NDHC League Match Reports: Saturday 23rd March 2019

This Week’s Results

TeamOppositionH/AScoreScorersPlayer of Match
L1sIES 1H3-1 (W)Issy Wolfe
Maddy Reynolds
Liv Thomas
Carmel Windsor Waite
L2sBury 1A5-2 (L)Jess BennettSaskia Williams
L3sDereham 2H1-3 (L)Laura Van den BergEsme Potter
L4sUEA 2H2-2 (D)Lisa Harwood x2Lisa Harwood
L5sN City 5A2-4 (W)Gemma Ballard
Jane Wells
Amy Forse x2
Hannah Edwards
L6sReephamH1-5 (L)Emma MerryweatherJoanna Jennings
Amelia Keitley-Webb
L7sBroadland 3H3-0 (W)Mia McGhee x2
Paige Fisher
Briony Johnstone
L8sWatton 3A4-1 (L)Lois MetcalfeAnna Chapman
Lois Metcalfe
M1sSt Ives 1A3-2 (L)Rupert Snelling
Ollie King
Sam Avery
M2sNth Norfolk 1H2-1 (W)Alex BrowneJono Chaney-Baxter
M3sMagpies 3A4-0 (L)James King
M4sBury 3A2-1 (L)Joel LawrenceCharlie Creasy
M5sNo Fixture
M6sUEA 4A2-2 (D)Andrew Cross
Will Bloom
BD AWattonA2-8 (W)Harry Fuller x3
Raul Wigglesworth x3
Vithu Baskaran x2
Finn Pond
BD BDerehamA5-1 (L)Hector McNeillConnor Kerrigan
GDN CityH2-2 (D)Nellie Ong
Mia Rutterford
Hattie Stuart
Freya Dolding

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

Goalscorers:   Liv Thomas, Issy Wolfe, Maddy Reynolds
MOM:  Carmel Windsor Waite

Dragons Ladies 1s finish off the season in style with a 3-1 win over IES.

Following a frustrating away performance against IES before the Christmas break, Dragons were looking for redemption on home turf, and to put a stamp on the end of the season. The team went out hard from the opening whistle and soon began to dominate the play, transferring the ball well round the back, and staying strong on the ball in the attack, despite some physical tackles from the opposition. The team’s perseverance was soon rewarded when – capitalising on some loose work from the opposition defence – the ball fell kindly to Maddy Reynolds in the circle, and she calmly slipped the ball into back of the net. IES had a few attacking chances throughout the first half, but some solid tackles from Sophie Barrow and player of the match Carmel Windsor-Waite, alongside some tight defensive work from the midfield line, kept the visitors at bay.  A disallowed IES goal kept the Dragons ahead at half time.

The second half saw the hosts quickly put themselves in a more comfortable position, where two goals were scored in relatively quick succession. The first came from a real team passage of play. Sophie Barrow picked up the ball on the left hand side of the pitch, and as she did, Lucy Morton made a baseline run to draw the defender, creating the space for Barrow to thread a beautiful ball straight into the circle, where Issy Wolfe was posting up. She picked up the ball and cracked out a classic Wolfe reverse stick shot into the bottom corner. Only minutes later, Liv Thomas added her own slick reverse stick goal to the tally as Holly Setchell found her on the top of the D, and Thomas found the sweet spot on the stick to smash the ball into the back corner. IES upped the intensity of their game for the final stages of the game, trying to stretch the defence and create some more chances. After a goal mouth scramble, IES were able to pull back a conciliatory goal, but it was not enough to shake the Dragons, who finish their season in 4th place.

East League, Ladies 2NE
Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s v Bury St Edmonds 1s:  2-5

Goalscorers:  Jess Bennett x2
MOM:   Saskia Williams

Once again Norwich Dragons Ladies 2’s faced Bury St Edmunds 1’s away on the last game of the season – this seemingly a regular occurrence! With North Norfolk deservedly securing the title, this game between 3rd and 4th would decide the 2nd promotion place in the league. A very late 3.15pm start saw Bury with a large squad and a vocal and lively sideline, for this winner takes all game.

Dragons were quickly on the back foot – with numerous short corners being awarded against them. They found themselves 2-0 down early in the game, but were not downhearted. Jess Bennett scored a great individual goal stealing a wayward pass across the back, driving into the D, rounding the keeper and firing home. Then not long afterwards, following great work by Mia Bartram and Saskia Williams down the right, the ball found its way to Jess Bennett again who calmly slotted home to make it 2-2. Just before the break, through yet another short corner, Bury took the lead once again.

Dragons were playing well and were still very much in the game – the sideline support were getting more vocal with every attack and Dragons knew they had to be totally on their game, given Bury seemed to have so many pairs of fresh legs! The early part of the 2nd half saw some strong attacks down the flanks with Sam Franklin and Haz Green down the left and Dragons PoM Saskia Williams and Mia Bartram down the right, creating threats. Unfortunately the visitors didn’t seem to get the breaks, earning just one short corner in the half, which they were unable to convert. Midway through the half, Bury settled the nerves, scoring after a period of pressure to make it 4-2. This effectively sealed the win and relaxed the home team and meant Dragons needed to try and force the game, leaving gaps and eventually conceding a 5th.

Congratulations to North Norfolk and Bury for their promotion to Div 1. For the Dragons Ladies 2’s, another thoroughly enjoyable season, with many close competitive matches and some good hockey played. Special thanks go to all who have played in the 2’s squad, to our coaches for all their help and dedication (especially Pete, Richard, Jason and Rob), to our umpires, to our sideline manager on many occasions this season Ollie King who has been excellent for the team (good luck with your return from injury) and finally to our Captain Karen O’Neill Simpson for all her hard work, dedication and for all the energy she has put in to drive the team week after week. We sign off, rest up and look forward to going again – bring on pre season fitness!!!

East League, Ladies 2NE
Norwich Dragons Ladies 3s v Dereham 2s:  1-3

Goalscorer:  Laura Van den Berg
MOM:  Esme Potter

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Premier Division
Norwich Dragons Ladies 4s v UEA 2s:  2-2

Goalscorer:  Lisa Harwood x2
MOM:  Lisa Harwood

Dragons’ Ladies’ 4s had a very evenly balanced game for the final fixture of the season against the UEA 2s.

Both teams had good spells of hockey, with plenty of accurate passing, using the whole of the pitch well. Short corners came at both ends,  all of which were defended successfully.

The break came first for the Dragons in the second half, when a ball through to Lisa Harwood found the back of the net in two teriffic, text-book, touches.

UEA equalised shortly after, following what looked like a bundle in front of the goal.

Dragons used the left side of the pitch better throughout the second half, and following some lovely linking play through the midfield, Harwood struck home again, earning her the majority of the MoM votes.

Disappointingly, UEA scored their equaliser from a quick turnover ball minutes after.

Dragons finish the season 7th in the Norfolk Premier division, which is commendable considering how many different players have been represented in the team.

Thank you skipper Trish Hagan for doing a brilliant job all year, and Lynne ‘Neeps’ Price for managing the sideline  every week.

Finally, we wish you well Chloe Mikronis on your return back to Aus – we will miss you!

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 1
Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s v Norwich City 5s:  4-2

Goalscorers:  Gemma Ballard, Jane Wells, Amy Forse x2
MOM:   Hannah Edwards

Dragons travelled the short distance away to City for a very unusual afternoon fixture. After a rousing team talk from captain Hannah,  further advice was given to not mix our balls with the men’s balls. It was their request.

Dragons had a strong start with an early break from Amy Forse. Anita Mancini sent a ball towards goal and was secured by Jane Wells on the reverse stick (taking notes from Gem Ballard).

City made a brief attack but was well defended by Jen Buskell, making a confident block tackle and dispatching to Hannah Edwards. Hannah made full use of the right wing to drive to ball high and deliver to the hungry attackers in the D. Dragons remained on the attack and dominating possession. Gill Walker sent a perfectly placed pass to Amy who scores with conviction. 2-0 Dragons.

City deserve credit for their quick turn-over of the game, working the Dragons midfield hard to track back and cover, but ultimately were no match for the silky stick skills of Anita, who trapped the ball and dispatched wide to Mel Widdows to the left. Anita held her central position well and took a lifted ball to her chest like a champ. Despite the City player attempting to carry on the play after this, Anita took a quick ball but was dispossessed and City were on the break again. Jen challenged and Steph Samson steps into action in a very busy D. Georgia Butterworth covers her player excellently, but Dragons found themselves with a City forward performing a rather impressive roll-out to shoot, scoring past GK Mia Somers whilst the Dragons could only look on.

The restart saw the midfield driving forwards again, with Han and Gill working hard. A cross from Han to Amy sees a short corner awarded: Gem injected to Amy, who sent the ball back to Gem streaking to the post. Her shot was saved by the keeper, Amy collected the rebound and sent back to Gem who scores! 3-1 to Dragons.

City capitalised on the restart and drive straight on the attack. Dragons defend a short corner with a solid save from Mia and confident clearance from Jen. Katherine Hardwick made herself ready to pick up from defence and calmly kept possession to distribute to Louise Brooks, who kept her composure under pressure to send the ball to Mel. Lots of lovely passing between the team and a high intensity work rate saw Dragons working towards the key points captain Hannah requests each week. First half summary: good stuff Dragons! Need we say more?!

The second half started with Han playing a really rubbish ball, but made up for it by playing many ‘amazing balls’. Lizzy McDonnell makes herself known in the D and sends a great ball to Jane Wells, who’s shot sadly went wide. Gem has a moment of mad ping pong with the City GK and their defence and cannot find a path through to goal. The forwards continued to put the pressure on with the support of midfield.

A short corner was awarded to Dragons again, with Amy taking a strike but denied by the keeper. Jen steps in to take the subsequent long corner, finds Amy who takes a strike which sails past the keeper: 4-1! Mia performed two forward rolls in celebration (quite impressive when we remember she is fully kitted up, but is nimble and ninja-like in her movements so equally is unsurprising).

Unfortunately Brooksy has to leave the pitch with a nasty injury. The medical team of Steph, Lizzy and Amy attended the scene to assess the damage. Jen diagnoses an ankle sprain, and keeps the patient laughing whilst Brooksy was patched up. We all secretly thanked her for giving us a five minute breather.

Dragons continue to dominate the game after the restart, with Georgia successfully tackling and sending the ball to Han who makes another run up the wing. City take a 16 yard hit out to drive on the attack, leaving Dragons on the back foot a little as City get through to the D for a strike. Mia makes another save, and another, and another! Lots of bodies in the D and lots of scrabbling about eventually saw Dragons conceded to make the score 4-2. Amy does an aerial which knocks City off balance (metaphorically, not literally) and Han shouted a lot to push forwards. Legs were tired and struggling to counteract the bounce of City’s water pitch but still we dug as deep as we could to win every ball that we could and attack at every opportunity. We learnt that Hannah does not know her left from her right, when guidance from Steph commands to the right and Hannah just goes to her other right.

Dragons win another short, injected but defended well by City. However a further short is given and Han steps in to inject. A master plan was established, but alas Hannah didn’t send the ball to the correct person and the plan was off, a further goal could not be found.

Finally, the last whistle blew and ladies 5s end the season on a convincing win.

The Second Half Summary was established later at the End of Season social: Amy’s birthday cake was more of a challenge than the game. Cutting it with a butter knife did not help.

A special thank you to our fabulous supporters: having your cheers and motivational comments kept us going when we were tired and willed us on to score. This result saw Dragons finishing 5th in a strong league, with the 5th best scoreline and joint second best defensive record. The team should be proud of what they achieved this year.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 1
Norwich Dragons Ladies 6s v  Reepham:  1-5

Goalscorer Emma Merryweather
MOM:  Joanna Jennings, Amelia Keitley-Webb

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 2
Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s v v Broadland 3s:  3-0

Goalscorers:  Mia McGhee x2, Paige Fisher
MOM:  Briony Johnstone

Dragons were keen to finish on a high and couldn’t have been happier with the result.

Dragons had the majority of control from the off, pushing Broadland and having plenty of shots on goal. Broadland defended well, thwarting Dragons attacks. Dragons persistence paid off when Mia McGhee ran into the D and hit a good firm shot into the goal. Broadland kept on fighting although Mia and the other forwards of Adelice Kraemer and Claire Fairhurst kept up the attack in the D. The solid central midfield of Brittany Hopkins and POM Briony Johnstone stopped Broadland’s attacks up the pitch, distributing the ball out to Paige Fisher and Maisie Dearmer on the wings. When Broadland did manage to break through, the defence of Bethan Greaves, Emma Fielding, Emma Dyer and Lizzie Costello were there to assist keeper Emma North in stopping them in their tracks.

Half time saw the arrival of Nathalie Crisp to help out in midfield, and Dragons were raring to go again after an encouraging pep talk from Mike Hardy. The second half continued to see Dragons dominating. Paige Fisher got her second goal of the season with a great decisive shot. Mia soon followed up with her second goal of the match, making it her 14th league goal of the season and top scorer for Dragons 7s. Dragons continued to press Broadland but they were defending well. Right at the end Broadland were awarded a short corner just as the whistle blew. Broadland all pushed up and as the ball was injected, so did all of the Dragons, with Adelice hitting the ball out of play to end the game.

Great game to end the season, with Dragons working hard and well together. Now for a short break before summer hockey starts up! #supersevens

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 3
Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s v Watton 3s:  1-4

Goalscorer:  Lois Metcalfe
MOM:   Lois Metcalfe, Anna Chapman

After last week’s encouraging result, this was not the score the 8s wanted and neither was it the way they wanted to end their season. But as always, ever since they were formed, Dragons 8s have developed a reputation for welcoming all comers, whether players coming up from development or returning to hockey or being new to the area. Some move on to higher teams during the course of the season, but the regular players train hard, learn different positions (even goalkeeping!) and enjoy fun, friendly hockey.

The sporting home team won’t mind us saying we never mastered the flat, heavy beach of a pitch. Watton have a massive task on their hands to replace their artificial surface and we were shocked to learn they won’t get much change out of a quarter of a million. It made Dragons appreciate how lucky we are to have two superb pitches that are maintained so that we can play seven days a week.

Watton took an early lead when defensively the 8s began to try to stop the shots instead of making the tackles, and a ball dropped directly onto a forward’s stick and with the keeper unsighted Watton couldn’t miss. A few strong shouts from Kristina Smyth, welcomed back in goal again, and we learned our lesson. Kristina kicked with great power and purpose and Dragons got into the game.

The 8s are developing their skills at playing out from the back. Jo Baker is at the heart of everything that happens in defence and weekly she gets better at controlling movements in the D and getting the hits out wide. She now plays as a unit with reliable Rosie Tarleton and the equally determined Anna Chapman with the very brave Karen Davidson just in front of them proving that how ever many times she gets knocked down, she bounces back up again. There were several milestones in this match – it was Jo’s last as a single woman and the evidence is she is going on to bigger and better things! So too is Anna, who is going on to University. Anna is now a confident and competent defender. Her display in the her last match earned her a share of the POM award and the acknowledgement she will be missed. Also rotating in the defence was Ariadna Miguel who is fitting in really well.

Up until half time, the midfield  did really well at intercepting and blocking. Katy Cole once again set an example for chasing, harrying and never seeing a lost cause. Sadie Jacobs,  Shaniece Claxton and Katie Davidson all had moments of really skilful play as they linked the defence and forwards.. Unfortunately, for the 8s the work in progress is still about learning to be first to the ball, avoid faffing about with it when being given close attention by nippy players and generally making faster decisions. This can be their problem all over the pitch and these are aspects of the game that are not so easy to coach into players – but recent work in training has resulted in the 8s improving  their passing and collecting the ball without kicking it.

Another area where the 8s have improved is in working their penalty corners, and one goal in four pens is a good return. It was a smashing, tenacious goal from captain Lois Metcalfe, her first of the season,  that helped earn her the share of POM. Lois injected to Bridget Le Good, who slipped the ball to Sadie for a sweep that was bang on target. Watton thought they had got the ball away but reckoned without Lois’ determination to force the ball home from a central position. The tactic almost worked again, with this time the slip to the right finding Shaniece who went close. So 1-2 was the closest Dragons could get, and despite some good running by Lois and the wide forwards Johanne Steward and Emma Young the Watton defence held firm.

Dragons worked hard to the end, and sideline manager Jess Lockwood (injured) was kept busy as the 8s made their own suggestions for improving their formation. At present getting the ball into the attacking circle is very hard work, and it would seem to need either a lot more work on powerful passing, or not so much reliance on defending deep. Or perhaps both. Food for thought for next season. It was a beautiful afternoon for hockey, and after a plateful of chips and loads of cuddles from the adorable Florence and Meredith Smyth, the 8s  found their spirits restored. Make no mistake, we’ll be back!

East League, Men’s 2N
Norwich Dragons Men’s 1s v St Ives 1s:  2-3

Goalscorers:  Rupert Snelling, Ollie King
MOM:  Sam Avery

East League, Men’s 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s v North Norfolk 1s:  2-1

Goalscorers:  Alex Brown x2
MOM: Jono Chaney Baxter

East League, Men’s 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s v Magpies 3s:  0-4

MOM:  James King

East League, Men’s 4NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s v Bury St Edmunds 3s:  1-2

Goalscorer:  Joel Lawrence
MOM:  Charlie Creasy

East League, Men’s 5NE(N)
Norwich Dragons Men’s 5s v no fixture

East League, Men’s 5NE(N)
Norwich Dragons Men’s 6s v UEA 4s:  2-2

Goalscorers:  Andrew Cross, Will Bloom

Development Leagues

Dev Boys A v  Watton :  8-2

Goalscorers:  Harry Fuller x3, Raul Wigglesworth x3, Vithu Baskaran x2
MOM:  Finn Pond

Dev Boys B v  Dereham :  1-5

Goalscorer:  Hector McNeill
MOM:  Connor Kerrigan

Dev Girls v Norwich City :  2-2
Goalscorers:  Nellie Ong, Mia Rutterford
MOM:  Freya Dolding, Hattie Stuart