The hockey season continued with the junior teams back in action after the school holidays. It must have been a refreshing break as there were some fantastic games and great skills on display.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Strikers v College Blue
Strikers performed well this week against College Blue. College Blue started strongly in the first half, however Strikers defended well and, despite crowding by College Blue, they maintained their positions well and displayed excellent team work.
At half-time Colleen told Strikers to remember to call to one another and move into space for free passes to ensure possession. In the second half, Strikers gained confidence, improving their passing which meant they were able to move forward more frequently. All the players worked hard and, when the opposition had possession of the ball, they never gave up and continued to defend well.
Lachie was awarded Subway Best Team Player Award for his hard work in goal in the first half and for moving around well in the second half. Congratulations Lachie!
Newtown Rebels vs College Green
An excellent game by Rebels with great concentration on the play from all players and some very effective passing. Ella joined us for her first game with the team and was in great position to block College attacks and pass to team mates. Sam had a fantastic game, marking his opponent well and showed great determination to get the ball and create space to receive the ball on free hits.
Fantastic ball control skills and speedy attack by George created a number of forward moves for Rebels. Good communication and teamwork in front of goals from George, Sofia and Edward put plenty of pressure on the College defense. Marlo was in great position to support the team as they moved into attack, and when College attacked was there to intercept and delay their progress. Zeph tackled well with his stick on the ground and made some excellent passes.
The second half saw Harrison provide a strong force in defense of our goal, and Amelia worked hard to gain possession and cooperate with teammates. Thanks to Amelia and George who each played a half for College.
Subway Best Team Player Awards to Sam and Ella.
Newtown Spirit v Torquay
Spirit had to dig deep from the starting whistle when it took on skilful Torquay in Under-8 action at Lloyd Reserve at the weekend. The orange army got off to a blistering start, forcing full back Oliver and half-back duo Edie and Summah to fight hard to keep Torquay from scoring. Despite Torquay’s great passing, Spirit stood strong and managed some forward attacks. Oliver’s well-considered free hits were a key on several occasions in allowing Spirit to break through, with centre forward Pollyanna latching onto a lovely through ball and racing off to goal.
Braxton got among the action and forced a couple of frees by applying pressure and tackling while Edie, Maia, Pollyanna and Summah, who chased hard all game, combined together at one stage in a stand-out passage of girl-power play.
At half time Coach Kellie urged Spirit to mark opposition players and use the full width of the field. After a position reshuffle, she sent her young team out onto the field for the second half. Spirit displayed good teamwork when play resumed, embracing the coach’s directive to spread out and pass to the player in the gap. Maia picked up a great cross from Pollyanna and launched her team into attack while Oliver provided focus playing wide at left wing.
At the game’s end Coach Kellie said there had been lots of fantastic play. She awarded the Subway best team player award to Maia who had a marvellous game and performed well in fullback and goals, always watched the ball and was ready to go to it with her stick down. Great work Maia!
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 3-1
Spirit started the game all guns firing! They passed the ball quickly to Spirit’s scoring end and it stayed there for the first 5 minutes of the game. Brilliant team work and energy from everyone was great to see. Hamish worked well in the goals coming out to meet the ball and stopping Torquay’s first attempt at goal. Nate took the ball from there hitting up the field to Annabelle who passed out wide and back to our scoring end again. Leo attacked well and with great backup from several team members managed to score our first goal. Lucy and Charlotte worked well together on the wings passing and attacking well. Matilda moved up the field well showing great persistence with second and third efforts.
At half time Kellie was very happy with everyone’s performance. A reminder to mark players always, otherwise it gives Torquay the opportunity to pass the ball up the field and potentially score. Be more confident with your dribbling and dribble the ball out to the sides to push up the sidelines quickly.
In the second half Emme made sure she was always well positioned and came to meet the ball in the back line. Great persistence from Pollyanna by following through with her attacking and pushing the ball through the opponent’s legs to win the free. Our second goal was scored when Lucy positioned herself well to take the pass from Nate and push the ball in. Oscar and Ruben showed great dribbling and spinning skills and took the ball out to the sides when taking the penalties. Nate scored our third goal after 2nd and 3rd efforts even playing on his knees at one stage. A fantastic game from everyone with great focus and enthusiasm. Well done Spirit!
Hamish – showing great confidence and meeting the ball every time.
Pollyanna – great decision making, by going slow and being down low when trapping the ball allowed her to look up to see who to pass to.
Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers 0-0
This was a very high standard game with Rebels demonstrating some excellent thinking and strategy as well as maximum effort and concentration. With superb focus on the ball and the progression of play from all players, Rebels were often in the right place at the right time. Excellent work in the midfield from Ruby, Eliza and Baxter (who all were cool, calm and collected) saw Rebels gain possession and well placed passes allowed Jai, Tommy and Emma to run into space to collect the ball, and look threatening in attack. India and Lucinda maintained their position on the wings well, creating space for great team passes. India followed up well and was unlucky not to score. Amelia’s approach to the oncoming opponent saw her win the ball many times with flat stick tackles and great passes to team mates.
The second half saw Rebels continue to move the play into the attacking circle, with a number of shots at goal which were just wide of the post. The defence held its position strongly, with Amelia moving into goals and Elliott and Alex making some lovely tackles and strategically placed passes. Elliott worked hard to create space for free hits out of defence with some great play designed to deceive the opposition.
Best Team Player Awards went to Elliott and Baxter.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels 0-0
Two of the Newtown U10 teams, Strikers and Rebels, played a highly competitive and exciting game of hockey. It was very evenly matched for the entire game, with both teams having genuine opportunities to score but narrowly missing the target. Strikers players seemed a little hesitant to attack the ball initially, particularly deep in defence and had to hold off some strong attacks by the Rebels in the opening minutes. Once the ball was cleared from full back, Kye managed to connect with some of his trademark strong hits and break through the Rebels defence, which quickly set up from free hits. Maddie & Meyah were on the end of some of these and looked dangerous as they dribbled towards the circle. At times they required extra support to navigate around the full-backs successfully and players were reminded of this at half time. Following the 3 week holiday break, Strikers players were also reminded about sticking to their set positions & the responsibilities of their role within the team.
After half time and with the move of Surry and Zac to Inner positions, Strikers came out with renewed enthusiasm and greater attack on the ball. Zac in particular provided several strong runs forward, earning several free hits just outside the circle. A great cross almost found Maddie on the end of it in the circle & with Meyah willing herself to keep running at every opportunity, she almost finished off a fantastic solo effort deep into the second half. Michael did a great job at his first attempt at goalie, seeing some action early on and moving across to shut down the angle when Rebels looked like scoring late in the game. Avah & Kye were solid and reliable across half back once again, Hannah stood tall deep in defence and communicated well with several different full backs, whilst Surry worked tirelessly to mop up at centre half and sweep the ball wide at all times. Will worked hard to run forward and be an option, whilst also chasing hard back in defence. Charlotte and Lisette stayed wide on the wings and listened well to instructions on their positioning in regard to working alongside the Inners. Thanks again to Jacob for filling in with the late arrival of a team member and when Will was sidelined with an injury.
Awards this week went to Meyah for her enormous effort and determination, Charlotte for her strength in the contest and increased confidence to attack and win the ball, and Zac for his added spark in the second half to successfully run the ball forward and work with teammates around him as our right inner.
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 7-1
Strikers began well, with a lovely through pass from Tom finding a team mate in space in the circle to score a quick goal. Golden Plains bounced back quickly and equalized soon after in a 2 vs 1 combination against the keeper. Strikers continued to work hard, with Tom distributing the ball well from the midfield but loose marking allowed Golden Plains to create attacks and the defence had to work hard.
The second half saw much tighter marking and better positioning from the midfield to support forwards in attack, and Strikers began to dominate the game. Ruby used through passes down the right wing to Charlotte and excellent running by Sam, Max and Brayden saw Strikers move the ball into attack and take numerous shots at goal. Great cooperation and well considered passes in the goal circle was a feature of this half. Amber was in great position on the post and narrowly missed a couple of scoring chances. The defense continued to hold Golden Plains out, with Alice and Ebony playing high and stopping Golden Plains attacks early. Curtis was always in the right spot, tackling well and passing very effectively to the wings. Scarlett did a fantastic job in goals, blocking half a dozen attempts to score by Golden Plains. Chloe unfortunately had to leave the field with an injury early in the game, but we hope she will be back this week.
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Spirit v Torquay 1-1
A close contest resulted in a draw between Newtown Spirit and Torquay on a sunny Saturday morning at Stead Park.
The first half started well with Newtown holding Torquay out of goal after some strong attacking play. There was great passing between Charley and Basyl and excellent defence across the half line by Will. Given the need for close play by Torquay, strong tackling by Harley was important in defence. Torquay’s attacking resulted in a short corner following 15 minutes of play but strong defence and fearless running by Will to the top of the circle meant that Torquay were not given the opportunity to score.
There were some great shots on goal by Newtown with attacking play by Nick. Following strong defence by Charlie and Amelia in fullback, we went into the halftime break 0-0 having had some opportunities for goals off strong attacking play and good defence.
On halftime, coach Pete, reminded the players to maintain only 5 metres on the free hits to shut down these passes. Players were encouraged to pick up a player when waiting for a hit and to continue to chase after the ball. There were suggestions from the players to mark up in the circle and for the inners Ethan and Brandon to continue their strong running between attack and defence.
The second half started strongly with Nick forcing a short corner. The short corner gave rise to a passage of play that led to a strong hit by Nick and off the goalie’s pads to Basyl’s well positioned stick at wing, taking Newtown into the lead 1-0.
There was continued pressure and good passing play from Charley in midfield and great running by Grace along the wing, always exploring opportunities for quick passes. All credit to Jack, our goalkeeper who showed immense resilience under strong pressure from Torquay. It was only after a series of short corners that Torquay were able to equalise 1-1. In the last moments of the game, Newtown was really tested with some strong hits by Torquay to Jack in the goal and he defended these beautifully, clearing well.
A strong result, 1-1, well done to the team on an excellent effort.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong 0-7
Strikers met the top of table team, Geelong on Saturday morning. Strikers began in an unsettled fashion as the Geelong team moved the ball well and went up early. Once Strikers settled however the game play evened out and on a number of occasions Strikers got out the back and were a final effective pass short of good shots on goal. This effort persisted into the second half – however superior field positioning and finishing meant that Geelong pushed ahead. Oliver and Jarret were strong and Maggie covered excellent ground across the field.
Geelong finished 7-0 winners but Strikers showed good application. If the same effort is brought over the coming weeks then there will be opportunities for wins in the run home.
Under 17 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 5-3
Newtown Spirit played Newtown Strikers in an exciting game of hockey that tested both sides. The momentum went Spirit’s way with an early goal by Emily who was perfectly positioned on the post and put the ball in the back of the net. A strong return attack by Strikers was blocked well by Rachel who continues to excel in defense. At the 10 minute mark Tom scored a fantastic goal from the circle and rocketed the ball high into the back of the net with an impressive display of forward attack. The Strikers undeterred replied with two quick goals to level the score to 2:2 at half time and really put the pressure on Spirit to play their best hockey.
Three minutes into the second half, and with explosive speed Miles scored to put Spirit back into the lead. Spurred into action Spirit finished strongly with a hit by Emily deflected nicely into the goals by Ben in a crowded goal. Shortly after Ben scored again from the circle with a shot between the goalie’s legs to bring the final score to 5:3 for a Spirit win. Coach Paul praised the whole team after the game for “playing a terrific team game with unselfish passing”, and congratulated Max on saving a penalty shot. Well done Spirit on a great team game.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 3-5
With both teams short of players, it was 9-a-side hockey on Saturday for the local derby game between Newtown Strikers and Newtown Spirit. The reduced numbers gave our teams a lot more space and made for a really free-flowing game, and both teams employed a player or 2 up forward to receive a long ball and make a fast break for goals.
Spirit got the jump on Strikers by scoring early and they continued to put a lot of pressure on our defenders. They then went 2-0 up after getting a high ball past Luka. Strikers steadied and through Oscar and Jack were able to make a fast break, enabling Oscar to score our first goal. Strikers then successfully defended a couple of penalty corners, but again Jack and Oscar made a fast break to level scores at 2-2 by half time.
In the second half, Strikers went to a 3-2 lead after another hit through to Jack who had a 1-on-1 contest with the Spirit goalie and got the ball over the line, but Spirit were able to return fire and had a succession of penalty corners, and through their persistence in attack, they scored 3 more goals to win the match.
Coach Darren praised the team’s passing on angles to bypass the opposition, and use of poke tackles to frustrate the Spirit attackers. Our younger players Harry W, Sam R and Jarret were passing the ball really well. Luka was fantastic in goals, saving numerous hits including many high balls – a really outstanding effort. While not the result Strikers wanted, the Newtown teams played really well and it was a very enjoyable game to watch.
Thanks to Harry W for filling in for us.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 5-5
Falcons came up against Geelong this week who have been playing strong consistent hockey recently. The first half reflected this with Geelong constantly pushing forward, putting immense pressure on our defence. Their forward press resulted in 2 early goals before Gus was able to peg one back to steady the ship. Unfortunately however we leaked another goal just before half time to be 3-1 down at the break.
We were able to regroup at half time and with the inclusion of Sean, Matt and Clarke just before half time this injected some additional support through the mid and forward line. We gained momentum back in the second half and scored the next three goals thanks to Clarke and Gus, to take the lead. Geelong then scored again before Zed slotted a lovely goal from the top of the circle to put us ahead again at 5-4. Geelong however were not to be denied and with about 30 seconds to go before the end of the game they were able sneak one by our defence to make it a 5-5 draw at the final siren. It was a great game played by both teams. Gus McK was named IGA player of the game.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 1-5
This week’s game was the most attacking play we have been able to generate against Torquay this hockey season. Torquay played their aggressive style and put an extra player into the midfield which we had trouble containing in the first half. We did generate some great scoring opportunities in the first half but the Torquay defense thwarted those near the goal line.
Down 4-0 at half the Falcons were not to be deterred. The players came out more determined and focused and with an adjusted tactical plan. Ainsley was superb in the backfield. Shannon was great coming back in the second half to help stop the midfield flow that Torquay had had in the first half. The up top combo of our young guns Hailey and Erin and seasoned veteran Kylile (and I might add still not 100% from injury – thank you Kylie for stepping up to help with numbers) proved to be a scoring combination. At the end of the day the match turned into a Tale of Two Halves with a 4-0 defeat in the first half but a a 1-1 result for the second half.
IGA player of the game was Kylie Hutchinson.
Division 2 Men
Newtown Spirit vs Corio 0-10
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Saints Red 0-7
Newtown Spirit came up against a strong team this week who had plenty of running ability and strength both in defence and attack. Spirit’s defence was under pressure early with Saints using loose players in the middle and square passes to cut through to their attacking circle. Andie, Hillary and Tracey worked valiantly to stem the flow, and delayed the Saints onslaught on a number of occasions. Excellent work from Wendy with good use of the wings created some play down the right side of the field, and good running to the ball by Beth and Kirsty allowed us to gain some forward momentum.
Good vision and strong passes from Peta sent the ball forward for Katie, Jessie and De to pick up and with Kellie providing good support and persistent pressure on the opposition, there were some promising passages of play. Saints continued to attack in the second half, but the Spirit defence managed to deflect a number of shots at goal, keeping the score from being even bigger.