2018 got off to a good start, with all teams beginning their hockey season on April 21 and 22. Although the weather was more like summer hockey, the effort and intensity in the games was fantastic.
Under 6 Joeys
The first day of the Joeys hockey season saw 10 keen players aged 3 to 5 arrive, ready to have some fun with hockey. Our games focused on dribbling the ball and keeping it on the stick while looking ahead for obstacles or oncoming players. Good ball control and concentration were evident, and with the players learning to use some reverse stick skills, it was a very impressive first session.
One of the enjoyable aspects of the Joeys program is the willing availability of parents and siblings to support these budding hockey superstars, and we love to see them jump in and join our games. We finished the session off with a game which has proved to be a favourite for the Joeys players – ‘Monster Forest’, and it was very pleasing to see how well the new players did in winding their way through the forest of monsters. We are looking forward to a very enjoyable hockey season, and learning some hockey skills while having lots of fun.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Spirit v Torquay
Spirit launched its 2018 winter hockey season with enthusiasm when it clashed with Torquay in perfect conditions at Lloyd Reserve on Saturday. The Under-8 team, which welcomed Spirit newcomers Maia and Braxton to its line-up, showed promising signs for the months ahead as all players worked hard to keep their opposition from scoring. Michael showed he had lost none of his skills over summer with an impressive defensive display in goals in the first half, shutting down many Torquay attacks and feeding the ball out to teammates. He added a hefty dose of skill and speed to the forward line after the break, with his constant hard work rewarded with a successful shot on goal.
Pollyanna and Summah patrolled across the half-back line, pushing the ball to forwards Braxton and Maia. The forward duo showed they weren’t afraid to have a go, getting their bodies into position to tackle Torquay in their first game for Spirit. While the talented Torquay players dominated the attack in the first half, Spirit didn’t give up. Pollyanna had a great individual run up much of the ground on one occasion and Summah applied wonderful pressure to block several forward pushes by Torquay players. Spirit’s Drew volunteered to help bolster Torquay numbers for the game and proved to be a real asset for the opposition, playing a fantastic match in a calm, controlled manner.
At half time Coach Kellie said an under-siege Spirit was doing well but needed to concentrate on watching the ball at all times and meeting the ball instead of hanging back. Spirit enjoyed a strong second half, with possession split more evenly between the two teams. There was some solid passing by the Newtown outfit as players worked to put their coach’s message into action.
After the game Coach Kellie applauded their second-half efforts. She awarded the Subway Best Team Player award to Michael for his outstanding play and great decision making.
Newtown Rebels vs College Green
An excellent first game effort by Newtown Rebels. With a player borrowed from College Green, our team showed some fantastic endeavour and desire to get the ball. With 4 players in their first hockey season, the level of skills shown was very impressive. Great concentration by all players and great approach to the ball with sticks on the ground saw Sam, Edward and George win the ball away from College on many occasions. Zeph did a great job in front of goals, and was always looking for a player to pass to on his free hits. Sofia was in great position in attack and worked well with George to move the ball into attack. Once players had gained possession of the ball, it was very pleasing to see them continue on and move forward to the attack zone.
Subway Best Team Player award to George, with very pleasing efforts from all the players.
Newtown Strikers vs College Blue
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 6-0
Welcome to all our new and returning players and what a wonderful morning we had to kickstart the hockey season. Firstly thank you to Eliza for coming and supporting the team while injured.
Coach Jane got everyone ready with pre game training and assured everyone knew their role. Focusing on supporting each other and running with a quick change of direction. This helped to get to goal scoring happening throughout the second half of the game with goals scored by Jai, Alex, Ruby, Meyah and Surry. Kye played the ball along the line and followed on and came so close to scoring as well. By also passing to each other the team were able to move the ball quickly down the field.
Meyah trapped the ball just before it would have gone off field and pushed it straight in front of goals for Ruby to just tap it over the line to score. Amelia was watching the movement of the game and positioning herself ready to defend in the goalie role. Elliott, Avah and Tommy never gave up in defence and were constantly trapping the ball and then keeping the ball moving. Zac, Lucinda and Emma rotated positions throughout the game and added pressure to the opposition. Will played a fantastic game and listened to all instructions given to him and was rewarded with being named Best Team Player and Kye received the Subway award.
Under 10 Girls
We are still trying to gather enough players to begin this program, and are aiming to commence on Monday April 30.
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay Tornadoes 1-1
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 1-2
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 8-0
The first game of the winter hockey season was off to a relatively slow start with both teams testing each other early and sharing ball possession. Spirit were able to break through for the first goal when Harry ran into the D and flicked one past the goal keeper. It was rapidly followed by a second goal from a short corner. Strikers reacted and were soon attacking the Spirit goal and earned a short corner. Spirit defended well and immediately counterattacked with a long ball up field to Nick, who beat a defender and scored, leaving the half time score at 3:0.
Spirit were attacking early in the second half and Jack was able to find a gap between the goalie’s feet to go 4:0 up shortly after start of play. Spirit enjoyed the majority of possession in the second half and great defence from the fullbacks prevented any attacks on the Spirit goal. Most of the play was in the Striker’s half and they succumbed to constant pressure on goal with four further goals to Spirit and a final score of 8:0.
Great first game for the season with Spirit strong on marking, keeping position and spreading the ball to the wing. Special thanks to Amelia for volunteering to be goal keeper for the first game, directing traffic and organising the defence with much authority. Look forward to seeing you all at training at 5:30pm on Thursday.
Under 17 Mixed
U17 Strikers vs Torquay 1-2
The game was very even with both teams making forward advances, but defence was good on both sides. While Strikers had their chances, none found the back of the goal. Torquay was able to take the ball deep into their circle, and with congestion around goals got a ball through to take a 1-nil lead. Sam Robson saved a big chance from Torquay late in the first half, so we went to the break with the score 1-nil in Torquay’s favour.
The second half saw Newtown step up a gear and we seemed to have more possession of the ball, particularly up forward. Harry provided some good chances with crosses into goal for our forwards and we had a few shots on goal that were just wide. With 11 minutes to go, Strikers equalised through a penalty corner hit from Miles, and a minute later we nearly had the lead after a cross from Tom to Jack. Torquay were able to score with 4 minutes remaining after our focus in defence dropped a little. Torquay then had 3 penalty corners to finish out the game but great keeping from Luka and our defenders kept the score to 2-1.
It was a really entertaining game played to a high standard in the warm conditions, and everyone had a good contribution. Special mention to E.J. who is quite new to hockey and did really well, and thanks to Tom for ‘doubling-up’ and enabling us to field 11 players.
U17 Spirit vs Kardinia 3-2
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay Tornadoes 3-2
It’s back!! Walking through the gates at Stead Park it was great to see local hockey back in action for the 2018 hockey season.
The Falcons had their first hit out against the Torquay Tornadoes. All were interested to see who would turn up for the Torquay team given the whispers that they had recruited heavily. They certainly had a strong line up but possibly not as strong as anticipated given that Thomo lined up for them!
Poor scheduling from the coach meant that he only arrived towards the end of the first half! Upon arrival though it was great to see some new guys playing for the Falcons in Jonah, Corey, Brodie and Callum. They all played really well and will be a great asset to the team as they grow in confidence. It was also great to see some old players back in Luke, Matt & Tom Moly, playing strong hockey alongside the usual suspects.
There were some great passages of play with nice ball movement. Still plenty of room for improvement and things to work on. In the end it was a nice 3-2 win with Zed, Matt and Sean scoring the goals. Looking forward to the upcoming game against Geelong this Sunday.
The IGA Friendly Grocer Player of the Week award went to Callum, with a great debut into the Falcons team.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 0-1
With the amalgamation of the Falcons and Strikers teams from 2017 and the inclusion of some new players, the team took to the pitch without any recent experience of playing together. From the start, the team looked good, with plenty of passing and a good standard of skills on display. Good defence moved the ball out of danger well, and great running in the midfield pushed the play into attack. Both Falcons and Saints had chances in the circle but neither team was able to score.
The second half saw Falcons continue to play well, with improved interchange switches making positional changes smoother. Falcons controlled the play well in patches and put Saints defence under pressure. The team was looking to pass wide, and with improved switching and looking for space was able to create promising attacks. One-two passing was effective, and was part of a very good team effort. It looked as if the game was heading for a draw, but with only minutes to go Saints capitalised on a free forward on the post to score the only goal of the game.
Great keeping by Zoe kept out many Saints attempts to score. The IGA Friendly Grocer Player of the Week award went to Ashlee. Well done all.
Division 2 Men
Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 1-6
A great effort by Angus McW, making his senior debut, who scored a goal with his first touch having only been on the field a couple of minutes.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 1-6
The availability of an off-field coach and a reserve bench of players gave the team a positive outlook right from the start of the game. Newtown began well, with great midfield defence from Kellie, Beth and Andie cutting off Geelong attacks and feeding the ball to our forwards. Good running and position by Emma A and Wendy despite these being new roles for them, and Peta’s strength and ball control allowed Spirit to gain possession and move forward. Lauren provided some speed and there were near misses in the circle on a number of occasions with Deanne and Kirsty in good position. Sarah C, making her return to the field after a 7 year absence, showed that despite her nerves, she hadn’t forgotten anything. She latched on to some great passes and took off with the ball headed into attack, doing a great job. Kellie scored to give Newtown the first score of the game.
The defence was good with Tracey, Hillary and Jessie J (on the field), backed up by Claire in goals. Unfortunately, Geelong found space for players in the circle which allowed them to tip the ball in close to the goal. However, the score was in no way a reflection of the standard of the game, and the 2018 hockey season looks promising for Newtown Spirit.