2016 Hockey Season June 18 & 19

This week’s matches in the 2016 hockey season were hit by the mid-winter blues it seems, with many teams missing their regular line-ups, but the effort of all those players who filled in cannot be faulted.

 Kookas Junior

A very close game in the Kookas Junior match this week, with Team Red finishing the winners 5-4 despite the late surge from Team Orange. All players are developing great skills and Amy is showing the benefit of strong passing to team mates.  Nice channelling by Sam S to gain an advantage for Team Orange and set up attacks, with Sam H in great supporting position.  Ella’s long reach saw her gain possession in the midfield and controlled running with the ball to put pressure on the opposition defence put her in great position to score. A very enjoyable game as usual.

Under 8

Newtown Spirit v Newtown Raiders

Newtown Spirit revealed just how much they’ve improved as a team when they met talented Newtown Raiders at Lloyd Reserve on Saturday. There were moments of great passing, with linked play almost the length of the field, as Spirit members looked for the best options before sending the ball onwards to teammates. With Charlotte, Nate and Summah patrolling the half back line in the first half, they kept their work rate up as they fed the ball to forwards Meyah, Lucy and Max who ran hard into attack. Despite some initial `wanderlust’, players eventually settled more firmly into their positions, cutting back on crowding issues and opening up play. And that’s when they began to shine, with some rewarding passages of play.

After a position reshuffle at half time, Ruben joined the action on the half back line and the team took to the field with enthusiasm. They concentrated on accurate passing, positions, marking and calling. And they gelled as a team, sharing the ball and joining forces to work around their determined opposition. And work hard they did, with Raiders putting in a strong effort time and again to keep Spirit away from the goals. Lucy played a clever game, scouting out passing possibilities and then firing off accurate shots to teammates as they ran into position. She got the ball rolling on a great passage of play from left half back, shooting it forwards to Nate on the wing, who sent it to Meyah lurking dangerously in front of goals. It was an excellent sight from the sidelines. While Lucy won the Best Team Player award for the match, the entire team contributed strongly. Some spectators described the second half as one of Spirit’s most cohesive team efforts this season which is encouraging to hear. Thanks must go to Spirit’s Avah and fill-in Pollyanna for helping bolster numbers for another Newtown Under 8 team during Saturday’s play. Well done girls.

Newtown Raiders vs Newtown Spirit

The best game of the hockey season so far for Newtown Raiders. Raiders began well with Cait defending the goals, stopping many shots by Spirit and taking quick free passes to team mates in space. Isabel is always determined to gain possession for her team, and runs hard to cover and block off opposition attacks. Better scanning for free team mates and targeted passing by Charlotte, Oscar and Eamonn saw Raiders able to move the ball into attack, and Eliza-May was always in a good position and ready to receive the ball, and there were a number of very promising forward moves. Marking the opposition players is improving each week, and it’s great to see our players spreading out to create space for our attacks. Best Team Player award to Eliza-May.

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes

We are so proud of the willingness of our team members volunteering to help out our opposition enabling everyone to play. Thank you to Amy and Eliza for taking turns to play for Torquay. Throughout the first half Strikers worked well together to have several successful attacks on goal. Great work from Mr Alex, Ruby, Eliza and Isla. Mr Alex is really developing some great skills. Ruby has such a fantastic understanding of the game and Eliza and Isla for following the ball and taking all opportunities. Emma was great in keeping to her position and calling for the ball for wide passes. Remember to pass out wide and follow on. Also don’t take too long with passes as we left ourselves open for Torquay to steal the ball straight off our stick.

During the second half we played without a goal keeper which saw Amelia come into play but dropped straight back into goal keeper when required. Amelia successfully defended goals and sent the ball straight back into play. Good defending from Mrs Alex throughout the second half. Amy returned to Strikers and Eliza assisted Torquay. Amy followed up on all her shots and defended well. Amelia was awarded Best Team Player of the match due to her resilience for remaining in the game after copping a stick to the hand.

Newtown Rebels vs Torquay

This week saw the Rebels matched up against Torquay. With Seb, Surry and Hamish away it was up to the girls to represent the Rebels. A big thank you to Avah and Pollyanna who were a great addition to the team. Super effort girls! The first half was a little congested and positions were hard to identify, however there were some standout intercepts from Hana and Mai.  Mai’s intercept resulting in a pass to Scarlett who showed great stick control to take the ball forward and score a goal. Georgie was put under pressure in defence but was able to keep Torquay at bay, getting the ball out of the offence and forward to her teammates. Hannah received our Best Team Player Award for listening to Colleen’s instructions, staying in position and on her player, taking some great saves in front of goal and most importantly never giving up! Well done Hannah.

Under 11 North

Newtown Rebels vs Geelong 5-0

Newtown Rebels met Geelong at Stead Park for their Round 9 clash on Saturday. Basyl and Olivia controlled the ball through the midfield from the get-go, and made sure the ball moved forward on both left and right wings. Basyl was able to get the ball deep into attack and find Brandon and Patrick on a few occasions but neither could get through the Geelong defenders for a goal. Teijai scored soon after and followed up with another goal to put Newtown ahead 2-nil.

Patrick (2) and Basyl were our other goal scorers for the day, with the final score being Newtown 5-0.

Imogen contined her great work from previous weeks up forward, and nearly scored a goal after receiving a nice pass from Basyl in the ‘D”. Brandon also had a chance at goal after teaming with Patrick up forward. Genevieve and Sam were great in defence, stopping a few Geelong attacks, and Kiah was great as goalkeeper for the day, saving a few charges at goal from Geelong.

Under 11 South

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-1

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 0-2

Kardinia applied the pressure to the Strikers defence from the start, but Jack and Oliver were not daunted, and were able to block a number of forward moves. A last minute switch due to illness saw Nathan put the pads on, and he made some great saves in front of goal. Some tentative play in the first half allowed Kardinia to gain possession and push their advantage to move into attack.

The second half saw a more determined Newtown Strikers team, with some great 1-2 play on the left between Owen and Chris, well backed up by Kenna. Great work by Lachie in his first ever game of hockey, showing great ball control and a cool head to look for team mates.  Declan worked hard in the centre and was able to move the ball forward to reach the circle and we earned a number of penalty corners, but without success on the score board. Best Team Player awards to Nathan and Lachie.

Under 13

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay Tornadoes 2-1

What can only be described as the best game of the season so far, this was a fantastic game of hockey between Newtown and Torquay.  Every single player contributed and worked really hard to win a close fought game 2-1.  There was some great passing and link up play up forward and some fantastic defensive work down back.  Jarrett had his best game of the season playing full back, stopping many Torquay attacks but also breaking the lines with run and carry to open up attacking opportunities.  Thanks to Harry B for filling in who scored a lovely toma after a mini solo run.  A lovely goal was scored by Angus A also off a short corner.  A great win team, well done!

Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains Bellarine 7-0

The Strikers had a strong win against Golden Plains/Bellarine on Saturday morning.  In a good team display, playing without a person in goal, the Strikers kept a clean sheet.   Ella scored in the first half as did Miles.

In the second half the game opened up and there were further goals from Basyl who was filling in for the team, Flynn and Miles.   Particularly pleasing was the effort of players to implement skills practiced at training during the week.  Charlotte played a strong game as did Sam through the middle and Angus sweeping in defence.

Under 15

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-2

U15 Spirit drew 2-2 with Torquay in a highly competitive encounter. The Spirit started the game strongly, controlling the play despite missing several regular players. Fantastic passing and tackling resulted in sustained periods of attack that were only denied by desperate Torquay defence and sharp goal keeping. Eventually the stalemate was broken with consecutive goals to Amber leading to a 2-0 score line at half-time with the Spirit well on top. The second-half saw a reversal of fortunes with Torquay gaining the ascendancy and putting the Spirit under continued pressure. Torquay eventually took advantage scoring two quick goals to level the score. To the team’s credit they gritted their collective teeth and defended grimly, continually denying Torquay. Max was outstanding in goal and Jemma and Olivia fantastic with their tackling.

 Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 12-0

The Strikers had a strong win over Golden Plains on Saturday, 12:0. The team started off with a rapid goal frenzy notching up 8 goals in the first half with both the Hudson twins and Miles joining in to rack up the tally. Playing good solid stick to stick hockey and optimising positions in the D, the ball was routinely moved up either wing straight on to a Strikers stick to send it home.

After the half time break, Golden Plains came back with a new game plan and far more aggression. Putting pressure up on the back line with multiple short corner opportunities and some determined attacks on goal, and it was only thanks to the combined and co-ordinated defence of Eneko, Casey and Luka in goals that kept Golden Plains scoreless. The final 4 goals came from short corner shots with Ella our latest recruit finishing off a wonderful piece of set play.

Rachel was nominated Most Valuable Player of the match for the Strikers for her consistently smart positioning and anticipation of play, she was always in the right place at the right time.

Under 17

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 4-2

We were a bit concerned that we would not have enough players leading up to this game; however after some strong campaigning by Janette and Ruth we were able to have a complete team – thanks to both of you for your efforts.

Kardinia started the game with plenty of energy and it took us a little while to get a breakthrough.  We earned a short corner after about 10 minutes but hadn’t quite planned our structure for the set up since our usual key forwards were not playing.  Despite this, the corner was executed to perfection with Amber passing back to Corey who curled the ball around his body making a difficult goal look easy.  Corey followed up with another field goal shortly thereafter.  Never one to shy away from some intra-team competition, Gus then scored two rapid goals to make it two all by half time (Corey 2 – Gus 2, Kardinia yet to score).

Kardinia rallied the troops at half time and significantly lifted their work rate in the second half.  Erin and Jack read the play beautifully though and intercepted many of their attacks with cleanly executed tackles.  However the most impressive defensive skills in the second half came from Luka making some fantastic saves; we are seeing some massive improvements from this guy!  Kardinia eventually managed to score from a short corner mid-way through the second half.  They scored another goal late in the game from a short corner which we had to defend with one player down after a controversial break by the defense.  Once again, this team played great hockey and delighted the spectators with skilful but unselfish play.

Newtown Spirit vs Saints 1-3

Difficult week as U17 Team Managers – many players away and a scramble to work out a plan, that won’t negatively impact on our long term position, nor break the double up rule. So big thank you to Janette Welsh – U17 Strikers, who did a lot of the ground work, enabling Spirit to get on the field today with 9 field players. Also huge thank you to the pool of players prepared to play outside of their normal teams, and in addition to their U15 commitments. Eneko and Corey did a great job today and made a valuable difference to our game.

Spirit dominated the play today, with coaching focusing on attack and maintaining position, rather than trying to compensate for our lack of GK. Our team did a great job, and dominated the play in the first half against a similarly undermanned Saints team. Unable to follow through and score with a well performing Saints GK, Spirit’s efforts to continue to attack, weakened in the second half allowing Saints some open opportunity for shots on goal in an undefended goal net. Jonah scored a nice goal in the second half, but Spirit were unable to maintain their running in defense and eventually conceded 3 goals to Saints to lose 3:1.

Well done to our very under manned team – absolutely played true to your name!!!

 Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 12-0

“You need to strive to be better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is: It’s in the try”.

Falcons had a good win on the weekend, we tried and we were successful. One of the most pleasing aspects was our movement and possession of the ball, using our backs to control the tempo of the game. The team continues to develop with the focus on each player “playing their role” within the team.

Handles was influential as always, controlling the back half and getting dressed early. Capitano refused to man up in the second half which was amusing and SFG did not score from the baseline. Molly Meldrum’s car broke down and Coach No Beard got thirsty. Birsa and Probey played well for us up forward, slotting very nicely into the team, while Pinnie and Rosso were dependable as always. Rosso playing last line of defence with three Geelong forwards bearing down on him was a sight to behold.

On any given Sunday you’re gonna win or you’re gonna lose. The point is – can you win or lose like a Falcon? We look forward to Torquay next week.

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 1-5

Unfortunately another game that could have had a much different result if we weren’t scrambling for players minutes before the start of the game.  To the players that did turn up and those that filled in at extremely short notice a big thank-you is in order.  The actual game itself was quite competitive and the goals that did get through were typically when our defensive structure fell apart leaving our goalie exposed.  All in all, a good game.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 0-2

Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine 1-7

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit – Bye

Division 2 Women

Newtown Rebels vs Saints 0-2

The prospect of a bench did much to rally the troops on Saturday. Although Saints got away to score 2 quick goals in the first half, Rebels settled into a game of self control, carefully marking out key players to take them out of the game.

On the left side Lexie and Rachael teamed up beautifully to advance many of Rebel’s attacks. Kirsty made good use of her wing to direct play forward with Nicola collecting intercepts from free hits. We were rewarded with several penalty corners and were unlucky not to score. A new fullback lineup with Ros, Ainsley and Claire did well to break down Saint’s attempts on goal. Our ever reliable half lineup with Jacinta, Tracey and Kellie plus the dynamo  in goals, Eichelle, maintained the pressure throughout the game The second half was the highlight of the season so far, with Rebels playing so well together. Well done girls!



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