NDHC League Match Reports: 08/10/2016


Photos from the Ladies 3s (and a couple of Men’s 5s) here.

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division

Norwich Dragons 1s 5-1 Holcombe 1A

Norwich Dragons 1XI welcomed Holcombe to the Dragon’s den this week. After a good team talk and warm up, dragons started the game well. Dragons dominated the beginning of the game with all possession being played in Holcombe’s circle with countless shots at the goalkeeper who made some excellent saves. However, after all of this Holcombe managed to slip through the dragon’s press and quickly get down the pitch and a lapse in concentration from everyone on the pitch, allowed Holcombe to score – to the amazement of everyone. Worried that heads would go down, Dragons took a breath and composed themselves and again started to dominate in the Holcombe half. After great play from Dragons’ forwards, they were awarded a penalty corner. King struck from the top of the circle, which was stopped, on the line by a Holcombe defender’s foot. Hayley Toleman stepped up to take the penalty flick, which was brilliantly saved by the Holcombe goalkeeper.

Great passing and attacking play through the midfield and forwards ensured numerous shots were executed and penalty corners won. Dragons’ first opportunity came from a well-worked penalty corner. The ball was stopped at the top of the circle by Sophie Thomas, pushed to Toleman on the right by Rachel King and switched to the centre of the circle, which was flicked in to the goal by King. The pressure continued in the Holcombe defence and after a great run on the back line by King, to Marie James, who passed it to Stacey Lee to slot it in to the goal. Finally, Dragons felt they were getting the goals they deserved. The defensive line stayed calm and strong whenever Holcombe moved down the pitch and they struggled to get near to the Dragons circle. Some great tackles from Louise Murray and Holly Reding, and some great wide passing down the line from Hollie Limmer and Sarah Jenkins. ensured consistent attacking play. Dragons continued their good spell of play and were awarded another penalty corner, which was well rehearsed. After some clever switches from Marie James, King calmly slotted the ball in to the goal for her second of the game.

After clever, attacking play from Olivia Thomas and Marie James, Stacey Lee found herself in the circle and scored a well-placed goal to secure her second of the game. Dragons were now comfortably 4-1 up and were making some great passes wide and down the line.

The final play came from Aiofe Lowe-Davies and King. King drove up the middle of the pitch and found that Aiofe was making a great run beside her. King passed the ball to Aiofe who forced the keeper to come out and calmly slotted the ball to King who pushed it over the line to make the final score 5-1.

Dragons played a fast, attacking style of hockey throughout which Holcombe struggled to deal with.


Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-4 Bedford 2

A longish trip south for Dragons who went buoyed with a strong squad of 13 including the returning Emma Tabrett, having been unavailable so far this season and welcoming Sophie Thomas into the team. The team went out with words of inspiration ringing in their ears, firstly through Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson and also with added fire through a poem written by absentee Laura Ward.

Despite these strong words, Dragons conceded early, as Bedford came out all guns blazing, putting instant pressure on the team, scoring 2 in the first 10 minutes, the second of which was an outstanding effort. The visitors rallied however, with Sarah Borrett and Shelly Seaman steadying the ship, and with Emma Tabrett working hard in the middle to unsettle the well organised Bedford midfield. Shelly took a ball to the head at one stage, but battled on regardless and almost earned herself player of the match, the accolade instead going to the tireless Emma Tabrett.

Towards the end of the half the visitors were having their best spell and broke well, through Lara Taylor on the right, she squared the ball for Issy Wolfe who found good space in the D. Issy showed strong skills to turn the defender, giving herself time on her reverse to unleash into the corner – a well taken goal by the Dragons young forward.

At halftime and into the second half, Dragons were very much in the game and pushed for the equaliser. Once again Sam Franklin worked exceptionally hard for the team in midfield, despite taking a nasty whack to the hand. Dragons earned a couple of short corners, but could not finish them and Bedford continued to push the visitors defence back and always looked threatening. Emma Cleland made some sharp stops, whilst Kiera Goymour, Danni Garwood and Carmel Windsor-Waite battled hard to keep Dragons in the game.

The pressure told however, and a third went in, when Dragons failed to deal with a short corner and a fourth followed quickly again, a smart strike from a sharp angle. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be again for Dragons, who may be defeated but will not be downhearted, as they know they have the work ethic and togetherness to fight back from this difficult spell. Out of adversity comes opportunity!


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

The Ladies 3s looked to build on the positives from the defeat against City 2s last week. On a damp and early morning at the den, they faced up against Carrow 1s. Dragons took their time to settle into the game, sometimes giving the ball away too easily. Play was fairly even to begin with and it seemed like the Carrow forwards might threaten on the break. The team soon began to come into the game however, becoming more confident on the ball and accurate in their passing, enabling them to start building attacks. The deadlock was broken after the ball was played through to an unmarked Kate McKenna on the left side of the D. Kate’s strong strike beat the defence and was tapped in on the post by Lauren Lawrie. After scoring the team began to relax and the attacking play began to flow much more easily. A Tash Falzon run to the baseline and pull back was finished in style by Caroline Wolfe. The third goal came from one of many Dragons short corners, with a neat exchange between Debs Smith and Caroline Wolfe ending up in the back of the net.

At half time coach Sarah Wagstaff wouldn’t allow the team to get complacent and rang the changes, included sending defender Ally Windsor-Waite up front to play on the wing. The gamble paid off, with Ally’s strength and runs up front, ably supported by Trish Hagan, causing the Carrow defenders all kinds of problems and leading to another flurry of goals for Dragons. These included a strong strike from Debs Smith, a very stylish deflection on the right post from Lauren Lawrie and an Ally Windsor-Waite finish, playing the ball back across goal and into the far corner from a difficult angle.

The defensive players had to stay alert but were able to sweep up any potential breaks from the Carrow forwards and play the ball immediately back up the pitch, not needing to call upon Amy Forse in the Dragons goal. This was a real team performance from the 3s, with players rotating across the midfield and showing their versatility playing in multiple positions. The Player of the Match performance came from Tash Falzon.



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

A sunny morning soon turned wet just in time for the arrival of ladies 4s to play Loddon. It was a game that dragons were hunting for their first points of the season however the first challenge was overcoming the layer of sand still on the pitch. One victim was taken in the form of birthday girl Alice Smith’s kicker, a quick gaffa tape repair and the game got underway.

The first ten minutes for Dragons had a very lethargic feel to it, soaking up pressure from Loddon but struggling to connect passes and keep possession themselves. After a succession of good tackles from the back 3 of Kath Mares, Ella Kassulke and Esme Potter, Loddon grabbed their opening goal with a strong sweep shot around the P spot area. This sparked life into Dragons and for the next 25 minutes the work rate and effort of the girls meant a lot of the play was in the opposing half. Gemma Rump and Rachel Bruce began to penetrate their D with strong running and good skills, but not quite connecting the final pass for the forwards to turn in.

The first half ended 1-0, but a one that Dragons could carry a lot of confidence from. The game opened up as the second half got underway, but to dragons benefit. The tireless running down the flanks from POM Lucy Morton, Mia Boormam and Charley Burgess, allowed dragons to convert turnovers into quick attacks and helped the forwards to make leading runs in front. The work paid off as Dragons converted one of their several short corners for the half, albeit in strange circumstances. Another strong injection from Ella set up Sue Cross to send the ball hurtling towards goal with a hop, skip and jump, finally making its way through the keepers pad and over the line. Continued pressure from the front line of Dragons turned up opportunities for Megan Williams and Jasmin Miller, most notably with Megan playing pinball against their keeper’s pads and Jasmin having a sweep shot pass narrowly wide of the back post.

It was all to be a spot of Deja Vu however for Dragons as the sustained pressure did not cough up that much needed second goal. Loddon earned themselves a couple of short corners and from a well worked “off the training ground” move snuck the ball into a bottom corner of the goal to finish the game 2-1 winners. Plenty of positives can be taken from the game, and again another step up in performance from the previous weeks to be proud of.


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

As always the 5’s first thoughts are about the game weather system, and looking out of the window hurrah at last hockey weather had arrived!  But… by the time we arrived in Watton and stepped onto the freshly sanded pitch it was hot!!

The 5’s had a strong line up, except for that rarest of player the in decline defender, we were lucky to have one strong Jemima Williams holding the team steady in centre back.  Due to showing strong skills in defence in previous games Amelia Smith and Racheal Matthews stepped up.  The 5’s also welcomed debut performances from Willow Major and Karenza Moffatt.  In the league table Watton had the same points as us but a better goal difference so we were determined to have a win and move up a place in the table.  The 5’s won the toss and decided on having the sun on our backs so we could actually see the goal without squinting.  The first 15 minutes were closely battled with the ball going end to end, the 5’s were taking a while to settle into their positions and seemed to hang onto the ball just a bit too long which meant we were quickly picked up by the young Watton players.  The 5’s had a couple of short corners which they didn’t convert but it gave the 5’s knowledge about the Watton keeper who was quite nippy and would need drawing out of the goal.  Watton also managed to secure some short corners but Vicky Earley was too fast out as runner 1 and prevented any goals.  The defensive team worked well with Amelia quick to cut off any incoming forward action, showing her skills on the ball to move it fast up the pitch.  Cover behind coming from Jemima who slotted the ball out wide on any free hits, to Laura Hansell and Willow Major who were quick to dodge past the opposition and draw the ball up to the D.  By now the 5’s were playing much more smoothly, passing at the right opportunity, moving around and finding those forwards.  The first goal came from a well-positioned Lucy Buxton.  Lynne Price and her tireless energy and ambition for a win was working the ball through and into the D, with a pass out wide to Racheal who then slapped it across the goal into the stick of Lucy and into the back of the goal.  The next goal was shortly followed, another pass in from Racheal, found Lisa Harwood unmarked in the D who passed it through the keepers feet into the back of the goal.  Half time 2-0

At Half Time the 5’s reiterated the need to pass the ball at the right opportunity and calling more. Lynne reminded us to use techniques we learnt at training passing out wide and bringing it back to the top of the D.  The 5’s were pumped and ready for the second half.  Luisa Valentini was our keeper for the game and although she was called into action at the start of play, she had also had time to catch a few rays! With our push back to Holly Bailey, play started Holly cracked off a great strike to move the ball up the pitch, to a well spaced Catherine Matthews.  Catherine was hungry for a goal and was on hand to slip the ball into the D, Willow slapped one of these into the goal unfortunately deflected by the keeper.  Watton had also increased their game and tried to intercept our passes, channelled by Laura the 5’s hung onto the ball.  The next goal was a Lisa and Lucy set up, with the keeper running at Lisa and going to ground, the ball was retrieved from the keepers feet and passed round to Lucy to was waiting on the post another goal slotted in.  The passing in this half was faultless everyone moving around, finding space and another goal from hat trick Lucy!  Who has found her place up front, always in a free position, challenging for the ball which earnt her player of the match.  Great team effort.


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

Ladies 6s welcomed Watton 3s at home for another week in unprecedented sunshine. The weather reflected the mood as the confident team put the previous week behind them. Luisa Valentini was sadly drafted away this week but was with us in spirit. We gratefully received Amy Forse into our ranks as goalkeper, who dominated the goal throughout the game.

Kelly Mills secured Dragon’s first goal using deft reverse-stick skills. Lois Metcalf, who joined the 6s for her returning match, supported Kelly in this attempt, making the Dragons look like a force to be reckoned with.

Katie Franks, Hannah Reeve and Frankie Paul stood firm and unwavering in defence.They played the ball efficiently to the centre, left and right after successfully stopping Watton in their tracks. This meant that the Dragons were able to make continuous attacking attempts, keeping the opposition on their toes. Ginny Simpkin and Beth Coates held the centre of the pitch with decisive passes and confident drives forwards, whilst Hannah Edwards and captain Beth Elgood manned the wings, with Beth E busying herself with defensive play and bringing the ball back on the attack.

Taking advantage of the available substitutes, Dragons were directed pitch-side by the captain’s very own father. Keeping a close eye on time, he ensured that legs were rested and players got a taste of their preferred positions. Sue Brumby covered a lot of ground, tirelessly on the pursuit of a goal. On numerous occasions, she placed herself outside the D to the right, sending the ball in to the awaiting forwards.

At half-time, the team received motivational words from the captain and keeper, reminding us not to lose focus. With the words fresh in our ears, the 6s went out with the intention of increasing our goal difference. Nicola Robinson and Lizzie McDonnell made sure that a pass was available at all times, driving the game forwards; the ball was moved wonderfully across and up the pitch. Anja Wimmer sent a screamer past Watton’s goalkeeper – a Dragons’ short corner saw a powerful injection from Kelly straight to the goal-hungry Anja. A simple touch and an excellent hit sailed past numerous defenders and hit the backboard with conviction.

Dragons had the potential to score more goals, but Watton defended deeply and ultimately prevented a bigger defeat.

In the closing minutes of the game, Hannah E drove the ball along the right wing, where Beth Elgood was perfectly waiting at the top of the D. A pass through two defenders found Beth, who scored a well-placed goal to make the final result 3-0 to Dragons.

All in all, each dragon worked their green socks off! Player of the Match was awarded to the deserving Beth Elgood and Anja Wimmer.


Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 0-1 UEA 4

Dragons were very annoyed with themselves at losing a game where they had three quarters of the possession and spent most of the match in the attacking half. All 14 players did some very nice things, but they all contributed to their downfall either by giving the ball away or by failing to keep position.

The 7s started brightly, and within the first 10 minutes had attacked strongly down the left, the middle and the right. They won two penalty corners, and from the second Lilly Sore charged the ball home but it was ruled to be too high. Lilly on the left, Kat Speirs in the centre and Katie Moulson on the right set up waves of attacks, but the students were solid in defence and their keeper was an excellent shot-stopper.

The mids kept up the pace and the pressure and are beginning to form a powerful  engine. Stevie Spencer has plenty of pace; Aditi Naik is a tricksy player with lovely ball carrying skills; Dani Winteringham is solid wherever she is put  and in this match it was Brooke Simmons who won the POM award for yet another step up in class as she made some excellent tackles and skilfully directed her passes.

The 7s missed Mia Mcghee’s attacking skills as she took her turn in goal. She had definitely been Tangoed, looking like a beacon in new orange kit and bravely dealing with the occasional forays. The shot that beat her was an annoying thigh-high cross goal effort, but overall she did very well.

The 7s have picked up two new defenders and Ruby Rose-Turrell and Esme McKinnon-Evans made encouraging debuts. They have pace off the ball and both can hit a good clearance. Emma North played her usual solid game and led the line. Bridget Le Good is not a natural defender but her hard hits gained the Dragons a lot of territory.  Claire Fairhurst also put herself in defence and as always was reliable and effective, as well as running the rotations which is no mean skill, and ensured the team worked smoothly as a team.

There was no score in the second half, which if anything was edged by the students as Dragons showed their lack of experience as they became more frantic in their efforts to score and either ran into trouble or each other. Although it was a frustrating match, it has to be said that this is a very happy squad, able to discuss their challenges and confident that with a bit more work on their passing skills they will reap the rewards of their endeavours.


Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 3-0 Dereham 5 (Dereham conceded)


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

After their first defeat last week Dragons had a lot to prove against Pelicans.
Captain George Walker exerted his leadership by making sure the pre-match meet time and warm up was sufficient to allow a professionalism not seen this season! The first half tactics of playing a full half court press in our half of the pitch, lulled Pelicans into a false sense of security.  This gave Dragons the one opportunity they needed to break away and win a short corner. Rupert Snelling, Dragons short corner specialist was adamant that one chance was all he needed as he roofed the ball in the top of the net! Half time was soon upon us and Dragons felt thankful for the wise leadership of coach Rob Wagstaff and captain George Walker who both inferred that effort would win this game.

The second half saw Dragons open up the play more, providing further opportunities with a powerful cross from right-back Ed Smith finding the stick of wonder boy Henry Laming to make it 2-0. Pelicans however never gave up, but could not penetrate the tight defence of Giles Brooks, Mark Flatman, Ollie Buck and the two smiths Rich & Ed. dragons finally sealed the result when veteran Rupert Snelling roofed the ball in the top of the net again!! From a textbook deflection inside the d. Coach Rob Wagstaff although impressed new that experience was needed to shore up the team, so sacrificed one of the younger players to make his debut experience for this season. A new steadiness was installed in the team as the younger players looked on in ore at such talent. After the final whistle Dragons reflected on the game. Although their best hockey had not been played the spirit and determination of the team won through, which is testament to all the players in the team.


Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-0 IES 3



Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 1-1 Norwich City 5

The Men’s 3s travelled to the other side of Norwich this week to play 2nd placed Norwich City 5s.  They welcomed Matt JENKINS and Jose San MILLAN to the team in their 3rd team debut this season.  The sun turned out for the game and it proved to be a tiring battle in the midday heat.  City initially pressed well but soon Dragons settled into their passing game and utilised the space on the pitch.

Skilful dribbling by Jose MILLAN saw him beat 2 City players, then cross the ball to the waiting John IVES who knocked the ball past City’s keeper.  City pushed back and put Dragons under a lot of pressure for the next ten minutes with a few short corners, but Dragons managed to ride this out until half time.

Dragons dominated most of the play in the second half, winning a few short corners, and having a few chances in the City D, however these chances weren’t taken and the score became level after a City counter attack.  City did have other attacks, but solid defending kept the scores level.  Dragons became increasingly frustrated as they felt they should be leading after having had the most attacks, but as in previous games, Dragons just couldn’t find the mark.

The game finished a draw and Dragons left the pitch knowing they could have won the game.  A home game next week to look forward to as Dragons welcome Bury 3s to the Den


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

Before the start Dragons were a little apprehensive after the 3rds fixture against Magpies saw them defeated 4-0 last week. However, Dragons started well with some quick passing and had some good attacking moves; and after three minutes were 1-0 up with a good goal finished by Jono Chaney-Baxter.

As the first half progressed, Magpies started to show their skills and Dragons were more on the defence. Peter Davison kept the defence in shape, and Dragons managed to obstruct them from getting clean shots on target.  Dragons’ midfield controlled the game for a lot of the half and were quick on the break with a number of good counter attacks, but couldn’t get another goal.

Tim Allen did a great job in marking their key midfielder Stuart, and combined well with Garnett Jones to move the ball up to the forwards.

Pedro Goss, defending against one of Magpies quick breaks, made a tactical stick tackle, taking a green card.

Half time saw Dragons 1-0 up and playing well.

From the start of the second half Dragons were on the back foot for much of the first 10 minutes as Magpies strived to get back in the game, but a quick break from Andy Carver clearing the ball out to Tim who then beat a couple of players and made a great through pass to Will Kirby who picked it up, teased the goalie out and went round him to make a wonderful fine-angled finish and put Dragons 2-0 up.

This seemed to spur Magpies into action and with some great play they scored two goals in quick succession, both of them coming from short corners.

The final 20 minutes were quite tense with both sides making some good attacks and equally good defence. Chris Miller made some excellent saves for Dragons and Andy Carver deflected a couple of shots wide.

Rob Jenkins had a good game running all over the place making some key tackles, one a bit too eager, earning a green. Soon afterwards Nick Turner also received a green. However, despite being down to ten on three occasions we didn’t concede a goal during this time and kept playing as a team.

Garnet Jones, after his regular Friday night out, was as ready as ever; and initially after frequent sub requests for breathers, stayed on for the last 20 minutes, putting in some good tackles and instrumental at putting Dragons onto the offensive on many occasions.

Despite being 2-0 up, Dragons were satisfied with a point, which was a fair reflection after a strong second half performance from Magpies.

Once again, the number of fine performances across the team made choosing a MoM difficult, but Jon Price earned if for his awesome first half defending and Andy Carver for the second half!


Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-5 IES 5

The result didn’t really tell the true tale of the game.

They scored 3 goals in the first 15 mins as we adjusted to ….. the weather? We then settled down and had most of the possession winning 8 short corners to their 1 during the match. We had the edge on fitness and drive, they had the edge on skill and hockey nous.

Nobody likes losing but we took some good positives away from the game with all the young players stepping up, not backing off and taking a huge step forward in their development. We have to remember that it is not about the result it is about the journey.

But…lets remember the loss and fire it up for Pelis away next week.

I am visualising my drag flick going in already! If only I could.


Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 5-0 Dereham 5 (Dereham conceded)


Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 2-1 Norwich City

1st Quarter: Dragons put City under pressure for much of this quarter, which included several good chances which were unfortunately missed. However, City returned to form by the end of the quarter and it ended 0-0.

2nd Quarter: It began well with a goal by Will Bowman. Unfortunately City soon equalised. We looked a bit tired and didn’t capitalize on good linking play. This quarter saw the beginning of a streak of short corners for Dragons.

3rd Quarter: Again, more short corners for us but we couldn’t reach the back of the net.

4th quarter: Finally, after changing the short corner plan, James Cross made it 2-1 to Dragons in the 9th or 10th penalty corner. The game ended 2-1 and according to Tracey, it was a “tough fight”. City made it too hard for us because they closed down the space. General comment: “We need to work on our short corners.” Everyone played well, though.

Man of the match: Split 3 ways: Johnny Taylor, James Cross, Joe Beadman


Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 3-6 Magpies

Just a week ago, Magpies had to travel down to the den again playing against our A team and they drew 4-4. This time they got a win, but Dragons B made them fight for it. In the first quarter Alex Wolfe denied the Magpies making some amazing saves, but they were bound to score as they were constantly coming and coming. The first quarter ended and we were 3-0 down.

In the second quarter George Bowman came on and he did a great through ball to Arj puvanachandra who passed it for Daniel Shirley to sweep the ball into the open goal. It was a well worked goal and Dragons defended well to win the quarter 1-0.

In the third quarter Dragons scored again with Arj passing it for Harry Fuller this time to sweep into the goal. Magpies were worried and some players were calling for their older boys to come back on as Dragons attacked again and again looking for the equaliser. But tired legs appeared and during the third and fourth quarters they put two more past us. Both adults made saves off the line and Alex Wolfe again was making great saves.

Then we attacked again in the last quarter and Arj linked with Toby Finch before finding himself 1v1 with the keeper and pushing it in. Magpies scored again but Dragons were very happy with their performance as the final whistle blew.

Alex made loads of great saves in goal and there was nothing he could have done to stop the perfect goals from the Magpies.

Xander Wimmer played well in his best position – right back, Alex Brooks played very well in the centre of defence and made some important block tackles in the D and Toby Finch also played very well in lots of positions and skilled a lot of people. Noah Bradbury played well on the wing and made some good passes, Harry Fuller scored a goal and played very well upfront and Daniel Shirley also scored a goal and got himself into some great positions. Arj was voted man of the match scoring one and assisting the other two, Caspar Lind played really well as CDM and made lots of important tackles, we missed him when he got injured in the third quarter and we hope he is feeling better and Josh Cormack also played very well making great tackles and passes.

Despite it being a loss, Dragons should be happy with their performance.


Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2-1 Dereham

Today’s game against Dereham Dev Girls was tough for both teams. But as a result Dragons came away with a well deserved 2-1 win! We showed really good teamwork with an outcome of lots of short corners, from one of which we scored.

Our scorers today were Niamh Somers and Sophie Barrow. Sophie scored in the 2nd quarter and Niamh in the 4th. Sophie was also our Player of The Match. During the first quarter Izzy Hipper was injured but carried on after a short break and continued to play really well. The whole team with midfield in particular made some strong and accurate passes. Stella Windsor Waite played outstandingly in left defence taking on and succeeding in stopping many Dereham attacks. Tilly Connors Beckett our goalie amazingly stopped a really great shot at the goal from a Dereham player but unfortunately Dereham scored in the third quarter. Both teams played outstandingly and came away with smiles on their faces.