NDHC League Match Reports: 28/11/2015

A number of photos from the day here.

Women’s East Hockey League East Prem
Norwich Dragons 1s 1-1 St.Albans 2

Dragons set off for their later start in high hopes of continuing their recent run of good form.  With 4 wins from 4 games, Dragons knew this was going to be a tough match playing against a team level on points with them in the league table.

Dragons started well, confidently playing the ball around and making St Albans work hard to gain any possession. Dragons’ forward line continuously caused problems and when Emma Tabrett found Hayley Toleman on the base line, her pull back was confidently struck home by player of the match Rachel King to put the away side deservedly ahead. St Albans came into the game as the half came to a close and were denied an equaliser when Olivia Thomas was able to clear off her own goal line.

The second half saw the home team continue to press forward and despite the best efforts of the Dragons defence, equalised only minutes after the restart. This didn’t deter the Dragons who continued to play the ball confidently and create some good chances. Aoife Lowe-Davies went on a good run. Drawing the keeper out, she slotted the ball to Stacey Lee who saw her sweeping shot somehow saved by the stick of the diving St Albans GK. The home GK was in fine form and denied Dragons of another good opportunity before the final whistle went.

A good away point was taken by the Dragons who are now unbeaten in 5 games. Next week they travel the short distance to Harleston, which promises to be an enthralling local derby, especially after the Dragons 8-0 win in the first league game of the season.


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

Dragons welcomed Spalding to the Den for the last game in this round of Div 1N fixtures, knowing that victory would see them secure 10 points from the last 12. With a strong squad of 14 the team were optimistic going into the fixture.

Whilst early encounters were fairly even, Dragons weren’t playing their most fluent hockey, giving possession away a little too easily at times. The home team did create opportunities with the two Windsor-Waites (Ally and Marcy) causing problems on the right hand side, and the Thomases (Sophie and Gail) snuffing out the speedy Spalding attackers on the left, whilst joining the attack at every opportunity.

Defensively Dragons needed to be on their game, dealing with a number of Spalding short corners, with Amy Forse making a number of smart saves and the defensive line of Angela Murgatroyd, Rowie York Smith, Sophie Thomas and Ally Windsor-Waite battling hard to keep the ball away from danger. Eventually however after a bit of Spalding pressure they scored, with the ball pinging around in the D, despite a good initial save by Forse, the rebound was smartly followed up to make the score 1-0.

Dragons looked to react, but didn’t panic and looked to move the ball around, using the full width of the pitch. Laura Shreeve was creating her usual problems for the Spalding defence, well supported by Shelly Seaman and Geo Beckwith, breaking strongly and at pace. Towards the end of the half, Dragons forced a number of short corners of their own, the last being awarded right on the halftime whistle. Pollyanna Watson dragged out firmly, Gail Thomas received and passed accurately across the D to find Karen O’Neill Simpson in space, who fired inside the post to secure the equaliser – perfect timing!

Captain O’Neill Simpson asked for the team to ‘want it’ just that little bit more in the 2nd half, as Spalding seemed to show that little more desire than them in the 1st half. The team heeded the Captains words, and straight from the off, Pip Howes and Marcy Winsdor-Waite combined well to create opportunities. With less than 5 minutes gone in the half, Pip Howes found Hannah Hardy at the top of the D, from here she turned and pushed the ball firmly goalwards, beating the Keeper just inside the right hand post to make it 2-1.

From here, Dragons forced the pace and Spalding never really threatened Amy Forse in the home goal. Short corners came close for Dragons, but not close enough. The points however were sealed late in the game, Laura Shreeve won the ball back from Spalding following their defensive hit out, and fired it into the D where the GK and Hannah Hardy challenged for the ball, with Dragons just knicking it and managing to get it back into the path of the incoming Shreeve, who calmly beat her players and slotted past the Spalding Keeper.

A much improved 2nd half and a good end to the first round of results, with the team showing much greater consistency in recent games. Dragons know they will need to continue with this level of performance as they go into the 2nd half of the season, however they should be proud of their achievements to date, in what they always knew would be a tough and demanding higher league.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Premier Division
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-4 UEA 2

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 1
Norwich Dragons 4s 6-0 UEA 3

Dragons’ ladies were back on form again this week, with a convincing win over the Norwich university side. Dragons may even be a little disappointed that they did not put more of their chances away as on numerous occasions the ball somehow failed to make it into the back of the net. It was a game where everyone was trying to get their names on the score sheet, with the team demonstrating some very attacking play.

Dragons started well, and took control of the game from the off. It took a while for the deadlock to be broken, but Dragons kept control of the ball and moved it around the pitch teasing the opposition and biding their time. A number of times shots at goal where taken and cruelly drifted wide, but the Dragons demonstrated patience and perseverance and were eventually rewarded with their first goal form Kate McKenna. It then seemed as if the flood gates had opened with Dragons scoring another three in very quick succession.

We also performed much better from short corners; this had been a weakness in recent weeks. Sophie Farrow pushed the ball out well, and gave the strikers an advantage over the defenders. A number of shots glided agonisingly past the post.

In the second half UEA began to tire and this is when the pace of Anja Finnegan, Sophie Woods and Kate McKenna came into play. They received the ball in the centre of the pitch and drove straight at the goal. The UEA defenders uncertain on how to stop the quick footed dragons.

Gemma Rump (POM) thoroughly deserved her POM award for her dominance at the bottom of the diamond. She was almost unstoppable today and was not going to let anyone get past her.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 5s: No Fixture


Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 2
Norwich Dragons 6s 1-1 Norwich City 6

This was a tough end to end match in which first Dragons and then City, then finally Dragons looked to be taking control.

City were extremely strong in defence, backed by an outstanding young goalkeeper, whereas the 6s had the edge in midfield and more pace down the wings. Unlike recent matches, this was a far more physical affair with plenty of pushing and leaning which perhaps the odd green card might had calmed. But this is nothing about which the Dragons will complain, as it is a part of the game which the young Dragons will learn to cope with.

The 6s had the better of the opening exchanges, with Lucy Morton, Catherine Matthews, Sophie Thurtell and Rachel Matthews pressing down both wings but just not managing to get the final ball into the D where Sarah Norman and or Izzy Ferguson were waiting to pounce. Then City took over, and with Dragons not being quite resolute enough in the tackle, it was time to re-shape the team. Jo Eke, having been unwell during the week, came off the bench into the bottom of the diamond and immediately settled the side. Emma Buxton moved to (mainly) right defender, and the 6s looked far more solid.

City’s goal had come from a move which ended with the ball pinging around in the circle and being picked up and struck home firmly from the near post. But the more solid defensive arrangement, with Katy Saide and Alice McNeile contributing as well as some sessions from Sarah Norman, meant City were no longer able to threaten Alice Smith standing firm in goal.

Dragons need to continue to practise the shooting drills and build-up play, because once again they found it hard to be incisive in the D. Rosie Skipp  and Gill Walker supported the attacks and made positive moves The penalty corner routines are also starting to look threatening. Lucy Morton, POM is an excellent injector, and Rachel Matthews  or Bridget Le Good are usually reliable stoppers, and in one move the ball found its way through to Lucy who made no mistake in deflecting on the post. A great reward for patiently being in the right place at the right time.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s Division 3
Norwich Dragons 7s 0-4 BrecklandDragons ladies 7 faced a strong Breckland and were keen to work hard and not let the opposition have an easy game.Both teams were working hard right from the start. Katrina Speirs had her second stint in goal and did a great job kicking the ball out of the D. The defenders of Jemima Williams, Jo Baker, Frankie Paul and Ilona Moyter (POM) worked hard to get the ball away and up to the midfield. Emma North worked tirelessly again at bottom of the diamond, hitting out wide to Sophia Gilbert, Jess Vernon and Beth Coates.Anja Wimmer at centre forward again proved to be a great asset to the team, making numerous interceptions and tackles. The forwards of Katie Moulson and Mia McGhee made great runs into the D, making the Breckland GK work hard to stop the goals. Unfortunately for Dragons, Breckland managed to score 3 goals in the first half. After a motivating team talk from sideline supporters Bridget Le Good and Rich Moulson, Dragons started the second half keen to get a goal.

Although they had plenty of opportunities, each attempt was thwarted by the Breckland defence. Breckland managed to get one more goal, despite Dragons best efforts to stop them, with the match ending 0:4. Dragons were disappointed with the result, but not downhearted, buoyed by the Breckland GK’s comments that it was the hardest she has worked all season. Dragons now have a 6 week break until the next league match.

Mens East League Division 2N
Norwich Dragons 1s 7-4 Ipswich 2


28/11/15 – Ipswich away

Pitch&Facilities : **
After match teas and bar: *
Performance: *****

The 1st Team continue their impressive run of from by collecting 3 important points away to Ipswich 2s.

The in-car entertainment was of high quality as Captain Sky had prepared a quiz. The questions tested how much we knew about each other. Turns out; Chauffeur Henry isn’t as dumb as he looks, LJ is not in Year 4 but instead teaching Year 4 and Sam’s mum has still got it.

To the game….. #OllieKing made an impressive return to the first team by scoring 5 goals! 3 of which came in the first 15mins! Ipswich were visibly beaten. Their young, strong and utterly intimidating team (don’t worry George you’d have had done him) were no match for the Dragon’s flowing attacking hockey.

4-1 Half Time.

In the second half the game became stretched. Mark Flatsticks Club Man provided the energy and George Fury’s control enabled the Dragons to dominate the midfield. Dom and Ollie B ensured the quality of distribution running through the team started at the back. Whilst Cley kept the assists coming and #Burger couldn’t miss.

Great game to be involved in, great team to be a part of and greatest flapjacks of the season. What a day!

MOM – #OllieKing
DOD – Nick Deayts


Mens East League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 2s 1-0 Norwich Dragons 3


Men’s East Hockey League Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons 3s 0-1 Norwich Dragons 2

This week saw the mens 3s take on their fellow Dragons the 2s.  With a bitter wind blowing, and looking more like penguins in their black shirts, the 3s took to the pitch, ready for what was sure to be a cracking game.

The first half saw the 2s pushing the attack, and the 3s had to defend well to fend off the attacks.  Keeper Dim IVES made some brilliant saves, and the defence of Graeme SMITH, Dan RYAN, Peter DAVISON and James GOODSON, worked well as a unit to stave off any goals from short corners.  There were a few chances for the 3s this half, with forward Will KIRBY unlucky not to capitalise on a ball slipped through.  There were some good battles along the flanks of the pitch, with Nick TURNER and John IVES providing attack for the 3s.

The 2s continued their press and were rewarded with another short corner, in which a shot took a deflection and slipped past keeper IVES.  The whistle went for half time and both teams regrouped for their team talks.

The second half started as the last finished, with both teams looking for a goal.  The 2s attacked well and it is credit to the 3s defence and midfielders who managed to keep the ball out.  Particular note to keeper IVES, earning himself a Man of the Match, for saving a penalty flick.

The 3s kept trying to find an equaliser, and hard work by Stu KELLY and Rob GOODSON resulted in the ball working up the pitch, where forward Geoff ROBERTS waiting.  However, as the 3s have found this season, they have lacked luck in front of goal, and failed to score.  The game finished and the 2s had won the 3 points, setting things up nicely for a rematch for the final game of the season!


Men’s East League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons 4s 6-0 Ipswich 3

In an important match Dragons found their opponents without a goalkeeper and having to operate with a kicking back.Dragons started playing good hockey moving the ball round the back of defence with sweeper Jon Price playing the ball out to the full backs Shiv Kapur on the right and Barney Price on the left.Barney the teams man of the match was making powerful dribbling runs overlapping down the wing.Dragons were awarded a short corner from which they opened the scoring with a strike from the top of the D from Adrian Kemp which bounced over the Ipswich sticks on the line 1-0.Dragons doubled their lead when a Charlie Nunn undercut shot was deflected in by Andrew Cross.Dragons continued to develop good passing moves and Alberto was a clear option with his bright headgear and was playing strongly on the wing.The continued pressure resulted in another short corner from which captain Rob Jenkins opened his account for the season to make the score 3-0.Paul Kassulke rotated into the full back positions and produced a solid display.Dragons rounded off the half by producing a flowing move down the left wing of first time passes which ended with a cross into the D for Robert Chaney-Baxter to score into an open goal to give a 4-0 lead at the interval.

At half-time Ipswich changed their kicking back and the new incumbent in the second half foiled the Dragons attackers on several occasions with good use of feet and legs.For Dragons Tim Allen was having  a composed display at the bottom of the diamond to allow his colleagues to get forward.Dragons scored additional goals from Adrian Kemp with his second and Charlie Nunn scoring his first goal for the 4th team from a short corner to make it 6-0 but could not replicate their passing play from the first half.In the second half Dragons were reduced to ten men twice when Robert Chaney-Baxter saw green for a rash tackle and your author had  a rest on the bench as well.Ipswich continued to work hard with their young forwards and experienced midfielders and despite being a spectator for long periods of time on a cold morning when called into action Elliot Wang pulled off several good saves to ensure the 4ths kept their first clean sheet of the season.

The match was well controlled by the two umpires Dan Ryan and Mike Banham.

Men’s East League Division 6NE
Norwich Dragons 5s 2-3 Ipswich 4

On the 28th of November, the men’s fifths faced a trip to Ipswich. Travelling with just the bare 11, it was always going to be a hard task. During the first half we had a few chances to take the lead but with an unfortunate deflection going into the Dragon’s goal, we were 1-0 down at half time. After an inspiring team talk from the captain, the team went out, raring to go in the second half.

The second half was looking promising until Ipswich managed to find a long ball through to the striker a 3 versus 2 situation found the ball yet again in the Dragon’s goal. As we began to push harder, with more and more chances being created, the gap in defense widened allowing the defense to be overwhelmed, being outnumbered yet again leading to yet another goal. After the third goal, we had nothing to lose and Josh Bingham found space in the D to unleash a shot which bounced in off the post. With a great team effort, everyone putting in 100% it was up to Josh Bingham to find yet more space and with the help of an Ipswich foot, we found our way back to 3-2. However, with only 1 minute and 30 seconds left on the clock, we didn’t manage to get the third goal to get a draw. MOTM went to Tom Williams for some outstanding skills on the left which allowed many opportunities to be created.


Men’s East League Division 7NE
Norwich Dragons 6s 1-5 Sudbury 4

Today the 6th XI were helped by Freddie Dixon offering to play in goal with Phil York-Smith as a late midfield general. Sudbury as the league leaders came with a full squad of 13 & early on showed why they are top with a period of attack for the first 10 mins. During this spell Mike Banham cleared a short off the line & Sudbury scored a first goal. Dragons responded by taking the game to their opponents. Mike had a short disallowed on height through the small keepers legs & Phil equalised after a flowing move to leave it 1-1 at half time.

Dragons continued to match Sudbury in end to end play but succumbed to conceding 4 goals late in the game. MOM was Freddie who made some good saves & could not take any responsibility for any of the goals. All the Dragon players gave 100% & will be rewarded against lesser opposition. Last season Sudbury were developing their 4th XI with an even mix of younger players & seniors & the investment has been rewarded which hopefully Dragons will see in the second half of the season if they get similar support from some senior players.


Empresa Norfolk Boys Development League
Norwich Dragons 2-1 Magpies

Both teams played out a hard fought but entertaining match in atrocious conditions at the Den on Saturday, Magpies soon settled into a nice passing game a feature of their performance all day, however the Dragons defence well marshalled by Tom Bailey held firm. Gradually Dragons started to exert plenty of pressure themselves with Jose Milan making several dangerous breaks and excellent passes. The first goal was scored by James Cross converting a penalty corner routine. Late in the half James scored the teams second goal with a great reverse hit after a strong burst into the D. On the stroke of half time Magpies narrowed the gap with a neat finish following a good initial save by Angus.

The second half was a tight affair with both teams coming close to scoring. James narrowly missed a hat trick when he just failed to convert another penalty corner routine. As the half neared the end Harleston started to pressure the Dragons defence and it was somewhat of a relief when the final whistle was blown. A good win against the league leaders, however both teams should take great credit for the quality of hockey played.

MOM James Cross



Empresa Norfolk Girls Development League
Norwich Dragons 9-0 Watton

Girls continuing to improve every game. Top scorer Blanca Gomez with 4 goals, 2 for Lily Sore, 1 Aditi Naik, 1 Harriet Marlee and 1 for captain Lucy Buxton. Player of Match Blanca.

We started the match well with some strong attacking, and worked our way up the pitch passing nicely.  Aditi Naik scored the first goal by doing a lovely sweep into the goal. After this Lily Sore shortly scored too. Blanca Gomez , Aditi Naik and Sophie Barrow worked well together making great distances up the left.  We kept scoring more and more goals. After the first quarter our goalie, Grace Robinson, moved from the Watton goal to our goal as Watton arrived without a goal keeper and she then had lots more to do, saving some great shots at goal from our players!

Elsa Scott and Ella Kassulke passed the ball round the back of the pitch up to Harriet Marlee on the right who did some quick dodges and got round the defenders with ease.   We had lots of short corners throughout the match.  Blanca scored from two great short corners and she was outstanding with her stick work getting through the Watton defence and always passing at the right moment.  Niamh Sommers, Laura Mcnally and Hattie Gale made great tackles.  Our player of the match was Blanca Gomez.  Well done to everyone who played. The end score was 9-0!!!