Norwich city centre hockey club, fun, friendly and competitive

NDHC League Match Reports: 23/01/2016

Photos from most home matches today here.

Women’s East Hockey LeagueΒ East Prem

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Norwich Dragons 1sΒ 6-2 Maidstone 1s

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Leaving bright and early, Dragons set off to Maidstone with high hopes of returning with all 3 points after a disappointing defeat last week and the previous encounter resulting in a 3-3 draw.

Within five minutes, Dragons had taken the lead. Their quick pace up front saw the ball move swiftly between Rachel King, Emma Tabrett and Hayley Toleman, who was able to fire home. Maidstone tried to gain possession of the ball and grow into the match, but the pressure from the Dragon’s forward line forced errors. Excellent defensive work from Siobhan Cleeve, Holly Reding and Maddie Denman meant any Maidstone attack was soon overturned. It was the away side who gained control when another fine run and shot from King, was deflected home from Toleman giving the Maidstone Keeper no chance and doubling the lead.

Although happy with the 2 goal lead at half time, coach Pete Thomas called for more quick passing in the second half and the team did not disappoint. Minutes from the restart, Olivia Thomas found Louise Murray who drove forward playing a pinpoint pass to Stacey Lee who calmly took the ball around the GK to slot in. The fourth goal quickly followed when Rachel King was rewarded for her persistent hard work. Riding through some tough challenges and the umpires allowing some good advantage, she fired home with a reverse stick shot. Dragons didn’t sit back and continued to push forward, and another fine move saw a fine Niamh Lowe-Davies effort well saved by the arm of Maidstone GK causing a stoppage in the match.

This still didn’t stop the Dragons pushing forward and 15 year old Aoife Lowe-Davies scored her first goal for the team. Β Marie James squared a free hit to Lizzie Moulton who fired the ball into the D and Lowe-Davies was able to beat both the defender and the GK to the ball to deflect the ball home. Β A sixth soon followed when Player of the Match Emma Tabrett saw her drag shot blocked by the goalkeeper and Stacey Lee adder her second of the game when she coolly slotted it home.Β  Credit to Maidstone who in the last ten minutes attacked and were able to cause the dragons some defensive problems winning some short corners. Maidstone scored from one at the back post which gave them some slight hope and a confusion in the defence allowed the home side to score a second minutes later.Β  With only a few minutes to go Dragons were able to take back control of the game and see out a fine team performance and away victory.

The 3 points moves Dragons up to joint 3rd and they look forward to the visit of two former players and Β 5th placed Cambridge University next week.

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Women’s East Hockey League Division 1N

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Norwich Dragons 2s 0-2 Cambridge City 2

Dragons welcomed Cambridge City to the sunny Den for another tough fixture against a strong looking Cambridge City team. Having somewhat fortuitously beaten City 1-0 at Perse School, Dragons knew Cambridge would be looking to put the record straight!

The game started at a frenetic pace with chances both ends – Dragons had an early chance following a good cross from Marcy Windsor-Waite, however no-one could get on the end of it as it whipped across the D. At the other end Emma Cleland and her defence needed to be on their toes, as a very different looking Cambridge City team demonstrated some fine stick skills, tricking their way into the D on a number of occasions.

Cambridge took the lead mid way through the half, one of their strong and skillful midfielders picked up the ball in the centre and drove into the D; unleashing a fine reverse stick strike neatly into the corner. Dragons were not downhearted though, and had a number of chances of their own, Laura Shreeve, Lauren Lawrie and Shelly Seaman forced the Keeper into some good saves. The home team also earned an number of short corners, Gail Thomas and Pip Howes struck well,Β forcing the Cambridge City defence and Keeper to battle hard to clear the ball.

Dragons were still very much in this game as the 2nd half got underway, but knew they were up against a strong team. For the best part of the half, honours were even, however once again Dragons Player of the Match Emma Cleland was forced into making some fine saves and was well supported by her defensive unit.

Eventually, with around 6 minutes left in the game, the visitors sealed the points with a 2nd goal, following an attack down their left, winning a short corner, which was well finished, again into the corner. Dragons continued to force the play, but it was clear that today they were up against a stronger team, who ran out deserved winners.

Work to be done, but the home team are not down hearted, having probably played better in this game than they did in the previous fixture against Cambridge City, despite coming away with nothing on this occasion – that’s hockey!! The Dragons will undoubtedly put the efforts in in training this week and look forward to their next challenge awayΒ against Wisbech.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Premier Division

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Norwich DragonsΒ 3sΒ 5-1 Norwich City 3

With the weather warming up again there was no frozen pitch call off for the Dragons 3s this week. In fact it was a pleasantly warm, dry day and Dragons intended to make the most if it.

Winning the toss Dragons took the push back and were intent on making everything count. Immediately on the attack the drove up the field. Utilising space, and staying strong in the challenge the players carved their way through the City side. Driving the ball to the top of the D Natasha Falzon found the waiting stick of Sian Lawrie who put the first goal away, neatly on the right post.

Now it as City’s turn to attack. Playing a different formation to that of the Dragons they looked to overload their opposition. Good talking from the midfield (Hazel Sumner and Lara Taylor) ensured that players were able to close down the opposition and once again turn play. This time, with a lightening turnover ball hammered down the pitch from Sarah Wagstaff in centre back, Dragons used their silk passing to beat the remaining City defenders. Geo Beckwith picking up the pass, moving it to Caroline wolf who in turn moved it on to Issy Wolfe who with a reverse pass across the mouth of the goal found Kate McKenna waiting on the right post to get the second goal.

Not deterred City came stronger on the attack, this time the overload working. Defenders Laura Bruce and Carmel Windsor Waite picking up players and intercepting passes. Unfortunately the spare City player managed to see the ball home despite the best efforts of Kristina Smyth and bring the score line to 2:1 to the Dragon side.

Straight off from the start of the second half Dragons were determined to bring more of the same. Maintaining shape and evolving passes, Natasha Blyth delivering some fantastic play across the pitch giving Dragons acres of space. Sam Franklin got on the end of one of these passes and with plenty of time wound up a huge strike to close the 3rd goal. Her first goal of the season was done in style, and falling to her knees was celebrated with tears from the first time scorer.

The 4 goal came from a short corner. Stick stopped by Hazel Sumner for Caroline to return at great speed to the injector (Wolfe Junior) to tuck in on the left post.

Again the 5th came from a broken down short corner. Some messy tackles from the City side in the D didn’t stop the Dragons. The maintained possession with some little passes finally finding Issy Wolfe who lifted the ball neatly in on the right hand post.

Final Score Norwich Dragons 3’s 5:1 Norwich City 3’s.

A great performance from the Dragon side who are eager to face the tougher City opponents next week. This result brings them joint top of the table with Magpies 4’s and 3’s. With only goal difference between them there is still all to play for this season.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ DivisionΒ 1

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Norwich Dragons 4sΒ 4-1 Thetford

This week the Ladies 4 ventured down the A11 to Thetford. At home we had had lost 1 – 0 not having an answer to their physical style of play.

Under Captain Kates orders we had a new game plan : ring the ball to stop the big hits, and to stay strong and not to allow ourselves to be pushed off the ball.

This tactic worked well for the first 15 minutes until Thetford scored. Thetford played well, and moved the ball around the D confusing our defence, until the ball landed on the stick of an unmarked player who was able to slot the ball past Tucky.

Dragons 4 have fought back from 1 – 0 many times this season. Today was another one of those days. The girls in attack and midfield kept ringing the ball, stopping the Thetford attack. Louise Davis, Bella and Kate were on hand to sweep up any straggling balls that creped past.

Gemma Rump and Megan Williams played exceptionally well dictating play, and switching the ball from one side of the pitch to the other. This created space for the younger girls with pace, Charlotte Pounder, Sophie Wood, Sophie Farrow and Holly Francis to really put the Thetford defence under pressure.

Thetford did defend well and it took a while to for Dragons to gain the advantage, however in the last 10 minutes Dragons were putting Thetford under a lot of pressure and scored two goals in close succession.

Holly Francis scored two good goals. Β She picked up the ball on the wing and drove it into the D, although support had arrived she struck the ball from an amazing angle near the back line to score at the near post. The other three goals were more of a team effort with the balls being passed between the forwards and top of the diamond Β moving the Thetford Β defence, until a space appeared to score.

Charlotte Pounder had an excellent game and was not unsettled by the more physical style of play. She troubled the Thetford ladies by receiving the ball and really driving it towards goal. Sophie Farrow also was very industrious in midfield running to defend and attack. Claire Canning put in a very determined performance.

Dragons welcomed back Harriet from a long term injury. She quickly got back into the swing of it and was definitely an asset to the team.

Next week will be an important game when we play top of the league Norwich city at home.

Scores : Holly Francis (2), Charlotte Pounder 1, Sophie Farrow

POM : Charlotte Pounder.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 2

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Norwich Dragons 5s 4-0 Evergreens 2

Using Mike’s cartography skills the 5’s navigated their way to the Hewett changing facilities. The sun was shining down and we were ready for a good run out after the previous cancelled game.

Dragons 5’s had first push back, Den Howes slotted the ball back to Mel Widdows and away to the wingers, lovely passing right down into the opposition D. Striking a foot Dragons were awarded a short corner. Mel injected a clean ball to Den and a lightening fast strike toward the left post where Mel was ready to deflect straight into the goal. Great start from the team. The Evergreens stepped up to intercept the play. Vicky Earley showed her usual strength at the bottom of the diamond to pick up any balls from the opposition sweeping them out wide to Laura Hansell and Rachael Matthews. Both of these wingers picked up the ball at speed and gained ground weaving their way around the opposition who could not catch up. Lucy Morton flexing her leg muscles into space up front read play well to work her way into a space and support the wingers. The second goal was from Den, another short corner and a lovely strike in in past the keeper. The third goal was to come from Sarah Norman who had stepped up to help the 5’s fill the forward line. Working herself into prime positions in the D, stealth mode on the post, a pass in from Lisa Harwood, picked up by Den, stopped by the opposition goalie and then pushed in by Sarah.

Alice Smith who has been practising her outdoor voice was giving encouragement from the back as she had little to do. Likewise the defending squad of Jess Tye-Leech, Freya Clogan and Emma Buxton were pushing high to support the midfield, quick to close down any opposition play. Mostly enjoying the sunshine. At half time the score was 3-0 and the mission was to increase the pace back to where it was at the start of the game. In this half Ellie James showed the team her skills at reverse hits, with great strikes into the D. Unfortunately Lisa had a touch of couldn’t hit a barn door. The Dragons were pushing high and Emma stepping in as top of the diamond was quick to collect the ball and inject it back into the D. Helen Marsh showed her versatility from a stint in midfield then trying her muscle in a forward position was on hand to collect up balls injected into the D from Rachael. The final goal of the half came from a strike across the D from Den, who had weaved herself through the opposition defenders and in her usual style smashed the fourth goal in before the keeper even saw it. The end of the game seemed to happen quickly, very enjoyable game with professional friendly opposition.

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 2

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Norwich Dragons 6sΒ 1-2 Herlings

Dragons can consider themselves unlucky not to have taken a point from the match. They had a game plan which worked really well, and it was frustrating to be undone by a couple of silly mistakes, But, the whole squad can be pleased with the way they played, particularly in they way in which they matched Herlings going for the ball, with some excellent umpiring ensuring that the match stayed on the tasty side of feisty with no cards..

Dragons played their best flowing hockey in the first half, with their mad moment coming after abut 30 minutes. They failed to pick up the Herlings forwards running through the middle, and allowed their opponents to overload and score. Dragons started the second half with the one rotation that didn’t work for them, and Herlings capitalised with a penalty corner that was not well defended. Some quick adjustments brought Jo Eke (POM) back to the bottom of the diamond, where she played a true captain’s game, setting a great example in determined tackling back and energetic driving forward. Gill Walker returned to the top of the diamond and the passes began to flow again. Dragons kept pressing and a pass from Catherine Mathews found Beth Elgood who swept home to score in characteristic fashion.Β  Herlings began to use their power and speed, but Dragons held firm with no intention of letting the visitors make a big score. They set up several scoring chances but lacked the final touch. Several Dragons earned POM votes – Alice Smith looked very secure in goal. Ilona Moyter made an encouraging debut in defence, with a strong hit which is a welcome addition to the defensive skills set. Alice McNeile and Ginny Simkin continue to improve match by match.Β  Kat Speirs and Jasmine Mansfield worked hard and took up good positions up front without having any luck..

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Empresa Norfolk Women’sΒ Division 3
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Norwich DragonsΒ 7s 0-4 Loddon 2
Dragons 7 faced Loddon 2 at home on a sunny afternoon, a welcome change to the weather conditions of the last few days.Dragons made silly mistakes in the first half, allowing Loddon through to score 3 goals. After a half time talk where they were reminded about looking up, using the width and taking free hits and hit outs quickly, Dragons game improved in the second half. Unfortunately Loddon scored a fourth goal early on but Dragons managed to hold them at bay for the rest of the match. Dragons were unable to find the back board themselves despite their numerous attempts.Dragons need to improve their match skills which will happen with regular training in order to find the winning formula they so desperately need.

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Birthday Boy Ed in action…….

Mens East League Division 2N

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Norwich Dragons 1s 8-1Β City of Peterborough 4

Dragons first team fired back to winning ways with a convincing win over Peterborough.Β From the first whistle dragons dominated possession Β pilling on the pressure in the Peterborough D and were soon ahead with a clean struck shot from Alex Browne. Peterborough responded immediately and converted dragged effort from a short corner past the toe of keeper Bell. As the clock ticked, Dragons grew more comfortable on the ball and the team started to create more chances. Browne calmly converted his second. Lewis Wilkins stuck crisp hit and Ollie King slotted home to make it 4-1 with the half time whistle blowing.

Dragons started the second half with the high intensity they showing the first pilling on pressure in the Peterborough D resulting in several short corners where Mitchell Smith converted a lovely brace of goals shortly followed by Sam Avery. Β Dom Samways was first to react after the ball struck the post and fired home for Dragons eighth.

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Mens East League Division 3NE

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Norwich Dragons 2s 4-1Β Newmarket 1

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Men’s East Hockey League Division 3NE

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Norwich Dragons 3sΒ 2-3 Norwich City 3

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Men’s East League Division 4NE

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Norwich Dragons 4s 2-4Β Pelicans

Dragons travelled to King’s Lynn under gloomy grey skies for this lower mid table clash. After two good results in the previous weeks, hopes were high that a precious away win might be achieved.

The start was less than ideal. Dragons began slowly, Pelicans scored on the break and looked the more threatening of the two sides. This was not the plan! Slowly, Dragons raised their game and played some fluent passing hockey which resulted in Rob Chaney-Bangers scoring (sadly disallowed) and Paul Kassulke bundling the ball home to make the game level.

Mirroring the earlier events at Carrow Road, it was not long before there was another goal. Chris Millar saved the initial shot from a Pelicans’ short corner only to be left helpless as the rebound was fired in. At the half, it was 2-1 to Pelicans but Dragons were still very much in the game.

The second half was a topsy turvy affair. Dragons soaked up pressure (David Pentin made some important last ditch challenges) and played counter attacking hockey. Ben Harvey, Adie Kemp and Geoff Roberts were lively in attack, Rob Jenkins worked hard in midfield and Paul Keating pushed up from defence. The tide appeared to be turning when Neil Shorten scored a rare (for him) goal, ghosting into the D and unleashing a powerful shot.

2-2, and it was game on.

The game became more fragmented and was characterised by a number of Dragons’ players receiving painful blows from the ball. Shorten, Kassulke, Alberto Embarda and Shiv Kapur were all hit on various parts of their anatomy and the Dragons bench was in constant action. Dragons’ structure suffered somewhat as a result and Pelicans enjoyed the better chances in the latter stages, scoring from a short corner and a penalty flick.

The score line ultimately flattered Pelicans as the match was more even than it suggests. However, Dragons, like Norwich, need to start getting some results to avoid ending the season in the wrong part of the table.

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Men’s East League Division 6NE

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Norwich Dragons 5s 5-0 Norwich City 5 concededΒ 

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Men’s East League Division 7NE

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Norwich Dragons 6sΒ 5-1 Bury St Edmunds 6

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Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League

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Norwich Dragons 4-3 Magpies

A fiercely contested game between two evenly matched teams saw the Young Dragons win 4-3.

The Magpies had the better of the early exchanges scoring the first goal, Dragons were quick to equalise and despite a green card for the Captain the scores at half time stayed 1-1.
The second half saw the Dragons on top playing some excellent text book hockey which enabled them to take a 4-1 lead. Β The Magpies rallied towards the end to lift their goal total to 3, so at the final whistle the Dragons held on for a well fought 4-3 win. Dragons scorers were “Man of the Match” Jono Chaney Baxter Β x 3 and Jose San Millan x 1.

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Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League

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Norwich DragonsΒ 4-0 Yarmouth

Thankfully Saturday was somewhat warmer than the previous couple of weeks as the dev girls had an early start, arriving at Yarmouth at 09:15.

The lack of a lie in didn’t seem to affect the performance as each of the 13 girls gave 100%, resulting in a 4 – 0 win. This in itself is fantastic, but add in the fact that they were playing an over-aged team, and the result is even more satisfying.

Goals came from Lilly SORE, Ella KASSULKE from a short corner, Harriet MARLEE and Blanca BEZANILLA GOMEZ, who was also POM.

Blanca demonstrated her ‘keepy up’ skills by receiving a ball at height, catching it on her stick and bouncing it up as though it was a tennis racket and ball for several metres down the pitch!

The team showed great team work, passing and communicating well. Good use of the pitch was made; finding and passing into space, passing back in order to create space, driving and maintaining pressure.

A great game girls, well done!