Result: Glebe 3 – Sutherland 6
Half-time: Glebe 2 – Sutherland 4
Penalty corners: Glebe 1 (no goals), Sutherland 4 (2 goals)
Glebe players: Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Adam Campano, Craig Martin, Tony Wark, Paul Jowett, Jacob Warnock (GK), Zane Goodridge, Luke Pollock, James Martin, Michael Wark, Simon Wark. Unavailable players Andrew Cheong, Jackson Howe (back), Al Cullen, James Martin.
On recent form, the artificial intelligence algorithm predicts that Sutherland should beat Glebe 6-0. Macquarie University beat Glebe 6-0 on 1 May, and on 8 May Sutherland and Macquarie University played a 2-2 draw. Losing Al Cullen, Pat Wark (both playing second grade) and Andrew Cheong (serving one game suspension) for this game will hurt us, but on the other hand having Michael Wark, Luke Pollock and Simon Wark back will probably just about compensate for their loss.
Hope springs eternal, and if we can keep 11 players on the field for the full 68 minutes, don’t give away penalty corners by sloppy breaches within our 22-metre area, and if our attacking penalty corner conversion rate can be substantially improved, I predict a close game.
A 0-3 loss would be around what I would expect, but I am hopeful that with a good slice of luck and if we can concentrate for the full 68 minutes an upset might be possible.
The game was played under a cloudless sky, with the sun shining brightly and little wind blowing. It was, if anything, a little too hot for hockey.
Sutherland were a polished team, with youth on its side. Their passing and teamwork were excellent, and they thoroughly deserved their win. A two-goal margin was about right, although Glebe made a game of it and with a bit more luck might have jagged a draw or better.
The Glebe goalkeeper Jacob Warnock got caught in traffic on the way to the game (Jacob lives some distance from Sydney) and Glebe played the first 8 minutes with no goalkeeper. During this period Sutho scored 2 goals.
The Sutho forwards were a lot faster than our defenders and in the first 10 minutes of the game they ran riot, running with the ball from midfield, gathering pace and then squirting outside the Glebe fullback on the sideline side to the backline before running the ball along the backline and passing across the face of the Glebe goal for a teammate to tap the ball into the net. Sutho’s first goal was scored after 2 minutes of play.
The Glebe defenders needed to come forward early to make the tackle and not allow the Sutho forwards to get up to full operating speed before they made a challenge. We also needed to cut off the sideline option when the Sutho forwards ran at us with the ball on their stick and channel the them infield to allow the Glebe cover defenders a chance to come into play.
Another problem we had was that we too often conceded the ball to Sutho before making a tackle. If the ball is up for grabs, we should be attacking it and contesting the 50-50 ball, not standing back allowing the Sutho forwards to control the ball before making a tackle.
Glebe looked dangerous on the quick break, but Sutho had about 55 % of the territory in the first 12 minutes of the game.
After 6 minutes Paul Jowett had the ball a few metres inside the Sutho half, five metres in from the right-hand sideline. Paul saw Michael Wark running into space 40 metres ahead of him and drove a visionary pass between several Sutho defenders. Michael run the ball into the circle, dragged the Sutho keeper and slotted the ball into the goal Glebe 1 Sutho 1.
Sutho were playing with vigour and eight minutes into the first quarter scored a goal with exactly the same tactic has they had employed to score their first one. Down the left wing to the baseline, across and then a slap into the goal.
At the 10-minute mark Simon Wark had a shot at goal which was going wide of the right-hand post, but Tyson Hickey was on the spot to deflect it into the goal. Glebe 2 Sutho 2. Tyson was dangerous at times and created some good attacking plays for Glebe. The game was evenly fought, but Sutho looked the more capable team with effective, early passing which moved the ball quickly from defence into attack.
The Sutho forwards’ pace was proving hard for us to counter, but fullbacks Adam Campano and Chris Farrugia got better as the game progressed and made life hard for the Sutho forwards. Luke Pollock playing at centre-half was covering a lot of territory and read the game well. Simon Wark was having his first game for several years and, like Luke, covered a lot of territory and constantly hounded the Sutho midfield.
Zane Goodridge played a confident game today, tackling with purpose and feeding the ball up to the forwards. Sam Bagley was his usual reliable self, took excellent field position, read the play well and cover defended with spirit and purpose. Jacob Warnock made some good saves and his ability to judge when a Sutho shot for goal was going wide of the goal and to leave the ball alone was impressive.
At the start of the second quarter our tackling at times was soft and half-hearted and this allowed Sutho to make inroads into the Glebe 22 metre area. Sutho’s quick passing made them hard to shut down, but Glebe’s sliding defence for the most part managed to quickly close any gaps that appeared in our defence. For the most part the press applied by the Glebe forwards was good and gave the Sutho fullbacks no easy options out of defence.
Glebe’s delivery of the ball from defence to attack was often too slow and laborious. This allowed the Sutho defence to get set-up and close off the gaps before the pass was delivered. Faster, earlier, more powerful passing was required while the gaps are still there. Nine minutes into the second quarter the umpire blew a Glebe player for a bad tackle inside the circle and awarded Sutho its first penalty corner of the game.
Sutho took the push out from the left side of the Glebe goal (not the usual side), passed the ball between four players before the ball was pushed into the Glebe goal. This was a very well worked penalty corner. Glebe 2 Sutho 3. Sutho nearly scored two minutes later from a raid into the Glebe circle, but Chris Farrugia saved it millimetres in front of the goal line, after the shot was partially saved by Glebe goal keeper Jacob Warnock.
With 90 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Sutho were awarded its second penalty corner for a dubious Glebe tackle in the circle. Tony Wark was Glebe’s first runner and the push at goal from the Sutho player clipped Tony’s stick and deflected high into the Glebe goal. Glebe 2 Sutho 4. This goal conceded by Glebe was a little unlucky, but your luck cannot always be good. Sutho were slightly the better team in this second quarter and had 55% of the territory. The half-time score was Glebe 2 Sutho 4.
At half-time I thought that we would be hard pressed to win the game, but it was still possible, as we have a couple of strikers who are lethal in front of goal. Getting the ball to them in favourable forward positions was proving difficult.
Six minutes into the third quarter Sutho broke at speed from 10 metres inside its half, five metres in from the sideline. The ball was passed quickly between five or six players before the ball was centred on the penalty stroke spot for a Sutho forward to easily push the ball into the goal, Glebe 2 Sutho 5. Sutho’s superior pace in the lead-up to this goal was obvious.
The Sutho teamwork was good and they had no star players that presented us with any particular difficulties. They put in a good team effort, moving the ball around quickly, keeping it wide and attacking us along the backline with the ball on the stick. The Glebe defence did reasonably well to scramble, cover defend and close gaps, which prevented Sutho chalking up more goals.
At times the Glebe fullbacks were aimlessly passing the ball between themselves at the back, not drawing an attacker and not running the ball to the Sutho forward press before hammering the ball towards the right- or left-hand corner post. Getting the ball out of defence was a problem for us today. The ball needs to moved forwards drawing an attacking forward and then driving the ball through the gap created when the opposition comes forward to tackle our advancing fullback. Letting the opposition forwards sit back and give them the opportunity to pick off the pass forward from the fullbacks is not a smart option.
Sutho were awarded its fourth penalty corner with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. The direct shot, which was a good one was confidently saved by the Glebe goal keeper Jacob Warnock.
Sutho had 55% of the territory in the third quarter, which ended with the score Glebe 2 Sutho 5.
A Glebe victory looked unlikely, but the talk at three-quarter time was positive and optimistic. Four minutes into the fourth quarter the Glebe halves found a tightly marked Michael Wark at the top of the Sutho circle. Michael was able to get a powerful tomahawk shot away towards goal, just missing the Sutho goal on the goal keeper’s right. Tyson Hickey was well positioned in front of the goal post ready for the deflection, but the ball was travelling too fast for Tyson to get a stick on the ball. This was a close miss.
This passage of play lifted the team’s spirits and for the first time in the game Glebe started to apply sustained pressure on the Sutho defence. Seven minutes into the half Luke Pollock made a determined run into the Sutho circle, winning three very determined tackles to get there, and won Glebe’s only penalty corner of the game.
The push out on the penalty corner was too slow and inaccurate forcing the intended penalty corner striker Luke Pollock to lay the ball off across the top of the circle to Michael Wark. The ball bobbled about in the circle before sitting up for Luke 3 metres in from the top of the circle in front of the Sutho goal. Luke, was off-balance and missed the ball completely as he swung and attempted to hit it at the goal. This was a very good scoring chance for us.
Eight minutes into the fourth quarter Tony Wark received a quick ball from the fullbacks on the Glebe 22 metre line one metre in from the right-hand sideline. Tony sensed that Michael Wark who was standing on the half-way mark in the right-wing position and was not tightly marked. He drove the ball along the sideline past a couple of Sutho defenders and managed to find an unmarked Michael who controlled the ball and ran thirty metres into the Sutho circle towards the advancing Sutho goal keeper.
Michael, making it look easy, dragged the keeper and pushed the ball into the Sutho goal Glebe 3 Sutho 5.
The momentum was with Glebe who were having its best quarter of the game. Eight minutes into the final quarter Luke Pollock was given a yellow card for what I would consider a very reasonable tackle, not much different to 30-40 other tackles during the game which were adjudicated as legal. Luke’s send off reduced us to 10 men and this took some of the wind out of our sails.
Glebe continued to play hard, trying to attack. Fullback Adam Campano got a second wind and started to push up into attack. Paul Jowett was running at the defence with the ball on his stick. The Glebe team were coming home strongly. It was a good final quarter for Glebe who had at least 55% of the territory in this final quarter and they looked as if they could score another goal.
Tony Wark made the backline in the left wing position a few times during the game and then tried a power push across the face of the goal. I feel a better option would have been for him to try and run the ball at the defence along the backline, drawing a defender before attempting the cross. We had excellent field position which we did not convert into excellent goal scoring opportunities.
Glebe played reasonably well today against a faster, much younger team who had excellent team cohesion and excellent teamwork. We were always in the game right up until the last 5-10 minutes.
Congratulations gentlemen on a determined effort. Your work rate was high, your commitment excellent and you did the team and the Club proud.
If we can get one or two of our better players back, I think there is no reason we could not beat Sydney University next week. The game is to be played at Cintra Synthetic Turf, Concord at 12.30 pm.