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News for 05 April 2015

All the news for Sunday 5 April 2015

Black Sticks Women go down to Japan

Michaela Curtis lines up a shot. Photo courtesy www.photosport.co.nz

The Black Sticks Women could not continue their winning momentum today, going down 1-0 to Japan in a tough game in Auckland.

The Black Sticks made one change from yesterday’s game with Rosie Keddell coming in for Kirsten Pearce.

The Kiwis made a strong start with the first chance coming from an early penalty corner variation which Petrea Webster flicked just over the crossbar.

The rest of the first half was an even contest, with goalkeeper Amelia Gibson continuing her good form, keeping the Japanese at bay to see both sides head to the halftime break locked at 0-0.

The breakthrough came for Japan early in the third quarter when a searching long ball from the back found Mie Nakashima who pushed a square ball in to Akiko Kato to give the Japanese the lead.

The Black Sticks had their chances to level in the fourth quarter, none more so than a sequence of three penalty corners which all brought out fantastic saves from Japanese goalkeeper Miyuki Nakagawa.

Late pressure from the Black Sticks proved to no avail, with the Japanese holding on for the victory and a real confidence boost heading into the Hawke’s Bay Cup in Hastings.

Coach Mark Hager was understandably disappointed in the result but complimented Japan on their play.

“Full credit to Japan they were the better team and wanted it more. Some of our basic skills let us down today,” he said.

“We are looking forward to going to Gisborne. Argentina will present a new challenge.”

Today’s New Zealand A vs Korea game was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.

The Black Sticks now head south to Gisborne for two tests against Argentina on Tuesday and Wednesday at 3.30pm. Both games will be streamed live at www.hockeynz.co.nz/video

JAPAN 1: (Akiko Kato)
Halftime: 0-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Rajah Azlan Shah

His memory we cherish


The name evokes a mood of nostalgia, a myriad of moments, a multitude of memories, and above all, the magnificence of a man whose methods and manners manufactured the montage of Malaysian hockey across the globe and, of course, the melancholic thought of him not being with us. 

RAJAH AZLAN SHAH gave an image and identity to the sport of hockey in Malaysia and across the globe. He symbolized the very ethos of the game as a true devotee whose passion knew no boundaries.

Any reference to the Sultan that reflects a grain of panegyric import will be inadequate, measly and a string of puerile epithets.

His vision always underscored the element of pragmatism, shorn of empty rhetoric or recrimination. In everything, he conceived a fresh idea, a new level of thinking and a novel method for accomplishing them. It contained clarity of thought, chastity of heart and the spirit of co-operation.

In every pore of his handsome physique, he breathed hockey. His love for the game cannot be quantified. This passion consumed a lot of his energy as one who played and imbibed the spirit of it more than that of an administrator.

Rajah Azlan always was enchanted by the beauty of the game, with its aesthetics and the athleticism of Asian hockey in all its pristine purity. No one was more conscious and anguished about the silken fabric being overwhelmed by the force and forthright of European approach than him.

It is now part of the folklore in the state of Perak, and in the capital city of Ipoh, how as a boy he cast aside the royal protocol and played with commoners at Batu Gajah, regarded as the nursery of hockey.

I was once amazed that he learnt to speak Tamil by mingling with a majority of those who spoke that language in Perak. He stunned me with his insight into the Tamil Nadu politics during a conversation in the press box.

Educated in the best of institutions both in Malaysia and abroad, particularly in Nottingham and in the subject of law, his erudition gave him the status of a scholar. Small wonder that he became a shining star in the legal fraternity of the country and moving up to the highest position in the judiciary.

Aptly portrayed as the “ father of Malaysian hockey,” Rajah Azlan’s role as the friend, philosopher and guide of the MHA is legendary.

He was the soul and substance behind the two World Cups in 1975 and in 2002 held at Kuala Lumpur. His reign for over two decades and more in MHA can well be described as outstanding in the area of administration of the sport.

The hockey community rightly sought his benefaction for growth in Asia. From 1997 until the death, he presided over the destiny of the Asian Hockey Federation through his sagacity, sincere appreciation of its problems and charted various courses aimed at development. One such scheme is the launch of the Asian Champions Trophy apart from the Azlan Shah Cup since 1983.

Rajah Azlan’s stature was such that the international community sought his persona to be a part of the FIH. His counselling and convincing arguments for and against, contributed immensely to deciding on a host of issues by the FIH. He served as Vice-President and as a member of the EB as the representative of the AHF.

Mere documentation of Rajah Azlan’s role in the hockey administration across the spectrum does not project the man and his mission adequately. True, he was a symbol of aristocracy but shunned all its negative trappings. He was human and humane.

The life and times of Rajah Azlan represents an era, a saga and an epoch that will remain for the scale of achievements, unmatched for generations to come.

All good things come to an end, so did the era of Rajah Azlan Shah. Life ebbed out of him on May 21, 2014, leaving a void that never, never,will be filled.

In Latin they say, ‘sic transit Gloria mundi.’


Australia start as favourites in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

By S. Ramaguru

National hockey coach Tai Beng Hai (in cap) watching over his players as they train ahead of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh which starts on Sunday. - RONNIE CHIN/ The STAR

IPOH: The 24th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament begins in Ipoh on Sunday with all six teams having the same thing on their minds.

The title apart, the tournament offers Malaysia, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Korea and Canada the chance for some quality sparring in preparation for the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in June. The World Hockey League is an Olympic qualifier.

The quality of the teams is indeed high. Defending champions Australia are, after all, the world No. 1 and India are Asian Games gold medallists.

“We have to be realistic about our objectives and also what we want to achieve here. The performance is important and also for the players to show how far they’ve progressed and what they can do. Every player here will be trying hard to win a place for the World Hockey League.

“So I expect them to be on the mark and play well,” said national coach Tai Beng Hai on Saturday.

Malaysia have competed in five finals but never won the title. Could this be their year?

Malaysia open their campaign against New Zealand on Sunday. Both teams had a practice session on Thursday, which the Kiwis won 1-0.

The 2012 champions will certainly want to start with a win as well and coach Colin Batch certainly has the personnel to get it in the likes of Ryan Archibald, Simon Mason, Nick Haig, Andy Hayward, Arun Panchia and Blair Hilton.

“We have a mixture of experienced and young talented players. We have about five players who have made the transition from the junior squad from last year,” said Batch.

But, as usual, it’s eight-time champions Australia who are likely to steal the show.

The Australians have a new coach in Graham Reid but it is the return of two very senior players that’s making news.

World Cup winners Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner are making a return to the team after a 10-month absence. If Dwyer plays, he will become the most capped Australian hockey player of all time. He currently has 322 caps.

Australia have won the last two editions and can become the first team to make it a hat-trick.

India too have a new coach in Dutchman Paul van Ass but will be fielding a very experienced side.

Only goalkeeper Harjot Singh and forward Satbir Singh have fewer than 20 international caps while there are six players with more than 100 caps. India will be led by Sardar Singh, who has 206 caps.

The Star of Malaysia

Dwyer set for Australian record

Jamie Dwyer set to overtake Jay Stacy as Australia's most capped player

Olympic gold medallist and two-time hockey World Cup winner Jamie Dwyer will set a new record tonight when he becomes Australian hockey’s most capped player ever.

In taking to the field against Canada in the Kookaburras’ opening match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Dwyer will make his 322nd appearance for his country, surpassing the 321 caps achieved by Victorian Jay Stacy, who retired following the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000.

Since his debut in May 2001, Rockhampton-born Dwyer, 36, has been at the forefront of the Kookaburras’ most notable successes. Named hockey’s World Player of the Year five times, he is arguably best known for scoring the winning goal against the Netherlands in the 2004 Olympic final in Athens, which earned Australia’s men’s hockey team its first ever Olympic gold medal. He has since gone on to help Australia win two further Olympic bronze medals in Beijing and London.

A player for the big occasions, Dwyer was among the goal scorers in last year’s World Cup final as the Kookaburras overwhelmed the Netherlands 6-1 in The Hague to claim a second consecutive world title, becoming only the third team ever to successfully defend a World Cup crown. The goal was his 206th in the green and gold, also an Australian record. In all, Dwyer has played in four World Cup finals, twice winning gold and twice silver.

He scored a hat-trick in the final of the 2002 Commonwealth Games to help Australia to victory over New Zealand and was part of the team that won third and fourth consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medals in 2006 and 2010.

Paying tribute to Dwyer’s success, David Hatt, President of Hockey Australia, said, “Jamie Dwyer is Australia's most decorated and acclaimed male player. He is recognised by his peers as the best player in world hockey over the past decade. His golden goal in the 2004 Olympic Games final brought Australian men’s hockey its greatest moment. Hockey Australia salutes a magnificent career for one of its favourite sons.”

Cam Vale, Chief Executive of Hockey Australia, added, “Jamie Dwyer is one of our sport’s most recognisable names. A generation of young Australian hockey players has grown up wanting to emulate him. This milestone achievement is testament to his professionalism over the past 14 years and the role he has played in keeping the Kookaburras at the top of world hockey in that time.” 

Speaking to Sportsmediagroup.com.au in Ipoh ahead of the match, Jamie Dwyer said, “I’m very honoured to play one game for Australia, let alone be the most capped player. Jay Stacy, who I’m equal with at the moment, was a bit of a role model to me and I looked up to him so much, so it feels a little bit weird to pass him but I think just playing for your country in general is amazing. I’ve been very fortunate I’ve played so many times.

“This game on Sunday is special to me, that’s for sure, but I’m probably more excited about wearing the green and gold again after not playing for nine months now.” 

On his target of playing in a fourth Olympic Games next year, Dwyer said, “I thought London was definitely going to be my last Olympics but now I’m obviously heading towards Rio. Whether I make it or not I’m not too sure, but physically I feel good and that’s why I keep going.”

Dwyer’s 322nd game for the Kookaburras, Australia’s opening match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup against Canada, takes place at 18:00 AEST on Sunday. It will be shown on delay on Eurosport at 15:45 AEST on Monday.

Hockey Australia media release

Canada on ‘fact-finding’ mission at Azlan Shah Cup

By S. Ramaguru

Already deprived of the services of five key players, they face a tough Sultan Azlan Shah opener against defending champions and world No. 1 Australia on Sunday.

Captain Scott Tupper and veteran Mark Pearson are on club duty in Belgium while the hulking Matthew Guest and youngsters Gordon Johnston and Paul Wharton are recovering from injuries.

But Canada head coach Anthony Farry is unfazed, saying that the absence of the top players “will allow us to gauge the other talents in the team”.

“For us, it’s not about placing at this tournament. It’s about having a look at some of the guys who pushed for World League Round Two action but did not get to play,” he said.

“This one is about us having a look at what we do, having a look at the make-up of our team, which team can have an impact at the World League Semi-Finals and give us the best chance at qualifying for the Olympics.”

Farry also admitted that the weather would be a crucial factor for his side.

“There is a 40°C swing for us in Canada to Malaysia. We have to get used to the heat quickly and it’s unfortunate that we play all our matches, except against Malaysia, at 4pm,” he lamented.

But he believes that matches against four of the world’s top-10 teams – Australia (No. 1), New Zealand (No.7), South Korea (No. 8), and India (No. 9) – would be of immense help in their preparations for the World League Semi-Finals in June.

Even the match against 12th-ranked Malaysia is sure to give Canada the high-quality match practice they need.

“Playing some of the best field hockey teams in the world is the perfect platform to evaluate talent. Their performances here will go a long way towards ensuring their selection for the World League Semi-Finals,” said the coach.

Acting captain Froese agrees with his coach.

“We’re missing some guys in this tournament, but it’s going to be a really good opportunity for the guys on the fringe to just really show themselves and get that experience against teams who they might not necessarily face,” said the 23 year-old.

The Star of Malaysia

Azlan Shah will kickstart our preparation for Rio 2016: Paul van Ass

IPOH: Indian hockey team's newly appointed chief coach Paul van Ass wants to start his team's preparation for next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in right earnest with a good show in the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey tournament.

"Every chance that you get to play against international opponents, you should embrace it and take seriously," Van Ass said on the eve of his side's tournament opener against South Korea at the Azlan Shah Stadium on Sunday.

"The good part is we have already qualified for the Olympics. From that account, there is no pressure, but it is very important tournament for us keeping in mind the preparation for the Olympics, next year.

"This tournament is just the beginning of our preparation for the 2016 Olympics. I just want to get a feel of my team and they want to feel what I can do and as to what changes I can bring about. But we will take every match very seriously, otherwise the information which you procure out of them doesn't turn out to be realistic," the Dutchman said.

Van Ass, who replaced Australian Terry Walsh as India's chief coach barely three weeks ago, said the Azlan Shah Cup will give his side a chance to test themselves against higher-ranked opponents.

"There are three teams who are ranked higher than us. So it is a very nice opportunity for us to see how we play against those teams. Do we really have a chance? Is it possible for us to fix problems that arise? For me, that is going to be valuable information," he said.

The Azlan Shah Cup is Van Ass' first assignment with the Indian team and expectedly all eyes would be on him, but the Dutchman is hardly bothered by that.

"I don't feel any kind of pressure. Pressure is something people create. I am totally in control of the team. I do just what I think we have to do," he said.

Stating that world champions and title holders Australia is the team to beat in this tournament, Van Ass warned his opponents not to underestimate India.

"Australia obviously, may be New Zealand (are favourites) but don't forget us," the India coach said.

He also said that the hot and humid conditions here can be a cause of concern for all the participating teams.

The Times of India

Paul van Ass: I am here to do a job

Tazeen Qureshy

Hours before the opening match against South Korea, new coach Paul van Ass says he is excited and ready to face the real test.

"It has been a nice three weeks spent with the team. Now, comes the real feeling as to how much prepared we are and where we have progressed. It is the time for the real test," Paul van Ass told stick2hockey.com after the second and final practice session of the India team at the Sultan Azlan Shah stadium in Ipoh.

In the spotlight since he took over the reigns of the team, he however denies the media hype on the tournament being a more a test for him rather than the team.

"Pressure is created by people. I am not taking any pressure. I am here to do a job, that's all."

"The players are comfortable with me. Of course, i trigger them when required and it is necessary."he added.

Talking about how much importance the tournament holds, he said,"The good thing is that India has already qualified for the Rio Olympics. Among the participating nations, four teams are ranked higher than us. Playing against the international teams, will tell us do we stand a chance or not and have we been able to fix the problem."

On the strong teams in the tournament he picked out Australia, New Zealand, before pointing that India stood a chance as well.


Raghunath: Opener win will be a good gift for our coach

Tazeen Qureshy

India's first match in the forthcoming 24th Sultan Azlan Shah cup, which is against Asian powerhouse South Korea, will be the first international match for the team in the calendar year and expert drag flicker V.R. Raghunath wants the team to start it on a winning note.

"Tomorrow's match against Korea will be our first international match in 2015. So, we want to start it on a winning note. Also, it will be new coach's first game with us, so a win would make a good gift for him," Raghunath said on the sidelines of the practice session at the Sultan Azlan Shah stadium.

Highlighting that the team does have an upper edge psychologically after winning their last match against the Asian giants, he however, said that the opponent cannot be taken lightly.

"We won the last game against Korea in Incheon Asian Games semi-final. But it no way means they are easy opponents. Korea will come prepared and so have we well prepared our strategies too."

On Saturday, the drag-flick duo of V.R Raghunath and Rupinderpal Singh practiced penalty corner for long, trying different angles and variations.

"Korea have a good goalkeeper. Hence, any penalty corner earned should not go waste."

Tazeen Qureshy reports from Ipoh


Speed and quick Counter-Attacks will be the key: Navjot Kaur

New Delh - With an impressive run in the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 in New Delhi, midfielder Navjot Kaur is all prepared for the upcoming Hawke’s Bay Cup 2015 in New Zealand scheduled to start on 11th April. Along with the Women National Hockey Team, Navjot Kaur will face world’s best teams in the tournament. She will be accompanied by other midfielders such as Captain Ritu Rani, Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Liliy Chanu and Sondarya Yendala, who made in the 18-member squad, for the important tournament before the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final Round (Women) in Belgium, to be held in June/July this year.

Along with the midfield line-up, Navjot Kaur is working hard on her speed and counter attack as both the skills will be the key factors against the top-rated teams in the tournament.

Speaking on the tournament, Navjot Kaur said, “We are going to face the best hockey teams in the world and it will not always be easy to materialise the opportunities in goals. We are working on all aspects of the game, from basic quick running to out-of-the-box strategies. Speed and counter-attack will be the key-factor in the tournament. We have to react quickly and should look at entering the opponents’ D in few seconds. Only speed and quick counter-attack can surprise the best teams and allow us to take an edge. We are working on these areas and have improved a lot. I am looking forward to the tournament.”

The preparatory camp, which commenced on 22nd March and will conclude on 7th April with the players working hard on their game as they understand that this tournament is important before they play the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final, Belgium in June this year.

The Hawke’s Bay will be played from 11 April 2015 – 19 April 2015 and eight teams will be seen fighting it out for the title. India will play their first match against China at 6.00 AM IST on 11 April 2015.


FINAL4 line-up known after breathtaking KO8 phase

On yet another memorable day in Euro Hockey League history, Royal Daring, Oranje Zwart, HC Bloemendaal and UHC Hamburg fought their way through the KO8 to reach the FINAL4 in breathtaking fashion.

Royal Daring were the first side to make it through to the FINAL4, coming back from the dead to stun Rot Weiss Koln in a shoot-out. The German side looked well in control at 2-0 ahead with 15 minutes to go with Christopher Zeller and Mats Grambusch early goals put them in great shape.

But Tanguy Cosyns’ deflection gave Daring hope and he levelled in a dramatic final ten seconds of normal time. For the second game running, the Belgian club won out in a shoot-out with five perfectly executed efforts to reach their first European semi-final.

In the second KO8 game, Oranje Zwart took their time before finally breaking the resolve of the last Spanish side standing, Club Egara.

Penalty corner goals from Mink van der Weerden and Alex de Paeuw saw the game level at 1-1 for a long time but van der Weerden won it for OZ in the closing phases, netting a stroke and another corner. Jelle Galema added an extra flourish to the scoreline in the final seconds for a 4-1 victory.

Game three was one of the best in EHL history, a stunning 4-3 win for HC Bloemendaal as they came from 3-1 down against Dragons in the last quarter to win courtesy of three goals in an eight minute spell from Tom Boon.

Dragons had built a 2-0 lead in the first 11 minutes when Felix Denayer and Matthew Cobbaert thumped home. Diede van Puffelen reduced the gap at half-time but Florent van Aubel’s touch to a Louis Rombouts’ pass restored the two-goal advantage in the third quarter.

But then came Boon who scored a drag-flick and a brave back post effort to tie the game at 3-3 and then won it from the penalty spot with six minutes to go.

In another classic, UHC Hamburg were inspired by Florian Fuchs to beat SV Kampong 3-2 and complete the FINAL4 line-up.

Loick Luypaert had the Dutch side leading at half-time but two third quarter goals from Fuchs – his second a brilliant individual goal – turned things around. Constantijn Jonker equalised but Jonas Fuerste won the match with four minutes to go, deflecting the ball high into the net from a left wing cross.

It sets up two exciting semi-finals on Easter Sunday with UHC Hamburg and Royal Daring meeting in the first semi-final before an all-Dutch affair in the other game as Oranje Zwart and hosts Bloemendaal showdown.


Match 1: Royal Daring 2 (T Cosyns 2) Rot Weiss Koln 2 (C Zeller, M Grambusch), Daring win 5-3 in a shoot-out

Match 2: Oranje Zwart 4 (M van der Weerden 3, J Galema) Club Egara 1 (A de Paeuw)

Match 3: KHC Dragons 3 (F Denayer, M Cobbaert, F van Aubel) Bloemendaal 4 (T Boon 3, D van Puffelen)

Match 4: UHC Hamburg 3 (F Fuchs 2, J Fuerste) SV Kampong 2 (L Luypaert, C Jonker)

Sunday 5 April (FINAL4)

M13 12.00h UHC Hamburg (GER) – Royal Daring (BEL)
M14 15.00h HC Bloemendaal (NED) – Oranje Zwart (NED)

Monday 6 April

M15 12.00h 3/4 (loser SF 1-loser SF 2)
M16 15.00h Final (winner SF 1-winner SF 2)

Euro Hockey League media release

Daring still dare to dream after stunning comeback

Royal Daring are through to the FINAL4 of the EHL after they produced the unlikeliest of comebacks to defeat Rot Weiss Koln in a shoot-out after they looked dead and buried in normal time.

But a final quarter double from Tanguy Cosyns, the second coming on the final hooter set them up for the shoot-out and they duly prevailed with a set of five perfect efforts to defeat the German side 5-3.

Rot Weiss got off to a stunning start with Mats Grambusch the key player, creating one goal and scoring another to help his side build a 2-0 lead in the first quarter.

Both were beautiful in their conception. For the first, Grambusch ghosting down the left wing before picking out a diving Christopher Zeller to slam home the first inside three minutes.

Grambusch then finished off from mid-circle a swift attack, created by Marco Miltkau’s back door pass.

They looked the more assured side through and they thought they had gone three goals clear when Marco Miltkau fired home from a route one move. But, on video review, the effort was ruled out for a foul on goalkeeper Pol Garcia-Cascon.

But Daring were never fully beaten and they got back into the game when Cosyns applied a delicious touch to Sergi Enrique’s powerful crash ball.

That made it 2-1 with 15 minutes to go but, try as Daring might, they could not find their way through the strong Rot Weiss defence, led by Philipp Zeller. That was until the very last moments when they won a corner with five seconds to go, Cosyns once again was the man to shoot high into the net and send the game to a shoot-out.

There, Tanguy and Jos Cosyns, Victor Wegnez and Manu Brunet all scored while Garcia-Cascon saved one to set up Enrique to win it in a shoot-out for Daring for the second game running.

KO8, match 1: Royal Daring 2 (T Cosyns 2) Rot Weiss Koln 2 (C Zeller, M Grambusch), Daring win 5-3 in a shoot-out

Euro Hockey League media release

Van der Weerden triple shoots OZ to FINAL4

A Mink van der Weerden hat trick propelled Oranje Zwart into the FINAL4 for the second successive season as they eventually broke down a battling Club Egara.

He shot home two penalty corners and one penalty stroke – two goals coming in the closing quarter – to see the Eindhoven club advance to the next phase.

Van der Weerden gave OZ the perfect start when he shot home his second goal of the week with a strong drag-flick for 1-0 in the fourth minute.

But Egara were defensively rigid and kept the game tight before tying the game up with a corner of their won. It came from Alex de Paeuw who slammed home a rebound after the initial sho ricocheted into his path.

He took it first time, giving Vincent Vanasch no chance to react in time. From there, chances were scarce as both teams defended immaculately, particularly Egara who had to do most of the heavy lifting.

Thomas Briels drew the best from Quico Cortes early in the fourth quarter from one clear opening while another van der Weerden drag-flick clattered a defender’s foot on the line.

It led to the all-important penalty stroke which van der Weerden converted low and hard for 2-1. It broke the Catalan resistance and he duly notched up an extra insurance goal in the last ten minutes to ensure OZ’s place in the next round. It was his second hat trick in the EHL.

Jelle Galema then completed the victory in the closing minute when he was left unmarked to squeeze home the fourth goal.

KO8 Match 2: Oranje Zwart 4 (M van der Weerden 3, J Galema) Club Egara 1 (A de Paeuw)

Euro Hockey League media release

Brilliant Boon and Bloemendaal extinguish Dragons' fire

Tom Boon’s eight-minute hat trick transformed HC Bloemendaal as they produced one of the best comebacks in EHL history to deny KHC Dragons a fourth successive FINAL4 spot.

The host club looked dead and buried at 3-1 down going into the final quarter but the Belgian star striker came up with something special to snatch a famous result.

It was a rip-roaring tie from the outset with both sides playing at a great intensity, making for one of the finest games in recent memory. Felix Denayer started the goal rush with a thunderous backhand volley in the fifth minute from a corner rebound.

Matthew Cobbaert was then afforded too much time and space and he found a way through Jaap Stockmann’s defences to make it 2-0 in the 11th minute.

Diede van Puffelen got one back before half-time with some sharp reactions after his cross bounced back his way, applying a neat flick at the right post.

Florent van Aubel restored the advantage when he got a deft touch to Louis Rombouts’ ball through the middle of the circle. At 3-1, teeange goalkeeper Loic van Doren made a string of brilliant saves to keep the advantage at two going into the final quarter.

But then came Boon. His drag-flick started the comeback when it squeezed over the line. He then bravely threw himself at Rogier Hofman’s right wing cross to level the match with seven minutes to go.

A minute later, he nailed the winner when Roel Bovendeert’s shot hit Arthur van Doren’s foot in front of goal. Boon powered home the stroke and, despite some nervous moments, Bloemendaal held out to make it through to the FINAL4.

KO8 Match 3: KHC Dragons 3 (F Denayer, M Cobbaert, F van Aubel) Bloemendaal 4 (T Boon 3, D van Puffelen)

Euro Hockey League media release

Fuchs inspires UHC to 3-2 win over Kampong

Jonas Fuerste’s 66th minute deflection saw UHC Hamburg’s bid for a fourth Euro Hockey League title stay alive as they came from behind to beat SV Kampong 3-2, completing the semi-final line-up.

It was tit for tat throughout with with Loick Luypaert’s low drag-flick putting the Utrecht side in front in the first half.

But UHC Hamburg swapped the lead around, first by deflecting in a free from outside the 23m line and then he scored one of the most exquisite individual goals of the tournament to date.

Taking the ball on from halfway, he danced around a couple of tackles before unleashing a rocket past David Harte to make it 2-1 in the 47th minute.

The advantage did not last long as Constantijn Jonker was located on the endline and applied a tidy flick to beat the advancing Nicolas Jacobi.

Jonas Fuerste, though, had the last laugh when a diagonal ball from the left invited him to ramp the ball high into the net, continuing his club’s progression in the competition.

KO8 Match 4: UHC Hamburg 3 (F Fuchs 2, J Fuerste) SV Kampong 2 (L Luypaert, C Jonker)

Euro Hockey League media release

Surbiton & Canterbury European medal hopes dashed

Surbiton in European Club action 2015

It was a highly entertaining day in Bilthoven at the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup yesterday as the knock-out tournament saw its first four victims fall. England had two representatives in action - league toppers from last season Canterbury and Investec Women's League title holders Surbiton. Unfortunately neither side made it through to the semi finals, but they can be proud of their achievements as they both took much fancied European opponents to a shoot out. Both sides will now play in the classification matches with fifth place, and a possible meeting between the two English sides to battle for that placing, still a possibility.

Source: European Hockey Federation - click here for more tournament information.

The opening game of EHCCC2015 was contested by Surbiton, English Champions and Club de Campo. The opening half was one of cat and mouse as neither team seemed to want to take the game to the other team, content to play defensively and not concede.

Surbiton had the better of the first half with a shot on goal after the 7th minute, but the score was 0-0 at half time.

Surbiton opened the scoring via Hannah Coulson in the 41st minute. Club de Campo equalised via a corner from Captain Rocio GUTIERREZ SIERRA but in spite of 3 penalty corners Club de Campo failed to go ahead and as the clock ticked down, under the new regulations, a shoot-out was looking likely. On the hooter and with no further score for either side we had the first shoot out of the day, which Club de Campo comfortably won 2-0.

Hannah Coulson 41 (FG)


Susannah Townsend in action for Canterbury in Europe 2015

The final game of the day was in front of a full house here in SCHC, with good support for the visitors Canterbury. Van Massakker had her first attempt at goal in the first quarter but her shot went wide. With a marked defensive play from Canterbury the first quarter ended 0-0. Roos Drost was making her presence felt in the Canterbury circle putting immense pressure on the defense. Canterbury almost equalised via a PC from Balson but no one could get the required deflection.

Half time in a very tight game saw SCHC just ahead at the half 0-1.

Just after the start of the second half Canterbury equalised via Wilson and it was game on.

SCHC upped a gear and in the 3rd quarter were awarded 4 PC’s, all of which were taken by van Maasakker but in spite of her dragging high and low, the Canterbury defence held. mainly due to some heroics from Kepper Fagg. On the hooter of the quarter SCHC’s van Maasakker finally found the net this time a variation. The hosts led 1-2 going into the final quarter.

Canterbury kept the faith and were rewarded in the 65th minute as Balson’s direct drag flick found the net. A very exciting 5 minutes as both teams tried to find the winner, but in the end the game needed a Shoot Out. The more experienced team SCHC at the 8 second 1v1, scored 3 to Canterbury’s nil and won a place in the semi-final tomorrow.

Jen Wilson 36 (FG)
Grace Balsdon 65 (PC)

SCHC 2 (1)
DIRKSE van den HEUVEL Carlien 27 (FG)
van MAASAKKER Caia 52 (PC)

SCHC win 3-0 in shoot-out

Both Canterbury and Surbiton are still in European action with classification places from 6th-8th up for grabs. Both sides compete on Sunday with the possibility of an all-English affair on Easter Monday. For all the competition information, visit the tournament website, or the results pages.

England Hockey Board Media release

UBC men's field hockey repeats as Premier Division champions

By Shiaz Virgee

VANCOUVER – The University of  British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds won their second consecutive Men's Field Hockey League Premier Division title on Saturday afternoon, defeating the India Field Hockey Club in a penalty shootout at Wright Field.

Coached by Shiaz Virjee (former World Cup and Olympic Coach), the team has had tremendous success over the past dozen years winning successive league and playoff trophies.

All five UBC players scored on their shootout opportunities, as did the first four India Club players. But fifth and final shooter missed the net with his attempt, setting off a Thunderbirds celebration around goalkeeper Cam Munsie.

Shooters for UBC were Matthew Sarmento, Balraj Panesar, Chris Roydhouse, Arif Virjee & Oliver Scholfield.

The play during regulation was just as exciting as UBC's Arif Virjee opened the scoring with a field goal in the first half before India Club quickly replied. In the second half, Phil Allmark earned a penalty after being upended by the opposition goalkeeper. Teammate Oliver Scholfield converted on the ensuing shot to put the Thunderbirds 2-1.

India Club tied the match with less than a minute remaining, sending the game to a shootout with the score 2-2 after regulation.

Three of the UBC players, Scholfield, Matthew Sarmento and Paul Wharton, had a quick turnaround and left for Malaysia on Monday to join the Canadian men's national team for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which will run April 5-12.

For more information about UBC Men’s Field Hockey: http://www.gothunderbirds.ca/index.aspx?path=fhockey


India offers support as Pak hockey pleads for help

Narain Swamy

BENGALURU: Hockey India on Saturday offered to help the beleaguered Pakistani Hockey Federation in cash or kind after reports emerged from across the border that the national camp at Rawalpindi for the World League Round 3 in Belgium - an Olympic qualification tournament - had to be suspended due to lack of funds.

"We cannot imagine the Olympics without India and Pakistan in hockey. In case you are unable to raise resources for training, we are willing to approach the government of India or our sponsors and well-wishers to bail out the PHF," an email from HI secretary-general Mushtaque Ahmed to his PHF counterpart Rana Mujahid said.

Hockey India was even willing to forget the unsavoury episode at the 2014 Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, where 'vulgar' celebrations by Pakistani players after they beat India led to the suspension of bilateral ties. "We are awaiting a response from the PHF secretary-general. Only if he wants our help will we proceed. We will approach our sponsors and see the quantum of money we can raise for PHF," HI president Narinder Batra told TOI. "At all times, the Union government will be involved as we need their approval to transfer the funds to Pakistan."

Batra also said that the Pakistani team could have its training camps in India. "We can take care of that too, provided the government clears such a proposal."

PHF announced on Friday that it was forced to suspend the camp until April 10 as it couldn't pay the players and coaches daily allowances. Mujahid was quoted as saying by agencies that the PHF had repeatedly requested the government and its ministry to release funds but so far nothing has happened.

The team's participation in Champions Trophy in India last year was made possible by sizeable private contributions.

The Times of India

Hockey India offers financial help to Pakistan Hockey Federation

NEW DELHI: In a fine gesture, Hockey India (HI) on Saturday offered financial help to their Pakistan counterpart after the national hockey federation of the neighbouring country suspended a training camp because it could not pay its players and coaches daily allowances.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was forced to suspend the camp at Rawalpindi till April 10 because of paucity of funds. Pakistan need to appear in the Olympic qualifying tournament in the Netherlands in June if they want to make it to 2016 Rio Games.

In a letter to Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary general Rana Mujahid, Hockey India secretary general Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said HI was "willing to bail out the PHF" so that their players can take part in the Olympic qualifying tournament.

"I have gone through press news coverage ... in case you are unable to raise resources for the training of the team for the World League Round 3 to be played in Belgium, which is also an Olympic Qualification tournament for the Pakistan team, we are still willing to approach Government of India or our sponsors and well wishers to bail out the PHF and our neighbour out of this difficult situation, so that we have a healthy competition amongst us in Rio 2016," Mushtaque Ahmad said in the letter.

India had suspended bilateral hockey series with Pakistan after the controversial semifinal clash at Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar last year which saw "vulgar and obscene" celebrations by the Pakistani players after they beat the home side 4-3.

Despite that incident, Mushtaque Ahmad said that India cannot "imagine" an Olympic hockey competition without Pakistan.

"We cannot imagine the Olympics being played and the Indian and Pakistani teams not being a part of the hockey discipline. Even though the issue during the FIH Champions Trophy 2014 is yet to be resolved, we are willing to bail you out. We await your feedback," he said.

The Times of India

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