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 – Preliminary Final

The 2018 hockey season is drawing to a close and what fantastic games our 4 teams put in!

It was a beautiful day for the Preliminary Finals, but fortune didn’t favour our U12 and U14 teams, with matches which couldn’t have been any closer. As we had two teams playing each other in the U17 Final, one team was always going to have to bow out for this hockey season. Congratulations and well done to all the teams on a fantastic hockey season.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 1-2

This was a very close game, with Newtown Spirit using the width of the field to advantage, and creating many forward moves. Well considered passes to team mates and good scanning combined with some excellent ball control skills was a feature of Spirit’s game. Great defence by Ollie A and great running back to cover by Emma despite this being a new position for her. As the final whistle drew closer with the score at 1-1, it looked as if we were headed for extra time. However Kardinia scored the winning goal with 2 seconds to spare in the game, giving Spirit no chance to reply.

 

2018 Hockey Season Preliminary Final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 2-2

Crunch time for Newtown today and a must win game to make it through to the grand final. Geelong wasted no time in making ground up the field from the whistle, but stoic defence from Newtown was able to neutralise the pressure from a series of short corners. Geelong were dominating possession and territory for most of the first half, but in one of the few instances Newtown were able to make it into opposition territory, we were able to win a free hit near the 25. As a bonus, one of Geelong’s more dominant players had a short break for a few minutes beside the tech bench. Newtown sensed an opportunity to capitalise and Charley produced a decisive run up the left side of the field and delivered a cross into the D for Basyl tap in the first goal. Unfortunately, Geelong were back to full strength soon after and equalised with the half ending 1:1.

The second half was a more even contest with Newtown now confident they had the measure of Geelong after their first half performance. Play moved from end to end through the majority of the half with both teams having multiple chances to score. The deadlock was finally broken with 5 minutes remaining when Newtown attacked up the right wing and into the D earning a short corner. Grace was ideally positioned near the post and hit the ball in for a 2:1 lead. Geelong realising their dominant season may end prematurely, ramped up the pressure and reciprocated with an equaliser from a short corner with 3 minutes remaining of the clock. The score was 2:2 at the final whistle, so it was into 7 minutes of extra time each way, or a golden goal to finish the game.

Neither team was able to bother the scoreboard in extra time with the game finally ending a 2:2 draw. Geelong moved through to the grand final against Torquay courtesy of their higher position on the ladder at the end of the regular season. Newtown can hold their heads high, as this game demonstrated how far we have come during the hockey season, previously having been beaten by Geelong in the two earlier encounters. See you all at presentation night at 6pm on Wednesday 19th Sept so we can celebrate what has been a great season of hockey.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 2-0

Strikers and Spirit faced off in the U17 Preliminary Final on Saturday. Spirit had beaten Strikers in all 5 of their encounters during the home and away season, so Strikers knew they’d need to bring their best performances to be in with a chance. Caleb was a stand-out early with his excellent defensive pressure, he dispossessed players on many occasions and both he and Sam R made some really nice strong passes forward. Spirit had a few early chances with their fast attackers getting through for a hit on goal, but Oscar defended one hit, then cleared a Penalty Corner hit shortly after. Spirit came forward again with a ball across goal but there was no-one to receive it.

Strikers then had a chance up forward with Oscar passing to Harry and Harry scored. Strikers were soon into attack again with a Penalty Corner but Ella’s hit to Jack was defended. Spirit kept the pressure on Strikers defenders with one hit just wide of goal, and a subsequent Spirit Penalty Corner was cleared well by Miles.

In the second half, Spirit had another Penalty Corner early, and again Strikers defended well, with Miles then running the ball into attack and passing to Harry who hit a great reverse-stick into goal to give Strikers a 2-nil lead. Strikers had a few more opportunities with Sam S and Jarret taking the ball forward on the wings, and Miles, Harry, Oscar and Jack bringing the ball into the circle, but Spirit held off further goals. With the clock ticking down, Spirit lifted to have the majority of the attack for the last 10 minutes, but Strikers’ defence was rock-solid, with Luka deflecting a hit on goal and Caleb, Sam R, Ella, EJ, Jack, Oscar and Miles keeping Spirit clear and causing their hits to be wide of goals. With a final score of 2-nil to Strikers, we go on to meet Torquay in the Grand Final next week as underdogs, but this week’s game has shown that we have what it takes to win the U17 Barnes Shield for Newtown.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 0-2

Newtown Spirit played Newtown Strikers in a highly competitive game on Saturday to determine who would go through to the grand final against Torquay. As expected both sides were determined to win and played an exceptional level of hockey. On coach’s orders Spirit came out hard in the first half with Spirit playing forward and putting on the pressure. With a break away at the 11 minute mark Strikers were able to take control of the play and score with a deflection high into the corner of the goal. Undeterred Spirit increased the pressure and won many short corners, however, were unable to convert. In the second half Spirit remained focused and attacked often, though were unable to penetrate the Strikers defense with the final result 2:0 to the Strikers.

Congratulations to Strikers for a well played game and to Spirit for really pushing them throughout the game to the final whistle. It was fantastic to see so many Spirit players lift during the game and as always thanks to our U/14 players who were exceptional, our two Harry’s, Oliver, and Angus who stepped up at the last minute to fill the goalie position. Sadly next year Newtown Spirit will lose Rachel, Oliver and Emily who will be moving up a level. These players have been so strong throughout this season, we thank them for their efforts and leadership and wish them all well for the next season. For those who will remain in the U/17 team next year it is exciting to see the team potential and how it may develop over another season, particularly with so many strong younger players really developing their talent.

2018 Winter Hockey Season – August 25 & 26

With the last of the home and away matches for the 2018 hockey season completed, six teams are heading to finals, while others can rest and relax for a little while.

Congratulations to all teams on their efforts in this hockey season. It has been great to see the number of families participating and the friendships which have developed during the year. We hope to see many people playing in the summer hockey season, which will begin in mid-October.

Under 10 Excellence

Special congratulations to our Under 10 Mixed teams. We began this hockey season with 2 teams entered in the Hockey Geelong competition, but extra players joining resulted in the entry of an additional team and reshuffling the 2 teams into 3. The players all adapted very well to the change and have demonstrated a very high standard of play all through the year. Many players have shown great maturity, good sportsmanship and great skills and game understanding. Goalkeepers are always in demand in a hockey team, and the performance of Hamish Scudamore for U10 Spirit has been outstanding in this role. Hamish is one to watch in the future, as he already shows great goalkeeping skill and tactical awareness.

There are no finals for the U10 teams, so the Premiership is decided on the final ladder placings. We are delighted to note that Newtown Strikers finished as Premiers for the 2018 hockey season, with Newtown Rebels as Runners Up (despite having played 2 less games than other teams). Newtown Spirit were placed in 4th position, but only separated from the 3rd placed team on goal difference.

U10 Girls

Well done to the girls who participated each week in the Hockey Geelong U10 Girls program. With 13 players from all clubs, 7 from Newtown, involved during the hockey season, teams were randomly selected each week from those in attendance. The development of skills and game strategy was very pleasing to see, and also showed in those who were also playing in the U10 Mixed teams. Friendships were formed during the program too, and it is hoped that this program will progress to U12 in 2019, with more players participating.

Congratulations on your efforts – Ruby, Amelia, Elliott, Stella, Lily, Alex, Matilda. The program finished last week, with the girls and families enjoying some after game dinner and chat.

hockey season

Hockey Geelong U10 Girls

hockey season

Hockey Geelong U10 Girls

 

 

 

 

 

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Spirit v Newtown Rebels

Spirit showed just how much they have improved in 15 rounds in an action-packed game against club mates Rebels as they closed out the winter hockey season on Saturday.

With the sun shining at Lloyd Reserve, the two Newtown teams gave spectators an entertaining spectacle that featured fast breaks, strong defence and great linked play. With Drew protecting the goals and delivering well-placed free hits out of defence to forwards Braxton, Summah and Ollie, the team took advantage of any chances they had to push forward. But Rebels kept Spirit under pressure, with the opposition working the ball into their attacking zone time and again. Spirit half backs Pollyanna, Edie and Maia toiled tirelessly to keep the Rebels at bay, with all delivering great free hits out to players including Ollie, who positioned himself beautifully out wide and latched on to any ball that came his way.

Spirit tackled, trapped, marked and passed strongly, creating space by keeping to their positions. They also put in some great second efforts to keep the game flowing.

After a position reshuffle at half time, the team took to the field with renewed vigour. Half back Braxton powered a beautiful through ball to Drew on the forward line, who shot it off to a well-positioned Edie and she capably forced a free. The linked play was just one of many examples where Spirit’s teamwork shone through. It was also clearly evident within the Rebels team, with their players working the ball well in both attack and defence.

After the final whistle Coach Kellie praised her team for their strong game, applauding them for creating more opportunities to run into attack. She told the team they had called more and marked players well. She awarded Braxton a Subway award for his great game that included well timed tackles and clever delivery of the ball. Pollyanna also received a Subway voucher after playing a cracker of a game. Well done Spirit for a great winter season and thanks to Coach Kellie for a sterling job at the helm. See you next year.

Newtown Strikers vs College Green

Strikers had another great performance this week against College Green. Strikers started the game confidently by attacking strongly, forcing College Green to defend for the majority of the first half. Strikers showed their improved skills by controlling the ball well andpassing accurately to other team members. Strikers kept their positions which enabled them to find space and continually move forward.

At half-time, Colleen told Strikers they were playing extremely well as a team and to carry on doing the same!

In the second half, Strikers again attacked quickly and strongly and the play continued to flow well. Strikers again showed how much they have improved since the start of the season. Well done Strikers for a fabulous last match of the hockey season!

Cormac and Odin were awarded Subway Players of the Week for their improved performances over the season. Congratulations Cormac and Odin!

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Spirit

Newtown Rebels finished off the hockey season with an excellent game, showing great focus on the ball with sticks on the ground and always ready to put pressure on the opposition. Players showed lots of desire to get the ball, although at times moving out of their positions to do so. Great running by George, Harrison and Sam and good passing by Ella, Sofia, Marlo and Edward allowed Rebels to move the ball into attack well. Zeph and Amelia made some lovely interceptions with good scanning before deciding where to pass to space for team mates. Improved marking of the opposition was pleasing, not allowing Spirit to move forward easily, although their strong defence make Rebels work hard. Subway Awards to Ella and Zeph.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 0-1

The pre game coaching heard Kellie asking the team to use the field and our team mates – this would be the key to us being competitive in this match. We needed to ensure the ball went to a team mate, any loose balls or passing to a free space would see the opposition get it straight away. Our all round skills today would be imperative to being competitive, as we knew the opposition would have touch tackles. Kellie gave the team the opportunity to pick their own position for the game, which was really exciting.

The game was so exciting, with lots of excellent & pressure plays – it was so intense, with intense speed, using the ball well and stepping up to the ball rapidly. Kellie wanted the players in the second half to stick to their players, as we did lose momentum when we were out of our position in the first half. We also needed to call for the ball, look for our team mates, and if one of our team mates had the ball, let them know if they were about to be tackled by the opposition.

At the conclusion of the game Kellie and the parents all agreed that it was the best game ever! We all enjoyed watching the plays, the strong ball movement, how we were making more options, and how we naturally fell into our positions. We looked dangerous all game with Kellie feeling like there was a goal on the tip of her tongue all game. There was a unlucky goal scored by Strikers in the dying minutes of the gamer that left us feeling defeated but we can hold our heads high as we showed how strong we can be. It’s been a joy this season to watch each player grow and develop their skills. All the best to the players for next year. Four Subway Awards were handed out – Hamish & Lucy received one for being conscious of where they were sending the ball back to, thinking before doing. Nate and Charlotte received theirs for being intense and strong all game.

Newtown Rebels vs Geelong College 3-0

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 4-0

Newtown Strikers Bye

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-2

In the final game for this hockey season Strikers met Torquay on Pitch 1 at Stead Park.  An excellent Torquay attack and goal early put Strikers under real pressure.  Strikers rallied and play a solid team defense to repel the Torquay team until a chance goal late in the half put Torquay up by 2.  Several close chances for Strikers either just passed the post or were the subject of excellent saves.  Strikers successfully implemented the team plan of spreading wide and using the wings.  An entertaining first half.

In the second half Strikers fought hard again with resolute defending and counterattack.  Both sides were scoreless in the second half with Torquay prevailing 2-0.  Despite the scoreline it was perhaps the Strikers most complete performance against a team that is high on the ladder.  Strikers dominated periods of play, ran hard and were desperate in defence.

Special thanks to Phil Telfer for his coaching this season.  He has provided excellent, measured guidance for the kids and this is appropriately evidence by the level of improvement in the team over the year.

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 5-0

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 3-2

Harry and Coach Darren were away but Sam R and Miles returned, and we had Oliver from U14, for Strikers’ game against Kardinia. Coach Deb decided to mix the players’ positions up a bit and had EJ and Ella up forward, with Miles playing in defence. This change must have caught Kardinia off-guard, as EJ received the ball and with a big hit scored a goal in the opening minutes of the game.

That was followed up by another goal to Oscar, but to Kardinia’s credit they steadied and had a few entries into their attacking circle, but Miles’ stick-work was excellent, trapping bouncing balls on his reverse-stick and leading out of defence. Strikers had further chances through Penalty Corners but Kardinia did well to block hits from Ella, Oscar and EJ.

In the second half, Kardinia turned the tables on Strikers and had 2 early goals to bring the scores level 2-all, but from there Strikers really took control of the game. Our defence in EJ, Caleb, Sam R and Luka were impenetrable, and good passing saw us create lots of opportunities. Miles hit our 3rd goal with a bouncing hit over through the goalie, and there were some good runs from defence into the attacking circle from Jack and Miles, and a number of crosses and passes in front of goal that we were unlucky not to score from. Final score was 3-2.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-1

Newtown Spirit vs TorquayNewtown Spirit played Torquay with 13 team members on Sunday in a tightly contested match. Spirit started strongly and with a good passing game penetrated the attacking circle many times in the first half including three shots at goal early on. Torquay resisted the pressure and at half time the score was 0:0. ln the second half Torquay increased the intensity of their attacking play and produced many solid passing and attacking plays; but Spirit defended strongly with Rachel and Oliver in deep defence, and Tom and Angus chasing down and clearing balls from the circle.

In the last quarter Spirit re-established their passing game with Ben and Miles playing well along the wing and passing quickly to our forwards who had run hard to gain good deflection positions. This resulted in one attack consisting of a great run by Angus then a pass to Ben who passed to Harry whose strike was deflected in by Oli. A quality goal that had the crowd on their feet in applause. Both teams continued to contest and with only two minutes remaining Torquay attacked and converted to equalise resulting in a one-all draw.

Coach Paul praised the team after the game commending all on playing well, short corners, putting in the effort, creating many 1-2’s, making good decisions in the D, chasing down free balls, and stopping Torquay from running with the ball. He praised Oliver and Rachel for their rock solid defence, Harry and Oli for a “cracker” of a game and Ben for playing a lot better.

Thanks to Oli and Harry for playing up from U/14’s and for being instrumental in today’s successful outcome. Well done to all players for their individual efforts, passing well, chasing down balls and ultimately improving the team result with a draw. Well done all players keep up the hard work with a determined effort against Torquay in the semi-final next weekend!

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 4-1

IGA Player of the Week Luke Hatton

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 2-4

IGA Player of the Week Award Deb Barnett

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Corio 2-8

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints Red 0-5

Newtown Spirit has shown great cohesiveness during this hockey season, with a strong and reliable defence and this last game was no exception. Great midfield play and pressure on the opposing players by Kellie, Andie and Beth was well backed up by Wendy, always in the right position, and Tracey, meeting the opposition onslaught early to deflect attacks. Great running and position both in attack and defence by Katie, Emma and Amelia allowed the play to move forward into our attacking area, where De, Jessie, Peta and Sarah were always ready to receive and look for team mates in good position. Spirit had a number of attacks which reached the goal circle and shots at goal which unfortunately didn’t result in scores, although not for lack of trying.

Well done and congratulations to all the members of the team. Although eliminated from the finals, it has been an enjoyable year and the improvement both individually and as a team has been very pleasing. Although our goal difference was significantly negative  (we won’t mention how large), the 16 goals scored for the year gave us all some heart and enthusiasm for next year. Thanks to Paul whose coaching efforts have been much appreciated. Bring on 2019!

 

2018 Winter Season – August 11 & 12

 We are down to the last  few rounds of the 2018 hockey season now, and all teams have much to celebrate and be proud of.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Red Jaguars

Strikers had a good, solid performance this week against Red Jaguars. Red Jaguars started the game confidently by attacking strongly, forcing Strikers to defend well. It was a tough half as Red Jaguars crowded the middle of the field so it was difficult for Strikers to keep their positions.

At half-time, Colleen told Strikers to remember to move quickly into position in front of the ball whenever free hits were about to be taken. She also stressed the importance of moving out wide to find space.

In the second half, whenever Strikers attacked quickly and strongly, they caught Red Jaguars off guard. However, Red Jaguars mounted a strong counter-attack and Strikers had to spend a lot of time defending their goal. They worked together well as a team and showed amazing persistence, never giving up. Overall, Strikers had another great match with all players working tirelessly.

Isabelle was awarded Subway Player of the Week for moving well around the pitch and her good positioning. Well done Isabelle!

Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia Kookaburras

Rebels showed great focus on the ball from the start of the game, and with sticks on the ground, gained possession and control of the play early. Excellent running and dribbling skills moved the ball quickly into attack and great passing between George, Edward and Sofia was very pleasing. Ella was in good position in the goals, keeping an eye on any of Kardinia’s attacking attempts. Zeph, Sam and Marlo were in good position to put pressure on Kardinia and intercept the play in the midfield.

The second half saw the good teamwork continue, and with some improved focus on marking opposition players, Rebels were again able to gain possession and move into attack. Harrison and Amelia both made some nice passes, giving their team mates an advantage to move the play forward.

Thanks to Amelia and Zeph for taking a turn at playing for Kardinia. Awards to Marlo and Ella for great positioning.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine 5-1

Strikers players started the game against Bellarine in a very different configuration to recent games. Prior to starting the game, coach Jane emphasised the importance of trying new positions in order to practise new roles within the team and try new things, particularly with only 3 games remaining.

With Surry suiting up in the goalie gear this week, Meyah began the game at centre half, supporting our starting full-backs, Avah and Lisette and feeding the ball forward to our young and energetic forward line of Michael, Will, Maddie, Zac and Jacob (filling in for Charlotte).

Both Zac and Will relished their time as inners, making several long, confident runs forward where they successfully navigated around opponents with impressive stick work. Will was thrilled to finally finish off some determined work in the attacking circle with his first goal of the season. Maddie was also proving to be a lively target with her return to the centre forward position. She kept forward of the ball and was making good space when our running forwards gained possession. With several rotations made during the first half particularly through our full back line, constant reminders about positioning was needed to help players adjust to the on-field changes. They did well to listen and play their role for the team.

In the second half, Bellarine managed to score shortly after the break due to some confusion with direction and congestion of Strikers defenders in front of our goalie Surry. Following this, Strikers players were quickly rearranged into more familiar positions in order to return some stability to our team balance. Jacob who had done an enormous amount of running on the right wing was given a rest in defence and Will moved out wide to continue our dominant play on the right side. Several excellent crosses from deep in the right attacking corner resulted in strong attacks on the goal face and earnt a number of short corners. Kye returned to some of his best hitting, striking the ball cleanly into goal from a short corner play.

Other highlights in the second half, where the Strikers regained their composure and great team play, included a cracking hit from Kye from a free at right half which reached two free forwards on the far left side of the field. The other moment came when Meyah ran the ball forward, spotted Maddie free ahead of her and passed inside the circle. Without hesitating, Maddie flicked the ball on and straight into the goals. It was a perfect reward for her consistent effort up forward and great positioning throughout the game. An awesome team goal to cap off a solid team performance!
Awards this week went to Maddie and Jacob.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Rebels 3-1

The game started out with a very quick goal by Rebels, which had the parents wondering if this was going to be a one sided game…..but some stern coaching tips by Kellie saw the team come out and put up some touch defensive and offensive play in the second half to take the win 3:1.

Kellie spoke about the game being an intense and tough game, with the pace of Rebels being much faster than the teams we have played in recent weeks. She asked the players to trust themselves and their skills. In the first half the ball movement felt panicked, with small passes and taps rather than controlling the ball – the stick must not come off the ball, if we do this then we will draw the free. Kellie wanted the players to possess the ball, take big steps to get out of the crowd. Coaches often talk about whether a game is a passing versus dribbling game – today’s game was definitely a passing game, but controlled passing was the key.

Hamish saw lots of action this week in goals and his defence was excellent, keeping Rebels to 1 goal for the match. The second half saw us spreading out wide, keeping the field covered which saw some play of the ball that Kellie talked about – possess and big steps, lots of movement. It was a tough game, and a great match for the spectators. Congratulations to Annabelle & Oscar for receiving the match awards.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Strikers  vs Bellarine 3-0

A great team effort from Strikers last round winning 3-0, however Bellarine were dominant in 1st half and unable to score. Ebony saved a couple of their chances on the post and first time GK Brayden (with no practice session) looked so comfortable in the role he took on a striker in the 2nd half to meet the ball and cleared it in one fluent motion. All the defenders all played their role with Alice, Mai, Sam and Thamindu all outstanding. Ruby organised the team in the pre-game warm up and led on the field with some great running in space. Chloe had a great game at inside forward and all the other forwards Scarlett, Curtis, Charlotte and Amber applied a lot of pressure on the Bellarine defence leading to Max to finish off with 2 goals and Tom the 3rd goal in a great team performance.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-1

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Maroon 1-0

The first half started off with two short corners to Newtown, neither of which were converted but Newtown kept the pressure up. Not long after, Harley who was ideally positioned on the post, struck gold when he got hold of a rebound off the goal keeper’s pads and slotted the ball in for a 1:0 lead.

After half time refreshments and words of wisdom from Pete, the team stepped back out onto the field. The defensive line held their structure and used the midfielders to get the ball through to the attacking line. Nick and Will had unlucky shots on goal, both created by great leading, positioning and talk between team members. The end of the game was scrappy as players on both teams were visibly tiring, no doubt due in part to the blustery conditions.

Newtown are solidly positioned in the top 4 with a couple of rounds remaining, but we need to stay focused and carry the momentum forward to the finals.  See you all at training on Thursday at 5:30pm.

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Blue 1-2

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 3-4

Newtown Strikers met Newtown Spirit in the last “local derby” of the U17 home and away hockey season on Saturday.

Harry and Sam S were back but Miles and Robbo were away this week, so to compensate, we had Amelia and Nick top up from U14, and both teams were able to field 11 players.

Spirit got off to a quick start with an early goal and had our goalie Luka under a lot of pressure. Oscar blocked a hit in front of goal and EJ also provided good defence under pressure. Strikers had a number of penalty corners but weren’t able to get through the Spirit defence. Spirit on the other hand, were able to use speed to get past our defenders and slot another goal through on the post to take a 2-nil lead at the half-time break.

At half-time, Coach Darren called for early passes and better communication – to know where our next pass is even before we’ve received the ball, and to call out when free or let the ball carrier know they were “hot”. He also called for more accountability in defence – to be in front of our opposition player and within an arms length – “in front, and in touch”.

In the second half our defensive pressure was noticeably better. Spirit still troubled us and scored another goal to go 3-nil, but from there we dug deep and got the ball through to Amelia in the circle who scored our first goal. We again went into attack and received a penalty corner which was defended, then Spirit had a penalty corner of their own, and managed to keep the ball in attack after the corner to score another goal, to lead 4-1. Strikers kept their heads up and Jack scored a goal, then Oscar added another to make scores 4-3, but time was against us and a 4-3 loss to Spirit was the final result.

Our returning players Harry and Sam, and our top-up players Amelia and Nick, had some really nice passing throughout the game – excellent to see as they are all from our U14 age group.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 4-3

Newtown Spirit played Newtown Strikers in a closely matched game on Saturday.

Spirit scored early with a strong goal from Miles and followed up with another from Tom. Undeterred Strikers replied quickly and put the pressure on Spirit defenders who held strong, and credit to goalie Max who saved many shots on goal. Strikers were relentless and scored two goals to equalize the score at half time.

In the second half Oliver scored two goals from within the D, pushing his shots past the Strikers goalie to take the score to 4:2 in Spirit’s favour. Strikers again replied with only five minutes left on the clock and scored. Spirit defended strongly until the final siren and were rewarded with a 4:3 win.

Thanks to Strikers players Harley and Will who joined the Spirit team to equal the numbers. Thanks also to Oliver for playing up from U/14’s.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 1-9

IGA Player of the Week award to Martin Andrews.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 1-4

IGA Player of the Week award to Hannah Rix.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-4

Best players – Jimmy, Ahmer, Callum

A disappointing scoreline that didn’t really reflect the run of play – Division 2 men came to today’s game with the opportunity to enter the top 4 for the first time for the season and potentially set up a finals position. The game started well with some excellent attacking play and with us going up 1-0 after a shot from Dave was nicely deflected in by AJ lurking near the post (a classic AJ goal – he often manages to find himself in the right position). Torquay drew level from a short corner before half time to set up an exciting 2nd half.

The second half saw Torquay step it up a gear, with a great display of passing creating a range of opportunities, three of which were converted. Despite creating several opportunities of our own (many of them cheered on by the Golden Plains team arriving for their game after us), none of them ended up in the back of the goal.

While mathematically the team can still play finals, that looks unlikely from here. However, the team has improved significantly over the season and this game exemplified much improved structure and passing, that nearly paid of for us. Looking forward to the last two games of the hockey season.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-4

The Spirit team continues to improve each week, with great defence and some excellent forward moves. Wendy and Tracey held the defence together with great positioning and some timely interceptions to deny Torquay’s progress to the circle. Strong midfield defence and great clearances from Andie, Kellie and Peta sent the ball forward where running players Lauren, Jessie, Katie and Emma were able to gain control and work well together.

In her 100th game, Jessie looked set to score a goal after a great run to the circle, but it wasn’t to be. Great work from De, Kirsty and Sarah moving back or across into space to pick up passes from team mates, and carrying the ball and the play into attack. Good running and persistence by Katie, Emma and Lauren who worked back in defence to pressure the Torquay attackers. Goals scored by Peta and Sarah.

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.