Men’s 1s: 3-2 win vs Norwich Dragons 2 (Home)
(Wade 2, Skelton)
NEWMARKET RALLY TO STUN NORWICH DRAGONS
Newmarket scored three goals in the final 15 minutes to complete a remarkable fightback and beat Norwich Dragons 3-2 at home on Saturday.
The home side, who restored vice captain Jordan Newnes to their squad, albeit on the bench, were overrun in the early stages and fell behind when the visitors beat Martin McCourt by the near post with a fierce reverse hit.
After this neither side created much in the first half with only two real notable incidents, one from Mark Pears shooting just over the bar and another from Matthew Holden, seeing his shot tipped just wide. That looked as though it would be the only talking point as both teams laboured and struggled to get into any sort of rhythm.
Fired up by the half time team talk, Newmarket started well and had two further chances to take the lead as Josh Dawson was played in on the right but on both occasions he saw shots blocked. Against the run of play, the Blue and Yellows’s defensive was exploited once more as Dragons broke free out wide to drill a cross into the ‘D’, only to see Newnes’s interception deflect the ball into the path of an unmarked player to further extend the lead, rounding McCourt and slotting home from close range.
But Newmarket stunned their opponents with a late rally as Ollie Wade pulled one back through a short corner, flicking the ball into the side netting, before setting up Michael Skelton’s equaliser five minutes later through a simple tap in bringing the scores level at 2-2. With Norwich Dragons on the back foot now, with minutes left on the clock, it was the hosts who won another short corner to seal all three points, as Wade flicked the ball into the top right corner for his second.
Men’s 2s: 1-7 loss vs Norwich Dragons 3 (Away)
Another away game for Newmarket Men’s 2s on the bouncy Dragon’s Den pitch. The opening minutes looked promising for Newmarket as they held sole possession for a good 3 minutes, moving the ball around, trying to find a gap in the defense but eventually the ball changed hands and that’s when Newmarket knew they were in for a hell of a ride. The yellow side managed to hold off the dragons for a while with Simon Donald and Ollie Trent playing great in the middle of the field however it was not long before Norwich put their first ball into the goal. This did not phase Newmarket much as they had been making some attempts in the oppositions area using Captain Drew Wood and Ben Atkinson down the line to Matt Lister and Jonny Bunker upfront. But Dragons established themselves as the definite goal scoring threat as an attacking run round the defense brought them a goal after the ball rebounded off the keeper again. 2-0 and far from finished the home side continued to outrun and outgun Newmarket’s players, making it feel like they were constantly on the attack with the play comfortably staying in Newmarket’s half, raking in yet another goal. From the constant pressure Newmarket found a break and gained a short corner which was converted by Harrington after the proven short corner technique was used. 3-1 gave Newmarket a glimmer of hope which the dragons were quick to snuff out by creating a lapse in their concentration with a huge tumble including Ollie Trent who bounced twice then slid on his back to a halt, winding him in the process. He did (good on him) come back on and continue to play a decent game but while he was off Norwich scored yet again off a rebound to end the half. The second half started and Newmarket appeared to have a better idea about what they were doing however the Dragons did not let up keeping the pressure on and turning every Newmarket attack against them continuously working their way towards and into Newmarket’s area and scored another time after peppering the keeper who made over 5 consecutive saves before the ball was finally flicked up and over him bringing it to 5-1. The play continued to stay in Newmarket’s half with only occasional balls flicked, hit or charged into the opposing half. The final score was a devastating 7-1 after two more goals were scored from two simple short corners. It was an overall poor performance from Newmarket this week as not a single player left knowing they had played their best game and very broken defender Andy Baker’s absence was certainly noticed.
Ladies’ 1s: 2-1 win vs Bourne Deeping 1 (Away)
(G. Evans, L. Evans)
The girls were going to a must win game against Bourne Deeping. The first half was full of end to end hockey, with Newmarket ladies having multiple chances but unable to convert. The first half ended 0-0. The second half then got very exciting, with Bourne scoring a lucky goal which left Newmarket 1-0 down with 5 minutes to go. Luckily we won a short corner where Hayley Stoneman slipped left to Lydia Evans who flicked it in the left corner. 1-1 , 3 minutes to go. With 1 minute left , Hayley took a quick self pass which found Grace Evans who slipped it past the keeper to make it a 2-1 win to Newmarket . Great game, y’all should have been there!
Ladies’ 2s: 0-8 loss vs St Ives 2 (Home)
L2s faced St Ives at Newmarket this week in the first of division 3NW’s return matches. St Ives are always a well drilled team with slick passing, confident strikes and a hunger for the win. This is reflected in their league table position: 3rd from top.
St Ives did not surprise us with their first half, driving Newmarket back into their own D, challenging our defence from the start. Bea Jones, most unfamiliar with the defensive realm of D and 25yd, used her stick skills and characteristic battling (how DOES she almost wrap herself round the player without giving a foul?) to hold the left side. However, when in the D, St Ives were hunting as a pack, they worked well to create penalty corner opportunities and their teamwork paid off, beating keeper and post defender for their first goal.
Newmarket then held St Ives in the zone between halfway and our 25yd, Grace Morris and Emma Lankfer (joint “men of the match”) working tirelessly to intercept cross pitch passes and forcing errors to gain Newmarket free hits. St Ives had real strength in re-capturing the ball though, overturning possession and preventing any real progress into their half. Newmarket did successfully defend a number of short corners, keeper Jersey Bennett bringing into play techniques taught by Sue Bullimore to command her corner-defending 4 of Hansgate, Heslop, Pegg and Bailey. Through open play and corner routines, at times foiled by strong keeping and defensive heroics, the first half was unfortunately a steady progress of goals to 6-0 to the visitors at half time whistle.
Perhaps L2s should start playing half a match before their actual match? Or eating sweets before pushback? Because once again the 2nd half was a transformation. Advice had come from supporting Men’s player Josh Dawson about how to create space around the wall that developed at free hits and exhortation from the defence to ALL players to mark up. Wherever. Whenever. This resulted in more strength of formation and confidence, breaks being made. St Ives only scored one more goal from open play.
Approx half way through 2nd half, Captain Zoe Bailey took a ball to the stomach (any students on module “abdominal muscles protect the vital organs” may contact her for first hand testimony and evidence), quick substitution was made to bring Laura Excell into midfield and Sarah Ganiford back into defence. A penalty flick was given due to a chaotic goal line scrabble involving a foot and an otherwise certain goal but this was the last time that the backboard sound was heard.
Newmarket really did hold their own in the second half, St Ives were not dominating the way they had previously. The final score was 8-0 but the L2s should not feel too disheartened even though it feels like a big drop from the dizzy heights of last week’s win. If our second half performance can be translated into a whole match then there are teams in this league we can win against. There will not be another 51 week interval between wins. Guaranteed.
Ladies’ 3s: 5-0 win vs Newmarket 4 (Home)
(Smith 3, Farrow, Podd)
This week saw the eagerly anticipated match between Newmarket’s ladies’ third team versus the ladies’ fourth team.
All the girls were really fired up and looking forward to this game, which would give them a chance to see how the training mates were getting on.
The game started well for Newmarket 4s with an aggressive first 10 minutes and the ladies threes found themselves under pressure. However the tide turned fairly quickly as the threes were awarded an early short corner which was executed with precision as practised and gave them an early lead. Ball injected by Laura Smith to Captain Mel Podd, who stopped and returned the ball to Laura for her to slap into the left hand side of the goal box.
This was to somewhat set a trend for the game as a second short corner was executed in the same manner, resulting in another goal for Laura Smith.
The third short corner to result in a goal, and on this occasion Mel Podd struck the ball from top D straight into the back board.
Another shot to come from a short corner, saw Laura Smith rebounding the ball between her and the keeper, a battle that would she finally managed to win, to take home her third of the day.
Not satisfied with three, Man of the Match Laura Smith, was then hunting for a fourth, sending an excellent ball into the D, which Jess Farrow managed to get a stick on the end of to claim as her own.
This was a good outing for both teams, with the day really been won by Newmarket three’s short corner routines. Very encouraging play was shown by Newmarket fours, in what was a thoroughly enjoyable game for both sides, and ultimately an over-all victory for the club as a whole. Plenty of talent was on show, and at times, the midfield game was quite evenly matched.
Man of the match goes to Laura “hat trick” Smith, and Teddy was awarded to Sarah “not with your hand!” Ganiford for her mid-play catch of the ball!
Next week sees the ladies play their rearranged fixture against Haverhill, away.
Ladies’ 4s: 0-5 loss vs Newmarket 3 (Away)