The Victorian Junior Country Championships is an annual highlight of the hockey season for junior players in Geelong, providing the opportunity to represent the Geelong Hockey Association and compete against other Country Associations. The Championships were held on May 20 and 21, and this meant that there were no local games for U14 and U17 teams. It also meant some rearrangement of teams to cover the players in U12 and the parents in senior teams who were at the JCC. Thanks to everyone who filled in and assisted.
There were no U8 games scheduled on this weekend, but we had a very enjoyable parents and kids game at Lloyd Reserve. Parents and children enjoyed playing together in the same team, and there was some great teamwork and skills displayed on the day. Thanks to all who played.
Newtown Strikers vs Geelong Jaguars 2-3
U/10 Strikers were only narrowly defeated by Geelong Jaguars. The tone for an entertaining match was set early, with a miraculous save by Paige in defence (ably supported by Vicki) then backed up by a stellar run forward, resulting in Paige scoring the first goal for Newtown. An equally impressive run by Paddy shortly afterwards saw the lead stretch to 2-0 and great positioning in defence by Campbell and Tom kept it that way.
Geelong scored early in the second half, and despite some strong passes out of defence by Georgia, Tom and Campbell, another goal to Geelong followed. Heartbreak in the final minutes of the match with Geelong scoring again to seal the win. Best Team Player Awards to Lexi, with good positioning and passing, and Paddy with his fine work in attack.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 0-2
With two of our players at representative games, the Under 12 Strikers did well to hold Kardinia at bay with a 2-0 loss. Jack had a great attacking game and Mitchell saved numerous goals in his first time as goal keeper. Eliza played well on the wing and was always ready to push the ball up the field.
The score was an improvement from the previous game against Kardinia and with three of our more experienced players out of the team this week, players should be very proud of their efforts. A big thank you to Paddy from the Under 10 team who filled in for us on Saturday.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-1
Both teams had lost players to the JCC so the unbeaten Torquay were vulnerable. Spirit dominated the first half with half a dozen shots at goal but only a goal by Evelyn separated the teams at half time.
The second half was more even but again Spirit had opportunities. Torquay got a break away goal late in the second half to even it up. A game Spirit should have won but final score Spirit 1-1 Torquay.
Division 1 Men
Newtown Falcons vs Saints Red 3-2
With the Junior Country Championships on last weekend, Newtown were struggling for numbers. On Friday we had only 9, and numbers bounced around between 9 and 12 over the next 48 hours. When the whistle blew to start the match, we had only 10 players including Luke who had volunteered to keep as our regular keeper was absent. We were up against it!
We played determinedly and managed to score first through Tom P. Saints levelled just before half time. We scored again early in the second half through a nice finish by AJ. Saints levelled shortly after. At three quarter we were tired, but determined to fight hard for 17 more minutes and WIN. Mid-way through the 4th quarter, Basyl scored our third goal to take the lead after a great interception and solo run at the opposition keeper. We held on for the final five or so minutes for a very satisfying win.
Thanks to Dave, Tom B, Cal, AJ and especially Luke for filling in.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Geelong Jaguars 0-3
With many regular players off at the Junior Country Championships, Falcons women were also struggling for players. Thanks to Georgie for marshalling the troops so we could take the field.
We began with 9 players, including 4 who were doubling up from the D2 game the day before. Despite being outnumbered, Newtown had a significant amount of play in our attacking zone in the first quarter and achieved a number of circle entries.
Great defence from Ainsley, Kat and Alex turned back many of the Geelong forward moves, leaving Claire with an easier game in goals than she had anticipated.
The second half saw some excellent through passes from the defence and midfield with strong passes from Peta finding Georgie, Hailey and Audrey heading toward goal. De is relishing her new role as the midfield tagger, and limited the opposition ability to attack down the left wing.
A great game by all players, with thanks to all those who worked so hard even though it was their second game. Well done everyone!
Division 2 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes 0-5
Unfortunately, with lots of junior players and parents involved at the JCC, there were not enough players to field a team in this local match, resulting in a forfeit by Strikers. Next time around will be a great match with Torquay.
Division 2 Women
Newtown Strikers vs Saints 1-8
We had a rusty start this week, once we sorted out our marking strategy we were 5 nil down already to a very strong Saints team. Great team positivity and persistence enabled us to push back and some beautiful leading by Claire and Claudia led to a quick takeoff leaving their defence standing in the dust as Claudia converted.
The whole team put in above and beyond struggling with numbers (down to 8 at one point). Izzy, Kat and Georgie trying their hardest to cover both ends of the game. Great strength at the back from Kellie, Andy, Peta, Jeanie and Alex enabled them to push forward where possible.
Mentions to Dee and Peta who are both joining Kirsty on the own goal legends board. Dee’s was a perfect deflection that made our whole team cheer (despite the end). Peta decided to use Jeanie as a backboard for a quick conversion.
As always Paul remained positive and everyone came off smiling no matter the 1-8 scoreline.