Newmarket Men’s 1s: 4-3 win vs Pelicans Men’s 2s (Home)
(de Burgh 2, Dawson, Skelton)
Newmarket’s three previous games had ended in disappointment as Town were only beaten by a single goal, so this was something the team were wanting to rectify and show everyone what they really can do. This match was against a side who finished in 3rd place last year, so Newmarket were expecting a tough game once again.
Newmarket started the wet and windy first half with some quick counter play, Leggett and Skelton moved the ball fast and wide and allowing de Burgh to get in some good positions, but the wet stick was making the ball run away from him. The first goal went to Pelicans who managed to break down Town’s back line of Harrington, Newnes, Hrebeniak and Wilson who had up to this point been solid, but a quick shot past McCourt left the score at 0-1. Again, Newmarket tried to feed the wide men of Bell and Dawson but Newmarket forwards Holden and de Burgh could not find the goal and were finding it hard to get the ball on the end of their sticks. The half progressed with both sides having equal possession with both keepers playing well, Town’s McCourt made some cracking saves and kept the Pelicans attackers at bay. Pelicans continued to push down the wing and Hrebeniak blocked a cross into the ‘D’ but was injured in the process and had to go off.
Unfortunately the second goal came from Newmarket losing possession high up the field, leaving the oppo’s attackers to score from good movement within the ‘D’. 0-2. The half continued with both sides coming close to scoring but it stayed the same until half time.
The half time team talk was all about being mentally positive, as Town had weeks leading up to this game where they had been so close to winning but only to have it snatched away by one goal. (Remember, tuck your shirts in, it makes all the difference… Then again, looking at some of the photos, I myself could lose a few pounds)
The first five or so minutes of the second half Pelicans were the better team but the game change for the home team. Newmarket managed to find themselves on the end of a penalty corner which consisted of some great one-two passes. Newmarket gathered themselves on the top of the ‘D’, the wind and rain had died down and it was suggested to try the ‘Little Elf’ routine. The ball moving nicely with pitch being wet, it was injected by Holden to Skelton on top of the ‘D’ and “Grouter” played a strong drag push to find Dawson on the back post who brilliantly angled the ball into the roof of the net. 1-2. This changed the mentality of the home team who now played with confidence, this starting to show as the players were now keeping hold of the ball and not giving the it away while attempting Hollywood passes. Newmarket continued to push through and then, with a move consisting of Wilson and Leggett, Newmarket found Skelton who beautifully deflected a well hit ball into the bottom left hand corner. 2-2. Town were now on a high and thinking that they could win the game. Now with the self-belief they had gained, Newmarket continued to push, Wilson to Holden then to Leggett who was left free at the top of the ‘D’. He in turn then played the ball to de Burgh who fired a shot into the net. 3-2.
Newmarket were not done yet, as some good play from Bell and Dawson managed to find de Burgh whose first shot at close range was saved, calmly though he was composed and pushed it over the keeper to make it 4-2. Pelicans felt harshly done by in that they thought de Burgh had offended with a foot but neither umpire could see anything and the goal stood. Newmarket went to sleep after scoring the goal and were caught napping as from this Pelicans found a well placed goal to make it 4-3. The game finished like this and Newmarket can now go on to win many more games.
This shows that with confidence, composure and a never give up attitude when facing near death, anything can happen in Hockey. All players deserve credit for the way they came back and will continue on to next week with the same belief.
Newmarket men’s 1st team travel away next Saturday against Norwich Dragons 3rd XI. More of the same.
Man of the Match goes to Mike Skelton for his tireless efforts he made through the match. DOTD goes to Lewi Hrebeniak for his casualty performance.
Left: Man of the Match Mike Skelton proudly shows off his medal whilst a crippled Louis “Lewi” Hrebeniak models the brand new Iron Man outfit… Something tells him this won’t be the last time.
Right: The 2015/16 Newmarket Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI.
Newmarket Men’s 2s: Game postponed due to waterlogged pitch vs Pelicans Men’s 3s (Away)
Youngster Ben Atkinson was denied his first senior appearance for Newmarket Hockey Club as the M2s traveled away to Pelicans, only to find the pitch unplayable and the game off for safety reasons. However, the journey was not entirely wasted; post-match teas were brought forward earlier than previously advertised so at least the squad could depart into the murky depths of the Norfolk night thoroughly sated. Next week, the 2s are at home to Norwich Dragons for a 3:30 mid-table clash – all supporters are, as ever, welcome (unless you attempt to support the away team of course).
Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 1-0 loss vs St Neots Ladies’ 1s (Home)
Newmarket started off on a high after their great win last week. The game started very strongly in Newmarket’s favour, allowing them to control the pitch for the first 15 minutes. With a confident play down the line from Hayley Stoneman to Di Thomas, Newmarket were able to pull the ball back and around the St. Neots defence and play it to the penalty spot where eager Claire Mcdonnell was ready to open the scoring. With Newmarket now in the lead, St. Neots came back fast and strong, putting the entire Newmarket defence to the test. Newmarket, however, were not going to let this dampen their spirits anymore then the weather was already doing. Some great plays from defence out wide to both Tracy Cockerill and Grace Evans kept the ball continuously moving back up the pitch towards the St Neots goal. Newmarket made great use of their space with some strong and strategic hits, at one point a stray hit up the pitch enticed the St Neots goalie out of her D to kick the ball; this resulted in their goalkeeper being sent off temporarily and forced St Neots to play with a kicking back. Unfortunately St Neots rallied around and prevented Newmarket from executing anymore goals. Once the St. Neots goalie returned to the pitch, Newmarket were straight away pushed back to their own half, now working incredibly hard to keep the score board unchanged. Kerry Alderson took charge of her defensive position ensuring no passes from St Neots were going to pass her. She was able to stop these balls and play them up the pitch, giving her attack time to re-position themselves. Once again back in the St Neots 25, Newmarket played strategically and were able to gain a couple of short corners, with Beth Wombwell taking charge at the top of the D. Unfortunately Newmarket were not able to convert these opportunities into goals. After a very tough and tiring game, Newmarket were able to celebrate having held off St Neots for the rest of the match, and securing themselves another win in the bag.
The ladies Player of the Match went to Kerry Alderson, with their DOTD going to Lydia Evans.
Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 3-1 loss vs Bury St Edmunds Ladies’ 3s (Home) (Jones)
Newmarket Ladies 3’s faced Bury St. Edmunds 3 at home on Saturday afternoon. Newmarket knew they were in for a hard fought game against the 4th placed team in the table.
The Yellows started strongly with some efficient exchange of passes and supportive play. Charlotte Abbersteen demonstrated this brilliantly and combined well with left midfielder Charlotte Wyatt who competently linked the play from the defence to the attack down the left hand side.
The Bury team displayed some effective teamwork in their midfield and attack and it was the opposing team who scored the first goal of the match.
The Newmarket side were determined to prevent conceding a further goal. Sam Brooke was in command at the back demonstrating some excellent defensive skills and ably assisted by Donna and Tiff Seymour who performed some accurate clearances to the midfield. Sam’s powerful hits out of the defensive third helped relieve the pressure on the defence throughout the match.
Sophie Bell was in form again playing right midfield and made some crucial interceptions. It was Bea Jones who capitalized on this and used her speed on the ball combined with great support from newcomer Georgia Rolls playing in the centre forward position to shoot the ball accurately into the right hand corner of the goal. Game on!
After half-time Newmarket maintained their momentum continuing to play with great determination despite some powerful attacking play from the Bury side. The defence benefitted from some strong tackling skills displayed by Phoebe Peacock and Brooke Le Maire came on to assist enthusiastically in midfeld.
Unfortunately it was the away team who dominated the play in the latter part of the match. GK Claire Spiers showed great resilience to the continued attack from the opposing team making a number of impressive saves. However Bury regained the lead with their 2nd goal. The home side continued with their endeavours with Janie Harrington demonstrating impressive stick skills in centre midfield with Helen Hansgate alongside distributing the ball well. Verity MacMahon came close to scoring Newmarket’s second equaliser with great speed down the left hand side. Unfortunately it was Bury who scored the final goal to win the match 3-1.
Newmarket 3’s should be proud of their determined performance and much improved teamwork. Well Done to all involved and to Colin for his continued support.
Man of the Match – Helen Hansgate
Teddy – Phoebe Peacock
Above: The Ladies’ 3s celebrate as Bea Jones prods home for Newmarket.