2016 Hockey Season Round 6

The 2016 hockey season is about one third of the way through and already we can see great improvement in skills and team play from all teams, and some good indications of a great season for many teams.

Kookas Midweek

Another great game this week in the Kookas battle of Team Orange vs Team Red.  Excellent ball control skills by Ella, and with good running to space by Amy, Team Orange were able to create some forward moves and a couple of near misses in front of goal. But great teamwork and passing by Team Red, with Sam S switching the play to Sam H and Jai in space saw Team Red successful in putting the goals on the board. Some nice firm passes to team mates by Hayden S also set Red up for a great possession game. Hayden E worked hard to block forward moves by Team Red, and taking up a great defence line to the goals, stopped many threatening attacks before Red could convert. Sam R couldn’t resist a break from line marking and joined the game too, adding some extra strength to Red’s attack.

Under 8

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia

To help rotate the players on the field to learn different positions we introduced a rule for a goal scorer then takes over the goal keeper position. Welcome back to Alex S who remained in his position and showed some good passes through the centre. In the early minutes of the match Isla successfully scored from a difficult angle on goal. Amelia then worked with Amy for nice passes on the wing. Amy had a beautiful curve ball along the sidelines keeping the ball in for Newtown. Some great tackling from Eliza and Emma was shown throughout the day. In the second half Alex S had an attack on goal and was very close to scoring. A reminder for everyone, after taking a shot you need to follow up on the ball. The second half also saw everyone up the ante with the defence. Alex J managed to also sneak the ball through to score. Thank you to Ruby for volunteering to help out with another Newtown team.

Best Team Player was awarded to Alex S. During the week please work on your running backwards. After the match a few players stayed back to work on pushing the ball rather than hitting.

Newtown Spirit v College White

Newtown Spirit showed its ongoing skill development in an encouraging display against College White in Under 8 competition on Saturday. Spirit took to the Lloyd Reserve field armed with instructions to ‘look to their team mates’. And they did, passing wide to each other in an attempt to avoid the highly congested centre corridor. The players worked hard for the ball, going back for second and third attempts and never giving up. After a position reshuffle at half time, the team continued its strong form. It was particularly pleasing to see the Spirit players keeping to their positions more effectively. They showed good vision with their passing and awareness of team mates around them.

Coach Kellie praised her players for their effort, setting them the challenge next week of improving their marking of the opposition. Nate won the Best Team Player award for the game after showing great control of the ball and good vision in his passing.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Raiders

The Rebels team played fellow Newtown team, the Raiders this week. We were grateful to have Ruby volunteer to play for us, particularly with a last minute withdrawal due to illness. Evident from the start, was the much improved confidence of the Rebels players to attack the ball when it was in their vicinity. Hana highlighted this early on, with a strong move in the centre, staying low and keeping her stick on the ground earning her a free hit. Well done Hana!

In the first half, much of the play was focussed in the centre third and defensive area of the Rebels. Rebel’s players made sure they were getting back to help out Surry on the last line of defence with Hamish noticeably pushing back hard when there was a change of possession. There were a  couple of positive opportunities moving forward. Hamish was working well with Georgie and Scarlett and a great passage of play involved all three moving the ball quickly from half-back across to the wing.  The effort of all players to move around when a teammate was taking a free hit was clear to see and helped spread out the play. Great work Hamish and Ruby in this area.

In the second half, some more attacking plays resulted with the move of Surry into a forward position and he made the most of his opportunities in the play. A strong and accurate pass through a gap to Ruby was also a highlight of the Rebels improved teamwork. Best Team Player was awarded to Hamish for an all-round solid performance, making space, chasing back and confidently attacking the goals.

Newtown Raiders vs Rebels

A great game with some good use of space allowed both teams to move the ball around well. Raiders defence skills were called into play early, and Oscar, Cate and Isabel showed great focus on the ball and great determination to confront the opposition and gain possession. Nice work by Charlotte, Jesse and Eamonn, playing his first game, saw them maintain possession of the ball until they found a team mate to pass to. Eliza-May was always in good position and provided the opportunity for the play to switch into open space on the opposite side of the field, leading to a number of strong moves into attack. The game showed the continuing improvement in team play and awareness of taking quick free passes to capitalise on possession.  Best Team Player award to Eamonn – great work keeping his stick down to gain possession and maintaining control.

Under 11 South

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong College White 4-0

This weeks game saw another stunning day of weather which made everyone feel very uplifted. We were short a few players but Nate and Ruben stepped up from the Under 8 competition to help us out. Ruben went one step further and padded up to be our goalie. He did  a great job despite the gear being a little big for him!

It was a wonderful game against another College team with the result in our favour this time around. Kellie was very happy with the team’s effort and was especially happy with the passing out wide and the talking in the second half. The pressure was certainly placed on the oppositions goalie often. Both Mia and Angus found the backboard in both halves with Angus’ second goal being an absolute pearler despite being hit in the head with a stick earlier in the game.

Best Team Players this week were Angus and Daniel who played a truly great game out on the wing and always being in the right spot.

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong College Green 1-5

 Strikers fronted up against a very polished opposition this week, and missing a couple of regular players, were very grateful to have Sam S and Basyl fill in. Sam’s ball control and distribution skills saw him control the midfield, but somewhat crowded play and lack of square passing opportunities meant College were able to regain possession. Nathan did a fantastic job at full back, stopping many College forward moves and taking quick free passes to try and clear the defence circle. An injury to Kenna early in the game left the team at a disadvantage. Some nice saves in goals by Michael but College were quick to pounce on any loose balls. As the game went on, we saw Owen, Jack and Grace gain some possession and push forward into attack, and a switch to the right and a great run by Basyl resulted in a goal to Strikers. Chris and Gil moved to great positions to tackle and hold up College, but the slick passing from College was difficult to stop. Best Team Player awards to Sam S and Owen.

 Under 11 North

U11 Newtown Rebels travelled out to St. Ignatius College for their match against Bellarine Thunder this week. Bellarine Thunder came out strongly and tried to get forward but Newtown’s coverage in the midfield and in defense all morning was fantastic. The ball was soon in our forward half and Teijai and Patrick teamed well up forward to score a number of times. Basyl and Olivia also showed their skills navigating through heavy traffic up forward and were rewarded with goals in the first half. In the second half coach AJ again switched attackers and defenders and this gave Grace, Charlotte and Genevieve the opportunity to take the ball into attack a number of times, with Grace scoring 2 excellent goals. The final score was 11:0 with scorers Tejai (3), Grace (2), Olivia (2), Patrick (2), Basyl (1) and Sam (1). Thanks to Brandon for being this weeks Goalkeeper.

There were no games this week for the U13, U15 and U17 teams because of the Victorian Junior Country Championships.

D1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Newtown Strikers 12-0

There is an old Chinese adage, thought to have surfaced during the Ming Dynasty, that describes an eternal truth about life and hockey: Man who shoots from baseline, should not score. SFG has obviously not heard this adage and if he has, blatently disregards it. While Coach Redbeard tears his hair out trying to explain to SFG why you should not shoot from the baseline he scores from the baseline again. Anyway, we had a constructive game against Newtown Strikers with some very nice passages of play, particularly focussing on using the width of the pitch to open up the game. Birsel spent some time up forward which made people smile, and the dynamic duo Pinnie and Rosso had to withstand considerable pressure from Strikers till the final whistle. We would like to congratulate Leo Fitzgerald on being voted in as the Falcons captain for the 2016 season and look forward to ‘The Captain’ steering the Starship Falcon across various solar systems and galaxies.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Falcons 0-12

In a clash of the titans both teams came out swinging, and for the first 10 – 15 minutes things where looking pretty good for the Strikers with our defense holding up and a few plays into the attacking half of the field.  Unfortunately, playing at that level is both physically and mentally tiring, and by the end of the first half we’d let a few goals through. On the scoreboard the second half didn’t get much better with the remainder of the 12 goals being scored in faster succession as the game progressed through to the final whistle.

 That being said, it was a positive game with some great hockey being played by both teams, we were able to consistently get the ball out of defense throughout the game and set up some goal scoring opportunities.  The key problem being that when we made mistakes or didn’t man up properly the Falcons were able to capitalize usually resulting in a goal (though the freakish baseline tommer goal from Sean was going a little too far… 😉  ). Collectively we’re looking forward to next weeks game vs Geelong, last time we played them we narrowly lost 3 – 2, so it will be a good chance to see how much we’ve improved since the start of the season.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Falcons 0-5

Falcons came out firing which put us in defence mode for the better part of both halves. Eichelle in goals made many saves, and was well supported by Sharon and Penny. Towards the end of the first half we were able to push forward a few times but unfortunately we did not get near the goal. In the second half we were able to keep Falcons scoreless with some fantastic defence and there were some great passes by our forward line, with Shannon R, Julie, Flora and Erin creating some good moves into attack with tireless running. It was a good test for our team considering we had 5 key players out.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 5-1

A great game for Spirit to bring up the first win for the season. After several weeks of being competitive but not quite getting one or other element right things clicked for Spirit this week to achieve a 5 – 1 win over Golden Plains.  In past weeks opposition teams have torn us apart in the mid field with fast breaks and insufficient numbers in defence.  This week, despite some very good opposition attacks the mostly close marking by Don, Craig, Gordon, Richard, Tom and Luke meant that even if one player got a run on his passing options were limited.  This defensive pressure meant the forwards could start passing the ball into space and run with it on the rebound.  Another pleasing element was the focus of the inners, wings and half line to use the width and hold the ball in attack out wide until options opened up across the ground. Some attacks still ran straight into the defence though, something to work on for next week.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Rebels – Bye

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