3rd Grade Men’s v Moorebank 29 July 2023 at Moorebank

Result: Glebe 0 lost to Moorebank 5

Half-time: Glebe 0 Moorebank 2

Penalty corners: Glebe 1 (0 goals) Moorebank 7 (1 goal)

Scorers: nil

Glebe players: Clark Foster, Chris Farrugia, Cameron Johnston, Zane Goodridge, Adam Campano, Aiden Najdzion, Oliver Tordoff, Marley Seebacher, Lachlan Hall, Tony Wark, Paul Jowett, Clayton Herbst, Darren French, Will Brine. Ken Wark (coach).

Umpire Riley Nilan

Unavailable players Andrew Cheong, Sam Bagley (patella fracture), Brad Goodridge (hamstring injury), Simon Wark (knee).

Pre-match prediction and analysis:

Glebe third grade played Moorebank in the first game of the season on 1 April 2023 at Cintra and lost 1-4. Glebe’s goal was scored from a penalty corner (one from one) and Moorebank scored three goals from its five penalty corners. Moorebank lies fourth on the competition table with 24 points from eight wins, three losses from eleven games, 27 goals for, and fifteen against, with a goal difference of +12. Glebe is eighth with 9 points from three wins, eight losses from eleven games, 14 goals for, and forty-eight against, with a goal difference of -34.

The AI analysis has the result of this re-match as being Moorebank 4 to beat Glebe 1, the same score as in the match played between the two teams on 1 April 2023.

Moorebank scored three of its four goals from penalty corners in the last game. Making tackles outside the Glebe circle if possible, positioning the body so as to make the tackle on the fore stick, with the stick out and the feet back, and laying the stick flat on the turf so as to protect the feet would minimize the number of penalty corners conceded. In addition, the first runner on the corners should be out fast, and run down the barrel of the drag-flick, with their stick out in front of their legs to limit the size of the target the flicker has to aim at. Glebe’s goal shooting needs more accuracy, as in last week’s 2-1 victory against Northern Districts the forward’s goal shooting was poor.

My prediction is a 3-0 loss.

Match Report:

Glebe tried hard and ran all game, but Moorebank (MB) was a faster, fitter, younger, slicker, better-drilled team, with superior teamwork and better vision. The score was an accurate reflection of the relative merits of the two teams.

It was an unseasonably warm day for July, with a temperature of 230C, a partly cloudy sky, and little wind.

Glebe started well and in the first couple of minutes, Lachlan Hall had a sharp chance in front of the MB goal when Clayton Herbst sent a quick ball across the MB goal from the right-wing position. The game started at high speed, with the ball rapidly moving from end to end.

The Glebe defenders were inclined to take poor options when trying to clear the ball from defence, running the ball too far, trying to beat the MB forwards when the early pass was on, and turning the ball infield to a teammate who was under instant pressure and opening the team up to a swift counterattack. The crash ball into the righthand pocket was a good option which was occasionally used, but it needed to be used more often, both to clear our defence and to get the ball to our forwards quickly, giving them more room to get up to operating speed before being tackled by the MB defence.

The first ten minutes of the first quarter were well fought with territory 50-50. In the seventh minute, MB hit a precise, driven 60-metre pass from deep defence to an MB forward 5 metres outside the Glebe circle in the inside left alley.  This MB player took the ball into the Glebe circle unopposed and hit a tomahawk from the top of the circle five metres to the left of the circle centreline. The ball was beautifully struck, went like a bullet and soared past Glebe goalkeeper Clark Foster’s head into the back of the net. Glebe 0 MB 1.

Glebe was having trouble clearing the ball from its own 22-metre line and was using too many pitter-patter style, passing options that allowed MB plenty of options to dispossess the Glebe ball carrier and initiate a dangerous attacking raid. The option-taking of the Glebe defenders was at times poor. The Glebe defenders were tackling well which saved Glebe’s bacon on many occasions. Chris Farrugia, Daren French, Will Brine and Marley Seebacher were all scrambling well in defence. For the last half of the first quarter, Glebe was under constant pressure and defended valiantly. The big hit down the sideline gave Glebe some relief from the waves of MB attacking raids.

Lachlan Hall managed to get on the end of one of these 60-metre clearing hits and made a promising MB circle penetration before becoming dispossessed of the ball. Glebe was too slow taking its free hits, allowing the MB players to close gaps and take up good field position before the free hit was taken.  Inside right Oliver Tordoff, a nimble, fast player made some incisive runs towards the end of the first quarter. The score at the end of the first quarter was Glebe 0 MB 1. Glebe was competitive and still in the game at this stage.

Will Brine increased in confidence as the game progressed and started to employ the power hit down the sideline which was a much better option than the suicidal short pass into the centre of the field from defence. Aidan Najdzion was active in mid-field and covered a lot of territory, tackling well, covering well, but running the ball too much when good passing opportunities were in front of him. Zane Goodridge and Cameron Johnston were solid in midfield, tackled well and played with determination. They occasionally need to employ the early big hit, from both fore-stick and back stick sides rather than try and weave the ball past multiple defenders, which often leads to them being dispossessed, putting the team under pressure.

Some of the defenders looked where they were going to pass the ball and then delivered a slow pass to a teammate. These telegraphed slow passes were often intercepted and put Glebe under a lot of pressure. The learning point is to disguise your pass and pass the ball firmly and accurately to a teammate’s stick. Chris Farrugia began to use the big hit with good effect.

It was a fast, free-flowing, entertaining game, with MB having about 55-60 % of the territory. MB passed the ball early and quickly and kept the ball wide. It was a well-drilled team. Glebe’s occasion chances came from quick breaks from deep defence. Glebe fullback Adam Campano was distributing the ball well from the back and four minutes into the second quarter he passed the ball down the right-hand sideline to Aiden Najdzion who sprinted down the right wing before passing the ball across the face of the MB goal. The ball just eluded Lachlan Hall who was positioned on the penalty stroke spot. This was a promising Glebe goal-scoring opportunity.

Forward Paul Jowett was tackling well, running hard and making some incisive runs with the ball.  At times he was a handful for the MB defence to contain. Some of the Glebe mid-fielders started to run too far with the ball, which led to them being dispossessed, allowing MB to stage a dangerous counter-attack. The high Glebe strikers Paul Jowett and Tony Wark were not seeing a lot of the ball, but tackled back and effectively harassed the advancing MB half-line, making it hard for them to pick their passes upfield.

Running one-out was a problem for some of your younger players when an early ball delivered quickly to a teammate upfield was the obvious option. Halfway through the second quarter Clayton Herbst received a well-directed long ball from the defence, before transferring the ball upfield to Lachlan Hall, who passed it on to Paul Jowell. Paul carried the ball into the circle where it caught a MB defender’s foot and Glebe was awarded its only penalty corner of the game. Chris Farrugia’s hit at goal was high, after a good push-out by Clayton Herbst and a perfect trap by Paul Jowett.

Will Brine continued to gain confidence as the game progressed, tackling well and he was more inclined to give the ball a good hit, rather than indulge in aimless short passing. With four minutes left in the second quarter, an MB forward ran the ball into the Glebe circle and won their fourth penalty corner for a poor Glebe tackle. Glebe defenders needed to get lower in the tackle and better position their feet to reduce the risks of conceding penalty corners. From the ensuing corner, MB scored from a direct push, with the ball going between Clark Foster’s legs, Glebe 0 MB 2.

Glebe was mostly on the back foot in the second quarter but made a few very promising circle penetrations without being able to get a telling shot on the MB goal. The half-time score was Glebe 0 MB 2, with Glebe still being very much in the game. Glebe looked best when it attacked down the sideline and utilized the big hit down the line, rather than when it tried to attack through the middle of the field. Glebe missed its centre-half Andrew Cheong’s direction of the team and his calling of the team’s attacking options.

From the hit-off in the third quarter, Glebe back-passed the ball across the field and generally allowed MB to overwhelm them. MB eventually won possession of the ball and an MB forward raced into the Glebe circle before hitting a tomahawk shot from the top of the Glebe circle over the top of the goal. Glebe tried hard to gift MB a goal with its mamby- pamby soft option approach. Fortunately, the team was able to scramble well and with good tackling defrayed many promising MB raids into the Glebe 22-metre area.

MB was stringing seven or eight probing, firm, well-directed passes together. These were opening up the Glebe defence and they made several circle penetrations midway through the third quarter, with them being awarded a couple of penalty corners.  MB scored from its sixth penalty corner following a goal-mouth scramble, after Glebe goalkeeper Clark Foster had made a good save of the initial shot. The Glebe defenders seemed slow to pounce on the loose ball in the circle. They need to anticipate that if Clark saves the ball a rebound is a distinct possibility, anticipate this occurrence, and react quickly to clear the ball. Glebe 0 MB 3.

When MB were gaining the ascendancy Glebe needed to be more desperate and more determined in their tackling. The Glebe defenders did not seem to be hungry enough, they needed to step forward into the tackle and tackle early, rather than retreat and allow the MB forwards to get up to operating speed. The defenders indulged in too much fiddling with the ball and set themselves up to be dispossessed by the MB forwards who were skilful hockey players. The tactics used in under-17 games do not work in third grade. MB was taking its free hits early and not allowing us to get set in defence and it was an approach that Glebe should have been copying. If the ball is passed early, it does not allow the opposition players to close you down and reduce your options. The score at the end of the third quarter was Glebe 0 MB 3. It was unlikely that Glebe had the ability to win or draw the game.

Despite the score, the Glebe players were still hard at it, trying their best, keeping a forward high and still searching for a goal. The fourth quarter was much of the same from some of the Glebe mid-field players who ran the ball too far and indulged themselves in hero runs and one-outs when early passing of the ball would have been better options. Marley Seebacher was having a solid game, tacking well, reading the game well and taking good field position as he marked a few very skilful MB forwards.

Glebe had a good scoring chance five minutes into the fourth quarter when Cameron Johnston passed an early long ball to Tony Wark on the left wing. Tony sprinted 15 metres with the ball along the left-hand sideline before cracking the ball across the face of the MB goal. Unfortunately, there was not a Glebe forward there to deflect it goalward. In these situations, the Glebe forwards need to run towards the ball and try and take the front position from the defender. Be first to the ball, don’t sit behind a defender and be surprised when the ball does not come to you.

A similar situation occurred a few minutes later when Glebe forward Paul Jowett made a great run down the left wing and crackled the ball across the face of the MB goal. Again, there was no Glebe forward in a good position to deflect the ball into the MB goal. These crosses resulted from excellent lead-up play and it is frustrating to see them wasted by Glebe forwards not anticipating what is coming up next. Glebe creates great chances but poor reading of the game and poor field position prevents it from taking full advantage of the opportunities created, which is disappointing.

Five minutes from full-time, with Glebe playing up trying to get a goal back, they were caught short in defence as Moorebank broke quickly from defence and created a three-on-two situation in the Glebe 22-metre area. MB played the numbers and a MB forward pushed the ball past Clark Foster from a few metres out, Glebe 0 MB 4. Some of Glebe’s defensive players again started to indulge in trying to run the ball out of defence, rather than deliver an early pass upfield. Being dispossessed inside your defensive 22-metre area is always a risky predicament.

After such a situation with one minute remaining in the game, an MB forward won MB’s seventh penalty corner. From this penalty corner, MB scored its fifth goal. It was a well-worked passing option from the corner stop and the ball was slapped into the Glebe goal from two metres out. Glebe 0 MB 5, which was the final score.

MB is a good team. Glebe did its best as always, trying its best until the final whistle, but found the MB team a class above them. Congratulations Glebe on your wholehearted effort.  The game was placed in a good spirit and the umpiring was unbiased and the game was allowed to flow if possible. Thank-you Riley for helping Glebe out and stepping forward to take the whistle, as no official umpires were available. The other umpire was a MB player and he also did a fine job with the whistle.

Next week’s game on 5 August 2023 the game is against UNSW at the Olympic Pitch, Homebush with the hit-off time of 3.30 pm. On 27 May 2023, the UNSW beat Glebe 8-1 at the Daceyville turf.


Report on the Glebe v Moorebank Third Grade game played 1230 hours, 29 July 2023 at the Moorebank, Cathy Flack Synthetic Turf