Result: Glebe 0 lost to MU 7
Half-time: Glebe 0 – MU 4
Penalty corners: Glebe 6 (no goals), MU 5 (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, Darren French, Jackson Howe, Tyson Hickey. Unavailable players Michael Wark (hamstring), Luke Pollock, Al Cullen, Pat Wark, Aaron Gough.
Pre-match prediction: MU have had 2 wins from their first 3 games of the 2021 season, with 22 goals for and 4 against, with a goal difference of 18. Glebe have had 2 wins and 2 losses from the 4 games it has played in the 2021 season.
Glebe’s defeat last week against UNSW was comprehensive. Our ranks are depleted for today’s game and unless we improve substantially, we could get well beaten. We coughed up a few goals from defensive errors in last week’s game against UNSW and if we can keep the ball wide and run straight and pass the ball straight, rather than pass the ball sideways and run down the middle we might be competitive.
We are playing MU’s first grade team today and it will be a tough assignment.
My predicted score Glebe 1 MU 5.
The game was played on a still, partly cloudy, mild afternoon at Cintra. Pleasant conditions for playing hockey.
This was MU’s first grade team and they played in PL2 in 2020, making the finals series. In 2021 they were placed in PL3, a decision which seemed to disadvantage genuine third grade teams.
MU were a fast, young, skilful, well drilled team with excellent individual skills. Its teamwork was excellent. Glebe tried hard all game and did their best against a significantly superior team. In its last 3 games Glebe have been awarded 17 penalty corners and have converted 2 of these. If the team could increase its penalty corner conversion rate it would become much more competitive.
In today’s game Glebe were awarded six penalty corners and scored no goals from them, and MU were awarded five penalty corners and converted one. We had the circle penetrations and we had a few excellent goal scoring opportunities but we found it hard to put the ball into the net.
Two minutes into the game a MU forward burst down the right wing from around the half-way line before passing the ball 40 metres to his inside left. The receiver then slapped the ball across the Glebe goal mouth for an onrushing MU forward to deflect the ball into the Glebe net past goalkeeper Jacob Warnock. This was a well worked goal: Glebe 0 MU 1.
This was not the start Glebe wanted and the team never really recover from this early setback. From 22 to 22 Glebe were competitive with MU, but MU’s combinations around its attacking circle were far superior than Glebe’s attacking raids. Glebe found it hard to penetrate the MU defence. The ball needed to be delivered faster, earlier and more powerfully from the back up to the forward line. Slow delivery from the back allowed the MU team to scramble back in defence and close off the gaps that had been there moments earlier.
MU were good on the quick break and most of their goals came from quick breaks around the half-way line. They usually found a forward on the baseline five metres from the goalpost, who would quickly pass the ball across the face of the Glebe goal mouth to be slapped in by a teammate. It was a difficult tactic to defend and most of MU’s goals were scored this way.
The MU goals resulted from excellent teamwork, rather than Glebe mistakes. Glebe had 50% of the territory in the first quarter, but MU looked the much more dangerous of the two teams when they broke quickly from defence. The Glebe defenders found it hard to scramble back. The Glebe defenders needed to step forward into the tackle with the stick out and the body back defending the feet. At times we were too slow to put the tackle on the MU forwards and that allowed them to run with the ball.
The reading of the game by the Glebe defenders was good. Apart from the quick breaks created by the MU forwards, MU found it difficult to penetrate the Glebe defensive formation. When the MU forwards got up to operating speed, they were hard to stop.
With 3 minutes remaining in the first quarter MU won a penalty corner after the ball bit the foot of a Glebe defender inside the circle. The direct hit was saved by Jacob Warnock, but the rebound fell favourably for a MU forward who swept the ball into the Glebe goal. Glebe 0 MU 2.
Tony Wark was released into space by a good early ball from the half-line and he hit the MU circle with the ball on his stick. From an acute angle Tony cannoned the ball at the goal, but missed by the narrowest of margins. The MU goal keeper had left his line to cover the cross ball to Tyson Hickey, which left an opportunity for Tony to squeeze the ball behind the goal keeper into the goal.
The score at the end of the first quarter was Glebe 0 MU 2.
Seven minutes into the second quarter MU broke quickly down the right wing and the ball was quickly transferred to a MU forward standing in the inside left alley. The MU forward hit a well taken tomahawk shot into the top of the Glebe net, giving Jacob Warnock no chance to save it.
The Glebe defenders were too slow to step into the tackle and allowed the MU forward to have a free strike at the ball. A more urgent approach to tackling here would have blocked the MU forward’s shot and saved the goal. More determination and a better reading of the intentions of the forward are needed in this situation.
With seven minutes remaining in the second quarter the Glebe forwards made a dangerous break into the MU circle, before Paul Jowett found a MU defender’s foot, and Glebe were awarded its third penalty corner. From the corner Andrew Cheong passed the ball to Tyson Hickey in front of the MU left goal post, but the pass was a bit slow, which meant the deflection by Tyson did not have enough speed to get past the MU defenders on the goal line.
With three minutes remaining in the first half, MU broke quickly down their right wing before hitting the ball across the Glebe goal mouth for a fellow MU forward to deflect the cross past Jacob Warnock for a MU goal: Glebe 0 MU 4, which was the half-time score.
Glebe had about 48% of the territory in the first half, and we were not overrun by MU, but the quick breaks from the MU forwards we found hard to counter. The MU forwards were speedy and coordinated well.
The third quarter was Glebe’s best quarter and we had 50-55% of the territory in this quarter. We won a couple of penalty corners in the first ten minutes of the third quarter, but unfortunately our efforts in this department were poor. A goal for us early in the third quarter would have put us back in the contest with a sniff of victory, but this was not to be.
The Glebe tackling inside its defending 22 metre area was a little scrappy and we conceded at least one penalty corner for a poor tackle inside this area. At times the Glebe defenders had a tendency to try and move the ball down the centre, which played into MU’s hands. The better option would have been to keep the ball wide, work it down the sideline, and reduce MU’s chance to launch a counter attack, which is where we were punished. There were no goals scored by either team in the third quarter. The score at the end of the third quarter was Glebe 0 MU 4.
Glebe started the fourth quarter with a flurry of activity, and more energy than at any other time during the game. Tony Wark attacked down the left wing and found a MU defender’s foot inside the circle, with Glebe being awarded its sixth penalty corner. The hit from the corner was deflected off the MU’s goal keeper’s pads over the backline.
Eight minutes later MU broke quickly from half-way before their centre-half passed quickly to his inside right, who drove the ball across the face of the Glebe goal mouth to be deflected in by an advancing MU forward. This was a well worked goal. Glebe 0 MU 5
A minute after their fifth goal MU, almost from the hit off broke down the left wing. The ball was passed early to a MU forward a metre inside the circle in the inside left alley. The MU forward tomahawked the ball into the Glebe goal. Again, the Glebe defenders were too slow to advance forward and pressure the MU forward as he took the shot. More pressure on the attacking forward shooting for goal is required. Don’t stand back, come forward into the tackle. Glebe 0 MU 6.
With five minutes remaining in the game, MU reproduced its winning formula to score its seventh goal. A quick break from defence, the ball was quickly passed from one side of the field to the other, before the ball was hit across the face of the Glebe goal for MU forward to deflect it into the Glebe goal.
Most of MU’s goals involved good teamwork, rather than any individual brilliance. MU had no stars, but their teamwork was of a high standard.
The Glebe players tried hard all game and did their best. At no stage did they slack-off, but MU were too good on the day and thoroughly deserved their victory. All things considered the Glebe performance today was respectable against a top-quality team.
We will need to improve our corner conversion rate if we are to be competitive in the third-grade competition. Today we had four of our best players out of the team and considering the personnel we had on the field, the team did well and can be proud of its effort.
Next Saturday’s game is against Briars at Cintra, scheduled for 12.30 pm. Briars are more our standard and it should be a good hard contest. The game is to be included in the points score for the Trevenar-Wark Trophy.