The second round of matches for the 2019 hockey season was a mixed bag of results, but the effort from all teams was fantastic.
Highlights included some great goalkeeping by Bella (U10 Strikers) and Mai (U14 Spirit), and some excellent sportsmanship shown by all teams, especially U8 Rebels, U14 Spirit and U14 Strikers, and u17 Strikers.
Under 6 Joeys
Even after 2 weeks of this hockey season, the Joeys players are showing great enthusiam and attention to the instruction, and learning new skills very well. ‘Monster Forest’ is already a favourite game, and one in which the players have shown excellent awareness of the options for moving the ball past opponents with controlled skills. It’s very pleasing to see this next group of future hockey players joining our club and enjoying our game, and thanks to the parents for their support.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay
Newtown Strikers welcomed Charlie to the team this week, and he made a very valuable contribution in defense for his first game with
some great passing. Strikers played against Torquay, who attacked the ball and were very committed right from the start and for the whole game. The Torquay team followed the ball closely with their players often bunching up, and there were many times when a Striker was opposed by 3 or 4 Torquay players. But Strikers continued to play their own game and made sure that they spread out so that they could more easily
receive passes. The first half saw a lot of running from the forwards Audrey, Joseph and Josien, with Josien scoring a goal after running nearly the length of the field with the ball.
Strikers continued to play well in the second half, with a long run with the ball from Lucy, great stops and hitting out of defense by Hunter, and some good passing and switching of play by Joseph. Strikers’ coach, Maggie, was very pleased with how the team was always looking to find the best option for their pass, and how well they were calling for the ball.
Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains
Newtown Spirit combined well this week to play some quality hockey. We saw the team maintaining position well at times and using the width of the ground in attack. Odin’s strong passing from half back put Spirit players into space on numerous occasions. This, along with maintaining his field position, won Odin the Best Team Player Award. Thanks goes to Summah for playing for Golden Plains to even up the numbers.
Newtown Rebels vs Saints
Newtown Rebels had a bye last week, so fronted up for their first game of this hockey season with enthusiasm. Jake, Kasey and Lennie had filled in last week for Saints, but were playing against the Saints team this week. Rebels were joined by Emmanuel, Albert and Luc. The team began very well with great focus on the ball and determination to get there first, resulting in many forward passages of play. Thanks to Kasey and Lennie who played one half each for Saints. The Saints team is quite young and inexperienced, and the coach and the club are both very proud of the excellent sportsmanship shown by the Rebels players who allowed Saints some time to play the ball before putting the pressure on.
Coach Claire introduced a special rule for the Rebels team, which required them to make 3 (and then 4) passes in a row before they could score a goal. This was an extremely effective strategy for teamwork and well directed passing as the players all began to make sure that they looked for a team mate to pass to. At one point, the team had a sequence of 6 uninterrupted passes – a fantastic effort!
Awards this week went to Emmanuel for his great sportsmanship, and Lennie for his continuing effort throughout the whole game.
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-7
We welcomed two new team mates Grace and Charles who played their first game for Newtown Strikers against Torquay.
Torquay dominated play with an exceptional individual performance from their centre half controlling play in all areas. The Strikers goal was peppered with several goal shots, many of which were stopped by fantastic GK skills from Bella, who amazingly is a novice at this role.
The second half Strikers showed great spirit, making several line breaks in attack and continuing to fight, protecting the goal line with Will B showing great determination at both ends of the field.
Things to take out of the game and what we learnt from our opponent is the importance of transferring the ball to best use the space, which we hope to implement into our own game. Subway and Best Team Player Awards to Will B and Bella.
Newtown Spirit – Bye
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 0-8
Newtown Spirit had a really tough game to start their hockey season. Their opener against Torquay didn’t go according to plan with a heavy loss (8-0). Despite the final scoreline, there were a number of positives to take away from the game.
Spirit played well under significant pressure as Torquay dominated with the ball, all players were required to use their defensive skills and many great tackles were made.
During the first half, Torquay were quick to attack. Leo and Reuben were solid in defence, committing themselves in tackles with Hamish S saving a number of shots on goal. Charlotte playing at left half back made some of the most impressive tackles, following up to clear the ball. Just before half time we started using the ball to run up the wings, with Bella at right wing making two strong runs providing the best attacking play of the half.
In the second half the game started to open up a bit and Spirit made some great runs into Torquay’s half and briefly put their defence under pressure. At one point Nate made a great break through the midfield with Emma running in support and continuing the drive, unfortunately Torquay were too quick to recover and reversed the situation.
At the end of the game, Torquay’s speed and superior ball skills earned them their tally of 8 unanswered goals. The great defensive effort put in by Spirit should have kept the score slightly lower but Torquay brutally capitalised on the few mistakes that we did make.
Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia 4-3
A very spirited game from Rebels this week, fighting from 3:1 down 15 mins into the second half to end up with a 4:3 win.
The game saw Isla return for her first hockey game since u8 and she immediately showed her tenacity and bravery attacking the ball with gusto. This was also Peri’s first game with Newtown and she slotted in seamlessly, providing lots of run through the middle of the ground.
The majority of the first half was spent defending before Brayden scored in a strong run on goals just before the half-time buzzer. We are not sure what Rach said, or if there was something in the oranges but Rebels came out in the second half with renewed vigour. They started to play the ball out wide to attacking options, allowing some great offensive runs up the field. By utilising more space the team could then run in waves towards goal with heightened confidence. The biggest smile of the day came from Isabelle, who scored a goal in her second ever game of hockey! A great reward for tirelessly working on her positioning all game.
Most valued player this week went to Brayden, who ran hard with his forays forward and also managed to score a couple of goals.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong 1-0
This week Strikers were up against Geelong Jaguars and wow what a difference a week can make!
Kurt did some great work at training helping the kids to understand where the “space” is, how to move into space and how to find a player in space. This paid off in spades in this week’s game, with all the kids showing great awareness of where the space was.
The team effort levels were amazing, with many repeat efforts, and this really proved the difference in the one on one battles. After having a few strong attempts on goal in the first half, as well as defending a few Geelong attacks (along with a couple of good saves by Mai), meant we went into half time 0-0.
The kids pushed hard in the second half, again with multiple shots on goal, and our defence continuing to hold strong, quickly repelling any Jaguar attacks. As the second half ticked down, Strikers again pushed forward, with Charlie managing to get a shot through the Jaguars defence to score our first goal. The Jaguars pushed players forward, to try and steal a win, but Strikers held strong in defence, moving the ball wide and around the Jaguars attackers and pushing back into attack. Strikers holding firm for a well-deserved 0-1 win, well done team!
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 1-0
Spectators saw a really good match between the two Newtown U14 sides on Saturday. Strikers gained new brother-sister duo in Oskar and Charlie and they made a great contribution with good defense and nice passing around the ground. Max, Brandon and Kate had Spirit under pressure early and Max was able to score a goal, but Spirit too had chances with some penalty corners. Maggie in goals and Tom at full back held Spirit scoreless to give Strikers a 1-0 win.
Coach Ahmer (AJ) was happy with the team playing out wide and asked the players to look for closer passes rather than going for long hits that were often intercepted by the opposition, and also for the receiving player to come closer to the ball to avoid the intercepts.
Great skills were on display and a game played with good sportsmanship from both Newtown teams.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 0-1
Both teams started evenly with good passing and play making over the whole pitch. Spirit held firm in defense with nice work by Luca and Thomas until Strikers broke through at about the halfway point of the first. Mitchell in right half generated good momentum for Spirit going forward linking up with Harry W and Grace. During the last 8 to 10 minutes of the half Spirit managed to force the play more into offence with some great team play that led to a number of short corners. One of these nearly resulted in a score but at the half time break Strikers held onto a 1 nil lead.
Luca sat out for the first part of the second half after a fast ball to the throat, but showed great courage and returned to the game with the same level of intensity. Once again, our defenders held firm and rebuffed continuous offensive drives by Strikers. Spirit had some opportunities to score generated by fast moves down forward, but none finding the back of the net. Cameron stepped up in mid-field to limit the Strikers’ forward momentum. In the dying moments of the game, Strikers sent a searing shot from right field which looked certain to make it 2 nil, only to see the ball rocket back past them after a terrific save by our goalie, Mai.
All round great team effort. Thanks to our guest coach, Thomas and to the players that stepped in to help out this week (Mai, Amelia & Amber). We look forward to the return of Harry B and Mason, who we all hope is feeling well.
Under 17 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 0-5
A very strong first half from our opponents who were strong in attack with multiple scoring opportunities. However, with no substitutes Spirit showed lots of determination in our defence to prevent further goals with a score of 0-3 in the first half.
After a few strong words from Coach Pete at half time, Spirit really rallied well in the second half becoming more fierce and amped up their speed with lots of fast foot work. Spirit was able to spread out more across the pitch and came close to scoring on a few occasions, where Torquay scored only another 2 goals. Thank-you to Grace, Sam, Oscar and Charley for filling in.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 1-4
Newtown Strikers worked hard against Geelong Jaguars on Saturday to find their stride while still adapting to their new structure and game
plan. Jaguars were strong in attack and set up a couple of short corners in both the first and second halves. Jaguars had a strong, fast and
skillful team with a number of players able to penetrate and put shots on goals and pressure on the Strikers defense. Jaguars were able to
score two field goals and 2 conversions. Strikers moved the ball well out of the deep defense and converted for a field goal in the second
half after strong play through Tom and Joshua to lift the team. However, they were unable to take further advantage of the Jaguars lack of a
goalie and finished the game 4:1 down.
Strikers showed strong resilience throughout the game, working well as a team and finished the game in good spirits. Their respectful play was commended by the umpires after the match who commented “they were a pleasure to umpire”. Well done Strikers.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 0-0
Falcons game two came up against last year’s Premiers team so it was a great result to come away with our first point in a 0-0 draw. The score was very indicative of the play, as movement was from end to end at times and strong battles all over the pitch. It is always a positive sign when players come off feeling challenged and like they have left it all on the field. Individual technique improved from last week as did team tactics with the ball being distributed to the outside more frequently, a bit more small game connection and some numerical advantage generated in our attack circle. As we work on converting circle entries to PCs and goals, it is going to be very exciting. Defense did a good job drawing the line outside the circle allowing very few penalty corners against. A near full roster allowed work rate to stay high while on the pitch, players to identify adjustments on the sideline and come into the game with intense focus. It was a great team effort and good foundation to move forward in the season.
Division 2 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong White 5-1
We had quite a different team compared to last week with 7 players from last weeks’ victorious team missing. However this did not deter our young team (7 of our players were 21 or under) from putting on a good performance. Woody showed again that he rules the post by scoring 2 goals in 2 weeks when he was in the right place at the right time to score our first goal early in the game. Our midfield controlled the game well and didn’t give Geelong many opportunities to make it through to their forward line. The team out-ran Geelong, used empty spaces well to lead and displayed a lot of patience by building up the play.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 8-1
A much better effort from the Spirit this weekend. After losing to Geelong Blue 1-0 the previous weekend in a match where we lacked system, tried to go too directly and were perhaps a bit rusty with the skills, Spirit put in a good performance this weekend. There was much better movement of the ball, good use of both sides of the ground and some good switching of play from one side to another, that opened up a range of opportunities, many of which were taken. With Pete controlling the midfield, Andrew dominating in the back-line and excellent marking and running from our halves (Rodan, Lockie, Dave W, JJ) and inners (Carl, Luke, Alex), there were a number of opportunities for our forwards. Ian set up a couple of goals with great crosses from the wing and AJ was moving towards his goal sneaking best. Four goals came our way in the first half with none for the opposition; the second half brought another 4 for us and one for Torquay to give a pleasing 8-1 result. Goals: Pete 2, AJ 2, one each to Carl, Alex, Rodan and Alex (I think – it was hard to keep count!). In a sign of the evenness of the contribution, 12 of the 13 players received votes from team-mates at the end of the game. Overall best players went to Pete, Lochie, Dave W. Previous week’s best players were Lochie, Will H, Andrew.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Saints Red 0-3
Welcome to Georgie who joined the team this week. This was a great game against the 2018 hockey season Premiers, with excellent defence holding out Saints, and in many cases meeting them in the midfield rather than in deep defence. Much tighter marking of opponents limited Saints’ oppotunities in the circle, with Andie, Hillary and Tracey making many interceptions and sending the ball out of defence. There were some excellent hits to forwards in space, but Saints controlled the centre of the field and passes across this area were not as effective as they might have been.
The second half saw some well directed passing and better use of the short game, with good backup for forwards as they moved into attack. Great running by Deb, Emma A, Claudia and Beth moved the ball into attack a number of times but without any result on the scoreboard for us. Overall, a game which gives great promise for the season ahead.
Saturday Social Hockey
The 2019 hockey season sees our Saturday Social program back again, providing the opportunity for both adults and juniors to play some hockey in a fun environment. This week’s game saw Brett, Audrey, Charlotte and Claire pitted against Luke, Heston, Atticus, Kate and Maryanne. There was some great passing with players running to space or looking for the pass to switch the play to the less crowded spaces. Excellent use of the back pass by Audrey, with Brett and Charlotte showing great anticipation. Lovely passing by Maryanne in her second game in a long time, with Luke and Atticus always in support. Excellent work by Heston in his first game and with Kate showing great focus and strength in her disposal, both teams finished strongly in a very enjoyable game.
Pink vs Purple
The second game of this hockey season for the U12 girls, with Amber, Amelia, Alex, Bella B (2 of them), Charlotte and Grace representing Newtown in this Hockey Geelong program, showcased some excellent ball control skills and strong passing. Great running to spaces was evident at times, but there was also a tendency to pass the ball through the middle on many occasions, and often this was cut off by the opposition player.
Purple began the game well with many forward moves resulting in goals. However, in the second half, well directed passing and good defence by Pink turned the tide and Pink finished the game strongly with a number of goals on the board.
With 15 girls now interested in this program, it is hoped that the number of players will continue to increase. New players are welcome – beginners or experienced players. Contact Claire Barnes for details.