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News for 12 March 2015

All the news for Thursday 12 March 2015

South Africa and France top the Pools ahead of quarter-finals

France yet to concede a goal

(Photo: Gavin Withers)

South Africa and France have topped the Pool tables at the men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Cape Town, ahead of Thursday’s quarter-finals.

South Africa (FIH World Ranking: 13) came into this event as one of the tournament favourites and began the campaign with an exciting 4-4 draw with China (WR:28) before defeating them in the shoot-out.  They then edged Egypt (WR:21) with a 3-2 win before concluding with a 2-0 win over Switzerland.

The leading goal-scorer after the Pools, Hamada Atef helped Egypt claim second place in Pool A by netting crucial goals in victories over Switzerland and China.

In Pool B, the performances of France (WR:18) have caught the eye as they won all three of their Pool matches. Impressive wins over Azerbaijan (WR:31), Czech Republic (WR:20)  and Belarus (WR: 35) confirmed a first place finish in the Pool for a team who have yet to concede a goal.

A win over Belarus and a point from their shoot-out with Azerbaijan gave the Czech Republic a second place finish in the Pool, with Belarus taking third place ahead of Azerbaijan.

In the quarter-final phase, the two Pool winners will face the sides that finished bottom of the other Pool, with South Africa going head-to-head with Azerbaijan while France face Switzerland. The Czech Republic versus China and Egypt versus Belarus completes Thursday’s QF line-up. To see all event fixtures and results, please click here.

The three highest finishers in the eight-team men’s tournament, which started on Saturday 7th March and concludes on Sunday 15th March, will each be guaranteed a place in the semi-final of the competition, where places at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are available. 

A total of nine qualification places for the HWL Semi-Finals are available in Round 2, with the top three finishers at each of the tournaments in Singapore (SIN), San Diego (USA) and Cape Town (RSA) all being certain to compete in the next phase. Malaysia, Poland and Japan all qualified for the HWL Semi-Finals thanks to top three finishes at the event in Singapore (SIN) earlier this year.  They were then joined by Ireland, Austria and Canada at the event in San Diego last week. To learn about how the teams progress through the competition in the hope of reaching the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, click here.

You can keep track of all of the action from Cape Town on the official tournament microsite.

FIH site

A learning curve for the smaller teams

Uthra Ganesan

The matches at the ongoing women’s Hockey World League round two have been mostly one-sided, with results on expected lines. But, for some of the participating teams the very fact that they are playing here is reward enough. Teams like Ghana, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Singapore hardly get to play at the highest level. Devoid of national support and fighting lack of knowledge among the people, these teams look at participation in an event like this as a learning curve.

“Football is really popular back home, while other sports struggle for support. Hockey is not really something most people know about. We do not get any support — financial or otherwise — from the government to practice and develop the game. Even our travel to Delhi has been funded by our sponsors,” says 40-year old Ghana captain Georgina Sam.

Georgina, in fact, is one of the few players in her side to have visited India before, way back in 2003, when the only edition of the ambitious Afro-Asian Games was held. She says the Indian team has come a long way since then, and that the gap between the two teams has increased manifold.

“The last time we played an international competition was the Olympic qualifiers in 2012. We hardly get a couple of tournaments in a four-year cycle. So, for most of the young players here, this is an excellent opportunity to play against teams as varied as India, Poland and Russia — both in terms of style of play and quality,” she says.

For Thailand’s Boonta Duangurai, the only advantage of being an Asian country is the chance to play tournaments like the South-East Asian Games and Asian Games. “Some of the players in this team have migrated from soccer, which is far more popular. Outside of Bangkok city, you will struggle to find people who understand what hockey is, or that it is even an international sport. But, we continue to play,” she says.

The Thai government and the federation, however, is supportive and provide funds for the development, she says, even though this particular tournament was funded from sponsorship money. “The federation is now trying to promote the sport across the country. We also have a Korean coach to help improve the game,” Boonta says.

Ghana is slightly better off since it has age-group teams — under-17, under-19 and under-21 — to try and develop the bench strength. The players also get employment with the police and other government security agencies on the basis of their sporting performance. “That keeps us motivated,” Georgina says.
Unfavourable conditions

The European and Central Asian teams like Russia and Poland have their own problems. While the teams manage to get some funding from their respective governments, the unfavourable weather conditions back home and lack of facilities mean that they hardly get to practice on turf.

The Polish team, for example, barely got together for a couple of weeks before landing in Delhi. “Also, many of our players also play indoor hockey, which is far more popular and well-known. So, it takes a lot of effort to adjust to the turf outdoors. But, we try to manage,” says Poland coach Krzysztof Rachwalski.

While Malaysia and India are expected to breeze through to the final and advance to the next round of the World League, for the other six teams, this will be the end of their international exposure for a long time — reason enough to appreciate their efforts of trying to compete.

Thursday’s quarterfinal line-up: Ghana vs Malaysia (1.15 p.m.), Thailand vs Kazakhstan (3.30 p.m.), Poland vs Russia (5.45 p.m.), India vs Singapore (8 p.m.).

The Hindu

Malaysian women looking good

By Jugjet Singh

THE Malaysian women's team will play Ghana in the quarter-finals of the World League Round Two in New Delhi today, with coach Nasihin Nubli's charges the hot favourites to advance into the semis.

Malaysia have been on fire in the pool matches as they thumped Kazakhstan 8-0, Russia 3-0 and Singapore 5-0, without letting in any goals to top Group B.

Ghana on the other hand finished last in Group A and even lost 13-0 to India.

Anticipating a good game ahead, Malaysia coach Nasihin Nubli said: "Winning all three matches in Group B had definitely motivated the players a lot but as we enter the quarter-finals our aim is to book a berth in the finals of this tournament. We know we can beat Ghana but looking at their game against Poland yesterday (Ghana only lost 4-0), it might a little tougher than we expected. We trained on penalty corner variations today (yesterday) and hopefully early goals will make the match easier to dominate."

TODAY: quarter-finals: Malaysia v Ghana (3.45pm Malaysian time); Kazakhstan v Thailand; Poland v Russia; India v Singapore.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Malaysian Coach wants more penalty corner goals from hockey girls

By Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: There’s always room for improvement.

National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli believes that his free-scoring women’s hockey team should do better in their penalty corner set pieces.

Malaysia scored 16 goals en-route to winning all three women’s World League Second Round Group B matches in New Delhi – but only three were from penalty corners.

World No. 21 and second seeds Malaysia will take on winless Ghana in the quarter-finals at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Thursday and should have no problems against the African team, who have only scored once and conceded 20 goals in three matches.

Nasihin admitted that his players wasted a number of penalty corners in the group matches.

“Our aim is to reach the final ... to achieve that, we must make full use of the chances, including from penalty corners,” said the former international.

“We’ve worked on our penalty corner set-pieces today (yesterday). I hope (forward) Fazilla (Sylvester Silin) will get it right against Ghana.”

Fazilla is the top scorer in the Malaysian team with five goals, including one from penalty corner.

Nasihin is delighted to have second penalty corner flicker Nur Aisyah Yaacob, who did not feature in the first three matches due to a stomach problem, back for the Ghana game.

He expects 18-year-old Nur Aisyah, who is making her international debut in the tournament, to give the team more options in their penalty corner set-pieces.

“I’ve warned my players not to take Ghana lightly. I want the players to score early to put pressure on our opponents,” said Nasihin.

If Malaysia get past Ghana, they are likely to face Poland in the semi-finals.

Favourites and top seeds India, who outplayed Thailand 6-0 in their last Group A match on Tuesday, should have no problem beating hapless Singapore in the quarter-finals.

The top two teams from the tournament will qualify for the World League Semi-Finals in Belgium and Argentina in June.

The World League is a qualifying tournament for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Star of Malaysia

Gillis’ recent sojourn overseas a boon to Canadian Olympic hopes

Captain's experience in Australian Hockey League serves as preparation on road to Olympic qualification

Shaheed Devji

Kate Gillis - Training - March 2015

As captain of the Canadian Women’s National Field Hockey Team, Kate Gillis has traveled far and wide.

After making the decision to move across the country from Kingston to Vancouver at the age of seventeen to train with the National Program, Gillis has gone on to experience the wide spectrum of what it means to be an international athlete.

Much of that experience includes globetrotting.

Gillis, who is currently in Dublin, Ireland for World League Round 2, through her time with the National Team has also ventured to India, Scotland, England, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, and many more of the world’s most exotic locations all in the name of her country.

Before the Women’s National Team rejoined for training early in 2015, the 24 year-old, who played in her first international match for Canada in 2007 and has since gone on to play in 117 more, traveled to the land down under to play in the Australian Hockey League (AHL).

“It worked out that we had some time off and it fit right into our schedule,” she says. “I really wanted to play in the AHL. It was something I always wanted to do. I have a bunch of friends who play in the different leagues in Melbourne and Perth.”

But as much as the experience of playing in the AHL for the Canberra Strikers was about enjoyment, it was also about the hockey. Specifically, how the time down under would benefit Gillis and her Canadian teammates upon her return.

“Australia plays a very fast run and gun style of hockey and (Canadian Women’s National Team coach Ian Rutledge) said I would really benefit from that,” Gillis adds about the experience.

Canberra finished fifth out of eight teams in the tournament, but the placing was just one part of the puzzle for Gillis. The other part was the exposure to a high level of hockey and to those who play it.

With the Strikers, Gillis roomed with Australian national team player Edwina Bone, and also played alongside fellow Hockeyroo Anna Flanagan, and New Zealand Blackstick Samantha Charlton.

“That was a great opportunity to play with them and learn from them and what their teams do and how they play,” she says.

Much of what she took from the hockey was the offensive ferocity with which the Australians and Kiwis play. Something that Gillis believes would benefit the Canadian game if they want to be considered one of the world’s best.

“Sometimes you don’t have too many opportunities when you’re playing against really good teams like New Zealand or Australia,” she explains.

“They’re so attacking and they don’t hold back at all, and just go straight to net. I’m definitely going to take from that and bring it back to our team.”

Canada opens World League Round 2 on Saturday and with the beginning of the tournament is the continuation of Gillis’ journey to lead the National Team to the world’s biggest stage: the Olympic Games.

“The Olympic qualifying year is always huge,” she says. “This will be my third time trying for an Olympics. Each time is different and it kind of depends on where you’re ranked in the world and what the team’s like.”

Kate Gillis - 2014 Commonwealth Games

While her AHL teammates Bone, Flanagan and Charlton will automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympics because of their team’s world rankings, Gillis and her
Canadian teammates – who are ranked 23rd in the world – have to finish in the top two at World League Round 2 to move on to the World League semi-finals in June.

If Canada finishes in the top three at the World League semi-finals, it will qualify for the Olympics. Otherwise, it will be forced to win gold at the 2015 Pan American Games, which will be held in Toronto this summer.

“One of our goals is to just focus day by day on what we need to do, she says. “Whether it be a game, a test match, or training, all of that is really building up to qualifying.”

Canada opens World League Round 2 against Turkey on Saturday, March 14 before facing host Ireland on Sunday.

The top two finishers at World League 2 gain an entry into World League Round 3 in Spain in June, where the top three teams will earn a spot at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Alegre returning to happy Bloemendaal hunting ground

David Alegre is looking forward to “one of the most attractive games” of the KO16 as his high-flying Real Club de Polo take on Rot-Weiss Koln in HC Bloemendaal at Easter.

The Barcelona man returned to his home club last season after a number of successful seasons in the Netherlands during which time he helped Oranje Zwart to the FINAL4 of the competition in 2011.

En route, Alegre scored a key shoot-out goal, a moment he describes as one of his favourite hockey moments.

“Whenever I think of the EHL, good memories come in my mind,” he told the EHL website. “My best memory was scoring the final shout out to eliminate Bloemendaal at their home and move to the FINAL4.”

And, after a great first half of the season in Spain with Polo, Alegre is confident his side can create more memorable moments this season when the knock-out phases kick into gear.

“RC Polo had a spectacular first phase of La Liga where we only yielded a draw and finished in first place. Our goal is to maintain that level into the second phase and in fit condition to perform at our peak in the decisive moments.

“It is always good to have a few months off to disconnect and relax but now the team has returned with a lot of ambition and desire to work. This team never gets tired of winning and wants it more and more.”

Polo’s game with Rot Weiss is certainly one of the highlights of the KO16 and Alegre cannot wait for the game,

“It’s one of the most attractive games of the first round,” he said. “RW Koln are a spectacular team with great and experience players that know how to compete these games.

“It will be a tough match where small details will decide the game. Each team has a 50-50 chance of winning but I have complete confidence that RC Polo will demonstrate their best to be in the quarter-finals.

“The EHL is always a special and exciting competition where every player loves to play. Polo has extra motivation to make it big in this competition, to try to compete at the highest and show that we can be among the best in Europe.”

Euro Hockey League media release

USA Field Hockey Announces Jun Kentwell as New U.S. Women’s National Indoor Head Coach

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – It is with much excitement that USA Field Hockey presents Jun Kentwell as the new U.S. Women’s National Indoor Head Coach as of March 23, 2015.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Jun Kentwell into the indoor program,” said Nigel Traverso, USA Field Hockey Indoor Manager. “She was the manager of the Women’s Indoor Team for a few years and now returns as the head coach of the program. Jun comes from a very successful youth program and has vast international outdoor experience as a player, umpire and coach. I hope she will be able to transfer this vast experience to the indoor game that is ever changing.”

Kentwell is currently the Director of Coaching and head coach at the prestigious and currently number one ranked club team, WC Eagles. She has coached countless college commitments and is also involved with coaching USA Field Hockey’s Olympic pipeline, the Futures Program. In 2010, she was the assistant coach and manager of the U.S. Women’s Indoor team that won a silver medal in the Pan American Indoor Cup in Venezuela.

After the Pan American Indoor Cup in April 2014, the women’s coaching staff announced their departure and an interim coach was put in place. The appointment of Kentwell will allow sufficient time for the indoor squad to focus and start their preparation for the Pan American Indoor Cup in 2017 and the Indoor World Cup in 2018.

“I would like to thank USA Field Hockey for giving me this opportunity to lead the Women’s Indoor Program,” said Kentwell. “Thanks also to Rennie Milne for his hard work and dedication with the junior team and as interim coach. I am looking forward to taking the National Indoor Teams to a new performance level and further establishing a winning mentality among the players.”

Before coming to the United States in 1999, Kentwell played for 8 years on the Chinese National Team and captained the Jaing Xi Provincial team to three National Championships. At the age of 12, she was selected to train in the residence program at the Jaing Xi Sports Training Center, where she developed into a fast and skillful player. When she was 16 years old, she was selected for the Chinese U-21 National Team, and made her debut with the senior squad at age 18.

When injury ended Kentwell’s playing career, she gravitated to umpiring and quickly rose to be a respected official. She officiated in three Asian Games, the European Cup, the Pan American Games, the Junior World Cup, three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments and the 2002 Hockey World Cup. In 2004, Kentwell received the Golden Whistle award from the International Hockey Federation to mark her 100th international match officiated.

Kentwell’s coaching style of attention to detail and commitment to excellence will be sure to help develop depth in the program. She plans to cultivate players to play with vision and have the creativity under pressure to perform in a team structure.

“I believe that Jun will continue to drive the program in the direction that will lead to success,” said Traverso. “And I strongly believe that she is committed to making this a successful program.”

USFHA media release

Claire Messent retires

Victorian Hockeyroo calls time on international career

Hockeyroo Claire Messent has announced her retirement from international hockey after 73 appearances for Australia. The Victorian midfielder informed National Coach Adam Commens prior to the recent national squad selection for 2015.

Calling time on an international career that began in 2006, Messent explained, “I have recently found that the passion and drive that are required to play at this elite level have started to wane. It has been an honour and a privilege to play for the Hockeyroos over the years, and I have many fond memories since debuting in 2006.”

Messent, 29, scored 20 goals for the Hockeyroos and was part of the 2013 Oceania Cup-winning team that wrenched the continental championship from Kiwi clutches for the first time since 2005. It was a period in which she played a part in several notable successes, including a gold medal at the 2012 Champions Challenge that earned Australia’s place back in the big league, the Champions Trophy, and gold at the World League Semi Final tournament that sealed the Hockeyroos’ place at the 2014 World Cup. 

Reflecting on the high points of her international career, Messent said, “The 18 months that followed the Olympic Games in 2012 were some of my most memorable as a Hockeyroo. We won the Champions Challenge and won back the Oceania Cup; that one was particularly memorable because I was one of the takers in the shoot-out in the final. It was a period in which we won everything we entered, except the World League Finals in Argentina, which we still made the final of. Playing in Argentina has always been a highlight.”

Aged 21, she made her debut against Argentina in August 2006, opening her goal scoring account against the Netherlands in the same tournament in the USA. She represented Australia at the 2007 Champions Trophy, three Oceania Cup tournaments, the 2010 World Cup qualifier, 2012 Champions Trophy and the 2013 World League Semi Final and Final tournaments. Her last appearance for the Hockeyroos came in a 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the final of the World League in December 2013.

Based at the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) in Melbourne as she completed her Bachelor of Nursing and Paramedics degree at Monash University, Messent was supported well through injuries that curtailed her 2014 season. An ankle injury at the start of the year kept her sidelined for three months and ruled her out of World Cup selection before a torn hamstring in September put paid to her Champions Trophy ambitions. 

While acknowledging the injuries came at unfortunate times, Messent added that “injuries are not the main reason for retiring. They’re just part of being an athlete.”

Acknowledging the contribution she made during her time in the national team, Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens said, “Claire was a really important contributor to the Hockeyroos and our excellent form through 2013 in particular. She was one of the driving forces of our midfield during that period and we really saw that immediately after the Olympic Games and the Champions Challenge. She was fantastic.

“She is a really professional athlete that knew how to prepare herself for an international tournament and we saw that with some really good performances at the end of 2012 and in 2013. She was wonderful at the Champions Challenge and we saw some really impactful moments in both the World League Semi Final tournament and World League Finals in 2013. One of those moments that sticks in my mind was her contribution in the penalty shoot-out in the quarter finals of the World League Final against Germany and her ability to score to put us in a commanding position at that moment in the game.”

Paying tribute to those that have played a notable role in her career, Messent said, “I would like to thank a number of people. Adam [Commens] and the Hockeyroos coaching staff, who have been instrumental in helping me develop my skills and knowledge of the game. My coach at the VIS, Katie Allen, who ensured I was always prepared to perform at my best when the opportunity arose; Nathan Heaney, the strength and conditioning coach at the VIS and all of the medical staff there, too.

“To my club, Hawthorn Hockey Club – all the players and coaches there over the years, they have been wonderful. My sponsors Hockey World and Princess sticks, and to my family and friends because quite simply you can’t do this alone. Thank you.”

Messent is undertaking her graduate year in nursing at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and is hoping to pursue a dual nursing and paramedic career while continuing to play club hockey.

Claire Messent’s Career
August 2006 – Makes senior international debut in 2-1 defeat to Argentina in Maryland, USA.
August 2006 – Scores first goal for Australia in 3-0 win over Netherlands in Maryland, USA.
January 2007 – First major international tournament, the Champions Trophy. Hockeyroos finish fourth.
August 2009 – Scores a hat-trick in 16-0 win over Samoa at Oceania Cup, her first of three Oceania Cup tournaments. Hockeyroos finish second.
April 2010 – Represents Australia at World Cup Qualifier, helping Hockeyroos qualify for 2010 World Cup.
October 2011 – Collects second Oceania Cup silver medal.
October 2012 – Helps Hockeyroos to gold at the Champions Challenge, regaining Australia’s place in the Champions Trophy as a result.
June 2013 – Scores against Spain and China as Hockeyroos win World League Semi Final tournament and qualify for 2014 World Cup.
October 2013 – Wins Oceania Cup, scoring against Samoa and Papua New Guinea and in the final shoot-out against New Zealand. Australia’s first Oceania Cup title since 2005.
December 2013 – Helps Hockeyroos to World League grand final, their fourth major final in 14 months. Australia lose 5-1 to Netherlands, collecting the silver medal.
February 2014 – Injures ankle ruling her out for three months and rendering her unavailable for World Cup selection.
September 2014 – Tears hamstring resulting in another three months out and rendering her unavailable for Champions Trophy selection.
March 2015 – Retires from international hockey.

Hockey Australia media release

UniKL 2 PJCC 0

By Jugjet Singh

LEAGUE champions SSTMI Thunderbolts were given an early shock, but went on the beat SSP-MSP Thunderbolts 5-1 in the first leg semi-finals of the MHC-Milo-NSC Milo Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

SSTMI Thunderbolts virtually booked a spot in the Milo Cup final even before playing the return leg on Friday.

However, at the adjacent pitch, UniKL Young Guns had to bring out their best to edge Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) 2-0 to keep their hopes alive of playing in the final.

UniKL got their goals off Maxhans Christi in the 25th minute, while the second goal was scored by Shamsul Aliff in the 58th.

SSTMI took a 2-0 lead off Luqman Hakim (34th) and Aliff Syazwan (36th) but were shocked when their Pahang counter-parts narrowed the score off Idris Samad (44th).  But Amirul Hamizan (58th), Nik Aiman (61st) and Aliff again in the (67th)delivered for SSTMI and they look set to defend their Milo Cup title on Sunday.

For the record, UniKL and PJCC played to a 1-1 draw in the league: "I am proud of my players because they showed great drive even though we did not have three key players today as they were out because of suspension and injuries. The bench showed that it has the strength to contribute towards the success of the team," said UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran.

PJCC team manager Zainal Abidin looked dejected, but said two goals is not too difficult to chase in the return leg.

"We missed all our penalty corner chances (five in total) and this is quite unusual for my players. However, we are not giving up the final slot, as I believe my charges have the capabilities to make a comeback in the return leg," said Zainal.

RESULTS:  Semi-finals First Leg: SSTMI Thunderbolts 5 SSP-MSP Thunderbolts 1; UniKL Young Guns 2 Petaling Jaya City Council 0.

TOMORROW:  Semi-finals Second Leg: SSTMI Thunderbolts v SSP-MSP Thunderbolts (National Stadium Pitch I, 5.30pm); UniKL Young Guns v Petaling Jaya City Council (National Stadium Pitch II, 5.30pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Thunderbolt rampage continues in Milo Cup semis

By Aftar Singh

UniKL's Mohd Khairul Ikhwan (right) fights for the ball with MBPJ's Faiq Razin Zariq during their Junior Hockey League Milo Cup first-leg semi-final match at the National Hockey Stadium on Wednesday. - FAIHAN GHANI/The STAR.

KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt are simply unstoppable.

The Johor sports school have virtually sealed a place in the Milo Cup final after outplaying their juniors – Pahang SS-Thunderbolt – 5-1 in the first-leg of the semi-finals at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.

The return leg will be played at the same venue on Friday.

SSTMI-Thunderbolt got their goals through Mohd Aliff Syazwan Noorshah’s two penalty corner goals in the 35th and 67th minutes, Mohd Luqman Hakim Asri (34th), Mohd Amirul Hamizan (58th) and Nik Aiman Nik Rozemi (61st).

Mohd Idris Samad scored the consolation goal for the Pahang team in the 44th minute.

At the adjacent pitch, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) staved off a strong challenge from Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to win 2-0 in their first-leg clash.

It was the first defeat for MBPJ in the Under-19 league. The two teams had drawn 1-1 in the league match.

Sabah's Maxhans Christi gave UniKL the lead off a penalty corner in the 25th minute before Shamsul Aliff Shamsul doubled their lead in the 58th minute.

UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran praised his players for their fighting spirit.

“We were without three key players (Mohd Hafif Elkan, Norsyafiq Sumantri and Norikhwan Nor Rahman) but they played exceptionally well to beat MBPJ, said Vickneswaran, who is looking forward to having Norsyafiq and Norikhwan back for the return leg on Friday.

Norsyafiq had to sit out a one-match suspension after collecting eight demerit points while Norikhwan had to attend his grandmother's funeral.

MBPJ team manager Zanal Abidin Ismail was disappointed with his players for conceding two “soft” goals.

“My boys also failed to make use of the chances well. We also muffed four penalty corners.

“We have another 70 minutes on Friday ... I hope they’ll rise to the occasion,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

JCPE oust Ambedkar College for inter-college hockey title

Suhas Nayse

NAGPUR: Jyotiba College of Physical Education (JCPE) trounced Ambedkar College 2-0 to clinch the title of the Inter-College Hockey tournament, organized by Vidarbha Hockey Association, at the VHA ground here on Wednesday.

Ahfaz Pathan put JCPE ahead in the 29th minute as the hardworking forward brilliantly foxed Ambedkar College goalkeeper Abhilash Sand to make it 1-0.

In the 50th minute, Saquib Rahim slammed JCPE's second goal to seal the fate of Ambedkar College.

Individual prizes

Best player of tournament: Ahfaz Pathan (JCPE); best forward: Saquib Rahim (JCPE); best defender: Sayyad Fahim (JCPE); man-of-the-final: Wasim Khan (JCPE); best player of losing side: Rahul Deshmukh (Ambedkar College); best goalkeeper: Abhilash Sande (Ambedkar College), bet disciplined player: Mohit Kathote (Diannath).

The Times of India

Lower Morvant, Mucurapo Girls top North Primary hockey

Lower Morvant Government (Boys) ‘A’ and Mucurapo Girls RC were crowned champions of their respective North Zone Divisions of the T&T Hockey Board Primary Schools Zonal Outdoor League at the St James Police Barracks Training Ground, Western Main Road, St James on Thursday.

In the boys decider, Lower Morvant ‘A’ was made to work very hard for its narrow 3-2 win over Diego Martin Boys RC.

This after Lower Morvant ‘A’ blanked Eshe’s Learning Centre ‘A’ 3-0 in its semifinal and Diego Martin Boys RC ‘A’ whipped its Diego Martin Boys RC ‘B’ school-mates 3-1 in the other.

Earlier in the round-robin qualifying phase, Diego Martin Boys ‘A’ ended with maximum 15 points in Zone A from its five matches after securing victories over Eshe Learning Centre ‘A’ (4-0), Lower Morvant ‘B’ (2-0), Holy Rosary (2-0), St Bernadette’s (9-0) and St Monica’s (1-0).

Eshe’s “A” was second with 10 points as it picked up victories in its remaining matches against Lower Morvant ‘B’ (3-0), St Bernandette’s (1-0) and St Monica’s (2-0) and drew 1-1 with Holy Rosary.

And in Zone B, Lower Morvant ‘A’ blanked Diego Martin ‘B’ (3-0), Holistic (2-0) and Dunross (1-0) while it edged past Eshe’s ‘B’, 2-1 to top the table with 12 points, five more than Digeo Martin ‘B’.

Diego Martin “B” won 4-1 and 1-0 over Dunross and Eshe’s ‘B’ respectively and also had a 0-0 draw with Holistic.

The North Zone girls final was also a very close battle, with Mucurapo Girls Rc emerging 1-0 victorious over Holy Rosary, after beating the same team, 2-1 in the round-robin phase.

Mucurapo also swept past Eshe’s and Lower Morvant by 3-0 margins in their four-team round-robin series prior to another 3-0 defeat of Lower Morvant in the semis.

Holy Rosary eked out 1-0 wins against both Eshe’s and Lower Morvant in its other pool matches followed by another 1-0 triumph against Eshe’s in their final-four clash.

Up in the East Zone, Arima Centenary made a clean sweep of the boys and girls title.

Among the boys, Arima Centenary won ahead of D’Abadie Government and Tunapuna Anglican (Good Shepherd), and in the girls’ competition, Arima Centenary took top spot with St Xavier’s Private and St Mary’s Anglican, second and third respectively.


T&THB Primary Schools Zonal standings and results

North Zone Girls:

Teams P W D L F A Pts
Mucurapo Girls 3 0 0 3 8 1 9
Holy Rosary 3 2 0 1 3 2 6
Eshe’s 3 0 1 2 0 4 1
Lower Morvant 3 0 1 2 0 4 1


Mucurapo Girls 3 vs Lower Morvant 0
Holy Rosary 1 vs Eshe’s 0

Third place:

Eshe’s 1 vs Lower Morvant 0


Mucurapo Girls 1 vs Holy Rosary 0

North Zone Boys a:

Teams P W D L F A Pts
D/Martin RC A 5 5 5 0 0 18 15
Eshe’s A 5 3 1 1 7 5 10
St Monica’s 5 2 1 2 9 4 7
Holy Rosary 5 0 3 2 2 7 3
Lower Mor’t B 5 0 3 2 0 5 3
St Bernadette’s 5 0 2 3 0 15 2

North Zone boys B:

Teams P W D L F A Pts
Lower Mor’t A 4 0 0 0 8 1 12
Diego Boys RC B 4 2 1 1 5 4 7
Holistic 4 1 2 1 3 2 5
Dunross 4 1 1 2 5 3 4
Eshe’s B 4 0 0 4 1 6 0


Digeo Boys A 3 vs Diego Boys B 1
Lower Morvant A 3 vs Eshe’s A 0

Third place:

Eshe’s A 2 vs Diego Boys B 1


Lower Morvant A 3 vs Diego Boys A

East Zone Boys:

1st. Arima Centenary; 2nd. D’Abadie Government; 3rd. Tunapuna Anglican (Good Shepherd)

East Zone Girls:

1st. Arima Centenary; 2nd. St Xavier’s Private; 3rd. St Mary’s Anglican.

The Trinidad Guardian

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