Hockey Season 2019 – June 15 & 16

After a break for the Queen’s Birthday weekend, our teams were back on the field again, and showing great endeavour, which was not always reflected in the scoreboard.

Under  8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels

The U8 Newtown Strikers played Newtown Rebels this week in a very even contest that concluded with neither team scoring. For the first half Joseph, Eddy and Josien took up the forward positions, with Hunter, Charlie and Audrey defending in the back line. The players then swapped between forward and back at half time. Although there were no scores, Strikers did make several close attempts at goal, with the play often in the Strikers attacking half. Near misses included shots from Josien, Eddy and Charlie.

Strikers tried hard to stay in attack, with persistence shown especially from Hunter to keep the ball in the attacking half with great tackles and second efforts. Charlie and Eddy also made several intercepts and tackles around the ground.  Strikers were also staunch in defence, with some great stops by Joseph and Hunter. Josien showed some very determined defending, deflecting a shot away from what looked to be a certain goal, as well as bravely stopping the ball on the goal line when it hit her hand.

A feature of the game that coach Maggie was impressed with was the accurate passing by Strikers, as well as the readiness of teammates to receive the passes. Audrey made several successful passes that needed to be accurate, Eddy found many free teammates with his passes, and Joseph made some great attacking moves from free
passes in the forward half.

The Subway and Best Team Player awards went to Eddy and Joseph this week for their listening to directions from coach Maggie, and how well they put them
into practice.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers

This was one of the best games for this hockey season for Newtown Rebels, with all players showing improved focus and concentration on the ball.  Albie and Isaac began well with determination to get the ball and use it effectively. With Lennie covering the goals well, and with support from Kasey and Kai in the midfield, Rebels were able to gain possession and move the ball forward. Marking of opponents continues to improve, and well considered free passes from Isaac gave possession to our forwards. Great running and endeavour, with excellent ball control skills from Jake and Manny created many attacks and some near misses in front of goals. An excellent game by all players, with the Subway and Best Team Player Awards going to Isaac and Kasey.

Newtown Spirit vs Saints

A beautiful morning for hockey greeted the Spirit and Saints U8 teams. Smaller numbers this week on both teams allowed for more space to be created. Multiple passages of play from Team Spirit included sideways passing and switching the ball to the opposite side of the field. Braxton’s endeavour and persistence throughout the game was recognised by him receiving the Best Team Player Award, and Tommy was the recipient of the Subway Award for his attacking runs. Well done Spirit on another great team performance.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong College 16-0

Spirit came up against Geelong College for the first time this hockey season. College struggled with only 10 players but Spirit also played incredibly well to take the win 16-0. Spirit showed some fantastic teamwork, use of space and stick skills. There were some great long passes and use of the wings which created a number of opportunities for the forwards. Willow had a great game out on the left wing and scored her first goals of the season. Michael and George kept up their great scoring records with 5 and 6 goals each. Goals from Baxter and Matilda completed the tally of 16. The team played consistently over two halves and not one pass was seen across goal. Great job Spirit!

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-1

Facing up to Torquay for the second time in this hockey season, with a 0-7 result last time, Newtown Strikers nevertheless began with confidence. Focus on the ball  was a pleasing feature and saw Jacob and Will gain possession on many occasions and create attacks. Great defence by Maddie, Grace and Charles was well backed up by Zac in goals, who made some very effective stops and even better clearances. The crowded style of play employed by Torquay and a tendency for Strikers to pass into the middle of the field made it difficult to dominate the play in the first half. The crowd in our defensive circle when Torquay attacked eventually let a goal slip through.

The second half saw the game open up, and Strikers found more space to move the ball quickly, with Avah showing great position and speed to quickly run the ball forward. Excellent work by Harrison on the wing, who showed great persistence and never gave up possession willingly.  William and Edward provided solid defence in the midfield blocking many of Torquay’s forward moves. In the latter stages of the game, Strikers showed excellent position and teamwork with Cormac featuring in some lovely 1-2 passing on the right wing. Strikers created many forays into the goal circle in the second half, and narrowly missed scoring the equaliser with about 2 minutes to go.

Overall, an excellent game by all players and a fantastic turnaround from the last match between these two teams. Best Team Player and Subway Awards to Avah and Cormac.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 0-10

Another loss for Newtown Spirit. However, despite the score line this was one of the best games they have played so far in this hockey season. There were a number of times where Nate, Bella and Grace M had some strong attacking play and got into a position where a goal could have occurred with a touch of luck.

With the result we had, it would be reasonable to expect that Strikers always had us under pressure, but this was far from the case. The game was much more open than some of our recent games, good passes were made through the midfield, we showed control with the ball (especially Reuben in defence) and we were much more composed in defence, giving away less penalty corners.

The drills we are working on in training are clearly coming through in our matches. The onlookers from the side feel every surge and setback and wish that there were recognition for trying as hard as you can because the effort put in by the team is huge. Thank you to our team captain this week Hamish K.

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated” (Maya Angelou).

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 10-0

Before the game Kurt had a good warm up session with the team, working on the kids hard running and passing to a lead. Kurt asked the team what they thought made us a better team, and play better hockey, and it was great to see the kids produce a list which became the aim for the game, without needing input from Kurt.

The kids put in the hard running, and spreading out in the game, and we saw immediate impact, with many forward thrusts, and linking up play. Our defence was again strong, with Amber and Thamindu linking up well with Scarlette, Isabel and Sam, to run the ball out of defence. Our defence pillar Mai was again strong, defending the shots that got around our defenders, with her typical cool and calm approach. Surry, Sam and Charli provided great run through the middle, linking up with Chloe, Charlotte,
Kye and Brandon. Amazingly we ended up having 3 shots on goal bounce off a goal post, but still went into half time with a 3-0 lead, after 2 good goals from Charlie and one from Brandon.

At half time Kurt reminded the kids of what they had been working on, and how we were not moving the ball wide enough at times and were getting caught in the congestion up the middle corridor.

The kids responded, and we used the wings to great effect, moving the ball wide, and then binging back into the middle once we were up in attack. This saw many scoring opportunities, and some excellent ball movement around the D, making it tough for the Spirit defence. Our defence got moved around, but were still strong, with nice movement of the ball from defence into attack.

Charli and Surry kept up their excellent run through the middle, which saw Charli rewarded with another 3 goals, a few very nice goal assists, and some near goal assists. Amber was moved up onto the wing, and with some excellent positioning on the post, was rewarded with 2 goals. Isabel was also moved out onto a wing, and after having a poster in the first half, used her speed to move the ball wide and run up the field, putting in 2 late goals from out wide, and some dangerous crosses that only just missed Amber on the other side of the D.

Keep up the great work Strikers and remember what we need to do to work well as a team.

A very fast start to the game this week, with lots of pressure on our defence early. The team was up to it early with Alex and Gil holding fast as full backs and Amelia covering the angles in goals. Rebels scored first with a fast, long run from Brayden up the left wing. We went into half time 1:2 down but still in the game.
The message at half time was to concentrate on fast passes, move up as a team and drive the ball forward. For the first part of the second half the Rebels did exactly that, dominating possession and spending time in our front half. This resulted in an equalising goal to Perri which was a result of good team forward pressure.
Unfortunately the Rebels then had a small patch where their intensity dropped off a bit which allowed the opposition to capitalise with three quick goals. In the last three minutes the team found their Mojo, with some great passages of play earning short corners and close attempts on goal – but unfortunately we couldn’t score any more goals.
MVP this week was Perri, showing fantastic adaptability both in attack and in defence. Jai, Brayden and Toby were also acknowledged by the team as the 2nd and 3rd mvp for their efforts in consistently attacking hard into the D and great teamwork.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 11-1

Spirit came up against Strikers on Sunday who were missing quite a few players including their goalie. The early minutes were congested with Strikers giving us little room to string together passes. After a couple of minutes of chaos Harry B scored from just inside the D. The same disorganized play continued until mid-way into the first half when Spirit started to apply constant pressure to the Strikers defense. This resulted in 5 more goals, 3 from Harry B separated by both Amber and Matilda finding the back of the net to see the half time score at 6 nil.

Coach Darren was happy with our ball movement and commented on some nice linking up. In the second half he wanted to see us moving the ball out wide from the back line and string 3 or 4 passes together to set up a structured advance into offense.

The team complied, led by Luca with solid defense and nice passing out wide. An early shot at goal by Tilly was finished off by Mitchell to send the score to 7 nil. Two more quick goals from Harry B made 9 nil. Despite the score, Strikers kept their heads up, continuing to chase & pressure. This persistence was rewarded with their first goal. Two short corners and 2 more goals from Harry B saw the score at 11-1. In the final minute of the match Harry B shot a running pass to Harriet, who trapped skillfully, pivoted and ran the ball into the D; a shot at goal resulting in a short corner.

Well done Spirit and hats off to Strikers who didn’t stop running.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit, 1-11

I was so proud of the cobbled together Under 14 Strikers team on Sunday. With 7 of our listed players unavailable and our regular back up players also unable to play, 5 under 12 players stepped up so we could field a team. The players supported each other even though they didn’t all know each other’s names and the parents cheered on from the sideline. Not daunted by playing in a higher age group and in different positions, the younger players tackled hard and were persistent. There were some great passes, terrific dispossessions and the team quickly moved the ball on when taking a free shot. Thanks to Charlie, Eliza, Jai, Kye and Nate for helping us out, Max for the goal, Kurt for coaching, Zenon for helping, and Brandon for playing even though he wasn’t well.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-6

With two big outs (goalkeeper Max and utility Angus), the Coaches decided to start with 11 field players to enable backup goalie and strong defender Caleb to play a sweeping role in defence.  In a fantastic first half Newtown not only created several scoring opportunities, but marked and defended well against a well-drilled Torquay outfit to enter the break Nil all.  Excellent tackling from Luca and Caleb repelled many attacks, allowing Torquay only 1 penalty corner in the first half.

Jarret helped launch offensives from the back line with firm hitting and strong running, and when his passing was more composed in the second half, Tom was able to receive and slot home a goal.  Very strong games in the midfield from Harry B, Tom, Harley, and Ethan, was again dangerous running forward.  Our wingers were unlucky to miss some goal deflections and trap some challenging passes, but Harri, Mitchell and Harry W showed great determination in unfamiliar roles.  Unfortunately our defence was opened up in the second half by quick counterattacks, accurate passing and looser marking.  Our boys saved several certain goals but the lack of a keeper was telling and a big factor in the final score line. Thank-you to Harry B, Harry W and Luca  for filling in.

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 1-8

Geelong Jaguars came out strong on Saturday against Newtown Strikers scoring their first goal within one minute of the start of the game and their second shortly after. Jaguars maintained a fast and strong attacking game with many attempts on goal. Credit to EJ and Strikers’ defence to limit the Jaguar goals and to Ben for a nice goal in the first half.

At half time coach Gordon’s comments were positive, recognising that Strikers were playing better and better and Jaguars were slowing. He stated that the focus for the game was on skills not goals, and gave the team instructions to trap, hold and push off, and for the wings to play high ready to capitalise on the Jaguars exposure of no goalie. Strikers improved their marking over the game against a fast and dynamic Jaguars team and gained valuable experience. Jaguars remained dominant however to win the game 8:1. Thanks to both Kate and Tilly for playing up from U/14’s to give us a full team and a sub.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints 2-3

Great game for our lady Falcons.  Falcons drew first blood with a Penalty corner conversion by Maggie.  And we held the lead for quite some time before another goal was scored by Saints to even it up.  Every position had to work hard to keep the intensity up. Jesse J was a wall on many occasion where Saints came with sustained pressure and while three got by to score, one that did was thrown aside by a determined Rachel on the line!  Alex, Ainsley, Xanthia and Kirsty were up to the task of making their mark work for every ball and it was a great brand of hockey to watch from the side.  Similarly, a hardly contested had Maggie, Erin, Astrid, and Georgie putting in some mileage. Thank goodness for the versatility of everyone who adapted when they were asked to play different roles and try to keep track of a revolving players as the Saints did quite a lot of shifting of players.   Thanks Lauren for jumping up the forward line with our young Hailey, Charley, and Amelia (congrats on first Division 1 game Amelia) who did a great job creating some attack.  The second goal was put in from a tough right side, low to the baseline run by Charley was lovely to watch from all parts of the field as it passed by the goalie to hit the far side board.  Hailey and Maggie had a memorable give and go.  So many good moments to build on and getting closer to putting together a well-deserved win.  I’ve pulled out only a few great moments from the game that while it ended in a  3-2 loss,  the ladies can be confident in the growth they have taken and look forward to what is to come.

Senior Men

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 5-0

I don’t know what it is about intra-club matches but they can often be one of the hardest fought games.  Whilst at the end of the game the score board didn’t make it look close, nothing could be further from the truth.  Spirit fought hard and pushed us all the way – they were unlucky not to score at times.  Fortunately for us, our fleet of young forwards proved to be fruitful with 4 of our 5 goals coming from players who are still playing in juniors.  Thanks to EJ playing his first game in goals at seniors level, finishing his first game with a clean slate.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 0-5

In what was always going to be a tough game, Spirit put up a commendable fight only giving away 3 goals in the first half. Unfortunately, our goalie Will, injured his knee just before half time leaving us without a last line of defence for the second half. With this additional challenge everyone stepped up a gear resulting in a number of opportunities on goal and only conceded an additional 2 goals thanks in large part to the fantastic efforts of our defensive back line.

Each week the guys have been taking what we’ve been doing at training and converting it into positive results on the field. We have a number of challenging games coming up which will give us an indication of where we stand in the new combined Division 1 and 2 men’s league.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints Red 0-8

Coming up against a very strong opponent, this game was a case not so much of Spirit not doing the right things but of the other team just being more effective. Saints quick play on game saw them score from the play following the opening pass back,  but our defence settled and Kylie and Bron absorbed the pressure. Saints were able to make use of even small spaces to give them an advantage. Andie, Peta and Amelia in the midfield worked hard to turn the play to our advantage with some great passes to forwards, but Saints just kept coming. De and Kirsty M showed great awareness of team mates in supporting positions, and Katie, Georgie and Deb ran well and looked for team mates.

With the score at 0-5 at half time, Newtown Spirit did not give up but continued to give their best efforts. The second half saw some progress, with Kate W, Maryanne and Amelia making some nice plays, and with continued hard work from Georgie, Deb and Katie we were able to get some opportunities in the attacking circle. Unfortunately no scores for us, while the defence held Saints to 2 more goals half way through the half, and a third toward the end of the game.

Hockey Season 2019 – June 1 & 2

As the hockey season progresses, it is pleasing to see players stepping up to the challenge of the game, with some younger players filling in for older teams and really enjoying it.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Rebels

Saturday’s game was one to be proud of for Spirit. All players displayed an improved ability to maintain their field position during game play. This resulted in passages of play which used the width of the ground, and gave players time to display their improving stick skills.

Maia’s game exemplified the areas of improvement seen in the team and she received the Subway Award this week. The Best Team Player Award went to Joseph for being willing to even the numbers and play for Spirit when his team had a bye. Thank you Joseph and well done Spirit.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Spirit

This week’s game showed players working hard to focus on the play and intercept passes by Spirit.  There were some great efforts from Luc, Albie and Isaac to gain possession and keep control of the ball before looking for someone to pass to.  Lennie, Manny and Jake were always ready to chase and tackle and were able to make some lovely passes to move the ball into attack for Rebels.  Kai’s desire to asssist his team and get the ball was fantastic and he was always available when needed. Kasey continues her great work, with steady play following great tackles.

Newtown Strikers – Bye

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 2-2

Spirit were excited to play against their friends from Newtown Strikers again this week and were keen to make amends for the loss earlier in the season. Strikers had most of the possession early in the game and put Spirit’s defence under pressure. Spirit lacked discipline in sticking to their positions and got drawn into the congested centre of the pitch. Strikers took the lead in the first half and if not for some great tackling and defensive work by Baxter, Oscar and Drew the score would have been higher than 1-0.

Spirit came out strongly after half time and made much better use of space to string together some good passes. Perseverance from George, Matilda and Michael up front gave Spirit an equaliser. After a few great shots that were stopped by the Spirit defence Strikers eventually got a second goal. Just like last week, the team really pulled together in second half and didn’t give up. A fantastic goal from Michael in the dying seconds of the game made it a draw 2-2.

Great team work and perseverance again this week – if they can do it for two halves they will be unstoppable!

Newtown Strikers v Newtown Spirit

Spectators were treated to a fantastic match between the two Newtown sides. These two teams last met in the first round of the hockey season and the improvement from then to now from individuals and teams was notable.

Strikers had majority of the play and field position in both halves of the game creating several scoring shots and penalty corners. Spirit was able to use their speed through the middle of the field which enabled them to be very dangerous on the counter attack. Both Strikers goals scored by Madison and Avah came from terrific passing, positioning and showed great goal sense to slot past the Spirit goal keeper.

The battle continued, with one minute to go the score was 2-1 to Strikers, before Spirit were able to fight through desperate defence from the Strikers to tie the game 2-2.
Stand out performances were from Grace, who showed real determination and mental toughness, and Edward who is gaining confidence every week and contributing with several tackles and passes to teammates.
Awards to Grace and Edward: Grace – Subway Award, Edward – Best Team Player Award

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 0-10

Newtown Spirit played a strong defensive game despite what the score line showed. This young team are showing courage and improvement every game. It is not easy to take defeat well, but Spirit continue to show camaraderie and sportsmanship regardless. Well done to our captain this week Grace M.

The match was dominated by an older, faster and more experienced Kardinia team. Whilst our attackers tried hard we just didn’t seem to be able to get past Kardinia’s defence before their attackers would whisk it away again. Having said that some great play was seen from our somewhat frustrated attackers to name a few: Nate, Grace F, Bella, Leo and Grace M. Meanwhile our own defence handled the pressure with gusto, Ruben, Charlotte, Lucy, Leo and our brave goalie Hamish had a tough job and saved many so all in all it could have been a lot worse.

The team were cheered up by a team outing in the afternoon letting off some steam in a less pressured bowling show down. This was followed by a noisy happy dinner at The Groove Train and by the time ice-cream came all were healed and restored!

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-3

We were coming off the bye this week, and had a full squad at the game, which was great to see. Before the game Kurt emphasised to the team how well we worked as a cohesive team when our effort levels were high, and we worked together.

Unfortunately the week off meant we were a little slow in getting back into the flow, with lots of congested play, and some hockey ping pong. The kids however were pushing up and back, and had a few shots on goal. Our defence was again strong, keeping out the Torquay forwards, and keeping the first half fairly even, unfortunately a late goal to Torquay saw us go into half time 0-1.

Kurt again rallied the troops at the break, and made a few changes to try and get some more drive forward, and hopefully get on the board.

We had some very good movement forward on a few occasions, when we looked up, we found the players in space, and nearly scored on several occasions. Torquay was continuing to run hard, and moved the ball wide around our defence, and managed to get in another 2 goals. In the end we went down 0-3, but the kids were fighting it out to the final whistle.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs GBS Black 2-0

This week 4 players from other teams help Strikers to a great win. It was exciting to see how well the players came together and worked as a team. A combination of quick and accurate passing created opportunities. We were strong in defence and looked for free players. Basyl and Jai displayed some great stick work and Kayla worked her position well. Most of the play was in Strikers’ attacking half and they drew around a dozen short corners. Basyl and Max scored impressive goals to help Strikers to a solid win. Thanks to Eliza, Jai, Luca and Mai for filling in.

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 0-4

On Saturday Spirit, down three players, came up against top team, Kardinia Blue. They pressured us right from the opening whistle, playing very direct hockey and passing quickly. Their intensity resulted in a score only 2 minutes in, followed quickly by a short corner, and then 2 minutes later, another goal to take the score to 2 nil. Spirit fought back, manning up well and took some opportunities to counter attack with Luca running the ball out of the back line. Kardinia scored again before half time but Spirit was lifting, led by Grace, holding possession longer, passing more accurately and marking the opposition more closely. Half time score was 3 nil.

Coach Darren praised the team for the turn-around late in the half and urged, once again, to look for space out wide when coming out of defense.

Spirit started the second half with a different level of intensity, with Matilda running out of offence to man up on key Kardinia strikers in defense. Mai saved a certain goal and we held Kardinia scoreless for the first 12 minutes of the half. Kardinia’s 4th goal seemed to spur Spirit on even more, starting with Mai repelling what would have been Kardinia’s 5th. Scoring opportunities were created; one with Adam running the ball skillfully from right centre into the D and passing to Harry resulting in a short corner. Another saw our Full Back, Tom, almost score. In the closing minutes, another short corner had Adam & Matilda combining to create another opportunity that very nearly resulted in a goal. Score at full time was 4 nil.

All up a great effort with the score not really reflective of the lift in Spirit in the second half. Well done everyone.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 2-3

After an easy first game in round 1, Kardinia took us by surprise with a very tense start to the game last Saturday in round 6. Once again with no substitutes for Newtown Spirit, the team showed lots of determination with several players working tirelessly across the midfield to gain the upper hand. A number of scoring opportunities arose after a few short corners, but our opponents were too strong in their defence. Kardinia managed to score 2 goals to nil for Spirit at half time.

There was vigorous contest of the ball from both sides during the second half of the game, where Spirit gained lots of possessions and became more aggressive, and Ethan scored a brilliant first goal followed by another from Tom. With Kardinia showing no signs of slowing, Spirit increased their tackling skills with lots of great passing wide across the field. With less than 2 minutes remaining, despite Tom gaining possession in the circle keeping the ball locked in our attacking end, we were unable to score another goal. All boys played exceptionally well in this very tight game. Thank-you to Harry Whelan for filling in.

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 1-5

Strikers came out strongly against Torquay on Sunday, scoring early with a lovely goal by Sam following a fast attack through the centre with Ben. With 10 minutes left in the first half Torquay replied. Strikers were able to absorb pressure in defence and kept the score even until the half time mark.

The second half saw a similar style of play with good passing by both sides. However, Torquay pulled away through continual pressure on Strikers via both team and individual play. The final result of 5:1 to Torquay reflected the continued pressure and to some measure a reduction in marking by Strikers towards the end game. Credit to Strikers for a positive start and terrific team play at the outset. Thanks to Tilly for stepping up from U/14s to provide a valuable player on the wing and a substitute option for the team.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 0-7

Senior Men

Newtown Spirit Bye

Newtown Strikers vs Saints 1 2-5

An excellent game for Strikers in their first match against a Division 1 team in the new combined competition.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 0-5

Newtown Spirit are continuing to develop great teamwork and create attacks, although couldn’t find the lucky touch in front of goal this week. A steady defence lead by Kirsty A and Tracey held their ground and met Saints early, turning the ball back to our advantage on many occasions. Excellent marking in the midfield and great running on more than one occasion denied Saints what seemed like certain goals. Highlight of the game was a 50 yard sprint by Beth back to help defend the goals, and then she saved the shot on the line!  With players looking for each other, rather than just getting rid of the ball, there were some nice passages of play which penetrated deep into the attacking circle. We had a number of shots at goal which just missed, and we are due for some luck soon. Great work by Maryanne in her first game for 25 years, and thanks to Kate for filling in – dragged off the sideline at the last minute.


Hockey Season 2019 – May 25 & 26

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

Senior Men

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.

Saturday Social

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.

2019 Hockey Season – U12 Girls Program


Hockey Season 2019 – May 18 & 19

Round 4 of this hockey season saw some very summery weather, which meant hard work maintaining the pace for many teams, but the continued effort was fantastic.

Highlight of the week this week was the first win for this hockey season for the U12 Spirit team. After a couple of tough matches, the team still came out and gave it everything they had.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Rebels vs Golden Plains

Newtown Rebels played Golden Plains on Saturday. We were a couple of players short and were very lucky to have Paige fill in for the team and she played really well. In the first half, she made a couple of great passes and was in great position, and Manny scored two goals with great focus on the play. Isaac, one of our youngest players, showed great commitment in chasing and defending.

In the second half, Albie made some really good tackles, and Lenny scored a goal. Paige continued to show her skills, made a good tackle and a nice dribble. Newtown Rebels are really showing some good team work, and listening to Claire’s instructions to spread out to make space for passes. Well played everyone! Thanks to Lenny and Manny for each playing a half for Golden Plains, continuing the great sportsmanship shown by this team.

Paige was the deserving winner of the Subway award for the game.

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia

This week Newtown Strikers faced up against Kardinia and they managed to keep Kardinia scoreless, whilst scoring many goals themselves.  The standout feature in the first half was the good calling and great passing up the wings and into attack by Strikers, leading to several shots at goal.  Other great things to see were the tackles made by Lucy, and Josien cutting off a pass from defence and being rewarded with a goal.

Strikers didn’t slow down in the second half, with lots of running from the whole team.  Audrey scored a goal after great passing play by the team.  Josien also made a great tackle on the goal line and pushed the ball into the goals, and Charlie ran hard into goal for a successful deflection.

Coach Maggie was very happy with the team, especially with their passing.  This week’s awards Subway and Best Team Player Awards went to Audrey and Charlie.

Newtown Spirit – Bye

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Strikers v Geelong College 5-0

Strikers lined up for their 4th round match against Geelong College who were playing their first game of this hockey season. From the first push back Strikers were dominating play and field position. To Geelong College’s credit, they defended valiantly with several on the line saves to deny the Strikers attack. Strikers continued to build on last week’s performance using width and depth which was rewarded with a goal before half time.

The second half saw more improvement with terrific ball movement and positional play allowing great passing sequences netting a further 4 goals. Harrison played a great game with fantastic enthusiasm and Zac used his elite hitting skills to break open the game to allow teammates space to attack behind defensive lines.
Goal scorers Zac (3) and Will B (2). Subway and Best Team Player Awards to Zac and Harrison

Newtown Spirit vs GBS Black 5-1

Newtown Spirit got off to a flying start this week with a great run from Michael straight off the opening whistle. The first half continued at pace with some great passing from Spirit and amazing team work. It was great to see everyone working hard to find space and get the ball outside of the congested centre of the pitch. Spirit kept up the pressure right through the first half and a goal from Matilda saw them take the lead.

After lots of running in the first half in the warm conditions, the second half was a bit slower but the great passing continued and the Spirit defence played well together to keep the opposition at bay. Three goals from George and another from Matilda saw Spirit take home the win.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels 1-1

The kids all came together well again this week. We started with only 9 on the field, but luckily Rebels were very kind and loaned us Brayden, bringing the numbers up to be 10 on 10. All the kids continued to run hard this week, and spreading around the field, back to the form that got us the win in week 2.

With people away, Amber dropped back in defence, and did a great job with Thamindu keeping a solid back line defence, both teaming up well with Mai to stop many forward thrusts and spread the ball wide out of defence. Isabel, Scarlett and Sam provided plenty of run out of the back line, with Charlie dropping back to help when the heat was on. Chloe and Brayden provided great link play, running the lines, and helping to bring the ball up the field, linking in with Kye to get the ball into dangerous positions in the forward line, where Sam, Charlie and Brayden all got shots on goal. At half time the kids came in looking exhausted, with the scores reflecting the game at 0-0.

It was very pleasing to see the kids keep running in the second half, especially the midfield, who had done plenty of two way running in the first half. After fighting hard in defence, the kids were a little unlucky with a rebound, and Rebels got on the scoreboard.

Strikers didn’t drop their heads and kept pushing hard. Some good composed play through the middle saw us again pushing forward, getting a couple of short corners, and we were very close to scoring, with the ball at one stage bouncing off the post. Strikers kept running hard, some great change of direction with her running saw Isabel run the ball out of defence, and put the ball into the middle, linking up with Sam, and Brayden, again pushing us forward. Some good work in the D saw a pass get to Charlie, who got a shot through the defence, and we had levelled the scoreboard. The kids kept running hard and looked dangerous right up to the final whistle. In the end a fitting final score of 1-1.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers 1-1

Rebels had a fast, furious and high-quality game against Strikers this weekend. The final result of 1:1 was indicative of the closeness of the two teams.

The first half was a tight affair with a lot of hard running to defend the fast breaks from the Strikers. Our defenders worked very hard to keep Strikers at bay, with Isla showing some fancy footwork as the goalie to keep one good opportunity out.  Our attacks on goal were well constructed with Rebels moving the ball well to the top of the D. Rach reminded the team to make sure they keep running deep into the D to create pressure on the defenders and get rebound opportunities.

The second half was a similarly fast paced affair, with Perri breaking the deadlock to score, the result of a good team effort to force the ball forward.

Elliot was voted as the MVP in this game for her positioning as a deep full back, often clearing the ball away from goal whilst under pressure. A great game of Hockey played in tremendous spirit.

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 3-1

Both teams were evenly matched during the game and with both teams without a GK there was plenty of pressure on defenders. Golden Plains scored the first goal after a number of skilled attacks vs Newtown. Leo, Ruben and Charlotte were brilliant in defence and kept intercepting Golden Plains’ passes, assisting a great team effort seeing Hamish score our first goal for the season and his personally – what a goal! Ruben, who did not want to play as GK in goalie gear ended up being a goal keeper saving many Golden Plains chances.

Spirit had many contributors on the day with Grace F, Emma, Emme, Sam and Bella getting into good positions on the field as it is important we go into attack out wide to the wings. Emma R showed great stick skill with a number of forward runs and scored our second goal to go 2-1 up at half time (thanks for filling in Emma).

The 2nd half was very exciting as Golden Plains had double figures in Penalty Corners to ours NIL and Spirit defence continued to deny them off the post, last second deflections or out wide so it was certainly our day. Nate had a great game as Captain and led the way on PC defence too. ‘Sticks on the ground’ was a popular call from the bench and defence turned to attack on many occasions and one with Grace M scoring our 3rd goal which was awesome for the team. Well done team.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia White 1-5

Spirit had a tough match against Kardinia who piled on the pressure from the opening whistle. Our defenders held up well until around midway through the half when Kardinia finally broke through and scored. Spirit hit back with some excellent passing out wide and great teamwork through Amber, Grace and Claudia to give us our first real scoring opportunity. Matilda finished off the good work to even the score at 1 all. Kardinia replied with 2 goals in quick succession and put Spirit firmly on the back foot.

Mitchell, Adam & Thomas had their work cut out in defense under huge pressure and playing out of their usual positions. Mai, under siege from the Kardinia forwards, made a great save when the ball came in hot from a short corner.

At the half time break with the score at 1-3, coach Darren stressed the need for our defenders to force the ball out wide to avoid giving the Kardinia forwards an easy angle at the goals.

Our defense was kept under pressure in the second half with most of the play on the sad side of the centre. Izzy and Claudia teamed up well on the wing with Izzy at times displaying skillful ball control to keep possession. Kardinia scored 2 further goals and took a well-deserved 5-1 win. Well done Spirit for a valiant effort.

Thanks to Claudia for filling in this week with 3 of our players away at the Junior Country Championships. Thanks also to Deanne for stepping in as team manager (and providing me with scant detail and dubious ‘factual’ information on which to base this report).

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Blue 0-4

Strikers came up against the in form Kardinia Blue team on Saturday. Despite a number of great saves from goalkeeper Ollie, Kardinia set up some good play and managed to score. Tom and Max were relentless in defence and Oskar was persistent in chasing down the ball and applying pressure. Kate played a focussed, consistent game and some terrific passes and great running with the ball gave Strikers a few chances to score but Kardinia’s defence was too strong.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 6-0

What an exciting game playing our other Newtown Team for our last sunny autumn day. Both sides were down on players but still managed to play a fierce game.  Spirit stood their ground early against determined Strikers and at times pushed deep into attack to prevent Strikers in gaining any goals. Spirit worked tirelessly across the midfield giving several players control to gain our brilliant first goal 15 minutes into the game by Tom from the half circle.  Then slowly but surely Spirit gained the upper hand controlling the ball to gain yet another goal straight after by Tom then later another excellent goal by Harri. New player Mason managed to show some talent to support the Spirit Team before leaving at half time, where the score was 3-0.

Spirit manage to dominate in the second half and were too strong for Strikers, where there was vigorous contest for the ball. Harley and Max gained lots of possessions to support Tom and Ethan on several occasions, along with Mitchell’s sheer determination.  Bailey claimed some great defending skills along with Angus, and Caleb to prevent Strikers from achieving any goals.  Spirit managed to earn a number of short corners to give scoring opportunities and brilliant goals each to Harri, Ethan and Tom, which gave us our final score.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 0-6

Newtown Strikers played Newtown Spirit on Sunday in a friendly though competitive game. Strikers faced a strong opposition who were able to score well through some very good passing sequences and individual play. There were however, many positives to be taken from the game. Our fullbacks played up to put pressure on the opposition and support our attacking play. We were also a player down for the first half which tested the team physically and all players put in and ran hard. Thanks to Mason for swapping teams and playing for us in the second half. Spirit scored 3 goals in the first half and another 3 in the second half to win the game 6:0 at the final whistle.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints 1-3

Falcons lined up for the second time this season to play Saints with a similar line up to the first game.  In the first go around Falcons met defeat with a 0-4 result, played a full roster allowing for some rest and struggled to get past the goalkeeper.  By start of game, with two double ups, Claire and Georgie, from Division Two, Falcons had 11 Warriors determined to do their best and they did not disappoint.   With the only rest relief to come by swapping for a time with a teammate, each and every Falcon played with grit and dogged determination.  The game was well contested with a lot of mid zone play, when Saints would get into the Falcons defensive zone the ladies created a strong defense with forwards and mids helping back, with very few penalty corners allowed and none that resulted in a goal against.

Of the three goals Saints got it was from field play and usually a result of transition that occurred in the attacking zone with players pushed up the field and where  Saints, upon gaining possession released the ball quickly up field.  While we did a good job of making the first stop and kill the play, Saints’ quick use of ball eventually caught us with numerical disadvantage in our defensive 25.  With similar resolve showed in the final 12 minutes of the Torquay game, Falcons once again mustered energy and focus to open the field up and score one to break the goose egg on our side of the score board.  With still time to get more scores on the board, Falcons did apply pressure but couldn’t add to the tally.  What a terrific team effort, with everyone leaving it all on the field.  Congrats to Astrid, Charley, Claire, Emily, Emma, Georgie, Hailey, Maggie, Siobhan, Xanthia, and Deb on a fantastic game.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 7-0

Continuing the run of form that Spirit have been having, we were able to apply pressure throughout the game, creating a large number of scoring opportunities and forcing mistakes from the opposition which we were able to capitalise on.

We’ve got some tough games coming up which will be a chance to gauge where we are within the competition, regardless of the opposition we’ll give it our best.

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Blue 0-2

A very warm 25 degree day for late autumn proved to be challenging for Strikers.  Geelong scored early in the game from a corner but we were confident that we could claw it back with 2 on the bench and Geelong having no bench in the heat.  We controlled the general play better than Geelong and had many entries into our offensive D than they did.  However we just could not seem to get through Geelong’s last line of defence.

Geelong managed to put another ball in the net in the second half.  We continued to penetrate up forward and had much more offensive play than Geelong in the second half but unfortunately remained scoreless.  We will be hungry for a rematch later in the year.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-2

Buoyed up by a win in the previous round, Newtown Spirit came out with enthusiasm and purpose. Better use of the wings and square passing allowed Claudia, Isabel and Deb to find space to move into attack, with confident approaches to the ball and pressure on the opposition. Great defence by Bron and Kylie at full back, with Lauren, Andie and Beth meeting the younger opposition early, and making effective passes to team mates.

Newtown scored the first goal, with Georgie showing great determination and good vision, and with Deanne and Katie in good position leading to receive and use team mates in supporting positions.

Torquay rebounded and continued to attack, with lots of play making it to our defensive zone, but slightly misdirected passes did not allow them to capitalise on all their opportunities. They were successful in putting two in the net, but Spirit redoubled their efforts and continued to push forward. With only a few minutes to go, and facing an upcoming operation, Kylie gave it her ‘all or nothing’ effort, and moved into the forward zone to score the equalising goal with less than 1 minute remaining on the clock. A fantastic effort by all with some excellent team play and maximum effort.

Saturday Social

The warm weather also meant it was a lovely day to play some Saturday Social hockey, with having fun being the main aim.

Welcome to Fletcher who joined us for his first game. Great work from Luke, Atticus, Heston, Kate and Claire who worked well together to move the ball into attack. Not to be outdone, the skills and strategy shown by Brett, Audrey, Charlotte, Fletcher and Maryanne were a match and there were many forays into the scoring area at both ends of the field.

Hockey Season 2019 – May 11 & 12

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.