The last home and away match for the 2017 hockey season saw some fantastic efforts from all our teams, showing how much players have worked as a team and improved during the year.
Coming to the end of this term of Kookas games, and players were perhaps a little tired this week. There were some great examples of teamwork and good play with Tom making some nice free passes and recognising when and where to pass the ball to the advantage of his team. Ebony continues to show fantastic understanding of the strategies of hockey, and her running to space creates many opportunities to move play forward. Braydn made some great traps and is always thinking about deception and ball control tricks to outwit the opposition. Lennie’s desire to get the ball and be able to pass it well has improved each week.
Newtown Spirit v Kardinia Kangaroos
Spirit marked the end of the U8 winter hockey season with arguably its best game ever in a showcase of skill against talented Kardinia Kangaroos at Lloyd Reserve on Saturday. Playing at full strength, Spirit revealed just how much the team had developed over the 2017 competition. By keeping to their positions, players created room to move the ball across the field. With Baxter effective in defence as sweeper, Braydn standing strong in front of goals and a half-back line of Michael, Avah and Pollyanna, the team withstood many strong attacks by the opposition.
Pollyanna was in fine form, trapping the ball and firing it to well-positioned teammates including one shot to Avah that led to her goaling. Braydn made sensible selections from free hits that found Spirit targets eager to launch into attack. Wings Drew and Juliette hugged the sidelines, latching onto wide passes and helping Spirit move the ball effectively around their opposition while Summah provided attacking power at centre forward.
At half time Coach Kellie praised her players for their calling and marking and for creating space through good positioning. She then shuffled player positions before the action restarted.
Centre forward Braydn celebrated the beginning of the second half with a great individual run and goal – his first ever in U8 competition – and his beaming smile was a game highlight for Newtown spectators on the sidelines. Michael, full back, showed why he is such a valuable player for Spirit with excellent defensive work under pressure during impressive attacks by Kardinia Kangaroos. He cleared the ball away safely time and again.
All Spirit players displayed good passing and tackling during the competitive game, as did their opposition. In one example of fantastic linked play Avah, in her last U8 game before she moves up to U10s, sent the ball to Drew, who pushed it to Pollyanna with great accuracy. She then delivered a smashing cross to Juliette on the right. It was just one example of how Spirit has learnt to navigate the ball effectively around opposition players during the course of the year. And it was wonderful to watch.
After the final whistle Coach Kellie labelled the game “really great” and applauded players for getting their sticks down, tackling well and getting into effective clock-face positions.
“Really well done – I’m so impressed,’’ she said. While the whole team played strongly, Coach Kellie shone the spotlight on Braydn’s “beautiful game” over both halves, drawing attention to his ball control and ability to take time and think before passing. She awarded Pollyanna the Subway Best Team Player award, saying it was her best match for the year and one characterised by fantastic traps, good use of the ball and clever positioning.
Congratulations to Spirit for a great winter season and many thanks to Coach Kellie for helping shape this band of young players into a skilful squad with a strong love of hockey. “The important thing to me is if you had fun,” she said. “I really hope to see you all here next year and I love being able to watch you develop over the season.” Thank you also to the team’s supporters on the sidelines every week for their positive contribution to the junior competition. It is much appreciated.
Newtown Rebels Bye
Newtown Raiders vs Torquay Tornadoes
What a great team effort this week by Raiders. It’s especially nice to see players showing great sportsmanship and happily volunteering to play for the opposition team when they are short of players – thanks Isabelle and Oscar.
Thanks to Genevieve who joined us for this game from Rebels, and was always focused on the ball and ready to gain possession and move into attack for Raiders. Great running by Charlotte and Oscar, with Chloe making some nice traps on the wing. Oliver and Jesse showed us some great ball control skills and strong passes. Hannah did a great job at full back, keeping the ball away from goals and passing quickly for free hits.
In the second half, Isabelle moved into midfield defence, taking the free hits well and looking for teammates in space. Lily helped out in defence in front of goals, and was very effective in meeting the ball early and clearing the ball to the side to limit Torquay’s scoring ability.
The improvement shown during this hockey season by all these players was very pleasing, and congratulations to them all on their efforts. Best Team Player Award went to Lily this week, with great focus and concentration on the play.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 3-7
We knew the opposition was going to be tough today…..but coach Kellie and parents were very impressed with everyone’s game, it was certainly an exciting match to watch from the sidelines. We had some excellent positioning and decision making. We were moving the ball well, with our sticks down and having some brilliant 2nd and 3rd attempts at the ball. Also we were getting to the ball early but Kellie encouraged the team to take an extra moment to see where we were going to pass it because we were sending it back to quickly, at times, into a ‘sea of orange top’ players.
The second half saw us score our second goal against Torquay and you could see the team lift and even though it was a tough opposition Spirit didn’t let that phase them right through the half. Our third goal saw Max in a lone run towards goal and Hana in a perfect square position to receive the ball…….seconds later Hana delivered a great through pass to Max which saw him goal.
Best Team Player Awards went to Scarlett and Bella. What a great team the Spirit has turned out to be……..congratulations on a great hockey season! Thank you Kellie and we look forward to picking up where we left off in 2018.
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes 0-3
Thank you to everyone involved in Strikers season this year. We hope you enjoyed yourself and we hope to see you for summer hockey or next season. Good luck to those moving up age groups, we wish you all the best.
Tornadoes got an early goal in the game which saw our team refocus and put more pressure on. Great passes from Ruby and Alex throughout the game created some attempts on goals and a lot of short corners in the later part of the game. Thamindu backed up Isla in goals and saved multiple attempts on goals from the Tornadoes. Amelia, Isabel and Eliza kept the ball moving and showed some good blocking skills. Charlie and Jai worked the mid field together with lots of calling and teamwork. Anna and Amber both saw options to get the turnover and then push on quickly. Emma on the wing made great position and getting in front of her opponent and constantly moving and Elliott worked further on her defensive game. Unfortunately our attempts on goals didn’t covert but the team showed how much they have developed over the season. Again thank you for a wonderful season.
Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia 3-0
Second-placed Newtown Rebels played against ladder leader Kardinia on Saturday. The teams were very evenly matched with the ball moving back and forth across the pitch into each team’s forward line. There were some early penetrations from Rebels with Sam drawing a short corner and Patrick taking a shot from the top of the D. Kardinia also had a few short corners which were defended well by Rebels. Rebels eventually got a score on the board via Harry taking the ball into attack and making a nice cross to Brandon who scored.
At half time, Sam said the Rebels intensity was great, and they kept it up in the second half. Lachlan and Imogen gave some nice passes on the wings as did Kiah, Pat and Adele up forward, which saw Adele score our second goal. Kardinia kept attacking and had a few penalty corners but couldn’t capitalise. Harry and Luca were great in defence, and when Luca fell heavily mid-way through the half, Pat took his place and also defended well. Rebels’ final goal came from a nice run by Basyl through the centre, passing to Teijai on post to tap the ball past the goalie.
Coach AJ was really happy with the passing from all the team, and he encouraged the team to keep it up as we meet Kardinia again next Saturday for our first final of this hockey season.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong College 2-0
Congratulations Strikers! Well it was another inspiring game by Strikers to cement their place in the finals. The first half was a hard fought battle to score with Geelong College making it difficult for Strikers. There were quite a few near misses by Strikers and Geelong College attacked strongly on a number of occasions but our ever reliable back line held firm and Ruby, our goalie, made a few great saves.
In the second half we came on stronger and finally managed to score through Chloe and her new trademark goal. Shortly after there was some very skillful play by Adam that created an opportunity for Rory to score. Geelong College attacked strongly in the final minutes and thankfully for us the whistle blew ending the match.
Best on ground went to Chloe, followed by Rory for his hard work and Jamie for being our ‘secret weapon’.
It was another entertaining and skillful match to watch and it was a pleasure seeing how far our team has progressed and improved throughout this hockey season. We are very proud of the way they have played as a team right from the start of the season and have bonded and worked hard together to become the wonderful team they are. We are very much looking forward to playing in our first final.
Newtown Spirit vs Bellarine Lightning 0-1
Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 10-1
Golden Plains were expected to come out firing and they didn’t disappoint, with their fast forwards getting through and having a hit which luckily was wide, in the first 2 minutes. Spirit weren’t rattled, and immediately returned fire with a nice sequence of passes from Harry, Claudia, Will back to Harry and finally Charley who put the ball past the goalie. Golden Plains had another hit on goal which was wide, and then Spirit took the ball forward and Jamie had a nice hit from the top right of the D to take the score to 2-nil. Golden Plains had another attack and this time were successful, making the score 2-1, and by half time Spirit had a 3-1 lead after Jamie scored from a short corner.
In the second half, Spirit scored through Will early, which really took the wind out of Golden Plains’ sails. Their goalie did really well against many Spirit attacks, but Spirit still managed to add 7 goals in the second half through Harry (5), Sam (1) and Will (1) giving a final score of 10-1. Coach Carl congratulated the team on their really strong performance and asked them to maintain that level of intensity for the finals.
It was good to see Spirit do some switching off the ball in the back half, with Bailey, Ella, Harley, Nick and Sam putting into practice some of the plays Coach Carl has been wanting to see. Ella also did really well to stop their key attackers and to clear the ball out of defence on multiple occasions. Thanks to Ruby from U12 Strikers for being goalie for the day, she did a fantastic job for the team.
Hopefully we’ll have Amelia, Angus, Max and Grace return on Sunday for our rematch with Golden Plains in our first final.
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-6
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 6-1
It was great to see the full team of Strikers who have qualified for the finals arrive to play, meaning we could have a full dress rehearsal before the finals start next week. We got off to a bit of a nervous start with Spirit breaking through our defences early in the game and getting the first goal on the board. We didn’t react particularly well to this initially and many of our players looked tense and struggling to get into their normal rhythm. Spirit threatened us continuously in the first 15 minutes with most of the play in our defensive half. Our defenders played well though and stuck to our game plan. Declan and Rachael S showed great discipline manning their opposing wings who stayed up high. We eventually found our rhythm and went into half time with a 2-1 lead.
At the half time break, we felt we had not really hit our peak yet. We took a deep breath and backed ourselves that if we focus on what we have been doing well all year (leading, passing, calling) then the results will come – and they did. There was some great linking up through the mid-field via Corey and Callum. It was great to see a good spread of goal scorers with goals to Jonah (2), Jamie (1), Erin (1), Angus (1) and Tom (1). It was good to see the team keep their heads up and push on when they were down and when they didn’t feel that things were going their way.
Well done to the team for finishing this hockey season on top of the ladder. We have a big game against Torquay next week in the first week of the finals; we will need to show the same determination to win that game.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 1-6
The first half was an evenly matched affair with neither team dominating possession. Spirit were first to score when Miles took matters into his own hands and carved through the Strikers defence, however Strikers equalised soon after via a short corner.
The second half looked like a different game as Strikers had the majority of possession and were able to pile on pressure and goals throughout the half. Despite the best efforts of stand-in goal keeper Tom, Strikers scored 5 further goals to end the game 6:1 up.
With the winter blues behind us we can hopefully field a full strength team this weekend coming for the start of the final series, which will allow us to play everyone in their preferred positions, and give us our best chance of progressing beyond the first week of finals.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes 4-1
Well you couldn’t have asked for a better end to the hockey season. We’ll ignore the fact that Torquay only had 9 players as that was the handicap that we’ve had to endure a number of times this season.
The game was played at a quick pace with Torquay focusing on offensive pressure which we were able to use to our advantage every time there was a turn over, attacking in numbers resulting in a number of impressive team goals.
After the game it was great to have most of the team stick around for an end of season catch up, reminiscing over the season that was. It was a tough year but I couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s determination and positivity regardless of the outcome of the games.
Good luck to the other Newtown sides that made the finals this season, we’ll be cheering you onto success.
Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 2-2
Falcons began the game in anticipation of a good game, with a full team plus interchange being a rarity. The game started at a great pace with Falcons earning a short corner, and Clarke scored the first goal with a strong drag flick. 5 minutes later, Saints replied after some loose marking and the score was 1-1.
Play continued to seesaw and there were some great chances created by both teams which had the coach ‘oohing and aahing’. Some nice passing out of defence to forwards in space in the D saw Clarke with a nice quick pass to Niko who made no mistake and scored, and the scoreboard said 2-1.
Falcons came out after the half time chat, aiming to chase the ball carrier down and limit Saints ability to move forward. The game continued at a quick pace, with both teams still creating chances in the scoring circle. There was plenty of switching, calling and passing and this was a great feature of this game. With 3 minutes to go in the game, Saints managed to find space in front of goal and scored to even the game at 2-2.
A great effort by Falcons, with lots of opportunities created, but unable to finish with the result on the scoreboard which the play deserved. Well done all.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons Bye
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 0-5
Division 2 Men
Newtown Spirit vs Saints Red 0-0
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay Tornadoes 5-0 (forfeit)
A win is a win, but Spirit were disappointed not to be playing our last game of the season after such a pleasing game the previous week. Thanks to all the Spirit players for their efforts and perseverance this season, even during the games where we were under pressure with low numbers of players.