2018 Hockey Season – May 5 & 6

The 2018 hockey season is proving to be an interesting one so far. New players are joining the teams as the season progresses, and this has meant readjustments in some cases. All teams are working hard and giving their best efforts, with some great results.

Under 6 Joeys

Our U6 Joeys players are having fun playing games like ‘Rob the Nest’ and ‘Monster Forest’, all while learning the skills of the game. Dribbling skills are improving and there are some nice reverse stick skills appearing.

The support and involvement of parents is much appreciated, and really adds to the enjoyment of the hockey season for these future superstars of the Club.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Red Jaguars

Spirit played its best game so far of the hockey season when the young team met Red Jaguars at Lloyd Reserve in Under 8 competition on Saturday. The team, with Oliver joining their ranks for the first time, showed growing confidence on the field, putting together passages of linked play, keeping their eyes on the ball and their sticks down.

In a quick-paced first half, Spirit moved the ball between themselves well, tackled hard and marked their opposition strongly. Well-directed free hits triggered some quality moves forward into attack including one in the first half where Pollyanna directed a strong ball across to Drew at right wing, who carried it forward and shot for goal. In the second half, Braxton sent a great free wide to Drew, he pushed it forward to Oliver who collected it cleanly and headed towards goal. Summah showcased her great trapping skills at full back, stopping the opposition on several occasions while Maia played with enthusiasm at centre forward, giving her teammates options in attack.

At the end of the match Coach Kellie said everyone had played their best game so far. She awarded Pollyanna the Subway Best Team Player award for her efforts including getting to the ball quickly.

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay

The Strikers had another good match this week against Torquay Tornadoes. Both teams were missing players but those on the field all worked hard to produce a great game.  The teams were evenly matched and did lots of running to make up for the missing players. Strikers and Torquay both attacked strongly and defended well.

At half-time Colleen praised the team’s efforts and reminded players to find space and spread out so that the person with the ball has someone to pass to.

With each game, Strikers are improving their skills, showing more confidence and working better as a team. Isabelle was awarded Subway Player of the Week for a fantastic performance, particularly when attacking. Congratulations Isabelle!

Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia Kangaroos

Another excellent game from the Rebels team. With the assistance of Oscar in the first half, borrowed from Kardinia, Rebels created many strong moves into the attack zone. Quick free passes and good scanning for free team mates allowed Rebels to move the ball quickly. Sticks on the ground and great focus on the ball and the play from Sam, George and Edward meant that Rebels were able to intercept many of the Kardinia advances and turn them back to our advantage. Sofia continued to maintain great position for the whole game, and with Harrison and Zeph joining us for the second half, Rebels continued to work well as a team with excellent passing and good running to pressure the Kardinia opposition.  Nice work by Zeph to keep focus on the game and stick on the ground.

Subway Best Team Player Award went to Sam this week, for some great work clearing the ball away from goals.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-2

WOW!! What a wonderfully competitive game of hockey to watch. We had Leo as captain and Hamish in goals and thank you to Brayden and George for filling in to make up our numbers.

Coach Kellie started the game with plenty of points and reminders for Spirit to take on board. With no interchange coach Kellie suggested that hockey is a game of “keepings off” and the game could be played with little running and lots of passing between players. Also, a reminder that frees can be “run on” and its not always necessary to pass first. Players should keep their sticks down and push forward through the Torquay players feet to win the free. Coach Kellie quickly went through the roles of each position as a refresher for all players.

Leo had a fabulous first half with a couple of tries at goal, but Torquay pushed the ball away both times. Brayden ran the ball well numerous times up the wing to pass to Emme who showed great control of the ball. The full backs, Ruben and Lucy, played great defence coming out to meet the ball and getting the ball out to the wings, Emme and Pollyanna many times. Charlotte showed great control of the ball also sending the ball up the sidelines. Hamish did a wonderful job as goalie kicking many attempts away, but Torquay finally scored a goal. Spirit quickly matched that goal with Brayden scoring and Emme backing him up.

Half time and Coach Kellie had many praises for Spirit. All players having a fantastic game with great second efforts and tackling till they got the free. Annabelle playing really well in the centre. A reminder for everyone to mark their Torquay players and stay away from the middle cluster of players (AKA Took Tooks), passing out to the wings.

Spirit started the second half strongly and persisted with each tackle winning many frees. Ruben used these opportunities well by running on with the frees to get the ball out to Charlotte, Oscar and George who showed great ball control in getting the ball forward. With no interchange a few Spirit players were tiring but they all played on with great determination. There was great team play all throughout the game and with Torquay scoring another goal making the score 1-2 Spirit had to try something spectacular. In the last minute of the game, the ball was up Spirits scoring end, a short corner was called, and the whistle blew for full time. Spirit tried for goal and after the second short corner was called, Brayden with help from nearly all of his team mates scored a goal to make it a draw. Annabelle was named Best Team Player for her persistence and great plays in the centre and Ruben received the Subway Award for showing terrific ball control and lovely play-ons.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers 1-1

Firstly thank you to Jacob and Mai for volunteering to help the Rebels team with numbers and also wishing Eliza a speedy recovery for your hand injury.

Jai and Tommy’s positioning allowed fast movement of the ball to see Tommy score in the opening minutes. Throughout the first half it had been quiet for Mai as nominated kicker and Amelia in the back half. Baxter did not stop moving and kept his eyes on the ball, creating options for passing to. Lucinda and Emma kept to their positions and chased the play when there was a turnover to regain possession. Alex showed her power pushing and great blocking skills. After half time Jai swapped into nominated kicker role and Amelia and Mai moved up into the inner role. The girls made great blocks and passing the ball back down the line. After a few attempts on goal Strikers found the goal to draw the game.

Players of the game were Tommy (Subway Award) and Baxter (Best Team Player), both didn’t stop for the entire game and showed fantastic positioning.

Under 10 Girls

Purple team
Matilda, Alex, Phoebe, Lily and Lauren
Pink team
Amelia, Maddison, Stella, Aimee and Elliott
This week we welcomed Phoebe, Lauren, Alex and Maddison to the U10 Girls program. After a quick warmup the girls took to the field for a 5 a side game.

We saw good strong passing from everyone. Great work from Phoebe creating pressure on the line causing a turnover and just missed out on scoring. Very close attempts on goals by Maddison in the first half and then a great defensive role in goals for the second half. Great trapping skills shown by Lauren and Alex making great strong shots and was rewarded with a goal. Stella, Aimee and Elliott focused on moving the ball well down the field and good work by everyone with sticks on the ground. Lily made great defensive play in goals. Matilda never gave up and was rewarded with a goal. Amelia showed some great stick work and also scored a goal before retiring with a hand injury.

We need to work on spreading out and looking for spaces and hitting through the gaps or run into the gap. While walking up to take penalties we need to be looking for options and making eye contact with team mates. Remember if the way ahead is blocked then pass the ball backwards or look for options to pass behind. Great game girls.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-1

On a lovely Sunday morning at Stead Park, Newtown Spirit met Torquay.  On rotation in goal, Liam PH did an excellent job keeping Torquay scoreless in the first half.  We worked hard to maintain our positions and took the opportunity to spread the ball out wide then using Lachie, Gil and Liam K up front.

Great defence by our half backs Emma and Ollie A (who recovered well after his injury to score our first goal), saw Torquay driven back from the goal.  Displaying excellent control, Matilda showed the team the benefits of keeping the ball on your stick dribbling past a number of players.  Again, playing strong on the wing and holding her position, Bella marked well in defence.  After a break up the field by Liam K, Lachie scored an excellent goal which delighted all on the sideline.

The second half really tested Issy and Daniel in their position as fullbacks and it was credit to them both and to Liam PH as they kept out a number of attempts by Torquay on goal.  After tight play, Torquay were on the scoreboard in the middle of the second half with their first goal.  With little time to spare before the whistle, our team all worked hard to mark up on players and “keeping their sticks down”, did a great job to overcome a series of short corners which placed increased pressure on our defence.  The game ended 2-1 with lots of smiles for a game played well.  Great job Newtown Spirit, keep it up.

Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine Lightning 3-1

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Maroon 2-2

The Strikers came off an improved performance in the second half of last week and carried that form into the game against Kardinia.  From the outset the ball was deep in the Strikers’ attacking half. Reward came shortly after with a pair of excellent finishes from Oliver.  In general play the team ran hard and played wide.  Kardinia were not done for though with a late first half strike leaving the game in the balance.

During the second half both teams had periods of control.  The Strikers lost their shape with players out of position on a couple of occasions and this let Kardinia in for a late leveler.  In the frenetic final minute Newtown secured a short corner that had parents reaching for phones to capture a golden moment but the ball was kept out and the whistle beat the Strikers.

A great team game and a deserved draw.

Newtown Spirit – Bye

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 0-5

With both teams short of players, Strikers and Spirit fielded 9 players for their encounter on Saturday.

Luka was away for the game, so EJ suited up as goalkeeper and did a fantastic job, making numerous saves all game, as Spirit had most of the attack. Sam and Jarret showed good composure and judgement under pressure, making great passes forward, but Spirit’s defenders were impenetrable. At half time, the score was Strikers 0-2.

The 2nd half started better, but when going forward our wings were often behind the ball carrier running straight up the middle, and as in the first half, Spirit’s defence was water-tight.  Final score was 0-5.

A few areas Coach Darren wants the team to work on are to pass the ball early, and moving the ball forward by hitting on angles.  We need to follow up with second efforts after defending and to hit the ball with more accuracy and the right amount of force, as we missed some opportunities to go forward with inaccurate passing.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 5-0

This week Newtown Spirit played Newtown Strikers 9 a side, in a strong attacking game by Spirit. The start of the first half saw the teams evenly matched with the Strikers taking an opportunity and a shot on goal saved by Spirit goalie Angus. Spirit responded with Miles taking a shot on goal and Ben creating a short corner opportunity. With an increase in attack Spirit were able to convert with both Tom and Miles scoring. Rachel and Oliver provided a strong defence to keep the score 2-nil at half time.

Spirit came out strong In the second half with a quick goal from Miles, followed by another by Tom and again by Miles to bring the score to 5-nil. After the game coach Paul described the game as a fantastic team effort, and rated Rachel the star of the backline with Oliver holding strong in the middle to close down the Striker attacks. Well done team.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Saints Black 3-3

IGA Player of the Week Award to Lachie Birse.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 1-5

The pre-game talk included everyone introducing themselves as we are still getting to know each other.  Torquay is always going to be a formidable side and today was no exception.  First half found our Falcons hemmed into the defensive end which gave the backfield opportunity to work on breakout patterns we had run at practice.  While we were able to use our backs to get the ball wide we had trouble connecting with the next layer of midfield to get the ball up into attack.  It took a while before Torquay was able to find their first goal off of a PC. Torquay flooded an extra man up into the midfield and we were a bit slow in countering that so Zoe was busy kicking, batting and poking balls and keeping the ball out of the goal.

Going into the half time with the Falcons down 4-0 the ladies renewed their focus and clarified marking roles and structure positions.  Falcons were able to get their small game going, allowing more support around the ball as attack was generated.  On an attack PC Penny sauntered up from the backline to pullout and ended up deflecting the ball into the back of Torquay’s goal to give the Falcons first score of the second half. Better man to man marking helped contain Torquay’s attack and we held them to 1 goal in the second. The ladies were happy with a 1-1 draw for the second half.  Each game we are getting to know each other better and implementing structure and tactical play better in both of the big game and small game.  So both play and the score lines are improving as we go.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 2-1

The Men’s D2 Spirit claimed their first win for the season against a solid Golden Plains outfit, building on the improvement from the previous week. It was a fast-paced game and we were able to apply some pressure and secure two goals in the first half through Dave and AJ. Harrison (Harry) (U14) and Tom (U17) made their debuts in senior hockey in this game. Both young men played with good skill and maturity and provided some great penetration up forward, very welcome additions to the team.

Golden Plains came hard at us in the second half and being unaccustomed to having a full quota on the bench we lost our structure at times, an opportunity to improve next week. However, a great game in the goals from Will saw us over the line with a 2-1 win. It’s also hard not to mention the defensive work of Jimmy and Tom who worked tirelessly throughout the game. No doubt Geelong will prove to be a tough opposition next week but we’re developing well and looking forward to the contest.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 0-1

A very pleasing game by Spirit this week, with everyone working hard to limit the effectiveness of the Saints attacks.

We expected a strong Saints team, and that’s what we got. It would be fair to say that the majority of the game was played in our defensive half, with Saints creating lots of attack and many opportunities in front of goal, with a number of shots wide of the goal. However, great defence and great positioning by the midfield and backs, Kellie, Andie, Meg, Wendy, Hill and Tracey intercepted many of Saints forward moves and got the ball away from the danger area.

Good work and tireless running by Beth, Emma, Wendy, Katie and Peta provided the links to get the ball forward for Deanne and Kirsty. It was pleasing to see Rebels get the ball into our attack area on a number of occasions and some good teamwork and passing occurring.

The one goal of the game was scored from a penalty stroke, and although Claire saved many other Saints shots, her legs weren’t long enough to save the shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

Great work team!

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