We have some great match reports from the Preliminary Finals this week, with some nail biting finishes and heart stopping moments for the spectators. Congratulations to the U13 Strikers, U15 Spirit, D1 Men Falcons and D2 Men Strikers who will join the U15 Strikers and the U17 Strikers in Grand Final matches this week.
We also have a great match report for the Midweek Junior program, with some keen players showing great aptitude for the game.
Midweek Junior Program
A very even game this week in the midweek junior program, finishing with a 3-3 draw. Team Orange began well with Riley showing great ball control skills and composure in holding the ball until just the right moment to pass. Great running to space and calling by Kenna allowed Team Orange to move into attack and with Gil always keen to get the ball, Team Orange capitalised with two goals in the first half. Team Red defended well and great use of wide passes by Sam found Hayden on the left, and co-operation with Tejai and Cameron resulted in some attacks. However solid defence by Lucy and good passes away from goal saw Team Orange deny Team Red any score.
The second half saw Team Red gain some ground and effective passing by Cameron to team mates created opportunities in front of goal, and Team Red began to even the score. Excellent defence by Cameron and great clearances away from goal in the latter part of the half prevented Team Orange from scoring, and the game finished as a well earned draw.
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 4-2
This game was the last opportunity to make the U13 grand final and the slow starts of recent weeks appeared to be a distant memory when play started. The Strikers were on the attack from the whistle and scored the first goal of the match after an elusive run from Jamie from near the halfway line, followed by an accurate pass to Miles for a direct hit. Torquay were not to be outdone however and struck back with an equaliser from a well executed short corner. Torquay scored again just before half time when a forward broke through the Strikers defence and ran away to score.
Spirits were high at half time despite the scoreboard, which was a good sign for the second half. The Strikers had the majority of possession in the second half and produced an equaliser early on courtesy of a free hit taken by Jemma, which found Tom, Miles and Jamie in quick succession. Jamie finished off the team play of the match with a tomahawk while running across the face of goal. The momentum was now with the Strikers and great defence added further pressure to Torquay, resulting in two further goals to Miles and a 4:2 victory to the Strikers.
This was one of the best Strikers games of the season and great to see all contributing by holding their positions, searching for team mates and being hungry for the ball. This style of play should serve us well in the grand final, so keep up the good work.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong 2-1
What a GAME! Spirit won against Geelong in a nail biting 2:1 victory that took us into overtime. Having conceded the first goal of the match in the opening minutes of the first half, the team settled and counter attacked with running and passing play that resulted in a goal to Declan Brown. Both teams played with equal determination for the rest of the half going to the break one all.
The second half had the Spirit on the attack from the opening minutes and it was only some bad luck that prevented those attacks from converting leaving the score still even at one all come the final siren. Over-time had the team throw everything they had into the attack, determined to make the Grand Final next week. Aggressive play in the D set up a short corner that Jonah was able to convert into the winning goal in the 6th minute.
Player of the match went to Emily West this week, she was every where she needed to be and set up solid play after play. On to the grand final next and a Newtown / Newtown rematch.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 3-2
Division 2 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes 2-0
In a stunning return to form, we got back to playing the type of hockey that had us finish at the top of the ladder. Focusing on our short game and attacking and defending in numbers, we were able to control the game resulting in goals from Carl and a masterful stroke conversion from Brendan. With just the grand final ahead of us, we have one last chance to see if we have what it takes to beat Geelong.