The first day of the 2019 hockey season proved to be a lovely day, just right for playing some great hockey.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Saints
The U8 Newtown Strikers first game for this hockey season was against Saints. The Saints team were short of players so Jake, Kasey and Lenny from Newtown Rebels helped out and joined Saints for a well-played game.
All the Strikers showed impressive skill and awareness for the first game of the season. Joseph and Hunter both played well in defence in the first half. Audrey, Josien and Lucy played in the forward positions. Hunter stopped many shots at goal in the last line of defence and made an impressive intercept. Josien made many good tackles and also scored the first goal of the season. Audrey found space in attack and had some long runs with the ball in the forward half. Lucy did well with her passes, and made sure she looked for good options. A great team goal was finished off by Audrey.
In the second half the players swapped between forward and back positions. The game saw some good passing, with a very good long pass from Joseph. Josien scored a goal after a great pass from Hunter. Audrey had a second goal attempt with a penalty push after her shot on goal was stopped by a foot.
Coach Maggie was impressed with the team. The Strikers showed great team work with good running, calling and passing. The whole game was great to watch players spreading out and finding space and not bunching up. Claire commented after the game that it was the best first game of the season that she had seen in the under 8s. Hunter and Josien won the Subway and Best Team Player awards.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay
The game began in very congested fashion, but Newtown Spirit players were encouraged to spread out which led to some better passages of play later in the game. One of these passages resulted in Lachy crossing the ball to Braxton who swiftly pushed the ball past the goalie for our first goal of the year. All players maintained their positions well during the game, with Summah receiving Best Team Player Award for her consistent effort throughout the game.
Newtown Rebels Bye
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 1-3
Both teams were eager to get going in their first match of the hockey season. Both teams had some good possession in the first half but it was the Strikers who had the first break near the end of the first half to take the first goal. There was some great running from Matilda and Michael from Spirit but they just weren’t able to get past the Strikers defence. George and Drew played well in defence for Spirit in the second half but couldn’t hold back a second attempt on goal from the Strikers.
The play opened up much more in the second half and there was some good passing down the centre of the pitch. George did a great job of getting on the end of a long corner to take Spirit’s first and only goal of the match. Some great passing saw the Strikers make a break for their third goal. A good start to the season for both teams.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 3-1
The rain and wind held off for the Strikers’ season opener against the Spirit. The game was a fantastic opportunity to meet new teammates and for some to play their first game at this level, learning new positions and combinations. Strikers had the majority of the possession for the first half creating several opportunities to score. In reply, Spirit came back in the second half with dangerous break away chances only to be stopped on the line by some desperate defence.
Impressive passing between teammates generated 3 goals for the Strikers, scored by Zac and Will B (1) combining great basic skills, good decision making and goal scoring finesse. Stand out performances from Avah with an exceptional second half in the forward line and William H who made many much needed tackles down back.
Subway and Best Team Player Awards to Avah and William H.
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Rebels vs Torquay 1-3
It is terrific to see that four new players have joined the Newtown Hockey Club in the U12 Rebels team for this hockey season. Trey, Toby and Peri have played previously with Bellarine, and Isabelle is a new recruit to the sport. We offer a warm welcome to these players on behalf of the club and particularly the Rebels team.
We faced strong competition against Torquay in Round 1, who came out strongly to post a 2-0 lead early in the first half. Rebels fought hard in defence and Amelia in goals provided a fearless block to a tomahawk shot on goal from a key Torquay striker. At this point Newtown Rebels started to find their feet and hold positions on field, and the game became a closer competition.
In the second half Rebels attacked more consistently, backed each other up to provide a tighter defence, and held Torquay to just one more goal. Toby made great positions on the field, Trey effectively dodged several tackles with skilful reverse stick work, and the energy and confidence in all the players lifted. Jai, Ruby and Emma all had some close shots on goal. But credit to Gil for finding great positions throughout the match, providing very effective passes, and spectacularly dribbling the ball past several Torquay players from the half line to score a goal for Newtown in the very last minute of play!
A fantastic effort from the whole team today – well done. Something to work on for our next match is holding positions and passing out wide to avoid that ping-pong effect in the middle of the field. Most valued player today was Gil for finding space on the field and effective passes.
Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 0-5
U12 Strikers had a tough game this week, up against a strong Golden Plains team. Strikers did a great job in trapping the ball and moving it around the pitch. We made some good forward thrusts and came close to scoring on several occasions. Charlie did a great job in goals defending many shots on goal. Coach Kurt did some good work setting up the kids, and the team really rallied well in the second half. The Strikers looked like scoring on several occasions, and it is clear to see that Kurt will be great at developing the kids into a cohesive team. Unfortunately, in the end the Strikers went down 0-5.
Newtown Spirit Bye
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs GBS Black 3-0
It was an exciting start to the hockey season for Under 14 Newtown Strikers, with a 3-0 win against GBS Black. Both teams gave it their all and it was a closer match than the score would indicate. Strikers used the space well, their passing and tackling were effective and they worked as a team. A goal to Brandon saw Strikers up 1-0 at half time. Both teams had short corners in the second half but were unable to convert the opportunities. Some nice play saw Amber get Strikers’ second goal and this was followed up with another goal from Brandon. Strikers played a great running game, and combined with solid defence saw them take out the game.
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 5-3
Under 17 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-2
Strikers had a positive start to the hockey season against Torquay. Coach Gordon mentioned the team really clicked within the first 5 minutes. Strikers came together well and held Torquay for most of the first half, with a score by Torquay late in the first. For the most part Strikers held form and played according to the coaches instructions. Playing with 11 and no substitutes against Torquay who had 3 on the bench showed however by the second half. Torquay were strong in attack with multiple scoring opportunities, however, the Strikers defence held to keep Torquay to 2:0 at the final whistle. Well done Strikers on a strong first game back.
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 6-2
“What an exciting match, I was just so proud of the boys”, as quoted by coach Pete Biskup.
All the boys should be extremely proud of their efforts on Saturday against Kardinia, and what a fantastic way to start this hockey season. Spirit went in undermanned without regular goalkeeper Max, and with only ten players to start. Caleb performed brilliantly in goal with fast footwork and great positioning. Also immense thanks to Miles who ran hard in the first half, allowing us several scoring opportunities before he had to leave the game due to illness. Ethan and Tom covered the entire ground displaying excellent speed and endurance, capitalising with 3 goals apiece after some great team play as well as individual brilliance from Tom including one off the crossbar.
With only 8 players left during the second half, Harri and Harley showed lots of good speed in their roles along with Nick showing great enthusiasm even though jet lag got the better of him. The 3-man defensive structure was solid, with Bailey playing arguably his best game, supported by Angus and Jarret, whom we finally allowed to venture forward in the last 90 seconds, enough time for him to be instrumental in our last goal. Well done Team for a great 1st game.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Saints 0-4
Division 2 Men
Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Blue 0-1
Newtown Strikers vs Corio 4-0
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 1-5
An excelllent first game for the 2019 hockey season, with a mix of new and old faces in the team. The experienced defence lineup led by Bron and Hillary repelled many of Saints strong attacks, with great position and nicely timed interceptions. Distribution from the midfield was good, with Peta’s strong hits placing the ball to the advantage of our forwards. Isabel, Claudia and Deb made some great pickups and quickly moved the ball into attack, and it was great to see their confident control of the ball. Determination and persistence from Deanne and Kirsty saw them hassle the Saints defenders who were trying to move the ball out of their defence.
Despite the score, Newtown had the ball in attack for a significant period of time, and were unlucky not to have someone in just the right position on the post a couple of times. A lovely goal to Peta was a boost for all of us. Despite the number of new players in the team there were some great examples of teamwork and thoughtful passing and positioning to support team mates, and we look forward to more of this as we settle in.