Hockey Season 2019 – July 13 & 14

With round 11 of the 2019 hockey season played last week, there are now only 6 rounds to go before the finals.

Our senior teams were the only ones in play, and teams are making great efforts to improve their ladder positions and finish this hockey season off well.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 0-3

What an incredible game all around the field. With two under-14 juniors stepping up for double ups after only having played one senior game in Division Two just a couple of weeks ago, Grace and Charlie did a bang-up job of stepping up to help the Falcons. With injuries and Emma on holidays our midfield was fairly decimated but this was another prime example of our young guns stepping up to do a great job and take on the challenge of matching up against the top of the ladder Geelong. Hailey, Erin, Rach, Charley, Amelia and Nadia followed the lead of hard working, smooth skilled Maggie moving between midfield and forward duties, and for a couple of them a run through the backline. Geelong managed to capitalise on a couple of marking errors and a penalty corner to take a 3-0 lead in the first half.

But the goals stopped there and the second half was scoreless. Commendations to the backline who have been the backbone of practice and who put the last three weeks of focus into play leading to some great use of width, transfering from pressure and support of small play up the sideline. This lead to a much more supported attack. The goals will come!!!

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 2-5

With spirits boosted by good form in recent weeks, and despite last minute changes to the team, Newtown Spirit began well, attacking strongly and controlling the play early in the game. There was plenty of good teamwork, with thoughtful passes to players in good spaces. Maryanne was working well on the left, and was in the right place to put the first goal in the net. Despite great defence by Andie, Hannah and Lauren, and proactive interceptions by Tracey and Bron, Saints managed to sneak one in and even the score. A further goal to Saints did not reduce the effort from Spirit, and Georgie had the final touch in a goal circle scramble to make it 2-2 at half time.

Throughout the game, it was very pleasing to see the great composure and excellent ball control skills from Grace, Charlie, Hannah, Andie and Kirsty. Great running and persistence by Katie, Georgie and Maryanne and well done to Tracey and Bron for always being in the right place to pressure the Saints attacks. Unfortunately, Saints scored 3 goals in the second half, including 2 from penalty strokes.

Senior Men

Newtown Strikers – Bye

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong White 4-0

 

Hockey Season 2019 – June 29 & 30

With the school holidays marking the midpoint of this hockey season, there were no junior games this week. But our senior teams were out there giving their all – in difficult circumstances for some.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 0-2

Senior Men

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 7 – 0

Finally a result that represents the quality hockey that Spirit have been playing over the past few months. Apart from two stellar individual goals scored by Luke and Tom P, the rest were on the backs of plays that began at the back line, worked through the midfield and culminated in the forwards putting the ball in the back of the net.

Though Golden Plains put up a tough fight, the pressure that Newtown applied tirelessly throughout the game never gave the opposition a chance to control the game, forcing a number of mistakes which we were able to capitalize on.

This weekend we play Corio for a second time which will be a great opportunity to see how far we’ve come this hockey season.

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 1 2-15

We were expecting a tough match against last years Division 1 Premiers.  We thought we were going to win the game at one point (by forfeit) when Torquay ran onto the field with only 6 players but they were saved at the last minute by a seventh player running onto the pitch.  We had 11 players (no bench) but that was enough to give us the ascendancy for a few minutes until Torquay’s eighth player arrived which had a dramatic impact on the game.  Before we knew it they sneaked in 4 goals and suddenly we had 2 players injured and unable to play.  We struggled against Torquay’s speed and attack on the ball but battled and still created plenty of opportunities to score.  There were plenty of learnings from the game and this young team will certainly bounce back for their next big game.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-1 (game abandoned)

Newtown Spirit carried its good team play from the previous round into this game, and demonstrated some great linking play between the midfield and the forward line. Solid defence by Kylie and Tracey got the ball out of danger with Andie, Hannah and Beth creating space to move play forward. Good midfield marking and confident play did not allow Torquay to capitalise on opportunities. Newtown’s first goal came from a quick free pass by Katie, which reached Georgie on the lead, and then Grace, playing her first senior game, was in the right spot on the far post to tip the ball in for a goal. Charlie, Deanne and Peta also found good space in attack and with some excellent passes to players leading well, Deanne was our second goal scorer.

But the rain started just as half time began, and it didn’t stop. We took the field again for a couple of minutes after half time but the rainstorm was so strong that the pitch was underwater and sections of it were floating.  With the agreement of all, the game was abandoned, and will be rescheduled.

 

 

Hockey Season 2019 – June 22 & 23

The last round of matches before the school holidays saw some very exciting games and some great teamwork. In the run toward the end of this hockey season, there are many positive signs.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay

Newtown Spirit is showing exciting signs of adopting whole field use into their team play. Many times, the Spirit defensive players passed the ball across the ground to allow for forward movement. This has been a focus for the team in this hockey season and their confidence in its use is growing. Torquay were a strong opponent and restricted Spirit’s ability to attack their goal, but despite this Spirit persisted and repelled many Torquay attacks.

Blade was awarded Best Team Player and Lenny the Subway Award. Thanks to David for stepping in as coach for the second half, and doing a fantastic job.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels

For the last game of this hockey season before the school holidays, Newtown Strikers were scheduled to play Saints, but Saints had been hit by illness and were unable to field a team. But with Newtown Rebels having a bye, several of the Rebels players were able to come to the rescue and join Strikers so that there were enough players for a game. Kai and Isaac from Rebels joined Eddy, Josien and Joseph to form one team. And Manny and Jake from Rebels joined Lucy, Charlie and Hunter to form the other team.

All the players adapted to the new arrangements and a well-played game ensued. Lucy and Eddy won the player awards for their effective play on their respective teams.
Thanks to Kai, Jake, Manny and Isaac from Rebels for helping out Strikers and making the game possible.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 3-6

Newtown Strikers vs GBS Black 0-0

This was another very close game between these two teams, with Newtown Strikers switched on from the starting whistle. With the game plan including taking free passes quickly and using the width of the field and the space down the wings, Strikers began very well. Maddie at centre midfield pounced on any loose balls, taking free hits quickly and making some fantastic wide passes to Will and Jacob.  Good ball control skills and speed in running the ball into attack by Will, Jacob and Avah saw Newtown make many advances toward goal. Midfield pressure from Cormac, William and Maddie was well backed up by Grace and Charles, leaving Bella in goals little to do, although she remained vigilant at all time.

Some great position on the wings by Harrison and Maia, playing her first U10 game, allowed Strikers to advance and enter the goal circle but unfortunately without results on the scoreboard.

Best Team Player Award to Maddie, and Subway Award to Maia, who gained confidence as the game progressed and finished strongly, calling well and contesting for possession on many occasions.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Rebels vs Torquay 0-2

Rebels faced a challenging match up against Torquay on Saturday, but kept the pressure up early to Torquay with strong defence. Rebels defended some short corners very well and managed to create some exciting attacks on goal in the first half. Unfortunately, Torquay scored 2 late goals to have a 2-0 lead at the half-time whistle.

The team reflected and re-grouped at half time and played the second half in fantastic spirit. They managed to block Torquay from scoring any further goals, defending many strong attacks on goals. The momentum of the game slowly shifted after half time and Newtown were unlucky not to score after dominating possession late in the game.
MVP this week went to Gil who showed maturity in reading the play, both deep in defence and in attacking positions. Toby & Peri were also recognised for their efforts.

Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 1-4

U12 Strikers had another tough game this week against a strong Golden Plains. Unfortunately, our effort levels were not consistent across the team, and this showed in our ball movement. There were some glimpses of the ball movement we used last week, with some sections of play where we moved the ball out wide around the defensive wall,
and then brought it back into the middle when in attack. We were still right in the game at half time, after getting a good linking run through the middle, Charlie again scored a good goal for us, heading into half time 1-1.

We continued to get some good run up through the middle, however Golden Plains were providing good 2 way running across the field, and we struggled to get the ball into attack enough times. At times we didn’t manage to clear the ball wide enough out of defence, and the Golden Plains forwards pounced on any balls cleared up the middle. In the end Strikers going down 1 – 4.

Newtown Spirit – Bye

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs GBS Black 3-0

On Saturday Spirit played a determined GBS Black. Play was congested in the first half with both teams flocking after the ball. Harry B fired off two shots from just inside the D but both just missed their mark. GBS were manning up well on our forwards giving us little room to move the ball around. That and a serious lack of talking saw no score for the first 10 minutes of the half. Spirit had chances in close but was thwarted on several occasions by hordes of GBS players that did a great job crowding the D. Harry B, showing great desperation, finally broke through, having been knocked to his knees but still managing to sweep one in. Spirit followed up with a second through Harry with 2 minutes to go setting the score at 2 nil at the half time break.

The fill-in coach (well meaning, but obviously a novice) asked for the team to start talking. Also, reiterating Coach Darren, for Spirit to link up quick passes, switching at half pitch if needed, to move the ball aggressively into attack.

The second half started in stark contrast to the first. There was plenty of chatter and loud, decisive calling. Spirit controlled the play passing swiftly and accurately down the pitch and deep into offense numerous times, almost resulting in goals. On the few occasions that GBS pressed back, they were quickly halted by Luca & Grace combining beautifully across the backline. Mitchell and Harry W were instrumental coming out of defense, making space and giving our defenders a target. Harry B started firing passes from midfield forcing our forwards to run and creating opportunities to score. Numerous short corners resulted and before the push on one of these, a sneaky plan was hatched by Harry B that involved him flicking the ball quickly across to Harry W who finished off decisively to send the score to 3 nil.

In what was definitely a game of 2 halves, we managed in the second to string together some of the best passages of play for the season. Well done team.

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-11

It was a very cold start to the day, but Under 14 Strikers were keen to get out and play. With 6 regular players missing, we had to borrow players from Under 14 Spirit and under 12 teams as well as a coach – thanks Kurt. The players gave it their best but couldn’t match the Torquay team. Ollie saved some great goals and when Strikers got their running game going they looked good. Thanks to Harry, Matilda, Eliza, Jai, Kye and Nate for helping out.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 1-6

Geelong Jaguars came out strongly against Newtown Spirit but did not score their first goal until 15 minutes into the game, proving some good defence by Caleb.  Jaguars were very persistent in aiming for further goals via two short corner opportunities, and once again Caleb managed some great defence to prevent one of their goals. A very congested first half with Jaguars giving us little room to move forward, in the end Jaguars managed another 3 goals leaving the score at half time 4-0.

Newtown Spirit played a stronger second half in the midfield from Tom, Harley, and Ethan, with great passing from Harley to Tom which gained us our first goal.  Jarret played well in the back line with firm hitting and strong running, and Bailey had tackled and intercepted very well against a well-drilled offence which often left him guarding 2 players. Riley gained some great possessions and tackling opportunities and narrowly missed what would have been a fantastic goal. Our attack looked dangerous with shorter passing and sharing the ball around through Ethan, Nick, Tom and Amelia on the right. Unfortunately in the end Jaguars still remained dominant with a win of 6-1. Thank-you both to Riley and Amelia for filling in.

Newtown Strikers – Bye

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong Jaguars 0-5

Division 2 Men

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Blue 4-3

This game was a big test for us against the only Division 2 team that we have lost against this year.  The first half was a tight tussle with excellent play around the ground.  EJ kept us in the game with some great pressure on the opposition forwards when they tried to take him on in a couple one-on-one attacks against the goalie.  Both teams played to a very high standard in the first half but neither could score.

The standard in the second half was also high but the goals started to flow.  Callum found the back of the net in the first two minutes of the second half.  Geelong were quick to respond by scoring two goals within 5 minutes.  Carl starred in the mid-field and distributed the ball nicely to the forwards who rewarded his good play with 2 more goals to put us back into the lead with about 15 minutes remaining.  We continued to play well and with two minutes remaining the Team Manager (yours truly) was starting to pencil in a 3-2 win; however with 2 minutes remaining, Geelong scored to level the game.  With 30 seconds remaining and before I could cross out the score to replace it with a draw, our young forward line got the Geelong goalie off balance and created an opportunity for Will to score the eventual winning goal. The Spirit players and fans in the cheer squad roared with exhilaration and we managed to hold on for a great win.

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 1 2-4

This was a great effort for Spirit, playing against Geelong’s Division 1 team. What a game, I don’t think Geelong expected that they would be a goal down for most of the first half and only break a two goals all deadlock with 8 minutes to spare of the final whistle.

Again the Newtown Spirit men showed great determination and throughout the game forced mistakes from the opposition and constantly came out on top in 50/50 contests.

Although there haven’t been many wins this season, every game we’ve given it our best and the development I’m seeing individually and in our team play means that no team should take us lightly.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 7-0

Golden Plains were again at a severe disadvantage with 8 players to our 15. However, this should not detract from the high standard of play and great teamwork shown by Newtown Spirit. The 6 different goal scorers was a fantastic illustration of the co-operation and the effort put in by each member of the team.

The availability of reserves allowed the players to work hard, with frequent interchanges to rest and return to the game with intensity. Golden Plains created some great attacks but good marking by our midfield and good positioning and great defence by Bron, Kylie and Kirsty A prevented any success on their part. Interceptions in midfield gained possession for Newtown and disposal out of the defensive zone was effective with Andie, Peta, Beth and Hannah making great passes to Newtown’s advantage. A number of excellent square passes between Andie and Peta set up forward movement and resulted in goals.

Good linking between midfield and forwards continued to move the ball into attack, and with players looking for team mates in support, Newtown Spirit maintained possession and threatened the Golden Plains’ defence on many occasions. Excellent movement toward the ball by Kirsty M and controlled play saw her score a lovely goal in the second half. Hard running and persistence by Georgie, Deb and Katie won the ball many times. Maryanne and Deanne’s vision and use of team mates was a pleasure to see, and Kate W was extremely effective on the wing, trapping well and sending the ball to the advantage of team mates.

Goals scored by Maryanne, Katie (2), Deanne, Deb, Kirsty M and Kate. Well done Spirit and a fantastic game by all.

 

 

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.