6 September 2016

- Suffolk Cup 2016 – Ladies Emerge Victorious

Suffolk Cup Competition – Sunday 4th September, Culford School (Bury St Edmunds HC home ground)
After an inspiring Olympic win from the GB Ladies Hockey Team, Newmarket Ladies’ 1s got their first ‘gold’ of the season with a tournament win in the Suffolk Cup competition. After a very successful pre-season campaign, the team now head confidently into the new season. Playing five teams from around the County, Newmarket were relatively unknown to their opposition – however, the side managed four wins and a draw to take the tournament top spot. Results were convincing as they won 6-0 against both Ipswich East Suffolk and Ipswich Hockey Club.There was also a 3-0 win against Framlingham Ladies and 3-1 against Felixstowe Ladies. The drawing match was against Bury St Edmunds Ladies, where Newmarket were dominant throughout and managed to score shortly after half time. On the final whistle Bury were awarded a short corner and produced an incredible drag flick goal in to the top left hand corner to get a share of the points. With the season starting on the 17th September the team are excited to be pushing for a top four league finish. Anyone who is interested in supporting, playing or getting involved with the club should please go to www.newmarkethockeyclub.com for more information.

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23 March 2016

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

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.

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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
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.

| Posted in Club News, Results | Comments Off on Week 19 Results – M3s Play Inaugural Friendly as L3s Win Comfortably
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.

| Posted in Club News, Results | Comments Off on Week 18 Results – Wins for M1s, M2s & L1s
10 February 2016

- Week 17 Results – Narrow Loss for M2’s Early Risers

Newmarket Men’s 1s: 1-3 loss vs Harleston Magpies Men’s 3s (Home)

After last week’s loss to IES 2s, Newmarket were looking to improve and go one more against a team who they lost to last time out in the dying seconds.

Newmarket started the game in a much more positive attitude than in previous weeks and were unlucky to be 0-1 down within 15 minutes. Magpies cut through the middle, passed the central defence of Harrington & Newnes and beat McCourt with a well-hit strike. Newmarket’s midfield of Skelton, Leggett and Dawson played some lovely attacking moves which led to a couple of penalty corners, but Town failed to capitalise. The half finished 0-1 to the opposing team with both teams playing a hard, competitive game but the away side getting their nose in front.

The half time team talk was positive and skipper Holden wanted to keep the style of play up as Newmarket were playing well and just needed to find a goal.

The second half started well for Town, but still they failed to find the back of the net and were probably unlucky not to have scored. Newmarket were soon caught in the middle of the park and conceded another goal through some good passing by the opposition. 0-2. Some more attacking play from Bell and McTaggart followed, and even fullback Hrebeniak was making some positive runs down the flank, but Newmarket still couldn’t manage to make a dent in the Magpies net. Some good saves from Newmarket’s keeper and block tackles from Jenkins kept Harleston at bay, but Newmarket were unfortunate to have a penalty corner given against them. Harleston’s veteran centre midfielder placed himself on the top of the ‘D’ and let rip an explosive shot down the throat of McCourt, it just dipped over his legs to hit the back of the goal. 0-3. Newmarket reacted to what they felt was an unjust scoreline, pushed and won a penalty corner from some great running from Dawson and Leggett. Leggett slipped out the ball for Skelton to stop with Wilson again finding Leggett on the back post to get his 3rd goal of the season. 1-3. Newmarket started to look the better of the two teams and were now on the attack but were unable to get back into the game, and even though they had a disallowed goal through Skelton and Holden, they were doing too little, too late. The game finished 1-3.

Town with an influx of players and will look to bounce back from this result as they know they can play good hockey and are at some point going to get a hatful of goals.

MOTM – Jordan Newnes

DOTD – Matt Holden

Next week Newmarket Men’s 1st XI are away at North Norfolk 1s, Town lost the reverse fixture to a solid, organised team.

Newmarket Men’s 2s: 2-3 loss vs I-ES Men’s 3s (Away)
(Andreou, Hosegood)

On Saturday the M2s needed men that rise early in the morning as we had a 10:30 push back. Most were up for it, a few needed a little help from a small blue tablet. But we gathered, loins girded, at the Leisure Centre, the sun breaking through the dawn mist casting long shadows over bacon butties and cups of tea. We knew our trip out to Ipswich to face league leaders IES-3 was going to be no walk in the park, but we also knew that we were the only team to have beaten them this season.
Walking out onto the bouncy blue pitch at Ipswich School Sports Centre is rather like walking out at Lee Valley Hockey Centre but unfortunately without AC/DC blasting out “Thunderstruck.” No music for the players, but as the umpires took to the pitch an instantly recognisable melody drifted out on the breeze, prompting a chorus of “Hi hooooo, hi hooooo” from the travelling fans.
It was soon evident that IES were expecting an easy game and an opportunity to build on their goal difference of 65. But it was never going to be so and their frustration soon began to show. The IES left back in particular started to throw comments around offering a brief lecture on sportsmanship, but when asked to spell it, ‘Drew’ a blank. It was Newmarket that opened the scoring when Hosegood, fresh from country sports, neatly took the ball round the keeper and faced with an empty goal about 1m out, theatrically drew his stick back as if it were 100m out, and as the rest of the team collectively held their breath thinking he was going to fluff it, he calmly slotted the ball home. Recognising that their game plan was now upset, IES upped the anti and started playing some good hockey. Seth Bailey was kept busy in goal earning himself MoM, and as we approached half time he made a save which resulted in a goal mouth scramble where an IES player lifted the ball over Bailey only to be stopped, yet again, by Marc ‘Mungo’ Prentice on the line. Happily there was no injury this time, but having been judged to have used his body to stop the ball, the resultant penalty flick was converted making it 1:1 at the break.
In the second half IES moved up a gear. They had more possession, more shots and more shots on goal. Newmarket fought for everything and also made some great moves to counter attack. Newmarket’s back four were resilient and on more than one occasion made key stops on the goal line to deny IES the lead. Eventually though, IES did take the lead after a nice move into the ‘D’ followed by a shot which looked like it was going wide of the left post, only to be deftly turned in on the reverse stick. The relief among IES players was palpable as was the expectation that lots more goals were to follow.
The friction that had been ‘Drewing’ up in the first half eventually reached boiling point, the IES player totally blame free in the umpires eyes but Drew Wood saw green and DoD later in the Clubhouse. Not wanting to be outdone, the mid-field stalwart that is Alex Andreou also saw green and perhaps the longest 2 minutes in hockey history. Onlookers were not sure if the umpire was playing the role of Sleepy or Dopey (cue music, “hi hooooo, hi hooooo”) but the big hand on his Mickey Mouse watch was clearly missing.
The IES party was now in full swing as they lead 2:1. But Newmarket were not finished and continued to graft. A quick counter attack lead to a penalty corner which was drilled home by Andreou. At 2:2 this game could have gone either way and a point would have been a great result for Newmarket. But a penalty corner in the last 10 minutes was enough to give IES all the points and on balance this was probably a fair result if disappointing for Newmarket.
Next week we face fourth placed Ipswich Cranes at home as the battle to avoid relegation continues now with 6 teams separated by only 4 points.

Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 1-8 loss vs Cambridge University Ladies’ 2s (Away)
(L. Evans)

Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-7 loss vs Ely City Ladies’ 1s (Away)

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-10 loss vs Cambridge City Ladies’ 4s (Home)

Above: The Newmarket defence watches on as the City right winger unleashes a fierce drive at keeper Claire Spiers.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

| Posted in Club News, Results | Comments Off on Week 17 Results – Narrow Loss for M2’s Early Risers
1 February 2016

- Week 16 Results – Men’s 2s Thrash Ipswich

Newmarket Men’s 1s: 2-4 loss vs I-ES Men’s 2s (Away)
(Leggett, Skelton)

After last week’s loss to Norwich Dragons, Newmarket were looking to improve and go one better against a team with whom they drew 1-1 earlier in the season. I-ES 2s are flying high in the league and find themselves in 2nd place of Division 3NE, a position that could possibly see them promoted up to the dizzy heights of 2N.

Newmarket started the game on the back foot, with I-ES closing play and breaking up the midfield with the determination of a side looking to win the league, as the visiting team looked like they were already dead and buried. I-ES played the ball well from the left side and with Harrington, Newnes, Wilson & Jenkins struggling to cope with the number of I-ES players coming through the middle, Newmarket conceded the first goal from a lovely finish past McCourt. Newmarket were now being pushed back deep into their own half and the home side managed to knock three more goals into the Town net. Newmarket were just not getting to grips with the game and the first 20-25 mins was overshadowed by some poor tackles and pushing from both teams. The captain of the away side was soon called over to debate this with the Umpires, possibly a tad unfair as captain Holden thought it should involve the skippers of both teams. The game was end to end stuff, but it was Newmarket who finished the half the stronger with a penalty corner awarded from a great move involving Bell and Dawson. The decision for the slip on the right post didn’t go to plan but, following some superb composure from Harrington at the top of the ‘D’, Town managed to get the ball to Leggett who volleyed into the net. 4-1.

At half time Newmarket knew they could play so much better, and some of the senior players in Wilson, Harington and Skelton unleashed their characteristic words of wisdom.

Newmarket started the second half much better, went on a number of attacks and were unlucky not to get a goal early on the half. The ball was moved nicely between the midfield of Skelton, Smith and Leggett and into the wide positions occupied by Dawson and Bell. Newmarket were now pressing hard and won a free hit just outside the ‘D’, Holden quickly self-passing to fire an angled cross in the direction of Skelton and, with his trademark magical touch, he glided the ball past the ex-national league keeper and into the bottom right corner. 4-2. Town were now playing far more positively and started pushing to get another goal, but for Newmarket it was too little too late. A late yellow card was dished out to Wolfpak CEO Newnes in return for a kick that the mighty Liverpool FC could have done with, but by then it was all over.

Newmarket know they can play much better than this and will be looking to better themselves next week. There are plenty of positives to take from the game and no one should beat themselves up, it may have been something that you may have done or you didn’t get in the run of play.

“Wax on, wax off.” – Mr. Miyagi (The Karate Kid, 1984)

Or, as I would like to say, “Wax on, rub off.” Blah.

MOTM – Leggett

DOTD – Newnes

Next week, Newmarket Men’s 1st XI are at home against high flying Harleston Magpies 3s, (pun intended) a game in which Town are hoping to gain a point or three, as last time out they lost in the last hit of the game. See you then.

Newmarket Men’s 2s: 8-0 epic win vs Ipswich Men’s 3s (Home)
(Blades 2, Wood 2, Andreou, Atkinson, Bunker, Pears)

When Newmarket M2s visited Ipswich for the away game, we were beaten 5:2 by a faster, stronger and more skillful side. Going into what was a crucial game for Newmarket, sat at the bottom of the league on goal difference and 2 points behind Ipswich 3, a difficult game was expected. Unfortunately, Ipswich were only able to field a team of 10 players so were at an immediate disadvantage, but from the opening push back Newmarket were in the driving seat. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say, Newmarket were on fire and the result was never in doubt.
Newmarket played some of their best hockey this season buoyed by the vocal home crowd who braved the cold. Despite the impressive 8-0 scoreline, this was also to be Newmarket’s first clean sheet of the season, with keeper Seth Bailey only being called into action on a handful of occasions and so freeing up some time to work on his GCSEs. The back four of Atkinson, Baker, Benedikz and Hrebeniak  were cool, calm and collected, thwarting the odd short corner and vain attempt at attacking the Newmarket ‘D’. At the end of the game, Hrebeniak was overheard saying that it was just like watching The Netherlands and immediately put in a transfer request. There were times when it seemed like Newmarket had 110% possession as we dominated the midfield with Andreou, Wood, Labuschagne and Atkinson junior in midfield, providing a ‘field day’ for strikers Lee ‘Budda’ Blades and Mark ‘Arsenal’ Pears, while subs Bunker, Booth and Podd (sounds like a shed company!) rotated to give extra legs and a certain ‘je ne sais quoi.’
With so many goals, age and fatigue, this particular correspondent can’t remember the order in which they were scored. But it seems no one else can either. One thing is for sure, it was a goal fest of the highest order. Newmarket opened the flood gates after about 10 minutes when Budda smacked one in from the middle of the ‘D’ followed by Bunker with a delicate flash of stick work to make it 2:0. Budda missed a chance but Andreou took the third with an exocet that could involve some repair work to the back boards of the goal. Budda missed another chance approaching half time but at the break and 3:0 up it was goal difference that became the focus.
The second half again was dominated by Newmarket and the determination of the players was illustrated no better than by Baker and Hrebeniak. When closing down an Ipswich player on the edge of the Newmarket ‘D’, they redefined the ‘tackle’ with a new leapfrog manoeuvre that resembled something from a Laurel and Hardy movie and resulted in both players on the deck, but the Ipswich player so dumb struck and perplexed that the ball was cleared from danger. Budda missed another chance before Wood slammed one in followed shortly by a dainty chip from Atkinson (Junior, just for the avoidance of any doubt). Even the veteran Booth came close to scoring, armed with 4 hockey sticks loosely disguised as a Zimmer frame. He thrashed at the ball in a goal mouth scramble, failed spectacularly to connect with the ball and was saved by his Captain who nudged him out of the way, handed him a cup of tea and slotted the ball home for his brace. Budda missed a couple more before collecting his brace of goals, along with DoD for the ones that got away and a gracefully executed nose dive in the opposition ‘D’.
In an amazing twist and perhaps for the first time in M2s history, the DoD was also MoM. Budda picked up both accolades for an afternoon of graft, a couple of great goals and proof, as if it were needed, that you can be a D one moment and an M the next.
There is little documentary evidence of the impact that the Roman Empire had on South Africa. Or perhaps his inspiration came from a fortune cookie in a Ceasar Salad. But either way, his Ceasarian background became clear at the end of the game when Centurion Drewus Woodius called his legions together and uttered those immortal words, “We came, we saw, we conquered!”
After a 5-3 win at home, next week we travel to top of the table IES-3 in what should be a great game. Travelling fans please note that this game is ticket only!

Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 1-5 loss vs St Ives Ladies’ 1s (Home)
(L. Evans)

This Newmarket Ladies’ 1s game was against St Ives 1s, with a push back time of 2pm. This game was always going to be a tough one as St Ives have been playing extremely well recently, and as a result, top the league. Within 20 minutes St Ives scored first from a penalty corner and then within another five they scored again from another penalty corner.  The third goal also came shortly after, from a breakaway move. Newmarket fought hard back and as a result scored a lovely and much needed goal from a shot by Lydia Evans. This gave Newmarket a boost for the second half. The score at half time was Newmarket 1, St Ives 3.

Despite multiple attacks, sadly in second half Newmarket couldn’t seem to score another goal. An attack by Claire McDonnell went horribly wrong for the opposition whereby McDonnell took a shot at goal, one of the St Ives players tried to stop it but had her stick at a bad angle and the ball flew into the air, smashing into another St Ives player and splitting her forehead. Time was stopped as the player was patched up and taken off to hospital. The game then resumed with a penalty corner to Newmarket, but unfortunately it missed its mark. St Ives upped their game during injury time and managed two more goals.

Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-14 loss vs St Ives Ladies’ 2s (Home)

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-3 loss vs St Ives Ladies’ 3s (Away)

This was always going to be a tough match for Newmarket, given that earlier in the season they were on the receiving end of a 6-0 defeat by the same opponents. Newmarket looked forward to creating chances and hindering their attacks to show the progress they have made throughout the season so far.

The first 10 minutes had lots of promise, Town putting St Ives on the back foot and keeping hold of possession. St Ives slowly started to take control and Newmarket did well to just keep the scorelines level. Eventually however, the pressure told, and St Ives snuck ahead just before half-time.

The half time chat focused on our determination to work hard. So, at the start of the second half, pressure was once again applied, but St Ives showed why they sit 2nd in the league. They had the lion’s share of possession and chances, but made mistakes that gave Newmarket hope and opportunities to get back into the match. Unfortunately for those in yellow and blue though, these opportunities slipped away and St Ives went on to add a couple more goals for a 3-0 win.

Given that St Ives 3s are one of the stronger teams in the league and had already beaten Newmarket 6-0 earlier in the season, this result is a positive one for the Ladies’ 3s and shows that much progress has been made.

Team: Vicky Benedikz (c), Claire Spiers, Sam Brooke, Tiff Seymour, Donna Seymour, Milou Ottolini, Mel Podd, Sophie Bell, Jane Dryland, Abbie Farrow, Jess Farrow, Georgia Rolls, Emily Fairweather, Charlotte Abbersteen, Verity MacMahon and Rachel Hogg.

Man of the Match: Vicky Benedikz

Teddy: Verity MacMahon

Above: Newmarket’s Georgia Rolls challenges for the ball.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

| Posted in Club News, Results | Comments Off on Week 16 Results – Men’s 2s Thrash Ipswich
27 January 2016

- Week 15 Results – Ladies’ 1s Triumph at Lindum

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

After last week’s disappointing loss to Norwich City 4s, Newmarket were looking to bounce straight back to winning ways. The game started with Newmarket playing at an unusually slow pace. With regular defenders Harrington and Hrebeniak missing, Town looked to be sitting very deep and  thus leaving a void between them and the midfield. For the first 10-15 mins, Newmarket couldn’t seem to get any rhythm or flow to their play, features which they have been accustomed to leading up to the Christmas break. Dragons had most of the possession and deserved the goal which soon arrived, Norwich slotting past McCourt to make the score 0:1. Newmarket decided to shuffle the pak, Wilson moved to the left pack position and Andreou dropped to holding midfield. This gave Newmarket a more stable line-up, but Dragons had the momentum and managed to get past Newnes and Jenkins to score 0-2. The first half ended with the visitors in the driving seat and Town with mountain to climb.

At half time, the Newmarket players discussed their first half performance and knew that they could play so much better than they already shown.

Newmarket’s second half boasted a much better performance when compared to the first, the ball moving swiftly from the midfield of Skelton, Smith & Wilson to the wide positions occupied by Dawson and McTaggart. Newmarket were now pressing forward more and more but opportunities were mostly wasted. However, a quick play from Skelton to McTaggart allowed the pacy winger to beat the keeper from a yard out and bring the scoreline to 1-2. Newmarket were now looking far more positive pushed up to get another goal, but with them playing high up the field Town were caught on the counter and the Dragons forward fired past McCourt once more. 1-3. The final goal was not really a reflection of how the second half played out and came from a series of good passes by the away team who then managed to beat the diving home keeper from short range. Final score, 1-4.

Newmarket can look at this game as a learning curve, in that they must switch on from the start and when the game gets tough, keep on playing, no matter what.

MOTM – Skelton

DOTD – McCourt

Next week, Newmarket Men’s 1st XI are away against IES 2s, a game in which Town are hoping to gain some points against a team with whom they drew 1-1 at home.

Top: Legendary midfielder Alex Andreou lays the Dragons defence to the sword – unfortunately for Town though, not often enough. Bottom: Darren Jenkins (left) and Jordan Newnes watch on as keeper McCourt attempts to thwart an enterprising Dragons forward.

Newmarket Men’s 2s: 0-1 loss vs North Norfolk Men’s 2s (Away)

Newmarket M2s headed to the coast this week, down one of the countries biggest cul-de-sacs, where North Norfolk fully embrace the sea side spirit with their salmon pink and sea blue kit. Once famous for its pier, nowadays Cromer is best known for seal trips and as a source of crabs. As if haunted by those melancholy days of kiss-me-quick hats and the seaside fair ground, the ‘merry-go-round’ was in full swing at Newmarket M2s, several regulars being unavailable as we welcomed back youngster Ben Atkinson and slightly less-than-youngster Simon Everitt to the fold.
After a cancelling training session 3 days earlier in Newmarket due to a frozen pitch, Cromer gave us a glorious day of around 13°C and a lovely playing surface at Cromer Academy. This was a key game with both teams on 13 points fighting to avoid relegation, while Newmarket were hoping to do the double on North Norfolk having beaten them 3:1 at home.
It was an unusual game in some respects as both teams worked hard but created few chances. It was North Norfolk though that scored the only goal of the game after about 12 minutes when a scramble in the Newmarket ‘D’ resulted in a shot that was easily saved by the reliable Seth Bailey in goal, but as he lay on the ground, stick outstretched, the ball ran the length of his stick into the path of a young North Norfolk player, who had an easy tap into goal.
Newmarket rallied and worked hard, a fine example being set by MoM Johnny Bunker who ran for everything and everyone as we desperately looked to get something from the game. But despite all the effort and enjoying most of the possession, Newmarket were unable to convert in what was a very frustrating afternoon. That frustration was compounded by North Norfolk’s ill-tempered Richard from the Guess Who board game, apparently on loan from Hasbro Gaming. The disappointment briefly spilled into the terraces as Newmarket’s number 1 travelling fan and ‘12th man’ Jack Baker entered the field of play, apparently set on confusing a North Norfolk winger with the injection of a second ball. But after a brief stoppage, young Jack returned to his seat.
After winning MoM in the home game against North Norfolk, Rory Podd came a close second for DoD this week as he seems to confuse hockey with lacrosse. Plans are afoot to strap a lead weight to his stick and next week the team will be looking for Rory ‘Tri’ Podd to have 2 feet and 1 stick on the ground. But the decision for DoD was near unanimous this week in favour of previous recipient Peter Boyle, because……..well, because it was his birthday!
Newmarket now find themselves bottom of the league with everything to play for. Only 6 points separate 7 teams as we look forward to welcoming Ipswich 3s to the Leisure Centre next week.

Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 3-1 win vs Lindum Ladies’ 2s (Away)
(Alderson, G. Evans, McDonnell)

Newmarket played out in Lincoln with a push back of 1.30pm against Lindum 2s. This was a must win match for both teams, as it was a bottom of the table clash. The first half was scrappy and neither team took control. Lindum scored first off a break and then Newmarket retaliated, Tracy Cockeril passing to top of ‘D’, finding Claire McDonnell who shot at goal.  The ball bounced up off an opposition defender and ended up high in the Lindum net. Half time score 1:1.
In the second half, Newmarket finally got their heads into the game and Grace Evans managed a lovely strike into the goal, sending Newmarket 2:1 up. Eager to take the game to Lindum, Newmarket continued to push forward and created another, clinically dispatched by Kerry Alderson. The final whistle blew as short corner was awarded to Town, but sadly no goal was to come. Final score, Newmarket 3, Lindum 1.

Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-6 loss (Boo!) vs March Town Ladies’ 1s (Away)

This week, the Ladies’ 2s travelled deep into the Fenland to play March Town, where disaster struck before they even ventured on to the pitch! No-one had warned skipper Holly Woods that Newmarket and March clashed colours, and with the away kit making its way up to Lincoln with the L1s, Newmarket were in a bit of a dilemma resulting in Woods and coach Chris Evans speeding their way to the nearest sports shop to buy the team different coloured socks, leaving vice-captain Jess Boyle to try and get the team riled up to beat a team they knew they could triumph over! In the nick of time, skipper Woods made it back for push back and the game started.
Newmarket dominated the first half well and truly. With some spectacular play from the midfield of Anna Sambrook (who managed NOT to fall over the entire game!), Helen Hansgate and Becca Barnes, Town found their way into the attacking third pretty quickly. Some great play down the left wing from Olivia Haste found Hannah Kelly at top D and Bea Jones waiting ready on the far post to nab the ball into the goal if needed. However, Town’s efforts were unrewarded as March managed to get the ball on the break. The defence of Holly Woods, Clodie Rolph, Jess Felton-Page and Jess Logan managed to stop March’s efforts on countless occasions, until one of their players managed to break and get a shot on goal, which as the famous Chris Leggett would say was absolutely ‘Buck Wild!’ Said player had a few more of these buck wild shots during the first half but the fearless Town managed to stop each and every one from going anywhere near keeper Boyle. It wasn’t until a short corner given 2 seconds before the half time whistle went that Town’s efforts were thwarted and March managed to sneak a goal in unfortunately skimming the leg of keeper Boyle before going in making the score at half time 1-0 March.
From a praising half time team talk from Coach Evans, Newmarket entered the second half raring to get an equaliser and potentially win. Strong from the off, Town managed to dominate the midfield once again. A quick pass from Felton-Page wide right to Logan (who had a complete stormer of a game) managed to find an awaiting Hannah Fox in the midfield who sought out an awaiting fast moving Jones in the front and earn Town a short corner. Once again however, Town’s efforts were unrewarded as March managed to get the ball and get on the break. The quick pace of a couple of March players outsmarted Town’s waiting defence as 4 goals managed to make their way past Boyle as the full time whistle encroached. Town battled their way right until the full time whistle, but before that came another goal snuck its way past Town and with the whistle going the final score was 6-0 March.
Newmarket played a spectacular game and as the weeks go by a totally transformed team can be seen compared to the beginning of the season! Man of the Match went to the phenomenal Jess Logan for some absolutely spectacular play throughout the entirety of the game! Dick of the Day this week (and for the third time this season) went to Bea Jones who attempted to start the game still wearing her hoodie and couldn’t understand why people were shouting at her!
This Saturday’s game is at home to St Ives who Town unfortunately lost 12-0 to at the beginning of the season at 12:00. All support would be appreciated as Town won’t go down without a fight! (#BlueAndYellowArmy)

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-2 loss vs Huntingdon Ladies’ 2s (Home)

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s fielded a full squad of 16 for their second match up against mid-table rivals Huntington 2s, with the welcome support of Jasmine Freed and Mel Podd joining the team to share their experience and further aid the development of the clubs’ youngsters.

Newmarket started the stronger side, quickly closing down the Hunts pushback and turning their advantage into the first attack of the game. Sam Brooke pressured the Hunts main playmaker, ably assisted by young centre-half Charlotte Abersteen, and made the first tackle of a closely contested match, having controlled the ball, Brooke squared the ball to right-half Abbie Farrow who played the ball down the line to right-wing Rachel Hogg, who crossed the ball to an eagerly waiting Podd only for the Newmarket advance to be foiled by the Hunts centre-back.

Play continued and possession equally shared between the 2 sides. Newmarket displayed some superb individual performances, with Jane Dryland, newcomer Milou Ottolini and Charlotte Wyatt linking up with some truly scrumptious interplay. Both teams closely contested each pass, tackle and run with the ball, the pressure on every player as soon as they received possession. Hunts took the lead through a well executed penalty corner on the stroke of half-time.

The second half followed a similar vein to the first, both sides taking it in turns to pressure each other’s defence. Georgia Rolls and Emily Fairweather worked hard to threaten the Hunts GK, but as the match progressed, the more experienced Hunts team began to press more into the Newmarket half. PoM GK Claire Spiers, youngster Jersey Bennett, Freed and the sister defence duo of Donna and Tiff Seymour kept the yellow and blues in the game, thwarting the Hunts attempts to double their lead. Unfortunately though, a deflection into the Newmarket D wrong-footed GK sub Bennett and gave Hunts a 0-2 victory, only to have full-time blown 5 seconds after the match restarted.

Newmarket are not to be disheartened; the Ladies’ 3s have a talented squad, full of fit youngsters who are eager to impress and develop. Under the continued guidance of coach Colin Seakins and Captain Rach Pegg, the squad’s confidence continues to grow as do their individual skill sets.

Above: Skipper Rach Pegg evades the challenge of a a Hunts winger.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.

| Posted in Club News, Results | Comments Off on Week 15 Results – Ladies’ 1s Triumph at Lindum
19 January 2016

- Week 14 Results – Day to Forget for NHC

Newmarket Men’s 1s: 0-1 loss vs Norwich City Men’s 4s (Home)

Following last week’s epic comeback from the very brink of defeat away at Felixstowe (#BestTeasInTheLeague) in which a number of players had been unavailable, Newmarket Men’s 1s faced a side they had beaten 4-3 away earlier in the season. This week, Captain Matt ‘see you at training’ Holden had at his disposal what seemed on paper to be a very strong side, so he was able to switch things up a little and improve upon the balance of the team.

However, things did not get off to a good start for Newmarket when veteran goalscorer Mike Skelton was unable to attend, due to an unhelpful baggage situation at the airport – a cunning ruse facilitated by an enterprising Norwich City 4s supporter, no doubt. Town’s squad seemed to have been depleted even further when a quick head count revealed the warm up jog to have come at the cost of a further three players, but thankfully said participants had simply come to the conclusion that running was not for them and had opted for a quick bout of yoga in the M1s’ newly adopted Official Warm Up Carpark (no students allowed) instead.

With limbs sufficiently wiggled and the inspirational words of their fearless leader (as well as those of their Captain) still ringing in their ears, the brave warriors of the Blue and Yellow machine took to the pitch for their first home game since the Christmas break. The more eagle-eyed of the assembled hordes of autograph-book-toting fans will have noticed that the legend of Will Wilson was at playing at left back, whilst Josh ‘Slayer II’ Dawson, Sam Smith and Harry Bell returned in the midfield treble. Professor Lewi Hrebeniakiakiak (spelling sponsored by Wilson Midfield Solutions, Inc.) and Doctor James McTaggart made up a decidedly over-qualified and left-side-oriented bench, and after a vigerous warm up session, they were soon introduced for Darren Jenkins – whose glossy locks needed a rest – and Bell – who just needed a rest – respectively.

The game had begun with Newmarket pressing high up in the opposition’s half, creating good chances but struggling to achieve the final touch on several driven passes into the ‘D’. McTaggart was quick to make an impact and rampaged down the left hand side, exchanging passes with Smith before crossing towards the back post with a venom that suggested he must have caught a glimpse of Jeremy Hunt lurking somewhere in the vicinity. The chances were coming think and fast for Town, but still they struggled to make a breakthrough, the Norwich goal seemingly living a charmed life as everything either hit the keeper’s pads or trickled narrowly wide – alas, this proved to be a common theme throughout the match.

Then, disaster struck for the home side. After yet another Newmarket attack broke down, City swiftly worked the ball down the middle and overloaded the defence with their apparently electric pace.  Despite the best efforts of Hrebeniak and the mandatory Chris Leggett heroics, Norwich managed to coax the ball past the slide of Scotland keeper Martin McCourt and into the back of the Newmarket net, completely silencing both of the home fans for a moment. A very scrappy goal, but Town were 0-1 down nonetheless.

A tactical switch shortly after saw Jenkins – hair fully recovered – sub back on, Hrebeniak return to his favoured left back position and Wilson take up his accustomed role deep in the workings of Town’s midfield. Up until the goal, the Newmarket central defence of Simon Harrington and Jordan Newnes had lived up to their top trumps ratings and had rarely been troubled. Now that the usual ‘Wolfpak’ defensive lineup was back on the field, it stayed this way for the remainder of the half. The dastardly Mr. Hunt was apparently taken to haunting that Norwich far post area, and had he been there in body rather than spirit, would have been on the receiving end of a damn good thrashing from the number of shots that came back off the keeper, notably further efforts from McTaggart the mazy runs of Smith. Opportunities continued to present themselves for Mark Pears and Holden, who kept battling away in the opposition ‘D’, but the end product in the final 25 yards was just a tad lacking in composure and so the half time whistle blew with the score remaining at 1-0 to Norwich. Skipper Holden and ‘only his jab left’ Wilson were in agreement that the home side were perhaps trying too hard to force a goal, and that more composure was needed in the last quarter of the pitch. It was obvious to all that, if Newmarket could manage to sneak one goal, more would be sure to follow.

However, the second half started in a manner whereby Newmarket looked like they had not really woken up from the long Crimbo break, and found themselves unable to string more than a few passes together. Norwich intercepted a number of balls aimed at Town’s wide men and were able to create some excellent opportunities on the break. However, luckily for Newmarket, the defence and goalkeeper were on fine form – the rock-steady Harrington and Newnes showed just why their Top Trumps cards rate ’10’ for tackling and, when the ball did get through, McCourt utilised all his composure and experience to keep his team in the match. Darren Jenkins also lived up to his pre-match billing of dazzling the Norwich attackers with his trim jawline and also played his role to perfection, cutting inside from right back to tackle superbly while Hrebeniak gave chase to the pacy City wingers as they tried to run in behind (#2fast2quick).

The home side continued to be lethargic and looked as though they had not played together before as the dying minutes faded away. Newmarket pressed higher and higher up as the full backs and holding midfield piled forwards, but were unable to get the goal they so desperately wanted, despite a handful of short corners. Then, a Norwich player slipped over in the quickly worsening conditions, injured his knee and caused the final whistle to be blown with twenty seconds left on the clock, finally quashing any Newmarket hopes of a dramatic late comeback as of last week. A frustrating game that finished 1-0 to Norwich City.

Town were looking to walk away with 3 points as they faced a team residing near the bottom of the table, and will have to improve upon their decision making in the final third if games like this are to be won. The players now know what they need to work on in training and so should not be all doom and gloom. Some positives can be taken away in that Newmarket had large amounts of possession in the first half, only lacking the all important goal to turn the game on its head. As the great man once said,

“It ain’t about how hard you hit: it’s about how hard you hit, and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”
Rocky Balboa

MOTM – Smith and Jenkins, for equally superb performances in their different roles. As there is only a single medal, man of the match was settled by the right honourable means of an arm wrestle, of which the victor was the mighty Darren “It’s all about technique” Jenkins, and the runner up was the gracious Sam “I let him win” Smith. No doubt this result shall see many a young boy heading to his local Poundland (other stockists are available) in search of a shiny Dazzler card.

DOTD – Skelton, for literally not turning up.


Jordan ‘The King of Modesty’ Newnes was very keen to remind his fans exactly why the score was only 0-1, “I carried the whole midfield and attackers once more […] Obviously I didn’t have to carry the entire defence because they’re PAK”, Jenkins was very magnanimous in his comments, “I’m not that disappointed to be honest”, but Hrebeniak not so much: “What’s the £$%^&* point in strikers if they don’t £$%^&* well score!!”

Next week, Newmarket Men’s 1st XI are at home for a 15:30 pushback, and all are welcome to watch as they take on the Norwich Dragons 2nd XI. This is another game in which Town will be looking to improve upon this week’s performance and get all 3 points.

Above: Psychotic Scotsman Martin McCourt (lying down) brutally cleans out MOTM Jenkins as Newnes watches on in horror.

Click here to view photographs of the match by an unnamed associate of James McTaggart.

Newmarket Men’s 2s: 1-3 loss vs Norwich City Men’s 5s (Away)

The one constant in the Newmarkets M2s is change, as we have been unable to field the same team twice this season and often require players to take on different positions! We were missing Lee ‘Budda’ Blades who was holidaying in sunny Birmingham and Alex Andreou, who was welcoming a new baby into the world. (Congratulations Alex & Faye!) We welcomed David Worrall back to the fold for his first competitive game in 12 months after a bad knee injury and also Guy Woods for his first Senior hockey match.
A beautiful, if not chilly day welcomed the team to Norwich as did the aptly named, man mountain of a keeper known locally as ‘Shrek’. Newmarket had been unable to beat this fine specimen earlier in the season having lost 2:0, so a tough game was expected, but the team were desperate to pick up some points.
Newmarket started well and put Norwich under some pressure, with Jonny Bunker up front combining well with Dave Worrall and giving the Norwich defence something to think about. The one constant in the team has been the back four of Adrian Atkinson, John Benedikz, Andy Baker and Marc ‘Mungo’ Prentice, who made it difficult for the Norwich attack despite some quick and skillful players. But it was Norwich who struck first with a nicely worked short corner.
It was only a matter of minutes later when Norwich attacked down Newmarket’s left side. A well placed cross found a striker who shot with a reverse stick from a very tight angle and despite keeper Seth Bailey getting a pad on the ball, it found the goal. But there were periods when Newmarket took control of the game, using short passes, retaining possession and moving the ball while patiently waiting for an opening. It was a neat combination of passes between David Worrall, Drew Wood and finally Jonny Bunker that saw Bunker score his first goal of the season.
At half time and a score line of 2:1, this was anyone’s game and skipper Drew Wood didn’t have to say much to stoke the fire in Town’s bellies. Newmarket started the second half well although it was becoming increasingly difficult to stay on ones feet as the temperature dropped and some areas of the pitch became a little icy. A puck may have been more useful! Guy Woods had a good game in midfield and looked comfortable at this level. Every time a Norwich player fell over the whistle was blown against Newmarket and frustration began to surface. Stick tackles were not being equally punished as first Dan Labuschagne saw green only to be followed by David Worrall who, in traditional John McEnroe style, asked if the Umpire was serious resulting in a yellow card and the customary DoD. Meanwhile, ice cool Andy Baker steadied the ship at the back earning himself MoM and incredibly managed to block every short corner that was struck from the top of the D. But despite the team’s best efforts, a well worked move from the Norwich midfield and some clean 1-2 passes took the ball into the Newmarket ‘D’, the striker drawing Seth Bailey out before taking his shot. Bailey got something on it and the ball bounced almost in slow motion as Mungo charged onto the line trying to make a clearance, but he was unable to make contact and both the ball and Mungo ended up in the net. Again.
Newmarket now find themselves third from bottom of the league amongst a group of five teams separated by only one point. One of these is next weeks opponents, North Norfolk 2s, making this a critical game.

Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 1-4 loss vs Cambridge Nomads Ladies’ 1s (Home)

This was the Newmarket Ladies’ 1s second game of 2016 and their first at home. The L2s had their game beforehand with a start time of 12pm, however after 9 minutes of game time, the umpires deemed the pitch too unsafe to carry on, due to a buildup of frost on the pitch. With a pushback time of 2pm, the pitch had time for a bit more sun exposure and defrosted enough for the L1’s game to go ahead. From the start, Town came out strong and within the first 15 minutes a lovely run and pass from Di Thomas to Beth Wombwell led to Newmarket scoring the first goal of the game. However, ten minutes later Nomads also managed to score, making the score at half time one-all. Sadly, the second half of the game didn’t pan out as well for Newmarket, Cambridge managing to score three more goals from short corners and Newmarket couldn’t reply with the opportunities they had.

Newmarket Ladies’ 2s:  Match abandoned after 9 minutes with score 0-0 vs Leadenham Ladies’ 1s due to frozen pitch (Home)

Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: Match postponed  vs Cambridge South Ladies’ 3s due to frozen pitch (Away)

| Posted in Club News, Results | Comments Off on Week 14 Results – Day to Forget for NHC

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