|Team||Date||Opposition||H/A||Time||Score||Scorers||Player of Match|
Women’s East Hockey League, Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s v City of Peterborough 1s: 1-3
The 1st team travelled to Peterborough on Saturday, strengthened in numbers and ready to take 3 points from a team that had beaten them in the pre-season.
Perhaps struggling to get the journey out of their legs, Dragons started slowly and Peterborough looked the dominant team for the first 10 minutes. The Norwich ladies found their form though and were starting to play some good hockey, passing the ball around nicely and maintaining possession. Unfortunately, we were caught napping about 15 minutes in and despite having had most of the possession, Peterborough capitalised on a break and slipped the ball past keeper Siobhan Cleeve.
Dragons again took control and some slick passing between Marie James, who went on to take the well-deserved Player of the Match title, Lou Murray and Lucy Ripman relentlessly pushed back the Peterborough sttack. The forward line of Hayley Toleman, Stacey Lee, Katie Taubman and Katy Hands found space and drove at the D, skilfully winding their way past the defence, but just could not convert. Dragons won 6 short corners in the first half, but in part due to the excellent keeping of the CoP goalkeeper and in part due to some pretty bad luck, the goal just wouldn’t come.
After losing possession in midfield, Peterborough drove at the D and again, they managed to score on the break, to move the score to 2-0 at half time.
Determined to fight back, Dragons started positively, with excellent linking play from Marie James, Lara Taylor and Hannah Philips, who all fought hard throughout the game. Together, they threaded the ball through to Stacey Lee just outside of the D. Lee, looking like she was just headed for the back line, took the ball in and out of nowhere, fired off a reverse stick shot that the rest of us could only dream of. Such was the speed of the shot, no-one even saw it go. But go it did – 2-1 and our spirits were revived!
In the 20 minutes that remained, Peterborough counter attacked and if it weren’t for the lightning reflexes of Cleeve in goal, the score would have been higher. It was end to end for this period, and just as in the first half, Dragons created several chances on goal, won 4 more short corners, but the goal just would not come. It was not going to be our day. Around 5 minutes before the final whistle, Peterborough wound their way down the back line and from an impossible angle, managed to slip the ball into the goal to take the score to 3-1 at the final whistle.
Player of the match Marie James for ‘majestic’ distribution.
A frustrating game for the Dragons, who deserved more.
Women’s East Hockey League, Division 2NE
Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s v City 2s: 4-3
Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 3s v Broadland 1s: 2-1
Norwich Dragons Ladies 3rd Team made their second journey to Taverham in as many weeks to play Broadland Ladies 1st Team. With both teams unbeaten before the fixture, the Dragons were prepared for a tough and close battle on the pitch. The game started with both teams creating opportunities from both open play and short corners.
The first and only goal of the first half came from Norwich Dragons, with the ball being switched quickly and efficiently from defence to attack down the right of the pitch to be slotted into the goal by Hannah Ellis. All attacking chances generated by Broadland were competently dealt with by the defence of Kristina Smyth, Carmel Windsor Waite, Kath Mares and Angela Murgatroyd.
The second half continued with Dragons making more goal scoring chances, Ally Windsor Waite passed the keeper for a Broadland defender to clear the line and Harriet Green supported by player of the match Lucy Morton forced the Broadland keeper to make a first class save. The second goal for Dragons eventually came from a short corner patiently worked through a few Dragons players for Harriet Green to calmly push the ball across the line.
Following the second goal by Dragons, Broadland pressed forward and managed to score from a short corner with only 5 minutes left on the clock. Both teams continued to play attacking hockey right up to the final whistle to create a tense finish for the spectators, thank you to the 6th team for their support.
Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 4s v Loddon 1s: 0-3
The Ladies 4s were feeling in a buoyant mood and looking forward to a physical tussle with Loddon. Trish Hagan gave us her insider knowledge of who to watch and their style of game play. With Lynne (Neeps) Price still recovering from a table injury! She came to give direction and run the sidelines. Loddon won the toss with first push back and tried to weave through the middle of the field before being picked off my Vicki Earley. Aditi Naik and Ismay Whitaker were holding space out on the wings ready for the pick up. In the first 10 minutes there was an end to end tussle with both teams jossling for the ball. The 4s found their feet and the ball passed up the pitch from Vicki out wide to Aditi, Ismay and Catherine Matthews, eager for the ball and using their pace to pass the opposition. Trish was central offering support and used her skill to feed the ball into the D, where Caroline Wolfe, Lisa Harwood and Ellie James were looking for the pick up. The Loddon defence were quick to close down any advance on the goal. The 4s pressed the Loddon free hits to try and hold play and sometimes they smashed the ball through us to a high waiting forward. The defence commanded at the back by Sarah Wagstaff were responsive and with Ella Kassulke and Amelia Smith on the wing they picked off any advances. Although we had to be wary of the high forward and her position on the pitch. Caroline forced a short corner and Ismay stepped up, fired in and just wide of the charging Caroline waiting for the tap in on post. Loddon smashed the ball out wide and ran the line, with some nice passing around us, finding themselves in the D, the defenders quickly tried to clear the ball but a short was given. Kat Speirs our keeper was at the ready but a well-practised drill slotted the ball into the back of the goal. 0-1 at half time.
The 4s were still raring to go and score some goals, the midfield worked tirelessly to move the ball and create opportunities, Lisa passed the ball through to the D just wide of Caroline, Lucy Buxton at lightning speed surged forward to pick up the ball just before it went off the pitch and went for goal, the keeper dived in and made the save. The 4s continued to press the D but the goal remained elusive, Loddon’s second goal came from what looked like a tennis match in the D, luckily no one was injured! Final score 0-3 to Loddon. An improved performance from the 4s with more linked play and chances on goal.
Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s v Dereham 3s: 0-1
Thanks to illness, late school match call ups and calls to work, the 5s found themselves bringing up players from the 6s and still travelling to fourth placed Dereham 3s with the bare 11 players.
After a quiet warm up, captain for the day Louise Davis fired up the team to go out and let the ball do the work to conserve energy.
Within a few minutes, the visitors found themselves a goal down to a fortunate deflection from a hit into the D. However, from this moment on, Dragons battled hard and worked their socks off making sure that every player gave there all for the team.
Some solid defending and the creation of a few chances meant that Dragons held Dereham at bay and at times had the home side concerned for the points.
Sadly the final whistle came before Dragons could make one of their chances count and the final result was a very respectable 1-0 loss.
The spread of Player of the Match votes showed how well the team worked for each other.
Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 2
Norwich Dragons Ladies 6s v Broadland 3s: 2-0
Ladies 6s had a late fixture away to Broadland 3s. Knowing it was a top of the table clash, dragons ahead on goal difference, and that Broadland were yet to concede a goal, a tough game was expected.
Dragons were out in force with a strong team of supporters containing the injured Gemma Ballard and “goal a game” Jemima Dorman. The sideline, subbing and all-round tic-tacs being managed to Anita Mancini who was faultless in their ability to guide Dragons through the game.
From the first pushback it was tough – Broadland proved why they were the other top of the table team – pressing Dragons hard. But the Dragons kept cool heads under pressure and moved the ball well. The midfield team of Jade Blanchflower, Beth Elgood, POM Hannah Edwards, Emma Gillard and Louise Brooks held the centre of the pitch well. Distributing some great balls and working up the pitch as a unit. Hannah Edwards working tirelessly for the POM votes! This gave the forward line of Sue Brumby, Harriet Rant, Jane Wells and Amy Forse the ability to make some great runs in the D. The Broadland defence were solid and looked like a team yet to concede.
However they were yet to come up against a centre forward like Amy Forse! She didn’t give up – every hit out she was there faced up to them, pressuring them and making some great interceptions. Her patience prevailed when she collected the ball on the 25, driving into the D and setting herself 1-1 with the keeper striking hard and low making the save impossible. 1-0 at half time but a far from done deal.
Broadland were out fast – wanting to pressure the strong Dragons defence line of Hannah Woods, Kate Atkins and Jen Buskell being expertly led by keeper Kat Speirs. Broadland had their chances but crucial tackles and supportive defence work from Beth Elgood, Emma Gillard and Jade Blanchflower meant the clean sheet was kept.
At the other end of the pitch, the forwards were working hard for another goal. Amy Forse again led the press on the Broadland defence, taking a strike from just inside the D hitting the backboard to the keepers right side. 2-0 and 3 points clear at the top of the table!
Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 3
Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s v Watton 3s: 2-0
Dragons dominated the game but it wasn’t a comfortable win, thanks largely to the Watton keeper who was an excellent shot stopper. The victory takes the 7s to the top of the table, but they are all too aware that they did not ‘sparkle’ like they did the week before. A few changes and a last minute call off through illness meant they started tentatively, and were rather quiet, but then the mids and forwards began to fire. Mia McGhee was battering away on the left, fed with a string of passes by the tenacious Stevie Spencer making her seasonal debut. Maisie Dearmer was equally lively on the right and built a good understanding with Claire Stuart, Hattie Gale and Anja Wimmer.
Dragons were relieved to score towards the end of the first half, when Jess Vernon drove hard in the circle and the Watton keeper was a little unlucky to lose the ball between her kickers. But it was no more than Jess deserved for her direct play. Centre forward Claire Fairhurst set the captain’s example by placing her shots into the corners, and she was twice unlucky when the centre back snapped them up with the keeper beaten.
Meanwhile, Watton threatened with breakaways. At times the 7s were not quite on their marking, but Stella Windsor-Waite had another super game at left defence and earned the player of the match vote for a cool display under pressure. Emma Bell at right defence tamed her left wing, and there was some good tackling by Hattie. Keeper Emily Roper marshalled her defence and was called on to make several good saves. Bridget Le Good’s powerful 16s and frees gave the 7s a lot of territorial advantage, and when Anja moved into midfield in the second half, Dragons were constantly pressing and looked as though they just had to score. The second goal was a worthy match winner, and came towards the end. Claire Fairhurst took a free hit quickly and found Anja on the right. One touch and she slammed the ball across the circle, with Mia stepping in front of her marker to touch the ball home. The move had speed, power and precision and was the 7s at their super best. The goal gave Dragons a cushion, and they saw the game out without managing to produce any more quality moves.
The 7s have got the appetite for winning, and are setting their sights higher to improve their game. The marking needs attention; the penalty corners lacked ‘bite’ and too many scoring chances were wasted trying to go through the defenders. But the team might conclude that any time you can grab a win without playing at your best, you take it and move on.
Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 3
Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s v Carrow 2s: 2-1
Final score – 2:1 to Dragons. Goals by Shaniece Claxton and Charlotte Knight.
Player of the match – Charlotte Knight
The awesome eights continue to thrive each week as they put into practice what they have learned in their training. Determined to improve upon last week’s valiant effort despite losing 4:1 against the UEA, they fought even harder than before and their efforts paid off. 14 eager players including more new faces again this week. Debuts from Charlotte Knight and Sophie James who have progressed from the Devs and from Clara Carrott from Get Back Into ladies.
Initially it took the first 15 minutes or so for the 8’s to ‘gel’ in new positions with new team members. The defence had it tough but it didn’t deter Vice Captain Jo Baker from her solid position as centre back with her timely and accurate hit outs to the side lines. GK Emma ‘Northy’ North continues to get stronger each week and made many solid saves in this time. Jess Lockwood also grows in confidence and took some fabulous side line hits up the wing to the mid fielders. Johanne Steward kept many Carrow attackers at a safe distance with her tackles and short, sharp passes to the likes of Becky ‘the flexi-player’ Gallagher and Clara Carrott who had some great drives up the wing getting the ball across to the forwards.
Aftter the 8’s established their dynamic, it was full steam ahead with the team fighting fit and determined to win. Lois Metcalfe made many fierce tackles within the D and managed to get the ball within a few feet of the goal line. Several deflections later with Sadie Jacobs on the left ready to give it her best shot and Shaniece Claxton on the right, Shaniece scored her first league match goal!
However, literally minutes later whist the Dragons were still on a high from scoring, Carrow had a couple of lucky, long passes straight down the middle of the pitch and before the Dragons knew it, the ball had made it past the defenders, straight past the fabulous keeper Emma ‘Northy’ North and equalized!
This only made the Dragons come back stronger than ever being awarded several short corners. It was 1 all at half time but the Dragons dominated the game in the second half with the ball barely making it past the half way line. The strong mid field section of Nic Harrison, Becky and Clara Carrot on the wing, made some lovely tenacious tackles and kept the opposition at bay. On the odd occasion that the ball got past the Dragons, bottom of the diamond position shared by both Tracy Stuart-Sheppard who always has a keen eye and Sophie James (who was not feeling 100% but was determined to play in her first adult match) made sure that it was not in the danger zone for long.
Captain Katy Cole as top of the diamond assisted the attackers keeping the ball in the 25 zone and made some good tackles passing the ball to the likes of Shaniece, Sadie, Lois and Charlotte Knight who relentlessly drove the ball around the opposition (fully earning her player of the match award) until she finally scored a goal making it 2 all. This increased the Dragons confidence further and there was literally no stopping them at this point. The last 15 minutes of the game the Dragons were all over it and totally owned the game. The game play barely moved away from the 25m line and time after time the ball entered the D and Dragons were awarded more and more short corners. Carrow, now tired and worn out from the seemingly ever-lasting energy of the 8’s, could barely keep up. Finally the whistle blew and this was a well deserved win for the awesome 8’s.
Points so to remember for future games:
- Always keep 5 metres – green card was awarded and a Dragon player was sent off for 2 minutes because of this
- Keep using the width
- Keep practicing short corners
- Players need to be more aware of their feet, many free hits were given to the opposition because of this
- Continue to have fun!
Men’s East Hockey League, Division 2N
Norwich Dragons Men’s 1s v Bury St Edmund 1s: 2-1
Men’s 1s make it two wins in a row, battling back from 1-0 down at half time to beat Bury 1s 2-1. An impressive second half performance was rewarded with goals from golden boy Tom Vaughan and Robin van Patrick (Gordon).
Man of the match was Peter Dickerson who kept the visitors in the game with some crucial saves and Dragon of the Day was George Bowman – the team look forward to his treats next week.
Men’s East Hockey League, Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s v Sudbury 2s: 3-1
Men’s 2s win 3-1 at Sudbury. All 3 goals via short corner rockets by Rich Gill. MoM Garnett Jones. Started with 10 men (and no keeper), but all good in the end.
Men’s East Hockey League, Division 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s v Ipswich 2s: 2-2
Having conceded 4 goals in the opening ten minutes of their first league game and then 5 goals in the opening ten minutes of the second, the Men’s 3s pre match WhatsApp conversations were largely based on the need for a proper pre match warm up and a focussed start.
As ever, it was all talk. The oldsters shuffled round the pitch in their carpet slippers, allegedly warming up their stiff backs and hamstrings, but generally just chewing the fat on key topics such as our wives social lives, Grant Holt and the mysterious disappearance of defender’s face masks.
Meanwhile the youngsters were supposed to be warming up Giles Brooks but were instead showing off their undercutting skills, which did little for Giles, but did petrify the Birthday party in goals and a passing light aircraft.
Once the game started, Dragons started off like a train with both Matt Jenkins and Digger (Jonno Chaney-Baxter….JCB….
However, having only conceded once in the opening minutes, Dragons were full of confidence and pinned Ipswich back in their 22 for long periods although without creating many clear cut chances. The defence of Stu Kelly, Phil Good, Joel Dennis, James Goodson repelled the majority of attacks, with PC Gordon-Brown patrolling his right wing beat to good effect, slapping away any miscreants with a waft of his truncheon.
Halftime came and went (again without any Haribo – this never happened in the Sayer or Walker years) with the match continuing in the same vein during the opening 15 minutes of the second half.
Ed Smith then unfortunately lost a contact lens and with the team’s focus (excuse the pun) momentarily distracted, Ipswich scored a second goal against the run of play.
Lesser teams would have crumbled but not our brave boys in red. A Goodson Neopolitan sundae special was served up with Jim Goodson passing to his twin brother Rob who worked it into the D for their younger, fitter and more handsome brother Jon Goodson to poke home.
Time was ticking away and Dragons pressed on with increasing urgency. Pedro Goss and Jon Goodson linked together well on the right hand side for George Wright, on his first league start for the 3s, to sweep home powerfully from around the penalty spot for a thoroughly deserved equaliser.
The final whistle blew shortly afterwards and the Dragons had their first league point of the season.
Paul was yet again an absolute star, quietly and almost invisibly being involved in all the team’s best passages of play. Only his lack of training is getting in the way of a call up to the higher teams.
Jonno Chaney Baxter was the young player of the match, with Jon Goodson replacing Tom Vaughan as oldster MOTM, with Tom winning the popular vote but being disqualified on the technicality that he didn’t actually play for us (at the moment, he’ll be back soon).
Dragons 3s 2 – Ipswich 2 2 (Desmond)
Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s v Thetford 1s: 6-2
Dragons secured their first points of the season in a well deserved win over Thetford. Tom McLean in goal and Johnny Taylor made their debuts for the team whilst Andrew Saunders scored his first 2 league goals. The first half saw Dragons take the lead through a Saunders penalty corner strike whilst his forward partner Taylor (MoM) settled quickly into adult hockey, causing the Thetford defence plenty of problems. Thetford equalised with a scrappy goal and at half time the score was 1-1.
Dragons became increasingly dominant during the second half as Thetford tired and added 3 further goals through Taylor, Saunders and Jon Price. Will Ives neutralised Thetford’s most dangerous player with tight man marking and Pete Davison plucked numerous speculative aerial balls out of the sky. In central midfield, Sol Blazer continued his impressive form this season and the pace and tenacity of Connor Adams was notable. Thetford pulled one goal back but never truly threatened a comeback and Dragons could have had further goals with Phil York-Smith hitting the post from a tight angle and the keeper’s pads from close range.
Every Dragons player contributed to a solid team performance and satisfying win, which provided a welcome confidence boost before next week’s trip to Pelicans.
Men’s East Hockey League, Division 5NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 5s v UEA 3s: 6-2
Men’s 5s lost 6-2 to UEA, goal scorers Matt Hull and Eddie Gould whilst MoM was Shiv Kapur.
Men’s East Hockey League, Division 6NE(N)
Norwich Dragons Men’s 6s v Watton 2s: 0-1
Although, the mens 6s hadn’t won a game during pre-season much had been learnt and the team was looking forward to our opening match of the season against Watton 2. We had beaten them last season and we expected a close game. Watton turned up with a strengthened side compared to previous encounters and from the start it was end to end stuff. Dragons 6s had mixture of old heads and young guys straight from the boys Dev teams, so were able to set out a spine and defence of older players and use the younger players to take advantage of their speed on the wings. Toby Drake, Angus Blazer, Dan Murphy and Bobby Sheppard slotted straight in and all played with maturity from the start. Harry Brown, who came up from Dev mid way through last season, has continued to develop as a fine defensive player and was solid in the Left Back position alongside the wise heads of Mike Banham, Chris Orme, Rich Davis and Ray Hansell, all who had a good game. The Back third of the team was completed by Chris Miller in goal, who had an outstanding match.
The first half was very close and neither side was able to make a breakthrough. The Dragon’s forward of Rob Lee and Darryl Robinson came close numerous times and the penetrating runs from the wings meant we won half a dozen penalty corners but were unable to convert these to goals. Josh Bingham pulled the midfield together and also made strong runs into the opposition 23 and circle. The match was finely balanced at 0-0 on the halftime whistle.
The second half began very much as the first had finished with wide open play and some good hockey by both sides. In the end, to the Dragons frustration, Watton made a breakthrough and managed to scramble home a goal. All credit to our team for not letting their heads drop and they continued to press Watton, with more penalty corners being awarded, but again, not quite able to be converted. The Watton keeper saving the day for them more than once.
The match finished in a 0-1 defeat for Dragons 6s but it was a very creditable performance from the whole team, who showed spirt and a strong work ethic, to keep pressurising Watton right up to the final whistle.
For excellent work between the posts, the Man of the Match award went to Chris Millar.
“In addition to all the effort of the players, a big thank you also to John Butler, who although not playing due to recovering from injury, is a great help on the touchline with encouragement, insight and making the substitutions. We all hope to see him back playing again very soon.”
Dragons Dev Boys A v City: 5-2
Boys Dev A beat city 5-2. Two goals each for Kit Scott and Tommy Chambers plus a drag flick from James Cross.
On a dull and drizzly day, the first quarter started with City putting the Dragons defence under pressure, but the defence held firm and when they broke forward, Kit scored to make it 1-0 Dragons. More City pressure until the end of the quarter, but once again the defence of Ben, Alexander, Arj and Ed held firm.
The second 1/4 started with more pressure by City leading to an equaliser and 1-1. More stout defending with GK Alex making 3-4 good saves in gaol, as City piled on the pressure, but the defence, with willing help from the midfield of Will, Jack and James, held on to end the quarter at 1-1
The third quarter started with Dragons putting the City goal under pressure resulting in Dragons getting their first short corner of the match, which they executed perfectly, with James scoring to make it 2-1 Dragons. They then controlled the rest of the 1/4 with Isaac breaking forward to set up Tommy for Dragons third, and then the same 2 combining for Dragons 4th. The quarter ended with Dragons on top and leading 4-1.
The fourth quarter, and it’s still dull and drizzly, starts with both sides having chances, but City converting first to get the score back to 4-2 Again City put the Dragons defence under pressure, but a nice break by Dragons led to Kit scoring Dragons 5th, which put the game out of City’s reach.
A deserved 5-2 win with stoic defence when required and nice finishing when the chances appeared.
Dragons Dev Boys B v Magpies: 0-3
Dev Boys B Team lose to Magpies 3-0. No adults played! Well done to all those boys and thanks to Steve Linford for managing. The team had four under 12 boys playing 11 a side hockey for the first time, including Max Nichols in goal. Sam Hancock (u12) player of the match.
Dragons Dev Girls v City B: 0-8
Dev girls have a disappointing 0-8 loss to Norwich City but worked hard and gave it their all. POM Orla Hardiman.