Norwich city centre hockey club, fun, friendly and competitive

NDHC League Match Reports: 21/02/2015

Women’s East Hockey LeagueΒ East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-6 Cambridge City 2

Having played bottom of the league ipswich last week the Dragons faced the toughest opponents yet, top of the table Cambridge City, away from home.

Cambridge demonstrated why they were sitting pretty in this league; they played the ball around with ease and when not in possession of the ball they closed the Dragons down quickly giving the visitors little time on the ball. The dragons were put under continuous pressure but defended strongly with Player of the Match, Donna VAUGHAN being in the thick of it in the centre of defence and making some timely important tackles Time after time. City were persistent and finally broke the deadlock from open play and two more goals followed before half time.

The Dragons played better in the second half and were equal to Cambs for the majority of the half.Β  Cambs scored a fourth but the Dragons replied with a fantastic drag flick by Kate TRELAWNY-GOWER from a short corner. The half was well balanced but CIty always looked in control. Two late goals by City as the Dragons tired saw the scoreline finish at 6-1, perhaps not a fair reflection of the match although City were worthy winners.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-0 Norwich City 2

With a number of rearranged fixtures over the half term break, this meant availability challenges and hence changes to the usually settled Dragons team were inevitable.Β  As expected everyone who stepped up to the team, acquitted themselves exceptionally well, proving the strength in depth within the Club – thanks to all who played their part.

After a good warm-up, organised by Karen O’Neill-Simpson, Dragons started really brightly, and were quickly into their stride, putting pressure on the City defence. Marcy Windsor-Waite and Aoife Lowe-Davies were both ‘flying’ down the flanks, creating some good early chances. Ally Windsor-Waite made fine attacking run of her own, however took a nasty fall, landing heavily, but she did well to pick herself up and continue to cause problems.

Dragons first goal opitimised how they have played this season; the ball was intercepted in their half by Sophie Thomas, who played an early ball into Gail Thomas, who in turn swept the ball quickly out to the right finding Marcy Windsor-Waite. Windsor-Waite ran a third of the pitch, beating two players, to then find Aoife Lowe-Davies who had made a great run into space, from there she drove along the baseline and played the perfect pass to the penalty spot, where Hannah Hardy had found space to sweep the ball home.Β  An excellent team goal.

Dragons continued to put pressure on the City goal, however credit to City 2’s who were defensively well organised and battled hard. Particular mention goes to Summer Haylock in the City goal, who kept the scoreline tight. Dragons continued to create a number of opportunities with Geo Beckwith working exceptionally hard upfront, well supported in midfield by Hollie Limmer, Gail Thomas, Hannah Ellis and Karen O’Neill Simpson.

The second goal came just before half-time, following a further spell of Dragons pressure, Angela Murgatroyd supporting the attack found Hannah Hardy on the left of the D. Hardy’s pass found Aoife Lowe-Davies, who again had got herself into good position, however she still had plenty to do to beat both the backtracking City defender and the City GK, however she calmly dispatched the ball home. This gave Dragons a 2-0 lead going into the break.

The second half saw good spells of possession and further pressure on the City goal, with chances coming……and going…….and short corners being won……but not quite being converted. With the Dragons GK Laura Tuck touching the ball just twice and the defensive line being largely untroubled, Dragons will be slightly disappointed not to have taken more of their opportunities.

With 4 games to go, Dragon’s continue push on as a team, having secured their promotion last weekend. They look forward to the remaining fixtures of the season, and continue to build and prepare for Div 1 next season.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Premier Division
Norwich DragonsΒ 3s 1-3 Carrow 1

DragonsΒ 3s went into this game with more than half of the normal squad unavailable. Despite this they were able to field a strong team with Laura Tuck, Sue Cross and HollyΒ Bailey stepping up from the 4s to provideΒ much neededΒ fresh legs.

Dragons started well with nice switching play across the pitch. It was only a few minutes in that Dragons had their first chance on goal. A run up the midfield from Pollyanna Watson, into the D, forcing a diving save from theΒ CarrowΒ goalkeeper. A short corner soon after necessitated further saves from the goalkeeper, after 2 strong shots by Debs Smith. Dragons remained very much in control of the game, with the defence of NatashaΒ Falzon, Laura Bruce, Alice Guest and sweeper SarahΒ WagstaffΒ mopping up any stray balls. Just before the breakΒ CarrowΒ found their way into the Dragons D for the firsttime, finding a Dragons foot and winning a short. Β A straight strike from the top of the DΒ meant an unlucky Dragons squad went into the break 1-0 down.

A change of formation at half timeΒ to encourage more opportunities on theΒ CarrowΒ goal,Β unfortunatelyΒ meant we perhaps lost some width to our game. In no time at allΒ Carrowhad two further breaks through, scoring fromΒ both. A startled Dragons team quickly regrouped though and once more had the majority of possession and chances. Hazel Sumner (POM) in particular worked tirelessly up the right wing, dodging defenders and making some lovely crosses across the D.Β NatashaΒ Falzon, Sophie Farrow and SianΒ LawrieΒ all testedΒ theΒ CarrowΒ goalkeeper, but the ball just wouldn’t go in, in part due to some excellent defending from theΒ CarrowΒ team.

With only a few minutes left on the clock Dragons finally got their reward with a beautifully worked short corner, slipped left to Harriet Green to slap into the goal. In all, a disappointing result, with plenty of lessons to be learned going into next week’s game away to Diss.

Photos from game available here.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ DivisionΒ 1
Norwich Dragons 4s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s 0-2 Watton 2

There doesn’t seem to be much to say about this game except everyone came away very disappointed!Β  The Ladies 5’s welcomed a few new recruits to fill up the team due to Half Term holidays.Β  It was a chilly morning and with the formation set we were ready for the off.Β  The play was lovely, wide passes up from Carmel to Ellie and Rachael, who ran the ball clean up the wings, dodging a few opposition players.Β  Any play from the opposition was quickly picked up by Charlotte who was like lightening across the pitch.Β  Victoria also halted many who came her way.Β  On many occasions Anya and Megan brought the play into the D and fired off some shots, the opposition goalie was like tigger bouncing about stopping all the shots.

The experienced opposition players fired off some long balls which were picked up by some speedy runs and they managed to get one past Christina.Β  The Dragons were fired up and wanted their own goals.Β  There was lots of calling for the ball and really nice play up the pitch, even Jess got in a run half way up the pitch weaving through opposition.Β  Bella and Emma were quick to pick up any oncoming opposition and played the ball back to the wingers.Β  Unfortunately Watton got another ball into the D and managed to flip it over the top of Christina. Β Massive credit to all Dragons they were undeterred, through the whole game, we probably had about 20 shots on goal from all angles/sides but the strong Watton defence and top goalie kept the ball clear, unbelievable!!

Big thanks to Racheal’s Dad who managed the subs and gave support.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 3
Norwich Dragons 6s: No Fixture

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 3
Norwich DragonsΒ 7s 1-3 Lowestoft Railway 2

Dragons Ladies 7s were prepared for a tough match this week against Lowestoft Railway 2s after their defeat the last time they met.

Dragons were on the attack from the start, putting pressure on Lowestoft in their half of the pitch. The left mid Rosie Skipp and right mid Catherine Matthews were running up and down the pitch receiving from and passing balls to top of the diamond Lucy Morton. Katrina Speirs at right forward stopped plenty of strong shots from Lowestoft, getting into the D with other forwards Jasmine Mansfield and Jane Morton. There were plenty of shots at goal and Jane managed to get the ball past the keeper to bring Dragons 1 – 0 up. Lowestoft kept on fighting and managed to equalise in the first half.

The second half got underway with Dragons keen to score again, however so were Lowestoft. Laura Tuck in goal did great work in knocking out balls and directing the defence of Emma North, Emma Banks and Claire Fairhurst. Gill Walker (POM) at bottom of the diamond worked hard to intercept Lowestoft, winning the ball off them to pass up the pitch. Dragons had several more attempts at goal but none managed to get past Lowestoft defence. Unfortunately Lowestoft did manage to get 2 more goals, the last of which came from a painful ankle deflection off a defender.

New members to Dragons Becky Gallagher and Frankie Paul came on as welcome substitutes to give tired players a rest. They both did a great job in a tough first match.

Although Dragons lost again this time, they are pleased with the progress they have made through training and match experience and look forward to their next match.

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

Dragons went into this local rivalry with massive hopes and expectations for a win to propel them onto the stratospheric heights of Div1.

With a warm up of epic proportions and the pre-game hype done nothing could slow Dragons down to what many in the crowd expected to be a rout. And what a first 10 minutes Dragons served up. If this was a Bible story it would be feeding the 5000 – little to start with but growing in the opening 5 minutes with expansive, and sometimes stunning play, leading to many in the crowd remarking “how are these boys not in Prem A?”
The first goal was a majestic affair with play being niftily started from the back where the mightily bearded Mitch slung a sublime cross-field ball that transected the opposition offence Alex bounced the ball inside to the wonderful talented Dom who, upon turning strong got his head up and gazed across the unfolding situation. Making text book runs across the Dragons front lines, Messers Brown, Snelling and Avery creating a wealth of room upon the right hand side where the ball, perfectly weighted, allowed the marauding Overstall to stampeded forwards into the space. Getting his head up to observe the situation he placed a perfectly constructed hit onto the tip of Sam’s stick where the defestest of touches pulled the ball across the goal and into the net. The crowd went wild, the team went wild and all was good with the world.
Countering on the unbelievably efficient transfer around the back once again playmaker Dom tucked some beautiful inter-midfield play with the immovable Matt Knights allowed some mazey runs and mind-boggling passing to confuse the defence time and time again. Upon a hard tackle, the likes that wouldn’t look out of place in the National League, matt knights started a trademark curving run into the D where more clever ball work resulted in the defender kicking the ball out of the circle and a subsequent short corner being awarded.
The forever young Gosling played a superb injection at pace, along the ground to the top of the D. As graceful as a deer, Rupert Snelling ran into the perfectly stopped ball and slung with complete precision a “eye-of-the-needle” flick into the bottom right hand corner. Again the crowd couldn’t contain themselves, they were going wild – security could barely stop a pitch invasion. 2-0 in 10 minutes. This was the stuff of dreams.
Dragons then decided to lose 4-2

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Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 2-2 Norwich City 3

Norwich Dragons 2nd XI took on cross-town rivals Norwich City’s 3rd XI in a local derby with Dragons looking to maintain their recent good form and continue their move away from the wrong end of the table.

Dragons were buoyed by the previous weekend’s toppling of league leaders Bury, but had a much changed side. Young guns Gosling, Laming and Watson had been called into the first team, so captain, Gordon-Brown called in Smyth from the 3rd XI, and welcomed Rutledge and Sloman back from recent new fatherhood duties.

After a good warm-up, Dragons started brightly, with Cley Hamilton making inroads down the right hand side; this resulted in an early lead, Hamilton picking off a pass out of defence and feeding an early ball into Jason Wolfe, who, sensing the opportunity to take the lead in the Dragons golden stick race (courtesy of the early pushback), took a touch before striking an early shot into the corner of the goal before the ‘keeper could set himself.

Dragons continued to have the better of the opening exchanges, Lewis ‘LJW’ Wilkins flashed a shot agonisingly wide following great work again by Hamilton, and Chris Simmonds couldn’t quite shift the ball into a position to shoot when breaking through.

City looked dangerous coming forward, but stout defending by Dragons prevented any clear-cut chances from open play; as the half wore on, City started to win penalty corners, however, Dragons goalkeeper Elliot Wang stood firm, confidently turning everything away.

Dragons half-time team talk focussed on position discipline, and maintaining the work-rate, in the face of an expected step up of City’s game.This proved to be critical as City came out testing Dragons with much more regularity, however, again Dragons generally limited City to penalty corners, with Wang continuing to deny them. When City did find a routine that opened Dragons’ corner defence up, the shot flashed inches wide of the post.

As the half wore on, Dragons got some more rhythm in attack, but struggled to make use of their penalty corners, or create any clear chances, and were indebted to a great intervention from Wang who was out swiftly to cut out a 2-on-1 that looked destined to end in a City goal.

Dragons did increase their lead when after a period of sustained pressure in the City circle, Wilkins found time to arrow a strike into the corner. Β Dragons knew that City would come hard to try and get back in the game, and so it proved, with Dragons finding it increasingly difficult to get out of their own half. Eventually this pressure told when City managed to work the ball along the baseline and across the goal to a waiting player who calmly slotted home.

This bouyed City who continued to press Dragons, but consequently allowed some chances on the break. It was a quick turnover following one of these that proved to be the undoing of Dragons’ defence, a long aerial ball creating a 1-on-1 at the back, with the City forward finishing well over the on-rushing Wang. Β Even then there was still time for Dragons to win a late corner, where Rutledge forced a good save from the keeper; the rebound fell to Ollie King who struck a reverse stick strike which rocketed against the crossbar, but agonisingly clear of the goal.

Full-time: 2-2
Dragons MoM was Tom Rutledge

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 2-1 Dereham 3

Dragons Men’s 3’s were in a confident mood after getting back to winning ways the previous week and were looking to take another 3 points in their quest to gain max points from the remaining games. The Dereham team had a few new faces compared to the team they beat earlier in the season, so Dragons warmed up well and sure they were up for the push back. Dragons started a bit slow, with both teams creating chances, but with keeper Dim Ives and usual back line of Peter Davidson, James and Jon Goodson keeping any Dereham attacks at bay and working the ball back out wide. The defensive midfield of Rich Phillis, Rob Goodson worked well winning tackles and driving forwards Β and Will Main at the top of the midfield attack worked tirelessly attacking and distributing the ball wide to John Ives, Will Ives and Nick Turner who were all working the ball well down the wings.Β  Upfront Matt Jenkins, Will Kirby and Aided Kemp were using the whole pitch, making runs and getting into space and eventually this resulted in a Diagonal ball from Will Main on the 25 which Matt Jenkins calmly deflected over the keeper, so 1-0 to Dragons at half time.

2nd half the Dragons then stepped up a gear and started to use the space more effectively and created quite a number of chance which they failed to put away. Man of the Match Will Ives made some lovely runs down the left wing putting the ball in for a shot on goal and Dragons were unlucky not to be 2 or 3 goals up.Β  Then an attack from midfield saw Will Kirby put the ball under the Dereham keeper off the back of a shot by Rich Phillis taking Dragons to 2-0. Dereham had few chances but they did manage to grab a goal with a scramble over the line to make it 2-1, which remained the final score. Another 3 points for Dragons and a tough game next week at IES to prepare for.

 

Photos from game available here.

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Men’s East League Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 2-0 Dereham 4

Dragons travelled to Dereham still looking to recover their pre-Christmas form and maintain their position as league leaders.

Dereham started the game well, enjoying some good possession in the first 10 minutes.Β  Any attacks were thwarted by the strong defence of Neil Shorten, Andy Hipper, Dave Pentin, Chris Wilkinson and Jon Price.Β  Gradually Dragons came into the game and started to create chances with Robbie Whiting and Andy Cross getting in some good positions upfront but struggling to get a shot on target.Β  Dereham didn’t create too many chances themselves, but an attack on the break saw a goal bound shot hit the unlucky Andy Hipper on the foot, resulting in a penalty stroke.Β  The Dragons’ huddle quickly reflected on their own (lack of) success from the spot this season and watched in delight as the flick flew high and wide.

Half time saw the game tied at 0-0 and the tension building.Β  Dereham were a stronger team and playing better than the one beaten 7-0 at the Den earlier in the season.

Dragons increased the tempo in the second half, Man of the Match Garnet Jones retaining possession upfront and making some incisive passes.Β  Stu Kelly was a welcome addition to midfield, joining regulars Rich Moulson and Rob Jenkins.Β  Barney β€˜Bear’ Price showed great pace and attacking intent as did Sam Mann.Β  Rohan Kaushal’s skills were evident as he continues to gain in strength and confidence.

Dragons took the lead when a no-nonsense pass down the middle from the ever reliable Andy Hipper was deflected in by Robbie Whiting.Β  The relief was palpable and just a few minutes later Jon Price doubled the lead when he scored with a well placed shot.Β  Dragons were seemingly in control, but Dereham didn’t give up, making a number of robust challenges and pulling a goal back with a rare foray into the Dragon’s D.Β  A mystifying incident saw Moulson shown a yellow card, whilst Chris Wilkinson and Rob Jenkins both took heavy falls as it seemed the tide might be turning in Dereham’s favour.

With 10 minutes left, Dereham were awarded a second goal as Dave Pentin deflected the ball past a lunging Giles.Β  Dave was apoplectic, but fortunately the umpires conferred to determine that no Dereham player had touched the ball in the D.

Determined Dragons defence ensured a hard earned 2-1 win and another step closer to promotion

Additional

The writer of this report wishes to apologise and confirm that Dragons actually won the game 2-0.Β  It does explain why I had difficulty remembering Dereham’s goal (there wasn’t one apart from the disallowed effort).Β  Perhaps the blow to the head was more serious than first thought…

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Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s: No Fixture

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

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 2: 2 Pelicans

On Saturday 21st Feb the Dragons boys development team took on Pelicans away in Kings Lynn. Dragons started strongly with lots of the possession but couldn’t finish off any chances. Early in the first half we couldn’t clear the ball away and Pelicans capitalised when one of their players passed the ball into the back of the net. Shortly after their first goal, Pelicans came on the attack again. This time there was a deflected shot that came in from the top of the circle. Half-time score 2-0

When we came out for the second half we were all raring to go. We had a lot of possession around the d but couldn’t score. Then when there was fifteen minutes to go Raunaq and Jack dribbled from the half way line when finally Raunaq squared the ball to Jack who calmly found the bottom corner of the goal. Almost straight away Pelicans gave the ball away from the kickoff and we had a shot that took a big defection and went in to level the score 2-2. In the dying minutes of the game Pelicans were pushing all their players forward to try and get back in front but we managed to hold on to make the final score 2-2 with Jack Small getting man of the match.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich DragonsΒ : No Fixture

 

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