NDHC League Match Reports: Saturday 12th January 2019

This Week’s Results

TeamOppositionH/AScoreScorersPlayer of Match
L2sN City 2H2-1 (W)Donna Vaughan
Kate McKenna
Karen O'Neill Simpson
L3sNth Norfolk 1A2-0 (L)Ally Windsor Waite
L4sMagpies 4H1-4 (L)Caroline WolfeBeth Prakash
L5sYarmouth 2A1-2 (W)Lizzy McDonnell
Anita Mancini
Hannah Edwards
L6sLow Railway 2H1-1 (D)Stevie SpencerJoanna Jennings
L7sHerlingsH3-4 (L)Bridget Le Good
Ella Bartram
Lara King
Lara King
L8sThetfordA6-0 (L)Fern Daly
M1sCam Nomads 1H2-2 (D)Rupert Snelling
Olly Buck
Pedro Goss
M2sDragons 3H0-1 (L)James Cross
M3sDragons 2A0-1 (W)Tom VaughanMitch Smith
M4sCity 4H0-6 (L)Jordan Hambling
M5sNth Norfolk 3A1-10 (W)Andrew Cross x4
Dan Orsborne X3
Dan Ryan x2
Josh Bingham
Dan Ryan
M6sN City 7H2- (D)Jon Price
Darryl Robinson
The team!
BD AN CityA1-2 (W)Will Panter
Ben Panter
Kit Scott
BD BMagpiesA4-1 (L)Jake ReynoldsFinn Pond
GDDereham PanthersA0-2 (W)Evie MarleeNellie Ong

East League,  Ladies 1N
Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s v Wisbech 1s:  0-3

MOM:  Olivia Thomas

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s struggle to maintain their pre-Christmas momentum in a 3-0 loss away to Wisbech.

The Dragons travelled to Wisbech hoping to build upon their excellent performance against league-leaders, Dereham, just before the break. The team started strongly, winning a short corner in the opening few minutes of the game. Over the next 10 minutes we looked the better of the two teams, threatening to score on several occasions, with some nice build up play through player of the match, Liv Thomas, in the middle of the pitch, and the forward line of Maddy Reynolds, Lucy Morton, Issy Wolfe, Katy Hands and Mia Bartrum stretching the game and making some good runs. However, Wisbech soon settled into the game and began to make some attacks of their own. The Dragons left too much open in the middle of the pitch, and the hosts capitalised upon this. Despite some excellent goalkeeping from Gina Hunt, Wisbech went ahead just before the end of the first half.

The second half saw a ropey performance from the visitors, with basics letting us down. Despite a number of chances, Wisbech utilised their skills and numbers up front, and after 10 minutes scored an excellent tap in goal, having drawn the defence out. The Dragons battled on, and had plenty of chances in the second half, but this was not our day, and a few minutes before the whistle, Wisbech sealed the game with a strike from the right hand side of the D. A disappointed Dragons team recognise that this was far from our best performance, and that we need to get back to basics in next week’s game.

East League, Ladies 2NE
Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s v Norwich City 2s:  2-1

Goalscorers:  Kate McKenna, Donna Vaughan
MOM:  Karen O’Neill Simpson

Dragons welcomed back Sophie Barrow from long term injury and Liv Leary from maternity for this first league match back post Christmas. Sadly injury will deny the team the services of Piper Hempsall for the 2nd half of the season, the team wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to have her supporting from the sideline.

Both teams started brightly, with the visitors possibly the sharper of the two teams, moving the ball around well and putting the Dragons defence under some pressure. Sarah Borrett, Sophie Barrow and Kath Mares were working hard either side of Donna Vaughan and Karen O’Neill Simpson, as City used the width well. The home team had welcomed back Amy Forse in goal, who was sharp as ever, and made some important saves from both short corners and open play.

Dragons had attacks of their own with chances created by Liv Leary, Kate McKenna and Jess Bennett, however nothing too clear cut in the early stages. Mid way through the half, a smart break down the right and a good cross, saw City take the lead with a sharply taken effort. Dragons remained composed and continued to play their game, the midfield of Laura Van den berg, Gail Thomas, Deb Smith and Sam Franklin were starting to see more of the ball and put pressure on the City defence.

Dragons earned a number of short corners and it was from one of their routines that the ball was well struck home by Donna Vaughan, the ball taking a deflection off a defender en route to goal.

At half time Ollie King and Captain Karen discussed areas the team could improve and stressed it was the team who wanted it more, that would come out on top. The second half remained tight, both teams having chances. Amy Forse was alert to any goal threat, whilst Karen O’Neill Simpson put her body on the line and earned Player of the Match as recompense for her bruises!

Chances were few and far between for Dragons, but after a spell of pressure, Jess Bennett took a smartly taken early free hit, and fed a great square ball into Donna Vaughan who had ghosted up from deep – Vaughan glided past a couple of players, passing the ball to Kate McKenna who had got in an excellent position and with composure, firmly placed the ball into the corner for the lead.

City continued to attack with width and pace, but were unable to find the equaliser, despite going 4 up front in the later stages of the game. The experience of the Dragons team saw the game out. Dragons know they can play better, but were pleased to take the 3 points as they get back up to speed, following the break.

East League, Ladies 2NE
Norwich Dragons Ladies 3s v North Norfolk 1s:  0-2

MOM:  Ally Windsor Waite

The first league game back after the Christmas break and Dragons Ladies 3rd team travelled to Cromer for a tough game against North Norfolk Ladies 1st team, who have only dropped 5 points this season so far and are currently top of the league.

The game began with North Norfolk pressing Dragons back into their own half and putting their defence under immediate pressure. The defensive combination of Stella Windsor Waite, Angela Murgatroyd, Ally Windsor Waite, Grace Brown and Lily Sore were strong and united and dealt efficiently with the attacking threats and were confidently backed up by Kat Speirs who had a great game in the Dragons goal.

After the initial pressure Dragons began to gain some confidence midway through the first half and created a couple of opportunities to score for themselves through the attacking combination of Lucy Buxton and Jenna Mills (on her third team debut). North Norfolk’s fast attacking play eventually lead to the first goal from a short corner, which saw the first half finish 1 – 0 to North Norfolk.

At half time Dragons felt they were still in the game, looking to build on the progress made in the first half and the second half became a much more open game with both teams creating chances. The midfield of Katie Hale, Elsa Scott, Catherine Matthews, Harriet Rant and Hannah Ellis all continued to work hard both protecting the defence and offering support to the attack, which lead to some chances and short corners to Dragons, that were unfortunately not converted.

The strong attacking force of North Norfolk continued to make dangerous runs and managed to convert a second goal from open play down the left wing. Dragons continued to work hard as a team right until the final whistle and have a lot of positives to work on for their next game. Many different votes across the defensive combination with Ally Windsor Waite generating the most votes.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 4s v Magpies 4s:  1-4

Goalscorer:  Caroline Wolfe
MOM: Beth Prakash


Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 1
Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s v Yarmouth 2s:  2-1

Goalscorer:  Lizzy McDonnell, Anita Mancini
MOM:   Hannah Edwards

Dragons arrived at a windy Gorleston hoping for another win after last week.  Captain Hannah Edwards made good use of the whiteboard in the changing room and we all admired the shower cubicles with doors!  After a rousing warm up conducted by Beth Elgood with some funky music we started the game expecting to be dominant.  We soon realized this was a different team from the last time we met Yarmouth and needed to up our game.  Within 2 minutes Yarmouth had won a short corner and then attacked again, both saved by Mia Somers in goal.  It wasn’t long though before Dragons won a short corner that then turned into another short corner, Gem Ballard received the ball on the post and managed to get it to Anita Mancini who put it away in comfortable fashion.

Our lead was to be short lived though as Yarmouth broke away and scored within 2 minutes to put us 1-1.  Dragons settled into the game and worked well together, Anita and Gill Walker in the middle helped move the ball around and we maintained much of the possession.  The game continued much in this way until another short corner was won, Jane Wells did a great strike that was saved and then a few minutes later we won another short corner and with multiple shots on goal it was finally put away by Lizzy McDonnell.

After a good half time talk Dragons started the 2nd half confidently and had much of the play.  Charlotte Dowson made some great runs up the right wing working well with Sue Cross who hit some fantastic crosses.  Likewise on the left side Mel Widdows and Gem passed the ball between each other well.  Anita put in some well-timed tackles, Georgia Butterworth and Jen Buskell in defence often pushed up to keep the ball in our attacking half.  Yarmouth only seemed like they were going to score once after a tense scrap on our goal line involving lots of players, Mia kept her cool though and the danger was eventually cleared.

Man of the match votes were spread across lots of players as it really was a good team performance, Hannah just won for her strong performance out of her comfort zone (and feeling very chilly) as central defender.

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

Goalscorer:   Stevie Spencer
MOM:  Joanna Jennings

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 2
Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s v Herlings:  3-4

Goalscorers:  Bridget Le Good, Ella Bartram, Lara King
MOM: Lara King

The 7s are kicking themselves for somehow snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, allowing a 3-2 lead to slide to a defeat in the last seven minutes. But for any neutrals watching, this was an end-to-end battle with the team at the wrong end of the division almost pulling off a shock against the team in second place.

Dragons at their best play a neat passing game, building from the back where Emma “Meg” Dyer in particularly can hit the 16s wide and hard. Herlings, on the other hand, like to drive the ball powerfully through the middle and take no prisoners in the D. Herlings, who beat Dragons 4-1 on grass, had the best of the early exchanges, but Dragons came back into the game with Mia McGhee running freely on the right and Ella Bartram making ground on the left. The last pass was not quite accurate enough until Maisie Dearmer ran a beautiful overlap on the right and put the ball right on the P spot for Bridget Le Good to smash it home.

 Dragons then dealt competently with everything Herlings could throw at them, with two debut players, one from the dev squad, catching the eye for their pace and determination. Lara King (POM) played top of the diamond and Herlings had no answer to her driving style. Lara was rewarded with a goal early in the second half, when she forced the ball home, and although Herlings pulled one back, Ella made it three and Dragons looked well in control. The forwards and mids were doing some of their most impressive pressing of the season. Erin Aldous and Jess Young were combining well with Meg to create a solid defence in front of Emma “Northie” North, who looked secure in goal. Briony Johnstone was playing a disciplined marking role to snuff out the raids down the middle, with Paige Fisher and Brittany Hopkins linking the midfield skilfully with the forwards.

Where did it all go wrong? In their eagerness to score more goals, Dragons started to get in each other’s way. Individuals began to hold onto the ball and run into trouble, ignoring Ella and Claire Fairhurst, whose runs into beautiful space on the left went begging. The defenders tired slightly, with some weak reverse tackle attempts popping the ball up for the advancing Herlings forwards to win penalty corners and long corners at will.

So it was a slight loss of discipline and shape that did for the Dragons in the end. But they can take this on the chin knowing that if players make every effort to get to training, the squad is gathering new energy, impetus and game craft. Coach Karen O’Neill-Simpson prepared the 7s with great direction in the last session, and Mike Hardy stayed with the team throughout the game to encourage and push them to put the plan into action. Finally, it should not be underestimated the impact and benefit of Captain Claire’s careful subbing plans. Trying to blend four new players into a squad of 13 is a demanding task, and Claire gave the 7s the best possible opportunity to blend into a team.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 3
Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s v Thetford:  0-6

MOM:  Fern Daly

Ladies 8’s were away at Thetford and despite a good fight  (not literally) were defeated with a6-0 loss.

We were once again privileged to have Neeps on the sideline and just like last time she proved an invaluable addition to the team, shouting advice and tips from a frustratingly windy touch line which more often than not had her words swallowed up into the air but she never gave up or let us down and I for one was ever grateful for her presence!

We were not short of supporters as Sadie’s Dad Lee Jacobs roared encouragement at us drawing from his own hockey prowess and experience. Also Jess’s and Fern’s mum’s braved the cold to watch and cheer us on.

Player of the match went to a well deserved Fern who had to deal with the added pressure of  being filmed by her mum Clare as part of her GCSE coursework!

We were happy to welcome Katy Cole back into the fold and she was just as fast as ever! Another welcome addition was Nat Crisp in central defence who is so quick and nimble. She plays with an admirable strength and agility!

Karen was in goal and was kept busy and constantly defended our goal with diligence.

The defence (Jess, Mouse, Jo and Anna, with a fleeting return appearance from Johanne) worked tirelessly and time and time again cleared the ball from the D! We all played really well and the score very much showed our progress since the beginning of the season when we welcomed the Thetford team to Dragons.

I am both embarrassed and honoured to include the next sentenced which I was asked to do by our captain Jo Baker which was to say “I, Emma Young played my best league game EVERRrrr!” There I have done it Jo!! Thank you so much for your praise.

We all left Thetford cold, windswept and aching but as always camaraderie and high spirits never left any of us and we will never give up!

East League, Men’s 2N
Norwich Dragons Men’s 1s v Cambridge Nomads 1s:  2-2

Goalscorers:  Rupert Snelling, Olly Buck
MOM:  Pedro Goss

The men’s 1s faced third place Cambridge Nomads in the first league game of 2019 and drew 2-2 after trailing 2-0. Unfortunately, despite having much of the ball in the first half, Dragons found themselves 2-0 down in the first 25 minutes. The home team dragged one back from a short corner just before the half ended courtesy of a Rupert Snelling goal. The second half was evenly matched until Captain Marvel Olly Buck stepped up with minutes left on the clock to bang home a rebound from a short corner to claim his first league goal for Dragons!

East League, Men’s 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s v Norwich Dragons Mens 3s:  0-1

MOM:  James Cross

East League, Men’s 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s v Norwich Dragons Mens 2s:  1-0

Goalscorer: Tom Vaughan
MOM:   Mitch Smith

East League, Men’s 4NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s v Norwich City 4s:  0-6

MOM:  Jordan Hambling

East League, Men’s 5NE(N)
Norwich Dragons Men’s 5s v North Norfolk 3s:  10-1

Goalscorers:  Andrew Cross x4, Thomas Helfer x2, Dan Ryan x2, Josh Bingham, Dan Orsborne
MOM:  Dan Ryan

East League, Men’s 5NE(N)
Norwich Dragons Men’s 6s v Norwich City 7s:  2-2

Goalscorers:  Jon Price, Darryl Robinson
MOM:  The team

Development Leagues

Norwich Dragons Development Boys A v Norwich City:  2-1

Goalscorers:  Will Panter, Ben Panter
MOM: Kit Scott

The Dragons vs City match is always a close fixture and this game started tentatively with both teams passing well and getting used to their formations, with only a few chances in the first 15 minutes for both teams. Eventually the deadlock was broken when Kit Scott drove into the D, passing to an unmarked Wills Patner who shot past the goalkeeper to open the scoring. Dragons continued the pressure, earning a couple of short corners but were unable to score. City then came back with a move that saw them put 3 long passes from a sixteen into the Dragons D resulting in an unstoppable shot from their attacker to level the score. Half-time score 1-1.

After the half-time team talk, Dragons scored from the first play, with Ben Panter pressuring the City defence from their push-back and managing to steal the ball from their last defender and calmly slotting past the charging City goalkeeper. Dragons then started to apply more territorial pressure, preventing any attacking chances from City for most of the second half. Dragons had several trips into the City D where the City defence conceded a number of short corners, but despite a number of near misses, Dragons couldn’t add to the score. As the clock started getting to the end, some good game management, keeping the ball around the City D brought the final whistle and a final score of 2-1 to Dragons. Man of the match was voted as Kit Scott.

Norwich Dragons Development Boys B v  Magpies: 1-4

Goalscorers:  Jake Reynolds
MOM:  Finn Pond

Norwich Dragons Development Girls v Dereham Panthers:  2-0

Goascorer:  Evie Marlee x2
MOM:  Nellie Ong