NDHC League Match Reports: Saturday 30th November 2019

This Week’s Results

TeamOppositionH/AScoreScorersPlayer of Match
L1sCambridge City 3AP-P
L2sWatton 1H3-4 (W)Maddy Reynolds x2
Nat Beal x2
Maddy Reynolds
L3sBroadland 1A1-3 (W)Jenna Mills x2
Beth Prakash
Jenna Mills
L4sN City 4HP-P
L5sDereham 3H2-0 (W)Claire Stuart
Lizzy McDonnell
Louise Brooks
L6sMagpies 6AP-P
L7sDereham 4A2-1 (L)Lucy CourtierEmma North
L8sDereham 5A5-2 (L)Bridget Le Good
Hattie Stuart
M1sHarleston Magpies 2A4-1 (L)Matt KnightsPedro Goss
M2sIpswich-East Suffolk 2AP-P
M3sIpswich 2H3-2 (W)Jon Miles x2
AJ Edwards
Charlie Creasy
M4sEast Coast 2A1-4 (W)Greg Reynolds
Tommy Gale
Bobby Sheppard
Rich Phillis
Tommy Gale
M5sPelicans 3HP-P
M6sDereham 4HP-P
BD AWatton HP-P
BD BN City A2-1 (L)Vithu BaskaranTom Clifton
GD ADragons BA2-0 (W)Josie Kell
Yona McDonnell
Yona McDonnell
GD BDragons AH2-0 (L)

East League,  Ladies 1N
Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s v Cambridge City 3s:  P-P

East League, Ladies 2NE
Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s v Watton 1s:  4-3

Goalscorers:  Maddy Reynolds x2, Nat Beal x2
MOM:  Maddy Reynolds


With early games succumbing to the frost, the lunchtime slots gave time for the sun to clear the pitch. The Ladies 2’s had faced late call offs and were grateful to Maddy Reynolds (returning from injury) and Natalie Beal for helping the team. Once again Amy Forse stepped into Goal for the team and Georgie Manly deservedly got her 2nd Team debut. Dragons knew they were in for a tough game against the free-scoring league leaders who had achieved 9 wins out of 9 games to date.

The home team started on the front foot, with everyone working hard, closing down the visitors early with some strong tackling all across the pitch. Natalie Beal and Maddy Reynolds were combining well together, and a constant threat in behind the Watton defence. The first goal came from Dragons’ 1st short corner of the game following a 1v1 on the GK which saw Maddy Reynolds upended. A clinical routine with a strong put out, perfectly stopped by Esme Potter and dragged with precision into the corner by Maddy Reynolds. Dragons continued to pile on the pressure, whilst also knowing they needed to be tight defensively. A 2nd goal followed fairly quickly, following some good play down the right from Georgia Rant and Georgie Manly, the ball was fired goalwards, and came back off the post – the first to react was the ever alert Maddy Reynolds, who tucked the ball past the keeper, for hers and the teams 2nd goal.

Watton were always a threat with their firm hits into the D, but defensively Esme Potter was strong in the tackle, Karen O’Neill Simpson was brave blocking everything and Alex Daplyn having an excellent game at left defence, always in the right place to clear the danger. Watton, however earned a couple of short corners, one of which they scored from to make the score 2-1.

Dragons didn’t let their heads drop and the whole team, playing with much more belief continued to attack. The centre of the pitch was being dominated by Shelly Seaman and Hannah Ellis, protecting the defence, but also pushing forward at every opportunity. In addition, Gail Thomas was holding the middle well, and releasing the wingers at every opportunity with some fine balls out wide. The 3rd goal came again following good work down the right by Sophie Farrow and Georgia Rant, who firmly pushed the ball across the D, picked up on the far side by Hannah Hardy, who found Georgie Manly in a good position at the top of the D, Georgie showed good skill to beat a defender and get the ball to Hannah Ellis, whose shot was blocked only to fall to Natalie Beal for a reverse stick strike at goal, beating the keeper. 

Dragons had dominated the half, and earned themselves a short corner right at the end of the half; the team calmly discussed a plan. This time the execution was less clinical, however a fine strike by Gail Thomas, was neatly deflected in at the far post by Natalie Beal, to put the icing on the cake, and give Dragons a 4-1 lead at half time.

The 2nd half was always gone to see the league leaders come out strongly, which they did, scoring their 2nd relatively quickly to make it 4-2. Dragons had their chances but to be fair to Watton, they pushed the home team back and really went for the win. Dragons were reduced to 12 through injury, with Hardy comically managing to twist her ankle by standing on her own stick! Dragons midfield were working so hard as a unit, with some great tackling all the way across the pitch. Esme Potter was tackling strongly and releasing the pressure with her great aerials down the pitch. Shelly Seaman and Hannah Ellis were showing discipline protecting the back line and releasing the attacking Mids. Alex Daplyn was popping up everywhere to make important clearances. Watton earned a number of short corners, which Karen O’Neill Simpson and team were bravely breaking down, and GK Amy Forse was in dominant form, making some really important saves to keep Dragons ahead.

With 15 minutes to go, Watton made a short corner count and make the score 4-3, which lead to a tricky last quarter of the match. Watton tried everything, with players running at the home team defence, but to a player, Dragons defended for their lives! The whole team gave all they had and on the break still threatened, one particular chance saw Natalie Beal find an excellent position, and fire a perfect pass to release Maddy Reynolds, who had a one on one with the Keeper, but despite some great skill, couldn’t quite force the ball home.

Never-the-less the home team held firm and the final whistle went, securing a great 3pts for Dragons. Some of the best hockey they have played this season, with fluidity in attack, the mids moving the ball on early and the defensive unit working extremely hard and being strong together. PoM could have gone to anyone, as the whole team played so well, but Maddy Reynolds took the honours. This performance gives the team lots of encouragement and so much to build on going into the 2nd half of the season.


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

Goalscorers:  Beth Prakash, Jenna Mills x2
MOM:  Jenna Mills

Ladies 3s get their first win of the season away to Broadland 1s!  HT 0-0 but some excellent play and Dragons came out fighting for the second half. A cracking effort from Lilli Ballard was saved but the rebound was put away by Jenna Mills shortly before a short corner strike from Beth Prakash rattled the goal as it hit the back board for a 2-0 lead. Broadland pushed and pushed and eventually got one back but then Jenna pulled off an absolute screamer into the top corner from a narrow angle making it 3-1 FT. A great game for the whole team, with Jenna also winning the POM title.

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

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 1
Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s v Dereham 3s:  2-0

Goalscorers:  Claire Stuart, Lizzy McDonnell
MOM: Louise Brooks

The pitch defrosted just in time for the Ladies 5s push back vs Dereham 3s. The struggle was real with Dereham going out hard and fast from the start. Their youthful team looked dangerous on the break, but the 5s stayed strong with our first goal coming from some quick passing around the D and a tap into the left corner by Claire Stuart. The defence of Lou Davies, Georgia Butterworth and Emily Grint worked so hard to keep the Dereham attack at bay with Esther  Jacobs making some great saves – even getting the ball stuck under her shin pads. Emily made a save on the line.  Louise Brooks put an absolute SHIFT in, reliable as ever in defensive midfield! (Think the valuable experience she gained as a forward in the over 45s game paid off!!) Our solid midfield of Anita Mancini, Emma Merryweather, Nat Crisp and Floss Andrews made intelligent passes between the defence and the attack and helped to keep the pressure on the Dereham defence. The second half was just as tough with a second goal coming from a short corner to Anita at the top, slipped right to Liz McDonnell who pushed it into the goal! Jane Wells had a lot of shots on goal which were saved by the Dereham keeper. The dying seconds saw an amazing passing move down the left resulting a great effort by Claire, missing the goal by millimetres!! Another great team performance against a strong Dereham side! POM going to Louise Brooks. Well done all. FIVES!!

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


Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 2
Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s v Dereham 4s:  1-2

Goalscorer:  Lucy Courtier
MOM:  Emma North

Ignoring the fact the opposition scored in the first few minutes, there was some excellent play from across the team, especially the defence who stood firm, sharpened their elbows and tried to give as good as they got against a very robust team. Dragons got their reward in the second half after some excellent play lead to debutant Lucy Courtier scoring her first senior goal! The team continued to fight till the end but unfortunately Dereham snuck in a very good goal. Special mention to the defence and Emma North who was our player of the match! Final score 2-1 to Dereham.

Empresa Norfolk Women’s League, Division 3
Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s v Dereham 5s:  2-5

Goalscorers:  Bridget Le Good, Hattie Stuart

The 8s went down to lowly-placed Dereham, but in this match they achieved far more as a team than they have done in recent games. Dragons did not let their heads drop, and in the second half their determination and ‘sticking to the knitting’ (continuing to put into practise all the work they have been doing in training) actually saw them ‘draw’ 2-2.

An unfortunate recurrence of an injury meant that they were without Nic Harrison, who has been playing so well in recent weeks. But, coming back after a long injury was Hattie Stuart who had to play a restrained game but still added some much needed pace into the team. As her confidence grew, Hattie began to turn on the stick skills and in one glorious move in the second half ran half the length of the pitch, beating three players  before placing the ball past the goalkeeper.

This gave the 8s a terrific boost. The midfield of Hattie, Emily Matthews and Sadie Jacobs redoubled their efforts and did some nice linking with the forwards who consisted at various times of Emma Young, Johanne Steward, Louise Crouch-Read and Hester McLean. These very same players also did stints in defence. The 8s may not as yet be getting the results on the pitch, but every one of them will do her very best in whatever position she is asked to play. This is particularly creditable to the less experienced, and this versatility is one of the plus points of the team, and why the team spirit is so good.

The defensive unit was mainly Jess Lockwood, Jo Lees in the middle and Karen Davidson on the right with Bridget Le Good as bottom of the diamond. In the first half they tended to give the nippy Dereham forwards too much respect, hanging back because they could be shredded by slick through passes. This gave Emma Northie North a lot to do, but as always she kicked and cleared far more than went in.

A bit of a talking too (nicely) by coach Pat Cline at half time saw Dragons up their efforts. The defence were tackled more confidently and were clearing to the mids. 

Bridget Le Good continued to smack the ball the length of the pitch, and gradually the forwards are developing the skill of collecting these balls.  After one of these forays, Dragons won their second penalty corner. Up stepped Johanne to take a sweet injection straight onto Bridget’s stick. One little push into the circle and the ball was hit straight into the corner of the goal. Another move straight out of the practice book. Much who-hoo-hooing. No more goals for Dereham.

The team didn’t vote for a POM because they had to race back to the City for Quiz Night. Nothing beats a pack of Dragons going for a curry!



East League, Men’s 2N
Norwich Dragons Men’s 1s v Magpies 2s:  1-4

Goalscorers:  Matt Knights
MOM: Pedro Goss


East League, Men’s 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s v  IES 2s:  P-P


East League, Men’s 3NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s v Ipswich 2s:  3-2

Goalscorers:  AJ Edwards, Jon Miles x2
MOM:  Charlie Creasy

You’ve heard it here first folks. Nobody beats the Men’s 3s 8 games in a row! It was a cold and sunny afternoon that saw the home side take on Ipswich 2s at 1pm. With a strong side dragons weathered a high press and strong start from the visitors before Charlie Creasey drove down the right wing to drop it back for Jon Miles to finish well on his return. The visitors scored a thundering strike from a short corner just before the break to leave the score 1-1 at the half.

Second half the dragons weathered a storm where they did well to only concede one more, this from another short corner after 15 minutes of intense pressure. Dragons then won a short which Jon Miles duly dispatched in wonderful fashion then deciding to fall over during his celebration. It was the time for the home time to pile on the pressure and the winner came through AJ Edwards keeping his cool and firing a vicious reverse hit through the keepers legs. The last 5 minutes was a defensive masterclass even with Harry Brown, at the end of an awesome performance, truly cementing his place in the 3s by getting a green card after disgustingly hitting the ball away (after the quietest whistle ever).

The taste of victory is sweet for this recently starved team and whilst every player deserved MoM it goes to Charlie Creasey who’s performance was truly exemplary. DoD goes to Harry for his truly dirty play…

What a win!

East League, Men’s 5NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s v East Coast 2s:  4-1

Goalscorers:  Greg Reynolds, Tommy Gale, Bobby Sheppard, Rich Phillis
MOM:  Tommy Gale

On a bright day Dragons used their bench wisely and went ahead via a clever short corner conversion from Rich ‘poacher’ Phillis.  Lowestoft didn’t back down and it took good play for Bobby Stuart-Sheppard to double the half time score. Lowestoft came back with vigour and made a short corner scramble count. This meant the game opened up and in the end Dragons made their subs count with Greg Reynolds (aka don’t call me Greg) and man of the match Tommy Gale both slotting seemlessly in to take the game away from a battling Lowestoft.

Good teas and a warm room after much appreciated.

East League, Men’s 5NE
Norwich Dragons Men’s 5s v Pelicans 3s:  P-P

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


Development Leagues

Dev Girls A v Dev Girls B:  2-0

Dev Boys A v  Watton    : P-P

Dev Boys B v Norwich City:  1-2

Goalscorer:  Vithu Baskaran
MOM:  Tom Clifton


The First quarter was a real rollercoaster of 15 minutes, with attacking displays coming from both sides, but mostly from our opponents who played some great hockey up front, but ultimately failed to penetrate our solid defence, whom had been well prepped for the game. When we did attack though we looked very strong, with our wide midfielders generating a couple of good attacks, but getting unlucky after our attacks were broken down. Ultimately though, our opponents were dominant in this quarter and had many good chances and once the quarter ended we had a lot to praise and reflect on.


After the break, we came out playing even better than before and started to limit the number of their attacks whilst increasing our own, including a good shot saved by the keeper. However though, Norwich City increased the pressure on all our players but mostly our defence. Who were playing exceptionally well to keep up with the high press of Norwich, many great tackles and interceptions by our defence kept our clean sheet intact. But, a few minutes before half time, a splitting ball by Norwich, cut open our defence and their striker slotted in a shot to make it 1-0. This gave us an extra boost for the rest of the quarter but we couldn’t find a way through before the half-time whistle blew.


After an extensive team talk at half-time, we set out to dominate possession in the second half which we did for the whole of this quarter. We started attacking a lot more now and we had many good drives up the field. but many were smothered by Norwich’s’ ’Smother the attack from the core’ tactics which meant our attacks didn’t pose much threat to the Opposing keeper, until we really got going with a great team move being saved by the keeper with Vithu Baskaran then chipping in a rebound to make it  1-1. This gave us a spring in our step and more attacks rained in on Norwich, but we couldn’t really get fluidity in the final third like before. We then saw a turnover in play and a rapid-fire attack from our opponents lead to a Norwich short corner. Our defence rushed out to counter or block the shot, but Norwich managed to slot the ball in to the goal to make it 2-1 just before the break.


After the final stoppage, we set out with an attacking outlook more than anything else this quarter. Our defence kept us in the game on a pitch that was beginning to freeze, slips were beginning to become common for us in attack and defence but we kept strong despite the freezing conditions, a few last gasp attacks gave us some light but Norwich had kept their solid foundations at the back, making getting in on goal hard. Norwich kept on shutting us out until the final whistle blew. Despite a loss on paper, the boys were unfortunate to come away with a loss and not picking up any points. Against one of the strongest teams in the region, a great performance was had all round from the boys.

Man of the Match was Tom Clifton for an excellent display in defence