2016 Hockey Season August 6 & 7

The 2016 hockey season has only two weeks to go before finals, and it looks like we could have as many as 10 teams playing in the Semi-Finals.

Kookas Midweek

 Another fantastic and fun game this week for the Kookas Red vs Orange teams. Jai’s younger brother, Tom, joined us for a game and showed great understanding of when and who to pass the ball to. Great running by all players saw the whole field used well, with Ella’s long reach and fast pace again proving an asset, moving the ball quickly into attack. Some great stick skills and good understanding between Sam S and Sam H got Team Red into attack often with Amy making good calls and good position in support. Alex, Jai and Tom worked well together and Jai never gave up, putting pressure on the ball carrier on many occasions and running into attack for Team Orange to threaten the Red defence. We still have a few weeks of the hockey season left for the Kookas program, so any new players are welcome to join us.

Under 8

 Newtown Rebels vs Torquay Tornadoes

Rebels faced Torquay Tornadoes this week. It was great to have all players available to play and this resulted in a balanced team structure from the opening whistle. Players stayed in their positions enabling some great use of the wings with wide passes and some clear talking ensured these options were used.  Players also looked to send the ball into space in attack so teammates could run on to it, and this proved successful on a number of occasions. Surry and Seb combined particularly well, running the ball down from outside forward positions and crossing to each other to finish off with a goal each. With several forward attacks successfully defended by the determined Torquay opposition, Scarlett and Georgie chased back hard in response to any turnovers. A highlight of the first half was Hana’s first goal of the season, with a strong, straight push from great positioning in the forward zone. A solid tackle in the centre also demonstrated the improved confidence and skills of some of our first time players.

In the second half, Rebels produced one of their best passages of play for the season. A free was awarded at left half back. The ball was sent across the field to Hana who trapped well on the right wing and with Surry listening to instructions to make position, he ran up the line receiving a quick through ball from Hana. The final play was a long ball to our forwards to run onto, with it just being out of reach. A great passage of play linking players from one end to the other. Georgie continually looked wide with her passing and made great efforts to get in front of her Torquay opponents at stoppages. Mai was solid with her tackling as always and controlled our half back line throughout the match, working with Hamish, who chased back hard and applied some timely tackles.  Hannah successfully guarded the goals for most of the match with a brief run up forward late in the game and with Scarlett adding to the score the Rebels finished off strongly.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers

Spirit adopted a `more the merrier’ attitude and treated the centre corridor as a hang-out zone in the first half of play against Strikers at Lloyd Reserve on Saturday. But `merrier’ quickly became messier. With team mates repeatedly going for the ball at the same time, Spirit’s actions reduced the team’s passing options and increased congestion in a fast-paced Under-8 encounter with their Newtown stablemates. Despite the crowded play there were still some great passages of hockey on show from both teams.

Max and Avah put in a strong display in defence, blocking several of Strikers’ rushes towards goal and working the ball skilfully around their opponents. And when the players combined, the results shone. At one stage Lucy, at right half, powered the ball to sweeper Charlotte who, with her usual good vision, sent it cleverly to a well-positioned Nate at left wing. And off he went, racing towards goal like a terrier after a stick. Lucy kick-started several strong attacks, linking well with players including Ruben at centre half back. A stand-out moment came when Charlotte, taking a free on the sideline, delivered a great hit right across the field to Meyah, who collected it cleanly onto her stick and headed off towards goal. It was impressive to watch.

At half time Coach Kellie had several simple messages. Stop hanging out in the centre. Spread out. Use your team mates. Use your wings. And move the ball sideways and backwards around the opposition. Please. Spirit, after a position reshuffle, worked to put their coach’s requests into action. While it was still hard to move the ball through the middle, the team was much more effective when they supported each other by passing cleverly around the enthusiastic Strikers crew.

Spirit ran hard all game, with players never giving up and fighting hard to get the ball into the goal. They kept a relentless pressure on their opposition. Young players Summah and Pollyanna were also valuable contributors to the Spirit effort. Lucy received the Best Team Player award, with her consistent marking a real asset.  She also helped open up play by sticking to her position, staying wide and providing options to keep the ball from the `hang-out zone’ in the middle of the field.

Newtown Raiders vs Torquay

An excellent game this week by Newtown Raiders with some great teamwork and good focus on the ball, allowing Newtown to gain possession and move the ball quickly into attack. Keeping sticks to the ground and facing up to the opponents saw Newtown limit the space available for Torquay to move into attack, and quick free hits gave Newtown an advantage. Isabel was relentless, chasing the ball hard, and making strong and effective passes to team mates, with Eliza-May and Cate often in good space on the wings. Good work by Jesse when he gained possession, and used the ball to our advantage. Good ball control by Charlotte, who has really learnt the spin manoeuvre well to keep the ball away from the opposition. Some great marking of Torquay players in the second half, with Oscar and Eamon stepping up to defend well. Best Team Player award to Isabel.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit

This weekend was a very evenly matched game between Strikers and Spirit.  It was great to see everything that we have been discussing being put into action. Lots of loud calling to each other, making smart choices of passing the ball wide and not back into the middle of play. Amelia defended well in goals for the first half, keeping Spirit scoreless for the first half. Amy consistently passed the ball in front of goals and eventually was rewarded with a goal.

Ruby dropped back to assist in goals as soon as play went near the Spirit goals. Eliza and Isla worked together defending and tackling. Mr Alex showed us his best loud voice for calling. Emma and Mrs Alex worked on the wings to give options for passing. Great work from everyone this week. Amy was awarded Best Team Player for her perseverance.

Under 11 North

 Newtown Rebels vs Geelong 2-2

Newtown Rebels hosted Geelong at Stead Park on Saturday for their Round 13 match. With Charlotte unavailable and Basyl unwell, Maggie from the Geelong side helped top up our team for the first half. Patrick showed good use of the ball in defence and then passed to Brandon, who was able to find Kiah in attack but was a little too far from goal to score. Geelong then hit the goal deep into their attack but Grace and Olivia ran back and defended well. Geelong was soon into attack again and Sam, our goalkeeper for the day, had to defend a number of attacks. Olivia, Luca and Imogen also defended well but Geelong were just too persistent and they were able to score at the 13 minute mark. Newtown didn’t waste any time and through Patrick nearly levelled a minute later but his hit was just wide of goals.

Basyl, although unwell, was itching to play and came on for the second half. Neither team was able to get forward for a few minutes, then Patrick was able to get clear but couldn’t get the pass off to Teijai and Kiah before being dispossessed of the ball. Soon after, Basyl had the ball forward but couldn’t get the cross to Kiah who was in good position, but they had another chance soon after and this time Kiah was able to score, bringing the scores level at 1-all.

Geelong stepped their game up a notch and Sam defended a couple of hits on goal but Geelong kept coming and scored another goal at the 13 minute mark. It was looking like Rebels would have their first loss of the season but with cool heads they were able to push forward and Patrick was able to hit a nice goal with 7 minutes remaining. Excellent running and passing from Genevieve, Basyl, Brandon and Patrick a minute later almost resulted in another goal but Geelong had too many numbers in defence. The final score was a 2-all draw, a fitting end to a very even contest

Under 11 South

 Newtown Spirit vs College White 3-1

What an intense game this one was. We were missing 2 players but once again we were helped out by Meyah and Max from our U8 group. Angus stepped into goals this week where he did a great job. It was a tough game and although we had most of the play it was again hard to score a goal. College were able to find a goal through a slow dribbling ball that was hard to visualize. Spirit were a little panicked by this and it showed by us not staying in our positions and getting drawn towards the ball. The first half also saw Daniel receive a stick to his nose which saw him leave the field for attention. It was quite a shock for both him and for his Mum but some first aid and sugar from the ladies in the canteen saw him feeling much better!

With one person down in the second half Spirit rose to the occasion and played a much better half. Most of the play was on the left of the field with a little bit of crowding. However we still managed to find the goals 3 times! Oliver played a great second half and was pivotal in placing the ball to Max who  scored twice and to Jamie who found himself in a great spot in the circle to also score. Hopefully we will be back to full strength next week when we certainly play at our best.

Newtown Strikers vs College Green 0-4

Despite the score, this was one of the best games of this hockey season for Newtown Strikers. Newtown began well, with Gil and Declan making good position to cut off forward moves by College and pass to team mates ahead of them. The deep defence team of Michael, Kenna and Nathan were very steady, making good clearances, and Nathan showed some very calm and thoughtful use of the ball despite pressure from the opposition forwards. Jack, Owen and Gil met the College attacks early in the midfield and with great support from Lachie, Chris, Zoe, Declan and Ruby M created a number of forward moves for Newtown, with a couple of very near misses. Zoe worked hard time and again and showed her desire to get the ball for her team, even when on her knees. Best Team Player awards to Gil and Declan.

Under 13

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes 6-1

The Strikers hosted the Torquay Tornadoes on the weekend.   The Strikers had the better of the play but had difficulty finishing in the first half on account of some excellent last line defence by the Tornadoes and a lack of composure at times with the finishing.   Harry put in a terrific game with three goals.  Ella scored as did Flynn.

 Some highlights were Angus S earning his stripes taking a nasty blow in goal to save a goal.  Kiah putting in a terrific half field sprint to stop a Torquay attack and Miles and Angus R waxing well in defence to create attack.  Lotte  ran to space excellently in the second half.  Special thanks to Sam who filled in and showed that like his sister he will be an excellent hockey player.  With a little more discipline in attack to run to create options and to centre the ball rather than hit through the opposition keeper more goals would have been forthcoming.  A bye next week then one more match before finals.

U13 junior hockey season

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes

Newtown Spirit vs Bellarine Lightning 2-1

On another beautiful sunny Sunday, the Spirit played a hard fought game against Bellarine.  Both teams played great hockey with lovely link up play, quick turnovers and solid defence.  Bellarine scored early within the first half from a quick turnover.  The Spirit then worked hard to get control back and to create some scoring opportunities.  Going into the second half 1-0 down we needed to keep working hard and it was great to see the whole team contribute to that.  We gained a short corner mid-way through the second half and Harry S followed up from a shot on goal to score a great goal off the goalies pads.  Bellarine then stepped up and played some great attacking hockey.  Credit goes to our defence who stood firm; Jarret, Bailey, Will, Harry and Miles all worked hard in defence to hold Bellarine out.  Max in goals was player of the day!  He saved multiple shots on goals throughout the game and particularly late in the second half.  It was Max’s 25th game so congratulations Max on playing such a fantastic game, well done!  A big thanks to Miles who filled in and scored a lovely goal late in the second half to give us a 2-1 win.  Well done Spirit, great game and keep enjoying your hockey!

Under 15

 Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 1-5

Top of the table meeting of the Strikers and Torquay U15 teams resulted in a 5:1 victory to Torquay. The Strikers found themselves up against an inform Torquay who were able to shut down our open play and marked up our key strikers keeping us scoreless for the first half. Despite a spirited effort from our backline, Torquay proved too strong for our defence scoring 3 goals from the field and 2 from short corners. Our lone goal came as a result of a stroke penalty and shot home with style by Jack. Most valuable player on the day was Ella for her positioning and unwilling defence even when outnumbered 3 to 1!

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 10-1

Newtown Spirit defeated an undermanned Kardinia 10-1 on Saturday. Spirit got off to a flying start with a goal to Lachie within the first 30 seconds and continued to attack and score throughout the first half. Even though the team were well on top, the players continued to follow instructions from Coach Niko, switching the ball and using the wings to attack. Spirit’s hard work paid off with 8 first half goals including a team first to Harry.

The second half began with Kardinia scoring early, providing a sign of things to come, with Kardinia well and truly taking the fight to Spirit. Spirit responded well but could not find the mojo of the first half, scoring ‘just’ 2 second half goals. Another good game with the team continuing to improve every week.

Under 17

 Newtown Strikers vs Saints 3-1

The Saints started off with a few players short.  This enabled us to jump to an early start with two quick goals from Tom M and Hudson before they had their full 11 players on the field.  This Saints showed a much more competitive spirit compared to previous encounters this year and we had to play well to hold that lead for the rest of the game.  Luke P had his best game of the year, showing some great ball control and evading players during his stint at right inner.  His efforts were complemented well  with Jen at right wing, who showed some much improved speed this year (secret training?) and as usual always being in the right place to receive a wide pass on the wing making calls which everyone on the pitch (and off) can clearly hear.  Oscar scored a second half goal to take the lead out to 3-0 but the Saints replied with a goal in the last 10 minutes of the game.  With fresher and more rested legs, the Strikers played with much greater intensity this week.  Well done team.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 10-0

Division 1 Men

 Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 5-3

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes 2-2

In what turned out to be a very competitive but well natured game of hockey, both teams traded goals, but for the majority of the second half the Strikers trailed by a goal.  This forced everyone to dig a little deeper, finally being rewarded with the equalizing goal in the final minutes of the game.

With this result it pretty much secures our fourth spot on the ladder, the next two games will give us a chance to continue developing our skills and be ready for the challenge of finals hockey.

Division 1 Women

 Newtown Falcons vs Bellarine 1-1

Newtown Strikers vs Saints 2-4

The Strikers came out firing this week to put Saints on the back foot. Some early attack saw Strikers have a few good runs up the field with Georgie, Eliza, Amanda and Erin passing well to each other. The Saints then put our defenders to the test but they held strong with Emma A, Kate, Meg & Shannon. Amanda got a beautiful goal that fired up the team, it was followed not long after by a fantastic deflection goal from Amanda again. Unfortunately the score did not reflect the fantastic game the girls had with a 4-2 loss

Division 2 Men

 Newtown Spirit vs Corio 15-5

Division 2 Women

Newtown Rebels vs Golden Plains 1-3

The game started off at a cracking pace with Kellie phenomenal in attack with Colleen defending soundly and breaking down play. With the seesawing action, defence played strongly with Jacinta, Hilary and Ros offloading quickly to well placed wings, Claire and Nicola. Rebels sound attack was rewarded when Kellie slammed a goal from Peta’s mishit penalty corner shot.

This evenly contested game had both speed and careful passing. We were unlucky not to have scored again, with many attacking forays and narrowly missed chances with players in the right position on the post. A few tumbles on the field but great game play all round. A big welcome back to Hillary after her travels west.

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