3rd Grade Men’s v South East Hockey Club (SEHC) 24 June 2023 at Olympic Pitch

Result: Glebe 1 defeated SEHC 0

Half-time: Glebe 1 SEHC 0

Penalty corners: Glebe 3 (0 goals) SEHC 4 (0 goals)

Scorer: Tony Wark, field goal

Glebe players: Clark Foster, Chris Farrugia, Tony Wark, Simon Wark, Paul Jowett, Aiden Najdzion, Darren French, Zane Goodridge, Clayton Herbst, Adam Campano, Will Brine, Brad Goodridge, Sam Bagley, Marley Seebacher, Ken Wark (coach).

Unavailable: Andrew Cheong, Cameron Johnston, Oliver Tordoff

Pre-match prediction:

Glebe has played 8 games for 1 win and 7 losses, scoring 10 goals for and having 40 scored against it, with a goal difference of -30, now second last on the third-grade competition table sitting on 3 points.  SEHC has played 8 games for two draws and 6 losses, scoring 11 goals for and having 22 scored against it, with a goal difference of -11, and sits last on the third-grade competition points table.

Doing the numbers comes up with a predicted result of  SEHC beating Glebe 3 goals to 1 and leapfrogging Glebe into the second-last spot.

The team welcomes back two under-17 players from fourth grade Clark Foster and Marley Seebacher.

In last week’s game against Macquarie University, the team’s main problem was its inability to convert guilt-edge scoring opportunities into goals. With better circle craft, earlier, faster, stronger passing,  better reading of the game, and a better penalty corner conversion rate, a win in this game is possible.

Match Report:

Today’s game was closely fought from beginning to end and played between two very well-matched teams. Despite the fact that it was a game played between two teams that were last and second last on the competition table it was a tense, exciting, entertaining game, which Glebe won 1-0. The result could have gone either way and Glebe showed a lot of character to come away with the win.

The sky was blue, the sun shining, with little wind, and the game was played in one of the best hockey stadiums in the Southern Hemisphere. Brad Goodridge ran onto the ground through a guard of honour assembled by his teammates to honour Brad’s 500th senior Club game for Glebe.

Three minutes into the game Tony Wark was fed the ball on the left wing 30 metres from the St George backline. Tony pushed a fast ball across the face of St George’s goal, but there were no Glebe forwards in position to deflect the ball into the goal. This happened five or six times during the game today. The Glebe forwards have to anticipate this option from Tony when he is in this position and take the appropriate field position to be able to deflect the cross-ball into the opposition goal.

St George attacked for the first 7 minutes of the game and had several shots at the Glebe goal, from awkward angles which were well defended by the Glebe goalkeeper Clarke Foster. St George had 6-7 shots on goal in the first 12 minutes, for most of these shots the St George forwards were under pressure from the Glebe defenders or were shooting from narrow angles. The Glebe defence of Chris Farrugia, Brad Goodridge, Zane Goodridge, Darren French and Marley Seebacher was tenacious, tackling early and denying the St George forwards any space or room to move. Glebe had trouble clearing the ball from defence, but when it did so, the option of going down the sideline was working well. Again, the forwards needed to anticipate this pass and take the appropriate field position.

Eight minutes into the game Glebe made a quick break down the right-hand sideline and the ball was transferred across the face of the St George goal, where it hit a St George’s player’s foot and a Glebe penalty corner was awarded. The corner was well executed but Brad Goodridge’s hit missed the goal on the goalkeeper’s right-hand side. Much of the next nine minutes of the first quarter was played in the mid-field with neither side being able to work their way through the opposition defence. Marley Seebacher and Aiden Najdzion were prominent during this period with their tenacious tackling and their hard-running cover defence.

Glebe forward Clayton Herbst’s tackling in mid-field was excellent and he also made several promising fast runs in the middle of the field, which the St George defence found hard to handle. Brad Goodridge made two goal-saving tackles in the last couple of minutes of the first quarter when Glebe was caught short from quick St George counterattacks and in desperate defence. The score at the end of the first quarter was Glebe 0 St George 0, with St George having twice as many shots on goal as Glebe. The territory was approximately 50-50.

Zane Goodridge was playing well when he was involved in a fiercely contested tussle on the ball with several St George players, 5 metres inside the Glebe half. He was accidentally struck with the stick on the top of the head and a deep gash was opened up. Zane took no further part in the game, although he seemed well after the match. It was an unfortunate afternoon in some ways for the Goodridge family as Zane’s father Brad sustained a hamstring tear midway through the second quarter and took no further part in the game. Up until that point Brad had been playing at the top of his form.

Glebe started well in the second quarter.  In the first minute of the second quarter, the ball came across the face of the St George goal with no Glebe forward in a position to deflect it into the St George goal, although Paul Jowett was only centimetres away from getting a stick on the ball. For the first five minutes of the second quarter, Glebe began to exert consistent pressure on St George’s defence.  A few minutes into the second quarter there was a bit of ping pong, aerial hockey in front of the St George goal with 7 or 8 shots, with the ball hit on the full, going in and out, back and forwards across the face of the St George goal, before St George were eventually awarded a free-hit. This was an interesting passage of play and a definite Glebe goal-scoring chance. In the middle of the second quarter, Sam Bagley coped a screamer on the knee, which sent him from the field for 10 minutes. Fortunately, he bounced back as strong as ever, but I am sure the knee is painful and swollen tonight.

Eleven minutes into the second quarter Adam Campano was under pressure 4 metres inside his own half close to the lefthand sideline and scrabbled the ball back to Brad Goodridge, who saw Tony Wark lurking 50 metres away inside the St George circle.  Showing great vision Brad cracked the ball to Tony on the backline 5 metres to the right of the St George goal. Tony stopped the ball well, worked it past a St George defender and with the goalkeeper advancing towards him moved the ball to the front of the goal and hit the ball past the retreating goalkeeper into the net. The goal was made possible because of Brad’s vision and reading of the game, Glebe 1 St George 0.

One minute later St George broke quickly from defence and created a 4 on 2 situation with the Glebe defenders. The ball was carried into the Glebe circle and Clark Foster came out to engage the St George forward carrying the ball. The St George forward moved the ball past an advancing Clarke on his left-hand side, but in the process slipped over with the goal wide-open. This was an outsized stroke of luck for Glebe. St George finished the quarter the better of the two teams. A St George penalty corner was well saved by Clark Foster and a St George forward’s tomahawk was hit over the top of the goal 8 metre’s out from the Glebe goal. The score at half-time was Glebe 1, St George 0, in a very even contest.

Simon Wark was playing well as centre-half making several important tackles and making some incisive fast runs from inside Glebe’s half to St George’s 22-metre line which opened up St George’s defence. Chris Farrugia’s low flat-stick tackling in the Glebe defensive circle was excellent.  He avoided giving away penalty corners on several occasions. Chris’ driven passes down the sideline were effective and often relieved St George’s pressure on Glebe’s defence. Darren French was solid in defence and chimed into the attack when the opportunity arose.

Seven minutes into the third quarter St George had the ball 3 metres from the Glebe goal, directly in front of the goal, a scrabble developed and it was only desperate Glebe defence that saved the day, with Will Brine being prominent. Will tackled well all game and the St George forwards found it difficult to get past him. Midway through the third quarter Glebe had a good 5 minutes where fast, early, accurate passing produces some excellent attacking opportunities.

Twelve minutes into the third quarter Glebe broke quickly down the left wing, with Tony Wark passing the ball across the face of the St George goal. Marley Seebacher steamed onto the pass and advanced towards the goal, before the ball hit a St George defender’s foot and a Glebe penalty corner was awarded. The shot from the penalty corner was well saved by the St George goalkeeper. For the last four minutes of the third quarter St George exerted sustained pressure on the Glebe defence and it had several shots on the Glebe goal. One cracking shot from 5 metres out was very well saved by Clark Foster. St George had 5-6 reasonable attempts to score in the third quarter and Glebe had one. The Glebe defenders kept tackling and made nothing easy for the St George forwards. The score at the end of the third quarter was Glebe 1, St George 0.

Going into the start of the fourth quarter it was still very much anyone’s game, with St George looking to increase the tempo and score an equaliser. St George started the fourth quarter strongly, but the Glebe defence was tenacious. Sam Bagley was back better than ever and his reading of the game, his positional play and his option-taking were excellent. Three minutes into the fourth quarter St George broke into the Glebe circle after a 40-metre passing movement. A St George forward had a tomahawk shot from the top of the Glebe circle in the inside left alley, which was well saved by Clark Foster’s gloved hand.

Seven minutes into the fourth quarter St George was awarded a penalty corner for a dubious Glebe defender’s tackle. Clark saved the flick, but the ball went high and the umpire awarded another penalty corner, St George’s fourth corner. The push-out was not tapped cleanly and the ball was cleared, danger was avoided.

Glebe was under the pump midway through the fourth quarter, but the head-down, bum-up approach displayed by the team was excellent. On the halfway, close to the righthand sideline Paul Jowett threw a beautiful overhead to Manley Seebacher further up-field in the right-wing position. Marley displayed good skill to work the ball into the St George circle and win Glebe’s third penalty corner. The push-out and trap were good, but Tony Wark’s flick was easily saved by the St George goalkeeper. Clayton Herbst has been a find as a penalty corner pusher-outer, he is good at it.

The final 8 minutes of the game were tense and exciting, with St George trying its best to find the equaliser and Glebe desperate to hang on to its lead. The ball went from one end of the field to the other and players in both teams were feeling the pinch, fitness-wise. In the final quarter territory was 50-50. Chris Farrugia made 4-5 great tackles when things were looking grim for Glebe. Chris’ tackling was a feature of today’s game and he defused 6-7 red-hot St George attacking raids towards the Glebe circle.

The final 3 minutes were anxiety provoking for players and spectators alike, with players of both teams throwing everything at it. A couple of Glebe sideways and back pass options when it had the ball on the halfway line were poor and presented St George opportunities that they did not deserve. For the most part, Glebe sensibly kept the ball in the wide channels and limited St George’s options for the quick counter-attack. In the final 2 minutes Tony Wark had a shot on goal for Glebe and with one minute left in the game St George had a shot on the Glebe goal from the top of the circle wide-out in the inside left alley. The ball hit the sideboard of the Glebe goal.

I am sure the Glebe players were delighted when they heard the final hooter sound. This was Glebe’s second win of the season from 9 games. It was a determined, wholehearted effort by the Glebe team today. They stuck to their task from the opening to the final whistle. Congratulations team.

Next Saturday 1 July 2023 there is a bye for the Glebe premier division teams. There is no premier division hockey scheduled to be played on 8 July 2023, with our next game scheduled for 15 July 2023 against Ryde at Cintra Synthetic Turf, Concord. This means that Glebe will play no hockey for 3 weeks. It seems to me that the Sydney Hockey Association needs to improve the continuity of the competition and try to ensure that each team has 18 games rather than 16 games in a season, as the competition is currently structured. The big breaks between games should be eliminated.

Report on the Glebe v South East Hockey Club (SEHC) Third Grade game played 15.30 hours, 24 June 2023 at the Olympic Pitch, Homebush