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News 22 February 2014

All the news for Saturday 22 February 2014

SA versus Argentina in Mar del Plata throws up exciting contests

JONATHAN COOK in Mar del Plata

Illse Davids of Western Province drew high praise from the Scotland head coach during South Africa's five-Test series whitewash of the Scots in Pretoria. Photo: LUCAS JANSEN VAN VUUREN

New men’s head coach Fabian Gregory embarks on an exciting journey when his charges take on world number 11 Argentina in a five-Test series in Mar del Plata, 400km from Buenos Aires, from Saturday to next Friday, while for Giles Bonnet’s Investec South Africa women’s hockey team the mirror-image competition offers another stage in their build-up to a much-coveted medal placing at the Commonwealth Games, which takes place in Glasgow from July 24 to August 3.

There are big changes to the SA men’s side that suffered a 5-0 series whitewash against fiery Argentina head coach Carlos “Chapa” Retegui’s team in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa two months ago and while it is in part due to the Hockey India League and major European club commitments of top players like captain Austin Smith and Tim Drummond, it is also a reflection of Gregory’s medium-term plan to develop a new group.

“Provided they perform, these senior players are definitely in my plans, while my focus is to build a team that will be competitive in two years’ time and able to medal consistently in the future,” said Gregory. “I will definitely be investing in the youth whom we believe can become world-class and deliver consistent performances to enable us to improve our world ranking, [which currently stand at number 12].

Gregory has high hopes for his young, untried players. “New caps like Jaco Fourie and Dan Sibbald need to play now, in order to get the necessary experience. The main aim of this series is to see what level these players are at and the type of performance they can deliver. They will get a mandate to play without fear and will also know that we want to invest in them and make sure they grow to the next level.

“Despite the Tests, this is also a training camp and we will be having double training sessions as well as technical sessions on match days. Technically, tactically and mentally the players will be challenged, while the drive will also be for the players to challenge each other individually and in the group to improve on and off the field.”

Meanwhile, Scotland had five of their Great Britain players missing in the recent 5-0 series blank at the hands of the SA women in Pretoria, while SA were without several big names and a total of eight players who would have challenged strongly for inclusion.

The players missing effectively cancelled each other out and much of the interest in that series was in seeing how those selected would step up to the plate – and in this South Africa were markedly better.

The Scots’ coach Gordon Shepherd was impressed with what he saw. “It’s the best South African team I have seen. Some tremendous players, a very fast team,” said “Shep” of a side he had last encountered in a series in Edinburgh some time ago.

“South Africa’s number seven has been absolutely outstanding in midfield,” Shepherd said of Western Province’s Illse Davids.

Among a host of other SA players who distinguished themselves against Scotland, young striker Lilian du Plessis and high-energy attacking defender/midfielder Nicolene Terblanche caught the eye.

Superstar SA leader and midfield general Marsha Cox is back for the Mar del Plata series but other big names like triple Olympian and world record Test match goalscorer Pietie Coetzee are sitting out.

Argentina’s Las Leonas (Lionesses) are studded with world-class players in multiple World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar, as well as pacy, exciting young striker Agustina Albertario, experienced penalty corner drag-flicker Noel Barrionuevo and the likes of Silvina D’elia, Carla Rebecchi and Daniela Sruoga.

Leonas are lionised in their own country with legions of adoring teenagers and the not-as-young waiting patiently for autographs outside their hotel and at matches, and while the Argentine men are in the shadow of the national football team, mercurial head coach Carlos “Chapa” Retegui is building a team of outstanding talent - fine players in the likes of leader Pedro Ibarra, penalty corner machine Gonzalo Peillat and game changer Guillermo Schickendantz - that is fast catching the imagination of the sports-mad public here.

The contrast in popularity of the Argentine men –and their women’s side means that the men’s teams will play first in each of the five Tests, the matches at midnight (men)and 1.40am (women) SA time respectively, and while the women take centre stage here, the respective Test series should be fascinating contests between four teams in different stages of evolution.


Women: Luciana Aymar, Laura Aladro, Agustina Albertario, Noel Barrionuevo, Martina Cavallero, Silvina D’elia, Julia Gomes Fantasia, Agustina Habif, Florencia Habif, Giselle Juarez, Rosario Luchetti, Delfina Merino, Florencia Mutio, Carla Rebecchi, Macarena Rodriguez, Pilar Romang, Mariana Rossi, Rocio Sanchez Moccia, Mariela Scarone, Daniela Sruoga, Josefina Sruoga, Belen Succi.
Men: Alan Andino, Juan Cruz Agulleiro, Guido Barreiros, Joaquin Berthold, Santiago Camacho, Juan Gilardi, Matias Gonzalez, Pedro Ibarra, Juan Martin Lopez, Lucas Martinez, Joaquin Menini, Ignacio Ortiz, Matias Paredes, Gonzalo Peillat, Guillermo Schickendantz, Leandro Tolini, Juan Cruz Vila, Juan Manuel Vivaldi.

South Africa
Women: Phumelela Mbande, Anelle van Deventer, Lisa Deetlefs, Marcelle Manson, Quanita Bobbs, Nicolene Terblanche, Marsha Cox, Shelley Russell, Tarryn Bright, Bernie Coston, Kathleen Taylor, Illse Davids, Jade Mayne, Dirkie Chamberlain, Lilian du Plessis, Celia Evans, Tanya Britz, Sulette Damons, Candice Manuel, Kelly Madsen.
Men: Rassie Pieterse, Gowan Jones, Jethro Eustice, Ashlin Freddy, Robin Jones, Dylan Swanepoel, Mohamed Mea, Matt Guise-Brown, Owen Mvimbi, Clint Panther, Jaco Fourie, Daniel Sibbald, Lungi Tsolekile, Cuan Burton-Moore, Pierre de Voux, Ignatuis Malgraff, Taine Paton, Taylor Dart, Nicholas Spooner.

22 Feb: 19.00 Argentina vs South Africa (Men); 20.40 Argentina vs Investec South Africa (Women)
23 Feb: 19.00 Argentina vs South Africa (M); 20.40 Argentina vs South Africa (W)
24 Feb: Rest Day
25 Feb: 19.00 Argentina vs South Africa (M); 20.40 Argentina vs South Africa (W)
26 Feb: Rest Day
27 Feb: 19.00 Argentina vs South Africa (M); 20.40 Argentina vs South Africa (W)
28 Feb: 19.00 Argentina vs South Africa (M); 20.40 Argentina vs South Africa (W)

Please note, these times are Argentina time, which is three hours behind GMT.

SA Hockey Association media release

Talented Indian Hockey team needs good game plan: Jamie Dwyer

NEW DELHI: Legendary Australian forward Jamie Dwyer feels that Indian Hockey team has naturally talented players who just need good game plan to be among the top teams of the world.

"The Indian team has very naturally talented players and among them Rupinder Pal Singh has impressed me the most. They also have a very good coach so I'm curious to see how they will go this year," Dwyer said.

"I think Indian team must have a very good game plan for the different opponents against whom they will play. They need to prepare better than they have ever prepared before, physically and mentally," he added when asked about his suggestions for Sardar Singh and co.

He also feels that Hockey is gaining its ground in India and it is good to see huge crowd in stadiums in smaller centres.

"Taking hockey into rural areas in India is great. I think the champions trophy this year in Bhubaneswar will attract huge crowds," said the experienced forward, who won the FIH player of the year award five times.

Earlier, several top coaches including Australian coach Ric Charlesworth have criticized the lack of spactators during FIH tournaments in Delhi.

"Hockey is gaining its ground in India. The numbers are showing that it is. Roughly 22 million people watch each game of the HHIL this year compared to 8 million last year. Huge increase it is," said the captain of table-topper JP Punjab Warriors.

Post HHIL, the legendary Australian striker will be busy with his national team as it is an important year for Hockey where Australia will try to defend WC and CWG titles.

"It's a huge year for hockey. The World Cup is going to be an amazing event and I hope Aussies play well and make it to the final. Commonwealth games will also be great. Both events will be awesome and I'm really looking forward to them," Dwyer said denying any plans to retire in near future.

"Not sure yet when that day will come. At the moment, I'm concentrating on improving my game and enjoying my hockey," said the 35-year-old veteran when asked about his retirement plans.

He is also happy with Punjab's performance and praised drag-flicker Sandeep Singh whom they bought this year from Mumbai Magicians.

"I'm very satisfied with the performance so far but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I hope we play well this weekend. Sandeep has played his role well in our team. He is scoring Corners and he is defending well," he said.

He also said that second season of the league has been better than the inaugural one.

"This one has been better by a long way. It has been promoted and marketed better. The tv footage is better and the addition of a new team ( Kalinga Lancers) has also been great," said the Olympic and WC gold medalist.

The Times of India

Sandeep Singh still India's best drag-flicker: Jamie Dwyer

RANCHI: Sandeep Singh remains India's best drag-flicker even though he is not in the national team, says Jamie Dwyer, five-time world hockey player of the year.

Sandeep was last part of the Indian team in the Hockey World League Round 3 in June 2013 and has not found the faith of selectors who have opted for the duo of V.R. Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh.

Dwyer feels Sandeep was always ahead of Rupinder and Raghunath as a penalty corner specialist but has now shown marked improvement in field play, a weaker aspect of his game.

"Sandeep has made a big difference in the team," said Dwyer, who is leading Punjab Warriors in the Hockey India League (HIL).

Sandeep, who was the highest goal scorer in the inaugural HIL, is leading the charts this season too with nine goals from 10 games.

"I have been very impressed with the improvement Sandeep has shown since joining our team a month ago. He has improved his field play by leaps and bounds. He listens, he learns and he is quite intelligent. He is a better player than what he was last year," said Dwyer.

The 34-year-old, who looks as fit as a fiddle, picked Rupinder as the best player out of the three drag-flick specialists but said Sandeep too deserved a place in the Indian team.

"It is tough for me to say whether he is good enough to play for India again but he is really the best drag flicker India have got. It is difficult to judge on field play as I have not seen Raghunath or Rupinder up close and personal. Rupinder probably is the best player out of them."

HIL, which was started with an aim to improve the falling standards of Indian hockey, will complete its second season with the final here Sunday.

Asked whether the exposure of playing alongside top foreign players will bear fruit for the Indians, Dwyer said: "HIL is the foundation of hockey in India. This is where it is all happening. I want the support to grow big here and then it can branch out to countries like Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.

"If the HIL continues with the way it is going, I surely see India in the top four hockey nations by the 2018 World Cup."

The Times of India

Crunch time at the Hero Hockey India League

Top four teams battle it out in the semi-finals at the Ranchi Hockey Stadium

The Hero Hockey India League is reaching it's exciting climax as four teams prepare to do battle in the semi-finals. After 30 hockey matches, over 26 days, it all comes down to just four more matches before one team is crowned Hero Hockey India League champion.

The first semi-final, which takes place at 5.30pm (local time) at the Ranchi Hockey Stadium on Saturday will see the Delhi Waveriders take on the Uttar Pradesh Wizards; while the second match, which follows at 8pm, will pit title holders Ranchi Rhinos against the table-topping Jaypee Punjab Warriors. The winners meet in a grand final at 8pm on Sunday evening at the Ranchi Hockey Stadium. Third and fourth place will be decided in the preceding match at 6pm.

Delhi Waveriders, who have led the table for much of the competition, will hope to inflict a consecutive semi-final defeat on the Uttar Pradesh Wizards, but Wizard's coach Reolant Oltmans said: "We qualified for the semi-final last year, and this year we hope to make it to the finals. We had great momentum at the start of the tournament and we want to keep that going."

And in the other semi-final the Ranchi Rhinos will be very aware of Jaypee Punjab Warriors improvement over the course of the tournament. The Warrior's coach, Barry Dancer, said: "We have improved with every game and are a much better team now while entering the crucial stage of the league." In the pool games, the Warriors inflicted two defeats on their semi-final opponents, but the Ranchi Rhinos had been missing key players through injury, so coach Gregg Clarke is hoping to reverse the results and give the home crowd something to cheer about.

With less than 100 days to go before the start of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, the intensity and quality of the hockey that has been played at the Hero Hockey India League has been good match preparation for the players involved.

Catch the action on www.starsports.com/hockey too

FIH site

Big day today in Hero Hockey India League

s2h Team

The costliest league in the world, Hero Hockey India League, will see hyper action against hyped up Ranchi home crowd with both semifinals lined up for the day.

With full crowds, and all the teams stationed at Ranchi, and having two days of practice at Morabadi Hockey Stadium, where turf was laid on the eve of National Games in 2010, excitement is in full flow.

In the first semifinal, last year's silver medallist Delhi Waveriders will engage bronze medallist Uttar Pradesh Wizards. In other words, Indian coach Cedric D'Souza, believed to be a best theoretician and practitioner of modern hockey in India, will be in focus.

On the other hand is an old hand, or fox, in UPW's arsenal. Roelant Oltmans is a battle veteran, and also high performance director of Indian national team.

Both are therefore expected to play a crucial role in seeing the other side off.

On the field, it will be between Rupinder Pal Singh, the penalty corner executioner of Delhi franchise against V Raghunath, also same gentre of player.

Both incidentally form current Indian team's defence phalanx. Both have proved ample measure of their wares in the HHIL 2014, but not appeared so solid as they were construed to be, mainly because of extreme calibre of goalkeepers, who actually attract every eyeball

Its Raghunath who formed the fortune contours of UPW in winning the bronze against Punjab Warriors, and his penalty corner prowess will decide the outcome today, though for many his defence skills and his alacrity to avoid giving away penalty corners at drop of hat, will count.

Delhi certainly do not look as formidable as it was in the last season, but it came out with trumps insofar as goal scorers are concerned.

Talwinder started it all in the first match, with some spectacular goals, and when goals were in short supply, Yuvraj Walmiki came up with some good opportunistic goals to give his side full points.

With Sardar Singh at the centre, Delhi won't be lacking in moves upfront, while Teuen de Nooijer often comes to midfield to match him and pep up attack. Rupinder Pal so far has proved he is an all rounder of worth, and often coming up to speed up the forwardline.

In all, first rate quality stuff will be in for the fans today in the first semis

Punjab, pool toppers, will face off fourth finished home team in the second semis, with the visiting team having upper hand in the last two outings between the two.

Return of Ashley Jackson is a good augury for Rhinos, but the form of Manpreet Singh, or lack of it must count.

The reigning champions is in trouble this time at semifinal hurdle, no doubt on that


Delhi Waveriders favourites against Uttar Pradesh Wizards

RANCHI: Going by form as well as reputation, Delhi Waveriders would start overwhelming favourites against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the first semifinal of the second Hockey India League on Saturday.

The Waveriders, who lost to title holders Ranchi Rhinos in the summit clash last year at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium here, ended their league engagements on the second spot with 39 points from 10 games ahead of the Wizards.

The Wizards endured a mixed form this year and finished their league campaign on third position with 28 points from 10 matches.

Having won seven, lost two and drawn one game, the Waveriders, however, had a much better outing in the league stages compared to the Wizards, who tasted just four victories in the tournament this year.

On head-to-head record this year, the Sardar Singh-led side has a better record than the Wizards.

While the match between the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw, the Waveriders recorded a close 4-3 win over the Wizards in their next meeting this year.

But come Saturday, it will be a completely different ball game as there would be immense pressure on both the teams and a bad day in office would definitely ruin their title hopes.

Under new coach Cedric D'souza, the Delhi outfit has looked a formidable side.

In young Yuvraj Walmiki, Akashdeep Singh, Talwinder Singh, Kiwi Simon Child and veteran Rajpal Singh, the Waveriders possess an energetic forward line, which can create trouble for any team on its day.

The Waveriders' midfield is led by the ever-reliable Sardar and Gurbaj Singh, while the backline will be manned by one of the world's top goalkeepers in Nicolas Jacobi.

In Rupinderpal Singh, the Waveriders has a classy penalty corner specialist.

On the other hand, despite having some big names in their ranks, Wizards failed to get their campaign going in the tournament.

Ramandeep Singh, the costliest buy in this year's auction, looked ordinary in the tournament so far, but youngsters such as Nikkin Thiimaiah, S K Uthappa and Pradeep Mor has impressed with their skills.

In such a situation, the Roelant Oltmans-coached Wizards would look to draw inspiration from their most experienced player in legendary Dutchman Teun de Nooijer, captain-cum-dragflick specialist V R Raghunath, Australian Luke Doerner and experienced Tushar Khandekar.

The Times of India

Punjab Warriors hope to keep wining record intact against Ranchi Rhinos

RANCHI: Bolstered by a strong showing in the league stages, table-toppers Jaypee Punjab Warriors would look to continue their winning streak against defending champions Ranchi Rhinos when the two sides meet in the second semifinal of the Hockey India League on Saturday.

Punjab Warriors had a dream campaign in the HHIL this year, having lost just one match so far, that too against Delhi Waveriders in the tournament opener on January 25.

After the initial hiccup, the Warriors won seven games while two ended in no result to draw curtains to their league engagements on top with 40 points from 10 games.

To add to it, the Warriors boast of a 100 per cent record against the Rhinos this year, having beaten the defending champions 4-2 and 3-2 in their two meetings.

So understandably, the Warriors would approach Saturday's crucial match high on confidence against a side which has looked a pale shadow of itself this year.

The Warriors forward line will be led by the inspirational and FIH play of the year award winner Jamie Dwyer of Australia.

Apart from Dwyer, the Warriors striking force includes a mixed bag of youth and experience like Affan Yousuf, Gurmail Singh, Malak Singh, Dharamvir Singh, S V Sunil, Shivendra Singh and Australian Kieran Govers among others.

The Warriors also have a dangerous penalty corner specialist in Sandeep Singh, while the goal will be manned by none other than world's best goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann of The Netherlands.

On the other hand, the Rhinos' campaign in the tournament has been far from impressive this year. The title holders won just four and lost five matches while one ended in draw to finish the league stages at the fourth position with just 26 points.

But the Rhinos know it very well that it will be a completely new game on Saturday and if they can post a win against the Warriors, the results of the league stages will be a thing of the past.

The Rhinos can also take heart from the fact that the entire stadium will be rooting their every move on Saturday.

But to upset the Warriors, the Rhinos star players in captain Moritz Fuerste, Justin Reid-Ross, Floris Evers, Ashley Jackson, Barry Middleton, Manpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh will have to rise to the occasion.

The Times of India

Rhinos need to rediscover form for place in final

Arnab Lall Seal

RANCHI: "I like to bat at 20 for three, when the opposition's tail is up and I'm going with my back against the wall."

This is what Brian Lara once said. Ranchi Rhinos have a similar sort of challenge in front of them when they take on Punjab Warriors in the semifinals of the second edition of Hockey India League.

Rhinos, the defending champions, have lost their last four matches. They started off well in the tournament but have failed to carry on the momentum as the other teams kept on improving.

What has hurt them most is the failure to defend the penalty corners. Goalkeeper Francisco Cortes has been on top of his game as far as stopping field goals are concerned, but has not been as effective in keeping out the penalty corners.

One of their strong points has been the way they have dominated the mid-field with the likes of Moritz Fuerste and Manpreet Singh. But their success rate in converting possession into goals has not been satisfactory.

Waveriders favourites

The other semifinal of will see last year's runners-up Delhi Waveriders take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards. Led by Sardar Singh, Waveriders will be hungry to win the tournament after narrowly missing out in the first edition when they lost.

They have been in great form this year, too, and scored some big wins. But they haven't had too much success against the Wizards who held them to a draw in their home match. However, one can expect an inspiring performance from the Delhi side, especially as they have won their last four matches easily.

The Times of India

Wildcats face Grove Menzieshill test on Tayside

The action in Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 1 gets back underway this weekend with the play-offs now on the horizon.

Match of the day sees second placed Western Wildcats travel to Tayside to tackle play off hopefuls Grove Menzieshill.  A crucial match for both sides, with five teams still in the hunt for the elusive top four finish.

Wildcats won a seven goal thriller against Menzieshill during the first half of the season. A good indoor season and home advantage may tip this match in the Dundonians favour and propel them within a point of second place in the league.

Although the league tables can be a little misleading, Saturday's match with league leaders Glynhill Kelburne and fifth placed Grange has the makings of a cracker, with a win essential for Grange as they look to recover an indifferent league campaign so far.

The defending champions have rarely been troubled this season, but will come up against a solid Grange team that will be keen to avenge a heavy defeat to the Paisley men earlier in the season.  Will Kelburne's attacking intent be too much for a more disciplined and exacting approach by the Edinburgh men?

In the lower half the league bottom side Dundee Wanderers face an improving Inverleith side.  Inverleith are out of touch with the play off positions but will be keen to find some form with relegation play offs their new priority.  Inverleith overwhelmed the Taysiders 8-1 when the two sides met at Mayfield.

Edinburgh University welcome PSL Team Sport Clydesdale to Peffermill, in a match which holds greater significance to the Glasgow side as they look to reignite an inconsistent and underwhelming season and steal a place in the European play offs come season end.

With six matches still to play a play-off is a realistic aim, but anything short of a win against Moodie's charges may spell disaster.  A comfortable 5-0 win for the Dale at Titwood, suggests an easy trip for McKnight’s men, however, a resurgent Uni team will be confident going into the fixture having recently held Western Wildcats to a 3-3 draw.

The final match of the day sees Hillhead welcome second bottom AAM Gordonians to the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.  Having ended the latter half of the season winless, Hillhead will be targeting this match for three points, albeit against a tough opposition that pushed them all the way earlier in the season, with Hillhead prevailing just.

Gordonians have performed well in at the National Hockey centre on their travels, most notably a stirring comeback against champions Kelburne, which saw them fall agonisingly short, losing 5-4.  A dangerous side that in their day can cause any side trouble.

Please visit the Aberdeen Asset Management Men's National League for fixtures.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Olympians divided over reconciliation

KARACHI: Olympians unhappy over the conduct of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) appeared divided over holding talks with the reconciliation committee formed by the federation.

The PHF formed a three-member committee comprising of former Olympians Zafar Ali Khan, Khwaja Zakauddin and Iftikhar Syed to bring the protesting Olympians on board.“The committee will make efforts to bring back the annoyed Olympians in the hockey circle to work together for the national cause,” said a PHF official.

Several Olympians have been demanding the ouster of the current set-up headed by Akhtar Rasool (PHF president) and Rana Mujahid (PHF secretary) who were elected last November. They feel that the elections only brought in power those who had done nothing for the game in the years gone by.

Samiullah rules out talk

Legendary Olympian Samiullah Khan rejected the committee, saying that there is no use of holding such discussions.

“We are demanding an interim set-up,” the Olympian told The Express Tribune.

“Meeting with the [reconciliation] committee will be a waste of time. We are requesting the patron to form an interim set-up by removing the current federation that has failed to deliver.”

Meanwhile, Shahnaz Sheikh, another bitter critic of the PHF gave a contrasting version, “Olympians named in the committee are our seniors and we respect them. There is no harm in holding discussions with them.”

The Express Tribune

First Weekend of US National Indoor Tournament Begins at Spooky Nook Sports

LANCASTER, Pa. - The first weekend of the 2014 US National Indoor Tournament presented by YOLO Sportswear begins this afternoon at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. The first ever Under-12 Co-Ed and Under-14 Girls divisions will compete in matches over three days. An estimated 1,600 athletes and families will flock to the greater Lancaster area for the tournament and will fill hotels, restaurants and shopping centers throughout the weekend.

“We look forward to welcoming the national field hockey community to Spooky Nook Sports,” said Lyndsay Warner of Spooky Nook Sports. “We have worked hard to make Spooky Nook Sports an incredible multi-sports venue and field hockey is a major emphasis. We have a 10 court field hockey hall in which we will host the National Indoor Tournament.”

The weekend holds many firsts. It is the first official USA Field Hockey national event to be held at the new Home of Hockey at Spooky Nook Sports, the first time multiple teams from clubs will participate in the Under-14 division and the first national event for the Under-12 Co-Ed division.

The new addition of the Under-12 Co-Ed division playing in Lancaster, Pa. allows younger athletes to enjoy the game in a competitive, yet fun atmosphere.

“We are truly excited to kick off the 2014 National Indoor Tournament in a sparkling new facility with a new age group and 160 teams of young athletes,” said Karen Collins, Director of Event Logistics at USA Field Hockey. “The staff of Spooky Nook Sports has been a tremendous help in making the weekend a possibility. We look forward to our first ever event at the Home of Hockey and of course, watching the next generation enjoy some exciting hockey!”

For the most up-to-date information on all things concerning the 2014 National Indoor Tournament, regularly check usafieldhockey.com.

USFHA media release

US Mens Development Team rounds out UBC series with success

The U.S. Men’s Development Team concluded their four game series against the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Chula Vista, Cali. today on a strong mark with a third and final win of 3-1. 

“The week was very productive for the team focusing on defensive principles and creating open attacking situations,” said National Team Head Coach Chris Clements. “The experience that every player gained this week has allowed the program to take another step forward.”

USA came out of the gates with strength making an early statement in the second minute of play when Tyler Sundeen (Simi Valley, Cali.) created counter attack through the center midfield. Sundeen carried the ball into the circle with confidence and aimed a shot low into the far post to take a quick 1-0 lead. UBC athlete Phillip Allmark lit up the scoreboard in the 30th minute off of a corner opportunity where UBC took full advantage to tie the game up 1-1. Will Holt (Camarillo, Cali.) dug deep in the second half to notch not one, but two goals for Team USA off of penalty corner drag flicks in the 42nd and 57th minutes of the match. To finish the tournament with a win was key to capping off a successful tournament. The squad took three out of four games where a lot of learning, growing and developing occurred both on and off the pitch.

"The Central Training Program is already starting to pay off as you can see it in these players professional attitudes, willingness to work and able to play simple hockey at a much higher intensity than past tournaments," said Chris Pothier U.S. Tournament Manager.

USFHA media release

Paragon keeps unbeaten run in Trinity

Ventures’ Kristin Abreu, second from left, battles for the ball with Shandy Carib Magnolias’ duo, Alicia Waithe, left, and Jessica Lee while her team-mate Karissa Wyke, looks on in their T&T Hockey Board Women’s Championship encounter at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua, on Saturday. Magnolias won 5-0. Photo: Anthony Harris

Three different players were on target as Paragon whipped Fatima 3-1 for its fourth straight win from as many matches in the Trinity Men’s Division of the T&T Hockey League at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Wednesday night.

Kayode De Peza opened the scoring in the 13th minute for a 1-0 lead at the half before Derek Lee drew Fatima level six minutes after the restart.

However, 12 minutes later, Mohammed Elias regained the lead for Paragon before Kelon Skerritt sealed the win in the 62nd minute to add to previous victories over, Shape (10-1), Carib (4-0) and Petrotrin (5-1).

On Monday, Notre Dame and Malvern had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Scott Dopson tenth minute go-ahead goal being canceled out by Malvern’s Anthony Marcano, in the 23rd.

Tonight, two matches are on schedule, with Carib tackling Notre Dame from 7 pm in the Mixed Veterans Division, followed by a Trinity Men’s Division clash featuring, QPCC and Malvern.

T&THB results

Mixed Veterans:
Notre Dame 1 (Scott Dopson 10th) vs  Malvern 1 (Anthony Malvern 23rd)

Trinity Men:
Paragon 3 (Kayode De Peza 13th, Mohammed Elias 53rd, Kelon Skerritt 62nd) vs Fatima 1 (Derek Lee 41st)

Upcoming matches
Mixed Veterans: Carib vs Notre Dame, 7 pm
Trinity Men: QPCC vs Malvern, 8.45 pm

Under-19 Girls: Courts Malvern vs Raiders, 11.30am
Under-19 Boys: Notre Dame vs Carib, 12.30 pm
Trinity Women: SC Magnolias vs Notre Dame, 2.30pm; Harvard Checkers vs Ventures, 4.30 pm
Men’s Championship: Petrotrin vs Fatima, 6 pm.

Under-19 Boys: Fatima vs QPCC, 11 am
Under-19 Girls: SC Magnolias vs Raiders, 12.30 pm
Trinity Men: Malvern vs Petrotrin, 2 pm
Trinity Women: Malvern vs Paragon, 4 pm
Women’s Championship: Notre Dame vs Ventures, 5.30pm
Men’s Championship: Paragon vs Malvern, 5.30 pm

Trinity Men: QPCC vs Notre Dame, 8 pm

February 26:
Mixed Veterans: QPCC vs Notre Dame, 8 pm

The Trinidad Guardian

Royalians aim to wrap up title

The star-studded Queen’s Royal College hockey squad will be confident of wrapping up the T&T Hockey Board’s Secondary Schools League Boys’ Division crown away to Debe High School, at Debe High School Ground, Penal from 3.30pm today.

QRC, dubbed the Royalians and boasting a top quality line-up inclusive of Jordan Reynos, Kristien Emmanuel, Ghardel Elcock, Jadel Poon-Lewis and Kieron Emmanuel have swept all opponents before them so far to lead the six-team table with maximum 12 points from their four matches, scoring 13 goals with conceding.

The wins include South East Port-of-Spain (3-0); Woodbrook Government Secondary (6-0); Fatima College (2-0) and St Mary’s College (2-0) led by Elcock’s four goals and three from Kristien Emmanuel.

On the other hand, Debe is bottom of the table without a point in three matches and also has failed to find the target while letting in 19, making its task of stopping the visitors from celebrating their expected league triumph a much more daunting one.

Should Debe somehow manage to upset QRC, then Fatima, three points behind on the table, but third behind St Mary’s on goal-difference will have a chance to snatch the title with a win today over Woodbrook at St James from 4.15pm.

QRC currently has a goal-difference of plus-13 while St Mary’s which has completed its five match campaign has a goal-difference of plus-21 followed by Fatima’s plus-eight.

One hour earlier at St James, in the Girls’ Division, Providence Girls’ have a chance to go top of the table, when it comes up against Woodbrook.

SEPoS, currently leads the women’s five-team table with five points from its four matches, one more than St Joseph which has a match in hand after their top-of-the-table 0-0 draw on Wednesday at St James.

However, Providence has three points, the same as Holy name Convent (PoS) which has only played one match and victory for the Belmont-based school which put them top of the standings with one more match left to play versus Holy Name.

Current T&THB Secondary Schools League standings

Boys Division
Teams    P    W    D    L    F    A    Pts
QRC    4    4    0    0    13    0    12
St Mary’s    5    3    0    2    26    5    9
Fatima    4    3    0    1    11    3    9
SEPoS    5    2    0    3    3    12    6
Woodbrook    3    0    0    3    0    14    0
Debe High    3    0    0    3    0    19    0

Girls Division
SEPoS    4    1    2    1    2    2    5
St Joseph Convent (PoS)    3    1    1    1    1    3    4
Holy Name    1    1    0    0    2    0    3
Providence    2    1    0    1    3    2    3
Woodbrook    2    0    1    1    0    1    1

Today’s matches

Venue: St James Barracks Ground, Western Main Road, St James
Girls Division: Woodbrook vs Providence Girls, 3.15pm
Boys Division: Woodbrook vs Fatima, 4.15pm
Venue: Debe High School Ground, Penal
Debe High vs QRC, 3.30pm.

Top scorers:
7 - Jarryon Paul (CIC),
5 - Jordi O’Brien (CIC)
4 - Ghardel Elcock (QRC)
3 - Kristien Emmanuel (QRC), Marcus Pascal (Fatima), Maleik Ross, Zachary Clarke, James Attieh  (CIC)
2 - Kelon Skeritt (SEPoS); Jean-Luc Hinds, Scott Pichery (Fatima), Jordan Reynos (QRC); Teague Marcano (Fatima)
1 - Jordan Weekes (Fatima); Jadel Poon-Lewis, Dylan Francis, Lyndell Byer, Kieron Emmanuel (QRC);  Craig Cockburn, Che Modeste, Jordan Vieira, Tyler Hindman, Joshua Olton (CIC); Kaleb Quashie (SEPoS)

2 - Dana-Lee De Gannes (Providence),
1 - Shania De Freitas (Providence); Brianna Govia, Kristin Abreu (Holy Name); Zene Henry, Mariah Boucaud,  (SEPoS); Annalisa Yearwood (St Joseph’s Convent)

The Trinidad Guardian

Mixed feelings for Olak

WAITING GAME: Book Division One ticket but may miss playoffs final


OLD LA Sallians Association of Klang (Olak-PKT) came back from the dead to hold Bukit Jalil Sports School 1-1 to qualify for the Milo Cup and  assure themselves  promotion to Division One next year.

Olak have been out in the cold in Division Two since 2009, and after beating Nur Insafi 4-1 on Thursday in Group X, they will play a waiting game to see if they also qualify for the final of the Division Two playoffs.

Today, BJSS play Nur Insafi and the sports school need to beat Nur Insafi by four clear goals to play against the winners of the Group Y playoffs.

BJSS drew first blood in the 20th minute when Abdul Syafiq scored a field goal, but Olak-PKT drew level when Shafieq Dzulkifly slammed home from close range in the 65th minute.

"We lacked maturity to hold onto the early lead, and will have to play much better than today (yesterday) if we want to play in the final of the playoffs. We also need to beat Nur Insafi so that we can advance to Division One next year," said BJSS coach S. Prakash.

Six teams from Division Two were divided into Group X and Y, and the winners in the round robin qualify for tomorrow's final while the top two in each group advance to the Milo Cup quarter-finals and also to Division One next year.

Olak-PKT team manager Joseph de Silva said they were denied a penalty stroke: "We should have been awarded a penalty stroke but were denied. However, I am still happy that we will now play in Division One next year."

"The final of the playoffs is out of our hands, and we can only watch from the sidelines and hope BJSS do not score four clear goals so that we can play in the final on Sunday," said de Silva.

BJSS played their first playoff match yesterday, while it was Olak's second consecutive match and the former champions looked lost and tired in the first half.

However, a few determined runs by individuals in the last 10 minutes of the match got them the draw.

RESULTS: Olak-PKT 1 BJSS 1, Bakat MSSK 0 Politeknik KPM 8.

TODAY: BJSS v Nur Insafi (5pm, National Stadium, II), Politeknik-KPM v MSP-Pahang (7pm, National Stadium, II).

New Straits Times

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