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News for 19 April 2015

All the news for Sunday 19 April 2015

NZ and Australia to square off in final

New Zealand's Anita Punt will play her 200th International in the final. Photo / Getty Images

The final of hockey's Hawke's Bay Cup will be a TransTasman affair.

The women's Black Sticks will meet Australia in tonight's tournament decider, after New Zealand swept past Korea 4-1 in their semifinal.

New Zealand has scored eight goals in its last two matches.

Australia progressed to the decider with a 3-2 win over China.

The Australians are ranked second, two places above New Zealand in the world rankings.

The New Zealand Herald

Roos bag semi final win

Hockeyroos to face NZL Black Sticks in final after 3-2 victory over China

Madonna Blythe scored the first goal in her 300th International

The Hockeyroos can guarantee their place in Sunday afternoons gold medal match at the 2015 Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand against Trans-Tasman rivals, the New Zealand Black Sticks, after defeating China 3-2 in the semi-final Saturday evening.

The semi-final marked a special milestone for Hockeyroos Captain Madonna Blyth. After playing in the team for more than a decade, Blyth made her 300th appearance in green and gold. She has now become the only second Australian female player to have reached 300 matches, and is three caps off record holder Nikki Hudson’s 303 appearances. 
Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens congratulated Madonna Blyth on her achievement, he said, “It’s an outstanding achievement from Madonna and she played very well this evening. She worked hard, she covered all areas of the pitch, created opportunities in attack and defended very well. Madonna is a great role model for any young aspiring Hockeyroo and she’s an absolute pleasure to work with."
Madonna Blyth doubled up on her 300th milestone for the Hockeyroos after scoring the first goal of the semi-final. Awarded a penalty corner in the 11th minute, due to unfair play by China, Blyth swept the ball past Chinese goalkeeper Dongxiao Li and into the back of the net, setting the score up, 1-0.
Four minutes after the first quarter break, Mengyu Wang scored the equalising goal for China. Awarded their first penalty corner at the 20th minute mark, Hockeyroos' goalkeeper Rachael Lynch was unable to deny Wang’s on-target drag flick, deadlocking the score, 1-1.
It wasn't until the third quarter that the Hockeyroos received their chance to break the tie with their opponents. Working a penalty corner in the 42nd minute, Jodie Kenny’s on-point drag flick did not disappoint, breaking the lock and fighting back, 2-1.
With 15 minutes remaining on the clock and both team’s under pressure, Hockeyroos’ forward Georgie Parker bagged a third goal for Australia off the back of penalty corner in the 51st minute. Quickly following four minutes later, China received their opportunity at another penalty corner. Qian Yu successfully netted her shot, however, it wasn't enough to knock the Hockeyroos off their 3-2 semi final victory. 

Speaking about the team's performance after the semi-final, Commens said, “Tonight was again an improved performance. Good teams are always going to get opportunities against you, China took a couple of well taken penalty corners and that kept them in touch, however, ultimately we were in control.

“China were pressing quite high and that meant there was space to go over the top with aerial balls. It was a successful tactic and towards the end of the match it was used to release pressure more than anything.”

With the team’s focus now turned towards the gold medal match on Sunday, Commens added, “We need to continue to progress our way of play. It’s something that we aim to do in each tournament we participate in.
“In this tournament, we have a number of different players in through the midfield and the back, and they’re developing in each match. We will be hoping they continue to improve and put on another good performance against New Zealand in the final.”

The Hockeyroos will face the New Zealand Black Sticks in the final on Sunday 19 April, 4:45pm AEST / 2:45pm AWST. This will be shown live online via the official Hawke’s Bay Festival website.

Semi Final - Hawke's Bay Cup

Hockeyroos: 3 (1)
Madonna Blyth 11 (PC)
Jodie Kenny 42 (PC)
Georgie Parker 51 (PC)   
China: 2 (1)
Mengyu Wang 20 (PC)
Qian Yu 55 (PC)             

Hockeyroos Squad
Athlete (Hometown, State) caps/goals
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 205/10
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 300/67
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 70/2
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW) 114/1
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 136/77
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 66/6
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 154/30
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 174/63
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA) 14/4
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 116/47
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC) 122/0
Used Substitute
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 59/5
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 72/2
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW) 11/0
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA) 76/24
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 52/8
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW) 13/2
Unused Substitute
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 47/0
Official tournament website - hockeyfestival.nz
Hawke's Bay Cup Semi Final Results & Fixtures
Japan 2-3 Argentina
India 0-3 USA
New Zealand 4-0 Korea
China 2-3 Australia
Hawke's Bay Cup Final & Classification Fixtures, 19 April
10:00am AEST: 7th/8th playoff -  Japan v India
12:15pm AEST: 5th/6th playoff - Argentina v USA
2:30pm AEST: Bronze Medal Final - Korea v China
4:45pm AEST: Gold Medal Final - New Zealand v Australia

Hawke’s Bay Festival Competing Teams and Rankings
Australia (World ranking #2)
Argentina (#3)
New Zealand (#4)
China (#5)
USA (#8)
Korea (#9)
Japan (#10)
India (#13)

Hockey Australia media release

Team USA Racks Up a Trio of Goals While Holding Argentina Scoreless

Argentina struggled to subdue a rampant U.S. Women’s National Team in their 5th place playoff match at the Hawke’s Bay Cup tournament, the final day of match play at the event.

It was the first time the USA and Argentina had met at this tournament and they came into the game following semifinal wins over India and Japan respectively.

Argentina applied plenty of early pressure but it was the USA that went into the halftime break in the lead 2-0. The opening goal for the USA went to Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) who swept the ball into the net from a penalty corner.

Six minutes later it was 2 nil when Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) was allowed to run and her shot from just inside the circle crept in at the left hand post.

The scoring was completed by USA Captain Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.) who found the back of the cage with a sweet strike from a penalty corner late in the third quarter.

Head Coach Craig Parnham was satisfied with the improvement his team has shown during the weeks play at the Hawke’s Bay Cup tournament. He said, “Our off the ball work has improved as we got more matches under our belt and the players are now working hard to create chances in front of goal.”

Parnham continued on to say, “This tournament has given us some terrific game time and has been great preparation for the upcoming World League matches which include the incentive of qualifying for the Rio Olympics next year.”

The USA finishes in 5th place and Argentina 6th in the 8 team Hawke’s Bay Cup tournament.

Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey

USFHA media release

India go down 0-3 to USA in the classification match

NEW DELHI: India women hockey team conceded two goals in the first quarter as they lost 0-3 to the USA in the classification match of the Hawke's Bay Cup.

India will now play for the seventh/eighth position on Sunday.

Kathleen Sharkey opened the scoring for the USA when she converted a penalty corner in the 10th minute. Four minutes later Katie O'Donnell scored through a smart field goal to double her side's lead.

The second quarter was a session where both teams increased their tempo of attack. India tried to hard but the scoreline did not change.

The third quarter was almost the same story as the second quarter where both the teams were seen on their business sides of the field. Just two minutes left into the quarter India had a go at the penalty corner but they missed as the variation did not go in their favour.

India continued their attack in the opponents D and just seconds left into the session USA counter attacked and a long pass to Katie O'Donnell resulted in her entering the D, beating one Indian defender and goalies to score the third goal for her team.

Realising that it being the last session for them to score, India maintained good ball possession and attack on the opponent's semi-circle. But unable to score, India ended up on the wrong side of the result.

The Times of India

Match 2: Ireland 1-1 Italy

Ireland played the 2nd of their three test series against Italy at Ulster University, Jordanstown the home of the newly crowned Irish Senior Cup Champions Ulster Elks.

The first half was evenly matched with Ireland shading the exchanges with the only PC of the quarter well earned by Thursday's new cap Hayley Mulcahy but McCay's shot was cleared.

Early in the 2nd quarter great skill by Frazer drew a good save by Schinoni in the Italian goal. Connery earned Ireland their second PC and from a nice variation good Italian defence cleared the opportunity. In the 20m a great cross field ball by Beatty found Connery at the top of the D and her strike was palmed away by Schinoni.  McFerran had to be in her toes to deny Mirabella and just as the HT hooter was sounding Italy were awarded their first PC. McFerran saved but two consecutive PC's followed and from the third Lovagnini got the touch to put Italy ahead at half time.

The 3rd quarter both teams were guilty of errors turning over possession with very little goal mouth action.

Ireland had their best period in the final quarter and won a PC in 49m. A Chloe Brown drag was saved but an Italian foot resulted in second PC and a further Italian infringement gave Ireland another corner.  This time through a crowded circle the ball was deflected and touched home by Aine Connery alone on the far post. Ireland had a chance to take the lead after good work by Brown saw a Mulcahy shot fly over from close range. For the last five minutes Ireland pressed forward but couldn't unlock the Italian defence.

The teams meet again at 2pm tomorrow Sunday at the Ulster University, Jordanstown.
Stella Davis (GK), Cliodhna Sargent, Emma Smyth, Chloe Brown, Shirley McCay, Megan Frazer, Naomi Carroll, Hayley Mulcahy, Ayeisha McFerran (C), Lizzie Colvin, Nicola Daly, Hannah Matthews, Deirdre Duke, Kate Dillon, Ali Meeke, Yvonne O Byrne, Emily Beatty, Aine Connery.

Natalia Leonoir, Celina Traverso, Marta De Guiro, Constanza Aguirre, Valentina Braconi, Macarena Ronsisvalli, Eugenia Garaffo, Dalila Mirabella, Martina Chirico (GK), Giulia Galligani, Elisabetta Pacella, Maria Mercedes Socino, Martina Lecchini, Chiara Tiddi, Aldana Lovagnini, Agata Wybieralska, Giuliana Ruggieri, Marcela Casale.

Umpires: Linda Coughlan & Gillian Garrett

Irish Hockey Association media release

Reigning champions on course to defend title

Surbiton celebrate their shootout win over Reading

Surbiton remained on course to defend their title after a dramatic shootout win over Reading at The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Goals from Julia King and Sandra Frankland had looked set to see them through in normal time but a superb second half display by the Sonning Lane side, who hit back with a brace from Helen Richardson-Walsh took the game to shootout.

Surbiton took the lead on six minutes. A diagonal ball into the circle caused problems and after a stick tackle a penalty stroke was awarded. Julia King stepped up and found the roof of the net with a bullet flick to give her side the lead.

Both sides won penalty corners but Kate Richardson-Walsh was kept out by the defensive runner. Surbiton doubled their lead shortly afterwards. A penalty corner was not properly cleared and the ball was worked back in allowing Sandra Frankland to tap in and make it 2-0.

King drew a good save out of Sarah Ellis from a well hit penalty corner and Charlotte Calnan was agonizingly close to adding another but as the second quarter began Reading worked their way back into the game with Helen Richardson-Walsh growing in influence.

After a good spell of pressure the Sonning Lane side forced two penalty corners in quick succession but Abi Walker was equal to the task saving well from Leah Wilkinson and then Kate Richardson-Walsh to preserve her team’s lead at the break.

Reading had the better of the third quarter as they fought hard to find a way back into the match. Surbiton forced a couple of penalty corners but Hollie Webb’s shots were both saved by Ellis.

Susie Gilbert and Helen Richardson-Walsh continued to ask questions of the Surbiton defence as the pressure mounted. With four minutes gone in the quarter Kate Richardson-Walsh’s pass from a penalty corner was deflected in by a diving Helen Richardson-Walsh bringing their side back into the contest. Although they enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession they were unable to capitalise and went into the final quarter trailing.

Reading continued to knock at the door throughout the final quarter and with nine minutes to go they got their reward. A good driving run by Abi Harper down the right set up Ashlie Caddick and with Surbiton failing to clear their lines, Helen Richardson-Walsh swooped in to score her second and level the match.

Sarah Haycroft’s invention set up Page but her effort flashed wide and then Calnan’s piledriver was deflected over the bar as Reading survived a late Surbiton rally to take the game to a shootout.

Georgie Twigg, Emily Maguire and Haycroft all scored from their efforts but Gilbert was timed out. Ellis then saved from Harriet Tibble to keep it at 2-1 before Helen Richardson-Walsh levelled it up. Abi Robinson scored and then Walker denied Emma Thomas before King calmly rounded the goalkeeper to win it for Surbiton and send them into the final.

Surbiton goalkeeper Abi Walker told England Hockey afterwards:
"The game was a credit to both teams really, it was a real spectacle. We were very pleased with our performance in the first half, and then we dropped off, but that’s credit to Reading, they’re a team that never know when to lie down." she added "We’ve had a bit of a curse at the shootout, we lost in the playoffs two years ago, and then we lost in Europe recently, so I felt like today I had much more of a plan. As soon as the final whistle went, I felt really confident we would win."

Helen Richardson-Walsh was disappointed, but proud saying:
"It’s disappointing to lose in a shootout today, especially as we went 2-0 down - and we weren’t looking in it at all - so to come back and take it to a shootout was credit to the team, the hard work that we put in throughout the game, and disappointing to not win in the end. Abi Walker is a quality goalkeeper and she proved that at the end."

Julia King 7 (PS)
Sandra Frankland 12 (F)

Helen Richardson-Walsh 41, 61 (PC, F)

Surbiton win 4-2 in shoot-out.

England Hockey Board Media release

Canterbury make final with narrow win over Clifton

Canterbury celebrate Jen Wilson's opener

Canterbury set up a repeat of last year’s final with Surbiton as they edged past Clifton in an exciting game which finished 2-1 to the Kent side. Goals from Player-Coach Jen Wilson and a second from Nikki Lloyd did the damage, though Claire Thomas’s reply ensured it was far from comfortable.

The game started at a high pace as both sides worked hard to get their noses in front. Canterbury forced the first penalty corner of the match but Grace Balsdon’s low drag flick was well saved by Caitlin Jeffries diving to her right.

The second quarter was also fairly even but Canterbury turned the game on its head in the space of a couple of minutes. Wilson guided the ball home from a well-worked penalty corner and then Susannah Townsend left defenders trailing in her wake with a searing burst of pace before firing the ball across for Lloyd to apply the finish.

Clifton almost grabbed an equaliser but Harriet Pearce’s bullet penalty corner was brilliantly saved by Helen Fagg in the Canterbury goal. With nine minutes on the clock till the break Clifton halved the deficit as Thomas forced the ball over the line from close range, leaving it all to play for in the second half.

The third quarter was a little on the frantic side as both sides knew the importance of the next goal. Fagg excelled herself pulling off two excellent penalty corner saves to deny Pearce and Els Mansell before Joie Leigh’s superb cross fizzed past the far post with three Clifton players diving in for a touch that just eluded them. Leigh did well on the stroke of quarter time to engineer some space but once again Fagg did well, plunging to her right to get a strong glove on the ball to keep her team’s noses in front.

With three minutes gone in the quarter Canterbury had a penalty corner of their own. Mel Clewlow hit a trademark thunderbolt but Jeffries did well to smother the shot.
As legs tired, the pace of Eliza Brett became more of a threat. The No8 showed the defence a clean pair of heels only for Jeffries to dash from her line to make another important intervention. With five minutes left on the clock Clifton won another penalty corner. The crowd fell silent as they lined up and then there was a roar from the Canterbury fans as Aileen Davis’ deflected effort was blocked by Fagg in the Kent side’s goal. Clifton threw everything at their opponents and on full time they had one last chance, again from a penalty corner. Clifton had everyone up but Canterbury’s defence did the job and they held on for the win.

Canterbury’s Susannah Townsend told England Hockey afterwards:
“It wasn't pretty. We had our game plan, which was built around the pace we have in the team and we managed to get the two goals in the second quarter, but credit to Clifton they came back at us and we had to hang on for the win. It wasn’t our best performance, but I think it’s the sign of a good team to get the result when we’ve not played our best.”

Clifton Captain Aileen Davis couldn’t hide her disappointment after her side’s defeat:
“We came out and put a really solid performance together. The last quarter in particular we were all over them [Canterbury], but unfortunately we got a goal disallowed and had a few chances we didn’t manage to convert and that meant we didn’t get the result we wanted today.”

Canterbury will now face title holders Surbiton in tomorrow’s final, whilst Clifton will have to pick themselves up to face Reading in the 3rd-4th place playoff.

Canterbury 2 (2)
Jen Wilson 21 (PC)
Nikki Lloyd 21 (F)

Clifton 1 (1)
Claire Thomas 27 (F)

England Hockey Board Media release

East Grinstead blitz Slough in hunt for promotion

Sophie Bray slides in to score her hat-trick against Slough

A first half hat-trick from East Grinstead’s Sophie Bray breathed new life into the Sussex side’s playoff hopes as they swept aside Slough in the first game of the weekend.

The Great Britain star struck the first blow after just four minutes latching onto a defensive slip in the circle to slide the ball home on the backhand.

East Grinstead struck their second just two minutes later, this time it was Lucy Brown showing a poacher’s instinct, turning and firing into the far corner.

Slough found their way back into the game pulling one back through Dilly Newton but their joy was short lived as moments later Bray turned provider, driving round the left and cutting back for Alicia Calliard to apply the finish. Bray made it four from a penalty corner on 16 minutes as Slough struggled to get a foothold in the game.

It could have been even better for the side from Saint Hill but Pippa Rabey’s penalty stroke was brilliantly saved by Amy Gibson. With six minutes left in the half, the fifth goal did arrive. Brown stole possession inside her own half and broke forwards, her pass to Bray was perfectly weighted and the No19 beat Gibson to the ball and lifted it in, sending East Grinstead in at the break 5-1 ahead.

The second half took some time to get going as the sides battled for control of the midfield. Bray was a threat once more as her run and powerful shot drew a superb near-post save out of Gibson in the seventh minute of the half. Rabey also drew a block out of Gibson as the Scotland goalkeeper continued to defy East Grinstead in the second half.

With a little over 14 minutes remaining Mary Booth’s side grabbed their sixth. The penalty corner was not their slickest but Julia Blackstock was alive to the situation and forced the ball home from close range. Slough forced a penalty corner with eight minutes left but the East Grinstead defence stood firm and cleared the danger.

In the last minute East Grinstead’s Ruth Gordon drove into the circle and fired a backhand shot goalwards which Heather Batten turned in to put a gloss on the scoreline and left if all to play for going into Sunday’s games.

A delighted Sophie Bray told England Hockey afterwards:

“It was a final for us today, we had to come out and win, and we had a good start and then just kept the momentum up from that. We started slowly in the last playoff game, and we knew we couldn't go a few goals down today, so we took it to Slough and got ourselves in front. Today's win was really only one step, it'll mean nothing if we don't go do the job tomorrow, so hopefully we can put in another performance against Wakefield.”

Slough captain Kat McGonigle could not hide her disappointment but stressed the need to look ahead, saying:

“We have to regroup and put this game to bed. There's a lot to learn from, but we need to pick up on the positives to go into tomorrow's game. We're going to need a win and hopefully a big win because I'm sure goal difference is now going to come into play.”

Both sides still have a chance of promotion with Slough facing Buckingham and East Grinstead going up against Wakefield tomorrow in the final round of games.

Sophie Bray 4, 17, 29 (FG, PC, FG)
Lucy Brown 6 (FG)
Alicia Caillard 13 (FG)
Julia Blackstock 57 (PC)
Heather Batten 70 (FG)

SLOUGH 1 (1)
Dilly Newton 12 (PC)

Investec Women’s Finals Weekend - Promotion Play-Offs standings

  Team P W D L GF GA GD Points
1 Buckingham 2 2 0 0 6 4 2 6
2 East Grinstead 2 1 0 1 10 5 5 3
3 Slough 2 1 0 1 4 7 -3 3
4 Wakefield 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0

Investec Women’s Finals Weekend – Promotion Play-Offs - results so far

Sunday 29 March – Cannock Hockey Club

Match 1: Wakefield [North] 0 - 3 Slough [West]
Match 2: East Grinstead [East] 3 - 4 Buckingham [Prem]

Saturday 18 April – Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Match 3: East Grinstead [East] 7 - 1 Slough [West]
Match 4: Wakefield [North] 1 - 2 Buckingham [Prem]

Sunday 19 April – Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Match 5: Slough [West] v Buckingham [Prem] 1045 Pitch 1
Match 6: Wakefield [North] v East Grinstead [East] 1045 Pitch 2

England Hockey Board Media release

Buckingham sink Wakefield as survival beckons

Buckingham celebrate as they beat Wakefield 2-1 in the Promotion Play-Offs at the Investec Women's Finals Weekend

Goals from Kirsty Freshwater and Leanne Grimsley handed Buckingham their second win in as many games in the playoffs and took them a step closer to securing their Investec Women's Premier Division status with a 2-1 win over Wakefield.

The first half was an end-to-end encounter with both teams seemingly taking it in turns to attack. Wakefield drew first blood in the fifth minute with Rosie Tootell’s fierce penalty corner finding the net to break the deadlock. Wakefield looked full of running with Sally Walton and Heather Stafford combining well and giving Buckingham’s defence plenty to think about.

After 20 minutes Buckingham forced a penalty corner. Zoe Shipperley drilled her shot in but Karen Wells got down quickly to her right to make an excellent save. Buckingham forced another penalty corner a minute later and though it wasn’t injected cleanly it was slipped to Shipperley who found Kirsty Freshwater to apply the finish to level the scores. Wakefield had a chance from a penalty corner of their own but Tootell fired wide this time whilst at the other end Wells had to be alert to beat away a backhand strike from Freshwater ensuring it was level at the break.

With three minutes gone in the second period Buckingham took the lead from another penalty corner. The ball fell to Morag McLellan whose low shot was expertly diverted in by Leanne Grimsley to make it 2-1. There was no shortage of industry as both sides grappled to get control of the game, however clear chances were in short supply. With 20 minutes gone in the half Buckingham forced another penalty corner but McLellan’s shot was dealt with by Wells.

With the importance of the next goal magnified by the play off situation tempers flared and three yellow cards were produced in quick succession. With Buckingham down to ten players and time running out Wakefield removed their goalkeeper to add an extra player as they chased an equaliser. They came close almost straight away but Anna Searle beat the ball away with her gloves and maintained her team's slender advantage. Wakefield continued to press but were unable to find the equaliser and Buckingham took the win.

Speaking after the game Buckingham Captain Zoe Shipperley said: “Today was really tough, we knew that it was going to be a hard game, we knew that it was probably going to be a bit of a battle, but we thoroughly believed that if we could stick to our game plan, then we would come out on top. We went a goal down early, but I think it showed in the second half how much we believe in how we play, and we came through in the end, but we've definitely played in nicer games."

Ahead of the final game tomorrow against Slough, Shipperley added: "We always knew it would come down to the last day, being veterans of this weekend in years gone by, I don't think we've gone to a single playoff where it hasn't gone down to the last day, so we had no illusions about how it was going to turn out and that Saturday wasn't going to be the end of it for us. So we'll have a big rest tonight and we're very much looking forward to tomorrow and what that brings."

Wakefield Player/Coach Sally Walton summed up her disappointment:
"I don’t think we’ve seen the real Wakefield here at the playoffs. There’s still all to play for and the girls will be after a bit of pride and to take three points out of the next game. We play well in the big games, so I’m hoping that we’re going to bring that form and really show this crowd at Lee Valley what we’re all about and why we won the Conference North by 11 points."

With Buckingham on the brink of staving off relegation they will face Slough tomorrow, whilst Wakefield will play East Grinstead with everything still to play for.

Rosie Tootell 5 (PC)

Kirsty Freshwater 21 (PC)
Leanne Grimsley 38 (PC)

Investec Women’s Finals Weekend - Promotion Play-Offs standings

  Team P W D L GF GA GD Points
1 Buckingham 2 2 0 0 6 4 2 6
2 East Grinstead 2 1 0 1 10 5 5 3
3 Slough 2 1 0 1 4 7 -3 3
4 Wakefield 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0

Investec Women’s Finals Weekend – Promotion Play-Offs - results so far

Sunday 29 March – Cannock Hockey Club

Match 1: Wakefield [North] 0 - 3 Slough [West]
Match 2: East Grinstead [East] 3 - 4 Buckingham [Prem]

Saturday 18 April – Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Match 3: East Grinstead [East] 7 - 1 Slough [West]
Match 4: Wakefield [North] 1 - 2 Buckingham [Prem]

Sunday 19 April – Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Match 5: Slough [West] v Buckingham [Prem] 1045 Pitch 1
Match 6: Wakefield [North] v East Grinstead [East] 1045 Pitch 2

England Hockey Board Media release

Drama aplenty at Scottish Cup & Plate finals in Glasgow

Grange celebrate two Scottish Cup successes in a row. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Grange, Milne Craig Clydesdale Western, PSL Team Sport Clydesdale and Dundee Wanderers were the winning teams during a dramatic day's play in the Men's and Women's Scottish Cup & Plate finals at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

Men's Scottish Cup Final

Grange successfully defended the Men's Scottish Cup against Edinburgh University, beating the student side 5-1 to win the trophy for the second season running.

After a close opening exchange, Grange were dramatically awarded a penalty stroke in the 11th minute after the University defense were penalised for a foot illegally blocking on the line.

However, goalkeeper Jakim Bernsden was more than alive to Callum Milne's attempt, diving to his right to block the flick and maintain the deadlock at 0-0.

Grange had a couple of penalty corner attempts denied by Bernsden before the first goal arrived in the 20th minute; great play from Hamish Imrie on the left touchline led to Cameron Fraser bearing down on goal, the forward flicking the ball past the outstretched Bernsden for Todd Harmsworth to dive and guide the ball into an open goal.

With the scores level at half-time, it was Grange who again stole the advantage early in the second half, Cameron Fraser dispatching a penalty corner effort from the edge of the circle in the 39th minute.

The match was put beyond the reach of the University in the 58th minute when Harmsworth inflicting a third goal on the students, rifling the ball into the right hand corner at a short corner.

Todd Harmsworth scores from a penalty corner strike. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Three minutes later, further salt was rubbed into the wounds for the scholars, an aerial pass reaching Frank Ryan sprinting down the left where his lovely pass conjured up an easy finish for Milne to score the fourth Grange goal and atone for his earlier penalty miss.

Harmsworth completed an excellent hat-trick in the 67th minute, collecting a short corner and crashing the ball high into the roof of the net to make it 5-0.

Nevertheless, University finally registered on the scoresheet, Jamie Wong finishing off with sweet strike two minutes from the end.

However, it was the Stags who left Glasgow with the trophy, winning 5-1.

Women's Scottish Cup Final

Milne Craig Clydesdale Western were the winners of the Women's Scottish Cup Final, beating Grove Menzieshill 4-3 in an epic contest.

Milne Craig Clydesdale Western side that won the Women's Scottish Cup. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

It was the Dundonians who gained the early advantage in the 13th minute, Pauline Stott making an excellent tackle deep into enemy territory to play in Ali Bell, who made no mistake from seven yards out to open the scoring at 1-0.

However, Clydesdale Western were soon back in the match, equalising with a Fiona Bruce penalty corner strike in the 18th minute to make it 1-1.

Shortly after, a long pass from Louise Carroll reached Sarah Jamieson on the left of the scoring circle, the striker turning her marker inside out to cooly stroke the ball into the far corner to give Grove Menzieshill a 2-1 lead in the 21st minute.

With the match ebbing back and forth, it was no surprise when Ali Howie brought her side back on level terms at 2-2, swivelling on the left of the scoring circle to strike the ball past Grove Menzieshill's goalkeeper Cath Rae.

With half-time fast approaching, the Titwood outfit took the lead  for the first time in the match when Millie Brown was on hand to deflect Nicki Skrastin's shot into the net from close range to put her side 3-2 up.

Milne Craig Clydesdale Western's Alex Wilson in control against Grove Menzieshill. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Five minutes after the break, good play from Skrastin, Howie and Jennifer Eadie played in Bruce in front of goal, who steadied herself to finish past Rae and snatch her second goal of the match to give Clydesdale Western some daylight at 4-2.

Nevertheless, Linda Clement pegged back the deficit to only one goal only moments after, Carroll's shot at the penalty corner re-bounding to the former Scotland captain to lash into the net.

Drama ensued in the last minute of the match, with Clydesdale Western passing up a golden opportunity to seal the match, Grove Menzieshill sprung a counter-attack that led to the award of a penalty stroke with only 36 seconds left on the clock.

Louise Duffy turned out to be the heroine though, saving Carroll's penalty flick to send the cup to Titwood.

Men's Scottish Plate Final

PSL Team Sport Clydesdale made light work of the Men's Scottish Plate Final against Falkirk GHG, running out 7-1 winners.

PSL Team Sport Clydesdale win the Men's Scottish Plate. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Gregor Hirst broke the deadlock in the 15th minute, collecting the ball on the right hand side of the scoring circle and flashing an unstoppable drive past Falkirk's Jamie Ballantine to give Clydesdale the lead.

In the 28th minute, Rory McCann took advantage of a self-pass opportunity to glide into the circle and cross for Michael Cockburn to have the easiest of finishes unopposed at the back post, giving Clydesdale a 2-0 lead.

Shortly after half-time, Fraser Hirst extended Clydesdale's lead to 3-0, finishing from close range in 39th minute.

Falkirk earned themselves a lifeline in the 61st minute, Gordon Yeudall picking the ball up and playing a one-two to tap in the ball into the net to make the scoreline 3-1.

However, that only served to motivate Clydesdale into shifting up the gears with four further goals in the last few minutes.

Cockburn notched his second goal of the match, firing the ball past Ballentine in the 65th minute, before Patrick Lonergan finished from only a few yards out to make it 5-1 shortly after.

Scott Lindsay finished off a Clydesdale move down the right, again finding space right in front of goal for an easy sixth goal.

James Nairn rounded off the scoring at 7-1 right on full-time, sending the Plate the short journey across Glasgow to Titwood.

Women's Scottish Plate Final

In the Women's Scottish Plate Final, Dundee Wanderers comfortably defeated Edinburgh University III 9-1, including five goals from Vikki Bunce and a hat-trick for Charlotte Watson.

Dundee Wanderers celebrate winning the Women's Scottish Plate. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

Bunce opened the scoring in the 13th minute, collecting a penalty corner injection and electing to advance into the scoring circle, before slamming the ball into the middle of the goal.

Bunce was in imperious form seven minutes later, cutting in from the left past two University defenders to slip the ball past goalkeeper Gabe Newell to put Wanderers 2-0 up.

Vikki Bunce claimed five goals against Edinburgh University III in today's plate final. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

In the 30th minute, the Taysiders increased their lead further, Charlotte Watson controlling the ball after the initial penalty corner strike had been saved, to cooly dispatch the ball into the net to make it 3-0.

Three minutes before the interval, Bunce completed her hat-trick, this time dragging the ball low into the corner from a short corner to give her side a 4-0 advantage.

Nevertheless, University scored their first goal three minutes after the half-time break, Ali Scott breaking down the right initially, and the ball found its way to Alice MacArthur at the back post with an easy tap-in awaiting her.

Wanderers struck their fifth goal of the match in the 42nd minute, the penalty corner being played back to initial injector Watson to give her the opportunity to finish past Newell at the back post.

Watson was on hand to claim her hat-trick in the 50th minute, diverting the ball into the goal from close range to put Wanderers in a 6-1 lead.

Nine minutes from full-time, another Wanderers penalty corner led to a reverse stick effort from Bunce being deflected by Heather Elder for their seventh goal.

Charlotte Watson, left, and Heather Elder, right, were among the goals for Wanderers. Photo Credit: Duncan Gray

With University tiring, Bunce was again their tormentor, cracking the ball into the right corner to make it 8-1 in the 66th minute.

With the clock running close to the end of the match, Bunce scored her fifth goal of the game, collecting the ball on the left, driving into the circle to shoot low past Newell to leave the final score 9-1.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Hat-trick queen Rotich’s heroics lift Strathmore over Daystar


Strathmore's Laura Gichau (left) vies with Bridgit Omondi of Daystar University during their National Women Hockey League match at the City Park Stadium on April 18, 2015. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |   NATION MEDIA GROUP

New signing Margaret Rotich scored an impressive hat-rick for Strathmore Scorpions as they thrashed Daystar Falcons 8-0 in a Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) national women’s league match at the City Park Stadium on Saturday.

It was Scorpions’ first match of the season and the university side showed their title intentions with an impressive performance to bag their first three points of the season.

Carol Njoki also scored twice either side of goals from Linda Ayodi, Gilly Okumu and Laura Gichau as Falcons succumbed to another heavy defeat after last weekend’s 7-0 drubbing at the hands of USIU Spartans.

The team has now conceded 15 goals from their opening two matches in their return to the national league.

Scorpions coach Meshack Senge was satisfied with the result but noted that his team still has a lot of work to do to get to the top level. The tactician was also impressed with performances from the five new faces in the team.

“ We played well and am happy with the result though we should have won by a wider margin. The players still need to gel well but we are glad we got the win to kick start our campaign,” Senge told Sunday Nation Sport.


Rotich, signed from rivals Telkom Orange capped of an impressive debut with a first half hatrick that saw her score in seventh, 10th and 24th minute as Scorpions took a healthy 5-0 lead going into the break. Linda Ayodi and Gilly Okumu also got their names in the score sheet during the first half.

Scorpions continued with the onslaught in the second half dominating proceedings with their opponents happy to sit back and defend. Carol Njoki found space in the Daystar defence following a penalty corner to score her team’s sixth.

Laura Gichau got her team’s seventh goal before Njoki scored her second of the game four minutes to the end. The win sees Strathmore move top of the standings with a better goal difference over USIU with both teams on three points.

Falcons coach Moses Kagochi believes his team will get better as the season gets underway saying his team should be judged at the end of the season.

“Each game is a learning experience for my team and the girls are improving with each game despite results not going our way,” Kagochi said.
In another match, Chase Sailors earned a hard fought 2-1 win over Daystar University in the national men’s league to make it two wins on the trot.

Daily Nation

NBP, Railways reach quarters as one-sided matches continue at junior hockey

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: Gilgit-Baltistan goalkeeper Ikhtisar Hussain tries to save a goal by Pakistan Board forward during their match at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Saturday.—Anis Hamdani/White Star

KARACHI: Defending champions National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) breezed past low-profile Balochistan 9-0 to emerge pool “A” champions as one-sided matches continued in the 34th National Junior Hockey Championship at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Saturday.

The triumph includes yet another hat-trick, sixth of the event, by full back Mubashir Ali off penalty corners in 21st, 23rd and 54th minutes. Shan Irshad and Aamir Ali struck a brace apiece while Ateeq Arshad and Raheel added once to complete the rout.

The bankers together with Railways completed their league engagements and stormed into quarter-finals as No 1 and 2 teams.

The top two positions in the other three pools will become clear when the league matches concludes on Sunday.

Former champions Wapda thumped Sindh 5-0 to register second straight victory in four-team pool “C”. They had beaten Pak Board by the identical scoreline on Friday.

Back-to-back goals by Shahbaz in the ninth and 21st minutes, the second of penalty corner, and another brace by Mateen in a span of five minutes off PC’s in the 41st and 46th minutes guided Wapda to maintain winning spree. Sohail Anjum completed the tally in 60th minute.

This was first defeat of the Sindh outfit in two games. They were home 12-0 against Gilgit-Baltistan the other day. The Sindh-Pakistan Board clash on Sunday will decide as to which team will join Wapda from the pool in quarters.

In the third match, Pak Board conjured up a 4-0 victory over Gilgit-Baltistan. Aamir Farooq, M. Murtaza, Shahbaz and M. Sufyan (penalty stroke) netted a goal each for the winners.

Punjab “A” trounced Army 4-1 in the pool “D” match. Mudassir opened their account in the 17th minute while Ahmed Nadeem consolidated the lead in 29th minute to enjoy 2-0 lead at half time. Asif Ali and M. Ahad netted once in 52nd and 55th minutes.

Sunday’s fixtures:

Wapda v Gilgit-Baltistan at 8am; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Punjab “A” at 10am; Pak Board v Sindh at 3pm; SSGC v PIA at 5pm.


Psychologist, needed: Hockey skipper Sardar Singh

By Ashwin Ferro

Skipper Sardar Singh in full steam during India’s match against Canada at the Sultan Azlan Shah tourney in Malaysia recently. Pic/PTI

Citing his own experience of interacting with a mental expert, India skipper Sardar Singh says team will surely benefit from one

The all-important Rio Olympics is just a year away, and the Indian hockey team is not quite in a position it would have liked to be.

The national team’s inconsistent results have found them managing a bronze at the six-nation Sultan Azlan Shah event in Malaysia — a tournament they have always done well in previously (India won gold five times since the tournament’s inception in 1983). And the first person to admit this inconsistency is skipper Sardar Singh.

Starting problem

“Our start to the tournament was not good at all… the problem is that we are not consistent,” a disappointed Sardar told mid-day before supporting his young team nevertheless: “We played higher ranked teams like New Zealand (World No 7), Korea (No 8) and Australia (No 1). Credit to our youngsters, who lifted their game as the tournament progressed.”

World No 9 India first drew 2-2 with South Korea (2-2), before losing 1-2 to NZ and 2-3 to Malaysia (12). They beat Canada 5-3 and shocked world champions Australia 4-2, before beating Korea 4-1 for bronze.

Sardar admitted he was surprised by the defeat to Malaysia, but 'wouldn’t want to point a finger on the forwards or defence or midfield.'

“All 16 of us must improve if we wish to make it to the top four in world hockey. If I, as an individual have a problem receiving the ball, I must take time out and work on it, and that applies to all” said the 28-year-old mercurial midfielder.

As Team India prepares for Rio 2016, Sardar warned that every match from now on will be crucial towards winning that elusive Olympic medal. “Our entire preparation is keeping Rio in mind. We do not have too many matches this year. Next, we have a four-Test series against Japan from May 2, followed by the World League in Belgium (June 20 to July 5) with the final in India (28 Nov to 6 Dec). Our new coach (Paul van Ass) also needs time to settle in,” said Sardar.

Mental expert

Coach van Ass recently he’d look into roping in a psychologist given the pressure of the modern game, and Sardar could not agree more. “We don’t have any fitness issues, but lack a bit in concentration. A psychologist will help the boys be at ease both on and off the field,” said Sardar, who himself benefitted from a mental expert back in 2010. “We trained at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune then and coach Jose Brasa introduced me to a psychologist for the first time. It was a very good interaction. He helped me forget all other distractions and focus only on hockey for 70 minutes. It helps especially in pressure matches.”

Our new coach has made good changes

Skipper Sardar Singh gave the  thumbs-up to coach Paul van Ass’ tactics overall: “He’s had just 15-20 days with us before the Azlan Shah and made some changes that worked. He stressed on how the midfield should take the lead when there is a build up for a scoring opportunity. He also fine-tuned the running of some of our forwards. I’m sure he’ll plan better for the national camp beginning in Delhi on April 22.”


Dr S. Shamala for MHC deputy president

By Jugjet Singh

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will see winds of change on May 13, with royalty bowing out while intellectuals taking over the top echelon.

For at the moment of writing, Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal still has no challengers for the president's post, while S. Shamala will be gunning for the women's deputy president's post.

The men's deputy president front-runner is Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad.

Incumbent president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and incumbent deputy president is Puan Sri Raja Noora Ashikin Raja Abdullah will not seek re-election.

Subahan is a chartered accountant by profession, while Shamala is a computer whiz at Universiti Putra Malaysia, and her full title is professor Dr Shamala, a PhD holder in Computer Science.

"I have decided to stand for the deputy president's post (women) after receiving good feedback from state affiliates, and there is no turning back, as I am willing to challenge anybody who is also keen on the post," said Shamala yesterday.

However, with recent amendments to the MHC constitution, there will be two deputy president's with one for each gender.

"After the amendment, the deputy president's post is no longer ceremonial but a working post. So, at the end of the last council meeting, Puan Sri (Raja Noora) told me to go for it and that's why I have decided to stand for election at a higher post," said Shamala.

Raja Noora Ashikin said she will call it a day: "Yes I will not be seeking re-election, and have even asked my home state Perak not to nominate me. I am backing Shamala to take over the chair."

Shamala started as secretary to the now defunct Malaysian Women's Hockey Federation (MWHF) and then moved on to become a vice-president in the MHC.

She is also a council member in the Asian Hockey Federation: "I have served hockey at every level, and with two deputy presidents' I can concentrate on developing the ladies teams as well as grassroot. Malaysia has some very talented women players, and they need some sound programmes to make them even better.

"I'm ready to take on a bigger responsibility in the sport which I have dedicated half my life to, and I will challenge anybody who stands against me. There is no turning back," said Shamala.

Early indications are that Shamala and Subahan will not have to go to the polls to take over the reigns of MHC, as they might just be winners when nominations close.

During the earlier nominations which were cancelled due to a messed up constitution, Subahan won unopposed with 12 states nominating him, while Shamala had the highest nomination (men as well as women) for vice-president with 11 states backing her quest.

The closing date for nominations is April 28 while the last date for withdrawals is May 9.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Election fever hits Malaysian Hockey Confederation

By S. Ramaguru

Favourite for the MHC president's post Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal (left) attending a hockey function with kids in 2013.

KUALA LUMPUR: Election fever has hit the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).

With the new constitution approved, the MHC have now called for the nomination of office bearers which will close on April 28.

There are 10 posts that will be up for grabs on May 13. One president, two deputy presidents of different gender each and seven vice presidents (two of which will be of a different gender).

Earlier this year when the MHC held their Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was later postponed, the president’s post was uncontested with Selangor’s Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal the only nominated candidate.

The Kuala Lumpur HA became the first affiliate when they sent in their nominations on Saturday.

They have nominated their former president George Koshy for both the president’s and deputy president’s post. They have also nominated their former vice-president K. Maheswari for the women deputy president’s post.

It is interesting to note that a list of favoured candidates is making its round with Subahan the choice for president.

Under the new constitution a candidate for the president’s post must have three nominations instead of one for the other posts.

“There is still time as the closing date is only on April 28. I am sure the affiliates would want to review their earlier options. Once that is done the candidates have a week to accept the nominations,” he said.

The AGM (or Congress as it is now called) will be held on May 13.

Incumbent president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah will not seek re-election as he is now the Asian Hockey Federation president and also sits on the FIH executive council.

Meanwhile, at the KLHA AGM yesterday, former journalist Johnson Fernandez has been elected unopposed as their new president.

In fact all the posts were returned unopposed. The deputy president is still Abu Huraira Abu Yazid while the vice-presidents are Mej (rtd) Raj Kumar, Mohd Faithal Hassan, S. Samson and James Andrew.

The secretary is V. Rajamaickam and treasurer Daljit Singh.

The Star of Malaysia

Indoor hockey? Nah, we’ll pass

By S. Ramaguru

A local indoor hockey match.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians continue to give scant attention to indoor hockey.

And due to a lack of response, Malaysia have decided not to send a team for the Indoor Asia Cup in Kazakhstan from May 13-17.

Only five teams will take part in the meet. Defending champions Iran are joined by hosts Kazakhstan, Tajakistan, Uzbekistan and Qatar. This is the sixth edition of the tournament.

This is the first time Malaysia are not competing. The Malaysians were runners up in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. They finished third in 2012 while Iran won all five editions.

In 2003, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) introduced the Indoor World Cup which is held every four years.

The Iranians finished fourth behind champions Holland, Austria and Germany. The Dutch won the world title again this February, after beating Austria in the final.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) hold an indoor championships every year but the affiliates and clubs hardly give it the attention it deserves.

A state secretary said there is no glamour in indoor hockey and thus not many states can attract players to take it up seriously.

“They failed to realise that by playing indoors it will improve their performance when they play on the turf. If Iran can win at Asian level what is stopping Malaysia who have a strong hockey history?

“And it is also surprising that top Asian teams are shunning the game,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

Only four hockey teams for Singapore SEA Games

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Only four hockey teams will take part at the Singapore SEA Games from June 6-13.

The Malaysians are the top seeds for both the men’s and women’s categories.

The other men’s teams are Singapore, Myanmar and Thailand. Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand will vie in the women’s competition.

Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) president D. Mathavan said that the teams will play in a round robin format and the top two will meet in the final for the gold medal.

“The competition will run for six days. We are surprised that the Myanmar women’s team who won the bronze medal in 2013 are not coming this year,” said Mathavan.

The teams will play at the Sengkang Hockey Complex where two new pitches have been laid.

The Star of Malaysia

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