Hockey Season 2019 – Preliminary Finals

The Preliminary Finals on September 7 showed the improvement in team play and team strategy which has occurred during the 2019 winter hockey season. Two excellent matches featuring teams from Newtown Hockey Club were played and we congratulate the players, coaches and managers on the way they represented the Club.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia White 3-1

Last Saturday Spirit played Kardinia White in the preliminary final, a team we had not beaten until the last home and away match of the hockey season on the 24th of August. We went in with some confidence after a 7 nil win against them in that last round match, but as we know, finals can produce unexpected results. So, Spirit ran onto the pitch without any complacency and this was justified in the opening minutes with Kardinia putting us on notice early that a repeat of our previous meeting was unlikely. The ball was hotly contested and possession was shared equally in the opening minutes. An early chance with Harry W running in open space deep into the D didn’t come off. Kardinia tightened up in defense. Harry B found a way in a congested D to break the deadlock and give us a 1 nil lead. Spirit started to gain a greater share of the ball and gave Kardinia little opportunity past their 25 line. We ran the ball well into offense and looked likely to score on numerous occasions. A well-earned short corner saw the two Harry’s combine, Harry W finishing off with a tomahawk to give us our second. Kardinia continued to press us with close, honest tackling that hampered our attempts to open up the play. They pressed harder into offense and forced a short corner with 5 minutes left in the half. Spirit defenders held firm and the score at half time stood at 2 nil.

The second half started tense. The ball spent most of the time between the 25 lines without either team really threatening goals. Great running by Adam across centre pitch helped prevent Kardinia breaking through their 25 line on numerous occasions. It wasn’t until 10 minutes in that Spirit managed a short corner when Harry W ran the ball into the D. A powerful shot by Harry B just missed. Kardinia reacted well, earning a short corner and scored their first with about 12 minutes left. The rising tension was capped when Harry B fired in a great running goal with about 8 minutes to go sending the score to 3 – 1. The remainder of the match saw defensive play by both teams, Spirit defending their lead, Kardinia focused on closing down space that we were creating up forward.

Congratulations to Spirit on making the grand final and to Kardinia White on a hard fought match. Newtown Spirit will face up to Kardinia Blue in the Grand Final, in what is expected to be another fantastic game between the two teams.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 0-1

In chilly conditions Newtown Spirit tackled a determined Geelong Jaguars in the Preliminary Final on Saturday. There was even play with hard marking by both sides at the start of the game. Spirit players displayed lots of fast paced running and more confidence this time round against our opposition.  Jaguars were provided with 2 short corners but our replacement goalie E.J did some fantastic dives which prevented them from scoring. Both Tom and Jarret were able to apply lots of pressure with great run and passing, and created scoring opportunities. Harley was able to continue his fierce determination and fast running down the wing, but was unlucky to miss his target. Jaguars however did finally score their first goal, ending the first half as 1-nil.

Spirit started the second half with the same level of intensity.  Harri worked tirelessly in both attack and defence, marking up and continued cutting off balls to the winger. With Spirit’s hungry attitude both Bailey and Caleb provided some fantastic defence work, their best so far. Mitchell was able to link up some great passing to allow some scoring opportunities. Angus and Ethan were valiant with their usual hard running, marking, tackling, and always looked to pass. Nick continued his ideal role as winger, always ready to slot a goal, but unfortunately Spirit wasn’t able to replicate its great form from the previous 2 weeks.  Desperate to win, our players took the game on, but we probably needed to be smarter and more cohesive to work the ball forward.  With a tense last 5 minutes both sides were unable to produce further goals.  The end score, nil to 1, is definitely telling it was a tough game but Spirit should be proud to have made it this far to the finals after a rocky season, and to have conceded just the one goal against the league’s highest scoring side.

Thank-you EJ to fill-in as a replacement goalie, and also to Mitchell for doubling up every week. See you at presentation night.

Hockey Season 2019 – Semi Finals

The first round of the Finals for the 2019 hockey season was played over two days, with very contrasting weather. Saturday dawned bright and beautiful and was a lovely day for some great hockey. Sunday was a different story, with thunderstorms and rain casting a gloom over the day, and at one stage looking like ‘the dementors from Harry Potter were coming’ as umpire Tom M commented. Congratulations to all the teams on their efforts and commiserations to the teams who have now finished their hockey season.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 4-5

Spirit confronted a determined Kardinia Blue in Saturday’s qualifying final. Early play was even with hard marking and good running by all of our players. An early corner for Spirit was well defended by Kardinia. This was followed quickly by Kardinia forcing a short corner of their own that was also defended well with Mai diving to her right to stop a certain goal. Our defenders started to feel the pressure and Kardinia scored with 15 minutes left in the half. This was followed up 4 minutes later with another. Spirit then lifted, with our defenders manning up more quickly and Mason instigating numerous passages of play linking up good passes that started to turn the match. Our defenders started passing the ball long out of the back half and hitting our mark running into offense. A great run from Harry B all the way deep into the D resulted in our first score. Only minutes later a Spirit short corner saw Harry B drive home our second leveling the match at 2 all. Some neat maneuvers in defense by Daniel helped ward off the last Kardinia attack for the half. Then a run by Tilly into our D resulted in a short corner. This was followed by a second, then a third; none resulting in a score. The half ended with Spirit looking the better side, controlling the bulk of the play and generating many more scoring opportunities.

Spirit started the second half with the same level of intensity with which they finished the first. Harry B struck early, threading through a skillful goal deep in the D through a forest of sticks and legs, giving us a 3-2 lead and Spirit looked dominant. In the following 5 to 10 minutes our defense started to show cracks with Kardinia finding loose players helped by a lack of spirited communication. This opened the door for Kardinia who stepped up and ran the ball more, winning a short corner, then another that resulted in a goal to even the match again. Spirit responded, in kind, with 2 short corners, the second giving Harry B his 4th. Kardinia scored again at the 4 minute mark evening things up and then again with about 1 ½ minutes left on the clock to end the match with a 5-4 win.

In a contest that could have gone either way, Spirit showed that we have the potential to reverse the result and better, if we get the chance. Well done and all eyes on this weekend’s match.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 3-1

Another beautiful sunny day for our Semi final against Kardinia. Wow what an exciting game, Spirit had all the parents and spectators hanging onto their seats in awe.  As Coach Pete quoted, what a win, you blew me away. Lots of hard running and great teamwork ensured Newtown Spirit a healthy win. All the Spirit players looked incredibly fierce. Both Tom and Jarret were able to apply lots of tackling pressure with great passing against a much improved opposition, which helped Angus gain our first goal in the first half of the match, giving Spirit an end score of 1 to nil.

Spirit continued their hungry attitude in the second half allowing Mitch a fantastic pass to Harley which gained Spirit another goal. Our defence work from both Bailey and Caleb was excellent preventing goal scoring opportunities for Kardinia, along with our dependable goalie Max, providing Kardinia no chances in scoring. Harri, Ethan and Nick all played well in the forward line where only a few times were beaten to the ball. Harley was able to continue his fast paced running which gained him another fantastic goal. Spirit should be proud of themselves since Kardinia took on Jaguars 5-0 the previous week. Not to mention we had Jarret who had played a game the night prior, Mitchell played a game just before, and Ethan struggling with back injury. So well done team, lets prepare for another epic match this week.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints 0-3

The goal come finals play is to progress through to the big game and have a chance to play for a flag but it was not to be for Division 1 Women’s Falcons.  However, it was a terrific effort and display of hockey to make Saints earn their advance into the next round.  This is the first time in the 7 years since I, Deb Barnett have been here that we had to limit our players list for game day.  With 21 players listed for selection we could only choose 16.  Along with 9 ladies, 7 middle school and high school players were rostered on.

After a tightly contested first half on both sides of the ball and the pitch, the players were determined and excited for the second half of play.  Mother Nature stepped in not only in the form of rain but thunder and lightning which resulted in a 5 minute delay in play.  The game was able to continue and while the score ended 3-0 in favor of Saints the team held their heads high.  I hope their vision has been inspired by the growth this season that has the opposition concerned already. The future is bright for the Falcons Women with a solid core of ladies and a wealth of experience gained by our school age players that matured their game immensely.  With 34 players getting Div 1 exposure this year the team is poised to make some exciting strides forward in 2020.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 1-2 in extra time

Newtown Spirit were expecting another close match against Saints White and the game did not disappoint. Saints attacked strongly in the early part of the game and managed to get the first goal on the board after a close in scramble in the goal circle. Spirit fought back well, with great midfield defence lead by Andie, Hannah, Kellie and Beth meeting the opposition well to gain possession and pass to running forwards. Tracey and Hillary at full back met the Saints attacks high and were backed up by Kylie with another solid game, showing great position and great timing in making her tackles and interceptions. Saints had a number of short corners with direct shots on goal but were not able to score.

Claudia, Georgie, Deb, Lauren and Maryanne created great links between defence and attack, running with the ball and running to space to receive from team mates. Excellent positioning, passing and ball control skills by Peta, Amelia and Kirsty got the ball into attack and into the circle on a number of occasions without a score on the board. Spirit persisted and equalled the score after a square pass from Peta to Kellie, and a strong hit from Kellie into the circle which found Claudia’s stick to deflect the ball into goal.

Newtown continued to press their attack with Georgie in position for a number of shots on goal but deflected by the Saints goalie. The game continued at a good intensity and a good skill level and could have gone either way. At full time, the score was still tied at 1-1, and so we were into ‘golden goal’ extra time. Newtown Spirit continued to display good skills and teamwork, with desperate defence at times. A short corner for Saints unfortunately found a foot on the line, resulting in a penalty stroke – almost saved by Claire, and the game was over.

Despite the loss, players and Coach were happy with the way the team finished the season. As a team and as individual players, there has been great improvement during the season, and the strong finish will give the team a good basis to start 2020. Congratulations to the team and all the players, who achieved the best result for our D2 Women for 5 years.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Strikers vs Corio 2-5


Hockey Season 2019 – August 3 & 4

Counting down to the finals and the end of this hockey season now.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia

The U8 Newtown Strikers played a skilful Kardinia team this week.  Kardinia started very strong, with an early goal, but as Strikers warmed up they began to take back control.

Hunter gave some spark to Strikers with his great efforts to keep the ball in play in the forward line, with a few attempts at goal before he finally scored.  Josien showed some run with the ball, with a well-executed pass to Charlie, who then scored another goal.

In the first half, boys were in the forward positions and the girls in the back, but this swapped over for the 2nd half. The 2nd half saw no score from either team.  Charlie made some good stops in the middle of the ground, and some right on the goal line.  Joseph was also very strong in defence and made some well-directed passes after stopping the ball, including some reverse stick passes.

Josien, Lucy and Audrey were all running well to positions to allow their team mates to pass to them.  Audrey was often in great attacking positions and was very persistent at the ball but was unlucky to not get a goal.

The team were all very happy with how the game went and had a great time, enjoying the pace and passing between teammates. The Subway and Best Team Player awards this week went to Joseph and Audrey.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Rebels

After initially falling into the trap of crowding the ball, the Spirit were able to improve their defence throughout the game. When defending free hits, the team is developing their ability to guard space and this is making it difficult for Spirit’s opponents to attack.

One thing Spirit is working on at present is transitioning from attack to defence without the prompting of the coach throughout the game. This week the Best Team Player award was given to Paige and the Subway award was presented to Summah.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Spirit

This week was another great game for Rebels, with all players showing improved focus on the ball and some great supporting moves for teammates with the ball. Marking of the opposition players improved in the second half especially, and there were some great passages of play which moved the ball into attack. Good positioning and backup by Kasey, Jake and some excellent work in front of goal by Albie, with Lennie and Manny showing their speed and ball control skills. Isaac was showing great awareness of the movement of the ball and gained possession, making some good passes to team mates. Awards to Isaac and Manny.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Strikers v Newtown Spirit 6-1

Players were primed for what was to be a tough clash between the two Newtown teams who have both had fantastic seasons so far. The first half was evenly matched with end to end Hockey keeping players and spectators on their toes. Spirit took the lead with a breakaway goal, but Strikers fought back with an equalising goal to take them into the half time break 1-1.

Strikers came out firing in the second half playing some of their best Hockey for this hockey season, showcasing skills and systems that have been building throughout the season. All goals scored were “team goals” featuring impressive passing between team mates with tidy finishing from Jacob (3), Zac (2) and Madison (1).

Subway Award to Jacob who displayed impressive distribution skills and Best Team Player Award to Edward who was able to turn defence into attack with his tackles and passing going forward.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 1-6

Newtown Spirit started the game well and had a few good chances in the first 10 minutes of the game. A few good breaks took them up the field but they just couldn’t get the ball in the net. Some good passing between Michael and Matilda finally saw them get a goal. Unfortunately they couldn’t keep up the pressure and a lack of discipline in marking and positioning saw Strikers take the lead 1-2 at half time.

Spirit put up a good fight in the second half but Strikers took advantage of gaps in the Spirit defence to take the score to 1-6.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 0-9

Despite being short two players and a one sided score line, the team played as always with 100% effort and enthusiasm. Ruben is a keen team captain who displayed sportsmanship with a resounding 3 cheers and team handshakes. Hamish S in goals had his work cut out and made many great saves; we just need two of him! It was another heavy defensive game with Leo and Ruben kept busy on the back line, Lucy, Grace and Charlotte worked hard to try to get the ball out to our forwards: Hamish K, Emme and Annabelle who were ready and willing to get the ball to our end when the chances came.

By half time the team were missing their talented and tireless attacker Nate who turned up to limit the score line and strengthen the attack. A tough season with numerous significant losses hasn’t dampened the commitment of this young team even in cold, wet conditions, well done all!

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers 0-2

Hockey is a funny game sometimes. Rebels probably played their best game of the hockey season so far, but went down in a tight tussle with Strikers.

Rebels came out firing early in the game, pushing forward as a team and looking for attacking passes into goal scoring areas. Despite multiple shots they couldn’t quite score. The hockey gods seemed to be against us (although the Strikers defenders and Mai in goals might have also had something to do with it).

Strikers then scored with a fast break and the game turned into a tight tussle for the rest of the game with a number of fast breaks from both sides. Rebels’ best team passage of play for the year came just before half time when a number of pin point passes and aggressive running saw the ball moved from full back to a shot on goal. Unfortunately another near miss, but a pleasure to watch from the sidelines.

The players did seem to gravitate towards the wing on the cheering parents’ side of the ground. At times there were free players and plenty of space on the other wing that might have been an option. MVP this week was Gil who worked hard in both defence and attack. Eliza, Trey and Toby were also recognised for their efforts.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels 2-0

The kids all came together well this week. Some excellent running right from the start, and the ball movement from late in last week’s game was a pleasure to watch from the outset. Again the Strikers were running in waves, with excellent passes out in front of the leading forwards.

We switched some of the positions around today, and it was great to see that everyone took on the challenges. Sam was keen for a run at full back, and he and Amber rebounded the ball out of defence very effectively, keeping the ball away from the Rebels forwards. Thamindu did a stellar job in centre half, despite telling me he wasn’t sure about the role, his ability to find a leading player with clean passes was a real asset to the Strikers breaking the Rebels defensive lines, linking up with Kye, Brandon, Surry, Charlie W and Scarlett. Nice positioning of Isabel and Charlotte B out wide saw us move the ball into attack on several occasions, and some excellent forward running from Zac had the Rebels defence working hard. Some nice movement of the ball resulted in a deep pass to Charlie W, with a nice tap past the keeper getting us on the board.

The Strikers hard running and ball movement kept the Rebels at bay, and some good work from Mai, meant we went into half time with a 1-0 lead.

An early mixup saw Charlie W break away at the start of the second half and put a second goal on the board. Surry followed in Sam’s defensive footprints and made some excellent transitions out of defence. Isabel was moved back into her usual CH position, keeping much of the play out of our defensive 25. Some great ball movement between Chloe, Amber and Charlotte B had us moving forward, looking like we might get another score on the board on several occasions, but the Rebels defence were doing a solid job. Despite his great work in the middle, Thamindu was keen to go back into FB. He was again a rock in defence, working well with Scarlett late in the game, when
the Rebels looked like they might get a late goal, clearing the ball wide out of defence.

A job well done today Strikers, you should all be very proud of the way you played together as a team.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs GBS Black 2-0

At the half time whistle, scores were nil all. The team reflected on what was working well and where they needed to improve.

With renewed enthusiasm they hit the pitch again. Sam took possession of the ball, played on quickly, passed to Brandon who in turn hit a clean shot to Max and… score! A nice set up by Basyl saw Brandon get Newtown’s second goal. Maggie and Charlie displayed good ball control skills and a big thanks to Liam who volunteered to be goalie. Bringing the ball back to the half line when required rather than moving forward, is something for the team to work on in the next match.

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 2-3

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 0-2

Round 11 saw Newtown Spirit take on Kardinia. Again Spirit had to gain assistance from other teams to give them two on the bench.

The first half saw many short corners for Kardinia, none of which produced a goal. One short corner was given by the umpire for Spirit not being 5 metres away. With Spirit not being 5 once again, Angus was given a green card and was sent off for 2 minutes, and with Spirit now losing a player on the field Kardinia was able to score with just minutes left on the clock. With Spirit not able to get the ball past Kardinia’s defence they were not able to put it in the net.

With the first half over Kardinia had a lead of just 1-0, meaning Spirit still had a chance. The second half started and within seconds the rain started to pour down. Even with the wet turf moving the ball faster, it slowed down the Spirit players as some of them slipped over and made it difficult to see.  Within the first couple of minutes Kardinia had the ball in the ‘D’ and missed a goal opportunity, determined to score they fought hard against Max who at one stage dropped to the ground to keep the ball out of the goals.

Moving forward Amelia chased and got control of the ball, she was then able to have a shot at goal which turned into a short corner that Spirit couldn’t score from.
Max and Caleb had their work cut out for them in defence as Kardinia gave it their all. With just nine and a half minutes left Kardinia scored, giving them their second goal for the game. Spirit reactedto this goal, with Tom running the ball up to Spirit’s forward and towards an open goal, Nick was on the post ready for a deflection and only just missed.  Kardinia won the game 2-0.

Newtown Spirit would like to thank their extra players, Mitchell, Amelia, Isabel and Matilda, for helping out to field a side.

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-2

Newtown Strikers played Torquay in a highly anticipated match on Sunday. As expected Torquay came out hard and fast from the outset and although the pace was quick and the attacking unrelenting, Strikers were terrific in defence and played their best game of the hockey season. A fantastic game to watch, Strikers held Torquay to 1:0 in the first half with good clearances and great goal keeping by EJ.

At half time coach Gordon told players their defence was really good, though they could attack a bit more, and gave them instructions to find their opposition and mark-up
tightly. The second half was just as exciting as the first with attempts on goal by both sides, including solid attempts by Ben and Riley. Strikers held off Torquay until the last two minutes when they managed to get another ball through to end the game the 2:0 up.

Another great effort for an emerging team, well done Strikers. Special thanks to Harry for putting some skin in the game (literally) and to Kate for playing up
from U14’s.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong Jaguars 0-7

Division 2 Women

Two games for Newtown Spirit this weekend, with the rained out game against Torquay being replayed. Unfortunately, neither of these games went to plan but the effort of all the players cannot be faulted.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 0-5

There were some great moves and passing between the midfield and forwards, with Georgie, Isabel and Maryanne doing some great running. Hannah’s confidence in gaining and holding possession until the appropriate moment was an advantage. Loose marking in the midfield however allowed Torquay to use their pace to get behind the defence and some slick moves on the short corners paid off in goals for them.

The second half saw some improved defence with Amelia, Tracey, Beth and Kellie putting pressure on Torquay opponents, but lack of pressure on the ball carrier at Torquay free hits proved costly. Strong passes from Peta gave Deanne and Kate some hope in attack but without result on the board.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 0-7

With plenty of interchange players available, Spirit had some hope of reversing the trend of the previous day. However, it was not to be. Torquay used speed and accurate passing, finding plenty of gaps despite the best efforts of the team. Torquay had plenty of attack, and if not for the strong defence lead by Kylie, Amelia and Andie, the score may have been higher. Despite the score, the marking had improved from the previous game and there was more pressure on the ball carrier, but Torquay were just too quick and too accurate.

Claudia, Isabel and Deb created some forward movement, with Maryanne again showing great anticipation and movement to the ball. We will recoup this weekend, with still a chance to make the four and the finals. Well done to all.

Senior Men

Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 10-

The team was bolstered back close to full strength again with Luke and Peter returning from injury whilst Carl and Will returned from holidays.  Welcome back also to Gordo who has been itching to get back after watching from the sidelines all year.

It was pretty clear at the start that we were likely to dominate the game when Golden Plains took to the field with only 9 players whilst we had 4 on the bench. However the Navigators defended well by flooding their defensive 25m zone and made it challenging for us to score.  The opposition goalie played a great game and forced us to have to try and get around him if we wanted to score.  Nevertheless, our numerous scoring opportunities eventually paid off and we managed to score 10 goals within a good distribution across the forwards and midfielders.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2 3-4


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 4 & 5

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.

U12 Girls

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.