16 March 2016

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

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.

| Posted in Club News, Fixtures | Comments Off on Week 21 Results – Wins for L1s & M1s as Wilson Hits Dragons for Six
16 March 2016

- Thetford Junior Tournament

Great morning with the juniors over at Thetford playing our first competitive matches. The U12s won their match convincingly and the three U10s teams in the photo also won most of their matches!! Good morning all round!

Thanks to everyone who helped.


Junior Coordinator

| Posted in Club News, Juniors | Comments Off on Thetford Junior Tournament
10 March 2016

- 2015/16 End of Season Dinner & Dance – LAST CALL

This week is the last week for menu choices and money to be handed in to secure your place.


You are invited to our End of Season Dinner and Dance. It will be held on Saturday 16th April, arrival at 19:00 for a 19:30 sit down.

This year we return to the Astley Club in Newmarket for our 3 course meal, award ceremony, drinks and a whole lot of dancing.

Please download the menu using the link below and hand it in to Social Secretary Loren Davenport as soon as possible. Cost per person this year is £35.

Click here to download the menu (.docx).

We look forward to seeing you there and celebrating another great season.

| Posted in Club News | Comments Off on 2015/16 End of Season Dinner & Dance – LAST CALL
10 March 2016

- Junior Fixtures – Sunday 13th March

Dear All,I just wanted to confirm arrangements for this coming Sunday 13th March.

Our youngest players will train at Newmarket Leisure Centre as normal with Vicky Benedikz and Peter Booth taking the U6 group and William Wilson and Dave Worrall leading the U8’s.

The U12 squad and three U10 teams will be playing in some friendly matches against Thetford Juniors at Breckland Leisure Centre, thankyou to everyone that has confirmed their availability. Final details below:

Where: You can find the club address and a map to the pitch here.

When: 10.15 meet for a 10.30 start. We will be finished by 12noon at the latest.

What to bring: Stick, gum shield, shin pads, drink.

What to wear: NHC polo shirt & navy/black shorts/skirt/bottoms. Plus warm clothes to wear whilst not playing. We will provide all players with yellow hockey socks to wear on the day.

If you have any problems on the day you can contact me on my mobile at 07736 458012.

Finally a reminder that the following week, Sunday 20th March will be our final Sunday morning session of the season with some fun activities and games planned for all age groups plus followed by the presentation of our end of season awards.

Thanks and I will see most of you in Thetford on Sunday.

Junior Coordinator

| Posted in Club News, Fixtures, Juniors | Comments Off on Junior Fixtures – Sunday 13th March
9 March 2016

- Week 21 Results – Narrow Defeats for L1s & M2s While M1s Emerge Victorious

Newmarket Men’s 1s: 3-2 win vs Pelicans Men’s 2s (Away)
(Holden 2, Smith)

This weekend brought Newmarket’s third-to-last fixture of the season, an away leg in sunny Kings Lynn and to the Pelicans team contained within. As Town’s hardy bunch of blue & yellow encrusted representatives wound their way through the idyllic concrete council estates and occasional hooded rogue, they reflected upon the side awaiting them in this land of hope, glory, and baggy grey tracksuit bottoms.

Much like their short corner tactics, Newmarket arrived at the dressing room in a series of waves. First came the solid defenders, then the nimble wingers, the stalwart goalie, the midfield general, the skilful strikers, and finally Simon Harrington. This left plenty of time for the early arrivals to sample the various facilities of the away dressing room, including a sauna (complete with single occupant doing lobster impression), tanning cubicle and several showers ranging from IES to Felixstowe temperatures. What a club!

The pitch at Pelicans is famously further from the dressing rooms than most of Norwich Dragons’ away matches are from their home ground, so the first wave had time for a quick 5-a-side tournament before Captain Matt Holden, Will “It’s ok, I’m here!” Wilson and Johnny “chimney” Bunker actually got there.

The game began with Pelicans on the front foot, forcing Newmarket to play on the break for the vast majority of the match. It soon became apparent that this game would be won or lost in the Newmarket half with Pelicans adopting a formation that, while strengthening them up top, left them light at the back. Therefore they would be vulnerable to the counter attack and this was soon proven, Town taking the league through a Smith tap-in at the far post after good work in the middle from Harry Bell, Holden and Mike “I hit so hard my stick breaks” Skelton. Unfortunately for Newmarket, that was not all Skelton had broken, and he soon had to come off with a reoccurrence of a groin strain he picked up in a friendly against St Ives earlier this season. His more than able replacement from the bench was Bunker, who temporarily swapped his cigarette for a hockey stick and put in a battling performance up top.

Despite excellent defending from Jordan Newnes and Harrington in the middle, Pelicans were able to equalise soon after. The umpires then began to dish out green cards like they were going out of fashion, several Pelicans players and both Holden and Chris Leggett getting to know the extremities of the pitch a little better while they did time in the sin bin.

The main threat for Newmarket was coming from the full backs in Darren Jenkins and Wilson, both rampaging forward and creating chances for the forwards. Notable were chances for Smith and a diving Louis Hrebeniak, the former dragging his shot narrowly wide after good play from Holden and the latter not quite able to turn home a Jenkins cross to the far post. Smith was then presented with another decent chance but was unfortunately unable to convert, so the half time whistle blew with the score at 1-1.

The second half proceeded in much the same manner as the first, Newmarket playing on the break with pace and looking to overload the short-handed Pelicans defence. However, Pelicans were dangerous going forward with their extra attacker and special mentions must go to Town keeper Martin McCourt and the back line of Jenkins, Harrington, Newnes & Wilson for their superb defensive work. This was emphasised when Bell took a free hit quickly, worked it forward via Smith, it found its way to Holden who placed the ball under the keeper to secure a 2-1 lead. Soon after, it was very nearly three as Leggett’s deflected cross was narrowly missed by the flying Hrebeniak for the second time that afternoon – the winger ending up in the back of the net but unfortunately not followed by the ball.

Finally, it was 3; Hrebeniak exchanged passes with Wilson who drove the ball up the line to Holden. The captain used his lightning pace to skin two defenders, before dribbling into the ‘D’ and almost apologetically leathering the ball past the keeper and against the backboard. 3-1, an Atkinson-esque finish. But while most players would go looking for hat trick at this juncture, Town’s lovable leader decided to give everyone else a chance and earned himself a 10-minute yellow for not retreating fully five yards. Pelicans began to press with renewed vigour and quickly pulled one back before winning a number of short corners. The back line was, once again, superb in denying Pelicans a point, Harrington with a brilliant goal line clearance and Jenkins mopping up several late runners. Bunker held the ball up well as a lone striker and finally the last whistle blew, Newmarket running out deserved 3-2 winners for the second week running.

MOTM – Something of a confusion over this, but probably either Newnes or Harrington.

DOTD – Smith for missing a couple of – there’s no nice way of putting this, even concerning a Pak associate – gilt-edged chances.

Newmarket Men’s 2s: 3-4 loss vs Pelicans Men’s 3s (Home)
(J. Atkinson 2, Pears)

Not sure what it is about hockey in East Anglia, but there seems to be an awful lot of birds flapping around. The M2s welcomed a ‘sedge’ of Cranes to Newmarket for their last home game and this week it was a ‘pod’ of Pelicans along with a distinct smell of fish. The last time Newmarket played Pelicans, the game was played on a ‘slip date’ in Kings Lynn. On that day when Pelicans 1’s and 2’s were sat around with nothing to do other than a spot of preening or to play for the 3s, Newmarket struggled against a far better side and lost 4:0. Today’s game was a different proposition and many of the players arriving at Newmarket Leisure Centre, we hadn’t spotted before, perhaps they were on a migratory flight? This was a critical game for Newmarket as the season draws to a close with the team just outside the relegation zone on goal difference and the players were desperate for a win. From the push back it was clear this was not the same pod of Pelicans and Newmarket soon found a rhythm, settling into some great hockey. The starting line up included a mid-field of Drew Wood, Dan Labuschagne, Josh Dawson and James Atkinson who combined well and provided great service to forwards Lee ‘Budda’ Blades and Mark ‘Arsenal’ Pears. It wasn’t long before the early dominance of the game paid off for Newmarket. Following an exchange of some neat passes, Budda broke into the ‘D’ drawing the keeper out and selflessly passed to his right where Arsenal was waiting to guide the ball home. Not much later, the Newmarket defence were called upon. The back four of Adrian Atkinson, Andy Baker, John Benedikz and Marc ‘Mungo’ Prentice were soon put under Pelican pressure and keeper Laurence Chapman was beaten to make it 1 apiece. The rest of the first half was a very evenly fought contest, the key difference being that Pelicans converted their chances and Newmarket did not. Subs. William Hosegood and Peter Booth were regularly rotated to keep players as ‘fresh’ as possible and Hosegood almost scored a second for Newmarket, but the ball hit the post and went wide. There was no shortage of effort from the team and there were some exceptional moments, not least of which was seeing right back Adrian Atkinson in the Pelicans ‘D’ having a shot on goal. However, while Newmarket notched up countless chances of adding to their tally, Pelicans were far more clinical in front of goal and added a further 2 goals before half time.
There was no despondency at the half time break. The team knew they had played some excellent hockey and the game was far from over. Atkinson senior even managed to get back from his foray into attack in time for the restart as Newmarket upped their game even further. James Atkinson continued to cause the Pelicans defence all sorts of problems and his work rate was soon rewarded. He drove into the Pelicans ‘D’ wide on the right and slammed a shot across the keeper into the bottom left hand corner. Now at 3:2, Newmarket sensed the game was turning in their favour and they continued to create chances. It was young Atkinson that later added to his tally and equalised for Newmarket, earning himself MoM in the process. He picked up the ball from a poor Pelicans clearance around the 23m line and drove the ball back towards the top of the ‘D’ where he was met by a defender. Atkinson turned his back to the defender, stepped right and then quickly back to his left pulling the ball into the ‘D’ creating enough space to get his shot away. The ball took a slight deflection on its way but it found the net and Newmarket’s celebrations showed just how important that goal was. The team had a point but wanted all 3 and continued to press hard, perhaps playing a little too high as legs started to tire. It was Pelicans that were to have the last laugh as their experienced midfielder broke into the Newmarket ‘D’ taking the ball to the right of goal but deftly flicking over the outcoming keeper, the ball nestling into the left side of the net. With only a few minutes remaining Newmarket were left gutted by the final result in what was perhaps one of the best team performances this season. Budda picked up DoD for not getting on the score sheet and the pressure continues to mount with only 2 games remaining to avoid relegation.

Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 0-1 loss vs St Neots Ladies’ 1s (Away)

This week Newmarket faced St Neots 1s away. It was a closely fought match and Newmarket went down a goal after the first 15 minutes, then pushed to try and level before half time.

Beth Wombwell received a great pass from Kerry Alderson to fire just wide and there was some good play pushing forward by the team.

After half time, Newmarket pushed forward again and again, creating plenty but falling short of a goal. Newmarket had 4 short corners which they couldn’t capitalise on.

Nothing went Newmarket’s way and the decisions were somewhat in St Neots’ favour on many occasions!

Newmarket were playing some promising hockey in the second half and unlucky not to get a point.

Man of the Match went to Grace Evans who had some great touches.

Two games to go!!! Come on 1’s….. We can do this to stay in this division.

Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-15 loss vs Bourne Deeping Ladies’ 1s (Home)

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 1-6 loss vs Cambridge South Ladies’ 2s (Away) (Smith)

Above: Newmarket celebrate after Laura Smith slams home.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

| Posted in Club News, Results | Comments Off on Week 21 Results – Narrow Defeats for L1s & M2s While M1s Emerge Victorious
8 March 2016

- Trophy Return for End Of Season

Dear All,

We need to get all Trophies / Shields engraved later this month, in time for the End of Season Dinner & Awards evening, and so I would like to ask everyone who received an award last season to return them to me at your earliest convenience. The list of people are as follows:

Player of the Season: Michael Skelton
Most Improved: James McTaggart
Top Goal Scorer: Michael Skelton

Player of the Season: Alex Andreou
Most Improved: Damian Rompkowski
Top Goal Scorer: Alex Andreou

Player of the Season: Faye Andreou / Tania Fisher
Most Improved: Loren Davenport / Donna Keates
Top Goal Scorer: Claire McDonnell

Player of the Season: Rebecca Bunning / Tracey Cockeril
Most Improved: Olivia Haste
Top Goal Scorer: Cassie Ayms

Player of the Season: Helen Hansgate
Most Improved: Claire Spiers
Top Goal Scorer: Bea Jones

I will try to attend all remaining training sessions and collect them that way, but please let me know if you can’t make any of them.

If you didn’t pick up your Trophy / Shield, then please let me know as soon as possible so we can try and locate them.

Kind regards,
Jordan Newnes

| Posted in Club News, Ladies, Men | Comments Off on Trophy Return for End Of Season
1 March 2016

- Week 20 Results – Home Points for M1s & L1s

Newmarket Men’s 1s: 3-2 win vs Norwich City Men’s 3s (Home)
(Atkinson, Skelton, Wilson)

This week, Newmarket Men’s 1s faced Norwich City 3s and had the opportunity to knock the visitors off top spot in the league – an occurrence that would go down extremely well in Town’s ranks due to the manner in which the previous meeting unfolded.

Newmarket’s confidence had an early knock when, as the team barrelled through the car park on their pre-match warm up, experienced centre back Simon Harrington appeared, took one look at the assembled squad, then inquired of Captain Matt Holden, “Is that it?”. In fact, that was not “it”, as the customary session of “Where’s Wilson?” was still to take place before pushback – surprisingly, Walker Books is yet to cash in on this excellent publishing opportunity.

With a slightly depleted squad available for selection due to injuries and other commitments, Town’s shaven-headed tactical mastermind had picked a more-than-capable team of 12, including debutante goalkeeper Laurence Chapman. The “Tinkerman” (or on this week’s evidence, “Thinkerman”…) also made the decision to revert to a tried-and-tested 4-4-2 formation, although this choice caused consternation among certain younger members of the squad as they had no idea where a left half was supposed to play. Fortunately though, in the case of Louis “strong like bear” Hrebeniak, this was of little consequence as he just plays left back anyway.

Newmarket looked good from the outset and soon settled in as the better side, playing some excellent short passing moves but failing to capitalise on a decent amount of possession in and around the opposing ‘D’. However, Norwich were dangerous on the break and at one point managed to outpace the solid defensive line of Darren Jenkins, Jordan Newnes, Harrington & Will Wilson, only to be thwarted by a superb sliding save from Chapman. Perhaps buoyed by this chance, Norwich began to grow into the game and only the best efforts of Town’s back four kept the score at nil-nil.

It was now Newmarket’s turn to play on the break and they did so with gusto, Sam Smith and Mike Skelton dropping deep before driving the ball forward, exchanging passes with Holden, “snap like twig” Hrebeniak and Chris Leggett as they went. Through some excellent movement off the ball Town managed to create a handful of chances, but these were well stopped by “Shrek” in the Norwich goal. Newmarket then resorted to winning penalty corners, rotating the striker and stopper but alas the ball flew narrowly wide on each occasion.

At last, Town made the breakthrough, in the shape of a trademark piece of skill from the returning James Atkinson. After some good play down the left hand side, the ball found its way to Holden who picked out Atkinson just outside the ‘D’. The striker jinked past his man with a neat flick and broke into the semicircle before unleashing a fizzing strike low into the backboard. 1-0 and a well-deserved lead.

Now Newmarket’s duck was broken, the second goal was not long in arriving; the ball was injected to an unlikely stopper in Leggett, he did his job to perfection and the resulting strike was deflected in by Skelton at the far post. The half time whistle blew with Newmarket 2-0 to the good, an excellent half from the yellow and blue machine.

The second half saw the introduction of youngster Ollie Trent at what may have been left half, replacing “cool like IES showers” Hrebeniak. Norwich continued to be a threat on the break and Chapman was called upon to leave the comfort of his goal on several more occasions, flattening a delightful catalogue of City forwards. However, at once such juncture, Norwich were alert to his methods and managed to sneak the ball past him, only to find the excellent Newnes positioned on the goal line to block.

Then, after more end-to-end stuff, things turned sour. The game, which had threatened handbags on a couple of occasions, ground to a halt as a shoving match erupted on the Newmarket 25 yard line. Sticks whirled, a Norwich player hit the deck and Harrington began to trundle towards the fray, but alas the distance was too great so he sent Wilson instead.

The end result was a 5-minute-yellow for a Norwich player and a 10-minute-yellow each (I risked life and limb to determine this information –L) for Leggett and Newnes. Unfortunately this left Newmarket short at the back so Hrebeniak was reintroduced in place of Trent, who was unlucky to come off but an extra defender was alas needed to reinforce Town’s back line. The game was now 9 v 10 and then 9 v 11, and although the home side defended valiantly, a shot that was initially blocked by a defender and then the keeper fell to a City striker who coaxed the ball home. 2-1.

Once Newnes and Leggett were back on the pitch, Newmarket began to push for a 3rd to put the game beyond doubt. After some well fought play in both halves, Town were awarded another short corner. Up stepped Wilson and in went the goal, a resounding strike low into the corner. 3-1 and what could have been game over, but credit must go to City for not lying down and managing to pull a late goal back after a handful of short corners. This proved no more than a consolation however, as the final whistle blew and Newmarket ran out deserved winners from an exciting and tightly contested game. Final score, 3-2 to the blue and yellow machine.

MOTM – Laurence Chapman. For his excellent 1v1 (and at one juncture, 3v1) skills and general Manuel Neuer attitude. Also may have something to do with Chapman junior supplying the squad with buns after the final whistle.

DOTD – Opposition number 11 (or it might have been 8). The less said about this, the better.

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

A beautiful spring day welcomed Newmarket to the great facilities on offer at the Sportspark in Norwich, home to the University of East Anglia. For our drivers, there will be a few sleepless nights  for the next couple of weeks as the local constabulary were out in force on the A11.  With their fast acting laxative radar guns hidden around fast bends there were several squeaky bum moments. Things didn’t improve much on arrival either as the previous game was running late by about 15 minutes. It soon became apparent that the words “organisation” and “student” were never meant for the same sentence. For a while it seemed UEA had a team of only 8 players, but presumably as hangovers subsided and legovers were completed, the rest of the team staggered together (those were the days my friend!). The umpires too were an unbalanced mix with one at 7ft 4ins and the other 4ft 7 ins and for a while it seemed as though they had forgotten their whistles as the game was about 10 minutes old before one was heard.
Martin McCourt made his debut in goal for the 2s this season, as did Chris Evans in midfield. The back line whose job it would be to keep these young, fit, skillful students at bay was Marc ‘Mungo’ Prentice, Andy Baker, John Benedikz and Peter Booth. Alongside Evans in the midfield was Captain Drew Wood, Daniel Labuschagne and Johnny Bunker while the fast paced, often canny attack was provided by Lee ‘Budda’ Blades and Mark ‘Arsenal’ Pears. Subs Rory Podd and Oscar Kenny made regular and important contributions to the game.
Despite starting the game with only 10 players after the previous nights debauchery, UEA were still able to mount deep and penetrating attacks and it was only a matter of 10 minutes before they took the lead. Having lost 6:0 to UEA at home, Newmarket were keen to minimise the damage and the team worked hard carving out their own opportunities. Several times the umpires needed to have a tete a tete to discuss what they hadn’t seen in reference to rules they didn’t know and somehow make a decision that didn’t result in a riot. Luckily both teams saw the humour in the situation and the game was good spirited throughout. Budda and Pears combined well up front and put the UEA keeper to work, but we just could not find the net. Now at full strength, UEA continued to pressure Newmarket with some good passing combinations and it wasn’t long before a second and third goal were added before half time.
Having lost the first half 3 nil, Newmarket were looking for a better team performance in the second half. Possession was retained longer and Newmarket started to look more settled on the ball and began to string a few more passes together. Youngsters Podd and Kenny played well, both gaining valuable match time at Senior level and looking more comfortable when in possession. Midway through the second half, Newmarket won a free hit about 27m out from the UEA goal. It was drilled into the ‘D’ by Baker with Swiss precision straight towards goal and Budda showed the most amazing foresight and intuition (which is the hallmark of his game) to get the slightest of edges on the ball, deflecting it perfectly past the flailing keeper. Budda peeled away celebrating in his usual Cockney Rhyming slang that only he understands, but the words Donald Duck and James Blunt were heard.
If Newmarket were hoping for a late come back, it wasn’t to be and UEA responded with a strong attack straight from the restart. They managed to cut through the defence leaving McCourt stranded off his line and the UEA forward only a metre out poised to slot the ball in on the left hand side. Out of the blue, and always the last man standing on the goal line, Mungo appeared in a magical puff of Marlboro smoke and blocked the shot, perfectly turning it round the post for a long corner and securing the MoM award. The young striker was gob smacked but UEA had the last laugh as they scored a very well worked fourth goal shortly before time.
Newmarket took a little comfort from a 1:1 draw in the second half but the damage was done in the first. Still only 2 points separating the bottom 5 teams in Div 4 and Newmarket just outside the drop zone on goal difference, the last 3 games of the season will need resolve and determination in what will be a nail biting finish.

Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 1-1 draw vs CoP Ladies’ 2s (Home)

Left: Newmarket celebrate after Cockeril levels the score. Right: Keeper Sue Bullimore smothers a shot as her team back up.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-12 loss vs Cambridge South Ladies’ 1s (Away)

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-5 loss vs Cambridge Nomads Ladies’ 2s (Home)

Above: Newmarket defend a short corner.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

| Posted in Club News, Results | Comments Off on Week 20 Results – Home Points for M1s & L1s
23 February 2016

- Week 19 Results – M3s Play Inaugural Friendly as L3s Win Comfortably

Newmarket Men’s 1s & 2s combo: 0-1 friendly loss vs St Ives Men’s 2s, 3s & 4s combo (Away)

Team: Bailey (GK), Prentice, Wilson, Hrebeniak, Pears, Wood, Dawson (C), Labuschagne, J. Atkinson, Skelton, Bunker, Evans, Wade.

MOTM – Labuschagne (Dan the man) for a solid midfield performance. Unfamiliar centre-half pairing Hrebeniak and Wilson came in second with a couple of votes each.

DOTD – James Atkinson for missing an open goal after a dubious shot/pass from Ollie Wade. Clean through, it was Atkinson v The Post, the latter coming out on top. DOTD was a surprisingly close run thing with Bunker coming in a close second, thanks to his wardrobe choice.

Newmarket Men’s 3s: 0-1 friendly loss vs St Ives Men’s 5s (Home)

February 20th 2016 will now be a date to go down in the long and distinguished history of Newmarket Hockey Club as the inauguration of the Men’s 3s. St. Ives were kind enough to travel to Newmarket Leisure Centre for this friendly, momentous occasion and although they did bring 7 wives, the sacks, cats and kits were all, thankfully, left at home. The opening ceremony was a grand affair, with moving speeches made by local dignitaries such as John Benedikz, and an impressive flypast courtesy of a couple of Red Sparrows.
St. Ives were a stronger team than we had expected, but it later became clear that some of their 3s had joined their squad of 12. But Newmarket held their own and it was a closely fought competition. Just getting back into the game after a long break, keeper Laurence Chapman was resplendent in his vibrantly coloured kit and made some great saves, enough to earn himself MoM. The defence was made up of Rory Podd, Captain John Benedikz, Simon Everitt and Henry Frost, who all held up well especially given this was the first time they had played a competitive game together in these positions. Midfield was made up of Peter Booth, Ollie Trent, Patrick Morris (also returning to competitive hockey after a long break) and Ben Atkinson while Jordan Walker and Oscar Kenny started up front. We were fortunate to have a 12th man in the shape of William Frost who was used on a regular basis.
The first half was very even although St. Ives did carve out several penalty corners for themselves, but these were defended well. The second half was much the same although about 10 minutes in, St. Ives played some nice passing hockey that split the defence and left keeper Chapman with no chance as the ball was slotted it. Newmarket did create some chances, perhaps the best going to Ollie Trent who beat a couple of players on a drive into the ‘D’ and managed to chip the ball over the keepers stick as he came out. There was an audible gasp in the crowd as a goal was expected, but the chip was a little heavy and ran out of play about a foot wide of the left upright.
Newmarket did manage to get the ball into the St. Ives net for what might have been an equaliser; the ball was drilled into the St. Ives ‘D’ by Morris and young Walker, momentarily grabbing his left thigh with both hands as if it were a hockey stick, managed to get his left foot under the ball and lift it perfectly over the keeper and into the goal. He peeled away to celebrate but Umpire Colin Seakins was having none of it as he shook his head, tut-tutting and signaling a free hit for St. Ives. Walker later picked up a few votes for DoD for his ‘antics’ but this accolade finally went to Rory Podd, who, despite having a good game, could have done so much better had he worn his Astros rather than carpet slippers. Still, at least he remembered his stick this time.
All considered, this was a good result for Newmarket and it was great to see so many younger players getting so much match time and experience. But there is work to do in areas such as fitness and positional awareness if we are to compete to the best of our ability. The younger players in particular acquitted themselves well, showed real determination and should be applauded as there were many positive signs of a successful season ahead. It will be critical now that the team and the club maintain this momentum with regular training as we go into Summer League, in preparation for the 2016/17 season and much to look forward to.

Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 2-4 loss vs Leadenham Ladies’ 2s (Home)
(Hansgate 2)

After travelling down on a frosty morning in mid January and seeing the game called off after just 10 minutes, Leadenham made the trip to Newmarket once again to face Town’s team. Although there was still a chill in the air, this time the match was able to be played out in full.

Newmarket started strong, with great possession and ball control, the play was much more evenly distributed between the two teams than other opponents they have faced in recent weeks. Despite some great defensive work from Faye Andreou, Jazz Freed, Phoebe Peacock and Jess Felton-Page, Leadenham were able to take an early lead, slipping the ball past keeper Jess Boyle. Undeterred, Newmarket took the push back and were soon able to equalise with some great 1-2 passing between Hannah Kelly and Helen Hansgate, who ultimately took a strike and scored. From this Hansgate made it two shortly afterwards, finishing the first half with Newmarket 2-1 up, something which has been a rarity this season. A half time talk saw them confident and ready to hold on to the lead, however Leadenham had also had a talking to and seemed to dig deep and came back fighting with a goal. Bea Jones playing up front for Newmarket made some great runs into the D, and at one point the keeper was drawn out and Kelly made a great pass to Jones to deflect it into the goal but the opportunity was missed. Leadenham then managed another 2 goals in the second half, bringing the final score to 4-2.

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 7-1 win vs Cambridge South Ladies’ 3s (Away) (Cockerill 4, Farrow, Hogg, Podd)

Above: Tracy Cockerill celebrates after slotting home her 4th goal.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

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18 February 2016

- 2015/16 End of Season Dinner & Dance


You are invited to our End of Season Dinner and Dance. It will be held on Saturday 16th April, arrival at 19:00 for a 19:30 sit down.

This year we return to the Astley Club in Newmarket for our 3 course meal, award ceremony, drinks and a whole lot of dancing.

Please download the menu using the link below and hand it in to Social Secretary Loren Davenport as soon as possible. Cost per person this year is £35.

Click here to download the menu (.docx).

We look forward to seeing you there and celebrating another great season.

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18 February 2016

- Week 18 Results – Wins for M1s, M2s & L1s

Newmarket Men’s 1s: 2-1 win vs North Norfolk Men’s 1s (Away)
(Holden, Skelton)

Newmarket Men’s 2s: 4-0 win vs Ipswich Cranes Men’s 1s (Home)
(Andreou 2, Blades 2)

Going into this game against Ipswich Cranes first team, there were only 5 matches remaining and Newmarket were second from bottom, staring into the abyss that is relegation. The significance of this game was lost on no one, least of all skipper, leader of men and goose bump inducing orator, Drew Wood. But once the Cranes had landed in a flurry of feathers and commenced nest building in the visitors dugout, we discovered their Captain was Will Smith! There was a quickening of pulses among the female fans at the side of the pitch as make up was touched up, but it soon became clear this was no ‘Hollywood A Lister’, but just a common Crane of the feathered variety.
Warm up complete, Wood mustered his troops together. He first answered a few questions about team tactics and his new mullet, and then launched into his Obamaesque state of the nation speech. It was rousing, motivating and once the spittle had been removed from the players faces, the clear, take home message was STAY ON THE PITCH. No doubt this sentiment was the result of the green and yellow cards seen in earlier games and the pin sharp intellect of a Captain that recognises the disadvantage of having players ‘sin binned.’
Having lost the away game 3:2 on the bouncy blue pitch that is anathema to the M2’s, a strong start was essential. And so it was as Newmarket took the game to the Cranes with such intensity that the pecking order was soon established. Looking resplendent in their golden yellow colours it wasn’t long before Newmarket were preening themselves whilst the blue and grey plumage of the Cranes looked drab and wilted. Ten minutes into the game some excellent attacking hockey resulted in a penalty corner and after a short huddle, Wood called the play as if ordering a Chinese takeaway. For the first time this season he yelled “69” (Crispy Crane in Plum Sauce) and we knew this would be something special. Up stepped Alex Andreou also sporting a new mullet, as stopper and striker whilst John Benedikz injected. Andreou looked to the skies calling upon his Greek forebears particularly Heracles that paragon of masculinity (ignore the mullet Heracles!). Now with molten steel running through his veins, Andreou stopped the perfect injection with one touch and drilled the ball into the net. It was a joyous climax to the perfect ‘69’ and Newmarket were in the lead.
Keeper Seth Bailey was well protected by a back four of Adrian Atkinson, John Benedikz, Andy Baker and Dave Worrall who combined well and created a near impenetrable wall of defence. They used the width well, often switching play and it was Worrall who found Wood on the left at the half way line. A single touch pass found Lee ‘Budda’ Blades to the left of the Cranes ‘D’ and his one touch pass found Will Hosegood on the right. Hosegood held onto the ball drawing the keeper while Budda composed himself ready for the return pass and when it came, his diving shot found the net to make it 2:0.
At half time Captain Wood asked for more of the same passing hockey as the team were controlling the game and he again reiterated the importance of everyone STAYING ON THE PITCH. The second half began with the same intensity and the Cranes struggled to get into the game. The midfield was dominated by Wood, Andreou, Dan Labuschagne and James ‘Tag’ McTaggart with James Atkinson and a visiting Alwyn ‘Jimmy’ Robinson as subs. When it came, the third goal was straight out of the text books with a dash of pure class. Jimmy picked up the ball at around the halfway mark and drove into the 23m area finding a perfect pass to Hosegood in the right of the ‘D’. Hosegood unselfishly drew the keeper and laid it off to Budda on the penalty spot to make it 3:0.
Although 3:0 up this had not been a walk in the park and the Cranes had no intention of migrating without a flight, sorry fight. Fatigue was beginning to set in and there were times when Captain Drew Wood looked disheveled with a strand of hair out of place. He appeared lightheaded, perhaps drunk on success as his running became laboured and he started to stumble over invisible obstacles. The stretcher bearers were already warming up expecting the worst when after what could be loosely described as a run down the left flank, Wood was blown up for an infringement and as he ran back to defend the free hit, he stumbled over the ball, ‘accidentally’ kicking it into touch. Had it not been for the cage it could have found its way onto Newmarket High Street! The umpire was none too pleased and flashed Wood a green card and what was to be DoD for his second green in 2 weeks and for not listening to the Captain’s instructions regarding STAYING ON THE PITCH.
Newmarket continued to dominate and with about 10 minutes to go Andreou went on a long apparently lazy run. Stick tackles rained in from left, right and centre as he approached the ‘D’ tracking from right to left along the top edge looking for a gap, the goal to his right. The umpires continued to allow the advantage until he was central opposite the goal and just inside the line. It was here that he unleashed a tomahawk that Tonto would have been proud of securing a 4:0 victory for the team and MoM for himself.
An extra 3 points to the campaign tally and a loss for bottom placed Ipswich 3’s opened up a small gap of 4 points and took Newmarket out of the drop zone on goal difference. The other results didn’t go in Newmarkets favour as Norwich Dragons and IES-4 both notched up wins. With 4 games remaining, it’s all to play for but for today, Newmarket were victorious against a team that arrived as Cranes and left as Pigeons and the visitors dugout looking like the bottom of a budgie cage.

Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 3-2 win vs Alford & District Ladies’ 1s (Home)
(Thomas 3)

Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-5 loss vs Spalding Ladies’ 2s (Home)

Newmarket Ladies 2s have been struggling this season with some very tough teams to beat, and this week was no different. With the weather looking miserable, the blue and yellows made their way onto the pitch with the determination to fight a good fight. Knowing they had yet another tough opponent, but with some more experienced faces in the team, they dug deep and showed Spalding what they were made of. Spalding took an early lead, working the ball past the defensive four of Hannah Rowley, Jess Felton-Page, Jazz Freed and the returning Faye Andreou. Their right forward was too quick for Rowley and managed to get round into the D before crossing the ball, and it was slipped behind goalie Jess Boyle. Despite some great defensive work from Newmarket, a misplaced foot from Zoe Bailey in the goal saw Spalding awarded a penalty flick, which resulted in a 2-0 lead. But Newmarket’s heads were up and they managed to play out the remainder of the first half with no more goals conceded, Bea Jones making some great runs up the right wing up to the attacking D. Unfortunately though, she was unable to convert these to a goal.

The second half saw Spalding score a third goal, but they were held off for a long time before they were able to find the back of the net with some fantastic defending skills, especially from Jess Felton-Page whose ball skills saw her dribble the ball around the Spalding attacker and out of the D. Newmarket were able to win a short corner (something which has proved difficult in previous games) but the Spalding defence were too quick in clearing the ball after Helen Hansgate’s initial strike was intercepted. After a hard fight, Newmarket were getting tired and it started to show as Spalding managed 2 more goals before the final whistle. Final score, 5-0 to Spalding 2s. Man of the Match – Bea Jones.

Top: Jess Felton-Page jinks past a Spalding attacker. Bottom: MoM Bea Jones channels the Spalding left winger out wide.

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-5 loss vs Ely City Ladies’ 2s (Away)

Above: Young keeper Jersey Bennett prepares to dive for a shot driven in despite the best efforts of Captain Vicky Benedikz.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

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