Norwich city centre hockey club, fun, friendly and competitive

NDHC League Match Reports: 18/10/2014

Women’s East Hockey LeagueΒ East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 0:3 Cambridge City 1

Norwich Dragons were defeated again this week by a very well organised, well drilled physical team.; Cambridge City experienced in this league came to the Den full of confidence having won their last three fixtures and flying high in the table. Cambridge started strongly putting the home under an immense amount of pressure but the Dragons, who learnt from last week, defended strongly and limited Cambridge’s opportunitities to score from open play but in doing so conceded a number of short corners. The Dragons defended these well but just before half time Cambridge convertedΒ  and broke the deadlock.

The second half proved to be very similar the Dragons working hard but spent much of the match in their own half holding the visitors but not creating any opportunities themselves. In the end the Dragons, who worked tirelessly, were unable to prevent the visitors converting one of the many short corners awarded and found themselves 2-0 down. A third was scored at the death from open play. The Dragons always expected this to be a difficult match. They have now played three of the top four in the league so are hoping next weeks visit to Tunbridge Wells will give them some more points on the board. Player of the match was jointly awarded to Donna VAUGHAN who was game fully employed in defence and Sophie MULLAN who worked tiredlessly in midfield.

IMG_3455Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 3:1 Ipswich 3

A delayed start due to late arrival of umpires meant Dragons were kicking their heels a little, with a 45 minute warm-up. This called for the need to keep concentration levels high, which wasn’t easy, however Aoife Lowe-Davies seemed to have no problems, with an early pacey run at goal, evading a couple of defenders, before rolling out in the D, giving herself time and space to strike the ball firmly past the outcoming keeper. A great solo effort from the Player of the Match, to give Dragons an early lead.

Despite this, Dragons struggled to settle into their normal fluid passing game, giving the ball away a little too easily and not being first to the 50 : 50 balls. Ipswich had a good share of possession, but the Dragons defence was really well marshalled by Angela Murgatroyd, Sophie Thomas and Ally Windsor-Waite with Freddie Briscoe making some important blocks in goal. Ipswich forced a number of short corners, one being expertly taking off the line by Angela Murgatroyd.

A battling first half concluded at 1-0, a score which reflected a tight game; a much tougher encounter than had been anticipated. Half time talk was largely around settling down a little and playing our game, plus looking to be first to every ball. The pitch was heavy and the breeze strong, meaning that fitness was always going to be an important factor.

Dragons continued to press forward and the speedy foward duo of Marcy Windsor-Waite and Aoife Lowe-Davies ensured they always looked dangerous on the break, creating a number of opportunities, going close on a few occasions. Ipswich threatened on occasions too and Laura Tompson-Wright, slotting in at right midfield, and Hannah Ellis at left mid, both produced some excellent defensive work to ensure the lead was kept intact.

Any lingering nerves were settled in the last 15 minutes. Dragons earned a short corner, which Emily Rolls slipped to Gail Thomas. Thomas found Marcy Windsor-Waite who had got herself into a great position on P spot, where she calmly slotted the ball home, to take a 2 – 0 lead. Further Dragons pressure saw good work down the left by Karen O’Neill-Simpson, who found Hannah Hardy in space on the left hand side of the D, seeing the keeper slightly off her line, Hardy placed the ball in at a tight angle, to make it 3 – 0.
Ipswich were not prepared to lie down and to their credit they continued to work the Dragons defence until the very end, forcing a couple of short corners, one of which was very well struck. Freddie Briscoe did well to deflect it, which Angela Murgatroyd almost saved high on the line, but the ball flew into the net.
Another tough and physical encounter; Dragons should come away very pleased with their good levels of fitness and their ability to get a result, even when they weren’t playing at their fluent best. Well done everyone, lets keep working hard together.
Some photos here.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier League
Norwich Dragons 3sΒ 5:0 Magpies 4

They may not have had the first push back, but Dragons were on the attack from the get go, scoring two goals in as many minutes at the start of the game.

The first, scored within thirty seconds of the starting whistle, came from an interception just outside Magpies defending 25 by Caroline Wolfe. Driving into the D Wolfe’s initial shot was saved by the keeper. This rebounded straight back to Wolfe’s stick, who slotted the ball into the corner of the goal.

Not letting up, Dragons were back on the attack winning a short corner. Injected by Pollyanna Watson who then neatly deflected Wolfe’s wide shot behind the keeper on the left post bringing the score to 2:0.

Play settled for a while, but with Dragons never taking off the pressure. This resulted in them winning another short corner. Slow play at the top of the D and a fast runner from Magpies looked to steal the ball into Magpies favour. Undeterred Wolfe reverse swept the ball in front of the keeper to Sophie Farrow, who in turn swept the ball into the back of the net.

The forth goal for Dragons came from their third short corner. The ball was stopped and slipped left to Debs Smith who moved it one more to Lucy Hopgood (PoM). With precision and composure Hopgood scored from seven yards out.

Following half time dragons had to defend a series of short corners as magpies had their ten minuets. Opportunities were thwarted with excellent defending by Amy Forse, Sarah Wagstaff, Natasha Falzon, Ruth Wilmott and Abi Cowe. Magpies similarly successfully defended their D from more dragons corners. Watson was unlucky not to score a second when she kicked the ball, prior to deflecting it into the goal.

Excellent defending from the front helped to ensure Magpies were stuck in their defending half for most of the game. Amelia Dawson, Hazel Sumner and Ruth Wilmott all working well to pick up free hits, turning play and continuing the attack. Following one of these turns of play came the Dragons fith and final goal. A goal mouth scramble, with several strikes being deflected off of the keeper, was capitalised on by Wolfe who slipped one of the loose balls past the keeper.

Final Score Magpies 4’s 0:5 Dragons 3’s

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4sΒ 3:0 Magpies 6

Dragons started the match slowly, and made heavy work of what on paper should have been an easier game. Magpies were quick on the ball, and had the majority of the play in the first half. Moments before half time there was an opportunity for dragons to take the lead, but the ball painfully slipped the wrong side of the post. Laura Tuck in goal ensured the score was 0 – 0 at half time.

The second half started well, following some inspirational words from Pete, Laura Goodburn made a number of aggressive runs down the right wing. With her pace and her insight she caused a number of problems for the magpies defence. She was rewarded with two goals. Mel Widdows scored for the second time in two weeks and yet again was in a good position to slip the rebounded shot past the waiting keeper.

A fine performance for the debutant Carmel, who played well in advance of her years. Louise was a rock in the centre of defence and made a number of valuable interceptions before passing the ball wide. Freya surprised herself with a number of runs up the pitch with the ball.

Gemma was an influential player in the centre of the pitch controlling the play, and Laura had a very solid performance at the bottom of the diamond.

Kenny had a number of good opportunities, and caused the magpie defence a lot of problems.

Man of the match voted by the players went to Laura Goodburn and Laura Bruce.

The team look forward to the return of their captain next week when we take on Magpies 5s.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 2:0 Norwich CityΒ 5

Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s secure a nail biting 2nd win against Norwich City with 2 beautiful goals.
The game was griping from the beginning excellent defence by both City and Dragons left us in a game of ping pong moving the ball from one end of the pitch to the other. Dragons dominated play but could not secure the goals. City had some convincing chances on the break but these were dealt with by Dragons and a particularly excellent save with Laura Tuck leaving her line to close it down. The first goal came just before half time with a fantastically lifted shot in the top corner by Rosie Korn. It was a corker!
In the second half Norwich City came back much stronger and had 3 unlucky misses in front of goal which were heart stopping for Norwich Dragons. Some excellent work by mid field particularly Helen Marsh (Player of the Match) gave Dragons their chances but none were converted. The second goal finally Β came from a clinical flick by cucumber Issy Wolfe much to the delight of the entire Dragons team who jumped for joy.

VV9A1537Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6 1:2Β Yarmouth 2

The 6s surrendered their unbeaten record in a disappointing manner. They gave themselves their pre-match talk on attitude and commitment, but failed to execute it against top of the table Yarmouth, who wanted to win the game more. Dragons got their passing game going, but the final passes into the circle were often not firm enough and were easily cut out. After a goalless first half, Dragons took the lead when Rosie Skipp shot speculatively from the top of the D, and the goalkeeper either completely misread theΒ ball or thoughtΒ it had come from outside the circle. But Dragons failed to press on from there, even though they had the wind behind them.

Dragons defenders – Katy Saide in the middle with Lottie Korn and Katie Franks on either side and Jo Eke at the bottom of the diamond – played very well and dealt with everything except two penalty corners. In the first, perhaps they could have got their block tackles in after Alice Smith saved the first shot,Β  but the second they could do nothing about. They were quickly out, but the ball took a massive deflection at the top of the circle and rocketed into the top corner.

Megan Farrant was the player of the match, using her speed and stick skills to good effect, but she lacked support up front. Ciara Willmott also took the eye at right mid for her determination and willingness to take on responsibility for dealing with challenging situations.

For teams at the top of the division, this was a game with a lot of toil but not much quality and it was disappointing both teams had to be warned for some dreadful stick tackles. Dragons now have two match-free weeks to get back to some hard work in training and to start playing their best hockey.

Some photos here.

IMG_8748-001Empresa Norfolk Women’s League Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7 0:2Β Loddon 2

Dragons Ladies 7s lost away to Loddon 2, whose experience eventually won them the match.

Dragons started the first half in fine spirits and with some good passes up the pitch. Lucy Morton up front had some great runs on the left, passing the ball into the D for Claire Fairhurst or Katrina Speirs to pick up. This also led to a number of short corners, although Loddon managed to successfully defend Dragons attacks. The first half finished at 0-0.

The second half got underway with the Dragons keen to score. Loddon were on the attack and broke through the defence of Jasmin Daniels, Emma Banks and Persy Magdalene to score the first goal of the match. Dragons battled on, with Gill Walker (POM) making great tackles, passing the ball to Emma North and Tracy Stuart-Sheppard who then passed to the forwards, including Helena Baker. Dragons managed to get the ball into the D and attain some short corners, but still couldn’t find the elusive back of the net. GK Giselle Nieuwoudt made some great saves; however, Loddon’s second goal came about from a short corner which Dragons made a good effort to defend.Although a little disappointed with the final result, this new Dragons team realises that their lack of experience is the only thing that let them down as all played as well as they could.Some photos here.

Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 5:1Β Dereham 2

Dragons bounced back from last week’s disappointment with a commanding 5-1 win away at old rivals Dereham on Saturday. The side welcomed back Ed Smith and Nick Charlish but lost Rutledge to a mystery illness on the morning of the game (β€œa lesser man would have been dead,” said the club doctor; β€œyou wouldn’t believe how much rat poison we had to get into him,” said an unnamed source within the side). Dragons were led by stand-out stand-in skipper Matt Knights who snared a classy hatrick, the side’s first for the season.

Dragons started cautiously, perhaps a little wary after last week’s disappointment. Snelling, Hamilton, and Samwise led the line well, stretching play into the channels, while Charlish and β€˜Walker’ were prominent in build-up play. At the other end, though, Dragons were sloppy and Bell was called into action more often than he might have liked. They took control of the game with a fine team move, the ball worked wide down the right to Charlish whose superb ball was dummied by Samwise, leaving Knights to crash home past the despairing keeper. The goal rattled the home side, who clung on thanks to some ‘strong’ defending, the silkily skilled Laming too often the victim.

Inspirational words from Wagstaff at the break saw Dragons blow Dereham away in the first fifteen minutes of the second half. First Knights poached a slightly scrappy second, collecting a misplaced pass that others had given up on and somehow smearing the ball past the keeper from an acute angle. Charlish then went one better, a mazy run followed by a bobbly finish from an even tighter angle. Knights thumped home his third from a complex short-corner move. And then Samwise, released by a fine ball from Sloman down the left, showed terrific skill and composure to beat his man and then hold up the ball for an onrushing Laming to crunch home at the near post. Dragons took their foot off the pedal and Nick Deayton pulled a proverbial Overstall to let Dereham pull one back (whispers had it that the club couldn’t afford Bell’s clean-sheet bonus), but it was a good performance and a good win.

Asked after the match whether the side had missed Rutledge, Wagstaff was diplomatic: β€œnot really – β€˜Walker’ picked up the weekly green card for β€˜irony’ and Knights finally had the confidence he could get forward without leaving the team exposed at the back. As it were.” Smith was heard muttering after the game β€œsure, it’s a team game, but I’m 9 points from 3 games; what about the rest of you?” Snelling added β€œif I’d known the midfielders were going to get all the goals I’d have asked to play inner all along.”

Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2:5 Ipswich Cranes

Norwich Dragons succumbed to another disappointing defeat against Ipswich Cranes. The home team never really got going in the first 20 minutes and this allowed Cranes to race into an early 3-0 lead. Sam Mann provided some heroics in goal to keep the score line respectable. Just before half time, Dragons had a period of pressure which resulted in Rory Jackson tucking home from an Alex Browne struck short corner to offer Dragons a little hope.

Dragons started the second half brightly and a Jason Wolfe goal put the home team back in the game. Unfortunately, Dragons were never able to capitalise and whilst trying to push for an equaliser were punished twice further on the break

Man of the match was split between Rory and Sam, but Sam took the award with some smart β€˜rock, paper, scissors’ play. Next week Dragons face UEA and hope to turn this slump in form around.

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

A hard working and determined performance saw norwich dragons third team win 2-1 away to a bury team boasting a full team with five substitutes.

Two quick goals either side of the half from goal machine Matt Jenkins sealed the win for the visitors.

A special mention to goalkeeper Elliott Wang with his thoroughlyΒ deserved man of the match performance. Although his deliberate leave when the opposition had scuffed a shot in the D will not be forgotten for some time.

With only 1 sub, all members of the team from hard working Adrian Kemp through to Peter Davidson put in a full shift and considering the strength and depth of the bury team it was a great victory. Four wins from five games so far is an impressive start from the team that goes from strength to strength

Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 1:1Β Magpies 5

Dragons welcomed Magpies 5 to the Den, looking to continue their great start to the season.Β  A largely unchanged Dragons team saw Jon Price return and offered a season’s debut to Robbie Kay in the sweeper role.

Magpies pressed hard from the start, quickly closing down the Dragons players in all areas of the pitch and making it hard for Dragons to find their usual fluency.Β  Solid defending from both teams restricted the goal mouth action, despite good play down Dragons’ right hand side with MoM Paul Keating linking up well with Nick Turner in midfield and Garnett up front.Β  Midway through the first half Dragons grabbed the lead, Rob Jenkins poking home from close range after some pinball action in the D.Β  A single goal never felt like enough and Dragons were disappointed not to extend their lead through Garnett, who blasted over from a narrow angle with his best chance, though Rob β€˜Bangers’ Chaney-Baxter almost connected with it above his head at the far post.

As the tension mounted, Dave Pentin let loose some pent up frustration with a torrent of β€˜tips’ as he tried manfully to marshal the back line and organise the marking.Β  Half time saw Dragons still leading 1-0.

Magpies came out strongly in the second half, but struggled to create clear cut chances until they earned a rare short corner (not conceded by Wilko this week).Β  A powerful strike into the corner left Giles Brooks in goal no chance and the game was tied at 1-1.

Dragons worked hard to get back into the game, and earned a penalty flick when a shot from Robbie Kay was kicked off the line.Β  Spurred on by his watching family, Robbie pushed Rich Moulson aside and stepped up to take the flick himself.Β  The keeper dived the right way, got up, dusted himself down and finally watched the ball trickle onto his pad.Β  Robbie sheepishly made his way back to his defensive position.

A combative last quarter saw both teams looking for the winner and whilst Dragons were disappointed not to maintain their 100% record, a draw was a fair result for a good team effort (including Robbie Kay) against a wily, combative and experienced Magpies side.

Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 4:0 Sudbury 4

11 dragons crossed the border to Sudbury in search for their fourth win of the season. With eleven players and Joel Lawrence filling the keeper spot, today was a great opportunity for young dragon cub Max Laming to make his mark in the squad.

The game started with end to end hockey and both keepers doing what they could to keep their oppositions out. The first goal didn’t come until 15 minutesΒ  in when Andy Keys managed to beat the keeper and hit the backboard with a fine strike from a short corner routine. After the deadlock was broken the pressure on both goals mounted but Laming very calmly managed to claim the second goal with a cheeky lob of the Sudbury keeper. 10 minutes of attacking hockey followed with nothing to come of it until half-time, where Dragons led with a well deserved 2 goal lead.

The second half began with much of the same end to end hockey as both teams hunted for the 3rd goal of the game. Oli Browne scored his second goal in two games 10 minutes in to give the Dragons a decisive 3 goal lead. Following this the game became one-sided with dragons holding most of the possession and committing to plenty of attacks. With 10 minutes to go Oli Browne sealed the deal with his second goal of the game.

The game ended four-nil to the Dragons and it was great to see a well contested game of hockey demonstrating the 3 core principles of England hockey: passion, speed and respect. Many thanks to our umpires and our well-disciplined passionate opponents. Man of the match goes to Max Laming; the young dragon has found his feet in the adult game and had an incredible performance as a consequence of this.

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

Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 7:4 Norwich City

Playing City is always difficult as many of the Dragons and City boys know each other and also because in the past Dragons had never beaten Norwich City before. Their best result to date was a 3-3 draw last season. Was today to be different?

The boys started the game very well. Some excellent passing and runs off the ball saw Dragons have a couple of early chances. City then had their 10 minutes where Dragons soaked up the pressure and defended well. But the breakthrough came half way into the first half. At half time, Dragons were 4-0 up:

  • Jono Chaney Baxter was in the right place at the right time to slot expertly home from close range.
  • Harry Williams drove into the D from the right, sucked in the goal keeper and slipped the ball to his left for Louis Cann to calmly sweep the ball into an empty net.
  • Tom Bailon’s dangerous runs into the D resulted in a goal from a sweet strike.
  • A well-practiced short corner routine paid off with Charlie Nunn slipping the ball to his right for Louis Cann to stop for Freddie Dixon to hit the ball strongly into the goal.

City made a change and were a different team in the second half. There was also probably a bit of complacency by Dragons. Either that or the boys decided to make things difficult for themselves and make a game of it by letting in 4 goals in quick succession! So half way through the second half, the score was 4-4. The boys seemed to lose control of the midfield and did not mark very well. They were also thrown by the loss of such a substantial lead.

Raunaq was brought back to central defence to man mark City’s most dominant player and that changes seemed to work. A slight fluke of a goal from Harry β€˜Basil’ Williamson (whose shot at a narrow angle from the top of the D was let in by the City keeper as he thought it had been struck from outside of the D) spurred the boys on – the whole team went over to congratulate Harry β€˜Basil’ Williamson. Soon Basil had his second. A persistent run from Louis Cann down the left with a pull back across the goal saw Basil in the right place at the right time to score into an empty net. 6-4!

But City kept attacking and if it was not for McCartney backing up Ben Nkrumah in goal, clearing the ball off the line, it would have been 6-5!

Dragons seventh goal came from A superb strike from the top of the D by Charlie Nunn. The victory was sealed.

A great team performance and a great reply to a loss of a big lead. There is lots for the boys to learn from that game!

Player of the match: Ben Nkrumah.

Performances of note: Raunaq Rai for playing out of position and keeping City’s danger man under control, Tom Bailon for his speedy skilful runs down the right, Basil for no end of times making runs to get on the far post with his efforts paying off with a goal from being in the right place at the right time, George Wright for his solid defending on the left and Louis Cann for his goal and assist

Thanks to Robert Coyle and John Butler for their assistance.


Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 4:0 Watton

Who scored for Dragons? Heather Tasker, Willow Major, Alice Chapman-Young and an own goal driven onto the goalie’s pads by Catherine Matthews

The captain was Catherine Matthews.Β  The player of the match was a awarded to Sophie Thurtell because she put in 110% all the way through and she continued to play really well.

The coaches and club members supporting us on the side line was Bridget and Jane Morton. They really helped and supported us all the way though the game.Β  We didn’t have any adult on and we didn’t need any. The opposition had two adults. However they did have some girls who were a lot younger than us.

All players should feel proud of their performance and altogether we had a very strong side. Well done Dragons!!