Coach gives Kiwis a tick

KIWI Diggers produced arguably their best hockey of the season to get the better of Services Workies again in their Tamworth men’s first grade clash on Sunday.

After going down by seven in their first encounter, Kiwis have been victorious their last two meetings.

On Sunday they came out swinging. They shot out to a 3-nil lead and were never headed, going on to win 6-3.

“It’s the best I’ve seen them play this year,” Kiwis co-coach Andrew Davy said.

“Their movement of the ball and support of player on the ball was good.”

They played a lot smarter hockey.

“We were a lot smarter about when we used that longer ball,” he said. 

“We just knocked the ball around – didn’t rush going forward.” 

Kiwis' Mitch Burrows works to close down Services Workies’ Chris Ninness’s options. 
Photo: Barry Smith. 80514BSD22

Kiwis' Mitch Burrows works to close down Services Workies’ Chris Ninness’s options. Photo: Barry Smith. 80514BSD22

He said they waited for the right opportunity.

“When we did go, we went with speed and we scored some nice team goals off that,” he said.

Defensively, they were also pretty good, keeping Workies to just the three goals.

They didn’t have it all their own way, with Workies pegging it back to 3-2 at half-time.

“I said to them at half-time ‘the team that concentrates on playing hockey and is more disciplined will win’,” he said.

They got it back out to 5-3 before Harry Lewin put the finishing touches on the win with a skilful effort with around eight to go.

“It was a nice receive, turn, elimination and finish,” Davy said.

He said it was a good team effort.

“Every player did their job,” he said.

Matt Sing was among their best.

“He read the game well,” Davy said.

“His anticipation was good and his options out of defence were good again.”

Matt Johnston also showed a lot more patience on the ball and used his speed to his advantage.

At the back, co-coach Greg Doolan marshalled the defence well while keeper Martin Courtney made some critical saves when they needed them.

Mitch Burrows also showed some good touches in front of goal and led the strikers well.

Workies were guilty of being a bit sloppy early and paid the price.

“Right from the word go I thought Kiwis were there to play,” stand-in coach Darren Ninness said.

“The first 10-15 minutes, Kiwis played a good structured game and got a couple of good goals.”

“We were then chasing our tails.” 

They seemed to spark up at 3-nil down but were left with too much to do.

“That desire to win wasn’t there,” Ninness said.

“Defensively we weren’t aggressive with our tackling and in the midfield the work-rate wasn’t there.” 

“The midfield against Tudors (last week) was hungry. That hunger wasn’t there today.” 

He thought they really missed the leadership of coach Andrew Farmilo.

He was away with the Tamworth Over 45s. 

They were without a couple of others as well, and effectively missing a player out of each line, but Ninness wasn’t using that as an excuse.

“Kiwis deserved to win,” he said.

Isaac Woodley and Jack Cruickshank were among their better players while Issac Farmilo scored all three goals.