Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 2:1 Canterbury 2s
Double Delight for Dragons – a second successive double for Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s in the East Premier Division
Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1:0 Newmarket 1s
Dragons started well, putting pressure on Newmarket defence, with strong attacks by Natalie Beal, Laura Shreeve and Aoife Lowe-Davies. Newmarket held firm however and started to build in confidence, meaning the Dragons defence of Freddie Briscoe, Angela Murgatroyd, Sophie Thomas and Ally Windsor-Waite needed to continue their strong form and remain compact as a unit, which they did excellently.
Dragons continued to force the pace and had opportunities, one particular effort found Hannah Ellis in great space, having made an excellent run to the back post. As the ball made its way to her, the whistle went for an earlier infringement, meaning Dragons were awarded a short corner, rather than what could have been the first goal. Dragons forced further short corners, alas the breakthrough didn’t quite come, particularly as Newmarket GK Sade Atkinson and their Captain Faye Andreou were having outstanding games in defence.
Half time saw the team talk about being patient playing the Dragons way, knowing they would get their opportunities. Straight from the push back Dragons were back into the Newmarket D, forcing an early save from the keeper. It was with the next attack the breakthrough came – following good work on the left, Laura Shreeve picked up the ball and went on a mazy run across the D, eventually firing the ball goalwards, which saw number 13 Captain Hannah Hardy, get her stick to the ball to poke the ball home.
The pressure was now all Dragons, with joint player of the match Gail Thomas working hard in midfield alongside, Shelly Seaman, Karen O’Neill Simpson and ‘Birthday Girl’ Laura Tompson-Wright, to break up play and ensure Dragons continued to pressure the Newmarket goal. Further opportunities came and went, one great break saw the other joint Player of the Match Ally Windsor-Waite fire the ball quickly out of defence, her pass finding Natalie Beal in the Newmarket half, Beal ran half the length of the pitch, well supported by Laura Shreeve. Unselfishly Beal squared the ball to Shreeve, however once again the Keeper was in a perfect position to smother the goalbound effort. Another quick break saw Shreeve, Beal and Hardy combine well, only for the shot from Hardy to canon off the post – Coach Pete Thomas would have been proud, as this is what the team had been practising in training!
The final whistle went and Dragons achieved their 13th win of the season – an achievement borne out of hard work and ultimately great teamwork. Whilst the scoreline didn’t quite reflect the game in terms of possession, it was the 3 points the team had set out to achieve.
There remains plenty of hard work ahead for this team to achieve their targets for the season and it will be important for the team to maintain fitness levels over the festive period. Competition for places will become even more fierce in the New Year, with players returning from injury and general availability improving.
From a Captain’s perspective, I couldn’t have asked for more from this team / squad at this stage of the season, and I thank everyone for their continued enthusiasm, commitment and desire to achieve – let’s keep it going and keep believing ladies!
Huge thanks and best wishes for Christmas to Pete Thomas for his incredible patience and enthusiasm, to Mike Hardy for continuous sideline support and to Richard Gill and Mark Flatman.
Norwich Dragons 3s P-P Carrow 1
Norwich Dragons 4s P-P Carrow
Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 0:3 Herlings
Norwich Dragons 6s & 7s Club Friendly – Sunday 14th December
Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 5:2 Cambridge Uni 3
Norwich Dragons 3s 1:0 Newmarket 2After drawing against fellow 4NE highflyers Felixstowe last week, Dragons were at home to Newmarket 2s. Newmarket are the only team to have beaten Dragons this season, and so Dragons were looking to reap some revenge. With Pete “Iceman” DAVISON ironically feeling under the weather in the chilly climate, Dragons welcomed back Glenn MASTERSON to complete what has been one of the most successful defences in the league so far.The floodlights were on and the game started as both teams were keen to get a full game for risk of ice. Dragons started strong and an early chance for Will “Toby” KIRBY was unlucky not to put Dragons ahead. Dragons won a couple of short corners this half, but unfortunately goals were not meant to be at this stage. Good defensive work from James GOODSON, Ali SMYTH, Jon GOODSON and Glenn MASTERSON led to many balls coming to the midfield after taking the ball from Newmarket.Will MAIN showed he is definitely powered by Duracell as he worked hard up and down the Dragon left flank, linking up well with the Dragon forwards Adie KEMP and Matt “Santa” JENKINS.Newmarket did get some short corners of their own, and were unlucky not to score when they hit the post. It was through good defending and the tenacity of Dragon Keeper Dim IVES that kept a clean sheet. Halftime and it was 0-0.Dragons came out fighting as they knew they had to capitalise on chances and get a goal to secure the 3 points. Once again John IVES produced some great runs down the right and made Newmarket work hard to keep it out of their goal. The unstoppable duo of Stu KELLY and Rob GOODSON made a Hadrian Wall style barrier to keep Newmarket from the Dragon 25. Chances came for Dragons, but the final touch just wasn’t there. A whistle was blown for a short corner just as the ball crossed the Newmarket goal line, leading Dragons to miss another opportunity. Adie KEMP was unlucky not score as the ball just didn’t fall right for him, as was Will KIRBY who just didn’t have luck on their side.
With under 10 minutes to go it was looking like Dragons were heading to another draw, until that is, a slick ball was delivered to Adam SAYER at the top of the D from Rob GOODSON. Pirouetting like the Lord of the Dance, SAYER took the ball to the right, then shot, and the ball crossed the goal, ending in the far corner. In pure disbelief at finally getting a goal this season, the celebrations were awkward and let us not speak of them again.
The remaining minutes saw Dragons really put the pressure on, and were denied another goal when John IVES’s shot was saved by the Newmarket keeper.
The final whistle went and Dragons claimed another 3 points to add to their ever increasing tally. A well deserved break over Christmas for the 3s, who will return in the new year with only one thing on their mind: promotion!
Norwich Dragons 4s P-P Ipswich 3
Norwich Dragons 6s P-P IES 5
Norwich Dragons – No Fixture