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News for 14 March 2015

All the news for Saturday 14 March 2015

Favourites South Africa given quarter-final scare by Azerbaijan

Host nation joined in event semi-finals by Egypt, France and surprise package China

(Photo: Gavin Withers)

The four nations that will compete for the three remaining places in the Olympic Qualifier phase of the HWL revealed themselves on Thursday (12 March), with South Africa, China, Egypt and France each winning their respective quarter-final matches at the Greenfields Hockey World League Round 2 event in Cape Town.

Home favourites and Pool A winners South Africa (FIH World Ranking: 13) were given a scare in their quarter-final meeting with Pool B’s bottom team Azerbaijan (WR: 31) before emerging as 3-2 winners over their inspired opponents. “The Lads” powered into a 3-0 lead ahead of half time thanks to team captain Austin Smith (2) and Ignatius Malgraff, but two goals from Shahbaz Ali set up an enthralling final ten minutes before time eventually ran out for the Azerbaijanis.

South Africa’s opponents in Saturday’s semi-final – which takes place at 1615 local time (UTC / GMT +2) – will be China (WR: 28), who powered to a fantastic 6-2 win over higher ranked Czech Republic (WR: 20). Sun Long scored two goals for the Asians, with Zhang Zhixuan, Liu Yixian, E Linguang and Guo Xiaoping also making their mark on the scoreboard.

Saturday’s other semi-final (1400) will be contested between Egypt (WR: 21) and France (WR: 18), who overcame the respective challenges of Belarus (WR: 35) and Switzerland (WR: 38).  Belarus took an early lead against Egypt thanks to Aliaksandr Hancharou, but double strikes from Amr Ibrahim and Ashraf Said helped the Egyptians safely through to the final four with a 7-1 victory. The France versus Switzerland match was a much closer affair, before crucial goals from Simon Martin Brisac and Victor Charlet pushed the Pool A-winning Frenchmen onto a 5-3 triumph.

As well as the semi-finals, Saturday’s action will feature the 5-8 classification matches with Azerbaijan facing Czech Republic at 0930 before Belarus take on Switzerland at 1145. To see the full schedule from Cape Town, 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

SA hockey men face China in semis

JONATHAN COOK at Hartleyvale

Maritzburg College-educated striker Taine Paton receives memento from manager Martin van Staden signed by team-mates in honour of his 100th Test match before South Africa's 3-2 Greenfields World League quarter-final victory over Azerbaijan in Cape Town Thursday night. SA meet China in Saturday's 4.15pm semi-final. Photo: ACTION PIX

The South Africa men’s hockey team edged a superb China 4-3 on penalty shootout last Saturday after the Pool A match was locked 4-4 in regulation time.

Saturday, they meet again in the Greenfields FIH World League Round 2 tournament semi-finals at 4.15 pm at Hartleyvale in Cape Town.

At stake is a berth in Sunday’s 4.15pm final against the winners of Saturday’s 2pm semi-final between Egypt and France.

The three medallists on Sunday,  gold and silver from the final,  and the bronze medal winners in the 2pm play-off for third place between the Saturday's losing semi- finalists, go through to one of the two World League Semi-Final events.

A top four place at either of those tournaments later this year would guarantee SA Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification.

Should SA beat China, they will then face another major challenge against the quality Egypt or France line-ups in the final.

And should they lose to China they will face even more uncertainty, knowing that they would have to win the bronze medal match on Sunday to keep the Olympic dream alive.

This situation makes the China semi-final Saturday of enormous importance.

Success would mean automatic qualification for the World League Semi Final tournaments and essentially Sunday’s match will be about national pride.

The SA/China clash will be played at a furious pace and the role of midfielder Clint Panther and his fellow engine room mates will be critical in slowing down China's lightning counter attacks.

SA captain Austin Smith’s team will need to take the initiative from the outset and determine the nature and pace of the game.

Smith has been lethal at penalty corner time and tops the goalscoring list with five successful strikes.

Up front, SA have an exciting blend of experience in the likes of Julian Hykes, Taine Paton and Pierre de Voux,  and the boundless energy of the greener Western Province duo Keenan Horne and Shannon Boucher.

The SA defence must be mindful of having numbers behind the ball once the superb pace of the Chinese counter on turnover ball is launched

SA shot-stopper Rassie Pieterse would no doubt prefer not to be concerned about Long Sun’s opportunist instincts off the top of the strike zone and much happier to see opposing keeper Rui Xu jumping off his goalline.

Zecheng Li’s quick strikes are a concern and he will need to be expertly managed.

The pace off the goalline of first-wave defender Weibao Ao may force SA into trying variation moves on PC attack.

It will be of critical importance that the umpires sell their decisions well as player frustration got increasingly out of control in the Pool match as virtually every decision was questioned.

SA press hard for goal chances but the combinations must piece together a sufficient  sequence of passes in order for the numerous promising attacks to bear fruit.


SA: Rassie Pieterse (GK), Dylan Swanepoel, Rhett Halkett, Austin Smith (capt), Matt Guise-Brown, Jet Eustice, Clint Panther, Tim Drummond, Taine Paton, Pierre de Voux, Julian Hykes. Rolling subs:Gowan Jones (GK), Dan Bell, Robin Jones, Dan Sibbald, Natius Malgraff, Keenan Horne, Shannon Boucher.

China: Rui Xu (GK), Zhixuan Zhang, Yue Huang, Zipeng Wang, Zecheng Li, Chen Du, Liguang E, Long Sun, Weibao Ao, Tianjun Sun (capt), Yixian Li. Rolling subs:Rongyao Yan (GK), Lei Meng, Yang Ao, Talake Du, Bowen Wang, Xiaoping Guo, Wei Meng.

SA Hockey Association media release

India, Malaysia, Poland & Thailand march into event semis

India’s Eves set up meeting with Thailand while Poland & Malaysia square up in final four

(Photo: ADImages)

India, Malaysia, Poland & Thailand have reached the final four at the women’s Hero Hockey World League Round 2 tournament in New Delhi after winning in the quarter-finals.

Striker Vandana Katariya took her event scoring tally to ten in four matches with a four goal haul as home favourites India (FIH World Ranking: 13) booked their place in the semi-finals with a win against Singapore (WR: 43). India's opponents in the final four will be surprise outfit Thailand (WR: 45), who claimed a stunning 4-3 victory over a Kazakhstan (WR: 32) side that sits 13 places above them in the FIH World Rankings. India and Thailand will go head-to-head in the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Saturday (14 March) at 2000 (local time – UTC / GMT +5.30).

The other semi-final, which takes place at 1745, will be contested between Poland (WR: 26) and Malaysia (WR: 21). Goals from Oriana Walasek, Natalia Wisniewska, team captain Marlena Rybacha and Magdalena Zagajska earned Poland a 4-2 win over higher-ranked Russia (WR: 23), while Malaysia overcame a strong challenge from Ghana (WR: 30) to emerge 2-0 winners thanks to strikes from Norazlin Sumantri and Hanis Onn.

As well as the semi-finals, Saturday’s action will feature the 5-8 classification matches with Singapore squaring up against Kazakhstan at 1315 before Russia face Ghana at 1530. To see all tournament fixtures and results, please click here.

In the women’s Hockey World League, a total of seven qualification places for the HWL Semi-Finals are available from the Round 2 events in Montevideo (URU), New Delhi (IND) and Dublin (IRL).  The reason for seven rather nine qualifiers is because both Spain and Belgium, two nations ranked between 12-19 at the time of seeking entries, are hosting Semi-Final tournaments later this year and have therefore already qualified.

The top two finishers from Montevideo, New Delhi and Dublin are certain to qualify for the Semi-Finals, being joined by the highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events.  Italy and Uruguay recently confirmed their places in the Semi-Finals with a top two finish at the event in Montevideo, while Azerbaijan face a nervous wait until the end of the Round 2 events before knowing if they are the highest ranked of the third placed finishers. To learn more 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 the tournament in New Delhi on the official tournament microsite.

FIH site

India start favourites against Thailand in HWL Rd2 semis

NEW DELHI: In-form India would start as overwhelming favourites and would be eyeing yet another big win when they take on Thailand in the semifinal of the Hero FIH Women's Hockey World League Round 2, here on Saturday.

Barring the 2-0 win over Poland, the Indian eves are on a goal-scoring spree in this tournament and have so far pumped in 31 goals.

Going by their present form, it should be an easy outing for the Indians against Thailand, whom they spanked 6-0 in the pool stages.

India captain Ritu Rani is confident about a positive result on Saturday and hoped Vandana Katariya, who scored four goals including a hat-trick against Singapore in the quarterfinals on Thursday, would carry on her form in the remainder of the tournament.

"I am really happy about the fact that we have won all the matches till now. This has made us even more confident. With a record of defeating Ghana and Singapore with a huge goal margin 13-0 and 10- 0, respectively, we aim to repeat our performance and make it to the finals of the tournament," Rani said.

"We aim for a better penalty corner conversion rate and make our attack more stronger against Thailand tomorrow. I hope Vandana would continue her form and keep getting goals."

Meanwhile in the other semifinal, Poland will face Malaysia while Singapore will play Kazakhstan and Russia will take on Ghana in the fifth to eighth position classification matches.

The Times of India

Time to grease the Poles

By Jugjet Singh

THE Malaysian women will play in a do-or-die match against Poland Saturday in the semi-finals of the World League Round Two in New Delhi.

Only the finalists advance to the World League Semi-finals, a feat which the women have yet to achieve.

The driving force for coach Nasihin Nubli's charges would be the fact that Poland have been blowing hot and cold, while Malaysia have yet to concede a single goal in their 18-goal scoring spree in four matches.

Also, Malaysia are ranked 21 in the world while Poland are No 26: "We only have one more match to qualify for WL Semis, and my charges are not about to give it up without playing their hearts out," declared Nasihin.

And finishing third is also not an option for Malaysia, as the WL rules stipulate that the highest ranked bronze medallists in three of the Round Two tournaments will also advance, but Azarbaijan, ranked 19th, finished third in Montevideo and are eagerly awaiting qualification.

Semi-finals: Poland v Malaysia (8.15pm Malaysian time); India v Thailand.
Fifth-Eighth: Singapore v Kazakhstan; Russia v Ghana.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Live Streaming Ireland Matches this Weekend

Want to watch the Irish matches this weekend but can't make it to the National Hockey Stadium?

Support our Women by tuning in online as we'll be live streaming both of the Irish matches on Saturday the 14th (versus the Ukraine) and Sunday the 15th (versus Canada). The link will go live just before the start of each game.

Click here for the Ireland v Ukraine match at 14.45, Saturday March 14th

Click here for the Ireland v Canada match at 15.15, Sunday March 15th

We'll also be streaming the 3rd/4th play-off and the Final on Sunday March 22nd. Check back here for more details on those during the week.

Come on Green Army!

Irish Hockey Association media release

PHF names players for training camp

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Friday announced 33 probables for the Olympic qualifying round, slated to be held in Belgium in June.

The 15-day qualifying round will begin in Antwerp, Belgium from June 20, in which ten teams, including Pakistan, Australia, India, Malaysia, Belgium, participate.

The PHF has directed all the selected probables to participate in the training camp which will start at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium here from Monday.

Head coach Shahnaz Shiekh will supervise the camp.

Speaking to Dawn, PHF secretary Rana Mujahid said that for getting desired results in the qualifying round, the PHF has planned at least four international tours for the national team before that.

“We have planned visits to Australia, Korea, Germany and Holland in next three months. If our players are not provided chance to play these countries, then our victory in the Olympic qualifying round will be very difficult,” he maintained.

“Though we don’t have funds but at the same time we don’t want to waste time and that’s why we are going to establish a camp from March 16. Meanwhile, we keep trying to get fund from the government,” he said.

The PHF secretary further said the federation would take up funding issue with the prime minister and request him for a special package to keep the national game alive.


Goalkeepers: Imran Butt, Amjad Ali, Mazhar Abbas, Talal Khalid, Altaf.

Fullbacks: Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Irfan, Kashif Shah, Mubashar Ali, Kashif Ali, Atif Mushtaq.

Halves: Tasawar Abbas, Zohaib Ashraf, M. Rizwan Jr., Mohammad Tousiq, Rashid Mahmood, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Sharjeel, Faisal Qadir.

Forwards: Mohammad Waqas, Arslan Qadir, Shafqat Rasool, Umar Bhutta, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Dilber, Mohammad Rizwan Senior, Ali Shan, Rizwan Ali, Ejaz, Rana Umair, Bilal Qadir, Shan Irshad and Azfar Yaqoob.


U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team take Gold at Big Apple International Indoor Tournament

Some standout performances by U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team athletes during the 2015 Big Apple International Indoor Tournament this past weekend resulted in gold medals.

Top goal scorer for the tournament went to Meredith Sholder (Fleetwood, Pa.) with 11 goals. In second came Alexa Hoover (Collegeville, Pa.) with nine goals, followed by Thalia Williamson (Oley, Pa.) with six goals and Meghan Plank (Glen Mills, Pa.) with five goals. Team USA notched a total of 32 goals for the tournament.

Goalkeeping was exceptional as goalkeeper Maria Keesling (Downingtown, Pa.) had an excellent tournament, saving the last five penalty strokes opportunities in a row. Goalkeeper Elizabeth Mata (Severna Park, Md.) also made crucial saves in key moments, which allowed the U.S. Women’s Indoor National Team to maintain their momentum and dominance.

More solid performances came from team captain Kimberly Tunell (Wilmington, Del.) on defense, with fellow defenders Maeve Doherty (Millersville, Md.), Mallory Weisen (Lock Haven, Pa.) and Selena Garzio (McAdoo, Pa.). Together they made it increasingly difficult for opponents to score against Team USA. This was reflected on the team conceding only three goals through the tournament, a rare demonstration for indoor field hockey and a testament to their efforts.

U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team Head Coach Rennie Milne thanked the indoor national team athletes for the way in which they conducted themselves in each game.

“I am really happy and proud of our athletes’ efforts this weekend and over the course of the season,” said Milne. “I am sad to be leaving the program, however I know I am leaving it in a great place with lots of positives still to be explored. I am looking forward to seeing the progression of our senior athletes over the next few years.”

The U.S. Women’s U19 Junior National Indoor Team had an excellent showing this weekend as well. With four new additions to the roster, it took a bit of time for then team to fuse together.

With tying their first three pool matches, the U19 Team eventually came together and locked their first win by beating Rutgers University, 9-1, and securing a place in the semifinals. They went on to play the eventual tournament winners Maryland University in the semifinals, coming up just short of the victory after leading 4-3 with three minutes left to play. A great performance by the Junior Squad in the match and evidence to the steady progression throughout the tournament.

 The U.S. Women’s U19 Junior National Indoor Team now looks forward to hosting Canada in the upcoming Junior Can-American Series on March 21-22, 2015 at the Training Center in Spring City, Pa. Support the high performance indoor staff and athletes but attending the FREE event!

USA Field Hockey would like to give a special thanks to Matthew Jobson, program goalkeeping coach and manager, as well as Erik Enter, U16 head coach, on assisting this past weekend. The indoor program and athletes have benefited greatly from both Jobson and Enter’s coaching knowledge, expertise and guidance throughout the indoor season. The team’s progression this indoor season is a reflection of both efforts.

USFHA media release

Fresh OZ hoping to go one step further

Oranje Zwart’s Rob van der Horst and Jelle Galema are hoping that, with a clear run at the Euro Hockey League, they can go one step further this year and annex their first title.

In 2014, the Eindhoven club ultimately ran out of steam in the final against Harvestehuder THC in the final in a shoot-out. Incredibly, that run came within a week of winning the Dutch Hoofdklasse title.

It meant a very busy schedule with just three rest days in nine, something that the two Dutch stars reckon might have had an effect.

Speaking about last year, playing on home turf, Galema told the EHL website: “It was an amazing event, at home, for our home crowd with more then 5,000 people. It was very disappointing in the end not to come away with the win.

“It was a crazy time to play so quickly all the important games after reaching the Dutch championship. We had just three days to recover from the best moment of the season!”

Van der Horst agrees, saying that it was a week full of ups and downs.

“After winning the Dutch league, the team and the club were in full flow. But we ended up tired because of the Dutch  playoffs final. We had a tough first game and in the second game against RC de Polo we were lucky to win over penalty shoot outs.

“In the semi-final, we smashed Dragons which brought us to the right vibe again and the decider against Harvesterhuder was a great final. I believe we were the better team but couldn’t finish the job in regular time.”

They are back with a strong panel once again and will be one of the sides to watch. Galema and van der Horst have both won World Cup silver since last year along with Mink van der Weerden, Sander Baart and Marcel Balkestein – though he had now retired from the international game – also in that Dutch side.

With Belgian stars Thomas Briels and Elliott van Strydonck, Spain’s Gabriel Dabanch and Pakistan’s Rashid Mehmood and Muhammad Rizwan, they have plenty of talented outlets.

And they have strengthened too since last time out in the EHL.

“The power of our team is that we want to improve ourselves every day, every time,” van der Horst adds. “Each player in the team is playing to become the best he can be for himself and for the team. We are happy that Vincent Vanasch chose to play for Oranje Zwart – a great goalie to replaced Mark Jenniskens.

“We also have young talents who are becoming better every day. Joep de Mol and Bram Huijbers are examples of our talented youth players. We hope that the combination between experienced internationals and youth players from our own club will be the best combination to win the EHL 2015.”

Last weekend, the side fell 2-1 to Amsterdam, their first defeat in almost a year in the Dutch league. Nonetheless, they are still in a share of top spot in the Hoofdklasse heading into a pivotal game with Kampong on Sunday.

Two weeks after that, they will be on the road to Bloemendaal to play SV Arminen in the KO16, a task that both Galema and van der Horst know will be a new challenge.

“We don't have the experience playing SV Arminen but they made it through the group stage with a draw against Atletic Terrassa,” van der Horst said. “This is an indicator that they are a good side. Our staff will analyse SV Arminen so we can play them fully prepared. It will be close but we are confident to make it to the next round. We are looking forward to it.

Galema, meanwhile, adds: “I will respect them but I think with our world class players we can beat them and go this year for the maximum, winning the EHL.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Is Loughborough's fairytale set to continue?

Loughborough celebrate scoring

The story of the Investec Women’s Cup so far has been the run Loughborough Students have put together to make it to the semi-final. The side currently fifth in the Investec Women’s North Conference have claimed two Premier Division scalps on their way to a semi-final clash with Surbiton.

Whilst they have had to watch on as Wakefield and Brooklands Poynton grapple for top spot in the league, the cup seems to have brought out some of the Students’ best qualities, as coach James Ross explains:

“We’ve gone into each game knowing if we play our best we have a great chance. The nature of a student team is that they are very outcome orientated. One off games are what they are good at. We've approached them as 70 minutes to show what we can do, to give our all and see where that gets us. We have a never say die attitude which has meant we have shown great character to come through the games we've had.” he adds: “Ultimately we want to get to the top division, but whilst we are in the conference, the cup represents a good chance to compete against those sides we are aspiring to play against on a weekly basis.”

The constant transitional nature of university based sides can make Ross’ job as Head Coach difficult at times, as each season he is forced to watch his brightest and best move to other clubs due to graduation etc. However, the former Ben Rhydding coach is philosophical about the situation:

“It can be a hindrance from a heritage point of view. We attract good hockey players but every year we lose a number of players too. We have some good relationships with other clubs and there are a lot of our players dotted around the national league at other clubs, it is tough for us but we take great pride in seeing some of our former players doing so well elsewhere.”

This season has been a rare one in so much as the spine of Loughborough’s team remained largely unchanged, allowing them to supplement their ranks with some good players to increase their strength in depth.

Ross is proud of all of his players, something that comes across whenever he talks about the group, but undoubtedly there are some names that leap off the page. Captain Kim Leiper has lead from the front whilst Beth Bingham, who played in the Commonwealth Games for Wales, has proved a valuable addition. Add in a healthy competition for the No1 shirt between the talented Laura Myers and the up and coming stopper Fran Taylor and it is clear to see the Students have plenty of talent to go around.

Of course one name is inevitably linked with the clash between these two cup opponents: Former Surbiton player Ellie Tait is Loughborough’s top scorer. She has scored six times in the cup this season and 17 times in the league. The striker caught the eye when these two teams met in the quarter finals last season with a hat-trick in a 4-3 loss.

“She was already very good when we got her, and Surbiton deserve a lot of credit for that.” says Ross. “She has improved her movement off the ball and her contributions outside of scoring goals. She’s really stepped up and we should see her cause a lot of trouble for them this weekend. She will embrace the moment and if she can score some goals, who knows what will happen?”

The Loughborough Coach is under no illusions about the size of the task at hand, but he is still daring to dream of a trip to Lee Valley for the final:

“We have a lot of respect for all of the teams we could have played, none would be easy. I’m relishing the chance to come up against a side of their quality. They’re a class act and Brett Garrard’s done a great job there, but the cup is a funny thing. If we play well, then who knows? We have an opportunity to show people what we can do. What we’re not doing is underestimating them. We know what Surbiton are about but we’ll give it everything. We’re desperate to get to the final.”

Will Surbiton book their place in the finals to defend the title they currently hold, or will Loughborough’s fairytale run continue to a glorious conclusion? We won’t have to wait long to find out as the Road to Lee Valley continues this Sunday!

England Hockey Board Media release

SSTMI Thunderbolts v UniKL final

By Jugjet Singh

UNIKL Young Guns and SSTMI Thunderbolts will clash in a repeat final for the MHC-Milo-NSC Milo Cup title Sunday at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Yesterday, UniKL thumped Petaling Jaya City Council 5-1 for a 7-1 aggregate win, while defending champions SSTMI Thunderbolts whipped SSP-MSP Thunderbolts 7-2 for a 12-3 aggregate win.

Last season, SSTMI Thunderbolts beat UniKL 2-0 to lay their hands on the Milo Cup, but it will be a much more balanced final tomorrow.

The UniKL goals were scored by Maxhans Christi (5th), S. Deveandren (22nd), Norikhwas Rahman (46th), Nur Faiz Rosli (59th) and Norsyafiq Sumantri (60th). PJCC got their consolation off Hussini Abu Bakar in the 41st minute.

SSTMI Thunderbolts got their goals off Amirul Hamizan (7th, 12th), Zainul Rusyaidi (17th, 31st), Luqman Nul Hakim (25th), Zulhamizan Awang (46th) and Azmie Othman (66th). Indris Samad scored the SSP-MSP Thunderbolts goals in the 35th and 56th minutes.

"Out initial target was just to qualify for the semi-finals and we have surpassed it. Now, we will just go in and enjoy the final as the pressure will be on SSTMI to defend their Milo Cup," said UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran.

Vickneswaran aslo pointed out that SSTMI have the best juniors in the country: "So, there will be added pressure for them to defend as well as attack while we have nothing to lose while everything to gain from the final.

SSTMI Thunderbolts will be gunning for their fourth consecutive JHL double: "We played for big wins in the semi-finals to keep the momentum going, because taking it easy at this stage could disrupt our our preparations to defend the Milo Cup.

"And now that we got the goals flowing, hopefully it will give my strikers more confidence in the final."

RESULTS: Semi-finals Second Leg: SSTMI Thunderbolts 7 SSP-MSP Thunderbolts 2 (SSTMI win 12-3 on aggregate); UniKL Young Guns 5 Petaling Jaya City Council 1 (UniKL win 7-1 on aggregate).

SUNDAY: Final -- SSTMI Thunderbolts v UniKL Young Guns (National Stadium Picth II, 5.30pm).

Third-Fourth: SSP-MSP Thunderbolts v Petaling Jaya City Council (National Stadium Picth II, 3pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

All set for repeat showdown in Milo Cup

By S. Ramaguru

UniKL Maxhans Christie (centre) celebrates after scoring a goal against MBPJ in the second leg of the Milo Cup semi-final. - SHAHRIL ROSLI / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: It’ll be a repeat showdown, after all, for the Milo Cup.

Defending champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) saw off their semi-final opponents with ease to set up a repeat final at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

SSTMI-Thunderbolt cruised into the final after thumping their juniors, Pahang SS-Thunderbolt, 7-2 in the second leg of the semi-final at the same venue. SSTMI-Thunderbolt qualified 12-3 on aggregate.

UniKL too had no problems seeing off Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) 5-1 in the other match to qualify with a 7-1 aggregate.

In the first match, Mohd Amirul Hamizan (seventh and 12th minutes), Mohd Zainul (17th and 31st) Lokman Nul hakim (25th), Mohd Zulhamizan (46) and Mohd Azmie Othman (66th) got the goals for the defending champions.

Team manager Adam Izamry Idrus said after the match that the players were confident of winning the match and it showed in their game.

“We had a good advantage going into the tie (after winning the first leg 5-1). We wanted to use this match to prepare for the final,” said a confident SSTMI-Thunderbolt manager Adam Izamry Idrus.

Many felt that MBPJ, who lost the first leg 2-0, would give UniKL a tougher fight in the return leg.

Instead, it was UniKL who stepped up their game to go two-up after just 22 minutes.

Maxhans Christie scored the opening goal in the fifth minute off a penalty corner before S. Devendran converted a penalty stroke in the 22nd minute.

Although MBPJ pulled a goal back in the 41st minute through Mohd Hussini Abu Bakar off a penalty corner, three late goals by UniKL’s Mohd Norikhwan (46th), Mohd Nur Faiz (59th) and Nosyafiq Sumantri (60th) put paid to their hopes.

In last year’s final, SSTMI-Thunderbolt beat UniKL 2-0.

The Star of Malaysia

Five head for France, Germany

By Jugjet Singh

PIC: Selvaraju in red.

FIVE Malaysians will be heading abroad Saturday to ply their trade in France and German leagues.

Former national player S. Selvaraju and former national coach K. Dharmaraj help secure clubs for the players, while the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) provided the release letters.

Funding came from the National Sports Council as well as UniKL Hockey Club.

Selvaraju, who started his career by playing in the 2005 Junior World Cup in Rotterdam, will be playing for Wespen HC, a Division Two outfit in Germany, together with twins Shazril Irwan, 21, and Shazrul Imran Nazli.

Locally, Shazril plays for Tenaga Nasional while Shazrul for UniKL.

Former national player Megat Azrafiq will head for France to play for Division Two outfit PSG HC.

Nor Aqmal Mohamed (UniKL) and Khairul Amirin (KLHC) will play for  German club Marrindoff HC.

"This collaboration between German and France clubs was made possible with help from many quarters, and in the end, the country will benefit by sending our youth to play in overseas leagues. UniKL and Dharmaraj played a big role in securing sponsorship and clubs for the boys," said Selvaraju.

The five will return in June.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Final outcomes settled in Quilter Cheviot Scottish Schools Cup & Plate competitions

George Watson’s College, George Heriot’s, Robert Gordon’s College, Douglas Academy and Loretto were the winners among the finalists of the Quilter Cheviot Scottish Schools Cup & Plate competitions at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre this evening.

On a fantastic night of hockey, the five finals produced a high level of drama and excitement for the hundreds of spectators in attendance.

Andrew Cockburn put George Watson’s College into an early 1-0 lead in the Open Boys Cup Final against Edinburgh Academy and the score remained that way until half-time.

However, the floodgates opened in the second half, with Watson’s scoring four goals without reply in a clinical display of execution in front of goal.

A double from Rob Spiers, added to goals from captain Andrew Dumble and Sean Horgan, left the final scoreline a convincing 5-0 to George Watson’s College.

Quilter Cheviot Scottish Schools Cup winners George Watsons College. Photo credit: Duncan Gray

In the Open Girls Cup Final, a solitary second half goal from Robin Robeson in the 43rd minute was the only difference between George Heriot’s and High School of Glasgow.

The Scotland youth international swept home at the back post to ensure that the Cup made its way along the M8 with the Heriot’s contingent to Edinburgh after a 1-0 win.

George Heriots celebrate their win in the Quilter Cheviot Scottish Schools Cup final. Photo credit Duncan Gray

Robert Gordon’s College were 4-3 winners over Glenalmond College in a narrow Open Boys Plate Final.

Andrew Webb gave the Aberdeen school an early second minute lead from a penalty corner, before Rory Prichard equalised for Glenalmond in the 23rd minute, again after a penalty corner set-piece.

However, Webb put Robert Gordon’s back in front shortly before half-time, striking home from open play to give his side a 2-1 lead.

Not to be out-done, Prichard was once again on the scoresheet, netting his second penalty corner goal three minutes after the half-time interval.

Two goals from Calum Scott sealed the win for Robert Gordon’s, striking home penalty corners in the 46th and 51st minute to make it 4-2.

Lorne Robb pulled one back for Glenalmond, but it was not enough to stop the plate going back to Aberdeen.

Drama ensued throughout both the S3 Boys Cup and Plate Finals.

Ali Richmond gave Hutchesons’ Grammar School an early lead in the S3 Boys Cup Final against Douglas Academy, scoring from a penalty corner in the 13th minute.

However, Douglas Academy equalised in the 24th minute through a Roshan Anderson goal, before Rory McDiarmid made it 2-1 to the Academy in the 37th minute.

Nonetheless, Hutchesons’ were immediately back on level terms, with Struan Walker grabbing the equaliser sixty seconds later.

Walker put Hutchesons’ into 3-2 lead in the 45th minute, but Bannerman ensured the game would go to a shoot-out, scoring a field goal four minutes from time.

Subsequently, it was Douglas Academy who prevailed in the proceeding penalties contest, winning 2-1 to win the Cup.

In the S3 Boys Plate Final, Fettes College stormed into a 3-0 half-time lead courtesy of a first half double from George Connor and a field goal from Harry Paterson.

However, Stuart Thurlow got his side back into the contest with a strike in the 33rd minute to make it 1-3, before Kyle McGhie reduced the deficit to one three minutes later. The equalising goal came in the 40th minute through a Thurlow penalty corner.

With the sides deadlocked at 3-3 come the full-time whistle, it was Loretto who held their nerve to win the resulting penalty shoot-out 2-1.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Buruburu upset Pangani in Nairobi hockey championships


Jeriah Nyanchoma (centre) of Moi Girls Nairobi gets past Christine Muzami (right) of St George’s during the Nairobi County secondary schools Term One games at City Park Stadium on March 13, 2015. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Buruburu Girls on Friday upset former champions Pangani 1-0 in hockey quarter-finals during Nairobi County secondary schools Term One games at City Park Stadium.

Buruburu’s Christine Wairimu capitalised on a defensive error by Pangani defender Beatrice Mwangi to score past Joy Christine in the Pangani goal.

Pangani, beaten finalists in Nairobi County last season, tried to find a way back to the game in vain.

They had a glorious chance in injury time when they were awarded a penalty corner but Rose Achieng failed to score with only the keeper to beat.

The final whistle drew wild celebrations from Buruburu Girls and coach Peter Mwathe was full of praise for his girls.

“We showed great character, played as a team, fought for every ball and in the end we were rewarded with victory,” Mwathe said.

Mwathe will now come up against his mentor and friend Amwai Olubai of Moi Girls in the semis. Olubai’s team crushed St George’s 8-0 in their quarter final match.

Champions Moi Girls had no trouble against St Georges, racing to a 3-0 half-time lead with goals from Sarah Hassan, Hannah Wasidiwa and Jeriah Onserio. Hassan and Wasidiwa each added two more goals in the second-half and Mevis Mwenesi completed the rout.

Hillcrest beat Parklands Arya 2-0 in the third quarter-final match. Girls’ and boys’ semi-finals will be played on Saturday at the same venue from 10 am.

Daily Nation

Nurturing talent

Three cows and an academy provide opportunities for rural kids of Rajasthan

(Photo: FIH)

Andrea Thumshirn has combined three strands of her life – hockey, business and travel – to set up a charitable project that is giving children in some of the villages in India the chance of a good education, a brighter future and, for the most talented, a shot at stardom.

Hockey Village India was founded by Andrea in 2010, with the first hockey village, Garh Himmat Singh, opening in Rajasthan. Since then, four more Hockey Villages have opened, another one in Jatwara, just a few miles from Garh Himmat Singh, two in Goa and another one in Rohtak, Haryana, 70 miles from Delhi.

Andrea has always been involved in hockey: she began playing when she was six years old and was coaching by the age of 14. She had a spell with the German national junior team but found that her time was torn between her career ambitions and her love for her local club. The lure of an international career was put to one side, as Andrea moved to Berlin where she studied fashion design and played premier league hockey for Berlin Sports Club.

It was through setting up and running her own travel business that Andrea ended up in India. She says: “The love for foreign countries and cultures brought me to India. With the help of my Indian business partner I ended up in the little village Garh Himmat Singh in rural remote Rajasthan. As time seemed to stand still in this place, I just brought some hockey sticks to help pass the time. This is how the whole story started. The country, the game and the kids became my life and of course the hunger to do something useful in my life.”

She outlines what life is like for the children in these areas. “Most of our kids are from poor farmer families. We provide them with shoes, socks, shorts, shirts, sticks, shin pads and track suits. We provide transport, accommodation and food when we go out for matches and tournaments, and we pay for their trips to Germany.  We also bought three cows to provide milk so the little ones get some protein. “

Andrea herself does the vast majority of the hockey coaching, and she is helped by two local coaches and a number of German volunteers who spend a minimum of three months at a time working at the schools.

The precept driving Hockey India Villages is that everyone has the right to learn. Through the Hockey Villages, the pupils are given a basic, modern education, including English, mathematics and computing as well as drawing and arts. Then the pupils get sport – hockey - every day. Andrea explains: “Besides education, we believe in sports, as sports is important for a healthy body, for so many important skills in life like team spirit, motivation, going to our limits and achieving something.”

The young players are also given the opportunity to compete. The school’s teams participated in the All India Tournament, and Andrea is hoping that the project’s recent affiliation to Hockey India will enhance competitive opportunities.

Certainly, the project’s ambitions go way beyond simply using sport as a means to social mobility. Andrea is creating a centre of excellence which she hopes will produce international stars of the future. For the players that show the greatest potential, the astro-turf pitch at Jatwara has been designated an academy, where the best players from all the Hockey Villages will receive boarding and the chance to excel at hockey through international standard coaching.

For some of the players, fantastic opportunities have already presented themselves. Last year, five of the boys travelled to Germany to play age group hockey and this year a 13-year-old girl will join the trip. Andrea says: “This experience gives them a lot of exposure, self confidence and a different view on the game. They stay with German families and go to school there.”

Andrea’s dream is a grandiose one. “My dream is to create international hockey players so that hockey in India can grow again. I am what I am because of hockey and I hope that my kids will say the same one day.”

FIH site

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Hockey New Zealand Media release

Man sues Star Sports for showing Hockey instead of repeating Cricket matches

by girpadekhelkar

If a wooden stick and a ball had to be on ground, why not Cricket instead?

Chandigarh. Keeraj Chopra, a 24-year-old resident of Jagadhari, Haryana has sued Star Sports for airing Hockey India League live matches last month, which according to him wasted the time that could have been better utilized by running highlights of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup which had started by then.

Hockey India League or HIL is a league competition very much like IPL that practically very few people know about. The difference is that IPL is for cricket and has massive following whereas HIL caters to the needs of Hockey and is still looking for spectators. HIL just concluded their third season.

Our correspondent contacted Keeraj and reached out to him in his hometown where he is running his own venture ‘Keeraj Coaching Classes’ for IAS preparation and SSB.

“Cricket is our National Game; it runs in our blood, nostrils, everywhere. When each and every Indian is cheering for the biggest World Competition on the Earth, Star Sports played a spoil-sport and live feeds HIL which no one wants to see,” rued an angry Keeraj. When told that recent RTI has revealed that India has no national game, he demanded the identification of the journalist protesting about his professional ignorance.

Keeraj, like many other true Sports fans in India, follows Cricket, Manchester United, Roger Federer, and Sachin Tendulkar, and has recently started to develop a special hatred for Maria Sharapova.

He claimed that a true fan like him requires watching each and every match for a number of times to analyze the game and jot down intricate details that an ordinary fan is unable to comprehend. Without these analyses and statistics of Cricket, life of an Indian is incomplete and unworthy. Keeraj says that his love and loyalty towards Cricket inspired him to move to the court against Star Sports.

But being a true sports lover that he is, Keeraj has some advice for Hockey. “Hockey needs to push their game, bring some more adrenaline rush and tweak their rules a little. To begin with they should replace hockey sticks with cricket bats to appeal to the audience. Hockey players too should hurl some abusive language during the matches to increase their TRP. 70-minute format should be changed to 20-minute format, like we did in T20 Cricket. See how big a hit it was?”

When told that recently 70-minute format has been changed to 60-minute format, Keeraj was convinced of correspondent’s poor knowledge about sports and quoted Shahrukh Khan from Chak De India “Sattar minute hain tumhare paas.” He claimed that King Khan can never go wrong.

We have no comment from Hockey India on this as we couldn’t reach them. During HIL, most of them were found enjoying the matches and free meals in VIP section with their families. But since HIL got over it is getting difficult to locate them.

Meanwhile locals of Jagadhari have shown full support to Keeraj and are seeking help of top lawyers like Ram Jhootmalani to pursue the case further.


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