Round 2 of the 2022 hockey season was completed with some excellent efforts from teams despite missing regular team members in some cases.
Under 8 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay
Strikers played admirably against an experienced Torquay team. All players did well at finding space and looking to pass to teammates whenever possible. Paddy and Grace were enthusiastic in attack, and Ewan made some spectacular defensive efforts in front of goals. A focus on tackling in the second half saw improvements in overall defence by the team. A great sense of teamwork amongst all players!
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Navigators
Another great game by both Spirit and Navigators, with excellent focus on the ball. Players approached the play with sticks on the ground and were ready to fight for any loose balls. Fantastic ball control skills from James and Harry saw some forward plays reach the scoring zone, making sure that Thomas and the defenders had to be on their toes to repel the shots at goal.
Great teamwork for Navigators with Archie and Felix working well together. Hunter, Emily, Eleanor and Amelie were keen to be part of the action, looking to gain possession and then pass to team mates.
Under 10 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 5-0
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-0
A number of Spirit players had filled in for U12 in an earlier game, but despite this showed great commitment and determination to win the ball. A tendency to crowd the play in the first half saw lots of back and forward passes up the centre corridor. This meant that the relief for the defence was only temporary as the ball was back in their zone quickly.
The second half saw Spirit begin to spread out, with more passes using the width of the field. Through passes down the side line resulted in a number of attacks reaching the scoring circle. Jessica’s determination to gain possession paid off and she was able to score the goal. Spirit’s defence was solid with Oskar, Evelyn and Jake proving a stumbling block to Torquay. Well directed passes came into the game with Lucas, Harriet and Mackenzie showing some good awareness.
Under 12 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 4-1
The two U12 Newtown teams played each other on Saturday, with Strikers getting the edge over Spirit on the scoreboard. Strikers were led by Audrey this week, who demonstrated some very good positioning and marking of players. Harrison and Will combined well for some well executed short corners, with Will scoring in the first half from a push in by Harrison, and Harrison scoring in the second half with a deflection of a pass by Will.
Other goals were scored by Sofia in the first half and another goal from Harrison in the second, resulting in a final score of 4-1. Some of the other impressive contributions came from Elizabeth with some great defensive efforts within the D and determination to play on after receiving a hit on her finger, and also James who volunteered to be the goalie and performed very well with a number of goals saved.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 1-4
The 1st half of the game saw Spirit play a fairly defensive style with lots of play crowded down the middle of the ground. The defence was good and made a few forward attacks and a couple of shots at goal. Strikers scored the only 2 goals of the first half.
The highlight in the 2nd half of the game was the space created which led to Bella scoring a goal after weaving around other players brilliantly. Well done Bella. Ved put in some exceptional work and his input was missed when he left the field due to an injury. More use and great positioning on the wing by Evelyn and a persistent effort from Xavier. Strikers scored 2 goals for the half to win 4-1. Overall well done team, everyone tried hard. Good luck next time.
Under 14 Mixed
Newtown Spirit v Newtown Rebels 2-3
Despite the cold and windy conditions, Spirit arrived energised and ready for their Round 2 match. Thanks to Charlotte for stepping in as goalkeeper and to Taya for helping out Rebels who were short of players.
Spirit showed off some outstanding skills in the first half. With some great switches across the back line and then beautiful passing up the left wing they played some text book hockey which was great to watch. Aimee was first to get on the score board for Spirit closely followed by Felix with a goal in only his second match!!
After half time, Spirit lost some of their structure and discipline which allowed Rebels to get back into the game. Unfortunately two goals were followed by a third putting Rebels ahead. Spirit put in a late attacking burst but couldn’t convert their efforts into a goal.
This weeks players’ player was Ruby, closely followed by Felix and Hamish. Some great skills were in display. If these can be sustained for the whole game the team will be unstoppable!!
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 2-1
What a cold and wintery day for our round 2 match this week. A last minute out from illness, had coach Kurt re-shuffling the magnets as we went into our round 2 game on Saturday. Our team started off well, but the cold conditions had us a little flat footed. The team was still showing good structure, and we were moving the ball around nicely. The players started to warm up, and we started to again see some of the nice intercepts, which resulted in a few shots on goal. At times we were not running back to defend as well as we did last week, but some great intercepting by our full backs and halves, stopped most of the breakaway runs from Torquay, and some good saves from the goalie and desperation from our defenders were keeping Torquay goalless.
Our pressure when defending a free was particularly good, with lots of poke tackles getting the ball back, or stifling any Torquay momentum. Our first goal came from some good movement of the ball, players running into the space created from other players keeping on the move and drawing the Torquay defenders away. We got a few short corners, and it was nice to see the team come up with a variation on their own, to result in our second goal.
Late in the game Torquay started pushing hard. Torquay again got a fast breakaway, which we were a little slow to react to, and left the Torquay players two on 1 with our goalie, registering their first goal of the game, and giving Torquay an extra energy boost. It was great to see our players keep their cool, and keep moving the ball
around, repelling the Torquay energy, and resulting in another couple of scoring opportunities, unfortunately just wide of the goals.
No games this weekend due to the Junior Country Championships, but please come to training if you can, so we can keep working on the structure setups, and some short corner work.
Under 17 Mixed
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 14-0
On Sunday Strikers lined up against a young and depleted Geelong Jaguars team. We had 11 players with Ilia taking to the pitch for his maiden game. Coach Niko’s pre match chat urged a focus on crisp passing.
The first half was dominated by Strikers but not without eager defending by the young Jaguars. We had some great passages of consecutive long probing passes down the right-hand side of the pitch that led to numerous goals. Harry B featured in many, some with solo baseline runs ending with skilful flicks passed their goalie. Peri was amongst the scoring action, sneaking one in before the whistle.
The half time score was 9 nil. Niko was happy with our ball movement but wanted to see us set up a better structure and avoid the temptation to just blaze through Jaguars defence.
The second half started with Jaguars defending with more determination. This resulted in Strikers playing better hockey. Long passes presented scoring opportunities and there were some great passages of play. A scorching 40m pass by HB found Scarlett on the post who controlled the deflection to score a fantastic goal. Tomahawk shots by both Harry B and Mitchell resulted in goals. But the passage of play for the day didn’t result in a goal. Ilia, 5 metres from the Jaguars goal line, pushed a pass to Harry W. A crisp and accurate pass to Harry B gave him time to unleash a terrific and apparently premeditated pass to Amber who had made perfect position. She then fired yet another pass diagonally into the D to Scarlett who had moved rapidly onto the post. No goal resulted, but the ball moved from one end of the pitch to the other in about 5 seconds. No point running with the ball!
Final score was 14 nil. Harry B finished with a total of nine goals, although the last 2 spilled over into the yellow card column on my scoresheet, so the stats might not paint a great picture!
Thanks again go to Ruby for filling in (this is the last thanks Ruby, because I think you’re a permanent member of the team now). Congratulations to Ilia on a great first game of hockey.
Coach Niko was very happy, not because of the score, but because of the way we played.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 0-3
Great work effort by Newtown Falcons, in a tough game against the D1 Torquay team that has been sitting on top of the ladder over the last few seasons. We showed some good signs, were very competitive, especially for a group that has not played a lot of hockey together.
The previous match between these two teams in 2021 resulted in a 0-12 loss. So a 0-3 loss in this game is a huge step forward for the team, and the score still probably doesn’t reflect how close we were. Falcons got a few shots on goal, which could easily have got us on the board. Our pressure on the ball carrier by and large was again very good, making it hard for Torquay to move the ball freely and score. This resulted in some clear frustration in their experienced forwards.
As the season progresses, and the players learn to play together, the team will develop and can push well drilled teams even harder. Further work is needed on getting the ball out of defence, and movement from a free, especially when a team is pushing very high and has created a solid wall defence. Well done all.
Division 2 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Geelong Blue 0-8.
A very hard game for Falcons with only 8 players and missing Martin from his usual goalkeeper position. Persistence was not able to overcome the imbalance in numbers, with Geelong using the extra space well.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes 2-3
Starting with a bench was a pleasant surprise, providing a sense of anticipation. The play was fairly even in the first 10 minutes and while Torquay began without a goalie, they were able to put plenty of pressure on our defence to score an early goal. Great midfield defence turned the play to our advantage and a long run down the wing and passage into the circle where Kellie took advantage of Torquay’s lack of a keeper to equalise.
Newtown continued to work hard with some great running and use of space by Shan, Georgie and Tash. Torquay scored again, but Strikers were able to equalise again with Shan’s persistence in front of goal producing a result.
The last half was played with 10 players as family commitments intervened, leaving our defence without the solid interceptions seen from Kirsty and Andie in the first half. Charlotte became the defence rock, blocking many advances by Torquay and slowing the play to allow Newtown to regain possession.
Torquay scored again in the last part of the game but there was no chance to equalise again. Despite the loss, this was a game which promises great matches in future for the Strikers team. Well done all.