NDHC League Match Reports: 12/11/2016

A few photos from a very wet Dragons Den are here.


Poor little car didn’t like going to Bromley and back!

Women’s East Hockey League Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1s 8-4 Bromley & Beckenham 1

Norwich Dragons 1XI had a long trip to Bromley and Beckenham this week. After Dragons 1XI coach could not travel, a few morning mishaps involving sickness and getting lost, Dragons travelled to London with only 12. With only 5 minutes to warm up, Dragons had to use the first few minutes of the game to get settled in. This they did, as Dragons began the game exceptionally well and wondered if every game they should miss the warm up! Lovely flowing passes from the defensive four in to Emma Tabrett who quickly transferred to Rachel King who then passed it out wide to Hayley Toleman who calmly hit it to the back where 1XI youngster Lara Taylor was there to push the ball in to the back post. Brom&Becks were struggling to get anywhere near the ball. But a lapse in concentration from the defence allowed the opposition to get a goal.

Dragons head stayed up and continued to battle on. Lara was not done yet as a ball out wide to Lara from King saw her execute some lovely skill. Lara drove in to the circle beating the Brom&Becks defence, and when the keeper flew out – calmly lifted it over her to make the score 2-1. Dragons continued their lovely team play – passing the ball effortlessly around between them.

Louise Murray was on fire in the right back position, constantly driving in to the attacking half with some lovely skill. On the next occasion Murray drove along the baseline and in to the circle, out-skilling the defence easily and passed the ball to the top of the circle where Olivia Thomas was waiting. Olivia Thomas took the ball on the reverse and hit the ball calmly in to the bottom corner. Olivia Thomas was also having a great game and soon after the next goal in another opportunity arose. She took a side-line ball and passed to king who then slotted the ball back along the baseline to Thomas who then passed to Hayley Toleman who was waiting to smash the ball past the keeper.

It was half time and the score was now 4-1 and dragons looked comfortable. King had to ensure in her team talk Dragons did not get complacent. Soon in to the first half Bromley and Beckenham managed to get in to the circle and get a back post goal. With the game now at 4-2 Dragons continued to work hard. Liv Sumpter received the ball up the line from Murray and crossed the ball effortlessly in to Toleman again, who was waiting in the correct position to slot the ball in to make the game 5-2. Dragons were on fire and Bromley did not how to stop their flowing team passing. Olivia Thomas got her second of the game with some great skill in the circle and finished well at the back post. An excellent piece of team play from the forwards driving with the ball in to the Bromley circle allowed Toleman to secure her hatrick with another great finish.

Bromley did not give up easily though as a simple error from midfield allowed them to get in to the circle once more and with a piece of individual skill, managed to get their third. Dragons where disappointed as they felt as they had dominated so much that they didn’t deserve any.

Bromley won another penalty corner. The straight strike from the top of the circle was too high and Sophie Thomas took a nasty head injury. The goal was given and after some debate was allowed to stand to the frustration of dragons.

Soon after the push back from the middle, King hit the ball of a Bromley and Beckenham foot to win a penalty corner with a few minutes left in the game. She took the ball at the top of the circle and beat the first and second runner to have a shot at goal; which was initially saved but King was there to follow up with the re-bound to score the goal.

The game finished 8-4. Dragons played some of their best hockey this season and hope to continue this in to the game on Saturday against Norwich City.



Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-2 City of Peterborough 1

The visitors arrived at the Den to play ‘lowly’ Dragons, possibly thinking they were in for a straightforward game. This proved to be far from reality, with the home team determined to pick up their game and take it to the visitors, who had beaten the league leaders the previous week.

With a bit of reshuffling in the squads due to unavailability in the 1’s, Dragons welcomed back Ally Windsor-Waite along with daughter Marcy, to join younger daughter Carmel in the team. Rowan York-Smith also returned to the squad, fresh from her Marathon exploits. Finally in a late change, Marie James joined the team at late notice. A good warm up, in beat with the music, saw the Dragons squad ready for action.

The home team had the brighter of the early play with forwards Laura Ward and Issy Wolfe heavily involved and always looking threatening on the break using their pace and skill to beat defenders. A couple of early chances came and went, but Dragons were looking sharp and their play much more fluid than in recent weeks, with Marie James spreading the ball wide whenever possible to wide players Hannah Phillips, Gail Thomas, Sam Franklin and Ally Windsor-Waite.

The break through came on 15 mins for Dragons with their 2nd short corner, which James took wide and passed neatly across the keeper to Hannah Hardy on the back post, to slot home for a deserved lead. Peterborough started to push forward, but the Dragons defensive line were looking solid, with Player of the Match Rowan York-Smith and Sarah Borrett looking sharp in the centre of defence, well supported by Carmel Windsor-Waite and Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson.

With 30 mins on the clock, Dragons were pushing for another goal to double their lead, however a quick break from the visitors saw them get in behind the defence and beat keeper Emma Cleland to equalise.

At halftime, the call was to continue to play the hockey that had seen them edge first half. Unfortunately the first 10 minutes belonged to Peterborough, who seemed to get the upper hand, however Dragons dug deep and kept the scores level. The home team created chances of their own, one in particular following excellent work by the speedy Laura Ward, beating her player and squaring the ball, however the ball couldn’t be force over the line. Short corners were earned by both teams but not converted.

Then, with 15 minutes left, Peterborough closed Dragons down in midfield, from a subsequent free hit, the ball was squared and fired into the D, where a bit of a melee ensued, only for the ball to be forced home. Dragons were determined not to be beaten however and a change in formation for the last 15 minutes meant they forced the play and created further chances, however it was not to be.

A much improved performance by Dragons who were once again disappointed to come away with nothing. Credit to City of Peterborough players and coach who commended the home team on their performance and confirmed that Dragons had played considerably better than their league position would suggest. The team remain strong and determined to change results round, which with hard work and strong team spirit, will undoubtedly happen.



Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-1 Norwich City 3

Norwich Dragons welcomed Norwich City 3s to the Den for an early afternoon game. The conditions were wet and greasy on the pitch, which took some getting used to by both teams. After an initial 10 minutes of scrappy play Norwich City seemed to settle and eventually opened up the scoring with a goal coming from a short corner.

Dragons picked up the pace and kept the score at 1-0 going into half time. A rousing half time team talk was given by newly appointed captain Lauren Lawrie. This clearly did the trick as Dragons came out into the second half with great fighting spirit which they managed to convert into an equaliser. This came from a lovely run from right back all the way up the wing by Kath Mares, who then slotted the ball to Katie McKenna from the baseline where Katie managed to play the ball into the back of the goal.

Norwich City weren’t going down so easily and kept up the pressure. A great defensive line of Angela Murgatroyd, Kath Mares and Sarah Wagstaff, with support from bottom of the diamond Natasha Falzon, gave as good as they got and kept City at bay until Dragons were able to score their 2nd goal. This was scored from a Dragons short corner, with the ball being stopped at the top of the D by Hazel Sumner, rolled in to Debs Smith, who then slipped it to Katie McKenna. In a true Chuckle brothers style one-two Katie and Debs played around the City defence with Debs having the final strike into the goal.

With around 10 minutes to go both teams kept up the pace, determined to walk away with the win. Dragons held off more attempts from City short corners and managed to create some chances themselves, with great linking play through the middle of the pitch from Trish Hagen and great runs from forwards Caroline Wolfe and Sian Lawrie. A great chance at another goal was sadly missed as Harriet Green was unable to get on the end of a brilliant cross from Sian at the far post, but Dragons were still very pleased with their performance as the game ended and they walked away with a 2-1 win.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-3 Norwich City 4

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 5s 1-2 Diss

The Ladies 5’s were expecting a tough game with Diss having a similar set of results and game play to ourselves. Many thanks to our supporters who turned out even though the weather was totally crud! Dragons had first push back, with a pass back to Lynne (Ninja Neeps) Price and pushed out wide to Racheal Matthews who ran it up the line. Diss stepped in and we realised they were speedy and had strong strikes out.  A strong battled ensued, with Vicky Earley on hand at bottom of the diamond hunting down the opposition midfield and sweeping the ball out to protect our defence.

The defensive three amigos of Jemima Williams, Helen Marsh and Amelia Smith were solid and Diss were quick on the break so it was vital to clear the ball.  The first goal came from Diss, as Jemima slipped in wet conditions, Diss shot at goal Luisa Valentini shielded the goal and the ball rebounded only to be picked up by their second striker and shot into the left corner.  A stretch too far for our nimble keeper.  Dragons were resilient and had majority of play with lovely runs up the pitch by Karenza Moffatt and Laura Hansell, bringing the ball to the D.  Jenna Inglis and Catherine Matthews were trying to penetrate the opposition defence unfortunately the ball just wouldn’t go in.  Amelia smashed a lovely ball right up the pitch though the opposition to hanging Lisa Harwood, Catherine racing forward into the D picking up the ball, but closed down with double defence.

At half time the 5’s knew a goal could come just by making sure that the forwards could get on the posts and pick up those cross balls from the midfield.   Diss were dangerous when they made the break as they had very fast forwards and we needed to make sure we didn’t push too high.  Off the 5’s set for second half, again we dominated this half Lynne was constantly working the ball and hustling the opposition.  The next goal came from the Dragons with Jenna running the ball at speed past the opposition and passing across to Catherine in the middle and then forward to an unmarked Lisa, who managed to sweep the ball under the charging keeper into the goal.  The 5’ had a few short corners, but unable to convert, unfortunately Diss managed to get away on another break and shot a ball in between Luisa’s kickers which squeezed through into the goal.  The Dragons keep trying right up to the end, constantly battling and playing well as a team.  Bring on the rematch.

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

Dragons 6’s played away to City 6’s on yet another cold and wet Saturday.  Despite this the team went out with a winning attitude and great determination, earning post match compliments from the opposition who said we were the toughest team they’ve played so far this season.

Dragons dominated a lot of the first half with some fluent passing from everyone and some great play in the midfield, with Lilly making some lovely runs down the left.  There were some great balls into the D from Sue (the Duracell bunny) but the opposition’s defence denied us the goal we so desperately crave.  Great play from Dragons defence yet again, kept the ball out of the D and only conceded one short corner, which was cleared with relative ease.

Although the first half was dominated by the Dragons, we were unable to convert and the score remained 0-0.  This only led to more determination and drive in the second half with Aditi (well deserved POM) and Nic making some great interceptions on the right and passing into the spaces where Ginny and Beth were ready and waiting.  Again we appeared to dominate the start of the second half with a strong midfield, with Fletch making some great passes down the line for the forwards to pick up and pass into the D where centre forward Kelly was waiting and hoping to convert but City 6 defence kept denying her.

City had some opportunities denied late in the second half with some great saves from goalie Amy and good clearances from the defence; Kate, Katie, Hannah & Nic.  The oppositions best play came when one of their midfield players was making a great run down the line, only to find she was running the wrong way!

Our best play yet this season but, despite our determination, and bruises to prove it, unfortunately that elusive goal remained unconverted with a 0-0 draw.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 4-1 Loddon 2

Dragons Ladies 7s were keen to get on the pitch after a month with no matches. The weather was a slight draw back but it didn’t dampen the Dragons fighting spirit.

The match got underway with Dragons immediately on the attack. Lovely passing play from the whole team got the ball up to the forwards of Mia McGhee, Sophie Thurtell, Katrina Speirs or Jess Vernon. There were many attempts on goal, with Mia managing to get the ball past the Loddon keeper within the first 10 minutes. Dragons were buoyed up, keen to keep up the momentum of the game. Unfortunately Loddon managed to break through to get a goal and equalize. This didn’t stop Dragons, who weren’t going to let Loddon defeat them. The rotating midfield of Jodi Rump, Elsa Scott, Helen Walker, Stevie Spencer, Claire Fairhurst and Dani Winteringham did a great job of stopping Loddon’s attacks, getting the ball out to the wings and up the pitch. When Loddon did manage to get through, the defence of Frankie Paul, Emma North, Ruby Rose-Turrell and Hattie Gale aided keeper Emily Roper in stopping them from getting more balls in the goal. Dragons kept up the attack, eventually being rewarded with a goal by Sophie before half time.

At the half time break, Captain Claire told the team to keep up the good work, maintaining the shape and to get on the post! Dragons went back on the pitch, keen to get more goals. They made plenty of attacks at Loddon’s goal, and were soon rewarded with a second goal by Sophie. Dragons continued to maintain their shape, with lots of calling and passing, tackling Loddon’s attempts to get past. Dragons kept on making shots at goal and got awarded numerous short corners. Three shorts in a row resulted in a lovely text book goal. Mia injected to Katrina who struck the ball, Loddon stopped it but it got slipped to Mia who slotted it neatly in the corner between the post and the keepers foot.

Dragons were very pleased with the final 4:1 result. Great play, great teamwork, and an enjoyable match despite the weather!

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s 1-7 Hornets

After an excellent first half, when Dragons were very much in the game, they went through an awful 20 minutes during which they conceded four soft goals. But they recovered, and for the last 10 minutes or so they made it a competitive game.

Once again the 8s had 15 players, with Jo Baker and captain Katy Cole doing sterling work on the rotations. The Plan was re-written in the changing room to make room for Anita Mancini, who was making a return to competitive hockey and showed some excellent skills at the top of the diamond – particularly her ability to stop and control really hard balls intended to split the Dragons’ mids and defenders.

The game was even for the first quarter. Hornets scored first, but Lois Metcalfe quickly equalised when she pounced on a well-placed ball from Gemma Ballard into the circle and gave the Hornets keeper no chance. Maisie Dearmer (player of the match) showed excellent skills with her ability to run past Hornets’ players, and the play was end-to-end. Jo Baker was pivotal to the Dragons’ defence and she constantly thwarted the Hornets attempts to break through.  Dragons’ goalkeeper Sarah Sheffield over the whole game certainly stopped more than went past her! Johanne Steward and Anna Chapman were also playing well in a defence that was looking composed.

The core of the Dragons team was playing nice hockey at this point. It was encouraging to see Katy Cole running strong down the left side, ably backed by Esme Mackinnon-Evans who got even more involved in the second half. Jess Lockwood played a very nice defensive mid game and Louise ‘Brooksy’ Brooks, Louise ‘Bondy’ Bond and Gemma gave Dragons midfield control for long periods with accurate passes. Shaniece Claxton took up some excellent positions on the right, and overall Dragons were well in it.

So where did it all go wrong? One turning point might have been when Dragons so nearly scored from an early second half penalty corner. Esme injected the ball to Bridget Le Good who slipped the ball to Lois whose shot clipped the GK’s thigh and bounced out. Minutes later, Dragons took a very soft sideline ball which Hornets stole easily, swept down the pitch and scored with no tackle going in. After that, if the Hornets were the electric hares, Dragons were the bunnies caught in the headlights, and the goals flowed freely, most of them swift runs through the centre which the Dragons  had earlier been able to deal with. All credit then, to the Dragons  for picking themselves up, adjusting their formation and re-discovering their backbone. Maisie was still full of running, the Louises (‘Bondy’ and Brooksy’), Gemma, Jess and Anita played well in their rotations and Lois was always available in the circle. So the game concluded very much as it began – end to end. Dragons learned some valuable lessons and will return to training ready to develop their skills and continue to enjoy their hockey.



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

Men 1XI faced league leaders Sudbury 1XI in a very cold and wet match. After a short while dragons wonderful attacking play led to several short corners being won. Rupert Snelling scoring the first goal of the game with a drag flick from a well worked routine. The score at half time was 1-0 to Norwich dragons.

Shortly into the second half there was a ball played across the Sudbury D by dragons which was left by their keeper. Much to their surprise the ball hit the post and sat up lovely for Snelling to grab another goal.

Sudbury came back strong playing some good breakaway hockey, getting 2 goals back within a short time. One coming from a short corner and the other a deflection from open play. With the scores level at 2-2 going into the final few minutes it was unclear which team would run out winners. Seconds to go dragons pushed forward and won a short corner. Whilst setting up the short the full time whistle went. Rupert Snelling  stepped up to take the short, this time with the added pressure of winning the game for his team and sending them top of the league. As everyone watched in anticipation Snelling calmly stepped up and scored a drag flick to give dragons the win. Final score 3-2 to Dragons with a hat trick for man of the match Snelling as Dragons now go top.

Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 5-4 Sudbury 2

Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 3-0 Dragons 4

This week the Men’s 3s hosted fellow Dragons the Men’s 4s at the Den.  With both teams suffering from poor availability across the club, they took to the pitch in the drizzly rain.  Both teams started well and all players were eager for the ball.  The 4s pushed hard in the first 20 minutes and used their speed to break through the midfield of the 3s a number of times.  Adam SAYER, Stu KELLY, James GOODSON and 3s debutant Iwan ROBERTS all had to work hard to keep the 4s from getting clean shots off.  A number of short corners for the 4s were luckily stopped, with keeper Dim IVES making some great saves.

The 3s started to get hold of the ball and started to pass it round.  Good distribution from Rob WAGSTAFF meant the ball was put out to the width, where John IVES and Jose San MILAN could pick it up and attack down the wings.  No short corners for the 3s in this half, but a goal from Will KIRBY, who knocked the ball in for the 3s to take the lead going into half time.

The 3s really came into their game in the second half.  They passed, communicated, and worked well off the ball.  Max LAMING and Lloyd SAYER dominated the middle of the pitch and it wasn’t long until Man of Match L SAYER slotted the ball past the 4s keeper to extend the lead.

The 3s defence worked well as a unit and moved the ball from side-to-side, allowing Jon GOODSON to drive the ball down the right from the back to link up with Rob CHANEY-BAXTER.  Forward Matt JENKINS worked tirelessly up front, making some good passes and generally being a bother to the 4s defence.  Another goal from L SAYER sealed the victory and the game ended 3-0 to the 3s.  A very enjoyable game to play, and thanks to the spectators who braved the wet conditions to cheer both teams on.

Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 0-3 Dragons 3

Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 3-1 Sudbury 4

Great game from dragons 5s against sudbury (away) on a cold and wet afternoon see us win 1-3 to get our season back on track after a 3 game dip in form.

It was a slow start by dragons with sudbury pinning us in our half with some good play. After a couple of attempts on the dragons goal sudbury opened the scoring on 7 mins from a well worked goal hit in from the left and scuffed over the line. 2 mins later sudbury continued the pressure getting a short corner. The short corner was hit at a relative slow pace but and was an awkward bobbling ball. Matt Armstrong clearing the ball off the line to keep it 1-0.

Dragons capitalised on the break with the midfield of Yorky and Adrian able to young Jordan Hambling who went round 2 players to slot home to make it 1-1. (goal coming about 10 mins into the game). The second goal came quickly after the Andy Key cleared it left wing back position up to Josh Bingham who was up in the final 3rd of the pitch and able to make a good cross into the sudbury D. The pass was intercepted by the sudbury keeper who should of just let it run as he passed it out to young McCartney who was unmarked and able to push the ball tidyly passed the keeper to make it 1-2.

Josh Bingham also found the net from a short but was disallowed as it was just over the backboard. The 3rd goal came near the end of the half. Andrew Cross getting a well worked team goal started by Matt Armstrong and Connor Adams on the right going through Lee, Adrian and Josh Bingham on its way to a good and almost saved goal for Andrew cross. Score 1-3 at half time.

The second half was a much more end to end half with sudbury having the more possession. But lacking that cutting edge, some good saves by the dragons keeper Giles Brooks and a fantastic last ditch last man tackle from Ray kept the game at 3-1. With only 2 mins left Lee became the only casualty of the day after a awful tackle from behind by the sudbury midfield player saw Lee go home with two less teeth.

Very enjoyable and close game, man of the match was Matt Armstrong after winning rock paper scissor against Connor with both players getting 3 votes. On reflection the whole team deserved to win MoM as all played very well.  Thanks to the sudbury umpiring team, who made good decisions and allowed the game to flow.

Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 8-2 Bury St Edmunds 7 (friendly)

A very wet afternoon at home for the 6s in a friendly against Bury St Edmunds 7s. The match was arranged to keep everyone on their toes as this was our slip weekend in Division 7NE. It turned out to be a great result with an 8 – 2 win in difficult conditions. The flood lights were of great help even with a 1.45pm push back in the gloom and drizzle of a mid-November day.

Right from the off, Dragons were moving the ball around well against Bury and showed strength in the midfield to keep a considerable amount of possession. We took the lead early on in the first half with good work and tenacity in the oppositions D, which continued to pay off later with two more opportunist goals, created from Bury not clearing the ball when they had the chance. The midfield pairing of Paul Kassulke and Darryl Robinson working well, to open up chances for Dragons in the Bury half of the pitch. A rolling substitution of players meant some variation in formation, as it wasn’t always a like for like change, but we still managed to keep mostly on top of the game. Bury pulled two goals back through open play and a short corner, but going into half time we held a fairly comfortable three goal lead.

It was the first time umpiring an adult game for Jono Chaney-Baxter and he continued to impress in the second half with some clear, decisive decisions. Certainly a great debut with the whistle and something to be proud of as he makes his way in the umpiring world.

The second half continued in a similar vein and Dragons 6s extended their lead with a superb solo goal which took Tom Williams almost the half way line, all the way down the right wing and across the base line into the D, where he coolly slotted the ball into the net. This, and his work through the game earned him man of the match. The other Dragons scorers were (in no specific order) Paul Kassulke with two goals, Darryl Robinson with two goals, Ed Crosier with one goal and now settling in to an attacking position, Joel Lawrence with one goal and Rob Lee with one as well, from close range. Freddie Roques in the Dragons goal had a good game, clearing the ball on a number of occasions from Sudbury attacks.

Well done to every one for a disciplined performance with no small amount of flair and Dragons 6s now travel to Newmarket 3s on the 19th November to continue with Division 7NE matches.


Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A: No Fixture

Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons B 0-3 Norwich City

In a persistent light drizzle, we took to the pitch feeling sure we could improve on our last outing against City (1-7). We soaked up early pressure in the first quarter and the disciplined play of City had us pegged back for 10 minutes, eventually conceding a goal before the break. However, we had been up in their D too and knew there was a chance here.

The start of the second quarter saw Arjuna come out of sweeper to right mid, where he made some excellent runs to get in behind their defence and we had our first short corner but couldn’t capitalise. Alex Brooks ensured the defense remained solid and some nicely picked passes to Isaac on the left enabled him to set off and put pressure on their defense.  Similarly, Will Mares, Captain, did an excellent job of closing out the attacking moves we had seen in the first quarter, reading their game well.

A goalless second quarter was positive, Alex Wolfe making some good saves, and we could sense a frustration creeping  into the City team. Solid play from Bobby Shepherd helped put the brakes on their attacking runs through the middle and he was able to pick out Harry Fuller who was staying up for the through ball.  Strong running from Mac Beaumont  and Josh Cormack in the middle helped strengthen the defence. Paul Delaiche distributed the ball nicely too and again, the ball out to the left saw Isaac Diver-Hall set off on some driving runs down the side line and crossing into the D to earn ourselves two more shorts. Casper Lind did some excellent running both on and off the ball to create space when we were pressing their D, and a heart-in-mouth scrap just one metre off their goal line sadly ended in a desperate clearance by City.

As we pressed, so space opened up and  some clever moves from City gave them two further goals to finish  0-3, despite some instinct saves from Alex Wolfe in the last quarter. Thanks to Will Ives and Owain Hall, (both adult players), for joining the team and helping distribute at the back.

Well done everyone… a great team effort which almost felt like a win!

City 3, dragons 0

PoM vote: Isaac Diver- Hall

Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture