Fourth successive league victory for Dragons first team
Bourne Deeping Ladies 2nds maintained their sensational scoring spree with an emphatic 16-0 victory over Woodhall Spa on Saturday.
It took the Dragons’ goal tally to 26 in their last two games and moved them six points clear at the top of Division 4NW with nine matches remaining.
Woodhall arrived with just nine players after some late injuries midweek, however, with testament to the respect and passion, they wished to play the game rather than concede.
The Dragons looked to take advantage to extend their lead over Horncastle at the top of the table and the game began with the hosts showing an energetic experience to peg the visitors back into their own half.
Forward Rachel Adams seized the opportunity to test the visiting goalkeeper who pulled off some fantastic saves.
The Dragons won their first short corner on seven minutes and trusty skipper Kirsty Martin tucked the ball away into the corner of the net.
This was shortly followed by a rare goal from Dawn McShane who bagged the Dragons’ second.
Millie Durrands, rotating around up front, showed how far she has developed by managing to sneak some snap shots at the goalkeeper but to no avail.
The Dragons continued their relentless pressure on the Woodhall goal with Martin leading by example as she picked up a pass from Katie Anderson to slot past the flailing Spa goalkeeper for her second of the day which was rapidly followed by her hat-trick four minutes later.
The pressure didn’t relent as the Dragons pressed on further with fantastic midfield play stretching the visitors to their limits and Martin added her fourth minutes before half-time.
The second half started sluggishly from the Dragons, maybe feeling a little complacent as the game was virtually theirs until Martin once again converted from a short corner.
The Dragons, acting upon a Woodhall team that were beginning to feel the effects of the extra running involved in being two players down, seized their opportunities with a quick double salvo in the next 10 minutes from Jen Orrell and Rachel Adams both bagging two goals each with the latter securing her hat-trick in the process.
Not satisfied at 10-0 the Dragons continued to press, Genny Britton and Lily Fitch popped up to make it 11 and 12 respectively. This was shortly followed by Orrell receiving the ball from Britton to complete her hat-trick.
In the dying moments of the game, an own goal from Woodhall and a further two goals from Martin for her double hat trick ended the game at 16-0 to the Dragons.
A goal late in each half sent Bourne Deeping Ladies to a 2-0 away defeat at St Ives in Saturday’s Division 2NW clash.
The Dragons had gone into the game buoyant after their recent run of good results had lifted them up into fifth place as sought revenge for a 2-0 home reversal against St Ives earlier in the season.
Bourne Deeping were the most skilful of the two sides, having the composure and nerve to regularly pass the ball back around the defence in an effort to frustrate and tire the opposition as well as search for opportunities to attack.
Unfortunately the more direct approach of St Ives paid dividends just before the half-time break.
A powerful cross into the Dragons D hit an opposition foot before being struck past the stranded keeper and, after a delay and a consultation with the other umpire, the goal stood.
St Ives started the second half with more purpose, still attempting to bludgeon their way to the Dragons D, and only stout defence prevented a storm of shots on the away goal.
A head injury to Sue Oakley disrupted the Dragons midfield, but the three young substitutes - Ella Henson, Sara Morgan-Walters and April Gay - stepped up to the plate to help stem the tide.
Unfortunately St Ives scored a late second from a penalty corner and the match was sealed, but the Dragons should take much credit in a skilful, spirited and composed performance.
Bourne Deeping Ladies 3rds extended their winning streak with a 4-0 away victory at Louth 2nds in Division 4NW on Saturday.
Christi McDonald opened the scoring with a superb hit which went through the keeper’s legs and, with continued pressure from the Dragons’ forwards, they were very unlucky to not to convert their shots.
McDonald tapped home the second before a fine run and finish from Penny Linsdell made it 3-0 to Bourne Deeping at half-time.
Louth made a strong start to the second period and piled on the pressure, but the Dragons defended well and secured their success when McDonald completed his hat-trick after Linsdell’s fine run down the line.
Bourne Deeping recorded their fourth successive Premier B victory on Saturday after overturning a two-goal deficit with a 4-2 win away at second-from-bottom Waltham Forest who are battling to save themselves from relegation.
The Dragons went in with positivity and possibly the strongest bench in history with the return of Stuart Biggs and Simon Miles.
They started with good possession and ball movement as Waltham Forest sat back with the Dragons managing to turn over possession whenever their hosts got hold of the ball.
The Dragons were unable to make any clear cut chances or win any short corners to test the inexperienced keeper.
Although they continued to pass the ball well, a loose right to left pass across the middle of the pitch was intercepted.
This caused a quick breakaway for Waltham Forest who with great fortune from a bobbly reverse cross and an initial brave save by keeper Carlton was finished by their striker to take the hosts into the lead.
Bourne Deeping started to press harder to find an equaliser, but a lack of discipline and over-enthusiasm left gaps.
Again there was another quick turnover and, despite the ball being played off a Waltham body, they were allowed to continue and have a free shot.
This was again saved well, however, the hungry Forest forwards reacted first to put the home side 2-0 up.
The Dragons confidence had now taken a knock and passes started to go wayward. However a defensive turnover, and some quick movement through the midfield, earned them their first short corner which was despatched hard and low by Biggs.
Bourne came out for the second half knowing what they needed to do and how they could achieve it.
Good interplay out of defence, through the midfield, found James Sharpe at the top of the D. With a quick turn, and a fall away shot, the ball was buried in the bottom corner to level the scores.
Continued Dragons pressure led to reoccurring turnovers and an increasing amount of chances.
Good positioning from the three Bourne Deeping defenders led to Arnold stepping in front and intercepting a pass to the opposing forward. He drove upfield and shipped the ball to Williams.
A couple of quick passes later meant Miles was found open and he duly despatched to give Bourne Deeping the lead.
From this point on Waltham Forest failed to produce any more chances to trouble the revitalised away side.
Even though Bourne Deeping reduced to 10 for a brief spell, with Williams recording his fourth card of the season, another penalty corner was awarded to the dominant Dragons.
Biggs once again found the back of the net for a commanding lead for three well-deserved points.
A solid performance in defence, and a will to join the attack, earned Joe Youngs his first man of the match award for the first team.
A goal from the captain Ollie Browne midway through the first half secured victory for Bourne Deeping 2nds, but some late drama could have seen Norwich Dragons snatch a point at the death of the Division 2NW clash.
Following last week's defensive debacle, conceding seven to St Ives, a clean sheet would have seemed too much to hope for at the start of the game, but a return to form for several players and a commitment to marking tight paid dividends in this bottom-of-the-table clash.
A fairly even first half saw chances at a premium and both sides showing some good build up play but the lack of a decent final ball perhaps showing why both have found it tough this year.
Twice Norwich had two-versus-one and two-versus-two opportunities but both times fluffed their lines at the vital moment.
Likewise Bourne Deeping saw several balls zip hard across the face of goal but with no one there to take advantage.
In games such as these it so often comes down to penalty corner conversions and Bourne Deeping's record this season is perhaps another reason they find themselves where they do.
But, midway through the first half, Browne struck the ball clean as a whistle into the bottom right hand corner for a perfectly-executed strike.
As Norwich battled to get back into the game, they left themselves open to the counter attack more and more.
Ollie Vartan put an effort high and wide when through one-on-one with Ben Brittain then inches away from converting a Vartan cross.
Andrew Fletcher was a lynchpin in the midfield with George Collins’ tough tackling helping to see out the game until Vartan had a defensive 16 overturned to a penalty corner against him for time wasting.
With every Norwich player bar the goalkeeper at the top of the D for the corner, Clarkson managed to smash it clear for Bourne Deeping to seal the win.
Bourne Deeping 3rds made it two wins from two in 2019 following a 2-0 defeat of Wisbech 3rds in Division 4NW.
Wisbech, wallowing at the foot of the table, were there for the taking but the Dragons made hard work of it.
Possession was plentiful and, while at times the passing became pedestrian, there was enough tempo and skill to win numerous short corners and create chances at goal.
Unfortunately the conversion ratio was poor and only a Ewan Howitt effort hit the back of the net in the first half despite good work and hard running from Connor Gosnell and James Watkins up front.
Callum Howitt and Tom Day ran the centre of midfield solidly and the back four saw more of the ball than in most matches while joining in the attacks as a notable clean sheet was gained - the first of the season.
The second half saw more of the same with Wisbech only entering Bourne Deeping's D twice. More short corners were won and, as much patience as there was trying to break down a back line typically consisting of eight, it felt laboured.
The attacking prowess that was there the previous week was missing and, while a Jonny Meadows strike doubled the lead, there should have been many more, but the three points were gained and the race for safety continues.
Bourne Deeping 4ths shared the spoils with unbeaten Division 5NW table-toppers Louth on Saturday.
The game was open and end-to-end with the visitors making most of the running, but the home team had chances as half-time arrived with no score.
The second half was much the same as the first with good chances at a premium.
Bourne Deeping took the lead with a ball to Andrew Vartan who then passed it on to Tim Kiesel who took it round the keeper and, as he looked to shoot two Louth players ran into each other, so he took the ball round them to give Dragons the lead.
This seemed to spur Louth on and they pushed forward looking to equalise which nearly happened when they got past Jack Langley only for the ball to hit the post and be cleared away.
With the home team tiring Louth had a series of short corners and these were defended well by Bourne Deeping with Davin Foston taking one on his hand causing him to have to be substituted.
Bourne Deeping kept creating chances, but the shot corner routine this week wasn’t as effective with some saved and a couple agonisingly just passing the posts.
Louth eventually equalised when a shot came in, Paul Matthews looked to defend it, but could only deflect the ball up and over the prone Langley.
With this setback the home team could have easily folded, but they kept working and harrying the visitors and were very happy to hear the final whistle blow after another series of penalty corners for Louth.