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News 30 June 2014

All the news for Monday 30 June 2014

Belarus take top spot

Second women's Round One competition sees Belarus take maximum points

At the end of the second women's Hockey World League Round One competition, Belarus won all three of their games to emerge as the overall winners of the competition, thus booking their place in Round Two, which will take place in the autumn. The final standings in the round robin saw Ukraine finish in second place with Lithuania third and Poland bringing up the rear.

The event took place in Lithuania and over the course of three days, the crowds were treated to some close matches and exciting hockey. Belarus forward Yuliya Mikheichyx had a great tournament as she emerged as top goal-scorer with six goals. She got her tournament off to a flying start with a hat trick against Poland, and then followed up with two more against Ukraine and a further one against the host nation in the last match of the final day.

The winners get automatic passage to Round Two, and the second-placed team may also have the chance to compete in the next round – depending upon qualification from other Round One competitions. The format of the Hockey World League means that it is feasible for a team with a low FIH World Ranking to win through all the rounds and qualify for the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

FIH site

Scotland rue missed chances as Spain clinch three match series

Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Two goals from captain Rocio Ybarra ensured visitors Spain won the deciding encounter of the three match international series against Scotland by a 2-0 scoreline.

As a result, the Spaniards return home with a 2-1 series victory.

For Scotland, the final match proved to be a frustrating experience, the home side creating numerous scoring opportunities in the first half, but the cutting edge was lacking from yesterday’s win over the World Number 14.

The Scots’ first attempt on goal came in the tenth minute after good play from midfielder Nicki Skrastin led to the award of a penalty corner, where Cat Ralph’s subsequent strike was cleared off the line by Spanish defender Julia Pons.

Skrastin again was the catalyst for another Scottish goal-scoring opportunity, this time finding Morag McLellan in space on the right of the circle, only for the Clydesdale Western midfielder’s attempt to be easily saved by the foot of goalkeeper Maria Ruiz.

The first threat from Spain came as late at the 26th minute in the first half, as Alicia Magaz avoided the challenge of two Scottish players along the baseline to engineer a close range shooting opportunity that goalkeeper Amy Gibson was alert to beat away from danger.

Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

The national side were to rue a number of missed chances in the minutes leading up to half-time; first, a brilliant cross from Ali Bell was begging to be dispatched for the opening goal, but unfortunately Nikki Lloyd lost her footing at the crucial moment of execution, a Ralph thunderbolt from a penalty corner was saved, before Sarah Robertson’s shot was well saved.

Ralph and Lloyd were both denied goals from penalty corner set-plays in the 34th minute, before Spain launched at late counter-attack to win a penalty corner on the stroke of the interval.

Gibson launched herself to save Lola Riera’s reverse stick effort, but another penalty corner award led to Rocio Ybarra netting the rebound from close range to make it 1-0 despite the Scotland stopper had brilliantly blocked Patricia Marana’s goal-bound hit.

Scotland’s number one had to be on her toes five minutes after the re-start, making two quick-fire saves in the 40th minute to keep her side from slipping further behind.

Spain were very much the form side in the second period though, and the home defence found themselves camped inside their own half for long spells.

It was only in the 58th minute that Scotland were awarded three penalty corners in succession to alleviate the pressure and try and secure an equaliser.

Sadly, neither Aileen Davis nor Ralph were able to find the net from the presented penalty corner opportunities.

Three minutes from time, Spain wrapped up the match and the series after Ybarra deflected Perez’s penalty corner attempt at the back post into the net for a 2-0 win.

Scotland’s next matches before the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be the London Investec Cup against England, South Africa and Wales on 9-13 July.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Ireland 2; Wales 0 - Green Machine secure victory at UCD.

Ireland’s Green Machine took on Wales in the final test series of the weekend securing a 2-0 victory over the visitors, two second half set piece drag flicks were enough to secure the victory for Ireland.

The first half of the match opened with pace Wales securing the first chance of the match running close across the Irish goal but the Irish defence stood the test. The majority of play in the first half was maintained in midfield with a few chances from both sides including a penalty corner to Wales in the 27th minute but a mistrap let Ireland easily off the hook and the first half closed out 0-0.

Ireland came out in attacking mode after the break with plenty of free in’s around the Welsh D but the Welsh defence kept their cool and kept the Green Machine out. Ireland broke the deadlock in the 44th minute when Shane O’Donoghue converted with a pacey dragflick making it 1-0. Wales had a great chance to level with a penalty corner of their own moments later but the chance was well saved by Stephen West in goals. Ireland had a number of more chances including set pieces but the final goal only came after they secured a penalty corner ten seconds before the end of the match, this time marksman Alan Sothern making no mistake flinging it home to make it 2-0.

The Green Machine will be back in action next weekend with two matches against recent World Cup Semi Finalists England, Friday night 7pm; Saturday 2pm both matches in UCD. The team for the England double header will be released this Tuesday.

Commenting after the match Coach Ned Fulton “It was a tough match, we struggled in the first half but we made some mental changes for the second half, picking up the tempo and we attacked much better in the second half deserving the 2-0 win.”

“We will train during the week in preparation for the double test against England, we will have to make improvements and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

IRELAND 2 (0) Shane O’Donoghue PC 44m ; Alan Sothern PC 70m
WALES 0 (0)

Starting XI: Stephen West (GK); John Jackson (Capt); Jonathan Bell, Michael Watt; Maurice Elliott; Drew Carlisle; Mitch Darling; Kyle Good; Paul Gleghorne; Stuart Loughrey; Shane O’Donoghue

Reserves: Alan Sothern; Peter Caruth; Kirk Shimmins; Stephen Cole; Bruce McCandless; David Fitzgerald (GK); Conor Harte.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland Women's Masters Do Clean Sweep Over Wales

Irish Women's Masters had a clean sweep over Wales on Saturday at the Home Nations in Swansea, Wales, recoding scores of 5-1, 3-1 and 7-1.  Report thanks to Helen Johnston

First up was the W45s who were looking for a result after a tough game against England. Despite Wales going ahead in the first minute Ireland were soon on level terms when defender turned centre forward Gail Russell shot past the Welsh keeper from the top of the circle. They were soon 2 ahead when Russell won a penalty stroke which Annie Lawlor slotted home. In the second half defender Judy Judge put Ireland further ahead from a short corner strike.  Player of the match Annie Lawlor got her 2nd and Ireland's 4th when she broke through the Welsh defence. Julie Shaw was working hard for Ireland and Ireland were rewarded for their hard work when Ali Pigot slotted home another penalty stroke for Ireland's 5th goal leaving the final score at 5-1 to Ireland. England beat Scotland 7-0 in this section, so a win over Scotland on Sunday would give Ireland 2nd place.

The Irish W50s also secured a win against the Welsh W50s scoring their first goal within the first minute when Siobhan Glynn put in a strong strike from the top of the circle. Despite having a lot of pressure the score remained 1-0 to Ireland at half time. In fact, player of the match Maggie Hunter cleared a Welsh shot off the line after goalie Helen Roche had made the initial save.  Siobhan Glynn put Ireland further ahead in the second half when she tipped in a Cathy Walsh shot.  Ireland's third goal was scored in similar fashion when Maura O'Neill shot from the top of the circle and this time was deflected in by defender-cum-forward Julie Wilson.  Shortly afterwards, however, Wales won a penalty stroke which they scored. About 10 minutes from the end Maura O'Neill took a nasty deflected ball to the head which required 8 stitches. After being patched up though she was given the all-clear to play on Sunday! Final score: Ireland 3 Wales 1.  In the other match in this section England beat Scotland 1-0.

The Ireland W40s had a goal fest beating Wales 7-1.  Hazel Agar was first on the score sheet when she scored from open play following a passing break from defence.  Gillian Garrett put Ireland further ahead when she scored off a rebound at a short corner.  Despite Irish dominance the Welsh were dangerous on the break and goalie Mary Harkin was called into action on a number of occasions.  On one of these forays Wales found the net for a 2-1 score.  Ireland scored twice more before half time.  The first was a superb ball from sweeper Emma Glanville in defence on to the stick of forward Ali McSweeney who rounded the keeper and slotted home.  The fourth goal was an interchange between Ali McSweeney and Deirdre McDermott with McDermott finishing past the keeper.  Ireland added to their goal tally immediately after the re-start when Mairead D'Arcy finished off good work by Nettie Wilson and Ali McSweeney.  Ireland's sixth goal was goal of the match when a sliding Deirdre McDermott got on the end of a Hazel Agar crash.  Ireland continue to work hard with Noreen Daly Gillis having a great game in midfield and player of the match Ali McSweeney continuing to create chances.  From one of these chances Gillian Garrett got her 2nd and Ireland's 7th when she scored off a rebound following an Ali McSweeney shot.  Final result: Ireland 7, Wales 1.  In the other game England beat Scotland 4-0.  Ireland can win this section of the tournament if they beat Scotland by more goals than England beat Wales - so all to play for!

Irish Hockey Association media release

WP CC Badgers win Greenfields Riverside title and scoop individual awards

JONATHAN COOK at Riverside Sports

Western Province CC Badgers' World Cup striker and tournament top goalscorer Lloyd Norris-Jones on attack with Kearsney Hockey Club's Cameron Mackay (8) and Robin Jones in attendance during the Greenfields Riverside Elite Challenge champions' 3-2 victory at Riverside Sports in Durban North Sunday. Photo: GREG LABUSCAGNE

The classy Western Province Cricket Club Badgers won the 2014 Greenfields Riverside Elite Challenge at Riverside Sports in Durban North Sunday with host club Riverside second, Kearsney HC third and Southern Gauteng champions Wanderers Chariots fourth.

Badgers had secured the title with one match to play after notching up a 5-2 win over host club and defending champions Riverside on Saturday and a decisive 7-3 defeat of Southern Gauteng club champions Wanderers Chariots Friday.

The Badgers’ 3-2 defeat of the spirited Kearsney HC outfit in the late game Sunday was immaterial, but a mark of their class, as the Capetonians had to deal with another outstanding performance by the Botha’s Hill-based club’s SA indoor international goalkeeper Chris McCathie.

Badgers, with a 100% win record, ended on 11 log points from their three matches in this three-day round robin competition, including two bonus points for scoring four goals or more  in two matches, while Riverside were runners-up on four points, Kearsney HC third on three points and Chariots fourth on one point.

In Sunday’s early match Badgers beat Kearsney HC 3-2 after the scores were level 1-1 at half-time. Top tournament goalscorer and Olympic Games and World Cup striker Lloyd Norris-Jones made it five goals in three matches in scoring the Badgers’ third and final goal with the others going to double Olympian Andrew Cronje and Cobus Jonker.

The player of the tournament, Norris-Jones’ club, provincial and national team-mate Wade Paton, put in another quality performance that underlined his class. Consistency is what makes Paton the player he is.

Kearsney’s goals came from the stick of SA indoor international Gavin Jelley, the Maritzburg College teacher, and Troy Marais.

Riverside, as they were in their 3-0 half-time lead on Friday against Kearsney, were well on top in the first half against the Chariots but again fell away in the second half to draw 2-2 on Sunday.

The two stunning Riverside first-half goals went to Olympics, World Cup and Commonwealth Games team-mates Tim Drummond and Taine Paton, while the Wanderers Chariots scored in the second half via a field goal from SA striker Miguel da Graca and a penalty corner strike by SA-capped defender Ricky West.

In the absence of an official national club championship, this tournament is growing from strength to strength and next year’s event promises to be even better.

Friday - Riverside 3 Kearsney 1;  Western Province CC Badgers 7 Wanderers Chariots 3.
Saturday - Wanderers Chariots 2 Kearsney 3; Riverside 2 Western Province CC Badgers 5.
Sunday - Kearsney 2 WPCC Badgers 3; Riverside 2 Wanderers Chariots 2.

SA Hockey Association media release

Field hockey side aims for medal in Glasgow
Q&A with Kate Gillis

By Elliott Pap

Kate Gillis, captain of the women’s field hockey team that will compete at the July 23-Aug. 3 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, says she found the game easy to learn, since it incorporated elements of other sports she participated in. Photograph by: ADRIAN LAM

The 2014 Commonwealth Games are set for July 23-Aug. 3 in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Canadian women’s field hockey team will be there competing. The team was named last Wednesday and its captain, Kate Gillis, is the 24-year-old daughter of former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis and wife Diane.

Kate is the second of three children. Her older brother Max, 28, is married, has a two-year-old daughter, lives in Kingston, Ont., and is an administrator at Queen’s University in animal research. Her younger brother Spencer, 19, just finished his second year at New York University in the sports and business management program.

We spoke to Kate, who has 103 senior caps for Canada, before a recent national team practice.

Q Your mom was a track athlete and your dad a hockey player. How did you wind up playing field hockey, especially growing up in Kingston where the winters are long?

A Well, my mom put me in figure skating when I was young and my dad wasn’t too thrilled about that, as you can imagine. After he saw that I had some ability, he yanked me out of figure skating and put me in hockey equipment. So field hockey was a combination of track and hockey and soccer and everything I played. It was easy for me to pick up. You can only shoot right in field hockey and I was a right-handed shot.

Q How old were you when you actually started playing field hockey?

A In Kingston, there is no field hockey until high school so I picked up my first stick when I was 14. That was 10 years ago, which is a bit scary. At first, I didn’t want to try out because you had to wear a skirt when you played but my mom encouraged me to go and see if I would like it. I ended up making the senior team in Grade 9. That doesn’t normally happen and I was actually captain of the team the next year, and for the final three years of my high school career. Field hockey has become one of the greatest parts of my life. It’s really special to share something with 16 other girls and work so hard towards a common goal.

Q Your talent was obviously evident and you were invited to try out for the national team when you were still in Grade 12. You made the team and then the family had to make a decision. What happened?

A It was February and I dropped everything in Kingston, moved to Vancouver, stayed with a billet family and finished high school through correspondence. Then my parents decided I was a bit too young, 17, to be living out here kind of by myself so they moved here, too. We kept our house in Kingston, thinking we’d move back, but we haven’t.

Q Canada hasn’t qualified for the Beijing or London Olympics during your time on the national team. Will the Commonwealth Games give you some idea where the team now stands globally?

A Yes, they will for sure. In the Commonwealth, it’s highly competitive and we’re really looking forward to it and the chance to test ourselves. We just came off a great tour in England where we ended up tying the No. 3-ranked England team in our last game. We always aim high, we have lofty goals and we’d love to win a medal in Glasgow. If we come up short, it will be devastating, like anything is in sport.

Q Your dad ran the Canucks for six seasons, almost won a Stanley Cup in 2011, but was let go in April. How’s he doing?

A He’s doing really well. We’ve been spending lots of time together as a family. I just celebrated my 100th game for Canada, which is a huge milestone, and he was able to come to England with my mom to be there watching. He has a busy summer planned around field hockey. Both my parents and younger brother are coming to the Commonwealth Games and it should be very nice to have them in the stands.

Q Were you able to insulate yourself from, or get used to, the criticism your dad received later on in his Canuck tenure?

A I don’t think you ever get used to it. It’s definitely hard hearing things being said with no credibility really. With the Internet these days, you can write whatever you want. It’s very hard to be criticized kind of constantly but it comes with being in a hockey market. Your life is public. But I am so proud of what he accomplished with the Canucks and all the things we were able to experience, being so close to the Stanley Cup, Presidents’ Trophy winners, GM of the year. It’s definitely something we’ll look back on.

The Vancouver Sun 

It’s about perfection and professionalism

By S. Thyagarajan.

Australia’s all-win record in the tournament with a tally of 30 goals and an impressive average of 4-plus goals per match was simply staggering.

Another edition of the World Cup passed beyond the rim of history recently, leaving in its wake a cascade of memories and moments and a myriad of emotions. The two-week hockey carnival in The Hague was remarkable for the back-to-back triumph of Australia.

By winning its third World Cup — the first was in 1986 — Australia underscored, once again, its perfection, professionalism and systematisation, preserved over the years by such stalwart coaches as Richard Aggiss, Frank Murray and the inimitable Ric Charlesworth, who had also piloted the squad to victory in the 2010 edition in New Delhi.

Nothing exemplifies the Aussie sweep better than the team’s seven out of seven victory sequence with a tally of 30 goals and an impressive average of 4-plus goals per match. From the start to the finish, the Aussies never let their guard down even for a moment. And in the final, they registered a tennis-like score — 6-1 — against the Netherlands.

Jamie Dwyer, the Australian skipper, summed up the effort of his team with a touch of eloquence. “We played really great hockey throughout the tournament, it’s the best hockey I think we have ever played. The game is getting faster and attractive, and the Dutch played a really good game, but thankfully we got the better of them,” he said.

A true hero of Australia, scoring the team’s sixth goal in a classic effort to cap his 321st international match, Dwyer proved emphatically that he is a living legend. The Aussies were an amalgam of experience, enterprise and enthusiasm. Mark Knowles, Kieran Govers and Glenn Turner, along with the lethal penalty corner striker Chris Ciriello, played heroic roles.

Barring the Aussies, none of the other teams seemed dominant. Even seasoned teams such as Germany and the Netherlands tumbled surprisingly, so did Belgium and England.

The surprise package, however, was Argentina, who conquered the former champion, Germany, and went on to the podium for the bronze medal. The architect of Argentina’s success was its penalty corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat, who finished with a tally of 10 goals.

While the minor shift in the power balance signals a welcome relief, with only one European country — the Netherlands — figuring on the podium, there is alarming cause for concern with regard to the performances of the Asian countries. With the four-time winner, Pakistan, not even making the grade, a lot was expected of India, South Korea and Malaysia. That they managed to fill up the places between 9 and 12 speaks for the emerging vacuum.

For all the preparations and the backup it received, India’s ninth-place finish was truly disappointing. More so for the manner in which the team tumbled to defeats after being in a position of strength in the opening two games, against Belgium (2-3) and England (1-2). The last minute goals that turned the tables on India caused enormous amount of anguish to its supporters.

Terry Walsh, the Indian team’s Aussie coach, was probably right when he said that the team was closing the gap that existed between it and the European outfits. In The Hague, it was a case of so near, yet so far.

To state that India was unlucky will be an incorrect assessment. There was no trace of perfect rhythm in the team. Specks of brilliant play contributed nothing at the end of the day. Lack of consistency was conspicuous. The team relied heavily on the energy, enterprise and efficiency of its goalkeeper Sreejesh and Sardar Singh, who worked tirelessly and showed indomitable will in the mid-field.

Sreejesh was undoubtedly India’s anchor. Adept, athletic and supremely confident, he was a tower of strength almost throughout. Equally praiseworthy was Sardar whose ball control and passing were outstanding. However, the frontline hardly made any capital out of their efforts.

Flashy runs by Akashdeep and Mandeep made little impression. Sunil and Walmiki were anything but effective. It is a wonder how they made the grade at all. The deep defenders, Raghunath and Rupinder Pal Singh, were innocuous, especially when it came to conversion of penalty corners.

Kothajit, Sana and Birendra Lakra caught the eye now and then, but the mid-field, minus Sardar Singh, was out of tune to match the pace of the rival outfits.

It was incredible to observe South Korea fade out of the competition with a solitary point against South Africa. It ended without a single victory in six matches. Astonishing too was Malaysia’s pathetic campaign.

On the distaff side, the competition was eventful. The Dutch regained the trophy thanks to the superlative show by veteran Maartje Paumen. The defending champion, Argentina, was pushed to the third spot after its defeat in the semi-finals against the Netherlands.

Here again, the Asian teams came a cropper with only China finishing among the top six.

As competitive hockey is all set to transform into a new four-quarter-format from September, every country will have a fresh start. How much Asia will profit from this is a million dollar question.


A race for perfection

Uthra Ganesan

As India ended its World Cup campaign with a ninth-place finish, followers of the game were rooting for a special bravery award for goalkeeper Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh. Such was his impact on the games India played that even Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra officially admitted that Sreejesh made all the difference as the country finished ninth among 12 teams.

The 26-year-old from Kerala stood firm in the face of waves of attack and was the standout performer for India.

Coming into prominence at the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in 2011, where he saved two penalty strokes in the final, Sreejesh has made the country’s No. 1 goalkeeper slot his own. That Sreejesh spends more time than even other field players in training is a reflection of his stubborn desire to be the best.

“My strength and my weakness is the same: my stubbornness to excel once I have made a choice,” says Sreejesh.

“When I played in the 2010 World Cup, Adrian (D’Souza) was the senior goalkeeper. I learnt a lot from him, especially on how to stay calm under pressure. This time, I was among the senior players and it adds to the responsibilities. But I tried to do my best,” Sreejesh says.

The father-to-be admits it hurt every time the team lost due to errors by other players. India conceded the winning goal in the first two games — against Belgium and England — in the final 20 seconds. Both times, Sreejesh managed to stop the first shot but was let down by the lack of backup from the rest.

“After saving goal after goal relentlessly for 70 minutes, it does feel bad when a last-minute goal, due to defensive errors by other players, lead to the team losing a crucial game.

“But I can also understand the pressure. Most of these players are really young. It was the first World Cup for many of them and a major world level tournament for most. There is immense pressure, a World Cup is a different ball game altogether. Even the best players get nervous on that stage and despite all the training, lack of experience was a big factor,” Sreejesh says.

Not too many people know that the Indian team utilised the services of Martin Drijver during the recent World Cup. Sreejesh says Drijver, who runs a goalkeeping academy in the Netherlands, was instrumental in helping him reduce some common errors. “He worked with us only for a brief time but I learnt a lot from him. Most importantly, he told me to not bother about balls getting in. He told me, ‘Sreejesh, only try to stop the stoppable balls. Don’t go for the unstoppable ones or fancy dives’. That one sentence made a lot of difference to my thought process. It also made me realise how much more I have to learn,” Sreejesh says.


Coaches’ study tour

Network coaches benefit from World Cup study tour

The Olympic Games and the World Cup are the pinnacles for teams and players to test their skills against the best in the world. These competitions are also invaluable for coaches who work within the Hockey Australia high performance network to update their knowledge of contemporary hockey by viewing a range of matches showcasing the diversity among teams at this level.

Recently, a group of coaches from right across Australia descended on The Hague to see what they could learn from observing the best athletes and coaches in action at the biggest World Cup there has ever been.

To focus the experience for the coaches on the tour, they were required to identify four areas that they would observe while at the World Cup. As a result of these observations the coaches would create four presentations to be delivered to various parts of the national and state high performance network; a roadshow presentation for delivery at an educational session during an Australian Championship, an individual project around an area of development or interest to them, and two presentations specifically for their own state/territory for athletes, coaches or both.

Apart from obtaining material for their presentations the study tour also provided informal opportunities for the seven coaches to view a large number of games together, to discuss and debate what they were observing at the time. This was of particular value to the coaches who have not been exposed to a significant amount of international hockey.

Speaking about his experience, Chris O’Reilly, Head Coach – Men’s Hockey at the Western Australian Institute of Sport, said, “This World Cup gave me the opportunity to view and analyse, top level competition, which realistically only happens every second year at the World Cup and Olympics. The opportunity allowed me to assess the technical skill level, structural innovation, tactical advancements and physical readiness of the other top countries in world hockey.

“It also provided me the ability to share knowledge and ideas with other network coaches on tour, during and after games.

“It was a unique opportunity to be involved with a world class tournament, particularly with the World Cup incorporating both genders at the same venue. The joint tournament, which allowed us to view this level of elite hockey across both genders, has been very limited in previous years.

“As a professional hockey coach it is important to continue to develop knowledge and understanding of the game across both genders. The ability to be involved with this World Cup was invaluable in the development of my coaching career.”

The coaches on tour included former international players and current NTC coaches, Matthew Wells and Jay Stacy, long time NTC coaches Andrew McDonald and John Mowat, and recently appointed NTC coaches Tim White, Stephanie Andrews and Chris O’Reilly.

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey tips for Klang youngsters


KLANG: Five former Malaysian national hockey players helped disseminate their skills to the Klang Sikhs Club’s Under-14 boys and girls, during a 7-a-side carnival at the Real Sports Arena indoor court, today.

Veterans C. Paramalingam, who was also a former national coach, Avtar Singh Gill, Harbinder Singh and Baljit Singh Charun not only gave tips on the basics and finer points of hockey, but also demonstrated their skills during a game where they beat the club’s seniors 7-3.

Earlier, Klang C edged Klang A 3-2 on penalities after a goaless draw in the junior final.

Dr Joginder Singh and Gurdwara Sahib Klang president Jalar Singh presented the prizes to the winners and souvenirs to the former national players.

Amritpal Singh and Jaskaran Singh were honoured as the youngest and most promising players, respectively.

Carnival convenor Jaswant Singh said 12 players from the club also played for Selangor Under-18 in the national Gurdwara Cup held in Johor Baru earlier this year.

Jaswant and Sukhminder Singh are coaches for the club.

New Straits Times

NBP gives cash awards to Under-18 hockey squad

LAHORE: The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) awarded cash prizes of Rs1.15 million to its youth hockey squad that won the National Under-18 Championship in Karachi this year. The prizes were awarded at a ceremony held at a hotel here on Saturday. All the 20 players and three officials of the winning squad pocketed Rs.50,000 each. Former Test cricketer and NBP Sports Department head Iqbal Qasim, hockey Olympians namely Tahir Zaman, Arshad Chaudhry, Anjum Saeed, Danish Kaleem, Mohammad Ikhlaq, former PHF secretary Mussaratullah Khan and many others attended the function. NBP officials Kausar Iqbal Malik and Mudassar Khan awarded the prizes.

The national sport of the country is in a dying state as the federal government, which has the prime duty to improve the game, has not shown any serious effort towards hockey. The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), headed by Akhtar Rasool Chaudhry, has yet to announce any concrete policy for the revival of the game, as he is waiting for a grant from the federal government. Under these circumstances, the NBP honouring its junior team for winning the last National Hockey Championship in Karachi is like a breeze in the hockey circles. Former Test cricketer Qasim took the initiative.

The Daily Times

Islamabad: Hockey ground needs attention

Islamabad- Due to the negligence of CDA Hockey ground in business zone of the Capital G-6 has lost its importance.

Due to improper supervision and lack of guard equipment worth million is deteriorating.

According to details, CDA spent millions of rupees for the decoration of the hockey stadium in 2007 and installed lights towers, water tank, and other necessary tools but condition of these equipments has become poor due to lack of proper care

Batteries and wires of light towers have been stolen, eight water supply connections are destroyed and grills on water drainage system and water motor have been stolen due to the negligence.

The Nation

Lautoka hockey hosts friendly games in Fiji

Zanzeer Singh

FRIENDLY matches were played during the Lautoka Hockey Association competition at Nadovu Park on Saturday.

This is after a few clubs turned up for what was supposed to be the first tournament of the season.

Association executive Ernest Coffin said round robin matches were played.

He said a few secondary school matches were played as well.

"Hopefully the numbers pick up next week to hold our first tournament," Coffin said.

Results: Senior- (men) Mates 0 Naidrodro 0, Blue Star 0 Naidrodro 4; (women) Blue Star 0 Tokolau 1.

Secondary school: (boy's U16) Tilak High School 7 Saint Thomas 0, Tilak High School 5 Central College 0, Saint Thomas 1 Central College 0; (girl's U19) Tilak defeated Saint Thomas by default.

The Fiji Times

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