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News for 13 February 2015

All the news for Friday 13 February 2015

Ireland 3-1 France (Men)

Ireland won the second test at Three Rock this evening against France coming from behind at half time to win by 3-1.

France settled the quicker into the first quarter but their was little goal mouth action at either end and the game remained scoreless. Second quarter, Ireland upped the tempo, with a great strike from Caruth saved by Reynaud and a minute later Good had a great opportunity to give Ireland the lead but his shot went over the cross bar from close range.  Just before the half time whistle Ireland were turned over and the cross into the circle was turned in by Gaspard Baumgarten after good advantage by umpire Cholewa.

HT Ireland  0-1 France.

The first PC of the game went to France in the 32m but Fitzgerald saved comfortably. Ireland forced two consecutive PC's of their own but each time the failed to trap and the danger was cleared.  In the 43m Ireland got their just reward with another PC and this time the routine worked to perfection and Alan Sothern slotted home the equaliser. A minute later, after lovely interplay between Magee & Darling, the French keeper had to be at his best to keep Sothern's touch out so it remained 1-1 at the end if 3rd quarter.

Two minutes into the final quarter a great ball by O'Donoghue found Dowds who won PC no 4. This time O'Donoghue strike was deflected in by the stick of Cargo and the lead for Ireland

Fitzgerald in the Irish goal was called on to make some fine saves but it was Ireland who extended the lead in the 54m Good set up Sothern for an easy finish and a win for Ireland by 3-1.

Ireland play France in the final game of the three test series tomorrow Friday at Grange Road at 7pm.

Ireland  3 (Alan Sothern 43; 54m, Cargo 47m)

France 1 (Baumgarten 29m)

Ireland: D. Fitzgerald,  J Bell, L Cole, P Gleghorne (capt), S O’Donoghue,  K. Shimmins, M. Darling, P Caruth, B McCandless, S. Dowds, C Cargo.

Subs: A Sothern, E. Magee, J. Lorimer, M Bell, D Carlisle, K Good.

France: E Reynaud, C Peters-Deutz, J-L Kieffer, T Genestet, H Genestet , C Masson, V Charlet, A Coisne, G Baumgarten, G Deront, F Scheefer.

Subs: F. Goyet, S Martin-Brisac, O. Sanchez, JB Forgues, R Lyon, G Samson

Umpire: A. Groves & K. Cholewa

Irish Hockey Association media release

Tears as ‘Tashi' says goodbye

Friends and fans turned out to honour Die Danas legend Natascha Keller as she bowed out of hockey

(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

In an emotional day at the Max Schmeling Halle in Berlin, 4,000 friends, family, teammates and fans gathered to say a final farewell to one of the legends of the women’s game.

Natascha Keller, one of the true greats, and part of a dynasty of hockey-playing Kellers, has hung up her hockey stick at all levels of the game. And the moment was marked by an exhibition match and tribute that took place after the women’s and men’s final of the 54th Indoor Hockey finals in Berlin this month.

The 37-year-old retired from international competition after the London 2012 Olympics, but has continued to play club hockey for HC Berlin.

To mark her retirement, a team from HC Berlin played an exhibition match against the BHC Allstars, many of whom had played alongside Natascha at the 2004 Olympics. The Allstars ran out 6-1 winners. Janne Muller-Wieland played alongside her former international team-mate in the Allstars team and later tweeted: “Honoured to have played with this legend. Lifelong memories of an amazing player and friend. Danke.”

After the match, Stephan Abel, the president of the German Hockey Federation, said: “Tashi, you are not only a great athlete, but also a great role model. You have earned the greatest respect around the world and we thank you.”

Natascha replied: “I’m so happy with how everything happened. I have had an amazing career. I want to thank all those who belong to the hockey family and who have been with me all these years. See you soon, I’m not going away.”

And Markus Weise, the current men’s coach, who took the women to the Olympic finals on three occasions added: “I trust she will go into coaching. Tashi was the most gifted technician I ever experienced. She was an outstanding player and is an outstanding person, a unique combination.”

In a glittering hockey career for Germany that spanned 17 years, Keller scored 209 goals in 425 appearances, in both the indoor and outdoor game. She competed in five Olympics, winning gold at the 2004 Athens games. With her father and brothers all playing for Germany as well, the Keller household has four Olympic gold medals and three silver medals.

Aside from a possible coaching career, Natascha is fast becoming adept on the golf course. There could be more medals in the Keller sports cabinet yet.

FIH site

Alex Danson on form as England draw with Spain

ALEX DANSON was on the mark for the second day running as Great Britain followed up their 1-0 win on Tuesday with a 1-1 draw against Spain in Valencia.

By Graham Wilson

Alex Danson for England.GETTY

Reading striker Danson scored in the fourth minute following a fine run by Holcombe’s Nicola White but Spain levelled with a penalty stroke just before half-time when the umpire judged the ball had struck a foot on the line after GB goalkeeper Maddie Hinch saved a penalty corner.

GB coach Danny Kerry said: “I was much happier with the performance today. We created a lot more opportunities compared with yesterday and Spain had no open play shots and only one penalty corner.

"We’ve been working really hard on certain areas of our game in training and I think we’re much harder to break down as a unit now and we are able to defend higher up the pitch which is paying dividends for us.

"I’m obviously disappointed with the result, but it was a really good step forward from yesterday.”

Great Britain’s final match against Spain takes place on Friday.

Daily Express

Logush and Randhawa bring wealth of experience to Junior National Team

Series with United States begins Thursday evening in Lancaster

Shaheed Devji

When the Canadian Junior Women’s National Team steps on field Thursday evening for the first match of their series with the United States Under-21 Women in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, they’ll be doing so with some rare experience for such a young squad.

Despite being a team with a roster of players who are being eyed for potential spots at the 2016 Women’s Junior World Cup, which is still nearly two years away, the Women Juniors already boast a veteran leadership group who have been through the junior cycle once before.

Not only are Lauren Logush (Richmond Hill, ON) and Priya Randhawa (Surrey, BC) part of the Women’s Senior Development Squad and train regularly at senior level, but they have also been on senior tours with the Women’s National Team, resulting in Logush having earned 22 official senior caps to date and Randhawa having played in many friendlies.

It’s safe to say, both will have a big impact on their current teammates in Lancaster, many of whom are several years their junior and will be wearing Canada’s red and white for the first time.

“We both started with the last junior program almost five years ago now,” says Logush who has quickly gone from a young up-and-comer at the Senior level to a wiley vet with the Junior team. “It’s kind of interesting to have it come full circle. Now we’re the leaders, compared to always being the youngest, we’re the oldest. ”

They talk of being the older ones now, but both Randhawa and Logush are still only nineteen years-old and both will likely be key components of Canada’s journey to qualify for and play in the 2016 Women’s Junior World Cup, which will be held in Santiago, Chile from November 23-December 4, 2016.

“It’s an important cycle, the World Cup is a pretty big deal,” adds the goalkeeper Logush. “There’s a lot of little things that go into it, so I’m really excited to start the journey in that position [of leadership].”

The label of being a veteran comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only does it require leading a team of international first-timers on the field, but it also encompasses teaching them the ways of a successful international athlete off the field.

“I was very conscious of who went on that trip,” says Women’s National Program director Ian Rutledge. “We felt that it was a good opportunity for Priya and Lauren to be given a lot more match time than they would normal get in the Senior program but it’s also good for their leadership.”

How to lead a group is something that both Logush and Randhawa have been able to learn in their time spent with the Senior squad.

They have both had the luxury of training and playing alongside the likes of Thea Culley, who is the Women’s National Team’s current cap leader with 121, and captain Kate Gillis, a natural leader who sits at 118 caps.

“When we were the younger ones a few years ago, it really helped when the older ones encouraged you,” says Randawa. “You kind of learn from what they’re doing and what works for them. You base yourself off of them.”

Now is the moment where leaders of the future turn into leaders of the present, and Logush and Randhawa couldn't be more prepared.

The Canadian Junior Women's National Team begins its four game series with the United States Under-21 team Thursday evening at 6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET. For the full schedule and results, click here.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Mulheim ready to rock for club indoor Euros

Following the hugely entertaining Indoor World Cup, European attention switches instantly to the EHF men’s indoor club competitions in Mulheim, Lyngby, Rotterdam and Varna this weekend.

The EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup is the highlight with eight of the continents best clubs in Germany battling for the crown.

In Pool A, hosts HTC Uhlenhorst Mulheim will look to German stars Thilo Stralkowski, Ferdinand Weinke and Timm Herzbruch,

For ChristianWindfeder, he says the equation for them is simple: “We want to score more goals than our opponent in every game!” With a good mix of young and experienced players and well managed interchanging, they are a very strong proposition.

They open against recently crowned English champions East Grinstead before meeting Spain’s Complutense on Friday afternoon and Switzerland’s Rot Weiss Wettingen on Saturday morning.

In Pool B, Austria’s SV Arminen feature eight World Cup silver medallists. Dariusz Rachwalski says that his club is hugely proud of their achievements but admits it has made preparations difficult, adding: “Our goal is to get into the semi-finals after a group phase and then fight for a medal.”

Sweden’s Partille arrive with a depleted squad as two of their key players  were injured during the World Cup campaign. Dinamo Yekaterinburg are led coach Vladislav Kuznetsov who says: “three players Dmitry Volkov, Dmitry Nikitin and Aleksandr Lykov took part at Indoor World Cup. All of them are tired and didn’t have enough time to rest and recover.

Belgiums Namur will be the freshest team having not played a part in the World Cup and begin their tournament against Arminen before meeting the Russian side.

Euro Hockey League media release

Inverleith return to indoor action in Europe

Inverleith will look to the likes of Graham Moodie to lead their challenge in the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy this weekend. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Inverleith Hockey Club return to the European indoor hockey scene for the first time in three years this weekend when the capital outfit compete in the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Lyngby, Denmark.

Taking place from 13-15 February, Head Coach Stuart Neave and his newly crowned National Indoor League Division 1 champions face a testing challenge from HC Valenciennes (FRA), SC Strotel Brest (BLR) and WKS Grunwald Poznan (POL) in Pool B.

Hosts Orient Lyngby (DEN), Olimpiia Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa (UKR), HAHK Mladost (CRO), and HC Bohemians Prague (CZE) make up the competition’s Pool A contenders.

The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the promotion stage to determine the winners and promotion to the Club Cup competition next year, while the bottom four teams will play cross-overs to determine who will be relegated from the competition to the Club Challenge I.

The Purple Robes’ previous participation in the European club competitions came in 2012, when they hosted the Club Trophy in Edinburgh, finishing a credible third behind Lille MHC and Racing Club de Bruxelles.

They will be aiming to take it to the next level on Danish soil this weekend and target that promotion place to the Club Cup in 2016.
Inverleith team

Inverleith squad for Europe this weekend. Photo Credit: Inverleith Hockey Club

Please visit the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy website for more information.

You can also follow the competition on Twitter using #Lyngby2015 and #EHI2015 hashtags

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Delhi Waveriders hold Kalinga Lancers to 2-2 draw

A Kalinga Lancers player tries to tackle a Delhi Waveriders player during their HIL match in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. HI

BHUBANESWAR: Delhi Waveriders rallied after conceding two goals to play out a thrilling 2-2 draw against Kalinga Lancers in their first leg clash of the Hockey India League on Thursday.

Kalinga Lancers were 2-0 up with goals from Lucas Vila (3rd minute) and Vikas Sharma (20th) but Delhi Waveriders made a brilliant recovery with drag-flicker Andrew Hayward (27th) and Talwinder Singh (59th) finding the target as the two teams split points at the Kalinga Stadium.

The first quarter of the match saw both Kalinga Lancers and Delhi Waveriders in an attacking mode as both the sides tried to score the first goal in the match.

Yuvraj Walmiki of Delhi Waveriders made a good run into the opponents' D but failed to score the goal, Lucas Vila of Kalinga Lancers made a similar run but did not make any mistakes while firing in a field goal in the third minute of the game itself.

Kalinga Lancers dominated the first quarter as they penetrated Delhi Waveriders' striking circle more frequently, but goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi with his perfect saves and athletic skills did not allow the home team to add any further goals.

Kalinga Lancers doubled their lead in the second quarter through the stick of Vikas Sharma in the 20th minute of the match.

Delhi Waveriders rallied in a fine fashion and they earned a penalty corner in the 27th minute and drag-flicker Andrew Hayward's perfect strike reduced the margin.

The third quarter of the game saw a much calculated game coming in from both the sides as both Kalinga Lancers and Delhi Waveriders did well in attacking and defensive play. Kalinga Lancers did manage to secure a penalty corner with just six minutes remaining on the clock for the third quarter to end, but failed to convert it into a goal.

The barren third quarter was followed by an action-packed fourth quarter that saw attacks and counter-attacks coming in from both the ends as both the teams went all out with their full strength.

Delhi Waveriders secured two penalty corners but failed to convert them into a goal. It was Talwinder Singh of Delhi Waveriders who sneaked in a goal in the dying minutes of the match with a deflection and helped his team level the scores 2-2.

Speaking on his team's performance Delhi Waveriders Head Coach Cedric D'souza said, "We are surprised to see Kalinga Lancers playing an aggressive game and the fact that they managed to keep the ball and rotate it among their players. But by the end of the match we managed to implement our strategies and got back into the game.

"We failed to materialize on penalty corner opportunities and even Kalinga Lancers goalkeeper Andrew Charter did a commendable job today. We are satisfied with the results and we are looking forward to better our game in the upcoming matches," he said.

Kalinga Lancers Head Coach Jude Felix said, "We played a better game today as we stuck to the plan of keeping the ball possession with us. We managed to dominate the match but we failed to score more goals. We could have won the match as we got an early lead in the game but in the fourth quarter the young players were seen playing with much anxiety which cost us the goal in the dying minutes.

"The team is improving with every match and today we showed a much better performance than our previous matches. We had to settle for an unfortunate result but the team is very much motivated for the matches ahead," he said.

The Times of India

Dabang Mumbai coach Alternburg gets one match ban

Dabang Mumbai players celebrate a goal during a HIL match. Dabang Mumbai head coach Valentin Altenburg has been handed one-match ban for “inappropriately” disputing umpires’ decisions his team’s match against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Mumbai. The Hindu

Dabang Mumbai head coach Valentin Altenburg has been handed one-match ban for “inappropriately” disputing umpires’ decisions his team’s match against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Mumbai.

The Disciplinary Committee met after the game on Wednesday and found Altenburg to have breached the code of conduct.

During the meeting, Altenburg accepted his provocative behaviour.

He will not sit for the next match against Kalinga Lancers in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

The Hindu

Kalinga Lancers hope to finish home campaign with win

BHUBANESWAR: Strugglers Kalinga Lancers will hope to end their home campaign in the Hero Hockey India League (HIL) with a win when they face Dabang Mumbai at the Kalinga Stadium on Friday.

Kalinga will also look to avenge their 1-2 away defeat against Mumbai, who will aim at giving themselves a push for a possible semifinal entry.

When the two sides met in Mumbai, both Kalinga and Mumbai gave a tough fight to each other but Dabang Mumbai managed to win by a margin of just one goal.

Currently, both the teams are sitting at the bottom of the points table and will be striving to win the match in order to avoid finishing last in the league.

While the Jude Felix-coached Kalinga have eight points, German Valentin Altenburg-coached Mumbai have 12 points. Mumbai are three points adrift of third-placed Delhi Waveriders.

Kalinga will yet again get a chance to play amidst a cheerful and passionate home crowd. With the sole motive of winning the match, Kalinga Lancers will look forward to giving the spectators an opportunity to enjoy a perfect ending by overpowering Mumbai.

They will be boosted by the return of talented drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh. World Rising Player of the Year Gonzalo Peillat is going through a tough time.

The 22-year-old Argentine is yet to convert a short corner in the league and it has been one of the reasons for Kalinga's poor performance.

On the other hand, Mumbai will have to regroup after being drubbed 1-5 by Uttar Pradesh Wizards Wednesday.

However, they registered their first victory in the league with a win over Kalinga. That will give them immense confidence going into Friday's match.

"We have had a good match against Kalinga Lancers before and we aim to deliver similar results this time as well," Mumbai's Belgian striker Tom Boon said in a release.

"We are trying to address all possible loopholes in the game played against Uttar Pradesh Wizards and will be aiming to convert as many penalty corners as possible."

The Times of India

PIA Whites, NBP thump rivals to set-up final

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: Players of Customs and PIA fight for the ball on Thursday. —White Star

KARACHI: In tall scoring matches, national champions PIA Whites and fancied National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) lived up to their top billing by registering emphatic victories over their respective opponents in the two semi-finals to set a date for title clash on the penultimate day of the fifth Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup hockey tournament at Customs Preventive Service Club and Sports Complex on Thursday.

A burst of five goals in last two quarters enabled PIA post a commendable 5-1 victory over Pakistan Customs after NBP had coasted to 5-2 victory over Railways in the first pre-final.

The final between the two reputed outfits to be played on Friday at 3pm, will be a repeat of the recently held title clash of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Challenge Hockey Cup at Rawalpindi’s Army Hockey Stadium where the bankers inflicted 2-0 defeat on the national carrier to land the crown.

The pattern of the second encounter between once bitter rivals PIA and Customs was similar to that of the first played between NBP and Railways. Having produced a galaxy of stalwarts since country’s coming into being, Customs were the first to open their account through spearhead Haseem Khan in the ninth minute of the first quarter which they maintained till half time. Haseem came close to scoring another goal five minutes before second quarter but in vain.

The airlines, which remained at bay in the first two quarters, looked a different team after resumption slamming five goals in a span of 17 minutes, with Azfar Yaqoob contributing a brace in 41st and 58th minutes. Other scorers were Inayatullah (43rd), Waseem Akram (45th) and Nohaiz Malik (46th) off penalty corner.

PIA’s Amir Shahzad was declared Man of the Match and fetched a cash prize of Rs50,000 from chief guest director general, Directorate General of Transit Trade, Khawar Farid Maneka alongwith Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) hierarchy president Akhtar Rasool and secretary Rana Mujahid.

Earlier, having a number of Pakistan players including Rizwan junior, Arsalan Qadir, Mohammad Dilber, Ali Shan and Kashif Shah in their fold, the bankers were on a scoring spree after conceding a goal in the third minute. Owais, who broke the ice, also scored his team’s second goal in 49th minute to bring some respite in the match. Rizwan had a hand in both the goals.

The bankers found their rythum through Tariq Aziz who restored parity in 12th minute to finish one-all in first quarter. Back-to-back conversions of penalty corners by captain and full back Tauseeq Arshad in 18th and 23rd minutes enabled bankers to consolidate their position (3-1) which they maintained till the end of third quarter.

Arsalan Qadir made it 4-1 in the 48th minute before Railways reduce the deficit in the

very next minute. Syed Kashif Shah completed the rout off team’s seventh penalty corner in 53rd minute.

NBP’s Tauseeq Arshad who struck two goals won Man of the Match award of Rs50,000 from chief guest Dr Syed Junaid Ali Shah after the match.


PIA, NBP vie for Quaid Hockey title

Lahore - Two traditional rivals Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) will vie for the top honour in the 5th Customs Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup Hockey Tournament final at the Customs Preventive Service Club & Sports Complex today (Friday) at 3 pm.

Earlier, NBP defeated Railways 5-2 and PIA defeated Customs 5-1 in the two semifinals on Thursday.

Railways which suffered 10-1 defeat in their last match played aggressively against much superior opponents to make it an interesting semifinal.

They gave some jolts to surprise them.

They stunned with a 3rd minute goal which was the culmination of a beautiful move between Owais and Mohammed Rizwan.

Owais who got a pass inside the D, made no mistake in netting the ball.

Their second goal was also the result of a fine move between Rizwan and their Captain Zeeshan who gave a pass to Owais who again struck a hard blow onto the board in the 49th minute.

After getting psychological advantage Railways forwards made a couple of good moves but faltered in finishing and failed to make further dent into bankers’ defense.

NBP looked complacent most of the time during the proceedings of the match which cost them two goals.

However, they awoke between intervals, to score goals and finish the match 5-2.

Tariq Aziz leveled the score in the 12th minute on a pass from Arslan Qadir.
Then their Captain Tousiq Arshad struck two goals in the second quart to consolidate his team’s position.

His sole effort inside the 25 line got a penalty corner which he himself struck successfully in the 18th minute.

Tousiq scored his second goal also on penalty corner but instead of trying a direct hit he dodged a dasher and netted the ball in the 23rd minute.
Arslan blew a field goal in the 48th minute and Kashif Shah converted a penalty corner in the 53rd minute.

Man of The Match Tousiq received Rs 50,000.

Kamran MP and Muneer supervised the match.

Brilliant demonstration of dribbling and interception by Customs’ forwards kept star studded PIA struggled throughout the first two quarts of the second semifinal.

Sikandar Mustafa, Haseem Khan, Kamran Khan and Rizwan Khan were excellent in their tackling and carrying the ball.

Haseem saved a certain goal when he intercepted a hit in the D.
Mohammed Naveed’s field goal in the 11th minute put pressure on the PIA which they maintained till the end of the second quart leading 1-0.

Disjointed airliners bounced back in the last two quarts when they launched a number of combined attacks which produced five goals.
PIA’s Azfar Yaqoob’ scored two goals.

He first leveled the score in the 41st minute and then scored the last goal of his team in the 58th minute on a pass s from Waseem Akram in the D.
Inyatullah (43rd min), and Waseem Akram (45th min) scored two field goals.
Nohaiz Malik struck a penalty corner in the 46th minute.

PIA’s Amir Shahzad was declared Man of the Match who was awarded Rs 50,000.

Munawar and Hanifuddin supervised the match.

The Nation

Reading target play-off spot

Reading's Tim Atkins v Southgate. Credit Simon Parker

After edging past Southgate in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Cup last Sunday and taking a point from a goalless draw at Cannock on Saturday, Reading will be aiming to kick-start their play-off bid as they play host to Brooklands Manchester University this Sunday.

Currently fifth, Reading are seven points behind Wimbledon in fourth and need to start moving up if they are to salvage a spot in the end of season play-offs and keep their title hopes alive.

“We were a bit disappointed not to win at Cannock last weekend because the gap to the top four is wider,” said Reading coach Andy Watts.

“Realistically if we want to make the top four we’ve got to win every game from now on. And that’s the aim, starting with Brooklands.

“We’ve got a reasonably strong squad for this weekend, although Simon Mantell is still out with concussion and Dan Shingles is unavailable.”

With leaders East Grinstead in European indoor action, second-placed Surbiton could take top spot if they beat Cannock at Sugden Road.

Beeston head to Hampstead and Westminster to face a buoyant opponent who moved up to sixth following a win over Canterbury last weekend, and the Kent side take on Wimbledon in the Premier Division’s other match on Sunday.

Team Bath Buccaneers are at home against the University of Exeter as they aim to maintain their lead in the NOW: Pensions Conference West, while third-placed University of Birmingham could narrow the gap to Cardiff and Met in second if they win at Cheltenham.

Sheffield Hallam lie second in the NOW: Pensions Conference North, but that will change if they lose at home against Loughborough Students who are just a point behind.

Meanwhile, leaders Bowdon, who have yet to lose a league match this season – are at home against Deeside Ramblers.

Holcombe will be expecting to continue their march towards the NOW: Pensions Conference East title when they go to Old Loughtonians, while second-placed Bromley and Beckenham go to strugglers Richmond.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, February 15 2015)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Canterbury v Wimbledon 12:45
Hampstead and Westminster v Beeston 14:00
Surbiton v Cannock 14:00
Reading v Brooklands MU 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference West
Cheltenham v University of Birmingham 12:30
Barford Tigers v Fareham 13:00
Team Bath Buccaneers v University of Exeter 13:00
Whitchurch v Indian Gymkhana 13:00

NOW: Pensions Conference North
Sheffield Hallam v Loughborough Students 13:30
Leek v Olton & West Warwicks 14:00
Doncaster v Belper 14:00
University of Durham v Wakefield 14:30
Bowdon v Deeside Ramblers 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Oxted v West Herts 12:45
Brighton & Hove v Cambridge City 13:00
Chichester Priory Park v Teddington 13:30
Richmond v Bromley and Beckenham 13:30
Old Loughtonians v Holcombe 14:00

NOW: Pensions Men’s Finals Weekend: 11-12 April 2015

Tickets to the dramatic conclusion of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League are now on sale. This showpiece event has relocated to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the fantastic new venue of our international fixtures.

England Hockey Board Media release

Leicester have Clifton in their sights

Leicester celebrate a goal during the 2014-15 season, credit Andy Smith

Leicester take on high-flying Clifton this Saturday as their hopes of clinching a spot in the top four and a place in the play-offs continue in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Having narrowly lost to table-topping Surbiton on Saturday, Leicester will want to build on the form which saw them lose just one of their last five outdoor league matches prior to last weekend.

“We had a slow start to the season, but we were starting to come good before Christmas,” said Leicester manager Sue Holwell. “We were a bit rusty in the first half against Surbiton last week, but in the second half we played a lot better and felt we deserved to get something out of it.

“We’re had good preparation and went to Barcelona for an outdoor tournament to keep the form going, so we’re raring to go.

“We’re only one point behind Birmingham in fourth place, so we fancy our chances of getting into the top four. From there, anything can happen.”

In other top flight action leaders Surbiton travel to Buckingham on Saturday, before returning home to take on Oxford Hawks in the quarter finals of the Investec Women’s Cup on Sunday.

Canterbury lie third in the table, and will want to maintain the heat on the top two with a win over fourth-placed University of Birmingham on Saturday.

Bowdon Hightown stepped up out of the relegation places following their 4-2 win over Holcombe last weekend, and will want to continue that trend when they go to play off hopefuls Reading.

And Holcombe, who are also still in the mix for a play-off place, play host to bottom of the league Beeston who are still searching for their first win.

In the Investec Conference West leaders Slough head to Stourport, while second-placed Swansea City are also on the road, at Bristol Firebrands.

Leaders Wakefield entertain Ben Rhydding in the Investec Conference North, and Brooklands Poynton, who only trail them on goal difference, take on Kendal in Cheshire. These two teams are now nine points ahead of the field.

In the Investec Conference East, East Grinstead, who have extended their lead to eight points, entertain Harleston Magpies.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, February 14 2015)

Investec Premier Division
uckingham v Surbiton 12:00
Holcombe v Beeston 12:00
Clifton v Leicester 13:00
Reading v Bowdon Hightown 13:30
Canterbury v University of Birmingham 16:30

Investec Conference West
Trojan v Isca 12:00
Olton & West Warwicks v Cheltenham 12:00
Stourport v Slough 12:00
Bristol Firebrands v Swansea City 12:00
Gloucester City v Oxford Hawks 12:00

Investec Conference North
Brooklands Poynton v Kendal 12:00
University of Durham v Cannock 12:00
Loughborough Students v Liverpool Sefton 12:30
Wakefield v Ben Rhydding 13:00
Sutton Coldfield v Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 14:00

Investec Conference East
St Albans v Bedford 13:00
Horsham v Sevenoaks 14:00
Wimbledon v Maidenhead 14:00
Harleston Magpies v East Grinstead 14:00
Chelmsford v Ipswich 14:00

Investec Women’s Cup, quarter finals (Sunday, February 15 2015)

Brooklands Poynton v Bowdon Hightown 12:00
Surbiton v Oxford Hawks 12:00
Gloucester City v Clifton 12:30
Loughborough Students v Buckingham 13:00

Investec Women’s Finals Weekend: 18-19 April 2015

Tickets to the dramatic conclusion of the Investec Women’s Hockey League are now on sale. This showpiece event has relocated to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the fantastic new venue of our international fixtures.

England Hockey Board Media release

Umpires fly the flag for England

Lee Barron and his colleague in the lead up to the Indoor World Cup Final 2015

With neither the women’s nor the men’s national teams featuring at the recent Indoor World Cup in Leipzig, the event may well have passed under the radar of many hockey fans in this country.

There was, however, English representation in the form of top NPUA umpires, Lee Barron and Frances Block. Being appointed to the tournament was in itself an accomplishment but going on to umpire the men’s and womens finals represented a magnificent achievement.

Coming on the back of umpiring the Hockey 5s Women’s Final at the SSE Arena, Wembley, this was Frances’ second Indoor World Cup, the first being in Poznan in 2011. On that occasion, she was also appointed to umpire the Final, also contested by Holland and Germany. Paying tribute to her family for all their support, Frances said: “It was an amazing experience. The atmosphere was sensational and to umpire a final which involved the host nation was just incredible. I am very lucky”. Luck may well have played a part, but her commitment, ability and expertise ensured she made the final.

This was Lee’s first Indoor World Cup and followed on from a number of recent high profile indoor matches, including the Asian Cup Final and the Hockey 5s Men’s Final.

Like Frances, Lee umpired a total of 8 matches in 5 days, including the opening game of the tournament.

For Lee, the appointment to the Final represented the pinnacle of his career to date, a career that started 22 years ago when he first combined playing with umpiring for his club, Sheffield Bankers.

“The game seemed to go so fast”, said Lee. “The noise was incredible in the hall, with 5,000 hockey fans cheering regardless of who they’d come to support. As the first Englishman, and first Yorkshireman to umpire an Indoor World Cup Final, I couldn’t be prouder”.

Reflecting on the pair’s achievements, Paul Box-Grainger, NPUA’s Chairman of Selectors, commented: “We are all incredibly proud of Frances and Lee – I believe that it is an unprecedented achievement for two umpires from the same nation to umpire both indoor finals. They deserve huge credit, as do all who are involved in the domestic umpiring programme. It also continues the welcome trend over recent years whereby English umpires, both outdoor and indoor, are increasingly getting appointed to high profile major matches”.

England Hockey would like to extend their congratualtions to both umpires on their excellent achievement.

England Hockey Board Media release

Azlan Shah Cup 2015 fixtures

24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup April 5-12 2015

The fixtures for the 24th Azlan Shah Cup have been announced

Participating Teams

New Zealand

Sunday 5 April
1 1605 Australia v Canada
2 1805 Korea v India
3 2005 New Zealand v Malaysia

Monday 6 April
4 1605 Canada v Korea
5 1805 New Zealand v India
6 2005 Australia v Malaysia

Tuesday 7 April
Rest Day

Wednesday 8 April
7 1605 Canada v New Zealand
8 1805 Korea v Australia
9 2005 India v Malaysia

Thursday 9 April
10 1605 India v Canada
11 1805 New Zealand v Australia
12 2005 Malaysia v Korea

Friday 10 April
Rest Day

Saturday 11 April
13 1605 Australia v India
14 1805 Korea v New Zealand
15 2005 Malaysia v Canada

Sunday 12 April
16 1535 5th & 6th Placing
17 1805 3rd & 4th Placing
18 2035 1st & 2nd Placing

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Only three days for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey

By S. Ramaguru

World champions Australia took the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup last year. They will return this year for the tournament from April 5-12 in Ipoh.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have shortened the duration of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup by three days.

The tournament in Ipoh will now be held from April 5-12 and it will involve six teams following South Africa’s decision to turn down the invitation.

The teams in the fray are world champions Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, India, Canada and hosts Malaysia.

Malaysia will kick off their campaign against New Zealand on the opening day, followed by Australia (April 6), India (April 8), South Korea (April 9), Canada (April 11).

The final is slated for April 12.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is part of Malaysia’s run-up to the World Hockey League Round Three (Semi-Finals) in Belgium in June. The World League is a qualifier for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Star of Malaysia

Champs against the wall

By Jugjet Singh

DOUBLE champions SSTMI Thunderbolts can't afford another bungle in Division One of the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League when they face UniKL Young Guns at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru Friday.

For, their 2-2 draw against Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC), has placed them on a precarious position to defend their League title.

Formerly known as Bandar Penawar Sports School, Thunderbolts top the standings by a point over UniKL, however, the University side have played one match less.

Thunderbolts Coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman knows only a win will put them in the running for their fourth straight title.

Jugding from past meetings with UniKL which decided which way the title went, I believe this match will be no different, so we must claim full points to keep the title," said Wan Roslan.

It's not going to be easy for the champions, as they will be missing a few players to injury: "If we lose, we will have to rely on other teams to shave off points from UniKL, and that is not a position my team would want to be after Friday's match."

Meanwhile, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) have approve the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup fixtures which will be held on Apr 5-12 in Ipoh.

The other five teams are Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, India and Canada.

JHL Fixtures -- FRIDAY: Division One: Thunderbolts v UniKL Young Guns (Taman Daya), Olak PKT Tigers v PJCC (National Stadium II), BJSS v SSP/MSP/Thunderbolt (Ministry of Education).

Division Two: Sek Tunku Abdul Rahman v 1MAS Pahang (Azlan Shah), KLSS v MSNT-PHT (Kuala Lumpur HA), 1MAS Penang v SM Agama Matri (Sungai Petani), SMK Tun Hussein Onn v 1MAS TBBS Tampin (Batu Pahat), SMK Datuk Taha v SMKDBL (Seremban II).

Note: All matches at 4.45pm.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

A decisive weekend for SSTMI in hockey Junior league

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: It is win or bust for defending champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt when they face Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in a top of the table Division One clash in the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysia Junior Hockey League.

SSTMI, winner of the league title for the last three years, are leading the nine-team standings on 16 points from six matches. The Johor outfit hold a slim one-point lead over second-placed UniKL who have a match in hand.

Coach Wan Roslan Abdul Rahman believes only a win will put them in the running for their fourth straight title.

“Our game against UniKL has always turned out to be a title decider. It will be no different today. We must ensure that we prevail again.

“It will be a tough match. Strategy wise, we must be very cautious. They have an advantage as they have not dropped any points so far.

“Our players are aware of what is expected of them. Our main worry is that their recent form has not been good. There is simply no room for mistakes,” said Wan Roslan.

UniKL are also up to speed on the stakes in Friday’s clash at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.

“It’s going to be a tough battle. But the pressure is on SSTMI as they are the defending champions,” said UniKL coach I. Vicknesweran.

“We are well-prepared and our team work has been excellent so far. We need to keep up the good work and not let SSTMI have too much room to attack. It is clear that the winners of this match will take a big step towards the league title. We want to be in that position,” added Vicknesweran.

Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) are the other team in still in the title mix. They are third on 13 points. They play eighth-placed Olak-PKT Tigers on Friday and are expected to win to keep pace with the frontrunners.

Said MBPJ team manager Zainal Abidin Ismail: “We will focus our attention on winning our match tomorrow. We are not concerned with the other results.” 

The Star of Malaysia

Poor MHC officials can't even pay attention..

By Jugjet Singh

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) is so poor, that their officials can't even afford to pay attention. 

MHC will be holding their Annual General Meeting Friday in Kuala Lumpur, but bungling and arrogant officials have made a mockery out of a simple procedure because they never paid attention.

It all started after a messed-up EOGM was held in Johor Baru last October, where even the minutes were not written, while proposals were bulldozed by a handful of selfish officials who were chasing for higher posts in the MHC.

It was never an EOGM, but a party for hungry Hyenas who tore the constitution to tatters and brought world-wide shame to former Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) officials who were champions of their own league when it came to organising tournaments and meetings of the  highest levels. 

The old constitution (amended 12 Dec 2011) specifically followed the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) demand on a merger between the men and women's hockey Federations around the world and equal number of posts be allotted for both genders.

Then, it was agreed that the president and deputy president's posts must be held rotationally between man and woman.

However, there was an unwritten agreement that the president will be a man while the deputy a woman, and there was no problem at all -- until somebody wanted a bigger share of the cake.

In the JB EOGM, the women had even proposed to have two deputy presidents' as a compromise, but the proposal was bulldozed as somebody was confident that he can take over the post, by amending the constitution blind-folded.

From 12 veeps, one from each gender as senior, and five each for men and women -- the amendment proposed only seven veeps. Two for women and five for men. And the deputy president's post was opened for election and no longer reserved for the women.

So blind were those who approved the EOGM amendments, that they forgot that there is somebody watching them from above, and has the final say on how to govern the confederations around the world.

The FIH were in a fiery mood as they rejected the EOGM amendments and proposed changes to bring back matters to status quo.

FIH, in a letter dated Nov 17, and signed by CEO Kelly Fairweather, has stated that it did not agree to eight issues in the draft submitted by the MHC on amendments made to the MHC constitution during its EOGM in JB.

Among them  were: Fairweather wrote: “In particular I have to point out that the new proposed amended statutes do not -

1) Have provisions for the suspension of members.
2) Have provisions for indemnity of officials.
3) Have an age limit for elections.
4) Have a limit on the number of times a person may be elected to a particular office.
5) Have provisions for gender equality.

AGAIN, the MHC were adamant that they were right and bulldozed the amendments through the then Sports Commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, who  initially approved the amendments with the exception of Article 23 which governs the composition of the office bearers.

Shapawi left for greener pastures as director of the Natonal Sports Council and in came former athlete Datuk Zaiton Othman.

As swift as she was off the blocks during her running days, she issued a stern letter to the MHC -- telling them to toe the FIH line, or face the music in a short and simple letter.

But still, MHC officials including the administrative side, refused to take off their blind-folds as their understanding of the law was so poor, that even if a sledge hammer was used, it will still not go in their thick minds.

In the end, the Sports Commissioner issued another letter -- this time stating that the old constitution MUST be used if elections are to be held Friday.

But the talk among thick officials along the corridors until yesterday is that they would rather commit hara-kiri of the MHC, than pay attention.

(Defying FIH has its consequences as the Indian Hockey Federation found out when they lost their affiliation with the world body and replaced by Hockey India).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Building ties in India

Cam Vale & Tim Pullman joined Andrew Robb, Minister for Trade and Investment, in India

As part of Australia Business Week in India last month, Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale joined Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb and representatives from Australian 500 businesses in Delhi and Mumbai.

As part of the week-long program, designed to strengthen ties between Australia and India, a coaching clinic was held in Delhi for local children, led by Australian international umpire Tim Pullman and supported by Hockey Australia official sponsor Kookaburra.

Tim, who was in India with his company BDO, led the session while Cam Vale handed over 30 Hookin2Hockey packs generously supplied by Kookaburra. The clinic was run in conjunction with local charitable organisation the Hockey Citizens Group whose mission is to develop sustained passion for hockey in India through the introduction of hockey to children before and during their early teenage years as part of its One Thousand Hockey Legs project.

Minister Robb attended on the day, trying his hand at hockey and posing for photos with the young players.

As part of the week, Cam Vale also took part as a panelist on a discussion on the topic of grassroots and high performance sport and how the two come together.

Vale said, “Thanks to the Minister for leading such a valuable mission to India. It was a great opportunity to better understand the sporting and business landscape in India. Now, with a greater knowledge I look forward to seeing where Hockey Australia consider ways to engage commercially.

“Thanks, too, to Tim Pullman for leading such a great initiative, which the kids involved thoroughly enjoyed and to Kookaburra for supporting it.

“Indian hockey has been a friend of Australian hockey for a long time and the interest in last November’s Test series between the Kookaburras and India in Perth showed there is a real appetite in both countries. With Star Sports now the International Hockey Federation’s official broadcaster and 25 Australians playing in the third edition of the Hockey India League the opportunity is there for Hockey Australia to support Hockey India and the HIL and to grow the relationship further.”

Hockey Australia media release

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