The 2016 Geelong hockey season came to a close with a very exciting day of Grand Final matches, and successes earned by great efforts during the year.
Very impressive skills and understanding of the game from new players Lachlan and Rory was a highlight of this week’s game. Great teamwork and use of space, with both teams using switches to players on the opposite side of the field to create attacks. Ella, Sam and Lachlan were a potent opposition despite being outnumbered. Matilda, Jai and Rory put great pressure on the ball carrier and blocked many attacks, then turned possession to their advantage. A very close scoreline ended the game with great fun had by all.
Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Spirit 0-0
An exhibition match between the Premiers of the Under 11 North and Under 11 South competitions, Newtown Rebels and Newtown Spirit, finished off the hockey season for these players. The game showed the great standard of skill and depth of talent at this level. The game was fairly even, with both teams having plenty of attacking moves. Great ball control skills from both teams, and Newtown Rebels attacked well through Olivia, Basyl, Sam and Patrick. But both teams had great defence setups too, with Luca doing well for Rebels. Angus, Liam and Oliver held off many of Rebels attacks and turned the ball to Spirit’s advantage. Late in the game Max went for a run into an open goal and a goal to Spirit seemed a certain thing, but it was not to be. The game finished with a 0-0 draw – a fitting result for such a great game.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 1-5
The U13 Hockey Grand Final was played between the two Newtown teams Spirit and Strikers. The Spirit team were very excited about playing in the Grand Final and really enjoyed the game. Everyone worked really hard and there was some lovely team hockey on display again. The Strikers were a strong side which put a lot of pressure on our defence. Jarrett played a fantastic game down back stopping numerous Striker attacks and Max in goals also made some great saves. Harry S stepped up to take a short corner and slotted a great goal towards the end of the first half. A big congratulations to the Strikers on their win they played a great game and had a fantastic season. To the Spirit team, well done you all played amazing and you should all be very proud of making it through to the Grand Final. Thanks for a great hockey season and look forward to seeing you all again next year!
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 5-1
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 3-1
Wow! What an amazing game and a terrific reward for the teams’ effort throughout the season. The match was another tense affair, with both teams displaying great skill, desperation and sportsmanship throughout.
Torquay had the better of the opening forcing the Spirit to defend desperately. Eventually Torquay found an opening and scored after 10 minutes. Rather than be deterred the Spirit lifted their effort and eventually gained the ascendency. It wasn’t long before the Spirit leveled the score with a great goal to Lachie. The Spirit continued to pressure Torquay and a scrambled goal to Amber saw them take a well-deserved lead into half time.
After the break both teams continued to look dangerous when attacking but neither could capitalise on their opportunities. Fantastic goal keeping and desperate defending repeatedly denied Torquay. The Spirit maintained their intensity and continued to combine beautifully as a team. Eventually another scrambled goal to Matt gave the team some breathing space
and they held on until the final whistle
All players should be extremely proud of their success as well as the way they represented themselves, the team and the club. It has been fantastic to watch the improvement in skill and confidence of all players during the hockey season. A big thank you to Niko and Brendan for coaching the team – the players’ improvement and success is a reflection of your efforts.
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 1-2 – in extra time with a golden goal to Kardinia
Full of hope and optimism, and a hint of emotional reflection (for those of us with top age players), we all arrived ready for a closely fought Grand Final. Kardinia have been playing better each game, as they moved towards the GF, so the expectation was that they would be putting up a strong competitive effort.
From the outset, it was on, with Kardinia alternating with Newtown in attack – the defensive pressure applied was impressive, and despite several opportunities to score by way of PC’s, Newtown were unable to convert early in the game.
However our defense was strong as well, and with commitment and a bit of luck, Newtown too defended some efforts by Kardinia to score in PC’s, reaching half time, nil all. Tension was evident with both teams desperate to score. Kardinia were able to put one in first and allowed the psychological advantage over Newtown to raise the pressure in the second half. Some great efforts in defense by Tom, Dan and Nick P, prevented further scoring from Kardinia, though the clock was ticking down with still no score from Newtown.
Finally some great play to move the ball up into our attack and the opportunity to score was taken with a lovely angled field goal by Gus to equal the score 1:1 just minutes before the final whistle. Into extra time, it was looking positive for Newtown with early part in attack and several PC’s in a row however again, the set ups didn’t come off and opportunity lost. Kardinia strong on the ball, were able to return the ball into their attack and with a PC, converted to a goal, WON the match in the first period of extra time.
What a tense and mercurial game, that could’ve gone either way for much of it. Well done Spirit on a really positive hockey season. It’s been a privilege watching our players over such a long time – Dan Smith, Nick Proebstl, Tom McDonald, Alex Birse, Gus McKinnon as well as Thomas and Luke Pearson from Strikers, have played their last junior match. They are a lovely group of young men, that makes me feel positive about the future and the contribution that our boys will make.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 5-0
“When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things. Define the moment, or let the moment define you”
Each Falcon who played on Saturday evening had a defining moment, a moment that they will carry with them for the rest of their career…
- Jimmy J’s goal in the early stages of the game was an inspiration, a piece of craftsmanship worthy of unlimited praise.
- So too Mark’s work in the centre of the pitch, guiding the ship, controlling the tempo, posing for photographs in the Advertiser.
- Adham H made a full stretch diving trap, one single smooth motion that brought the crowd to its feet and Torquay to its knees.
- Michael was so cool down back; The Iceman. He was the one who never flinched, never wavered in his execution of skill or bearded manliness.
- Nick H was dangerous up forward, ensuring the Torquay defenders remained nervous and combining brilliantly with Nick M.
- Simon in goals was important at the beginning of the second half when a run of Torquay short corners threatened a comeback. If Torquay had of scored during this period the game could have taken a very different course.
- Chriso’s backstick skills complimented nicely with Adam G’s cunning defence. Adam’s defensive post work on short corners struck fear into the heart’s of the Torquay attackers.
- Speaking of fear, for the Torquay side the one-two combination of Lachlan and Sean in defence was like wolves howling at the door. Sean’s dalliance up forward proved successful.
- Kieran SD produced a breathtaking short corner flick that inspired wild celebration and much fist pumping.
- Zed played his best match of the season, broken eye socket and all.
- Our fearless Captain Leo dashed here there and everywhere, executing “The Sling” with breathtaking grace and punishing speed.
- Will was our best player, dazzling stick skills and fancy footwork allowed a seamless transition from defence to attack.
While there were many highlights during the game, perhaps its fair to say, there was no truly dominant player on the pitch. A more accurate reflection of our performance was that each player played their role, executed the game plan and most importantly, thoroughly enjoyed themselves. To me that is more important than the final score, medal or flag.
Thank you to all those who supported us on Saturday night and throughout the hockey season. Thank you to those players who played with us during the season but couldn’t be part of our grand final team such as Clarke R., Luke H and David C. Thank you to Lachlan Birse for being Team Manager extraordinaire. Thank you to Deb as Head Coach, and to Gordon for his work and commitment as Men’s Convenor. Thankyou to the Newtown Club Committee and other senior members of the club for their tireless work ensuring we continue to improve in all aspects of our club.
May next season bring more hockey…
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 2-3
Newtown took to the field with some anticipation, having had some great matches during the hockey season against Torquay. Torquay created lots of running in the midfield early in the game and despite great position and great effort by Deb, Bec W, Ainsley and Penny were able to make their way into the circle. The first goal in the game came from Torquay, mid-height into the goal and just out of the keeper’s reach. Newtown redoubled their efforts and began to create some attack of our own, with Jess W, Nicole, Bec C and Jacquie making great space and running well. Torquay scored again to make it 2-0. However, this did not deter the Falcons players, and after half time, they came out with energy and determination and began to control the play. Two goals on the board brought the game to an even footing, with Elese working hard all across the field. Another goal to Torquay 3-2 and you might have thought that Newtown was finished – but that wasn’t the case. Continued hard work saw a number of scrambles in front of the goal but without the desired result. A penalty corner earned right on the final whistle could have taken the game to a draw and extra time, but it wasn’t to be.
A fantastic effort by Newtown Falcons to reach the Grand Final and a great game by all the players.