Match reports for this week show some great play by Newtown players, and great finishing by our teams with the finals only 2 weeks away.
We received a visit this week from Andrew Skillern, CEO of Hockey Victoria, and Eliza Caldecott, North West Region Development Officer. They visited both Lloyd Reserve and Stead Park to check out the hockey action in Geelong, and announced the Hockey Victoria plan which aims to increase the number of hockey players, umpires and coaches in Geelong – aiming for 3000 players by 2020.
Newtown Spirit v Torquay Tornadoes
Spirit dug in deep from the starting whistle in an attempt to shut down an attacking Torquay Tornadoes in the latest round of Under-8 competition at King Lloyd Reserve on Saturday. The Newtown team, with a full complement of players, showed its resilience by thwarting many goalward advances by their opposition. The half-back line of Max, Phoebe and Ruben was continually on the move, blocking Torquay passes with great determination and applying pressure to their players. Nate and Meyah, performing strongly at full back, also proved their worth time and again, repelling the fast-running squad from the Surf Coast and clearing the ball forward to their Newtown teammates. Both full backs remained calm and in control despite their orange-shirted opponents bearing down on them at great speed.
Charlie, playing at right wing, lurked dangerously on the forward line, just waiting for a chance to spring into action. That chance came after a Spirit intercept. He latched onto the ball, evaded the opposition and made a strong attempt to goal. He and an ever-determined Matilda, left wing, stayed out wide to give their side quality options to spread the play away from an at times, congested centre corridor.
After a half-time position reshuffle, Spirit players took to the field determined to use their wings more and to “take a second” to look for team mates before firing off a hit or push. Coach Kellie also called for Spirit to get among the “great wall of orange” Torquay shirts when the Newtown side won a free to help the ball’s forward path. Matilda and Charlie took on full-back duties in the second half. Despite being under siege on several occasions, they continually frustrated Torquay’s quality efforts to goal. The opposition finally managed to score, adding to a goal they got in the first half. But Spirit refused to give up, with centre half back Max and right wing Meyah combining well to push the ball into attack. Avah, enjoying a day out as centre forward, wasn’t shy either. The pocket rocket battled hard, putting pressure on Torquay in the middle of the ground and winning a valuable free that allowed Spirit to push even deeper into its attacking zone.
After the game, a happy Coach Kellie told her young team that their marking, moving, tackling and passing had been really good. And she also praised Cate, who had volunteered to play for Torquay to lift their numbers, for her quality passes during the game. Spirit players are sometimes called on to boost opposition numbers during Saturday play. It’s a valuable part of the Under-8 competition. It’s also wonderful when players volunteer for the job, without having to be selected by the coach. And that’s what Cate did on Saturday. She put up her hand and volunteered. Really great work. Really greatly appreciated.
While Saturday’s game was a showcase of how far all Spirit’s players have developed this season, the Best Team Player award for the round went to Avah for working hard all match and acting capably on her coach’s instructions. Well done Avah on a wonderful game and well done Spirit.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Kookaburras
Saturday the 18th saw 7 keen Minkeys line up for the Strikers. Training had seen them practicing a deception drill where they dribbled towards the opponent before passing to a team mate out square. I have to say it was impressive to see the whole team demonstrate this new skill during the game, so well done Jakai, Eliza, Emma, Daniel, Amy, Amelia and Alex. Our Minkey Mantra of: Eyes on the ball, stick on the ground and pass the ball out wide, was also in evidence showing just how far these players have come in 2015. It was a close thing but well done to Amy as Best Team Player on the day for making great position and calling for the ball.
Newtown Rebels vs Geelong Jaguars
The Rebels took on Geelong this Saturday in a great competitive game of hockey. As the season wears on and the teams get used to playing with each other it is becoming harder to score and the defence of teams is getting better. The Rebels had 8 players this week so we operated a substitute – thanks to the kids for coming off and on the ground to share the game time so willingly and effectively. In the first half the scoring was tight with both Geelong and the Rebels scoring a goal. Eoin and Adrian ran tirelessly up and down the ground. Alannah was terrific in defence with Sadie and Mai and Surrey provided great drive. New player really great with her getting involved in the play.
After half time we looked like we might have forgotten our positions! There were forwards running everywhere and the backs joining them. As a result whenever Geelong got through the big group of players they had a clear shot on goal. As a team we made it very difficult for Alanah in goal and so this week we will try and remember to get a position and stick to it so that we can be an effective team. It ended up a great game with lots of running and really a really enjoyable morning. Best Team Player was Amarlie.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay Tornadoes 1-0
Newtown Spirit came up against the Torquay Tornadoes this week and with a full team and better weather everyone was feeling quite excited. The first half was great. Everyone played in their positions and there were some excellent ball skills being displayed. The ball was worked very well from the half line out to the inners and wings which resulted in the ball being forward and inside the circle often. The hard work payed off with a goal scored by Jem……although it was not clear for a little while where it came from!
With frequent subs we went into the second half confident and happy. It was a good second half and some great balls from Angus missed the goals by not much at all and Harry was very unlucky not be able to deflect one of them into the goal. However as the time wound down we seemed to forget about positions and a lot of crowding occurred leaving Torquay open. The final whistle could not have come quick enough for all of us! Final score 1-0. Best Team Players this week where Thomas, Oliver and Edie. Well done everyone.
Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia 4-2
Last weekend’s great win certainly carried over to this match with Kardinia. We have definitely lifted our game in the past few weeks. We were missing our regular goal keeper and defender which allowed Kardinia to take the lead before we could settle. However, the team pulled itself back to gain possession with Locke and Zoe in defence and some great passing and excellent coordination between Flynn, Harry & Basyl in the centre. There were great moves between Bailey and Flynn, where Flynn took a shot at the goal to level the scores. There was no stopping Kiah from the half line all the way to the goal to get us into the lead. However, this lead was short lived as Kardinia were quick to capitalize on a return attack.
Taylah had a few attempts at the goal and was once unlucky to miss giving a deft touch to Harry’s hit from outside the circle. However, she was determined as ever and later scored a goal to get us back in the lead just before the half time. Declan did a great job as goal keeper and with Locke and Zoe formed a formidable defence. Basyl showed some good dribbling skills to keep the ball possession in the centre and Harry made some strong wide passes to Claire, Bailey, Kiah and Taylah in the forward line. Claire and Charlotte kept the pressure on Kardinia by some quick tacking, allowing Flynn to score another goal which took the Rebels score to 4-2.
Best Team Player awards went to Kiah and Taylah who both showed great determination throughout the game!!! Well done girls and to all the other players.
Newtown Strikers – Bye
Newtown Spirit vs Bellarine 1 0-2
A fantastic effort against the top side Bellarine 1 last week. Starting the match undermanned with no goalie, to keep them to 1 first half goal whilst creating many chances was an amazing effort . Every player tried their best and continued to pressure their opponents. The second half was even better, and helped out by now having a goalie many advances were stopped. And the team was always looking to take the game up to them. An outstanding team effort which everyone should be proud of. Great effort by Gus R to win the medal presented by Hockey Victoria. Special thanks to Jamie & Josh for volunteering at short notice and contributing to the team effort
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong College 8-0
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 0-0
This weekend saw the local derby with Newtown Spirit and Strikers playing each other in a top of the table clash. Both sides took to the field missing players due to other commitments, but even so it was clear the the teams are very evenly matched. The play was fast paced with some key sound out plays by Tom, Declan and and Oliver. The game resulted in a nil all draw, even though both sides had numerous opportunities to score.
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 4-3
We came up against a Torquay team which was notably stronger than previous times that we played them this year. We knew it would be a challenging game from the start and it proved to be that way. The first half saw us play very strong, leading 3-1 at half time. Alex made up for the previous week’s misses on the post by getting two good deflections in the first half.
Unfortunately we faded late in the second half with Torquay scoring two relatively easy goals in the last few minutes. Fortunately we hung on to scrape in with another win. This was our closest game for the year and it was a timely wake-up in the lead up to the finals.
Congratulations to Sean, the winner of the Best Player medal presented by Hockey Victoria.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 4-2
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Bellarine 2-3
Newtown Strikers vs Saints 3-0
A great game from the Strikers, not really reflected in the scoreline – after a poor game last week we were unlucky not to sneak at least one or two through against the Saints. We benefited from the addition of Jessie J (on field) working hard with Sam in the backline, with Jen making some great saves further back. It was also great to have Marion back, combining well with Jacqui, Amanda and Eliza to provide some terrific run up forward and creating plenty of opportunities. Kelly O was also back in terrific form, directing central play and supported well by Jess W, Bec and Kate through the middle. It was also nice to have one on the bench!
Division 2 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine Storm 1-0
Strikers played Bellarine Storm around lunch time on Saturday. With a few key players out for Strikers and a very good flooding defence from Bellarine the game was a very low scoring affair. It was only that one of the many short corner attempts was put in the goals by Rodan that we came away with a 1-0 win. Thanks to the young’uns for having a run. Time to get our game on if we want to build to the finals. Well done to Rodan for his B&F medal presented by HV CEO Andrew Skillern.
Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 1-1
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Corio 1-6
After a season of depleted sides and walkovers, we faced a full Corio team and within 30 seconds the backboard was hit! Recovering from the initial shock, Julie and Kirsty worked well together to equalise. Play was dominated by Corio with Spirit defence under fire relentlessly. Sharon and Jan headed off many of the attacks and Edna followed through with amazing saves. Under pressure Jacinta, Pam and Andy kept their opponents out of the action and Donna played her strongest game, tackling hard throughout. Whilst Corio were strong Spirit did manage to have a few breakaways but were unlucky not to score. A huge thank you to Ally for her strong attacking game and also to she and Julie for filling in.
We wish Edna a speedy recovery from her first hockey injury in a long time…. And maybe her last game (we hope not). Happy Birthday for the 31st.
Newtown Rebels vs Golden Plains 0-2
Newtown began the game well, controlling the game and having much of the play in our attacking half. Great positioning and passing by Colleen, Tracey and Dana in defence limited any opportunity for Golden Plains to break through in the first half. The second half took a turn when Golden Plains scored from one of their limited forward attacks, and this gave them some impetus and they increased the pressure on our defence. Despite great work on the forward line by Chloe, Erin, Peta and Meg and great pressure and passing by Jenny we weren’t able to score. Golden Plains were able to overrun our defence and score again. Congratulations to Peta who was judged Best Player for Rebels and received the medal from Hockey Victoria CEO, Andrew Skillern.