The 2019 hockey season is rapidly coming to a close, with finals only 4 weeks away. The season has provided some challenges for our teams along the way, and we congratulate all members on the way they have handled these. We are grateful for the dedication and commitment shown by players, coaches, managers and umpires, and are very proud of the efforts of all members. Thanks also to the parents and supporters who continue to encourage all to give their best efforts.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Saints
Newtown Strikers had only 5 players this week, but that was enough for their game against the Saints, who had only 4. Strikers dominated the game, scoring many goals, but they also showed great sportsmanship trying to keep the game enjoyable for the Saints players as well. Josien scored a number of goals, particularly in the first half. Some were the result of an individual effort, but most were the result of a team effort with multiple passes leading up to the goal involving Audrey, Charlie and Josien. Charlie also scored in the first half after another combination of passes from the team.
Hunter and Joseph played well in defense in the first half, with Joseph showing some great skills with the ball, but they both moved to forward positions in the second half where they also had opportunities in front of goal. Hunter scored 2 goals early, and Joseph had a couple of near misses before he scored. The team also benefitted from the positioning of Audrey, who was running to attacking positions when her teammates had the ball throughout the game. This included running up the field after passing to a teammate so that she was ready to receive the ball again.
Josien and Charlie won the Best Team Player and Subway Awards for their great play this week.
Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia
Newtown Rebels vs Torquay
Thanks to Torquay for loaning us some players to even up the numbers, which contributed to a very steady defence. Rebels players worked hard to get into good position, and marking of the opposition players improved as the game went along. Great tackling and some strong passes to players with space to receive and move the ball to our advantage saw Rebels often in the forward half. Great work by Kai and Lenny, who ran hard to get to the ball, with Kasey and Jake showing excellent awareness of teamwork and position to maintain possession with successive passes to Rebels players. Subway Award for this week to Kai.
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 5-0
Strikers faced some tough competition when they lined up against Kardinia who have quality players in their side. The first 15 min was a tight contest with play and opportunities evenly matched. Kardinia had some players with the ability to hit through our defensive lines which put pressure on our goal. Strikers showed great hockey smarts in recognising this and set defensive lines further back to intercept these long balls and then turned defence into attack.
Strikers continued to build pressure on Kardinia with our use of width and passing which proved too much for their defence resulting in Jacob (1), Will B (1) and Zac (3) scoring goals. Stand out performances from Charles who was rock-solid in the centre of the field and Will H providing important tackles when needed.
Best Team Player Award to William H, Subway Award to Charles.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 4-0
Spirit came out firing after a great match last week. They took the game to Torquay straight from the starting whistle and held the bulk of the possession in the first half. There was some great passing and skills on display including a couple of great switches across the middle of the field. Two goals from Michael saw Newtown take the lead in the first half.
The pressure continued in the second half and Newtown secured two short corners – the second of which resulted in a goal from George. A third and final goal from Michael saw Spirit take the win. The team have really gelled in the last few weeks and it has been great to see them put their skills into play.
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Spirit 5-0
In our second match-up for this hockey season Rebels faced a much stronger line of defence from the Newtown Spirit team. In the first half of the game we spent a lot of time in our goal-scoring quarter of the field but the Spirit defenders – particularly Hamish in goals – seemed to have an answer for every attack. Among many efforts, of note was Amelia’s strong attempt at a reverse stick shot on goal which she couldn’t quite convert, while Peri and Gil both managed to score.
Heading into the second half the team were encouraged to focus on square passes, using the wing and passing down the line, and effective teamwork. Some great examples of this were numerous tackles followed by quick short passes to team-mates; quick thinking from Peri in the back line who switched the ball across the field to Amelia in great position to pass it forwards to Isabelle holding position on the wing; and Trey who held a very solid position as full back, stopping multiple attacks by Spirit and passing the ball swiftly back through to our attacking players.
Final team stats were Gil – 3 goals, Brayden – 1 goal, Peri – 1 goal, although all of these were team assisted goals. MVP this week goes to Gil, with special mentions to Eliza, Peri and Toby.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Rebels 0-5
Newtown Spirit had a good game vs Rebel’s on Saturday and were solid in defence with Captain Hamish S in goals starring, coming off his line to stop a number of Rebel attacks! Dynamic duo Ruben and Leo as fullbacks along with Charlotte & Lucy worked overtime absorbing a high number of penalty corners and only conceding the best strikes on goal from Rebels. Nate, Emma and Grace F tackle counts were high applying a lot of pressure on the opposition forwards and defenders and Grace M, Bella and Emme all played their roles in position. Hamish K keeps on improving and had a number of runs forward. Overall an enjoyable game to watch.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 0-2
Strikers started and finished strong this week, with lots of hard running by the team. Kye was joined by his younger brother Zac (from U10’s) this week giving us 1 on the bench, and he certainly held his own in the team, well done Zac.
We were up against a strong Kardinia team, but our kids performed very well, and pushed them the whole way. Kardinia got several short corners, and again we defended well keeping most of the shots out. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to clear one of the balls fast enough, and Kardinia got on the board after an unlucky deflection. Some hard running through the middle meant we got several scoring opportunities of our own in the first half but couldn’t get one past the keeper. Going into half time 1-0 down.
The team were all showing signs of their hard running at half time, which was great, as they were all putting in all they had. Some great discussion by the team really showed that they are analysing their opponents and looking for opportunities. We discussed needing to move the ball wider, closer marking of players and making sure we use the full field width.
The kids kept up the hard work in the second half, and again we had several good scoring opportunities both through hard running, and some short corners, but were not able to capitalise. The ball movement was much better, with some excellent passes for our team mates to run onto, this was really nice to watch. In particular the last couple of movements forward, where plays involved several players, all moving forward together in a wave. Kardinia managed to sneak another shot though, and although we went down 2-0, I don’t think the score reflected how close the game was.
Post the game we discussed that we did all the things we discussed before the game, and it really showed, as we were right in the game. We probably just needed a little bit of luck with the shots on goal. The kids reflected that they thought they just needed to take their opportunities when they presented, again another very insightful comment by the team. Well done Strikers, really enjoying the player development and maturity, keep up the great work!
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-2
On Saturday Spirit matched up against Torquay. Both teams started the game with good running and long passing. Torquay applied fierce tackling keeping the play in our defensive half and we struggled to break into any well-structured offense. As the half progressed Spirit reacted to the close marking by passing more quickly and running the ball hard into attack, but struggled to finish off. Torquay pressed hard in their D resulting in a short corner with 2 minutes left in the half. The Spirit defenders ran well to deny a score only to relinquish a penalty with 1 minute to go. Mai, under pressure, made her save look like a training drill and the score stood at nil all at half time.
The second half started with fast open play giving Spirit a scoring opportunity when Tilly sent a shot just wide in the opening minutes. Torquay closed in again, giving us no room with their tackling and marking. Grace and Luca combined well and our defense repeatedly resisted their attempts to set up open shots at goal. Finally, with 15 minutes left, Torquay scored and followed up 5 minutes later with a second; 2 nil. Spirit regrouped and redoubled their efforts in defense and looked for longer passes to open up the play. This paid off with 6 minutes to go when Harry W ran the ball from just past centre pitch into the D and scored. Spirit continued to outplay Torquay in the closing minutes and had opportunities but couldn’t quite manage to convert. A hard earned short corner resulted just before the final whistle that ended in a near miss.
The final score was 2-1 to Torquay in a hard fought match. The final result reflected our inability to finish off in front of goal. Well done team.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia White 1-3
In the first half Kardinia had Newtown Strikers under pressure, with some great passing and defence and a half time score of 0-3. However after listening to coach Ahmer in the break, Strikers came out and played a great second half and kept Kardinia scoreless.
Strikers played with a good structure, great defence and the half line worked well together to take the ball forward. The team were quick to move on the ball and create opportunities. This led to a great goal by Liam in the second half. Tom and Sam C worked well together in the back line and Basyl and Oskar kept pressure on the opposition. Kate positioned herself well, Sam S was given a special job by coach Ahmer (still not sure what that was but Sam was smiling!) and despite being injured Ollie volunteered to be goalie. Great to have Kye join the team and to see the players working well together.
Under 17 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 0-3
Another perfect day for hockey at Stead Park on Sunday with NCHC Strikers playing against Kardinia in arguably their best game for this hockey season with players in position, passing and both attacking and defending with confidence. Strikers came out strong in attack right from the whistle, with strong passing they had a shot on goal within the first few minutes, however, were unable to convert. Kardinia replied and although Strikers held strong in defence, Kardinia slipped a goal through. Strikers were able to clear many of the Kardinia attacking shots, with another slipping through, however they were able to hold Kardinia to 2.0 at half time.
Comments from coach Gordon at half time were to focus on trapping the ball and holding it or passing. In the second half Strikers were able to minimize the Kardinia attack by running out strong at short corners and clearing balls. Kardinia were able to score one last goal in the second half, with Strikers remaining positive the game ended with an opportunity on goals with a short corner on the whistle. A great effort by Strikers who played a strong positional game and showed fantastic growth as a team, well done and keep it up.
Newtown Spirit Bye
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Saints 0-6
Division 2 Women
Newtown Spirit vs Golden Plains 4-2
Congratulations to both the Newtown Spirit and the Golden Plains players on a great match. Golden Plains continue to be a threat to opposition teams despite being regularly short of players. While this creates more space on the field, the movement of the ball and the teamplay shown by Spirit is improving each week, with players gaining confidence in the abilities and playing style of the team.
Maryanne is enjoying her first season of hockey after a 25 year break, and showing great skills and dash, nipping in to deflect a ball into goal on the left post after a great cross into the circle early in the game. Golden Plains recovered and came back with speed, and with some nifty work on the short corners were able to get 2 goals on the board. However, Spirit persevered, with excellent passing by Peta, Andie and Kellie finding Georgie, Katie and Amelia leading well in the forward line. 1-2 passing using supporting players from Maryanne, Deanne and Kirsty was again a pleasing feature.
As the game progressed, Spirit’s defence held firmly and tightened up on opposition players, with Tracey, Hillary, Kylie, Beth and Hannah meeting the advance early and turning the ball back to Newtown’s advantage. Kylie moved forward intent on scoring a goal, with success. Maryanne scored her second and Kirsty showed great composure to add to the tally. A great game by all players. Well done!
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 2 8-0
Ten players took to the field to play against the Torquay seconds. Although undermanned, our speed and ability to get to the ball first on most occasions proved to be a strength in this game and we scored quite freely. We went into the second half leading 3-0 with one goal to Tom C and two goals to Angus (a great return after a few weeks break). Tom M played strongly in defence, using his speed to cut off many of Torquay’s attacks and linking up well with Sam to push forward.
The second half continued much the same, with another goal to Tom C and four goals to Sean in a dominant display, including one from a stroke.