NDHC League Match Reports: 10/01/2015

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Score Norwich Drgon Ladies 3’s 2:0 Loddon 1’s

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 1:2 Evergreens 1s

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 7:2  Lowestoft Railway 1s

Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 3:0 City 5s (friendly)

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

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

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

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


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


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


Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 1:1 IES 5s

Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 6:1 Dereham


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

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

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

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