17/11/2012 – Norwich Dragons Match Reports

Watch out there’s a Dragon about – John Clogan umpiring at the weekend in a Dragon outfit to raise money for Children in Need!

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

If possession won games then Dragons would have won this game handsomely. Unfortunately, it does not: Dragons failed to turn the time they spent with the ball into goals and ended up losing 2-1 to Dereham.

Dragons played some excellent hockey right from the start of the game: moving the ball freely and pushing Dereham back into their own half for large periods of the game. It was clear that Dereham were going to defend deep and look to hit Dragons on the break. Though Dragons defence held firm against the Dereham attacks, Dragons were unable to find a way through the Dereham defence. Eventually Alex Browne broke the deadlock making it 1-0 to Dragons. There was no further score and it was 1-0 to Dragons at half time.

Though Dereham enjoyed more of the play in the second half Dragons still had the majority of the ball, but could still not find a way through the packed Dereham defence. Midway through the half Dereham intercept a weak pass across the back from Dragons and their forward drove into the circle, winning a penalty stroke. John Allison converted for Dereham to make it 1-1. Dragons continued to search for the elusive next goal, but it was not to come. Dragons failed to deal with one of the Dereham break outs and Dereham won a second penalty stroke when their forward was bundled into in the act of shooting. This time Robbie Whiting in the Dragons goal saved the stroke, though Dragons celebrations were cut short when the umpires adjudged him to have moved too early and reset the penalty. However, this made no difference as Whiting again saved, keeping the score at 1-1. Dereham made it 2-1 when Tom Lovesey showed some fantastic individual skills, running round the Dragons defence from a long corner and calmly converting with a reverse stick shot. This made it 2-1 to Dereham. Dragons continued to play the ball around well, but though they created some half chances were not able to get on the end of them. Nor could they convert any of their penalty corners.

They were left to rue what might have been, final score 2-1 to Dereham.

Dragons man of the match was Ed Smith.


Mens East League Division 4 North East
Norwich Dragons 2s 6:5 Dereham 3s

Dragons travelled to Dereham for what they knew wouldn’t be an easy game.  After winning 1-0 against Dereham 4th XI the previous week, Dragons knew that hard work and discipline on the pitch would be needed if they were to beat Dereham 3rd XI.

Dereham soon proved that they were going to push hard and attack the Dragon defence from the start.  They took the lead after 10 minutes, but Dragons responded immediately with a goal from Andy Kelsall providing a cool flick finish over the keeper after a short corner break down to bring the sides level.  Both teams were demonstrating great attacking and counter-attacking play, with the Dragon defence putting in a fantastic performance. In particular Andy Hipper and Rich Phillis showing a master class in defence.

Dereham continued to press hard a took the score to 2-1, however once again Dragons equalised straight after, with a cross from Adam Sayer finding Dan Cheesman in the middle of the D, who spun past two players before burying his shot low past the keeper.

Halftime score: 2-2.  The halftime talk highlighted the need for Dragons to keep up their determination and focus if they were to going to win the match.

The second half was a display of great hockey from both teams.  Once again Dragon defence were making some fine tackles and keeper Jim Woodruff making some crucial saves to keep Dragons in the game.  However Dereham managed to get ahead once again to take the scores to score to 3-2.

The midfield continued to work hard and with Adam Sayer and Rob Panter playing some great passing, managing to link up with the forwards.  Henry Laming continued to cause Dereham problems making light work of their defence and midfield with a stunning show of dribbling and passing. He proceeded his great form by confidently lifting the ball powerfully into the top of Dereham’s goal making the score 3-3. This was shortly followed by a Ricky Powley goal. Scoring with a delightful reverse-stick flick after collecting a 40-yard wonder pass from Piers Gordon-Brown to give the Dragons the lead for the first time.

Dragons maintained their pressure as Cley Hamilton collected the ball from a Dan Cheesman pass into the D, rounding the keeper and hitting a reverse stick shot at the goal which Dan Cheesman poached on the line to put the Dragons two ahead. Dereham continued to push hard and managed to fight back to 5-4, but the Dragon determination and hard work paid off with another goal by Dan Cheesman giving him his second hat trick of the season putting the final score at 6-5 to the Dragons.

This was a really great team performance by Dragons.  It was a challenging game that tested the Dragon’s spirit, but hugely rewarding as everybody had shown commitment on the pitch, resulting in a win.  Dragons look forward to their game next week at home against Bury and another great team win.


East Men’s Hockey League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 4:1 North Walsham 2s

The Dragons Mens 3rd team had to make some late team changes prior to the start of the match as an Umpire was unavailable and a member of the team who was a qualified umpire stepped in to the breach.These changes did not seem to unduly affect the team as they made their normal fast start to the match and within 3 minutes had taken the lead with a Jon Goodson strike.The match was being played in the North Walsham half of the pitch and chances were being regularly created but the Walsham keeper was playing a blinder to frustrate the Dragons forwards.A Walsham player suffered a head injury but with their team having no substitutes after having a “Terry Butcher”style bandage applied he was able to carry on.

A second goal from Jon Goodson came when a short corner was saved but Jon reacted quickest to flick the ball over the prone keeper into the roof of the net.A third goal was scored by an Adrian Kemp shot and just before half-time the best goal of the match was scored when Will Kirby and Matt Jenkins interchanged passes for Matt to fire home to give Dragons a 4-0 lead.

The second half saw Dragons continue to dominate with good charging runs from the centre of midfield by captain George Walker.However despite creating numerous chances and being awarded many short corners Dragons efforts on goals were finding the wrong side of the post and going wide or being saved by the Walsham keeper.

In one of their few attacks Walsham were awarded a short corner and pulled a consolation goal back with a shot from the top of the D.In the later stages of the match Phil York-Smith came on to produce a good cameo display down the flanks.
Special mention for young Will Ives strong performance against a powerfull opponent who he refused to yield to and consistently managed to disposess.

East Men’s Hockey League Division 6 North East
Norwich Dragons 4s 3:1 North Walsham 3s

Mike Banham x2

Ben Harvey

On the back of an excellent victory last week, Dragons travelled with confidence to face North Walsham.

Despite missing a few regular players, Dragons still had strong team with debuts from Rob Lee and Chris Matthews.  A bright start from Dragons saw them immediately put pressure on the Walsham goal and start very much on the front foot.

A number of chances were created showing Dragons’ intent to make this their game and after 15 minutes Dragons had the lead through a short corner, converted by Mike Banham after taking a slight deflection off the keeper.

North Walsham through most of the game had chances through breaks and long balls and managed to respond within minutes, being allowed in to the Dragons’ area too easily to let a forward shoot from the top of the ‘D’ and level the score.

Dragons continued to be the better team but could not improve before half time, leaving the score at 1-1.

The second half was much the same, Dragons’ showing good creativity with the defence holding firm to rare breaks from the opposition.  The midfield made space to continue the attacks which brought further short corners, one which was cleared by an unintentional ‘foot’ foul off the goal line resulting in a penalty flick.  Mike Banham stepped up to convert and give Dragons the lead they certainly deserved.

Dragons went in search for more goals, now fully controlling the game creating further numerous chances with Walsham defending and clearing well.  The third goal arrived when a ball across the ‘D’ was collected by Ben Harvey, who, unmarked with good space calmly slotted home for his 2nd goal in 2 games.

Another superb team effort was put in, again making the man-marking technique work giving the opposition little time and space, further goals should certainly have been but a solid result keeps Dragons in the running for promotion.

Man of the match was nominated to Ben Harvey, again running and working hard passing the ball well, finishing his performance off with a maturely taken goal.


East Women’s Hockey League Division 2 North East
Norwich Dragons 1s p:p Framlingham


East Women’s Hockey League Division 2 North East
Norwich Dragons 2s 0:2  Norwich City 1s

Heavy rain threatened the start of this Div 2NE fixture, so this lunchtime fixture at the Den, started under floodlights. The Dragons continued with their policy of fielding a young Team, with seven players aged fifteen or under. The squad included Olivia Thomas and Caroline Wolfe who were making their 2nd Team debuts for the season, both fitted in extremely well and were an asset to the Team.

City undoubtedly had the better of the first half, putting pressure on the Dragon’s defence. A couple of lapses in concentration, allowed City to score, the first after 20mins and then another just before the break. Freddie Briscoe in the Dragon’s goal, made a number of outstanding saves, to keep the Dragons in the game.

In addition, Caroline Wolfe was holding the ball up superbly upfront, and linked up well with Niamh Lowe-Davies on the right and the hard working Klara Moolman in the middle. A period of Dragons pressure saw the City keeper save a strike from Sophie Cullens at the end of the first half.

The second half continued with the opposition pressing the Dragons defence, however with Player of the Match Sarah Wagstaff having a superb game at sweeper, City attack’s came to nothing. Ruth Willmott, playing her first game in at centre defence for the 2’s was also outstanding, cutting out many balls into the D and marking her player tightly. The whole team defended superbly to prevent further goals in the second half, keeping the score at a respectable two goal deficit against a tidy and more experienced City 1st Team.

Whilst goal scoring opportunities for the Norwich Dragons were limited, the hard work, commitment and spirit of this young team was hugely encouraging and shows just how bright the future is for the Club.


Marshall Motor Group Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 3s 4:0 Reepham

This week saw Dragons, who are top of their division, playing Reepham, who are at the bottom.  Reepham arrived late and started with only 9 players on the pitch.  Despite a thorough warm-up, Dragons were unable to capitalise on this advandage.  Although clearly the stronger side any Dragons attack was thwarted by Reepham and very soon Reepham were up to a full strength with 11 players.  Dragons’ passing was poor and opportinities to play the ball back and round through the midfield and defense were not taken.  Dragons seemed blinkered by their motivation to score and just drove head down at the Reepham defense subsequently repeatedly losing possession of the ball.  Dragons’ defence were quick to regain possession and counterattacked with weighted through passes to the forwards.  Despite a goal from a penalty corner by Dragons’ Amy Brown, the half time score of 1-0 was no comfort to Dragons, whilst Reepham were probably feeling they had done a good job.

The second half saw better constructive play from Dragons and a more patient approach.  This paid off and a second goal came when Debbie Santa Clara added the final touch to a shot on goal by Amy Brown.  Amy Brown then added her name a second time to the scoresheet with a repeat of her first goal when she converted a penalty corner from a slip left, lifting the ball over the Reepham keeper.

Dragons’ defence remained strong with any Reepham’s attacks being foiled.  However, Reepham’s frustration then started to show when they spoiled Dragons’ attacks with increasingly aggressive tackles which resulted in free passes and penalty corners to Dragons.  After one such foul as Dragons’ Louise Davis was attacking down the right hand wing, the umpire allowed the advantage and a few passes later Pollyanna Watson was slotting the ball into Reepham’s goal seconds before the final whistle blew.

Dragons maintained their hold on the top of the league table and a clean sheet but without the style of play they have been delivering of late.  Louise Davis was voted Dragons’ player of the match.

Marshall Motor Group Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons  4s 4:1 Loddon 2s

For the majority of the game the Dragons dominated the play and had several attempts on goal in the first 10 minutes, a cracking shot from Annika Richardson hit the post and lovely strike from Beth Bygrave was less than 5cm from the right post.  It seemed that a goal would come any minute, and it did – Annika kept piling on the pressure and managed to beat the keeper and tap the ball over the line.

Loddon had few breaks in play, but made the most of their only short corner of the game, scoring from a battle on the goal line. Dragons decided that one goal for the opposition was enough and just before half time Annika scored her second goal of the match, beating the keeper (who had dived for her first shot) and tucking it into the left corner.

The second half again saw the Dragon’s taking control of play, with lovely passing through the middle, Felicia Roberts and Gemma Rump making the most of the space and playing some lovely balls across the pitch. Sue Cross (player of the match) really shone in the second half, she seemed to be everywhere on the pitch all at once. She scored her first goal from a short corner – a lovely strike that deflected into the goal. Her second goal, also from a short, was outstanding – perfectly hit across the goal and into the back right corner with a satisfying thump!

This team is really coming together, a lovely blend of youth and experience. Play is flowing more and there is a growing sense of confidence in our ability to work cohesively. Well done everyone for a great game.

Photos from this game here


Marshall Motor Group Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 1:0 Old Buckenham 2

Dragons earned their third consecutive 1-0 win, and this time the losers were Old Buckenham 2s, who play far better hockey then their position at the bottom of the division suggests. The hardest working Dragon of the match was sideline manager Sue Cullum, who was handed several sheets of paper suggesting ro-ro combinations for the 16-player squad that captain Bridget Le Good thought was a good idea earlier in the week. This unravelled immediately when two players were late from a netball tournament (but at least they were already winners that afternoon).

This match proved that the 5s do not yet have the positional skills and the mastery of their formation to be able to operate 16 players effectively, but the plan did give as many players as possible match time in preparation for the difficult run-in to Christmas. Several players underlined their claim for a place in the starting line-up, including player of the match Chiara Bond who worked tirelessly in midfield, and initiated several good moves.
The 5s now have four solid defenders in Emma Buxton, Abi Cowe, Cath Power and Beth Elgood, and this gives them options to overload the defence if necessary. The 5s do not have a squad goalkeeper, and this time Laura Tuck doubled for them and was at her athletic best, with two diving saves and a couple of stretches to keep a clean sheet. Also holding the 5s together was Holly Francis, who played at the bottom of the diamond and is always a welcome guest when her availability dictates. Rosie Korn played at the top of the diamond, arguably the most successful Dragon to try the position. She and Katie Buxton played their usual reliable game, but lacked a little of their usual zip after their netball endeavours.
Laura Goodbun did not enjoy the best of birthday luck in front of goal, but she went on some excellent runs, impressing with her ability to change pace and move laterally. Sophie Farrow did a similar job on the left, and gets stronger each time she plays. Lisa Harwood was also unlucky in front of goal, and it was left to Lois McGregor to show how it should be done by creating an almost copy of last week’s winner. Once again, her perfect timing and positioning enabled her to sweep in a well-placed cross from the right, and the Dragons would do well to concentrate on simple moves well executed.
There were some bright patches but in truth the big squad made it a stuttering, scrappy game from the Dragons’ perspective. This is not a mistake that can be made again, and a good training session this week should see Dragons back on form – and enjoying the game – at the weekend.


Marshall Motor Group Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich City: No Fixture


Marshall Motor Group Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2:0 Pelicans

We started off strong and managed to get a good lead in the first few minutes, a few minutes later we scored again. All the way through we played strong and were definitely the more dominant side with nearly all the play in their D. We got a few short corners and attacked well, unfortunately though no goal was to come out of these.

When the ball occasionally did come down our end we defended really well and strongly. Harriet did some excellent saves and Laura cleared everything coming her way and she rightfully got player of the match.

Throughout the second half again we played brilliantly and had many shots although we didn’t score again we maintained our 2-0 lead ending as a well earned victory.

Both goals were scored by Hattie Bracey.

Laura Hansell was man of the match.


The hoof table this week is as follows

Position     Team                                      Hoof Average

1           Ladies 4s 4.80
2 Ladies 3s 4.64
3 Ladies 1s 4.36
4 Mens 2s 3.73
5 Mens 3s 3.70
6 Mens 4s 2.73
7 Ladies 5s 2.27
8 Ladies 2s 2.18
9 Mens 1s 2.09
10 Girls Development 1.50
11 Boys Development 1.00