The Preliminary Finals for the 2016 hockey season provided us with some great highlights as well as some sadness. With 6 teams playing, it was fantastic to see 4 of them make it through to the Grand Final next week. Commiserations to the 2 teams which were eliminated, but we are extremely proud of their efforts this year and congratulate them on their achievements and their dedication. Grand Final Day is going to be an absolutely fantastic day, and we will be cheering loudly for all our teams.
No finals for this group of keen hockey players, but it is extremely pleasing to see the development in the skills and game play during the year. It was great to have Georgia, Abby and Lachlan join us and show such good understanding of the tactics of hockey despite their recent introduction to the game. Lachlan worked well with Sam S, finding great spaces to receive the ball and good skills to achieve passes to team mates. Abby and Georgia worked well together for Team Orange, providing options on the wings and moving the ball along the side line well. Some great running by Jai, cutting to receive the passes into space in front of the goal. Ella’s speed and reach always makes it very hard for the opposition to get past her, and her disposal to team mates created lots of attack for her team. Amy gained possession with good focus on the ball and in good position and made some great passes to pressure the opposition.
Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine Lightning 1-0
The Strikers are through to the Grand Final after a hard fought 1-0 win against the Bellarine Lightning.
Bellarine have been an excellent team all year and Saturday proved no exception. The game started with the Strikers firmly on the back foot playing a hesitant brand of hockey, perhaps thinking of the consequences that a loss would bring. With little continuity Bellarine were able to press forward regularly and when the occasional Newtown attacks were thwarted with a clearing hit there seemed to be multiple players from Bellarine waiting for the counter. A difficult first half. Gradually the Strikers worked into the game and created opportunities but without Angus S in goal and Angus R in defence the game would have been out of reach early. Half time 0-0.
At half time Coach Robson calmly delivered some home truths and encouragement to the players and it seemed to be the spark that was needed. In a much better second half the Strikers play was characterised by second efforts, hard running, stout defence and the opportunities that this type of play delivers. There were still chances for Bellarine and Angus S played out of his skin in goals to keep a clean sheet. Ella streamed up and down the wing, Harry, Harrison, Kade and Miles were creative and Sam R delivered a great deadlock breaking goal.
In all, a terrific win to earn the right to a replay against the Newtown Spirit this Saturday.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 2-0
Newtown Spirit advanced to the grand final after defeating Newtown Strikers 2-0 in a high-quality elimination final. The Spirit got off to a shaky start to the match with the Strikers controlling the early play. Desperate defending and exceptional goal keeping prevented the Strikers from capitalising. The Spirit eventually worked their way into the game and started to display the confidence and teamwork shown the previous week. After a period of ascendency, the Spirit eventually hit the scoreboard, with a goal to Tom. Both teams continued to look dangerous when attacking but neither could capitalise on their opportunities.
The evenness of the contest continued in the second half with both teams enjoying good periods of play. The tension amongst the spectators grew as the Spirit hung on grimly to the one goal advantage. The players continued to combine beautifully as a team and, after a period of sustained attack, Miles was able to seal the victory with just over 2 minutes to go. Both teams played the game with great spirit and sportsmanship and should be proud of their efforts.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 0-2
Last Saturday’s semi final brought the 2016 season to a close for the Newtown Strikers, going down 2 nil in an action packed game against Newtown Spirit.
Both teams and all players gave their all with the better team winning on the day. After the full time whistle both teams came together for a Maroon and White Newtown photo, showing the strength of Newtown’s junior teams.
The Grand Final next week will be played between the Spirit and Torquay, go Newtown.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 0-5
Last week when we came up against the Spirit, all of our players were 100% fit and we played an outstanding game. This week we were a bit more challenged with a few players recovering from various illnesses and some playing in the U15 game immediately before. In contrast Kardinia turned up with their “A” team who were all fresh and ready to fight for a Grand Final place. Kardinia played very well and flooded their backline whenever we pushed forward. They tagged our two Tom’s making it difficult for our regular goal scorers to get onto the scoreboard. We manned up well, with Hudson, Luke H and Ollie limiting their attacks and rebounding effectively, limiting the half time score to 0-1. We felt we had a chance to bounce back in the second half. Despite all of our players digging deep and working hard, Kardinia just played better on the day. Our fatigue kicked in late in the second half and unfortunately the score line didn’t do justice to what has been a great year of hockey by the Strikers. We have a young team and most will be playing again next year, so watch out competition! Well done to Tom P and Luke P for reaching the end of their junior hockey careers and hopefully you both continue to enjoy senior hockey.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Saints 4-1
On a balmy Saturday evening, out old Corio way,
was a team of white male Falcons looking for somewhere to play;
They sidled up to Stead Park, almost 50 minutes early,
Coach no-beard nearly had a stroke and didn’t look one bit surly;
Now long warm ups can sometimes work, other times not in your favour,
so the boys had a rest in the middle of the pitch, with plenty of time to savour;
The game actually got started, against the Saints the Falcons sure looked good,
Pinnie and Rosso controlled the match, while 4 goals came like they should;
The second half was not as pleasant, perhaps the boys were getting tired,
after all we’d warmed up for 40 minutes, so the legs were feeling fried;
But in the end the siren sounded, Adham sure was puffed,
Sean and Lachlan had been pillars down back, and the Nicks were most certainly stuffed;
So if you’re bored this Saturday 5:30, with nothing else to do’s,
please come on down to old Stead Park, and bring some nice warm shoes.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 2-1
Facing up to Geelong who had led the D1 Women’s competition for much of the year saw Newtown Falcons start the game with anticipation, and expecting a hard match. Geelong started fast and caught our players off guard, scoring the first goal of the game. However, Newtown remained focussed and continued fighting hard to create attacking opportunities, and levelled the score with a strong attack and great work from forwards Bec C, Phoebe, Jacqui, Jess and Emily. We played a very good first half in both attack and defence stopping Geelong from scoring any more in the first half. Great keeping by Jessie and steady midfield defence by Deb, Bec W, Elese, Tiahna and Kelly limited Geelong’s opportunities.
After half time our girls decided to attack hard and some fast play along the wide spaces resulted in another goal. The team played a very good defensive game with Sam, Ainsley and Penny adept at stopping our opposition from scoring again for the half. Goals scored by Bec C and Tiahna. The team played a very strong game to defeat Geelong and were delighted with the result. Good luck to the Falcons womens team for the Grand Final against Torquay.