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News 24 February 2014

All the news for Monday 24 February 2014

Second half costs Investec SA hockey girls

JONATHAN COOK in Mar del Plata

Luciana Aymar was in imperious form during the second Test. Tarryn Bright stays the distance. Photo: DIEGO IZQUIERDO

Just when it looked like eight-time World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar was running away with the show, the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team struck twice in stunning fashion to leave the second Test standing at 2-2 on the half-time whistle Sunday night but four goals in the second half steered the South Americans to a 6-2 victory.

Aymar, captain of world number two Argentina – the reigning World Cup champions - sliced through her favourite left channel in inimitable fashion in the ninth and 11th minutes to set up straightforward tap-ins for Carla Rebecchi and Agustina Albertario.

Trailing 2-0 inside the quarter-hour with Aymar in irresistible form, SA fought their way back with a brace of superb goals by Tanya Britz in the 16th from captain Sulette Damons' pass  and 18th minutes, Damons scoring this time with fellow striker Lilian du Plessis making the vital pass.

SA had their chances after the break but it was Argentina who turned theirs into goals.

Soon after half-time (39th minute) Noel Barrionuevo sent a low drag-flick from Argentina’s fifth penalty corner into the goals; then Delfina Moreno’s brilliant ball control in the 59th and Rebecchi’s top finish hard a minute later (60th) gave the South Americans a three-goal cushion over world number 11 South Africa.

And in the 62nd minute Daniela Sruoga followed up Argentina’s eighth PC to make the final score 6-2.

SA goalkeeper Phume Mbande made a host of fine saves - this shot stopper is growing in leaps and bounds - while Shelley Russell, back for this Test along with Jade Mayne, must be wondering what she has to do to convince the officials that she has earned penalty corner decisions.

Argentina won the first Test 6-1 on Saturday night.

The third Test is at 1.40am SA time Tuesday.

SA Hockey Association media release

Much improved SA men's hockey side, despite defeat

JONATHAN COOK in Mar del Plata

The South Africa men’s hockey team withstood the worst possible start to come back strongly in the second Test against Argentina in Mar del Plata, Argentina Sunday night but the South Americans went into half-time 2-1 up and  turned that advantage into a 4-2 final scoreline.

Argentina won the first Test 6-0 on Saturday and now lead the five-Test series 2-0.  The third Test is on Tuesday.

In only the third minute, Gonzalo Peillat went low to SA captain and goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse’s right to open the scoring from the match’s first penalty corner.

In the 29th minute SA equalised when Matt Guise-Brown sent a penalty stroke into the top-right corner, this after striker Pierre de Voux’s follow-up from South Africa’s third PC had caught an Argentine foot on the goalline.

In the 32nd minute Argentina regained their lead when Ignacio Gilardi made no mistake after a hotly disputed PS had been awarded, Pieterse adamant the decision had gone the wrong way.

Argentina enjoyed a good spell after the changeover and Peillat made no error from the South American’s fifth PC in the 47th minute.

SA had four PCs in the match to Argentina’s seven, but battled to steer powerful drag-flicks between the goalposts.

Argentina, very quick on the counter-attack, stretched to 4-1 up in the 50th minute when Lucas Martinez’s fine strike rounded off a slick piece of play.

SA kept working hard, Taylor Dart standing out in midfield, and against the run of play Jaco Fourie fired a pass into the strike zone, to which De Voux did well to get a touch and the margin was shaved to 4-2.

SA left out Miguel da Graca and fellow striker Ignatuis Malgraff and brought in new cap Cuan Burton-Moore of Western Province and Eastern Province’s Geowynne Gamiet, after a long layoff.

SA Hockey Association media release

Delhi wins the 2014 Hero Hockey India League

K. Arumugam

Delhi annexed the second Hero Hockey India League Trophy, defeating Punjab Warriors in a tense penalty shoot out after two teams stood 3-3 at the regulation time.

Delhi's goalie Nicolas Jacobi saved first three shoot outs of Punjab including one of Jamie Dwyer, setting Delhi to annex the trophy with goals in the tie break coming from Simon Child, Matt Ghodes and Steven Edwards.

When 26-year old Steven Edwards put the ball in the net behind the goalie Jaap Stockmann, the Delhi got what it missed last year to Rhinos.

The game started with an electric goal within two minutes, in the 73rd seconds, with Mark Knowells latching on to a timely gentle feed by Affan Yousaff.

Then on the match meandered to great height with matching moves and end to end stuff, with some goals breathtaking.

However, when Delhi scored two goals subsequently and went for big break 2-1 in their favour, it was expected they are close to target, but Punjab struck twice to lead 3-2 for long time with a neat deflection by veteran Shivender Singh and then an opportunistic goal by Affan Yousaf. The lone goal lead was cancelled out by ever-green Yuvraj Walmiki, which led to tie-breaking penalty shoot out.

llyod Morris John who scored the first goal of Delhi got the Hero Goal of the match award, while Nicolas Jacobi won the Man of the match epithlet.

Special award winners
Most Valuable Player: Jaap Stockmann of JPW Rs.20 lacs
Ponty Chhada Most promising player of the tournament: Akashdeep Singh Rs.20 lacs
Highest Number of goal by team: Punajb Warriors, Rs.10 lac
Highest goal scorer is Sandeep Singh, Yes Bank gives Rs.10 lac


Delhi Waveriders crowned champion

Amitabha Das Sharma

A JOB WELL DONE: The Delhi Waveriders players are a happy lot after a successful end to their HIL campaign. Photo: Manob Chowdhury

On a day of indissoluble rivalries tie-breakers came in to determine the results as Delhi Waveriders beat Punjab Warriors 6-4 in the final via shootouts in the second edition of the Hero Hockey India league.

Earlier, Ranchi Rhinos won the third place downing Uttar Pradesh Wizards 4-3 via tie-breaker at the Morabadi Astroturf Stadium.

In the see-saw final both teams enjoyed their sessions of dominance to see the regulation time ending 3-3. Mark Knowles, Shivendra Singh and Affan Yousuf scored for Warriors while Waveriders got them through Lloyd Norris Jones, Sardar Singh and Yuvraj Walmiki.

In the shootout only Robert Hammond scored for the Warriors as Simon Orchard, Jamie Dwyer and Satbir Singh were off the mark.

For Waveriders Matt Gohdes, Simon Child and Steven Edwards found the target while Rajpal Singh hit his attempt wide.

Early goal

Warriors started from where they left off in the successful semifinal outing against Ranchi Rhinos. Before the Delhi-based side could settle down the Warriors went ahead with Australian Mark Knowles finishing off an Affan Yousuf pass in the second minute.

The second quarter saw Waveriders strike back through two quick goals. With the break approaching Waveriders launched a quick counter initiated by left-winger Akashdeep Singh. He released Lloyd Norris Jones in the attacking-third with a nice through-pass. The South African forward finished with an excellent backhand hit to draw level in the 33rd?minute.

Waveriders pressed on and won a penalty-corner just near the half time. Rupinder Pal Singh’s drag-flick went off a Warrior defender and reached an unmarked Sardar Singh who slotted home.

Warriors regrouped after the long interval and found the equaliser in the 45th when Shivendra Singh, deflected a cross from Gurmail Singh.

And three minutes later the Punjab team was in the lead when Yousuf came in to finish another well-orchestrated attack from the right. Waveriders though refused to give in and found the leveller.

Australian Matt Gohdes pounced on a feeble clearance from Warriors defender Gurinder Singh and released the unmarked Yuvraj Walmiki inside the semicircle to slot home.

Ranchi Rhinos's Manpreet Singh winds up to score the equaliser against UP Wizards on Sunday. Photo: Manob Chowdhury

The results: Final: Delhi Waveriders 6 (3) (Lloyd Norris Jones 33, Sardar Singh 35, Yuvraj Walmiki 51) bt Punjab Warriors 4 (3) (Mark Knowles 2, Shivendra Singh 45, Affan Yousuf 48) in tie-breaker.

Third place play-off: Ranchi Rhinos 4 (1) (Manpreet Singh 31) bt Uttar Pradesh Wizards 3 (1) (V.R. Raghunath 16) in tie-breaker.

The Hindu

Delhi Waveriders overcome Punjab Warriors to clinch HIL

Arnab Lall Seal

RANCHI: A jubilant John Abraham streaked across the turf after Delhi Waveriders were crowned champions in the second edition of the Hockey India League after they beat Punjab Warriors in the final on Sunday. The heroics of goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi helped the last-year runners-up to win the match 6-4 via tie-breaker after the game finished 3-3 at the end of the regulation time.

Only Robert Hammond of Punjab Warriors scored as Simon Orchard, Jamie Dwyer and Satbir Singh all fluffed their lines. Only Rajpal Singh missed out for the Waveriders as Steven Edwards scored the winning goal of the match. During the tie-breaker, the other two goals were scored by Matt Ghodes and Simon Child.

The Delhi side didn't play well in the semifinals and were too defensive at times. But on Sunday they showed why they were the title favourites as they twice came from behind to win. Punjab, on the other hand, will have to be satisfied with being the second best. Even though they played like champions throughout the tournament, they came short when it mattered the most.

Earlier in the match, Warriors took Waveriders by surprise as Knowles scored the fastest goal of the tournament — just a minute into the game.

It was a beautiful through pass from Affan Yousuf and Knowles, who was completely unmarked, slammed it past Waveriders goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi.

Throughout the remaining first quarter, Warriors went on a barrage of attacks but were unable to find the target. First it was SV Sunil, whose shot went just wide after Jamie Dwyer passed it to him from the edge of the D four minutes into the match. Eight minutes later Simon Orchard also had a go at the goal but his shot was easily kept out by Jacobi. Soon after, Sunil looked like scoring again but his shot went straight to the goalkeeper.

In the second quarter, Waveriders tried their best to slow down the game but Warriors were in no mood to back down. Both Agustin Mazzilli of Argentina and Yousuf came close to scoring but their shots were off target. However, with Warriors trying their best to double their lead, it was Waveriders who scored on the counter two minutes from the end of second quarter.

Akashdeep Singh made a good run through the left flank and gave a one-handed pass to Lloyd Norris-Jones who scored with ease. His diagonal shot took Warriors' custodian Jaap Stockmann by surprise. Even though Warriors had dominated most of the game, it was Waveriders who made it 2-1 a minute later after they won a penalty corner. Rupinder Pal Singh, who missed the first penalty corner, came to take it again.

Even though his shot was blocked by one of the defenders, the ball went straight to Sardar Singh and he scored from a difficult angle.

But the momentum of the game shifted again after the break and it was Warriors who equalized 10 minutes into the third quarter. This time Gurmail Singh played it past the goalkeeper and Shivendra Singh, who was waiting at the goalmouth, made no mistake of putting it into the net. Three minutes later Warriors scored again as Yousuf scored a blinder from the centre of the D after he trapped the ball from Satbir Singh.

But to the dismay of Warriors, they were unable to hold onto their lead as Waveriders equalized after Yuvraj Walmiki scored his first goal of the match in the dying minutes of the third quarter. However, none of the teams were able to convert the chances in the fourth quarter and the scoreline remained 3-3 after the seventy minutes.

Ranchi Rhinos finish third

Ranchi Rhinos, after failing to defend their crown, won the third-place playoff in the HIL against Uttar Pradesh Wizards earlier in the day. Bosco del Perez scored the decider as the home side won 4-3 via tie-breaker after the match finished tied at 1-1 in regulation time.

Moritz Fuerste and Ashley Jackson also scored in the tie-breaker for the Rhinos. Wizards custodian George Bazeley kept out Manpreet Singh and Birendra Lakra's shots but it wasn't enough in the end. For Wizards, only Nithin Thimmaiah and Edward Ockenden found the target as Rhinos goalkeeper Francisco Cortes saved shots from Sander Baart, David Alegre and Tushar Khandker.

The Times of India

Waveriders shoot out Warriors for trophy

Ranchi - Delhi Waveriders defeated Punjab Warriors in a penalty shoot-out to emerge as the champions in the second edition of Hockey India League at the packed Astroturf Hockey Stadium, here today.

It came as a befitting result for last year's runners-up. The Waveriders won 3-1 in the shoot-out after the regulation 70 minutes ended in a 3-3 tie.

Majority of the credit should go to the Waveriders goalie Nicolas Jacobi, who had a brilliant day under the bar and made numerous saves to guide the Delhi side to the title.

Apart from making quite a few saves in regulation time, Jacobi stood like a rock in the shoot-out to deny Warriors' first three attempts before Robert Hammond scored.

But it was not enough as the Waveriders scored three out of their four chances to run away with the glittering trophy and Rs 2.5 crore prize purse. The Warriors took home Rs 1.25 crore, while last year's champions Ranchi Rhinos pocketed Rs 75 lakh for finishing third.

Rhinos finish third

Earlier, defending champions Ranchi Rhinos beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards 3-2 via penalty shoot-out after the two teams were locked at 1-1 in regulation time.

The hosts started the match on a positive note and got the first scoring chance in the first quarter through a penalty corner but wasted the opportunity.

The Wizards, on the other hand, capitalised on their first penalty corner through VR Raghunath who converted the chance in the 15th minute.

But the Rhinos equalised five minutes from half time through Manpreet Singh's fine solo effort. Manpreet beat three UP defenders before slotting the ball into the opposition net with a fierce strike from the top of the circle in the 30th minute. After the change of ends, both the teams tried their level best to break the deadlock but their efforts fell flat. — PTI

Most Valuable Player:
Jaap Stockmann (Punjab)
Upcoming Player:
Akashdeep Singh (Delhi)

The Tribune

Kookas claim HIL crown

Gohdes, White and Wilson win final for Delhi Waveriders

Credit Source: Hockey India League

Three Australian Kookaburras enjoyed the victory of winning the Hockey India League grand final played in India last night.

Australia exhibiting 10 players in the finals, showcased Delhi Waveriders Matt Gohdes, Tristan White and Jason Wilson alongside Jaypee Warriors Jamie Dwyer, Kieran Govers, Rob Hammond, Simon Orchard, Chris Ciriello, Mark Knowles and Jake Whetton.

Digging deep, the two teams finished 3-3 at full time. With a powerful penalty shootout, Delhi Waveriders successfully scored three out of their four shots leaving the Jaypee Punjab Warriors without a desired result. Captaining the runner up team, Jamie Dwyer believed the team played well with a highlight of dominating the match over a long period of time.

“When you lose a game in short arm, it’s not very disappointing. It was a great game, we played well and gave it our best shot.”

Australian Kookaburra, Mark Knowles wooed crowds with his standout field goal, two minutes into the match taking away the YES Bank Garv Award.

Dabur Mumbai Magicians, finishing fifth, saw team player Glenn Turner labelled the highest Australian goal scorer of the tournament with seven goals. Australian teammates Jake Whetton and Jason Wilson finished the tournament as Australia’s second highest scorers with three goals apiece.

Delhi Waveriders, head coach, Cedric D’Souza was satisfied with the final result stating “we lost the finals last year and this time we were filled with fire and the urge to win. We had a hard match today, but we planned and executed our strategy well, it is time to enjoy the victory.”

Delhi Waveriders - Winners
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD)
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW)
Jason Wilson (Kingscliff, QLD)

Jaypee Punjab Warriors – Runners-up
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD)
Kieran Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Rob Hammond (Townsville, QLD)
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW)
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC)
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD)
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Coach: Barry Dancer (Brisbane, QLD)

Uttar Pradesh Wizards – Fourth place
George Bazeley (Melbourne, VIC)
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, Tasmania)
Luke Doerner* (Altona, VIC)

Dabur Mumbai Magicians – Fifth place
Matthew Butturini (Burringbar, NSW)
Joel Carroll (Darwin, NT)
Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS)
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW)

Kalinga Lancers – Sixth place
Kiel Brown (Toowoomba, QLD)
Russel Ford (Eltham, VIC)
Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA)
Glenn Simpson (Eltham, VIC)
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)
*retired from int'l hockey Oct 2012

7 goals (#4 top scorer) Glenn Turner (Dabur Mumbai Magicians)
3 goals (#13=) Jake Whetton (JPW)
3 goals (#13=) Jason Wilson (DWR)
2 goals (#18=) Chris Ciriello (JPW)
2 goals (#18=) Simon Orchard (JPW)
2 goals (#18=) Aran Zalewski (KL)
2 goals (#18=) Jamie Dwyer (JPW)
2 goals (#18=) Kieran Govers (JPW)
2 goals (#18=) Mark Knowles (JPW)
1 goal (#39=) Matt Gohdes (DWR)
1 goal (#39=) Eddie Ockenden (UPW)
1 goal (#39=) Trent Mitton (DMM)
1 goal (#39=) Kiel Brown (KL)
1 goal (#39=) Tim Deavin (DMM)

Hockey Australia media release

Bronze for Ranchi Rhinos

s2h Team

Host team Ranchi Rhinos won the Hero Hockey India League bronze in the shoot out after tied 1-1 at full time.

When the score read 2-2 in the shoot out after UPW exhausted its quota of five shots, Bosco Perez Pla scored to bring cheers to the team, which won the gold in the last edition.

Earlier, Raghunath gave a thumping start to their campaign converting the teams' first penalty corner, as Manpreet on the left post was a bit slack in reflex, the ball crashing in to the net between Manpreet and Fransciso Cortes. Manpreet made amends later with a stunner of goal, after dodging a host of defenders, and the ball coming back to him with a slow clearance of otherwise hardworking Pardeep Mor.

In a match where physical play was prominent than the goals scored and missed, equally matching the controversies that the decisions of Indian umpire GS Sangha created, Rhinos got the consolation of winning the bronze

In the shoot out, UPWs were distinctly unlucky as Sandar Baart's shot hit the right post and spurned out of play. Sandar took the first shoot of the feat.

Raghunath was declared Hero Goal of the match, while local hero Birendra Lakra Man of the match for his all round abilities, though he and Manpreet were missed their quota of shoot in the tie-break


Ranchi Rhinos beat UP Wizards in shoot-out to finish third

RANCHI: Ranchi Rhinos beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out to finish third in the Hockey India League (HIL) at the Morabadi Hockey Stadium on Sunday.

Both teams were tied 1-1 after 70 minutes. Drag-flick specialist VR Raghunath struck for Wizards in the 15th minute before Manpreet Singh foxed three defenders to level the match in the 30th minute.

Ashley Jackson, captain Moritz Furste and Bosco del Perez scored for Rhinos in the shoot-out while Nitin Thimmaiah and Edward Ockenden struck for Wizards but in vain.

Rhinos pocketed Rs.75 lakh as prize money.

Delhi Waveriders play Punjab Warriors in the final later Sunday.

The Times of India

Highlights of the League this season...

New team, old struggle

The addition of a new team, Kalinga Lancers, and a complete overhaul of last year's bottom-placed Mumbai Magicians raised hopes of a change in this year's hierarchy. But both the teams have not fared well against the big teams. Mumbai, despite bringing in a new coach, could only finish second last. Kalinga, though impressed with their fighting spirit, the newcomers lacked the firepower and finished last.

Young and the greats

Last season saw the rise of Mandeep Singh as the consummate goal-scorer. What was great to see was how the young forward fed off the experience of greats such as Moritz Furste and Floris Evers. This season has also seen Indian youngsters gelling with top international players. Nikkin Thimmaiya has been a livewire in UP attack and his on-field relationship with Dutch legend Teun de Nooijer has been the difference for the youngster.

Rise of Punjab

Punjab Warriors entered both the seasons as favourites. After failing miserably last year, finishing second-last, the Punjab side was under great pressure to live up to their favourites tag. And the team has delivered. The main difference for the team was the fitter Australians this year. Apart from veterans Jamie Dwyer and Mark Knowles, youngsters Simon Orchard and Jake Whetton have made a huge difference this season.

Sandeep top goal-scorer

Sandeep Singh was the top-scorer last year for Mumbai Magicians. A lot has changed since then. He has been out of the Indian team since June 2013 and started this season in a different camp, Punjab Warriors. But what has not changed even in this season is that the tall defender has been on the top of the scorers list. He has scored 11 goals, three more than Gonzalo Peillat of the Lancers, while VR Raghunath of UP is third with 7 goals.

The Tribune

Pakistan hockey in total disarray after Azlan Shah Cup pull-out

There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for Pakistan hockey and the fortunes of the national game suffered yet another blow when it was revealed that the federation had pulled the team out of the 23rd edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup "due to a lack of funds."

The development comes as yet another jolt to the Pakistan team which had been hoping for a reversal in fortunes after the ignominy of not qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in the game's history.

"I received an e-mail late on Friday from the Pakistan Hockey Federation informing me that they have decided to withdraw from the Azlan Shah Cup," Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) secretary Datuk Johari Aziz said.

"Pakistan had confirmed their participation earlier and their 11th hour withdrawal has placed us in a sticky situation. It is too late to invite another team," Aziz added.

According to the MHC official the tournament, which runs from March 13-23, will now be a six-nation event with Canada, South Korea, South Africa, China, Australia and hosts Malaysia competing in the event. India and France have also pulled out from the event.

Pakistan's last-minute withdrawal comes after the Punjab government announced a Rs100 million grant for the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) earlier this month. The federation insisted, however, that this was akin to merely "restoring the supply of oxygen for the national game."

According to sources, the PHF revealed that currently it did not even have funds to organise a training camp let alone send a team abroad for an international event.


Financial woes: Hanif bemoans apathy towards national sport

By Fawad Hussain

KARACHI: While the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has been struggling to stay afloat amid a reported financial crisis, former Olympian Hanif Khan has expressed concern over government’s lack of interest in the national sport.

It is also believed that the PHF pulled out of the Azlan Shah Cup after a delay in release of money promised by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif earlier this month.

Shahbaz had approved a grant of Rs100 million after repeated requests by the federation. However, the grant is yet to be released and the delay has jeopardised greenshirts’ participation in the event.

‘Hockey no more on priority list’

Hanif, a former head coach and chief selector, said that missing the tournament was not a big concern. Instead, he described government’s reluctance to support hockey as a more serious threat.

“I get a feeling that hockey doesn’t figure on government’s priority list,” the former Olympian told The Express Tribune. “It’s surprising that even the PHF president [Akhtar Rasool] who is associated with the ruling party [PML-N] could not get money from the government.”

“As far as the Azlan Shah Cup is concerned, missing the event is not a big deal since it is not a high-profile tournament,” Hanif said. “I will advise the PHF to focus on domestic structure instead of sending our team to such competitions.”

Hanif reiterated that the government must not lose hope with a sport which introduced Pakistan to the sporting world. “We still have the potential to reclaim our lost glory – but for that to happen, the game needs continuous support from the authorities.”

The Express Tribune

Wanderers denied European promotion by last gasp goal

Dundee Wanderers Hockey Club have won a bronze medal at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Trophy in Lithuania after finishing third overall.

Wanderers were only a minute away from promotion after leading English champions Reading 1-0, but Scotland and GB international Emily Maguire equalised to ensure Reading finished in second position.

Dundee Wanderers Hockey Club have won a bronze medal at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Trophy in Lithuania after finishing third overall.

Wanderers were only a minute away from securing second place and promotion, leading English champions Reading for the vast majority of the match after Vikki Bunce's third minute goal from a penalty stroke.

Alas, Scotland and Great Britain international Emily Maguire equalised only minute from full-time to ensure Reading finished in second position and edged out the Scottish indoor champions into third.

The eventual winners were hosts Gintra Strekte Uni HC.

Scotland defender Becky Ward and former Scotland international goalkeeper Carmin Dow were awarded the tournament's Best Defender and Best Goalkeeper.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Beeston battle past Sheffield Hallam

Beeston James Blackwell shoots. Photo by David Kissman.

BEESTON survived a scare in their clash with Sheffield Hallam in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division, battling back from behind to record a 3-1 win over their plucky rivals.

Liam Ansell put Sheffield Hallam in front after 13 minutes and they managed to hold on to that lead until James Blackwell (pictured) finally broke through with an equaliser for Beeston on 49 minutes. Tim Whiteman and Sam Ward went on to make it 3-1 to Beeston and they stay top.

Sheffield Hallam are now three points below Cannock, who gave their survival hopes a huge boost with a thrilling 8-3 win over Hampstead and Westminster. Dave Beckett was Cannock’s star man, hitting three goals in the second half.

At the top end of the table, Reading still occupy second spot after fighting back from a 0-1 half time deficit and beating fourth-placed Surbiton 5-3. Andy Watts grabbed a brace for Reading and despite the loss, Surbiton are still in a play-off place.

Wimbledon could have jumped ahead of them but couldn’t find a way past Canterbury as Liam Foster’s hat-trick saw them go down 5-3.

East Grinstead are one point behind Reading but have a game in hand. A Niall Stott double saw them chalk up a narrow 2-1 victory over Loughborough Students.

Cardiff were second in the NOW: Pensions Conference West at the start of the day and faced leaders Indian Gymkhana. A tight game was expected but Cardiff won 7-0 to move back to the top in style.

Holcombe still lead the NOW: Pensions Conference East on goal difference, although they had a scare against Old Loughtonians. They were losing 3-2 but a late double from Gareth Carr saw them win 4-3.

Two Peter Flanagan goals helped Brooklands Manchester University stay at the head of the NOW: Pensions Conference North with a 4-0 shutout of hosts Deeside Ramblers.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, February 23 2014):

NOW: Pensions Premier Division: Loughborough Students 1, East Grinstead 2; Wimbledon 3, Canterbury 5; Beeston 3, Sheffield Hallam 1; Cannock 8, Hampstead and Westminster 3; Reading 5, Surbiton 3.

NOW: Pensions Men's Conference East: Cambridge City 3, Bromley and Beckenham 6; Teddington 1, Brighton and Hove 5; Richmond 3, Oxted 1; Southgate 6, St Albans 0; Old Loughtonians 3, Holcombe 4.

NOW: Pensions Men's Conference North: Deeside Ramblers 0, Brooklands Manchester University 4; University of Durham 6, West Bridgford 2; Olton and West Warwickshire 1, Khalsa 1; Belper 2, Leek 1; Bowdon 4, Wakefield 1.

NOW: Pensions Men's Conference West: University of Exeter 4, Fareham1; Cheltenham 0, Guildford 1; Team Bath Buccaneers 2, University of Birmingham 3; Cardiff and Met 7, Indian Gymkhana 0; Havant 1, Isca 4.

England Hockey Board Media release

Three Rock Rovers ISC 2014 Champions

Three Rock Rovers and Pembroke Wanderers took it right to the wire in front of a packed stadium at UCD to decide on the 2014 Irish Senior Cup Champions.

Despite a Pembroke Wanderers dominance in the first half after 35 minutes the match remained scoreless as frustration on both sides began to show as the half time whistle blew.

The final 35 of the match produced a much better performance by both teams Pembroke opening their account in the 42nd minute thanks to Conor Harte converting a penalty corner to go 1-0 up.

Five minutes later De With for Three Rock Rovers barged through producing a cross for a diving Mitch Darling who finished with class to bring his side back into the match at 1-1.

Three Rock Rovers took the lead for the first time in the 52nd minute when Peter Blakeney salvaged a penalty corner to make it 2-1, but this match was far from over. Pembroke drew level when a Conor Harte crash ball picked out Tim Hill to convert and push the match into extra time (5 minutes a side with a silver goal rule) but the extra ten minutes still could not separate the sides and on they went to a penalty strokes. After three penalty strokes it was 3-3 and only on the fourth when Pembroke Wanderers effort was saved and Three Rock Rovers went on to secure a 5-4 victory and win the cup for the first time in over 40 years.

Irish Hockey Association media release

UCD 2014 Irish Senior Cup Champions

Favourites UCD took on Pembroke Wanderers today in UCD in the 2014 Irish Senior Cup Finals.

In a game dominated by UCD the 0-0 deadlock was not broken until the 43rd minute when international Nikki Evans popped home at close range to take the lead for her college side.

Pembroke stood the pressure well plucking a couple from the line and defending with pride but UCD sealed the deal in the 52nd minute thanks to Anna O'Flanagan's direct penalty corner strike - firing home with power.

It was a proudly fought match, both teams doing their clubs proud.

Irish Hockey Association media release

MSP-Pahang draw Thunderbolts

By Jugjet Singh   

DIVISION One champions SSTMI Thunderbolts will meet MSP-Pahang in the Milo Cup quarter-finals after the draw was conducted at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The quarter-finals will be played on a home-and-away format on Feb 28 and March 2, and the second last eight tie will be between Malacca High School and Olak-PKT.

The other quarters will be between Petaling Jaya Municipal Council and Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), while UniKL Young Guns are expected to face a tough time against Politeknik-KPM.

In the final of the Division Two playoffs yesterday, Politeknik-KPM lifted the title when they beat BJSS 2-1.

Politeknik-KPM drew first blood in the 14th minute when Ashran Hamsani scored a penalty corner rebound, but BJSS drew level in the 25th minute off a Fakhri Ardillah field goal.

However, Ashram Hamsani scored the winner for Politeknik-KPM off a penalty corner attempt in the 69th minute.

Meanwhile, Olak-PKT beat MSP-Pahang 2-1 to finish third in the Division Two playoffs.

And the good news for them was that their sponsor PKT, a logistics company based in Klang, has promised to reward the Olak boys with a trip to Bali, Indonesia.

"Our sponsor PKT was delighted that we will be back in Division One after being out since 2009, and has pledged to send my players for a rewarding trip to Bali in Indonesia," said Olak-PKT team manager Joseph de Silva.

Norhafizi Aris scored for Olak-PKT in the 21st minute, while Zabad Rosly made it 2-0 in the 54th minute. MSP-Pahang tried to make a comeback with a goal from Syafiq Sharudin in the 57th minute, but the clock died on them.

RESULTS -- Final: Politeknik-KPM 2 Bukit Jalil Sports School 1; 3rd-4th: Olak-PKT 2 MSP-Pahang 1.

FIXTURES -- Friday, Milo Cup, Quarter-finals first leg: SSTMI Thunderbolts v MSP Pahang, Malacca High School v Olak-PKT, Petaling Jaya Municipal Council v Bukit Jalil Sports School, UniKL Young Guns v Politeknik-KPM.

New Straits Times

Politeknik Johor bag Division Two title

Politeknik's Mohd Ashran Hamsani (right) celebrates his goal against BJSS during the Div Two final of National Junior Hockey League.-- MOHD AZHAR ARIF/ The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohamed Ashran Hamsani turned out to be the hero as Politeknik Johor clinched the Division Two title of the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League with a 2-1 win over Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) at the National Hockey Stadium.

It was Politeknik Johor’s first-ever title in the MJHL. The Johor side drew first blood in the 14th minute when Mohamed Ashran scored a penalty corner rebound.

But BJSS, a winner of 13 titles in Division One, managed to draw level in the 25th minute when Fakhri Ardillah scored a field goal.

The match seemed headed for a shootout when the Johor team struck one minute from time. Ashran netted the winner off a penalty corner attempt in the 69th minute.

Despite the defeat, BJSS coach S. Prakash was happy with his team’s performance.

“It was touch and go at some point. The players were a little tired, having to play three matches in a row.

“We now look forward to the knockout stage. But we are not setting any specific target for now. Our aim was to qualify for the Division One and that has been achieved,” he added.

Earlier, Olak-PKT beat MSP-Pahang Juniors 2-1 to finish third. And the good news for Olak-PKT was that their sponsors PKT, a logistics company based in Klang, has promised to reward the team with a trip to Bali, Indonesia.

Olak-PKT team manager Joseph de Silva said the reward was for achieving their target.

“Our sponsors PKT were delighted that we will be back in Division One after being out since 2009. PKT has pledged to send the players for a trip to Bali as a reward,” he said.

Norhafizi Aris scored for Olak-PKT in the 21st minute while Mohamed Zabad Rosly made it 2-0 in the 54th minute. Syafiq Sharudin netted MSP-Pahang Juniors’ consolation goal in the 57th minute.

Meanwhile in the quarter-finals draw held after the game, defending overall champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt have been pitted MSP Pahang Juniors.

The other matches are between Malacca High School and Olak-PKT, Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) against Bukit Jalil Sports School and UniKL playing Politeknik Johor.

The two-leg quarter-finals, at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil, will be held on Feb 28 and March 2.

The Star of Malaysia

Dave Metter - Hockey man extraordinaire

A Tribute by Steve Jaspan

David Metter, the doyen of South African hockey administrators, died peacefully at the age of 89 in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape this past weekend.  He will be remembered with great fondness and enormous respect by the hockey family.

He was inspirational in the growth of hockey in South Africa, and also played an important role in international hockey serving for some years on the Council of the FIH, replacing the late Stewart McIldowie.  (The Council was the precursor to the more compact Executive Board).

Even in that short period of time his wisdom and insight had a significant impact on the game at world level and earned the respect of his peers.  However, many would say that his greatest achievement was keeping the flame of hockey burning in South Africa during the dark days of apartheid – a period in which the world’s justified disgust with South Africa’s political system sent cold winds of disapproval to extinguish the flame.

Few will know that Dave had, on a number of occasions, met the (then) President of the FIH, Rene Frank and (then) Honorary Secretary General, Etienne Glichitich (later to succeed Rene Frank as President) and had pleaded the case not to expel South African hockey from the FIH but to rather “suspend” it from competing in international competitions.  (As the new President of South African Hockey in my early 30s I was present in one of these historical meetings in the early 1980s).

Dave Metter was of the view that the abhorrent apartheid regime would be toppled and ultimately sport normalised in South Africa and when that happened South African Hockey  must have a sound foundation to launch competitive teams chosen from the length and breadth of a democratic South Africa.

He believed that making a successful return and contribution to all aspects of World hockey would not be possible from a “scorched” earth scenario.

When 1990 dawned and Nelson Mandela stepped out of Victor Verster Prison into the bright sunlight and the glare of flashbulbs, Dave Metter’s wisdom and guidance had paved the way for a new era of South African hockey.  This return to the fold and South Africa’s ability to play a constructive role in World Hockey from 1992 also owes much to the vision of Etienne Glichitch and it was no surprise that Dave and Etienne, both men of great integrity and with an abiding love of hockey developed a strong friendship.  He had many great hockey friends across the world.

Domestically in South Africa, Dave had played provincial hockey which was interrupted by the Second World War where he served in Italy and was wounded.

After his convalescence and discharge from the army he returned to South Africa and continued to play hockey, gradually moving into umpiring and administration.

He became a top quality international umpire who believed that if you were really competent and had rapport with the players you did not need to use cards.

Dave played a major role in Border hockey and his experiences on the farms and in the small towns of this predominantly Xhosa area, together with friendships across the spectrum of society laid the foundation for his desire to see a non-racial body ultimately govern hockey in South Africa.

On his rise to President of the South African Men’s Hockey Association he lead a loyal team of administrators in implementing a brave new vision for South African hockey and was instrumental in streamlining the structure of hockey.  He also took steps to contact members of the South African Hockey Board (the non-white hockey body who opposed ‘normal sport in an abnormal society’).  Despite earnest attempts to try to convene unity talks, pre-conditions were not ripe for these to be pursued at that time – this finally occurring in the early 1990’s when Dave had passed the baton, first to the late John Marquard and then me.

Amongst the many tributes that have poured in following Dave’s death, the common theme is of a modest, self-effacing person who always encouraged players, umpires and administrators to achieve their goals.  A man of vision who paved the way for younger people to take over and run the next leg of the relay having empowered them to do so but always available to give wise counsel.

In the hockey world and within its special family it will be very difficult to find a kinder, warmer, more compassionate person with an enduring love of hockey, the many friends he cherished in the game and his family.  His warmth, impish sense of humour and joie de vivre which were legendary, leap from the pages of a book he wrote about  his memoirs.

Our thoughts go out to Helen, his incredibly supportive wife, and his surviving children, Jeffrey and Karen, grandchildren and extended family. The sadness we all feel at his passing will be tempered by the knowledge that our lives and the world of hockey have been enriched by a truly wonderful man.

SA Hockey Association media release

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