Men’s 3rd Grade v Northern Districts – 17 April 2021 at Pennant Hills Park

Result: Glebe 1 lost to Northern Districts 3

Half-time: Glebe 0 – Northern Districts 1

Penalty corners: Glebe 9 (1 goal), Northern Districts 1 (1 goal)

Scorer for Glebe: Al Cullen


Glebe players: Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Adam Campano, Andrew Cheong, Craig Martin, Michael Wark, Tony Wark, Paul Jowett, Jacob Warnock (GK), Jackson Howe, Luke Pollock, Zane Goodridge, Al Cullen, Unavailable players Pat Wark, Aaron Gough


Pre-match prediction: Northern Districts had a team in the first and third grade competitions last year and they made the semi-finals in third grade. This season they are fielding teams in first, second and third grade. They have only played one game in the 2021 competition when they beat Manly-GNS 2-0. If Glebe hold its good recent form my prediction is that we should beat Northern Districts comfortably, perhaps 4-0.


Match Report

It was a dull, overcast, still afternoon at Pennant Hills. Ideal conditions for a game of hockey.

This game was one we would all like to forget. It was just not our afternoon. Glebe were awarded 9 penalty corners to Northern District’s 1, and Glebe had at least 20 good shots at goal to ND’s 5, and were beaten 1-3. Nothing went right for us today.

On a positive note, the team behaviour was good, we received no cards, there were no recriminations, and the team was gracious in defeat.

ND’s started strongly and possessed the ball well for the first couple of minutes of the game, and looked to be a competent, well drilled team.

After the initial 3-4 minutes Glebe started to settle into stride and made 5-6 dangerous penetrations into the ND 22 metre area and had 3 promising shots at goal that went wide, or were saved by the ND goal keeper. On the quick break Glebe looked dangerous. The Glebe forwards had trouble trapping the ball on their stick and this was a recurring problem throughout the game.

After 8 minutes Michael Wark tore his hamstring, came off and took no further part in the game. Michael had scored 9 goals in the team’s first two games and losing him early in the game was a major blow to the Glebe team.

Glebe continued to penetrate the ND 22 mete area with some good, free flowing passing movements, but the final pass, and the final shot on goal was often poor. We had a lot of goal scoring opportunities, but failed to convert them into goals. Glebe were awarded 3 penalty corners in the first quarter, but the execution of these corners was poor.

ND tackled strongly, took good field position, and did not make it easy for Glebe. In the first quarter Glebe had 55% of the territory, and looked the more dangerous team, but had nothing on the score sheet to show for this superiority.

In the second quarter our basics let us down, our trapping was sloppy, our passing was too slow and too late and was not to a Glebe player. By not taking the quick free hit the team let the ND defence settle into position, and gaps that were there initially disappeared. Taking the quick free hit is something we need to incorporate into our game for coming fixtures. Keep the momentum going, if at all possible, and exploit the gaps when they are there.

Sam Bagley had a good game today and took sound options all game. His hitting of the ball down the line and his hammered balls from the 22-metre line towards the ND goal were excellent. I thought the Glebe forwards were a bit slow in anticipating these passes and getting into position to deflect these driven crosses towards the goal.

Adam Campano, Chris Farrugia, and Craig Martin tackled well all game and ND had only 2 direct scores on the Glebe goal all game. Halves Zane Goodridge, Al Cullen, and Jackson Howe held their own in the middle of the field and we were not outplayed in this area.

We lost the game because we failed to convert our good scoring opportunities into goals.

It was an open free flowing game with the ball quickly being transferred from end to end. With 5 minutes to go in the second quarter a ND player hit a medium paced ball into the Glebe circle, where it was deflected by a ND forward just inside the Glebe circle into the Glebe goal. ND 1 Glebe 0. It was a bit of a random goal that came out of nothing, but this goal put ND in front.

Glebe were putting in the effort, but the more they tried and things did not come off, the more frustrating it was becoming for the team.  The half-time score was ND 1 Glebe 0.

Glebe were still well in the game and had had at least 55% of the territory and many more shots on goal than ND.

The third quarter started well for Glebe with Al Cullen making a good run down the left-hand sideline before passing up to Tony Wark a few metres outside the ND circle. Tony cracked the ball across the face of the ND goal where it hit a ND’s players foot and Glebe were awarded its fourth penalty corner. A poor push out meant that the corner was easily nullified by the ND defence.

The Glebe passes were not finding their man, and the passes that did find their man were not trapped cleanly. 7 minutes into the third quarter ND had its best shot of the game from 4 metres to the right of the Glebe right hand goal post and 3 metres from the backline. The shot passed just outside the Glebe left hand goal post.

ND started to look good and in the middle of the third quarter had 55% of the territory without ever looking as if they could thread their way though the Glebe defence. Glebe were awarded their fifth penalty corner 10 minutes into the third corner, but Luke Pollock’s push was wide of the ND goal.  Glebe were pressing, and the lead-up work was good, but the final pass was not finding its man, and many excellent opportunities came to nothing.

Thirteen minutes into the third quarter ND broke from defence into the Glebe 22 metres area and a Glebe defender put a dubious tackle on a ND forward running with the ball. The umpire awarded them their first and only penalty corner of the game. The initial shot from the coroner was saved by Glebe goal keeper Jacob Warnock, but the rebound fell favourably for a ND forward who hit a tomahawk shot high into the Glebe goal, ND 2 Glebe 0.

The moral of this story is that if the tackle is dubious don’t make it. The ND player running with the ball did not look as if he was going to score and converting this field position outside the circle into a penalty corner was a poor option.

Late in the third quarter ND had the ball on the Glebe defending 22 metre line mid field and a ND player sent the ball at a moderate pace towards the goal, a hit and hope sort of hit. A ND forward stuck out his stick, the ball hit it and deflected into the Glebe goal Glebe 0 ND 3. This was an opportunistic goal, but they all count.

In the fourth quarter for the most part ND put all 11 players behind the ball and made it hard for the Glebe team to penetrate down the middle of the field. Glebe tended to play into ND’s hands by playing too narrow and not spreading the ball wide enough. We needed to move the ball wide, transfer to a Glebe forward on the ND backline and work the ball across the face of the ND goal. When we adopted these tactics, we good dangerous.

Glebe had several raids down the left-hand sideline, with the ball transferred high then hit firmly across the face of the ND goal.  With a packed ND circle, the ball often hit a ND defender’s foot and Glebe were awarded 4 penalty corners in the final quarter. We made numerous circle penetrations, were there or there about, without having the ability to fire the ball into the ND net.

Our penalty corner execution let us down badly today.

At times in the final quarter the Glebe forwards were playing too deep. With the score Glebe 0 – ND 3 we need to throw caution to the wind and play with several high strikers, even if it meant conceding another goal. It is no good playing to lose. It was still possible for the team to pull the game out of the fire, even though we were down 0-3 in the final quarter.

As the final quarter progressed Glebe were trying harder and harder, but nothing was coming off for us. Glebe would have had at least 12 good scoring opportunities in the final quarter. Deflections went wide, the ND goal keeper made a few good saves and the rub of the green did not go Glebe’s way.

With 3 and a half minutes left in the game Glebe were awarded its ninth penalty corner. Al Cullen had a direct hit at the ND goal which was saved by the ND keeper, but the rebound fell favourably for Al who hit the rebounded ball into the top of the ND net.  Glebe 1 ND 3.

The final few minutes saw Glebe coming home strongly but nothing was going our way on the day. The final score was Glebe 1 ND 3.

The 3 ND goals came from 2 deflections and a penalty corner. Our defence was sound, but to win any game you need a bit of luck and we had no luck today. ND were a competent team, and are to be congratulated on their win. Glebe did not play that bad, but we never settled into stride, our penalty corners were hopeless and lady luck was not with us. Teams have these games and it best to move on, not ruminate, constantly analyse and consider the what ifs and the if onlys. What has happened has happened and next week awaits us.

Hopefully next week we can come back wiser and stronger for the 12.30 pm game against UNSW at Daceyville.