2016 Hockey Season – Semi-Finals

 The 2016 hockey season is fast nearing the end, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still watch some fantastic hockey, and the Semi-Finals this week provided a feast of great hockey. The effort and teamwork was superb, all the way from our Under 13 players to our senior men and women.

Kookas Midweek

No rain for the Kookas game this week so we were able to get out on the field and really use the space for a great game of hockey. Marcus and Hugo joined us and added some bite to the attack for Team Red with great use of space and vision to find team mates Amy and Ella in good position. Some lovely passing for players to run on to saw some great touches rewarded in front of goal. Sam H and Sam S continued to switch the play to advantage for Team Orange and Matilda was focused and always ready to put pressure on the opposition. Great ball control skills from Jai and good use of his team mates helped move the ball into attack for Orange. A very enjoyable game with great skills and teamwork by all.

Under 13

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 0-1

The first final saw the Strikers meet the Spirit in an all Newtown affair. What followed was probably the tightest and most desperate hockey we have seen  for the season.  The Spirit finally broke a 0-0 all deadlock with 6 minutes to  play and despite some close shaves that is where the score stayed for a  deserved Spirit  victory.

During the first half both teams had periods in attack/defence with the Spirit  forcing the Strikers wide or playing long balls though the midfield and  forcing the Strikers to double back in defence.  There were a number of  terrific efforts where Ella took long runs down the left wing but  ultimately there was a lack of support to make good these attacks.  Miles  ran tirelessly from defence to attack and back again, Olivia put  in multiple efforts up and down the field, Angus R put in a number of  goal saving clearances with his powerful strikes and Flynn was creative. Oscar created perhaps the chance of the half as the goal keeper  desperately covered his shot. At half time the score was nil all.

The second half was played at either end of the field.  The Spirit winning  repeat short corners and placing pressure on the defence while the Strikers  played the counter attack.  Harry created some terrific chances on  the counter almost scoring on multiple occasions while the team literally ran  themselves to a standstill.  Sam ran through the middle creating  chances.  Jonah stopped a number of free flowing attacks from the fleet  footed Spirit.  Angus S faced down countless attacks on  goal from waves of Spirit players preventing a lopsided scoreline.

While the team lost its first match for the season, as a group of parents we  could not be prouder of the level of effort put in by the players and to  nearly pinch what would have been a most meritorious victory.  Congratulations  to the Spirit on an excellent team game.  Next week the Strikers play again  for the right to a rematch for the Spirit.

Semi-Final 2016 hockey season

Under 13 – Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 1-0

What a great game of hockey played between the two U13 Newtown teams. It was a close hard-fought game with Jamie scoring a nice goal in the second half to give Spirit a 1-0 win. Well done to Strikers who played strong hockey even though they were missing some key players. A big congratulations to the Spirit team who once again played great hockey to go straight into the Grand Final. Awesome job guys and hope to see you all at training to sharpen the skills for Saturday week.

Good luck Strikers for this Saturday! If you’re not doing anything this Saturday morning, I’m sure they would appreciate the cheering and support!!

Under 15

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-4

What an excellent effort Newtown  Strikers put in this weekend as we took the pitch against Torquay. The game was by turns pressured, busy and went from our end to theirs and while the scores didn’t go in our favour, we were winners in our continued effort and really came undone in the last five minutes when they scored two quick goals. Everyone ran hard and put in 200 percent, running down the ball and always keeping going. Great positioning by many, bringing up a timely reminder that there were a few times where your teammates were in a great position but we failed to use them. Look for options, and create options! All the best for this week everyone. We look forward to Ella and Will back on our side this week for the game against our Newtown opposition. Win or lose, it’s been a season to be proud of.

Newtown Spirit vs Bellarine Storm 6-2

Newtown Spirit defeated Bellarine 6-2 in a highly entertaining elimination semi-final. The Spirit got off to a strong start to the match controlling play from the outset and capitalised within the first 6 minutes with a goal from Miles. The team combined brilliantly out of defence and through the middle of the pitch, creating opportunities in the forward half. To Bellarine’s credit they defended tirelessly before Lachie inevitably scored with a goal in the 17th minute, another followed 5 minutes later. The Spirit were unlucky to concede a late goal from a penalty corner resulting in a 3-1 score line at the break.

The start of the second half saw a reversal of roles from the first with Bellarine controlling play, scoring an early goal and continually attacking. The Spirit defended grimly with Angus, Matt, Harry and Josh in goal, valiantly defending the last line. To the team’s credit, even when on the back foot, players continued to look to share the ball. Eventually, through the hard work of all players, the Spirit again gained the ascendency and a goal to Olivia with a deflection from a shot by Amber saw the margin back to 2 goals and Niko’s heart rate back below 200 BPM. After this the Spirit enjoyed the fruits of their hard work with Lachie continuously distributing the ball with precision out of the back half, Jemma, Miles and Amber providing great run out wide and Declan, Tom and Olivia offering attacking options. A further two goals (Matt and Miles) saw the final result a well deserved 6-2 victory in the team’s best game (so far!) for the season.

 Under 17

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 5-4 in ‘golden goal’ extra time

Such a beautiful day today. What a great setting for a tight Semi Final against our rival Newtown Strikers. Always promising to be a close game, Strikers came out firing against us – slow to switch on, Spirit allowed Strikers all too much freedom, by defending loosely. Strikers were playing a very solid team game and despite many opportunities by way of Penalty corners, our scoring was severely limited by Strikers defensive pressure and some impressive goal keeping throughout the game by Luka. Spirit were two  goals behind early on in 1st  half and to their credit,  didn’t go into panic mode. Patches of good hockey from Spirit were revealed with Gus eventually able to set up with a lovely pass to bro Jo, and score our first goal.

Half time saw us trailing 2:3 and allowed some helpful insights by Don, as well as from Josh our GK – how NOT to score!! Much more productive and switched on second half for Spirit, with some impressive defensive efforts on the wing by Caleb and Cassidy. Tom and Dan were working hard in defence and limiting more of Strikers’ opportunity to score.  A score equalizing goal from Gus, took some of the pressure off, however Strikers continued to press, and play with purpose. The effort and team play from Strikers was impressive, and forced Spirit to work hard to stay in the game.

Despite another 7 or more PC’s, Spirit was unable to convert, and with some ongoing pressure and attack from Strikers, Spirit were again trailing 4:3, with the clock ticking down. Again, Bronte and Monique were positioning themselves well and all players at times were working hard to achieve something from their efforts. An equalizing 4th goal was scored by Gus however Spirit were unable to convert opportunities to win within match time.

Extra time began with some tense and stressful effort!! I’m not good with it!! Spirit were lucky to get away with the win this time, with Gus scoring the Golden Goal, however huge congratulations to Strikers for their team game and so nearly getting the win. We really will be barracking for Strikers against Kardinia in the PF next Saturday so that we can replay today’s game in the GF!! Well done Spirit.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 4-5

We came up against our intra-club rival for the first round of the finals; the only team we have not beaten this year.  And WOW; it was game on!  You will not see too many local junior hockey games played like this.  I don’t know how many of the players had been watching the Olympic hockey but I’m sure it must have influenced some of them because the standard was sensational.  We jumped off to an early lead with tomma-Tom P scoring a nice early goal to get us off to a good start.  Spirit fought back hard but through good teamwork and passing we had the ball back in the forward line; a great pass from Oscar at the baseline to Corey at the top of the D allowed Corey to slap one in and make it 2-0 at about the 7 minute mark of the game.  We hadn’t dreamt of such a great start and we knew Spirit would not lie down and hand us the game that easily.  Our defence was superb, led by Hudson calling the shorts from full back.  Luke H ensured that their centre forward didn’t score any goals and Jen covered her opposing wing well intercepting many of their passes out to the wing. And what would the scoreline have looked like if it wasn’t for Luka?  We certainly wouldn’t have made it all the way into golden goal time without all the saves that he made.  Jack not only kept a close eye on one of the Spirit’s more dangerous forwards but switched to offensive mode seamlessly when we required to rebound.  Luke P’s speed is really starting to show with  another week in the midfield as he tagged his opposition players and made sure he got in the way of their forward thrusts;   Luke’s a regular at training every week and the impact of that dedication is showing.

 The Spirit certainly fought back as we expected and scored the next two goals.  From then on it was goal-for-goal.  Will made some great leads into the forward gaps with clear calling that allowed the mid-fielders to distribute it out to him effectively and set up forward attacks.  Whenever we thought the game was slipping away in the second half, Tom M reached into his bag of tricks and seemed to find something special as he scored two freakish goals that even got him fist-pumping.

 Unfortunately the Spirit were able to score the first goal in golden goal time to seal the game which means we will have to take on Kardinia next week.  For those who weren’t there, this game was an epic; not only for the result but the standard of play.  It was a very entertaining game for the spectators with lots of hooting and hollering on the sidelines.  Newtown has lots of good hockey to look forward to.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 2-3

Newtown Strikers vs Saints 1-4

Well, you can’t say that we didn’t try.  Going into half time we had Saints on the ropes after going toe to toe for the first 35 minutes and scoring a short corner from a great brotherly effort from the Hinetts.

 Going into the second half we knew that it would be tough, especially due to the fact that as usual our full team sheet evaporated before the start of the game with two players not turning up and the ridiculously bad fortune of Jimmy who chipped a tooth during the warm-up after a freak ball ricocheted from the group warming up the goalie and hit him on the side line.

 That being said, we resolved to continue playing the hockey that had gotten us into the top 4, a combination of attacking the ball with numbers and working it up the field together, keeping control before releasing to the forward line.  For the first 5 minutes it was looking positive, even though Saints had obviously gone up a notch.  Unfortunately, Saints scored an equalizing goal and as our players become more fatigued and an additional injury had us down to 10 players, more gaps began to open which allowed them to score another 3 goals before the end of the game.

 I think everyone that came out to watch the game would agree that it was a gutsy performance from the Strikers. Considering the double digit thrashings that we had been receiving at the start of the season, I’m incredibly proud of the improvement that the team has made this season, especially considering that as much as our skills have improved I think it’s the way that we came together as a group which has been the deciding factor in the teams success.

 Looking forward to building on what we have achieved next year (and hopefully having a bench…)

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Bellarine 3-2

A great game by Falcons showing what the team is capable of. Newtown attacked from the beginning and had the majority of the play in the first 15 minutes of the game. Great play in midfield by Deb, Bec W and Tiahna blocked most Bellarine attacks and with the backs, Ainsley, Sam and Penny, stepping up to the play and pressuring Bellarine’s forwards, it left our keeper little to do for some time. Long hits by Sam got the ball out of the danger area. Running to space and great passing in the forward line by Elese, Nicole, Phoebe and Jess often saw the play in the circle and Newtown scored the first goal. Bellarine bounced back and began to gain some control of the game and a quick run saw them even the score. Determination and effort from all, with Bec C and Jacquie working hard saw the play move quickly from end to end. A further goal to each team and the score was locked at 2-2, and extra time looked likely. But the work ethic continued and Falcons were able to score the winnng goal with less than 1 minute to play. A great result for great effort – on to the Preliminary Final next week!

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