3rd Grade Men’s v Manly 31 July 2022 at Pennant Hills

Result: Glebe 0 lost to Manly 2

Half-time: Glebe 0 Manly 0

Penalty corners: Glebe 1 (no goals) Manly 7 (one goal)

Scorers: nil

Glebe players: Chris Farrugia, Craig Martin (goal-keeper), Tony Wark, Aiden Najdzion, Dan Palomique, Tom Alexander-Prideaux, Pat Wark, Andrew Cheong, Adam Campano, Brad Goodridge, Paul Diaper, Cameron Johnston.

Unavailable players: Michael Wark (permanently retired, career-ending recurrent hamstring injury), Jacob Warnock (broken bone in hand), Jackson Howe (bad back), Max Spalton (returned to Bristol), Simon Wark (Canadian holiday), Sid Roache (hamstring), Clark Foster (second grade), Paul Jowett, Rob Curlewis, Sam Bagley.

Pre-match prediction:

Our game against Manly on Saturday 2 July 2022 at Cintra Synthetic Turf Concord was abandoned at half-time with score at 2-2 because of field flooding. This game is a make-up game to compensate for the washed-out game. This clash between the second last and third last teams in the competition will be a close hard-fought contest. Glebe is capable of winning this game if given the rub of the green.

My prediction is that Glebe will beat Manly 2-1.

Match report:

The weather was perfect for hockey, fine, overcast, with the temperature around 15oC. The bushland setting of Pennant Hill’s Park with the Kookaburras sitting on the fence was peaceful and relaxing.

This was a close game played between two evenly matched teams with the result in doubt up until the last few minutes of the game. Manly were about half a goal to a goal better team than Glebe and deserved its win.

The first ten minutes of the first quarter was characterised by plenty of passing by both teams but with very little penetration. Glebe’s trapping was poor and many balls were edged, missed or deflected. More concentration is needed to bring the ball in under control and scoot-off with it. There was too much fiddling with the ball when the early, powerful pass to a teammate upfield would have been a better option.

In the first quarter Manly were awarded three penalty corners. In each of these corners the ball was hit at the Glebe goal but Craig Martin in goals saved all of them, and the ball was cleared out of danger by fullbacks Adam Campano and Chris Farrugia. There were not many real goal scoring changes to either team in the first quarter, although Manly had more circle penetrations than Glebe.

Glebe’s midfield defence of Andrew Cheong, Dan Palomique and Pat Wark were solid and hard to get past, which meant that Manly attacked down the flanks, which they did well. There attacks down their right wing had us scrambling and stretched at times. The Glebe defenders tackled relentlessly and denied the Manly forwards any free shot at goal. Andrew Cheong made a couple of excellent 30-40 metres runs in the middle of the field which created opportunities for Glebe.

Inside forwards Aiden Najdzion and Tom Alexander-Prideaux each made a few penetrating runs into the Manly circle, but tried to beat one player too many. They worked very hard in cover defence and were always snapping at the heels of Manly defenders. Their improvement over the course of the last 5 or 6 games has been impressive. They have pace, determination and work hard. One small criticism is that they need to develop a bit more of a sense of what is on for the team. If the opportunity presents itself, a powerful pass to a well-positioned teammate is a better option than trying to beat too many opposition players.

Manly had 55% of the territory in the first quarter and had the more potentially goal scoring opportunities. The score at the end of the first quarter was 0-0.

In the first 10 minutes of the second quarter Manly had 4 or 5 promising raids down its right-wing alley and Glebe were under pressure, but the defence held firm, read the game well, and tackled strongly. Six minutes into the second quarter Manly again broke down their right wing. The ball was coming across the Glebe circle about five metres out from the goalmouth towards a Manly forward.

A Glebe defender tackled the Manly forward strongly and the umpire awarded Manly a penalty stroke. A bit of a tough call in my view but that is sport. The Manly stroke taker pushed the ball towards the inside of the Glebe goal at a modest pace. The Glebe goal keeper Craig Martin did the splits and managed to get a leg a left-leg pad onto the ball and deflect it over the backline. This was an excellent save by Craig, who showed the reflexes of a cat. Craig is rarely a goalkeeper, but he shows great promise in the position.

Glebe tended to be too slow and ponderous in taking its free hits and needs to keep the momentum of the game going at a fast pace and not allow the opposition the opportunity to reset to defend the hit. Manly had 55% of the territory in the second quarter and appeared the team most likely to score.

The ball moved from end to end quickly and as it was the second game for the week-end many of the players were feeling the strain. Glebe had few circle penetrations in the second quarter and did not have one shot at goal. The Glebe forwards did not show a well-developed circle craft when they did manage to enter the Manly circle. This is an area where we could improve.

Manly had a penalty corner, its fourth, two minutes from the end of the second quarter. The ball was well hit but Craig Martin made a regulation save. The score at half-time as Glebe 0 Manly 0.

The third quarter started with Manly on attack, probing the Glebe defence. Cameron Johnston at left-half read the game well, took good position and tackled strongly. Cameron copped a ball to his ring finger, which was bloody and painful. Fortunately, the injury was not as bad as first thought and he was able to continue in the game with little restriction.

Five minutes into the third quarter Glebe had a couple of red-hot goal scoring chances with the ball going just wide of the goal, or being well saved by the Manly goalkeeper. Some of these goal scoring chances started from well inside the Glebe half and involved 4 or 5 good, strong, accurate passes. Andrew Cheong and Tony Wark were prominent in these attacking raids. Ten minutes into the third quarter Glebe were awarded a penalty corner.

The ball went from the battery to Tom Alexander-Prideaux on the goal-keeper’s left post. Tom tapped the ball across the face of the goal at ankle height and the ball was hit into the Manly goal by a Glebe forward. The goal was disallowed by the umpire, who must have seen a breach that no one else at the ground saw. This was an unlucky break for Glebe to have this goal, which looked legal, disallowed. The third quarter was Glebe’s best quarter and it had Manly under pressure. The goal scoring chances continued to come but a combination of good goalkeeping, poor option taking, misdirected shots and bad luck kept Glebe goal less. The score at the end of the third quarter was Glebe 0 Manly 0. It was hard to pick the winner at three-quarter time.

Four minutes into the final quarter Manly were awarded its fifth penalty corner after a period of sustained pressure. The direct hit from the battery was well struck and flew past the Glebe goalkeeper Craig Martin. Glebe 0 Manly 1. Seven minutes into the final quarter Andrew Cheong made a 40-metre run to within a metre of the Manly circle passed the ball into the circle, but unfortunately a Glebe forward missed the trap in front of goal.

Glebe was trying hard and sensed they still had a chance of drawing or winning the game. They started to become more adventurous in attack, which left it exposed in defence. Manly had a couple of break aways that looked dangerous and Craig again made a couple of excellent reflex saves. He read the game very well.

Play was stopped for three or four minutes as a Manly player was injured after a collision with Andrew Cheong. Time continued to tick away, as there was no time off. Four minutes from fulltime Manly broke from ten metres inside its own half down its inside right channel. There were four or five short passes, and the ball ended up with a Manly forward with the ball at the top of the Glebe circle.

Cameron Johnston came forward quickly and just touched the ball, sending it a few centimetres into the air. The Manly forward continued his hit towards the ball and hit it sweetly just inside the Glebe left hand goalpost giving Craig Martin no chance. Glebe 0 Manly 2. This was the end of the road for the maroons.

Manly had a couple of penalty corners in the few minutes between its second goal and the final whistle which were well saved by man of the match Craig Martin. Glebe tried hard to penetrate the Manly circle and sent players forward but without success. The final result was Glebe 0 Manly 2.

It was an entertaining game, with the ball moving quickly from end to end. Glebe was competitive and had its chances. Another close defeat to add to the many we have had this 2022 season.

Thanks to Paul Diaper from fourth grade who came out and played for us today, making himself available at short notice. Paul had a run in the halves and in the forwards and acquitted himself well. He has a good hockey brain, tackles well, covers a lot of territory and he fitted into the team seamlessly.

Next week 6 August 2022 we play Moorebank, our third last game of the season, on the Cathy Flack Field, with a 12.30 hours start.