Round 5 of the 2019 hockey season sees some variability in player availability and team performances, but teams are showing the benefit of working together and are achieving some pleasing results.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers
Team Spirit worked hard throughout Saturday’s game against Newtown Strikers. This consistent effort was exemplified by Braxton and Lachy, who received the Best Team Player and Subway Awards respectively. At times, both teams were encouraged to maintain their field position when the game became congested. When this was done, we saw fluid ball movement. This improvement in team work is pleasing to see and we look forward to it continuing to develop.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers
The U8 Newtown Strikers played against Newtown Spirit this week. This was the first time for this hockey season in which Strikers have played another Newtown team and it made for a great contest. Eddy, a very welcome new team member, joined Strikers this week. Eddy showed fantastic skills for his first game, and we look forward to his future contributions.
Eddy was not the only new face in Strikers this week, with Mia and Charlie from the Saints joining for the game. Five Saints players were split between the Strikers and Spirit teams when Saints had no opposing team for their game. This gave each team 9 players, with all players on the field making a very crowded game at times.
In the first half, the players sometimes formed a large clump around the ball, but Josien and Audrey were both still able to get good movement forward. Joseph showed skillful reverse stick work several times and had great vision from the centre to pass out of the mass of players to Charlie. Audrey made a great cross in front of goal to Joseph who narrowly missed scoring.
At half time coach Maggie observed that play was somewhat difficult with so many players on the field. She asked Strikers to spread out more and advised them that only the closest player should go to the ball, and other teammates should move to where they could then receive a pass. In the 2nd half, Lucy started an attack from defence with a well-chosen switch of play, passing out wide across the field to Hunter. Josien made a great intercept in attack and finished with a goal. Hunter was a stalwart in defence, stopping many Newtown Spirit attacks throughout the game.
Charlie had a great run through traffic, scoring a goal after his persistent attack. Unfortunately, Josien was hit hard in her knee by a high ball and left the field. But she showed determination and commitment to the team to return to the field soon after. Joseph scored a late goal after one of the many intercepts of free passes by Josien.
This week’s Best Team Player and Subway Awards went to Josien and Hunter.
Next week is a bye for Newtown Strikers, with the next game on June 15th, but Strikers team members are welcome to come down to King Lloyd Reserve next Saturday and join one of the other Newtown teams for a game.
Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia
With a couple of players missing, we were happy to welcome Jake and Paton from Saints to bolster our numbers. Newtown Rebels are showing great improvement in their approach to the game, with sticks on the ground and better concentration on the ball leading to increased possession. Everyone is keen to get the ball, and great passing from Manny, Lenny and Kasey moved the play into our attacking zone on a number of occasions. Luc did a fantastic job of defending the goals, in good position and with his stick on the ground, and rebuffed a number of the Kardinia advances. Isaac and Kai put pressure on the opposition players, and won the ball for our team.
Best Team Player and Subway Awards this week went to Lenny and Luc. Well done all.
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-5
Spirit met their match this week with Torquay dominating the first half. Newtown struggled to make use of their wings and were sucked into the congested centre of the pitch. Despite a couple of great saves from Oscar in his first time in goal, Torquay were leading 2- 0 at half time. After a great pep talk from Colleen, Spirit came out fighting in the second half. Torquay took another 3 goals but Spirit didn’t give up and a great passing move between Charlie and Michael saw Newtown secure their first goal. With their spirits lifted, a second quickly followed from Matilda. Newtown dominated the remainder of the second half and showed great determination and perseverance against a tough opponent.
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Rebels vs Golden Plains 2-7
The match began at a furious pace with Rebels earning a quick short corner. While it wasn’t converted, a team effort to keep the pressure at that end of the field quickly became a goal. While it was Toby who scored, the whole team can take credit. Golden Plains worked hard and responded with a goal of their own and we had an exciting match on our hands. Wide use of the pitch saw a pass land on the end of Toby’s stick, and he was able to run the wing and take a lovely shot from the edge of the D that the goalie was unable to stop. Wide use of the pitch was a highlight of the first half and it showed the quality of play that this side has put together over the first rounds to become a team. In particular we saw great running and position making from Isla and the tenacious tackling we have come to know as Eliza’s trademark. Trey held up to a barrage in goals, but unfortunately had to retire unwell. Golden Plains made the most of the depleted team and scored 3 more goals, and Amelia’s arrival bringing the team back to strength.
Eager Elliot leapt into the goalie gear at half time. We had a tough fought second half, but 2 quick breaks from Golden Plains left the Rebels ranks in disarray. To their absolute credit the team gradually rebuilt their form from the back with great clearances from the back with a pass from Gil to Peri who then pushed to the far corner where Jai and Toby brought it into the circle for shots on goal that were well defended by Golden Plains.
Alex played swimmingly helping score and defend goals. She coped well when having to change position. Ruby ran and worked very well remembering to pass out wide. Emma was in great position the whole match. She came very close to a goal but Golden Plains’ defense was extremely strong. All together everyone played beautifully and tried hard to achieve greatness. MVP for this week was Peri.
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 1-2
A close game this weekend. A goal by Emma saw us in the lead at half time. With some great attacking work by Grace F, Nate, Bella and Hamish K.
In the second half, Jaguars came out fighting and despite the best efforts of our goalie Hamish S and defence work by Ruben and Charlotte they managed to even the score and later another to put them in the lead. With limited time to go we were all on the edge of seats. A great match to watch with everyone playing well as a team.
Thank you to Amelia from Rebels for her great play and helping us out with extra numbers giving everyone the chance to have the odd rest.
What was nice to hear was a loud resounding 3 cheers for Geelong Jaguars lead by our captain for the week Ruben, well done Ruben for showing great sportsmanship. The team are really starting to come together and gain confidence with the faster paced larger ground. Keep training hard!
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-0
Saturday’s game was against a depleted Torquay, minus a goalie and no subs. Spirit hit the pitch with a squad of 15 which made for a hectic bench. The match started evenly but play was very congested and both teams struggled to run the ball into open space. Spirit forced a short corner early in the half but failed to convert and the Torquay mid field & defense managed to shut down most of our attacking plays for the remainder of the half. Luca was instrumental in defense denying any easy scoring opportunities for Torquay. At the break the score was nil all.
The second half began much the same as the first with Spirit struggling to get the ball into the open. Only minutes in, Harry B took aim from left field just inside the D and landed a great goal to send us to a 1 nil lead. The following few minutes had Spirit grinding forward again with little structure but determination, resulting in a short corner. Harry B landed his second to take the score to 2 nil. For the remainder of the match Spirit struggled to coordinate – probably not helped by frequent subbing. Coach Darren requested long passing out wide to set up a structured advance into attack, but a determined and persistent Torquay made this very difficult. 2 short corners in quick succession gave the opposition a few late scoring opportunities, but Spirit defended well. After the whistle Spirit players showed symptoms of vitamin C deficiency due to the lack of half time oranges!
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia White 0-2
It is fantastic to see Strikers coming together as a team. Ollie played a great game as goalkeeper, stopping a number of potential goals. Sam C. applied good pressure and Kayla held her position well. Tom was strong in defence and team captain Maggie displayed good ball control. Oskar was unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions. The players showed good communication between each other, were quicker when taking free shots and their passing was improved. Overall it was a solid game by Strikers.
Under 17 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 1-3
Strikers played Kardinia in round 5 of this hockey season on Sunday. Always competitive, Kardinia started out strong with a goal early in the first half. Kardinia marked well and their solid defence made it difficult for Strikers to capitalise on their attacking opportunities.
In the second half Strikers lifted with a strong goal created through some attacking play by Tom, and good use of pressure through Harry in the circle. Passing was stronger out to the wings, avoiding interceptions in the middle that held up their play in the first half. Full credit to the team for following coach Gordon’s half time instructions. Robbo’s play in right wing position in the second half created many attacking opportunities and is a positive sign for the development of the team. Kardinia won the game 3:1 at the final siren.
U17 Spirit Bye
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Geelong Jaguars 1-4
Newtown Spirit vs Corio 3-8
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 2 11-0
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 0-5
With only 11 players this week, our work was cut out for us from the start. Geelong began strongly, moving into our defensive zone in numbers. Isabel and Tracey held their ground, and covered players well, and with Emma A, Georgie, Peta and Amelia providing support in the midfield we were able to turn the play to our advantage and create some attacks for Newtown. Great co-operation on the forward line saw the ball move into attack, using both wings to make ground. Kirsty lead well to the ball, and then made some lovely passes across in front of goal to create scoring chances. Claudia, Georgie and Deb worked hard and covered plenty of ground and Katie capitalised with some great runs down the right wing.
Newtown Spirit had a number of near misses, with one of Peta’s shots hitting the post. However, Geelong’s quick movement out of defence caught us unawares at times, and we were unable to cover all Geelong’s options. When Isabel went off in the second half, with an injured hand, the task became even more difficult. However, all players continued to work hard, and Emma, Tracey and Amelia worked hard to cover the gaps. Well done all.
It was another great game this week, with Fletcher in his second week gaining confidence, and playing as if he had been playing for a long time. Great co-operation between Brett, Audrey and Fletcher saw many passes to space and great switching of play to gain an attack advantage. When Marie joined the game, the Red team had another option, keen to get that ball in the goal.
The Non-bibs team set up some great interceptions with Luke showing great reach, and then making nice passes to Claire, Heston and Atticus. The second half saw Heston in perfect position on many occasions to receive the ball and head to goal, and he ended with some great ball control and a couple of lovely goals.
Under 12 Girls
Despite the cold weather this week, there were plenty of enthusiastic players who arrived for the U12 Girls game. The program provides the opportunity for girls to practice their skills and game strategies while playing against other girls.
Great improvement has already been shown in this first 5 weeks, with Grace, Bella Br and Bella By all gaining confidence and controlling the ball well. Great work this week by Amelia playing in a different position, with excellent passing and supporting positions in attack from Charlotte and Alex.