2018 Winter Hockey Season – August 4 & 5

Only 3 more weeks to go now for the 2018 hockey season, and there are finals on the way for junior and senior teams. Our U10 teams don’t have finals but are all putting in some awesome games in the race to the end of the year.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers v Torquay

Strikers had a fantastic performance this week against Torquay; this was definitely the closest and most exciting match of the hockey season to date!

Torquay started the game by attacking strongly, however Strikers defended well and quickly fought back, moving forward well. Strikers maintained their positions well and displayed excellent team work, passing smoothly to one another.

At half-time Colleen told Strikers to remember to call to one another and take free passes quickly to catch the Torquay players off-guard and ensure possession.

In the second half, once again it was very close between Strikers and Torquay; both teams attacked strongly and play moved from end to end quickly. All the players worked hard and, whenever Torquay counter-attacked and had possession of the ball, Strikers never gave up and continued to defend well. All in all, it was a spirited and positive performance from Strikers, who have improved so much since the start of this hockey season.

Jacob was awarded Subway Player of the Week for his excellent ball skills and positioning. Congratulations Jacob!

Newtown Spirit vs Red Jaguars

Spirit served up a strong second half in their entertaining encounter against Red Jaguars in Under 8 competition at Lloyd Reserve on Saturday. The young Newtown team, which had been on the defence for much of the first half, came out firing after the break and threw themselves into attack with gusto. While the first stanza was peppered with some great long passes between half backs Pollyanna and Oliver, and unflappable defence from Maia in goals, Red Jaguars seemed to have the upper hand. But, from the minute the second half started, the momentum switched and Spirit stepped up a gear.

With Coach Kellie’s half-time message of staying in position and passing to team mates ringing in their ears, Spirit players pushed forward with enthusiasm. Drew, back from holidays added pace at left wing and created many fast breaks towards goal. He combined well with Pollyanna to help drive the team forward. Centre forward Braxton delivered a few cracking strong hits to his teammates while Oliver displayed skills that continue to build each game. Summah, at centre half back, kept her cool in the thick of the action and fed the ball continually to forwards including Edie, who was perfectly positioned out wide for much of the game. Maia made the most of every free hit she took, firing off a couple of rippers to propel her team into attack.

At the end of the game Coach Kellie said the second half was “much, much better” and praised their trapping and passing skills. She gave out two Subway best team player awards for the game, handing the first to Summah for controlling and reading the ball well and never giving up. Pollyanna received the second one, with the coach noting Pol’s vision, trapping and great game. Well done girls and well done Spirit.

Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia Kangaroos

Thanks very much to George who promptly volunteered when we loaned a player to Kardinia. Although it was on behalf of Kardinia, George had a great first half, showing his customary 100% focus on the play and determination to get the ball and move it to the advantage of his team. Ella took a turn at full back and was in good position on many occasions but it was hard to stop the Kardinia (George) onslaught. Good midfield play by Marlo,  Zeph and Sofia saw Rebels gain possession and there were some nice passes down the wing to Edward which resulted in Rebels earning chances in the scoring zone. Sam made himself available for passes from team mates and Amelia was in the right spot with stick down to intercept Kardinia passes.

The second half saw some improved passing and teamwork from Rebels with George back on our team and Harrison adding some extra run. Better marking of opposition players limited chances for Kardinia, and great following up by Harrison saw him score a goal. Subway Player of the Week Award went to Harrison.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Strikers v Torquay 2-0

Strikers played a more confident brand of hockey this week which resulted in a more even team performance. With Maddie missing up forward due to her goalie duties this week, Kye again started the game as our main target in attack and Michael was moved to an inner position to make way for Lisette to return to the right wing. Hannah was released from full back duties, relishing her opportunity to create play from the right half position. She worked effectively with Surry stopping any Torquay forward moves and fed the ball through to the runners on our right. Michael and Lisette made several strong runs forward and attempted to bring the ball back into the centre and look for Kye. Will worked hard to provide the final link as left inner on several of these promising attacks, however was adopting a more defensive position and tiring quickly from the open game play. Meyah was moved forward to provide this extra drive and some reshuffling of positions on the left side saw several short corners earnt in the latter part of the first half. Torquay ran out hard pressuring our designated hitters, however, Surry finally capitalised on all the hard work positioning himself near the post and deflecting the ball into goal from close range. This attack on the goal and rebound from the goalie’s pads has been a focus of ours in recent weeks.

At half time positions were again adjusted to ensure everyone was kept warm and involved in the play. Zac was moved to an inner position, Kye returned to right half and several players rotated through the full back line. Players were congratulated on such a positive start and reminded to pass the ball slightly earlier to supporting teammates just as we had practised in the warm up.
Strikers players played the second half in much the same way as the first, but made the necessary adjustments to avoid dribbling into trouble and formed a much better defensive set up from opposition 25 yard hits. Many intercepts were made and with Surry moving forward, Strikers continually entered the attacking circle. Again, the Torquay defence held firm but numerous short corners resulted. Without being able to score from our first shot on goal, attackers were urged to run to dangerous positions in front of goals. Some desperate attempts eventually resulted in a second goal from Surry from a quick push close in.

Awards this week went to Hannah for her positive, strong play at half back and ability to follow positional instructions really well, and to Lisette for her great positioning on the wing, excellent ball control whilst dribbling and repeat efforts to win back the ball.

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 7-0

Excellent passing and teamwork from Nate, Ruben and Leo saw Leo score our first goal early in the game. As everyone seemed to start a bit sleepy this early goal certainly lifted the teams’ spirit!
Nate showed great persistence and used strong pushes to score our second, third and fourth goal, although he had trouble staying on his feet. Charlotte did some clever passing by looking up for her team mates before passing. Pollyanna got down low to stop the ball and pushed out to the sides several times throughout the game. Leo showed some great dribbling skills and there was some beautiful play from Matilda using the full width of the field. Charlotte and Annabelle worked well together moving the ball up the right side of the field on many occasions.

At half time Kellie was very happy with how everyone was playing and suggested that we should celebrate that we were playing well not that we were winning. A reminder for everyone to take an extra second to stop and look up to make sure we pass to our own team mates not the opposition. Emme showed great persistence with her defending in the back line and had plenty of cheering from her younger sister on the sidelines. There was a lot of running from Lucy in the second half and after several attempts at goal she managed to score our fifth goal. Ruben and Nate scored our last two goals. Thank you, Amelia for filling in for us today, you were a great asset in the second half in centre forward with many second and third efforts. Hamish in goals had a reasonably quiet game but we all helped him celebrate his birthday after the game with singing and cupcakes. Thank you, Hamish, we hope you had a great birthday!

Awards went to Matilda and Pollyanna.

Newtown Rebels vs Red Jaguars 2-0

Firstly we would like to congratulate red jaguars on their outstanding game play and sportsmanship shown during the game.

Thank to Hamish for filling in as goal keeper, he was under pressure throughout the game and kept his cool, showing some fantastic kicking skills. Hamish was backed up by Amelia and Alex in full back, the girls took the challenge up to the Jaguars and blocking the play from reaching Hamish. Lucinda and Mia worked out on the wings and kept the ball in play throughout the game and also being in position were able to create options when there was a lot of crowding in the centre of field.

Eliza was a stand out on the field being in the right place and following on. Jai and Tommy both scored and covered a lot of ground and some very close misses. Emma and India have really developed over the season, India reading the play so well as a first year player and her placement on the field to create opportunities to score and Emma who puts her body on the line each and every week. Baxter made great strong passes and made sure he was looking down the field to create wide passes and not sending the ball back into the centre.
This week’s Best Team Player Award went to Eliza for her never give up attitude and Baxter the Subway voucher.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 2-6

Spirit were dominant again in our 2nd encounter this hockey season, winning 6-2 although Strikers put on a good show with a couple of players missing and the walking wounded on the field! Max found his range this week with two close in goals. Scarlett volunteered to be goal keeper which was great but the Strikers defenders had trouble getting the ball out of defence with the Spirit wall dominant and turning defence into attack quickly. Strikers kept trying which was great and we wish Spirit all the best for the finals ahead.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine 0-1

Strikers and Bellarine met on Saturday in an entertaining game of hockey.  Strikers were on top form early on, winning the possession game but unable to pierce the last line of defence.  Bellarine were playing the counter attack game shooting long balls out the back and seeking to catch Strikers on the transition.  These contrasting game styles played out an entertaining first half draw with Strikers having the best of the chances.

The second half started in the same manner and Strikers created a couple of excellent chances early on, however on a counter Bellarine went then went the length of the field to score what was the winning goal.  Bellarine winners 1-0.

Strikers played a solid game and exhibit a much improved style.  It was evident this week that players were running to the right spots.  Next week provides an opportunity to match the improvement with hitting up those targets creating the space.  Oliver was very solid in defence and Jarret creative in attack.  Mitchell’s play continued to improve.

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 2-3

This was going to be a tough game against the top of the table team, and so it proved with Geelong on the scoreboard early for a 1:0 lead. They were relying on quick counterattacks after winning the ball in their own half and we didn’t quite have the speed to match them and defend the goal. Geelong went up 2:0 mid way through the half utilising the same tactic to make ground up the field and put pressure on our goal. Newtown pulled back one goal late in the half after patiently working up the field into an attacking position, with Harry finishing off the play by ducking and weaving through the melee in the D and hitting cleanly into the back of the goal.

The second half was a more even affair with our defensive line sitting deeper and neutralising the Geelong strategy from the first half. Geelong weren’t able to penetrate the Newtown defensive line until late in the half, briefly going out to a 3:1 lead. With only two minutes to go Will struck back with a second Newtown goal, but Newtown were ultimately beaten by the clock with the final score 3:2 to Geelong.

A gallant effort by all and much closer result than the last time these two teams met, demonstrating how far we have come as a team during the season. Keep up the good work.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 7-3

With Harry unavailable to play, Strikers played with 2 “top-ups” from the opposing side, Kardinia, for their Sunday game. Coach Darren was also away so Deb kindly filled in as Coach. Darren’s emphasis on passing in prior weeks has seen the team step that side of our game up, and it paid off early with the ball coming out of defence cleanly from EJ to Jack, then moving to Miles, Jarret, back to Jack and then Miles hitting past the goalie to give us our first goal. Kardinia then scored a field goal and another off a penalty corner, but Strikers continued with a good passing game and Oscar took advantage by posting a further 2 goals to give us a 3-2 lead. Sam and Caleb were working well in defence and through the wing taking possession of the ball and passing nicely, and Miles made a fast break resulting in a one-on-one contest with Kardinia’s goalie but the goalie defended well. Oscar provided another good opportunity with a hit across goal, and Ella playing up in attack had a shot on goal defended by Kardinia. Kardinia then had a penalty corner on the half-time whistle but they were unable to convert.

In the second half Strikers started strongly with more good passing, which saw Jack pass to Oscar who then handed off to Ella, scoring a nice goal. With the score now 4-2 Kardinia knew the game hung in the balance and applied more forward pressure which saw them score a goal. Strikers then took the ball forward through Miles and Oscar, with Jarret drawing a penalty corner. Our top-up player Claudia then scored a goal, and another penalty corner to Strikers saw Claudia and Jack pass the ball nicely in the circle to give Ella her second goal, and taking Strikers to a 6-3 lead. Kardinia had a few more scoring chances from field play and penalty corners, with Luka in goals saving some hits and our defenders clearing the penalty corners. Strikers ended the game with a goal from Miles, final score was 7-3.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-3

On Sunday Spirit played an in form Torquay in near perfect conditions at Stead Park. In an interesting contest, the teams played a 9-a-side game with Newtown rotating 3 subs and Torquay playing without a goalie. Spirit welcomed newcomer Cassie and the return of Harry. Thanks also to Harry and Oliver for playing up from U/14s to give the team and coach Paul many useful options.

As expected Torquay were strong in attack and credit to Max for keeping the majority of balls out and earning the coaches praise after the match. Torquay were relentless in the first half and tested Spirit’s defenders with Rachel and Oliver rising to the challenge. With powerful passing Torquay managed to convert two goals and at half time the score was 2:0 Torquay’s way.

With a renewed focus in the second half, Spirit increased play to the reverse stick side and added players either side of Max in the goals. Spirit gained a couple of opportunities and an impressive attacking combination between Oliver and Emily saw Emily scoring. In another nice piece of play Oliver and Tom combined with Tom scoring strongly, to level the match 2:2. Torquay, however, were strong in reply and converted their third goal after multiple attacking opportunities to bring the final score to 3:2.

Well done Angus, Riley and Ben for many valuable interceptions and passes and well done team for coming back strong in the second half, showing the grit and determination that will be key in the final games of the season.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Saints Red 1-3

It was a very frustrating game on the weekend with Falcons going down to bottom of the ladder Saints Red 3-1. Unfortunately there were not too many positives to take out of the game other than Tom Mahon having a solid game at centre half. What is clear though is that there needs to be a significant lift in intensity from all players. I expect this happen over the remaining three weeks before we head into the finals.

IGA player of the game was Andrew Stuart.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 0-7

Today’s game was against the Geelong ladies. They had pulled in some strong rep players we hadn’t faced much before. It was a little bit like our Torquay game a few weeks back where we didn’t adjust in the first half to an extra person from their backfield jumped up into the mid field and we were caught outnumbered in our defensive half. We did play hard and although they put in 4 goals by half time, one of those came right near the end with seconds to play.

With renewed focus and determination, we took to the field prepared to clog up the middle. Everyone’s effort paid off as we kept them to 1 goal. We were unfortunate to not capitalize on a good scoring opportunity on a penalty corner. While we did get some runs down to the Geelong defensive end we couldn’t create any sustained attack. Well done everyone to tighten up our defense. Good running game forwards, tough type of game where a lot of running with little ball coming your way.

Georgie Lee was IGA player of the game. Welcome back (from injury) Georgie.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 2-2

Goals: Ian 1, Ahmer 1. Best players – Ian, Dan, Ahmer

A good game against Geelong. It started badly with a lucky deflection resulting in an early goal to Geelong, but we then settled into some good hockey – marking well in defence and some good structure and moves up forward creating a range of opportunities. We almost drew level with a stroke, but the Geelong goalie just got enough on it to stop it crossing the line. Reward for continued good hockey came with a goal to Ian from a short corner and then an excellent interception and run from Ian passing across the front of goal to have AJ tap it in.

Geelong had 5 subs and we had none, so the second half saw us holding on and continuing to run hard but running out of petrol a little. Geelong had a number of chances and converted one. We had several chances and should have had a goal late in the game that was disallowed, as well as a couple of near misses. All in all a good match and our first draw of the season should lift us to 5th on the ladder, with the opportunity to enter the top 4 if we beat Torquay next week.

Honorable mentions go to Will O playing his first season and probably his best match of the year;  Tom C, who continues to impress with his skills, run and field sense; and Will H who had some great saves including several shots which really should have been goals.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 5-2

This was another great game from Newtown Spirit, and while the score was aided somewhat by Golden Plains’ lack of players, the teamwork, game play and strategies from Spirit were fantastic. The game began well with Spirit attacking early, with all players showing determination to get to the ball and keep pressure on the Golden Plains defence. Peta converted a penalty stroke to give us the first score of the game. Unfortunately, the speedy forwards of Golden Plains returned the pressure soon after and wove their way around our defence to score an equaliser. Undaunted, Spirit continued to attack, with excellent passing to team mates in space and great leading for the ball. Another goal scored for us, but again answered soon after by Golden Plains, and the score was 2-2.

The second half saw Spirit continue to pressure the opposition whenever they had the ball, and great work from Amelia (in her first senior game), Beth and Andie in the midfield gave Spirit some forward thrust. Hard running by Lauren, Emma, Katie and Jessie with Kirsty and Sarah leading to the ball moved the play into the circle many times, and there were a number of crosses to the front of the goal which went unrewarded. Good use of the corner space in attack allowed us to get in behind the defence. The deep defence provided a strong line of opposition to Golden Plains advances, with Wendy, Tracey and Bron C marking well and turning the play back to advantage for Spirit. At one point, an interchange by Wendy leaving the defence lineup nearly gave our keeper a heart attack, but thanks to Beth for her hard running back and averting a nearly certain goal. Spirit kept the attacking pressure on in the second half and were rewarded with 3 more goals. Goal scorers Peta 2, Emma 2, Jessie 1.

2018 Winter Hockey Season – July 28 & 29

Only 4 weeks left in this hockey season before finals, and teams are really putting in some great efforts.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers

It was an intraclub clash when Spirit took on Strikers in the sunshine in the latest round of Under 8 action in at Lloyd Reserve. The good-natured weekend game featured its share of strong tackling, fast breaks, goals and clever passing in front of an audience enjoying the mild winter conditions. Spirit put on an enthusiastic display of hockey in the first half, with Maia controlling the ball well while moving into attack and Summah perfectly placed out wide. Edie protected the goals strongly, coming out on several occasions to meet fast-moving attacks by Strikers players.

At half time Coach Kellie praised her team but urged them not to crowd, to call more for the ball and let teammates know where they were. When the reshuffled Spirit took to the field in the second half, they used square passes on occasion and worked hard in attack and defence. Braxton was tenacious as usual, Oliver pulled out his trademark controlled spins with the ball while Pollyanna tackled strongly and passed the ball to good effect.

Despite their best efforts, the team’s energy flagged a bit towards the end of the game, their concentration slipped and they strayed from their positions. Coach Kellie praised her team after the final whistle, saying their first half especially had been really promising and they had all worked hard.

Newtown Rebels vs Torquay

The first half saw some good work from George and Sam in gaining possession of the ball for Rebels but loose marking of opposition players and great use of space by Torquay to pass to team mates put the defence under plenty of pressure. Edward was in great position in front of goal but the onslaught from Torquay was hard to contain.

The second half saw some quicker free passes, closer marking of opposition players and better use of space for Rebels. Rebels were able to create a number of promising attacks, with Sofia, Marlo and Ella providing good outlets from the midfield. Harrison followed up the play well, and found himself in great position to score. George worked hard the whole game, with great focus on the ball and great ball control skills, and received the Subway Player of the Week Award.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Bellarine 12-0

Spirit started the game well with plenty of energy, non-stop running and great focus. Although Bellarine were playing well with plenty of attacking and play on the ball there was no stopping Spirit with 5 goals scored in the first half. Scorers Leo, Matilda, Ruben and Nate were well supported by their team mates and it was great to see Spirit players so enthusiastic.

At half time coach Kellie was pleased but needed to highlight that we were playing the ball up the middle of the field which is where the most of the Bellarine players. Kellie suggested stopping the ball, take a moment to look up and send the ball out to the side players because they are all in position waiting for the hit out. Coach Kellie wants to see nothing but passing, passes all the way up the field and everyone to touch the ball. Hamish in goals was quick to point out that he probably doesn’t need to touch the ball!!

The second half saw more plays out to the wings and fantastic passing and movement of the ball with seven goals scored. Thank you to Max O for filling in today for us. Although we came away with a great win Coach Kellie reminded everyone to be excited but make sure we show good sportsmanship to our opponents. Bellarine are a new team to the Hockey Geelong U10 competition and played with great determination and energy right till the end. Spirit played a better second half with no loose balls and were more pro-active on the field.

Awards went to Emme for her focus and strong passes on field and Nate for his great listening to the coach and his non-stop effort throughout the game.

Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia 4-0

On a sparkling winter’s morning, with the dew dazzling on the grass U10 Rebels took the field against Kardinia. India kindly volunteered to keep goal, and has a perfect record, though after the game she did let us know that she was quite pleased to have not touched the ball. It’s fair to say that the team played as a cohesive group and the full back duties shared to perfection by Elliott, Amelia and Alex. Elliott did some great strong work on the half line feeding the ball straight back into attack many times when Kardinia tried to make a break for our goal. The halves and forwards did lots of running and came back to support the defence when required as well. The game was off to a fast start with Eliza feeding a square pass to Tommy in the circle for a goal. Eliza
continued to hassle in the centre causing the opposition to sigh in frustration as she was off again. On the wing Emma did a marvellous job tackling and showing her classy stick skills to keep the ball away from the opponents. Mia played amazingly and positioned herself well in the circle. Alex did very well even with a very sore lip. Lucinda learnt heaps of new skills and also did an amazing keepings off. Baxter did some hard running and was always ready for Kardinia to attack. Ruby scored an amazing goal and passed the ball to everyone. Amelia ran hard and played in a spot she had never played before.

So I expect you want to know what the final score was, well it was 4-0.

Newtown Strikers vs Red Jaguars 1-0

Strikers played in another highly competitive and closely matched game against the Jaguars. Starting with a more attacking positioning of players, Surry and Kye were moved to the forward line in the hope of generating some strong forward plays early on. Strikers were successful in moving the ball forward from the half back position, however could not link up successfully in the attacking zone to capitalise. Our strong hits were a feature early on, with Meyah leading the way from half back. A few short corners were attempted but Jaguars held firm and defended strongly. With our inners either pushing too far forward or retreating into a defensive mode, coach Jane quickly shifted Surry to half back and moved Meyah to right inner where she provided much needed run and forward pressure. Michael started the game in a confident and energetic fashion, completing some strong runs on the right wing when our hits broke through the defence.

At half time, some more positional changes were made, inners were reminded of their important role both attacking and defending as well as being a crucial link from free hits at half back, and forwards were urged to attack the goals whenever possible.

Shortly after half time the scoring deadlock was broken with another fantastic run down the right hand side, with Michael, Meyah and Maddie working together beautifully. Michael hit a perfect cross from deep in the right corner of the circle, as we have practised at training, and with some desperate work in front of goals, Meyah eventually popped the ball into goal from close range. Zac again provided a lot of run and skill once he was moved into his preferred inner position, Charlotte impressed once more with her growing confidence to be strong when in possession of the ball, and our full backs, Will and Hannah, did an enormous job defending our goals for the entire game. They held on bravely, particularly in the latter part of the game when Jaguars continued to break through our half back line and into their attacking circle. Thanks to Lisette for padding up this week as goalie.

Awards went to Surry and Michael this week. Surry was solid with his tackling at centre half and stayed composed throughout the match to dribble wide and consistently connect with his hits. Michael was a standout with his strong runs along the wing, great positioning and decision making throughout the game.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 0-0

It was the battle of defences in our game vs Kardinia with Captain of the day Alice leading the way ‘reading the play’ with great tackling. Madeline, Ebony, Sam, Tom and Ruby held the defence with good structure and Mai saved the shots she needed to save when called on, including a penalty corner after the siren.

The Kardinia defence were also dominant with their goalie playing well and their number # 74 (Charlotte) repelling most of our attacks with strong passing to Kardinia forwards. Max had a number of goal opportunities but with no success unfortunately.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay Tornadoes 0-0

A close contest resulted in a scoreless draw between Newtown Spirit and Torquay Tornadoes on a chilly and windy Sunday morning at Stead Park.  The first half started well with Newtown pressing Torquay Tornadoes in attack.  There was great passing between Liam, Daniel and Oli and excellent defence by Matilda.  Strong tackling was important when Torquay Tornadoes took control and Gil played a key role in defence and attack as inner.

There were numerous shots on goal by Liam, Gil, Oli, Basyl and a well positioned Bella playing on the wing came close to scoring.  Following strong defence by Brandon and good clearing play by Kate and Oli, we went into the halftime break 0-0 having had some opportunities for goals off strong attacking play but had also played a strong game in defence.  We were tested on the whistle of halftime by a strong Torquay Tornadoes break but Emma played a fabulous game in goal and cleared a number of good attempts with strong kicks and quick reflexes : well done Emma.

On halftime, the players were encouraged to pick up a player when waiting for a hit and to continue to chase after the ball.  The second half started strongly with Liam, Gil and Basyl combining to force several short corners but unfortunately, no goals.  There was strong and continued pressure and good passing play and marking up by Issy in halfback and great running by Grace along the wing including being available on the post when required.

The team had lots of scoring opportunities but equally so did Torquay Tornadoes, so 0-0 was a fair result.  Well done to the team on an excellent effort.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Maroon 2-2

Strikers met Kardinia Maroon in a game with implications for finals contention.  Ultimately it was a case of de ja vu.  For the second time this year Strikers twice led Kardinia and twice conceded goals in ‘red time’ in the first and second half.  The game ended a 2-2 draw.  This preserves an opportunity for finals but did not secure finals.  Jarret and Oliver were both strong contributors throughout the game and each scored.  Particularly memorable was Jarrett’s thumping strike in the second half in front of the Striker’s dugout.  Jonah had a strong first half and Mitchell implemented a number of clever plays in a first half which Strikers dominated. Sam was creative through the middle.  In all Strikers are building a solid style of gameplay and this is highlighted by some excellent tackling and passing.

Newtown Spirit  Bye

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 2-0

It was 8-a-side hockey on Saturday as Strikers and Torquay were unable to field full sides. With lots of space to cover, the game was fast and free-flowing and Torquay went with a kicking back making their defensive task a lot harder. Caleb and Ella, who would normally stay in the defensive half, had the opportunity to go into attack a few times, while EJ and Luka held guard in defence. Both sides had goal-scoring chances in the first half – hits by Miles and Oscar were wide, while Luka saved a Torquay hit and their subsequent penalty corner was wide.

At half time Coach Darren told the team to pass the ball more and play a game of keepings off, and the message was received as we used the ball a lot better in the second half. We were able to enter the attacking circle a lot more through passes from Jarret to Harry on the right or Miles through the centre, and Oscar and Jack were able to bring the ball up on the left wing, but good defensive pressure from Torquay led to inaccuracy in the circle and a number of hits wide of goal. Eventually through a great pass from Harry, Miles scored, and Miles followed up with another goal late in the game to give us a 2-nil win.

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 3-0

Spirit played Kardinia in challenging weather conditions on Sunday. Both teams played well with opportunities on both sides throughout the game. Spirit came out strong and played wide utilising excellent passing skills and speed to put pressure on Kardinia. At the fifteen minute mark of the first half Oli had the ball in the circle and pushed it past the goalie’s foot to score the first goal for Spirit. Four minutes later Oli again made the most of an opportunity with a ball going across goals which he intercepted and converted to see the half time score 2:0 to Spirit.

With a confidence boost from the first half Spirit were relentless in the second with the Kardinia keeper saving many shots on goal. Attacking efforts by Kardinia were strongly defended by Rachel and Oliver and quickly returned to Spirit players. After an impressive run Tom snuck the ball through the smallest of margins and found the back of the goals to achieve the final 3:0 result. Credit to all players for a strong team game that focused on passing, creating space and opportunities. Thanks to Harry and Oli for playing up from U/14’s you were both instrumental in the successful outcome of the game.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 0-10

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 3-2

May be we need to play more Saturday games, in nice weather! So far this hockey season each match against Saints has been closely contested and so it was again. Falcons came out with the victory 3-2. There were battles at both ends, requiring everyone to get their job done. Both teams had strong tackles, nice passing combinations, flurries in the circles, controversial moments in the game and some end to end action. I reckon it was pretty exciting for the spectators!!

We lined up with 11, two of which were not at full capacity coming back from injury, so thank you to Peta who stepped up from the Div 2 game which was being played at the same time. This proved to be a good money move as Peta was one of our goal scorers! Also finding the net were Shannon and Penny, each adding to their total so far. Jessie J, also jumped in to goals in Zoe’s absence. Thanks to some great slides, hard kicks, swats and aid in directing players our defense weathered most of the Saints push for net. Ainsley saved one on the line. Hannah gave a solid effort after a few weeks out with ankle injury. Emma had some great play through midfield and helped link our backs with Hailey, Erin and Kylie in the forward zone and help support the ball in attack. Georgia O’Brien was IGA Player of the Match.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 1-4

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 1-6

It was a disappointing score, but there were many positive and pleasing aspects of this game for Spirit. Saints’ forward line boasted strong and skilled players who attacked time and again, and despite great defence with Andie, Wendy and Hillary intercepting and deflecting many attempts by Saints, they were able to find the back of the net.

Spirit had some great passages of play with well-co-ordinated passing sequences and play directed square to the sides. Great hassle and persistence by all players, with Kellie, Sarah, Beth, Katie and Emma chasing hard and applying pressure when Saints gained possession in the midfield. Emma was in the right place to score one for us. Kirsty and Deanne led well for the ball on many occasions and used players in supporting positions to maintain possession for Spirit and move into attack.

The team had to play the last 10 minutes with only 10 players when Kellie left the field with an injury, but there was no lessening of the effort and it was pleasing to see players step up and work hard to cover the gap.

 

2018 Winter Hockey Season – July 21 & 22

The hockey season continued with the junior teams back in action after the school holidays.  It must have been a refreshing break as there were some fantastic games and great skills on display.

 

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers v College Blue

Strikers performed well this week against College Blue.  College Blue started strongly in the first half, however Strikers defended well and, despite crowding by College Blue, they maintained their positions well and displayed excellent team work.

At half-time Colleen told Strikers to remember to call to one another and move into space for free passes to ensure possession. In the second half, Strikers gained confidence, improving their passing which meant they were able to move forward more frequently. All the players worked hard and, when the opposition had possession of the ball, they never gave up and continued to defend well.

Lachie was awarded Subway Best Team Player Award for his hard work in goal in the first half and for moving around well in the second half. Congratulations Lachie!

Newtown Rebels vs College Green

An excellent game by Rebels with great concentration on the play from all players and some very effective passing. Ella joined us for her first game with the team and was in great position to block College attacks and pass to team mates. Sam had a fantastic game, marking his opponent well and showed great determination to get the ball and create space to receive the ball on free hits.

Fantastic ball control skills and speedy attack by George created a number of forward moves for Rebels. Good communication and teamwork in front of goals from George, Sofia and Edward put plenty of pressure on the College defense. Marlo was in great position to support the team as they moved into attack, and when College attacked was there to intercept and delay their progress. Zeph tackled well with his stick on the ground and made some excellent passes.

The second half saw Harrison provide a strong force in defense of our goal, and Amelia worked hard to gain possession and cooperate with teammates. Thanks to Amelia and George who each played a half for College.

Subway Best Team Player Awards to Sam and Ella.

Newtown Spirit v Torquay

Spirit had to dig deep from the starting whistle when it took on skilful Torquay in Under-8 action at Lloyd Reserve at the weekend. The orange army got off to a blistering start, forcing full back Oliver and half-back duo Edie and Summah to fight hard to keep Torquay from scoring. Despite Torquay’s great passing, Spirit stood strong and managed some forward attacks. Oliver’s well-considered free hits were a key on several occasions in allowing Spirit to break through, with centre forward Pollyanna latching onto a lovely through ball and racing off to goal.

Braxton got among the action and forced a couple of frees by applying pressure and tackling while Edie, Maia, Pollyanna and Summah, who chased hard all game, combined together at one stage in a stand-out passage of girl-power play.

At half time Coach Kellie urged Spirit to mark opposition players and use the full width of the field. After a position reshuffle, she sent her young team out onto the field for the second half. Spirit displayed good teamwork when play resumed, embracing the coach’s directive to spread out and pass to the player in the gap. Maia picked up a great cross from Pollyanna and launched her team into attack while Oliver provided focus playing wide at left wing.

At the game’s end Coach Kellie said there had been lots of fantastic play. She awarded the Subway best team player award to Maia who had a marvellous game and performed well in fullback and goals, always watched the ball and was ready to go to it with her stick down. Great work Maia!

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 3-1

Spirit started the game all guns firing! They passed the ball quickly to Spirit’s scoring end and it stayed there for the first 5 minutes of the game. Brilliant team work and energy from everyone was great to see. Hamish worked well in the goals coming out to meet the ball and stopping Torquay’s first attempt at goal. Nate took the ball from there hitting up the field to Annabelle who passed out wide and back to our scoring end again. Leo attacked well and with great backup from several team members managed to score our first goal. Lucy and Charlotte worked well together on the wings passing and attacking well. Matilda moved up the field well showing great persistence with second and third efforts.

At half time Kellie was very happy with everyone’s performance. A reminder to mark players always, otherwise it gives Torquay the opportunity to pass the ball up the field and potentially score. Be more confident with your dribbling and dribble the ball out to the sides to push up the sidelines quickly.

In the second half Emme made sure she was always well positioned and came to meet the ball in the back line. Great persistence from Pollyanna by following through with her attacking and pushing the ball through the opponent’s legs to win the free. Our second goal was scored when Lucy positioned herself well to take the pass from Nate and push the ball in. Oscar and Ruben showed great dribbling and spinning skills and took the ball out to the sides when taking the penalties. Nate scored our third goal after 2nd and 3rd efforts even playing on his knees at one stage. A fantastic game from everyone with great focus and enthusiasm. Well done Spirit!

Awards:
Hamish – showing great confidence and meeting the ball every time.
Pollyanna – great decision making, by going slow and being down low when trapping the ball allowed her to look up to see who to pass to.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers 0-0

This was a very high standard game with Rebels demonstrating some excellent thinking and strategy as well as maximum effort and concentration. With superb focus on the ball and the progression of play from all players, Rebels were often in the right place at the right time. Excellent work in the midfield from Ruby, Eliza and Baxter (who all were cool, calm and collected) saw Rebels gain possession and well placed passes allowed Jai, Tommy and Emma to run into space to collect the ball,  and look threatening in attack. India and Lucinda maintained their position on the wings well, creating space for great team passes. India followed up well and was unlucky not to score. Amelia’s approach to the oncoming opponent saw her win the ball many times with flat stick tackles and great passes to team mates.

The second half saw Rebels continue to move the play into the attacking circle, with a number of shots at goal which were just wide of the post. The defence held its position strongly, with Amelia moving into goals and Elliott and Alex making some lovely tackles and strategically placed passes. Elliott worked hard to create space for free hits out of defence with some great play designed to deceive the opposition.

Best Team Player Awards went to Elliott and Baxter.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels 0-0

Two of the Newtown U10 teams, Strikers and Rebels, played a highly competitive and exciting game of hockey. It was very evenly matched for the entire game, with both teams having genuine opportunities to score but narrowly missing the target. Strikers players seemed a little hesitant to attack the ball initially, particularly deep in defence and had to hold off some strong attacks by the Rebels in the opening minutes. Once the ball was cleared from full back, Kye managed to connect with some of his trademark strong hits and break through the Rebels defence, which quickly set up from free hits. Maddie & Meyah were on the end of some of these and looked dangerous as they dribbled towards the circle. At times they required extra support to navigate around the full-backs successfully and players were reminded of this at half time. Following the 3 week holiday break, Strikers players were also reminded about sticking to their set positions & the responsibilities of their role within the team.

After half time and with the move of Surry and Zac to Inner positions, Strikers came out with renewed enthusiasm and greater attack on the ball. Zac in particular provided several strong runs forward, earning several free hits just outside the circle. A great cross almost found Maddie on the end of it in the circle & with Meyah willing herself to keep running at every opportunity, she almost finished off a fantastic solo effort deep into the second half. Michael did a great job at his first attempt at goalie, seeing some action early on and moving across to shut down the angle when Rebels looked like scoring late in the game. Avah & Kye were solid and reliable across half back once again, Hannah stood tall deep in defence and communicated well with several different full backs, whilst Surry worked tirelessly to mop up at centre half and sweep the ball wide at all times. Will worked hard to run forward and be an option, whilst also chasing hard back in defence. Charlotte and Lisette stayed wide on the wings and listened well to instructions on their positioning in regard to working alongside the Inners. Thanks again to Jacob for filling in with the late arrival of a team member and when Will was sidelined with an injury.

Awards this week went to Meyah for her enormous effort and determination, Charlotte for her strength in the contest and increased confidence to attack and win the ball, and Zac for his added spark in the second half to successfully run the ball forward and work with teammates around him as our right inner.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 7-1

Strikers began well, with a lovely through pass from Tom finding a team mate in space in the circle to score a quick goal. Golden Plains bounced back quickly and equalized soon after in a 2 vs 1 combination against the keeper. Strikers continued to work hard, with Tom distributing the ball well from the midfield but loose marking allowed Golden Plains to create attacks and the defence had to work hard.

The second half saw much tighter marking and better positioning from the midfield to support forwards in attack, and Strikers began to dominate the game. Ruby used through passes down the right wing to Charlotte and excellent running by Sam, Max and Brayden saw Strikers move the ball into attack and take numerous shots at goal. Great cooperation and well considered passes in the goal circle was a feature of this half. Amber was in great position on the post and narrowly missed a couple of scoring chances. The defense continued to hold Golden Plains out, with Alice and Ebony playing high and stopping Golden Plains attacks early. Curtis was always in the right spot, tackling well and passing very effectively to the wings. Scarlett did a fantastic job in goals, blocking half a dozen attempts to score by Golden Plains. Chloe unfortunately had to leave the field with an injury early in the game, but we hope she will be back this week.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit v Torquay 1-1

A close contest resulted in a draw between Newtown Spirit and Torquay on a sunny Saturday morning at Stead Park.

The first half started well with Newtown holding Torquay out of goal after some strong attacking play.  There was great passing between Charley and Basyl and excellent defence across the half line by Will.  Given the need for close play by Torquay, strong tackling by Harley was important in defence.  Torquay’s attacking resulted in a short corner following 15 minutes of play but strong defence and fearless running by Will to the top of the circle meant that Torquay were not given the opportunity to score.

There were some great shots on goal by Newtown with attacking play by Nick.  Following strong defence by Charlie and Amelia in fullback, we went into the halftime break 0-0 having had some opportunities for goals off strong attacking play and good defence.

On halftime, coach Pete, reminded the players to maintain only 5 metres on the free hits to shut down these passes.  Players were encouraged to pick up a player when waiting for a hit and to continue to chase after the ball.  There were suggestions from the players to mark up in the circle and for the inners Ethan and Brandon to continue their strong running between attack and defence.

The second half started strongly with Nick forcing a short corner.  The short corner gave rise to a passage of play that led to a strong hit by Nick and off the goalie’s pads to Basyl’s well positioned stick at wing, taking Newtown into the lead 1-0.

There was continued pressure and good passing play from Charley in midfield and great running by Grace along the wing, always exploring opportunities for quick passes.  All credit to Jack, our goalkeeper who showed immense resilience under strong pressure from Torquay.  It was only after a series of short corners that Torquay were able to equalise 1-1.  In the last moments of the game, Newtown was really tested with some strong hits by Torquay to Jack in the goal and he defended these beautifully, clearing well.

A strong result, 1-1, well done to the team on an excellent effort.

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong 0-7

Strikers met the top of table team, Geelong on Saturday morning.  Strikers began in an unsettled fashion as the Geelong team moved the ball well and went up early.  Once Strikers settled however the game play evened out and on a number of occasions Strikers got out the back and were a final effective pass short of good shots on goal.  This effort persisted into the second half – however superior field positioning and finishing meant that Geelong pushed ahead.  Oliver and Jarret were strong and Maggie covered excellent ground across the field.

Geelong finished 7-0 winners but Strikers showed good application.  If the same effort  is brought over the coming weeks then there will be opportunities for wins in the run home.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 5-3

Newtown Spirit played Newtown Strikers in an exciting game of hockey that tested both sides. The momentum went Spirit’s way with an early goal by Emily who was perfectly positioned on the post and put the ball in the back of the net. A strong return attack by Strikers was blocked well by Rachel who continues to excel in defense. At the 10 minute mark Tom scored a fantastic goal from the circle and rocketed the ball high into the back of the net with an impressive display of forward attack. The Strikers undeterred replied with two quick goals to level the score to 2:2 at half time and really put the pressure on Spirit to play their best hockey.

Three minutes into the second half, and with explosive speed Miles scored to put Spirit back into the lead. Spurred into action Spirit finished strongly with a hit by Emily deflected nicely into the goals by Ben in a crowded goal. Shortly after Ben scored again from the circle with a shot between the goalie’s legs to bring the final score to 5:3 for a Spirit win. Coach Paul praised the whole team after the game for “playing a terrific team game with unselfish passing”, and congratulated Max on saving a penalty shot. Well done Spirit on a great team game.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 3-5

With both teams short of players, it was 9-a-side hockey on Saturday for the local derby game between Newtown Strikers and Newtown Spirit. The reduced numbers gave our teams a lot more space and made for a really free-flowing game, and both teams employed a player or 2 up forward to receive a long ball and make a fast break for goals.

Spirit got the jump on Strikers by scoring early and they continued to put a lot of pressure on our defenders. They then went 2-0 up after getting a high ball past Luka. Strikers steadied and through Oscar and Jack were able to make a fast break, enabling Oscar to score our first goal. Strikers then successfully defended a couple of penalty corners, but again Jack and Oscar made a fast break to level scores at 2-2 by half time.

In the second half, Strikers went to a 3-2 lead after another hit through to Jack who had a 1-on-1 contest with the Spirit goalie and got the ball over the line, but Spirit were able to return fire and had a succession of penalty corners, and through their persistence in attack, they scored 3 more goals to win the match.

Coach Darren praised the team’s passing on angles to bypass the opposition, and use of poke tackles to frustrate the Spirit attackers. Our younger players Harry W, Sam R and Jarret were passing the ball really well. Luka was fantastic in goals, saving numerous hits including many high balls – a really outstanding effort. While not the result Strikers wanted, the Newtown teams played really well and it was a very enjoyable game to watch.

Thanks to Harry W for filling in for us.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 5-5

Falcons came up against Geelong this week who have been playing strong consistent hockey recently. The first half reflected this with Geelong constantly pushing forward, putting immense pressure on our defence. Their forward press resulted in 2 early goals before Gus was able to peg one back to steady the ship. Unfortunately however we leaked another goal just before half time to be 3-1 down at the break.

We were able to regroup at half time and with the inclusion of Sean, Matt and Clarke just before half time this injected some additional support through the mid and forward line. We gained momentum back in the second half and scored the next three goals thanks to Clarke and Gus, to take the lead. Geelong then scored again before Zed slotted a lovely goal from the top of the circle to put us ahead again at 5-4. Geelong however were not to be denied and with about 30 seconds to go before the end of the game they were able sneak one by our defence to make it a 5-5 draw at the final siren. It was a great game played by both teams. Gus McK was named IGA player of the game.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 1-5

This week’s game was the most attacking play we have been able to generate against Torquay this hockey season. Torquay played their aggressive style and put an extra player into the midfield which we had trouble containing in the first half. We did generate some great scoring opportunities in the first half but the Torquay defense thwarted those near the goal line.

Down 4-0 at half the Falcons were not to be deterred. The players came out more determined and focused and with an adjusted tactical plan. Ainsley was superb in the backfield. Shannon was great coming back in the second half to help stop the midfield flow that Torquay had had in the first half. The up top combo of our young guns Hailey and Erin and seasoned veteran Kylile (and I might add still not 100% from injury – thank you Kylie for stepping up to help with numbers) proved to be a scoring combination. At the end of the day the match turned into a Tale of Two Halves with a 4-0 defeat in the first half but a a 1-1 result for the second half.

IGA player of the game was Kylie Hutchinson.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Corio 0-10

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints Red 0-7

Newtown Spirit came up against a strong team this week who had plenty of running ability and strength both in defence and attack. Spirit’s defence was under pressure early with Saints using loose players in the middle and square passes to cut through to their attacking circle. Andie, Hillary and Tracey worked valiantly to stem the flow, and delayed the Saints onslaught on a number of occasions. Excellent work from Wendy with good use of the wings created some play down the right side of the field, and good running to the ball by Beth and Kirsty  allowed us to gain some forward momentum.

Good vision and strong passes from Peta sent the ball forward for Katie, Jessie and De to pick up and with Kellie providing good support and persistent pressure on the opposition, there were some promising passages of play. Saints continued to attack in the second half, but the Spirit defence managed to deflect a number of shots at goal, keeping the score from being even bigger.

2018 Winter Hockey Season – July 14 & 15

We are now well and truly on the path to the end of another hockey season, and the senior teams were out to improve their finals chances.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay Tornadoes 9-4

The Falcons had a game of two halves on the weekend.  In the first half we went goal for goal with Torquay Tornadoes with them scoring every time we looked like pressing ahead.  Some loose defence resulted in free players for Torquay getting some easy opportunities.  The score at half time was 4-3.

At half time the team spoke about tightening up on defence, using the ball, playing as a team and playing positive strong hockey.  The second half saw Torquay score an early goal but then it was all Newtown.  We stepped up and started to get back to the type of hockey we know we can play.  The ball movement was excellent, passing the ball early, using each other and players working hard off the ball.  This resulted in 5 goals straight with Gus Mc on fire with 4 goals.  Tom C played his first game for the Falcons and was part of some lovely passages of play resulting in several goals. He almost scored a couple of goals himself. Well done Tom.

The second half was a great team effort and we look forward to carrying that momentum into our next game against the Saints.  Alex B was IGA Player of the Round.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 2-1

Lady Falcons added another check to the win column in a tightly contested 2-1 win v Geelong who are currently top of the table. Team talk pregame again included going over names.

Falcons put together one of their better games so far this hockey season. School holidays allowed some players to recover from injuries to come back into the lineup, plus two double ups from Division 2 (thank you Katie and Kellie) and we had a bench that lasted the whole game. In what was one of our best passing games, Falcons managed to get some consistent passages of attack pressure and created free play goal. We were very close to having a few more get to the back of the net, but will be happy to have them convert in the games to come. Defence were solid, keeping penalty corners to a minimum and when necessary Zoe stood strong and tall. Well done ladies.

IGA Player of the Week Award to Penny Beckworth.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 1-6

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 0-2

Newtown Spirit continues to improve each week, and although the scoreboard was not to our liking, the game was very much to our liking. Spirit began the game well, with many attacks reaching the circle as a result of excellent co-operation between defence and mifield. Solid defence and great positioning by Tracey, Andie and Hillary saw us gain possession, and quick free hits and good vision by Peta moved the play forward, using team mates in space in attack. Kellie, Emma and Katie continually chased and pressured the opposition when they had the ball and we won many short corners. Unfortunately, none of them resulted in a score. Georgie and Sarah both controlled the ball well on the forward line and co-operation with Jessie and other team mates resulted in many shots at goal from field play. Unfortunately again, none of these scored but there were a number which missed by very narrow margins. Great effort by all players, with the remaining matches promising some exciting games.

 

 

 

 

2018 Winter Hockey Season June 30 & July 1

The last part of the hockey season sees the senior teams putting in some great efforts, with good prospects of playing in the finals at stake. There were no junior hockey matches this week because of the school holidays.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 2-5

The Falcons came up against our old nemesis Torquay last weekend. Torquay were missing all their big guns which unfortunately seemed to change our mindset leading into the game, thinking we were confident of a win. We certainly started that way with some nice play in the first 5 minutes leading to a nice goal scored by Matt B. Unfortunately that’s where it ended with Torquay stepping into gear taking control through the mid-field with some great structured team hockey. Their accurate passing and using space well meant they ended up with numerous short corner opportunities which they converted.

At halftime we were 3-1 down and there were some home truths discussed about the way we were playing, particularly not respecting the opposition and our ball movement. Unfortunately the second half was much like the first with Torquay more desperate for the ball and controlling the space. The end result was a 5-2 loss. With the next weekend off we certainly need to come out next game firing with a greater desire and desperation to win and a willingness to trust each other with quick ball movement. Looking forward to us re-grouping and playing the type of hockey I know we possess.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 1-2

In a well fought match, our Falcons went down 2-1. Once again chances to score were there as we had the goalie beat, but we couldn’t quite get it over the line. A great job by our Captain Emma to do a good job of controlling the middle. Ashlee denied attack through the top of our circle and forced the opposition to find another way in. Our young guns, Hailey and Erin ran their guts out and are really getting a handle on both the defensive and attacking side of their play and maturing into great all round players. Shannon and Astrid had their share of running as inners and had some great linking play. Pen was her solid, consistent self and helped wall up the defense while Zoe was dominant in the circle with some timely slides and strong clears – a questionable stroke put  Saints ahead on the scoreboard.

With a little experience under her belt – well okay a lot, like 500+ games, Peta was tremendous in the sweeper role and her ability to relieve pressure with nice, hard clearances. While not able to run at full capacity, Georgie was able to stretch the field and keep the Saints fullbacks busy. Katie now has her second Division 1 game and improved upon her fine play of last week. Thanks to Beth and Kellie for stepping up as well in double up capacity and on the same day!! As inner and half back players they had lots of running (like they didn’t get enough in the first game). I feel a bit like a broken record but we really are so close to a winning result. Well played everyone! Enjoy your week off.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-0

A very good game by the Division 2 men, with our second consecutive victory, this week against Torquay. We were aided by some handy re-inforcements – thanks Brodie, Craig, Dave W and Callum and also thanks to Nick who joined us in his first game.

A good solid game of hockey, with excellent defence and attack and everyone working hard and well together. Pleasingly we kept our cool and moved the ball around well. Dave F was slightly nervous starting as kicking back, but the rest of the team kept most of the play down the attacking end and a good passage of play resulted in Axel putting away his first goal of the season. With Brodie’s arrival we had a sub until Nick copped a nasty whack in the hand and was off the field and in the Emergency Department getting x-rayed later in the day.

Early in the second half Craig sent a hard ball into the D, with AJ getting a nice touch right next to the post to take us to a 2-0 lead. Several other forays came close, but no more goal success. Continued strong defence and great running from the halves and inners managed to keep Torquay from scoring. Final result 2-0.

The spread of votes around most members of the team was an indication of the all-round great teamwork and contribution that was on display. Overall votes Dave W -3 , Callum – 2, Craig – 1. Looking forward to the next game in 2 weeks.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 0-1

An excellent game by Newtown Spirit, with strong defence and great team passing in attack. Tracey and Hillary intercepted many of Torquay’s attempts to enter the circle and passed quickly and effectively to running teammates, Kellie, Emma and Beth. Great marking by Andie throughout the game with some fantastic last minute clearances in deep defence. Despite strong knocks during the game, Beth and Wendy both returned to the game and continued to give 100% effort, gaining possession and using team mates well. Jessie continues to give maximum effort all over the field and worked well with team mates to create forward moves for Spirit. Excellent work by De on the left wing to receive the ball from midfield, and then look for good options to pass, with some nice back passes proving useful. Sarah found great space on the right wing, and controlled the ball well to take the team into attack on many occasions.  Unfortunately, Torquay were able to score the only goal of the game, but Spirit showed great determination and strategy and will look to continue this game style in the last part of the hockey season.