Empress Norfolk Women’s League, Division 3
Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s v Dereham: 1-3
The last game of the season and what a way to end it! One of the best that that 8’s have played, determined to give it their all and end on a high. Everyone worked their absolute green and red socks off and attacked from the beginning, wasted no time in showing Dereham who was boss. It was one of the hottest days of the year so far and they were probably the only 2 hockey teams in Norfolk that played a league match that day. The 8’s do love to take on a challenge…
Final score was 3:1 to Dereham 5’s. POM was Captain Katy Cole. Despite being pretty even in the first half and holding them well for the first 33 minutes, Dereham flukily scored their first goal in the last 2 minutes of the first half whilst their second and third came form short corners, of which they had about 15! Dragons successfully managed to defend nearly all of them and get the ball back down the other end. The score line does not reflect the 8’s efforts. They really held their own and should be proud, despite the loss. It certainly was one of their best games to watch.
Goal Keeper Emma ‘Noble Northy’ North continued her successful run of being on fab form, saving too many goal shots to count, particularly those close ones from from the many short corners they had fouled against them, she made she great clearances and looked cool, calm and collected in her goalie kit even in the 18 degree heat!
Vice Captain Jo ‘The Strategiser’ Baker made another noteworthy performance as centre back – calculatedly took dozens of amazing hit outs in to some lovely spaces, she really held the defence and the rest of the defenders responded excellently to her direction. Jo was fierce in the D and worked super hard to distribute the ball out whilst they were under attack.
Anna ‘Silent Achiever’ Chapman as left back. Anna was her usual stealth-like strong and reliable self, she played some lovely balls along with the wing, did some great passes to the waiting midfielders and was on top form in this match.
Johanne ‘Sassy’ Steward as right back. Johanne was her enthusiastic self and she worked really hard to tackle the opposition and take possession of the ball. Johanne made some excellent passes to open spaces ready for the players to ‘post-up’ just like they have been learning in training.
Maria ‘No-Milling-Around’ Milititsky as right back and covered Jo B as centre back. Maria is a fabulous new talent in the making, she is tenacious and fearless, she drops back to support GK Emma when she pushed up to make a clearance. This is no mean feat!
Emma ‘Fearless’ Fielding was brilliant again as bottom of the diamond. Emma’s great speed and fitness mean that she is easily able to run up and down the pitch like all good midfielders do! Emma takes direction well and she made good use of her strong hits to distribute the ball out of the defending danger zone.
Nic ‘Tenacious’ Harrison, left mid and covered as top of the diamond. As ever a reliable player who never gives up! Nic tackled tirelessly as always and demonstrated her super work output level! Made some lovely runs down the wing and passed accurately to the forwards.
‘Tricky’ Tracy Stuart Sheppard as right mid, fierce and fast paced, worked hard to gain possession and was always quick to take side line hits. Communicated well with the rest of the team and definitely was a force to be reckoned with during this game.
Kim ‘The Bruiser’ Brenchley continues to improve each time she plays and had one of her best games yet. Kim made some lovely tackles and passed accurately up the wing to the forwards. Kim worked super hard to attack and didn’t give up!
Captain Katy ‘The Optimiser’ Cole as top to the diamond – probably her best game ever for the 8’s. Katy did some impressive tackles, intercepted the ball and managed to drive the ball all the way up the other end of the pitch, passed a defender and into the goal, GK deflected and then she got the rebound! A cracking goal.
Fern ‘Dancer’ Daly – Fern may be small but she is mighty! She has great speed and grace, almost dances on the pitch chasing the ball with ease, so confident once she gets going and a has a fair whack on her – one to watch definitely!
Olivia ‘The Devil’ Dickson – played right forward and lived up to her nick name, devilishly fooled the Dereham defenders who were too slow to keep up with her pace and grit.
Lois ‘The Legend’ Metcalfe – after a 3 week break away from hockey, the 8’s were pleased to have her back in the forward line! Lois gave excellent direction to the other forwards, was always in the best positions to receive the ball and tackled with determination.
Sadie ‘The Joker’ Jacobs – there was no clowning around from this little super star. Sadie got in to some brilliantly placed spaces, passed the ball around well, was demonstrably desirous to win and fought hard to get in the D and strike!
So the 8s may have lost but they didn’t go down without a fight! The most enthusiastic of teams who have come a long way since their inception last season. The 8’s have learned lots and are keen to continue their well honed skills into next season! They have really gelled as a team and have maintained a consistent core set of players who love to play and are eager to win!