Three fantastic games in the 2023 hockey season’s Preliminary Finals showed the improvement which comes as the season progresses. Unfortunately, the U12 game pitted two Newtown teams against each other, which meant there was always going to be one eliminated. Congratulations to both teams on the way they played the game, and the effort they put in for the whole game.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 1-2
The two Newtown teams had played some close games this year with Spirit winning the first 3 but the last 2 games had been draws. Both teams played a fast expansive game with Parker for Strikers getting a goal just before half time.
The second half opened up even more. Spirit had three consecutive short corners and somehow the ball didn’t go in. Another surge and Spirit finally levelled with Joe hitting a great goal from the edge of the half circle. Strikers lifted a gear and went ahead 5 minutes later with a goal from Jack.
Spirit tried their best to get a late equaliser with some long balls to the wings getting behind the defense. A couple of late opportunities for Spirit but Strikers held on for a deserving win.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 2-1
It was a nail-biting finish to the preliminary final for the Newtown Strikers as they managed to hold off Newtown Spirit. Spirit made a strong start to the game and dominated the first 15 minutes. The Strikers then stepped up a gear and worked as a team to get a fantastic goal by Parker to finish the first half.
Spirit fought hard at the start of the second half to equalise the goal. Once again, the Strikers worked together with some great defending by Alex and Audrey and with some great determination by Jack to get a second goal in – to finish the game 2-1.
A very big thank you to our coach Dan, who has the ability to bring out the best in every player.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Blue 6-5 on penalty shootouts
With Tom opening up the scoring, the stage was set for a showdown with Kardinia. Serena was flexing her muscles on the injecting role for penalty corners. Coach Harry was watching on and changing roles as per what role the team was playing.
Alex and Amelia were backing up Mai in their full back roles. Lara and Chloe were running up the sidelines and Grace was keeping the ball in play. Surry and Luca were hard to get past and successfully sent the ball up to Matilda who had the game in sight.
With it all coming down to sudden death penalty shots it was Will who found the back of the net and Mai was able to stop Kardinia in their tracks with her skill of reading which way the player was going.
With everything crossed it’s time to take on Torquay for the Grand Final
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Torquay 1-4
The Newtown Falcons lost 4-1 to Torquay in the men’s D1 preliminary final. It was a much closer game than the scoreline suggests. It was 1-1 or 2-1 for most of the game, with Torquay sealing the game in fourth quarter with some pretty spectacular shots. We were up against a strong Torquay line-up and defended doggedly during the game. Despite having played another game only hours earlier, Harry had a big impact and scored our goal. Congratulations to Torquay – they were too good on the day – and good luck to them for the Grand Final.
While it was disappointing to end the season with a loss and miss out on playing in the Grand Final, Newtown’s senior men’s squad has come along way in 2023. We have gone from 1 team in 2022 to 2 teams in 2023. Our D1 team has been competitive against the other D1 teams. We have had a strong group of juniors playing as well as returning players and new players. Thanks very much to Claire Barnes for pushing us to enter two teams. Thanks to Leo for his recruiting and support in organising the team, particularly finding us a new keeper mid-season. Campbell has been a star. Overall, it has been thoroughly enjoyable managing the D1 team and running training on Thursdays. I hope everyone had an enjoyable season and looking forward to catching up at Senior Presentation Night, summer hockey and the 2024 winter season.
Grand Finals September 9
Grand Finals this week will feature 4 Newtown teams, in U12. U14, U17 and D2 Women. Good luck to everyone and let’s get out there to cheer them all.