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NDHC League Match Reports: 07/02/2015

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Women’s East Hockey LeagueΒ 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’sΒ Premier Division
Norwich DragonsΒ 3s 1-5Β Magpies 3

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ DivisionΒ 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’sΒ Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5sΒ 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. Β 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 πŸ˜‰ ) 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.Β 

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ 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 weaknessΒ  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.Β In the centre, Katy Saide was a reliable sweeper and Lottie KornΒ  had another terrific game at right back.Β  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 toΒ 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’Β 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’sΒ Division 3
Norwich DragonsΒ 7sΒ 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.Β  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.Β  They travelled many miles to local rivals Norwich City, in what would be a 2nd and 3rd place clash.Β  There was slight panic before the game as Dragons seemed to be missing their Keeper Dim IVES.Β  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.Β  A short corner strike from Stu β€œSarge” KELLY hit the post, for the ball to fall to John IVES, having his hit narrowly saved by the City keeper.Β  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.Β  Keeper Dim IVES put in some terrific saves and kept Dragons clear.Β  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.Β  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.Β  As always, Rob GOODSON worked tirelessly and even took a ball to the head whilst defending.Β  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.Β  A tackle was made, the ball was taken cleanly, but the City player went down as well.Β  There was confusion as to what the outcome should be, and after conferring, the umpires awarded a penalty flick which City scored.Β  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.Β  However, not all was lost!Β  Dragons battled back and once again dominated play, playing their quick passing, link up play which is when Dragons play at their best.Β  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.Β  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.Β  Forward Ben MOSS was unlucky not to score for Dragons, and there were a few more opportunities that came and went.Β  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.Β  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 4sΒ 6-0 Magpies 6

Dragons dominated Magpies and improved their goal difference with a 6-0 win.Β  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.Β  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.Β  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.Β  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 6sΒ 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.Β  After this defensive start the match became more evenly balanced. Dragons were forced to clear a number of short corners, without Watton scoring.Β  The first half saw Lucy play some fantastic hockey which prevented Watton getting on the scoreboard.Β  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.Β  The two teams battled it out and were fairly evenly matched throughout the second half.Β  Unfortunately a late goal from Watton was quickly followed by a second which saw the final score line reach 2-0.Β  Overall it was a great game with some confident playing from several girls new to the team. Β Congratulations to Lucy and Tilly who all had a good first match.

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