2018 Winter Hockey Season – August 4 & 5

Only 3 more weeks to go now for the 2018 hockey season, and there are finals on the way for junior and senior teams. Our U10 teams don’t have finals but are all putting in some awesome games in the race to the end of the year.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers v Torquay

Strikers had a fantastic performance this week against Torquay; this was definitely the closest and most exciting match of the hockey season to date!

Torquay started the game by attacking strongly, however Strikers defended well and quickly fought back, moving forward well. Strikers maintained their positions well and displayed excellent team work, passing smoothly to one another.

At half-time Colleen told Strikers to remember to call to one another and take free passes quickly to catch the Torquay players off-guard and ensure possession.

In the second half, once again it was very close between Strikers and Torquay; both teams attacked strongly and play moved from end to end quickly. All the players worked hard and, whenever Torquay counter-attacked and had possession of the ball, Strikers never gave up and continued to defend well. All in all, it was a spirited and positive performance from Strikers, who have improved so much since the start of this hockey season.

Jacob was awarded Subway Player of the Week for his excellent ball skills and positioning. Congratulations Jacob!

Newtown Spirit vs Red Jaguars

Spirit served up a strong second half in their entertaining encounter against Red Jaguars in Under 8 competition at Lloyd Reserve on Saturday. The young Newtown team, which had been on the defence for much of the first half, came out firing after the break and threw themselves into attack with gusto. While the first stanza was peppered with some great long passes between half backs Pollyanna and Oliver, and unflappable defence from Maia in goals, Red Jaguars seemed to have the upper hand. But, from the minute the second half started, the momentum switched and Spirit stepped up a gear.

With Coach Kellie’s half-time message of staying in position and passing to team mates ringing in their ears, Spirit players pushed forward with enthusiasm. Drew, back from holidays added pace at left wing and created many fast breaks towards goal. He combined well with Pollyanna to help drive the team forward. Centre forward Braxton delivered a few cracking strong hits to his teammates while Oliver displayed skills that continue to build each game. Summah, at centre half back, kept her cool in the thick of the action and fed the ball continually to forwards including Edie, who was perfectly positioned out wide for much of the game. Maia made the most of every free hit she took, firing off a couple of rippers to propel her team into attack.

At the end of the game Coach Kellie said the second half was “much, much better” and praised their trapping and passing skills. She gave out two Subway best team player awards for the game, handing the first to Summah for controlling and reading the ball well and never giving up. Pollyanna received the second one, with the coach noting Pol’s vision, trapping and great game. Well done girls and well done Spirit.

Newtown Rebels vs Kardinia Kangaroos

Thanks very much to George who promptly volunteered when we loaned a player to Kardinia. Although it was on behalf of Kardinia, George had a great first half, showing his customary 100% focus on the play and determination to get the ball and move it to the advantage of his team. Ella took a turn at full back and was in good position on many occasions but it was hard to stop the Kardinia (George) onslaught. Good midfield play by Marlo,  Zeph and Sofia saw Rebels gain possession and there were some nice passes down the wing to Edward which resulted in Rebels earning chances in the scoring zone. Sam made himself available for passes from team mates and Amelia was in the right spot with stick down to intercept Kardinia passes.

The second half saw some improved passing and teamwork from Rebels with George back on our team and Harrison adding some extra run. Better marking of opposition players limited chances for Kardinia, and great following up by Harrison saw him score a goal. Subway Player of the Week Award went to Harrison.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Strikers v Torquay 2-0

Strikers played a more confident brand of hockey this week which resulted in a more even team performance. With Maddie missing up forward due to her goalie duties this week, Kye again started the game as our main target in attack and Michael was moved to an inner position to make way for Lisette to return to the right wing. Hannah was released from full back duties, relishing her opportunity to create play from the right half position. She worked effectively with Surry stopping any Torquay forward moves and fed the ball through to the runners on our right. Michael and Lisette made several strong runs forward and attempted to bring the ball back into the centre and look for Kye. Will worked hard to provide the final link as left inner on several of these promising attacks, however was adopting a more defensive position and tiring quickly from the open game play. Meyah was moved forward to provide this extra drive and some reshuffling of positions on the left side saw several short corners earnt in the latter part of the first half. Torquay ran out hard pressuring our designated hitters, however, Surry finally capitalised on all the hard work positioning himself near the post and deflecting the ball into goal from close range. This attack on the goal and rebound from the goalie’s pads has been a focus of ours in recent weeks.

At half time positions were again adjusted to ensure everyone was kept warm and involved in the play. Zac was moved to an inner position, Kye returned to right half and several players rotated through the full back line. Players were congratulated on such a positive start and reminded to pass the ball slightly earlier to supporting teammates just as we had practised in the warm up.
Strikers players played the second half in much the same way as the first, but made the necessary adjustments to avoid dribbling into trouble and formed a much better defensive set up from opposition 25 yard hits. Many intercepts were made and with Surry moving forward, Strikers continually entered the attacking circle. Again, the Torquay defence held firm but numerous short corners resulted. Without being able to score from our first shot on goal, attackers were urged to run to dangerous positions in front of goals. Some desperate attempts eventually resulted in a second goal from Surry from a quick push close in.

Awards this week went to Hannah for her positive, strong play at half back and ability to follow positional instructions really well, and to Lisette for her great positioning on the wing, excellent ball control whilst dribbling and repeat efforts to win back the ball.

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 7-0

Excellent passing and teamwork from Nate, Ruben and Leo saw Leo score our first goal early in the game. As everyone seemed to start a bit sleepy this early goal certainly lifted the teams’ spirit!
Nate showed great persistence and used strong pushes to score our second, third and fourth goal, although he had trouble staying on his feet. Charlotte did some clever passing by looking up for her team mates before passing. Pollyanna got down low to stop the ball and pushed out to the sides several times throughout the game. Leo showed some great dribbling skills and there was some beautiful play from Matilda using the full width of the field. Charlotte and Annabelle worked well together moving the ball up the right side of the field on many occasions.

At half time Kellie was very happy with how everyone was playing and suggested that we should celebrate that we were playing well not that we were winning. A reminder for everyone to take an extra second to stop and look up to make sure we pass to our own team mates not the opposition. Emme showed great persistence with her defending in the back line and had plenty of cheering from her younger sister on the sidelines. There was a lot of running from Lucy in the second half and after several attempts at goal she managed to score our fifth goal. Ruben and Nate scored our last two goals. Thank you, Amelia for filling in for us today, you were a great asset in the second half in centre forward with many second and third efforts. Hamish in goals had a reasonably quiet game but we all helped him celebrate his birthday after the game with singing and cupcakes. Thank you, Hamish, we hope you had a great birthday!

Awards went to Matilda and Pollyanna.

Newtown Rebels vs Red Jaguars 2-0

Firstly we would like to congratulate red jaguars on their outstanding game play and sportsmanship shown during the game.

Thank to Hamish for filling in as goal keeper, he was under pressure throughout the game and kept his cool, showing some fantastic kicking skills. Hamish was backed up by Amelia and Alex in full back, the girls took the challenge up to the Jaguars and blocking the play from reaching Hamish. Lucinda and Mia worked out on the wings and kept the ball in play throughout the game and also being in position were able to create options when there was a lot of crowding in the centre of field.

Eliza was a stand out on the field being in the right place and following on. Jai and Tommy both scored and covered a lot of ground and some very close misses. Emma and India have really developed over the season, India reading the play so well as a first year player and her placement on the field to create opportunities to score and Emma who puts her body on the line each and every week. Baxter made great strong passes and made sure he was looking down the field to create wide passes and not sending the ball back into the centre.
This week’s Best Team Player Award went to Eliza for her never give up attitude and Baxter the Subway voucher.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 2-6

Spirit were dominant again in our 2nd encounter this hockey season, winning 6-2 although Strikers put on a good show with a couple of players missing and the walking wounded on the field! Max found his range this week with two close in goals. Scarlett volunteered to be goal keeper which was great but the Strikers defenders had trouble getting the ball out of defence with the Spirit wall dominant and turning defence into attack quickly. Strikers kept trying which was great and we wish Spirit all the best for the finals ahead.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Bellarine 0-1

Strikers and Bellarine met on Saturday in an entertaining game of hockey.  Strikers were on top form early on, winning the possession game but unable to pierce the last line of defence.  Bellarine were playing the counter attack game shooting long balls out the back and seeking to catch Strikers on the transition.  These contrasting game styles played out an entertaining first half draw with Strikers having the best of the chances.

The second half started in the same manner and Strikers created a couple of excellent chances early on, however on a counter Bellarine went then went the length of the field to score what was the winning goal.  Bellarine winners 1-0.

Strikers played a solid game and exhibit a much improved style.  It was evident this week that players were running to the right spots.  Next week provides an opportunity to match the improvement with hitting up those targets creating the space.  Oliver was very solid in defence and Jarret creative in attack.  Mitchell’s play continued to improve.

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 2-3

This was going to be a tough game against the top of the table team, and so it proved with Geelong on the scoreboard early for a 1:0 lead. They were relying on quick counterattacks after winning the ball in their own half and we didn’t quite have the speed to match them and defend the goal. Geelong went up 2:0 mid way through the half utilising the same tactic to make ground up the field and put pressure on our goal. Newtown pulled back one goal late in the half after patiently working up the field into an attacking position, with Harry finishing off the play by ducking and weaving through the melee in the D and hitting cleanly into the back of the goal.

The second half was a more even affair with our defensive line sitting deeper and neutralising the Geelong strategy from the first half. Geelong weren’t able to penetrate the Newtown defensive line until late in the half, briefly going out to a 3:1 lead. With only two minutes to go Will struck back with a second Newtown goal, but Newtown were ultimately beaten by the clock with the final score 3:2 to Geelong.

A gallant effort by all and much closer result than the last time these two teams met, demonstrating how far we have come as a team during the season. Keep up the good work.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 7-3

With Harry unavailable to play, Strikers played with 2 “top-ups” from the opposing side, Kardinia, for their Sunday game. Coach Darren was also away so Deb kindly filled in as Coach. Darren’s emphasis on passing in prior weeks has seen the team step that side of our game up, and it paid off early with the ball coming out of defence cleanly from EJ to Jack, then moving to Miles, Jarret, back to Jack and then Miles hitting past the goalie to give us our first goal. Kardinia then scored a field goal and another off a penalty corner, but Strikers continued with a good passing game and Oscar took advantage by posting a further 2 goals to give us a 3-2 lead. Sam and Caleb were working well in defence and through the wing taking possession of the ball and passing nicely, and Miles made a fast break resulting in a one-on-one contest with Kardinia’s goalie but the goalie defended well. Oscar provided another good opportunity with a hit across goal, and Ella playing up in attack had a shot on goal defended by Kardinia. Kardinia then had a penalty corner on the half-time whistle but they were unable to convert.

In the second half Strikers started strongly with more good passing, which saw Jack pass to Oscar who then handed off to Ella, scoring a nice goal. With the score now 4-2 Kardinia knew the game hung in the balance and applied more forward pressure which saw them score a goal. Strikers then took the ball forward through Miles and Oscar, with Jarret drawing a penalty corner. Our top-up player Claudia then scored a goal, and another penalty corner to Strikers saw Claudia and Jack pass the ball nicely in the circle to give Ella her second goal, and taking Strikers to a 6-3 lead. Kardinia had a few more scoring chances from field play and penalty corners, with Luka in goals saving some hits and our defenders clearing the penalty corners. Strikers ended the game with a goal from Miles, final score was 7-3.

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 2-3

On Sunday Spirit played an in form Torquay in near perfect conditions at Stead Park. In an interesting contest, the teams played a 9-a-side game with Newtown rotating 3 subs and Torquay playing without a goalie. Spirit welcomed newcomer Cassie and the return of Harry. Thanks also to Harry and Oliver for playing up from U/14s to give the team and coach Paul many useful options.

As expected Torquay were strong in attack and credit to Max for keeping the majority of balls out and earning the coaches praise after the match. Torquay were relentless in the first half and tested Spirit’s defenders with Rachel and Oliver rising to the challenge. With powerful passing Torquay managed to convert two goals and at half time the score was 2:0 Torquay’s way.

With a renewed focus in the second half, Spirit increased play to the reverse stick side and added players either side of Max in the goals. Spirit gained a couple of opportunities and an impressive attacking combination between Oliver and Emily saw Emily scoring. In another nice piece of play Oliver and Tom combined with Tom scoring strongly, to level the match 2:2. Torquay, however, were strong in reply and converted their third goal after multiple attacking opportunities to bring the final score to 3:2.

Well done Angus, Riley and Ben for many valuable interceptions and passes and well done team for coming back strong in the second half, showing the grit and determination that will be key in the final games of the season.

Division 1 Men

Newtown Falcons vs Saints Red 1-3

It was a very frustrating game on the weekend with Falcons going down to bottom of the ladder Saints Red 3-1. Unfortunately there were not too many positives to take out of the game other than Tom Mahon having a solid game at centre half. What is clear though is that there needs to be a significant lift in intensity from all players. I expect this happen over the remaining three weeks before we head into the finals.

IGA player of the game was Andrew Stuart.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Geelong 0-7

Today’s game was against the Geelong ladies. They had pulled in some strong rep players we hadn’t faced much before. It was a little bit like our Torquay game a few weeks back where we didn’t adjust in the first half to an extra person from their backfield jumped up into the mid field and we were caught outnumbered in our defensive half. We did play hard and although they put in 4 goals by half time, one of those came right near the end with seconds to play.

With renewed focus and determination, we took to the field prepared to clog up the middle. Everyone’s effort paid off as we kept them to 1 goal. We were unfortunate to not capitalize on a good scoring opportunity on a penalty corner. While we did get some runs down to the Geelong defensive end we couldn’t create any sustained attack. Well done everyone to tighten up our defense. Good running game forwards, tough type of game where a lot of running with little ball coming your way.

Georgie Lee was IGA player of the game. Welcome back (from injury) Georgie.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong 2-2

Goals: Ian 1, Ahmer 1. Best players – Ian, Dan, Ahmer

A good game against Geelong. It started badly with a lucky deflection resulting in an early goal to Geelong, but we then settled into some good hockey – marking well in defence and some good structure and moves up forward creating a range of opportunities. We almost drew level with a stroke, but the Geelong goalie just got enough on it to stop it crossing the line. Reward for continued good hockey came with a goal to Ian from a short corner and then an excellent interception and run from Ian passing across the front of goal to have AJ tap it in.

Geelong had 5 subs and we had none, so the second half saw us holding on and continuing to run hard but running out of petrol a little. Geelong had a number of chances and converted one. We had several chances and should have had a goal late in the game that was disallowed, as well as a couple of near misses. All in all a good match and our first draw of the season should lift us to 5th on the ladder, with the opportunity to enter the top 4 if we beat Torquay next week.

Honorable mentions go to Will O playing his first season and probably his best match of the year;  Tom C, who continues to impress with his skills, run and field sense; and Will H who had some great saves including several shots which really should have been goals.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 5-2

This was another great game from Newtown Spirit, and while the score was aided somewhat by Golden Plains’ lack of players, the teamwork, game play and strategies from Spirit were fantastic. The game began well with Spirit attacking early, with all players showing determination to get to the ball and keep pressure on the Golden Plains defence. Peta converted a penalty stroke to give us the first score of the game. Unfortunately, the speedy forwards of Golden Plains returned the pressure soon after and wove their way around our defence to score an equaliser. Undaunted, Spirit continued to attack, with excellent passing to team mates in space and great leading for the ball. Another goal scored for us, but again answered soon after by Golden Plains, and the score was 2-2.

The second half saw Spirit continue to pressure the opposition whenever they had the ball, and great work from Amelia (in her first senior game), Beth and Andie in the midfield gave Spirit some forward thrust. Hard running by Lauren, Emma, Katie and Jessie with Kirsty and Sarah leading to the ball moved the play into the circle many times, and there were a number of crosses to the front of the goal which went unrewarded. Good use of the corner space in attack allowed us to get in behind the defence. The deep defence provided a strong line of opposition to Golden Plains advances, with Wendy, Tracey and Bron C marking well and turning the play back to advantage for Spirit. At one point, an interchange by Wendy leaving the defence lineup nearly gave our keeper a heart attack, but thanks to Beth for her hard running back and averting a nearly certain goal. Spirit kept the attacking pressure on in the second half and were rewarded with 3 more goals. Goal scorers Peta 2, Emma 2, Jessie 1.

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