Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 3-1 Magpies 2s
Norwich Dragons Ladies played hosts to arch rivals Harleston Magies for their last home game of the season and, having been beaten earlier in the season by them, they were determined to prove they are closing the gap on their fellow Norfolk based team who have dominated over previous years.
The Dragons were at the heart of the Harleston defence immediately and within the first 5 minutes Harleston found themselves a goal down. Some excellent work from Dragons forward Kate TRELAWNY-GOWER who beat the Harleston defence with a ferocious pin point pass from the left into the path of Hayley TOLEMAN who showed great composure skilfully taking the ball around the keeper .
The Dragons tails were up and they did not let up as they forced Harleston back into their own half dominating this match and creating a number of chances. A through pass from Marie JAMES put TRELAWNY-GOWER through on goal but her effort was closed down by the keeper. On another occasion TRELAWNY-GOWER, through on goal, stumbled to the ground as she set herself up for a strike. JAMES went close when she was put through by TOLEMAN only to see her effort closed down by the keeper too. Unfortunately the fact that the Dragons were unable to capitalise on the chances created proved to be detrimental as the visitors were awarded a short corner from which Lauren MICKLEBURGH saw her strike from the top of the D end up in the Dragons goal.
This goal gave HARLESTON a life line and new found belief. As the second half got underway the Dragons, who perhaps were dwelling on their earlier missed chances, now looked nervous and began playing deeper but in doing so invited pressure from Harleston and made it unnecessarily difficult for themselves. It allowed Harleston to grow into this match who were now pushing and testing their opponents.
The Dragons defence held strong with player of the match Lizzie MOULTEN having a monumentus performance allowing nothing to get past her supported by 16 year old defender Maddie DENMAN who, although put under intense pressure, showed maturity and resilience in her play as she has throughout the season making the left defence position in this team her own.
These were nervous moments for the players and spectators alike as the match was on a knife edge. The second goal was to be crucial and although the Dragons dominated much of the first half, opportunities were now falling equally to both sides. Finally a second goal came and to everyone’s delight it was to the Dragons; some good work again by TRELWANY-GOWER who got herself in a goal scoring opportunity only to be fouled by one of the Harleston defence resulting in a penalty stoke being awarded. TOLEMAN confidently stepped up burying the ball in the corner for her second of the match.
Joy turned to dismay as almost immediately TOLEMAN was shown a yellow card for a tackle from behind on her opponent resulting in the Harleston player falling to the ground. This was disappointing as everyone knew that this card meant, not only were the Dragons down to ten players, more importantly that TOLEMAN would be suspended for the Dragons next and final match of the season.
With ten players the Dragons worked hard to protect their lead and relied on their experience to get them through the next ten minutes or so whilst TOLEMAN was off the pitch. They stretched Harleston and managed to keep possession of the ball preventing the visitors opportunities. As TOLEMAN returned to the pitch the Dragons surged forwards and increased their lead through, in form, TRELAWNY GOWER who finished in style firing the ball in the roof of the net; a real crowd pleaser to end the match.
Overall a good performance by the Dragons and an excellent well deserved three points.
Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 10-0 Bury 2s
On a sunny spring day in the park, Dragon’s squad arrived early and were in high spirits for their final away game of the season. Sadly still missing their injured forward duo of Laura Shreeve and Natalie Beal, they welcomed Shelly Seaman and Rachel King into the squad, the latter returning after 6 months out following a nasty ankle injury. The warm up was good, with Freddie Briscoe ‘the woman in black’ taking care not to overheat in the spring sunshine, making some great stops, to show she was ready for action.
The game got underway with Dragons keen to continue their good recent run of form. An early goal got things moving with Shelly Seaman sneaking in on the near post to slot home. Dragons capitalised on this early goal and quickly made it 2, with Rachel King scoring her first following some good work in the D from Aoife Lowe-Davies. The third came quickly following a good advantage by the umpire, Lowe-Davies found Gail Thomas, who had found an excellent position at the back post, to calmly fire home.
It was all Dragons pressure and the defensive line up of Sophie Thomas, Ally Windsor-Waite, Angela Murgtroyd supported this excellently whilst retaining their concentration in defence when required. Freddie Briscoe, who despite seeing limited action, was doing a great job vocally for the team, ensuring her defensive troops were in position when called upon.
Before half time, Hollie Limmer scored with one of her trademark reverse stick sweeps to find the back of the net and then came possibly the goal of the game, following great work by Marcy Windsor-Waite to rob a Bury midfielder, she then drove into the D and struck towards the far post, where Aoife Lowe-Davies deflected the ball high into the net – a fine goal from the youngest members of the squad and shows how bright the future is for this team.
Dragons called for more of the same in the second half and they didn’t disappoint. At one point even defender Ally Windsor-Waite found herself in the attacking D, unleashing a fine strike, which was well saved by the Bury keeper. Midfielders Karen O’Neill Simpson, Gail Thomas, Hannah Ellis, Hollie Limmer and Marcy Windsor Waite, put in their usual hardworking shift, to put continuous pressure on the Bury defence.
Rachel King scored her second from a penalty flick, and then her third quickly after, following some good close skills in the D. Shelly Seaman then scored her second of the day, as always getting in on the P spot and making it difficult for the Bury defenders to clear, before slotting home from close range. Dragons Player of the Match, Rachel King then rounded off her afternoons work, with a one on one with the keeper, which was well saved only for her to follow up and calmly put home the rebound. The final goal came from a somewhat fortuitous effort by Hannah Hardy from a short corner, the pace and bounce of the strike deceiving the goalkeeper.
A final score of 10 – 0 didn’t overly flatter the league Champions and it has to be said it could have been more, had it not been for some good work by the Bury keeper. Next week sees the final league game, of what has been an outstanding season for the Dragons Ladies 2’s. Currently 13 points ahead of their nearest rivals, the team has produced outstanding results this season and to a player, should be extremely proud of what they have achieved. The squad look forward to their swan song in Div 2NE at the Den (thanks to the Ladies 5’s) and equally to some ‘Smashed Hits Partying’ later in the day ;-).
More photos from the game here.
Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 4-2 Dereham 3s
This week, on a sunny but surprisingly cold morning, Dragons 3s headed to Dereham to face their closest rival. Needing a win to stay 4th in the league, and top of the very congested middle table with the top 3 teams unreachable by the rest of the pack.Finally breaking their win-loose-win streak the week previous, the whole team were in high spirits prior to the match. Bringing the talents of Louise Davis and Sue Cross once again into the fold, 3s started their vigorous warm up, eager for the game to start.
Early in the day, with the sun remaining a nonissue Dragons won the toss and took first push back.
With their usual pre-game sideline roar the team were ready to take on their rivals hungry for the 3 points.An unfortunate turn of play saw Dereham on the attack. Entering the Dragons D and closing down on goal keeper Amy Forse dove at the play, both keeper and attacker low to the ground. The ball passed to another Dereham forward was lifted into the net narrowly missing the sticks of the Dragon defenders.The early goal gave Dragons the lust for points with increasing fervor. Ever quick to the ball, intercepting Dereham passes, making the ball do the work and eventually winning a short corner. Quickly out from Pollyanna Watson to Caroline Wolfe, who with practiced precision smashed the ball to the left post scoring the Dragons first goal.
Not long did the score remain even as Dragons constant pressure on the Dereham D resulted in another short corner. This time Wolfe slipped the ball to a waiting Debs Smith, who in turn moved it to Laura Tompson Wright. Tompson Wright again showing her deft 3D skills, beating Dereham defenders and keeper alike to secure a second goal. Although Dragons managed to keep good pressure for the remainder of the half they were unable to find any further goals for this part.As the second half began Dereham took their opportunity, catching the Dragons sleeping and scoring a quick goal. Again, the score line was not to stay even for long. This second conceded goal found the fire in Dragon bellies and they began their onslaught of the Dereham half. Joint players of the match Debs Smith and Natasha Falzon picking up Dereham balls from all areas of the pitch. It was clear which team was more hungry for the points, with Dereham rarely able to get play out of their half. Flooding their D with players, Dereham made it very difficult for Dragons to find a way through. Eventually winning another short corner Dragons varied their routine. A slick ball from Smith at top D to Tompson Wright, the two wove their way through the Dereham defenders and again found the goal.
Again Dragons on the attack, any stray players or balls picked up by Davis and Laura Bruce to send the play back into the attacking half. Hazel Sumner and Sophie Farrow both making some amazing runs, breaking up the opposition. Cross was able to draw play, creating yet more space for the Dragons. The rapid pace of Laura Goodbun, unbeatable by any of the Dereham legs forced them to back off of play allowing free run at the D. Although packed with defenders, this also left Dereham susceptible to a higher chance conceding a foul. Again Dragons capitalised on the situation. Making the most of the retreating defenders Smith and Tompson Wright once again found the back of the goal.
Final score, Dereham 3s 2:4 Norwich Dragons 3s.
With only 3 games left for this season there is still everything left to play for for the Dragon side, with nothing set in stone, and some of their hardest games still to come.
Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-1 Dereham 4s
A slow start on this cold and cloudy afternoon for Dragons, who took some time to find their feet and positions. Holly Bailey and Charlotte Pounder worked well in the first few minutes of the game, making use of the space and creating depth up front, which allowed some lovely passes from the midfield. Mel Widdows and Chelsea Crawford used the wings to great effect and switched play several times to throw the opposition off balance and create opportunities for the forwards. Dereham’s strength was in hitting long balls across the pitch with great accuracy, once Dragon’s locked this play down and surrounded the ball more effectively Dereham had few outlets for play and they started to dominate.Gemma Rump and Emma Buxton battled for every ball and continued to distribute play well, the forwards were very unlucky not to have scored by this point as continuous pressure was applied to Dereham. Abi Cowe made some great runs from defence to take the ball back towards the D and some well communicated little passes saw the ball constantly heading for the goal, but a good Dereham keeper saw off all attacks. Dereham had only one or two chances in the first half and both were stopped and cleared by goal keeper Laura TuckAfter the second half Dragons still looked strong with some solid play coming from all. Freya Clogan worked the left hard and made a couple of good runs down the line to force the ball back into the oppositions D, from this a short corner was awarded and an excellent strike form Amelia Dawson, sailed past the keeper into the left hand corner.
Dereham were not going to stop fighting and continued to track the ball back into the Dragon’s D, there were several close calls, but some wonderful clearances from Carmel Windsor Waite (PoM) kept Dragons in the lead.Dragons kept working hard to move the ball towards a second goal, with Charlotte and Holly having some excellent runs with the ball being slipped across the D, Gemma and Emma both came close to scoring with some good hits, which missed the goal by just an inch or two. Dereham’s equalising goal came in the last five minutes of the game when they packed the D and surrounded the outside, meaning that every time a ball was cleared Dereham were straight back on it and the constant attacks eventually resulted in a goal.
Dragons tried valiantly to score again in the last few minutes and were on the attack when the final whistle blew, another 5 minutes might have resulted in a different score.
A few snaps from the match here.
Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 4-3 Dereham 5s
In one of the toughest matches played so far, this 12-man Dragons team played some beautiful and resilient hockey to win the match 4:3. It was hard fought, and Dragons knew to expect a tough Dereham side, having previously lost 5:2 to them earlier on in the season.Within the first 5 minutes, Dragons were 2:0 down, both goals well-worked efforts from Dereham, with not much goalkeeper Christina Murgatroyd could do to stop them. However, rather than being discouraged, Dragons continued to push forward, with excellent runs being made by Anja Finnegan, Issy Wolfe (joint POM’s) and Rachael Matthews, and this determination was rewarded when Anja, perfectly placed by the post, slipped the ball past the keeper. This lifted our confidence, and Dragons kept going strong, with any attempts by Dereham to break our defensive line stopped by the exceptional work of Carmel Winsdor-Waite, Bella Capps and Jade Blanchflower. The second Dragons goal came from a short corner, where a strong strike from Jade Blanchflower was swept in by Chiara Bond. Dragons continued to run tirelessly, and were again rewarded just before half time when the ball found an expertly placed Lois McGregor on the P spot, who proceeded to strike it home.
This meant Dragons finished the half 3:2 up, and after quick half time talks by Lois and David, it was clear that Dereham would be coming back strong.Dragons started the second half well, however Derehams determination really started to show, and Dragons had to work even harder to try and keep them at bay. Victoria Earley again did very well against a strong Dereham player, and especially well done to Bella Capps, who really stepped up when she again found herself marking Dereham no.59, who was an exceptional player with brilliant stick skills to match. The game was end to end, with both Dereham and Dragons driving the ball up the pitch, however Dereham started to increase the pressure, and after a mistake on a long corner, they were able to whack the ball past Christina to make it 3:3.
Dereham kept the pressure up and gained a series of short corners, which were excellently defended by Dragons, especially Jade Blanchflower, whose quick reactions ensured the ball stayed well away from the goal. Dragons started to push back harder, with players like Helen Marsh, Rachael and Issy taking the ball in midfield and bring it all the way to the opposite end. This hard work was finally rewarded when a strike on goal caused the Dereham goalkeeper to catch then drop the ball, which allowed Issy Wolfe to sweep it home. Despite interruptions such as Jade getting injured and going off, Christina sustaining injuries and the opposite goalkeeper changing her shorts, Dragons held on to their lead until the final whistle blew. All in all an excellent game of hockey with everyone playing exceptionally well, which was reflected in the player of the match in which nearly everyone got a vote. Well done to everyone who played, you were all amazing!
Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s 7-0 Magpies 7s
Dragons gained revenge over the Magpies with a sparkling win which secured them second place in the division and hopefully promotion. The 6s have not been beaten in the second half of the season, and they truly are a team where the sum is greater than the individual players, talented though they are.This was a thoroughly workmanlike performance, built from the back, with the awesome Jasmin Daniels in control in the centre, flanked by the very capable Lottie Korn and Katy Franks. With Katie Saide unavailable, two players from the 7s stepped up to do a marking job on the Magpies’ distributing player. Frankie Paul and Gill Walker did extremely well, and this tactic meant the regular 6s could hold their shape and play their usual fast passing game.
They were inspired by Anna Brook (player of the match) down the right and with Jo Eke and Bridget Le Good threading passes into the circle the goals flowed in at regular intervals.In the first half of the season, the 6s could not hit a barn door if they sat on the snick, but their up front speedies – Megan Farrant, (2 goals), Sarah Norman (2) and Izzie Ferguson (2) have disciplined themselves to get onto the posts and have grown in confidence and skills and the goals now rattle in from everywhere. Magpies packed their defence, and Dragons could not score from their penalty corners, but they more than had the edge in open play.Alice Smith kept her third clean sheet in a row, kicking almost to the halfway line for fun to save the 16 hit outs.Dragons can perhaps be forgiven for revelling in their superiority, having lost to a single unfortunate goal at Magpies in a game that is now buried.
The 6s have in the past two seasons held the league record for the most players used. This time, they have been able to field a consistent side, with their captains Bridget Le Good and Jo Eke ever-present, and Jas Daniels, Katy Saide, Katy Franks and Sarah Norman at the heart of the team. The 6s have trained hard and benefited from the coaching of Pete Thomas and Mark Flatman, and they have had sympathetic hearings at the selection committee when they have asked for players to play a specific role which we knew made sense to us at the time. All the best teams have unique characteristics!
Finally, we don’t forget the umpires, the people who have volunteered to run our subs, particularly Christina Murgatroyd, the supportive parents and everyone who turned up to cheer us on, especially at the last match. If the Beckhams can produce a Seven, we think the Club Captain might be having a Six. She may have temporarily slowed a little, but there is nothing wrong with her voice.Thank you from the happy, happy 6s.A few snaps from the match here.
Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s – No Fixture as City 7s withdrawn
Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 2-4 Ipswich 2s
The news this week for the Dragons Mens 1XI:
Dragons went 1-0 down
Dragons then won a short corner brilliantly with some excellent set-up play with the awe-inspiring Captain Overstall interlinking with the ever present Dom Samways before placing it on the foot of the unsuspecting Ipswich defender, bringing to mind a Lionel Messi Vs Robert Huth type situation. With Mark Flatman out having horribly damaged his foot this week in an accident that shocked the Mens club, #prayformark, Captain Overstall stood up to be counted and volunteered to inject the short-corner.
Some would say that the following injection wouldn’t have looked out of place in National League hockey arenas, as straight as an arrow with speeds that defied belief straight onto the stick of Dom. Dom, with the precision of a surgeon, stopped the ball dead. taking the spin off the ball and allowed the Herculean-proportioned Messer Browne to step up and crush the ball with enough power to bring down a dictator. The ball, at speeds only referred to in science fiction travelled on course with the bottom corner of the goal, Robbie Bell was already celebrating, everything looked awesome.
However, with reactions of a cat the Ipswich goalkeeper got down and saved the goal drawing gasps and sighs from the Dragons team. Robbie Bell shed a tear.
But……. up stepped Captain Overstall.
The Prince Charming to a damsel in distress, like Jason to the Argonauts and like Robin Hood to the people of Nottingham there was Alex. He looked up saw, saw the goalkeeper was off his line and made the decision, lets get Dragons back on track. With all the skill trained over many weathered hockey seasons he delicately lifted the ball to the tip of his stick where he pushed it with all the power he could muster. The ball shot past the desperate goalkeeper and defenders, kissed the far post and into the goal. Shock took over the Dragons team – did Alex just score? In celebrations similar to those when the UK were awarded the Olympics Alex ran across the pitch hands aloft referencing Alan Shearer circa 1999…..no one followed. Every was awesome.
In the rest of the game some other stuff happened, Deats got injured (shocker), Rupert is now our left back, Matt Knights did something, Charlish did nothing, Shaggy pulled more hair out (that’s quite a lot missing over the last four weeks) and Dragons lost 4-2.
Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3-0 Magpies 4s
Dragons came into this match confident after a well-worked win the week before against a strong Magpies 3rds.
From the start of the match it was clear that the home side were ready to show their ability as a team, moving the ball well and keeping the Magpies threat to a minimum. However, whilst the Dragons’ ball speed and defensive play were good their finishing was not and subsequently the half ended 0-0.
After an inspiring team talk from at half time, the teams mind-set changed. And within 5 minutes of the second half starting, the home side had their first goal, scored by Jonty Gosling from a very tight angle. Soon after this came a second, which was a top corner flick from a short corner by Henry Laming. Though Magpies did up their attacking play, the home defence did well to keep them at bay and a final goal was another by Jonty Gosling assisted by Lewis Wilkins.
All in all a good team performance to bag another win.
Man of the Match; Jonty Gosling with goals that can only be described (by himself) as ‘Jamie Dwyer-esque’.
Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 5-1 Norwich Exiles
A 5-1 win over Norwich Exiles saw Dragons 4 clinch promotion. 2 points from the remaining 2 games will guarantee they finish top, regardless of other results.
A 9.30 pushback might have been a bit early for some, but Dragons started the game well and even had some supporters, including Birthday Boy Garnett armed with a bottle of champagne.
Coach Wagstaff was a late addition to the squad, claiming an attacking position vacated by the injured Andy Cross. After last week’s MoM effort, Danny Knights also made himself available. Former regular Andy Saunders was another payer welcomed back into the side, following his return to Norfolk from overseas.
Alongside Wagstaff upfront were Oli Browne and Robbie Whiting who all saw plenty of the ball, creating a number of chances and earning regular short corners. Oli Browne opened the scoring with a composed finish, and Wagstaff soon added a second, poking home from extreme close range. A second goal for Browne saw Dragons 3-0 up at half time.
In midfield, Chris Wilkinson put in one of his best performances of the season and subsequently announced his imminent retirement to the Caribbean, meaning he will play no further part in this campaign. Sam Mann showed his usual pace and enthusiasm on the wing, whilst Saunders added a calming influence and was always available as an outlet down the left. Phil York-Smith added a bit of trickery with his range of passing and extensive use of the V drag.
Half time analysis by Jon Price and the Yorkie bar kid emphasised the need for a bit more composure on the ball, earlier passing and better movement off the ball.
Dragons enjoyed the second half as the prospect of promotion loomed ever nearer. In defence, Jon Price, Paul Keating, Dave Pentin, Danny Knights and Andy Hipper dealt comfortably with Exiles’ long ball attacks. Dragons soon added a fourth goal as Oli completed his hat trick.
Exiles pulled a goal back with 10 minutes to go as the ball was skilfully lifted over Dragons’ keeper Giles Brooks, who was having a little lie down at the time.
York-Smith destroyed any inklings of a comeback for Exiles when he added a fifth for Dragons. His celebrations were muted, but not many players have the skill to place a shot so precisely as to deflect off the keepers hand, land on top of his head and bobble into the goal.
A good performance from Dragons, but disappointment when Garnett decided his champagne wouldn’t be used to celebrate promotion.
More photos from the game here.
Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-1 Bury 5s
Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s No Fixture – Season complete
Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture
Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons: No Fixture