Hockey Season 2019 – June 15 & 16

After a break for the Queen’s Birthday weekend, our teams were back on the field again, and showing great endeavour, which was not always reflected in the scoreboard.

Under  8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels

The U8 Newtown Strikers played Newtown Rebels this week in a very even contest that concluded with neither team scoring. For the first half Joseph, Eddy and Josien took up the forward positions, with Hunter, Charlie and Audrey defending in the back line. The players then swapped between forward and back at half time. Although there were no scores, Strikers did make several close attempts at goal, with the play often in the Strikers attacking half. Near misses included shots from Josien, Eddy and Charlie.

Strikers tried hard to stay in attack, with persistence shown especially from Hunter to keep the ball in the attacking half with great tackles and second efforts. Charlie and Eddy also made several intercepts and tackles around the ground.  Strikers were also staunch in defence, with some great stops by Joseph and Hunter. Josien showed some very determined defending, deflecting a shot away from what looked to be a certain goal, as well as bravely stopping the ball on the goal line when it hit her hand.

A feature of the game that coach Maggie was impressed with was the accurate passing by Strikers, as well as the readiness of teammates to receive the passes. Audrey made several successful passes that needed to be accurate, Eddy found many free teammates with his passes, and Joseph made some great attacking moves from free
passes in the forward half.

The Subway and Best Team Player awards went to Eddy and Joseph this week for their listening to directions from coach Maggie, and how well they put them
into practice.

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers

This was one of the best games for this hockey season for Newtown Rebels, with all players showing improved focus and concentration on the ball.  Albie and Isaac began well with determination to get the ball and use it effectively. With Lennie covering the goals well, and with support from Kasey and Kai in the midfield, Rebels were able to gain possession and move the ball forward. Marking of opponents continues to improve, and well considered free passes from Isaac gave possession to our forwards. Great running and endeavour, with excellent ball control skills from Jake and Manny created many attacks and some near misses in front of goals. An excellent game by all players, with the Subway and Best Team Player Awards going to Isaac and Kasey.

Newtown Spirit vs Saints

A beautiful morning for hockey greeted the Spirit and Saints U8 teams. Smaller numbers this week on both teams allowed for more space to be created. Multiple passages of play from Team Spirit included sideways passing and switching the ball to the opposite side of the field. Braxton’s endeavour and persistence throughout the game was recognised by him receiving the Best Team Player Award, and Tommy was the recipient of the Subway Award for his attacking runs. Well done Spirit on another great team performance.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong College 16-0

Spirit came up against Geelong College for the first time this hockey season. College struggled with only 10 players but Spirit also played incredibly well to take the win 16-0. Spirit showed some fantastic teamwork, use of space and stick skills. There were some great long passes and use of the wings which created a number of opportunities for the forwards. Willow had a great game out on the left wing and scored her first goals of the season. Michael and George kept up their great scoring records with 5 and 6 goals each. Goals from Baxter and Matilda completed the tally of 16. The team played consistently over two halves and not one pass was seen across goal. Great job Spirit!

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 0-1

Facing up to Torquay for the second time in this hockey season, with a 0-7 result last time, Newtown Strikers nevertheless began with confidence. Focus on the ball  was a pleasing feature and saw Jacob and Will gain possession on many occasions and create attacks. Great defence by Maddie, Grace and Charles was well backed up by Zac in goals, who made some very effective stops and even better clearances. The crowded style of play employed by Torquay and a tendency for Strikers to pass into the middle of the field made it difficult to dominate the play in the first half. The crowd in our defensive circle when Torquay attacked eventually let a goal slip through.

The second half saw the game open up, and Strikers found more space to move the ball quickly, with Avah showing great position and speed to quickly run the ball forward. Excellent work by Harrison on the wing, who showed great persistence and never gave up possession willingly.  William and Edward provided solid defence in the midfield blocking many of Torquay’s forward moves. In the latter stages of the game, Strikers showed excellent position and teamwork with Cormac featuring in some lovely 1-2 passing on the right wing. Strikers created many forays into the goal circle in the second half, and narrowly missed scoring the equaliser with about 2 minutes to go.

Overall, an excellent game by all players and a fantastic turnaround from the last match between these two teams. Best Team Player and Subway Awards to Avah and Cormac.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 0-10

Another loss for Newtown Spirit. However, despite the score line this was one of the best games they have played so far in this hockey season. There were a number of times where Nate, Bella and Grace M had some strong attacking play and got into a position where a goal could have occurred with a touch of luck.

With the result we had, it would be reasonable to expect that Strikers always had us under pressure, but this was far from the case. The game was much more open than some of our recent games, good passes were made through the midfield, we showed control with the ball (especially Reuben in defence) and we were much more composed in defence, giving away less penalty corners.

The drills we are working on in training are clearly coming through in our matches. The onlookers from the side feel every surge and setback and wish that there were recognition for trying as hard as you can because the effort put in by the team is huge. Thank you to our team captain this week Hamish K.

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated” (Maya Angelou).

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 10-0

Before the game Kurt had a good warm up session with the team, working on the kids hard running and passing to a lead. Kurt asked the team what they thought made us a better team, and play better hockey, and it was great to see the kids produce a list which became the aim for the game, without needing input from Kurt.

The kids put in the hard running, and spreading out in the game, and we saw immediate impact, with many forward thrusts, and linking up play. Our defence was again strong, with Amber and Thamindu linking up well with Scarlette, Isabel and Sam, to run the ball out of defence. Our defence pillar Mai was again strong, defending the shots that got around our defenders, with her typical cool and calm approach. Surry, Sam and Charli provided great run through the middle, linking up with Chloe, Charlotte,
Kye and Brandon. Amazingly we ended up having 3 shots on goal bounce off a goal post, but still went into half time with a 3-0 lead, after 2 good goals from Charlie and one from Brandon.

At half time Kurt reminded the kids of what they had been working on, and how we were not moving the ball wide enough at times and were getting caught in the congestion up the middle corridor.

The kids responded, and we used the wings to great effect, moving the ball wide, and then binging back into the middle once we were up in attack. This saw many scoring opportunities, and some excellent ball movement around the D, making it tough for the Spirit defence. Our defence got moved around, but were still strong, with nice movement of the ball from defence into attack.

Charli and Surry kept up their excellent run through the middle, which saw Charli rewarded with another 3 goals, a few very nice goal assists, and some near goal assists. Amber was moved up onto the wing, and with some excellent positioning on the post, was rewarded with 2 goals. Isabel was also moved out onto a wing, and after having a poster in the first half, used her speed to move the ball wide and run up the field, putting in 2 late goals from out wide, and some dangerous crosses that only just missed Amber on the other side of the D.

Keep up the great work Strikers and remember what we need to do to work well as a team.

A very fast start to the game this week, with lots of pressure on our defence early. The team was up to it early with Alex and Gil holding fast as full backs and Amelia covering the angles in goals. Rebels scored first with a fast, long run from Brayden up the left wing. We went into half time 1:2 down but still in the game.
The message at half time was to concentrate on fast passes, move up as a team and drive the ball forward. For the first part of the second half the Rebels did exactly that, dominating possession and spending time in our front half. This resulted in an equalising goal to Perri which was a result of good team forward pressure.
Unfortunately the Rebels then had a small patch where their intensity dropped off a bit which allowed the opposition to capitalise with three quick goals. In the last three minutes the team found their Mojo, with some great passages of play earning short corners and close attempts on goal – but unfortunately we couldn’t score any more goals.
MVP this week was Perri, showing fantastic adaptability both in attack and in defence. Jai, Brayden and Toby were also acknowledged by the team as the 2nd and 3rd mvp for their efforts in consistently attacking hard into the D and great teamwork.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 11-1

Spirit came up against Strikers on Sunday who were missing quite a few players including their goalie. The early minutes were congested with Strikers giving us little room to string together passes. After a couple of minutes of chaos Harry B scored from just inside the D. The same disorganized play continued until mid-way into the first half when Spirit started to apply constant pressure to the Strikers defense. This resulted in 5 more goals, 3 from Harry B separated by both Amber and Matilda finding the back of the net to see the half time score at 6 nil.

Coach Darren was happy with our ball movement and commented on some nice linking up. In the second half he wanted to see us moving the ball out wide from the back line and string 3 or 4 passes together to set up a structured advance into offense.

The team complied, led by Luca with solid defense and nice passing out wide. An early shot at goal by Tilly was finished off by Mitchell to send the score to 7 nil. Two more quick goals from Harry B made 9 nil. Despite the score, Strikers kept their heads up, continuing to chase & pressure. This persistence was rewarded with their first goal. Two short corners and 2 more goals from Harry B saw the score at 11-1. In the final minute of the match Harry B shot a running pass to Harriet, who trapped skillfully, pivoted and ran the ball into the D; a shot at goal resulting in a short corner.

Well done Spirit and hats off to Strikers who didn’t stop running.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit, 1-11

I was so proud of the cobbled together Under 14 Strikers team on Sunday. With 7 of our listed players unavailable and our regular back up players also unable to play, 5 under 12 players stepped up so we could field a team. The players supported each other even though they didn’t all know each other’s names and the parents cheered on from the sideline. Not daunted by playing in a higher age group and in different positions, the younger players tackled hard and were persistent. There were some great passes, terrific dispossessions and the team quickly moved the ball on when taking a free shot. Thanks to Charlie, Eliza, Jai, Kye and Nate for helping us out, Max for the goal, Kurt for coaching, Zenon for helping, and Brandon for playing even though he wasn’t well.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-6

With two big outs (goalkeeper Max and utility Angus), the Coaches decided to start with 11 field players to enable backup goalie and strong defender Caleb to play a sweeping role in defence.  In a fantastic first half Newtown not only created several scoring opportunities, but marked and defended well against a well-drilled Torquay outfit to enter the break Nil all.  Excellent tackling from Luca and Caleb repelled many attacks, allowing Torquay only 1 penalty corner in the first half.

Jarret helped launch offensives from the back line with firm hitting and strong running, and when his passing was more composed in the second half, Tom was able to receive and slot home a goal.  Very strong games in the midfield from Harry B, Tom, Harley, and Ethan, was again dangerous running forward.  Our wingers were unlucky to miss some goal deflections and trap some challenging passes, but Harri, Mitchell and Harry W showed great determination in unfamiliar roles.  Unfortunately our defence was opened up in the second half by quick counterattacks, accurate passing and looser marking.  Our boys saved several certain goals but the lack of a keeper was telling and a big factor in the final score line. Thank-you to Harry B, Harry W and Luca  for filling in.

Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 1-8

Geelong Jaguars came out strong on Saturday against Newtown Strikers scoring their first goal within one minute of the start of the game and their second shortly after. Jaguars maintained a fast and strong attacking game with many attempts on goal. Credit to EJ and Strikers’ defence to limit the Jaguar goals and to Ben for a nice goal in the first half.

At half time coach Gordon’s comments were positive, recognising that Strikers were playing better and better and Jaguars were slowing. He stated that the focus for the game was on skills not goals, and gave the team instructions to trap, hold and push off, and for the wings to play high ready to capitalise on the Jaguars exposure of no goalie. Strikers improved their marking over the game against a fast and dynamic Jaguars team and gained valuable experience. Jaguars remained dominant however to win the game 8:1. Thanks to both Kate and Tilly for playing up from U/14’s to give us a full team and a sub.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints 2-3

Great game for our lady Falcons.  Falcons drew first blood with a Penalty corner conversion by Maggie.  And we held the lead for quite some time before another goal was scored by Saints to even it up.  Every position had to work hard to keep the intensity up. Jesse J was a wall on many occasion where Saints came with sustained pressure and while three got by to score, one that did was thrown aside by a determined Rachel on the line!  Alex, Ainsley, Xanthia and Kirsty were up to the task of making their mark work for every ball and it was a great brand of hockey to watch from the side.  Similarly, a hardly contested had Maggie, Erin, Astrid, and Georgie putting in some mileage. Thank goodness for the versatility of everyone who adapted when they were asked to play different roles and try to keep track of a revolving players as the Saints did quite a lot of shifting of players.   Thanks Lauren for jumping up the forward line with our young Hailey, Charley, and Amelia (congrats on first Division 1 game Amelia) who did a great job creating some attack.  The second goal was put in from a tough right side, low to the baseline run by Charley was lovely to watch from all parts of the field as it passed by the goalie to hit the far side board.  Hailey and Maggie had a memorable give and go.  So many good moments to build on and getting closer to putting together a well-deserved win.  I’ve pulled out only a few great moments from the game that while it ended in a  3-2 loss,  the ladies can be confident in the growth they have taken and look forward to what is to come.

Senior Men

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 5-0

I don’t know what it is about intra-club matches but they can often be one of the hardest fought games.  Whilst at the end of the game the score board didn’t make it look close, nothing could be further from the truth.  Spirit fought hard and pushed us all the way – they were unlucky not to score at times.  Fortunately for us, our fleet of young forwards proved to be fruitful with 4 of our 5 goals coming from players who are still playing in juniors.  Thanks to EJ playing his first game in goals at seniors level, finishing his first game with a clean slate.

Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 0-5

In what was always going to be a tough game, Spirit put up a commendable fight only giving away 3 goals in the first half. Unfortunately, our goalie Will, injured his knee just before half time leaving us without a last line of defence for the second half. With this additional challenge everyone stepped up a gear resulting in a number of opportunities on goal and only conceded an additional 2 goals thanks in large part to the fantastic efforts of our defensive back line.

Each week the guys have been taking what we’ve been doing at training and converting it into positive results on the field. We have a number of challenging games coming up which will give us an indication of where we stand in the new combined Division 1 and 2 men’s league.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints Red 0-8

Coming up against a very strong opponent, this game was a case not so much of Spirit not doing the right things but of the other team just being more effective. Saints quick play on game saw them score from the play following the opening pass back,  but our defence settled and Kylie and Bron absorbed the pressure. Saints were able to make use of even small spaces to give them an advantage. Andie, Peta and Amelia in the midfield worked hard to turn the play to our advantage with some great passes to forwards, but Saints just kept coming. De and Kirsty M showed great awareness of team mates in supporting positions, and Katie, Georgie and Deb ran well and looked for team mates.

With the score at 0-5 at half time, Newtown Spirit did not give up but continued to give their best efforts. The second half saw some progress, with Kate W, Maryanne and Amelia making some nice plays, and with continued hard work from Georgie, Deb and Katie we were able to get some opportunities in the attacking circle. Unfortunately no scores for us, while the defence held Saints to 2 more goals half way through the half, and a third toward the end of the game.

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