With 4 weeks to go in the 2017 hockey season, there are 9 Newtown teams placed in the top four in their divisions, and likely to participate in the finals. The Under 12 competition is especially interesting, as there are 5 teams within 3 points of each other, vying for a place in the top four.
It was a very entertaining and fast paced game this week from the Kookas players. Justine and Lucy worked well together, and Lucy’s speed got her to the ball early, allowing many interceptions and creating forward moves for Team Red. Ebony continues to show great anticipation and movement to space, helping her team to gain possession and open up scoring opportunities for Team Orange. Braydn and Lennie showed good focus, especially in the first half, and got to the ball early to make good passes to Orange team mates. Great running by Tom and great ball control skills saw him win the ball for Team Red and he had numerous opportunities in front of goal.
Newtown Spirit vs College White
Newtown Spirit showcased their developing skills when they met College White in Under-8 competition at Lloyd Reserve on Saturday.
While play was fairly congested in the first half, Spirit enjoyed much of the attack. Sisters Summah and Avah worked hard to spread out the field by sticking wide on the wings while sweeper Braydn powered a few lovely square passes to Michael. Spirit created a handful of fast-paced runs in attack and successfully goaled after quality combination play involving a host of team members including Michael and Baxter. Juliette also put in a great solo run towards goal before being tackled at the last moment. There was strong defence on show too, with fullback Drew and right half Pollyanna cutting off College attacks and powering the ball to Avah to carry forward.
At half time Coach Kellie labelled the game “challenging” and praised her players for their good marking and positioning. She urged them to talk to each other more, use the full width of the field and always be ready for the ball. After a position reshuffle, Spirit upped the ante straight away. Michael intercepted the ball from the centre hit-out and sprinted towards goal, with Summah backing him up well.
Baxter, who was in the action all game, retrieved the ball in the centre of the field, directed it to Avah and she sent it towards goal. On another occasion Spirit players spread out in great formation in a run towards goal, with Avah scoring at pace. Coach Kellie told her team she was impressed with their positioning and marking, applauding their ability to always look for their best options. She said their efforts were lovely to watch, and the Spirit spectators watching on the sidelines agreed.
Michael won the Subway Best Team Player award after a stand-out game, characterised by speed, skill, great passing and a never-give-up attitude. Well done Michael.
Rebels vs College Green
Rebels had a fantastic match this week, playing extremely well against College Green who had one extra player on the field. In the first half Rebels got off to a strong start, moving forward well and dominating the opposition. The team kept their positions well and showed amazing persistence, never giving up when trying to get the ball. Whenever Geelong College had possession, Rebels fought back and showed great tenacity.
At half-time Colleen praised the team’s efforts, particularly their excellent team work, enthusiasm and persistence. In the second half Rebels increased their pace and continued to move forward. There were some strong attacks from Geelong College, but Rebels quickly won back possession and counter-attacked. All in all, Rebels displayed excellent team work and are gaining confidence with each game played this hockey season.
Sophie E was awarded Subway Player of the Week for most improved player.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia
This week Strikers took on an army of Kardinia players. Sam started off in goals doing his best against the Kardinia players. There was great positioning up forward with Bella seeing a lot of the ball again this week, but Strikers couldn’t overcome the extra players Kardinia had on the field. Will displayed some great stick skills playing in defence.
At half time Darren talked about receiving the ball on your strong side and continuing the great passing. In the second half Kardinia were kind enough to even up the teams running an interchange.
In this half there were many great passes from the centres to the forward players who were running into space, Eliza received some well passed balls and there was some great running by Matilda. Despite the ball being in the Strikers forward line for most of this half, they really had a hard time getting shots on goal. The Kardinia defence was just too strong. However, their centre work was superb with awesome centre clearances, great intercepting and plenty of running and dribbling with the ball. For his excellent stick skills this week, Will received the Subway Encouragement award.
Newtown Raiders vs Kardinia Kangaroos
Raiders put in an excellent game this week, showing the improvement which has been building all through this hockey season. Improved focus also leads to improved confidence and it was great to see Jesse, Chloe and Lily intercept the ball and continue on into attack with great ball control skills. Lily’s excellent marking of her opposition player was also a highlight. Lovely quick free passes by Oscar found Charlotte, Hannah and Isabelle in space, and able to run the ball forward to the goal scoring area. The standout for the game however was our new player Oliver. Playing his first proper game of hockey, Oliver opted to play full back and mind the goals – and did an absolutely superb job. His focus on the ball was terrific. He met the opposition goal shots early, and made some excellent clearing hits and accurate free passes to team mates. The Subway Best Team Player award was just recognition of his efforts.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 2-0
One of the best Under 10 games of this hockey season. This week we had Ryley as our Captain for the day, Scarlett volunteered as goalie and it was Bella’s first game.
The first half saw some great play from everyone, with great efforts from all players. In her first game, Bella was making great position all the time. Fantastic co-operation on the left between Max and Lucy created a number of attacks down that wing. Quick free passes from Max and Surry moved the ball forward well for Spirit, and their second and third goes at the getting the ball eventually resulted in them scoring the goals. Great defence by Spirit with Scarlett in goals making some lovely saves.
Coach Kellie encouraged her players to trap the ball and then pass wide to the wings and run the ball up the sideline. Half time guidance included advice on marking opposition players, getting to the ball first and then making sure that forwards are in front to receive passes from team mates.
At the end of the game, all the spectators agreed with Kellie that the players had put in a fantastic effort, resulting in an excellent and very skilfull game. Spirit players worked well together, looking and using team mates well. Marking and positioning of players was a highlight. All players are improving their skills and it certainly showed this week. Taking some time to look for team mates before passing will be even more beneficial for the team in future.
Subway Encouragement Awards went to:
Lucy – always marking her player, in position and generally played a fantastic game
Surry – played an excellent game and helped out team mates with their positioning during the game
Best Team Player award went to Max – played his best game, looked out for his team mates and always had a second and third go – didn’t give up!
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 0-2
What an evenly matched game we had on Saturday with so many close misses on goals. Jai covered some much distance on field and knew exactly where he wanted to place the ball. Eliza was tenacious in defence and never gave up. Emma on the wing has shown a great development in her role with strong passes and tackling. Amber managed to play some clever passes while on her knees. A fantastic effort from Isla who copped a ball to the stomach during a short corner and came back onto the field after half time. Amelia also sustained an injury late in the game after playing a consistent defensive role. Alex and Anna made a great pair for options to pass to through the mid field and able to drop back to help in defence. Isabel was a great goal keeper and saved all the short corner attempts. Thamindu and Elliott continue to develop so much this year as first year players and able to read the play so well. A big thank you to Leo for helping out our team. Players of the day were awarded to Isla, Eliza and Emma.
Newtown Rebels vs Bellarine Lightning 5-1
Despite the windy conditions, it was a high standard game between Rebels and Bellarine Lightning which saw Rebels run out victors winning 5-1. The first 5 minutes was an arm wrestle between both sides before Rebels took the ascendancy and broke away to a 3-0 lead. At half time the score was 3-1 after a late Lightning goal. Rebels scored the final 2 goals of the game, but at no stage were they able to relax. The goal scorers for Rebels were Harry (3), Brandon (1) and Patrick (1). All players worked hard for each other. Well done to Adele who was our goalie this week.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 1-0
Fantastic game Strikers!
The weather conditions were very treacherous with the wind causing mayhem. The kids enjoyed the game and the parents enjoyed watching, with lots of encouragement and positive feedback being given. There were no goals scored by Strikers in the first half but Chloe scored midway through the last half with some great support by her teammates. Ruby did a great job again as our goalie. Chloe earned best on field and Archie and Adam also played an outstanding game.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 3-2
Spirit played against Torquay on Sunday in a battle of first vs second on the ladder. With Charley and Claudia away, and Amelia and Jamie unable to play as they arrived after half time, we called on Angus to field 11 players. Torquay began strongly and Spirit’s defence was tested time and again. There were some hits on goal by Torquay and then a series of Torquay penalty corners which were held off with great defending from Ella and Max.
Spirit went forward on a few occasions through some long hits, but we couldn’t lock the ball in up forward for long. Max had a great diving save on a Torquay hit but they were relentless and ultimately got the ball through for a score. Spirit regrouped and we had a few forward attacks, notably Will tried a tomma which was nearly helped through by Grace. Again Torquay received a penalty corner toward the end of the half and got the ball through on the second effort to go 2-0 at half time.
Coach Carl asked the team for more accountability at half time by ‘knowing your player’ and tagging them well, especially in defence. He wanted the team to get in front, make sure they were first to the ball, and to not just watch the ball, but to watch where they were in the game, in order to make best position. Assistant coach Darren encouraged the team not just to clear the ball, but to direct it to another team mate.
In the second half, we started well with Nick and Harry taking the ball up forward but Torquay defended well. Torquay then received a short corner which Spirit was able to defend, and soon after, Harry took the ball deep into attack to score our first goal, making it 1-2. Torquay then had a few chances through a hit at goal and a short corner, but again Spirit’s defence held strong. With 5 minutes to go, Harry reached the top of the D and with a nice tomahawk, levelled scores at 2-2.
Torquay had one more penalty corner which was defended, and then Spirit got the ball out to Sam who was on his own out front, but his goal past the lone kicking back of Torquay was disallowed and was instead paid as a short corner. With seconds to go, Harry made good on the short corner, giving Spirit plenty to cheer about and wrapping up the game 3-2 for Newtown.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 1-0
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 5-2
Another interesting game again this week without a goalie. However the defence was bolstered with Jonah and Byron, and combined with Ollie the conductor, they created an almost impenetrable defence which only let the ball into the defensive D twice for the whole game. They didn’t give away any short corners which are always a challenge when you don’t have a goalie. Great effort to those three, as well as the half backs Rachel S and Angus who marked their players well.
The forward line also played inspiring hockey with a good spread of goals across the forward line, including Sam’s second career goal plus a poster (after scoring his first goal last week he now has a taste for it, like a hunting dog getting its first kill). Tom created a lot of opportunities, not only for himself but also setting up his team mates, with goals also coming from Erin and Angus. Callum is also hitting top form again after several weeks of injury and it was great to see him at full flight again. Unfortunately Tom came off for the last 15 minutes with a rolled ankle when the score was about 3-2 and we thought we could be in trouble (we were down to 10 players with no goalie whilst Kardinia had 3 players on the bench), but our work rate defied logic and somehow we managed to keep scoring! We almost scored a sixth goal in the dying moments when Corey sent one of his trademark pinpoint long range slaps straight onto Jamie’s stick at the top of the D, only to have the umpire steal the goal from him by blowing the whistle and robbing him of a certain goal.
The second half was an amazing display given the lack of players; coach couldn’t hide his awe at the end of the game.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-6
Newtown dominated possession in the first half and had numerous shots on goal but Torquay were first to score against the run of play, when they broke through the Newtown defensive line leaving Max to take on the rapidly approaching attacker. It was a valiant effort by Max diving away to his right and deflecting the ball with his stick, but not quite enough to prevent a goal.
Newtown were buoyant at the half time break given their possession in the first half, however spirits sank somewhat early in the second half as Torquay piled on three quick goals. Newtown had a flurry of counterattacks and eventually pulled back one goal following a deflection off a Torquay player in front of goal. Torquay scored two further goals leaving the final score 1:6.
Despite the score line, there were encouraging signs for Newtown with a majority of ball possession and a passing game that is working well with everyone on the team involved. Some work to do in training around converting some of the opportunities on goal and limiting turnovers, but all within the ‘art of the possible’ as demonstrated in the prior round 9 game. Looking forward to seeing all at training to prepare for the final push to the end of the hockey season and finals.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-16
You would most likely conclude from a 16 – 0 scoreline that the game was a complete thrashing, but it could not be further from the truth. Regardless of the goals being scored, the Strikers reset after each set back and played a fantastic game of hockey against one of the teams that will most likely contest this years’ premiership.
Big thanks to all of the guys who turned up on the day (it was looking like we’d play the game with 9 players at one stage…), especially Richard who donned the maroon for the first time in a few months, Alex who dropped back from the Falcons and Sean who popped in for a cameo appearance which is always handy.
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay Tornadoes 5-3
The wild and windy weather was a bonus for Falcons last Saturday as it meant some players were unexpectedly available to play – a nice change to have 14 players for a game. With the extra players available, assistance from Niko to run the bench was invaluable, and Falcons were able to run hard and make changes often.
The first goal was scored by Adham after a nice cross from the forward line into the D, and he made no mistake in putting it in the net. The second goal was almost a copy of the first, with Zed being the scorer. Falcons had many passes into the circle from the forward line but could not finish off with goals. Then Torquay got a quick break and put one in. At half time the score was 2-1, but could easily have been 6-1 as Falcons had the majority of the attack.
After a quick chat at half time, it was back to the game. Falcons started where they had finished at half time, with plenty of great passing, calling and switching, but there were still plenty of missed chances in front of goal. All of a sudden, a great pass from the back line to the wing found Adham with possession, and he ran to the circle and crossed the ball to Sean who executed a reverse stick shot high to the right corner and Leo pounced to slap the ball in the goal. What a great goal and the score was 3-2.
Torquay bounced back and scored, levelling the game at 3-3. Falcons increased the pressure and Leo scored again, followed by a nice goal from Hamish in open play.
The game saw a number of misses from short corners and open play, which could have added significantly to the score. But overall, this was a good win, with great work from the defence and the forwards. Well done Falcons!
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 0-8
Geelong began strongly from the first whistle and the Falcons backline was forced to defend a number of shots at goal in the first 15 minutes. However, the defence held firm, with Emma P and Ainsley making good position and great interceptions. Emma H and Deb showed great anticipation and impressive tackling and distribution to send the ball forward where Jacquie, Nicole and Hailey were running well, picking up the ball and passing to team mates. Hard work saw Falcons earn a number of chances in front of goal but shots went just wide of the post and the Falcons player moving in. Elese and Jess worked well through the midfield and into attack, and Jess made some great passes through to Tiahna, who was making space in the corner.
Falcons continued to defend staunchly, with Peta and Kate providing strong opposition, and Peta’s hits created forward moves for Falcons. After 25 minutes of scoreless play, Geelong finally got one in the net. Geelong continued to threaten in attack and their forwards were able to slip away from their markers and create a 2 on 1 or 3 on 1 situation to score.
Falcons continued to work hard in the second half, but Geelong’s speed and relentless pressure gave them the advantage. Despite the defence again deflecting many Geelong shots at goal, Geelong scored a few more goals to put the result beyond doubt.
Newtown Strikers vs Saints Black 0-4
An excellent game by Strikers, with the bare 11 players. Saints applied early pressure but were matched by steady defense from Meg and Penny who were well backed up by Deb in goals. Good marking of opposition players by Shannon, Hannah and Kylie limited the effectiveness of Saints’ attacks. Midfield interceptions were passed to the forward zone where Nicole, Julie and Erin used speed and ball control to move past opponents without panic. Jacquie and Bec provided options for team mates to aim for. Strikers produced some good attacks but without a score on the board. Overall, this was a gear game from Strikers, leaving the coach pleased with the efforts.
Division 2 Men
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 4-2
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 1-5
Newtown Spirit faced ladder leaders Geelong with a full team of 11 players but with a shortage of keepers available, elected to play with a kicking back. This was a good strategy for the players available but made the task of scoring goals easier for Geelong. Geelong attacked with speed and skill and were able to score an early goal. Spirit defended well with Tracey and Wendy making many great tackles in deep defence. Good clearances from free hits by Tracey provided forward momentum and Georgie, Phoebe and Peta took up the challenge and took the play into attack. Katelyn and Katie both provided avenues to the circle on a number of occasions and we were unlucky not to score more than once. Jacinta, Kellie and Andie stood firm in the midfield, with some great tackles and great persistence. The second half was an even better effort by Spirit, limiting Geelong to 1 goal for the half.