Summer Hockey Roundup – November 24

Summer hockey continues to showcase some great efforts from our players, although it would be nice to have some summer weather somewhere between the extremes of either hot or cold. We have two more matches to play before the Christmas break, and will be back in February for the last 4 summer hockey games.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit Bye

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 2-3

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 2-1

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Maroon 3-4

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Maroon 17-2. Some fantastic passing to players who positioned themselves well to get into the circle behind the defence. Was nice to see that every player got on the scoreboard.

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Pink 4-2

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 7-10

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong College 6-12

Senior Mixed

Flame On vs Plainers 11-4

Waaah Spaces vs Bunny Bots 7-3

Newtown Spirit vs Squidgies 1-20

Newtown Strikers vs Beers Later 4-5

Masters Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Saints Black 6-5. Thanks to Andrew and Rodan for filling in, adding some attacking moves , with Chris and Stewart making good intercepts in the midfield. Great marking by Ashley to blunt the Saints attack.

Newtown Strikers vs Saints Red 6-5

Friday Family

Rockets vs Saints 4-7. Great game and good running from Will, Harry and Oliver, with Jason using the spaces well. Tracey was solid on the last line of defence, guiding the ball away from goal on many occasions.

Supersonics vs Not Fast Just Furious 7-9

Kookas Junior

Paxton and Lily had some fun this week, with some great positioning in front of goals and good running to follow up after a pass.

Summer Hockey Roundup November 10

Summer Hockey is Great Fun.

One of the great things about summer hockey is the chance to play in the same team with friends and family. There is a more social focus, and there are no sheep stations up for grabs. This makes summer hockey a good time for new players to try the game out. It’s also a good opportunity for ex-players to return to the field and rediscover their skills and enjoyment of hockey. The smaller field and higher player density contributes to learning both skills and strategies which can be carried on to future participation.

This week’s summer hockey matches did not include any Junior games because of the Melbourne Cup Public Holiday. There were some great efforts from our senior teams, with the Masters and Friday Family matches again providing great opportunities for new players.

Senior Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Grammar 8-4

Flame On vs Gators 15-5

Newtown Spirit vs The Jag Bags 7-6

Waaah Spaced vs Plainers 8-4

Masters Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 6-1. Great play by Rohan, Ian and Claire for Strikers, with Spirit well served by Chris, Marion and Stewart.

Friday Family

Supersonics vs Saints 5-0 (forfeit)

Rockets vs Bellarine 3-7. Excellent efforts from Will and Ollie, with Charlotte sneaking in a goal again. Great running the whole game by Noah.

New players are welcome to join our teams, with room for more players in the U17,  Kookas Junior and Masters Mixed teams.


2018 Winter Hockey Season – Grand Final

The 2018 hockey season came to a close with the highlight being a thrilling match in the Under 17 Mixed Grand Final. Congratulations to Newtown Strikers – Premiers for 2018.

The Grand Final match between Newtown Strikers and Torquay finally arrived on Saturday. Stead Park gave us the usual weather – windy and cold but with sunny skies and a few sprinklings of rain prior to the match. Our match was delayed a little due to the fantastic penalty shootout between U14  Torquay vs Geelong. Strikers started with a touch of nerves, we were passing early, and the hits were strong and long, but pressure from Torquay meant that many of those passes were inaccurate. Torquay had a Penalty Corner when Miles cleared the ball over the back line, but they couldn’t convert. Strikers pushed into attack a few times through Harry, Jack, Jarret, Oscar and EJ but Torquay’s defence had us struggling to reach the circle. It was mostly Torquay in attack with Sam R doing some good work to dispossess Torquay’s most senior player and Caleb and Miles continuing their brilliant form in defence. We were under siege for much of the half, and with Torquay entering the D quickly mid-way through the half, they scored a goal with a fast low reverse stick beating our defence and getting past Luka.

Soon after, Miles was sent off for 2 minutes, and then the clouds broke and pelting rain and hail saw the crowd vacate their seats to take cover. The rain slowed down the play a bit and there was no further scoring in the first half.

At half time as we tried to keep out of the rain behind the dug-out, Coach Darren and Assistant Coach Deb gave the team some words of encouragement and inspiration and they certainly took the words to heart, as we came out a much more cohesive unit in the second half. At the 8 minute mark Jarret forced a turn-over that enabled Harry and EH to take the ball into the circle and Strikers drew a Penalty Corner. Strikers had been practicing our Penalty Corners at this week’s training, and to stop Torquay running straight at Ella (as the only girl who could take the first hit), we practiced passing to other players and then to Ella for the hit. This worked perfectly during the Grand Final, as Jarret received the push, then passed to Harry who passed to Ella and she put the ball through, making the score 1-all.

The game was back and forth from there, with Torquay having the better opportunities with a hit across goal but no-one to receive, and a Penalty Corner 14 minutes into the half, but in a brilliant passage of play Jarret took the ball forward and passed to EJ. EJ then took the ball into the circle and with his trademark big swing scored a brilliant goal to give Strikers a 2-1 lead. Torquay kept calm and had a Penalty Corner which Strikers defeded, then Torquay again had a big chance with a hit across goal. Strikers too had some nice play with the team streaming into attack late in the half and a near goal as we managed to bring Torquay’s goalie out past Sam S but Sam’s hit was saved on the very last line of defence. With just on a minute remaining, Strikers had a Penalty Corner which was defended, but Torquay ran out of time to take the ball into attack. As the whistle for full-time was blown, the Strikers players, coaches and supporters were ecstatic to win in a fantastic game against a really awesome team in Torquay.

Thanks to Coaches Darren and Deb, families of the players, and most importantly the players themselves for believing in themselves and giving us a great hockey season, culminating in this fantastic Premiership triumph.

Go Strikers!


2018 hockey season

Newtown Strikers

2018 hockey season

Hockey Geelong U17 Premiers for 2018 – Newtown Strikers









Grand Final Day also saw the presentation of Premiers and Runner Up medals and pennants for the U10 Mixed Competition. Congratulations to Newtown Strikers, Premiers, and Newtown Rebels, Runners Up, for these well deserved rewards for a hard fought hockey season.


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!

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.