We are up to Round 3 of this hockey season already, and teams are beginning to settle into their lineups. There were some great efforts this week, with some teams facing some strong opposition.
Highlight of the week is the never say die attitude of Annabelle and the u12 Spirit team, and a message which is an example to all of us.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Rebels vs Torquay
Newtown Rebels played Torquay on Saturday. The team showed a lot of enthusiasm and worked really well together. Lenny did some desperate defence (sometime one-handed!), and backed up Kasey in goal in the first half. Kasey made a fantastic save, and did some good passing with Jake, while Manny scored a goal, leaving the game fairly even at half time.
In the second half, Jake went into goals and there was some nice passing between the brothers Manny and Isaac. Luc made a good stop and pass in the back half.
In his first game for the season, Kai showed a lot of dash, and Albie made a couple of nice passes.
The team is learning to listen to Claire, and how to spread out and make space so they can get open to receive passes. The more experienced players are doing a great job of including all of the players on the team by passing and encouraging. At the end of the match, the game had been evenly matched throughout and all players had worked hard. Well played all!
Lenny received the Subway Award and Albie got the Best Team Player award.
Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains
Newtown Strikers came up against an under strength Golden Plains this week. With only 4 players on the Golden Plains team, Strikers helped out by giving them a player to better balance the game. Audrey joined Golden Plains for the first half of the game, and then Josien swapped with her for the second half. This gave each team 5 players, but Strikers still dominated the game with the players from Golden Plains being younger and less confident.
The game saw many goals from Strikers, especially from Joseph, including a great team goal when Hunter, Josien and Joseph combined. Some of the other highlights included Josien running the length of the field with the ball to score a goal and Hunter making excellent position to receive a pass and being rewarded with a goal.
The awards this week went to Charlie and Lucy. Charlie listened well to coach Maggie, who at half time had asked the team to make sure they passed to a team mate before trying to get a goal. Late in the game Charlie could have scored a goal, but instead made a great pass to Joseph, allowing him to score. Lucy worked very hard on her position on the field, making sure she was marking players when in defence, and getting around opposition players when in attack.
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia
This week saw Newtown Spirit play competitively against a strong Kardinia team. The Spirit team was boosted by the inclusion of Blade, our new team member. Spirit team members worked hard, transitioning between attack and defence throughout the game. Paige stood out this week with numerous forays forward and for this effort was given this week’s Best Team Player Award.
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Strikers v GBS Black 1-0
Strikers took the field full of energy for their round 3 match against GBS Black. The first half saw a congested game with both sides struggling to gain any momentum.
The second half was a different story with Strikers taking on board coach instructions to back their hitting skills, passing wide and hitting through the lines to get in behind the GBS defence. Charles, in only his second game for Strikers was solid in defence and gained in confidence as the game went on displaying great tackling and distribution skills. Persistent pressure resulted in a turn over from GBS which was snapped up by Jacob, who ran several metres to the circle pushing past the keeper to score a well-deserved goal.
Subway and Best Team Player Awards to Charles and Jacob
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 5-0
After last week’s Bye, Newtown Spirit came out firing this week and really took the game to Kardinia in the first half. There was some great use of space and beautiful passing up the centre and out on the wings. The continued pressure from Spirit was rewarded through a goal by George. Matilda and Baxter both had shots on goal but couldn’t quite get through the Kardinia defence. George snuck in another goal before half time.
In the second half Spirit’s defence was tested a few times but the backs worked well together to keep out any shots on goal. Pollyanna made some great saves in her first game as goalkeeper. Two more goals from George and a goal from Matilda sealed the game for Spirit 5 -0. It was great to see the team using the feedback from their last match to good effect, with much better positioning and passing of the ball. A great team effort!
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Spirit 11-0
Rebels played an exciting game with very strong attack against Spirit in Round 3. We saw a couple of near misses on goal early on and the first conversion came from Isabelle – holding fantastic position at post. The team gained pace and sharpened their passes to continue with a daunting attack on goals.
The main highlights from the match were very strong defensive play from Eliza and Ruby with quick intercepts and strong stick work; great holding of position up high from Isabelle, Brayden and Alex; impressive control working the ball up the field by Gil and Jai. Our backline contributed some sound match analysis – provided by Trey and Amelia at the half time review. However the highlight of the day would have to be when Brayden had a reverse stick shot on goal basically from the baseline and managed to score from a very tight angle.
Despite the one-sided score, the game was played in fantastic Newtown ‘spirit’. MVP for the day was Gil closely followed by Ruby, Toby and Isabelle.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Rebels 0-11
Newtown Spirit had another hard game this week with an 11-0 loss to fellow club team Newtown Rebels. From the sideline viewing perspective, Spirit had a better game than last week with better ball control.
It is worth acknowledging that 3 of the team Nate, Ruben and Hamish S, had played in matches prior to their own allowing those teams a better chance, (Hamish playing goalie for U14 strikers)! Well done and thank you!
Nate did a great job moving the ball into the attacking half. Our defenders put up an outstanding fight in particular Lucy and Charlotte C. Bella showed control of the ball taking it up the left wing, and Emma was a significant presence in the centre of the field until a bout of asthma took her off the field, much to her displeasure.
Some of the best attacking play was just prior to half time where Rebels were under real pressure, Spirit were in with a real chance when a car alarm was mistaken for the umpires whistle, the ensuing confusion allowed Rebels to clear the ball.
When asked how she felt after the match Annabelle reminded me of a quote which I thought was worth sharing.
“ It’s often been said that you learn more from losing than you do from winning. I think, if you’re wise, you learn from both. You learn a lot from a loss. You learn what is it that we’re not doing to get to where we want to go. It really gets your attention and it really motivates the work ethic of your team when you’re not doing well”. Morgan Wootten
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 0-2
Strikers had another tough game this week, up against Kardinia. We had 4 people away this week but were very lucky to get top up players from Spirit and Rebels. Thank you to Ruby, Amelia, Nate and Ruben, and their respective parents for bringing them down early, all provided great support both on and off the field.
The kids all ran hard again this week, moving the ball around the field, and trying to find scoring opportunities. We got a few opportunities in the first half but were not quite able to get one across the line. Our defence held up well, with some strong clearances from defence required. After some even play we went into half time 0-0.
Kardinia came out hard in the second half scoring 2 quick goals. We pushed hard, providing plenty of run through the middle, and getting the ball up into the attacking D. Despite keeping the ball locked into our attacking end, we were not able to get a score across the line. In the end Strikers going down 0-2.
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs GBS Black 1-0
Spirit started the match with four players from the team absent and no sub. GBS stood their ground early against a determined Spirit and at times pushed deep into attack. Luca was brilliant in defense assisted by Tom, denying GBS any clean shot at goal. Mitchell and Harry worked tirelessly across the midfield giving our full backs plenty of options to clear the ball. Spirit slowly but surely gained the upper hand controlling the ball and passing well to maintain possession. A number of scoring opportunities arose later in the first half with aggressive moves forward down the right side with Adam and Tilly combining well, but at half time the score remained at nil all.
The second half began much the same as the first but Spirit continued to maintain the advantage and always looked more likely to score. Daniel made his presence felt in mid-field gaining possession on numerous occasions and feeding short passes out to Grace, Mitchell and Harry. Tension built deep into the half as Spirit failed to break through GBS’s persistent defense. With less than three minutes remaining Amber gained possession at left half and pushed the ball forward with sheer determination. Isabella found space and swept a perfect pass to Harry at the top of the D who reacted quickly to thread the ball through a defender to Tilly, mid D in front of goal. She finished off the best passage of play for the match sending us to a 1 nil lead. In the dying moments GBS had their best opportunity to score, but Mai was having none of it. 1 nil to Spirit; a well-earned win.
A big thanks to Grace who showed courage to ensure her team had 11 sticks on the pitch despite feeling quite unwell. Also, thanks to Amber again this week, and Isabella for filling holes in our team. We also welcome Mai as our permanent goalie.
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 1-5
Strikers came up against a strong team in Torquay and despite the end score, played a good game. There was vigorous contest for the ball, with great tackling and dispossession from both sides. Kate and Maggie worked well on the left wing with Maggie scoring a goal for Newtown and Brandon on the right wing narrowly missed a second goal. Charlie and Oskar played solid games and Basyl and Liam ran hard at the ball throughout the match.
The team showed maturity with their post-game reflection and we look forward to the next match.
Under 17 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 1-3
Round 3 saw Newtown Spirit take on Geelong Jaguars, in a fast moving game. Since Spirit was short of players this week Sam Skuza was kind enough to jump in once again after just finishing his U14 game, giving Spirit 10 players. While Spirit was still short of players, Geelong Jaguars didn’t have a goalie.
Spirit showed good marking in the first half of the game. Jaguars were dominating the game with the ball in their forward for much of the first half. Angus showed determination and applied pressure when surrounded by multiple Jaguars players. Max’s willpower to stop multiple goals saw him drop to the ground protecting the ball. While Newtown managed to get the ball up forward it was short lived with a short corner shot that was counted as too high. Spirit held Jaguars with a half time result of 0-0.
Sam Skuza didn’t return to the field for the second half which left Spirit with just 9 players. Max had his work cut out for him during the second half with Jaguars getting 5 short corners. Within a couple of minutes Jaguars got their first goal, Spirit continued to apply pressure and with an early pass from Nick up the line to Jarret saw Jarret score their only goal for the game. Jaguars were continuously applying pressure on Tom as he was trying to move the ball forward.
During the last 5 minutes Jaguars dominated the game which saw them score another two goals and another opportunity to score once the siren blew with a short corner.
Newtown Strikers – Bye
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 2-4
Division 2 Men
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong White 0-0
A fantastic game of hockey by all involved. Both teams had multiple attempts on goal with the game lifting in intensity till the final whistle. Each game for the Spirit team has seen improvements which is positive to see early in the hockey season.
Newtown Strikers vs Saints 4-4
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 3-2
A great game from Newtown Spirit this week, made easier by Golden Plains’ lack of players. The first half saw some great defence from Tracey, Bron and Kirsty A, with good disposal of the ball from 16 yard hits, reaching players linking in the midfield. Excellent running by Claudia, Isabel, Lauren and Georgie kept the ball moving forward into attack. There were some great forays down the right side by Katie, supported by Beth and Emma A, with Amelia and Andie combining well on the left. Kirsty M worked hard, despite having some injury issues.
The second half saw a more open game, with shorter passes well directed to team mates, and using the space along the wings, and team mates in good supporting positions. Altogether a pleasing game, showing some excellent awareness of space and leading to receive the ball in space. Goals to Claudia, Isabel and Lauren.