NDHC League Match Reports: 2nd December 2017

TeamDateOppositionH/ATimeScoreScorersPlayer of Match

Women’s East Hockey League, Premier Division

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s v Cambridge Uni 1s:  0-2

Cambridge Uni sat just 1 point ahead of the Dragons ladies 1s going into the match on Saturday, and a win for the Norwich team would see them catch up with the middle group in the table and set them up well for the second half of the season. It was an important match but with numbers depleted yet again, it was going to be a tough battle.

Despite Dragons keen start, Cambridge quickly gained possession and early on in the first half, the defence faced a sustained period of attack. Sarah Jenkins and Lucy Ripman in the centre commanded the Dragons though and they were able to repel Cambridge’s efforts. Kiera Goymour, coming up from the 2s, looked solid in defence too and looked comfortable in this league.

Dragons welcomed back Stacey Lee after a period of injury this week and after 15 minutes, she came on to give the Dragons a burst of her trademark skill. Issy Wolfe made some surging runs in the first half, driving at the opposition goal, but unfortunately, she couldn’t quite convert. The midfield line up of Olivia Thomas, Lara Taylor and Hannah Philips looked strong throughout and all three worked hard throughout the game to close down the opposition and create chances for the Dragons.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be Dragons’ day. Early on in the second half, a loss of possession in our defensive 23’ allowed a Cambridge player to drive into the D and pelt a great shot past Cleeve in goal to take the opposition to 1-0. The Dragons defence continued to face a barrage of attacks and it was often Captain Jenkins, who went on to win Player of the Match, who cleared the lines and helped the team to regain its composure.

A period of attacking play from Dragons looked like it might bear fruit, with some great combination play from Issy Wolfe, Hannah Philips and Lara Taylor, but when the ball found its way to Lee in front of goal, she was taken out by the keeper and Cambridge cleared their line.

A counter-attack down the right-hand side of the pitch and a cross in found the Cambridge players in front of Cleeve and the Dragons’ defence and they put the ball away neatly to move to 2-0.

A dejected Dragons team regathered after the match and focused on the areas we need to work on in training in the forthcoming weeks.


Women’s East Hockey League, Division 2NE

Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s v Bury St Edmunds 1s:  1-1

Dragons gave a very warm welcome back to Shelly Seaman who returned to the team following long term injury, and slotted in like she had never been away! In this tight league, this was always going to be a tight game against a team with fairly similar record.
With Sarah Borrett away this week, the defence needed a slight reshuffle, with Natasha Falzon slotting in at Centre defence, well supported by Karen O’Neill Simpson and Carmel Windsor-Waite. The defensive unit looked strong and worked well to cover each other, whilst Kristina Smyth in goal was also alert to anything that came her way.
Dragons didn’t make their best start, looking a little unsettled on the ball and giving it away too cheaply at times, however they settled and started to use their width better as the half went on. Some strong play by Deb Painter on the left and Harriett Green on the right, was well supported by Shelly Seaman and Gail Thomas providing strength in the middle of the pitch. Emma Tabrett was working extremely hard as always to support the forwards and help in midfield, whilst up front Kate McKenna and Mary Alexander were linking up well.
Dragons earned a short corner midway through the half which was executed to perfection, a smart drag out, stopped dead by Deb Painter and Emma Tabrett let rip with an awesome drag flick to the GK’s left, flying into the top of the back board, for a 1-0 lead.
At the break, the call was to move the ball on slightly quicker and to look to switch play and use the width, which Dragons achieved, however Bury were also very much in the game, moving the ball well and were defensively strong. The visitors earned themselves a number of short corners and from one they executed a smart routine to beat the Dragons defence.
With the score at 1-1 and the clock running down, Dragons continued to press and were in the ascendancy especially in the last 10 minutes. Debs Painter had a great effort on goal, from a high ball flying across the D following good work on the right from Mary Alexander, Painters’ first time volley at the back post was excellently saved by the keeper. With time running out, Hannah Hardy had a late opportunity, however she made the wrong decision to force a pass at a narrow angle, rather than take the shot on goal. The final whistle went with a point a piece, which was probably fair on the balance of play.
Carmel Windsor- Waite and Karen O’Neill-Simpson deservedly shared the honours for Player of the Match. A good competitive game, in an enjoyable league where just 5 points separate the top 6 teams; all to play for as the reverse fixtures commence next week.


Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Premier Division

Norwich Dragons Ladies 3s v Norwich City 4s:  6-0

An early push back at the Den on a fresh December morning saw Dragons Ladies 3rd team host Norwich City Ladies 4th team. Dragons began the game strongly, pressing City high up the pitch, which created the first goal within the first 5 minutes of the game, Ally Windsor Waite intercepting a city hit out and striking a strong clean shot from the top of the D, which nearly broke the backboard.

Unfortunately, Dragons were down to only 11 players after 15 minutes of the first half due to a stick in the face to Jess Haw. However, Dragons maintained the pressure on City and soon created a tap in second goal for Ally Windsor Waite from a floating cross along the baseline.

Dragons continued to keep City in their own half with some confident patient transfers across the pitch between Ismay Whitaker, Sophie Barrow and Esme Potter, creating more space for the team to attack the opposition circle. The third goal came on the stroke of half time from an aerial shot at goal by Hazel Knights that was reverse stick deflected by Lauren Lawrie across the front of goal for Sam Franklin to push home from close range.

The second half saw Dragons score their fourth goal from a short corner routine calmly completed by Ally Windsor Waite, player of the match, to gain her hattrick. The fifth goal also from a short corner routine scored by Debs Smith for the best ever chuckle brother! The sixth goal was scored from a short corner awarded on the stroke of full time deflected into the goal by Lauren Lawrie. Another strong team performance together with another clean sheet for a composed defence.


Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Premier Division

Norwich Dragons Ladies 4s v Lowestoft Railway 1s:  0-4

Off we toodled for chips and ice cream.  But first some hockey on the green carpet, Lowestoft won first push back and weaved their way through us and we quickly saw their agility.  Katie Franks was on hand to stop the approach and passed the ball back through to Trish Hagan, who found Lynne Price in space in the middle.  The Lowestoft whipper snappers were quick to close us down on the ball and space became limited.  Catherine Matthews and Lucy Buxton were working tirelessly up and down the wings moving the ball on and then often chasing back.  Defenders were a rare breed for us this week and Fiona Fletcher stepped into the breech under the watchful eye of Sarah Wagstaff.  Lowestoft were putting a lot of pressure on our defence and they were on full alert, tracking back, intercepting and preventing the ball from reaching Esther Jacobs.  After a lot of to and fro-ing Lowestoft took a chance with a strike across the D which pinged off Sarah’s toe up and over Esther into the goal.  Undeterred the 4s reset and with a pass out wide to Catherine and then up to Gina Hunt, Caroline Wolfe and Lisa Harwood moved the opposition defence around to get a chance on goal.  A short corner was forced with an injection from Lucy to Caroline a strike in but intercepted by the opposition and cleared.

After half time we came out with more grit and determination to get the ball first and pass it on before we got intercepted.  Vicki Earley was keeping the pace of Lowestoft players and pushed them wide into the path of the defenders. Lowestoft gained more short corners and increased the score to 4-0.  Unfortunately goals were not forthcoming for the Dragons even though they put in a last surge on goal.  Man of the match was Fiona who managed to stretched out go go gadget arms to catch the ball on the line and prevent another goal.


Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s v Norwich City 3s:  0-1

The ladies Fives headed off to Taverham on a rather warm Saturday morning eager to play City 3’s. Due to limited availability captain Amy Forse had to return to her old position as keeper while Liz McDonnell joined at the last minute to bring our numbers up to 12.
City came out fighting form the start and put in some ominous runs but the defence were able to keep them at bay with resilient clearances from Grace Brown, Steph Samson and Louise Davis. The defence faced a number of short corners throughout the game and managed to save all but one, a strong strike from top D halfway through the first half. This was the only goal City managed to score.  After conceding the goal the fives rallied and managed to hold City off for the remainder of the first half with some good running from Lilly Sore and Sue Cross.  We ended the first half 1-0.
One goal down and with no substitutes, the fives went into the second half with renewed energy after a positive and uplifting team talk from Amy Forse. Sue Brumby unfortunately injured her calf in the first half and so was unable to continue playing but she did support and encourage the team enthusiastically from the side line.  The fives started the second half fighting with Hannah Edwards and Ginny Simkin working together to get the ball into the opposite D.  There was some great supportive play from the team which provided a few good goal scoring opportunities for Sue Cross and Lilly Sore that sadly, were unsuccessful.  City tried their best to score more goals but Amy Forse put in some big saves to stop them.  The second half ended 0-0, with a compelling effort from all players but this sadly did not negate City’s goal from the first half. Although we lost, the fives played a strong game and were happy with the result.
Katie Lister and Mel Widdows played well in the mid field with Katie making some crucial tackles Mel working back to help the defence when needed. The team was able to put some of the space creation techniques from training this week into use to get past the solid City defence and create some spectacular passes. Well done to the fives for an outstanding effort.
POM: Amy Forse

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 2
Norwich Dragons Ladies 6s  v Pelicans 3s:  3-1 

Ladies 6s had a long trip to Pelicans this weekend welcoming Charlotte Knight, Stella Windsor-Waite, Amelia Keitley-Webb, Clara Dorman-Carrott and Katy Saide into the squad this week for the first time this season. After seeing the work rate and progression of these players in training, captain Hannah Woods was delighted to welcome them into the 6s fold.
As always, the emphasis for the 6s was on communication and working together. The first half started well. Dragons pressed the pelicans defence hard. The forward line of Jemima Dorman-Carrott, Mia McGhee and Charlotte Knight worked tirelessly as a unit. They interchanged and moved as a team making it really difficult for the opposition. A goal came when PoM Charlotte Knight put a fantastic cross in from the edge of the D for Mia McGhee to score.
Pelicans equalised mid way through the second half just adding fire into the dragons fight. The rotating defensive line of Georgia Butterworth, Kate Atkins, Jen Buskell and Katy Saide held strong, clearing with pace through to the midfield.
The wide midfield players of Hannah Woods (who is slowly moving further up the pitch in terms of starting position!) and Clara Dorman-Carrott were tenacious and played so great balls through for the forwards. For the second goal Charlotte Knight was again play maker. Her ball in saw Jess Vernon, Amelia-Keitley-Webb and Jemima Dorman-Carrott set a press around the keeper for Vernon to sneak Home the goal.
A mention has to be given to Jess Vernon who is a forward by trade but has been playing a vit role for the 6s at the top of the diamond. Her work rate is fantastic and she is doing a great job learning this new position.
Going into the break Dragons were 2-1 up but knew they needed to consolidate this week. The sticks-in chant called for dragons to be hard out from the first push. That was exactly what happened. Vernon intercepting a Pelicans pass to push the ball out to Woods who played a perfectly weighted pass to the corner for Knight to run onto – she played a fantastic cross in to goal bound Mia McGhee to score her second 42 seconds into the second half!
Dragons were dominant in the second half. A particuar mention should go to debutant Stella Windsor-Waite for the key role she held at bottom of the diamond. Throughout the match she grew in confidence and played some very mature Hockey. Her ability to shadow players and not dive into a tackle until the time is right shows Hockey maturity well above her age.
A goal keeping appearance from Anita Mancini for the first time this season is also worth a mention. She commanded the D making some crucial saves and communicated well with her defensive line. Just missing out – by a single vote – on PoM.
PoM went to Charlotte Knight who in her first appearance for the 6s was involved in every goal. She tracked players back and supported defence well but also showed some great individual skill out on the right wing.
I couldn’t have been prouder of every single player who donned a 6s top this weekend. The effort in training and during matches in really paying off!


Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 3

Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s v Dereham 5s:  5-0 (Dereham conceded this fixture)


Empress Norfolk Women’s League, Division 3

Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s v Watton 3s:  0-6

Ladies 8’s Match Report .02/12/2017 – Vs Watton

Ladies 8’s player of the match – Sophie James

Best way to describe this match? MASSIVELY FUSTRATING!

The entire team exited the pitch knowing and feeling that they had given it their all! The half time Haribo and post-match sandwiches, chips and cake were gratefully received and much needed to revive energy levels and post-match mood!

From the outset the #awesomeeights knew they had a job on their hands with Watton joining the league from the one above at the beginning of last season. From the first to the last whistle the eights dug their heels in, fought hard and gave the home team an end to end, side to side match.  The dynamic defence fought hard and continually cleared the record breaking number of short corners awarded against them (over twenty but we lost count so can’t confirm the exact number).  The midfield team of Nic Harrison, Sophie James, Emma Fielding and Katy Cole used every ounce of energy including any reserves they had driving the ball wide and high up the pitch and then pulling back to battle with the defenders.

Goal keeper Emma North showed once again that she has benefitted from the specialist goal keeping sessions with some fantastic long clearances and dives to clear the ball away from the danger zone. Her support and guidance proved invaluable throughout the match.

Left defender Anna Chapman continues to thrive as the “silent achiever” a fantastic, enthusiastic player who just keeps getting better and better. Centre defender and Vice-Captain Jo Baker once again belted out some cracking (literally, poor stick) hits to the waiting wingers or into clear spaces allowing them to run onto them. Her vocal chords also got a good airing with Jo providing some much-needed encouragement, guidance and instruction throughout the match. Fellow defenders Jess Lockwood and Johanne Steward both battled hard tirelessly moving out to provide the width and coming in to protect the D.

Following a strategic pre-match decision bottom of the diamond stalwart Tracy Stewart-Sheppard teamed up with visiting #awesomeeights Louise “Brooksy” Brooks to provide a concrete core to the midfield. Brooksy proved to be an awesome last-minute addition to the team who tackled bravely and effortlessly passed the ball up the pitch to the waiting mids Tracy continues to be quick to the ball and a real fighter who just doesn’t give up, her enthusiasm is infectious! Last but by no means least the ferocious forwards courageously lead by Lois Metcalf whose experience and great communication was invaluable. She worked tirelessly to drive the ball towards the D whilst supporting the other players alongside her. Sadie Jacobs grows in confidence and is nearly un-recognisable to the beginning of the season, Sadie listens and takes direction brilliantly. Her passes are getting stronger and more accurate with every match she plays. The last mention must go to our debutant Emma Young who has finally been rewarded for her training efforts since the beginning of the season and proved she had earnt her place in the team. Emma proved to be the perfect goal-hanger, her resilient performance showed that she had soaked up every piece of advice given to her, is a natural at meeting the ball and stayed high to separate the Watton defenders away from their midfielders.

So summing this game up, well a lot could be said but we are true Dragons who are gracious in defeat. We learn from what didn’t quite work for us and will be back next week fighting once again. It is very frustrating that we fight as hard as we do, and the results really don’t reflect the play on the pitch, but all are confident that the wins will come we just have to dig our stubborn little feet in and keep battling on!


Men’s East Hockey League, Division 2N

Norwich Dragons Men’s 1s v Norwich City 2s:  1-5


Men’s East Hockey League, Division 3NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s v IES 3s:  2-3

Good King Moulson looked out
On the pitch of Ipswich East Suffolk leaven
When the pitch lay round about
Blue and Pink and even
Brightly shone the pitch that day
Though the low sun was cruel
When the Dragons came in sight
Spectators began to dro’oo’ol

“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder Dragons, fight with me
Play our game, true beguiling!”
“We are, in a good league hence
We must use our metal
Passing against the pitches fence
The win should be ele’men’tal”

Two goals lost in no good time
Dragons on the back foot
Ed Gould striking quite sublime
Scoring a short corner crash bandicoot
Goss and Hull charged up the flanks
Forth they went together
Through the IES defensive ranks
Half time comes to stir the we’ea’ther

“Team, the night is darker now
And the game won’t last much longer
We must try much harder now,
And come out the stronger”
Dragons started with guile, and gaze
Passing the much brazenly
Chances came with floundering haze
Goalmouth frenzies became the go’oo’dly.”

IES were next to strike
Dragon’s Gould followed gamely
End to end the contest strived
Fulltime approaching hastily
In the end, the Dragons lost
Three – two to their victors
Bring on Bury in next weeks fight
Ed Gould Dragons Match Cham’pi’on


Men’s East Hockey League, Division 3NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s v Bury St Edmunds 2s:  2-1

On a cold December day,
Dragons were home not away.
But how would they do,
With Goodson’s numbering just 2?

Rob is chock full of dismay,
Attending his in laws birthday,
He’s torn between a home win,
Or his team missing him.

Dragons started with pace,
Mystic wearing his game face.
Immediately a goal came,
Ali Browne achieving 3s fame.

Just like London buses,
3s goals come in rushes,
The finish by Digger,
He’ll only get bigger.

Bury started to play,
Their midfield making hay,
The ball broke loose,
Great save by Joel Moose!

Dragons were on top,
The high press didn’t stop,
Lots of chances were missed,
Were our forwards all £&*^|£?

Our one slip Bury did finish,
Were we due a grandstand finish?
But with a crowd in full song,
Our brave Dragons held on.

Formerly the size of a hoose,
Man of the match was Joel Moose.
Now a slip of a lad,
His goalkeeping ain’t bad.

We’ll welcome Rob back,
And not give him the sack,
But he must remember we won,
When we were ditched for his wife’s Mum!!



Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s v Ipswich 3s:  1-3


Men’s East Hockey League, Division 5NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 5s v Ipswich Cranes 1s:  6-0



Men’s East Hockey League, Division 6NE(N)

Norwich Dragons Men’s 6s v Norfolk Nomans 2s:  0-3

Unfortunately the 6s suffered from a combination of player injuries prior to the match, players being called up at the last minute to higher mens teams and a no show on the day which meant we started with a bare 11 lineup. This led to a number of people having to play seriously out of their normal position. From the start Nomads imposed themselves by playing to their strengths and within 10 minutes were 2-0 ahead. Both of their goals coming from balls driven in from the edge of our D and picked up on the far post by a loose player. Although this really wasn’t the start we wanted, the team made the best of it and there were some brighter moments, notably Tommy Chapman hitting the Nomads post and Bobby Sheppard being blocked close in by the experienced Nomads keeper.

Because of the lack of substitutes there was no real chance to make any changes at half time and it was more a case of digging in to minimise the goals against, which our defence made a sterling effort at. The work rate was kept up by the whole team but the lack of substitutes and options told in the end, when Nomads scored a third goal. Stephen Holland had been metaphorically thrown in the deep end for his first ever full hockey match and credit goes to him for giving it his all. Try as we might we couldn’t make the breakthrough and the game ended a disappointing 0-3 loss.

For his efforts in attack and perseverance Tommy Chapman was awarded Man of the Match A big thinks also to Freddie Roques for doubling up in goal for the 6s and 5s at late notice. All in all, I think these days are called ‘learning experiences’ in modern parlance…..


Norwich Dragons Hockey Club

Dragons Dev Boys A v Watton:  6-0


Norwich Dragons Hockey Club

Dragons Dev Boys B v  Dereham: 3-0


Dragons Dev Girls v  Watton:  8-0

Dev Girls have their first win of the season beating Watton 8-0 Goals from Piper Hempsall x 2 Amy Beadman x 1 Hattie Stuart x1 Honey Wells x 2 Isabelle Harris x 2. POM for a dominant display in midfield goes to Piper Hempsall. Onwards and upwards!!