NDHC Match Reports: Saturday 12th December 2020

Norwich Dragons Ladies 1s Vs Watton

Score: 2-1

Scorers: Georgia Rant & Mia Bartram

MOM: Georgia Rant

Ladies 1s managed to grab their last win of 2020 with a 2-1 at home against Watton 1. Dragons fell behind 1-0 with a counter attack from Watton.

Dragons were determined to not let this bother them and get back into full fighting mode. After a strong half time talk, dragons managed to up their game and to come back from behind to win 2-1. Goals from Georgia Rant and Mia Bartram. MOM Georgia Rant. DOD Niamh Lowe-Davies


Norwich Dragons Ladies 2s Vs Ipswich

Score: 0-6

MOM: Karen O’Neill – Simpson

Early start for the Ladies 2 travelling to Ipswich to play the undefeated top of the league. Dragons started much stronger than last week and held the Ipswich attack off for a good portion of the first half unfortunately a deflected ball at a short put the well-drilled Ipswich side 1-0 up. Dragons fought hard and kept composed when under pressure but the Ipswich side showed why they are undefeated and we ended the first half 4-0. Going into the second half the 2s kept up the momentum, putting the Ipswich defence under real pressure and made the keeper make some important saves. Ipswich, however, kept the work up too and converted another 2 goals by the final whistle. 6-0 to Ipswich was the final score which (& I know it’s said a lot!) did really flatter them – even their coach agreed! POM was very close this week, showing just how much work the entire team put in, but Captain Karen claimed the title for some solid defending and constant encouragement throughout the match


Norwich Dragons Ladies 3s Vs Framlingham

Score: 4-2

Scorers: Fiona Fletcher, Lillian Sore & Lucy Cross x 2

MOM: Lucy Cross

Ladies 3s entertained Framlingham for a 10th vs 11th clash. An intense game and definitely one for the neutrals the end to end play ended up with Fram leading 2-0 after 20 minutes. Dragons kept their heads and got one back with a textbook baseline to P-spot pass for Fiona Fletcher to slot home. This spurred Dragons on again and a lovely reverse push from Lillian Sore saw the score line even going into half time. A solid second half saw a deflection from Lucy Cross to make it 3-2, and then she brought the game to a close with a well worked short corner routine to end the game 4-2 and Dragons picking up all the points.

The team should be really proud of their performance and having picked up 6 of their 7 points in the past 2 games brings hope for after Christmas results!

POM having fended off steep competition is Lucy Cross!


Norwich Dragons Ladies 5s Vs Magpies Ladies 6

Score: 4-1

Scorers: Anita Mancini, Lizzie McDonnell, Gemma Ballard & Jane Wells

MOM: Mia Norris

Ladies 5s had a cold, foggy match against Magpies 6s, winning 4-1.

First half we came out strong having the majority of the play. We had lots of amazing play from all. Lara, Freya, Gemma and Anita all showing their fabulous skills with Mia adding some fast paced runs, allowing us to get 3-0 up.

In the second half Magpies fought back and managed to score from a short. Their confidence rose and they became a strong side, but our defence were up for the challenge allowing us to score another goal. It should’ve been two but sadly Gemma’s goal was disallowed after the ball orbited the moon on its way into the D. There was some solid tackling and good ball distribution from the defenders but especially Jen, Brooksy and Em. As well as some brilliant saves from Amy Forse.

Goal scorers were Anita, Lizzie, Gemma and Jane. Well done everyone!


Norwich Dragons Ladies 6s Vs Dereham

Score: 1-2

Scorers: Alicia Fairweather

MOM: Rosie Smith

Ladies’ 6s travelled to misty Dereham this chilly December Saturday morning to what we anticipated to be a tough match again their 3s. Dereham came out strong and scored quite early on through a goal that physics may have deemed impossible. However, Dragons did not let their heads drop, powered on with some fantastic passing and some lovely hits to the forward line and this paid off with a beautiful equaliser from Alicia Fairweather in her first match against her former club. The Pat Chat and some sweets at half time left us wanting more and we continued our strong performance in the second half – however some firing up of a more experienced *cough* player on the Dereham side left us at a disadvantage and we conceded another goal. Emma North kept us in the game by saving a flick but it was not meant to be in the end. Final score 2:1 to Dereham but a fantastic effort all round. POM goes to Rosie Smith with Honey Wells and Northie close seconds. Have a lovely Christmas, everyone!!

Norwich Dragons Ladies 7s Vs Harelston Magpies Ladies 7s

Score: 2-2

Scorers: Sarah Marshall & Claire Fairhurst

MOM: Amy Forse

Super proud of the ladies 7s today who played away at Magpies. As expected Magpies were clinical and swift with their passing, however dragons were strong in defence and kept the opposition at bay. Finally after a scramble in the D Magpies scored. Into the second half Magpies scored again early on which fired up the dragons even more. After some great play around the D Sarah Marshall slotted the ball behind the keeper for our first goal! Continued pressure and some lovely play by dragons lead to a fantastic equaliser after Claire Fairhurst slapped the ball in from the post. Final score 2-2 but I couldn’t be more proud of how the girls fought and really got into the game. POM goes to Amy Forse who I’d like to thank again for playing in goal for us today.

Norwich Dragons Ladies 8s Vs Dereham Ladies 5s

Score: 0-4

MOM: Mehnaz Shammy

The Awesome 8s were so happy to be on the road and on the pitch once again after a long break. They could consider themselves slightly unlucky to concede four goals, but they end the first half of the season in high spirits knowing they have learned and improved a number of aspects of their game. All they need now is a bit of luck, some more aggression and a fair bit of polish.

Our captains have called for a different type of match report. They want reporters to focus on the game. They believe that we no longer need to concentrate on finding something positive to say about each squad member, because we are stronger individuals now and can take honest comments without fearing that they are judgemental about individuals.

So here goes. But do please remember this is just one person’s observations. She can’t be everywhere on the pitch at once, and really needed a pen and paper to make a note of some of the excellent moves we put together.

The 8s only went 1 goal down in the first half. Dragons did not always manage to hold their shape as a team, but the defensive unit played very strongly. They cut out plenty of crosses and marked well on the edge of the circle.

Dereham and Dragons were well matched in midfield, both sides capable of putting in good runs and some accurate passes to the forwards. Our midfield showed good judgement in when to run and when to pass. Dragons are still at the stage of enjoying the number of opportunities that are coming their way in the circle; they now get more in a game than they did in the whole of the last season.

Another positive move for Dragons is that they managed to utilise their four subs smoothly and tactically; one of many benefits of having a team that trains together sticking together. Players could swap sides, switch roles and generally be sure of making a contribution.

In the second half, not for the first time this season, Dragons actually played better but conceded more goals. Dragons held their shape much better, and probably had as many opportunities in the attacking circle as Dereham, but they lacked a cutting edge. They had a few penalty corners, with the slip left looking the one most likely to succeed.

After the half time team talk, our mids and defenders sorted out their individual positions much better and did not threaten to take the ball off each other. The forwards held their wide position and rotated more frequently. But did the defenders tire a little, or did Dereham’s speedy youngsters up their game and learn that they could trick the defence into a bit of ball watching, which gave them far more chances to ping the ball around in the circle?

A couple of other regular problems that Dragons still have to work on is the challenge of being ‘first to the ball’. We absolutely have to step up to meet the ball and the pass. It is particularly frustrating if a Dragon calls for the ball, the pass comes, and then an opponent (having heard the call) steps in front and nabs it. We also have to do some more work on avoiding giving away free hits because of our feet. A lot of it is to do with the way we hold our sticks, and the need to have our feet facing going forward.

All the Dereham players paid us close attention in the marking department, with some very enthusiastic and accidental sticks bashing everywhere from feet to knees. But basically we sucked it up. Regular training meant that even though we gave it everything we had, every individual was still capable of making a run or a tackle right the way through the match. Another improvement.

During the latter part of the second half, it was Dragons who were able to put the telling balls through into the circle, and this is where we need to practice the final gather and put the shot pass the goalkeeper. We deserved to have one of those moves come off against Dereham.

So every player in the squad can look back at this very difficult season and know that she has improved her game. Looking forwards, most of us know what we have to do to improve even more and put that polish on the basic skills. Then we will get the results we deserve. Mehnaz Shammy was voted POM. A special shout out to Nik Harrison who, because of the rule forbidding the sharing of lifts, caught a bus to and from the match. There’s a Dragon for you.


Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s vs Norwich Exiles

Score: 1-4

Scorers: Will Kirby

MOM: Will Ives

 Dragons 4s lost a hard fought but fun game against Norwich Exiles 4-1, with Will Kirby getting the Dragons goal.

Exiles had 4 Dragons 2s players from title winning seasons a decade ago in Messrs Powley, Nisbet, Whiting and Cheeseman with only the older Goodson (me!) and Rich Phillis surviving on the Dragons side – although thinking about it, Kirby may have got accidentally selected for Sudbury away on occasion.

As seems usual this season, Dragons started like a team that had never played together before this season or held a stick much in last couple of months, both of which are true.

After gifting Exiles a two goal lead, Dragons got their *%!? together and began to string their passes together and look the better side. Challenge is to do it from the start next week!!!

Will Ives was a well-deserved man of the match for sticking to Danny C like glue for the match and pretty much marking him out of the game (or just kicking it which had a similar effect).

Onwards and upwards – let’s focus on enjoying it and the performances will come!!!


Norwich Dragons Men’s 7s vs Pelicans Men’s 4s





Norwich Dragons Boys Development vs Dereham

Score: 5-0

Scorers: Louis Bolton-Smith x2, Hector McNeill, George Wilson & Rahul Kaushall

MOM: George Wilson

 Everyone was expecting a tight fixture after the reverse match was only separated by one goal but Dragons dominated from the start ! Built on a solid foundation at the back. Moving the ball quickly and expansively all the play was mostly in the Dereham half.

In the first quarter, the first goal came in the third minute by Louis Bolton-Smith. The quarter ends without any attacks having been mounted by Dereham and three short corners by Dragons not amounting to anything  1-0 to Dragons.

In the second quarter  start, Rhys Howard replaces Tommy Cahir. In the fourth minute a great triangular move on the edge of the box ends with Louis in front of the keeper who beats him to make it 2-0.Another short corner to Dragons comes after Theo drives into the D and is brought down – alas nothing comes from the short corner. Eight minutes into second quarter Louis gets into box and draws the keeper – he squares to Hector McNeil, captain on the day, who then scores from close range – 3-0.Dragons still dominating possession and in the last minute of the quarter George Wilson draws the keeper out and chips over him to make it 4-0 at half time.

In the third quarter Tommy replaces Louis. The Dereham keeper is their best player ! He has made at least 5 top saves to keep the score to four ! Good passing moves and total control by Dragons – Patrick has barely touched the ball !

At the beginning of quarter four, Adam Kelsall is off. The Derham keeper continues to excel – another great save from Louis ! Dragons have their fifth short corner but they haven’t converted any as yet ! The team continues to move the ball back and forward, moving Dereham around and in the 13th minute of the last quarter a ball from the bye line across the D ends with Rahul Kaushal unmarked just in front of goal knocking it in to make it 5-0 to Dragons. George Wilson comes off for the last minute but had a great game and was selected by the coaches as Man of the Match.

Game ends 5-0 to Dragons – a complete all round performance with everyone contributing to an excellent win !


Norwich Dragons Girls Development A vs Norwich City Girls Development

Score: 4-2

Scorers: Libby Ong x2, Imogen Dolding & Mae Hollis

MOM: Georgia Demetriou

Dragons girls started very quickly and within 5 minutes took the lead. A quick free hit was taken by Katie Hume in the City 23 and the ball was transferred to Libby Ong who scored. The lead was doubled when Libby scored her second. City pulled a goal back at the end of the quarter from a short corner.

The girls showed great commitment and good work by the defensive unit and goalkeeper ensured a goalless second quarter.

City scored an equaliser in the third quarter in an end to end period of play. The girls would not let this stop them and good work by Georgia Demetriou set up Imogen Dolding to score for Dragons to regain the lead and end the third quarter 3-2 ahead.

A team talk before the final quarter emphasising the importance of getting behind the ball when the opposition had it to prevent them having opportunities to score an equaliser was expertly put into practise by the team.

A late double substitution brought Georgia on who received the ball and attacked the D and shot. The City keeper made a good save but Mae Hollis was following up and reacted quickly to the loose ball to push it into the goal for her first Dev Girls goal and give a vital two goal lead. The girls saw out the last five minutes for a 4-2 victory. This result ended City’s 100% start to the season.

A great team performance by the girls and the two adults supporting them on the pitch.

Player of the match: Georgia Demetriou for the assists to many of the goals.

Special mention to Libby Ong for her work rate and the amount of pitch she covers to pressure and help win the ball off the opposition defenders.