The last round of matches before the school holidays saw some very exciting games and some great teamwork. In the run toward the end of this hockey season, there are many positive signs.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay
Newtown Spirit is showing exciting signs of adopting whole field use into their team play. Many times, the Spirit defensive players passed the ball across the ground to allow for forward movement. This has been a focus for the team in this hockey season and their confidence in its use is growing. Torquay were a strong opponent and restricted Spirit’s ability to attack their goal, but despite this Spirit persisted and repelled many Torquay attacks.
Blade was awarded Best Team Player and Lenny the Subway Award. Thanks to David for stepping in as coach for the second half, and doing a fantastic job.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels
For the last game of this hockey season before the school holidays, Newtown Strikers were scheduled to play Saints, but Saints had been hit by illness and were unable to field a team. But with Newtown Rebels having a bye, several of the Rebels players were able to come to the rescue and join Strikers so that there were enough players for a game. Kai and Isaac from Rebels joined Eddy, Josien and Joseph to form one team. And Manny and Jake from Rebels joined Lucy, Charlie and Hunter to form the other team.
All the players adapted to the new arrangements and a well-played game ensued. Lucy and Eddy won the player awards for their effective play on their respective teams.
Thanks to Kai, Jake, Manny and Isaac from Rebels for helping out Strikers and making the game possible.
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 3-6
Newtown Strikers vs GBS Black 0-0
This was another very close game between these two teams, with Newtown Strikers switched on from the starting whistle. With the game plan including taking free passes quickly and using the width of the field and the space down the wings, Strikers began very well. Maddie at centre midfield pounced on any loose balls, taking free hits quickly and making some fantastic wide passes to Will and Jacob. Good ball control skills and speed in running the ball into attack by Will, Jacob and Avah saw Newtown make many advances toward goal. Midfield pressure from Cormac, William and Maddie was well backed up by Grace and Charles, leaving Bella in goals little to do, although she remained vigilant at all time.
Some great position on the wings by Harrison and Maia, playing her first U10 game, allowed Strikers to advance and enter the goal circle but unfortunately without results on the scoreboard.
Best Team Player Award to Maddie, and Subway Award to Maia, who gained confidence as the game progressed and finished strongly, calling well and contesting for possession on many occasions.
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Rebels vs Torquay 0-2
Rebels faced a challenging match up against Torquay on Saturday, but kept the pressure up early to Torquay with strong defence. Rebels defended some short corners very well and managed to create some exciting attacks on goal in the first half. Unfortunately, Torquay scored 2 late goals to have a 2-0 lead at the half-time whistle.
The team reflected and re-grouped at half time and played the second half in fantastic spirit. They managed to block Torquay from scoring any further goals, defending many strong attacks on goals. The momentum of the game slowly shifted after half time and Newtown were unlucky not to score after dominating possession late in the game.
MVP this week went to Gil who showed maturity in reading the play, both deep in defence and in attacking positions. Toby & Peri were also recognised for their efforts.
Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 1-4
U12 Strikers had another tough game this week against a strong Golden Plains. Unfortunately, our effort levels were not consistent across the team, and this showed in our ball movement. There were some glimpses of the ball movement we used last week, with some sections of play where we moved the ball out wide around the defensive wall,
and then brought it back into the middle when in attack. We were still right in the game at half time, after getting a good linking run through the middle, Charlie again scored a good goal for us, heading into half time 1-1.
We continued to get some good run up through the middle, however Golden Plains were providing good 2 way running across the field, and we struggled to get the ball into attack enough times. At times we didn’t manage to clear the ball wide enough out of defence, and the Golden Plains forwards pounced on any balls cleared up the middle. In the end Strikers going down 1 – 4.
Newtown Spirit – Bye
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs GBS Black 3-0
On Saturday Spirit played a determined GBS Black. Play was congested in the first half with both teams flocking after the ball. Harry B fired off two shots from just inside the D but both just missed their mark. GBS were manning up well on our forwards giving us little room to move the ball around. That and a serious lack of talking saw no score for the first 10 minutes of the half. Spirit had chances in close but was thwarted on several occasions by hordes of GBS players that did a great job crowding the D. Harry B, showing great desperation, finally broke through, having been knocked to his knees but still managing to sweep one in. Spirit followed up with a second through Harry with 2 minutes to go setting the score at 2 nil at the half time break.
The fill-in coach (well meaning, but obviously a novice) asked for the team to start talking. Also, reiterating Coach Darren, for Spirit to link up quick passes, switching at half pitch if needed, to move the ball aggressively into attack.
The second half started in stark contrast to the first. There was plenty of chatter and loud, decisive calling. Spirit controlled the play passing swiftly and accurately down the pitch and deep into offense numerous times, almost resulting in goals. On the few occasions that GBS pressed back, they were quickly halted by Luca & Grace combining beautifully across the backline. Mitchell and Harry W were instrumental coming out of defense, making space and giving our defenders a target. Harry B started firing passes from midfield forcing our forwards to run and creating opportunities to score. Numerous short corners resulted and before the push on one of these, a sneaky plan was hatched by Harry B that involved him flicking the ball quickly across to Harry W who finished off decisively to send the score to 3 nil.
In what was definitely a game of 2 halves, we managed in the second to string together some of the best passages of play for the season. Well done team.
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-11
It was a very cold start to the day, but Under 14 Strikers were keen to get out and play. With 6 regular players missing, we had to borrow players from Under 14 Spirit and under 12 teams as well as a coach – thanks Kurt. The players gave it their best but couldn’t match the Torquay team. Ollie saved some great goals and when Strikers got their running game going they looked good. Thanks to Harry, Matilda, Eliza, Jai, Kye and Nate for helping out.
Under 17 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 1-6
Geelong Jaguars came out strongly against Newtown Spirit but did not score their first goal until 15 minutes into the game, proving some good defence by Caleb. Jaguars were very persistent in aiming for further goals via two short corner opportunities, and once again Caleb managed some great defence to prevent one of their goals. A very congested first half with Jaguars giving us little room to move forward, in the end Jaguars managed another 3 goals leaving the score at half time 4-0.
Newtown Spirit played a stronger second half in the midfield from Tom, Harley, and Ethan, with great passing from Harley to Tom which gained us our first goal. Jarret played well in the back line with firm hitting and strong running, and Bailey had tackled and intercepted very well against a well-drilled offence which often left him guarding 2 players. Riley gained some great possessions and tackling opportunities and narrowly missed what would have been a fantastic goal. Our attack looked dangerous with shorter passing and sharing the ball around through Ethan, Nick, Tom and Amelia on the right. Unfortunately in the end Jaguars still remained dominant with a win of 6-1. Thank-you both to Riley and Amelia for filling in.
Newtown Strikers – Bye
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Geelong Jaguars 0-5
Division 2 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Blue 4-3
This game was a big test for us against the only Division 2 team that we have lost against this year. The first half was a tight tussle with excellent play around the ground. EJ kept us in the game with some great pressure on the opposition forwards when they tried to take him on in a couple one-on-one attacks against the goalie. Both teams played to a very high standard in the first half but neither could score.
The standard in the second half was also high but the goals started to flow. Callum found the back of the net in the first two minutes of the second half. Geelong were quick to respond by scoring two goals within 5 minutes. Carl starred in the mid-field and distributed the ball nicely to the forwards who rewarded his good play with 2 more goals to put us back into the lead with about 15 minutes remaining. We continued to play well and with two minutes remaining the Team Manager (yours truly) was starting to pencil in a 3-2 win; however with 2 minutes remaining, Geelong scored to level the game. With 30 seconds remaining and before I could cross out the score to replace it with a draw, our young forward line got the Geelong goalie off balance and created an opportunity for Will to score the eventual winning goal. The Spirit players and fans in the cheer squad roared with exhilaration and we managed to hold on for a great win.
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 1 2-4
This was a great effort for Spirit, playing against Geelong’s Division 1 team. What a game, I don’t think Geelong expected that they would be a goal down for most of the first half and only break a two goals all deadlock with 8 minutes to spare of the final whistle.
Again the Newtown Spirit men showed great determination and throughout the game forced mistakes from the opposition and constantly came out on top in 50/50 contests.
Although there haven’t been many wins this season, every game we’ve given it our best and the development I’m seeing individually and in our team play means that no team should take us lightly.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 7-0
Golden Plains were again at a severe disadvantage with 8 players to our 15. However, this should not detract from the high standard of play and great teamwork shown by Newtown Spirit. The 6 different goal scorers was a fantastic illustration of the co-operation and the effort put in by each member of the team.
The availability of reserves allowed the players to work hard, with frequent interchanges to rest and return to the game with intensity. Golden Plains created some great attacks but good marking by our midfield and good positioning and great defence by Bron, Kylie and Kirsty A prevented any success on their part. Interceptions in midfield gained possession for Newtown and disposal out of the defensive zone was effective with Andie, Peta, Beth and Hannah making great passes to Newtown’s advantage. A number of excellent square passes between Andie and Peta set up forward movement and resulted in goals.
Good linking between midfield and forwards continued to move the ball into attack, and with players looking for team mates in support, Newtown Spirit maintained possession and threatened the Golden Plains’ defence on many occasions. Excellent movement toward the ball by Kirsty M and controlled play saw her score a lovely goal in the second half. Hard running and persistence by Georgie, Deb and Katie won the ball many times. Maryanne and Deanne’s vision and use of team mates was a pleasure to see, and Kate W was extremely effective on the wing, trapping well and sending the ball to the advantage of team mates.
Goals scored by Maryanne, Katie (2), Deanne, Deb, Kirsty M and Kate. Well done Spirit and a fantastic game by all.