NDHC League Match Reports: 18th November 2017

TeamDateOppositionH/ATimeScoreScorersPlayer of Match

Women’s East Hockey League, Premier Division

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s v Sevenoaks 2s:  0-3

On a dark and wet afternoon in Sevenoaks, a depleted Dragons team looked to narrow the gap between themselves and the middle of the table.

U18 star Lucy Morton had kindly stepped into the team to ensure we had a full complement of Dragons for the journey and her debut for the first team was a positive one. Her ability to get into the right positions and cause problems for the opposition in the D was impressive and almost resulted in a goal.

Sevenoaks piled on the pressure from early in the game and despite sterling work from the defence, they scored in the second phase of an attack to go 1-0 up by half time.

At no point in this game did Dragons’ heads go down though, and the Norwich team fought back with some marauding runs from Holly Reding, who went on to win the player of the match award for fantastic distribution throughout the game. Lara Taylor, playing out of position, was a tower of strength throughout the game and made several piercing runs down the left wing and made life tough for her opponents with her crunching tackles.

Despite creating several chances, the Norwich side could not find the back of the net and unfortunately, Sevenoaks scored on the break. Sarah Jenkins and Siobhan Cleeve were commanding at the back and if it weren’t for their controlled and confident performances, the score line would have been very different.

Dragons kept fighting throughout the second half but despite some lovely periods of play, the elusive goal would not come. Sevenoaks again broke away and scored to take the final score to 3-0.


Women’s East Hockey League, Division 2NE

Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s v Framlingham 1s: 11-2

With availability issues once again, Dragons gave welcome returns to Marcy Windsor-Waite, Laura Ward and a deserved 2nd Team debut to Kate McKenna. With Marie James unable to travel away, she was welcomed into the middle alongside Jess Bennett, who had recovered from illness.
Things started well for Dragons, who quickly found their sharp passing game. Marcy Windsor-Waite played like she’d never been away, scoring the first Dragons goal after just 4 minutes (possibly the goal of the game), having beaten a number of players, she drove into the D and fired a smart strike to the back post, which nestled into the far corner. Dragons continued the pressure, and earned a short corner, which Jess Bennett fiercely dispatched into the corner to double the lead. Further pressure lead to more short corners, one of which was broken down, but fell to Gail Thomas who calmly lifted past the keeper for a 3rd after 14 mins.
Whilst Dragons were dominating the play, Framlingham to their credit look dangerous on the break and the defensive unit of Kristina Smyth, Karen O’Neill Simpson, Sarah Borrett, Carmel Windsor-Waite and Natasha Falzon were needing to keep their shape and high levels of concentration. Carmel in at right defender was having a fine game, both in terms of mopping up in defence, but also linking up with the attack. Framlingham hit with a break away goal midway through the half to make it 3-1, however Dragons extended the lead further just before the break, through a goal by Hannah Hardy.
The call at halftime was to keep their shape and keep their passing game going. Dragons were down to 12 with the speedy Marcy Windsor-Waite needing to depart. Fortunately the goals continued to come – the forwards were making good runs, notably Kate McKenna on her debut was linking up well with Laura Ward, who as ever, was putting the Framlingham defence under pressure with her pace and skill.
A penalty flick was awarded early in the half, which Hannah Hardy scored to make it 5. Laura Ward scored a return goal through her usual tenacity in the D. Jess Bennett showed strength and skill to lift a rebounded ball over the keeper. To their credit, Framlingham kept going and a break away saw a smartly taken reverse strike give the visitors a 2nd. There was another scare for Dragons late on that needed Kristina Smyth to react smartly and come off her line to smother a break on goal.
Following this Dragons pushed on once again and were awarded another penalty flick following good work from Jess Bennett, Hardy stepped up and placed it into the other corner. Kate McKenna then scored her well deserved debut goal, getting into a great position in the D to glance in a firm cross. Hardy then scored another from open play, following link up play between Jess Bennett and Gail Thomas and Harriett Green completed the scoring and opened her 2nd team account, with another rebounded effort following good work from Laura Ward.
The final whistle went with the scoreline at 11 – 2, an emphatic win by Dragons, and some good expansive passing hockey played. Camel Windsor-Waite was deservedly Player of the Match, showing maturity in dealing with a strong opponent, and linking the defence and attack on the right. As always, there are things the home team can do better, but ultimately a victory to be enjoyed.


Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Premier Division

Norwich Dragons Ladies 3s v UEA 2s:  7-0

This week saw Dragons Ladies 3rd team host UEA Ladies 2nd team to the Den, looking to continue their unbeaten run. The game started positively for Norwich Dragons creating plenty of opportunities and short corners early on in the game, which were not capitalised on due to panic passing around the pitch.

The first goal of the game came from a short corner converted by Debs Smith and the second goal was calmly slotted over the line by Jess Haw. Sadly, Lucy Buxton on her debut, who created some great attacking runs down the right into the circle had her game cut short due to a back injury at half time.

After a constructive and positive team talk at half time, the second half continued with Dragons maintaining a high percentage of possession and creating goal scoring opportunities. The third goal was confidently finished by Sam Franklin and Jess Haw scored the fourth goal.

Lauren Lawrie on her return to hockey after becoming a mum added to the goal tally next for Dragons. The sixth goal was a perfectly rehearsed deflection from training by player of the match Jess Haw for her hattrick and the seventh goal came from the final stroke of the game by Sam Franklin.

Dragons defence confidently dealt with any threats from the UEA attack to maintain their third clean sheet in a row. Another strong team performance inspired by the lack of padding in the changing room!


Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Premier Division

Norwich Dragons Ladies 4s v  Broadland 1s:  1-1

The chilly air sucked into your lungs was a refreshing way to start your day! Broadland 1’s positioned at 2 in the league table was going to be another challenging game but after a win the previous week of a top table team, we knew we were women enough for the job! The team had the same players as the previous week, so we were comfortable with positions and supporting each other.  Broadland had first push back so we could feel the sun on our backs and not in our eyes.  The 4s started lively attacking from the off, chasing the ball down, with Lynne Price and Vicki Earley hunting the ball down in the midfield.  Running the wings were Fiona Fletcher, Catherine Matthews and Trish Hagan, who managed to maintain the pace and effort the whole duration of the game.  Broadland defence were packing the D and the ball was pushed in on many occasions with Caroline Wolfe and Gina Hunt weaving around the opposition trying for the chance on goal.  A couple of short corners were denied and then a penalty flick given with Caroline stepping up, flicking low right the keeper managed to get a shin on it and clear it.  The 4s felt their chance would come and continued to work the ball but found it increasingly difficult to penetrate the Broadland midfield.  The opposition held up and channelled by our defensive foursome Bella Capps, Jemima Williams, Katie Franks and Sarah Wagstaff, managed to work a ball round to the edge of the D, the ball was struck from the back line and as we all watched it seemed to curve round and into the goal! After a moment of disbelief, we reset.  Score maintained at half time.  After some words of Waggy (Rob) Wisdom and a method of attack for the 2nd half we came out more invigorated and there was less for Kat Speirs (keeper) to do.  With Robs guidance we closed Broadland down and gained further attack on the goal, finally another flick was given.  This time Waggy no 2 stepped up, limbered up and a flick into the backboard, a draw!  With some more battling in the final minutes of the game the score remained 1-1, another point to help us creep up the table.  Man of the match was a close run thing between Trish and Sarah, but top scoring skills for a defender meant Sarah got it.


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

 It was a very cold morning and the sun was low in the sky when the whistle blew 9.30 at the Den. The ladies were feeling positive after a splendid performance the week before, and a good training session mid-week. It was an exciting game, with attacking play in both ends, and the ladies were again left feeling a little disappointed that we did not take any points away today.

Dragons took the lead in the first half, from a short corner. We have reviewed our short corner routine at training this week.  We decided that a direct hit from the big hitting Steph Samson would set the tone. Captain Amy Forse pushed the ball out to Steph, who stopped and blasted it wide of the left post. Amy had scampered across to the post. Where most of us would have shut our eyes, she used her keeping experience (and her stick) to deflect the ball across the centre of the goal and in at the far post. This is a goal we will be talking about all season.
Loddon countered back with two goals. Dragon’s ladies were a little quiet this morning, and perhaps these goals could have been prevented with more communication.  The two goals were similar. The Dragons lost the ball in the middle of the pitch, and while everyone was picking up players, nobody had a chance to stop the player with the ball, who ran into the D unchallenged, and took a shot. Credit to the Loddon ladies; the strikes were hard and clean. Esther Jacobs was unlucky, but did make numerous saves during the game to keep the scores close. She fully deserved her player of the match award.
Ginny Simkin had a very good game. Hannah Edwards, Sophia Haenhelt and Sue Brumby all having to work very hard to keep Loddon at bay. Loddon were very good at closing players down quickly making it difficult for the mid field crew. The attack also found it frustrating the Loddon defence were quick, and managed to get back to tackle even when we thought we were clear on goal.
Louise Davis defended the right very well, we could hear her all over the pitch.  The defenders also had numerous corners to deal with, and they all kept a calm head. Sophia had a heavy fall, and we were all very pleased to see her recover play the second half.
A big thanks to Anita Mancini for helping run the side line today.
POM : Esther Jacobs
Final score 1 – 2, scorer Amy Forse

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

By no means a perfect performance, however, the 6s hard work in communication and commaradery is definitely paying off. They looked a completely different machine to the team they were last week.
Starting strong, dragons were a lot more alert from the first push putting immense pressure on the Thetford defence. The forward line of Harriet Rant, Gemma Ballard, Jemima Dorman-Carrott and Mia McGhee working tirelessly to chase down the ball and react to some slick crosses.
Mid way through the first half Dragons burst up the right side of the pitch, the ball ending with Mia McGhee poaching the edge of the D. She fired a clean, firm shot away that was fumbled by the keeper for newly wed Jemima Dorman-Carrott to bury in the back of the goal.
Gill Walker (with the cheering and clapping support of Edith and Nell from the sidelines) worked tirelessly at top of the diamond. Her calm head and unquestionable work rate meant that Thetford found it very difficult to penetrate the centre of the pitch. She was a great option for the wide midfield players, rotating between debutant Coco Brown, Maisie Dearmer (who has settled seemlessly into the 6s, moving up from the 7s) and Jess Vernon. All 3 wide midfield options supported both attack and defence and held a high work rate throughout the game.
The first half finished 1-0. Captain Hannah Woods’ team talk at half time focused around 2 key areas. Communication and transferring the ball from right to left.
Starting the second half, Thetford managed to get a goal back in open play. An unlucky deflection meant the ball ended up on a Thetford stick in the D which was dispatched in the corner of the goal.
This inspired Dragons to work harder. With the attack starting from the defence. Hannah Woods, Kate Atkins and Georgia Butterworth all moved the ball well out to the wings for phase 1 of the attack. Rotating bottom of the diamonds Jade Blanchflower and Jen Buskell offered stability in the centre of the pitch to stop any Thetford attack before it arrived in our defensive 23.
A winning goal came when Harriet Rant picked up the ball from a well executed press on a Thetford hit out. She poached the ball and drive at goal. In a fantastic piece of individual skill she fired a precise shot away to give Dragons 3 points.
The match was tinged with sadness as Tilly Conners-Beckett donned her 6s jersey for the final time before she heads off to start her new adventure in New Zealand! I’m sure all the 6s will join me in wishing Tilly every success in finding a new Hockey club in her new home!
Finally, for the 6s to choose a POM was a difficult task! It ended up going 4 ways! Coco Brown, Harriet Rant, Jemima Dorman-Carrott and Gill Walker getting 3 votes each!
A very promising display from a hard working 6s side!


Empresa Norfolk Women’s League,  Division 3

Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s v UEA 4s:  0-1

Dragons 7s were well aware that the away match against top of the division UEA 4 was going to be a challenge, and they were proved right with the hosts winning 1:0.

Dragons were slow to get going although managed to hold off UEA, keeping them away from the Dragons D.  The defence dealt resolutely with the speedy raids from the UEA forwards. Stella Windsor Waite was her usual competent self at left defence, Katy Saide and Lily Crew worked hard on the right. Keeper Emily Roper had a few shots to deal with and was particularly good at clearing out the dangerous second phase shots that bounced near her feet.  UEA thought they had scored when a high hit shot from a penalty corner was deflected even higher into the top corner, but the goal was disallowed. Bridget Le Good did her usual strong hits and getting the ball away from the danger zone. Louise Brooks once again proved to be the asset to the team that she is, working hard in her bottom of the diamond position, getting the ball out left and right to the wingers Sophie Drew, Clara Carrott and Charlotte Knight, or straight through to Stevie Spencer who once again had a great match making a nuisance of herself at top of the diamond, a position she is slowly starting to make her own. Charlotte made her debut for the team, and showed the potential to be a great asset, earning herself the Player of the Match for her tackles and skills. The forwards of Claire Fairhurst, Adelice Kraemer and Esme McKinnon-Evans waited for the ball, driving into UEA’s D, keen to make their mark, but UEA’s defenders were all to ready to stop any attack in its tracks.

 The first half finished 0:0 and captain Claire urged the team to wake up, be first to the ball and to stop hiding behind the defenders. Credit to UEA, they were spot-on with their marking, something Dragons could learn from. Although Dragons were managing to halt UEA’s attacks, eventually they succeeded in getting through, sneaking a ball past Emily’s feet. Dragons were fired up, put wave upon wave attacks on UEA’s goal. Unfortunately they were unsuccessful and UEA got another win. Dragons were disappointed with their first loss of the season, but should take heart that they were UEA’s first real challenge and only conceded the one goal. Heads up ladies, if we work hard from the start, being first to the ball and put into practice what we learn in training we will be back on top form.


Empress Norfolk Women’s League, Division 3

Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s v City 7s:  0-3

Ladies 8’s player of the match – Becky Gallagher

A huge improvement on last week’s game, the awesome eights worked harder and had more determination but it still wasn’t quite enough.  A tough team talk was given and the team revved up their work rate a gear or two and from the very first blow of the whistle they got on it!  For the first 30 minutes the game was very even and looking like it would be a nil nil draw, however, the city 7’s have clearly honed their skills since they last met with the awesome eights, and they very cleverly began to predict the 8’s play.  GK Emma North continued to make some brilliant saves, cleared the ball far and wide and communicated well to the defenders.  Johanne Steward made some great tackles and passes down the side lines to the likes of Becky Gallagher (POM) who worked super hard as a right mid and also covered as BOD.  Becky tenaciously tackled and received the ball well, made some fabulous long passes to the forwards resulting in a couple of close shots in the D.  Jess Lockwood gave another great performance as left back, and covering Jo as centre back she has increased in confidence and made some great hit outs received well by Nic Harrison who fiercely received the ball and drove it with determination up to the forwards.

Frustratingly, this was still not enough.  The city 7’s who are one below the awesome 8’s in the league, had a couple of very strong hitters in their middle section, managed to win the ball from the 8’s, took 3 fast paced passes down the middle and a scored a ‘blink-and –you-miss-it’ goal.  Feeling victorious, and taking advantage of the 8’s vulnerability, within 3 minutes they scored another sneaky goal in almost exactly the same way with a minute to go to half time.

Half time talk consisted of some getting back to basics, stick to your position, and  keeping the centre ‘castle’ strong.  Communicate better, improve the marking and stay in front of the player!  The second half was fought even harder than the first, Vice Captain Jo Baker continued to take some excellent 16’s and held the defensive core strongly with her communication and her will and determination.  Anna Chapman fought hard in her dual role of left back and also as a mid fielder, she was not out place despite a new position for her, she took some great side line hits and tracked back to her fellow defenders when required.  Tracy Stuart-Sheppard battled well as bottom of the diamond, fending off the forceful mids and some very speedy city 7’s forwards. Captain Katy Cole as top of the diamond made some good tackles, fed some good passes to the forwards, made herself available in some excellent spaces but must be mindful of calling out to receive the ball and stick to the middle to protect the castle along side BOD and her centre forward team mates. Lois Metcalf continued to tackle well, also got into some great spaces, communicated well and held the forward line strongly giving support and encouragement to Kim Brenchly who worked hard to get the ball into the D and made some good, accurate passes to the other forwards.

With a couple of short corners being awarded, it seemed so close that the 8’s would score but, with the ball bouncing back and forth in the 25 meter zone for what seemed like forever, the 8’ fought tirelessly to try and score until the city 7 defenders took control of the ball once again and seemingly effortlessly drove the ball up the other end managed to score a third goal so close to the end of the match.  The dragons did not give up though and at this point, Emma Fielding made some great drives up the wing and had some fabulous passes to Sadie Jacobs who increases in confidence every week and made some great tackles and passes back to her fellow forwards.  The dragons fought to the end and did not give up.

So onto next week, we will get there!  We will have that elusive 2nd win!  We get closer each week and we come back more determined.  We are working well as a team and each week we have many players nominated as player of the match which goes to show how hard everyone is working.  We want to win and we can!  We will not give up.


Men’s East Hockey League, Division 2N

Norwich Dragons Men’s 1s v Magpies:  0-2

Dragons faced a very tough game against Magpies who have won all their games so far this season, and who won 16-0 last week! However, Magpies were frustrated by a well drilled and stubborn Dragons side. Many teams may have sat back and tried to play for a draw from the outset but Dragons set up with an attacking formation of 3-2-3-2 and tried to take the game to Magpies from the off.  However, the deadlock was eventually broken by Magpies on the stroke of half time with an unstoppable reverse strike that hit both posts before flying in. Dragons managed to regroup and played another outstanding half of hockey to prevent Magpies from creating much, until tired legs resulted in a mistake at the back that allowed Magpies to pinch a second goal. Final score 2-0 to Magpies. Overall a great performance from Dragons who showed that they can compete with anyone in this league and should be full of confidence for the next match.
Mom – captain Olly Buck with an outstanding defensive performance.
Dod – Peter Dickerson for forgetting keepers are allowed to kick the ball.


Men’s East Hockey League, Division 3NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s v Norwich City 3s:  1-2

First loss of the season for Men’s 2nds as they are beaten 2-1 (1-0 HT) away to Norwich City 3rds in table topping clash.  City went 2-0 up converting a pf with Jack O’Meara halving arrears with eleven minutes left. Unfortunately dragons were unable to force an equaliser and the home side leap frog them in the table. MOM Giles Brooks after three way tie decided by paper airplane flight distance competition and DOD Matt Hull for exuberant vault over fence to retrieve ball which culminated in abject failure!



Men’s East Hockey League, Division 3NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s v IES 3s:  1-1





Men’s East Hockey League Division 4NE

Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s v Bury St Edmunds 3s: 0-0

Dragons 4s travelled to Bury for a late pushback with both teams looking for points to consolidate mid table positions.
Despite the 0-0 scoreline, the game was an enjoyable one to play in, with both teams working hard and playing some good hockey.  Dragons arguably carried the greater attacking threat with Johnny Taylor showing off his array of tricks up front allied with the pace of Rob Chaney Baxter and Connor Adams.  Sol Blazer (MoM), Rob Jenkins, Nick Turner and Rich Phillis worked hard in midfield to close down the Bury playmakers and limit their attacking opportunities.  The Dragons defence of Andy Carver, Neil Shorten, Will Ives and Peter Davison also tackled and marked superbly.  Joel Lawrence had relatively little to do in goal, but did this well, notably denying Bury with a double save from a short corner.
The tension rose as the game went on with each team feeling a single goal could seal the points, however it ended goalless, which was a fair result.
A very satisfying performance from Dragons who once again demonstrated their team playing ethos and put in high levels of effort.


Men’s East Hockey League, Division 5NE

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



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

Norwich Dragons Men’s 6s v Norwich City 7s:  1-2

Another tough game against quality opposition for the Dragons Mens 6 team this week. We took a full squad of 15 players to Taverham for this match, hoping to build on last weeks hard won draw. The City team was very much their youth team with a few experienced adults in the line up to tie it all together, but it was clear from the start why they were near the top of the table with a third of the season gone.The game started with end to end play and this was to be very much the story for the whole match. City made the break through after 20 minutes with a well worked goal and struck again minutes later. This left the Dragons 6s 2-0 down and at that point we could have folded but held on until the half time break at this scoreline.

During the first half, the midfield of Dan Orsborne and Josh Bingham had been playing some great hockey and with the defensive line of Banham, Davis, Brown, Hansell and Butler (in rotation) the wingers and strikers had been getting some really good service, to keep the attacking play moving. We had been winning a number of penalty corners and had a goal disallowed as Josh Bingham lifted his strike above the back board, from the corner put in. There had also been some good saves from the City keeper to deny Dragons a goal. James King in the Dragons goal was also having a good game, despite the goals against, and made some crucial saves when needed.

The team reflected on the first half during the break and all agreed that we needed to just keep on doing more of the same and the goal would come. Stephen Holland had made his Hockey debut during the first half and Joe Beadman replaced him for the second half in the forward line to make his 6s debut. The combination of continuing attacking midfield play and crash balls into the D from the wings finally opened up the City defence and allowed Joes Beadman to score on his 6s debut. There has been a number of other chances and Dan Osborne had come tantalisingly close with a subtle touch close in on goal, only to be denied by the City keepers foot. With the score pulled back to a one goal deficit, Dragons 6s continued to pile forward and pressures the City defence and nearly scored with the final penalty corner of the match. Unfortunately it was not to be and Dragons 6s ending up being beaten by Norwich City 7 by 2 – 1.

Although it keeps us at the bottom of the league it was agreed by all that we are constantly improving as a squad and all we can look to do is keep improving week on week. It is great to be part of a group with that attitude and willingness to keep the work rate up. For a strong performance in the midfield, Josh Bingham was awarded Man of the Match. Our goal scorer being Joe Beadman.


Norwich Dragons Hockey Club

Dragons Dev Boys A v Magpies: 1-1

 The first quarter saw strong defence from Tommy, Edward, Ben and Alex along with a great save from Alex W in goal. Strong attack from Dragons resulted in a short corner.

In the second quarter, Dragons went 1-0 up as Tom broke through the Magpies’ defence to score a goal.  Magpies came back strongly, forcing a short corner.  Alex W successfully stopped their four shots at the goal.
During the third quarter, Magpies scored a goal from the second short corner of the quarter. 
Good passing by Dragons resulted in more play in the Magpies’ half throughout the final quarter.  Last play, after the final whistle, saw Dragons win a last short corner.  Unfortunately, they were not rewarded with another goal and the game ended as a draw.
Final Score: 1-1
Kit Scott


Norwich Dragons Hockey Club

Dragons Dev Boys B v Watton:  5-0

A fast paced, exciting game. Good passing skills shown by Dragons B
team, achieving 2 goals to nil at half time. The second half saw more
passing and shots at the opposition’s goal. Final score 5-0 to Dragons
B team! A fantastic game all round.

Raul Wigglesworth


Dragons Dev Girls v Yarmouth:  0-5

Dragons conceeded