All the news for Sunday 28 September 2014
Malaysia & India men burst into the semi-finals
Pakistan & Korea finish pool play unbeaten in Incheon, Korea
India men (blue) reached the Asian Games semi-finals with a 2-0 win over China on Saturday in Incheon, Korea. (Photo: Asian Hockey Federation)
In Saturday’s two big decider games, Malaysia defeated Japan and India slipped past China to join the pool winners Pakistan and Korea in the top four. Pakistan and Korea both recorded another win, against Oman and Bangladesh respectively, and both finish the pool round with an impressive record of four wins in four matches, while conceding only one goal each.
The first decision over the semi-finals fell when Malaysia met Japan. Japan was already at a disadvantage, as they had to win, while Malaysia only needed a draw, and less than two minutes into the match, Firhan Ashari raised the bar further with an early goal. Still in the first quarter, Japan drew level but soon after, Malaysia’s man of the match Razie Abd Rahim restored the lead from a penalty corner. Malaysia scored two more, and overall won on impressive efficiency, scoring four goals from seven opportunities while Japan had eleven shots that resulted in only one goal. With the win, Malaysia became semi-finalists, while Japan were confined to the match for 5th/6th place.
India had more difficulty on their path into the semi-finals, doing battle with a fierce Chinese side that kept the match open well into the second half. Similar to Japan before them, China failed through a lack of efficiency, creating a similar number of opportunities to India but failing to make use of any of them while India scored two goals. Coach Cui Yingbiao showed himself especially frustrated with the penalty corner conversion rate, pointing out that the team had only converted one penalty corner in three matches. India’s coach Terry Walsh said that while he was of course happy with reaching the semi-finals, he was not entirely happy with the performance of his team, citing a lack of fluidity, good decision-making and cohesion as the main aspects holding the team back.
Previously, at the start of the day, Pakistan had thrashed Oman. Despite the difference in world ranking, the contrast was starker today than it should have been, as Pakistan played an energetic but composed game, while Oman couldn’t quite live up to the performances they had previously shown in the competition. Pakistan’s head coach Sheikh Shahnaz assured after the match that he was happy with his team’s buildup towards the semi-finals and not everything had been disclosed yet. In stark contrast, Omani coach Oliver Kurtz was openly critical of his team, saying that today’s performance had been a step back and that there had been an utter lack of organisation and discipline.
In the final match of the day, Korea left Bangladesh without a chance. The home team first scored in the fourth minute and marched on from there without ever looking back, not least because Bangladesh struggled with individual mistakes as well as issues of discipline. In the end, Korea topped their pool, while Bangladesh head into the match for 7th place against Oman, a match which head coach Alam Naveed suggested as “like a final for us, it is our big game”.
In Tuesday’s semi-finals, Pakistan will thus face Malaysia, while Korea take on India. Also on Tuesday, Bangladesh and Oman play for 7th place, while on Monday, Singapore and Sri Lanka will play for 9th place, and on Thursday, Japan will face China for 5th place.
Saturday, 27 September 2014 – Men
Oman – Pakistan 0-8 (0-4)
Japan – Malaysia 1-4 (1-2)
India – China 2-0 (0-0)
Korea – Bangladesh 7-0 (4-0)
India beat China, to face Korea in semifinal
Indian men's hockey team entered the semifinal at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon. File photo
An impeccably-taken penalty corner by V. Raghunath and an exotic goal by Birendra Lakra gave India a 2-0 win over Chinas and a place in the semifinals from Pool B in the men’s hockey competition on Saturday.
Even after four matches, the attack suffered from want of cohesion. The forwards struggled to fashion a combined attack. The midfield combination of Gurbaj and Manpreet Singh managed to keep the Chinese attackers at bay, but they were threatening to break this bastion any moment.
For the first two quarters, it was China that looked sharper. The Indians were unable to cash in on any of the individual sallies that Dharamvir and Sunil were able to come up with.
Even in the third quarter, the Chinese pressured the Indian defenders into errors. A fierce reverse shot by Sun Long was smartly stopped by goalkeeper Sreejesh, who followed it up with some brilliant saves off penalty corners.
Until Raghunath came up with the penalty-corner strike midway in the third quarter, there was very little to commend about India’s performance. The Indians raised their game after the goal and Lakra came up with a fine effort to enhance the lead.
He initiated the move in tandem with Akashdeep and beat the usually alert Chinese ’keeper Xu Rui with a perfect scoop.
Chief coach Terry Walsh admitted that there were weaknesses that needed to be corrected before the team faces South Korea in the semifinal.
The other semifinal will be between Malaysia and Pakistan.
Earlier, Malaysia put up a splendid display to down Japan by four goals to one. Muhammad Razie played a stellar role for the winner, netting two penalty corner goals.
The results: Men: Pool B: Pakistan 8 (Muhammad Imran 2, Dilber Muhammad, Muhammad Irfran 2, Abdul Haseem Khan 2, Shakeel Abbasi) bt Oman 0; India 2 (V. Raghunath, Birendra Lakra) bt China 0.
Pool A: Malaysia 4 (Firhan Muhammad, Muhammad Razie 2, Tajuddin) bt Japan 1 (Toshiro Tachbana); Korea 7 (Kim Sengkyu, Moonkeon Kang, Oh Daekeun, You Hyosik, Jang Jonghyun 2, Nam Hyunwoo) bt Bangladesh 0.
Semifinal line-up: Korea v India; Pakistan v Malaysia.
POINTS TABLE (MEN)
Pool A: Korea: 4-4-0-0-25-1-12; Malaysia 4-3-0-1-18-6-9; Japan 4-2-0-2-22-8-6; Bangladesh 4-1-0-3-3-21-3; Singapore 4-0-0-4-3-35-0.
Pool B: Pakistan 4-4-0-0-26-1-12; India 4-3-0-1-18-2-9; China 4-2-0-2-11-4-6; Oman 4-1-0-3-3-21-3; Sri Lanka 4-0-0-4-1-31-0
(read as played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points)
Scrappy India beat China 2-0, to face Korea in semifinal
INCHEON: A scrappy India eked out a hard-fought 2-0 win over lower-ranked China to progress to the semifinals of the men's hockey competition at the 17th Asian Games on Saturday.
After a goalless opening 30 minutes, drag-flick exponent V R Raghunath (40th minute) and Birendra Lakra (45th) scored two goals in quick succession to give India a 2-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.
But the ninth-ranked Indians were far from impressive as their forwardline failed to break the defence of the 27th ranked Chinese despite enjoying the lions share of possession in the match.
Needing at least a draw to progress to the knock-out stage after the close 1-2 defeat against arch-rivals Pakistan, the Indians were slow to get off the blocks.
There was hardly anything to differentiate between the two sides in the first quarter as both the teams wasted the far and few chances that came their way.
It was India who earned the first penalty corner of the match in the 29th minute of the match but they wasted the chance going for a variation even as drag-flicker Raghunath was off the pitch.
The Indians were hurt badly by the absence of their second drag-flicker Rupinderpal Singh, who continued to warm the bench for the second consecutive match due to an injury sustained against Oman.
Raghunath's lacklustre performance continued as he managed to utilise just one of the five penalty corners that came their way.
After the change of ends, the Indians came out with more purpose and unleashed an array of attacks on the Chinese goal which resulted in their second penalty corner.
And this time Raghunath was bang on target with a powerful low flick to the right of Chinese goalkeeper Rui Xu to give India a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the third quarter.
Five minutes later, India doubled their lead when Lakra scored with a fine field effort after a fine one-two with Akashdeep Singh.
India continued their attacking play and earned two back-to-back penalty corners at the start of the fourth and final quarter but Raghunath wasted both the opportunities.
China, on the other hand, were more reliant on counter attacks and on a few occasions looked threatening only to be denied by an alert Indian defense.
It took China at least 50 minutes to earn their first penalty corner of the match but Indian goalkeeper P R Sreejesh was upto the task to thwart any danger to his goal.
Thereafter, both India and China secured a penalty corner each only to see their efforts go in vain.
By virtue of this win, India booked their place in the semifinals as the second best team from Pool B where they play hosts Korea, while Pakistan will face Malaysia in the other last four match.
The Times of India
India play South Korea in hockey semis
INCHEON: Sloppy India scored twice in the third quarter to overcame China 2-0 on Saturday and set up a tough Asian Games field hockey semifinal against hosts South Korea.
Defending champions Pakistan will take on Malaysia in Tuesday's other semi-final in a repeat of the title clash four years ago in Guangzhou.
India, seeking their first Asiad title since 1998, were kept at bay by the Chinese till V. Raghunath converted a penalty corner in the 40th minute and Birendra Lakra scored the second goal five minutes later.
Pakistan ended pool B with their fourth successive win, an 8-0 rout of Oman that featured two goals apiece from Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Irfan and Abdul Khan.
Malaysia clinched the second spot behind the Koreans in pool A with a crucial 4-1 win over Japan in which Razi Rahim netted two goals.
Four-time champions South Korea blanked Bangladesh 7-0 to top the pool with an all-win record.
The Times of India
Pakistan thrash Oman 8-0 to set up Malaysia semi
ISLAMABAD - Full-backs M Irfan and forward Abdul Haseem Khan scored braces as defending Asian Games Hockey champions, Pakistan thrashed hapless Oman 8-0 in the 4th and last Group-B match played at Seonhak Hockey Stadium, Incheon, Korea Saturday.
Captain M Imran and Irfan both converted short corners while centre-forward Haseem played his best game, smashed two field goals. M Dilber and Umar Bhutta scored one goal each.
Playing in whites, Pakistan made a sluggish start as Oman defenders did not allowed them to score the goals till the first 14-minute. Imran flicked home on first penalty corner seconds before the first quarter to make it 1-0.
However things started to change as Pakistan forwards got into their rhythm as three goals came in space of just seven minutes in the second quarter. Team’s new teenage sensation Dilber made 2-0 with a superb field effort in 17th minutes and three minutes later Irfan converted the second penalty corner for 3-0 lead in 20th minute. Before Oman could recover from the shock, Haseem made it 4-0 deflecting a smart cross from Shakeel Abbasi. Pakistan led 4-0 at 10-minute half time break. Lanky Umar Bhutta continued his firepower and put Pakistan 5-0 ahead on another through pass from Abbasi cross which gave Oman goalie Salmeen Al Noufali no chance. Pakistan forced their third short corner in 43rd minute and Imran’s powerful scoop hit the top part of the cage. This was Imran’s sixth goal of the tournament which made him highest scorer of the event after first game. With this goal Imran raised his international tally to 153 from 220 internationals. Haseem completed his brace when fired a field goal on a top circle pass to make it 7-0.
Oman created a couple of attacks in the last quarter and secured a penalty corner. But Pakistan custodian Imran Butt blocked the attempt on 52nd minutes. Irfan, who was sent off a with a yellow card in 52nd minutes, returned on the field and converted his teams fifth and last penalty corner in the last 23 seconds.
Now Pakistan will meet Malaysia in the semi-final on September 30 after Malaysia beat Japan 4-1 in their do-or-die match to sail into the last four grade. M Razie Abu Rahim was his team’s hero as he slammed in two penalty corner goals. Sloppy India scored twice in the third quarter to overcame China 2-0 and set up a tough semi-final against hosts South Korea. Four-time champions South Korea blanked Bangladesh 7-0 to top the pool with an all-win record.
Pakistan performance in the entire event is a treat to watch, as after a very long time, Pakistan hockey team has managed to stamp out authority and that too in quite a style. Pakistan have scored 26 goals in the four matches so far and conceded just one, a unique feat not witnessed since long. In the recent past, Pakistan had conceded more goals then they managed to score.
It seems that with the appointment of new coaching team headed by veteran Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh green shirts are taking giant strides. While talking exclusively from Korea, Pakistan Hockey team head coach Shahnaz Sheikh said it was a good performance but once again he believed that Pakistan should have scored more goals and missing ratio was still not under fully control. “I expect my boys to improve further in the semifinal as we can’t afford any leniency and we have to maintain not only winning run but to further improve our conversion rate.”
He said Pakistan have two days before playing the semi-final and he will concentrate to work on basics. He said the team was gaining rhythm with each passing day and the momentum has shifted in Pakistan’s favor but we can’t afford to relax. He said he was satisfied with his game plan and help from the support staff.
Pakistan thrash minnows Oman 8-0 to top Pool B
Semifinals: Pakistan vs Malaysia, India vs South Korea
By Muhammad Ali
INCHEON: Defending champions Pakistan thrashed minnows Oman 8-0 in their last league match of the 17th Asian Games Men’s Hockey Tournament at Seonhak Hockey Stadium here on Saturday. With this victory, Pakistan topped Pool B. This was the fourth consecutive win for Pakistan. Pakistan had earlier defeated Sri Lanka by 14-0, China 2-0 and India 2-1. Last Asiad’s runners up Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Bangladesh and Singapore complete Pool A. In other matches of the day, Malaysia overpowered Japan 4-1, India beat China 2-0 and South Korea blanked Bangladesh 7-0.
The semifinals will be held on September 30 (Tuesday) at the same venue with Pakistan taking on Malaysia and India facing South Korea. The Asian Games hold great significance for the hockey nations of the continent as the winners of both the men and women’s section will directly qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Pakistan dominated the match from the word go taught hockey lesson to the minnows. Captain Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Irfan and Abdul Haseem Khan scored two goals each while Muhammad Umar Bhutta and Muhammad Dilber struck one goal each. Captain Imran and Irfan both converted short corners while centre forward Haseem played his best game to smash two field goals. Pakistan made a sluggish start as the Oman defenders did not allowed them to score the goals till the first 14 minutes. Imran converted first penalty corner seconds before the first quarter to make it 1-0. However, things started to change as the Pakistan forwards got into their rhythm and three goals came in space of just seven minutes in the second quarter.
Dilber made it 2-0 with a superb field effort in the 17th minute and three minutes later Irfan converted the second penalty corner for 3-0 lead. Before Oman could recover from the shock, Haseem made it 4-0, deflecting a smart cross from Shakeel Abbasi. Pakistan led 4-0 at 10 minute break. Lanky Umar continued his firepower by putting his team 5-0 ahead on another pass from Abbasi cross which gave Oman goalie Salmeen Al Noufali little chance.
Pakistan forced their third short corner in the 43rd minute and Imran’s powerful scoop hit the top part of the cage. This was Imran’s sixth goal of the tournament which made him highest scorer.
Haseem completed his double when he netted a field goal on a top circle pass to make it 7-0. Oman created a couple of attacks in the last quarter and secured a penalty corner. But Pakistan custodian Imran Butt blocked the attempt in 52nd minute. Irfan, who was sent off a with a yellow card in 52nd minute, returned on the field and converted his team’s fifth and last penalty corner in the dying moments of the game.
Pakistan coach Shahnaz Shaikh was quite satisfied and happy with his team’s build up for the semifinals. “It is a good sign that both our batteries are working well with 14 field goals and 12 penalty corner conversions,” he said. “Our pace in all matches was good from start to finish. We are scoring from start and keeping the momentum till the end,” said the former Olympian who took over the charge of the team three months ago. Oman team’s German coach Oliver Kurtz was disappointed with the performance of his boys. “My team played badly. They lacked discipline which disappointed me,” he said after the match. “We played better against China and India. But today our team clueless,” he said.
The field hockey at the 17th Asian Games is being held under a new format introduced in a bid to make the game faster. Four 15-minute quarters have replace the previous format of two 35-minute halves, bringing coaches and game management more into focus. The new system has been tested in friendly matches and tournaments, but the blue turf at the Seonhok Stadium is seeing it for the first time in the international arena.
The Daily Times
Pakistan beat Oman by 8-0 in hockey
INCHEON: Full backs Muhammad Muhammad Irfan and forward Abdul Haseem Khan banged a pair of goals as Pakistan topped pool B with a resounding 8-0 victory over Oman in their last league game of Asian Games Hockey Championship here at the Munhak Stadium on Saturday.
Captain Imran and Irfan both converted short corners while centre forward Haseem Khan played his best game smashed two field goals. Muhammad Dilber and Umar Bhutta scored one goal each.
Playing in whites, Pakistan made a sluggish start as Oman defenders did not allowed them to score the goals till the first 14 minute. Muhammad Imran flicked home the made it first penalty corner seconds before the first quarter to make it 1-0. However, things started to change as Pakistan forwards got into their rhythm as three goals came in space of just seven minutes in the second quarter.
Team’s new teenage sensation Muhammad Dilber made 2-0 with a superb field effort in 17th minutes and three minutes later Muhammad Irfan converted the second penalty corner for 3-0 lead after 20th minutes. Before Omanese could recover from the shock, Haseem Khan made it 4-0 deflecting a smart cross from Shakeel Abbasi.
Pakistan led 4-0 at 10 minute half time break. Lanky Umar Bhutta continued his firepower in the team put him team 5-0 ahead on another through pass from Abbasi cross which gave Oman goalie Salmeen Al Noufali no chance.
Pakistan forced their third short corner in 43rd minutes and Imran’s powerful scoop hit the top part of the cage. This was Muhammad Imran’s sixth goal of the tournament which made him highest scorer of the event after first game. With this goal, Imran raised his international tally to 153 from 220 internationals. Imran was in a position to complete his second hat trick of the event after scoring four against Sri Lanka in the opening game. But his carpeted push was brilliantly blocked by Salmeen in the 45th minutes. Rashid Mehboob tried to score off on the rebound. But fierce strike went off the target.
Haseem completed his brace when fired a field goal on a top circle pass to make it 7-0. Oman created a couple of attacks in the last quarter and secured a penalty corner. But Pakistan custodian Imran Butt blocked the attempt on 52nd minutes. Muhammad Irfan who was sent off a with a yellow card in 52nd minutes returned on the field and converted his team’s fifth and last penalty corner in the last 23 seconds. Now Pakistan will meet Malaysia in the semi final on September 30 after they Japan 4-1 in their do or die match to sail into the last four grade.
Muhammad Razie Abu Rahim was his team s hero as he slammed in two penalty corner goals. Pakistan chief Shahnaz Shaikh was quite satisfied and happy with his team’s build up for the semi finals. “It is a good sign that both our batteries are working well with 14 field goals and 12 penalty corner conversions,” he said. “Our pace in all matches good from start to finish. As we are scoring from start and keeping the momentum till the end,” former Olympian who took over the charge of the team three months ago commented.
Oman team’s German coach Oliver Kurtz was deeply disappointed with the performance his boys. “My team played badly. They lacked discipline organization which disappointed me,” he said after they match. “We played better against China and India. But today our team little clue of things,” he said.
He said, “Now Oman had to play in the classification match for 7th and eight place which was like in 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games,” he said. He said, “Pakistan is big team and they played 100 percent and my team has no discipline.”
The News International
Showdown with Pakistan
The National players celebrate after scoring against Japan in their match at the Seonhak Stadium yesterday. Malaysia won 4-1.
THOUGHTS turned towards Pakistan after Malaysia overcame a potential banana skin to beat Japan 4-1 yesterday and qualify for the Asian Games men’s hockey semi-finals.
Malaysia lost 2-0 to Pakistan in the 2010 final in Guangzhou but will have the weight of history against them, having beaten Pakistan just twice in their last eight competitive meetings and just once in 15 Asian Games clashes.
Pakistan, who beat India 2-1 earlier in the week, topped Group B while Malaysia were runners-up to South Korea in Group A after a dominating display against Japan at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium.
“I think we played better today than other matches, so we ended up winning this match,” said captain Razie Rahim, who scored twice to take his tally for the tournament to seven goals.
“Pakistan are a better team and we must do better and reduce our mistakes. We’ve got to start to plan and prepare for Pakistan.”
Malaysia opened scoring with their first attempt at goal through Firhan Ashari in the second minute but Japan equalised off a penalty corner by Toshiro Tachibana 14 minutes later.
Up stepped Razie to slam in two penalty corners of his own in the 20th and 39th minutes before Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin wrapped it up in the 42nd.
Coach Arul Selvaraj was pleased that his team finally responded to the way he wanted them to play.
“We had very good game as a team. I ordered the players to think about their responsibility to win as a team,” said Arul, who had the unenviable task of lifting spirits after a horrible Commonwealth Games campaign.
“The players followed my instructions very well. They did what they have to do. Fortunately, we won.
“When I took over this team, there were two things I was looking for when selecting players.
“First was the emotional willingness to be in a team. I selected players who wanted to be one as a team.
“Second point was individual skills. We wanted ‘sixteen players’ as a team, not ‘fifteen players plus one’ team.
“I stressed on maintaining a winning attitude and on positioning. I want to believe that Malaysia’s system and formation were a strength to win the game.”
The other semi-final is between South Korea and India. The matches will be played on Tuesday.
New Straits Times
Hockey boys down Japan to enter semis
The Malaysia hockey players celebrate a goal scored against Japan in their final group match at the Incheon Asian Games on Saturday. Malaysia won 4-1 to reach the semis. - AFP
INCHEON: Malaysia live to fight another day as they whipped Japan 4-1 to qualify for the Asiad men’s hockey semi-finals at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium.
Two goals by Mohd Razie Rahim and one each from Mohd Firhan Azhaari and Izwan Firdaus ensured Malaysia finished second in Group A with nine points.
Malaysia will face Pakistan, the Group B winners, in the last four on Tuesday. The two met in the final in Guangzhou in 2010 and Pakistan won 2-0.
Hosts South Korea, the Group A winners, will take on India in the other semi-final.
Interim national coach A. Arulselvaraj was full of praise for his team.
“I am proud of the players. They knew what was at stake and did a good job. They played well and followed instructions to win the match,” he said.
The Malaysians started confidently and stunned the Japanese after only two minutes through a field goal by Firhan.
The Japanese fought back and a penalty corner in the 14th minute bore fruit for them with Toshiro Tachibana scoring with a hefty drag flick.
Malaysia kept up the attack and were rewarded with a penalty corner in the 20th minute. Razie duly converted for Malaysia to lead 2-1.
Razie was again on target in the 39th minute from a penalty corner for his seventh goal at the Games.
Izwan then scored a field goal in the 42nd minute to cap a fine win for Malaysia.
“We are playing better as a team and we followed the coach’s instructions. We have improved from match to match and have a better understanding of each other,” said national skipper Azlan Misron.
“We have achieved our target of reaching the semi-finals. Now, we must look at the final and beyond.”
The Star of Malaysia
MHC in talks to hire new national hockey coach
By Aftar Singh
Former Australia hockey player Paul Gaudoin (centre) is tipped to become the new national senior hockey team coach. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHF) already have a person in mind to coach the national men’s team.
But they cannot reveal anything yet as talks are still ongoing.
It is believed that the MHC are interested in hiring Paul Gaudoin, who was the assistant to Australian coach Ric Charlesworth, who guided the team to win the World Cup in The Hague in June.
The 39-year-old Gaudoin, a former international defender, was in line to take over from Charlesworth but Hockey Australia hired Graham Reid as the new national coach and Jason Duff as his assistant.
Gaudoin featured in two Olympics – 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney – and has good credentials, having been the Australian assistant coach for four years and nine months and coach of the Queensland Hockey Association.
“A coach from New Zealand is interested in the job. But we are looking Down Under because they have good and experienced coaches who can handle our national team,” said MHC coaching committee chairman Manjit Majid Abdullah after the coaching committee meeting on Saturday.
“We have the name of the Australian coach ... but I cannot reveal his name as nothing has been confirmed.”
MHC are desperate to hire a good foreign coach after watching the national team lose all their six matches to finish a disappointing last among 12 teams in the World Cup.
The national team also came under fire in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games after losing to minnows Trinidad and Tobago 4-2 in a group match to end up seventh among 10 teams.
South African Paul Revington was hired as the national coach in 2012 but he quit in January due to personal reasons.
Former national junior coach K. Dharmaraj was then put in charge of the team but he was taken off following poor results in the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.
S. Arulselvaraj is handling the national team in the ongoing Incheon Asian Games on an interim basis.
“We need to hire a foreign coach by the end of this year to prepare for the World League Round Two in Singapore (from Jan 17-25),” said Manjit.
The World League is a qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The Star of Malaysia
Leigh brace helps Clifton to victory
Clifton's Els Mansell celebrates a goal v Leicester, Sept 27 2014, credit Andrew Smith
Two Jo Leigh goals helped Clifton battle back from behind at Leicester and preserve their unbeaten record as they snatched a 3-1 win in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.
It was the home side who struck first with Rachel Mack slotting home after 20 minutes.
Clifton had to wait until the 45th minute to get off the mark through Leigh. She added a second just after the hour mark and Els Mansell wrapped up the points with a third two minutes later.
Rebecca Herbert was in deadly form for Surbiton as she scored four of their goals in a 6-0 victory over Beeston. Sarah Page also put in a good attacking performance, chipping in with the other two goals.
Buckingham picked up their first win of the season at home to Bowdon Hightown. It was the visitors who opened the scoring with Holly Hunt pouncing in the ninth minute but strikes from Zoe Shipperley, Jess Bloom and Leanne Grimsley saw Buckingham complete their comeback to win 3-1.
Holcombe and University of Birmingham had to settle for a share of the spoils after battling to a 1-1 draw. Lily Owlsey tucked a chance away for Birmingham on 28 minutes but Nicci Daly replied just after the break.
Canterbury scored a goal in each half as they beat Reading 2-0, Sarah Kerly and Grace Balsdon with their goals.
Investec Women's Conference East
Julia Ridger saved two penalty strokes for Maidenhead but still ended up on the losing side in a 3-2 defeat to Horsham.
Steph Baggett, Steph Dent and Fran Crossley scored the goals for Horsham. The result sees them move up to second in the table.
East Grinstead are the leaders of the Investec Women’s Conference East - but only on goal difference as they scraped a 2-2 draw away to St Albans.
Natasha Humphris and Amy Kee were on target for St Albans but their efforts were cancelled out by goals from Heather Batten and Maddie Tait.
Hayley Heggie and Rebecca Budd’s goals landed Chelmsford a 2-0 win over Bedford and Sevenoaks took a smash and grab 2-1 win over Wimbledon. Rosie Macpherson gave Wimbledon the lead in the 59th minute but late strikes from Susanna Finlayson and Katy Hornsby turned the game around.
Lizzie Clymer and Amy Campbell scored as Harleston Magpies came from behind to beat Ipswich 2-1.
Investec Women's Conference North
Loughborough Students top the Investec Women’s Conference North on goal difference after an Ellie Tait hat-trick helped them to a 5-1 win over Ben Rhydding.
There were no goals until the 28th minute when Jen Wilson put Ben Rhydding ahead, but this only served to spark Loughborough into action and a second-half flurry saw them run away with it. Madeleine Newlyn was also in form, scoring a brace.
Brooklands Poynton are second in the league and they also looked dangerous going forward, putting six past Kendal on the way to a 6-3 win. Helen Turner scored a brace with Charlotte Jackson, Cat Savage, Jess Berry and Kate Harris also on target.
Whitley Bay and Tynemouth sit third in the league, equal on points with Loughborough and Brooklands. They beat Liverpool Sefton 2-0 with goals from Naomi Harkness and Joss Plummer.
Cannock are still looking for their first point and looked set to get it, drawing 1-1 with Sutton Coldfield. But eight minutes from time, Jane Sixsmith scored her second to grab the win for Sutton Coldfield.
Wakefield took their second win of the campaign with a 2-0 defeat of University of Durham courtesy of goals from Gwen Smith and Hannah Norman.
Investec Women's Conference West
Slough survived a late come back to beat Olton and West Warwickshire 3-2 in the Investec Women’s Conference West.
Laura Puddle, Jess Brooker and Harriet Cunningham had given the league leaders a three-goal lead but Kate Brough pulled one back in the 50th minute and then scored a penalty stroke in the 68th. However Olton couldn’t find an equaliser and remain bottom of the table.
Swansea tasted defeat for the first time this season, losing to Cheltenham by a single goal. Hannah Sanderson forced the ball home from the 43rd minute to get Cheltenham’s first points.
Four second half goals saw the game between Oxford Hawks and Trojans end 2-2. After a quiet first half, the game sprung into life as Sally Gibson found the target on 41 minutes. Lucy Stewart and Emily Court put Hawks in the lead but Gibson scored her second with five minutes remaining to tie the game.
A Zoe Burford hat-trick was enough for Gloucester City to defeat Stourport 3-1, and Isca beat Bristol Firebrands 2-0 with goals from Nat Capel and Megan Crowson.
Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, September 27 2014):
Investec Women's Premier Division: Surbiton 6, Beeston 0; Buckingham 3, Bowdon Hightown 1; Holcombe 1, University of Birmingham 1; Leicester 1, Clifton 3; Canterbury 2, Reading 0.
Investec Women's Conference East: St Albans 2, East Grinstead 2; Horsham 3, Maidenhead 2; Chelmsford 2, Bedford 0; Wimbledon 1, Sevenoaks 2; Ipswich 1, Harleston Magpies 2.
Investec Women's Conference North: Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 2, Liverpool Sefton 0; Ben Rhydding 1, Loughborough Students 5; Cannock 1, Sutton Coldfield 2; University of Durham 0, Wakefield 2; Kendal 2, Brooklands Poynton 6.
Investec Women's Conference West: Bristol Firebrands 0, Isca 2; Olton and West Warwicks 2, Slough 3; Oxford Hawks 2, Trojans 2; Swansea City 0, Cheltenham 1; Stourport 2, Gloucester City 3.
England Hockey Board Media release
Forsyth double as Surbiton beat Beeston
Surbiton's Alan Forsyth celebrates a goal against Beeston, Sept 27 2014, credit Peter Savage
SURBITON shot to the top of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Premier Division with a thrilling 6-2 win over Beeston on Saturday.
Both sides were undefeated going into the game and it was visiting Beeston who took the lead through Richard Lawrence on 19 minutes. Matt Daly and then Rob Schilling struck back for Surbiton before David Ames equalised for Beeston.
It was still 2-2 up to the 56th minute when Rob Moore tipped the game in Surbiton’s favour and a furious end to the game saw Alan Forsyth score twice and Daly add a sixth.
East Grinstead are second on goal difference after they beat Brooklands Manchester University 5-2.
Ashley Jackson swept home a penalty stroke just five minutes in and further goals from his brother Wesley Jackson, Mark Pearn and a Mark Gleghorne double completed the win. Richard Slater notched Brooklands’ goals.
Goalless after their first two matches, Reading blasted in five as they beat Canterbury 5-3.
Jonty Clarke and Dan Shingles both scored in the second minute. After Jack Clee had made it three on ten minutes – and Clarke had missed a penalty stroke – Canterbury finally got off the mark as Harry Roberts pulled Canterbury back to 3-1.
James Spain’s 26th minute strike narrowed the gap further, but a second Clarke goal and another from Tom Carson made it 5-3, rendering Ben Hare’s 60th minute goal a consolation.
Two early goals proved to be the undoing of Hampstead and Westminster as they lost 3-2 to Cannock.
Ben Stoney found the goal for Cannock three minutes in and Peter Jackson doubled up five minutes later. Hardeep Singh Jawanda made it three on the half hour mark and despite scoring through Andy Hayward and Oliver Didham, Hampstead and Westminster couldn’t nick a point.
Exactly the same thing happened in the game between Southgate and Wimbledon. Wimbledon were 3-0 up after 19 minutes thanks to Phil Roper, Chris Gregg and Ali Brogdon but Giulio Ferrini and Rick Gay pulled two back for Southgate.
NOW: Pensions Men's Conference East
Newly-promoted Chichester Priory Park have made a dream start to life in the NOW: Pensions Conference East, and they made it three wins from three with a superb 7-2 win over Teddington. Matt Cox scored a hat-trick.
There are four teams tied on six points in the league and one of them, Bromley and Beckenham , prevailed 4-1 over Old Loughtonians as Peter Dobson hit a brace.
Holcombe kept their perfect start going with a 3-1 defeat of Cambridge City. Barry Middleton’s second-half brace added to the opening goal from Gareth Andrew.
Second half strikes from Charlie Ellison, Jesse Gatt, Euan Corbett and Tom Groombridge claimed three points for Richmond who beat Brighton 3-1.
A late Christopher Coleman goal nabbed a draw for Oxted at West Herts. The hosts looked set for a 1-2 win before Coleman struck in the dying minutes of the game.
NOW: Pensions Men's Conference North
Deeside Ramblers took their first win of the campaign with a 4-1 result at bottom club Leek. Bart Ryan-Beswick was their star with two second-half goals.
Goals from Josh Barras, Joe Morrison and Travis Cresswell handed Doncaster a 3-0 victory over Yorkshire rivals Wakefield.
Bowdon’s Ben White scored two goals before being sent off for a second bookable offence in a 2-2 draw at home to Loughborough Students.
University of Durham’s game against Sheffield Hallam and Olton and West Warwicks’ trip to Belper both ended goalless.
NOW: Pensions Men's Conference West
Cardiff and Met stamped their authority on the NOW: Pensions Conference West with a 9-2 win over University of Birmingham. Luke Hawker and Rhys Gowman scored a brace each.
As well as Cardiff, Team Bath Buccaneers also have a 100 per cent record and they also put on a thrilling show, beating Whitchurch 7-1. Tim Davenport was in top form, hitting five goals.
Josh Gordon was another hot-shot, scoring a hat-trick for Fareham. His goals saw Fareham beat Indian Gymkhana 6-2.
A late leveller from Maciej Walkowiak earned a point for Guildford against University of Exeter, who took the lead in the fourth minute through Edward Matts before the game ended 2-2.
Tom Cole also hit a late winner for Cheltenham. Their game against Barford Tigers was tied at 1-1 until Cole slammed home with four minutes left.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, September 27 2014):
NOW: Pensions Premier Division: Hampstead and Westminster 2, Cannock 3; Southgate 2, Wimbledon 3; Surbiton 6, Beeston 2; Brooklands Manchester University 2, East Grinstead 5; Reading 5, Canterbury 3.
NOW: Pensions Men's Conference East: Richmond 3, Brighton and Hove 1; Teddington 2, Chichester Priory Park 7; West Herts 2, Oxted 2; Old Loughtonians 1, Bromley and Beckenham 4; Holcombe 3, Cambridge City 1.
NOW: Pensions Men's Conference North: University of Durham 0, Sheffield Hallam 0; Belper 0, Olton and West Warwicks 0; Bowdon 2, Loughborough Students 2; Leek 1, Deeside Ramblers 4; Doncaster 3, Wakefield 0.
NOW: Pensions Men's Conference West: Cheltenham 2, Barford Tigers; University of Exeter 2, Guildford; Cardiff and Met 9, University of Birmingham 2; Team Bath Buccaneers 7, Whitchurch 1; Fareham 6, Indian Gymkhana 2.
England Hockey Board Media release
NOW: Pensions Mountain Dribble
The Team Manager and Assistant Coach of GB Men’s Hockey – Andy Halliday & Jon Bleby are taking on the Three Peaks Challenge with a twist! They are dribbling a hockey ball up and down Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon over three days next week – an incredible 11,000ft of ascent and descent over 26 miles. Andy has already dribbled the London Marathon but now wants to take the challenge to new heights!
They are doing this to raise money and awareness for two charities: WellChild and Access Sport.
The NOW: Pensions Mountain Dribble will take place:
30th September – Ben Nevis
1st October – Scafell Pike
2nd October – Snowdon
The link to their sponsorship page is: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/NOWPensionsMountainDribble
Follow Andy and Jon on Twitter @NOWhockey. Show your support using the #NOWdribble.
Now: Pensions Mountain Dribble media release
Junior Scots feature in Great Britain U21 squads
Scotland goalkeeper Nicki Cochrane will feature in the Great Britain U21 development camp. Photo Credit: Rodrigo Jarez
A number of Scotland’s junior international stars have been afforded opportunities to impress at Great Britain U21 level next month, with two squads named for upcoming competitions and training camps.
Grange striker Hamish Imrie has been included in the Men’s squad to compete at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia from 6-20 October. Great Britain will face Australia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Pakistan in the six-team tournament.
Scotland U21 striker Hamish Imrie called up for Great Britain. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray
Scotland U21 Men Head Coach Graham Moodie also joins the coaching and management team as Assistant Coach.
Please visit the Sultan of Johor Cup website for more information
In the Women’s squad, Edinburgh University's Nicki Cochrane, Mairi Drummond, Maisie Morris, Kirsten McIntosh and Kirsten Peters, plus Jenny Morris of GHK, have all been selected to attend a Great Britain U21 Women Development Camp at Bisham Abbey from 13-17 October.
The players will take part in training sessions and matches at both Bisham Abbey and Lilleshall.
Scotland Senior Women Assistant Coach Colin Clarke will join the coaching and management team as Assistant Coach.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
TUK win varsities battle to rise to league summit
By BRIAN YONGA
Yvonne Karanja (left) of Strathmore University fights for the ball with Joanne Waiguru of Multi-Media University during a past women premier league match at City Park Stadium. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU
Technical University of Kenya (TUK) rose to the top of the National men’s hockey league standings after a victory 1-0 over fellow students University of Nairobi (UoN) at City Park Stadium, Nairobi, on Saturday.
A second-half strike from Nicholas Otieno saw TUK move to the league summit on nine points on a better goal difference. Second-placed Kenyatta University are also on nine points but have played a game less.
Otieno scored the winner in the 62nd minute to settle a highly contested encounter that saw both teams miss several chances to win the match. UoN had a chance to equalize at the end but Ammon Esese was denied by TUK goalkeeper Richard Mwangi with a fine save.
UoN remain in sixth place in Pool B with a single point ahead of National Youth Service who are bottom of the league with no point. TUK were the better of the two teams especially in the first half when they camped in their opponents’ half but were unable to find a way past a firm UoN defence that repelled attack after attack.
Otieno was twice denied by UoN goalkeeper Martin Wanajala who pulled top saves to keep the score at 0-0 in the first-half.
“We were unlucky not to win this game, we matched them from the first minute and the goal we conceded was defensive lapse,” UoN skipper, Ammon Esese, said.
Today, Strathmore Scorpions will be looking to make it three wins out of three when they take on third-placed Vikings. The university side has been impressive in their first two games, scoring a record 26 goals.
Gilly Okumu has scored seven of those goals and will fancy her chances of continuing her good scoring record against Vikings. The young forward told Sunday Nation Sport that she is enjoying her game and is hoping to help her team reach the play-offs.
“We want to win the title, we are playing well and if we can keep up the good form we shall be able to challenge for the title,” Okumu said.
Strathmore finished second last season to eventual winners Telkom Orange who also beat them in the Africa Club Championship in Kampala early this year.
Strathmore coach Meshack Senge has however warned his charges against underestimating their opponents whom he termed ‘a decent side.’ The national team coach wants his charges to remain unbeaten as they chase a playoff spot.
In other games set for today at the same venue, Bay Club will face Mombasa Sports Club in the first match of the day, with both teams looking for their first wins of the season.
In the afternoon, Parklands will come up against Jomo Kentatta University of Agriculture and Technology as bottom-placed Karate Axiom take on NYS in the national league.
Ba plans for hockey revival
PLANS are in the pipeline to revive hockey in Ba, Fiji after an overwhelming turnout during the High Performance Unit training session on Friday.
More than 30 players turned up for the session which caught national coach Hector Smith by surprise.
Smith was also impressed with the facility in Ba saying it could host business house competitions.
"We had a session with the players in Ba and there was a very good turnout," he said.
"They have a tennis court that they use and it is fully fenced. It is an ideal venue as you can also have business house competition.
"If they just put four lights on every corner of the post then it will be terrific to play through the evening. This will be good for the community."
Naidrodro is the lone club from Ba which participates in the Lautoka Hockey Association weekly's competitions.
In 2012, the side won the Western Hockey Tournament and the State of Origin title.
Smith said the players in Ba were really enthusiastic and had a good workout.
"It is just a matter of making things more exciting," he said.
"Getting the new ideas in, so when there is something new you look forward to it."
The HPU training will continue at the Nadovu ground in Lautoka today.
The Fiji Times