Norwich city centre hockey club, fun, friendly and competitive

NDHC League Match Reports: 17/09/2016

Photos from some of the some fixtures here.
img_6460Women’s East Hockey LeagueΒ Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 1sΒ 2-1 Wapping

The opening game of the season in East Premier Division for Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s saw them entertain Wapping Ladies 1s.

Dragons started the game well putting pressure on the Wapping defence. Fast attacking play came from the left and right with both player of the match Sarah Jenkins and her defensive teammate Jess Bennett making good passes inside and up the line. Captain Rachel King, Hayley Toleman and Stacey Lee worked tirelessly in attack driving forwards with the ball, with opportunities being created with almost every attack. Olivia Thomas, Liv Sumpter, Sophie Mullan and Marie James worked the ball neatly around the opposition in midfield.

One such attack resulted in the home side’s first penalty corner. The team were confident of causing problems for the visiting defence given their work on penalty corners in training, however it took individual improvisation from King when the routine didn’t go to plan, the skipper ghosted past the outrunning Wapping defence and calmly flicked the ball over the out-stretched keeper.

Dragons kept gaining confidence but the final ball in the circle ended up on the end of a Wapping stick. After the halftime break, Dragons showed great teamwork from defence, through midfield to forwards, all working well together to snuff out any pressure from Wapping.

The home side were awarded several more penalty corners in the second half from one of these, the Wapping keeper pulled off a number of saves, however after what felt like a lifetime of scuffling, the ball evaded the Wapping defence to find a patiently waiting Olivia Thomas on the back post, Thomas calmly pushed the ball across the line.

Unfortunately, Dragons momentarily lost composure and Wapping scored two minutes later.Β  This gave Wapping more confidence to press forward and Dragons looked nervous and kept giving away the ball, which meant the defence were under constant pressure. Lou Murray kept guiding the defence of Sophie Thomas, Holly Reding, Bennett and Jenkins to ensure Wapping did not score again.

Wapping won a short corner and the umpire blew her whistle, so the entire Wapping team surrounded the circle but thankfully Dragons keeper, Shiobhan Cleeve and the defensive team were able to keep their cool and prevented Wapping from scoring again.Β  Final score a 2-1 win for the hosts.

Great positive play from Dragons after hard work in training, strong pressing and movement forward allowed excellent hockey to be played! The home side look forward to building on this hard work and great opening result through the rest of the season!

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-3 Cambridge City 2

Norwich Dragons faced their second season in Div 1N, with a few new faces to welcome into the squad. Summer signings Helen Busfield and Danni Garwood joined the team, alongside a welcome return for Sarah Borrett in the heart of the defence. In addition, GK Emma Cleland and young forward Issy Wolfe also took their places in the squad, having played a few games with the 2’s towards the end of the season. Once again, the team were well marshalled by Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson.

Dragons began proceedings confidently, moving the ball at pace, with strong running along the front line particularly from Laura Shreeve and Issy Wolfe. One attack saw Issy Wolfe earning a short corner for her team with some good close skills. The short was delivered at pace to the top of the D by Wolfe, Gail Thomas receiving and quick thinking by her, changed the planned routine, finding Karen O’Neill Simpson in plenty of space at the top, with work still to do the Captain expertly slotted the ball home. A lead Dragons deserved at this stage of the game.

Whilst the visitors had to deal with a lot of pressure from a strong Cambridge City team, they defended well with Player of the Match, Shelly Seaman and Sarah Borrett battling hard in the D. Dragons Keeper Emma Cleland made some fine saves especially from some excellent Cambridge City tomahawks, which were heading into the top corner of the goal! Eventually however, Cambridge equalised before halftime, with their two danger players combining on the right to slot the ball home.

The second half saw Cambridge start to take the ascendancy and whilst Dragons continued to work hard as a team, they didn’t quite get the breaks. Some sharp passing saw Cambridge take the lead mid way through the half and then in the final 5 minutes with Dragons pushing to chase the game, a short corner sealed the points for the home team.

Lots of encouraging signs for the team, however there are areas to work on; with the spirit and work ethic in the team, they will undoubtedly get their rewards as the season progresses.

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Double Goalscorer Sam Franklin sponsored by Great British Bake Off and Tiny Tears. Β Post-match refreshment provided by Ladies 3s Team Sponsor Prosecco.

Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Premier Division
Norwich DragonsΒ 3sΒ 3-0 Norwich Dragons 4

The first fixture for the Ladies 3s this season was an all Dragons affair which saw them pitched against newly promoted Ladies 4s. This proved to be a great match and a good challenge to start the season, especially as the teams have been training hard together through pre-season.

With some new players welcomed into the team including Amy Forse, Kiera Goymour, Claire Moylan, Kath Mares and Angela Murgatroyd the 3s were experimenting with different playing positions and formations at times, but managed to find a winning combination this week!

The game got off to a good start with a high tempo which saw the 3s holding most of the attacking play. However, the 4s were strong in defence with lots of pace and stamina to hold off the 3s oncoming attacks. There was some excellent linking play up the pitch using Tash Falzon and Sam Franklin at top and bottom of the diamond to find the great runs made my both midfielders and attackers out on the wings. This led to the first goal, with Hazel Sumner going on a magnificent run up the left wing and hitting a perfect ball up to Caroline Wolfe, who took the ball under control and scored with a first class strike.

Ladies 3s were caught off guard a couple of times on the break and the 4s best chance came from a pacey run from Sue Cross who was given time and space to take a strike, although we lucky to see it go off target. A closely followed second goal came from a drive up the pitch and into the D from Sam Franklin, supported by Caroline Wolfe and Laura Goodbun resulting in the opportunity for another straight strike from the top of the D, scored by a shocked and ecstatic Sam Franklin.

The half time team talk from head coach Sarah Wagstaffe and stand in captain Katie McKenna reminded us we needed to get back quicker and support our hardworking defence of Kiera Goymour, Carmel Windor-Waite, Angela Murgatroyd and Kath Mares. A number of great balls were sent from hit outs into the waiting wings, particularly from Kiera Goymour and through Tash Falzon.

This was taken on board in the second half and the flow of play remained in our favour. The 3s were unable to convert a number of chances including a very close strike which rebounded off the post from Katie McKenna and some β€œon the post” near misses from midfielders and attackers alike. The third goal of the game was scored by Sam Franklin from a drive down the wing and into the baseline with a close strike across goal which deflected off the foot of a defender and across the line.

Overall, Ladies 3s have set a strong performance bar for the season going forward and it is clear that there are the makings of a really strong team who are all willing to work at 100% for the team. A fantastic start. Well done to all who played and a special shout out to Ollie King who’s tailor made coaching drills have to take a lot of credit for all 3 of the goals scored this week (especially Sam’s!).

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

This was a very good performance from the fourth team today. We lined up with no less than 8 new faces, many of which had never played in the premier league before.

In the first 15 minutes I believe we were the stronger team, with three chances that we couldn’t convert. This will hopefully improve with more match play.Β Many of the youngsters made an impressive debut. Esme at right back was calm and solid in defence and certainly looked comfortable playing against the more experienced opposition. Bella as always played well in the centre, and Ella had another good game.Β Mia stood her ground at bottom of the diamond, and was possibly the most vocal person on the pitch.Β  Both the Matthews sister had a brilliant game. Β Kristina played well despite jet lag, and her appearance 6 hours after coming back from Hawaii was much appreciated.

The most encouraging aspect of today was the girls’ determination and perseverance, never giving up. They were a credit to themselves, and a pleasure to play with.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ DivisionΒ 1
Norwich Dragons 5sΒ 2-1 Pelicans 2

First game of the league and the Dragons stormed it! Β It was going to be a tough game as Pelicans had come down from the league above and the 5’s had just moved up into Division 1.Β  Lou Davis gave us a thorough warm up and stretch out, to ready us for action.Β  Pelicans had first push back and in the first 10 minutes it was end to end, whilst the 5’s were judging the oppositions play and settling into their positions.Β Β  Pushing the ball out from the defence were Jemima Williams, Lou and welcoming a new player Rowan York-Smith.Β  These three worked extremely well as a unit quick to cut off the opposition and on a hit out gave each other support to pass the ball around and up the wings.Β  With Lynne Price moving tirelessly at the top of the diamond picking up the ball the Dragons started to press the Pelican opposition.Β  Amelia Smith was moving around menacingly in the D, dodging the defenders and created a chance with a short corner.Β  The Pelicans keeper was nippy and active, goal denied.Β  A future goal would have to come from working the ball around the side of the goal. Β The Pelicans were trying their chances with some strikes through the centre, closed down by Vicky Earley with lightening speed and ability to read the play.Β  In the midfield Laura Hansell and Chelsea Crawford were running back and forth picking up balls pushed out wide and bringing them up to the D,Β  putting in strong tackles to stop the Pelicans.Β  The Pelicans first goal came from a short corner and they managed to crack in a strike.Β  The Dragons were not downbeat and continued to play passing the ball around the Pelicans and wearing them down.Β  The next goal was to come from a short corner for the Dragons, clean injection from Lynne to Lisa Harwood who passed it left to Amelia a hard slap into the goal which was kicked out and picked up by Lisa who pushed it to the left post and it was deflected in by the opposition. Score 1 all.

At half time the Dragons were still fired up and knew a win was possible as they had the majority of ball possession.Β  The Pelicans came out strong and got into the D, Alice Smith in goal threw some karate moves punching and kicking the returning ball.Β  It was cleared out and Laura ran it up the wing passing square to Megan Farrant who moved it across the D to a waiting Lynne, across the goal, where the keeper kicked it out.Β  Esme Potter who was having a break from defence and trying out a position in midfield, calmly lifted the ball over the keeper and into the back board.Β  Much jubilation, 2-1.Β  For the rest of the second half the Dragons kept moving the ball between them and really pressed the Pelicans who were getting frustrated.Β  At final whistle everyone felt rewarded with a win, as the Dragons had attacked and threatened the whole game.Β  Super start.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 5-0 Pelicans 3

Norwich Dragons 6s arrived at Pelican’s new pitches with energy and enthusiasm, keen for a win against the newly promoted team. Β After a quick team talk and vigorous warm up, newly appointed captain Beth Elgood and her team were raring to go. Β Immediately, dragons held possession and managed to pressurise; Pelicans struggled to counter dragon’s confident start. First short corner of the day came 12 minutes in, a confident injection from the ever- accurate Arabella Sabberton, led to a shot on target but was Β unfortunately cleared by a strong pelicans defence.

Dragons, now clearly comfortable, found themselves preparing for another attack at goal – after a scrappy fight for control in the D, Arabella Sabberton managed to shepherd the ball over the line. 1-0 Dragons. Β From the off, tenacious Sue Brumby showed Dragon’s intentions, running at the opposition and closing down at every opportunity. More attempts at goal… Kelly Mills, Kat Spiers and Ginny Simkin often finding themselves in the right position but just unable to finish.

Dragons’ continued possession centred now on the right, with a powerful Stevie Spencer grinding down pelican’s, now tired, defence. A long corner from Stevie Spencer met the perfectly positioned Sue Brumby, who hit the ball straight at goal, scattering pelican’s defence – 2-0 dragons at half time.

The second half saw some excellent paired passing between Nicola Robinson and Hannah Edwards and still plenty of chances at goal. Β As predicted however, Pelicans certainly weren’t losing without a fight. Dragon’s defensive dream-team: Katy Saide, Hannah Reeve, Katie Franks and Ginny Simkin (now returned to her more favouredΒ position!) fought hard to protect the ever- ready Luisa Valentino against some strong Pelicans attacking moves.

Dragons regained control once again though, some excellent passing play and impressive stick skills from Hannah Edwards and Beth Elgood in midfield led to goal number three- a hit from Hannah Edwards into the left corner. 3-0 dragons.Β More attempts at goal, with a valiant dive from Kelly Mills and a crossbar hit from Arabella Sabberton. Dragons were goal-hungry and not afraid to show it.

Goal number four followed shortly, ‘classic’ Katy Saide’s stick-down Β clearance was pushed out straight to Arabella Sabberton, who neatly dribbled the ball into the D, sweeping the ball into the left corner. 4-0 dragons.

The closing minutes of the match were as engaging as the first; proud team captain Beth Elgood repeatedly speeding up and down the pitch, eventually delivering a speedy ball to Stevie Spencer who was denied a goal by the keeper. Kelly Mill’s quick thinking kept the ball in play and a tidy finish from Kat Spiers left the final score at 5-0.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 3
Norwich DragonsΒ 7s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 3
Norwich Dragons 8s: No Fixture

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Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 4-1 Cambridge South

After a very strong preseason campaign, Β Dragons entered their first league game in great form, with plenty of optimism for the season ahead.

Dragons got off to a strong start, controlling the play and creating plenty of changes in the first 20 minutes. This pressure was rewarded by 2 early goals from Rupert Snelling and Rohan.Β As the half drew to a close Cambridge South started to come back into the game. Despite a very strong defensive display, Β soaking up a lot of pressure, South eventually scored to take it 2-1 into the break.

After a much needed breather, Dragons approached the second half in a much more composed manner, regaining control and dictating play. Β Even when down to 10 men, Dragons worked hard to keep South’s attack from causing any real danger. A Β goal was need to secure the 3 points and Henry Laming certainly rose to the occasion. Β The keeper was left helpless as Laming’s perfectly executed top D reverse, ripped into the top right hand corner the net. Another goal by Mitch Smith quickly followed, making it 1-4 at the close.

A very strong team performance from the Dragons 1’s, showing real determination and a good work rate.

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Mr Jenkins taking a couple of minutes out, with plenty of sympathy from Mr Simmonds

Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2sΒ 2-4 Newmarket 1

The fixture between these two sides has been a highly competitive one over recent years, and this one was no different. Dragons started well enough and threatened the visitor’s goal on a number of occasions. On what was destined to become a common pattern during this match, early clear-cut chances weren’t converted until Wolfe went round the keeper and struck a shot which hit a defender’s shin on the line. The resulting penalty stroke was duly converted and the home side lead 1-0. However, this was short-lived and Newmarket bundled home from close range just before half time to keep themselves in the game.

The second half started well for the visitors and sustained pressure and sloppy ball retention gifted two goals whilst Dragons managed to pull one back when another shot was illegally stopped on the line. Gill converted the second penalty stroke and Dragons pressed for an equaliser. Unfortunately further clear chances went begging and it was a strike against the run of play that gave Newmarket a well-deserved victory.

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-2 Newmarket 2

For their first game of the season, the 3s travelled away to Newmarket 2s.Β  Having suffered heavy losses the previous season to Newmarket 1s, the 3s were not sure what sort of team their 2s would be.

The game started well for Dragons with them scoring in the first 5 minutes from a short corner routine where Lloyd SAYER and Will KIRBY passing the ball between the Newmarket defence, with KIRBY knocking the ball past the keeper.Β  Newmarket then upped their game and fought back, earning themselves a couple of short corners, leading to nothing, except centre back Peter DAVISON taking a ball to the chest!

Dragons pushed well and kept up the pressure on Newmarket, often cutting out their balls in midfield.Β  The forwards were unlucky not to extend the lead, with a shot hitting the post and other chances saved by the Newmarket keeper.Β  Good work down the left by John IVES was complemented by Nick Turner down the right, feeding balls through to the forwards.Β  Despite the pressure, Dragons took the game 1-0 into halftime.

The first 5 minutes of the second half saw Dragons under pressure but the defence of Rich PHILLIS, Adam SAYER, Joel DENNIS and James GOODSON held strong and Dragons once again led the attack.Β  Jon GOODSON, Rob GOODSON and Lloyd SAYER controlled the middle and slipped balls through to the attack.Β  A dangerous ball from Newmarket floored forward George BOWMAN, who admirably returned to the game and scored to take Dragons 2-0.

Unfortunately for Dragons, a Newmarket attack led to a short corner, which they smacked in, and in the last 5 minutes, a hit into the D, led to their forward getting the slightest of touches to deflect the ball past keeper Dim IVES ( who had made some great saves earlier in the game).

So a draw and 1 point from the first game.Β  Dragons were left feeling frustrated as they knew they should have put more chances away, but will keep this determination going into next week, where they face Lowestoft 2s.

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Dr Jones showing his pace

Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1-3Β Felixstowe 2

After last weeks heavy defeat a more resolute and gritty performance was need from the team if we were to take a positive result from todays match. With this in mind an unusual 4 -1-4-1 formation was decided upon meaning we probably wouldnt score too many goals but equally we shoudnt concede too many either!

The game started at a frantic pace but Dragons held firm and snuffed out all attacks from a very strong Felixstowe side. Infact as the game progressed we grew into it and started to have a lot of quality possession which ultimately led to a short corner being awarded after good work from Jono Chaney Baxter. Shorty duly slotted the shorty and we moved ahead on the score board. With all the hard work being put in fatigue stared to show and an unfortunate miss communication allowed Felixstowe to equal just before the break.

Undeterred Dragons were determined to carry on the good work and see if they could take the game to ‘Stowe in the second half. Despite battling hard two more goals were conceded but the team left the field justifiably pleased withe game they had all played. Joint Man of the match went to Pedro who absolutely had his defender in his pocket all afternoon and Andy Carver who’s confidence visibly grew as the match progressed and finished off dominating his position on the pitch.

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Captain Howes inspires the team to a superb victory

Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5sΒ 8-0 Ipswich 4

Norwich dragons 5ths vs Ipswich 4s. A great start to the season saw an energetic mens 5s put 8 goals past a sluggish Ipswich side. The game started at 14:45 and dragons were on the attack from the off. The first goal coming on 5 minutes from Rob Lee on the right post after some great play from the dragons midfield. Who would go on to dominant the game. From this moment on the Ipswich defence crumbled. On 10 mins dragons had a disallowed goal from a short corner which was hit with true power by Josh Bingham, it missed the top of the back board by a fraction.

Dragons scored two good team goals in the next 10 mins from Paul Kassulke and from Andrew Cross before Josh Bingham smashed home a great short corner. The last goal in the first half came from some more good team play. The ball was passed about well by the midfield just outside the Ipswich D, before being passed to Captain Adrian Howes who flicked it at close rage into the top netting for a stylish goal number 5. Half time score Dragons 5 – 0 Ipswich.

The second half started a little slower from dragons. as after the restart Ipswich had 7 or 8 mins of better play. Producing the only meaningful attempts of the game. Which were all saved by a skilled young keeper or beaten back by a solid defence. Goal number 6 came from another Josh Bingham sort corner on 45 mins. After this dragons slowed a game abit while still maintaining most the possession. Goal number 7 came on 60 mins and was another stylish goal from Adrian Howes. The ball was passed to him with real speed, and he redirect it fantasticly into the bottom left. The final goal came in the 69th min from matt Armstrong who was able to knock the ball into the bottom right after a failed clearance form Ipswich. A fantastic start to the season. We call all improve on this season to. So let’s get out there. And push on from here. Dragons players involved James King, James Hansell, Jordan Hambling, Graham Mull, (Rob Lee 1), (Adrian Howes 2), (Paul Kassuike 1) Andy keys, Ray Hansell, (Matthew Armstrong 1) Owain Hall, (Andrew cross), Sol blazer, (Josh Bingham 2) and Tom Williams. Well done lads!!!!

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Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s: No Fixture

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Boys A and B Teams

Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons A 5-0Β Norwich Dragons B

The game started with both teams battling it out quite evenly but then we started to dominate and James scored a goal in the first 15, which settled our nerves. Playing against friends is not always easy but we kept our concentration and viewed it as a normal game. Soon after that Johnny scored a great goal into the side netting and we were beginning to relax and get into the game.

We went into half time two nil up and some sharp passing soon opened up spaces which Johnny capitalised on with his pace laying one across for Isaac to sweep home 3-0. Soon after james picked out Isaac with a pin-point pass to put Isaac one on one with the keeper which he slotted in the corner. Despite Jason’s best efforts, Bobby eventually got past him and got the fifth.
A fantastic start to the season!

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Empresa Norfolk BoysΒ Development League
Norwich Dragons B 0-5Β Norwich Dragons A

The Dragons boy’s development B team did themselves proud in their first ever league game. The A team started brightly, but found it difficult to get past a resolute B team midfield and defence. It was always going to be a challenge for the second string, some of whom hadn’t played more than a couple of games of hockey before, but they never gave up at any point and they have laid an excellent foundation on which to build.

As the team started to learn how to pass the ball out more effectively from the back, and confidence grew with their dribbling they were able to hold their senior club-mates out for long periods of time. However, some tired legs in the second half of the match, alongside some excellent attacking play from the A team players, led to some opportunities that were well converted.

The final score of 5-0 is probably a fair reflection, despite the heroics of the B team defence and keeper, and there were even a few visits to the A team circle and good shooting opportunities that bodes well for the future.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich DragonsΒ 9-0 Yarmouth

Our very much changed dev girls team started off their season with a fantastic 9-0 win over Great Yarmouth. Firstly thanks go to Rachel and Sophie from the first team for giving up their morning to come and help.

Yarmouth got first pushback but Dragons soon applied the pressure. Maddy Reynolds quickly scored the first of her 3 from the quarter and another goal came from Orla Hardiman. The second quarter saw Dragons extend their lead with another goal, this time from Eleanor Widdows, and some fantastic joined up play from the defence and midfield, releasing the forwards. With a 5-0 half time score line changes had to be made. Maddy Reynolds now trying out some defence, ably supported by Georgia Glenn and Stella Windsor Waite.

Continued strong play in midfield by Sophie Barrow, the captain, Maddie Gibbs, Niamh SomersΒ  and Eleanor Widdows created the space for Fern Daly, Orla Hardiman Zarina Duffield Β to press the Yarmouth defence. After some good team work in the semi-circleΒ  Niamh Somers got her first goal for Dragons taking the score to 6-0. In the final quarter Francesca Sabberton came on for Stella Windsor Waite, in the centre forward position. Yarmouth made a couple of good breaks ably dealt with by the defensive unit, preventing the ball getting to Tilly Conners-Beckett, the goal keeper, who was still yet to get her first touch. Niamh Somers scored 2 further goals claiming her first hat-trick and on a day full of firsts Sophie Barrow scored her maiden goal from a short corner, making it 9-0.

A great first result from a team who worked hard for each other throughout. Thanks go to Tracy for managing, Emma and Spike for coaching and Paul for umpiring. We are all looking forward to next week!