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
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.