2020 Hockey Season – July 25/26

Stay Safe and Keep Playing Hockey

The committees of our club and of the Geelong Hockey Association are very aware of the need to maintain safe operating and playing practices to keep our hockey community safe. If we continue to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus, it is more likely that we will be able to keep playing hockey.

Please read the information provided by the Geelong Hockey Association and comply with all safe practices.

In a hockey season where we are taking it 1 week at a time, there has been some excellent hockey on display from all teams.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Saints

Crisp, clear and chilly conditions met the 9 excited Strikers players at King Lloyd Reserve for Round 2 of the U8 competition. New players Georgia and Sophie were a tad nervous but quickly joined in and played well.

With the Saints team short on numbers, a few Strikers showed excellent sportsmanship volunteering to play with them. With most players moving between teams the game was played with enthusiasm, skill and excitement. Oscar and Braxton passed, tackled and moved the ball forward excellently setting up numerous scoring opportunities. Lucy was using her voice very well and moved into space a number of times to receive the ball – well done.
During the second half Eddy was moved into defence for a rest but couldn’t be left out of the play with a strong tackle in defence and then dribbled the length of the field to score – great work Eddy! Summah and Joseph chased hard and did some great passes forward to their team mates. With some encouragement at half time, Casper helped his team mates warm their fingers up which led to many great plays down the field. He also made some great runs and passes forward.
Throughout the game players from both teams showed excellent sportsmanship helping all players become involved.

A focus for next week’s game will be to continue the awesome positive team approach and to start using the flat stick tackle, back stick dribble and moving into space. If parents/guardians can have a game/hit in the backyard during the week that’d be great. Go Strikers!!

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay

Both teams had plenty of players so there was some interchange action happening. Playing against a very young Torquay team it was very pleasing to see the co-operative spirit in the game from our players. Even after 1 week of being back playing, the players are gaining confidence and regaining skills and strategic play. Isaac ran hard to get the ball, and was quickly looking for passes to team mates. With sticks on the ground when approaching the ball, Spirit players were able to gain possession on many occasions and Albie, Kai, Poppy and Olive created some forward moves which looked very promising. Cate and Olivia were again in great position on the wings, and a lovely trap by Olivia and a pass down the length of the field allowed her team to move into attack.

Great work from Albie and Kai who were under pressure in defence during the game, with some very near misses by Torquay.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Torquay 1-4

Spirit started the game well with some strong attacking play but soon became bogged down in the crowded centre of the pitch.  Michael had an early shot on goal which just missed and then Torquay took advantage of some gaps in the Spirit defence to get the first goal, and one more followed before half time.

Some positional changes at half time helped Newtown break out of the pack and Josien was able to get their only goal of the match. Towards the end of the game there was some good passing and use of space from the forward line and midfield. The final score of 1-4 didn’t reflect the effort of the team, but there a few things to work on for next week!

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 0-2

Thanks to Manny for volunteering to fill in for Newtown Spirit, leaving us with 11 players. The effort from all players was excellent, with many very keen to get the ball. However, this led to a tendency to crowd the play, and passes to team mates were often short distance and not very powerful, making it easier for Kardinia to defend. A great first game by Ivy, who showed excellent ball control skills, running into attack and looking for team mates to pass to. A very determined Paige was working hard to gain possession whenever the ball came near her.

Marking of opposition forwards is improving, but despite this, Kardinia managed to sneak behind our defence to score. The second half saw more passes directed toward the wings with Anessa, Harrison and Sofia working well together on the right.

Players were doing a great job of looking for their team mates, but recognition of space and leading to space is one thing we can work on. With some greater distance between team mates and firmer passes, the team will be able to move the ball more freely in future games.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Rebels vs Torquay 0-1.

Despite a three-degree starting temperature there was sizzling play all over the field with the play of the day from Elliott who while minding the left post was beaten by numbers and saved the goal in the right corner with her stick then flicked it away. Best save of the year material and as a result best and fairest goes to you  – awesome work.

Strong defence was led by Ruby who denied the opposition forwards on numerous occasions. Also strong in defence was Brandon with some strong traps that had the opposition running past without the ball. Covering the centre and much territory was Eliza who moved the ball elegantly to the forward line. The left side of the field is a zone Alex is now comfortable with, and continued to make accurate passes, remember you can hit the ball. What a whirlwind was Matilda filling in for the team this week, so close to scoring a goal many times as she harried the opposition defence. Jacob was always were he needed to be so the free hitters had a great option every time.

For her first game of the season Isabelle started slowly but came into form in the second half making great position and tackles. Also, back this week was Emma with her trademark sneaky runs to make position in attack. Once again Serena made great position and hassled the opposition with the ball. Maddison’s strong passes and great tackles set her team mates up for dynamic plays. Fast on his feet, River was the consummate player happily changing roles as requested by coach he played both defender and attacker, great work.

What a close game, with Torquay having five interchanges it was tired legs that saw the Rebels go down one goal to nil. Great work everyone.

Coaches tip: Next week on opposition free hits mark your player (stand just in front and on their stick side) and keep your sticks on the ground.

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia 6-1

We had a great turnout at training, and Kurt did some great work helping the kids to understand where the “space” is, how to move into space, and how to find a player in space. This paid off in spades in this week’s game, with all the kids showing great awareness of where the space was, and great ball movement around the field.

The team effort levels were amazing, with many repeat efforts, and this really proved the difference in the one on one battles.

Some great ball movement out wide, and a slick pass into Surry saw us on the board with a great shot on goal. Chloe and Amelia were doing a stellar job in defence, ensuring Mai was well supported in the goals. Isabel provided some excellent intercept work through the middle, and fast run out of defence, linking up with Avah, Will and Meyah to break the Kardinia defence and run us back into attack.

Charlotte again provided good wide running and put the ball into dangerous positions for our forwards to pounce. Valentina showed some excellent trapping skills, redirecting the ball for our running forwards. Surry, Will and Zac all continued to pepper the goals throughout the game, and although we missed some very gettable goals, we remained in a strong position right throughout the game. Zac finished the game with a double, and although Surry finished with 4, his many attempts to feed off to other players, shows the maturity he has developed as a hockey player.

The encouragement the team showed towards each other was excellent, and very enjoyable to see!

After a game like Saturday, it is very hard to find a key focus for our next game, other than to say more of the same please! The kids really worked together, moving the ball around the field and ran hard all game.

Newtown Spirit vs Saints 4-1

Round 2 kicked off with another display of great teamwork, good positioning, accurate passing and confident attacking. Plenty of hard running by forwards Annabelle, Amelia, Leo, Hugh and Bella. Meanwhile, our half backs Charlotte, Baxter and Ruby worked hard defending and counter attacking to keep the ball down our goal end for the majority of the game. Saints played a strong game, defending well and making some hard and fast attempts at goal. Full backs, Ruben and Hamish K were quick to defend with strong tackling and accurate passes back to our players. Hamish S in goals made a couple of brilliant saves when Saints got a good run in past our defence. Making the choice to run out or stay in when you’re the last in line of defence can’t be easy but Hamish has proven he can do both with skill and aptitude. Clever positioning and a strong, accurate push saw Amelia shoot the first goal of the match before half time.

The second half saw an increased confidence and drive with two further goals from Bella (a deflection after a strong pass in from Ruby) and Amelia in quick succession. Saints fought back with some rival teamwork to score their first and only goal. The latter half of the match saw more picture-perfect teamwork from all with strong running, passing and stick skills in use. Great running, wide positioning and determined tackling was seen from Annabelle who had one of her best matches. The final seconds of the match saw one last hard go at goals with Bella sneaking one past the Saints goalie to make the score 4-1 to Newtown.

Well done to all the team on your individual and team efforts, keep up the practise, energy and momentum!

Acknowledgements to Nate who was once again to be found restless on the sidelines watching and cheering on his fellow teammates, with luck he will be back on the field next weekend! Gratitude to Amelia and Ruby for filling in with gusto to create a full team. Also, thank you to Claire for filing in as coach with the tireless energy she is renowned for.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs HG Sharks 0-7

Strikers took on the HG Sharks rep team on another weather friendly Saturday morning at Stead Park. This was always going to be a very challenging match even though two of their best players, in Luca and Tom, lined up for Newtown.

Strikers pressured the Sharks from the opening whistle. Both our tackling and manning up were excellent. Luca and Tom, swapping themselves between Full Back and Centre Half, formed the basis of a defensive stance that we hoped would limit the Sharks ability to get open shots at goal. Together they performed that role superbly. Ruby, as our other Full Back, supported well, disrupting Sharks forwards running the ball into the D with her strong tackles. 10 minutes into the half and Strikers had denied the Sharks a single open shot at goal; an incredible effort that had them a bit rattled.

Our Inners, Ado and Eoin, were given the tough task of running deep into defense to crowd their goals but breaking quickly down the pitch when we gained possession. And run they did. Solid support was provided across midfield by Amber, Peri and Eliza. Finally, with 7 minutes left in the first half, Sharks scored their first.

In the second half we managed some strong offensive moves. Surrey and Tilly both ran the ball aggressively from midfield on numerous occasions, passing long, looking to find Kayla who was positioning herself perfectly. There were few opportunities for our forwards, but when we had them, we looked like scoring. Sharks countered these plays well and exploited the resulting gaps in our midfield and defense. Mai, as usual, made scoring very difficult but inevitably, some started to find the back of the net. Daniel, who had seen little action on a Wing in the first half, had a run in Right Inner, executing some excellent tackling and passing.

The final score was 7 nil but was not a true reflection of the performance of the Strikers. The first half, in particular, was a fantastic effort. This was a match between a local club team and a Geelong and district representative team. To hold the score at nil all for the first 18 minutes of the match was an incredible effort. Well done Strikers. Thanks again to Nate for attending the match in support.

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguar 5-2

Newtown Under-14s Spirit had a great game last weekend playing Geelong Jaguars, despite a disappointing game the previous week. With a number of changes to positions as the team got to know each others’ strengths and weaknesses there were a few members playing in unfamiliar positions. But a quick word from the team manager Grant followed by some on-field support by the more experienced players helped make the transition very smooth, and before long all players were working effectively together to get the ball, move the ball and get five goals in the net across both halves.

With a strong defence on the back line with Thamindu, Amelia, Liam and Elliot in goals only 2 balls managed to slip though, a number vastly outweighed by the number of saves in the back line. The half line was equally strong, helping the forward line maintain possession and assisting in moving the ball up the pitch. Finally the forward line had a lot of adapting to do with the afore-mentioned new player positions. It is also good that players remembered their drink bottles as the Jaguars kept the forward line running.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit VS Newtown Strikers 7-2

What a great start to our first game for the Winter season. Newtown Spirit were very pumped and everyone settling well into their positions, with lots of long distance running and strong passing gaining our first goal within 10 minutes by Harry L.  Continuous strong resistance from our great defence team prevented our opponents from scoring several goals. With Spirit continuing their excellent speed and endurance, Harry L, Charlie H and Oskar were able to capitalise with a fantastic goal each ending the first half with the score 4 to 1.

Spirit continued to play with lots of determination in the second half taking on board advice from Gordon our Coach, where Will was able to move the ball with ease up the forward to score a great goal from outside the D. Spirit managed to keep up their confidence which gained Charlie H another fantastic goal. Lots of great teamwork, strong passing from all our players towards the end rewarded Spirit with our final goal by Kade.  Score on the final whistle was 7-2.

Well done team on our first game.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Spirit 2-7

This round the two U17 Newtown teams played each other, this was always going to be a tough game with many friends playing for the opposition.

At the beginning of this game it was clear that we were flustered to begin with. We knew we had a challenging game when three goals were scored by the opposition in the first 10 minutes. We were fortunate enough to have Mai as goalie for the first half of the game, and she did an amazing job trying stop these powerful goals. Determination saw Josh and Charley assist with a goal scored by Riley in the opening half.

The frustration was showing on the field and the umpire coming over at half time to warn the team to settle down as cards would be given. Half time whistle blew and we were behind 4-1.

A couple of position changes and words of encouragement by Pete (coach) during the half time break provided the much needed structure we were looking for, immediately we had promising opportunities presented between Riley and Claudia which we just couldn’t finish off.

Entering the second half you could hear more talking, calling, positive praise, and saw better lateral ball movement.  Desperation was shown by both teams when  Harry W was involved in a clash that saw him receive a warning and the opposition get a green card. Harry W and Issy applied a lot of pressure and run at centre half, creating a strong defence and getting the ball forward with strong passes. Getting it out wide and into the open saw Claudia and Adam assist Josh in scoring our second goal. This week again we had a strong back line with Harley defending two possible goals (in a row) by the opposition.

Despite what was happening on the field and proving to be a tough game, it was great to see Harry B (injured) on the side lines supporting his team, nonetheless difficult to watch knowing he could not assist his team mates on the field.

This week Strikers were defeated 7-2, but we’re very proud of the character shown by the team to turn around their frustrating start and stay competitive in an undermanned match-up. Great sportsmanship was shown at the end of the game as both teams tapped hockey sticks and cheered each other.

Hockey Season Is Here At Last!

 The 2020 hockey season has finally begun, for our junior teams at least.

There were many comments this week, especially from parents, about how good it was to see our junior players able to get on the field and actually play hockey again.  And there were some excellent matches, with players demonstrating the skills they have been working on in the training sessions.

Thanks to all the parents, coaches and team managers for their support and efforts which have led us to this point.

Under 8 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay

A great first game and lots of fun for Newtown Strikers. The experienced players formed the backbone of the team, providing structure and direction with lovely passing and positioning. Calling to team mates provided good direction and support for all players. Great work by the newer players, contributing to the team game with good skills and co-operation.

Well done to Strikers on showing great sportsmanship and fair play, which allowed the less experienced Torquay team to advance to the scoring area, resulting in 2 goals for Torquay and a sense of achievement and enjoyment for both teams.

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia

With the addition of 3 players from the 2019 U6 Joeys program, Newtown Spirit began the hockey season well. There was some great concentration on the ball from Jake and Kai, gaining possession and passing well to team mates.

The U8 players have not had the opportunity to practice since last season, but as the game went on, they showed they had not forgotten the skills and strategies. Cate and Olivia in great position on the wings, began to move to the ball and a lovely through pass down the wing by Olivia allowed her team mate to run on and move the ball into attack. Isaac and Albie worked hard, and in the second half especially, applied great pressure to the opposition when they were near the ball, allowing Newtown to control the play.

Well done all. A great start, and we are really looking forward to next week.

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 2-1

The Under 10 Spirit Team came to the match full of enthusiasm and ready to test out the skills they have been learning at training over the last few weeks. They started out well and were able to apply most of the pressure in the first half.

The middle of the pitch was a bit of a battle field with most of the play running up the centre of the pitch. Thanks to some good tackling in the mid field and defence, there was good supply of the ball through to Michael, Josien and Audrey in the forward line. Josien was able to convert one of those opportunities into a goal and Spirit led 1-0 at half time.

Kardinia came out fighting after half time and got an early goal. After some half time feedback Spirit started to make better use of their wings to get past the Kardinia defence. There was also some great defensive play from Pollyanna and Isabelle. Spirit were rewarded with another goal thanks to some great teamwork from Michael, Josien, Audrey and Lucy in front of goal. It was a great start for the team in their first match together.

 Newtown Strikers vs Saints 3-0

The core of the Strikers team returned from last year, but with a number of players having moved to U12, we were glad to welcome some new players. Maia, Paige and Manny joined us from U8, and Patrick and Anessa are new members of the club this year.

Playing without a goalkeeper, we began with a strong defence lineup of Harrison, William and Cormac, who were in good position to intercept any forward moves from Saints. Players were keen to get the ball, and approaches with the stick on the ground saw Newtown gain possession on many occasions. There were some good attempts to pass to team mates, but a tendency to crowd made these less effective than they might have been. Great determination and good stick skills by Paige, Bella and Maia created some promising moves into attack.

The first goal was scored by Bella after a perfect pass across from right wing by Anessa in her first game of hockey ever! Newtown had plenty of forward movement, and plenty of players keen to contribute to the team game. The half time score of 2-0 was a reflection of the effort by the whole team.

It was not until half time that we realised that the Saints team was seriously undermanned. Thanks to William and Maia for volunteering to swap and play for Saints to even up the numbers. The second half saw some good midfield work, and some positional changes to give players a chance to experience a new role. Great persistence and improved use of the wings brought Charles, Manny, Sofia and Patrick into the game.

Under 12 Mixed

Newtown Rebels vs Newtown Strikers 2-1

The opening matches at Stead Park for this hockey season included a Newtown blockbuster, Under 12 Strikers vs Rebels. Firstly thanks to Strikers for loaning us a player as the starting line-ups were 11 vs 8, so thanks for the cameo and well played to Amelia who showed slinky sweeping shots to move the play around the field.

Our team welcomed two players both up for their first winter season game of hockey. River and Serena both made terrific position and placement to intercept and receive the ball. River’s positioning and movement in the D, especially shadowing defenders distracted the opposition goalie and was a significant assist, and Serena impressed the coach and manager  with her persistence and making the opposition play one more shot or move. Keep it up.

Eliza’s signature running was a delight to watch and her positioning on the field was integral to getting the ball out wide for flow. Alex made some lovely free passes with great direction, making good use of her lovely accurate hit, so we’d like to see more of that next week. Maddison combined some lovely stick skills with passes to other players – great transition to U12 and synthetic. Ruby and Brandon were on fire covering one another on the field and passing to well-placed team members. Elliott in goals had a fantastic game, and her calling to team mates to move them into position was a delight, what a great game.

One last thing to the whole team please, next week please let us see more of you bending your knees and having your stick on the ground. Well done everyone for a two to one win. Both goals were team efforts to beat the goalie with final honours going to Jacob and Ruby.

I know you’ve all been reading for Best Team Player. This week it was the youngest member of the team Jacob, for sticking to his position and persistently following up on loose hockey balls and passing them to team mates.

Newtown Strikers vs Newtown Rebels 1-2

Welcome back to winter hockey, finally!

U12 Strikers had a good game to kick off the hockey season. Firstly thanks to Serena and Amelia for playing for Rebels this week to even up the numbers, this was very much appreciated, and also Mai for jumping in and being our goalie this week.

The match was very evenly matched, with lots of rebound play. It was nice to see the team move the ball around and start to use the angles. Some great tackling, and forward movement had us in attack on many occasions. Some nice rebound out of defence, and movement of the ball out wide, saw Charlotte get a shot on goal, and open our balance for the game and season. Rebels pushed back hard and broke through our defence to equalise near the half time siren, going in 1-1.

The second half was again a very even match, with both teams moving the ball well. We had some good forward thrusts, and a couple of shots on goal that went awfully close, but we were not able to get one into the net. Mai was also busy, performing some great saves, with some timely surges at the oncoming Rebel attacks. However, with only a few minutes to go Rebels managed to get in behind our defence, and even with some excellent keeping from Mai, managed to get on a rebound ball, and score.

It was pleasing to see the Strikers players all keep their heads and keep fighting right to the final siren. Well done Strikers it was great to finally be watching some hockey, especially with the great skills you all showed!

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 2-0

It was a cheerful team and a joyful crowd simply to be so lucky to be back on the field in the sunshine (and the usual wind) at Stead Park for round 1 of the 2020 hockey season.

The team welcomed five new players Bella, Baxter and Matilda from NCHC U10’s, as well as Tessa a new member of NCHC, and Hugh’s first time playing the winter season.

The team may not have played for a while and it was their first match together as a team but you would not have known this as an onlooker. All players positioned themselves well; covering the field and playing their positions with skills and determination that should see them do well this season.

A perfect pass from Bella in our goal circle saw Leo shoot a confident first goal of the match in the first half. This was followed later in the second half by a second goal this time from Matilda.

Throughout the game there was fabulous play by all. Ruben and Hamish K worked well together in defence showing great stick work skills and strong, accurate passes to our midfielders. Charlotte was on every ball that came near tackling hard and following up to ensure it was cleared back to our players. Hugh  had a great couple of runs up the field with the ball well controlled and passing on to the forwards. Leo played a brilliant game running hard, covering the field and passing on accurately. Some particularly lovely teamwork was seen between Tessa, Matilda and Hugh. Baxter, Annabelle and Tessa ran all match, using the full width of the field and somehow always being where they were needed.

Kardinia played a good match and were not without a few attempts at goals however fortunately for us we had Hamish S in goals who ensured that despite a few close calls Kardinia did not get one past. Last of all I’d like to mention Nate who due to a broken wrist is currently out of play but he did not let that stop him so he was helping out with umpiring instead!

Thank you to Claire for filing in as coach for Kellie. Claire as always gave 110% to the match, coming away with a hoarse voice but happy!

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Golden Plains 7-0

On Saturday Strikers took to the pitch for Round 1 against Golden Plains.

Congested play was the main feature of the first half. Relentless tackling by Strikers gave Golden Plains little room to push into offense. Strikers also had difficulty finding space going forward but forced their way through to score twice via great efforts by Ado and Luca. A Tilly / Kayla combination sent us to a 3 nil lead at half time.
Coach Deb wanted the Strikers midfielders to look for the switchback into space. This was to avoid the “beehive” that was forming 15 metres ahead of play and open up the D to create scoring opportunities.
Strikers heeded Coach Deb’s half time advice with numerous examples of great switching that wrong-footed the Golden Plains defense. Three of these plays were rewarded with goals; 2 by Ado and 1 by Luca. When the D did become heavily congested, Kayla proved her goal in the first half was no fluke and snuck in a second. Score on the final whistle was 7 nil.

Every Striker should be proud of the way the team came together for their first match. The game was enjoyed by both teams and played in great spirit. Golden Plains were far more challenging opponents than the scoreboard suggested.
Big thanks to Ruby, Eliza and Surry for coming up from U12’s and playing well. Also, a nod to Nate who attended the match in support while injured.

Newtown Spirit vs HG Sharks 0-13

Despite what the score might suggest, this was a great game, with an evenly matched first half. The HG Sharks were keeping GK Elliott busy, but her movement and positioning were excellent, making some great saves in the last line of defence. Newtown was able to move the ball into attack with some good co-operation between team mates, but weren’t able to find space in the attacking circle to finish off the good forward moves.

The second half saw the Sharks continue to run hard, and Newtown found it harder to keep up the pace. However, the experience will set the team up for some good games against other teams in the competition.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Kardinia White 3-2

It was nice to see so many familiar faces over the weekend. There was a buzz around Stead Park, round one of the winter hockey season was finally here.

The U17 Strikers team pep talk before the game consisted of working as a team, positive talk and having fun this season. This was then evidenced on the field as they won their first game 3-2 against Kardinia White.

The team settled into positions and a strong structure was formed, the team moved the ball up forward fast and with ease, gaining their first goal within 10 minutes. Although they did not have a goalie, our structure of three in the back line proved to be a strong defence with Harley stopping many possible goals.

Mitch’s passes were strong toward our forward line which provided opportunities in attack. Jarret’s amazing tomma goal into the bottom corner from the top of the D deserves a mention, after a beautiful goal assist from Charley. The whole team showed determination and demonstrated team work to hold Kardinia to two all at half time.

A beautiful pass up the line between Izzy, Riley, Charley and Josh demonstrated promise and showed what can be achieved with team work. Harry B finished off the game with a third goal in the second half and the team continued to hold Kardinia to two goals.

Newtown Spirit – Bye

 

 

Hockey Season 2019 – Grand Final

A beautiful sunny day capped off the 2019 hockey season, with a thrilling win in the U14 Grand Final for Newtown Spirit, and a satisfying win for the U10 Strikers.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 4-3

A nail biter! The grand final on Saturday against Kardinia Blue had the promise of being the match of the hockey season in the U14 competition. And it probably was. Both teams started by marking each other closely. Spirit defended well with Tom, Cam and Mitchell giving great support to our full backs. Long passing out of defense by Harry B to our running high striker, Harry W opened up our forward half and eventually resulted in a short corner. Harry B left nothing to chance with a powerful shot that sent us to a 1 nil lead. Spirit continued to work into space, with Harriet skillfully trapping a searing pass from Harry B and working the ball forward to Adam making good position just outside the D. Kardinia rallied and marked us harder in centre pitch where we got bogged down and started losing possession. They soon capitalised and drew level at 1 all. The play remained evenly split between both teams but Kardinia’s aggression up forward earnt them a short corner with only a few minutes remaining in the half. We defended well but failed to slow their momentum and they nosed in front 2 -1 at half time.

In the break coach Darren calmed the mood, focusing on the basics, marking players, making space and quick passing to players in that space.

It was immediately evident from the whistle in the second half that Kardinia meant business. Harry W’s game ended when he took a hard hit to the hand from a lifted ball. Then Spirit lifted. Forceful tackling by Mason in mid field dispossessed running Kardinia players; Tilly continued to shadow one of Kardinia’s key scoring players denying him much influence in the game; and Grace put up her own defensive wall on a number of occasions, stopping aggressive attacking plays by Kardinia in their tracks. Daniel and Izzy got in on the act when they were subbed on, both gaining possessions and looking for players in space. Still, we were down 2 – 1. With 16 minutes to go, a tomahawk by Harry B after a short corner was well defended by Kardinia full backs right on the goal line after beating the goalie. Only 2 minutes later, on another short corner, Harry B with a fore stick shot levelled the game at 2 all. Yet another short corner was followed by another shot by Harry B that would have hit the mark but was very well defended by the Kardinia goalie. At the 9 ½ minute mark, with tension rising, Tom snuck through a pass that found Luca lurking at the top of the D. After skillfully gaining possession, he beat 2 Kardinia players and the goalie to put us back into the lead 3 – 2. Spirit kept the pressure on Kardinia and looked set to seal the match with 3 ½ minutes left when Harry B, took on 6 Kardinia players deep in the D and forced a another short corner. No score. The clock dropped below 2 minutes and was there for at least 1 ½ minutes when a loose Kardinia striker made good from just inside the D; 3 all. Extra time.

Vocal crowd + extra time + golden goal = tension. Kardinia gained the upper hand early pushing into offense from the whistle. Our defenders rallied, led by Grace who held firm to give us breathing space. Harry B and Amber teamed up with nice passing around the top of our D. Five minutes in to extra time Kardinia strikers drove hard into offense, outnumbering us deep into their D leaving our goalie exposed for the first time in the match. A high speed shot that looked certain to be a season winning goal for Kardinia ended with the dull sound of ball on polystyrene, and Mai kicked the ball to safety. Nothing more, nothing less than we expected from our star goalie. Spirit didn’t panic, passed well and wrestled the ball out of defense to midfield. Harry B gained possession just outside the 25 line, rounded 2 Kardinia defenders and ran into space. Deep in the D, it was business as usual, goal; but a golden one that capped off a great season for the whole team, coach, manager and parents. 4 – 3.

2019 Hockey Season – Grand Final

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Hockey Season – U14 Premiers Newtown Spirit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under 10 Mixed

Newtown Strikers vs Torquay 2-1

Newtown Strikers faced up to Torquay in an exhibition match between the U10 Premiers and Runners Up for the 2019 hockey season. Strikers were keen to put on a good performance after three matches against the Premiers, Torquay, in this hockey season had resulted in three losses. The first match was a 0-7 result, followed by two matches finishing at 0-1, so there were some keen players ready to take the field.

Torquay began well, with great focus and great ball movement and scored in the first half.  Great effort and hard running from Will B and Jacob was supported by good positioning from Sofia and Harrison. Grace, Bella and Edward provided a solid defence, getting the ball out to the midfield, where Charles was in great position. However the tendency to pass the ball back down the middle allowed Torquay to regain possession and threaten the goals.

A switch with Charles back to the last line of defence saw Edward move to centre midfield, and he met the opposition onslaught beautifully, tackling well and passing wide with William and Cormac in support, also making some nice interceptions. Improved focus and great running to space, combined with strategic passing to team mates found Maddie in perfect position in front of goals and Newtown finished with 2 goals in the last 10 minutes, to claim a 2-1 win.

Congratulations to the U10 Strikers on an excellent season, earning their Runners Up medals and finishing the season on a strong note.

 

Hockey Season 2019 – Preliminary Finals

The Preliminary Finals on September 7 showed the improvement in team play and team strategy which has occurred during the 2019 winter hockey season. Two excellent matches featuring teams from Newtown Hockey Club were played and we congratulate the players, coaches and managers on the way they represented the Club.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia White 3-1

Last Saturday Spirit played Kardinia White in the preliminary final, a team we had not beaten until the last home and away match of the hockey season on the 24th of August. We went in with some confidence after a 7 nil win against them in that last round match, but as we know, finals can produce unexpected results. So, Spirit ran onto the pitch without any complacency and this was justified in the opening minutes with Kardinia putting us on notice early that a repeat of our previous meeting was unlikely. The ball was hotly contested and possession was shared equally in the opening minutes. An early chance with Harry W running in open space deep into the D didn’t come off. Kardinia tightened up in defense. Harry B found a way in a congested D to break the deadlock and give us a 1 nil lead. Spirit started to gain a greater share of the ball and gave Kardinia little opportunity past their 25 line. We ran the ball well into offense and looked likely to score on numerous occasions. A well-earned short corner saw the two Harry’s combine, Harry W finishing off with a tomahawk to give us our second. Kardinia continued to press us with close, honest tackling that hampered our attempts to open up the play. They pressed harder into offense and forced a short corner with 5 minutes left in the half. Spirit defenders held firm and the score at half time stood at 2 nil.

The second half started tense. The ball spent most of the time between the 25 lines without either team really threatening goals. Great running by Adam across centre pitch helped prevent Kardinia breaking through their 25 line on numerous occasions. It wasn’t until 10 minutes in that Spirit managed a short corner when Harry W ran the ball into the D. A powerful shot by Harry B just missed. Kardinia reacted well, earning a short corner and scored their first with about 12 minutes left. The rising tension was capped when Harry B fired in a great running goal with about 8 minutes to go sending the score to 3 – 1. The remainder of the match saw defensive play by both teams, Spirit defending their lead, Kardinia focused on closing down space that we were creating up forward.

Congratulations to Spirit on making the grand final and to Kardinia White on a hard fought match. Newtown Spirit will face up to Kardinia Blue in the Grand Final, in what is expected to be another fantastic game between the two teams.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Geelong Jaguars 0-1

In chilly conditions Newtown Spirit tackled a determined Geelong Jaguars in the Preliminary Final on Saturday. There was even play with hard marking by both sides at the start of the game. Spirit players displayed lots of fast paced running and more confidence this time round against our opposition.  Jaguars were provided with 2 short corners but our replacement goalie E.J did some fantastic dives which prevented them from scoring. Both Tom and Jarret were able to apply lots of pressure with great run and passing, and created scoring opportunities. Harley was able to continue his fierce determination and fast running down the wing, but was unlucky to miss his target. Jaguars however did finally score their first goal, ending the first half as 1-nil.

Spirit started the second half with the same level of intensity.  Harri worked tirelessly in both attack and defence, marking up and continued cutting off balls to the winger. With Spirit’s hungry attitude both Bailey and Caleb provided some fantastic defence work, their best so far. Mitchell was able to link up some great passing to allow some scoring opportunities. Angus and Ethan were valiant with their usual hard running, marking, tackling, and always looked to pass. Nick continued his ideal role as winger, always ready to slot a goal, but unfortunately Spirit wasn’t able to replicate its great form from the previous 2 weeks.  Desperate to win, our players took the game on, but we probably needed to be smarter and more cohesive to work the ball forward.  With a tense last 5 minutes both sides were unable to produce further goals.  The end score, nil to 1, is definitely telling it was a tough game but Spirit should be proud to have made it this far to the finals after a rocky season, and to have conceded just the one goal against the league’s highest scoring side.

Thank-you EJ to fill-in as a replacement goalie, and also to Mitchell for doubling up every week. See you at presentation night.

Hockey Season 2019 – Semi Finals

The first round of the Finals for the 2019 hockey season was played over two days, with very contrasting weather. Saturday dawned bright and beautiful and was a lovely day for some great hockey. Sunday was a different story, with thunderstorms and rain casting a gloom over the day, and at one stage looking like ‘the dementors from Harry Potter were coming’ as umpire Tom M commented. Congratulations to all the teams on their efforts and commiserations to the teams who have now finished their hockey season.

Under 14 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia Blue 4-5

Spirit confronted a determined Kardinia Blue in Saturday’s qualifying final. Early play was even with hard marking and good running by all of our players. An early corner for Spirit was well defended by Kardinia. This was followed quickly by Kardinia forcing a short corner of their own that was also defended well with Mai diving to her right to stop a certain goal. Our defenders started to feel the pressure and Kardinia scored with 15 minutes left in the half. This was followed up 4 minutes later with another. Spirit then lifted, with our defenders manning up more quickly and Mason instigating numerous passages of play linking up good passes that started to turn the match. Our defenders started passing the ball long out of the back half and hitting our mark running into offense. A great run from Harry B all the way deep into the D resulted in our first score. Only minutes later a Spirit short corner saw Harry B drive home our second leveling the match at 2 all. Some neat maneuvers in defense by Daniel helped ward off the last Kardinia attack for the half. Then a run by Tilly into our D resulted in a short corner. This was followed by a second, then a third; none resulting in a score. The half ended with Spirit looking the better side, controlling the bulk of the play and generating many more scoring opportunities.

Spirit started the second half with the same level of intensity with which they finished the first. Harry B struck early, threading through a skillful goal deep in the D through a forest of sticks and legs, giving us a 3-2 lead and Spirit looked dominant. In the following 5 to 10 minutes our defense started to show cracks with Kardinia finding loose players helped by a lack of spirited communication. This opened the door for Kardinia who stepped up and ran the ball more, winning a short corner, then another that resulted in a goal to even the match again. Spirit responded, in kind, with 2 short corners, the second giving Harry B his 4th. Kardinia scored again at the 4 minute mark evening things up and then again with about 1 ½ minutes left on the clock to end the match with a 5-4 win.

In a contest that could have gone either way, Spirit showed that we have the potential to reverse the result and better, if we get the chance. Well done and all eyes on this weekend’s match.

Under 17 Mixed

Newtown Spirit vs Kardinia 3-1

Another beautiful sunny day for our Semi final against Kardinia. Wow what an exciting game, Spirit had all the parents and spectators hanging onto their seats in awe.  As Coach Pete quoted, what a win, you blew me away. Lots of hard running and great teamwork ensured Newtown Spirit a healthy win. All the Spirit players looked incredibly fierce. Both Tom and Jarret were able to apply lots of tackling pressure with great passing against a much improved opposition, which helped Angus gain our first goal in the first half of the match, giving Spirit an end score of 1 to nil.

Spirit continued their hungry attitude in the second half allowing Mitch a fantastic pass to Harley which gained Spirit another goal. Our defence work from both Bailey and Caleb was excellent preventing goal scoring opportunities for Kardinia, along with our dependable goalie Max, providing Kardinia no chances in scoring. Harri, Ethan and Nick all played well in the forward line where only a few times were beaten to the ball. Harley was able to continue his fast paced running which gained him another fantastic goal. Spirit should be proud of themselves since Kardinia took on Jaguars 5-0 the previous week. Not to mention we had Jarret who had played a game the night prior, Mitchell played a game just before, and Ethan struggling with back injury. So well done team, lets prepare for another epic match this week.

Division 1 Women

Newtown Falcons vs Saints 0-3

The goal come finals play is to progress through to the big game and have a chance to play for a flag but it was not to be for Division 1 Women’s Falcons.  However, it was a terrific effort and display of hockey to make Saints earn their advance into the next round.  This is the first time in the 7 years since I, Deb Barnett have been here that we had to limit our players list for game day.  With 21 players listed for selection we could only choose 16.  Along with 9 ladies, 7 middle school and high school players were rostered on.

After a tightly contested first half on both sides of the ball and the pitch, the players were determined and excited for the second half of play.  Mother Nature stepped in not only in the form of rain but thunder and lightning which resulted in a 5 minute delay in play.  The game was able to continue and while the score ended 3-0 in favor of Saints the team held their heads high.  I hope their vision has been inspired by the growth this season that has the opposition concerned already. The future is bright for the Falcons Women with a solid core of ladies and a wealth of experience gained by our school age players that matured their game immensely.  With 34 players getting Div 1 exposure this year the team is poised to make some exciting strides forward in 2020.

Division 2 Women

Newtown Spirit vs Saints White 1-2 in extra time

Newtown Spirit were expecting another close match against Saints White and the game did not disappoint. Saints attacked strongly in the early part of the game and managed to get the first goal on the board after a close in scramble in the goal circle. Spirit fought back well, with great midfield defence lead by Andie, Hannah, Kellie and Beth meeting the opposition well to gain possession and pass to running forwards. Tracey and Hillary at full back met the Saints attacks high and were backed up by Kylie with another solid game, showing great position and great timing in making her tackles and interceptions. Saints had a number of short corners with direct shots on goal but were not able to score.

Claudia, Georgie, Deb, Lauren and Maryanne created great links between defence and attack, running with the ball and running to space to receive from team mates. Excellent positioning, passing and ball control skills by Peta, Amelia and Kirsty got the ball into attack and into the circle on a number of occasions without a score on the board. Spirit persisted and equalled the score after a square pass from Peta to Kellie, and a strong hit from Kellie into the circle which found Claudia’s stick to deflect the ball into goal.

Newtown continued to press their attack with Georgie in position for a number of shots on goal but deflected by the Saints goalie. The game continued at a good intensity and a good skill level and could have gone either way. At full time, the score was still tied at 1-1, and so we were into ‘golden goal’ extra time. Newtown Spirit continued to display good skills and teamwork, with desperate defence at times. A short corner for Saints unfortunately found a foot on the line, resulting in a penalty stroke – almost saved by Claire, and the game was over.

Despite the loss, players and Coach were happy with the way the team finished the season. As a team and as individual players, there has been great improvement during the season, and the strong finish will give the team a good basis to start 2020. Congratulations to the team and all the players, who achieved the best result for our D2 Women for 5 years.

Division 2 Men

Newtown Strikers vs Corio 2-5