2016 Hockey Season August 13 & 14

With one week to go for the 2016 hockey season, it’s a chance to reflect on how much our players have learnt and improved during the year, bringing the promise of reward for their efforts in the Finals series.

Kookas Midweek

 Team Orange were on the attack from the first pass, finding space to move into attack by using the whole width of the field. With stick on the ground and good focus on the play, Alex was able to gain possession and worked well with Jai and Sam S to advance the play. Strong play in front of goal resulted in a number of goals for Sam S and Team Orange. Sam H, Ella and Amy showed great position and solid defence skills to regain possession for Team Red, and Ella’s long reach cut off many of Orange’s attempts to move into attack. The second half saw Team Red gain control of the game, and there were plenty of attacking moves which threatened the Team Orange defence, and put the scores on the board. Great skills and thoughtful strategic play from all these players was great to see.

Under 8

Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia Kookaburras

The Rebels team came up against Kardinia Kookaburras this week. Great to see the sportmanship exhibited with Rebels loaning 2 players to our opposition to even the numbers and bolster the younger opposition team with some more experience. Thanks to Scarlett and Mai for volunteering for this in the first half.

The remaining five Rebels players worked hard to pass the ball to each other, with many challenges in finding an unmarked player, especially when taking free hits. Hana used skills learnt in the warm-up drill (passing square) on a number of occasions to find a teammate level with the ball and move the defenders across to open up space for the following pass. This proved effective. With Seb and Georgie running hard along the wings, the ball eventually made its way out wide and together with Surry they effectively dribbled the ball around opponents and into attack. Hana ran hard on occasions to support the ball carrier which was great to see. After again starting in goals, Hannah was moved into the play in the latter stages and quickly set about laying some tackles and trying hard to win the ball. A highlight was a wide pass from Surry out to the wing from full back which was travelling at speed. Seb ran hard and made a lunging effort to just trap the ball inside the line and maintain possession for the Rebels. Great effort and skill shown, Seb! It was also pleasing to see several players being successful in front of goals in the first half.

At the break, Surry volunteered to play for Kardinia, swapping with Scarlett. In the second half, all players seemed to relish some healthy competition playing against fellow teammates. The ball travelled up and back more regularly and the game seemed to open up. Mai (playing for Kardinia) proved tough to get past, chasing back and remaining strong over the ball all game. Scarlett showed just how much her trapping had improved with some great stops, Georgie impressed with a good decision to pass down the line instead of passing inside to congestion and Hana provided second and third efforts, again demonstrating her growing determination to win the ball.

In all, a hard fought game by all involved. It was a close call awarding a Best Team Player, but Seb walked away with his second award in a month, with his lunging trap the clincher. Well done – hope the raisin toast hit the spot!!

Newtown Spirit v College Green

Spirit signalled from the starting whistle it had brought its `team game’ to Under-8 competition at Lloyd Reserve on Saturday. Within the opening minutes of play against an enthusiastic College Green, the Newtown team was working the ball around the opposition, passing to team mates and heading straight into attack. Almost immediately right half Max powered a beautiful square pass to centre half Avah, who fired it up the field to the Spirit forwards who were running into position. Left half Nate got on the score board quickly with some skilful moves, and it wasn’t long before others found the goals too. Max ran riot in attack, combining well with centre forward Meyah, who ran beautifully into spaces to give her side a great passing option.

But College wasn’t making it easy for Spirit. The green team notched up their own goals and put Spirit’s defence under pressure. At half time Coach Kellie praised her team for getting to the ball quickly and passing it well between themselves. She urged them to consider back and square passes to work the ball around their opposition. And she encouraged them to pass out wide to the waiting wings. Spirit had to dig deep in the second half as the College team stepped up a gear, testing the Newtown crew with several fast breaks towards goal. Meyah, Nate, Max and Charlotte worked hard in defence to block College’s forward runs, while forwards Ruben, Summah and Avah provided options in attack. They also marked their players well and used their voices to let team mates know they were ready and waiting for the ball.

There was some great team play on display in the second half, with players having good control of the ball, positioning themselves well for passes and tackling and blocking strongly. It was also pleasing to see players make good decisions under pressure and work together as a team. Avah received the Best Team Player award for the match. She performed strongly all game and took time to look up to find the best passing option whenever she had the ball.

Thanks to Lucy and Pollyanna for filling in for the opposition to bolster numbers. It is great to have people volunteering to fill this role. Well done girls.

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay

Firstly we would like to wish Alex S a speedy recovery for a non hockey related accident and hope to see you back next season.

Thank you to Amelia for volunteering to play for Torquay this week.  Great passing from everyone this week. Amy assisted Ruby to open the scoring for the day with a pass to in front of goals. Isla and Eliza were relentless with their tackling in the first half of the game. Ruby also flicked the ball to Alex J to set up an attempt for goal. Great work from Emma on the wing who trapped the ball right on the sideline and sent the ball straight back into play.

The second half saw some great defence from Isla in the middle of the field and passing the ball out wide. Amy had a great goal form out wide. Eliza managed to cover a lot of ground quickly to trap the ball on the sidelines and sent it straight down the line to Emma on the wing. This week there were a lot of smart choices from everyone with passing the ball wide. Amelia was defending in goals for Torquay and was blocking multiple attempts on goal form her team mates. The quote of the day from Ruby was “she is hard to get the ball past.”  From her great work on the wing the Best Team Player award went to Emma this week.

Newtown Raiders vs Kardinia Kangaroos

Newtown Raiders continues to improve every week, so next week’s game will be a beauty! The teamwork and creation of space was fantastic, with Isabel chasing down every ball and controlling the centre. Great passing to the wing saw Cait and Eliza-May overlapping and running the ball into attack with speed and precision. Charlotte used her spin to advantage, maintaining possession and giving her the perfect view to pass to team mates. Eamonn and Jesse did a great job of looking for the team mate who was in the best position in space and making a firm pass to set up forward moves for Raiders. Oscar’s focus and passing was great, whether in midfield or defending the goals – putting pressure on opposition forwards to force an error. Best Team Player award to Jesse.

Under 11 North

Newtown Rebels vs Bellarine Lightning 10-0

U11 Rebels played Bellarine Lightning at St. Ignatius College on Saturday for their Round 14 match. With 10 players and no ready volunteers for goalkeeper, coach AJ decided to have the team play without a goalkeeper for the match. It was a risky decision but our defence was really solid for the entire game and Bellarine rarely had the ball close to our defending goals. Basyl, Sam and Olivia were fantastic all game in both defence and attack. Olivia finished the game with 4 goals, 2 of those from short corners. Brandon scored early off a short corner, and his dribbling and passing to Imogen and Charlotte nearly resulted in goals for them. Kiah’s and Charlotte’s defending was great, and Kiah’s positioning near goals allowed her to receive a nice pass and score a goal in the first half.

Grace stopped many pushes forward from Bellarine, she was instrumental in goals to Luca and Teijai and nearly scored from a short corner midway through the second half.  Patrick had to leave 10 minutes into the second half, but there was enough time for him to score 2 great goal in the half – one of those from a short corner. The final score was Newtown 10-0, with goal scorers Olivia (4), Patrick (2) and one goal each to Brandon, Kiah, Luca and Teijai.

Under 11 South

Newtown Strikers vs College White 2-3

A great game for Strikers this week, with solid defence from Michael in goals, well supported by Nathan and Kenna. More effective clearances from the 16 yard hits saw Strikers able to create attacks down the right wing, with Lachlan, Declan and Alex (joining us from U8 for her first game in U11) working well together to move the ball into the circle. The first half saw some nice quick free hits with Jack distributing the ball well from the midfield, getting the ball into the circle, but we were not able to put it in the net.

The second half saw Strikers continue to work hard and the left side of the field got a bit more of the play, with Owen, Gil and Chris often in good position for the cross from the right corner of the field. Great work by Chris, in good position, and showing a never give up attitude, saw him score 2 goals. Zoe worked hard in the centre, pressuring the opposition when they had the ball, and almost did a repeat of last week’s spin while kneeling on the ground. Some lapses in concentration in defence allowed College to score 2 fairly easy goals, which unfortunately gave them a win, in a game where Newtown had the majority of the play and really deserved to win. Best Team Player Awards to Chris and Jack.

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 2-0

With only 2 games to play for the 2016 season, this game was very important with regards to the current ladder. There was anticipation in the air and everyone was very excited. Golden Plains started very fast and were playing hard at the ball. It was quite difficult for our forwards to break through and as a result we tended to be drawn to the ball instead of staying in position. Unfortunately there were some accidental clashes between players during the match, which made play a little difficult.

We lost Harry late in the first half due to a head/stick clash which seemed to rattle everyone. The second half however was much better with better position play and a bit more space being created. 2 goals in the second half, through Angus and Max saw us victorious in the end. Jamie was great in goals and the rest of the team should be very proud of the way they played and conducted themselves in  what was a tricky game.

Under 13

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 6-0

The U13 Spirit team played Torquay on Saturday.  Once again terrific team work was displayed by all members with some strong and skilful defensive work leading to great link up play and passing amongst the forward line.  Some fantastic one touch passes lead to some wonderful team goals.  Riley played a great game and was really solid in defence with some strong hitting penetrating through the Torquay defence.  Claudia also did a fantastic job playing left wing and left half back, pushing back to help defend and then pushing forward in attack.  Thanks goes to Ella and Miles for filling in.  Also a big thanks to Deb for assisting with coaching from the sidelines.  Great work team, you are all playing fantastic hockey.  The last round before finals is this weekend so let’s enjoy the game and have some fun!

Newtown Strikers – Bye

Under 15

Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 5-2

Stead Park presented Newtown Strikers with almost perfect conditions this week for players and spectators alike. The Strikers took to the field pumped and looking forward to what promised to be a challenging game against Golden Plains. Working together as a team there were some winning combinations that ran along the outside of the pitch – steering clear of just running down the centre – as per Coaches strategy to broaden the playing field and give the Strikers every chance to put in some of the things we have been working on in training this year. The results were great and showed willingness to back our team mates, solid technical moves and last but not least a sound win – 5-2. The last few games are coming up and if everyone could make a concerted effort to attend training that would be awesome!! Congratulations.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-4

U15 Spirit lost 4-2 to Torquay in a top of the table battle. Right from the  outset the Spirit were under pressure with Torquay combining well to create  numerous scoring chances. Some brilliant goal keeping from Josh kept Torquay  at bay for most of the half before the Spirit finally conceded. An opportunist  goal to Tom late in the half saw the scores level at half time. Torquay’s  ascendency continued in the second half with their quick transition from  defense to attack leaving the Spirit continually outnumbered at the back.

Despite Josh’s desperation in goal the Spirit conceded a further 3 second half  goals. The Spirit scored a late goal through Amelia, stepping up for her first  U15 game. Despite the loss there were many positives with all players  displaying great persistence and, dare I say, “spirit”.

Under 17

Newtown Spirit vs Saints 4-0

Another match in the Sunshine today – rock on September! Undermanned but thankfully GK included in our arsenal, we met up with Saints today for return match – last time a loss, so looking to redeem ourselves. Slow to build momentum, but Spirit dominated all the same with much of the play in our forward half. Our first half involved many opportunities to score, including 5 penalty corners, however unable to convert from these, Spirit needed to find other ways to get past the relieving GK for the Saints – not present at the start of the match. She saved several attempts but opportunistically, Jonah was able to get a stick on a shot at goal that would’ve been too high – spango!! In it goes with Jo notching that one!!

Some nice passages of play seeing Declan and Callum, since returning from injury, performing really positively. A decision resulting in a stroke, allowed Jonah to get his second, putting Spirit up 2:0 at halftime. Our second half a little more lively than the first, with some more attack from Saints. Tom and Cassidy working well from defense and Monique positioning herself really well to receive a couple of lovely passes, enabling her to take the ball into Spirit D. Overall a solid win for Spirit, with one match to go until our final series.

U17 Strikers v Kardinia  3-5

Despite the scoreline, the Strikers played very well.  With our position in the top two secured and a couple of players unavailable, we used the opportunity to play a few players in different positions.  Luke P continued on from where he left off last week at right inner and played the best game of his season; peaking nicely for the finals.  His pressure on the ball carrier and consistent hard work is really paying off.  Ollie played most of the game on the wing and made some strong runs down the line and provided a great assist to set up Tom P for the first goal of the game.  Jen wore her opposition wing like a glove and kept us in the game, however we missed her in the last 20 minutes when she had to come off and that’s when Kardinia capitalised by scoring a few of late goals.  We had lots of opportunities to score but unfortunately Kardinia’s last line of defence seemed to keep stopping everything we threw at them. Well done Spirit.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Falcons 1-13

In a fantastic reminder of why the Falcons are at the top of the ladder, they handed out a significant thrashing to the Strikers with the final score reading 13 to 1. That isn’t to say that the game wasn’t competitive or that the Strikers didn’t build a number of great attacking plays, but unfortunately whenever there was an intercepted ball or mistake made the Falcons were able to capitalize on it.

A special thanks to Alex, Hudson, Thomas and Richard who came up from the Spirit team so that we could put a full 11 players on the field. Also, hats off to Luke for his masterful coaching decision to select/take our center forward before the start of game, well played sir 😉

We now look towards our final game of the home and away season.  Depending on the result of today’s game between the Tornadoes and Geelong it might mean that next weeks game, also against Geelong, will be a must win encounter to retain 4th spot on the ladder.

Newtown Falcons vs Newtown Strikers 13-1

Dear Coach,

I am writing as an avid supporter of Newtown, particularly the Newtown Falcon’s Men’s Hockey Team and I have a number of observations to make post the game against the Newtown Strikers on the 14th August 2016.  I noticed on the weekend that the average age of your team was significantly higher than previous weeks. From my calculations, this season the average age of your team has been approximately 20.5 years, however on the weekend it was 32.4 years of age. I applaud your injection of experience into the team, particularly the right and left back, and commend you for “playing the oldies” rather than the more common and foolhardy philosophy of “playing the kids”. What was apparent was the experienced members adeptness at countering the attack of the Strikers, their clean stick checking capabilities, and one of the older players ability to grow a beard longer and whiter than most.

I have been meaning to write for a while now to comment on the improvement in the Falcon’s performance over the last month or so. The win on the weekend was great, the Strikers have proven a formidable foe in the past, but the significant gains in accountability and player movement off the ball were pleasing to the eye. There are some areas for improvement however. As everyone knows the pace of Pitch 2 at Stead Park is comparable to a single cylinder Rolls Royce, it looks good but has poor acceleration. Your side better move the ball faster when they play Saints next week or I’ll be writing another more forceful letter denouncing your coaching skills, and demanding I am allowed to play centre forward. Speaking of which, I’m perplexed you didn’t play Lachlan Birse up forward, I saw him play forward a month ago and thought you’d uncovered another Jamie Dwyer.

Yours Sincerely,

Bernie Watchalot

Dear Bernie,

Thankyou for your thoughts on our game on the weekend. You are right in that the Strikers are a formidable foe and in fact the score did not necessarily reflect the quality of game that was played. However your comment regarding Lachlan Birse is somewhat perplexing. I’ve never met Jamie Dwyer, but from what I’ve seen on television, he looks and plays nothing like Lachlan. Your support is warmly welcomed but you will not be playing centre forward.

Kind regards,

Coach No Beard

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Newtown Strikers 4-0

A great game by both teams, with speedy play and good passing featuring. Strikers’ high forward positioning required great concentration by the Falcons defenders, Penny, Elese, and Jess, having to watch for the very effective passes through to the forwards, running into space just outside the circle. Strikers were able to create a number of one-on-one attacks with the Falcons keeper, keeping Falcons on their toes for the whole game. Great positioning and speed while maintaining ball control saw Emily and Nicole move the ball quickly into attack for Falcons, but great defence by Strikers shut down many chances. Deb was always in the right position in midfield for Falcons, and slick ball skills saw her keep possession and find her teammates in good space, helping Falcons to move forward. A great effort by all players.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Falcons 0-4

Strikers had a really good game this week against the Falcons. The passing and forward play stood out with some quick breaks from Shannon R, Katelyn, Eliza and Georgie to then pass to Julie who was cleverly down near the goal square. Julie did a great job getting it into the circle but was unable to convert the opportunity.

Defence stood strong with Meg intercepting alot of the Falcons play. Jen W was fantastic in goals as was Shannon J, Jac and Kate in defence.  Although the score reflected a win to Falcons, Strikers played a strategic and good game.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit – Bye

Division 2 Women

Newtown Rebels – Bye


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