Just past the half way mark of the season, and the match reports show that our teams are giving maximum effort, working up to a great finale.
Newtown Spirit v Geelong Jaguars
Spirit immediately dug deep in defence when new team Geelong Jaguars came out firing in the latest round of Under-8 competition at King Lloyd Reserve. The half back line of Charlie, Phoebe and Nate were under the pump but battled strongly to keep the opposition from scoring while full back Max worked with his usual calm efficiency, trapping and clearing several shots before the Jaguars could goal. While the Jaguars enjoyed much of the attack, taking advantage of loose marking by Spirit, wing Matilda made a fast break down the right of the field, firing off a long pass to fellow winger Ruben near goals.
At half time Coach Kellie set her charges several tasks: mark their opposition; stay in position; use their voice; and take frees quickly. She urged the wings to stay out wide to give team mates more options when taking free hits. And Spirit responded, sticking to their opposition and opening up play, which allowed them to enjoy more of the attack than they did in the first half. Second half highlights included a great square pass by Phoebe to Charlie who, once again got himself in a beautiful position and drove the ball forward. Left half back Nate and Matilda combined well in a swift run towards goal while Avah gave her team a focal point up forward. Avah also showed strong vision, firing a couple of lovely passes to Charlie too. Spirit produced several attacking runs towards goal in the second half, which was flavoured with more calling and more options for passing.
Nate took home the Best Team Player award after producing a tenacious two halves. Constantly in the play, he refused to give up, listened to instruction from Coach Kellie and built on it and was a driving force for Spirit all match. Meyah and Cate are also to be congratulated for their great spirit in volunteering straight away – without having to be asked – to bolster numbers for other teams. Great effort girls and much appreciated.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong
Another great Minkey match by the Strikers showing the increasing skills of this young Minkey team. Eliza showed determined tackling and demonstrated great skills of keeping her stick on the ball. Amy did some quality dribbling taking the ball significant distances, despite being ill during the week, while Emma made great position on the wing and called for the ball. Amelia had a great second half making the opposition work for position. Alex was Best Team Player because she did a terrific job in goals coming out to make the opposition work hard, and her big pushes from the back line to her team mates particularly Jakai showed their improved skills and concept of the game. As always eyes on the ball, stick on the ground & pass the ball out wide. During the week practice running backward so you can keep your eyes on the ball.
Newtown Rebels – bye
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 1-3
This week saw the Strikers come up against Kardinia. We were without our usual goalie so Jem once again stepped up into the role for us and played a wonderful game. Again we were short on players and this week we had the help from two Minkey players Matilda and Nate. This was Nate’s first under 11 game and talk about a great game from him. He kept in his position and was certainly not put off by the older opposition! It was on the whole a very good game but once again goals were not easy to come by. Gus was denied a goal in the second half as the shot was taken outside the D but made up for it less than 30 seconds later with an uncontested goal.
Despite our good position play Kardinia were able to score 3 times. Our back line was caught a little off guard at times which enabled Kardinia to get a run forward. Well played by all but this weeks Best Team Players were Liam and John.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong College 4-1
Another wonderful game from the Strikers this week. Although much of the first half of the game was played in our attacking half, Brandon made some terrific saves as fill-in goalie when College made some more attaching plays in the second half, supported by some terrific clearances by Izaak on the backline. Great work by Jonah, in particular, in the mid field and some excellent running from Sam R, Amity and Amelia to gain possession and move the ball forward. Forward runs from Harry, Imogen and Olivia resulted in four goals (three to Harry and one to Olivia). Congratulations to Best Team Players of the week, Jonah and Imogen and captain for the day, Sam R. Thanks to Mia for filling in in the first half and bringing our numbers to 11.
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 1-2
A great fighting effort from the team who were very unfortunate to lose when Kardina scored a late goal. An excellent first half saw the Spirit team lead 2-1 with Miles scoring 2 excellent goals combining with some great defence from the 2 Angus’ down back. The second half started well with many opportunities created by Harry, Sam & Will, helped out by Declan, Olivia, Maya, Isabel & Claudia. Some great goal keeping by James saved many advances. Unfortunately a couple of lapses allowed Kardina to score 2 quick goals to pinch the match. Overall a great effort by all. Special mention to Oscar playing his first hockey match ever. Well done.
Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine 1 4-5
It was the top of the table clash today with both teams on equal points and only separated by goal difference. The game started well for the Strikers with two goals early on, the first to Basyl who patiently waited in front of goal for his moment of glory, and the second to Jamie who ran the ball into the D and had a direct strike on goal. The confidence gained from the early lead resulted in a drop in intensity from the Strikers and Bellarine were able to come back with two late goals in the first half to equalise the score at 2:2 going into the half time break.
Bellarine continued applying pressure early in the second half and scored two further goals to lead 4:2. Sensing that the game was slipping away, the Strikers shifted up a gear and started passing and running with real purpose. A long range series of passes from our own D started by Jamie, onto Tom and finally Miles pulled back one of the goals. Bellarine continued to attack through the middle of the second half keeping Sarah and Ella busy on the back line. A counter attack from the Strikers produced an equaliser to Jamie late in the half and the Strikers appeared content to be level. Bellarine however had one final brazen attack on goal with an individual run from the centre forward resulting in a fifth goal with less than a minute left on the clock.
The game finished 5:4 to Bellarine and it served as a reminder to the Strikers to maintain intensity throughout the game and play all the way to the final whistle. Thanks to Basyl and Harry from U11 Rebels, and Angus, Declan, Maya and Oscar from U13 Spirit for helping out, your contributions were appreciated.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 2-2
The U15 Strikers game resulted in a draw this week against Kardinia. The scores levelling out at 2 all when the whistle blew. There were some very close moments where we had the ball at our end but just couldn’t seem to put it between the posts! The second half all were reminded that it is important to play as a team, play to position and make passes count. There was a lot of very commendable effort put in by Strikers, but when Kardinia took the ball and ran with it to goal in the last few minutes, we couldn’t manage to find our rhythm to get a last goal and come out on top! Good persistence all. A big thank you to Callum for doubling up for us and putting in so well, and to Rachael for her very valuable help!
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong College 6-2
Newtown Spirit played Geelong College to achieve a well played victory with the final score of 6:2. Playing to new field positions under the leadership of coach Niko and Captain Corey the team played a solid attacking game. Goal scorers Amber, Bronte and Declan all capitalized on the new formation with correct positioning to take the strike from well timed passes.
Stand out performances from Bronte who consistently positioned herself on the post during shots on goal and our dynamic duo of Tom and Declan who worked together to efficiently move the ball up the field for our strikers to take the shots.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Lightning 10-2
We came into this game with only 10 players on the field and no goalie. For some reason, we always seem to play better when we are short of players! I put this down to being forced to use our team mates more and focusing on good passes so that we don’t turn the ball over so easily. The way we played, with good run and passing, it was hard to tell that we were actually a player short. Thanks to Sean, Dan and Jonah for each having a turn at kicking back. Each of them showed great poise through clear and loud communication and strong defensive skills. All three also showed great flexibility by scoring goals when they were rotated up forward. Well done.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 6-5
Coming off a loss vs Torquay before the Queen’s Birthday weekend, the Falcons were raring to get a win against Saints Black. With both teams with a full list it was going to be a tough game, with a lot of possession changes in the middle of the ground and almost constant pressure on both defenses, and it was an exciting affair.
The second half saw much the same as the first, and a hard fought battle of the midfield ensued, we were able to weather the attack on our defense and hold up well which then allowed us to send attacks forward and end up coming away with a hard fought 6-5 win.
Goals to Adam (1) Luke H (2) Keiran (2) and Harry (1)
Play of the day goes to James J, after a great lead to get the ball on top of the D, he then proceeded to attempt a tomahawk and sent his stick flying whilst completely missing the ball at the same time.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Bellarine 1-2
Newtown Falcons did a fantastic job holding a full force Bellarine to only 2 goals. After a lengthy to and fro between both teams a composed goal under pressure was scored by Emily, which was followed by a quick goal from Bellarine. There was some great passing and runs down the field by Elena and Shannon and strong tackles from most of the team. Bellarine scored another goal in the 2nd half to finish the game off.
Newtown Strikers vs Saints 2-3
Strikers had a good game given our depleted numbers. Fielding only 10 players we took a while to get our structures right and allowed Saints two goals in the first half. We regrouped (and rehydrated) at half time and adopted a more attacking approach, winning the half 2-1. Some great defence thanks to Meg and Bron K who filled in for us, and some great goal saves again by Jess, limited scoring opportunities for the Saints. Terrific mid-field play from Jacqui, Kelly, Kate and Bec helped move the ball forward quickly out of defence and great forward run, particularly from Marion, provided us with a few chances in the second half, with a goal each to Julie and Marion. Thanks also to Katelyn for doubling up and providing some extra run up forward.
Division 2 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 6-0
Although the end score doesn’t show it, this was a high intensity game requiring the Strikers to use all of the skills and team work that they have been building throughout the season. Over the coming weeks we will have to work on short corner conversion and some defensive structure, but in general it was a good start to the second half of the season.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 2-5
A haphazard start from Spirit with 8 players and no real focus saw Golden Plains score 2 quick goals. As reinforcements arrived the team stabilised and resulted in a quick goal that was hit in by Nicola and deflected off the goalie. Peta fired up and smashed another goal from a corner just before half time.
In the second half, the game seesawed, seeing lots of great runs with Amber and Deb on the right. Defence put up a great show with sisters Jan and Hil as our backline. Andy, Bron, Jacinta and Pam fed the ball out of the circle constantly. Unfortunately Golden Plains got their rhythm and scored 3 unanswered goals. A big welcome back to the team to Jan and also to Peta.
Newtown Rebels vs Geelong 1-4
Newtown Rebels faced up to the D2 ladder leaders with some confidence after recent successes. Geelong came out in attack from the start and put plenty of pressure on the defence, and our confidence suffered a setback when a lack of concentration and a lack of height on our keeper’s part saw a ball deflect off a Geelong stick at the top of the circle and into the top corner of the net. But Newtown regained momentum with great defence by Lauren and Colleen and pushed the ball into attack where Chloe and Erin S did some great work together on the left. Pressure in the circle saw Katelyn even the score and we were back in the game.
Geelong continued to attack hard, controlling the ball in centre field. The second half saw Newtown work harder to use the wings and avoid the centre, and Erin W and Meredith used the sideline and the corner well to get the ball into attack. Great defence by Dana and great pressure on the opposition by Kellie and Tracey but Geelong’s skillful players were able to find space and convert chances again.