Hockey Season 2019 – Grand Final

A beautiful sunny day capped off the 2019 hockey season, with a thrilling win in the U14 Grand Final for Newtown Spirit, and a satisfying win for the U10 Strikers.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 4-3

A nail biter! The grand final on Saturday against Kardinia Blue had the promise of being the match of the hockey season in the U14 competition. And it probably was. Both teams started by marking each other closely. Spirit defended well with Tom, Cam and Mitchell giving great support to our full backs. Long passing out of defense by Harry B to our running high striker, Harry W opened up our forward half and eventually resulted in a short corner. Harry B left nothing to chance with a powerful shot that sent us to a 1 nil lead. Spirit continued to work into space, with Harriet skillfully trapping a searing pass from Harry B and working the ball forward to Adam making good position just outside the D. Kardinia rallied and marked us harder in centre pitch where we got bogged down and started losing possession. They soon capitalised and drew level at 1 all. The play remained evenly split between both teams but Kardinia’s aggression up forward earnt them a short corner with only a few minutes remaining in the half. We defended well but failed to slow their momentum and they nosed in front 2 -1 at half time.

In the break coach Darren calmed the mood, focusing on the basics, marking players, making space and quick passing to players in that space.

It was immediately evident from the whistle in the second half that Kardinia meant business. Harry W’s game ended when he took a hard hit to the hand from a lifted ball. Then Spirit lifted. Forceful tackling by Mason in mid field dispossessed running Kardinia players; Tilly continued to shadow one of Kardinia’s key scoring players denying him much influence in the game; and Grace put up her own defensive wall on a number of occasions, stopping aggressive attacking plays by Kardinia in their tracks. Daniel and Izzy got in on the act when they were subbed on, both gaining possessions and looking for players in space. Still, we were down 2 – 1. With 16 minutes to go, a tomahawk by Harry B after a short corner was well defended by Kardinia full backs right on the goal line after beating the goalie. Only 2 minutes later, on another short corner, Harry B with a fore stick shot levelled the game at 2 all. Yet another short corner was followed by another shot by Harry B that would have hit the mark but was very well defended by the Kardinia goalie. At the 9 ½ minute mark, with tension rising, Tom snuck through a pass that found Luca lurking at the top of the D. After skillfully gaining possession, he beat 2 Kardinia players and the goalie to put us back into the lead 3 – 2. Spirit kept the pressure on Kardinia and looked set to seal the match with 3 ½ minutes left when Harry B, took on 6 Kardinia players deep in the D and forced a another short corner. No score. The clock dropped below 2 minutes and was there for at least 1 ½ minutes when a loose Kardinia striker made good from just inside the D; 3 all. Extra time.

Vocal crowd + extra time + golden goal = tension. Kardinia gained the upper hand early pushing into offense from the whistle. Our defenders rallied, led by Grace who held firm to give us breathing space. Harry B and Amber teamed up with nice passing around the top of our D. Five minutes in to extra time Kardinia strikers drove hard into offense, outnumbering us deep into their D leaving our goalie exposed for the first time in the match. A high speed shot that looked certain to be a season winning goal for Kardinia ended with the dull sound of ball on polystyrene, and Mai kicked the ball to safety. Nothing more, nothing less than we expected from our star goalie. Spirit didn’t panic, passed well and wrestled the ball out of defense to midfield. Harry B gained possession just outside the 25 line, rounded 2 Kardinia defenders and ran into space. Deep in the D, it was business as usual, goal; but a golden one that capped off a great season for the whole team, coach, manager and parents. 4 – 3.

2019 Hockey Season – Grand Final

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Hockey Season – U14 Premiers Newtown Spirit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 2-1

Newtown Strikers faced up to Torquay in an exhibition match between the U10 Premiers and Runners Up for the 2019 hockey season. Strikers were keen to put on a good performance after three matches against the Premiers, Torquay, in this hockey season had resulted in three losses. The first match was a 0-7 result, followed by two matches finishing at 0-1, so there were some keen players ready to take the field.

Torquay began well, with great focus and great ball movement and scored in the first half.  Great effort and hard running from Will B and Jacob was supported by good positioning from Sofia and Harrison. Grace, Bella and Edward provided a solid defence, getting the ball out to the midfield, where Charles was in great position. However the tendency to pass the ball back down the middle allowed Torquay to regain possession and threaten the goals.

A switch with Charles back to the last line of defence saw Edward move to centre midfield, and he met the opposition onslaught beautifully, tackling well and passing wide with William and Cormac in support, also making some nice interceptions. Improved focus and great running to space, combined with strategic passing to team mates found Maddie in perfect position in front of goals and Newtown finished with 2 goals in the last 10 minutes, to claim a 2-1 win.

Congratulations to the U10 Strikers on an excellent season, earning their Runners Up medals and finishing the season on a strong note.

 

Hockey Season 2019 – Semi Finals

The first round of the Finals for the 2019 hockey season was played over two days, with very contrasting weather. Saturday dawned bright and beautiful and was a lovely day for some great hockey. Sunday was a different story, with thunderstorms and rain casting a gloom over the day, and at one stage looking like ‘the dementors from Harry Potter were coming’ as umpire Tom M commented. Congratulations to all the teams on their efforts and commiserations to the teams who have now finished their hockey season.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 4-5

Spirit confronted a determined Kardinia Blue in Saturday’s qualifying final. Early play was even with hard marking and good running by all of our players. An early corner for Spirit was well defended by Kardinia. This was followed quickly by Kardinia forcing a short corner of their own that was also defended well with Mai diving to her right to stop a certain goal. Our defenders started to feel the pressure and Kardinia scored with 15 minutes left in the half. This was followed up 4 minutes later with another. Spirit then lifted, with our defenders manning up more quickly and Mason instigating numerous passages of play linking up good passes that started to turn the match. Our defenders started passing the ball long out of the back half and hitting our mark running into offense. A great run from Harry B all the way deep into the D resulted in our first score. Only minutes later a Spirit short corner saw Harry B drive home our second leveling the match at 2 all. Some neat maneuvers in defense by Daniel helped ward off the last Kardinia attack for the half. Then a run by Tilly into our D resulted in a short corner. This was followed by a second, then a third; none resulting in a score. The half ended with Spirit looking the better side, controlling the bulk of the play and generating many more scoring opportunities.

Spirit started the second half with the same level of intensity with which they finished the first. Harry B struck early, threading through a skillful goal deep in the D through a forest of sticks and legs, giving us a 3-2 lead and Spirit looked dominant. In the following 5 to 10 minutes our defense started to show cracks with Kardinia finding loose players helped by a lack of spirited communication. This opened the door for Kardinia who stepped up and ran the ball more, winning a short corner, then another that resulted in a goal to even the match again. Spirit responded, in kind, with 2 short corners, the second giving Harry B his 4th. Kardinia scored again at the 4 minute mark evening things up and then again with about 1 ½ minutes left on the clock to end the match with a 5-4 win.

In a contest that could have gone either way, Spirit showed that we have the potential to reverse the result and better, if we get the chance. Well done and all eyes on this weekend’s match.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 3-1

Another beautiful sunny day for our Semi final against Kardinia. Wow what an exciting game, Spirit had all the parents and spectators hanging onto their seats in awe.  As Coach Pete quoted, what a win, you blew me away. Lots of hard running and great teamwork ensured Newtown Spirit a healthy win. All the Spirit players looked incredibly fierce. Both Tom and Jarret were able to apply lots of tackling pressure with great passing against a much improved opposition, which helped Angus gain our first goal in the first half of the match, giving Spirit an end score of 1 to nil.

Spirit continued their hungry attitude in the second half allowing Mitch a fantastic pass to Harley which gained Spirit another goal. Our defence work from both Bailey and Caleb was excellent preventing goal scoring opportunities for Kardinia, along with our dependable goalie Max, providing Kardinia no chances in scoring. Harri, Ethan and Nick all played well in the forward line where only a few times were beaten to the ball. Harley was able to continue his fast paced running which gained him another fantastic goal. Spirit should be proud of themselves since Kardinia took on Jaguars 5-0 the previous week. Not to mention we had Jarret who had played a game the night prior, Mitchell played a game just before, and Ethan struggling with back injury. So well done team, lets prepare for another epic match this week.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints 0-3

The goal come finals play is to progress through to the big game and have a chance to play for a flag but it was not to be for Division 1 Women’s Falcons.  However, it was a terrific effort and display of hockey to make Saints earn their advance into the next round.  This is the first time in the 7 years since I, Deb Barnett have been here that we had to limit our players list for game day.  With 21 players listed for selection we could only choose 16.  Along with 9 ladies, 7 middle school and high school players were rostered on.

After a tightly contested first half on both sides of the ball and the pitch, the players were determined and excited for the second half of play.  Mother Nature stepped in not only in the form of rain but thunder and lightning which resulted in a 5 minute delay in play.  The game was able to continue and while the score ended 3-0 in favor of Saints the team held their heads high.  I hope their vision has been inspired by the growth this season that has the opposition concerned already. The future is bright for the Falcons Women with a solid core of ladies and a wealth of experience gained by our school age players that matured their game immensely.  With 34 players getting Div 1 exposure this year the team is poised to make some exciting strides forward in 2020.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 1-2 in extra time

Newtown Spirit were expecting another close match against Saints White and the game did not disappoint. Saints attacked strongly in the early part of the game and managed to get the first goal on the board after a close in scramble in the goal circle. Spirit fought back well, with great midfield defence lead by Andie, Hannah, Kellie and Beth meeting the opposition well to gain possession and pass to running forwards. Tracey and Hillary at full back met the Saints attacks high and were backed up by Kylie with another solid game, showing great position and great timing in making her tackles and interceptions. Saints had a number of short corners with direct shots on goal but were not able to score.

Claudia, Georgie, Deb, Lauren and Maryanne created great links between defence and attack, running with the ball and running to space to receive from team mates. Excellent positioning, passing and ball control skills by Peta, Amelia and Kirsty got the ball into attack and into the circle on a number of occasions without a score on the board. Spirit persisted and equalled the score after a square pass from Peta to Kellie, and a strong hit from Kellie into the circle which found Claudia’s stick to deflect the ball into goal.

Newtown continued to press their attack with Georgie in position for a number of shots on goal but deflected by the Saints goalie. The game continued at a good intensity and a good skill level and could have gone either way. At full time, the score was still tied at 1-1, and so we were into ‘golden goal’ extra time. Newtown Spirit continued to display good skills and teamwork, with desperate defence at times. A short corner for Saints unfortunately found a foot on the line, resulting in a penalty stroke – almost saved by Claire, and the game was over.

Despite the loss, players and Coach were happy with the way the team finished the season. As a team and as individual players, there has been great improvement during the season, and the strong finish will give the team a good basis to start 2020. Congratulations to the team and all the players, who achieved the best result for our D2 Women for 5 years.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Strikers vs Corio 2-5

 

Hockey Season 2019 – August 24 & 25

The 2019 hockey season has been one of rebuilding in many ways, with efforts continuing to recruit new members and to field competitive teams in all divisions. There have been some excellent examples of dedication and commitment, and some excellent results.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtwon Rebels

For their final game of the season, Newtown Strikers played against Newtown Rebels. The very competitive and entertaining game saw great play from all the Strikers, with highlights including:

Great passing from Joseph, especially when he found a gap between Rebels players to find Audrey. Josien stopping Rebels from moving forward with the ball on many occasions. Great passing between all of the players, with several great passages of play involving a succession of passes to take the ball into attack. Long runs with the ball into attack by Charlie. Great positioning by Audrey to score a goal after a well-directed pass from Lucy. Lightning reflexes from Joseph to stop the ball twice in
quick succession. A successful penalty push from Josien, after her shot at goal was stopped by a foot. Quick running by Audrey to gather the ball under pressure and pass to Josien for a chance at goal. Josien running hard to keep the ball in play and pass to Audrey. And Charlie stopping an otherwise certain goal right on the goal line.

Strikers have had a fantastic season, showing a quality of play in every game that is rare to see in under 8 games. The guidance from coach Maggie was greatly appreciated, with the whole team focused on Maggie’s encouragement to make sure they always played safely and had fun.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers

An excellent game by Rebels showing great improvement in marking the opposition and in the determination to get to the ball first, and then continue into attack. Well directed passes from Jake often found Kai and Lenny running to space to receive. Excellent work by Kasey who stopped many of Strikers’ shots at goal, and Albie was a terrier in going for the ball and made some lovely passes. Awards this week to Albie and Jake.

Newtown Spirit vs Saints

A great game from Spirit to end the 2019 hockey season.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs GBS Black 3-2

Newtown came out firing for the last match of the season. They had all the possession for the first 10 minutes of the game and were soon 2-0 up after goals from Matilda and George. GBS Black then started to come back and Spirit were drawn into the congested centre of the field. A lack of marking and discipline in positioning then saw GBS bring the score back to 2-2. In the last 10 minutes of the game, Spirit drew on all of their skills to apply pressure to the opposition and they were rewarded with a great goal from Oscar in the final minutes of the game. A great way to end a great season.

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong College 15-0

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 8-0

Well done Strikers it was great to see you finish off the season strong. It was again very nice to see the movement of the ball around the field, passing forward to our leading players, and some hard two way running, keeping on the pressure both in defence and attack.

Our calling today was probably the best it has been all season, with players also honoring the calls, and passing to the players in space. Unfortunately, results didn’t go our way yesterday, so we have just missed out on a finals spot, but you should all be very proud of your efforts over the season. Our last few games certainly showed we could compete with the top teams.

Well done Strikers, you have all come a long way both as individuals, and as a team. Hope to see you all back again next year, and hopefully we can go one step
further!

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 0-8

Our final game for the 2019 winter hockey  season was played in beautiful sunny conditions on Sunday morning at Stead Park against fellow club team Strikers.
Ruben lead the team out and as always was an enthusiastic Captain. We were unlucky on several goal opportunities, which would have provided a slightly better-looking score, however our forwards Nate, Hamish K, Grace M, and Emme, made some great attacks and demonstrated speedy, skilled work. Hamish S in goals put up a strong defence in particular a fantastic save against a penalty shot which we were unlucky to have given away. Our ever-ready defenders Ruben, Emma, and Leo with halfbacks Charlotte, Grace F, Lucy and Annabelle were kept busy getting the ball out of defence and feeding it to our forwards.

U12 Spirit has shown great improvement over the course of the season. Despite disappointing score lines this season the team remain a happy, resilient and enthusiastic bunch. We on the side line are looking forward to what these players achieve next year!

Newtown Rebels vs Geelong Jaguars 0-2

It was the final game of the hockey season for Rebels, and it was a good one. On the back foot early with an injured Alex instructed to stay high (Alex managed a whole hockey season unscathed only to fall injured in a vicious game of down ball on Friday night).

The early part of the game was spent defending well, then breaking fast when we were able to win possession of the ball. Trey had a cracker game down back, committing early to tackles and intercepts. Late in the second half we were attacking the goals regularly but couldn’t quite score.

The second half was a very competitive game with both sides having chances on goal. Elliot showed her improvement in goals with fancy footwork and one thunder boot clearing the ball well outside the D. Pleasingly in the second half the team showed commitment to follow the ball into the D and whilst we didn’t quite score were able to force a couple of short corners through their persistence. The end of the season arrived too soon and whilst we didn’t make finals the team showed continued improvement and had a very enjoyable season.

A big, huge thank you to super coach Rach who showed patience, great hockey nous and the ability to continually encourage the kids no matter what.
MVP this week was awarded to super coach Rach.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia White 7-0

Spirit matched up against Kardinia White in the last round before finals; a battle between 2nd and 3rd on the ladder. We stuck well to our pre game strategy early and created an open, running game. A short corner resulted early and Harry B scored off a strong push by Tilly. Kardinia responded by forcing a corner of their own, but Spirit defended well. A score by Luca put us 2 nil up. Our open style of play continued and generated more scoring opportunities while denying Kardinia much of the play in their attacking half. Harry B slotted in another goal from right field just inside the D and then followed up with a run from midfield, into the D and around the goalie. The score at half time was 4 nil.

Coach Darren praised the team at half time for carrying out the match plan well and urged defenders to push the ball wide and long from the back half.

The second half pretty much mirrored the first with all Spirit players contributing well. Harry B scored another 3 goals assisted by a great team effort. The final score was 7 nil. Well done team.

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Blue 1-6

Newtown Strikers started off strong against Kardinia Blue. Some terrific defence from the backline and great goal saving from Sam saw the scores at nil all for some time.

At half time Kardinia was 2 goals up and despite a great job by new goalie Oskar, Kardinia managed to increase their lead. A fantastic pass by Brandon was rewarded by Liam shooting a decisive goal to get Strikers on the scoreboard. It was great to see the team running more with the ball and making better use of the wings.

Over the season it has been pleasing to see how the players have improved working together as a team, which is a credit to them and to coach Ahmer, who has been very supportive and encouraging.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 10-0

In sunny conditions for the second time in a row the game started off pretty tense for both Newtown sides. Spirit managed to concentrate on not rushing on passing the ball to other players which gained us 2 brilliant goals, one from Nick within the first 5 minutes, then a later goal from Tom.  Mitch and Bailey in defence marked well, read the play and intercepted numerous attacks, which gave Spirit an end score of 2-0.

Newtown Spirit worked much smarter in the 2nd half by running in pairs which allowed our passing in a smoother fashion. Caleb was reliable as ever, playing as half and then up into inner and helped set up a great goal. Tom was able to spread the play in the second half and helped the team with shorter passing, controlling the pace of the match.  Jarret who found a great niche at centre forward, with scoring 2 consecutive goals with some great calling, fast running and quick reflexes which helped him provide a third brilliant goal. Harri played an excellent first game at half back, marking up and cutting off balls to the winger, and provided lots of trapping and passing, which gained him his first goal for the season. Harley looked dangerous on the lead and swapped sides to upset the opposition defenders, both slotting a deserving goal from excellent passing. Angus and Mason played their roles perfectly in both attack and defence as inners, which gained Angus a perfect goal.  Max was dependable as ever in preventing our opponent in scoring any goals which saw the end score of 0-10 for Newtown Spirit.

Thank-you Mason for filling in.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 0-10

Intra club rivals Newtown Strikers and Spirit met on Saturday in a friendly though always competitive game. Strikers played the ball early passing along the wing and utilising both sides. Play was mostly even for the first 15 minutes with a quick and decisive conversion by Spirit putting up the first score. Strikers replied with strong attacking play and shot on goal though were unable to convert. Spirit were quick to reply with further attacks and credit to strikers EJ for strong goal keeping. At the 20 minute mark Spirit scored their second goal and Strikers held the score 0:2 until the half time whistle.

 Coach comments from both Phil and Gordon were really positive at the break with  requests for inners to make leads into space, create gaps, and to use both left and right sides and not down the centre. Spirit returned to the pitch with fierce intensity and scored quickly and although Strikers ran hard they were unable to stem the flow of Spirit goals with the final score 10:0 to Spirit.

 As always both sides enjoyed socialising after the game and it is terrific to see such up and coming talent within the club, which will hold us in good stead for next season with the majority of players still eligible for U/17. Thanks again to Kate who filled in for us straight after an U/14 game and thanks to coaches Gordon and Phil for their advice over the season.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 0-3

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints Red 1-0

Newtown Spirit have strung together some great team games in the latter part of the season. However, coming up against the undefeated Saints Red in our last game was expected to pose a tough situation, especially with a few players missing. But with some confidence of those recent wins, and with close marking of the usually dangerous Saints forwards by Beth, Andie, Katie and Maryanne,  Saints were not able to make any headway. Great running and position by Kate, Peta, Deanne and Kirsty, well supported by Kellie created many forward moves. Kate was in the right position to score the first goal ten minutes into the game.

Saints continued to attack but were not able to break through the strong defence with Hillary and Kylie proving difficult to get past. Saints were not able to capitalise on passes into the circle, while Newtown continued to block their attacks and get the ball moving back to our advantage. An excellent game by all the Spirit players saw the scoreboard showing a win for us, and some very happy players.

Senior Men

Newtown Spirit Bye

Newtown Strikers vs Saints 1 0-8

Hockey Season 2019 – August 17 & 18

The 2019 hockey season is rapidly coming to a close, and with the finals drawing closer, there were some great efforts from our teams this week.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay

Newtown Strikers only had 3 players available for the game against Torquay this week, with a number of players away.  Fortunately Kasey and Summah volunteered to help out Strikers instead of playing in their own team, joining Audrey, Lucy and Joseph. With Torquay having plenty of players, they also provided a player to the Strikers for the 2nd half.

The game was challenging as Torquay was very strong, but the Strikers team stayed focussed.  The team made sure they were creating passing options and not clumping around the ball.  The commitment from Lucy was obvious as she ran to different positions after identifying where she needed to be with the change of play.  Joseph and Audrey also showed good movement, as well some very well directed passes.

Everybody played very well this week.  Kasey and Summah won the awards this week, not only for their good play, but also for such great sportsmanship in volunteering to help out Strikers.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Rebels

Spring was in the air on Saturday and there was also a spring in the step of the Newtown Spirit players. Defensively, players were quick to pounce on stray passes causing many fast break runs forward. Players rotated through most positions on the ground throughout the game and adapted quickly to the varied roles. This week’s Subway Award was presented to Paige and Maia was the Best Team Player.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Spirit

As the 2019 hockey season has progressed, it has been very pleasing to see the development of skills, confidence and focus on the play which has occurred in the Newtown Rebels team. This week saw some excellent efforts by Albie and Isaac to get to the ball first, and some great recognition of the best places to pass the ball once they had gained possession. Closer marking of the opposition players did not allow Spirit to dominate the play, and with some fast running by Manny and Lenny, Rebels were able to move the play quickly into our scoring zone. Kai and Jake were often in good position to receive passes from team mates, and created many opportunities for accurate passing sequences. Everyone received a Best Team Player award this week, as this was a fantastic team game.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 1-1

This week delivered one of the most exciting performances of the season from Newtown Spirit which unfortunately was not reflected in the score. Spirit applied a lot of pressure right from the start of the game with a short corner within the first few minutes. There was also some great passing and positioning which lead to a couple of attempts on goal which didn’t quite make it (one was disallowed for not being taken outside the circle). Kardinia also had a few great shots on goal and Michael made a couple of great saves on his first time in goal.

In the second half, the game was end to end with great running and passing down the wings. Unfortunately Spirit just couldn’t get the ball over the line to take the win but it was a great effort by everyone and it was wonderful to see everyone putting their skills into practice.

Newtown Strikers vs GBS Black 2-0

This week’s game against GBS Black saw some great defence, with Sofia and Grace holding out GBS attacks in the first half and sending the ball forward for team mates to create attacks. Edward was goalkeeper this week, and showed some great positioning, watching the play carefully to prevent any scores. Charles provided a strong barrier in the midfield, gaining possession and making effective passes to team mates, and was well supported by William. Great running by Will B, Avah and Zac resulted in some great linking up and lots of forward moves and great passes to team mates running to receive. There was lots of play down the left wing in the first half which gained territory for Strikers.

Strikers continued to apply pressure whenever GBS had the ball, with Will B showing great persistence and determination. Maia positioned herself well in space to receive the ball and not allow GBS to take possession, and then passed accurately to team mates. Persistence paid off eventually with Zac scoring the first goal, and Will followed up with another in the second half.  Strikers continued to have most of the play in the second half, with Maddie, Cormac and Harrison working hard. Sofia made some great space on the right wing but a tendency to pass to the centre allowed GBS to cut off attacks before they could reach the circle.

Awards this week went to Sofia and Grace. A great team effort, well done all!

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 1-1

We were coming off the bye this week, and had near a full squad at the game, which was great to see.

Before the game Kurt discussed with the team what they thought we had been doing well, and what was making the difference in the ball movement. They discussed how we were giving better passes, ahead of the lead, and running in waves. We also talked about the hard running, that has placed us well in many of our games.

It was great to see the kids take this into the game against Torquay. We had really good ball movement, and multiple players running forward in a wave. This gave us multiple opportunities in the first half, and a nice pass out in front of Surry, saw us on the board first. Our hard 2 way running saw us defending well, and quickly pushing back into attack. Some good defence saw us go into half time 1-0 up.

After half time the kids kept up the hard running, and good passes, which almost resulted in a goal on several forward thrusts, but the Torquay defenders were doing a good job. Torquay were pushing hard late in the second half, and unfortunately managed to sneak in the equalizing goal with only 30 seconds left on the clock. We quickly tried to push forward from the re-start, but were beaten by the buzzer.

A great game, and you should all be very proud of your efforts. The Torquay coach was very impressed with our tackling and said that a game like that should be reserved for the finals! Well done Strikers.

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 0-5

Spirit lost to Kardinia 0-5. The team missed Hamish in goals but the defence with Ruben, Leo, Charlotte, Lucy all scrambled well under pressure and with some volunteer players Ruby and Amelia (thanks) also playing in defence their efforts were awesome. Our team had a number of attacks through Nate’s efforts and Hamish, Grace, Grace, Emme & Bella did their best to support the team in correct positions and tackling. Kardinia had some class hockey players with Ollie A amongst them and some of their sticks skills were superb so a great example for Spirit to copy and keep practising in the future.

Newtown Rebels – Bye

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs GBS Black 2-0

Saturday saw Spirit come up against GBS Black. We started the match with the intention of sticking to our pre game strategy. Passing was quick and long, enabling us to put immediate pressure on GBS. A couple of early opportunities to score went begging, but in the 8th minute Harry B broke through to take the score to 1 nil. The Spirit full backs and halves continued to pressure GBS giving them little opportunity to move the play beyond their 25 line, let alone score. Our wings and inners ran rapidly from offense back to defense when required. Our centres had a big job to do but they did it very well setting up play after play that had us threatening to score repeatedly.  A few missed opportunities on short corners were no deterrent to Luca who, after a solid push and shot by Harry, picked up a deflection off the goalie with a beautiful slap shot to send us to a 2 nil lead heading into half time.

The second half started with GBS marking our offensive plays more closely giving us a little less room. Tired legs or a 2 nil lead seemed to dull the running that was key to our strategy and had worked so well in the first half. The pace of play slowed and our attacking game fell away. Nonetheless, our defense remained solid; so much so that we thought, at one point, we saw Mai yawning. A late shot by Harry B collected the knee of a GBS player right on the line (hope she is alright), but was deemed slightly high by the umpire.

Great first half by Spirit that, if sustained for the whole game, will make us very competitive come finals. Well done team.

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 3-2

Strikers had a tough match against Torquay. At the end of the first half the scores were nil all. Mai in goals had done some terrific saving, but Torquay had also defended strongly at the other end. Harry B broke through with a goal to put Strikers on the board. Sam, Tom and Luca all defended strongly and were quick to clear the ball. Max, Maggie and Kate displayed great persistence and Ollie positioned himself well. Charlie and Liam showed great ball control skills. We were without some of our regular players for this match and as we had ‘double ups’, this meant we could only have 11 players. There were some very tired faces at the end of the match but they had smiles on them from the win.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 0-7

In sunny conditions last Saturday Newtown Spirit played Geelong Jaguars in a very strong and positive start to the game.  Lots of great speed and confidence was shown from both sides, in particular from Jarret and Harley, who were able to perform great passing to several Newtown players.  Jaguars played their usual attacking game and had multiple goal attempts; however, our goalie Max was able to show his talent in great defence work which prevented Jaguars in scoring some of their goals. Caleb, Bailey, Ethan and Angus also showed their usual determination in great defence work and to allow direct passing for Newtown to be given some scoring opportunities, but were unsuccessful. At half time coach Pete commented on the good intensity of the game.

The second half became more challenging for Newtown, with Jaguars continuing their frequent attacks, which provided Jaguars with three consecutive short corner opportunities but they were unable to score. Newtown tried to pass out wide where Isabel gained some great possession and firm hitting opportunities. Goals came in quick succession later on for Jaguars however, but Newtown did display some great determination and speed which saw the end score 0-7 for Jaguars.

Thank-you to Issy for filling in.

Newtown Strikers – Bye

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints 0-3

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 2-1

Newtown Spirit headed into this game with a sense of optimism following some great games in recent weeks. A win would see the team earn a place in the finals, so there was plenty of incentive.

Spirit began the game well, with the strong defence unit blocking Saints attacks. Spirit scored first with Hannah netting her second goal in two weeks from a well taken short corner. Hannah, Andie, Beth and Kellie in the midfield marked their opposition well, not allowing them space to run or play their usual fast flow on game. With Tracey meeting any threat in our attacking half, and Kylie presenting a near impassable barrier at the top of the circle Saints did not have many opportunities.  Saints scored from one of only three short corners for the whole game.

Quickly taken free passes were very effective, with players immediately in good supporting positions and the ball moved from defence to attack, often by playing the ball around the back and switching to the opposite side. Georgie was particularly effective in taking the quick self pass, having the ball metres away by the time the opposition realised that the free hit had been taken. Newtown continued to attack in the second half, with well directed passes and short layoffs to team mates and great running to get to the ball first by Maryanne, Georgie, Peta, Katie. Kate and Deanne positioned themselves well to receive, with a great back stick trap by De, and Kate’s speed and control while dribbling got behind the Saints defence and into attack. Lauren had another great game, running well whether in attack or defence and was always in the right position, and making good passes to team mates. Kellie at right half provided some great outlet positioning and some great running to overlap and scored the second goal with a lovely hit from just inside the circle.

An excellent effort from the whole team. Look out finals! Here we come.

Senior Men

Newtown Spirit vs Saints 2 1-8

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong White 2-4

 

Hockey Season 2019 – August 10 & 11

We have 2 matches left before the end of this hockey season, and are hoping to have at least 6 teams in the finals. Regardless of finishing positions on the ladder, all teams have put in some fantastic efforts this year, and this week was no exception.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers

The cold and wet weather could not dampen our Spirit!!

Team Spirit warmed to the occasion with many advances toward goal but the floodgates never opened. Transition between attack and defence continues to be our focus and improvement is seen each week. Lachy was awarded Best Team Player with Tommy receiving the Subway Award for his fast break dribbling towards goal.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit

The U8 Newtown Strikers played Newtown Spirit this week in a well contested game.  Joseph, Lucy and Josien started the game in attack, with Audrey, Hunter and Charlie backing them up in defence. A decisive early play from Hunter saw him stop the ball mid field, and making a strong pass he quickly turned defence into attack.  Audrey and Charlie were also very handy in defence, with a number of good tackles.

Josien was also making some good tackles, and had a long with ball run up the field to in front of goal.  Lucy and Joseph kept moving to get to good positions and at times combined to get the ball forward. The whole team were making some good passes to team mates in good positions, with one of the best passages of play being a series of passes that culminated in a goal.  Hunter started off the play with a pass to Joseph, who sent the ball quickly to a well-positioned Josien, allowing her to score the goal.

At half time coach Maggie praised the team for their good passing and reminded them to make sure there is only one Striker at the ball.

The great play from Strikers continued in the second half with their defensive efforts standing out in particular: Hunter made some great stops and tackles in defence; Lucy, Josien and Audrey combined well to get ball out of defence; Joseph showed determination, running hard back into defence when needed; And both Charlie and Josien at different times stopped the ball right on the goal line. A highlight in attack was a goal from Josien from a long way out after Audrey brought the ball up out of defence.

The awards this week went to Hunter and Joseph.

Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia

U/8 Rebels played Kardinia on a very cold and wet Saturday. Maybe the chill was keeping everyone on their toes because it was a very lively performance. Isaac made a couple of really good chases and tackles. Albie made some great passes, and Manny worked really hard up and down the ground. Jake and Kasey did a good job stopping our opponents’ attacks. There was some good calling, and the team is getting better at knowing and sticking to positions.

Well played Rebels!

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Strikers v Torquay 0-1

It was a top of the table clash with two strong teams competing for top spot. It was a game that didn’t disappoint keeping everyone on edge. Torquay maintained pressure on our defence, but this allowed Strikers to be dangerous on the counter attack.

It was an epic game, but Torquay applied sustained pressure on the Strikers valiant defence, which was finally broken with a goal in the last 10 minutes of the game. Isabella in goal made several saves and clearing kicks which kept Strikers in the game and Charles at sweeper was a rock in the last line of defence.

Awards this week went to Charles Donovan (Best Team Player) and Isabella Bradbury (Subway).

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong College 5-0 (forfeit)

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Rebels vs Golden Plains 0-4

Another great game from Rebels this week who took on the ladder leaders and matched them in every aspect except the scoreboard. Everyone had a great game and the 0-4 scoreline didn’t reflect the closeness of general play. Rebels had a number of chances to score but once again we couldn’t quite find the back of the net.

Toby stepped into goals for this game and did a fantastic job, keeping out numerous shots from the Golden Plains side. Jai provided some great run from full back in an unusual role for him, and Eliza and Perri seemed to be everywhere down back demonstrating great tenacity with their tackling and constantly feeding the ball out to good options. Isla continues to dazzle with her growing stick skills and Amelia provided a game highlight with a great run up the field only narrowly missing the goals.

The team has shown great improvement in the back half of this hockey season with some great passing and tackling on display. General play has become more attacking, often starting with a strong releasing pass from the backline utilising the available spaces out wide and some improved running to provide forward options.

MVP this week was Perri, special mentions for Eliza & Toby.

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 1-4

In near freezing conditions with a wild wind and scouring rain, Newtown Spirit played one of their best matches to date. Yes, they were defeated but, the score line was much closer than past matches. We were somewhat reduced in numbers so we must thank the 4 subs from U12 Rebels and Strikers: Kye, Ruby, Amelia and Charlie – who incidentally snatched our one goal in a show of skill and speed. I’m not sure if it was the cold, the pressure of needing to do our very best due to other teams helping us out but every team member’s game improved. Hamish S in goals was lively kicking many attempts well clear and the backs were sweeping them away. Much more play was seen in our goals then previous heavy defensive games and our forwards finally got a chance to shine! Which is much more than can be said of the sun!

Newtown Strikers Bye

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 3-2

On Saturday Spirit came up against Newtown Strikers. The match was an important one for both teams in respect of the upcoming finals. Early play was congested with Strikers marking Spirit players closely, crowding our possession but running well into space on theirs. They were rewarded by a goal only 2 minutes in.

A converted penalty shot by Harry B put the score at 1 all and sparked a bit more run in the Spirit forwards. As the half progressed, our defenders gave Strikers fewer scoring opportunities and our transition from defense to offense improved. With 5 minutes left in the half, in a very crowded D, Harry B found the back of the net to take the score to 2 – 1. An encore with 3 minutes left on the clock saw Harry chalk up his third and made the half time score 3–1.

Strikers began the second half passing well and catching us flat footed, quickly resulting in a short corner, and then another. Both teams tested opposing defenders repeatedly, penetrating deep into offense and threatening to score. Spirit started moving the ball out wide well with Isabel instigating a number of passages of play that featured quick disposals and accurate passing. A Spirit short corner saw Harry B bounce a hot ball off the top bar. Strikers answered with a fast break into open space catching our defenders off guard and narrowing Spirits lead to 3 – 2. The tension ratcheted up when Strikers worked hard to force a short corner with one minute left on the clock. Spirit defended the corner well to scrape in with a win.

Congratulations to both teams on a close, well-played, tough match.

Special thanks goes out to AJ who stepped out of his coaching role to Umpire in the first half. A sporting sacrifice that was much appreciated by the whole Spirit team.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 2-3

It was an exciting match between Strikers and Spirit on Saturday. Within the first few minutes Strikers had scored through a great goal by Max. Sam was terrific in defence and Charlie was solid in stopping shots from short corners that would have been goals. Overall it was a strong start to the game.

However Spirit was not deterred, shooting three goals and at half time were up 3-1. In the second half a determined Strikers came back with yet another goal by Max. Goalkeeper Ollie, had some great saves and combined with a strong backline, prevented Spirit from scoring for the rest of the game. Maggie, Tom and Oskar were consistent with their efforts and all team members are to be commended for staying focussed and playing well.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-4

Another cold day for hockey with the Under 17 Spirit taking on Torquay. As Newtown Spirit were missing two of its essential players Max and Bailey, a tense first half saw replacement goalie, Oliver defend well which prevented a well drilled Torquay scoring only one goal for the first half. However, Newtown showed strong determination and were persistent in aiming for several goal opportunities but unfortunately were unsuccessful.  Lots of strong passing and tackling was evident from Newtown who were able to hold Torquay to 1-Nil.

Newtown became more determined in the second half in the midfield from Tom, Harley and Caleb with some great possessions and tackling opportunities. Even our fill in Matilda gave us her best shot, and was close to scoring a goal opportunity from the half circle for Newtown.  With seconds from the end of the game Tom managed to pass a strong ball to Jarret who scored a great 1st goal for Newtown. Unfortunately Torquay were able to score another 3 goals during the second half which saw the end score of 1-4. A great effort by Newtown Spirit who played a strong game.

Thank you to Oliver M, Matilda and Liam for filling in.

Congratulations to Tom on reaching 150 games and Matilda on reaching 50 games.

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 0-10

In challenging conditions, Strikers were pressed from the outset with Geelong Jaguars confident and able to control the ball with accuracy and speed. Jaguars played their usual attacking game and had multiple attempts at goal, however, Strikers were able to defend strongly and keep the score to 3:0 to Jaguars in the first half. At half time coach Phil’s comments focused on the need for strong marking up on our opposition players, running hard to gain possession and accurate passing.

The second half was challenging for Strikers with the Jaguars finding their stride and providing continual attack. Goals came in quick succession and although Strikers put in an admirable challenge, their efforts were not rewarded as Jaguars seemed to be able to create passing options and quickly set up scoring opportunities. The final result was 10:0 to the Jaguars. While this seems a disappointing outcome after last weeks strong game, there were many positives to reflect upon for the team to learn and grow. Thanks to Mason for supporting the team and providing a substitute.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 1-1

1-1 tie with Torquay. It was so exciting to strike first blood and get on the score board. We were unfortunate not to get at least another one. There were some great linkages in play, which was nice to see after working on it in practice.

As we began to tire our opposition coverage wavered, but the defense held strong only allowing 1 goal in. This was a tremendous team effort to get the tie against the ladder leaders. The team included some tired junior players having played their third game for the weekend. Well done everyone.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 6-1

Newtown Spirit approached this game with some confidence despite a couple of disappointing matches in recent weeks. Geelong got on the score board first though with a strong shot on a short corner. However, Spirit regrouped and with a proactive defence meeting the opposition well up the field blunted much of the Geelong attack. Improved marking of opposition players when Geelong did reach their attacking zone did not really allow Geelong to pose a great threat, and Spirit were able to send the ball forward to our advantage. Great work in the defence and midfield by Hannah, Amelia, Andie and Tracey with Kylie positioning herself well to pick off anyone who happened to make it past the early barriers.

With the score 2-1 at half time, Spirit came out for the second half with renewed enthusiasm, and it showed in the great teamwork, positioning and passing which resulted in plenty of attack. Lauren picked off many Geelong attacks and used team mates around her very effectively. Calm unflustered play and control of the ball by players in the goal circle saw 4 more goals scored for Spirit in the second half, including a couple from short corner variations. Geelong had a number of short corners and shots at goal in the second half but were not able to score. Goals to Katie, Peta (2), Hannah, Georgie and Kate.

Senior Men

Newtown Strikers vs Corio 4-2

Corio is always a challenging team to play; both physically and psychologically.  They are quite a bit older than our team but what they lack in speed they make up for in cunning.  The first half was played very evenly and at quite a highly skilled level.  It looked like two teams trying to prove a point before finals.  We scored the first 2 goals however a lapse in concentration allowed Corio to level the scores quickly.

After we scored our third goal in the second half, Corio rallied and they ramped up the pressure.  The pressure applied was strong but unfortunately for Corio’s sake this back-fired on them as they struggled to control their aggression with a number of their players being carded.  Meanwhile, the Strikers remained calm whilst chaos seemed to be happening all around us – a great testament to the level headed attitude of all of our players, both younger and older.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1 1-6