We are down to the last few rounds of the 2018 hockey season now, and all teams have much to celebrate and be proud of.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Red Jaguars
Strikers had a good, solid performance this week against Red Jaguars. Red Jaguars started the game confidently by attacking strongly, forcing Strikers to defend well. It was a tough half as Red Jaguars crowded the middle of the field so it was difficult for Strikers to keep their positions.
At half-time, Colleen told Strikers to remember to move quickly into position in front of the ball whenever free hits were about to be taken. She also stressed the importance of moving out wide to find space.
In the second half, whenever Strikers attacked quickly and strongly, they caught Red Jaguars off guard. However, Red Jaguars mounted a strong counter-attack and Strikers had to spend a lot of time defending their goal. They worked together well as a team and showed amazing persistence, never giving up. Overall, Strikers had another great match with all players working tirelessly.
Isabelle was awarded Subway Player of the Week for moving well around the pitch and her good positioning. Well done Isabelle!
Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia Kookaburras
Rebels showed great focus on the ball from the start of the game, and with sticks on the ground, gained possession and control of the play early. Excellent running and dribbling skills moved the ball quickly into attack and great passing between George, Edward and Sofia was very pleasing. Ella was in good position in the goals, keeping an eye on any of Kardinia’s attacking attempts. Zeph, Sam and Marlo were in good position to put pressure on Kardinia and intercept the play in the midfield.
The second half saw the good teamwork continue, and with some improved focus on marking opposition players, Rebels were again able to gain possession and move into attack. Harrison and Amelia both made some nice passes, giving their team mates an advantage to move the play forward.
Thanks to Amelia and Zeph for taking a turn at playing for Kardinia. Awards to Marlo and Ella for great positioning.
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine 5-1
Strikers players started the game against Bellarine in a very different configuration to recent games. Prior to starting the game, coach Jane emphasised the importance of trying new positions in order to practise new roles within the team and try new things, particularly with only 3 games remaining.
With Surry suiting up in the goalie gear this week, Meyah began the game at centre half, supporting our starting full-backs, Avah and Lisette and feeding the ball forward to our young and energetic forward line of Michael, Will, Maddie, Zac and Jacob (filling in for Charlotte).
Both Zac and Will relished their time as inners, making several long, confident runs forward where they successfully navigated around opponents with impressive stick work. Will was thrilled to finally finish off some determined work in the attacking circle with his first goal of the season. Maddie was also proving to be a lively target with her return to the centre forward position. She kept forward of the ball and was making good space when our running forwards gained possession. With several rotations made during the first half particularly through our full back line, constant reminders about positioning was needed to help players adjust to the on-field changes. They did well to listen and play their role for the team.
In the second half, Bellarine managed to score shortly after the break due to some confusion with direction and congestion of Strikers defenders in front of our goalie Surry. Following this, Strikers players were quickly rearranged into more familiar positions in order to return some stability to our team balance. Jacob who had done an enormous amount of running on the right wing was given a rest in defence and Will moved out wide to continue our dominant play on the right side. Several excellent crosses from deep in the right attacking corner resulted in strong attacks on the goal face and earnt a number of short corners. Kye returned to some of his best hitting, striking the ball cleanly into goal from a short corner play.
Other highlights in the second half, where the Strikers regained their composure and great team play, included a cracking hit from Kye from a free at right half which reached two free forwards on the far left side of the field. The other moment came when Meyah ran the ball forward, spotted Maddie free ahead of her and passed inside the circle. Without hesitating, Maddie flicked the ball on and straight into the goals. It was a perfect reward for her consistent effort up forward and great positioning throughout the game. An awesome team goal to cap off a solid team performance!
Awards this week went to Maddie and Jacob.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Rebels 3-1
The game started out with a very quick goal by Rebels, which had the parents wondering if this was going to be a one sided game…..but some stern coaching tips by Kellie saw the team come out and put up some touch defensive and offensive play in the second half to take the win 3:1.
Kellie spoke about the game being an intense and tough game, with the pace of Rebels being much faster than the teams we have played in recent weeks. She asked the players to trust themselves and their skills. In the first half the ball movement felt panicked, with small passes and taps rather than controlling the ball – the stick must not come off the ball, if we do this then we will draw the free. Kellie wanted the players to possess the ball, take big steps to get out of the crowd. Coaches often talk about whether a game is a passing versus dribbling game – today’s game was definitely a passing game, but controlled passing was the key.
Hamish saw lots of action this week in goals and his defence was excellent, keeping Rebels to 1 goal for the match. The second half saw us spreading out wide, keeping the field covered which saw some play of the ball that Kellie talked about – possess and big steps, lots of movement. It was a tough game, and a great match for the spectators. Congratulations to Annabelle & Oscar for receiving the match awards.
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine 3-0
A great team effort from Strikers last round winning 3-0, however Bellarine were dominant in 1st half and unable to score. Ebony saved a couple of their chances on the post and first time GK Brayden (with no practice session) looked so comfortable in the role he took on a striker in the 2nd half to meet the ball and cleared it in one fluent motion. All the defenders all played their role with Alice, Mai, Sam and Thamindu all outstanding. Ruby organised the team in the pre-game warm up and led on the field with some great running in space. Chloe had a great game at inside forward and all the other forwards Scarlett, Curtis, Charlotte and Amber applied a lot of pressure on the Bellarine defence leading to Max to finish off with 2 goals and Tom the 3rd goal in a great team performance.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-1
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Maroon 1-0
The first half started off with two short corners to Newtown, neither of which were converted but Newtown kept the pressure up. Not long after, Harley who was ideally positioned on the post, struck gold when he got hold of a rebound off the goal keeper’s pads and slotted the ball in for a 1:0 lead.
After half time refreshments and words of wisdom from Pete, the team stepped back out onto the field. The defensive line held their structure and used the midfielders to get the ball through to the attacking line. Nick and Will had unlucky shots on goal, both created by great leading, positioning and talk between team members. The end of the game was scrappy as players on both teams were visibly tiring, no doubt due in part to the blustery conditions.
Newtown are solidly positioned in the top 4 with a couple of rounds remaining, but we need to stay focused and carry the momentum forward to the finals. See you all at training on Thursday at 5:30pm.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Blue 1-2
Under 17 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 3-4
Newtown Strikers met Newtown Spirit in the last “local derby” of the U17 home and away hockey season on Saturday.
Harry and Sam S were back but Miles and Robbo were away this week, so to compensate, we had Amelia and Nick top up from U14, and both teams were able to field 11 players.
Spirit got off to a quick start with an early goal and had our goalie Luka under a lot of pressure. Oscar blocked a hit in front of goal and EJ also provided good defence under pressure. Strikers had a number of penalty corners but weren’t able to get through the Spirit defence. Spirit on the other hand, were able to use speed to get past our defenders and slot another goal through on the post to take a 2-nil lead at the half-time break.
At half-time, Coach Darren called for early passes and better communication – to know where our next pass is even before we’ve received the ball, and to call out when free or let the ball carrier know they were “hot”. He also called for more accountability in defence – to be in front of our opposition player and within an arms length – “in front, and in touch”.
In the second half our defensive pressure was noticeably better. Spirit still troubled us and scored another goal to go 3-nil, but from there we dug deep and got the ball through to Amelia in the circle who scored our first goal. We again went into attack and received a penalty corner which was defended, then Spirit had a penalty corner of their own, and managed to keep the ball in attack after the corner to score another goal, to lead 4-1. Strikers kept their heads up and Jack scored a goal, then Oscar added another to make scores 4-3, but time was against us and a 4-3 loss to Spirit was the final result.
Our returning players Harry and Sam, and our top-up players Amelia and Nick, had some really nice passing throughout the game – excellent to see as they are all from our U14 age group.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 4-3
Newtown Spirit played Newtown Strikers in a closely matched game on Saturday.
Spirit scored early with a strong goal from Miles and followed up with another from Tom. Undeterred Strikers replied quickly and put the pressure on Spirit defenders who held strong, and credit to goalie Max who saved many shots on goal. Strikers were relentless and scored two goals to equalize the score at half time.
In the second half Oliver scored two goals from within the D, pushing his shots past the Strikers goalie to take the score to 4:2 in Spirit’s favour. Strikers again replied with only five minutes left on the clock and scored. Spirit defended strongly until the final siren and were rewarded with a 4:3 win.
Thanks to Strikers players Harley and Will who joined the Spirit team to equal the numbers. Thanks also to Oliver for playing up from U/14’s.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 1-9
IGA Player of the Week award to Martin Andrews.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 1-4
IGA Player of the Week award to Hannah Rix.
Division 2 Men
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-4
Best players – Jimmy, Ahmer, Callum
A disappointing scoreline that didn’t really reflect the run of play – Division 2 men came to today’s game with the opportunity to enter the top 4 for the first time for the season and potentially set up a finals position. The game started well with some excellent attacking play and with us going up 1-0 after a shot from Dave was nicely deflected in by AJ lurking near the post (a classic AJ goal – he often manages to find himself in the right position). Torquay drew level from a short corner before half time to set up an exciting 2nd half.
The second half saw Torquay step it up a gear, with a great display of passing creating a range of opportunities, three of which were converted. Despite creating several opportunities of our own (many of them cheered on by the Golden Plains team arriving for their game after us), none of them ended up in the back of the goal.
While mathematically the team can still play finals, that looks unlikely from here. However, the team has improved significantly over the season and this game exemplified much improved structure and passing, that nearly paid of for us. Looking forward to the last two games of the hockey season.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-4
The Spirit team continues to improve each week, with great defence and some excellent forward moves. Wendy and Tracey held the defence together with great positioning and some timely interceptions to deny Torquay’s progress to the circle. Strong midfield defence and great clearances from Andie, Kellie and Peta sent the ball forward where running players Lauren, Jessie, Katie and Emma were able to gain control and work well together.
In her 100th game, Jessie looked set to score a goal after a great run to the circle, but it wasn’t to be. Great work from De, Kirsty and Sarah moving back or across into space to pick up passes from team mates, and carrying the ball and the play into attack. Good running and persistence by Katie, Emma and Lauren who worked back in defence to pressure the Torquay attackers. Goals scored by Peta and Sarah.