The 2015 Finals series commenced on August & 9, with match reports highlighting the great efforts put in by the 9 Newtown teams who participated.
Congratulations to the U15 Newtown Strikers and the U17 Newtown Strikers teams who won their semi-finals and move straight into the Grand Final on August 22.
Another chance exists this week in the Preliminary Finals for the U13 Newtown Strikers, U15 Newtown Spirit, Division 1 Men Newtown Falcons and D2 Men Newtown Strikers teams to make it to the Grand Final.
Commiserations to the D1 Women Newtown Falcons, D2 Men Newtown Spirit and D2 Women Newtown Rebels who were eliminated.
Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine 1
This game was the top of the table clash with the winner going straight through to the Grand Final, so the pressure was on to avoid a play off on the following weekend. Bellarine were off to a flying start and were on the attack in Newtown territory from the whistle. It wasn’t long before they scored from the top of the D. The second Bellarine goal came courtesy of a long ball through the Newtown defence and our fullbacks had crept high and were without the pace to catch the Bellarine speedster. The situation was beginning to look dire when a third Bellarine goal came from a deflection off a Strikers stick in the D. This did however act as the catalyst that the Strikers needed with a goal before the end of the half from a deft deflection by Miles.
The Strikers were a different team in the second half and had the majority of possession and kept play in the Bellarine half. The pressure eventually produced a second goal to Newtown from a direct shot by Lachy from the top of the D. Newtown were looking like scoring again however they were beaten by the final whistle with the score finishing at 3:2 to Bellarine.
Despite the slow start, it was very encouraging to see that the Strikers did not lose heart and continued pushing for a win. This fighting spirit will no doubt serve them well for the next game against Torquay – good luck Strikers.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 3-0
The Spirit lost to the better team on the day when they played the Strikers in the first final of the under 15 season. Missing some key players the team was out played in defence and on the attack resulting in a 3 nil score line come full time. Some good aggressive play opened a few score shots and corners that we were unable to capitalise on. Stand out play from Emily on the wing and Eneko across the back line kept us in the game limiting further scoring opportunities for the Strikers.
Looking forward we have the preliminary finals as a second chance to make the grand final in a fortnight and the team are hungry to get the winning form back.
Newtown Strikers vs Saints 2-1
The Strikers came up against a strong Saints side once again, as we did two weeks ago when they defeated us for our first loss of the year. To make things even more challenging we had a few players missing. We had a good discussion before the game and reflected on our learnings from the last time we played the Saints. We identified the Saints key threats up forward and set a plan to tag them closely. We also talked about the extra effort we needed to make off the ball on the forward line, particularly making leads and linking up with short passes.
Nick started the game with his chin patched up from an incident the previous night and was not feeling his best, however this did not stop him from playing as a very effective loose man leading the defence, whilst Nathan, Noah and Luke T tagged their dangerous opposition forwards very closely. Our key forwards, Alex, Dan and Bronte worked hard making the strong leads that we talked about prior to the game. Jonah and Hudson worked tirelessly as the inners which was a great effort considering they played back-to-back games following up from the previous U15 final. With players missing, Tom M played as our flexible man, and made significant contributions both in the forward line and the back line. The highlight of the game was Sean’s goal of the year; I still don’t know how he found that small gap. The lowlight was seeing Hudson get injured late in the game; fortunately he has plenty of time to recover for the grand final.
Well done Strikers. One more match to win!
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 2-4
A tough fixture loomed ahead for the Falcons this week, with Saints Black fielding a full team, whereas we managed to gather a bench of 2, it was always going to be a tough game. And a tough game ensued, with lots of attacking by both teams, a number of short corner attempts by Saints, and lots of pressure on our defence resulted in 4 goals going in. A shortage of attacking short corners, and hard defending by Saints saw us only put 2 goals in and a tough fixture vs Torquay this weekend. Goals to Sean and James J.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Bellarine Storm 2-4
Bellarine leapt out of the blocks quickly, getting the first 3 goals of the match. Falcons ladies fought hard but were unable to score in the first half. At half time the score was Bellarine 3-0. After half time Falcons came out with more determination scoring 2 goals (Sam 1 and Phoebe 1) to Bellarine 1 goal. Unfortunately we were unable to score 2 more goals. Final score was Bellarine 4 to Falcons 2.
Congratulations to the ladies in the Falcons for a hard fought season. Thanks the ladies from the Strikers team for playing to help us out, Jess and Bec, Amanda, Peta and Sam. Also thanks to Claire for stepping up to be our Goalie as Jessie is away at the Australian Country Championships.
Let’s keep your heads up and look forward to 2016.
Division 2 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Blue 1-7
In an unfortunate repeat of the previous week’s game, Geelong were able to score a number of goals in the first the first half and even though we were able to regroup and even score a goal in the second half through a well deserved penalty stroke and conversion by Andrew the damage has already been done. Now faced with a knockout match versus Torquay, the team will have to lift to get another chance at the premiership.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay Tornadoes 0-8
A great effort by a team with spirit. Despite the score, the spirit was evident with great determination and perseverance shown in the face of strong opposition. Michael was steady at full back and Don was everywhere, intercepting and passing strongly. Fantastic keeping by Brodie saved many, many more goals. Hard running and great positioning and passing by David, Richard and Marcus created forward moves for Spirit but unfortunately without a score. A great effort by this team to finish the season in 4th position, and we look forward to an even better year in 2016.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Rebels vs Corio 0-4
As with many of our teams this weekend, we were missing many of our regular players. In fact this team was an equal mix of Rebels and Spirit players, and all put in a fantastic effort. Playing against a team which was of Division 1 standard, the Newtown players began very well, taking the game to Corio and not allowing them to dominate the play. Playing without a keeper, we were very appreciative of Jan’s willingness to play kicking back. Great midfield play by Bron, Andy, Jacinta and Sharon saw Newtown intercept many of Corio’s forward moves and with great running and passing by Erin, Jenny and Erin we reached our attacking circle a few times. Corio eventually wore the defence down and scored their first goal, but it took 20 minutes for this to happen.
Newtown continued to defend in the second half, with Jan, Tracey and Meg getting some nice clearing passes away. Corio piled on the pressure in a period when players tired to score a couple more goals, and despite better use of short passes and great tackling back and hassling by Deb, Kirsty and other forwards we were not able to turn the game to our advantage.
Overall, a great season by the Rebels team with some fantastic team play and great skills – a great achievement to finish 4th for 2015. Thanks to all the players, and particularly to the Spirit girls, for their efforts.
Midweek Junior Program
This week saw another great game from the players in the Midweek Junior program, with the game finishing as a 2-2 draw. Team Orange had the better of the game in the first half. Great passing and calling by Riley and Seb, and with Kenna making good position for Tejai and Lucy to receive the ball in attack, there were many attacking moves, and a couple of goals scored. The second half saw Team Blue regather and with some positional changes, they began to gain some control of the game. Great work throughout the game by Hayden and Rory and great calling by Archie saw Blue receive the ball in space, with Cameron and Gil always ready to receive and move into attack.