Men’s 3rd Grade v Briars – 8 May 2021 at Cintra Hockey Field

Result: Glebe 3 drew with Briars 3

Half-time: Glebe 2 – Briars 2

Penalty corners: Glebe 7 (1 goal), Briars 3 (1 goal)


Glebe players: Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Adam Campano, Andrew Cheong, Craig Martin, Tony Wark, Paul Jowett, Jacob Warnock (GK), Zane Goodridge, Will Brine, James Martin, Tyson Hickey, Pat Wark.  Unavailable players Michael Wark (hamstring), Jackson Howe (back) Luke Pollock, Aaron Gough.


Pre-match prediction:

Glebe defeated Briars 8-2 on 10 April 2021. The team personnel for that game was substantially different to the playing roster for today’s game. In our last two game we have been comprehensively beaten 8-1, and 7-0.

So far this season Briars have had three losses and one draw from four games. Briars were defeated 6 – 0 by Macquarie University. Macquarie beat us 7 – 0. These results suggest that today’s match will be played between two teams of reasonably equal ability. If we can improve our penalty corner conversion rate, play to our potential, and deliver the early, well struck ball from the back we have a good chance to win this game.

My predicted score Glebe 1 Briars 1.


Match Report

It was warm day at Cintra, 25°C, with little wind and a few white fluffy clouds in a blue sky. The warm weather took its toll on the players.

This was a an exciting, tight, even, free flowing game with Glebe scoring after the final whistle to snatch a draw.

Glebe had two yellow cards and four green cards during the game, which gave Briars a one-man advantage for around 20 minutes of the game. Two of the Briars goals were scored when we were down to 10 men. With a bit more self-discipline we could have won this game. Talking back to the umpires was a problem for us. It is a pointless exercise, and it would be best if we could exercise self-discipline and keep our concentration firmly on what we can control, and ignore dubious umpiring decisions.

The pace of the game was hectic from the start with Briars, after 2 minutes, having an early shot that went just wide of the Glebe goal. Briars had the territory in the first minutes of the game. At the 4 minute mark Glebe’s Zane Goodridge gathered the ball on the left hand sideline, at the half-way mark. He quickly transferred the ball up the sideline to Anthony Wark who found Tyson Hickey on the Briars backline. Tyson crossed the ball towards the penalty stroke spot, and a fast-advancing James Martin made good pace to slap the ball into the Briars goal. Glebe 1 Briars 0.

Seven minutes into the game Andrew Cheong, 30 metres out from the Briars backline sent an early ball through to an unmarked Tyson Hickey who beat the Briars goal-keeper I on I and put the ball into the Briars goal. Glebe 2 Briars 0.

A loose reverse side tackle by a Glebe player 5 metres outside the Glebe circle resulted in a Briars penalty corner. It is important not to tackle from awkward positions inside the defending 22 metre area and risk giving away a penalty corner. Call a teammate forward to make the tackle and run flat-out to a cover defending position.

At times the Glebe defenders were not moving forward to contest the 50-50 ball. They were unnecessarily conceding possession to a Briars player when a full-blooded tackle to obtain the ball was what was required. More commitment to the 50-50 ball is definitely required, but not if there is a risk of giving away a penalty corner inside the defending 22 metre zone.

In the first quarter, Briars had 55% of the territory and were playing good hockey, moving the ball quickly from side to side and looking dangerous. Glebe were scrabbling in defence, reading the game well and tackling relentlessly. Zane Goodridge and Will Brine, the Glebe inside forwards, were covering a lot of territory, constantly pressuring the Briars halves and not allowing them to burst thought the mid-field. They would have considered themselves unlucky to be down 2-0.  The quarter time score was Glebe 2 Briars 0.

The first 7 minutes of the second quarter was even-stevens. Sam Bagley was using the driven ball parallel to the sideline to good effect and linking up well with his left sided forwards. Andrew Cheong was having his usual excellent game, running hard, tackling well and covering a lot of territory. Chris Farrugia at right half was distributing the ball well and was not frightened to crack the ball to his forwards up front if the field position demanded it.

7 minutes into the second quarter Andrew Cheong at centre halt received a 5 minutes suspension for rough play (a dubious call in my opinion, but I have not got the whistle). This reduced us to 10 men and allowed Briars to apply some sustained pressure. 10 minutes into the second quarter Briars worked their way into the Glebe circle, a Glebe defender’s tackle was deemed illegal, and Briars were awarded a penalty corner.

From the ensuing penalty corner, which initially broke down, Briars were able to scramble a goal Glebe 2 Briars 1.

Two minutes later Briars had the ball in the middle of the field on half-way. They moved the ball quickly and at speed between at least six players, before the ball was passed across the face of the Glebe goal where it was slapped in by a Briars forward Glebe 2 Briars 2. This was a well-crafted goal involving excellent teamwork.

With 3 minutes remaining in the second quarter fullback Pat Wark had the ball 40 metres out from the Briars goal. He crashed the ball straight at the Briars goalkeeper. The ball bobbled around in the Briars circle and Glebe looked a chance of scrambling a goal. Glebe forward Tyson Hickey is at his best in the circle scramble.

Glebe pressed in the last minutes of the second quarter and with seconds on the clock was awarded its first penalty corner of the game. After a scramble in the circle the umpire blew Glebe for obstruction and the good scoring opportunity went begging. The half-time score was Glebe 2 Briars 2.

In the first minute of the third quarter Briars broke down its left-wing alley, before finding a forward on the baseline who crossed the ball at pace to the penalty stroke spot. The pace of the ball meant it eluded the Glebe defenders and the Briars forwards. This was a good opportunity for Briars. The game developed into an end to end, fast flowing game with both teams having reasonable scoring opportunities.

Tony Wark was fed the ball from the back by the Glebe half line 40 metres from the Briars backline. He sprinted into the circle, hotly pursued by a posse of Briars defenders.  He pushed the ball into the advancing Briars goal keeper’s pads, which was a second-rate option. Tony needed to drag the ball around the keeper, and not shoot until he saw a clear path between the ball and the goal.

Midway through the third quarter Briars initiated 3 or 4 dangerous looking raids down its left wing. Only tenacious defence by Chris Farrugia and Adam Campano prevented Briars from maximizing these opportunities. Adam had a good game today. He was solid, tackled well, read the game well and his combination with Pat Wark at fullback was smooth and confident.

Twelve minutes into the third quarter Glebe were awarded its second penalty corner after Tyson Hickey found a Briars foot in the circle. The corner stop was muffed, and the ball as pushed across to Craig Martin on the top of the circle. Craig’s hit at goal was deflected over the back line.

With two and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter Craig Martin received a yellow card for a clumsy, mis-timed tackle. Almost immediately Briars broke quickly down the left wing, where Chris Farrugia placed a clumsy tackle on a Briars forward and was given a green card (2-minute suspension) for his trouble.

A Briars forward, sensing that there was only 90 seconds left in the quarter, took the free hit from 6 metres in advance of where the green card offence was committed, and did not even stop the ball to take the free hit. Play was allowed to proceed much to the displeasure of the 9-man Glebe team.  The ball was crossed to the penalty stroke spot and the ball slapped into the Glebe goal by a Briars forward with a minute left in the quarter.

The moral of the story is to play the whistle and keep your wits about you.  The Glebe players’ concentration lapsed and they did not respond quickly enough to the obvious danger that a quick free hit against us would create.  This quick free hit allowed Briars to create a 3 on 2 situation and score a goal. If the Glebe defenders had regrouped faster, the goal would not have eventuated.

The score at the end of 3 quarter time was Glebe 2 Briars 3. Glebe had the task in front of them going into the fourth quarter, as the Briars team were on average younger and fitness levels would play a big part in how the quarter played out.

Briars started the fourth quarter well and were awarded its third and final penalty corner 2 minutes into the final quarter. Jacob Warnock confidently saved the Briars’ flick at goal and Craig Martin cleared from the Glebe circle.

When the Glebe defenders had nothing on in deep defence, they often crashed the ball towards the Briars left hand corner post, Glebe’s right-wing alley. This was a good tactic and often relieved pressure from the Briars forwards and put Glebe in a good field position deep inside the Briars half. The Glebe fullbacks cleared the ball from the 16 yards hits with ease today, in marked contrast to our previous two games where we found it tough to find a way through the opposition press.

The first 7 minutes of the fourth quarter was evenly balanced. Realising that they had to play more adventurous hockey if they were going to gain any points from the game, Glebe started to play a more attacking game and put pressure on the Briars defence. Paul Jowett made some good runs with the ball down the right wing, and threw some incisive passes to Glebe forwards further upfield.

Will Brine, Zane Goodridge and Andrew Cheong in the middle of the field upped their work rate and Glebe started to gain the ascendency.  The fourth quarter was Glebe’s best quarter, as it made a concerted effort to equalize. Midway through the fourth quarter the Glebe forwards made sorties down the left- and right-hand sidelines outflanking the Briars defenders. After they reached the backline, they ran the ball along the backline and penetrated the Briars circle.

This was an effective tactic that Briars found hard to defend against. Tony Wark and Tyson Hickey had several good shots at goal, Tyson hitting the post on one occasion. The Briars goal keeper was playing well and had to work hard to keep Glebe out. Glebe had lifted its game, applied pressure on the Briars defenders and for the second half of the last quarter had 70% of the territory.

With six minutes remaining in the game Glebe were awarded its fourth penalty corner when a cross ball hit a Briar’s defenders’ foot inside the circle.  The Briars runner out defence was good and they were getting out quickly, putting pressure on the Glebe battery. Glebe tried a couple of corner variations, but these were well read by the Briars defenders, but often resulted in another penalty corner to Glebe.

In the last 5 minutes Glebe had 6-7 excellent shots at goal, without being able to put the ball into the net. With 2 minutes left in the game Sam Bagley from right half on half-way crashed the ball to Tony Wark at left wing. Tony crashed the ball across the face of the Briars goal where a scramble ensued but the ball was eventually cleared by Briars to Pat Wark almost on the half-way mark in mid field.

Pat moved the ball forward 10 metres and then crashed a hit straight at the Briars’ goal keeper. The ball was deflected off a Glebe player’s stick towards inside the circle towards the goal, but it caught a Briars player’s foot. and Glebe were awarded its seventh penalty corner with 30 seconds on the match clock. This penalty corner was Glebe’s last roll of the dice, as the hooter had gone before the corner was taken.

Pat Wark pushed the ball at pace towards the Briars goal-keeper who stopped the initial shot with ease, but the ball rebounded 5 metres onto the waiting stick of Tyson Hickey, who slapped the ball into the backboard. The final score was Glebe 3 Briars 3.

It was an inspirational last 10 minutes of hockey from the Glebe third grade. Grit, passion, determination, enthusiasm and effort were to the fore. The team lifted and, in the end, achieved a draw from an after-the-hooter goal. Glebe had quite a few good scoring chances in the last 10 minutes of the fourth quarter.

In some ways Glebe were lucky to achieve a draw, but Briars did not deserve to win, as Glebe came home like a whirlwind and won 7 penalty corners to Briar’s 3. A better penalty corner conversion rate would see the Glebe team become much more competitive.

Congratulations on the draw.  It was a team effort today, with each player trying hard and doing their best. We had good width to our play, used the sideline passes well, and looked dangerous when we got the ball to the backline. Our reading of the game was excellent, and our tackling was good.

It was our self-discipline that let us down today. Two of the Briars goals were scored when we had less than 11 players on the field.

There are no round games on 15 May 2021. Our next game is against Sutherland, 12.30 pm on Saturday 22 May 2021 at Cintra Park Concord. Enjoy your week off.