3rd Grade Men’s v University of New South Wales 27 May 2023 at Daceyville

Result: Glebe 1 lost to UNSW 8

Half-time: Glebe 1 UNSW 4

Penalty corners: Glebe 4 (no goal) UNSW 10 (2 goals)

Penalty Strokes: UNSW 1 (1 goal)

Scorers: Zane Goodridge, field goal

Glebe players: Jacob Warnock, Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Tony Wark, Simon Wark, Paul Jowett, Andrew Cheong, Cameron Johnston, Brad Goodridge, Aiden Najdzion, Darren French, Zane Goodridge, Will Brine, Clayton Herbst, Adam Campano, Ken Wark (coach).

Pre-match prediction:

Before this weekend’s round of games, UNSW has a two wins, three losses record this season, with 13 goals for and 16 against, a goal difference of -3 and sit seventh on the competition ladder. Glebe has a one win and four loses record, with 6 goals for and 22 against, a goal difference of -16 and sit ninth on the ladder.

The statistics suggest that UNSW should win by a couple of goals. This week’s Glebe third grade team is the strongest fielded this season and Glebe will be competitive, but unless the team get a good slice of lady luck, it is unlikely to pull off a victory. Glebe needs better circle craft and smarter thinking in the attacking circle to maximize its chances of victory.

I put the odds of a Glebe win at 6-1 and a draw at 4-1.

Match Report

It was a beautiful, sunny late autumn day, with a blue sky and a gentle breeze.

The UNSW team are a good team and beat us comprehensively today. Glebe was two goals down in the first five minutes and things went from bad to worse. It was one of those days when everything that could go wrong for Glebe did go wrong and everything that could go right for the UNSW did go right. Glebe tried hard and never gave up, had half a dozen excellent scoring changes but lady luck was against them.

The territory was 55% to the UNSW, but the UNSW’s main strength was the speed of its players and their quick breaks from defence. When the Glebe defence was set, the UNSW were well contained. The majority of the UNSW goals started from midway in its own half and the ball travelled at speed into the Glebe circle with fast well directed passes.

A constant feature of the Glebe play today was the slowness to take the free hits and 16-yard hits, and  slowness in giving the ball to the forwards. Things need to be speeded up for Glebe to become more competitive. Another thing we badly need is more incisive running at pace in the middle of the field. We had trouble penetrating the UNSW midfield defence because we allowed them to sit back and cut off the pass. The player with the ball needs to come up with the ball, draw an opposition player forward, create a gap, before hitting or pushing a bullet like pass to the stick of a teammate. Another problem for Glebe is that the default option for the halves and fullbacks is to pass the ball back or across field. This tactic exposes the team to an intercept and a counter attack, and does not create a gap in the opposition defensive formation.

The team has the ability to play a lot better than it played today. We will learn from our mistakes and move on. The team harmony and cohesion is good, the players get on well together and seem to enjoy themselves, which is the main reason to play a team sport.

After three minutes the UNSW attacked at pace down its left-wing, stretching the Glebe defence, the ball came across the middle of the Glebe goal quickly to an unmarked UNSW forward who pushed the ball into the goal from 5 metres out. Glebe 0 UNSW 1 . The speed of the UNSW players and the speed of passing is what caught Glebe out, and this remained the case for the rest of the game.

Ninety seconds after the first goal UNSW attacked again down the left-wing alley, moving the ball into the circle, where a scramble ensued. Glebe had a couple of good chances to clear the ball, but did not do so, with the end result being that the UNSW pounced on a Glebe error and pushed the ball into the Glebe goal.  Glebe 0 UNSW 2.

Much too often a couple of the Glebe forwards were running the ball solo, mostly across field and not passing the ball early enough. Better teamwork and earlier passing are required. Vision, and an awareness of where your own players are and where the defensive players are make giving a defence breaking pass much easier.  When the ball carrier was sprinting forwards, with the ball on their stick with the defence scrambling, much too often the ball was pulled back and the forward momentum stopped and the opposition regrouped in front of the ball. The forwards need to keep going, ride out the would-be tacklers and pass the ball if a pass is on, or continue running with the ball if there is no obvious pass.

The Glebe running out on the UNSW penalty corners was excellent today with Cameron Johnston being excellent in the way he quickly got to the corner battery. He had the UNSW players in sixes and sevens as to what option to take. UNSW scored from the last two of its 10 penalty corners awarded to it during the game. The ninth corner came from an excellent, powerful direct push into the corner of the Glebe goal and the tenth UNSW corner resulted from a mis-hit and a very fluky behind the body deflection by a UNSW forward past the Glebe goalkeeper Jacob Warnock.

Midway through the first quarter Glebe made a fast break down the left wing, the ball was transferred into the UNSW circle, where a scrabble ensued, but UNSW managed to clear the ball. This was a golden chance for the Glebe team that went begging. After 10 minutes Tony Wark broke down the right-wing with the ball before crashing the ball into the circle where it deflected into the air, with a penalty corner awarded to Glebe.   The penalty corner was well executed. The initial shot was well saved by the goalkeeper. The rebound came back to Brad Goodridge who hit the ball hard at the goal. The ball hit a UNSW defender on the leg, with him standing in front of the goal. The umpire deemed that the ball would have missed the goal and another penalty corner was awarded. Whether the ball would have gone into the UNSW net or missed the goal was a 50-50 decision.

With three minutes remaining in the quarter Zane Goodridge made an excellent run down the inside- right alley into the UNSW circle before pushing the ball towards the penalty stroke spot, which unfortunately slipped between two Glebe players. The final pass went astray, but the lead-up work was terrific. The closing few minutes of the first quarter saw Glebe exerting some pressure on the UNSW defence and playing well. At the end of the first quarter the score was Glebe 0 UNSW 2.

The UNSW players had a significant speed advantage over their Glebe counterparts, which was a problem for Glebe all game. A few minutes into the second quarter the UNSW broke quickly from five metres outside their own circle with speedy ball movement and accurate well weighted passes to eventually find an unmarked high forward, who entered the Glebe circle with only the Glebe goalkeeper in front of him. The UNSW forward moved the ball to his left and the ball was running inwards the Glebe backline. Glebe goalkeeper Jacob Warnock clipped the UNSW forward on his way through and the umpire awarded a penalty stoke to the UNSW. From the stoke, the ball went into the top of the net like a rocket and gave Jacob no chance to save. Glebe 0 UNSW 3.

The middle period of the second quarter was evenly fought with Glebe defending the UNSW penalty corners well, with the first runner doing a great job of getting out quickly. With seven minutes remaining in the second quarter Clayton Herbst skilfully dispossessed a UNSW fullback on the edge of the UNSW circle and created a good chance for Glebe, which in the end resulted in a Glebe penalty corner. The corner was well executed. The UNSW goalkeeper made a good save of Brad Goodridge’s hit. The ball rebounded to Brad who hit again, with the ball going just wide of the goal. With five minutes remaining in the second quarter a UNSW forward made a miraculous stop of a ball hit forward by a Glebe defender. The ball bounced perfectly for the UNSW player into the top of the Glebe circle and he hammered a powerful tomahawk shot into the roof of the Glebe net. Glebe 0 UNSW 4.

Two minutes before the end of the second quarter Andrew Cheong dispossessed a UNSW forward ten metres outside the top of the Glebe defending circle, before pushing the ball wide to Simon Wark who read the game well and quickly transferred the ball to Tony Wark on the left-hand sideline. Tony ran 10 metres before cracking the ball across to Zane Goodridge who after a scramble pushed the ball into the UNSW goal. Glebe 1 UNSW 4. This was the score at half-time. The UNSW team took their free hits quickly and had more urgency in its play than Glebe. They were a very good third grade team. Glebe needs to take a leaf out of the UNSW book and learn to get the ball going early and pass early.

Early in the third quarter Simon Wark made a great tackle at the top of the Glebe circle and quickly passed the ball on to Cameron Johnston who passed to Clayton Herbst and then to Aiden Najdzion in the UNSW circle. Aiden’s pass inside the circle did not find a Glebe player’s stick. Four or five times during the game the final pass inside the UNSW circle went astray, these were definitely goal scoring chances.

In the middle of the third quarter Glebe and its supporters got a bit rattled and the umpire gave the Glebe team a few yellow cards, which depleted the ranks for 10-15 minutes. This made the going tough. At one stage the Glebe team were down to nine men. I might add that the bar for a yellow card seemed low to me, but perhaps I am biased.  There was no niggle or spiteful play in the game.

In the tenth minute of the third quarter UNSW was awarded its sixth penalty corner. The hit from the top of the circle was well saved by Jacob Warnock, but the hand save went high and another penalty corner was given. Again, Glebe’s first runner made the UNSW corner battery nervous and their stopper missed their trap.

With three minutes remaining in the third quarter Tony Wark dispossessed a UNSW fullback around ten metres inside the UNSW half. He sprinted with the ball towards the UNSW circle with a UNSW defender in hot pursuit and the goalkeeper coming out from his goal to meet Tony on the top of the circle. The ball was played to the goalkeeper’s left inside the circle and at the same time Tony was brought down by the UNSW defender at the top of the circle. The umpire adjudicated that the tackle was outside the circle and a penalty corner was awarded which was Glebe’s fourth. Many players and spectators were of the firm view that the foul play occurred inside the circle and that a penalty stroke should have been awarded, but the umpire thought otherwise. A goal at this stage of the game would have made reduced UNSW’s margin to two goals and given Glebe a very outside chance of staging a come-back. The Glebe penalty corner was well defended by UNSW. The score at the end of the third quarter was Glebe 1 UNSW 4.

Four minutes into the fourth quarter UNSW threw an overhead to inside the Glebe 22 metre line in the right-hand pocket. A Glebe player completely missed the ball which came to him at mid-thigh height. The ball went to the right winger behind him, who ran five metres, penetrated the Glebe circle and shot as he crossed the circle markings. It was a hard hit which flew past Jacob Warnock. I know how the Glebe defender feels, as I missed a few full tosses when I played cricket and looked behind to see the stumps knocked over.  Glebe 1 UNSW 5. This goal snuffed out any chance of Glebe making a comeback.

Glebe was having trouble clearing the ball from defence and UNSW were making many circle penetrations and winning penalty corners. Yellow card absences did not make the defence’s job any easier. In the last ten minutes of the game UNSW scored two goals from penalty corners. One a beautiful push into the corner, the other an out and out fluke deflection from a mis-hit. UNSW scored its last goal from a penalty corner taken after full-time. The final score was Glebe 1 UNSW 8.

The game was a lot closer than the score indicates. Paul Jowett, Sam Bagley and Will Brine all played well, with heart and commitment. UNSW were just too good for Glebe today, their speed, fast paced style, quickly taken free hits and well-developed stick and ball skills were very hard to defend against. No Glebe player had a bad game considering their ability level, it was just that the UNSW players were better individual hockey players and had better teamwork. There is no disgrace in being beaten by the better team when you and your team play to the best of your abilities.

Next week we play the 12.30 pm game against Manly at Cintra synthetic turf, Concord.

Harry Wark


Report on the Glebe v University of New South Wales (UNSW) Third Grade game played 1230 hours, 27 May 2023 at the Daceyville Turf, Daceyville.