Summer League 2016 – Teams

Posted Posted in Club News, Social

Hi Folks,

** S U M M E R  L E A G U E ** starts this Wednesday at 7.30pm, 8th June. Please remember to bring your £20!! Payable on the first night.

Summer League Teams:

Goalies:  we will have goalies rotating for the games on one of the pitches.
Claire Spiers
Jersey Bennett
James Atkinson

Please find the teams as follows.

Grace Evans
April Atkinson
Hannah Rowley
Georgia Atherton
Hayley Burton
Abigale Farrow
Jordan Newnes
James McTaggart
Andy Baker
William Frost
Rachel Hogg

Calli Cannon
Hayley Stoneman
Holly Woods
Bronnie King
Jess Halford
Callie Plumb
Chris Leggett
Harry Bell
Will Hosegood
Nathan Atkinson
Rachel Pegg
Rebecca Bunning
Sophie Bell
Phoebe Peacock
Helen Hansgate
Laura Smith
Brooke Le Maire
Katie Russell
Louis Hrebeniak
Ollie Wade
Rory Podd
Seth Bailey
Drew Wood
Kerry Alderson
Vicky Beeton
Olivia Haste
Sarah Ganiford
Sam Brooks
Ellie Carr
Sophie Kelly
James Atkinson
Mungo Prentice
Jonny Bunker
Chris Evans

Lydia Evans
Bea Jones
Hannah Kelly
Georgia Beau Rolls
Jane Dryland
Magda Atkinson
Emily Russell
Will Wilson
Peter Booth
Henry Frost
Harriett Briggs
Jonny Grimes

Di Thomas
Lou Milner
Jess Boyle
Vicky Benedikz
Milou Ottolini
Grace Morris
Darren Jenkins
Ollie Trent
Ben Atkinson
Adrian Atkinson
Hannah Fox
Matt Holden

If you don’t see your name and thought you were playing, please can you contact me ASAP on:

Each team will need a captain, please let me know who this is going to be on the first night.

Don’t worry about getting a game, we have lots of students writing exams during the first two weeks, and lots of other people have mentioned that they cannot attend all sessions.  So it is unlikely that you will have a full squad at any time.

Please remember that shin pads and gum shields are mandatory for all under 18s.

For full details of Summer League, please see:

Look forward to seeing you then.  Lets play some hockey!



Senior Summer League 2016

Posted Posted in Club News, Social

** S U M M E R     L E A G U E !!**

Summer League is nearly here! Please be sure to let Mel Podd know that you want to take part. Please find all the details below.

Newmarket Hockey Club – Summer League – 2016 – Your Questions Answered.

When is it?
Starts Wednesday, 8th June and runs for 6 weeks, until the 17th of July.
Starts at 7:30pm and will run until 9pm.
You don’t need to be able to make every session.
How do I get involved?
Please let Mel Podd know. Please can you email me on: or you can send me a Facebook message. If you would like to play as a Goalie or are available to Umpire, please can you also mention this.
Summer league is open to all Club members, Juniors over the age of 13 yrs, as well as any friends, family or new-comers who would like to try hockey in a fun and relaxed manner.
Who can take part?
Summer league is open to all Club members, Juniors over the age of 13 yrs, back-to-hockey players, as well as any friends, family or new-comers who would like to try hockey in a fun and relaxed manner.
We are looking for: Players, Juniors, Goalies, Umpires and Spectators.
What is the idea of Summer League?
Summer League is intended to be a fun and relaxed hockey tournament, with mixed teams of mixed ability and ages. The aim is to meet other Club members from outside your team, guide some of our youngsters along, have fun, have a run around, score a few goals.
Who is running Summer League?
Summer League is run by Mel Podd and Dave Worrall. Mel is collecting money, taking names, doing the teams. Dave will run the fixtures and results. Any queries can be directed to either of them.
How much does it cost?
£20 payable in cash to Mel Podd on the first night. Please don’t forget to bring your money! It is £20 flat rate regardless of how many times you can attend.
What should we bring?
Usual Hockey stuff: stick, gum shields, shin pads, water, sun-screen. Gum shields and Shin pads are mandatory for all under 18s, please bring them. If you don’t have a hockey stick, we have some spare ones, please let Mel or Dave know, and we will make sure you have one.
How do the teams work?
Teams will be split dependent on what team players were in last year and made as fair as possible, with the intention to meet new people. How many team, will be dependent on how many people confirm that they would like to play.
There are to be 7 players on pitch, and three of them must be ladies, at all times. Players can be borrowed from other teams if you are short on the night, provided this is agreed by your opposition’s captain. The teams will be assigned shirt colours.
Captains will be elected by the team on the first night, and will be your contact point for the remainder of Summer League. Please let them know if you cannot make a week.
What are the Rules?
The games are played on half pitches. There will be two games on simultaneously.
Games will be umpired by two umpires, provided by teams that are not playing at the same time, or by an umpire who is not playing.
If we don’t have goalies:
All normal hockey rules apply, but as we don’t have goalies, there are no direct strikes on goal allowed, and no short corners. The intention of this is to keep it safe for youngsters and new players. In the event that we have 2 or more goalies who would like to play, see below. Any goals scored from hard hits will be disallowed, and a 16 will be taken.
Infringements in the circle will have a long corner awarded.
There will not be any P-flicks etc, as players without goalie kits cannot safely defend against these.
If we have goalies (2 or 4):
All normal Hockey rules apply. We will have strikes on goal, we will take short corners.
It will be the umpire’s discretion to implement these rules, and all umpire decisions will be final.
Goalies will stay on pitch, and will stay in their goal. If we have two goalies, then for the games played on that pitch, both teams will have goalies. At half time, goalies won’t swap, so both teams have the benefit of both goalies. If we have 4 goalies, this will apply to both pitches.
Who Umpires the games?
Each team is required to provide an umpire for the game after you play. This is an ideal opportunity to give umpiring a go if you haven’t before.
What are Captains required to do?

  • Arrange the team in terms of pitch positions and subbing.
  • Be the team contact point.
  • Arrange an umpire for games when you are not playing.
  • Make sure that the scores from games played gets to Mel!

Any queries, please contact Mel or Dave.
Looking forward to seeing you there!!

Junior Summer Hockey 2016

Posted Posted in Club News, Juniors
Dear Junior Member,

I am pleased to tell you that we have managed to arrange some junior summer hockey which will take place before adult summer league on Wednesdays from 6.30-7.30pm starting on 8th June for 6 weeks through until 13th July.

The plan is for the sessions to be as game based as possible with lots of small sided matches. We hope to organise teams and play some competitive mixed hockey over the 6 sessions but this will depend a bit on the number and age range of players attending.

The cost will be £10 for 6 sessions (to be paid upfront) or £2 per session.

As this is the first time we have offered summer hockey for juniors we dont know how popular it will be so we would appreciate you letting us know in advance if you plan to attend. This will enable us to plan the sessions accordingly and organise staffing. Please email us here.

New members are welcome to take part in summer hockey but they will need to complete a membership form so we have the necessary medical info and emergency contact details.

Many thanks

Junior Coordinator

Newmarket AGM 2016 – 24th May

Posted Posted in Club News

Dear all,

The Newmarket Hockey Club AGM is scheduled for the 7:30pm on the 24th May at the Exning Road Club. If anyone would like to put themselves forward for a role within the club, please could they contact Secretary Anna Parker on or Vice Chair Zoe Bailey on

Goalkeeper McCourt off to World Cup with Scotland Over 50’s

Posted Posted in Club News, Men

Newmarket Hockey Club are very proud of goalkeeper Martin McCourt who is flying off to Australia on Saturday 26th March to represent Scotland at the Over 50’s Hockey World Cup.

Martin came out of retirement after a 15 year absence in January 2014, answering an SOS from Newmarket coach Nic Thorpe when Newmarket suffered an injury to their first choice keeper and the reserve keeper’s work commitments changed.

Since his return, Martin has helped Newmarket stabilise themselves in the league, with the first team finishing fourth in the last two seasons, and has represented Scotland at the European Championships. Now his children have grown up, he has the time he felt he wasn’t able to commit to the game when they were much younger and feels much better for being part of a social hockey club!

Next season, the club will be adding a third men’s team in the league. Newmarket will then have teams in divisions 3, 5 & 7 and will be able to offer a competitive level of hockey to those of all abilities, be they juniors just beginning to make their way in the game, or adults returning after a break similar to Martin! For more information, please see the club website at

Juniors – 2015/16 End of Season Report

Posted Posted in Club News, Juniors

Newmarket Hockey Club held their last junior training session of the season on Sunday 20th March at Newmarket Leisure Centre, with players aged 4-13 years enjoying some fun games and activities before the presentation of the annual end of season awards.
The junior section of the club has developed at a pace this season, with numbers attending weekly coaching growing from no more than 20 back in September to a regular 45, organised into the following age groups: U13, U10, U8 & U6.

The job of choosing the 2015-16 award winners was left to the coaches of the various age groups and there were some difficult choices to make, particularly in terms of most improved, with all of the players showing great progress throughout the season. Awards were presented to following though:

Star Player:
U13: Oliver Brown
U10: Millie Hansgate
U8: Jack Baker
U6: Kaiden Wood & Erin Bailey

Most Improved:
U13: Rebecca Marsh
U10: Alex Aitken & Romilly Findley
U8: Isabella Means & Sofia Worrall-Wood
U6: Poppy Frampton & Cosi Booth

Best Attendance:
U13: Henry Donkin
U10: Megan Malone & Amy Colins
U8: Melanie Benedikz
U6: Poppy Frampton

We have had a really good season and have been delighted by the numbers attending weekly coaching, all of the players have shown real improvement in their skills and game play. A particular well done to all of the award winners. Next season we hope to get more coaches involved and helping out with Sunday morning sessions so we can offer further age groups and get even more children playing hockey; they are the future of our club.

For more information visit or email

Week 22 Results – L1s Stay Up as Win Proves Not Enough for M2s

Posted Posted in Club News, Results

Newmarket Men’s 1s: 6-1 win vs Lowestoft Railway Men’s 1s (Away)
(Smith 3, Holden, Labuschagne, Wilson)

Newmarket’s final game of the season was to be a top of the table clash against the mighty Lowestoft Railway, a no-holds-barred battle for fourth place in what has been a tightly contested league this season. Several teams have struggled to maintain consistency and, while the big spenders faltered, smaller sides have taken the initiative and launched offensives up the rankings. There has been drama, disappointment, blood, sweat and tears; in short, nothing less than you would expect from the best league in the world. Why, then, the aforementioned actually decided to take place in Division 3NE is anyone’s guess.

Town rocked up at The Sandpit in a flurry of wind, rain and cigarette smoke – a sure sign that striker Jonny Bunker had earned himself another call up to the 1s. Weary from their long haul flight over, the squad trooped into the dressing room (which can be best described as ‘snug’) to find the sprightly figure of Captain Matt Holden lying in wait, brandishing a large kit bag. It quickly transpired that Newmarket’s loveable leader had either gone soft or put in a last ditch bid to win Player of the Season, as he had purchased his loyal followers a brand new 1st Team away kit – a fetching navy number with an elegant white trim – a strip that is truly befitting of a monarch, something that pleased King Louis Hrebeniak XVII so much, he had to have two bananas.

When the tropical fruit rations were fully depleted, Newmarket decided to go out and enjoy the British seaside weather by making some sandcastles. This plan quickly morphed into the construction of sand-dugouts, as there was no shelter, and then sand-hockey players, as there was no opposition.

Once the construction work had been completed, the Thinkerman gathered his troops into a tight huddle and set about explaining his tactical battle plan for the afternoon. Masterstroke after masterstroke followed as he outlined the genius strategy, but sadly I cannot repeat any of it here as then I’d have to kill you. It’s totally not because I can’t remember any of it. Honest.

Lowestoft took the pushback and then the lead shortly afterwards, the ball finding its way down Town’s left side before being expertly switched to the right by the home side’s point man. The recipient of this pass gleefully fired in a shot towards the far post, where it was deflected home superbly. 0-1, but if there was ever a time to break open the cliché dictionary, this was it. “They scored too early.”

Town quickly awoke and began to press forwards, having the best of the play through the centre and smuggling the ball into the opposing ‘D’ on a number of occasions. Newmarket’s full backs were the usual suspects with Darren Jenkins on the right and top scorer Will Wilson on the left, and they kept the opposition wingers in their pockets for the majority of the match, bombing forward and supporting the attack whenever possible. Perhaps fittingly, it was through the latter that Town equalised – Wilson stepped up to strike a Chris Leggett short corner and promptly buried it in the corner of the net, despite the best efforts of the home keeper. 1-1 the score.

Town’s next few attacks came down their left hand side, Dan Labuschagne on his 1st Team debut linking up well with Sam Smith, Hrebeniak and Wilson to create a few chances. Labuschagne nearly managed to put Newmarket ahead with a delightful reverse stick flick over the advancing keeper, but unfortunately it landed just the wrong side of the crossbar.

Then came Smith’s Gareth Bale-esque brilliance. Playing up top alongside Holden, he picked the ball up midway inside the Lowestoft half, kept the ball in play with a deft flick of his stick, beat three players, broke into the area and then daintily poked the ball past the keeper at his near post. 2-1, and possibly one of the goals of the season.

Lowestoft could obviously feel the game slipping away and attacked with renewed vigour, but they could find no way past the central defensive partnership of Jordan Newnes and Harrington – an affiliation that has proved extremely reliable this year. These two stony-faced hard men are seldom content with simply being the last line of defense and are often the first line of attack, picking out Holden and Bunker upon occasion with through balls. On the subject of last lines, special mention must go to Newmarket’s Scottish saviour, Martin McCourt. The Over 50s international showed his selectors that they made the wrong decision to call up his long lost brother Martin Mcourt for the World Cup, as he pulled off a number of excellent saves throughout the match. Then, he bought everyone beer afterwards! I know! Even Braveheart never did that!

At half time, the master tactician made a single change and brought on Ollie Trent, allowing King Louis the chance to nip to the shops and restock his supply of bananas. This instantly paid dividends as the Trent played a large part in the three goals that came within few minutes of the second half. The first came from that man Sam Smith who notched up his second with a powerful close range finish. Then, Labuschagne got in on the act with a brilliant debut goal, also from up close and personal with the flailing keeper. Finally, Smith obtained his hat trick and Trent’s work was done, leaving the field to a rapturous ovation from the assembled hordes. This had been one of his best games in Newmarket colours, although this was explained somewhat by the fact that Lowestoft U13 girls were warming up on the adjacent pitch.

Lowestoft tempers were beginning to fray, perhaps understandably when one considers the manner in which Town had snatched this game out of their grasp. Harrington, sniffing out an opportunity to get on the score sheet, rampaged forwards and found his way into the oppo ‘D’, but alas it was not to be and his tally stayed firmly stuck on ‘1’ for the season. As the opposition counter-attacked, Harrington wheeled around and thundered back down the pitch in the direction of his own goal, completing his little jaunt up pitch in the record time of less than ten minutes.

Holden was able to add the icing on the cake just before the final whistle when he burst forwards, rounded the keeper, took the ball back out to the edge of the ‘D’ (simply tapping in would have been far too easy for the great man) and then unleashed a thunderbolt into the unguarded net. 6-1, and game over shortly afterwards. Town go out on a high and a secure a very respectable 4th spot finish. Job done.

MOTM – Jointly goes to Sam Smith, for a superb hat trick and contribution in his last game for Town, and Dan Labuschagne for the complete debut performance in the centre of the park. A 1st Team regular for years to come, it seems.

DOTD – Simon Harrington for being late and, latterly, not there at all. However, I should like to take this opportunity to point out that I am in no way affiliated with this decision being reached and distance myself from it entirely. Also, I would like to say that Newnes has very nice hair. That is all. See you next season!

Above: Newmarket 1s demo their new away kit. Back row L-R: Sam Smith, Will Wilson, Matt Holden (C), Simon Harrington, Dan Labuschagne, Jonny Bunker. Front row: Darren Jenkins, Chris Leggett, Martin McCourt (GK), Jordan Newnes, Ollie Trent, Louis Hrebeniak.

Newmarket Men’s 2s: 2-1 win vs I-ES Men’s 4s (Home)
(Blades, Hosegood)

There are times in a team’s history when legend is made, when the record books are rewritten and luminaries are born. When seemingly normal men step onto a hockey pitch, proudly wearing the gold and navy of Newmarket Hockey Club, and are transformed from mere flesh and bone into mettle; a team of daring, audacity and resolve, a team that will be remembered in the mists of time for its moral fibre, courage and relegation from Division 4NE.
It all came down to the final game of the season with the M2s sat just above the relegation zone on nothing more than goal difference and a prayer. Last week’s team prayers that flight TAP-666 to Cap Verde would be cancelled were not answered and so the team prepared to play without the legendary leadership of Captain Drew Wood. Club accountants had been up all night working out the permutations, the results of which were summarised by Vice Captain Adrian Atkinson, “We need a win.” But more than that, the team also needed Ipswich 3s to lose against Norwich Dragons. But this seemed a certainty as they had previously been thumped 6 nil. So all we needed was a win!
The team gathered for their warm up, Atkinson looking lively, full of beans and keen to share pearls of hockeytastic wisdom. The IES players began to arrive and the psychological games started. They were dressed in black as if attending someones funeral! Moments later a low rumbling sound could be heard from Exning Road. The mix of screeching metal on metal and wood against tarmac grated on the nerves like fingernails drawn down a blackboard and yet, above the clatter of poorly maintained mechanics, a melody drifted on the breeze. As this unearthly contraption came into view it was immediately recognisable as a Trojan Horse and the music blaring from the drivers side window? It was George Formby on his famous ukulele singing ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows.’ A Trojan Horse is never good news but George brought a tear to this correspondents eye with memories of smoggy Manchester nights, Brown ale and steak and kidney pudding and chips. By gum! But as the drivers door opened, the mood changed and the music took a more sinister tone as ‘Making Your Mind Up’ by Bucks Fizz broke the nostalgic spell. And from the Trojan Horse stepped treachery, the likes of which had never been seen before. A hush fell across the crowd as the realisation set in; we’d be playing against Ollie ‘The Saboteur’ Wade, scorer of 2 goals this season for IES 1s!
For the biggest game this season, the M2’s lined up with Seth Bailey in goal, Peter Booth, Andy Baker, Adrian Atkinson and Mark ‘Arsenal’ Pears across the back, Marc ‘Mungo’ Prentice, James ‘Tag’ McTaggart, James Atkinson and Harry Bell in midfield, and with Lee ‘Budda’ Blades and William Hosegood up front. Oscar Kenny was the twelfth man used on a regular basis. The game began at a frantic pace both teams showing they meant business and both playing some great hockey. Newmarket found a new level this week and perhaps played with the most intensity we’ve seen all season. Several chances went missing, both Hosegood and Budda blasting over the bar and calling on the IES keeper to make some good saves. Both sides had penalty corners but neither could convert and it wasn’t until late in the first half that the first goal was scored. Newmarket won a free hit just outside the IES 23m line and up stepped Baker to take the free hit. A gentle tap to the right created the angle he was looking for and he drilled the ball through the top of the ‘D’ to the waiting Hosegood on the penalty spot. The ball took a deflection and Hosegood flicked the ball on the reverse stick towards goal. The keeper managed to get a pad on it but not enough to keep it out and Newmarket took a deserved 1:0 lead into the half time break.
The second half was more of the same from both teams as the game continued at a pace. Newmarket had lost the game in Ipswich and with the threat of relegation on the minds of all players, the team was digging deep. More chances were created especially for Budda who, in his inimitable style, continued to battle through various knocks, hamstrings, bruises, flu, chicken pox and other life long ailments, like the trooper he is. Midway through the second half IES opened the Newmarket defence like a tin of Prince’s sardines in tomato sauce; a neat move of short, sharp passes leaving Bailey helpless to prevent the equaliser. This was a testing time for Newmarket. Heads could have dropped but no, not today. Today was for heroes, legends and fireside stories of the future with Grandchildren and a cup of Horlicks. Newmarket continued to battle and more than held their own. Tag, young Atkinson and Bell combined well, threatening the IES ‘D’ on many occasions while keeping ‘The Saboteur’ neatly wrapped up and out of harms way. Kenny too brought options on the left showing a new found confidence and determination which bodes well for the future. The back four controlled the game for periods using the width well, waiting patiently for space to open up. When it did, with about 5 minutes to go, Budda received the ball to the right of the IES goal, dribbled left to round the keeper who was pressing him and had to lay it even further wide, almost out of reach, before diving at full stretch and taking the ball on the reverse stick to slot it home. The crowd went berserk as they sang their hearts out for the lads, “Town are staying up, Town are staying up.” The last 5 minutes were tense but Newmarket had done enough to secure all the points as the final whistle blew and bar some miracle for Ipswich 3’s, to remain in Division 4NE.
The bombshell dropped as the other results came through. Ipswich had beaten Norwich Dragons 9:0! A total of 57 goals this season and 16% of them come in the last game to secure their place in the league at the expense of Newmarket. There was disappointment but pride at the way we had played in the last game, and judging by the photos taken at the celebratory night out later that evening, the disappointment was soon forgotten.

Said photo supplied ;o)

Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 3-1 win vs Pelicans Ladies’ 1s (Away)
(Cockeril, G. Evans, McDonnell)

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-1 loss vs Bury St Edmunds Ladies’ 3s (Away)

Above: The 2015/16 NHC Ladies’ 3s squad.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

NHC Juniors vs Thetford Juniors – Tournament Report

Posted Posted in Club News, Juniors

Newmarket Hockey Club Juniors have enjoyed a great season, with numbers attending training on Sunday mornings at Newmarket Leisure Centre doubling over the last 6 months. The club have made developing the junior section a priority for this season and are delighted to now have over 55 junior members, with players coached in age groups of U13, U10, U8 and U6.
Earlier in the season, all of the players enjoyed some friendly matches when the juniors from Ely and Cambridge Nomads visited Newmarket, but with fewer members then and less playing experience they found the going tough. They learnt from this though and, with the commitment they have shown to training, they have come on leaps and bounds since.
So, last weekend was a bit of a milestone when the U13 and U10 players their first competitive matches, travelling to Breckland Leisure Centre to take on Thetford Hockey Club Juniors.

The U13 squad, made up of girls and boys, played 7-a-side hockey on half a pitch. Playing together for the first time, the team played some fantastic hockey to record a convincing 8-2 victory.

The U10 teams played the England Hockey “Quicksticks” 4 a-side game, and with Newmarket fielding three teams and Thetford two, this enabled a round robin competition with all teams getting to play each other in quick matches of 5 minutes each way. All of the matches were contested in a great spirit with some impressive play and lots of goals giving the onlooking spectators something to cheer about. Newmarket Jockeys were the inform team on the day though, winning all 4 of their matches to finish as winners ahead of Newmarket Yellow, who won 4 out of 5 matches. In 3rd was Thetford 1 followed by Newmarket Blue in 4th and Thetford 2 in 5th.

This weekend is the last session of the season for the juniors, with some fun activities and games planned for all of the age groups before the presentation of the annual end of season awards. If you are interested in finding out more or joining NHC Juniors next season, you can check out the club website at or get in touch via email at

U13 Team

Georgia, Lucy, Annabel, Rebecca, Oliver, Felix, Hugh, Grace, Olivia, Henry & Victoria.

Newmarket Yellow

Megan, Sam, Alex A, Isabella & Millie.

Newmarket Blue

Hugh, Jack, Bridget, Tyrii & Lily.

Newmaket Jockeys
Toby, Alex, Alana, Romilly & Katie.

Week 21 Results – Wins for L1s & M1s as Wilson Hits Dragons for Six

Posted Posted in Club News, Fixtures

Newmarket Men’s 1s: 7-1 win vs Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s (Home)
(Wilson 6 [six], Holden)

Newmarket’s penultimate game of the season saw them face already-relegated Norwich Dragons 3s at home, a game that would nevertheless demand a good deal of focus and concentration from Town if they were to avoid an embarrassing slip up. During the pre-match chat, skipper Matt Holden made sure to emphasise this notion and carefully instructed the defence to not concede any goals at all. The less well informed members of Town’s considerable fan base may have thought this a tall order as Town’s back line was to be without the ever-present Jordan Newnes this week, but luckily Welsh folk hero Dave ‘wonkyfinger’ Worrall was available to make his long awaited comeback from a 14-month injury layoff. #WelcomeBackWorrall

However, things did not get off to a good start for Newmarket as the warm up was a lacklustre affair and took place with only half the team present. Further woes followed shortly after, as midfielder Mike Skelton suffered yet another reoccurrence of his groin injury, leaving Newmarket with a bare XI. Luckily for Town, Andy Baker was on hand to warm the bench following his match for the 2s that morning, and later came on at right wing for his 1st team debut.

This injury led to Town’s loveable leader altering the formation in the spellbinding fashion that only he can, moving Sam Smith into what has been dubbed ‘The Skelton Role’ and complimenting a backbone of defensive stalwart Chris Leggett and midfield maestro Josh Dawson. Ollie Trent started wide right while, in his second game that day, Louis Hrebeniak attempted to play the mythical position of left half once again. The back line consisted of the usual suspects as Darren ‘MOTM’ Jenkins, Simon ‘Boom Boom’ Harrington & William ‘God’ Wilson took their accustomed positions, while some new chap named Worrall lined up in the heart of defence. Finally, the master tactician made the genius and controversial decision to play Martin ‘The Scottish Mignolet’ McCourt betwixt the sticks in a last ditch bid to get free tickets to the World Cup.

The match started with Newmarket playing into the sun (a purposeful decision I am reliably informed – who am I to argue with the Thinkerman) and having the best of the opening passages. However, very little progress was made into the opposing ‘D’ and Town’s defence was called on to be as solid as it has been all season, Worrall playing as if he’d never been away and sweeping up everything Dragons could throw at him. The away side pushed hard down the flanks and forced Smith to shift across and assist the wingers and full backs, a task he performed superbly and much to the appreciation of the partisan crowd lining the home touchline. Chances were few and mainly stemmed from the runs of Smith and Dawson. Harrington was also able to Boom Boom a couple of passes (if they can be described as such) forward and once managed to pick out Hrebeniak at the far post, but unfortunately the winger’s stick somehow developed a massive hole in the tip and the ball went straight through and wide of the net. Perhaps it had been weakened by all that sunbathing…

The umpires were kept busy throughout the half as a result of a varying range on infringements, and eventually Town won a number of short corners. The crowd roared, Harrington Boom Boomed, and then Wilson emphatically crashed home his 11th goal of the season. A trademark strike from the experienced left back to give Town a 1-0 lead, and settle any nerves that an upset might be on the cards.

Newmarket’s second goal soon followed in the form of a stonewall penalty flick – up stepped Wilson once again, he took one look at the keeper and then almost took the net off, a thunderbolt into the top left corner. Half time score, 2-0 to the home side.

At this point someone must have told Wilson that he was now only one goal behind Holden’s tally for the season, and after the restart it didn’t take him long to bag his hat trick from another short corner. Leggett injected and the Norwich defensive five had no answer to Wilson’s superlative strike into the bottom left corner. However, such is the character of the man that he wasn’t satisfied with merely equalling his captain’s total, and so he notched up his fourth from a second penalty flick shortly afterwards. Holden had initially attempted to regain his lead of the goal scoring charts by bursting through the Dragons back line and jinking past the sliding keeper, but ended up handing Wilson the very same opportunity when he was hauled down by a combination of dodgy defenders and an irate keeper. The umpires consulted briefly and awarded the flick, perhaps saving Norwich the futile task of charging down yet another Wilson short corner bullet. Up stepped the great man once more and he coolly dispatched the ball into exactly the same spot as the first. Wilson 4, Dragons 0.

Now, Holden was not about to take this unbridled affront to his character lying down and made a push to regain his grip on the top scorer trophy by slotting neatly past the Dragons keeper. However, before he could do anything else he was shown the yellow card by the nearside umpire (who was later seen having his shirt signed by Wilson). The game descended into a bad tempered affair for a short while and saw several more players shown both yellows and greens, notably Town’s Harrington for a glorious professional foul as he wielded his Griffin like a chainsaw. At this point we also learnt that apparently Norwich-dwellers have no concept of the word “corner”…

Holden returned to the pitch set on regaining his pride (if not the trophy) and so decided to take on the entire Norwich defence a few minutes later. He beat one. He beat two. He beat three. He was in on goal. In such a situation, a lesser man may have buckled under pressure and passed the ball to Smith (who incidentally had an open goal at his mercy), but did Town’s fearless leader release? No! Passing is for wimps and fools and those of a nervous disposition, says he! The high commander unleashed his shot with vigour; it flew towards the gaping goalmouth, past the defenders, past the keeper, past the post… And went wide, closely followed by his chances of becoming top scorer and not receiving DOTD.

As if to emphasise this fact, Wilson chose that moment to score again. The ball broke to him after yet another short corner and he fired home with the clinical edge of a man that likes being clinical. Minutes later, Holden begrudgingly accepted Wilson’s greater class on the day and graciously squared the ball to him, providing the ample left back with a tap in for his sixth and final goal. Job done. We almost don’t need to mention the sloppy consolation goal for Dragons. That is to say, when you score six goals and break most of the records there are to break, nobody remembers the one you concede. But I do. And it’s all Wilson’s fault. Entirely.

Final score on the day, Newmarket 7, Norwich 1. #WonWillWilson

MOTM – This one must be fairly obvious! Congratulations to Will Wilson on his fantastic tally of six goals (or four if your preferred numerical system is similar to Worrall’s). Keep spreading the love…

DOTD – Holden for not passing to Smith and instead attempting to score himself (and failing, alas). At this point it’s probably worth mentioning that the skipper did actually have first dibs on the penalty flicks but, like the gentleman he is, allowed nominated taker Wilson to bang them in. Top work all round.

Newmarket Men’s 2s: 1-2 loss vs Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s (Away)

Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 2-1 win vs Long Sutton Ladies’ 1s (Hone)
(G. Evans 2)

Above: Claire McDonnell runs with the ball in the L1’s vital win at home to Long Sutton.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-5 loss vs Huntingdon Ladies’ 1s (Away)

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 1-3 loss vs Cambridge City Ladies’ 5s (Home) (Carr)

Above: Newmarket defend a short corner under the watchful eye of umpire Vicky Benedikz.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.