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.”
Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s void Gorleston withdrew from league
Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1:3 Bury St Edmunds 2s
Men’s East Hockey League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 0:4 Lowestoft Railway 2s
Result 4-0 to Railway. Man of the match – Andy Saunders
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 0:8 Pelicans 3s
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.
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.
Hoof table as at 19/10/2013