The 2017 hockey season finished on a high for the Newtown Hockey Club, with 3 Premierships and 2 Runners Up placings. Congratulations to all the teams who played on Grand Final day, and to all of the teams and players who represented the Club in this hockey season.
Newtown Rebels vs Bellarine Lightning 3-2
An all-round team performance saw Newtown Rebels run out Premiers with a 3-2 win over Bellarine Lightning.
It was a tense first half for both players and supporters! Early on, Lightning had much of the ball, and it wasn’t until late in the first half that Newtown started to put some serious pressure on the Lightning defence. The first goal of the game was an excellent follow-up goal from Kiah after a short corner.
The second half saw Brandon and Harry score goals to take the score to 3-0, and give the Rebels some breathing space. Newtown were starting to look as though they might be comfortable winners, but Lightning had other ideas. With around 8 mins to go, Lightning scored two ‘lightning’ fast goals, one after the other, to bring the score to 3-2.
Rebels showed tremendous calm, way beyond their years, and more than can be said for the supporters who were just a little nervous!!! With only 30 seconds to go, the ball was again deep in Lightning’s forward half. Clever thinking saw a pass to Harry who cleared the ball, sending it safely to Newtown’s forward half. The clearance was followed shortly by the umpires final whistle.
It has been a fantastic hockey season for the Rebels team. The team has worked hard and listened to their coaches. Thank you to AJ and all coaches who have so kindly given their time. Thank you also to all of the parents – your support has been very much appreciated. Go Rebels!!!
Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 3-1
Newtown Spirit played Golden Plains in the U14 Grand Final, their 3rd head-to-head game in 4 weeks. Golden Plains had the most recent win 2 weeks ago, so Spirit knew they needed to work hard, and the crowd was buzzing with anticipation.
From the start, Spirit looked to be more determined, as they were first to the ball and their passing was very accurate. Some early highlights from the first half were Charley and Nick teaming up on the right wing to take us deep into attack, and Riley and Harry keeping Golden Plains under pressure. Charley, Claudia, Grace and Harley worked well in the midfield and took the ball up into attack. Good passing from Will to Nick, and then Harry took the ball into the half-circle and drew a short corner. From the short corner, Jamie had a mis-hit but then steadied for another hit to score a goal.
Golden Plains bounced back immediately and had a chance of their own but the hit was wide. Through tight defence from Angus, Harley, Ella, Bailey and Amelia, Spirit was able to keep the play forward for the remainder of the half, and we had a few attacking chances but no further scores.
In the second half, Golden Plains had a hit on goal within the first minutes, but Max’s goalkeeping reflexes were great and he kicked the ball clear. Sam was able to get clear in attack soon after and hit the ball past Golden Plains’ goalie to give Spirit a 2-0 lead. Spirit’s passing in the second half was again a stand-out. Ella, Sam, Amelia, Jamie all shared the ball around and showed great use of the ball that was missing a little in the first 2 finals matches.
Will was persistent in attack and hit our 3rd goal. As they do at stoppages, Golden Plains again got the jump on us, and passed through our defence to goal, making the score 3-1. Golden Plains then had a few short corners but they were well defended. Then it was Newtown’s turn to have 2 short corners, but also without any score. With the final siren, the score was Newtown Spirit 3 to Golden Plains 1.
It’s been great to see Coaches Carl and Darren mould this group of young players into an excellent team of good sports, and we look forward to their continued development in future hockey seasons. Well done U14 Newtown Spirit.
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 2-1
The big day finally arrived. To our dismay, we had a setback even before the game started when we found out that Angus had broken his hand the day before the game! In our warm up talk we focused on two things; (a) Torquay would come at us hard from the start as they had done during our previous encounters, and (b) we would only win this game if we played at no less than 100% intensity. We reinforced amongst ourselves that we had to play a tight defence from the very start as the first goal would be all important.
And as we expected, Torquay attacked with all barrels blazing. The first half was like trench warfare with Torquay attacking us with rapid fire. It’s not the way we normally like to play but Torquay forced us into this approach. Fortunately our defence was strongly led by Luka and Corey who made sure that all of the key Torquay forwards were marked tightly and kept Torquay from scoring. Callum, Byron and Ollie took on the task of keeping the key Torquay forwards scoreless which they had successfully achieved at half time. Rachael S and Declan made sure that their opposing wingers did not get any cheap shots at goal. We managed to break through into our forward line every now and again in the first half but they tagged our forwards Tom, Sam and Erin so tightly that we were starting to get frustrated with the lack of freedom that we normally experience.
Early in the second half, Torquay managed to sneak a goal. It wasn’t their best shot at goal for the day but nevertheless the ball found itself on the wrong side of the baseline in the net. Now at this point in time, an average team would have hung their heads after trying so hard and not getting on the score board. However the Strikers saw this differently. They knew that Torquay would be so overjoyed after working so hard and scoring the first goal that they might temporarily drop their guard. Suddenly the game opened up and started to look more like our preferred way to play in the open fields instead of in the trenches. We started working the ball out wide and linking our passes nicely.
We eventually earned a short corner and knew that this was now the time to look into our collection or arsenal to find some high-tech weaponry; and we found Rachel V. Poised at the top of the D, Tom sent a firm straight pass to Rachel. “Smack” went the ball when she struck it and “thud” it went as it hit the back of the net. We celebrated briefly but knew we were only half way there, so we rolled up our sleeves and got straight back to business. Torquay were probably in shock at this point because they were not expecting this. Again, this was the opportunity to hurry up and score another goal. We played it back and forward a bit more whilst the game still resembled our preferred open game.
With 5 minutes remaining in the game, Jonah eventually spotted Jamie up high and fired a long range pass to him. Suddenly Jamie was one-on-one against the goalie. Eager to join the party of goal-scorers with his sister, Jamie kept his cool, controlled the ball nicely under pressure and tip-toed around the goalie to put the ball in the net. Again, we only had a short celebration because this time Torquay woke up and we had to roll up our sleeves and get back into the trenches to fight them off. They came blazing at us again for the last 5 minutes, however our defence that worked so tirelessly in the first half staved off the barrage.
Some may think we were lucky to win this game because Torquay had so many more chances than us. But on reflection we won because in the face of adversity we persisted and never gave up. Our defence just relentlessly kept doing what they had to do and our forwards kept their chins up when things were not going their way and waited for the right opportunity. A very well deserved win to a fantastic team of players. You did it and you deserved it!
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 0-7
What a good night for a hockey game. We started the game very well, moving the ball from one side to the other. Falcons had some chances and some short corners but could not convert them to a score. The high intensity pace of the game saw both teams working hard and both had attacking chances early in the game. Falcons forwards made space but a lack of calling meant Torquay were able to mark our players and delayed passes were cut off.
Campbell was under pressure in goals from the beginning and made many great saves in the first half. Torquay were able to convert their opportunities and the score at half time was 0-3. Falcons continued to use back passes and switches well to get the ball out of defence and try to find a way into attack. A great shot by Nic M was saved at chest height by the Torquay keeper. Some nice work by Alex in good position, and overlapping to get the ball into attack. Solid defence by Sean and a great ball to space found Tom P leading to pick it up and into attack, but no result on the score board.
Newtown continued to attack in the second half, but still couldn’t find a way to goal. Torquay continued to attack and added 2 more goals – 0-5. Some great work by Zed got the ball into attack and Newtown earned a number of short corners and chances in front of goal. A pass from Zed went across the face of goal, unfortunately without any Falcons stick connecting. Falcons continued to work hard with Leo and Clarke getting the ball forward but without success on the score board. Torquay continued to mount attacks and put the defence under pressure. Lachie and Sean were able to gain possession and prevent a score but Torquay’s tight marking made it difficult to mount any significant attacks.
As the game came to a close the score on the board showed 7-0 to Torquay. Falcons played very well but could not convert the chances. Without Campbell’s efforts in goals, the score would have been even higher.
Congratulations to Falcons on finishing 2nd, after a difficult year. A focus on regular team selection and training will help Falcons in their aim to do even better in 2018.