressure on the defence saw the ball played out to the City 1st/2nd XI player who took the ball out to the right edge of our D and unleashed a reverse string which remarkably found space between Gary Croft and the near post. 0-1. Another City short corner was taken and a drag flick was dispatched from the City 1st/2nd XI player high and down the centre which found the netting. 0-2. Just before half time Dragons worked the ball through the midfield on several occasions and finally made use of Jason Wolfe, Will Kirby and Oli Browne who weren’t able to convert but did cause alarm. Half time.

Dragons took to the field for the 2nd half with an encouraging level of positivity and a change in tactic. Players were more alert and pressed a little higher and made sure not to leave two at the back but rather push one centre back much further forward to harass and intercept the City midfield. The impact that this had on the game was immediate and numerous chances developed in the final 1/4 with Simon Nisbet again working the ball well on the right wing and forcing the ball along the baseline and back to Jason Wolfe. This was stopped on the line by a defender and penalty stroke was awarded. Will Kirby stepped up and cooly converted putting the ball at a difficult height and to the right of the City goalkeeper. 1-2. The momentum continued and this ruffled the feathers of City which did see a few words exchanged and a little unwanted pushing and shoving. Dragons managed this well and Graeme Smith marshalled the midfield well to keep spirit up and to direct play. It wasn’t long after our first goal that the ball was worked in from the right by Simon Nisbet again to find Jason Wolfe who (probably by spinning and spinning and spinning) confused the City defence and planted the ball into the goal, bottom-left. 2-2. City did work the game into the Dragon D on a handful of occasions but the defence dealt with this and Gary Croft made some very fine saves. A string of long corners added a couple more attempts into the D but nothing came for City. City began to use their 1st/2nd XI player from the back of the field who threw several aerials from their 16 yard hits into our 25 yards. From one of these a short corner was given after an unnecessary 2nd tackle was made on a City player in the D. Up stepped the City 1st/2nd XI player, then came the drag flick, high and to the right of Gary Croft and narrowly missing Rich Phillis attempts to bring it down, 3-2. Dragons immediately countered and the pressure and play created in the City D brought about another penalty stroke at a ball hit a defender high and on the line. The final 2 minutes of the game had just been called and Ali Smyth stepped up to take the stroke. Ali Smyth had already worked out where the ball was meant to go and having seen the City keep throughout the game there was doubt that a save would be made. The stoke was taken but not enough power was transmitted and the ball caught little air but caught plenty of City keeper. Save. Dragons kept their heads high and continued on created a couple of more chances in the dying minutes. Full time. 2-3.

Good hockey from Dragons but wrong tactics and all 3 goals from one City player. This result sees the 2nd XI team drop to 8th in 3NE but worth noting that the 2 losses incurred a deficit of only 2 goals.

Next week the 2nd XI travel to Ipswich-East Suffolk 2nd XI for a 15:00 push back. IES 2nd XI finished last season in 5th place amongst a very strong top 5 and who the Dragons lost both games to last season by a reasonable margin. This will prove to be a tough game but still a winnable one. IES 2nd XI are currently sitting in 5th place having beaten Harleston Magpies 3rd XI 2-1, beaten Sudbury 2nd XI 3-0 but losing 4-2 to Newmarket 1st XI.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 4:1 Dereham 3

In the pouring rain Dragons travelled to Dereham, and it continued to rain for the whole match.  The slick conditions made play fast and the ball hard to trap at times.

Dragons started slow, with Dereham having the first set of attacks.  A penalty flick in the first ten minutes gave Dereham an early lead.  Dragons regrouped and started to play their usual passing style.  The central midfield trio of Adam SAYER, Chris SIMMONDS and Rob GOODSON were linking up nicely and putting the Dereham middle under pressure.

Determined play down the left by Sam MANN and Will IVES saw Dragons spend alot of the first half in the Dereham 25.  Dragons were rewarded for their efforts when Nick TURNER put the ball into the Dereham goal from a well-placed shot in the D.

Halftime saw the score 1-1, and Dragons chose to have the team talk in the dugout to shelter from the rain.   Talk focussed on needing to continue the pace and passing that are soon becoming the trademarks of the Mens 3s.  With the rain still falling, a very wet Dragons side took to the pitch for the second half.

Dragons put in a great team performance this half.  The defence of Peter DAVISON, James GOODSON and Jon GOODSON worked tirelessly to win the ball from the Dereham forwards, and to feed it to the Dragons midfield.  Excellent work down the right by John IVES and Nick TURNER saw Dragons dominate play.  MOM Sam MANN scored from a short routine, and fellow forwards Matt JENKINS and Adie KEMP also got on the score sheet.

Goalkeeper Elliott WANG put in some great saves towards the end of the game to keep a clean sheet the second half for Dragons.

Overall a great team performance from Dragons, which with the 4 goals, moves them into 5th place in the league.

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IMG_2715Mens East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 7-0 Dereham 4

A few snaps from the first half of the game here.

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

Dragons arrived at the Norwich City’s pitch with the rain falling heavily. An even start saw both sides threaten but fail to score in the first half due to good defending and goal keeping at both ends. The second half saw Dragons pressure more and they were rewarded with two converted short corner strikes by Andy Key which should have been added to but City defended resolutely. A late penalty corner for City gave them a chance to come back into the game but fine goal keeping by Joel Lawrence and defending by David Pentin kept city out. Overall a hard played game in the conditions with Dragons appreciating the warm teas and hospitality of the City clubhouse.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 4:1 North Norfolk 4

The Men’s 6th team started their season with a home game against North Norfolk. A morning pushback meant glorious weather for the start of the game and after strategically losing the toss, Dragons started with the sun at their backs. This was a battle between two new teams playing their first league game and the first quarter was a tight affair with both teams managing a few forays into the opposing D. North Norfolk took the lead against the run of play but Dragons were undaunted, going straight on the attack again. Despite several promising attacks, the final touch was still elusive and they went into the break trailing 0-1.

After a few tweaks at half-time, Dragons came out all guns blazing in the second half. A superb equalizer from Pedro Goss was soon followed by a second Dragons goal. A superb shot from Tom Williams was helped on its way in by Rick Sheppard, who later admitted to the dubious goals panel that the ball had probably already crossed the line. As the half went on, Dragons greater energy in midfield began to tell and wave after wave of attack led to two late short corners, both of which were swiftly converted by Mike Banham.

A superb team performance and a great start to the season.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

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

Young Dragons in EH Knockout Action

U16 boys began their EH Cup campaign (league system for initial rounds) with a double header against Dereham & Spalding. The boys ran out 8-2 winners over Dereham, hatrick from Henry Laming, two from Jonty Gosling & one apiece for Ben Watson, Robert Chaney Baxter and Tom Williams.

Playing back to back against Spalding was a tougher match, and they took a 1-0 lead, equalised at an overtime corner at the end of the first half from Ben Watson.  The second half saw Dragons really pushing for the win, but the goal just wouldn’t come & ye boys were indebted to a smart late save from Declan Cobb to preserve the draw.

IMG_2402U18 Girls travelled to Long Sutton for the first round match which is a straight knockout, so knew they would need to hit the ground running.  An extremely sandy pitch slowed the girls down and it took some time for them to find their stride, however when it came, the travelling fans were rewarded with some lovely flowing hockey.  By half-time the girls were 5-0 up and cruising.

To the credit of the Long Sutton they started the second half well and were rewarded with two second half girls, both from short corner deflections off Dragons players.  Dragons managed just two more themselves, giving a final score of 7-2 and progress into the next round.

Scorers were Olivia Thomas x2, Sophie Farrow x2, Laura Goodbun, Aoife Lowe-Davies and Ruth Willmott.  Joint players of the match were Olivia Thomas and Aoife Lowe-Davies.

Some photos here.

The girls have been drawn away to Spalding in Round 2 on 5th October.

Development Boys win Summer 7s Tournament

DSC_0005 DSC_0007 DSC_0011Team:

Edward Murphy (captain)

Pedro Goss

Jono Chaney Baxter

Robo Chaney Baxter

Charlie Nunn

Mark Savill

Ben Nkrumah (GK)

Manager: Natalie Beal with assistance from Pat Goss

17th June saw the annual 7 a side Development League tournament held at Taverham, run by Broadland HC. There were three matches.

The boys turned up and were a tad worried about the tournament for three reasons…

1: They only had seven players (2 late drop outs)

2: They saw the Norwich City teams and concluded that they would get thrashed (see below…)

3: They saw that Norwich City had adults playing for them (although this was because they did not have enough boys and actually, the adult they did face, played just right in the end)

But, they had nothing to fear…

Dragons versus Norwich City 1 3:1 win

In this game, they played against a team with an adult. To his credit, the adult played in an appropriate way and did not dominate. A tentative start saw the boys go one nil down, with the city attacker finding himself with Ben to beat; he finished with an expert lob leaving Ben in goal no chance. This seemed to spark the boys on and they continued their passing game, often finding themselves in the D and testing the City keeper repeatedly. The three goals were scored by: Pedro Goss (2) and Charlie Nunn.

A great performance, showing real character to come back from 1-0 down against the team the boys thought they would be thrashed by.

Dragons versus Norwich City 2 1:1 draw

A slight error saw the game start without an umpire! We wondered why the three reasons for Dragons getting a short corner in the first minute were ignored! The game was restarted and Dragons piled on the pressure throughout, keeping the ball and creating many goal scoring chances. The goal was well worked with unselfish play from Charlie and Pedro – a pass across the face of the goal saw Robo CB arriving at the far post to finish in style. But City did not give up and although they only had a few chances, were able to score. Dragons had opportunities to win; three shots just eluded the player on the far post and ended up going wide. A game which Dragons dominated and other than getting the ball in the net, could not have done anymore! Special mention to Mark who played on, hobbling, following being hit by a hockey ball.

Dragons versus Dereham 3:1 win

Dragons knew that a win would seal a tournament victory; a draw would rely on goal difference maybe; a loss would mean finishing lower down in the results.

The boys started brilliantly with a goal coming very early on. But, to add some drama to the game, the boys thought they would concede a goal! A great smother by Ben in goal saved the initial shot, but despite Mark’s valiant dive to keep the ball out, the follow up shot rolled over the line. But Dragons then showed real determination and team work to score two more goals to win the game convincingly and also to win the tournament convincingly.

The goals were all scored by Pedro who was the top goal scorer in the tournament with 5 goals and received a trophy and a bag of Skittles.

Final tournament place: First

The boys played ever so well. The ball was moved quickly on, the boys made great movement off the ball, they made great effort to get back and support their team mates if the ball was lost, they showed great composure and passed the way they were facing. The boys played some good hockey.

Nat’s player of the tournament goes to Edward Murphy who worked hard in his attacking defender role, just in front of the back two, making some great tackles and interceptions. His drives at goal led to many chances and many of the team’s goals. He showed great composure, making the right pass on many occasions.

Well done!

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Under 10 Boys in Regionals

u10 boys regional

U10 Boys finished 7th out of 11th in Regional Finals. The boys all played very well against some very strong opposition.

Bluehearts 1-0 (L)
Cambs City 1-1
Felixstowe 1-1
Old Loughtonians 2-1 (L)
Broxbourne 2-1 (W)

Top scorers were Jake Reynolds and Isaac Diver-Hall with 2 goals each.

Boys in action at Dereham

u10 boys dereham

With the A team playing in the Regionals at Harleston, this was a chance for the wider squad of Under 10 Boys players to show their ability, and they certainly did that by coming second out of five at Dereham.  The boys won 3-0 v Pelicans, 2-0 loss to City A, 1-0 win against City B and 2-1 win over Watton.  Brilliant stuff by the boys!

Dragons’ Girls help Norfolk to runners up spot

Norfolk Girls u16

A group of Norwich Dragons Hockey Club under 16 girls have formed the core of the Norfolk u16 County (JAC) Team this season, today’s fixtures played at Framlingham College confirmed Norfolk’s second place in the event.

Playing today, and in the photo above showing off their medals with their team-mates, were Niamh Lowe-Davies, Pollyanna Watson, Sophie Farrow, Maddie Denman, Sophie Thomas and Olivia Thomas.  Ruth Willmott was unable to make this match, but played her part in the previous fixture.

Polly Goal-001

Well done girls!!

A few more photos here…..

 

Dragons win Mixed Under 15s Norfolk Tournament

Dragons Mixed u15 Team

Norwich Dragons Hockey Club sent a mixed under 15 team to Norfolk’s first mixed friendly tournament against Dereham and Watton at Dereham. They played 4 x 20 minute games and won 3 of them and drew the other, giving them the overall victory.

Coach Amelia Dawson said “Excellent performance from a mixed Development side in tournament this morning. Won the tournament overall and played some excellent linking hockey that showed real maturity and class.”

Well done everyone!

NDHC League Match Reports – 29/03/2014

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Ladies 3s

Norwich Dragons 3s 1:0 Norwich City 3s

This season’s final game was won
By Dragons’ thirds at Taverham
Dawson’s squad came out to prove
That with the ball they all could move:
Such style and flair, they each did run
On a taxing pitch in springtime sun.
Tenacious spirit and determined play
From end to end on this derby day.
Play switched nicely around the back
With chances galore when City were slack.
A flick was won from a foot on the line;
Laura Tompson-Wright stepped up this time.
It wasn’t to be – she hit the post,
And then for a while we seemed to coast.

Then back on form with running at speed
Laura G and Marcy taking heed
Of Amelia’s rousing half time speech,
They frustrated City with their awesome reach.
Tash Falzon was our POM today
With tackles calmly on display.
Fluid technique and triangular passing
Tenacious energy, goals for the asking.
At last our chance with two to go:
Goodbun Racing – she’s not slow;
Passed to Wolfe at the top of the D
Around the defender, Farrow’s free;
Slipped to Sophie, and with her skill
She scored the goal – we won ONE-NIL!

Some photos from the game here.

Girls Development

Norwich Dragons 0:5 Magpies

Captain: Lara Taylor

Player of the match: Lara was player of match because she ran up and down the pitch quite a lot, and had a couple of close shots.

4 Memorable moments:

  1.  Allesdandra made some really impressive saves. Rosie ran really well and was effective at passing the ball up the pitch for others to get it. Mia’s defending was really good because she managed to get the ball out of the D a number of times. Issy was great at running up and down the pitch, swapping constantly from defence to attack. Anya was strong in the short corners and had some really hard shots. Rachel was brilliant at short corners and hitting it out very firmly.
  2.  We had a close shot on goal, but it hit the post. Carmel was really great at running out and getting the shots from short corners. Also, Sophie and Megan were good at getting the ball into the D. Lucy was great at getting the ball and taking it up the pitch, but in future we should have a few more people supporting her in the D. Lastly, Catherine was strong at getting the ball off defenders and bringing it up the pitch.
  3.  Everyone tried really hard and gave it their best, but Harleston were really good. Next time I think we should focus on tighter marking and getting to the ball more quickly, In addition, I think we should try and get a few more shots off on goal and keep defending as we did.
  4. Tabba and Abi were very useful because they gave clear and positive advice and were always there to support us in getting the ball. Thank you Tabba and Abi

NDHC League Match Reports – 22/03/2014

For all except the Ladies 3s and Girls Development, these are the final match reports of the season, they both have a final fixture next week.

Many thanks to Match Report writers for their submissions throughout season. The Writer’s Young Writer Award goes to the International Hockey Celebrity Thomas Rutledge.  President Mike Hardy said “he’s really not as old, or unfit, as he looks, we are honoured to have such an internationally renowned hockey talent at the Club, we fought off many National League Clubs to sign him, I consider the fees to have been worth every penny because we have him as he is developing into his prime – his grasp of the English language is also quite remarkable”.

On the pitch, the highlight of the season has to be back-to-back promotions for the Ladies 1s who progress into East Premier, now just one Division away from National League hockey.  It is exactly 10 years since the team were last at East Premier level and it is the plan to make that the minimum level they play for many years to come.

The Men’s 1s concluded the season in a very credible 3rd in Division 2N, finishing with a change in formation and a fine win over the Champions of their Division, Spalding (see match report below).

Several other teams finished in their highest positions in history, as well as the first season ever for the Men’s 5s and Ladies 6s.

HOWEVER – for the match of the decade, comeback of all comebacks, ‘we will fight them on the beaches’ half time teamtalk, the best way to get to a hockey match – check out this week’s match report for the Men’s 4s.

Mens East League Division 2N

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Norwich Dragons 1s 4-3 Spalding 1s

Dragons finished the season in fine style with a sparkling 4-3 victory over league champions Spalding in the sun at the Den on Saturday.  It was a fitting way to mark a celebratory occasion – the match was preceded by the unveiling of a plaque renaming the home bench “The Snelling” in honour of the legendary forward’s contributions to the club.

Still without Flatman and shorn of the experience and athleticism of Wagstaff and Gosling, Smith was forced to offer a recall to Overstall and opted for a tactical reshuffle, Turnbull starting in the hole behind Knights and Browne in a midfield diamond.  And the reshuffle paid dividends, Dragons starting brightly with Spalding struggling to track the home side’s midfield runners.  Turnbull it was who gave Dragons the lead, Browne turning a delightful ball round the corner for the trequartista, in perhaps his last game for the club, to crash past the advancing keeper.  Spalding replied almost at once, working an overlap down the Dragons right and scrambling the cross home at the far post.  They carried a constant threat on the break, forcing Collinge into two fine saves and skipper Smith into one of the season’s more agricultural challenges.  And had Rutledge’s lasso not been working the damage might have been worse – the umpire forced into taking action and noting that if the great hook came out too many more times he might just have to take the extreme move of asking that it not happen too many times more.

Dragons took the lead again, though, in what could only really be described as a modern-day miracle, a Boys’ Own story for the ages:  Sloman hammered a wild shot miles wide only for Charlish to pop up and steer the shot home with what the uncharitable might describe as a miscontrolled trap.  The clouds parted to reveal choirs of angels singing Hallelujahs; only coach Wagstaff was unmoved:  “as the tallest member of his family, it was time he stepped up.”  Again Spalding responded, a mazy run eluding three weak challenges before a brilliantly disguised finish left Collinge stranded.  If Spalding had sensed it might not be their day when Charlish at last got on the score-sheet, they must have known the game was up when he doubled his season’s tally inside the opening 35 minutes.  Another inviting ball around the corner from Browne played Sloman in who, instead of finishing properly, chose the harder option of knocking two one-twos off the keeper before pulling the ball back to Charlish to hammer home first time.  After the game, man-of-the-match Charlish explained his belated discovery of a goal-scoring touch:  “I seem to find it easier when there’s not a keeper in the way.”

Dragons might have been further ahead at the break, Wilkins reverting to his Kylie routine when slipped in down the left and Knights denied by a great save from the keeper with Browne alongside him unmarked.  Instead it was Spalding who equalised for a third time at the start of the second half.  And again Dragons went ahead, an inviting ball over the top from Turnbull pounced on by Knights, once more ignoring Browne inside him unmarked but this time slipping the ball under the advancing keeper.  Spalding had chances to equalise, Collinge defusing a glorious one-vs-one chance and a fierce short-corner strike and relieved to see a very late opportunity glanced wide.  At the other end Knights was denied following a fine turn and drive at goal, Turnbull should have done better at the far post, and Overstall would have laid on a third had he been able to pick up Smyth’s inviting cross; improbably, after the game he claimed his legs had been feeling a little heavier than they look.

It was a terrific win against a strong and skilful Spalding side – a marker for next season and a reminder of the standards that need to be reached more often.

After the game Smith was effusive in praise of his players.  Of Overstall, winner of two awards (including the hotly contested annual ‘Skinniest Legs’ title), he said “he’s been a project this year; we’ve given him a lot of care and a community in which to thrive.  If he can just get his personal life sorted he’ll have a law unto himself next season.”  On Flatman, winner of the Most Improved award, he observed “the way he contributed in the last two games of the season compared with the first two shows just how far he’s come this year.  Next year he might even learn how to dribble.”  Of Rich Smith, he said “he’s been a rock at the back for us this year – almost literally.  It’s a pity he doesn’t drink because I made the sloe gin for him especially.”  The final words had to be reserved for Overstall, though:  “he’s played his socks off this season.  You can’t ask for more than that.”

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Mens East League Division 3NE

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Norwich Dragons 2s 1-2 North Walsham 1s

Dragons 2xi pulled a brave face for their final outing of the Hockey season against promotion candidates North Walsham 1xi. After a commendable tail end to the season which saw inspired performances against Table Toppers Dereham by scoring first and then holding off their strong attack for 60 minutes before going behind, a nail biting game against IES 2xi which was battled to the death of the game with a last gasp goal from the IES captain and a compelling 4 -4 draw against Norwich City 3xi’s proving the Dragons team to be no push over and really show team spirit to pick ourselves up from what has been quite an off season and display true colours.

What a match to finish with, North Walsham needing a win to secure their potential promotion where as the Dragons playing for pride and vengeance for the earlier defeat in the season. As seen in the recent weeks Dragons started strong, with a positive mentality and organised structure frustrating Walsham in the early exchanges. Ollie King and Jason Wolfe giving the opposition much to think about with lots of movement and link up play. Walsham haphazardly felt their way in to the game, growing with frustration by Dragons dynamic play tempers were fusing on the pitch leading to cautions being shown by the umpires. Dragons started pressing further up the pitch as their confidence grew. However the deadlock was finally broken by Walsham, who sprung a counter attack by ex-dragon Ben Miles with quick direct play was able to score an individual goal a make the dragons take the game to the next level. Dragons hit back hard with a quick response, delightful build up play from Greame Smith and Simon Long allowed the Dragons to get into the Walsham D. Paul Bullard connected with a first time sweep on the leftside backline through the keeper and into the top corner. Bullard was feverish not sure how to celebrate his first goal for Dragons.

Dragons were able to bring the half to the end at 1-1, Captain Cley Hamilton was emphatic by the way the team had been playing and pushed for the team to maintain their positive display in the half time team talk.

The Dragons continued the second half as they did the first, pressing hard and containing Walshams attack. Wide men Simon Nisbet, Barney Price and Chris Simmonds kept Walsham hot on their toes with great connecting play leading to a series of short corners. Again Walshams frustration was evident and they started pushing men up the pitch to apply pressure on the Dragon defence. Sam Mann was in fine form, plucking out Walshams constant aerial attack and right wing play. Getting into the last 10 minutes of the game, Walsham only had a few roles of the dice left and against the run of play were able to bundle the ball over the line. Dragons kept the push on for the equaliser but with the match drawing to a close were not able to find the net. Match ending 1-2 to Walsham. Dragons man of the Match Sam Mann.

Thank you to all that took part of the Mens 2xi Hockey this year…and I hope you all are looking forward to dusting off your sticks for next year.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE

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Norwich Dragons 3s 5-3 Dereham 3s

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Mens East League Division 5NE

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Norwich Dragons 4s 8-6 North Walsham 2s

For the last game of the season, Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s let the train take the strain and took the old-fashioned method of transport to a hockey match by jumping on the train at Norwich Station for their trip to Cromer to face North Walsham Men’s 2s.

Dragons started the game knowing that they were safe from relegation, whilst North Walsham were desperate for a win to give them any chance of staying up. It showed. Dragons seemed to have left their hockey skills on the train whilst North Walsham wanted it more and were up 5-0 within 20 minutes. By half time they were 6-1 up though a glimmer of hope was given to Dragons by a well-taken goal from Ollie Browne.

At half-time Captain Jon Price delivered the sort of team talk that Churchill would have been proud of.  Field Marshall Moulson suggested a slight re-jigging of the formation and we were off again. Within 5 minutes of the re-start our one goal became two and two became three with the poacher Andy Cross slotting home twice in quick succession. Walsham were starting to get nervous.

With continued drive from the midfield through Garnett Jones, Richard Moulson and Rob Jenkins, Dragons started to believe that they could claw the game back. So when Andy Saunders and Ollie Browne scored in quick succession we were at 6 – 5. Safe to say that Walsham were very jittery at this point. They had every right to be after yet another flowing move that Andy Saunders score his second to draw the game level.

North Walsham now seemed a spent force as they faced wave after wave of Dragon’s attacks. Garnett Jones contrived to hit the post and Richard Moulson had a flick saved on the line. Finally with only 5 minutes to go Andy Cross completed an improbable hat-trick from his customary 6 inches out from goal. At 6 -7 Dragons twisted the knife once more with an inch-perfect if slightly pedestrian pass from Player of the Match Chris Wilkinson finding Andy Saunders in the D. He slammed it home to complete a slightly more probable hat-trick and the miraculous comeback was complete.

As we left the field feeling slightly giddy from our win we acknowledged the efforts of our captain this year, Jon Price. The role of captain is often thankless but today (for once) we thanked him and hope that he looks back on a tough but ultimately rewarding season with pride.

Experienced campaigner Mike Banham, who has played more games of hockey than most people have had hot dinners, said he had never played in a game like it.

It was truly the Comeback of all Comebacks (from losing 6-1 at halftime to winning 8-6)
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Men’s East League Division 7NE

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Norwich Dragons 5s: No Fixture

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N

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Norwich Dragons 1s 3-3 Dereham 1s

With back-to-back promotions secured for Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s, the last game of the season brought an exciting local derby to the Dragons’ Den on Hall Road Norwich.

The visitors hit hard from the start but Dragons remained composed and absorbed the pressure well. The home team took the lead from a short corner. Emily ROLLS demonstrated good composure on the ball, passing the ball to Hannah PALMER who secured Dragons their first goal. Dereham were quick to attack again and Freddie BRISCOE made a great save to keep the visitors briefly in front. However, Dereham were quick to reply and were soon 2-1 ahead.

Dragons dug deep and played some simple and effective hockey. Switching it around they found space on the right and Sarah BORRETT and Olivia THOMAS linked up well.  Some great work from PALMER on the goal line resulted in an inch perfect ball for 15 year old Olivia THOMAS (photo) to pick up on the move and calmly slot into the goal out of the keeper’s reach to equalise and give THOMAS her first goal for the Ladies 1s. Dereham continued to show promise in attack with some quality stick skills and linking play allowing them to put away their third goal.

Dragons fought back and started to regain momentum with Marie JAMES and Rachel KING dominating the midfield and causing trouble for the visitor’s defence. Another short corner resulted in a beautiful reverse stick cross from Lizzie MOULTON which was put neatly away by Helen KELLY. Dragons continued to push and missed a couple more chances.

Throughout the game both sides played some quality hockey and provided a good game for their spectators.

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s move into East Premier next season on the back of two highly successful seasons and look forward to bringing more high quality hockey to the Dragons’ Den.  The squad has included a great mix of youth and experience throughout the season, with several teenagers playing a key role alongside players that have played National League hockey and represented their countries.

With the quality of coaching on offer, the opportunity for players to train alongside outstanding players and the facility development plans for the hockey centre on Hall Road, the future is very bright for this city centre hockey club.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE

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Norwich Dragons 2s 2-0 Framlingham 1s

Final game of the season saw Dragons take a strong squad to Framlingham on a bright warm spring morning. Dragons started the game brightly with Niamh Lowe-Davies looking lively on the right of midfield. The early stages saw Dragons force a number of short corners, however Framlingham defended them well.

Framlingham always looked lively on the attack, counter attacking at pace. Ally Windsor-Waite was having a good tussle at right defender and was ably supported by Angela Murgatroyd in the middle and Ruth Willmott on the left who has looked sharper and sharper as the season has progressed.

Despite dominating possession and playing some patient passing hockey, the goals didn’t come before the break.

The second half saw a similar pattern start to emerge, with Dragons building play well through Alice Guest, Debs Smith and Gail Thomas. Aoife Lowe-Davies was becoming more influential in the game too, holding the ball up well and passing in her usual calm manner. Strong runs also came from the lively Sarah Radley and Emma Tabrett, Tabrett making one excellent run on the back line, which she was unfortunate to be penalised for.

It was from this spell that the first goal of the game came, having had a discussion with the umpire, Hannah Hardy was more determined than ever to intercept a defensive hit-out, having picked up the ball, she unleashed a shot from the top of the D which nestled neatly into the corner. From there on it was all Dragons, with strong quick attacks, a second goal was always likely.

Finally this came from another short corner, which Gail Thomas slipped far left, finding Dragons Player of the Match Hannah Hardy in space, her firm push finding a gap between keeper and defender on the line, to force its way in. A deserved second goal for the team, taking the 3pts and ensuring Dragons finished in their highest ever position of 3rd in the league.

Many thanks go to our travelling band of supporters for their support and encouragement this season, and for the many miles they have travelled with us. Also to sideline manager Mike Hardy who has organised and encouraged the team week in week out.

However, final word goes to this fine team for their achievements this season in taking the team to their highest ever position in this League; this team continues to grow and build and that is due to the hard work and commitment shown by everyone. The future is extremely bright for this team and for the Club.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League

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Norwich Dragons 3s 1-0 Evergreens 1s

Dragons were set to end a disappointing run of losses from previous weeks and after a tough yet close match last week Dragons were determined to bounce back, knowing full well that they needed to put 100% effort in to end victorious. The early drive to Holt had team spirits high!

From the off Dragons started strong with solid passes across the pitch, Evergreens were soon put under pressure. The defence worked as a strong unit from the back with Sarah Wagstaff confidently manoeuvring the ball across the pitch with Natasha Falzon making precise passes to Marcy Windsor-Waite. Who, to the surprise of the opposition, was comfortably using her stick skills to pass numerous players attacking the left side of the pitch. Great triangle passing with Hazel Summer put Dragons in the attacking D early on in the game. The chances were coming but Dragons needed that final touch to clench a goal.

Evergreens were putting pressure on the midfield with some quick precise passes. Player of the match Laura Tompson-Wright and Harriet Green fought hard to break down the play. Green particularly efficient at transferring the ball, soon took possession back. Evergreens were particularly good at long range passing down the wings of the pitch, making a fast paced turnover. Keeper Laura Tuck put some fine saves in to keep Dragons in the game, it was only a matter of time till either team was to score. But with captain Amelia Dawson’s pre-match talk in everyone’s mind Dragons were pushing hard to secure a goal.

With the ‘leisurely’ stick skills of Tompson-Wright, a drive for the D soon found Evergreens under a lot of pressure. Dragons were building up the passes and fighting for the all-important goal. Attacking the D, Caroline Wolfe was successfully awarded a penalty corner after some cynical challenges. A clinical straight shot from Wolfe on goal put Dragons up at half time.

After positive comments at half time Dragons were more determined than ever. Evergreens had chances to get the goal back but with strong tackles from Abi Cowe, they were finding it hard to break through. Dragons found themselves close to giving the points away as attackers were left wandering the 25 awaiting the long range ball but the defence pushed hard to see the ball out of the danger zone.

Tensions were rising as both teams knew the final whistle was soon approaching. The cliché of ‘play to the whistle’ was key throughout the game and Dragons kept composure. There were chances to seal the win but it only took one goal for Dragons to take home the three points.

A close game in the end but a great team performance from every player. Proud Dawson could not have expected more. Next week see’s Dragons last match of the season with local rivals City. Hopes are high to finish the season on a win.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1

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Norwich Dragons 4s  – NO FIXTURE

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2

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Norwich Dragons 5s 0-1 UEA 3s

A hard fought battle against UEA meant Ladies Dragons 5s lose 1-0 in  their final game of the season in a match which was so evenly matched it felt like it should be a draw.

The pressure was on from this speedy UEA team who had lots of subs and lots of energy. A final match of the season for the Ladies 5s and final game for some players who are moving to pastures new.

The defence of Sarah Nortcliff, Jess Tye Leach and Emma Buxton were immediately put under extreme pressure. Some excellent and speedy block tackles by Emma Buxton prevented some of the danger but UEA were awesome on the break leaving Jess Tye Leach to maturely handle this one on  one situation. Sarah Notcliff used her normal fearless approach to the last tackle quite often saving the 5s from the grips of letting a goal in.  Alice Smith made some good saves and one pretty good lifted ball wasn’t too much for her.  It was a real shame that UEA manage to convert their only goal from a deflection but they took their chances well.

The mid field were tired by UEAs tireless battles but under pressure man of the match Rosie Korn showed her normal dexterity and persistence often closing down and taking good chances. Katie Buxton who is a reliable player without whom Dragons 5s would be left lacking in both attack and defence played her normal blinder. Connecting well Charlotte Stace and Rachael Matthews showed again how much their game has moved on this season. Effectively driving the ball up the wing again and again.

At half time Dragons 5s were determined that they would come back from this 1-0 position and shouts from Katie Buxton encouraged the team.

If the first half was the game of defence for Dragons the second half was the game of attack. Dragons were pushing up again and again returning the ball to their attacking D. Anja Finegan in her best game was making some beautiful runs handling the ball well and passing any UEA player in sight. As ever Lisa Harwood was looking very handy in the D and it was a shame her spinning pirouette goal didn’t come off. Battling again and again, UEAs defence and keeper were tirelessly deflecting and defending these Dragons away. Lizzy McDonnell shot in a lovely number but unfortunately there was no one of the post to deflect she also fell over but alas there was no goal on the end of it. Winning a number of short corners Sarah Nortcliff pushed up to take the strike however she was unlucky for them not to come off.

Overall despite our loss it is with great pride I write this final match report. Ladies 5s have won , lost and drawn this season but always done it with a smile on their face (apart from the match we do not mention). They have achieved 32 points, zero goal difference 4th position (2 places higher than last year)  in a tough new league created from the upper half of last years league.  Each and every player has been dedicated to the 5s and as a result developed their game and their confidence. #Proud to be a Dragon.
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3

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Norwich Dragons 6s 1-0 Watton 3s

It was a very close call, but the Dragons ended their season on a real high by scoring their second win in succession and keeping a second clean sheet as well. The Dragons might like to think it is down to Claire’s lucky purple boots and Bridget’s magic tape, but in fact at the very end of the season they have at last achieved what they needed – most of the team have trained together for a few sessions and made themselves available for the matches. At last, they are not a squad – they are a team.

One of the changes was goalkeeper Alice Smith, but she knows 6s well and looked very secure behind our much-praised defence. This time it was Lottie Korn and Katie Franks  playing wide, and Jo Eke and Jasmin Daniels giving the solid centre core, seamlessly working out who was going to advance and who would sweep. This time the player of the match award went to Katie, who let nothing and no-one past.

With the defenders playing so confidently and initiating the attacks from the back, the mids controlled the game for large periods. Laura Hansell and Helen Marsh have a good turn of foot, but they may just be eclipsed for speed by Izzy Ferguson and Charlotte Pounder, who time and again got through the Watton defence.  Laura, Helen and Claire Fairhurst are battle-hardened Dragons now and they know that this team never does anything the easy way, and a string of penalty corners (with Laura displaying her new skills as an injector) didn’t bring their reward.  But the players’ heads did not drop.

If there could be one criticism of our performance, it could be that we delayed the final pass. Time and again we failed to find Claire, Helen and Amy Hunter who were free in the circle. But come to think of it, only a month ago, there would never have been that many Dragons in the attacking circle. The goal, half way through the second half, was even better than last week. Bridget sent the ball through a crowd of players to Laura, who had plenty to do to steer the ball into the top of the net. A fab shot.

After that, Watton redoubled their efforts and the defenders had to deal with a string of penalty corners, with Charlotte in particular outstanding in her efforts to get back to help. But it was the day of the Dragons. Yeee har!

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League

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Norwich Dragons 0-3 Norwich City

The whole team played extremely well on Saturday up at Taverham. Our defence was very strong with some very good tackles and passes from Carmel. However when the ball did get through past Carmel, Molly our goalie made some lovely repetitive saves keeping City at bay. Our attackers were also extremely strong all making good accurate passes to drive the ball forwards. Lara played extremely well in the mid-field and upfront making some accurate passes and always being in space when we needed her. It was a very hard game and although it did not end in success with a 3-0 score to City the team played the right way, fought very well and everyone stayed enthusiastic and continued to play very well until the end of the game even through the wind, rain and hail. A very well done to Lara for getting player of the match and a very well done to the whole team for playing so well and not giving up.
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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League

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Norwich Dragons 1-5 Pelicans

Captain: Andy Carver

Coach: George Walker

We got off to an excellent start having an opportunity within the first 5 minutes but our attacks were soon stopped by their adult and captain. Pelicans consistently broke on the counter and managed to squeeze 2 goals leaving it at 2-0 at half time. With a half time team talk directed by George Walker (Mens 3’s captain) we came back strong with attack after attack but we could never get past their adult. Pelican’s strong attack broke through us another 3 times leaving the score at 5-0. This would have been 6 if Ben Nkumrah hadn’t made a superb re-enactment of superman’s flying technique to make an astounding save.  Then through Luke Byrne’s brilliant bit of skill he managed to but a great ball into the D for George Bowman to get his debut goal for the development.

POM: Ben Nkumrah

Boys through to Regional Finals

Congratulations to the Under 12 Boys and Under 10 Boys who will represent the Club at Harleston in the Regional Finals in April.

NDHC U12 BoysUnder 12 Boys (pictured above) won the County Champs on Sunday at Kings Lynn with wins over Pelicans (3-0, Dani Martinez-Long hatrick), Norwich City (1-0, Jono Chaney-Baxter) and a 0-0 draw with Magpies.  The Boys play in the Regional Finals on Saturday 26th April

Under 10 Boys finished runners up in the County Tournament today. Beat Pelicans 6-0, Magpies 1-0, drew with City 1-1 & lost narrowly to the winners Dereham.  Their Regional Finals are on Sunday 27th April.

NDHC League Match Reports: 08/03/2014

A few photos from this week’s matches can be found in the Gallery – Ladies 5s, Ladies 4s and Boys Dev.

Mens East League Division 2N

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Norwich Dragons 1s 3:1 Cambridge Nomads

Having lost and drawn the last few games dragons needed a result to maintain their third place in the league. With a well drilled warm up the team were fired up for a competitive match. The game started well with good attacking play from both sides. Youngster Jonty Gosling looked strong at the back for Dragons whilst Alex Overstall provide strong options down the right for the team. The first goal for dragons came from a powerful cross into the d from captain Ed Smith which was neatly defected into the goal by Mark Flatman. Half time soon came and coach Rob Wagstaff was confident that if we continued to play as well we would have no problems in the second half. He was so confident he left to go to London!

The second half however Dragons were caught napping which allowed a well worked attack by Cambridge Nomads to equal the score to 1-1. This fired up dragons forwards and within a couple of minutes Rupert Snelling broke away and scored a reverse shot screamer making it 2-1. Further chances were had but the finial nail in the coffin came when Alex Browne blew away the keeper with a power shot from the top of the d from a short corner. Making the score 3-1 to dragons. Man of the match was Alex Overstall.

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Mens East League Division 3NE

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Norwich Dragons 2s 0:1 IES 2

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE

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Norwich Dragons 3s 3:4 Lowestoft Railway 1

Norwich Dragons showed an improved urgency, effort and energy after a disappointing result last week.  Though Railway came out the victors, this was a close game with a balance in possession and chances at either end.  A fine goal from Henry Laming kept the game within the Dragons grasp, converting an outstanding drag flick, after a subtle slip left form a short corner by Will Kirby.

Railway had the better of the first half, with a strong midfield held at bay by a compact Dragons formation, crowned by Adrian Kemp’s fine defensive midfield performance. In the second half a switch of positions, allowed Will Ives to put in his performance elf the season, marking Railway’s most potent attacking player out of the game.  Equally strong in the Dragons midfield was Henry Laming, who help possession well and kept the ball moving nicely.  Despite two second half goals from Will Kirby, including a penalty flick, the Dragons were unable to gain parity and were destined to end up a goal behind a full time.

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Mens East League Division 5NE

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Norwich Dragons 4s 1:1 Bury 3

With only 11 players and the weather being on the warm side for the time of year, it was going to be a tough game.

Dragons started well and had plenty of chances to score early on but a combination of the Bury Keeper and some poor finishing by Dragons saw no goals for all Dragons efforts. Bury came more into the game, but with the Dragons defence playing well they had limited chances to score. Despite many more goal chances for Dragons it was still 0 : 0 at half time.

The second half started much the same as the first with Dragons missing more chances. Bury had swapped it around at half time and they were more threatening in attack, and unfortunately they got a break-away goal. The cross got a deflection which took the ball away from the Dragon’s defender and straight to the Bury forward who slotted it home from close range.

Dragons were not going to be defeated and kept pressing for a goal, which came with a great move which found Jon Price in the D and he pulled it back for Ollie Browne to fire home.  There was still time for a win and if there was going to be a winner it looked like Dragons. There was a great chance near the end for our Captain to be the hero of the day and score the winner but unfortunately, like many of the Team’s chances on the day, he missed ‘a sitter’. Despite a fine team performance and hard work it was not going to be Dragons day, and it finished 1 : 1.

There were some fine performances and good Hockey played in a good game. Richard Moulson, and Garnett Jones put in fine performances  but the man of the match goes to Ollie Browne for his all round play and of course that all important goal, which at least earned a point rather than going home with nothing.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE

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Norwich Dragons 5s 2:0 Sudbury 4

For the final flight this season for the men’s fifths a trip to sunny Sudbury and the prospect of good beer made light of the fact only 11 fit dragons travelled.

Late volunteering from Andy Carver (happy to play again after his last trip to Felixstowe) and a travelling but injured Butler meant Dragons weren’t left short this week.

Dragons had their normal ‘warm up’ trying not to injure Key in goal who once again donned the keepers kit. This completed the standard speech was used for the last time and everyone except Davies (is this our last game of the season) happily slotted into formation.

Sudbury started strongly and fast forward work left the dragons defence flapping but not totally overwhelmed. Having looked dangerous Sudbury were then exposed to a fine move from York-Smith to Quinine for Cross to finish from some distance this time! An unfortunate injury to a Sudbury forward (stepped on Latoy!) meant Dragons were freed up a bit from defensive duties to press forward again with Webb finding Quinine in the D form him to slot calmly past the keeper for his first goal of the season. An ‘injury’ to (Icepack) Bingham resulted in Butler stripping off and filling in a valuable 10 of so minutes up front.

Ending the first half two up was a great position but Sudbury used their subs well and countered in the second half. Good defending and some fine stops from Key in goal meant for once a clean sheet beckoned even with Latoy in defence. Dragons still had the counter attack as an option and the captain was seen to shed a tear as a move started inside the Sudbury half involving the three forwards working the ball around (yes i mean multiple completed passes) the Sudbury defence resulting in a fine save from the keeper to stop a Bingham effort.

Endless (almost thankless) running by Coyle and Webb helped Dragons keep pace with the final ten minutes of pressure with Lawrence also putting in a considerable shift to help share the load.

In the end a fine finish to the season showing just how far this new team has come. I have been proud to captain of the second highest scoring team in the league (by that i mean we scored all our goals and received nothing for free) who played with 9,10 and 16 players without conceding a game.

Many thanks to you all for helping from Ali Symth (always on hand to help me dig up players) , the other captains , Mike Hardy (he never really wanted to play in goal) , Sam (work commitments ruled his second half of the season out) to all those people who came out of retirement to play for me and especially those regular guys who just turned up.

BTW Rutledge I have finished on 3…beat that for a Guinness!

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N

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Norwich Dragons 1s 3:2 Cambridge City 2

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1st team played hosts to Cambridge City on Saturday at the UEA needing only one point to secure promotion.

The home team were unable to dominant as they had been used to in recent weeks and it was the visitors who enjoyed more of the possession in the early stages of the first half but they were unable to break down the Dragons defence. The Dragons showed experience by soaking up this pressure and waited patiently for their opportunity which came some 20minutes into the match. Some quality short sharpe passing led to Hannah Palmer striking the ball cleanly at the top of the circle scoring her first goal for the Dragons. The home side took the game to Cambs looking menacing and soon found themselves two nil up, Rachel KING finding the net from a well worked short corner routine.

The second half kept the home supporters on edge as Cambs pulled themselves back into the match scoring within the first ten minutes. The Dragons retaliated within 5 minutes; Nat Beal getting on the end of a through ball from Emily Rolls giving the home team a bit of a cushion. However the nerves were evident and Cambs exploited this by scoring a second with 15 minutes left to play.

This caused a nerve raking finish to the game for everyone that was supporting the home team however the Dragons dug dig and hung on to get the victory and secure promotion.

This wasn’t the Dragons finest performance they looked lethargic and never really got out of second gear. They never showed their form of late and did not play their free flowing hockey but credit has to be given to their opponents who played some great hockey, worked hard and frustrated the Dragons by closing down effectively allowing little time on the ball.

Player of the match this week was deservedly awarded to Hannah Palmer who worked tirelessly for the team defensively and was involved in the positive passages of play that the Dragons displayed and scored the important first goal that settled the Dragons.

Back to back promotions is no easy feat and has smashed the expectations of the club. This is amazing achievement for the players, their coach, Pete Thomas, and the Club. The Premier next year will be a massive challenge but one which this team are ready for.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE

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Norwich Dragons 2s 2:3 Panthers

On a sunny day by the seaside, Dragons arrived bright and breezy following a strong performance last week, to see them regain 3rd place. With availability across the Club low this weekend, Dragons were without a few of their regular players, yet still fielded a strong squad. This weekend saw a first with Gail Thomas playing alongside her twin daughters, Sophie and Olivia, in a league game.

Despite the ideal conditions, Dragons made an unusually slow start, struggling to find their passing game and rhythm. To Panthers credit, they were much sharper to the ball and seemed more ‘up for the fight’ than Dragons. Mid way through the half Panthers made their possession count with the first of 3 goals from Jessica Bennett, who troubled the Dragons defence all afternoon.

Having gone a goal down, Dragons forced a series of short corners and were unfortunate not to have earned something when a shot appeared to be blocked on the line. Dragons continued to push forward, Player of the Match Olivia Thomas was starting to threaten more and more down the right, well supported by Aoife Lowe-Davies, making intelligent runs upfront, however Panthers Keeper Sharon Weeks was having an outstanding game, to keep the Dragons at bay.

With 16 secs of the first half remaining Dragons conceded a 2nd goal, ensuring Panthers went into the break with their ‘tails up’!

Half time saw a slight reshuffle from Dragons and a plea for them to up their work rate and show a bit more determination, to force themselves back into the game. Dragons responding, with an early goal following good build up play, the ball broke for Sarah Radley who fired home with great confidence. This spurred more Dragons’ pressure, eventually the equaliser came following a smart angled pass from Debs Smith, finding Emma Tabrett in space who combined with Olivia Thomas and Aoife Lowe-Davies, Lowe-Davies squared the ball perfectly for Hannah Hardy to finish from close range.

From here Dragons felt they could press on and win the game, however this was not to be, as a Dragons attack broke down in the D, the long hit up-field found Bennett on the halfway line, despite having a number of Dragons defenders to beat, she managed to work her way down the field and fire a good strike past Amy Forse for the winner, a fine hat-trick.

Dragons were disappointed not to leave the seaside with at least a point, however it’s a lesson learnt, when facing a strong opposition who are that bit more determined and more robust in the tackle. Given this was only their second defeat of the season, Dragons must not be too disheartened, as you often learn more about yourselves in defeat than you do in victory. Third place in what is a highly competitive league, remains in their grasp, and this would still be a fine achievement for this squad of players.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League

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Norwich Dragons 3s 0:6 Dereham 2

Dragons ladies 3s faced Dereham 2s this week. Dragons knew this was going to be a tough game but went out focused and determined.

They struggled early on with Dereham pressing hard and scoring quickly. Though Dragons rallied and played some great technical passing hockey, Dereham were clinical in their attack and 3 more goals followed in the first half. The second half saw Dragons get several opportunities in the D but just could not find the back of the goal. Dereham scored twice more in open play and left the final score at 6-0 to Dereham. A tough game for Dragons against a young, powerful and technical Dereham team.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1

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Norwich Dragons 4s 2:1 North Walsham 2

On a very sunny day in the lovely seaside town of Cromer a cheery Dragons team took to a pitch that seemed to contain most of the beach! This made it a very slow pitch and difficult to move the ball quickly from player to player – you really had to come and meet the ball and this initially caused Dragons a few problems , but once we had adjusted our hits accordingly we had some lovely play. Flora Gregorie, Rosie Korn and Mel Widdows all made some great runs down the line and towards the D, but with so many defenders in there it was hard to see the goal, yet alone get a ball to it.

Hazel Sumner (PoM) made some excellent intercepts and speedy manoeuvres in the middle of the pitch and with Gemma Rump kept driving the ball forwards and towards the D – Sophie Farrow and Lucy Campbell made the most of the space and kept making runs to try and create even more opportunities. Excellent keeper work saw numerous on target shots denied. The first goal came from Lorna Travers (her first for the club) a lovely push to the opposite side of the goal from the keeper. However a very determined North Walsham side fought straight back and scored from a break less than 2 minutes later – just before half time.

After the break Dragons as usual came back in fighting spirit, both Abi Cowe and Freya Clogan had the chance to move the ball all the way from defence up to the D, this constant shifting and changing of player position seemed to disconcert the North Walsham side and provide further opportunities for Dragons. There were some lovely short corners, which were so nearly goals you could have cried.

In the last ten minutes of the game, when the heat and only having one sub began to take its toll North Walsham had a few chances of their own, but some strong kicks from Alice Smith in goal cleared the ball straight back to a defender and play switched again. Dragons scored the winning goal 2 minutes from the end, a lovely shot from Sophie Farrow snuck passed the keeper who had already made one save and couldn’t quite get back in position in time.

A really lovely game that saw Dragon’s playing as a cohesive unit, good communication and lovely movement clinched a great game – so good we celebrated by the sea with an ice-cream!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2

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Norwich Dragons 5s 0:4 Dereham 4

Norwich Dragsons 5s achieved a respectable result in a hard fought battle against league leaders Dereham 5s.

The game started very quickly with Dragons quickly conceding a goal. The defence were put under a continual pressure by these young Dereham players. The defence line up this week of Sarah Norcliff, Jasmin Daniels and Jess Tye-Leech stood strong under pressure. Laura Tuck made a number of critical saves but Dereham managed to sneak a few past them.

The big difference between this and when we played was that we had some excellent play in this game. There was some wonderful pressure and possession by the midfield of Charlotte Stace and Katie Buxton (Joint Man of the Match) who both put in some excellent tackles and were relentless in chasing the play down. Rachael Matthews continues to go from strength to strength showing great tenacity in every move she makes and the improvement in her skills is very noticeable.  After a third goal the defence had a bit of a reshuffle to create a bit of strength with Charlotte Pounder continuing to shine in her excellent defensive skills.

This really was an excellent effort given the result the previous time these teams had met as Dragons were able to win a number of  shorts and opportunities in the D. Lisa Harwood continues to go from strength to strength with her improvement in play extremely noticeable as she wins and retains possession and makes a bee line for the D.

This week, Anja Finegan played an absolutely blinder playing with her speed and grace which makes her hard to beat. She moved the ball confidently up the pitch a number of times taking her opportunities really well. Her execution on short corners was also excellent and although didn’t come off was completely the right thing to do.  Izzy Woodcock back after a couple of weeks played in a lovely wide position creating some great opportunities and Chiara Bond continues to impress with her pace on the ball and ability to win back and turn  around play. The fourth goal was both unlucky and unfortunate.

All in all Dragons 5s should be proud they remain at 4th in the table and are 10 points clear of the Evergreens below them.  Onwards and upwards for the last 2 games of the season.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3

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Norwich Dragons 6s 0:8 Dereham 5

Having managed to hold a lowly team to a single goal defeat the previous week, the 6s knew they would face a very different prospect against high-flying Dereham.  The home team were 5-0 up at half time, and then put their sharp shooters into defence which allowed the Dragons to make some useful forays into the attacking third in the second half, and keep the score down to a single digit – one of their ambitions for the season.

The pattern was set in the first minute, when a smart shot from the top of the D hit a hopefully placed Dragons’ stick and rocketed into the top left corner of the net. Three similar, but less spectacular, goals followed, with weak clearances presenting Dereham with gift-wrapped opportunities they were too polite to refuse. The Dragons defence were trying to protect their goalkeeper, but learned the hard way that the defenders have to make the tackles and let the keeper block the shots. Gradually, and inspired by player of the match Jo Eke, Dragons began to play their own game and Jo, Jasmin Daniels, Lottie Korn and Katie Franks tackled and blocked the forwards to excellent effect. The hit outs were working well too, and there were several moves in which five passes were completed. A combination of Jasmin to Katie or Lottie to Laura Hansell, Tara Johnson and then Claire Fairhurst was a route that worked before the move broke down, usually because the Dragons are just not fast enough, accurate enough or determined enough to create clear-cut scoring chances. This is a criticism of the whole team, not just the forwards – we know that we all have responsibility for attacking, just as we must all defend.

In mid-week, Dragons looked to have a potentially strong squad available, but eventually the call offs meant a bare 11 made it to the match, and that was  thanks to the hours spent by co-captain Claire emailing and texting. Thanks also to the players who volunteered to help out the development team who were also very short of players.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League

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Norwich Dragons 0:1 Dereham

Player of the match was Carmel Windsor-Waite because she was in the right position at the right time which helped the team majorly.  Also she used the space and didn’t stay crowded.

Memorable moments:
1. When us as a team got the ball into the ‘D’ and had a shot!!
2. When me the goal keeper saved a lifted shot at goal!!
3. When the opposition got close to goal we got the ball away and stopped them from shooting 🙂

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League

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Norwich Dragons 3:2 Dereham

The hockey match between Dragons and Dereham was a very well balanced match. The Dragons team, led by Tom Williams had a good first half, but unfortunately Dereham had a strong first half as well, scoring a goal making it 1-0. Strong defending kept out a couple of goals and a few good attacks by Connor Adams and Edward Murphy nearly got a goal for us.

The second half started off a lot better with a brilliant goal from Edward Murphy and some good attacking down the wings led to another goal by Connor Adams and then a fantastic shot by Edward Murphy from a short corner made the score 3-1 to Dragons. Unfortunately, shortly after this Dereham managed to scramble out another goal taking the final score 3-2 Dragons.

Credit must go to the defending of McCartney and Andy as they held out well at the back and not letting any balls through and a special mention goes to Ruben for a great match and a good performance in the defense. Man of the Match went to Edward for his all round great performance around the pitch and his 2 goals that got Dragons into the game.

Final Score Dragons 3 Dereham 2

Tom Williams

9/3/14

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16/02/2014 – NDHC Girls Under 16 v Bury

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England U16 Girls Championships

Norwich Dragons 4 Bury St Edmunds 4

In a thrilling match at the Den, Dragons drew 4-4 with Bury St Edmunds. Because of the previous results in the pool matches, Dragons had to win to progress and so went out of the competition with by the narrowest of margins – having lost to Ipswich (1-2), but beating Harleston Magpies (4-0) and Norwich City (5-0).

With conditions almost perfect for hockey (unbelievably the brightness of the sun being a bit of a nuisance) both sides quickly settled. Dragons were neat, fast and accurate, and at times their stick skills and their ability to find each other were nothing short of brilliant. Bury, in contrast, were very strong and direct on the ball, with powerful hitting skills.

In the opening minutes, Dragons confidently worked the ball out from the back, with Laura Bruce sweeping to Marcy Windsor-Waite who pushed laterally to Olivia Thomas who then went on one of her curving runs along the base line before finding Amy Brown whose shot was blocked. This move illustrated Dragons’ preferred pattern of play, working the ball out wide from the back and switching the ball laterally in flowing, controlled passes.

Bury were quick on the counter, preferring the direct route, and forced a penalty corner. From the second shot goalkeeper Alice Smith made the save of the match to steer a high shot away with stick and glove. Bury attacked again, and in the 8th minute Ellie Sarson was not picked up at the back of the circle and the ball flew in.

Dragons began to dominate, and in an exceptional period of play, Olivia and Amy combined to send Sophie Farrow through, and her reverse sweep just failed. Then Amy intercepted and sent Aoife Lowe-Davies on a run, and only just missed with the return. Amy got her reward and the equaliser in the 11th minute when she clinically finished a reverse pass from Marcy.

The good spell continued and Dragons went ahead four minutes later, when Aoife went on another strong run down the left. Anja Finnegan had got ahead and neatly slotted the ball passed the keeper. At this stage, with Ruth Willmott, Maddie Denman and Laura Bruce stopping everything near the circle, Dragons were proving resilient, but Bury looked dangerous if they could break. When their equaliser came, it was an exceptional goal. Maria Andrews worked herself some space on her reverse stick side and rocketed the ball into the roof of the net from the back of the circle.

Many a side would have wilted, but Dragons showed their spirit. Niamh Lowe-Davies tackled, harried and ran down the left. Pollyanna Watson played solidly at the bottom of the diamond, and Sophie Thomas was a rock wherever she was asked to play. Coach Pete Thomas used his subs innovatively, and rang the changes with Laura Goodbun, Sophie Farrow, Anja, Aoife and Amy passing and weaving and creating chances which the Bury defence repelled.

Just at the right psychological moment, 40 seconds from half time, Dragons went 3-2 up. Laura Goodbun ran powerfully through the middle, passed to Niamh whose well-weighted pass found Anja once again perfectly positioned to beat the keeper.

Dragons lost some of their sharpness at the start of the second half, and although they managed  to work some penalty corners, they lacked a clinical finish. They were disappointed when Ruth swept the ball home only for the goal to be disallowed for a foot. Bury, in contrast, looked dangerous when they were able to power through and scored twice at 10 minute intervals to lead 4-3. Their fourth goal was a well taken drag flick from a penalty corner by Maria Andrews.

The hockey became a little ragged as both sides gave everything they had to assert their superiority, and lost a little composure. Urged on by their supporters, Dragons gave themselves every chance when Amy scored their equaliser. She had been at her predatory best,cutting out balls and surging forward, and finished another move in which nearly every Dragon had a pass.

With 7 minutes to go, Dragons stayed tight at the back, and the moves flowed from Ruth, Sophie T, Laura B, Maddie (voted player of the match by her team) and Pollyanna. But hard as Niamh, Olivia, Aoife and Marcy ran, they could not get through a packed Bury defence, and the match finished 4-4.

This is a squad which is already a pleasure to watch for their fast, flowing, creative hockey and their strong team spirit.

More photos here.

NDHC League Match Reports: 18/01/2014

Mens East League Division 2N

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Norwich Dragons 1s 5-2 Cambridge City 3

Dragons bounced back from last week’s disappointing home defeat with a sparkling 5-2 victory at Cambridge City.  Without Smyth and Woodward, Dragons called up the ever-reliable Lewis Wilkins and, for once, started brightly and were rewarded with an early goal – an audacious first-time reverse-stick effort from Alex Browne sneaking past the stranded City keeper.  And a second quickly followed, good pressing from Turnbull and Sloman winning the ball high up the pitch and releasing Rutledge who glided into the D, sent keeper and defence the wrong way with an outrageous dummy, and silkily slipped the ball into the back of the net.  Of the goal, coach Wagstaff could only shake his head in evident admiration:  “It was the finish of a natural-goalscorer, but then we see him do that at training every week.  If you ask Matt [Collinge] who he works hardest to keep out his answer will be ‘Tom’ every time.”  Overstall added “it was so well disguised there are probably kids at home watching the replays who still think he didn’t mean it.”

Dragons’ intensity slipped and City got a foothold in the game, pulling one back when a fortuitous deflection left their centre-forward with a simple finish at the far post.  It was nothing more than the home team deserved, though, as they dominated the midfield and but for two brilliant reflex saves from Collinge they might have been even at the break.

Instead Dragons started the second half as they’d begun the first:  a surging run from Knights winning a short corner with Browne on hand to smash home a rebound.  Sloman might have claimed the goal, picking up the first rebound but seeing his cultured flick over the prone keeper miraculously batted away.  “It was a one in a hundred save,” he conceded after the game, “I’ll never know how he managed to get himself up to beat that out of the top corner.”  The home keeper was rather humbler in his assessment:  “he sort of flicked it straight at me, really.”  The resurgent Browne completed his hatrick before City had had time to react, patient build-up play from Flatman setting up a crash ball from Wagstaff which Browne brilliantly flashed into the top of the net.  In a touching gesture, Browne celebrated by asking to be substituted so he could text his wife and daughter the news.

A fifth followed, the fruit of a tactical master-stroke from Wagstaff:  with all potential short-corner stoppers withdrawn to the bench, compulsive drag-flicker Snelling had to slip a short-corner to Knights who crunched the ball into the far corner with his trademark power.  City pulled one back following another fortuitous deflection, but the scoreline was a bit hard on the home side who contributed to a fine, open game throughout.

On an unsavoury incident in the first half involving overseas professional Rutledge, Wagstaff said “it’s important that he plays the game in the right spirit as a lot of people look up to him – and some even more than others.”  On the controversial relegation of Overstall to the bench, he refused to be drawn:  “That was a disciplinary matter which will be kept in-house.  Needless to say, were he as important to the team as Turnbull he’d have started.”  For late call-up Wilkins he had nothing but praise:  “It was the first time he’d won since September.  Of course that’s not all down to him it was great for him to get that off his back today.”  Man of the match and hatrick hero Browne, naturally, was delighted with his performance:  “I learnt last week, really, that there’s a time and a place for passing the ball in the D – basically, when someone else has the ball and I want it.  I was a bit worried before the game as I tweaked my hamstring in the warm-up but fortunately it hadn’t taken away any of my pace.

The editorial team would also like to take this opportunity to respond to rumours that our usual correspondent was withdrawn from reporting on the Wisbech game in a shameless attempt to deflect attention from the fact that, in that game, one A. Smyth was not only outpaced by a twelve-year-old and sent off but also managed to throw his stick over the fence – not, gentle readers, in a fit of pique but because his arms were weary from the tiring task of having to hold the thing.  It is our policy not to comment on such rumours, though in this case we can confirm that they’re all true.  Improbable, indeed, but no more improbable than true.

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Mens East League Division 3NE

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Norwich Dragons 2s 0-7 UEA 1

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE

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Norwich Dragons 3s 4-5 Felixstowe 2

After last week’s resurgence in the second half against top-of-the-table side Pelicans, Dragons were hoping to carry that effort and grit through to their game against Felixstowe.  Having lost 10-3 to Felixstowe in the first half of the season, Dragons knew they would have to be playing some of their finest hockey if they were to hold their own against this team who were second in the league.

Both teams started the game well, the ball being moved around the pitch from end-to-end as the teams fought to win the upper hand.  Felixstowe opened the scoring first after Dragons lost their concentration momentarily.  However it wasn’t long after that Dragons equalised with a goal from Captain George Walker.  A neat ball across the top of the D from fellow forward Will Kirby, had Walker knock the ball through the air, bouncing in front of, and across the Felixstowe keeper, to slot in the far corner of the goal.

The game continued and Felixstowe managed to score another past Dragons Keeper Dim Ives.  Dragons were not to be behind long.  A short corner routine had Kirby put the ball across to Walker who slammed the ball into the Felixstowe keeper, who was scrabbling on the floor.  The ball rolled out of the melee to Adam Sayer who swept the ball through the air, gaining a nick off Ollie King’s stick.  The goal being graciously awarded to Sayer after much protesting!

Dragons were buoyed by equalising and the Midfield of Stu Kelly, John Ives, Jonty Gosling and Adam Sayer were stringing together some lovely balls, and linking up well with the Dragon Forwards.  However, Kirby, Walker, King and Kemp were unable to capitalise anymore this half.

The second half saw a shaken Felixstowe side go on the attack and they were rewarded for their efforts.  The stalwart Dragon defence of Peter Davison, Andy Hipper, Henry Eades, Glenn Masterson and Will Ives, were unable to keep the Felixstowe forwards at bay, and conceded 3 goals.  Dragons were now 5-2 down.

The last 15 minutes saw Dragons get back into the game with Kirby scoring 2 goals, neatly slotting the ball past the Felixstowe keeper.  With time running out and Felixstowe looking worried, Dragons kept on pressing, but the final whistle blew and the game ended 5-4 to Felixstowe.

Man of the Match: Andy Hipper , for valiant efforts in defence.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 5NE

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Norwich Dragons 4s 3-3 UEA 2

The 4ths welcomed some new faces to the team today, some younger, some older! and with this new look were determined not to suffer the same outcome as their fist match against the students when we went down 6-2.

The game started at a frantic pace with both side wanting to win the early encounters but it was Dragons who succeeded in scoring first when Oli Browne smashed home from an acute angle. UEA were spurred into action and after a number of short corners managed to squeeze one in passed the excellent stand in goal keeper Mike Banham. One soon became two as UEA extended their lead and then again to take the score in to half time at 3-1 with a well worked move down the left side.

Down but not out the dragons were determined to get something out of the game and pressed hard to find some early success. This duly came when Henry Lamming dummied the UEA defence and fired an unstoppable reverse stick shot into the bottom corner at a short corner. Despite the temporary loss of the skipper and with inspired goalkeeping of Mike the dragons grew in their belief and finished of a memorable comeback with an equaliser  from Garath Green ten minutes from the end.

Man of the match – Rich Moulson

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 7NE

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Norwich Dragons 5s 3-1 Nomads 2

Dragons 5 continued their winning run with a hard fought victory over a well organised Nomads team. Dragons scored twice in the first half, both goals coming following good work down the right wing involving Dragons three Norwich School boys, Ben Watson, Alex Stone & Hamish Packham – both times the ball into the D was swept home by Andrew Cross.  Nomads fought back with their veteran Midfielder, Jim Stather starting to pull the strings.  A brief doze by Dragons defence allowed Andy Podd to run through & set up a tap in reply.  Dragons Man of the Match Ben Watson continued to cause problems down the right wing & his firm ball in led to the third goal, an own goal.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N 

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Norwich Dragons 1s 13:1 City of Peterborough 1

City of Peterborough suffered at the hands of the Dragons who were out to prove a point after their shock defeat last week at home against St Ives.

The Dragons hit Peterborough early playing some fantastic hockey, particularly in the first half, playing some fast, slick one touch hockey which the home team could not deal with. By half time the visitors were 7-0 up and understandably playing full of confidence.

As the second half got underway the Dragons lost their momentum but after 10 minutes they soon found it again scoring another 6 goals achieving the best victory of the season.

To Peterborough’s credit they kept working hard and displayed a superb team spirit and punished a Dragons mistake scoring a goal.

This was the Dragons best team performance of the season passing the ball with accuracy and purpose. Player of the match , Lizzie Moulton, was involved in much of the Dragons play and had an awesome display at one point clearing a goal ward bound effort from Peterborough off the line.

Goal scorers :
6 for Rachel King
4 for Natalie Beal
2 for Laura Shreeve
1 for Emily Rolls

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE

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Norwich Dragons 2s 1-0 Broadland 1

Having just watched their 3rd team colleagues, earn a great result against second placed league opposition, Dragons 2nd Team had reason to be optimistic, going into this tie on the back of a good winning run of games.  A couple of changes to the team from last week showed how strong competition for places is and demonstrates the need for everyone to work hard both in games and in training, to earn their place in the team.

The first 15 minutes, saw a period of complete domination for Dragons, with the ball camped in the Broadland half. Despite this period of pressure and a series of short corners, the home team could not force the ball over the line, with the Broadland keeper pulling of some fine saves.

As the half wore on, Broadland edged their way into the game, and Player of the Match Angela Murgatroyd in the centre of defence, was forced to make some timely challenges and interceptions to prevent the ball reaching the Dragons keeper Amy Forse. Niamh Lowe-Davies and Olivia Thomas made some good runs down the flanks and with that bit more luck, Dragons could have gone into the break a few goals to the good, however the score remained nil-nil at halftime.

Coach Pete Thomas called for ‘more of the same’ at half time, knowing it is difficult to break down teams who are fighting not to concede. Dragons kept their patience and kept moving the ball around. Eventually the break through came, with Hannah Hardy driving along the baseline, pulling the ball back to Karen O’Neill Simpson, whose shot was saved by the keeper, only for Amy Brown to follow up on the rebound and force the ball over the line.

The pattern of play continued with Dragons continuing to put pressure on the Broadland defence, however further goals proved elusive. Dragons keeper Amy Forse touched the ball just the once throughout the game, demonstrating where the balance of play lay in the game, however opportunities came and went and the game finished 1-0.

Whilst Dragons will be disappointed not to have made more of their chances, 3pts are 3pts, and they retain the place at the top of the Division. As always, there is still work to do and everyone knows they can play better, but with continued hard work and determination from this group of players, better performances will come.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League

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Norwich Dragons 3s 5-3 Loddon 1

After a shocking game last week where all of the team members seemed to have an off day, the Dragons were determined to make amends with this game. Loddon came out hard from the off, and within the first 15 minutes had scored two goals. Both came from play straight up the middle of the pitch; the directness seemed to throw the Dragons’ defence.

Heads did not drop though, and from then on, the work rate and passing from the Dragons side did not faulter. A lovely string of passes two minutes from the half way point, involving Charly Burgess and Debbie Santa Clara,  ended with a cross from Laura Tompson-Wright on the right into the D, where Caroline Wolfe picked the ball and shot to the far post from five yards out.

Loddon, who brought no substitutes with them to the Den, tired visibly in the second half. Dragons had the majority of the possession, but were still caught a few times with Loddon breaks, testing the defence to the full. The equaliser for Dragons came again from good passing; the training drills from earlier in the week were on display. Following a melee just outside the D, the ball popped out to Wolfe whose position on the penalty spot gave her an open goal to push the ball into.

Aoife Lowe-Davies scored in a similar manner in free play to take the Dragons 3-2 up, with other chances being narrowly missed from all over the D.

The Dragon’s fourth goal came from a penalty corner, struck by Wolfe from the top of the D. Injector Pollyanna Watson, camped on the left post, a found an edge on the strike causing the ball to be deflected at speed into the top of the net.

Loddon found a brief second wind and, again from a break down the middle, caused a ruckus at the Dragons’ end, finally getting the ball in the net by volleying a raised ball above shoulder height. Following a consultation of the umpires, the goal was allowed, much to the disappointment of the crowd watching on the sideline.

Fuelled by what they considered an injustice, Dragons took command for the last 10 minutes of the game, with Watson securing goal number five in free play.

Player of the match went to Lynne Price, whose hard work in the centre of the field was tireless.

Photos from this game here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1

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Norwich Dragons 4s 0:2 Magpies 5

This was always doing to be a tough game with Magpies yo-yoing between 1 and 2 position in the league – but Dragons, as usual, came to Harleston with fighting spirit, determined to improve on their last performance against them (a slightly depressing 7:2 loss).

We started well with good runs from Flora Gregorie on the right, working in partnership with Sue Cross and Rachael Hipperson (joint PoM) in midfield – they tried hard to move the ball out wide but Magpies solid man marking made it difficult to find space and move the ball. Marcy Winsor Waite (joint PoM) and Sophie Farrow both had good runs into the D and Dragons looked like they might score in the first 5 minutes but just couldn’t find anyone to connect with the ball as it sailed in front of the goal.  Magpies tried to create breaks in play – moving the ball sideways as often as forwards – this created space for them to charge in on the D (an boy could their forwards run!)

Magpies first goal came from a short corner where the ball was initially cleared but unfortunately came straight back into the D and although Abi Cowe, Laura Bruce and Morag Morrison (joint PoM) tried hard to stop the shot it just made it into the corner of the goal. Magpies continued to pile on the pressure and towards the end of the first half Dragons made some forced errors – passing directly to the opposition in an attempt to move the ball on.

After the second half and a good group talk about what was hampering play Dragons produced some much nicer hockey. Midfield and the forwards managed to find the space, passing was more accurate and communication was better. Hazel Sumner, Mel Widdows and Felicia Roberts all worked the ball up the field and towards the goal and again we came within a hairs breath of scoring a goal, only for it to be cleared by the defence at the last moment.  Holly Bailey chased down every ball and again Rachael and Sue tried to create opportunities to attack. Magpies continues to fight on, running down the wings and had several attempts on goal – all of which Morag stopped, with some impressive keeping skills being displayed in the process.

In the final minutes of the game Magpies clinched their second goal from a Dragons hit out which was expertly intercepted by a forward who took it straight into the D and smashed it into the corner – a disappointment at the end of such a well-balanced half.

It should be noted that it was very satisfying as a captain to be taken aside by the umpires at the end of the game and thanked for playing so politely – well done team for being so courteous on the pitch.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2

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Norwich Dragons 5s 0-0 Norwich City 4

A fast & furious match this week for Norwich Dragons 5s against Norwich City 4s led to a evenly matched game & a very fair 0-0 draw.

Dragons were pacey from the beginning breaking quickly in order to win a short corner, alas they were not able to convert it. Play went back and forth like a game of pin ball. Credit really should go to our solid defence of Sarah Norcliff, Jess Tye Leach & Emma Buxton who worked seamlessly as a unit. Subbing on and off was the wonderful Lotte Korn who stood into be our super sub of the day from the Ladies 6s. She made quite an impression both in defence and midfield playing some lovely balls up the pitch. I cannot however talk about defence without mentioning our man of the match Katie Buxton who was relentless both in defence and attack, blink and you would really miss her. The first half went on and on in this pattern of play with both teams very even and neither able to secure the goal they badly wanted. Harriet was an absolute trooper in goal saving some of Norwich Citys finest shots and all this hard work left us at 0-0 at half time.

The second half saw both teams come back stronger and saw the best half of hockey which Norwich Dragons 5s have had all season. They could not secure the shot despite a number of attempts from Lisa Harwood, Anja Finnegan and Lois McGregor as Norwich City 4s expertly saw off their attacks. Dragons kept stepping up the pace and started to see City tire, however it was not enough. The mids worked tirelessly throughout the half and we were glad to have Rachael Matthews, Charlotte Stance and Chiara Bond (who was missed last week).  A lovely break and pass from Lisa Harwood up to Lois McGregor gave Dragons their clearest shot but unfortunately it was saved by the keeper.

Well what can I say, Norwich City fought hard to retain their 3rd place in the division and really do deserve it, however Dragons certainly showed that they intend to fight every inch of the way. As many of our spectators said, we were awesome on Saturday and we need to take that Dragons fire into next week’s match against Reepham.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3

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Norwich Dragons 6s 1-6 Magpies 7

At the Magpies tea, we looked round at the faces of the flushed and happy Dragons, reflected on individual performances and wondered just how we had managed  to lose by so many. Individually, everyone had given as much as we were able, or perhaps think we can.
Magpies were 4-0 up at half time, so withdrew their two stars which enabled us to test their goalkeeper a few times and to score our only goal. Lucy Campbell, turning in a fine performance at the top of the diamond, showed great pace to go the direct route to goal and then unselfishly slipped the ball through to Laura Hansell who, standing on the foot that wasn’t hurting, elegantly deflected the ball into the goal. Sarah Norman, Claire Fairhurst, Jasmine Mansfield and Izzi Ferguson began to get more joy in the attacking third before Magpies decided that that was quite enough of that and put their stars back on to score two more.
Looking for the bright spots, our two debutant Dragons – Becca Elkins and Izzi Ferguson – both impressed.  Becca was asked to double team onto the speedy young Magpies right forward with Jasmin Daniels, and this tactic did stem the flow of goals. Izzi adds to our increasing mini-squad of midfielders, and Tara Johnson, who is not often available, showed what she is able to do. Amy Hunter had another good game and was able to contribute more when she played at the top of the diamond, either covering for Lucy or encouraging Lucy to raid the left channel.
As always with the 6s, it is the defenders who earn their jaffa cakes, and Jasmin Daniels was once again player of the match for her solid tackles and her constant appetite for the game. Lottie Korn was as effective on our right – thanks to her there was little threat from the Magpies left. Jo Eke, in her second game, played well at the bottom of the diamond, but we have to be careful not to overwork her as she continues her return from injury.
We gave Alice Smith plenty of banter about her apparent inability to deal with some feisty cheesy wotsits, but her hand/eye co-ordination was fine on the pitch and she made an excellent stick save and some powerful kick clearances. 6s goalkeepers have to be prepared for anything.
One thing to work on – it is good that the 6s enjoy their matches and have the ability to quickly put the heavy defeats behind them.  But we should work on being just that little bit more determined on the pitch, stronger in the tackle and eager to be first to the ball. Availability is excellent for our next match. Attendance and hard work at training will be essential for those wanting more fun than most hockey players can handle.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League

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Norwich Dragons 0-5 Norwich City

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League

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Norwich Dragons 1-6 Dereham

NDHC League Match Reports: 11/01/2014

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

Dragons’ aspirations for the second half of the season took an early hit on Saturday with a tough 3-2 defeat at home to Pelicans.  With the luxury of a full squad, Dragons were looking to avenge their battering at Pelicans at the beginning of the season but started sluggishly, only young Turnbull looking like he hadn’t been away over the break.  They gave themselves a mountain to climb letting in two very soft goals, the first from a simple ball over the top that Rich Smith failed to deal with – “I couldn’t remember if you were still allowed to bring the ball down with your hand like you were when I started playing” (coach Wagstaff was revealingly sympathetic to Smith’s confusion after the game) – and a second when their short-corner defence literally evaporated, as Overstall would put it later.

It was familiar territory for Dragons and they showed their resilience again, spurning great chances when Flatman steered a well-oiled short-corner routine wide and then Woodward was strangely all at sea when played through on goal.  It should have been worse at the break, though, ‘keeper Collinge called on to save a penalty flick with a brilliant scorpion-kick following Overstall’s latest transgression.  After the match the defender explained “I could have tucked it out for a long-corner but I figured it was better to have the sixteen; he always saves those.”

Dragons regrouped following some not really very stern words from coach and skipper at the break and dominated the second half.  Reward for their dominance came when Flatman brilliantly deflected Charlish’s driven ball into the roof of the net and an equaliser quickly followed, superb passing play leaving Browne with the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net.  He preferred, though, to wait for a defender’s foot to arrive on the line and to find it, with Snelling called upon to crack home the resulting flick.  Browne claimed later to have been testing out the familiar theory that it’s more rewarding to lay on a goal for a team-mate than to score one oneself:  “Turns out it isn’t.”

Dragons took their foot off the pedal, as if expecting the winner to arrive, and were caught on the break, Collinge unable to pull off a fifth reflex save as Dragons courteously left a succession of rebounds to the visitors.  There was still time for Browne to be denied what would have been a deserved equaliser, a scorching shot tipped wide, but Dragons had left themselves too much to do.

Responding to criticisms of a lack of passion in the side following reports that a number of senior members had been spotted out drinking late on Saturday night, Ed Smith staunchly defended his players:  “no-one hurts from these defeats more than we do.  Besides, it’s important for the boys to take their minds off their hockey from time to time.”  On the departing Woodward, for whom this was the last game for two months, Smith had only warm words:  “He’ll be a big, big miss, on and off the pitch.  Still, even if he can’t help with the team’s push for promotion, if he manages to save the world then at least there will be a Div 2 North for us to play in next year.”

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

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 4-6 Pelicans 2

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-3 Sudbury 3

On a beautiful sunny day the 4ths made the long journey to Sudbury for a match which promised a lot but ultimately ended in dissapointment. Dragons had beaten Sudbury 6-2 earlier in the season and hoped a similar result might be on the cards today.

The game stared well for Dragons where Darryl Robinson made his debut. His great pace and excellent forward work will surely be an asset to the team and we look forward to him playing many more games for the club. Early interchanges went in Dragons favour and our first goal resulted from great work down the right flank by Phil York-Smith resulting in him pinpointing a pass to Jon Price who swept in with aplomb.

Whether Dragons thought the job was done or we switched off, or more probably we awoke Sudbury from a slow start, they started to get a foot hold in the game. With mounting pressure on the defence Sudbury clinically scored their first goal beating our herioc stand in GK Andy Key with a shot to the far post. Their second came from a short corner conceded on the stroke of half time. So 2-1 down at half time.

The second half started as the first finished with Sudbury shading the midfield and putting us under pressure and they soon went 3-1 up. This looked like the probable final score as Dragons were playing better, keeping their forwards out but rarely putting the Sudbury goal under pressure. However with two minutes to go Paul Keating won a penalty flick (though some of his team mates cruelly said it would have been easier to score!) duly despatched by Phil York-Smith.

A nervy finale beckoned but alas Dragons couldnt grab what may have been a deserved draw. Final score 2-3. Man of the Match Jamie Spinks.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 4-3 Norwich City 7

Dragons Men 5th beat City 7’s 4-3 with goals from Ollie King, Andrew Cross, Jonty Gosling and Graeme Smith. Dragons started brightly and found themselves 2-0 up within the first 10 minutes, with goals from King and Cross.  A ball to ear incident prematurely ended the return to hockey action for Gareth Green.   Midway through the 1st half Jonty Gosling made it 3-0 to Dragons. City pulled back two goals before half time,  Debutant Graeme Smith added a 4th for Dragons. City responded but never really threatened a 4th. A solid doubt from Robert Coyle in defence and as ever plenty of willing runs and skill from Alex Stone.

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

Norwich Dragons were keen to get an early win under their belts as they played hosts to St Ives. The home team started the better of the two teams and had the majority of the possession in the first half creating a number of chances. Nat Beal continued her goal scoring run by slotting the ball past the St Ives keeper from the top of the D. However Their domination eased off in the last 10 minutes of the half when they began to give possession away cheaply albeit they maintained their lead going into the break.

The second half the Dragons looked  far from their best and looked uncharacteristically lethargic not being able to get into their normal rhythm. st. Ives were strong and hit the Dragons on the break and their forwards looked dangerous keeping the Dragons keeper and player of the match Freddie Briscoe game fully employed. The Dragons were making too many unforced errors and were punished when the ball was blocked on the line illegally;  st Ives were awarded a penalty stroke which was converted in style. The visitors had a sting in their tail and pressurised the home team and took the lead through a well struck strike by Helen CLarke leaving Briscoe no chance.

The Dragons battled well and pressed the St Ives defence in the last ten minutes of the match being awarded a number of short corners but unfortunately were unable to convert and suffered only their second defeat of the season

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-0 Cambridge Uni 2

After an adventurous journey down the A11, the Dragons arrived, some not quite on time, but better late than never! Following the Christmas break, Dragons were keen to hit the ground running, to consolidate their 2nd place in Div 2NE. With a much more consistent squad this season, the Dragons are starting to develop a strong understanding as a team, resulting in their current league position.

The University team looked a much improved outfit to the team Dragons beat early on in the season. With strong play in the middle of the pitch, the Dragons central midfielders of Debs Smith and Gail Thomas did well to break down many of the students attacks. It was however, the Dragons defence of Amy Forse, Ally Windsor-Waite, Angela Murgatroyd and Alice Guest, who deserve a great deal of credit, for breaking down many of the University attacks and dealing well with number of short corners, one being taken off the post by Ally Windsor-Waite.

It was not one way traffic however, Dragons had a number of good attacks which forced the Cambridge Uni keeper into a number of saves. One particular effort came from Amy Brown, who neatly picked a well drilled pass from Gail Thomas, however she could not quite force the ball over the line at the back post. Eventually however, the break through came, when the University keeper again pulled off a number of saves, however Captain Hannah Hardy followed up on a rebound, with a close range effort, calmly lifting it over the keeper, to take a 1 – 0 lead going into the break.

The second half was much of the same pattern of play, with some impressive hockey from both teams. The Dragon’s wide midfield players, namely Charly Burgess, Olivia Thomas and Niamh Lowe-Davies put in a lot of work, both attacking and in the defensive wide positions. Equally the forwards, Laura Tompson-Wright, Amy Brown and Sarah Radley, closed down play extremely well and made it hard for the students to break the Dragons defence. When they did break through however, they were faced with Dragons goalkeeper and Player of the Match Amy Forse, who was in inspired form; with one particular save high to her right, receiving appreciation from both her teammates and the watching crowd.

With time running out, Dragons continued to pile on the pressure, a pass from Gail Thomas found Hannah Hardy in space, whose shot to the far post forced another good save from the keeper. Just before the final whistle blew, Dragons earned a short corner, from which they decided to use their special SS routine. Debs Smith executed her pass perfectly, however the next pass in the routine was deflected by the defence and was heading out of the circle. Ally Windsor-Waite managed to throw herself across the D, to prevent the ball going out. She found Sarah Radley in great space, who finished clinically to the keepers left, resulting in celebrations from the Dragons team on the final whistle.

A strong performance from Dragons against a very good University team. With other results going their way, the result took the team to the top of Div 2NE for the first time this season. This league remains incredibly tight however, with just 5pts separating the top 5 teams, so there is a lot more hard work ahead to maintain this position.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-2 Watton 2

Dragons started the first ten minutes with a fast pace, stringing together nice passes around the pitch.  However,  too many mince pies over Christmas had taken their toll and the momentum dropped. There were moments when Dragons appeared likely to score, but shots went wide, or were saved by an agile Watton keeper.

It was the Watton side, whose team members all looked like they wanted the game more,  that broke and scored with a single-player run from the half way line.

Dragons rallied, taking play to the other end and were eventually rewarded with a penalty stroke for a Watton foot on the line.  Player-of-the-match Sophie Thomas stepped up to the spot,  and cleanly took the penalty,  pushing the ball with force into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.

The remainder of the game was end to end,  with close misses from both sides. Dragons’ sweeper,  Sarah Wagstaff,  made key clearances off the goal line.

Watton scored again in free play to secure the result. Dragons just could not find the equaliser.
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 0:1 Broadland 2

The first game since 16 November 2013 saw Dragons come out fighting – with an immediate run down the wing and towards the D on the left from Racheal Hipperson. This was followed by some excellent team work from Sophie Farrow and Lynne Price, keeping the ball in Broadland’s 25 and Dragons hope of an early goal alive – however a strong Broadland defence and midfield worked hard to change play at every opportunity and for much of the first half play was end to end.  Sue Cross, Hazel Sumner and Gemma Rump worked the ball through the middle and made some lovely attacks down the right and while the ball frequently made it to the D the first goal never quite came.

The only goal of the game came from a short corner – the result of a ball to the back of a defenders foot – it was a well-placed, slightly lifted strike which found the left-hand corner of the goal.  Dragons once again returned to the attack with Laura Goodbun making some super speedy runs down the entire length of the pitch only to be denied a goal by the keeper and on one occasion the post.

After half time Dragons really dominated play with Holly Bailey and Lorna Travers (PoM) working well through the midfield, creating spaces and letting the ball do the hard work. Again Dragons had numerous attempts on goal including a couple of short corners, but the Broadland defence always seem to be able to clear the ball, sometimes at the last second. During the final 10 minutes of the game even defenders from Dragons had a go at getting the ball into Broadland’s D, with both Abi Cowe and Freya Clogan making runs down the wings in an attempt to snatch and equaliser. Alas it was not to be and the final whistle blew with Dragons unable to score.

There was some really strong play this week from Dragons and this performance bodes well for the rest of the season – we are moving the ball quickly and accurately and the team has developed a lot since September – keep watching this space for the first win of 2014!

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

A few photos from this game shown here, without any Breckland players shown, because they asked us not to take photos of their young players.

Ladies Dragons 5s knew they wanted a win after the frustrating 1-1 draw against Breckland in the first half of the season. This week was a real team effort and for that reason I will not mention everyones names as the whole team really deserved this win. The 2nd half was certainly better than the first although Dragons dominated throughout. The first half saw a frustratingly lucky goal for Breckland as Dragons had the majority of the possession.

Dragons came back strong in the second half to secure 2 lovely goals. The first was excellently driven by Anja Finegan up the pitch beating the slower Breckland players and then touched to Izzy Woodcock who took the shot. Izzy was unfortunate to not get  a goal from this and after some eventual scrapping in front of goal Anja poked the goal in. The 2nd goal was converted from a short corner. A beautiful strike from Lizzy McDonnell was saved, this was then retrieved by Lisa Harwood to be planted upwards into the top of the goal. Dragons 5s are back strong but will be stepping up the pace more against Norwich City next week.
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-7 Beccles

Funny how some 7-0 defeats hardly sting at all, and with Beccles franking their former premier division credentials with every match, and the 6s once again fielding 11 players and three newbies, the Dragons came away rather pleased with themselves and their performance. Beccles started strongly winning a barrage of penalty corners, but it took seven before a hard clean shot beat Harriet Williams, who continued to block and clear well throughout the match. Jasmin Daniels and Lottie Korn were excellent in defence, and Beccles were only two up at the break.

In the second half, Beccles turned on the pressure. All their team hit the ball hard, and several have very good stick skills, but Dragons’ heads did not drop. We are lucky to have discovered three new and true Dragons at this stage of the season, with a couple more waiting to make their debut. Jo Eke was calm and competent at the bottom of the diamond, with Alice Whitmore fast and determined at the top. However, it was Charlotte Pounder, the third newcomer, who waltzed away with the player of the match award. Playing in an unfamiliar role at left mid, her tackling was tenacious and she initiated some useful attacking moves and formed a good understanding with Alice and with Claire Fairhurst, who as usual took up some excellent positions.  Amy Hunter was switched to left forward and gave of her best with runs down the channel and laterally. Amy, Sarah Norman (right forward) and Ciara Willmott (right mid) were the players who suffered most from the crushing machine that is the Beccles defence, but their ability to work the ball upfield with neat and accurate passes will get more rewards against less strong opponents.

Finally, misunderstandings of some sort meant the 6s were two players short in their squad. It probably made no difference to the result, but the ability to rotate players would have taken some of the pressure off when the going got tough. Our former development players will be available to us next week, and availability generally is better.  It is absolutely essential for all individuals to take responsibility for keeping their availability up to date and then check the team sheet that is emailed on Thursday morning. If you are available, but you can’t train on any Wednesday night, be sure to let Claire or Bridget know if you still want to be considered for the match on the following Saturday.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2-0 Lowestoft (f)

Girls dev played a friendly against a Lowestoft side that included 3 adults (including their keeper) and won 2 nil. An own goal and goal from Rachel Bruce. MOM Lucy Morton. Really well played girls. You obviously play better without adults on your team!

The team also had two under 12 girls getting some dev league experience: Esme Potter and Jodi Rump.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

NDHC League Match Reports: 07/12/13

Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-1 City 3s

Facing their closest opposition, with only one point separating the two, Dragons went into their match expecting a close game. The final score of 1-1 was fought hard for by both sides with attempts on both goals right until the last whistle.

Maintaining great passing and pace, Dragons kept good possession in the first half. The forwards worked hard making runs and playing the ball around the D, persistence paid off and Lynne Price scored from a well worked short corner for the Dragons.

The second half saw both sides step up the pace with some notable runs from the young Norwich City team, each time chasing the long balls all the way to the base line. Eventually the well drilled Norwich City team managed to even the score line, scoring from a clinical short corner, deflected in by the injector through the left post.

Undetered the Dragons pushed hard and beautiful linking play from the midfielders led to several more short corners but Dragons couldn’t convert and for the remainder of the half were sadly unable to find another goal. Both teams were very well matched, which is fairly reflected in the final score of 1-1.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2:1 Dereham

A great team effort from the development girls, lead to a 2-1 win against Dereham.
Dragons started the game being under attack by Dereham, but with solid defending by Katie Franks and Carmel Windsor Waite, we stopped Dereham having any shots on goal.  We played a great passing game out from defence into attack, with some great runs down the wings by Rosie Skipp and Laura Hansell.  Dragons first goal came from a well earned short corner after great work by Izzy Wolfe. The short corner was hit out to Helen Marsh who had a good shot on goal.  This was saved by the keeper, and the rebound was beautifully followed up by Rachel Bruce, to put Dragons 1-0 up minutes before the end of the first half.
Dragons went into the second half with full confidence and played a very attacking game.  Half way through this half Dereham took advantage of a break down in Dragons play.  This lead to a well driven run into the circle followed by a well struck shot on goal, which allowed Dereham to equalise.  This was very unfortunate for Isobelle Keane, who was standing in as our keeper today, as this was her first touch of the game.  This equaliser fired Dragons up.  We continued to play a great passing game, and with hard work up front by Rachel Bruce, Catherine Matthews, and Anja Wimmer lead us to lots of attacks on goal.  After two consecutive well earned short corners Aoife Lowe Davies finally got the ball into the net.  This put Dragons 2-1 up.
Dragons deserved to win this game 2-1, as we played some of our best hockey.  Thank you to Emma Tabrett and Abi Cowe for helping out on the pitch, and to Bridget LeGood for managing the team.
POM – Laura Hansell.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 0:1 Pelicans

 

Norfolk Champions an excellent 3rd in East Indoor u16 Boys Championships

1460101_10152423815284606_686917191_nHaving beaten City and Magpies to be crowned Norfolk Under 16 Boys Champions, the Norwich Dragons squad set off to Colchester today knowing that the East Championship would prove a massive test of their indoor skills.

Facing eventual East Champions, City of Peterborough, in their first fixture, the boys battled hard but came away with a 7-1 loss (Henry Laming).

Despite this initial result, the boys went into their second game in high spirits and this positive approach paid off with Dragons beating Hertfordshire Champions Rickmansworth 7-3 (Jonty Gosling x 2, Alec Steele x 2, Henry Laming x 3). This boosted the confidence and the next fixture against Essex Champions Old Loughts brought a 6-3 (Alec Steele x 3, Henry Laming x 3) win for the boys.

A deciding final fixture for Dragons saw a very strong Bury St Edmunds side take the game and the final qualifying slot with a 4-0 win.

The boys, coaches (Rob & Ali), parents and other supporters were a credit to the Club with our first appearance in this competition.

#proudtobeaDragon

Full Tournament Report:

Following their victory in the Norfolk U16 Indoor Championships in November, Norwich Dragons Under 16 Boys indoor squad travelled to Colchester to take on their compatriots from Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire.
The Dragons squad consisted of:
Elliot Wang (GK)
Jonty Gosling (Captain)
Henry Laming (Vice-Captain)
Alec Bidet-Steele
Alex Stone
Ben Watson

with Rohan Kaushal unfortunately unavailable to join the team for this round.

Dragons opened against the eventual winners, City of Peterborough who signalled their intent with a strong performance of attacking hockey, creating a number of chances and racing in to a 4-0 lead despite Elliot Wang being in good form in the Dragons goal. Dragons pulled a goal back before half-time when Henry Laming converted a penalty corner.

The second half was more even as Dragons grew in confidence, however, Peterborough continued to pose a threat with their speed and skill, scoring 3 more times, with Dragons feeling a bit aggrieved at having a goal disallowed and a penalty stroke not given which would have reflected the second half improvement in the scoreline.

Final Score:
Norwich Dragons 1-7 City of Peterborough

The pre-second match team talk for Dragons focussed on applying the learning from the Peterborough match and the side were positive that they could get a result against Rickmansworth from Hertfordshire.

With both sides having lost their first match, there was an understandably cautious nature to the opening exchanges, with both sides struggling to take clear cut chances.

Dragons’ captain Jonty Gosling broke the deadlock, driving into the D and firing home after quickly taking a free hit. Rickmansworth hit back to level things up, but Dragons were beginning to find their stride, and re-took the lead when Gosling picked out the unmarked Alec Bidet-Steele who coolly converted. Henry Laming extended the lead when he converted another penalty corner before the break.

Dragons continued in the same vein in the second half, with Gosling, Bidet-Steele and Laming (twice) all finding the net as Dragons ended up 7-3 winners.

Final Score:
Norwich Dragons 7-3 Rickmansworth

Following this, Dragons went into their third match against the Essex Champions Old Loughtonians in a positive frame of mind, but concious that having had the opportunity to watch them play and they would be another tough test.

This game was much tighter, with Old Loughtonians taking the lead, only for Dragons to peg them back courtesy of a Laming corner. Old Loughtonians took the lead again, but Bidet-Steele levelled things back up, and it remained 2-2 at half-time.

The second half continued to be very even, with Dragons taking the lead for the first time when Laming got his second.

The turning point for Dragons was the next corner they won, when the Old Loughtonians player received a yellow card for his tackle and Laming converted the corner.

Once restored to their full numbers, Old Loughtonians pressed Dragons hard, and pulled it back to 4-3, however, the chasing the game during the period they were a man down began to tell, and Bidet-Steele added 2 more goals, one courtesy of a well-taken penalty stroke, to ease the pressure on the Dragons side and seal the win.

Final Score:
Norwich Dragons 6-3 Old Loughtonians

These results set up a deciding match against Bury St Edmunds, fittingly the last game of the tournament, who had an identical set of results, for second place in the competition and a spot at the national finals.

The first half was an understandably cagey affair, with defences largely on top, and both keepers producing some good saves. It was Bury who edged infront, a well taken penalty corner giving them the edge at half-time.

Dragons knew they were still in the game, and delivered a strong second half performance, but without creating the number of goalscoring chances they had in earlier matches. Bury, meanwhile, used their larger squad effectively, dictating the pace of the game, and this began to wear the Dragons boys down, with Bury adding 3 goals during the final quarter of the game to claim the runners-up spot.

Final Score:

Norwich Dragons 0-4 Bury St Edmunds

NDHC League Match Reports: 30/11/13

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 0-3  Spalding 1s

Dragons’ struggles on the road continued with a battling 3-0 defeat at league leaders Spalding on Saturday.  There was plenty to admire in Dragons’ performance, though, as they continue to work to impose their pattern of play and dominated the second half against a strong Spalding side.

Hit by late injury-withdrawals from Charlish and skipper Smith, Lewis Wilkins was handed a seasonal debut and Sloman pushed into midfield.  Dragons started the game well, Turnbull prominent as a very false 9 and Wagstaff a rock at right-back, repeatedly leaving a host of despairing tacklers in what might generously have been termed his wake were it not, as Woodward learnedly observed, that “a standing vessel casts no wash.”  The visitors were caught on the break, though, a fine individual goal putting Spalding ahead after a smart turn and an excellent finish, Smith for once caught for pace, and a second followed after a speculative ball came back off the post and despite two scrambling saves was eventually bundled into the net.

A tactical reshuffle at half-time led to an excellent second half for which Dragons were unlucky not to have more to show.  Against disciplined Dragons pressing, Spalding struggled to get their passing game going and Dragons should have got themselves back into the game with a succession of half-chances.  Instead it was the home team who added a third from a short-corner rebound.  A fourth should have followed when Rich Smith was left wringing his hands after kicking the ball off the line.  A brilliant Collinge save, though, inspired Dragons and they penned Spalding back for the final fifteen minutes, belatedly reduced to nine men following an afternoon of poorly-timed challenges.  Sloman was lucky to survive one particularly brutal assault and the courage he showed – “just a flesh-wound, boys” – gave the whole team a lift.

After the match, Wagstaff was full of praise for his team:  “it’s a tough place to come up here – I thought Overstall coped with his agrophobia particularly well and they interpret the tackle-area a bit differently in the north so it took us a bit of time to adjust.”  When asked about the side’s continuing commitment to its youth policy he was in no mood to compromise:  “sure, experience can help when you’re on the road and the game would most certainly have unfolded differently had Simmonds and Woodruff been in the side.”  He saved a special word of praise for Wilkins:  “he fitted in seamlessly.  It shows the depth we have at the club.  At times it was just like watching a younger Wolfe out there.”

 

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 7-0 North Walsham 1s

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

 

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

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-4 Sudbury 4s

Norwich Dragons had an early start and some within the team wondered if one young Dragon’s alarm clock would be set. The alarm worked for the young Dragon but unfortunately an old returning Dragon was seen flying towards the pitch at 10.02!

Dragons started with 10 whilst waiting for Latoy to remove his layers. Familiar with most of the new rules Latoy settled into the ‘Rock’ position. Unfortunately this rock was a little more permeable than the previous version. Early pressure by some fairly handy Sudbury forwards resulted in the ‘Aquifer’ scoring the first past a wrong footed Key (bless you for kitting up for us otherwise it would have been Crossie) and serving the second up on a plate (with a side order of salad) for a hungry Sudbury forward.

Otherwise Key was fairly comfortable in goal (often to be seen sitting on the back board) as Dragons pushed for a goal. Great midfield work from the ‘Hilux’ (repaired by mid week ultrasound) Quintana, a returning Hodbell, an alert Packham and a skilful Watson meant surely a goal was due. Chances came from great work down the right with text book drives along the baseline by Watson but these passed by the golden stick contenders of Crossman and Lawrence yet again. Webb was also unrewarded for his efforts except for a few turf burns.

Dragons did have the ball in the against the backboard but it was ruled that the ever poaching Saville had finished this post the whistle going for the short corner. Unfortunately at the break Dragons were 3 down but the normal communist circle of feedback resulted in a confidence to continue despite the impending hail.

The second half saw the game stretch out and breaks were on at both ends. Lawrence finally converted one of numerous short corners with his deceptive trademark drag flick and Dragon’s tails were up. The end to end nature resulted in drama at both ends and the defensive work of Franks, Davis (pleased not to have conceded another own goal) and Lee helped clear up numerous breaks.

Unfortunately Dragons were second best to a good natured Sudbury team with a good mixture of youth and experience. Thanks to Freya and Mike for umpiring and Mrs Lee for chatting to Millie while I got the teas out.

This result leaves the 5ths (at the halfway point) perfectly placed 3rd in the league and on plan where Dragons always like to be with our eyes fixed upwards on the 1st and 2nd placed teams.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N 
Norwich Dragons 1s 1:1 Dereham 1s

 

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3:2 Framlingham 1s

Dragons went into this game, knowing it was likely to be a tough encounter against a well organised Framlingham team. The weather took a turn for the worse at the start of the game, however Dragons were keen not to let this dampen their game.

An early spell of pressure saw Dragons take the lead inside 4 minutes, following good work at the top of the D, Charly Burgess found Hannah Hardy in space in the D, who turned and got a shot away, which trickled under the keepers foot and just crossed the line! Dragons continued to press, with Niamh Lowe-Davies working hard on the left, well supported by Ruth Willmott in behind her. A number of short corners were forced, following some good build-up play involving Olivia Thomas, Laura Tompson-Wright and George Stannett. From one of these shorts, Gail Thomas increased her recent prolific goal tally to 5 goals in 4 games, with a well worked short corner routine, which crashed into the backboard.

Whilst Dragons were reasonably dominant in terms of possession, Framlingham always posed a threat on the break, specifically on the left hand side, therefore the back line of Ally Windsor-Waite, Angela Murgatroyd and Ruth Willmott needed to be on their toes to ensure GK Amy Forse was limited to a few touches in the first half.

Before half-time, Dragons consolidated their lead, following another well worked short corner – the old favourite ‘SS’ was called into action. Olivia Thomas was in the right position to pick-up the square pass, her initial effort was blocked on the line, however she remained composed and slotted away the rebound for her first East League goal.

Dragons talked at half time about continuing their high workrate, but also being aware of Framlingham on the break. Unfortunately Dragons didn’t heed this warning and were quickly on the back foot against a team determined to prove they were better than the first half scoreline suggested. Dragons conceded their first goal in a few weeks, following a scramble in the D, which was forced over the line from close range.

Having conceded the first, Dragons became a little anxious in their play and weren’t moving the ball as fluently or effectively. They were unfortunate to concede the 2nd, as the impressive Alice Guest, pulled up with a hamstring injury, which Framlingham took advantage of to break through the centre of the field. The Framlingham forward picked up the ball smartly and rounded keeper Amy Forse, who was unfortunate not to make the save. Dragons were forced to re-adjust following the injury and took a little time to settle.

Despite momentum very much being with the away team, Dragons worked their way back into the 2nd half, and had a couple of good opportunities to make the game safe. In the dying moments, Dragons were unfortunate not to add to the scoreline following a great break by Olivia Thomas and Amy Brown, however the ball slid just outside the near post.

A hard test for Dragons, who played some good hockey at times, but were punished for giving away possession too easily in the 2nd half and not having the focus and tenacity to win the ball back, once they have given it away. Hopefully this will be a good lesson for this team, who finish the first half of the season in a strong position, but who will know there are areas they need to improve on.

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The girls celebrate their goal against Evergreens, more photos from this game here.

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

 

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s

Yarmouth 2 withdrawn from league.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-0 UEA 3s

Ladies Norwich Dragons 5s secure the win they wanted but it could have been so different in that last minute. The win means they continue in the 4th position in Division 2 which makes them all very happy !

The first half started off well with Dragons winning a short corner which was manoeuvred  into a slick routine. Holly Bailey looked for the space and slipped to Rosie Korn who confidently fired into the back of the goal. The defensive unit were also on fire seeing off any attacks from UEA. Jess Tye Leach, Emma Buxton, Freya Clogan & Sarah Norcliff all deserved a man of the match this week for the way they worked together however it was Sarah who clinched it with her tackles & tenacious manner.

The forwards had some good chances, Katie Buxton also pushed up and made some excellent play. It felt it could have been 3-0, howevertheir captain (Lois McGregor) managed to have a hole in her stick and fluffed finishing two excellent injections from Holly Bailey & Chiara Bond.

UEA were fast and furious and this game turned on its head quickly.  Alice Smith was under pressure and made some smart saves and managed to catch one ball in her arm for which a short was awarded, luckily for Dragons UEA did not pull off a very slick short and it remained 1-0 at half time (despite Rosie Korn’s determination that it was 1-1, even double checking with the umpire).

In the second half, UEA came back strong and dominated putting the Dragons defence under more pressure.  They worked well together and every single one of them was amazing. Alice Smith continued to make some very good saves both keeping up her concentrating and coming off her  line when appropriate. Dragons kept turning it round with tenacity from Charlotte Stace and Lorna Travers in midfield but  UEA really wanted this win subbing off their keeper for an additional forward. There may have been an empty goal but Dragons could not get the ball to the D. Until the last minute the Dragons win was under threat and as the whistle blew the final of many shorts against Dragons were awarded. Ever part of the team, Sarah Norcliff shouting encouragement on the sideline the defence saw away the short and off the side of the pitch where the UEA player flew after the ball.

UEA really wanted the win and put us under pressure at every second but Dragons showed their true colours this week and wanted it more.
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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 0:2 Watton 3s

Step by step the 6s are gradually pulling themselves into a position where they are playing competitive hockey in this division, and this game represented further improvement on the week before. Using four development players, who seemed to be as fast, energetic and enthusiastic as they were for their own game, Dragons held the visitors goalless in the first half. As usual, it was the Dragons defence who caught the eye –  led by Jasmin Daniels, with Lottie Korn and Katie Franks on either side. These three now have an excellent understanding, and are seldom wrong-footed, either by long balls through the middle or by raids down either side, because they channel and cover.
The biggest improvements came from the mids this week, and with only 11 players, the whole team benefited because all the players train and play ‘Dragons hockey’ and settled into their positions. The team was warned  that they would all be ‘encouraged’ to get first to the ball and be far bolder when going in to tackle. Rachael Matthews inspired the right side into an effective flowing unit using Laura Hansell and Sarah Norman. She linked into the middle, where Ciara Willmott really stepped up to the mark and won the player of the match vote for a tenacious performance at the top of the diamond.
It took a little while for the left side to get going, with a tendency to move over and ‘clump’ in the middle, but in the second half Helen Marsh and Jasmine Mansfield worked the ball down the line and proved to themselves that when they take up good positions, the ball will come and they can ‘go’.
In this match we at last succeeded in getting the ball over the attacking 23, and we had our chances. A few more practice at shooting drills – and penalty corners – and we will be there. Watton’s goals, well into the second half, were carefully worked to move round the defence. Harriet Williams, another player who has made  progress this season, had another good game in goal and was only beaten by skilful placement.
We are just getting the hang of this game, and now we have a long break! All the 6s must promise to keep fit, play when they can, and not forget any of the hard lessons we have learned in the first half of the season. Let’s  remember how much fun we have had when we play at our best and look forward to a fresh start in the New Year.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 1:3 Watton

 

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: 4:1 Magpies

 

Dragons u16 Girls win 5-0 against City & Bury u14 Boys concede to Dragons

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Norwich Dragons Girls under 16s squad beat Norwich City 5-0 at Taverham on Sunday with four goals from player of the match Amy Brown and one from the youngest player in the squad Aoife Lowe-Davies.  Photos available here. The table below shows that the final fixture in the league phase against Bury St Edmunds at the Den on 16th February 2014 will decide who goes through with Ipswich to represent Norfolk and Suffolk.

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NDHC Boys u14 Team

Dragons Under 14 Boys

Sadly the home fixture against Bury St Edmunds was conceded by Bury just a few hours before the game.  With the concession made via email, the boys were all at the Den in their pre-match preparations when they found out.

The concession will push the Boys up to 5th place above Bury, with one match remaining there is still an outside chance of qualifying, if we win and the other results all go our way.

 

u16 Dragons Boys are Norfolk Indoor Champions

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Norwich Dragons Under 16 Boys progressed to the East Regional Championships after winning the Norfolk title ahead of Harleston Magpies and Norwich City.

Harleston Magpies opened the tournament against Norwich City, and after a tight first half, ran out 10-4 winners following a strong second half display.

Dragons opened against Harleston, and, having seen their opposition in action, knew they faced a tough challenge.

The first half saw Dragons start well, with an early goal courtesy of Ben Watson, but Magpies hit straight back. The half continued to see-saw, with Dragons leading 4-3 at the break, thanks to goals from Watson, Rohan Kaushal and a Henry Laming penalty corner.

Harleston started the second half strongly, taking the game to Dragons and levelling the scores, before taking the lead. Dragons hit back courtesy of of Ben Watson to leave the scores at 5-5.

Dragons then had their best spell of the game, with Henry Laming adding two further corners to his first half efforts, and Watson adding his fourth goal. There was still time for Harleston to make it a cagey last couple of minutes for Dragons as they pulled the score back to 8-7 with two quick fire goals.

Dragons pushed back and won another penalty corner, expertly converted by Laming to seal the result with his fourth of the match.

Full Time:  Norwich Dragons 9-7 Harleston Magpies

There was little rest for the Dragons squad who then had to face Norwich City in their second game of the day.

With the Dragons squad consisting of just the minimum 5 players, the Boys needed to pace themselves, which handed the early iniative to City, who quickly took the lead.

Dragons hit back courtesy of a Henry Laming penalty corner; however, it was City who continued to set the pace, with Dragons hitting back, before a couple of Dragons corners before half-time put them ahead for the first time for the match at 5-4.

The second half started with City pegging Dragons straight back at 5-5, and pushing hard to take the lead. Dragons’ goalkeeper, Elliot Wang, produced a number of fine saves to ensure that the scores remained level.

Dragons remained patient and played their way back into the match, with the hard work of Rohan Kaushal upfront hassling the City defence not allowing them to find a rythmn. From this hard work Rohan was able to put Dragons ahead again, and from here Dragons pushed on, winning a succession of corners ably converted by Laming, followed by a final goal from a corner returned to the injector Jonty Gosling for a simple finish.

Full Time: Norwich Dragons 9-5 Norwich City

NDHC League Match Reports: 16/11/2013

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

Dragons slumped to a 4-1 defeat away at Cambridge Nomads on Saturday.  Already without skipper Ed Smith and the in-form Dave Sloman, Dragons were left to rue Wagstaff’s late decision to deny Masterton his league debut when stalwart centreback Rich Smith went down injured early in the first half forcing the side into a defensive reshuffle, stand-in centreback Rutledge swapping wand for battle-axe to make even Overstall look solid in comparison.

Dragons’ first half was probably their worst 35 minutes of the season.  They struggled to match Nomads’ intensity, gave the ball away cheaply and were loose defensively.  They were lucky to go into the break only a goal down, Nomads finally capitalising on sustained pressure and a series of short corners to hammer one home where Wagstaff had abandoned his post, a rare blot on another good 70 minutes from the veteran.  No doubt the side was rattled by the loss of the composed Smith whose bloodcurdling cry suggested there must have been more to his injury than met the eye.

Dragons were much better after the break, Turnbull stitching things together in the midfield, Overstall prominent as they controlled the ball around the back, and Wagstaff showing unsuspected resources of pace up and down the right wing.  Dragons should have equalised but instead were caught by a sucker-punch, Nomads claiming a controversial goal after a ball lifted into the circle was deemed to have tickled Collinge’s pad on its way into the back of the goal.  It was scant reward for Dragons’ effort and worse was to come with Smyth shown a yellow card for what must have been a mistimed tackle in the build-up to the goal.  A third quickly followed as Dragons were caught on the break after Rutledge turned the ball over, Overstall prefering to deflect a shot high into the roof of the net rather than to take the easier option of clearing the ball off the line.  A well-worked short corner made it four, a score-line flattering to the hosts on the run of play in the second half but perhaps a fairer reflection of their dominance in the first.  Dragons, though, continued to press themselves and nicked a goal back (scant consolation) when Snelling guided a drag-flick in off the keeper’s arm.

On man-of-the-match Overstall’s return to form Wagstaff had this to offer:  “I suppose the one good thing about us all playing so terribly is that it at least gave Alex the chance to look like he belongs in the team.”

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-6 IES 2

Dragons came up against a strong IES2xi side. With plenty to work on from previous weeks, the Dragons found themselves down at half time with Andy Kelsall managing to score a consolation. A strong team talk brought spirits up allowing dragons to pressure IES through the second half letting only one goal find the back of the net. Once again a strong defensive display from Gary Burgess leading to his second successive man of the match. Time to turn our fortunes around…

The game finished 6-1 Gary Burgess man of the match

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-6 Lowestoft Railway

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 5-2 Bury 3

This week saw our team bouyed from last week’s battling performance, even though we were on the losing side, and one determined to start with bang. A number of change had been made with the introduction of Garnett Jones, Andy Hipper and the welcome return of Andy Ives to Saturday hockey.

Dragons started brightly and took the game to Bury from the outset. However it was not until the first round of substitutions that the dragons set out their intentions when Captain Jon Price entered the foray and with his first touch of the ball threaded an unstoppable shot into the corner much the delight or was it derision of the rest of the team.

From that point on there was no looking back as a second was quickly added via a fierce short corner shot from Ollie Browne. Bury had other ideas and pulled a goal back beating stand in keeper Andy Key with a good breakaway goal. Not to be outdone Dragons rallied and Andy Saunders added two fantastic goals from open play after tireless work from midfielders Wilkinson and Jenkins.

Going into half time at 4-1 up the team were keen to work more on good passing and moving as inevitably tiredness would set in. This was duly shown to be the case with many of the players sitting down in the second half! or was that the slippery conditions? The intensity wasnt as great in the second half but Ollie smashed in another short corner to make the score a comfortable 5-1 with time running out. Bury, to there immense credit and unfailing work rate scored the final goal of the match with the best pass of the day, splitting the dragons midfield and defence, finding the left wing who coolly dispatched the ball past a fast approaching Andy Key.

Man of the match – Andy Saunders

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IMG_9577Mike Banham demonstrated what a great Club Man he is at the weekend by putting on the keeper’s kit to help out the Men’s 5th team.  Mike now claims the record of being the only outfield player to have represented the club, in the pads, for all 5 teams.

Men’s East Hockey League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 6-0 North Walsham

On a damp day Dragons arrived at the Den missing a few regulars. Fortunately new regulars took their place as the injury list ,Xmas shopping and early pantoes takes its toll on availability.

Mike Banham stepped in between the sticks to complete his secret ambition to have played in all Men’s teams for the club across the last 7 decades.

Dragons started well and slowly learnt each others names. Fortunately for Dragons they remembered to use their claws to remain upright as the opposition proceeded to find numerous landmines on the damp surface. The first half saw close affair but it took the inspire substitution of the miss firing golden stick contender by Butler to break the dead lock. After strolling on and locating space Butler slotted home his first league goal. Webb then added this to lead with his first touch of the game completing most of his hockey ambitions with his first league goal.

Buoyed by this at half time and the continued up right nature of most dragons the energy and legs of the dragons mid field won the end to end nature of the second half.

The defence anchored around the ‘Rock’ Evans eliminated all comers with Franks (has some musician friends) and Davis (Juregen was playing today with his son and grandson)  impressing in their position and ability not to mess up thier hair styles. Lee added to this by seamlessly slotting in when one of the wing backs needed to have a wardrobe moment.

The mid field work of Qunitin (slightly patched up land rover type) , Packham (yes he is quick), Hobdell (thats what i call work rate) and Whitmore (how many times do i need to go round the baseline) was exceptional and set up the win.

The forward line took a while to light up but Butler (no hair to worry about) , Crossman , Bingham (i have my scoring gloves on), Webb (really up front?) and the Green Lantern (Lawrence) final clicked into gear and finished off a fine win.

Goals from Butler , Webb , Lawrence x 2 , Bingham and York-Smith. Again thanks to the umpires and Walsham for a good tussle. Also thanks to those of you who didn’t get as full a game as normal and please bear with me as I cope with us remaining top of the league.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N 
Norwich Dragons 1s 5:0 Cambridge City 2

Norwich Dragons got back to winning ways this week when they travelled to Cambridge. Determined to get three points on the board having only taken 2 from a possible 9 in the last three weeks the Dragons started the game with a high tempo hitting the City defence early and within 5 minutes were awarded a penalty stroke when a goal ward bound shot was blocked illegally. Kate TRELAWNY-GOWER earned the stroke so stepped up only to see her effort saved well by the keeper.

This did not dampen the Dragons positive attacking hockey who pinned City in their own 25 for large periods and created opportunities to score but the City keeper had an excellent match and somehow kept the Dragons at bay.

The visitors had to be patient and waited twenty minutes before finally getting off the mark; Donna VAUGHAN scoring her first goal for the Dragons from a short corner. This settled the Dragons and the second soon followed another short corner scored this time by Rachel KING.

The second half was much the same as the first with the Dragons dominating playing some excellent hockey and having several goal scoring opportunities. Nat BEAL got herself on the scoresheet as she fired home from the top of the D following a short corner routine that broke down. The pick of the goals however was definitely the fourth; Marie JAMES splitting the defence by playing a pin point pass to BEAL in the circle leaving her with the in form keeper to beat; as the keeper came out to close down BEAL showed great skill and composure by lobbing her from the top of the D what can only be described as a fantastic classy finish, a real crowd pleaser. JAMES finished the scoring to make it 5 as she latched on to a drilled pass from TRELAWNY-GOWER and fired into the corner of the goal beyond the keepers reach.

This was a superb team performance by the Dragons in particular Emma TABBRETT who worked tirelessly up front as ever creating space and opportunities for others and again keeper Freddie BRISCOE answered all the questions that City presented and together with the well organised defence always looked in control and confident that the Dragons were to keep a clean sheet.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2:0 Panthers

Following on from last weeks fine performance against Cambridge Nomads, Norwich Dragons 2’s were determined to keep the run of results going against Panthers. With a squad of 14 available this week, keeping the balance of the team is always tricky, with the risk of too much change being disruptive, however Team Manager Mike Hardy did a great job in rotating the players.

The game started with Dragons on the offensive from the word go, with a number of strong attacks particularly down the right, through Player of the Match Olivia Thomas, and Helen Kelly, playing against her old team. Despite a period of intensive pressure and a number of short corners, Dragons failed to trouble the scoreboard. This lead to some frustration and at times a little impatience, with Dragons failing to get their fluid passing game working. Failure to use the full width of the pitch meant at times Dragons became a little predictable.

Despite having the great majority of the attacking play, Dragons Goalkeeper Amy Forse was forced into action before half-time, facing a 2 v 1 against her, she managed to close down the Panthers attacker and prevent a pass, which would have lead to a certain goal.

At half-time, Dragons talked about keeping their shape and remaining patient, whilst using the full width of the pitch to stretch the Panthers defence, who at times had 10 players behind the ball.  With Alice Guest and Gail Thomas in the middle trying to spread the play, Dragons continued to pile on the pressure. Further short corners followed, which Panthers defended well, however eventually Dragons made one count, through a smart one-two between Thomases, Olivia and Gail, with Gail lifting over keeper Sharon Weeks to break the deadlock.

Dragons called for concentration, and largely this was achieved, however Amy Forse was once more forced to make a smart save, coming off her line and kicking strongly, when Panthers broke once again, behind the defence. Despite only having 2 kicks in the game, Amy’s contribution was crucial.

With time running down, Dragons continued to press, and with the pressure off a little, one final attack saw Helen Kelly pick up the ball on the edge of the D. A fine goalbound strike by Helen was cleverly deflected just infront of the keeper by Laura Tompson-Wright. A short discussion between the two resulted in Kelly accepting that there was the faintest of touches, by her striking colleague Tompson-Wright!

Whilst not the prettiest 3 points Dragons will have earned, sometimes you just need to win ‘ugly’ and move on!  This result will stand the team in good stead, as breaking down teams, who are set up very defensively, is never easy, but is an important learning curve for the team.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-1 Dereham 2

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-0 North Walsham 2

Another game where Dragons did everything right, had the majority of the possession and more shots at goal than you can shake a stick at and still that ball would not cross the line!

The game started well with Rachel Hipperson making several excellent drives down the left wing, with Lynne Price and Gemma Rump supporting through the middle. Early shots on goal came from Sophie Farrow, positioned on the post to try and nudge the ball in and Sue Cross with an excellent strike from a short, which was unfortunately too high to count as a goal! Aoife Lowe Davis and Laura Goodbun (PoM) worked well on the right, taking the ball straight down the line right to the end of the pitch before hammering it into the D, again only to be denied by North Walsham’s amazing keeper.  North Walsham only had one real break in play during the first half and this was stopped when the forward ran into the ball as she entered the D.

Dragons started the second half with continued vigour, play was so much in our favour that even defenders such as Abi Cowe and Louise Davis were to be found up near the oppositions D, working the ball around and across trying to enable a forward to get the perfect shot. We thought we had it with an amazing strike from Sophie – but alas the pesky keeper dived just in time!  Again North Walsham had relatively few breaks in play and these were stopped early on through good directions from Morag Morrison in goal and by accurate and thoughtful play from Hazel Medler on the left who turned every attack to Dragon’s advantage with Flora Gregorie making excellent runs into space to receive the ball.

The game ended a slightly disappointing 0:0 – we will continue to work hard next week and try to get those goals to come.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-10 Dereham 4

Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s were not on their finest form of the season and Dereham 4s (current leaders of Division 2) were on fire as a slick and well drilled goal scoring machine. This was not a good combination.

The goals for Dereham 4s came thick and fast starting in the first five minutes and continuing pretty much throughout the game. There was some strident & exhausting defending by Harriet Williams, Sarah Nortcliff, Jess Tye Leach & Freya Clogan, however the defensive unit failed to gel as well as they have done in previous weeks and Dereham outnumbered them constantly as they took their chances on the break.

The midfield tried valiantly to move the ball up the pitch but did not seem to have the same energy as the previous week and excellent man marking by Dereham meant balls were not reaching Dragons players. Chiara Bond, Holly Bailey, Katie Buxton and Rosie Korn (Player of Match) tried to cover ground however a mixture of experienced and nippy Dereham players kept coming back at them. Rosie Korn’s Player of the match was deserved as she never gave up and showed her growing maturity in the face of adversity.

4-0 at half time the Dragons tried to step up their game and there were moments of their normal playing standards however this was quickly closed down by Dereham who then skilfully took their chances with some beautiful shots at goal. Dragons forwards (Lisa Harwood, Lois McGregor, Izzy Woodcock and Lizzy McDonnell) tried to push forwards and made a few plays however they could not get near the D apart from one short corner from some hard work from Lizzy McDonnell.  Dereham continued to score some excellent in play goals and convert every short corner with exacting aim and pace on the ball.

Dragons tried to remain in good spirits but were deflated, however I have no doubt that this punishing 10-0 defeat will make these Dragons 5s stronger and more determined for next week and we shall return to our normal high spirits and form which makes being a Dragons 5 such a pleasurable experience.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 0-6 Dereham 5

Dereham are flying high in the division, and duly achieved a significant win over a predominately young Dragons side, but it was by no means a ‘thrashing’. Availability fell kindly for the 6s this week, and they not only had plenty of players, but they also had some of the stronger players from last year’s development team who are not usually available for club hockey. Mimi Stannard was outstanding at centre mid – winning tackles, distributing the ball beautifully and keeping up a high work rate. She shared the player of the match vote with defenders Beth Elgood and Katie Franks. The defenders, including Jasmin Daniels and Flo Pond, were very determined to keep the speedy Dereham forwards at bay, and with Alice Smith gaining in confidence in goal every time she plays, Dragons were about to go in only 2-0 down at half time when Dereham took their third. The Dragons midfield, with Laura Hansell matching Mimi for determination, had an excellent spell at the start of the second half, with Georgie Randon and Sophie James linking with the forwards to give Sarah Norman and Lucy Bracey chances to show off their speed. Claire Fairhurst dropped deeper to link in turn with Ciara Willmott, Amy Hunter and Jasmine Mansfield, and whoever else was rotating, but it was Beth who inspired the best move of all with a run from deep into the attacking third.

Once again, it was in the last third  where Dragons still lack a final pass and they need a few more flames in the attacking circle, but this was a very encouraging performance with a far better team understanding between players. We hope we will see Mimi, Georgie, Flo and Sophie again before too long.  The dev players – Laura, Katie and Lottie Korn (unavailable this week) –  have already staked their claim for regular places.

Dereham, who have what they like to describe as a ‘predominantly mature team’ were very complimentary about our young players and we complimented them in turn for playing happy hockey and scoring two excellent penalty corners. We hope to push them closer on the return, and perhaps not suffer so many self-inflicted wounds by using our sticks to protect our feet! We hope Georgie gets her dancing toes back in time for her musical next week.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons P-P Pelicans

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture

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Now Pensions : Men’s Over 40s Cup

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Now Pensions : Men’s Over 40s Cup 

Norwich City 7 – 0 Norwich Dragons

This game marked the start of a new era for the club entering the over 40’s cup for the first time and with this ground breaking optimism Dragons took to the field looking for a positive display. The team consisted of players from all the men’s sides plus a few ‘retired’ campainers and we had all decades covered from the 1940’s to the 1970’s!  We had two current lead coaches in Rob Wagstaff and Pete Thomas and two current men’s captains – Phil York-Smith and Jon Price, with numerous past Captains. Our ‘guest’ player was John Skittrall from Norfolk Nomads who stood between the sticks and to whom we are hugely grateful.

The match started and we soon realised we were up against a very experienced Masters side in City and the goals started to go in, however this did not dampen our spirits and we continued to try and take the game to City. Outstanding runs from defence from Bonky Bingham saw him approach a goal scoring opportunity only to be felled in the ‘D’, or was it a dive! and to his amazement didnt even get a short. Pete Thomas had one or two chances, one of which the bench would have bet their collective ‘house’ on going in, suffice to say there are four ‘mature’ gentlemen looking to rent rooms in the Norwich area…

Half time came and we were 5-0 down but a rousing team talk from the manager who believed we could win the second half but didnt necessarily want to win the match as it might mean playing a National League team in the next round, settled the nerves and we played much better.  We only conceded two more and ran out comfortable 7-0 losers.

Huge thanks to those who came to support us. We really appreciated the ‘come on Dad/old man/Grandpa etc’ encouragement from the sidelines! We might even get a ‘come on Great Grandpa’ if Butts plays next time..

All in all it was a great first for the club and I hope everyone enjoyed the day and can now look forward to entering the Trophy where teams should be closer to our level. A big thank you to Ali Wardale and Norwich City for hosting us so well and we wish them all the luck in future rounds.

My one last abiding memory of the match is witnessing the charge of the light brigade from our defence when we won short corners.  If only Bingham and Bangham had  put as much effort in the rest of the match as they did racing to be the first to hit short corners – who knows what the final result may have been!

PoM – Rob Wagstaff

Report – Jon Price (Dragon Master)

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NDHC League Match Reports: 02/11/13

Men’s East League Division 2N

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Norwich Dragons 1s 2:2 Sudbury 1s

Summary: This week Norwich dragons travelled to the deepest, darkest depths of Sudbury for an important away game. Although a full squad of 14 people were present a mystery illness had hit four of the players on Friday night making it a tougher game than expected. A late call off by Robbie Whiting meant a debut appearance for new keeper Matt Collinge whose performance was fantastic. This combined with the experienced back four made for a successful game. Dave Sloman used his speed at the back to progress the full length of the pitch and score the opening goal. After a pep talk by coach Rob Wagstaff at half time, the team dug deep and played to win. Veteran Rupert Snelling scored the final goal to the seal the match. Man of the match was awarded to Dave Sloman.

The true story:  Dragons ground out their first away win of the season 2-0 at Sudbury on Saturday to climb to third in the table.  Without co-skipper Whiting, the excellent Matt Collinge was handed his first cap in goal in what was otherwise an unchanged squad.  Coach Wagstaff’s meticulous preparations were undone, though, when, in the build-up to the game, no fewer than four Dragons players went down with a mysterious bug that seems to be going the rounds at the University.  Turnbull initially blamed an out-of-date Chinese, but for four players to suffer at the same time suggested more than just bad luck.

Dragons started the game lethargically, struggling to come to grips with Sudbury’s direct style and the slow Sudbury pitch.  Knights, in particular, seemed to struggle with the dimensions of the pitch, consistently finding it both too narrow and too short to accommodate his rampaging runs.  Charlish looked bright and threatening until he received the ball and Turnbull at least tended to manage two good touches before invariably giving the ball away with his third.  Still, Dragons’ superior quality eventually started to show, Browne and Snelling a threat up front, Woodward and Flatman asking questions with their runs from midfield, and the defence settling into the game strongly.  The breakthrough came following a sustained spell of pressure and patient build-up play, the outstanding Sloman released down the right to drive all the way into the D and and claim his first goal for the club, tucked in from an acute angle with the help of a brilliant dummy from Knights.  Even better chances followed, Charlish somehow unable to reach the ball from a promising position at the top of the D and then Snelling, having rounded the ‘keeper, spurning the invitation of an open net from the sort of distance that will have had the selectors pondering whether it might be time to give Andrew Cross a recall.

The half-time call was for more of the same but with a little more composure in front of goal.  The second half, though, was a scrappy affair, Dragons dominating the midfield but still looking vulnerable against the ball over the top.  Man-of-the-match Sloman terrorised Sudbury down the right, Rich Smith put in another finely disciplined performance and Collinge was commanding in goal but the intervention of the day was from Ali Smyth, a brilliant last-ditch tackle preserving Dragons’ lead and the clean sheet.  Rutledge, too, had to get the timing of his covering tackle absolutely perfect to avoid a yellow card and Dragons continued to struggle with the Sudbury pitch, Woodward lucky to avoid serious injury after falling on the treacherous surface.  The game was only made safe in the closing minutes, Snelling smearing home at the second bite from a short-corner.  It was no surprise that Sloman was again at the heart of things for the goal, latching onto the rebound, rounding the keeper, before unselfishly and uncomplainingly leaving the finish to Snelling.  After the game Sloman explained “I thought it was important for his confidence, really; it’s not every day a player like him gets to celebrate a goal.”

Skipper Smith had warm words for Collinge on debut:  “He had a strong game; Robbie [Whiting] would have his work cut out to regain his place were it not for all the other things his leadership contributes to the side.”  And Knights was full of praise for his team-mates:  “They really looked after me today; when you’re struggling a bit it’s important that the other guys lend you a hand.  They really left an impression on me today.”

Next week Dragons will be looking to continue their push up the table at home against an improving Cambridge University side.

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Men’s East League Division 3NE

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Norwich Dragons 2s 3:8 Magpies 3s

Dragons went down to Harleston Magpies needing a win to get their season back on track. The opening exchanges were strong and resulted in some stiff words from the umpires to both teams. Magpies managed to grab the first goal on a counter attack, this brought more emphasis on keeping the ball. Further rash challenges brought the Dragons down to 10 men. Magpies added 3 more goals before Dragons finally struck back with a penalty flick by Cley Hamilton.
A strong team talk at half time, allowed Dragons to pick up their play and heighten their focus. An Andy Kelsall short corner goal brought the dragons to 4-2 with the passion and wind in their sails the momentum was changing and a come back was looking possible. The passion too much for some players led to another yellow card and allowed magpies to capture back their earlier advantage with another goal. Magpies celebrations only lasted for a moment as Dragons Jonty Gosling running the Magpies ragged with exceptional dribbling and distribution leading to Jason Wolfe clipping the ball out of the air into the back of the net to make it 5-3. However dragons penalised for tackling with another less man lost three in the last 10 to finish the game 8-3.
Jonty Gosling man of the match second week in a row.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE

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Norwich Dragons 3s 3:0 Magpies 5s

Dragons 3s hoped to be able to string together back to back wins for the first time this season, against a Magpies team who have struggled in the league so far.

An even first half looked to be drawn, until Will Kirby slotted home in the dying seconds of the half. A well taken goal at a crucial moment changed the game and crucially changed the way both team talks were delivered.

A positive start to the second half was important and when Ollie King latched on to a pass from George Walker in the opening seconds of the 2nd half, the Dragons looked to have taken the game away from Magpies with another crucially timed goal.

Not to be easily defeated, the 10 man Magpies team did not give up their fight and were more than an even match for the Dragons as the game wore on. With tired legs abound, the game inevitably became more and more stretched and Adrian Kemp managed to put the game beyond Magpies with a cool finish.

All in all, well taken, crucially times goals marked the difference between two otherwise well matched sides.

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Men’s East League Division 5NE

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Norwich Dragons 4s 3:1 Dereham 4s

This match began very evenly with Dragons passing fluently and Dereham dangerous on the counterattack particularly via their central midfield players.  However Dereham were always susceptible to the pace of Dragons youngsters, with the three Bens, Campbell, Harvey and Watson all having the beating of their opposite numbers.  Rohan was also enjoying the freedom of the pitch using his silky skills to good effect.  The keen tackling of Rob Jenkins and the calmness of Chris W in the middle of the pitch provided a good base for the Dragons to launch their attacks, with Mike B marshalling the defence in his normal manner.

As the first half went on Dragons began to dominate and went a goal up courtesy of Rob Jenkins latching on to a loose ball on the D and then Ben Watson who reacted quickest to a rebound off the keeper’s pads by scoring with a reverse stick lob.

Non playing captain Jon Price was fulsome in his praise for the first half performance noting the contribution of Garnett Jones on the bench, who demoralised the opposition by his mere presence pitch side.

The second half saw the game’s best move, a sensational run down the right wing by Ben Watson, followed by a cross to Ben Campell at the top of the D and a clinical finish by Rob after Ben’s through ball.

Dereham did rally late on and scored from a flick after a creative goal line clearance from Paul Keating.  This put pressure on the Dragons but their defence stood firm using their many many years of collective experience.

The only cloud on the horizon was Ben Watson’s post match trip to McDonalds which had team mates worrying that he might be coming under the influence of the the notorious WK.  One hopes this was a one off.

Dragons were indebted to Elliot Wang for some outstanding keeping including one athletic dive to his right to divert a cross away from a Dereham forward who waiting to pounce.  He was unanimously voted man of the match.

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Men’s East League Division 7NE

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Norwich Dragons 5s 9:0 Felixstowe 4s

An abundance of talent was added to with Butler demanding pitch time to ensure things went smoothly, which they did. The first half saw some end to end action with last week’s land rover being replaced by a younger, fitter and beefier model if not a little worse for wear. Once the midfield settled down a nice move was finished off by Alex Bilalis-Stone followed by one more for a Dragon whose name escapes the reporter (might have been land rover upgrade) . Two nil up at the break led to some frank discussions around who wasn’t there last week when we only had ten and the fact we needed to concentrate on pass receive completion ratios!

As the second half progressed Felixstowe gambled more and Dragons began to find the space and the target although some were closer than others. Good forward work from Joel (who suffered from elements of the physical battle) , Rob Lee and Crossman resulted in more circle penetrations and even short corners. Final goal tally was Bilalis-Stone, Lee (made the captains poor pass look good), Saunders x2, Browne x2 and Crossman x3 (am sure one was Joel’s). Man of the match was Alex Bilalis-Stone for his mazy runs which created space and angles for the older players but he has vowed to work on keeping hold of his stick when hitting that Argentinean backhand. Oli Browne did score the goal of the game though after a swift ball in to his path at the top of the D was despatched into the roof of the net in a way reminiscent of Victor Trumper in his prime.

Felixstowe kept coming though and the defence was tested on a number of occasions with Elliot this time allowing for the variation in pace of his back few. Sam Hodbell, Hamish Packham and John Franks put in their normal pacy work load whilst Rich Mouslon was relegated to right back due to a warm up incident. Jones suffered from some stage fright prior to his own personal cheer leaders turning up which resulted in him turning on the style but placing his back to the camera. Unfortunately some of these performances will result in players being dropped to the 4ths if these results continue but otherwise well played guys. Thanks go to a very friendly Felixstowe for making the trip despite traffic issues, Freya and Sue for umpiring and the press photographer for making Joel’s illegal shorts and socks not look too bad!

Photos from this game can be found here

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Women’s East League Division 1N 

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Norwich Dragons 1s 1:1 Wisbech 1s

Norwich Dragons travelled to Wisbech this week determined to bounce back from an average performance last week, but aware of Wisbech’s tough reputation and respectable position within the league.

The team welcomed first team debutant Laura BAILEY another promising young player from the second team and Rowie YORK SMITH back into the centre of defence following an operation on her foot.

The game started cautiously, with both teams testing the opposition defence and goal keepers without success. Dragon’s opened the scoring mid way through the first half, following some good quick short passes out of defence into midfield for Laura SHREEVE to run behind the defence and combine with Nat BEAL to beat the goalkeeper.

Unfortunately Dragons were unable to capitalise on the lead in the second half and eventually Wisbech’s determined play and appealing to the umpires lead to a goal to level the scores. The game ended with both teams creating chances for the winning goal, but unable to take the advantage.

Laura BAILEY showed great maturity on her first team debut, gaining joint Player of the Match with Maddie DENMAN, who also gave a solid performance in defence.

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Women’s East League Division 2NE

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Norwich Dragons 2s 2:0 Yarmouth 1s

On the back of an improved performance last week against the League leaders Watton, Dragons started the game brightly against a Yarmouth Team who were one place ahead of them in the league.
 
Strong play down the right by George Stannett, Helen Kelly and Olivia Thomas, saw early pressure on the Yarmouth goal. The Yarmouth keeper held firm however and kept the scores level in the early stages. After 20mins, Dragons pressure finally told; another attack down the right saw Hannah Hardy and Olivia Thomas combine, to earn a short corner. From this short, a slip left to Amy Brown, saw her firm shot stopped on the line by a Yarmouth foot. Hannah Hardy stepped forward to take the penalty flick, which was firmly dispatched, via the right hand post.
 
Dragons did not rest on their laurels, instead continueing to push forward. Player of the Match, Debs Smith, was pulling the strings in the middle and it was through her strong passing that the second goal came. Following Dragons hard work breaking down play in their attacking 25, Debs Smith found Amy Brown, who had found some great space in the D. Amy’s initial shot was well saved by the Yarmouth Keeper, however she picked up the rebound, turned the Keeper and slotted the ball home, with a calm and assured finish.
 
Dragons were worthy of their 2-0 lead going into the break. Having discussed switching the ball at half-time, Dragons continued to play some attractive hockey in the second half, moving the ball in triangles, trying to break down a Yarmouth team, who had pretty much retreated into their own half. Dragons earnt a number of short corners, and were unfortunate not to further trouble the scoreline.
 
A deserved victory, which takes the Dragons back up to third place. A hard working performance by the whole team. This gives the team real positive momentum going into next weeks fixture against 2nd placed Cambridge Nomads. 

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Norfolk Women’s Premier League

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Norwich Dragons 3s: Slip Date

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Norfolk Women’s League Division 1

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Norwich Dragons 4s: Slip Date

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Norfolk Women’s League Division 2

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Norwich Dragons 5s: Slip Date

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Norfolk Women’s League Division 3

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Norwich Dragons 6s: Slip Date

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Norfolk Girls Development League

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Norwich Dragons: Slip Date

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Norfolk Boys Development League

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Norwich Dragons: Slip Date

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The hoof table as at 02/11/2013

Position Team Hoof Average
1 Mens 5s 4.00
2 Ladies 1s 3.13
3 Ladies 2s 2.63
3 Mens 1s 2.63
5 Mens 3s 2.50
6 Ladies 3s 2.17
6 Boys’ Development 2.17
8 Mens 2s 2.13
9 Ladies 4s 1.83
10 Mens 4s 1.63
11 Girls’ Development 1.60
9 Ladies 5s 1.50
13 Ladies 6s 1.17

NDHC League Match Reports: 26/10/2013

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

Norwich Dragons couldn’t maintain their perfect home record but showed tremendous character to come from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against Newmarket on Saturday.  Dragons were still without Overstall, who continues to work on his game in the lower leagues of Yaoundé, but welcomed back Wagstaff, Woodward, and Rutledge.  Such is the depth of the side this season that veteran Wolfe was sent to the 2nds to rediscover his goal-scoring touch and star Snelling had to settle for a place on the bench.

Dragons again started the game strongly, dominating possession and creating a succession of openings only to find the Newmarket keeper in fine form.  Charlish, in a more advanced role, was especially prominent, his movement and link-play too much for the static Newmarket defence and Dragons spurned three golden opportunities one-on-one with the keeper.  Still, it was a surprise when a limited Newmarket side took the lead, capitalising on a fortuitously awarded short-corner with a slick routine and worse was to come when, at the beginning of the second half, another short corner broke down, and fell kindly for Newmarket to capitalise.  A terrible ten minutes for the home side was capped when influential player-coach Wagstaff’s awful luck with injuries continued and he was forced to withdraw.

A lesser side might have folded, but Dragons rallied and completely dominated the final 30 minutes of the match.  The Smiths at the heart of the defence were rock-solid, fullbacks Smyth and Sloman played rather as rampaging wingers than as defenders, Woodward, Flatman, and Turnbull bossed the midfield and Browne, Snelling, Knights, and Charlish proved almost uncontainable up front.  First Flatman pulled a goal back following an incisive run from Woodward and a subtle touch from Snelling.  Then Flatman was on hand again, following sustained Dragons pressure, to nudge the ball inside the far post.  Dragons should have had more – Browne twice missing gilt-edged chances that left the coaching-staff lamenting Wolfe’s omission, Sloman capping a surging run with a sudden bout of altitude sickness, and Flatman and Snelling declining each other’s invitation to hammer home the winner.  It is a sign of Dragons’ ambitions this season that following such a rousing recovery the team were left lamenting the two points lost.

Goal-scoring hero Flatman continued his superb form, man of the match for the third time this season.  Still a second-team player only months ago, Flatman accredited his remarkable progress this season to the arrival of Rutledge:  “I’ve learnt so much from him since he arrived at the club.  We’re very similar kinds of midfielder, really, box-to-box, mobile, we make the same sorts of runs and he’s so clinical when he gets into the box he really sets the standard.  Most of all it’s his attitude on and off the pitch and the intensity and concentration when he trains.”  Famously enigmatic skipper Smith added “today’s result is a bit like a half-pint of Guinness, really – it’s hard to know whether to celebrate that a half-pint of Guinness is so much better than a half-pint of anything else or to lament that anyone’d order only a half-pint in the first place.”

Next week Dragons are away at a resurgent Sudbury in what will surely be another test of the side’s character, particularly following the club’s midweek commitments.

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1:3 Ipswich Crane 1

Dragons came up against cranes to restart their season after a two week break due to void games.

Lack of Match practice was evident as Dragons started slower than usual. As the half progressed Cranes managed to score on the break against the run of play. Dragons tried to make amends by picking up the tempo, however found themselves sprung on again from a Cranes counter making it 0-2 at the break.

The second half saw dragons improve on their sluggish first half. Jonty Gosling played excellently in the middle on his 2nds league debut. Producing strong dribbles and creative passing. His determination led to dragons only goal of the day after a mazy run through the Cranes defence he managed to slot the ball home to make the score 1-2.

Dragons continued to press for further goals with strong pressure in Cranes half. As the match was drawing to a close, Cranes once again caught Dragons on the break to finish the game 1-3.

Jonty Gosling man of the match.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 6:3 Thetford 1

A hat-trick apiece from Adrian Kemp and Matt Jenkins was enough to send Dragons onto their second win of the season; a perfect response following the disappointment of a narrow defeat to Bury St Edmunds last weekend.

After an early near-miss from Thetford, Dragons started the game with intent and quickly raced into a two-goal lead with Jenkins finishing both goals from close range and Kemp adding a third after some neat build-up play.

The tie became increasingly scrappy as Thetford looked to find a way back into the match; John Ives, George Walker and Adam Sayer and Stu Kelly all finding themselves embroiled in a combative midfield battle as Thetford began to press and create chances. After a controversially disallowed goal, Thetford clawed their way to within a goal of Dragons following a couple of well-worked short corner routines leaving keeper Robbie Bell with no chance.

Dragons continued to press and got their reward before half-time with Kemp receiving a fantastic through ball from skipper Walker to finish past the keeper also benefiting from some unselfish play from strike partner Will Kirby to complete his hat-trick before the half-time whistle.

After eight first half goals, it seemed inevitable that the game would slow to a more sedate pace following the break. While the second half brought fewer goals, there was no less intensity and goal mouth action to the game as it began to stretch, with both teams committed to throwing players forward leaving open spaces in the wide and midfield areas. The width was exploited particularly well by the forwards with Ollie King and Will Kirby continuing to look a threat all game and were both unlucky not to find themselves on the score sheet.

The clean sheet kept in the second half was testament to the solid defensive team expertly marshaled by the experience of David Pentin and man of the match Peter Davison who both stood firm to stop the majority of Thetford attacks. Bell also contributed well, providing some vital saves to preserve Dragons’ two-goal lead. Pentin and Davison’s solid defending allowed for Dragons to expand with Jon Goodson, Will Ives and Henry Eades all given opportunities to show off their attacking as well as defensive qualities with some inventive play out wide.

Dragons continued to push and finally wrapped up their emphatic victory when Jenkins collected a precise ball into the D, drew the goal keeper and finished into an empty net with a reverse sweep leaving Dragons to celebrate a well-deserved victory.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1:4 Norwich Exiles

After a strong start from Exiles, the home team scored after a strong run down the right hand side led to a well taken goal. They continued to control the midfield and a bouncing ball evaded the defence and was thumped into the net to make it 2-0.

After the half time team talk Dragons started to put more pressure on the opposition and began to force mistakes. However after several promising breaks initiated by the tireless Sam Mann the Exiles scored on the break  to make it 3-0. This seemed to galvanise Dragons who then exerted some real pressure and Andy Saunders drove home a goal from the top of the D to bring the score to 3-1. Dragons started to push forward to try to force a result but consequently left little cover at the back. Exiles took full advantage of this and scored once more on the break to make the final score 4-1.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 5:3 Norfolk Nomads 1s

Dragons found them selves one down on a full collection but remain undaunted in the brief Saturday sunshine. Early pressure resulted in a nice finish from Joel but Dragons spurned numerous chances in a game where end to end action was beckoning. A timely sprint interception left Butler tearing his newly found right groin muscle but he wiped away the tears and resolutely held the back line until that to seemed to tear open. Nomads hit three on the bounce with no return from Dragons – one of which Dragons captain York-(stop the ball for the centre forward for a one on one)Smith was reminded of at numerous points in the bar afterwards. Half time saw Dragons looking at a 1-3 deficit but the heroic sight of Butler applying his ‘tiger’ spray must have inspired everyone as pretty much one way traffic ensued for the second half. Waif like debutant McQuade moved around the pitch with such stealth and speed he was rarely marked and slotted a fine hat trick using some form of quantum mechanics to appear when ever a chance presented it self. Cross (not as in angry man) also finished from inches tidying up a scramble on the line but unfortunately he failed to add to that tally………..(this is the bit where we would have described the Ronny Rosenthal moment).

Other players to note were MOM Andy Hipper who with his land rover like reliability huffed , spluttered and kept going despite not noticing wounds and other small niggles. Elliot in goal looked more than capable of handling any Nomad shots but his defence did leave him with a fair few challenges this week. Sam Hobdell and his mistaken dad Rich Davis (harsh on Sam really) motored up and down in their wing back positions with both also achieving circle penetrations. One run from Sam in particular took out at least 14 Nomads only to selflessly pass rather than try to beat the remaining defenders. Great hospitality and fine spirited umpiring from Sue and hugger Hazel made for a grand day out. Nomads themselves acknowledged the prowess of jones’s performance but he refused the transfer offer of chicken wings and wedges as a full chinese was what he was really after.

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

Norwich Dragons were delighted to welcome another youngster to their squad who has consistently performed well for the second team; 15 year old Niamh LOWE-DAVIES earnt her right to experience hockey at this level and had a solid debut relishing the opportunity to play for the first team.

Norwich Dragons started sprightly as they have all season and took an early lead when Kate TRELAWNY GOWER added to her goal tally by dispatching a superb drag flick that left the Lowestoft keeper, Kate BOND, no chance. However for the remainder of the first half the home side looked uncharacteristically pedestrianised and rather lethargic in their play perhaps thinking the game would now be easily won!! This limited their options and attacking opportunities and allowed Lowestoft to play the long direct ball through them earning themselves a number of short corners which they were very well drilled at. So much so that at half time the Dragons found themselves 2-1 down, both goals as a result of short corners.

The second half Dragons looked a different team. They began to work hard and played some attractive attacking hockey. Most of the half Lowestoft were pinned in their own half but chance after chance went begging and somehow the Lowestoft defence, and in particular their keeper, kept the ball out. Finally the Dragons deservedly got their second goal from a short corner routine struck at the top of the D by Marie JAMES which the keeper saved well but could do nothing when the rebound fell to Sarah BORRETT who made no mistake in knocking it across the line. The Dragons could smell victory and bombarded the Lowestoft keeper but it was not to be, lady luck was definitely not with the leaders today, and although went so close so many times the ball would not go in.

The Dragons were disappointed to take only a point from this game. Even though they did not play their best hockey they were by far the better of the two teams. They know their first half performance was not good enough which they will need to put right next week when they meet Wisbech.

Player of the match, Lizzie MOULTON, had a solid performance in midfield and went close herself to taking the victory by beating the keeper only to see her shot cleared off the line by a defender.

Photos from this match available here

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1:1 Watton 1

After a warm-up that seemed to be as long as the game itself, Dragon’s could not complain about not being prepared for this clash with top of the table team Watton. Clearly however, this extended warm-up did not suit the team, as a strong start by Watton, saw them take the lead through Charlie Paine in the first five minutes.

Dragons quickly regrouped and got themselves back into the game, with some strong play on both wings through Olivia Thomas, George Stannett and Laura Bailey, who impressed following her return from injury. Play was end to end, and Dragons keeper Amy Forse was forced into action a number of times, making some fine stops.

In another Dragons foray into the Watton half, the ball found its way to Debs Smith, who had found good space at the top of the D. Her goal bound effort was picked up by Hannah Hardy just infront of the Keeper and her shot, from close range, almost smashed the back board, for a well deserved equaliser.

The second half continued like the first, with both sides having their opportunities. Watton particularly forced a number of short corners, which were expertly dealt with by the Dragon’s keeper and defence, with Ruth Willmott bravely running down a number of shots at the top of the D and Player of the Match, Angela Murgatroyd getting in some great last ditch tackles and taking one shot off the left post.

The last 5 minutes saw George Stannett driving through the Watton defence on the right hand side, unlucky to see her shots fly narrowly wide of the post.

In the end, a draw was probably a fair result for these two evenly matched teams. Dragons will be pleased to have bounced back from last week’s disappointing result, playing some good hockey for periods of the game. There is more to come from this team, but this remains a solid start to the season.

Photos from this match available here

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3s: Slip Date

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s: Slip Date

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s: Slip Date

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s: Slip Date

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: Slip Date

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: Slip Date

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The hoof table as at 26/10/2013

Position Team Hoof Average
1 Mens 5s 3.50
2 Ladies 1s 3.43
3 Ladies 2s 2.43
3 Mens 1s 2.43
5 Mens 2s 2.29
6 Ladies 3s 2.17
6 Boys’ Development 2.17
8 Mens 3s 2.14
9 Ladies 4s 1.83
10 Girls’ Development 1.60
11 Ladies 5s 1.50
9 Mens 4s 1.29
13 Ladies 6s 1.17

 

20/10/13 – England Hockey Championships

IMG_8038NDHC Girls Under 16

The Under 16 Girls kicked off Norwich Dragons Hockey Club’s foray into the excitement that is the England Hockey 2013/14 Championships with a 10.30am pushback away to Harleston Magpies.

With 6 of the squad fresh from their Norwich High School for Girls team victory in the GDST Under 18 Championships, and all players in good form for the Club in their various adult teams, confidence was high although no complacency was to be found against Harleston Magpies.

Captain Ruth Willmott ensured all players were fully warmed up and tuned in to the task ahead, with the coaching team of Pete Thomas and Bridget Le Good ready to direct proceedings from the dugout.

With the umpire’s whistle to start the match, the Norwich Dragons girls signalled their intent by pressing forward with a string of excellent passing moves through the midfield, with Olivia Thomas, Emma Moolman, Polly Watson and Niamh Lowe-Davies all showing extreme maturity in their play and the kind of sharp passing that would be the envy of any of the Dragon’s adult teams.

A strong squad of 15 players ensured that regular rotation of the forward line kept the legs fresh and the pressure on the home side, whilst consistency in the defensive line up ensured that any Magpies attack was snuffed out by Player of the Match Laura Bruce, Maddie Denman and Sophie Thomas.  Ruth Willmott had a superb game in front of the defence intercepting the majority of the home side’s attempts to drive through the middle of the pitch, whilst also contributing to Dragons’ attacking moves.  Thanks to the strong defensive unit, goalkeeper Alice Smith had little to do in the first half, however when called on throughout the game, Alice showed great concentration with a number of no nonsense clearances.

A quick and strong forward line of Sophie Cullens, Laura Goodbun, Marcy Windsor-Waite, Anja Finegan, Amy Brown and Aoife Lowe-Davies caused lots of problems for the Harleston defence in and around the D.

The first goal for Dragons came as a result of a succession of short corners, the last of which was not cleared by the defence and a swift pass across to Emma Moolman on the far post saw Emma calmly slot the ball away.

A number of strong moves down the right saw the visitors create further chances, the second and third goals came as a result of great composure from Olivia Thomas who skilfully drove thorugh and round the back of a number of defenders to pull the ball back to the penalty spot, finding the youngest player in the squad Aoife Lowe-Davies for the team’s second and then a carbon copy move for Amy Brown to slam passed the keeper for the third.

A half-time lead of 3 goals to nil was fully deserved.

Again a great deal of maturity was shown by the girls in the second half, whilst they maintained the pressure on the Magpies defence, they did not over-commit and risk conceding a goal, when called on the defence and keeper were rock solid.

Despite lots of action in and around the Magpies’ D, the visitors found it hard to break through the home defence.  Eventually the fourth goal came as a result of a short corner slipped by Amy Brown to Olivia Thomas who was in behind the one and two runners, so had time to compose herself for the shot.

An excellent team performance from all 15 squad members who look forward to their next fixture against Ipswich at the Den on 10th November.

NDHC Boys u14 TeamNDHC Boys Under 14

Also playing at Harleston, the Under 14 Boys had two fixtures to navigate, against Phoenix (Essex) Blue Hornets and Harleston Magpies.

Having beaten Harleston Magpies 2-1 in the opening match of the day, it was clear that the Blue Hornets had a sting in their tails.  So Dragons were delighted that their first match (against Hornets) was very even, with some great attacking moves from Edward Murphy and Rob Chaney Baxter which led to some great opportunities to score but the visitors just struggled to get the ball in the back of the net on enough occasions. Rob C B did nick a goal with some excellent work from Pedro Goss, to ensure the score was even at 1-1 at half-time.

The Dragons defence worked very well together and were well led by some excellent tackling from Andy Carver and Harry Cullens, unfortunately Hornets scored two further well-worked goals resulting in a 3-1 loss.

Not allowing themselves to be dis-heartened, Dragons then faced Magpies in the second game.  The Dragons resolve was tested when they went behind early but everybody worked really hard going forward and tracking back.  This helped the Dragons to win the battle for the middle of the park, following which they were able to drive into the opposition’s “D” and let off a fierce shot for the equaliser.

Dragons then continued this pressure and another well-worked goal between Edward, Rob and Pedro was reward for the hard work of the team. Alas, with 5 minutes to go, Magpies managed to score an equaliser giving a final score of 2-2, which is a very positive result against a team with some very strong players.

Well done to the team for working so hard for each other.

Men’s 1s v Spalding in the NOW:Pensions Men’s Vase

Sunday saw Dragons travel to face league rivals Spalding, who lead division 2N, in the first round of the England Hockey Vase.

Dragons squad of 12 was a much changed side from the previous days match, with first team debuts handed to Matt Collinge, Paul Bullard and Ollie King.

Dragons set up to contain Spalding’s skillful and fast attack, and work their way into the game.

With a large home crowd behind them, Spalding came out of the blocks strongly, winning a series of penalty corners during the first few minutes that Dragons did well to defend without conceding.

Eventually, however, this early pressure told with Spalding taking the lead before 10 minutes were up.

Dragons did find their way more into the match, but were unable to make any serious inroads into Spalding’s defensive circle, despite a period of pressure towards the end of the half. Spalding then increased their lead before half-time after turning Dragons over high up the pitch and breaking at speed with a slick passing move, ended with a fine reverse stick strike into the the corner.

This re-energised Spalding who poured forward for the remainder of the half, and Dragons were indebted to some outstanding saves from Matt Collinge, including one from point blank range with his helmet.

Half-Time:

Spalding 2-0 Dragons

After a good half-time team talk and some tactical adjustments, Dragons came out much stronger after the break, pressing their opposition much harder and denying them space and time to get back into their rythmn.

This pressured resulted in Dragons best period of the match, with Spalding struggling to clear the ball and Dragons winning a couple of penalty corners of their own. Despite both corners being well executed, Dragons were denied a way back into the match by good goalkeeping and an excellent defensive block.

As the half wore on, Dragons began to tire, and Spalding made tactical changes of their own, combined with effective use of their large squad, to regain the momentum. Despite this, Dragons continued to defend stoutly, with the defensive line of Piers Gordon-Brown, Rich Smith, Ali Smyth, Barney Price and Paul Bullard, giving everything, and when they were breached, Matt Collinge continued to produce an outstanding performance to frustrate Spalding further.

Even a penalty stroke awarded against Collinge could not increase the deficit as he produced a fine save with his legs to deny the Spalding forward.

Eventually, however, Spalding’s pressure did tell with two further goals added in quick succession to remove any remaining doubt as to the outcome of the tie.

Full Time: Spalding 4-0 Dragons

A tough game for Dragons against a well organised and skillful side that deserved the win. Dragons will now refocus their attention on the league, and wish Spalding good luck in the next round.

 

 

 

 

19/10/13 – NDHC Match Reports

Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 3:2 Bury St Edmunds 1s

Norwich Dragons maintained their perfect home record with a nervy 3-2 victory against Bury on Saturday.   Dragons were still without Woodward and shorn too of Wagstaff, Overstall, and Rutledge.  Controversy surrounded Overstall’s exclusion, sources close to the player maintaining that he was out with an injury sniped during training midweek while coach Wagstaff insisted the player had been rusticated for disciplinary reasons.   If Overstall’s omission was controversial, though, Rutledge’s was all the more so after a seemingly innocuous foot niggle was exacerbated by team physio Charlish who proceeded to take Rutledge’s place in the starting line-up in one of the game’s more unlikely like-for-like swaps.  Skipper Whiting said “it was a real boost for the boys to lose Tom so close to push-back and we carried that momentum into the game.”

Dragons started the game confidently against a struggling Bury side, controlling possession but still not playing with real fluidity and accuracy.  They suffered a scare when, against the run of play, Bury cracked the post with their first attacking opportunity of the game.  Two goals, though, gave Dragons control of the match at the break.  The first was made by a burst from the uncontainable Flatman, with all three Dragons strikers queuing up to turn the ball home after a goal-mouth scramble. Knights claimed the goal, but precedent suggests it’ll finally be awarded to Wagstaff.  The second followed slick interplay among the forwards with Browne knocking home Snelling’s mis-hit cross-shot past the stranded keeper.

Finding themselves, for the first time in a month, not behind at the break, Smith struggled to find his usual rousing words.  The message, though, was simple:  “basically, guys, keep doing the basics and if you can’t do that at least be nice to each other.”

Instead of controlling the match, Dragons let themselves be drawn into an end-to-end, helter-skelter second 35 minutes, creating a number of good opportunities, but also conceding too many.  Bury halved the deficit with a fine solo goal, though the succession of ghost tackles from the home side and Whiting’s feeble feigning of an attempted save may draw the Gambling Commission’s attention.  Dragons hit back at once – Flatman taking advantage of a rare piece of good work from right-back Sloman with a graceful finish.  Bury, though, ironically, refused to lie down and die and scored a second to make for a tense final 10 minutes with important interventions from Smyth and Whiting needed to secure the three points.

Man of the match Flatman dedicated his goal to Overstall:  “I think he was a bit hard done by; you defend as a team and to single out any individual player’s never fair, though actually I did think Smith was at fault for both goals today.”  On his own goal, Flatman added – “it’s the kind of finish you dream of.  You practise it in front of the tv, but you never think you’ll get a chance to use it in a game.”

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s void Gorleston withdrew from league

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1:3 Bury St Edmunds 2s 

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 0:4 Lowestoft Railway 2s

Norwich Dragons entered this match full of confidence after last weeks excellent win over a strong Ipswich team. On a truly awful day with the rain lashing down the visitor’s started ‘brightly’ and took the game to Railway. Things were looking promising with 4th team debuts for Andy Saunders and Jamie Spinks, playing like they belonged. However things started to unravel when Lowestoft scored from their first short corner.  Dragons pushed for an equaliser but fell further behind with a slick move from the railway forwards. Half time came and the visitors were two nil down but after good team chat and positive words from the senior players it was felt they could get back into the game.
Not to be – Railway scored again with a great goal just inside the post.
Then the moment of the match occurred, after a period of ill discipline which saw a Lowestoft Railway player sin binned, Ray Hansell -yes Ray Hansell received his first ever green card for cynical foot stopping a Railway attack (in fact he was just trying to get out of the way when the ball hit him!).  With Ray almost in tears (or was it the rain) the umpire then told him not to complain ‘or else!’.
Unfortunately Railway then scored again as the Dragons still could not believe what had had just happened.. are we seeing a new steely side to Ray? Has the worm finally turned? Read next weeks report to see what transpires…

Result 4-0 to Railway. Man of the match – Andy Saunders

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 7:3 Norfolk Nomads 2s

Dragons started strongly with pressure resulting in goals but the wily Nomads sneaked a couple back prior to half time to make the break 3-2 to dragons. The second half became more end to end and as Nomads tired Dragons were able to show their class. Elliot made sure the half time score didn come back to haunt us. Goals flowed more freely and a fine last goal brought a round of applause from a crowd. Scorers as follows Joel Lawrence with another hattrick avoiding two , Crossie with another two from yards , Josh Bingham got one with the wrong gloves on , Dr Jones slotted his from the top of the D and Hamish Packham generously gave his penalty stroke to a needy Andy Hipper. Great result and some fantastic work rates from Sam, John B, Lee , Rich and Rob to back up the glory goal group!

 

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N 
Norwich Dragons 1s 4:1 Norwich City 1s

Having had the perfect start to the season and taking maximum points Norwich Dragons were determined to continue their run of good form in this local derby match against Norwich City who also gained promotion to this league last season.

Dragons started the match at a very fast tempo and bombarded city’s goal immediately. Some great interceptions and link up play by the midfielders to the forwards resulted in several attempts on goal within the first five minutes however Dragons were unable to find that clinical finish. It was not long until they finally made the breakthrough; Kate TRELAWNEY-GOWER showing great skill driving into the D before striking the ball into the bottom right hand corner leaving the keeper no chance. Dragons continued to pressure the defence and a second came shortly after. Nat BEAL attempted an aerial over the keeper which fell to Laura SHREEVE who, with her back to goal managed to turn and push the ball into the net.  A two goal lead settled the Dragons and the few attacks that City made were confidently dealt with by the Dragons defence. A third goal was scored, this time some good link up play found SHREEVE in space who was able to run at and beat the defender before striking the ball across goal finding the left hand corner. TRELAWNEY- GOWER was on hand to score her second shortly before half time; an excellent weighted pass by BEAL found TRELAWNEY-GOWER who showed composure rounding the keeper and slotting the ball home.

Going into the second half with a 4 -0 advantage Dragons seemed to believe that the game had already been won. Unfortunately this mind set was to their detriment. The slick short passes witnessed in the first half were replaced by long passes that lacked accuracy. The tempo the team started at in the first half could not be maintained for 70 minutes. Instead the Dragons should have recognised this and controlled the play by slowing it down and keeping possession but instead they found themselves chasing the ball with few goal scoring opportunities. City however should take some credit for this. They did not give up and showed fighting spirit pushing forward and threatening the Dragons goal on several occasions. They were finally rewarded when, during one of their attacks, Lizzie CHEESMAN went down in the Dragons D and the umpire claimed he saw an infringement and awarded the visitors a penalty flick which was confidently converted by Debbie PAINTER.

This goal lifted City’s spirits but Dragons showed maturity and discipline by keeping the defence tight and not over committing determined not to ship any more goals and settling for their victory ensuring that they remain top of the table.

Player of the match went deservedly to Kate TRELAWNEY-GOWER. Other performances of note were Emma TABRETT with her unselfish play on the forward line and who, as always, worked tirelessly upfront and Donna VAUGHAN, in defence, who displayed a mature, controlled performance throughout the match.

Dragons will be disappointed with their second half performance as they lost their rhythm and shape but they continue to show a great team spirit and togetherness that will hold them in good stead for future games.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 0:1 Ely City 2

Following eventful journeys to Ely with a (dull) history lesson in one car, jam doughnuts in another and Sebastian Vettel in the final car, taking a wrong turn at the last chicane, Dragons arrived in good time and in good spirits. Third against fourth was always going to be a tight affair.

Dragons started brightly with the forwards of Natasha Blyth, Sarah Radley and George Stannett combining well.  This pressure continued through the first half, with Olivia Thomas and Player of the Match, Niamh Lowe-Davies working hard in the wide midfield positions.  Natasha Blyth saw a great strike at goal fly just outside the post and Amy Brown’s shot was blocked by the Ely keeper.  Despite dominating possession and having a number of opportunities, the defence were called into action a few times, Laura Tuck making a strong clearance from a short corner and Angela Murgatroyd mopping up on a number of occasions.

Half time team talk discussed the need to switch the ball out to the wider positions, to break down a well drilled Ely side who were strong down the middle. Unfortunately Dragons struggled to do this and failed to deliver the fluid hockey they are capable of, with Ely continuing to break down play.  In a rare penetration into the Dragons’ D, Ely managed to force a short corner, which the home team slotted away.

Dragons tried to find what would have been a deserved equaliser, Niamh Lowe-Davies and George Stannett were working hard down the right, supported by Ally Windsor-Waite, however the sheer numbers in the Ely defence, meant clear cut chances were limited. Following good work by Sarah Radley, Dragons thought the goal had come, however the ball somehow ricocheted off the post, running along the goal line, and off the pitch.

With two minutes remaining, Dragons had one final opportunity, with a run along the baseline from Hannah Hardy, pulling the ball back to Olivia Thomas, whose first time shot was saved by the Ely Keeper, who rightly earned their Player of the Match.

A frustrating result in a game where Dragons dominated possession, but ultimately failed to breakdown a resilient and experienced Ely side.  Dragons will play worse and win games, but need to work, as a team, on how to break this type of opposition down and play their fluid, more ‘snappy’ passing hockey game.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3s 1:2 Magpies 3

This week NDHC Ladies 3s were back at Magpies to face their 3rd team. Dragons started slowly and Magpies used this to their advantage, dominating possession and capitalising on their chances in the D. Dragons began to wake up after the third goal from Magpies went in just before the half time whistle.

The second half was a totally different game. Dragons ladies came out hard and showed Magpies how they normally play. Dragons dominated possession with some fearless interceptions and great runs from MOM Klara Moolman. Dragons scored from a short corner with a lovely finish from Caroline Wolfe. Final score 3-1 to Magpies.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 3:2 Pelicans 2s

Firstly I would like to start this match report with a massive thank-you to Pete Thomas, who I’m pretty convinced worked as hard on the side-line as we did on the pitch.  His excellent coaching and handy hints both before and during the match made a real difference. Thank-you.

Pelicans started the game strongly, they were quick on the ball and took advantage of every break in play – moving the ball wide and forward in just a few passes. While the Dragons tried hard to disrupt their play it was a challenging job and our midfield players seemed to be back and forth like yo-yos. Sue Cross, Gemma Rump, Rachel Hipperson, Lucy Campbell and Flora Gregorie all worked hard to move the ball back towards the oppositions D, but without exception the Pelican’s defensive line rebuffed every advance made.  Aoife Lowe-Davies, Marcy Windsor Waite and Sophie Farrow all attempted to get the ball in the D and past the keeper, but were stopped each time. The best chance of the half came from Laura Goodbun, who made an incredible run down the pitch to take on the keeper, but she couldn’t quite get the angle right and the keeper deflected the ball back out of the D.

The first goal from Pelicans came from a break in play – a quick run down the centre of the pitch with a switch to the left as they crossed the line into the 25, had the dragon’s defensive line bunched in one area, which allowed another switch in direction to the top of the D and straight to the waiting stick of a Pelican with only the keeper to beat. Freddie Briscoe made a valiant run out of the goal, but couldn’t stop the strike in time. Their second goal was obtained from a short corner – a clean strike straight into the right corner.

At half time Dragons were down by 2 goals, but they weren’t being out played – after a few changes in position Dragons came our roaring – it took slightly longer than we would have liked but eventually all the team’s hard work paid off and the long awaited goals appeared. The first came from Flora Gregorie – a blink and you would have missed it affair – a scramble on the goal line saw the ball creep across the line before being hooked back out by a Pelican defender – thankfully the eagle eyed umpire saw all and awarded the goal.  The second goal was a more impressive affair, excellent movement from Sue, Rachel and Gemma in midfield saw the ball passed into the D and to Marcy who was is just the right place to hook it past the keeper.

Pelicans did not take their change in fortune lightly – constantly trying to move the ball back to their advantage and they had several more runs on goal – excellent defending from Abi Cowe, Laura Bruce and Natasha Falzon stopped many attacks before they became a serious threat, although pelicans hit the post once and missed the goal a second time by a few centimetres but they couldn’t achieve the scoring capabilities of the first half.  The final goal came in the last few minutes of the game from Aoife – a lovely movement around to the edge of the D and then across the goal and in.

This was a fabulous team effort and all those who took part should be proud of what they achieved and most importantly Proud to be a Dragon!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 0:4 Herlings

The visitor’s arrived early to prepare for a game on an unnatural material for hockey – grass.  The Herlings got off to a flying start being used to the ball bouncing around and having to give it a massive wallop to get it rolling.  Unfortunately for the Dragons, the home side took advantage of their experience on grass and scored four goals within the first 10 minutes!  After this early shock, Dragons’ keeper Harriet Williams held strong, the team reformed and with great support from the sidelines the visitor’s found their grass legs.  Chameleon of any position Jade Blanchflower took on the role of sweeper for this match and along with fellow defenders, Freya Clogan, Jess Tye-Leech and Emma Buxton, kept Herlings at bay.

With a speedy midfield of Charlotte Stace, Holly Bailey and Chiara Bond, Dragons started to get the ball wide around the Herlings, and up the pitch.  Rosie Korn was on hand to push forward against the Herlings midfield and keep feeding the ball up to the forwards in the D.  Izzy Woodcock had some great runs up the pitch and Lisa Harwood, Anja Finegan and Chiara Bond had to be strong in a tough physical game, with one of Chiara’s attempts at goal almost resulting in a keeper’s boot in her face.

The Dragons were fighting back and this was a much more evenly matched game.  Katie Buxton always seemed to be in a position to intercept the Herlings balls and redistribute to a team-mate.  Unfortunately the visitors were unable to score, but the team spirit and fight was continued even after the Herlings goals.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 0:8 Pelicans 3s

Pelis 3 play exactly the type of quick passing game that Dragons 6 aspire to, and gave them an object lesson in how to do it.  On the day, Pelis were able to field a consistent ex-development team with excellent ‘floating’ senior who directed their game, and as usual Dragons fielded who was available. Grateful as we were to be able to get a side out and play a game, until we can do better than having 30 per cent new players in the side, we can expect results like this on occasions.  The most disappointing aspect of the game was that Dragons did not manage to get a shot on target. The most positive was that in the team debrief afterwards (over an excellent tea, thank you Pelis!) The Dragons were able to analyse their game, work out what they need to do to improve, and as far as we know, everyone went home with their heads and their Dragon tails up. We move on from here. We commit to working on our fitness, and we will work on our small unit play which will help us to get to know each other. We will  also work on our basics – accurate passing, getting our feet out of the way, and being first to the ball.
Any other bright spots? In fact, the defence held together and Pelis did not manage to convert any penalty corners. Alice Smith in goal did well to block a lot of shots, but too often the defenders were ball watching and were standing almost on her toes! Jasmin Daniels was as strong as we have come to expect in her new role in central defence, and Laura Hansell earned the player of the match vote for her tireless running and strong tackles. We also welcomed Beth Elgood for her first game of the season, and she did a lot to prevent strong crosses coming in from the right. Lucy Bracey and Jaclyn Suffling made their debuts, and we have promised it won’t get any tougher than this. Helen Marsh made some brave tackles, and the mids (Ciara Willmott, Hatty Mobbs and Sarah Norman) are getting a little stronger each week, and have plenty of enthusiasm. Claire Fairhurst again showed just how to lose her marker and pick up the passes, but our lack of fitness meant we were unable to get players up to support her.
Go Dragons!

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 0:5 Norwich City

Whilst this was a match in which the defence had to work very hard, one of the highlights for the team was  the moment when the team managed to drive the ball all the way up the left wing with some great passing between Catherine Matthews and Isobel Wolfe.

Throughout the match there was some highly commendable defensive play from Carmel Windsor-Waite, which earnt her the Player of the Match award.

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 7:0 Pelicans

Captain: Robert Chaney Baxter

Scorers: Ben Watson-3, Raunaq Rai-2, Jon Chaney Baxter-2

The team today played very well. At the back the defence was strong with George Wright, Andrew Carver, Rohan and Alex working well to stop attacks from the Pelicans. After many failed attacks the Pelicans broke through but Ben Nkrumah held his nerve to save the one on one, something that helped him gain his man of the match along with many fearless saves. The midfield worked exceptionally well creating chances for Raunaq, Ben and Jonathan to score. On the right wing came most of the Dragons attacks with Charlie Nunn and Raunaq working perfectly together valiantly for the good of the team.

The team can walk away proud of their best win this season and can look forward positively knowing that they can improve even more.

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Hoof table as at 19/10/2013

Position Team Hoof Average
1 Ladies 1s 3.83
2 Mens 5s 3.40
3 Ladies 2s 2.67
3 Mens 2s 2.67
3 Mens 1s 2.67
6 Ladies 3s 2.17
6 Boys’ Development 2.17
8 Ladies 4s 1.83
9 Mens 3s 1.67
10 Girls’ Development 1.60
11 Ladies 5s 1.50
11 Mens 4s 1.50
13 Ladies 6s 1.17

NDHC League Match Reports: 12/10/2013

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

Norwich Dragons secured their first point away from home on Saturday with a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Ipswich.  Without Steve Woodward, the side welcomed back Nick Charlish and were delighted when Ed Smith, Rob Wagstaff, and Jason Wolfe all passed late fitness tests and were cleared to travel with the side.

Dragons started brightly, controlling possession on the slow Ipswich surface and forcing the home side to play largely on the break.  Fullbacks Dave Sloman and Ali Smyth – a late addition to the travelling squad – were prominent pushing forward and it was through an incisive Smyth incursion that the breakthrough came, the fullback released down the left to drive in a devastating cross which birthday-boy Snelling deftly steered home.  A second goal would have been just reward for the Dragons pressure and should have come when Turnbull, rarely even the bridesmaid, it seems, spurned a glorious chance.  Instead it was Ipswich who bounced back with two quick, slick goals in a three-minute period just before the break, the first well-worked from an attacking side-line hit, the second a tap-in for an unmarked striker at the back-post following patient build-up play.  Of the second goal coach Wagstaff lamented “you can work on your defensive structures all you like, but there’s no legislating for individual mistakes like that.  Overstall’s put his hand up and we’ll give him a week off to reflect on the mistake.  Most of all, though, I was pleased with the way the rest of the team rallied around him at a difficult time.”  Asked whether it was a coincidence that both goals came when international Rutledge was off the pitch, Wagstaff added “Of course not.  It’s just that he covers so much ground in a game that you think at some stage you should give him a chance to freshen up.  In fact, he can go all day at that pace and next week we’re just going to have to give him the full 70 minutes.  Particularly on the reverse-stick he sees things that no-one else does.”

For the second week in a row, Dragons found themselves 2-1 down at the break and for the second week they responded to the leadership team’s abrasive challenge.  The equaliser came again from Snelling whose performance surely deserved a birthday hatrick, this time showing great composure to tuck home after sustained Dragons pressure.  A succession of chances followed – to the irrepressible Charlish, Browne, Wolfe, two to outstanding wing-forward Knights.  In the end, though, Dragons were lucky that such profligacy in front of goal wasn’t punished, as Ipswich continued to carry a threat on the break.  They too spurned a string of good chances – and found Whiting again in excellent form in goal.  Dragons might have felt it was to be their day when Whiting sent the Ipswich striker the wrong way from a penalty flick – awarded after the latest error from ice-hockey convert Overstall – and then saw centre-back Rich Smith pull off a clean tackle in the dying stages of the second half.  In fact, though, it was Ipswich who finally went closest – crashing a fine short-corner routine against the bar in the final seconds leaving Dragons relieved and disappointed in something like equal measure when the final whistle went, happy, at least, with their first away point of the campaign against an experienced and disciplined Ipswich side.

Skipper Smith was full of praise for man-of-the-match Snelling:  “watching that game, there’s no way you’d think he was turning twenty-one today, the maturity he plays with out there on the pitch.  There are things we can work on in his game, but basically he’s going to be a very fine player if he keeps his head down and continues like this.  I was sorry we couldn’t give him the three points today but for some players it’s the individual glory that counts in the end.”

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 5:0 Holt Conceded

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IMG_7961Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 8:2 City 5

The return of captain George Walker inspired Dragons 3s in what was an emphatic return to winning ways over local rivals Norwich City.

First half goals from Adrian Kemp (see video clip here NDHC Mens 3s Adrian Kemp Goal v City 5s),Will Kirby and Matt Jenkins (see video clip here NDHC Mens 3s Matt Jenkins Goal v City 5s), ensured that Dragons entered half time with a comfortable lead. A brace from Adam Sayer and Ollie King sealed the victory after the break with the gloss fittingly applied by Walker, marking his return to action with the final goal.

After a scrappy opening exchange, Dragons began to create chances, applying pressure onto the City goal with some intelligent play from John Ives and Jon Goodson creating opportunities for the front three.

Meanwhile, the defence held a solid line anchored by the impenetrable Dave Pentin and Peter Davidson who were both well-supported in the wide areas from Henry Eades, Will Ives and Piers Gordon-Brown, restricting City to very few chances and ensuring that Robbie Bell had a quiet half in the Dragons goal.

City sensed they would need a goal to gain a foothold back in the game and began to hit Dragons on the counter with the tireless energy of man-of-the-match Sam Mann instrumental in keeping attacks at bay and getting Dragons back on the front foot.

The game was killed off with a succession of quick goals thanks to some trademark attacking passing and moving that carved space into the City defence.

City gained a consolation from the game with two fine short corners; one drilled into the bottom corner, the other a powerful flick into the roof of the net. This did nothing to dampen the spirits of Dragons who comfortably saw out the game and headed to the bar with that all-important first win of the season under their belts.

Photos from first half here.

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

Dragons entertained Ipswich 3rds who joined them in promotion last season as champions from Div 6NE. The game started brightly with Ipswich taking the game to Dragons.

A prolonged period of pressure from a dominant midfield saw them take the lead with a well worked move down the right, slicing the defence apart and slotting in past the advancing Dim Ives in goal.

Dragons were put under more pressure almost immediately but a resilient defence of Ray Hansell, Andy Webb and Rich Davis stood firm but when they were breeched, Dim in goal, pulled off a number of quality saves to keep Dragons in the game.

On a rare foray into the Ipswich ‘D’ Dragons were awarded a short corner which the evergreen Mike Banham slotted away. Ipswich still pressed and they too were awarded a short corner which resulted in them going into the break 2-1 up.

After the break and reshuffle, Dragons started the second half much brighter and soon began to take control of the midfield  putting pressure  on the Ipswich defence. Excellent runs by the Bens (Campbell and Harvey) started to pay dividends and Banham scored again from a short corner! Dragons could sense the tide had turned and kept working hard to find the winner which duly came when a combination of a defensive foot in the ‘d’ and some excellent advantage from the umpire saw the deflected ball wrong foot the Ipswich keeper and trickle into the goal.

Dragons then shut up shop and saw out the remainder of the game with an allround excellent team display. MOM Mike Banham
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SONY DSCMen’s East Hockey League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 7:0 City 7

NDHC Mens 5ths had a full squad this week and it clearly showed in the result. An organised City side played well but constant pressure resulted in Dragons being 4 up at halftime. The second half was more controlled and good defensive organisation and work kept CIty out. the end result was a 7-0 win with the goals coming from Oli Brown x2 , Joel Lawrence x2 , Matt Collinge , man of the match Andy Saunders and Andrew Cross from some considerable distance.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N 
Norwich Dragons 1s 3:1 Lincoln

Norwich Dragons continued their winning run by claiming a monumentous victory against giants Lincoln Ladies who were relegated from the Premier Division last season.

The Dragons were pleased to have striker Nat BEAL back who had been out for eight weeks through injury and also the squad welcomed Donna VAUGHAN and young Olivia THOMAS who both made their debuts for this top of the table clash.
This was definitely a game of two halves. Lincoln showed their strength and class marshalling the first half. The first fifteen minutes saw them put the visitors under an enormous amount of pressure. They tested and probed the Dragons defence but goalkeeper Freddie BRISCOE, Donna VAUGHAN, Maddie DENMAN and player of the match Sarah BORRETT showed that they were equal to them by keeping them at bay and all making some crucial clearances.

The Dragons remained calm soaking up the pressure and took the wind out of Lincoln’s sails by taking the lead against the run of play when Karen O’NEIL-SIMPSON found herself with only the goalkeeper to beat. The Lincoln keeper closed down well blocking the strike but the ball ricocheted back to O’NEIL-SIMPSON who squared the ball to Marie JAMES. The Lincoln defence were scrambling on the goal line but JAMES, with her back to the goal, improvised by knocking the ball between her legs into the net. This settled the Dragons and they began to find their rhythm steadily growing into the match and creating opportunities to increase their lead.

At the start of the second half the Dragons started the stronger of the teams and got their second immediately; JAMES driving the ball at the Lincoln defence before finding Nat BEAL in a fantastic position who was able to slam the ball into the net.

The Dragons were now in control but the match remained tight especially when Lincoln pulled a goal back. A fine finish saw the ball drilled into the corner of the goal just out of BRISCOE’S reach. With only a goal between the teams it could have been a nervous finish to the match but the Dragons retaliated and within minutes made it 3-1; a great individual effort by Rachel KING driving the ball down the left through the Lincoln defence and past the keeper.

Young Olivia THOMAS certainly didn’t look at of place making her first appearance for the 1st team displaying excellent composure on the ball and getting herself in some great positions; THOMAS even went close herself to scoring when she beat the Lincoln keeper and was unlucky to see the defender getting back just in time to clear.

KING thought she had scored her second of the match when she fired the ball into the net as a result of a well worked short corner routine but this was disallowed by the umpire who claimed he saw an infringement on the keeper.  The Dragons felt aggrieved by this as they saw nothing wrong with the goal but showed great discipline and maturity by not reacting.

This was another excellent team performance; the squad showing a real togetherness and working tirelessly for one another. They soaked up the pressure in the first half in which the Dragons defensive line, with Lizzie MOULTON sitting in front, were excellent and the visitors were certainly the better of the two teams in the second half limiting Lincoln the opportunity to get anything from the match.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s: 2:0 City 2

With both teams slightly depleted due to school fixtures, Norwich Dragons were able to demonstrate they have strength in depth, fielding a strong squad against Norwich City 2’s at the Den. Having made a good start to the season, Dragons were looking for a further 3 points to secure their 3rd place position.

Starting with an attacking formation, Dragons got off to the start they were looking for; following a couple of good attacks down the right hand side, the ball was fired across the goal, where Amy Brown was positioned in the right place, to coolly place beyond the keeper. City were not to be discouraged however, and pressed the Dragons defence – Ally Windsor-Waite was once again Dragons Player of the Match, mopping up defensively as well as making strong attacking runs down the right, causing the City defence all sorts of problems.

Having earned a number of short corners, Dragons finally made one count just before half-time, with Emily Rolls firing into the far post, possibly taking a deflection off the defenders stick, en route to goal. 2-0 at half time was probably a fair reflection of the game.

The second half saw Dragons continue to put pressure on the City goal, however a combination of some excellent goal keeping by City keeper Emma Dann and some poor finishing, meant the scoreline remained the same until the final whistle. Niamh Lowe-Davies worked tirelessly in midfield, along side Charly Burgess and George Stannett. Dragons dealt with the City attacks confidently, with Ruth Willmott, playing numerous positions on the day, and Angela Murgatroyd, building a good understanding in the centre of defence.

Dragons will be slightly disappointed, not to have built on their half-time advantage, however City worked hard and held them at bay. Whilst not their most fluent performance, Dragons have a good platform to build on, and should look to take this momentum forward, into next weeks tie away against Ely.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3s 2: 0 Magpies 4

Norwich Dragons 3s got back to winning ways with a comprehensive performance against Harleston 4s.  In a frustrating first half Dragons had the lion’s share of possession but failed to convert this into clear-cut goalscoring opportunities.  The Magpies’ defence smothered all Dragons’ attacking threat including a number of penalty corners.

The first ten minutes of the second half continued in the same pattern, but gradually play spread out and the game opened up.  Veteran Lynne Price started to pull the strings from a deeper central midfield position and Dragons’ forwards began to stretch the Magpies’ defence.  But the Magpies’ goalkeeper was proving hard to beat.  Eventually the goals came from two penalty corners.  The first followed a one-two between Caroline Wolfe and Price before Wolfe shot towards the left post.  Again the keeper saved but Harriet Green pounced to force home the rebound from close in.  The second came when Magpies could not clear their circle after the initial corner routine foundered.  Wolfe reclaimed possession and laid the ball off for Debbie Santa Clara to apply a neatly flicked finish beating the unsighted keeper just inside her right-hand post.

13 year old Aoife Lowe-Davies, making her debut for the 3s was voted Player of the Match for her excellent display in midfield.

Photos from match here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 1:1 Magpies 6

A fair result from a good match.  These two teams were well matched and both played a clean, passing game of hockey. While Dragons dominated the first had, Magpies took the upper hand in the second.

Dragons started exceptionally well, moving the ball quickly across the pitch and into the D on numerous occasions, from which several short corners were obtained as players went in on goal. It was from one of these short corners that Sue Cross struck an excellent ball into the left hand corner, a keeper proof shot. The Dragons kept the pressure on time and time again in the first half, with Marcy Windsor Waite, Sophie Farrow and Holly Bailey all making excellent drives into the D only to be denied on the line by the goal keeper.  Gemma Rump, Lorna Tavers and Natasha Falzon worked brilliantly in the midfield, moving the ball out wide and switching the play.

During the second half Dragons continued to work hard, but some of that initial zip seemed to be lost and while there were again some excellent opportunities to score we just couldn’t quite get the angle right or the pace was just a little bit off. Magpies took advantage of this and made more chances than in the first half. Their goal game 15 minutes in, a ball across the goal that was slotted in behind the keeper.  Morag Morrison worked hard in goal during the second half making a couple of a remarkable saves, the most impressive being a lifted ball that she batted away with her stick!

Both teams were determined to try and turn a draw into a victory, but neither could manage it. Dragons should be pleased with this great team performance – passing was clean, the space was used and the whole game was more cohesive and controlled – this is probably why pretty much every player was nominated for PoM and so the team collectively was awarded the honour!

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Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 2:1 City 5

Norwich Dragons 5s truly deserved today’s 2-0 win against Norwich City 5s. The first half was a frustrating mix of chances for Dragons & Norwich City 5s putting up some excellent counter attacks. These were easily handled by our slick defence of Katie Buxton, Emma Buxton (Man of Match) and Jess Tye Leach. Excellent distribution from the bottom of the diamond (Lizzie McDonnell playing a little out of position) allowed the game to flow and some excellent passing up the wing by Chiara Bond & Rachel Matthews created some good chances. Despite these chances and frustrating misses (if the goal had been the target we would have been ahead) it was still 0-0 at half time.

Dragons came back strong as Rosie Korn went on a one woman mission to retrieve the ball from a hit out and then take on the goalie to score with a  cracker of a shot. Continued pressure from dragons forwards with a rotation o