3rd Grade Men’s v Ryde 15 April 2023 at Ryde

Result: Glebe 1 lost to Ryde 10

Half-time: Glebe 1 Ryde 5

Penalty corners: Glebe 2 (1 goal) Ryde 7 (2 goals)

Scorer: Chris Farrugia

Glebe players: Jacob Warnock, Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Tony Wark, Simon Wark, Paul Jowett, Andrew Cheong, Rob Curlewis, Jamie Travis, Oliver Tordoff, Marley Seebacher, Craig Martin, Cameron Johnston, Adam Campano. Ken Wark (coach).

Unavailable players: Pat Wark (chronic knee problems), Brad Goodridge, John Hammond

Pre-match prediction:

Ryde has been the dominant team in the third grade competition for the last five years and won the third-grade premiership in 2022. The score in the game we played against Ryde in 2022 was 1-5 (three penalty corner goals). They have an excellent penalty corner conversion rate and more than 50% of the goals Ryde has scored against us in recent seasons have come from penalty corners. If we tackle early and tackle often and try to tackle outside our defensive circle to minimise the penalty corners we concede, I think we will be competitive. Of the four goals scored by Moorebank against us last week three came from penalty corners (3/5). Any score under 0-5 will be a good result for us.

Match Report:

The game was played on a beautiful, mild, still, sunny, Saturday afternoon.

Ryde outclassed Glebe in today’s game.

They were a well drilled polished team, with excellent teamwork, they passed the ball well and used the full width of the field. Ryde deserved its victory and the result was a reasonable indication of the difference in abilities between the two teams.

The Glebe team never gave-up, tried hard and were always polite, courteous and respectful of each other despite the drubbing. We were outclassed by much the better team.

We won the first quarter, with the score at the end of the quarter, Glebe 1 Ryde 0. Ryde started well knocking the ball around the field in an impressive fashion, without penetrating the Glebe defence. Ryde won several early penalty corners but the trap was wayward because of a bobble in the turf at the road-end of the field. The Glebe defence were slow to put the tackle on the Ryde forwards at times, allowing them to achieve operating speed and giving them many more attacking options. Glebe made three or four circle penetrations in the first ten minutes, which looked dangerous but the final pass went astray. Andrew Cheong at centre-half was having his first game of the season and was playing well and having a significant impact on the game.

Eleven minutes into the quarter Tony Wark at inside right 5 metres inside the right- hand sideline, five metres inside the Ryde half, passed quickly to Paul Jowett who ran the ball into the Ryde circle and the ball hit a Ryde defender’s foot. From the ensuing penalty corner, which was executed to perfection, Glebe scored. Simon Wark on the push out, Oliver Tordoff on the stop and Chris Farrugia on the hit all played their part, with Chris’ hard hit scraping the paintwork on the inside of Ryde’s goal, Glebe 1 Ryde 0.  A minute before the end of quarter time Ryde were  awarded its third penalty corner which was well defended by Jacob Warnock, the Glebe goalkeeper, who despite the final score, had a good game in goals for Glebe. None of the goals Ryde scored were due to goalkeeping errors. Ryde had 55% of the territory in the first quarter, and looked the better team, but Glebe was scrabbling and defending with intent. The score at the end of the first quarter was Glebe 1 Ryde 0.

After the first quarter the game for Glebe went steadily down-hill. Ryde scored five goals in the second quarter; the most goals conceded by the Glebe third grade team in a quarter for over five years. Ryde equalized a minute into the second quarter. A long diagonal overhead from the back found a Ryde forward on the left wing 30 metres inside the Glebe half. The Ryde forward sprinted down the left and passed the ball across the face of the Glebe goal. The quick ball movement had scattered the Glebe defence and three unmarked Ryde forwards were lining up to push the ball into the Glebe goal from point blank range. Glebe 1 Ryde 1.

Two minutes later Ryde scored again. It seemed like the energy, determination, grit, and enthusiasm of the Glebe team had drained out and the players were just going through the motions. Glebe had trouble clearing the ball from defence and started to resort to short passes to teammates in no position to receive the ball. The Glebe player receiving the ball would be dispossessed in the middle of the field, 30 metres out from the Glebe goal, a Ryde forward would set off with the ball having many options to choose from and the Glebe defence in disarray. Passing to a teammate infield under pressure inside your defence 40 metres zone is rarely a good option. We conceded at least three goals because of this tactic in today’s game. If in doubt, with no obvious option on, offer the crashed, powerful hit up field, parallel to the sideline is the safest option, which does not open up the team to a rapid counter attack by the opposition.

Ryde were playing very well in the second quarter with quick, powerful passing, fast running with the ball and excellent option taking. Five minutes into the second quarter Ryde scored again from a shot taken from the top of the circle, Glebe 1 Ryde 3. Some of the Glebe players were running the ball aimlessly and if no obvious pass presented itself ran the ball, hoping for best, which was usually being dispossessed and putting the Glebe defence under pressure.

Glebe’s concentration lapsed. It was like the team went to sleep and were in the dreamtime, fantasyland and were mesmerized by the brilliance of the opposition. More grit, more determination, better reading of the game, earlier tackling, more commitment, and more enthusiasm were needed. Ryde scored again in the eight minutes of the second quarter, 1 Ryde 4. Glebe tacklers needed to enter the tackle zone with the intention of not being eliminated and preventing the opposition forward getting past them with the ball under control. Attention to the position of the feet and the direction from which to approach the opposition ball runner would be a useful training exercise.

Ryde scored from its fifth penalty corner at the end of the second quarter. Glebe 1 Ryde 5.  Ryde had 60-65% of the territory in the second quarter. They are an excellent third grade team, but we made them look like champions in this quarter.

The third quarter started with Glebe playing better hockey. Half Rob Curlewis hit a few cracking drives down the sideline which were effective and well needed. Tony Wark made one great tackle, dispossessing a Ryde defender, and looking dangerous with the ball on his stick six metres out from the Ryde goal. Sam Bagley was solid with a very good hit and an excellent tackle. Sam was one of our better players today. A couple of overheads from half Craig Martin were effective attacking weapons and a couple of times converted defence into hard attack. Simon Wark tried hard in mid-field as did Oliver Tordoff and Marley Seebacher. Andrew Cheong covered a lot of territory at centre-half and Ryde did not attack through the centre-half alley, as this part of the field was Andrew’s domain.

Six minutes into the third quarter Ryde broke quickly from its own 22 metre zone, down the left wing. They crossed into the circle, six metres from the goal-line and the ball was struck into the goal by a lurking Ryde forward. This was a well-constructed goal which stretched the Glebe defence, mainly by the speed of the Ryde passing. Glebe 1 Ryde 6.  The Glebe passing was too slow, not accurate enough and needed to be passed at pace directly to the stick of a teammate.

Eleven minutes into the third quarter a Glebe defender was caught running the ball from its defending 22 metre zone and was easily dispossessed. The ball was quickly moved down the Ryde right wing, with the Glebe defence in disarray. The ball was passed to the penalty stroke spot, where there were three Ryde forwards lining-up to trap the ball and it was sent into the Glebe goal. Glebe 1 Ryde 7.  Aimlessly running the ball out of defence, without a clear option or strategy in  mind is seldom a good option. Twelve minutes into the third quarter Rob Curlews saved a hard shot at goal off the Glebe goal line with Jacob Warnock out of his goal after effecting an initial save.

Cameron Johnson at half tried hard all game and never gave-up. He covered a lot of territory in doing so. Jamie Travis on occasions was dangerous for the Glebe team, constantly putting the Ryde fullback under pressure. One play late in the third quarter saw Paul Jowett pass a short overhead to Jamie inside the Ryde circle, Jamie passed across to the unmarked Tony Wark whose shot for goal was blocked by the Ryde goal-keeper. Tony’s option taking in this situation was poor. He had time to draw the goal keeper out of his goal, which would have improved his chances of putting the ball past him. This was a great scoring opportunity, but the finish was poor.

With one minute remaining in the third quarter Ryde scored its eight goal. Again, a long overhead pass was the start of this Ryde attacking movement. From 20 minutes inside the Ryde half the ball was flicked  across field to the inside left alley finding a Ryde forward. The Ryde forward sprinted to the Glebe circle, drew the Glebe defenders and passed the ball across the face of the Glebe goalmouth for the ball to be tapped into the net. Glebe 1 Ryde 8, which was the score at the end of the third quarter. Ryde used these long, diagonal flicked balls to very good effect, often opening up the Glebe defence.

With the score at Glebe 1 Ryde 8 at the end of the third quarter, all Glebe were playing for in this quarter was their pride. The game was well and truly beyond its reach. To the Glebe team’s credit the effort was good, the commitment and energy was good, but Ryde were playing well and it was Ryde’s excellent teamwork that was doing the damage. Three minutes into the fourth quarter Glebe were awarded its second penalty corner of the game. The push out was not straight, which forced the stopper to made a hurried stick stop and the shot for goal went wide.

Five minutes into the fourth quarter Ryde were awarded its seventh penalty corner of the game. The initial shot was brilliantly saved by full-back Chris Farrugia with his stick, but the rebound fell favourably for a Ryde forward who pounced on the rebound and flicked it high into the Glebe net, Glebe 1 Ryde 9. Ryde scored its final and tenth goal five minutes from the end of the game, after the ball was coughed up by a Glebe defender, who received a pass from a teammate in a difficult position.

The field position presented to the Ryde team gave them plenty of options, with the Glebe defenders caught out of position. Ryde passed the ball well, outmaneuvering the rapidly retreating Glebe defence to give one of its forwards a simple tap-in goal. Glebe 1 Ryde 10.

Jacob Warnock made a couple of good saves in the last five minutes of the game, and the Glebe tackling was now resolute. The final score was Glebe 1 Ryde 10.

Of the four quarters Glebe had one good quarter, one shocker, and two average quarters. We were beaten by the clearly better team today. Congratulations Ryde on your fine win. The Glebe spirit was always there and the players respect for each other was always there, although the option taking, field position and tackling intensity was not up to our usual standard.

It was good to welcome back Adam Campano into the team for today’s game. Adam has been out injured for many months. He only played 15 minutes of today’s game, but played very well.

Next week we play Sutherland at 12.30 pm, on the Cintra Turf, at Concord. A home game for us. I think Sutherland will be nowhere near as good as Ryde was today.

Congratulations to the Glebe third grade team on trying your best all game, despite the game drifting away from us and Ryde piling on ten goals against us. Hopefully we can be more competitive in next week’s game.