It was a great hockey match this week for Sean Fitzgerald’s 250th Junior game, with Newtown Strikers victorious. With a number of players unavailable across all the Club’s teams, there was a fair bit of juggling players, so overall, there were some great results.
Play of the Week
The U11 match between the Newtown Spirit and Newtown Strikers teams was a great example of the importance of recruiting players at younger age groups, and the skills which can be taught, even on a traditional grass surface. The match featured 11 players who are new to hockey this year, and the excellent standard of the game kept the crowd of supporters entranced. Well done to all the players involved.
Newtown Rebels – Bye
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Kangaroos
Newtown Spirit showed strong signs in defence and attack on Saturday as they took on the Kardinia Kangaroos in their second game of the Minkey season. With Spirit numbers down, team regulars Avah, Meyah, Phoebe and Charlie were supported on field by Newtown Rebels players Mai, Sadie and Max while Rebels talent Freddie volunteered to bolster the Kangaroos’ numbers.
Sadie started the first half with a show of strength in full back, repelling several shots including a great hit on goal by usual team mate and Roo-for-a-game Freddie. Meyah, at right half, also blocked a solid shot at goal when she swiftly ran to back up Sadie during one of several pressure moments for Spirit in defence. But the team didn’t give up, clearing the ball onwards to waiting forwards including Avah at left wing. Avah held her position well, providing her team mates with a great option out wide.
A determined Charlie, centre half back, centre Mai and right wing Max, in his first season, drove the ball forward into attack for Spirit on a number of occasions in a sign of great things to come for their teams. Charlie also halted a fantastic forward run by Freddie. But Freddie made his mark with a goal just before the whistle signalled half-time.
Spirit coach Kellie praised her charges’ efforts but urged them to concentrate on placing themselves in front of the opposition, keep their stick on the ground and continually talk to their team mates. Meyah, who swapped to full back after the break, relished the role and performed strongly in front of goals while Phoebe, at half back, defended well and fed the ball forward into attack for her side.
Winger Max showed flair in a great run towards goal, taking a shot and narrowly missing. Charlie also got into the act, his hit sailing just to the right of the goals.
While the Kangaroos scored on several occasions throughout the game, the Spirit players including their Rebel helpers never gave up. They were tenacious and showed encouraging skill including good passes especially in the second half, which bodes well for their coming games. Sadie, who switched from full back to left wing in the second half, was named Best Team Player for the game after a great all-round performance. Well done Sadie. And well done team.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong College
Another great match in the second round for the U8 Strikers. We saw Alana and Eliza both making good position on the wing. Alexandra made some big push clearances out wide from the back line, and Grace tried hard to make good position for her team mates to pass to. Amelia and Chris displayed some good running, and Gypsy, Emma and Daniel were all enthusiastic and active players in their first hockey match, welcome aboard.
Best Team Player this week to Jakai for listening to Claire’s instructions and demonstrating them in the minutes that followed.
Coach’s post game tips, to keep eyes on the ball, get ready quickly after the umpires whistle and push the ball out wide, could lead to a team motto, what do you think.. Eyes Ready Wide?
Newtown Rebels vs Geelong College 3-2
A great team effort since it was our first official match, with a finishing score of 3-2. Congratulations to Harry who scored 2 goals in the first half and to Taylah with 1 goal in the second half. Well done to all who played, especially our new starters.
Newtown Strikers v Newtown Spirit 1-1
It was the battle of two Newtown’s in the U11’s this week, with the Strikers taking on the Spirit. It was an even game throughout, with some great play on both sides. For the Strikers, Harry took the lead as captain for the day and produced some excellent forward runs, while at the other end Brandon donned the goalie gear and kept the ball out of the Spirit’s goals for most of the game. One goal early in the second half put the Spirit ahead, but a (very) late goal from Olivia, with plenty of assistance from our other forwards, secured a 1-1 draw. It was great to see new players Flynn, Archie and Samuel all fit straight into the team and produce some good run and skills. Stand out performances came from Jonah and Sam S, who were jointly awarded this week’s Best Team Player award.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 2-10
There were a lot of positives to be taken from the Spirit’s defeat be a very talented Strikers team. The late goals in each half to Will & Declan showed that the team never stopped trying even when behind. There was some great defending by Sam, Miles & Angus, plenty of run provided by Harry, Isobel, Olivia & Claudia and solid goal keeping by James. Special thanks to Angus S for filling in and defending so well. But for a couple of late missed chances the result could have been a lot closer.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 10-2
Excitement was in the air leading up to the match between the two Newtown U13 teams with numerous set moves being practiced at either end of the field during warm up. The Strikers team were short of players and thankfully the Spirit team were gracious enough to lend us Jonah, one of the up and coming U11 recruits. We also welcomed to the team Sarah who has made a permanent move up from U11, and another first was Caleb’s move into goal. He looked ready for business when padded up.
The Strikers were able to score three goals early in the first half to Miles (2) and Jamie (1), with each of the goals coming from different attacking positions on the field. Caleb made two excellent saves later in the second half but to their credit, the Spirit team kept applying pressure on the goal. They were eventually rewarded with a short corner late in the first half and were able to convert into a goal, leaving the score 3:1 to the Strikers at the half time break.
The Strikers ramped up the intensity in the second half with Tom scoring early on after trapping a ball kicked from the goal by the Spirit goalie. Not to be outdone by her brother, Amelia was keen to be amongst the goals and made a move to the left post in the hope of picking up a deflection. She didn’t have to wait long and was able to neatly deflect in a shot from Jamie. Miles was back in the action again with two goals in quick succession, both from intercepted Spirit free hits. Olivia replicated her round 2 goal with a deflection in at the right post after a shot across the face of goal from Miles. The Spirit team kept their heads held high and pushed on for another short corner and goal later in the second half. There were two late goals to Amelia, who had become fond of the left post, earning herself the title of chief cherry picker.
It was a pleasing effort from the Strikers team with five different goal scorers contributing to the 10:2 win, demonstrating a willingness to pass the ball around and look for different attacking options. An excellent first game in goal for Caleb and for Sarah on the left wing, who integrated into the team very well for a first game in U13. Thanks also to Jonah from U11, great effort.
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 3-1
Newtown Spirit U15 faced up to Kardinia for the their round 3 game on Saturday. Fielding only 9 players, the Spirit ran hard to secure a 3 / 1 victory. A slow start let Kardinia get off to a one goal to nil lead at half time. During the break, coach Nik inspired the team with instructions in running play and defensive tactics. Lifted, the team came back to dominate the play in the second half with Lachie D converting short corner opportunities to score 3 unanswered goals.
Double thumbs up to Bronte Ennis who took the field even though she had a ricked neck. Covering the back line and open post when ever Kardinia moved the ball up to the D. Thanks to Declan and Lachie D for doubling up for the day.
Newtown Strikers vs Saints 8-0
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 5-2
After starting the season with two good wins and sitting on top of the ladder, we had a much tougher job this week coming up against a strong Kardinia line-up. Just to make the challenge more difficult, we only had 9 players on the field. Nevertheless there was plenty of motivation to play well as this marked the 250th junior game for Sean Fitzgerald.
The team played well in the first half on the back of hard work and determination. The record breaker scored the first goal, putting on an excellent display of his experience. Nathan and Corey showed strong defensive skills and were able to intercept many of Kardinia’s forward attacks, however we were continually outnumbered and Kardinia were able to score an equalising goal. Sean scored another goal before half time and we went into the break up by one goal.
The team looked exhausted at half time, a symptom of working very hard in the first half. At half time we talked about fatigue and the importance of concentrating on defending strongly and passing firmly as we tire. The team lived up to this game plan perfectly, with Luke T demonstrating good marking of the Kardinia forwards and Jonah setting up a couple of great forward moves from the mid-field. As the game went on, we got stronger and more disciplined and this seemed to dishearten Kardinia as we scored another 3 goals. When the game was over, the team looked fresher than they did at half time and played a more superior game! This game was a great test of team discipline and the Newtown U17’s showed that they can do it.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Strikers v Saints 1-3
It was a tough game for the Strikers this week. We started a little slow and couldn’t get our forward momentum going for much of the first half, turning over the ball a bit too often and putting too much pressure on our back line. Despite some superb backline skills from Deb, Ainsley and Jacqui, we conceded three goals early in the game to be down 3-0 at the break. We picked up in the second half, reducing turnovers and limiting the Saints’ attack. Some magnificent runs up the wing from Marion produced several scoring opportunities, but it was not until Amanda pushed one through with less than a minute to go that we had something to celebrate.
After losing several players very late to injury and illness we were very grateful to Deb, Ainsley and Erin (who were all asked to play only about an hour before the game commenced!) and to Claire for stepping in as goalie for the match and doing a tremendous job keeping out several Saints’ shots on goal.
Newtown Falcons vs Bellarine 4-0
A good team game, and thanks to Marion and Emily for filling in. The game started hard and we managed to score 3 goals in the first half with the good passing and good defence. The second half started the same way with the falcons scoring another goal, with good team play resulting in a win. Goal scorers were Penny 1, Rachel 1, and Katey 2. Emily had an outstanding game, she was every where and not afraid to tackle anyone – at the age of 14, Emily already possesses some great skills and shows great promise for the future.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Saints Red 8-0
With a strong turnout of 9 Falcons to play vs Saints Red, there was some before game and sideline recruitment including Alex Birse, Hamish Bulford and Stewart Humphries to bolster the numbers. Falcons took to the field and without the usual caliber of players, still managed to control the first half and dominate possession and territory, incorporating some new tactics when the opposition were taking free hits, 16 yd hits etc …and the result was a number of goals to Falcons. The second half saw a real increase to the pressure on the free hits and ball carriers which again resulted in lots of territory, possession and more goals, a solid game in defense by the back 5 saw very few entries to the circle and no goals against which is a good sign for the coming weeks. Goals to Leo (1) Luke H (2) James H (2) and Hamish (3) saw an 8-0 scoreline at the final whistle. Some really good runs by youngsters Hamish and Alex shows signs for a strong future, and also plentiful chances to Stewart Humphries was promising, however unlucky not to convert 1 or 2 of them…maybe some skills sessions are required from James Humphries. With next week’s game against Torquay sure to be close and intense, please ensure that the men’s convenor or team manager are aware of availability – prior to Friday would be preferable, in order to organise replacements if necessary.
Division 2 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 2-2
In what was an evenly matched game, the lead changed multiple times with the end result being a well deserved draw. The Newtown defense were able to shut down most of Torquay’s attacking plays and then release through the half backs to enable counter attacks by the forwards that resulted in numerous opportunities on goal. In general the team’s passing and linking has improved significantly which should now provide the confidence and ability to play the short, possession style of hockey that will be required to beat the top teams in division 2.
Newtown Spirit vs Bellarine 5-2
We had our first win of the season this week! We started off fairly steady and the game was quite balanced with both sides having a lot of chances to try and get into a scoring position. We were able to score 2 goals while Bellarine scored 1 during the first half. During half time we discussed ideas that we could use to try and score again and also ideas on how to prevent giving away goals to Bellarine.
We started with the ball at half time and quickly put away another goal which was followed by two more during the second half while Bellarine was able to score once against us. Overall we had a great game with the defence keeping Bellarine at bay while the forwards were able to keep Bellarine under constant pressure.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 2-1
Mild conditions and a bench welcomed the Spirit. Spirit applied pressure very early and was rewarded with many advances on goal. Strong play in the centre from Angela saw passes out to the wings. A break through with a pass from Nicola to Kelly Brussow saw a goal mid way. Unfortunately a high ball downed Bron just before half time.
In the second half strong defence from Jacinta, Andy, Hillary and Sharon kept Geelong out for most of the game. A swift ball beat us all and scores were locked. Spirit got back with a great team goal which was finished off by Deb. The pressure was applied from a fats, hard hitting Geelong but Spirit held on to win.
A huge thanks to Meredith, Kellie, Deb R and Kelly Brussow for filling in. Hopefully our injured athletes will be back next week.