The high point of the hockey season has arrived, when teams can showcase their improvement during the year and put it all together in the Finals series.
Congratulations to the 9 teams who participated in the Semi-Finals, and commiserations to those who have now finished their hockey for this season. But just wait until the next hockey season!
Well done to the teams who earned the right to continue, with 2 teams into the Grand Final and 4 teams playing this week in Preliminary Finals.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 1-0
A long-awaited win for the Strikers finally arrived this Saturday. The team definitely peaked at the right time as the win assured them a spot in the playoff for second and third place against the Spirit next week.
Every single player in the Strikers team played to the best of their abilities with great teamwork demonstrated by all. This was evident in the fantastic goal scored by Parker but set up by the whole team to get the ball down the field.
A big thank you to Dan for all his encouragement and patience in coaching the Strikers this season.
Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 0-2
Torquay had beaten Spirit 4 times this season with one draw early in the season. The score two weeks ago was 9-0 against a depleted Spirit side. Spirit was optimistic for this game with a near full strength team.
Spirit started well and got behind the Torquay defence a couple of time. Torquay worked their way into the game and despite great defence scored just before half time. Spirit defended honourably throughout the second half with the majority of the game played inside their half.
It was 0-1 until half way through the second half when Torquay scored a second goal. A tough game for Spirit who put in 100% effort and made their parents proud against the best team in the competition.
Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia Blue – 1-1 at full time, 2-1 on penalty shootout
Well, what an exciting game for the U14 Strikers this week as they faced off against Kardinia Blue this week for the opportunity to go straight through to the Grand Final. Before the game Kurt spoke to all the players and implored them to put into place all the things they had worked on during the year. He asked the players to look for opportunities to use the width of the ground, use their voices to call for the ball and communicate to their team-mates and take aggressive opportunities inside the circle.
The first half was very close as expected and the ball moved freely back and forth up the ground with Letto making a few great saves, Ollie L, Ruby, Kashvi, and Riley holding tight in defence and Ollie W unlucky not to score after trapping a great Will through ball into the circle.. Unfortunately, eventually Kardinia were able to get the first score of the game and went into half time leading 1-0.
At half time Kurt’s message was just to continue pushing and creating opportunities and that we were still right in the game. After a few more close opportunities the Strikers finally forced another short corner and Zac was able to finish with a great goal to bring the game back to level. The rest of the half saw the two teams both create opportunities with Letto again saving several goals and at full time they couldn’t be separated, and the game went to penalties.
Will got the team off to a great start, scoring off the first penalty to put the Strikers in front followed by some great saves by Letto until Kardinia managed a score off a great second effort to level. It was then Kashvi who stepped up, took the ball wide and found the opening to put the Strikers in front with one player remaining. It was another great save from Letto who closed out the penalties and delivered a victory to the Strikers. The team were very excited and looking forward to playing in the Grand Final in two weeks’ time.
Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 7-2
The Newtown showdown was held and didn’t disappoint. The early stages were opened by Tom scoring first of five goals to him. Chloe and Lara headed up the wings through to pole to back up their chances of scoring and came so close. Alex and Amelia were in the back and providing support to Mai in goals, even bringing balls down from aerial attacks. Luca and Anya were our halves and didn’t disappoint in their roles with sending the ball out wide or in the air when needed.
Serena was marking everyone in the D and was rewarded with a goal on the rebound. Grace has come a long way this year with her running and being in the right place to send the ball up for grabs with our attacking options. Surry was also rewarded with a goal and made great saves when it mattered. Brandon throughout the game made great position and attacked when needed.
A great game from everyone.
Newtown Spirit vs Newtown Strikers 2-7
The semi final between the two Newtown teams commenced with lots of pressure on Spirit. Leo passed the ball onto Hugh pretty quickly who had two players on him as he arrived to move the ball forward. The ball spent a lot of time in Spirit’s forward with the help from Hamish who provided a couple of short corner opportunities. Hamish, Scarlett, Felix, Charlotte and Karla tried their hardest to get a short corner but unfortunately didn’t prevail. Max had some great runs, but by half time Strikers had two short corners. Madden saved an amazing goal and Ruby and Kayla worked hard in defence.
Half time scores Strikers 5 – Spirit 0.
The third quarter started with an early short corner for Spirit, unfortunately no goal. However, a good run in from behind the 25 from Charlotte saw Spirit score their first goal. Not long after, Max forced it into the D that gave Felix the opportunity to score Spirit’s second goal.
Two short corner opportunities in the last quarter, and two goals for Strikers saw the final scores Strikers 7 and Spirit 2.
We wish the Strikers best of luck against Kardinia in the preliminary final next week.
That is a wrap for U17 Newtown Spirit, thank you to the team for showing up and playing their hearts out each week. Thanks to anyone that filled in for us over the season and the parents, for cheering on the sidelines, making sure the team had oranges and helped out with canteen duty. Most importantly, the biggest thank you to Rachel for taking time out to coach an incredible team.
Division 1 Men
The Newtown Falcons defeated Saints Red 10-0 on a warm and sunny Sunday. It was great to welcome back Nik after surgery and Phil after being unavailable for a few weeks. We started strongly and scored four goals in the first quarter.
We played well through the middle of the game and then finished strongly with three goals in the fourth quarter. Highlights included Harry’s five goals, Tom’s drag flick goal and Leo edge past the keeper after receiving an overhead ball in the circle. It was a great effort by the team. Thanks for all the support on the sidelines. We look forward to playing Torquay on Saturday evening.
Editor’s note: great combination between Sean and Leo to score a fantastic goal – reminiscent of Kieran Govers’ 2014 World Cup goal for the Kookaburras but in a more crowded goal circle.
Division 1 Women
Newtown Falcons vs Saints 0-3
Division 2 Men
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay Tornadoes 0-8
Torquay came out strong in the first quarter of the Semi Final, scoring 3 goals. Despite only having 11 players, the Strikers lifted in the 2nd half, narrowly missing goal with a number of attacks and limiting the Torquay goals.
After the game, coach David congratulated the team on a well conducted season, despite us often being low on players. He pointed to the achievement of being able to create a competitive Division 1 team. Special thanks to Prabha and Callum for coming to support the team even though they couldn’t play.
Well done Strikers! Onwards and upwards for next year!
Division 2 Women
Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 4-0