GOOOOAL! for the U11 Bearded Dragons – Rory Staples picture
Unfortunately we don’t have our usual number of match reports this week; it must have been a bit of school holidays hangover. Anyway, thank you to the team managers/correspondents who did send them, and a reminder that deadline for sending them is Sunday night.
A couple of special shout outs: to Wade Tonna for his write-up of the tough second grade game, and to Rory Staples for his pictures of the U11 Bearded Dragons win.
Anyway, let’s get to it:
1st grade: Sutho 9 Northern Districts 1
This was never going to be a hard contested game and it was always going to be a big score. It didn’t disappoint. There was a spread once again across the team where multiple players got their name on the score sheet.
Once again we had players out: Brady Anderson, Kieran Govers and Mitch Wray, while Blake Govers and Jack Hayes had returned to Perth and the Aussie Camp. Michael Sharkey, Zac Nyrhinen and Blake Hernandes filled in for us and all played extremely well.
There was some entertaining, skilful hockey by our boys which if they continue to build upon. Get the full squad back they will certainly be a strong contender for the premiership.
As we are getting down to the business end of the season I am sure they will polish some of their skills, improve their fitness levels to be ready for the final series in September.
Our home game next Saturday against UNSW at 3.30 pm will be a good test. They are also a contender, being a losing grand finalist last year.
B & F: Mamat Zainol 1, Alex Shaw 2, Scott Govers 3. Goals: Christian Halyard 2, Mamat Zainol 2, Matt Bennett 1, Alex Shaw 1, Jono Scott 1, Matt Johnson 1, Shane Smith 1.
2nd Grade: Sutherland 2 UNSW 4
As Saturday rolled around once more, we were presented with another wonderful sunny day on which to play a game at home; what more could you ask for.
We played against the might of UNSW, currently running in 1st place with 6 matches remaining (not including Saturday). this would be our first encounter against a team which has been well known for its dominance in recent seasons, with this season being no different.
Our lads arrived eager and keen to play what was sure to be one of our biggest challenges leading into the finals series, and as we slowly begin to welcome back players who have been away for injury and work, we felt ready to attack this challenge head on.
Once again as we prepared for our game with spirits high and the calming beat of Murder on the Dance Floor echoing in the change room, the tension of the game slowly became more real for our team as the start drew closer.
Our plan this week consisted of playing our short sharp hockey, finding our midfielders and creating space up front to work the play into, and finally to be tough on the ball, with a memorable comment about cards being mentioned.
The game commenced with a good old-fashioned struggle for possession, both sides unable to take a solid stance in the game. UNSW played the fast-paced possession holding game as was expected.
Our team started a little slow of the mark, however it didn’t take long for us to work our way into the game and find our stride.
UNSW took the lead towards the end of the first quarter after a penetrating ball from the top of the circle found a striker. Their lead then doubled towards the end of the half on a fast counter attacking play.
We then entered the second half with the belief and confidence within ourselves to claw back into this game – and did we ever. In the third quarter we netted our first goal with some brilliant ball play out wide, entering the circle across the baseline, left by UNSW and unfortunately missing a few of our sticks in front of goal. But the ball was then picked up on the other side of the field and sent back in for a deflection of the near post with some brilliant posting up and strength in the circle.
Tide of possession
As the score began to sink in, the tide of possession shifted back to Sutho, we earned a short corner which was executed brilliantly; a subtle lay-off left, and a perfectly hard and low pass driven towards a presenting striker, and then expertly deflected past the keeper.
The score sitting evenly at 2 all, we felt right back in the game, but our ambitions and attempt to play a fast pace cost us dearly. After a loss of possession and an unfortunate yellow card allowed UNSW to reclaim a bulk of the possession and eventually the lead, to cement the score, we conceded a stroke after a blunder from a defensive short corner short corner.
The final score unfortunately didn’t justly show how close this battle for supremacy was, finishing 4-2 in the way of UNSW. We now enter the final five weeks, we will learn from this experience and take the many positives from this game into our next.
Shout outs to Sharkey, Billy and Zack playing 1st grade after, Angus for playing 2nd grade and then 3rd grade later that evening, Ian for flying back early to play this game, Riley for the $50 on the canteen/bar for taking the comments about yellow cards seriously and finally myself for almost killing Sharkey with a deflection at his body to concede a stroke…sorry mate.
Points: 3- Blake Hernandez, 2- Michael Sharkey, 1- Zack Nyrhinen. Goals: 2 Michael Sharkey.
4th grade Sutho 0 UNSW 1
Sunny conditions greeted Sutherland’s 4th Grade for their home clash against UNSW – but the weather was no indication of the tough battle to come. The team had all to play for coming into the game as we sat 5th with just five rounds remaining until the finals.
Sutherland put out a full-strength side and were up against a number of ex-Sutherland players, adding an extra element of feeling to this game.
Throughout the game Sutherland held possession well and dominated on the ball, but just couldn’t capitalise and slot the go-ahead goal. Both sides went into half-time at 0-0.
However, we were left to rue missed opportunities as UNSW slotted the winner early in the second half. Sutherland received an unfortunate break and conceded a long corner, leading to a scrappy flick-in from the opposition striker.
The game was played in good spirit with no cards received by either side.
Sutherland will be looking to regroup during the week and will set their sights on making the most of their opportunities with the ball and ultimately getting back on track for the finals.
Best and fairest: Jason Stevens, Brendon Hol and Isaac Olsen.
8th grade: Sutho 0 North West Strikers/Baulkham Hills 1
We are playing against NWS\Baulkham Hills, who were last on the table. Last time we met we won 1-2.
A sunny 11 am game we start OK, but not with the intensity of previous weeks. After the first 10 minutes it was evident: something’s wrong. They had us pinned in our half, we had a go but the play always came back.
David was playing an awesome game and without his efforts in goal the score would have been far worse.
After a short corner against us where we were unable to clear the ball out, they scored.
Half time and Mark reminds us of how we have played in previous weeks and we need to apply that here. David quite rightly emphasises our play is like a juniors game.
The second half starts and we are doing better and have them under pressure. Using the wings spreading it instead of trying to through them. If only we started like this…
There were many close shots to their goal but none getting through. We finish the game a disappointing 1-0 down.
Best and fairest: 3 Sean Hails, 2 David Lucas, 1 Gary Busby.
Sutho U17 Geckos 2 Bankstown 1
Twelve players available for an under 17s game…unheard of! But it was true…and obviously was the secret to the team’s success in the late game on a Friday night at Bankstown.
The Bankstown team came out firing and were soon peppering our goals with shots from normal play and short corners. However the defensive unit of the Geckos was holding strong and Sean in goals was making some brilliant saves.
Both teams earned further short corners, but there was no way through the defences. After saving one of the Bankstown short corners, there was a wonderful section of hockey that was a joy to watch.
The Sutho defence cleared the ball to the midfield who quickly moved the ball onto the strikers just over the halfway line. The strikers (Adrian, Max and Alec) then put on a show doing successive triangle passing around the Bankstown defence and the goalkeeper to score an excellent goal and put the Geckos in the lead at quarter time.
There were not a lot of goal scoring opportunities created by either team in the second quarter, but the one and only Bankstown short corner was speedily run down by Zac before Bankstown could get the shot away.
Unfortunately, at the start of the third quarter they did scored off a short corner to bring the scores back level at 1-1. And although the Geckos created more opportunities in the quarter, another goal could not be found.
So it came down to the money quarter and the Geckos stepped up with great desperation in defence and trying to control the ball in the midfield. Eventually the Geckos found another goal after the midfield quickly moved the ball onto Adrian on a fast break.
Adrian didn’t look like he had control of the ball, and was being hacked at by a Bankstown defender, but all of a sudden he’d hit a cracker of a shot from the top of the circle which smacked into the bottom right of the goals!
It all happened so quickly with the goalkeeper barely moving. Which made it a 2-1 win to the Geckos – earned from a very tough game.
B&F Points: 2 points each to Zac C, Sean and Zac M (Macca).
U13A Sutho Geckos 3 St George 0
After the July holiday break with most of our team playing state titles then having a well earned rest, we headed to Bankstown to play a top of the table clash against St George.
With each team’s centre half away at Port Macquarie with the NSW squad, and Sutho down to bare 11, the game lacked the structure and open spaces we were used to. Our short passing was excellent, although we couldn’t break the game open – even after an early goal to Pete off a well worked corner. So 1-0 up at half time.
A couple of changes to positions at half time saw early possession to Sutho converted into a second goal with Amelia sweeping in a rebound. Pete scored his 2nd late in the game with a great one time strike to ice the game 3-0.
A number of players clearly upped their games after the rep season, with improved control and confidence with the ball seeing strong games by Rhys, Archie and Amelia, and Lachlan and Zara their strong reliable efforts at the back.
Points: 2 Rhys, 1 each to Amelia, Archie, Lachie and Zara. Goals . Pete 2, Amelia 1.
U13B Sutho Blue Tongues 3 Moorebank 3
Saturday’s game ended in a 3-3 draw but not without controversy. The Blue Tongues came out strong and missed an opportunity, but then Moorebank scored an own goal, but that was unfortunately disallowed.
They kicked on and scored 2 goals but also let one through just before half time.
In the second half, Moorebank’s defence was tight and they levelled the score to 2-2. Both teams managed another goal bringing the score to 3:3.
Despite the draw, the Blue Tongues played very well, communicating as a team and would have deserved a win.
Best and fairest Bailey 3, Tully 2, Kahlani 1.Goals by Kai, Skye and Tully.
Under 13B Thorny Devils 6 Glebe 0
The first game for this month and the TDs were fired up and raring to go on a sun filled Kyeemagh pitch. Coach Hoy deciding to mix up the playing positions, with this causing a bit of discussion amongst our young players in the dugout, but it paid off.
The TDs took a bit of time to adjust to the new positions, not for Jacob though, normally playing as goal keeper. He enjoyed the ability to run free up front with plenty of enthusiasm and was rewarded with 2 goals.
Well done to one of our strongest players, Lachlan, leading by example by putting his hand up to guard our goals as keeper. Also playing up front for the first time was Steven, Abby, Lucy and Ken.
Steven denying himself his first competition goal by a unselfish pass to Riley to score. Well done to Ken who scored his first goal – and it was pleasing to see all our TDs going to congratulate him on his milestone.
There was lots of good passing with most of our goals coming from great ball movement from our mids Izzy, Tom, and Dom. Our backs lead by Nate assisted by Liam, Amy and Riley did very well with Glebe not getting a look into our goals.
Well done TDs on the win and let’s keep it up for the remaining rounds.
B&F: Steven 3, Jacob 2, Ken 1. Goals: Jacob 2, Thomas 1, Riley 1, Darcy 1, Ken 1.
Sutho U11A Geckos 11 Moorebank 0
In their first game back after the holidays the Geckos took a little while to get going. But after a few minutes of back and forth between them and Moorebank, they finally scored their first goal. This seemed to open the floodgates with another four goals coming before half time.
The second half saw the Geckos continue their goal scoring ways with another six goals, enabling the mercy rule and dropping a player when they reached eight goals and another at 10. Despite being two players down they continued to attack and defend like the game was still hanging in the balance.
Jude had a quiet game keeping goals today but was always ready for anything that came his way.
Eliana and Rohan were fantastic up front scoring three goals between them and earning a number of short corners. Julian, Luka and Emily were workhorses in the middle, winning the ball off Moorebank and sending some great passes to their team mates.
Kaylee, Bethany and Luke were solid at the back and not only stopped anything from getting through them but passed the ball back up the line with great slap hits to waiting midfielders. Kaylee didn’t only play great at the back, she was sent to the front by the coach and snagged herself 3 goals.
A big thanks to Adrian Collins for filling in as coach!
Best and Fairest: 3 Kaylee, 2 Julian, 1 Luca. 1 Bethany. Goals: Julian 3, Kaylee 3, Eliana 2, Emily, Rohan, Luke.
U11 Bearded Dragons 8 v Glebe 0
It was good to see the kids back on the hockey field after the school holidays. They were full of running but a little rusty in the first half.
Due to some good defence from Lincoln and Hamish and goalkeeping from Mandy they were able to keep Glebe scoreless. Harrison, with the help of strikers Myah and Ellie went to work at the other end, managing to get two great shots away to beat the Glebe keeper. We might have led 2-0 at half time, Glebe were still very much in the game at half time.
After a good talk at the break, the team started to string together some passes which led to two good team goals in the first five minutes.
From there the Bearded Dragons took control of the game and kept up the pressure and the goals kept coming despite great saves by the Glebe goal keeper.
Well done, Bearded Dragons.
Best and fairest: 3 Harrison, 2 Nicolas, 1 Jack. Goals: Harrison 4, Nicolas 3, Jack 1