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NDHC League Match Reports: 15/11/2014

EDP HeadlineWomen’s East Hockey LeagueΒ East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 2:1 Wapping

Dragons returned to action at the Den against London side Wapping buoyed with confidence from last weeks goalless draw against unbeaten West Herts.

Wapping started the game nervously, holding a half court press, understandably cautious given dragons previous result. This enabled the dragons defence to pass the ball round the back without any pressure.
Dragons needed to be patient and pick out a forward pass across the halfway line, a lifted ball from the defence hit team-mate Sophie Mullan’s knee, causing the first of two injuries to an already depleted Dragons’ squad.

Wapping then sensed that they had a chance to get something from the game and started playing the ball around confidently, stretching the dragons players all over the pitch.

Dragons defence were being put under increasing pressure and failed to deal with an attacking move from the Wapping forwards,Β which inevitably led to Wapping opening the scoring.

The home side continued to battle and created some good attacking moves themselves, however the 2nd injury of the game came when a ball out of defence was accidentally deflected into the oncoming Nat Beal.Β  Beal left the pitch with a facial injury, effectively ending her game.

Dragons first goal came just before half -time, from a well worked short corner, Kate Trelawney-Gower firing a drag flick into the bottom left of the goal giving the Wapping keeper no chance.

The second half was a hotly contested affair culminating in 2 green cards and a yellow, which put the Dragons down to 10 in the final 10 minutes of the game.

Both sides went forward in search of a winner and Wapping created numerous short corner opportunities, which the Dragons defence effectively dealt with.

Dragons forwards Trelawney-Gower and Hayley Toleman were starting to forge a strong forward partnership, superbly supported by Mullan, Niamh Lowe-Davies, Olivia Thomas and Lizzie Moulton and it was man of the match Toleman who stole all 3 points for the Dragons in the final moments of the match.

Dragons will have to make sure that they switch on from the start next week against Magpies 2’s.

Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1:0Β Panthers

Dragon’s went into this game knowing the game was likely to be a tough battle and their ability to play their free flowing hockey was likely to be tested, as had been the case for their promotion rivals – and they were not to be disappointed!

From the outset, Dragons dominated possession.Β  They looked to get their passing game going on the difficult pitch, by spreading the play and trying to move the Panthers defence, who were set-up with large numbers behind the ball.Β  This worked well in the early stages, with Hannah Ellis and Laura Tompson-Wright working well on the flanks, supported well by Sophie Thomas and Ally Windsor-Waite in the wide defensive positions.

Early pressure got its rewards, with Laura Shreeve combining well with Hannah Ellis, who slotted the ball into the D, finding Marcy Windsor-Waite in good space. Marcy showed composure beyond her years, to fire the ball goalwards.Β  Whilst the effort was partly saved by the strong Panthers keeper, the ball found its way across the line for a 1-0 lead after 10 mins.

Dragons continued to press, whilst Karen O’Neill Simpson and Gail Thomas worked hard to snuff out Panthers main threat in the middle of the park.

The second half started and ended just like the first, with Dragons forwards of Aoife Lowe-Davies, Laura Shreeve and Hannah Hardy, trying to move the Panthers defensive line to create some space, however any glimmer of light was quickly shut out, by strong last ditch defending or balls fired off the sideline.

Late into the game infringements outside the D were converted to short corners for Panthers, one of those being slipped left to Kim Love, whose strong goalbound effort was well saved by Freddie Briscoe.

The last 10 minutes of the game saw Dragons retain possession and control the play well, regaining their patience and moving the ball well out of defence through Angela Murgatroyd, Ruth Willmott, up to the ever threatening Laura Shreeve.

It wasn’t pretty, but they all count, and the team were pleased to come away from this fixture, with 3 points in the bag. Dragons know they can play much more creative and expansive hockey, but games such as this are a great learning curve and shows how well this team is growing and progressing, which is great for the future of the Club.

Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Premier Division
Norwich DragonsΒ 3s 0-2 Theford

Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ DivisionΒ 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 2:3Β Pelicans 2

This was certainly a game of two halves. For the first 35 minutes Dragons dominated, they passed well, moved well and made the most of the opportunities created. While Pelicans opened the scoring with a well-timed strike from the top right of the D, Dragons certainly had the majority of play. Abi Cowe, Emma Buxton and Sarah Moore worked the midfield with solid determination, moving the ball wide and on to the waiting forwards, who time again drove the ball into the D. The first Dragons goal came from Holly Bailey, a combination of driving from Chelsea Crawford down the left and a lovely pass into the D to Holly’s awaiting stick. Dragons soon followed this up with an excellent turn of play in the midfield, Mel Widdows switched the ball from the left, across the pitch to be received by Sarah Moore who drove all the way to the D, laying off the ball to Katie Buxton (PoM), just in time to disorientate the keeper and score. After this play became more challenging, due to the poor visibility caused by rolling fog, however this didn’t stop Dragons pushing forward with some lovely play from Gemma Rump, moving the ball consistently towards the opposition’s goal.

At the start of the second half Dragons were still very much in control, with several short corners awarded and Sue Cross hitting the post or one attempted and on another the ball rolled along the line, but no one could get a stick to it to score the goal. At one point even defenders had a go at scoring, with Freya Clogan making an excellent run down the left, getting the ball perfectly into the D to Mel Widdows, with the ball missing the goal by an inch. It was at this point that Pelican’s really pushed back, they seemed to find a new gear and although there was solid defending from Louise Davis and Freya Clogan, Pelicans kept breaking through into the D, bombarding goal keeper Laura Tuck with shot after shot. They scored the equaliser from a well passed ball across the goal to a waiting player on the far side post. Dragon’s seemed to lose their momentum at this point, and the hockey became a little scrappy, passes weren’t as accurate, marking wasn’t as tight and Pelican’s certainly took advantage of this and went on to score a third goal in the final two minutes of the game, from a player who intercepted a passed Dragon’s ball and struck from just inside the D. There simply wasn’t time to come back from this, although we certainly tried and the ball was in Pelican’s D when the final whistle blew.

Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 7:0Β Pelicans 3

Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s get goal happy and secure a 7-0 win.

Ladies 5s Β were told they need to give it more’ umpf’ and they Β delivered . The score line says it all.

The excellent work of the defence (Bella Capps, Carmel Windsor Waite and Jess Tye Leach) closed down any remote opportunity that Pelicans took. Well-deserved man of the match Charlotte Pounder’s speed in closing down players, intercepting the ball and driving towards the D was really quite unbelievable. After a slightly shakey start, Β β€˜Goal Stealer’ Lisa Harwood opened the scoring with Megan Farrant following shortly afterwards . 3-0 up at half time is always where you want to be but it wasn’t enough for these ladies 5s!

With Chaira Bond making some excellent quick plays into the D which were a pleasure to pick up the forwards continued to work hard with Issy Wolfe securing 2 excellent goals, Megan Farrant 1 goal and LisaΒ  a further two (to make it a hat trick). Β None of this would have been possible without the excellent mid fielders whose work rate really increased this week. Rachael Matthews, Anja Finnegan and Jade Blanchflower did some excellent passing play and driving up the wing. Finally, the lovely cleansheet was nearly tarnished with a heart stopping moment in the last 10 minutes when it looked like the ball had gone in but alas Laura Tuck had it under control and it was finally swept out by cool calm Carmel.

Overall, I’m over the moon, 7-0 win is the best win Ladies 5s have ever had and I think there is more to come !

Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 11-0Β UEA 4

Dragons were naturally ecstaticΒ at this massive win over UEA. They managed toΒ put awayΒ more goals in this one match than they had achieved in the season to date. The rout started in the fourth minute, when Victoria Earley pounced on a pass from Rosie Korn to slot home the first of her four goals, all of them rewards for determination in the D. Rosie was next on the mark. She scored twice andΒ could probably have had more but she unselfishly took up station at the top of the D to pick up the crosses from Sarah Norman and Jasmin Mansfield, and her through balls qualified as ‘assists’. The third goal was a bizarre effort from Bridget Le Good who came off the bench and somehow rounded the goalkeeper within ten seconds and then spent the rest of the game battering the posts and the side netting. Fortunately, Sarah had her sights set on goal, and seized on rebounds to score three times, by far her most confident display to date. Izzy Ferguson completed the scoring.

Dragons scored so freely because an inexperienced UEA side gave them plenty of room and time on the ball. UEA seldom got the ball passed the half way line, where Jo Eke held the defensive line in a vice-like grip. On the occasions where a long ball penetrated, Jasmin Daniels, Katy Saide and Lottie Korn created a solid defensive wall. The mids, with Rosie flanked by Izzy and Ciara Willmott were dominant and did a pleasing amount of running. Dragons enjoyed the moment of success, but already have their minds on the tougher tests to come. They are starting to believe that they could be competitive in this league, but to do well they will need to continue their progress at taking chances in front of goal. And with several key squad members with work commitments, they need to strike lucky with availability as well.

Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 2
Norwich DragonsΒ 7sΒ 0-3 Magpies 7

On a foggy morning, Dragons Ladies 7s made their way to Harleston to play Magpies 7. By the start of the match the fog had cleared enough to see both ends!

Dragons didn’t get off to a good start, with Magpies winning a short corner almost immediately, which then lead into another and another, but Dragons managed to get the ball away without it finding its way into the goal. Dragons battled for the ball but had trouble getting it up the pitch as it kept getting intercepted by Magpies. Dragons defence of Emma North, Emma Banks, Persy Magdalene and GK Christina Murgatroyd managing to fight off Magpies attacks. Unfortunately Magpies managed to get a ball into goal shortly before half time.

The second half got underway with Dragons keen to score. Cath Power at bottom of the diamond played a great match, getting the ball up the pitch and dodging defenders. Lucy Morton in midfielder made lots of tackles, trying to get the ball up to forwards Katrina Speirs, Claire Fairhurst and Jane Morton. Arabella Sabberton in midfield had some great hits to Charlotte Utting and Amy Hunter. Dragons struggled to get the ball into the D, and when they did the ball was hit out by some hard hitting defenders. Magpies got the ball down the pitch and succeeded in winning more short corners, which eventually earned them a goal. Dragons didn’t give up but Magpies managed to find the back of the goal once more. Finally Dragons got the ball up the pitch into the D and won a short corner just as the final whistle blew. Although Dragons were keen to find the goal, it just wasn’t to be, the final score being 3-0 to Magpies. POM was tied between Christina, Cath and Lucy, showing what a great effort they all put in. The defenders all did a brilliant job, especially when it was noted that they fought off 18 short corners with only one resulting in a goal!

Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 1:1 Cambridge City 3

Dragons breathed new life into their campaign with a spirited 1-1 draw away at league leaders Cambridge City.Β  The side was strengthened by the return of Dom Samways and Nick Deayton, but lost Flatman to mystery illness on the morning of the match.Β  His mum, for various reasons, very much hopes he’s not suffering from glandular fever.Β  They were also without coach Wagstaff who remains on indefinite gardening leave amid reports he tried to select himself for the match after last week’s disappointing performance.

Dragons might have been forgiven for thinking they were on a Haydn to nothing, but they started brightly, Pacino and Simone combining well and Walker, returned to his natural role, particularly prominent in the early exchanges.Β  It was an open game, both sides looking to attack and leaving space for each other to play in in turn.Β  Overstall was a threat from right back, Samways stitched play together neatly in the middle of the pitch, and the defence was sharp when called upon.Β  After an even first thirty minutes, the hosts took the lead, converting a penalty flick after a melee in the D.Β  Asked whether he was surprised by the awarding of the flick, E. Smith responded β€œnot so much by the rewarding of it as by the fact that Overstall wasn’t on the pitch when it happened.”

Dragons were unlucky to go into the break behind and started the second half strongly, pinning City back and forcing a string of short corners.Β  Browne, Samwise, and KP Snelling all enjoyed their best games of the season, linking up well and asking questions of the hosts’ defence, though this being Cambridge, of course, they by and large had the answers.Β  It was not all quiet for Robbie Bell though, Dragons’ fast-improving keeper pulling off one brilliant reaction save and palming two others inches wide.Β  The team got the reward they deserved, following a fine team move, Overstall, the scything Deayton, Samways, and Snelling all involved before a surging run from Knights found Browne at the far-post to tuck home his first of the season.Β  They might have had more, Browne and Samwise unable to get on the end of a brilliant pass from Deayton and Rutledge too slow (to get his shot away) after an inch-perfect ball from Walker.Β  The home side might have felt a little lucky to escape with a point, while Dragons could take away renewed confidence in their ability to foot it with the best in the league.

After the match, Overstall was particularly happy with a number of the tactical changes the coaching-staff had worked:Β  β€œwe thought it was a bit perverse to have Dom as a sub; special mention, though, to Richie Smith who played today with two broken ribs after the battering he copped last week.Β  To paraphrase Cicero, last week we died as individuals; this week we lived as a team.Β  If only it’d been a Sunday I reckon we’d have taken the three points.”

Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1:7Β Β Magpies 3Β 

The 2nd XI were at home to Magpies 3rd XI this weekend who were just one place above Dragons in 10th position with 2 points more to their name. Dragons felt this was a game in which they could finally get more points on the board in what is slowly becoming relegation battle for the 2nd XI.

More changes were afoot in the team this week due some last minute availability issues. Will Ives was called up to the 2nd XI for his debut, Rohan Kaushal also made a last minute call up and Mark Flatman popped down from the 1st XI to join them this week.

The game started brightly, as it usually does, with Dragons making some good solid passing with the pre-match team talk comprising of instructions of possession hockey, passing accuracy and hard work on and off the ball. It didn’t take long before passes began to stray as Dragons were put under pressure by a strong looking Magpies side. Dragons reverted back to trying to play the ball through open-side sticks which led to loss of possession in midfield and Magpies mounting attack after attack, putting the defence under strain and also showcasing the ability of the Magpies players in our D.

Magpies managed some quick break away plays from these which caught the defence off guard and perhaps a little flat footed at times and with Magpies seemingly having a man over allowing a pass to be made from the top of the D to the right of our goal which a sliding Magpies player caught to deflect into the goal. 0-1. Not long after this passage of play Magpies 2nd goal came from a similar situation; a breakaway play, some neat passing by Magpies finding a player not marked in our D to poke the ball across the goal line. 0-2. Magpies picked up some short corners from some umpiring decisions which were questioned by the usual suspects. The first few of these were cleared successfully only for the ball to return to our D and further short corners forced. Magpies dragged flicked one of these which was so nearly saved by both Rich Phillis and Sam Mann in goal, both getting what sounded like some contact on the ball. 0-3. Dragons restarted and got some of their attacking play out of the bag with moments of good hockey and good decisions that saw Rory Jackson, Jason Wolfe and Cley Hamilton threaten the goal with some cross-D passes and some close to goal scrambles, which unfortunately didn’t come to much. Will Kirby received balls to the left on the goal on a couple of occasions, was unmarked but also wasn’t able to find the goal but plenty of air! Dragons were not quick enough to track back as Magpies took their 16 yard hit outs finding their midfield very quickly who again prompted an attack with man marking falling to pieces as yet again Magpies found another free man in the D. 0-4.

Dragons worked hard to maintain possession which worked well for periods with Will Ives working the ball back and around to Piers Gordon-Brown, Ali Smyth, Mitch Smith and Mark Flatman but this patience only lasted so long as long passes up the wings were attempted which surprisingly didn’t make their target all the time. Another breakaway play, men unmarked and another Magpies goal. 0-5. Half time.

The team talk was positive, reflecting on our good moments and to encourage man marking and how to avoid players being left unmarked. It was feared that despite the position of this team in 3NE so far this season this Magpies team was still a strong one capable of scoring good goals and working well together up front, which was now apparent.

The second half started and some good passages of play unfolded as Dragons looked to make amends for the scoreline in the first half. Cley Hamilton and Will Kirby doing well to pose more of a threat on goal as Dragons spent a lot more time in the Magpies half. The defence seemed more settled and Dragons were careful with how they managed their substitutions to avoid confusion of who was playing where. Simon Nisbet worked well out on the right receiving recycled balls across the back and up the wing to feed to the attackers who again made more attempts on goal. Cley Hamilton found himself with the ball on the byline on several occasions but was met by the goal keeper and denied goal.

A clearance from one of these after a Dragons counter-attack was picked up by Piers Gordon-Brown and played back into the Magpies quarter to Jason Wolfe who, with a spinny thing, got the ball to Cley Hamilton who at long last converted. 1-5. The game restarted and Dragons continued to play better and stronger with Magpies attacking plays repelled. A handful of neat interceptions by Piers Gordon-Brown miraculously found themselves perfectly to the marked Magpies player who turned and got away from the defender, found an unmarked player and who cleanly converted the opportunity. 1-6. Dragons continued on and again found that many of our opportunities were being missed, both in defence and up front. A couple of short corners were won by Dragons and Rory Jackson heading up the piece fired a shot just wide and drag flick just wide. As the clock was running down and Magpies were in our half Mitch Smith held up the ball well and recycled to Rich Phillis who then as the ball was neatly passed to a closely positioned Piers Gordon-Brown was intercepted by the experienced Magpies forward who, yet again, found another Magpies player unmarked in the D and for the nth time worked the ball around Sam Mann to find their 7th and final goal. 1-7. Full time.

Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3sΒ 2:1 UEA 2

This week Dragons travelled far afield to the UEA.Β  With promotion Dragon’s target, they knew that the 3 points would be needed as things were close at the top.Β 

UEA started strong and were passing the ball well.Β  It’s testament to the Dragon defence that they were able to repel these early attacks.Β  Dragons did get the ball going, with some good balls from Glenn MASTERSON down the left, but were unable to get any momentum going upfront.Β  Peter β€œIceman” DAVISON, Jon GOODSON and James GOODSON certainly worked hard this half and keeper Dim IVES once again made some fantastic saves.Β  Unfortunately, the ball was worked round from a UEA long corner and one of their players got a shot off which slid past keeper IVES.

Dragons didn’t let their heads go down and starting at the base of midfield, Stu β€œSarge” KELLY and Rob GOODSONΒ  worked tirelessly to get the ball up to the forwards.Β  Matt β€œSanchez” JENKINS did well to hold the ball upfront and to wait for reinforcements, who soon came in the form of Adam SAYER, Nick TURNER and John IVES.Β  Dragons were unlucky to score a few times, but unfortunately the ball just fell wrong for SAYER and Adie KEMP.

Halftime and Dragons were 1-0 down.Β  Like a bolt of adrenaline, the jelly babies gave Dragons the energy and determination to win the 50/50 balls, which up to this point UEA were winning.

It was clear straightaway that Dragons were going to fight to win the points.Β  A neat bit of passing from midfielder Graeme SMITH got the ball through to Adie KEMP who struck the ball in the D to deflect into the UEA goal.Β  This inspired Dragons who kept up the attack.

Lovely movement down both sides of the pitch from John β€œbush” IVES and Glenn MASTERSON created more attacking chances.Β  However, this wasn’t just a half of just Dragons attacking.Β  UEA had some good chances as well, including a number of short corners, which MOM IVES and the defence kept out.Β  The passion stayed with Dragons and this was demonstrated in a β€œgraceful” tackle by James GOODSON who got to know the UEA player hands-on.

Brilliant possession and distribution from SMITH led to Dragons attacking down the right and winning their first short corner!Β  JENKINS pushed out and SAYER took the ball right, only to slip it left to the waiting stick of SMITH, who dispatched the ball into the UEA goal.

UEA pushed hard in the last 10 minutes but just couldn’t break through the Dragon defensive wall.Β  The whistle went and Dragons claimed their 3 points.

This victory takes Dragons into second place and a promotion spot.Β  During teas, an inquisitive young student from UEA asked: what was Dragons’ secret to their success?Β  Passing, teamwork and perseverance.Β  Next week, Dragons welcome Pelicans to the DEN where they hope to consolidate their league position.

Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4sΒ 1:0 Pelicans 4

Cheered on by their biggest crowd of the season (3), top of the table Dragons avoided a slaying, but didn’t exactly breathe fire against a Pelicans side who are bottom of the league.

Dragons have the meanest defence in the league (metaphorically) and would have hoped to have boosted their goal difference against a team who had conceded 46 goals in their previous 8 games.Β  This wasn’t to be however, as Dragons limped to a 1-0 win.

Dragons Pelicans
Possession (%) 79 21
Short corners 9 1
Shots – total 25 3
Shots – on target 2 2
Sitters missed 137 0


As the stats above show, Dragons dominated the game but failed to convert their chances.

Once again Dragons’ defence was solid, Dave β€˜Giraffe’ Pentin, Andy Hipper, Paul Keating and Jon Price dealing with Pelicans’ rare attacks and giving Giles Brooks in goal a quiet (not literally) game.Β  In central midfield, Chris Simmonds, Chris Wilkinson and Rob Jenkins marked tightly and tackled hard, reducing the impact of Pelicans’ experienced playmakers.Β  On the wings Bradley Howlett demonstrated his usual pace and work rate and the skilful Alex β€˜Pebbles’ Stone (MoM) was effective in attack and defence.

Up front, Andy Cross, Robbie Whiting and Ricky Powley worked hard and enjoyed plenty of possession but were unable to convert a number of chances.Β  The Pelicans’ defensive tactics paid off as the game remained goalless as half time.

Despite the lack of goals, Dragons remained confident of winning the game and continued to dominate the play in the second half.Β  Midway through the half Dragons finally took the lead, Hipper converting a short corner.Β  Having got a taste of glory, Hipper spent the rest of the game in the Pelicans’ half.

Whilst Dragons failed to score any more goals, Pelicans didn’t pose a serious threat so Dragons were pleased to win again, but disappointed with the score.

Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5sΒ 1-0 UEA 4

Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6sΒ 5:0 Bury St Edmunds 6

Bury conceded

Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 9:3Β DerehamΒ 

Goalscorers: PEDRO G (3), CHARLIE N(3), RAUNAQ R (2), ANGUS C (1)


Player of the match: JONO C-B for his runs up field, skills and movement with and without the ball

Coaches: George Walker

THE FOG (we could barely see the ball or from our goal to the opposition’s), parents could not see goals being scored – they could only hear them!

Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 2:1 Pelicans

The girls development team played on Saturday 15th November at 4pm at home. We played against the pelicans and dominated the game with a score of 1-0 at half time. Anna scored a brilliant goal on a short corner. Our second goal; scored by Catherine, gave us a 2-0 lead until unfortunately Pelicans conceded a goal in the second half. Great effort from our goalkeeper; Ali, who made many saves from shots at the goal and many short corners. Our defence was strong with Isabel, Donna and Sophie at the back. Alice was attacking down the left with brilliant crosses across the D; making excellent lead runs. Thankyou to our brilliant coach; Bridget. And thankyou to all the parents for their great support on the sidelines. Also, not forgetting Nieve and Donna; our adults; who gave the game structure.

Players of the Match:
Anna made some excellence attacking runs down the right using skill to get around the defenders. Lara played an excellent game putting an outstanding effort into transferring the ball across the pitch.
Match report by Sophie Thurtell.