3rd Grade Men’s v Sutherland 16 July 2022 at Sylvania

Result: Glebe 0 lost to Sutherland 7

Half-time: Glebe 0 Sutherland 4

Penalty corners: Glebe 3 (no goals) Sutherland 4 (no goals)

Scorers: nil

Glebe players: Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Clark Foster (GK), Max Spalton, Aiden Najdzion, Brad Goodridge, Dan Palomique, Sid Roache, Simon Wark, Jamie Travis, Robert Curlewis, Billy Cheung, Tom Alexander-Prideaux.

Unavailable players: Michael Wark (permanently retired, career-ending recurrent hamstring injury), Jacob Warnock (broken bone in hand), Jackson Howe (bad back), Adam Campano, Andrew Cheong, Pat Wark, Paul Jowett, Tony Wark.

Pre-match prediction:

On 28 May 2022 Sutherland beat us 4-3 at the Olympic Pitch, Homebush. Sutherland were a lot better than us on the day and it was only the Glebe team’s sheer grit and determination that kept them in the game up until the final whistle. We have several players out for this game. Fortunately, the players promoted from fourth grade are of a good standard and I am sure the team will try hard and be competitive.

My prediction is that Glebe will be beaten 5-0 by Sutherland, who are a fast, polished, skilful team. If we can sink a couple of penalty corner goals, we might do a bit better, and with a good rub of the green we might even do a bit better still.

Match Report:

It was a cloudy, windless afternoon with the temperature about 16oC, ideal for hockey. The 0-7 loss was a fair result.

Sutherland camped in the Glebe half for the first five minutes of the game and had all the territory. Brad Goodridge at fullback threw a couple of 40 metre overheads down field which relieved pressure and gave Sutherland the message that if they played all team members in the Glebe half, they exposed themselves to the overhead counter attack. Forward Tom Alexander-Prideaux had a couple of one on ones with the keeper as a result of these overhead balls.

Glebe defended fiercely, tackling often and gave nothing away, but the blue wave kept coming. Sutherland had many older skilful players in its team, with excellent vision and stick skills, and a few fast younger players. Five minutes into the game Max Spalton from ten metres inside the Glebe half quickly passed to Simon Wark who sprinted past two Sutherland defenders before passing to Jamie Travis in the Sutherland circle. Jamie looked dangerous, but was obstructed by a Sutherland player, with Glebe awarded its first penalty corner. It was poorly executed and came to nothing.

Glebe’s three penalty corners during the game were poorly executed and we did not get one effective shot on goal. The push-out the trap and the eventual flick were mediocre in equal measure.

Sutherland was awarded its first penalty corner eight minutes into the game, after a few minutes of continuous pressure on the Glebe defence. The well driven direct hit was well saved by the Glebe goalkeeper Clark Foster. Clark got a lot of work and had an excellent game, probably his best game of the season. None of the seven goals that went past him were stoppable by any goalkeeper, including first grade goalkeepers.

The Glebe defence was tight with fullbacks Chris Farrugia and Brad Goodridge quickly closing down any gaps in defence. Thirteen minutes into the game a Sutherland forward ran the ball along the backline from the right wing, before passing to a teammate in front of the Glebe goal, four metres out. The snap, slap shot was almost saved by Clark Foster, but the ball eventually dribbled over he goal line without having the momentum to hit the backboard. Glebe 0 Sutherland 1

With one minute remaining in the quarter Sutherland were awarded its third penalty corner. The stop was muffed and the ball was deflected five metres outside the circle to a Sutherland player. The ball was passed into the Glebe circle to a Sutherland player who slapped the ball past Chris Farrugia into the Glebe goal, Glebe 0 Sutherland 2.

One minute into the second quarter our fullbacks indulged in a bit of aimless passing around the back. A Sutherland forward intercepted one of the cross-field passes and strolled into the Glebe circle unopposed. His well hit shot from the top of the circle was well saved by our goalkeeper. Sutherland were applying the pressure and it was only the tenacity and effort put in by the Glebe defence that stopped them from scoring. Simon Wark’s running with the ball gave Glebe some penetration in mid-field and he often split the Sutherland defence.

Sam Bagley had a good game tackling tenaciously, covering effectively and delivering some hits down the sideline and into the circle which went as if they were fired out of a cannon. Dan Palomique is a skilful player and did some excellent work in the centre-half position. He often injected himself into the attack and put the Sutherland defence under pressure. He was ably assisted in the middle of the field by Sid Roache who worked hard off the ball, ran hard with the ball, and gave Glebe moments when it threatening Sutherland circle and a goal scoring opportunity looked on the cards.

Sutherland had 65% of the territory and Glebe had great difficulty in getting out of its own half. Our driven hit clearances down the sideline were effective and a Glebe winger in a higher position often received the ball. Aiden Najdzion covered a lot of territory and his back-tackling was excellent. Billy Cheung and Robert Curlewis were promoted from fourth grade for today’s game and acquitted themselves well. They told me that the pace of the game in third grade was quicker than in fourth grade and “You get less time to think”. Their energy, commitment and effort could not be faulted.

Sutherland managed to break through the Glebe defence into the Glebe circle numerous times and have shots at goal, but the Sutherland forwards were put under pressure which prevented them from teeing-up their shots. Ten minutes into the second quarter the Sutherland forwards worked their way down the right-hand sideline before the ball came across the middle of the Glebe circle. A couple of tackles were missed before the ball was eventually swept past Clark Foster into the Glebe goal from a few metres out. Glebe 0 Sutherland 3.

Sutherland continued to pepper the Glebe goal with shots. Clarke Foster made numerous saves and the Glebe defenders always had the Sutherland forwards under pressure as they shot for goal. Two minutes before the half-time break a Sutherland forward had a shot from the top of the circle, which was saved by Clark, but the rebound fell favourably for a Sutherland forward who pushed the ball into the Glebe goal from 3 metres out. Glebe 0 Sutherland 4, which was the half-time score.

The third quarter Glebe started to gain more territory and Dan Palomique and Simon Wark made some penetrating runs in the mid-field. Sam Bagley was throwing himself into the fray tackling effectively and taking good field position. Sutherland were a well drilled, skilful team, but they were not having it all their own way. Aiden and Tom, two of our youngest team members were tackling back with tenacity and not allowing the Sutherland forwards to gain any metres before putting the tackle on.

Glebe had a couple of corners in the thirds quarter, and were making more circle penetrations. We began to find a bit more rhythm. Sutherland had a couple of quick breaks from defence that caught Glebe short once and it resulted in a goal, Glebe 0 Sutherland 5.  The Glebe work rate was good and our reading of the game and the field positions we took were faultless. Sutherland was just too well drilled and skilful for us to handle with the personnel we had. Sutherland did not have it all their own way and had to fight hard for any achievements they attained.

Early in the fourth quarter Sutherland worked the ball 60 metres from inside their own half down the field with five or six passes before the ball was passed across the middle of the Glebe circle for a Sutherland forward to slap into the goal. This was well worked, team goal about which Glebe could do very little. Glebe 0 Sutherland 6.

Sutherland had 65-70 % of the territory in the fourth quarter, were continually pressing the Glebe defence, but found it hard to find a way through it. Max Spalton’s flat stick tackle was particularly effective. Chris Farrugia managed a stop centimetre in front of the Glebe goal-line, after a goal-mouth scramble from a penalty corner. Glebe kept the ball wide and did not cough up any loose ball for Sutherland to capitalise on. The tactics were sound and effective. One of Sutherland’s goals came from a Glebe defender’s missed trap, but the other six were excellent team play. Sutherland did not score any one-out goals, or brilliant solo runs.

Glebe was resolute to the end, trying to the best of their ability and put pressure on the Sutherland ball carrier at every opportunity. Sutherland knew they were in a game. Jamie Travis and Sid Roache worked some magic in the second half of the fourth quarter and made several circle penetrations that looked as if a goal scoring opportunity would eventuate. Five minutes from the final whistle Sutherland weaved the ball from 40 metres out through the Glebe defenders with considerable skill before pushing the ball past Glebe goalkeeper Clark Foster, Glebe 0 Sutherland 7 which was the final score.

The game was played in a good spirit and the umpires were low key and helped the game flow. They did a good job.

Englishman Max Spalton heads back to Bristol, England before the third-grade team’s next game in a fortnight. Max is a good team man, a solid, skilful player and his services will be missed.  He is getting married in November, but tells me he will be back in Australia in January 2023 to work for an extended period. After the game the team gave Max a round of applause and thanked him for his contribution to the life and times of the team.

Next week is a bye for Glebe Premier Division teams and our next game is against Ryde at the Olympic Pitch, Homebush, at 1530 hours on Saturday 30 July, 2022.

Enjoy the week-off. Hopefully our regular players will be back on deck, as Ryde are one of the top teams in the Third Grade competition.