Newmarket Men’s 1s: 2-7 loss vs Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s (Away)
Newmarket made their second trip to Norwich in as many weeks, still short on numbers and with a bare eleven as Harry Bell had been delayed on British Rail. The team called up youngster Oscar Kenny who acquitted himself well throughout on his first eleven debut.
Newmarket took the lead in the first minute, James McTaggart winning a penalty corner after a mazy dribble and reacting first to first home the rebound form the initial strike. Dragons came back at Newmarket strongly and equalised through a dubious penalty corner.
Dragons then went ahead through a nicely worked goal. Newmarket still posed problems and forced another penalty corner which William Wilson smashed down the middle and through the keeper’s legs. Newmarket weren’t level for long before Norwich Dragons midfield overloaded Newmarket at their defence Martin McCourt saved the first effort before the rebound was bundled home.
At half time the score was 3-2 to the Dragons, the team spoke about what they felt they needed to do in the second half and whilst Dragons dominated possession Newmarket managed to win half a dozen penalty corners which they failed to capitalise on.
As the game progressed, Dragons larger squad of 14 told, Newmarket weren’t helped when Mark Pears limped off, with the midfield struggling the defence of Simon Harrington, Jordan Newnes, Louis Herbmaniac (Getting closer -L) and Darren Jenkins were left exposed. Dragons scored their fourth 15 minutes into the second half and then scored 3 late on as Newmarket pressed to try and get into the games.
With many first 11 players missing Newmarket contested the game keenly, if they had made more of the penalties corners in the second half there would have been the opportunity to get something out of the game before the last 10 minutes. Having done much right this season, I think this is just a bad week that everybody should forget about. The team certainly looks forward to having skipper Matthew Holden back this week.
Newmarket Men’s 2s: 3-1 win vs North Norfolk Men’s 2s (Home)
(Andreou 2, Hosegood)
After 2 consecutive defeats coming into this home tie against North Norfolk 2’s, you’d have to be a fool not to recognise the importance of this game. Team Captain Drew Wood, certainly made his feelings clear before the start. Beneath a moody, grey sky, he gathered his troops and delivered the most rousing and passionate of team talks. Demonstrating his leadership skills, his speech was on a par with the late Winston Churchill leaving the players with goose bumps and ready to lay everything on the line. “There may be trouble ahead” he said, recognising that North Norfolk had won 2 of their previous 3 games, “But while there’s music and moonlight and love and romance, let’s face the music and dance.” Newmarket faced the music and danced as if it were their last.
North Norfolk came with offense on their minds. This they demonstrated with the psychedelic, fluorescent pink kit they were wearing which left several Newmarket players feeling nauseous and disorientated. North Norfolk took full advantage and for the first 10 minutes they dominated play as Newmarket couldn’t get into the game. The back line of Marc ‘Mungo’ Prentice, Andy Baker, Adrian Atkinson and Pete Boyle were most affected as Newmarket struggled to defend against skillful, quick attackers and it was the 12th minute when North Norfolk’s Howard Acott drew first blood. As he raised his stick to unleash a bullet, Mungo, the Captain’s speech still ringing in his ears, threw himself headlong in front of the ball, but Acott cleverly lifted it over him and into the net. Every man drew a sharp intake of breath and winced as Mungo collided with the right hand upright, one leg either side of the post, pushing the goal a good 50cm off the goal line. But now a goal behind, this was to be Newmarkets wake up call. The psychedelic trance was broken and happily, Mungo’s family jewels were still intact as the team started to play their way back into the game.
Rory Podd had his first start in senior hockey and played out of his skin at left half. Growing in stature every week, he played with the confidence of a veteran, combining well with defence and attack. He deservedly won Man of the Match and gives Captain Drew Wood more to think about when choosing his starting 11. Podd was involved in the 22nd minute when a Newmarket attack lead to a penalty corner. Injected by James Wrinch, Alex Andreou controlled well and unleashed a bullet which despite a good attempt at a block, looped off the defenders stick and into the top left corner. This was Newmarket’s first converted penalty corner of the season and going into the break at 1:1 the tide was turning. Fuelled by another impassioned team talk and a good dose of Jelly Babies, Newmarket went into the second half all guns blazing. North Norfolk with their squad of 11 were visibly tiring and possibly suffering the effects of pinkamatosis. Newmarket meanwhile used their one substitute well, enjoyed more possession and around 10 minutes into the half were awarded what was to be a critical penalty corner. Again, Wrinch injected to Andreou who struck the ball with such force the unfolding scene appeared in slow motion. The weekly training drills on ‘topping’ the ball came to the fore as the ball left his stick like a scene from The Dam Busters, slowing with each bounce. But the military precision found the 15cm ‘target’ between the keepers pads and Newmarket took a 2:1 lead. The pressure continued to mount on North Norfolk and it wasn’t long before Captain Wood found himself with the ball, directly in front of an empty goal, unmarked and with sufficient time to pour himself a chilled glass of South African white. Perhaps it was a flash of shocking pink that distracted Wood, but the shot truly was shocking as it crawled to the left of goal. But his teammates, wanting to rally round their Captain, came to his aid by awarding him DoD with a brief ceremony, right there on the spot. Newmarket were reduced to 10 men for 2 minutes when Adrian Atkinson demonstrated some fancy footwork that Cristiano Ronaldo would have been proud of, but the umpire wasn’t impressed and flashed green. With around 8 minutes to play Newmarket were controlling the game and Andreou went on a long run through the middle finding Wood in the ‘D’ to the right. Wood controlled well and crossed the ball firmly to Will Hosegood running in from the left, who took the ball on the fly about 10cm off the ground and buried it into the net, sealing a 3:1 win for Newmarket. North Norfolk may have looked pretty in pink but left empty handed while the region’s new Amber Army picked up another 3 points.
Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 7-0 win vs Lindum Ladies’ 2s (Home)
(Wombwell 3, Cockeril, Evans, Keates, Stoneman)
Last week was a disappointing defeat for the ladies 1st team, however their one goal opened the flood gates for this week’s game. After a motivational team talk from Captain Tania Fisher, the team quickly turned around a defensive start to the game. Keeping the game wide, using Rebecca Bunning and Beth Wombwell on the wings, they created plenty of shots on goal and it didn’t take long for Tracy Cockerill to break the deadlock. Next to find the back of the net was Donna Keates who worked tirelessly up front and wasn’t afraid to take on the diving keeper.
Lindum managed to make a break but Newmarket’s defensive 4 were able to clear the ball and away and get back to the attacking goal. Beth Wombwell took a strike at the top of the D during a short corner, securing the 3rd goal. Newmarket were able to press high and take shots from all angles giving the keeper a good run for her money- despite her great efforts and a lot of saves, Hayley Stoneman was unstoppable, lifting the ball neatly into the top right hand corner of the goal, ending the half at 4-0.
The second half started with Newmarket taking most of the possession, but soon found themselves a man down with Grace Evans being given a 2 minute time out. This didn’t stop them though – Beth Wombwell managed to make her hatrick, scoring a second goal from a short corner and creating a 3rd by great teamwork coming up from Newmarket’s defence and breaking down Lindum’s defensive line. Lydia Evans managed to secure goal number 7 with a penalty flick.
Player of the Match was awarded to Wombwell for her tireless hard work and her hatrick. Next week sees the 1s take on St Ives, but due to an NHC wedding many of the vital players will be missing from the game.
Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-14 loss vs Ely Ladies’ 1s (Home)
After last week’s tragic defeat away to St Ives, Newmarket welcomed back some familiar faces this week to face local derby rivals Ely at home. Strong from the off, Ely dominated possession and were hard on the Town players. This week’s defence of Holly Woods, Hannah Rowley, Jazz Wombwell and Sarah Ganiford welcomed the Ely attack into the D but unfortunately were unable to stop them from slotting their first goal behind keeper Jess Boyle. The quick movement of Ely saw the midfield of Mel Podd, Lydia Willmott, Clodie Rolph and ladies’ 2s debutant Jess Logan succumb to a lot of pressure but some great tackling work from Rolph and Logan saw Hannah Kelly and Olivia Haste with a couple of chances of a shot on goal. However Ely were quick off the mark on their hit outs and were again within the Newmarket defence slotting a few more goals past Boyle, leaving the defence stunned and the score lost in their minds. As the whistle blew for the end of the first half, Newmarket were 10-0 down.
After a spectacular pep talk from Wombwell during the half time break, and a quick reshuffle of players into a more defensive position, the second half was a completely different game in comparison to the first half! With Newmarket marking every player possible, Ely found it more difficult to get in to the D. Newmarket also welcomed their second debutant Rebecca Barnes in to the mix and she showed no fear as she worked well with Logan in the middle to try and get the ball to the awaiting Haste. Unfortunately Town’s amazing efforts in this completely different second half were not rewarded and Ely managed to sink 4 more goals before the final whistle, making the final score 14-0.
This week’s Player of the match was awarded to Jess Logan for some phenomenal play in her first game for the ladies’ 2s. Dick of the Day went to Sarah Ganiford for a spectacular face plant as her legs couldn’t keep up with her brain. Next week Newmarket travel to Spalding.
Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-7 loss vs Cambridge City Ladies’ 4s (Away)