All the news for Tuesday 28 April 2015
Great Britain sweep to 5-1 win over Japan
Alex Danson in action against Japan
In Great Britain’s second international fixture in as many days against Japan, the home side put on a fantastic performance in front of 3000 young people from schools across the country. The atmosphere was electric at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre as Great Britain sealed a convincing 5 – 1 victory against the Cherry Blossoms. Three goals in four minutes from Helen Richardson-Walsh, Sophie Bray and Alex Danson in the final quarter did the damage as they added to earlier strikes from Laura Unsworth and Danson.
Great Britain dominated possession in the opening 15 minutes, pressing Japan deep into their half. The deadlock wasn’t broken however until the second quarter when the home side were awarded a penalty stroke in the 18th minute. Danson was fouled in the circle by Japanese goalkeeper Sakiyo Asano as she latched onto Lily Owsley’s reverse stick pass and the No15 stepped up to convert from the spot. Two minutes later, Laura Unsworth slapped home from a penalty corner to give Great Britain a two-goal lead heading into half time.
Japan came out of the blocks quickly in the third quarter, with Hazuki Nagai almost finding the net on a couple of occasions. Firstly she deflected a powerful cross onto the post before substitute goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh was called into action as she saved smartly from Nagai’s penalty corner strike.
Heesh’s resistance was broken in the final quarter as Akiko Kato pounced on a through ball to beat the outrushing keeper. However, any thoughts of a Japanese comeback were short-lived as Great Britain scored three quickfire goals in the space of four minutes.
Firstly, Helen Richardson-Walsh deflected Danson’s powerful cross past Asano, before the home side were awarded their second penalty stroke of the game which Danson rifled into the top right corner for her 80th goal in international hockey. East Grinstead’s Sophie Bray wrapped up the scoring in the 56th minute as she carved through the Japanese defence and fired an unstoppable reverse stick strike low into the bottom corner, to seal a 5 – 1 victory for Great Britain.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Danny Kerry reflected on his team’s performance:
“I’m very happy with the first half - it’s probably the best we’ve played since September 2014. We were dominant, in control and deservedly 2-0 up. The second half was sloppy and we could easily have let Japan back in. Fortunately they came out to chase the game and that allowed us to cut them open a bit more, but it wasn’t a complete performance. We created and took our chances which was positive and Sabbie Heesh played well in the second half, saving some good corners. A couple of players who didn't play yesterday got a run out after injury and illness which was great for them.”
On the importance of these preparation games in the run up to the World League Semi Finals (Olympic qualifiers) in June: “It’s good to get into the mindset of bringing your best game to every moment of the match so these types of series are ideal for us. Japan are a very disciplined side, strong in defence and pose good counterattacking threats. It’s about concentrating for the whole game and it was perfect for us.”
Great Britain 5 (2)
Alex Danson 18, 55 (PS, PS)
Laura Unsworth 20 (PC)
Helen Richardson-Walsh 52 (F)
Sophie Bray 56 (F)
Japan 1 (0)
Akiko Kato 49 (F)
England Hockey Board Media release
Black Sticks comeback off the cards for Eshuis
Powerful drag flicker and a key player at the 2012 London Olympics, Clarissa Eshuis, has been forced to retire from all levels of the game.
With 132 caps to her name, Eshuis was hoping to make a return to the Black Sticks and push for selection at next year’s Rio Olympics, but a serious back injury has forced her out of high impact sport.
“I would love to have come back for Rio, but it’s not to be,” said 28 year-old Eshuis.
A recent medical examination showed that a disc bulge had worsened, explaining a lot of the pain that the Auckland player experienced during last year’s Ford National Hockey League and the season’s club games.
“I have told my club team that I’m not playing anymore – it’s so disappointing, having hockey as part of your life for so long it becomes so hard to let go, but I don’t have much choice.”
Eshuis’ talents were valued at both ends of the turf for the Black Sticks. She was one of the defensive rocks in the back field playing alongside captain Kayla Whitelock, and was also the team's designated drag flick expert, scoring 28 goals during her career.
Reflecting back on her international career, which started in May 2005 when she was invited by coach Ian Rutledge to play in a home series against the United States, Eshuis says there have been lots of highlights along the way, but the team environment during 2012 was something extra special.
“During that year, it just felt like we were all on the same page. We were committed, very focussed and had the same goal. It had been a dream of mine to get to the Olympics, and so for me the London Olympics stands out.”
Other unforgettable moments Eshuis noted was the silver medal match at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, and her first big event experience at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
“But I have great memories from club hockey as well – I initially played for Waikato University, but then switched to Suburbs Piako, another Waikato based club. I played in the men’s division and that was awesome, all the guys were so supportive and it was just good fun.”
Although her hockey sticks will now be resting in the garage, she still has a strong tie to the sport. She is currently working alongside hockey legend Ramesh Patel at St Kentigern College in Pakuranga.
Her role as a Health and PE Teacher at the prestigious secondary school extends to coaching the women’s First Eleven. As one of the top school teams in Auckland, she hopes the side can further improve on their fourth place finish at last year’s Marie Fry National Secondary School tournament.
“The students are awesome here, I love it. I’m really enjoying coaching and I would definitely look at other coaching opportunities in the future.”
Eshuis says there are many people and sponsors that have helped her along the way and it’s hard to recognise them all. They key sponsors during her career included TK Hockey, Mizuno, First Credit Union, Gallagher Group.
“Bruce Rosemergy from Waikato Hockey was a mentor through my younger teenage years and athlete advisor Chris Straange from High Performance Sport New Zealand was a big support as well.
“But a big thanks to Mark Hager for all the guidance and coaching over the years. He knew how to push my buttons and develop me into an Olympic player which resulted in me playing for my country. Without him I would never have got to where I did.”
Hager said it was a pleasure coaching Eshuis, who was a hard working player and key part of the squad.
“Claar was a really important contributor to the Black Sticks between 2009-12. Not only was she one of our key defenders, but her ability to drag flick on penalty corners enabled us to win many tight contests,” he said.
“She was a hard-nosed athlete that knew how to prepare herself for competition and we saw that with some really good performances. The 2010 Commonwealth Games along with the 2012 Olympics is where Claar showed the hockey world how talented she was.
“Claar will always be a part of the Black Sticks whanau and a person who will be missed on the International stage. I can’t thank her enough for her contribution and wish her well as she embarks on new beginnings.”
Born: March 18, 1987 (age 28)
Region: Midlands, Auckland (2014)
International tests: 132
International goals scored: 28
International career: 2005-2006, and then reselected 2008-2012
Major events: 2006 Champions Trophy, 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2010 Champions Trophy, 2010 World Cup, 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2011 Champions Trophy, 2012 Champions Trophy, 2012 London Olympics.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Black Sticks veteran retires
Clarissa Eshuis celebrates scoring the match-winner against USA during the London Olympics. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Experienced international defender Clarissa Eshuis has been forced to retire from all hockey.
Eshuis, 28, had won 132 caps and had hoped to return to the Black Sticks to push for Olympic selection in Rio next year.
However a serious back injury has led to her retirement. A disc bulge had worsened which accounted for increased pain the Auckland player experienced last year.
"It's so disappointing, having hockey as part of your life for so long it becomes so hard to let go, but I don't have much choice," Eshuis said.
As well as being a defensive rock in the national team, Eshuis was also a quality drag flicker, scoring 28 goals for New Zealand.
She singled out the Olympic campaign in London, when New Zealand were one game away from playing for the gold medal, as a high point.
"During that year, it just felt like we were all on the same page. We were committed, very focussed and had the same goal. It had been a dream of mine to get to the Olympics, and so for me the London Olympics stands out."
Eshuis also won a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
The New Zealand Herald
From Canada to Valencia via Belgium, Abigail Raye is putting in the miles to get her team to Rio.
Abigail Raye is certainly one well-travelled hockey player. The 23-year-old has been a main fixture in the Canadian defence since her debut against fellow Hockey World League semi finalists Ireland in 2009. Since then, she has based herself for part of the year in Belgium, playing for Royal Wellington, while the remainder of the year is spent training and travelling with the national squad.
Referring to the challenges that lie ahead for the national team in the next few months, Abi, who was born in England but now has Canadian citizenship, positively bubbles with excitement: “I have had a fantastic time in Belgium, but now it’s 2015, a do or die Olympic qualification year. So I have to switch from the life of club hockey to international hockey. There are two roads of qualification for us: one through World League; and the other through our continental qualifier – the Pan American Cup. Our Hockey World League campaign began in 2014, where we came through rounds one and two. The semi-finals are in Valencia in June this year, where we need to finish in the top four to qualify for the Olympics. Our second road is through the Pan American Games that takes place in July in Toronto. We have to win the Pan American Games in order to qualify for Rio. Needless to say we have a huge year ahead.”
Talking about her overseas experience in Belgium and how it has impacted her own game, Abi, who is the youngest Canadian hockey player to reach 100 caps, says: “I’m hoping that my better game awareness and technical improvements will have had a positive direct impact on the team, and the ability to immerse yourself in the game and the experience of playing and coaching with an elite group of players week in, week out, is invaluable.”
But it is not all about the hockey. Abi is also a big fan of many aspects of Belgium’s culture: “There are many benefits to playing in Europe aside from all we learn on the hockey pitch. You get to experience living in a totally new city and culture. I got to explore Brussels and learn a little about Belgian culture, which does tend to revolve around around waffles, chocolate and beer, although not all at the same time.”
“I won’t claim to have learnt any French,” she adds, “but that’s next on my list. The social scene surrounding the clubs is great too. You get to meet loads of new people at your club and at other clubs.” Among the people she has met are South African players Tarryn Bright and Sammy Prost – both of whom will also be competing in Valencia.
As Abi’s ‘do or die’ year picks up pace, she gives a state of the nation report on Canada’s prospects. “The Canadian team is in a good place heading to the HWL Semi Finals in Valencia. We took a lot of confidence out of our performance at World League Round 2 in Dublin. After two years with our coach Ian Rutledge, we’ve nailed down our playing style and structure, so our preparation for Valencia is just about making some small adjustments. The squad has been training hard here in Vancouver and I think we’ll have the ability to surprise some teams in Valencia. As for the Pan Am Games in July, playing top quality opponents at the World League Semi Finals will be great preparation for us. We’ve had a busy year of hockey and we’re taking extra steps to accelerate our growth and improve ourselves every game.”
Priority window for additional Unibet EuroHockey Championships tickets opens today
Missed out on England tickets at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015? Additional tickets are on sale this week.....
Thousands of additional tickets will go on sale this week for the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015. Due to an extremely high demand for tickets which saw both Finals and England sessions selling out, the exciting decision was made to expand the seating capacity at the stadium to allow more hockey fans to enjoy the event.
A priority purchase window to reward existing EuroHockey 2015 or GB match ticket holders will open at noon on 27 April, so they get first access to the Finals and other sold out sessions. All remaining tickets will then go on sale to the public on 1st May.
We anticipate these additional tickets will sell very quickly so we urge you to secure your seats for Finals, Semi-Finals or England sessions as early as you can, to guarantee your seat at the game
The priority window opening on Monday 27 April is available to purchasers of a EuroHockey ticket or a Great Britain ticket from the following matches: Nations Cup (GB v GER) 14 April; GB v JAP 26 April or GB v AUS on 13 June.
Purchases need to be made by midnight on 26th April to qualify for the priority window, and to purchase tickets to sold out sessions, enter the 8 digit booking reference from your previous purchase.
Guide to buying tickets in the priority purchase window
To access this offer just enter your 8 digit ticket booking reference number into the Code box http://eurohockey.seetickets.com/tour/eurohockey-championships-2015/ If you can’t find your booking reference use the following link and enter the email address that you booked your tickets with https://www.seetickets.com/customerservice You are limited to 4 tickets per booking reference during this priority period.
1. Offer Period
Priority window additional tickets will go on sale at 12.00 noon on Monday 27th April and continue to 12.00 on Friday 1st May, after which they’ll go on sale to the general public.
2. Access to purchase window
Access to the offer will only be available during this period to purchasers of tickets with a booking reference for any of the following international events:
• 14th April Nations Cup – GBR v GER men
• 26th April Investec Private Bank International – GBR v JPN women
• 13th June GBR v AUS men*
• Any Euros ticket purchase*
*Note that only tickets purchased before midnight on 26th April will qualify for this offer.
Any ticket booking reference for KO or League Finals will not qualify.
Ticket purchases in this priority period will be limited to 4 tickets per booking reference.
4. Open Sale
All the remaining seats will then go on open sale from 12.00 noon on Friday 1 May (noting not all blocks will be released for each session as we have existing space).
Customer service and enquiries
If you have any problems purchasing tickets please contact See Tickets - their customer service number is 08448718810, and many questions can be resolved via the following link:
England Hockey Board Media release
Mens Grand Masters Win Celtic Cup
The Irish Men's Grand Masters team won the Celtic Cup this weekend in Bangor Co Down. They drew 1-1 in a tough encounter with Wales on Friday night then trounced France 7-1 on Saturday. Sunday's final game was a winner take all scenario. Scotland started the stronger but Ireland took the lead when Glenanne's Eddie O'Malley shot high into the roof of the net. Bangor's George Blackwood then scored twice from penalty corner moves to make it 3-0. Scotland pulled one back but Ireland held on to win their first tournament in only their second season.
Irish Hockey Association media release
Greenshirts geared up for Australia tour
By Nabil Tahir
Pakistan, ranked ninth in the world, will take on two teams from number one side Australia and one each from seventh-ranked New Zealand and eighth-ranked South Korea. PHOTO: APP
KARACHI: The Pakistan hockey team, along with seven officials, is ready to depart for Australia on Tuesday from Lahore via Karachi to participate in the Four-Nation Hockey Tournament scheduled to take place from May 2 to May 10 in Hobart.
Pakistan, ranked ninth in the world, will take on two teams from number one side Australia and one each from seventh-ranked New Zealand and eighth-ranked South Korea.
Skipper Muhammad Imran, a part of the 18-member squad, is aiming to top the tournament with the help of youngsters Faisal Qadir and Muhammad Rizwan Jr, brought in to replace seniors Muhammad Rizwan Sr and Rashid Mehmood, who are currently playing in the Professional German League and were unable to attending the training camp and trials.
And Imran is optimistic about winning the tournament despite going to the tour with the two youngsters. “Both Faisal and Rizwan Jr trained extensively during the month-long training camp and are 100% fit,” Imran told The Express Tribune. “If they keep their form in the game, then we can definitely finish in the top two at the very least.”
The captain added that despite the lack of international assignments, the coach has asked them to give their all in this preparatory tour for the 2016 Rio Olympic qualification round in June.
Meanwhile, head coach Shahnaz Sheikh said that in modern-day hockey, every team has a video analyst who tells them playing techniques used by other squads. “That is why Pakistan is going with a new technique which has been successfully tested during exhibition matches,” he added.
Pakistan will face Australia in the second match of the opening day on May 2 and take on Australia A the following day. The Greenshirts will then battle it out with Korea on May 5 and May 9 and New Zealand on May 7.
The Express Tribune
Imran to lead Pakistan at four-nation event in Australia
LAHORE: Mohammad Imran will lead Pakistan hockey squad in a four-nation tournament scheduled to be held in Hobart, Australia from May 2 to 10. The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) selectors inducted Faisal Qadir and Rizwan Ali into the 18-member national team. Faisal and Rizwan have succeeded in replacing Rashid Mahmood and Rizwan Senior who were asked to join the national training camp but both did not do so as the duo had been engaged in a German league. Principally, both Rashid and Rizwan Senior should have joined the training camp in that national duty comes first but the PHF is no more in a position to properly take care of players due to severe financial problems.
"The team has been selected purely on merit and is capable of earning favourable results in Hobart where strong teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Korea are competing," said chief selector Islahuddin Siddiqui, who was accompanied by head coach Shahnaz Sheikh and one of the selectors, during a news conference on Saturday.
The former Olympian said some junior players were spotted in the recently-concluded National Junior Championship in Karachi but they needed time to replace seniors. "The great achievement of Pakistan in the last Champions Trophy held in India where Pakistan earned silver medal has boost my hopes for a better future of the game," maintained Islah while stating that they could definitely qualify for the next year's Rio Olympics, if the team pressed ahead with the same zeal.
The chief selector said the tour was important in that before flying to Belgium for qualifiers, the greenshirts would only have to play five matches in South Korea against the hosts. The PHF while keeping in view its financial constraints has decided to send only players and officials to Australia, said the chief selector, adding that the Punjab government was kind in helping the PHF make possible the Australia tour. Notwithstanding, he clarified the hockey federation had succeeded in managing cash amount for half of the expenditures while the rest of the amount had been borrowed.
It may be mentioned that the federation is facing acute shortage of funds, for the federal government has decided to conduct PHF audit before releasing grants. However, the PHF audit by the government is yet to be conducted despite a lapse of over two weeks when Finance Minister Ishaq Dar revealed that the government would conduct audit of the PHF before releasing funds. On the other hand, the country's hockey governing body has time and again expressed willingness to cooperate with auditors.
Head coach Shahnaz Sheikh, meanwhile, said that his input was taken in finalising the squad while stating that the only target he had set for the tournament was to get maximum positive results. "Tough teams are featuring in the tournament but it will provide Pakistan the best opportunity which will make the team strong for the Olympic qualifiers," maintained the head coach who said he was expecting a spot in the top three of the qualifiers.
The coach said he had earlier planned to get 35 international matches before the Olympic qualifiers but he could arrange just 15 matches hoping that the players would take full advantage of available opportunity.
The team will leave for Australia on April 28 from Lahore via Karachi and all probables will continue their training at the camp with the selected squad. Only Ayaz Mahmood and Musaddiq Hussain along with Islah observed the trials before finalising the squad. Due to ailment Arshad Ali Chaudhry was not able to observe the trials while another selector Khalid Bashir was also absent.
Goalkeepers: Imran Butt and Amjad Ali; fullbacks: Mohammad Imran (captain), Mohammad Irfan, Syed Kashif Shah; halves: Tasawar Abbas, Zohaib Ashraf, Muhammad Rizwan Junior, Mohammad Tousiq, Ammad Shakeel Butt and Faisal Qadir; forwards: Mohammad Waqas Sharif, Arslan Qadir, Shafqat Rasool, Mohammad Umar Bhutta, Mohammad Dilber, Ali Shan and Rizwan Ali.
Officials: Shahnaz Sheikh (manager/head coach), Nasir Ali, Mohammad Shafqat, Syed Sameer Hussain, Syed Abu Zar Umrao (coaches), Tahir Zaman (coaching consultant), Asad Abbas Shah (doctor).
The Daily Times
Imran asks PM to at least extend best wishes to hockey team
LAHORE - Pakistan hockey team captain M Imran has urged Prime Minister Mian M Nawaz Sharif to at least extend best wishes to hockey team which will boost players’ morale and motivate them to cement their place in the next Olympics.
Talking to The Nation, Imran said: “As the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), former hockey Olympians, coaches and others have time and again reminded the government to meet the hockey players and officials, we will not request the same to the PM but want him to at least extend best wishes to us for Olympic qualifiers.
There is also a dire need of resolving financial issues so that the players may fully focus on their game instead of thinking about bread and butter for their families.”
He termed his side well-balanced and added participation in the maximum activities before the Olympic qualifiers would help the team.
“The main focus during the training camp was physical fitness of the players which is very important to perform well in any event.
The selectors have selected a well-balanced side from the available lot and I hope the boys will deliver.”
“Young Faisal Qadir and Rizwan Ali replaced Rizwan Senior and Rashid Mehmood, who are busy in playing hockey leagues abroad.
We have mostly young players in our team and many of them have appeared in the Champions Trophy.
After Champions Trophy, we didn’t take part in any major international event and now leaving for take part in the two important events in Australia and Korea before the Olympic qualifiers.
It is good for players to play more and more events before Olympic qualifiers which will help the players stretch their muscles and prepare them well for the crucial qualifiers,” Imran added.
When asked what role he would play being a captain, he replied: “I will try my best to perform very well to set an example for my boys.
I will bring harmony and unity in the team and when we will play as a unit, the results will be quite satisfactory and beyond the expectations.”
“The coaches and trainers worked really hard with boys and I hope we will not ruin their sincere efforts and utilize all our abilities to help the team register important and much-needed victories in all the events especially in the Olympic qualifiers as it is very significant for us to do qualify for the forthcoming Olympics,” Imran concluded.
Rana rubbishes reports of rift with players over money
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Olympian Rana Mujahid Monday rubbishes claims that there was unrest among the players due to non-payment of dailies and other minor issues.
While talking to The Nation soon after holding an important meeting involving head coach Shahnaz Sheikh and others, Rana said team was departing for Melbourne via Dubai in the wee hours of and then to the actual destination Hobart. He said they had settled minor issue of dailies with the players and it was not such a big issue as some circles were pretending. He said the PHF had cleared half of the dues they owed to the players and the remaining would be cleared upon their return after participating in the Four-nation tournament.
“We have borrowed from different quarters to ensure team’s participation in the Australian event. I would like to once again humbly request Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also the patron of the PHF, to steady fast sinking ship of the federation and order immediate release of special grant. We would not spend a single penny on personal projection and each and every penny would be spent entirely on the players and team”.
The PHF secretary praised the form and fitness of the team during the training camp and admitted that head coach Shahnaz Sheikh and his supporting staff had done a great job with the players. “The players are seemed to be in very good shape and are hungry to perform. The selectors have selected a very balanced squad. It is purely a practice and training tour and we are expecting good results. The basic aim of sending team to Australia and Korea is to prepare the players for the high-profile Olympic qualifiers as we can't afford to miss Olympics after failing to qualify for the World Cup. I am quite hopeful the PM would endorse our tireless efforts and a special grant would enable us to fully concentrate on our plans. I am dead sure, we have put Pakistan hockey back on right track and soon the desired results would come thick and fast.”
Sharing his views, chief selector Islahuddin Siddiqui said he had selected the best available squad from the available group of players. “Two players are missing from the team, which had selected previously as Rashid and Rizwan Senior had opted to play in German League rather than turning up for the training camp and appear in trials. So we have given chance to two new up and coming youngsters Faisal Qadir and Rizwan Ali. Both youngsters are quite energetic and hungry to perform.”
The chief selector said the team was only selected for the Australian Super Series. He said although it was a 4-nation event, but the matter of the fact is 5 teams would be in action as two Australian teams would play the event and it was a perfect platform for Pakistan to gain much-needed experience before the Olympic qualifiers as Australians are placed in same group in the Olympic qualifiers and this event would provide the players with an opportunity to rectify their mistakes before the mega test.
“After returning from Australia, a short camp would be conducted before finalising squad for five-match series against Korea and after Korean series a camp would be conducted to select national team for Olympic qualifiers. I hope Pakistan team would depart to Belgium on June 10, which would give them extra days to get use to the conditions and prepare themselves for the biggest test. I had witnessed how Shahnaz was imparting training on scientific lines and players were responding well and I enjoyed a lot during the training and selection process. Now it is upto the players to deliver what they had taught during the camp,” Islah concluded.
Amsterdam and Bloemendaal edge out Rotterdam
Amsterdam and Bloemendaal completed the Dutch playoff picture as they managed to get the scorelines they needed to get over the line, joining Oranje Zwart and Kampong.
For Amsterdam, they lost 2-1 to Rotterdam but had enough goals in the bank on goal difference to edge out their rivals. Timmo Kranstauber and Billy Bakker exchanged first half goals before Bjorn Kellerman won the tie in the 69th minute.
Bloemendaal joined both sides on 45 points with a narrow 2-1 win over HGC with Tom Boon scoring twice in the last ten minutes to earn the win.
Rotterdam were the side to miss out as their goal difference of +37 was two short of Bloemendaal and five shy of Amsterdam.
Kampong ended the regular season in first place as they got the better of Push 5-0 on the final day of the regular season while OZ faltered at Pinoké.
Dennis Warmerdam started the run in the 31st minute before two Luke Judge goals extended the lead out to 3-0. Mink van der Weerden got one back but Lex Hoegeveen closed out a stunning 4-1 win for Pinoke.
It means that Amsterdam will meet OZ next Sunday in the first of a best of three semi-final series while Bloemendaal play Kampong. Games two and three will take place a week later.
Euro Hockey League media release
Leo and Dragons reach Belgian playoffs
Royal Leopold and Dragons snuck into the playoff places at the expense of Daring to reach the final four in Belgium’s Audi Hockey League.
All three sides won, meaning that the pre-weekend status quo remained in place with Leopold securing their place with a final day win over table-toppers KHC Leuven 2-1.
Arthur Verdussen notched the winner with 21 minutes to go for Leo and they held on to land a huge result, maintaining third place.
Dragons beat Braxgata 3-1 despite trailing for a long time to Xavier Reckinger’s penalty stroke. But Felix Denayer fired home a couple of penalty corners before Matthew Cobbaert scored the definitive goal.
It rendered Daring’s 2-1 win over Herakles ineffective in the final reckoning as Jog and Tanguy Cosyns scored to counter-act one from Jeremy Schuermans.
The WatDucks prepared for the playoffs with a 3-2 success against Oree while Racing Club de Bruxelles were 2-1 winners at Beerschot and Antwerp beat Wellington 4-1.
For the playoffs, Dragons play Leuven on Friday night and Sunday afternoon in their two-game semi-final while Leopold play the Ducks on Saturday and Sunday.
Euro Hockey League media release
Padros plays last Polo home game Lleonart signs new deal
Roger Padros netted one of the nine goals in his last home game for RC de Polo, Barcelona on Sunday as they topped the Spanish regular season with a resounding 9-3 win over Jolaseta.
Padros will move on after a great career with the club after the upcoming playoffs in which he was nicknamed “the killer” for his exploits in front of goal.
Goals from Matias Rey and Xavi Lleonart soon built a 3-1 lead before Salva Piera and Alex Casasayas made it 5-1 at half-time.
Lleonart’s second, one from Pepe Borrell preceded Padros’s 57th minute effort to make it 8-3. Alvara Turull completed the rout.
The club was boosted by the news Lleonart has committed to the club for a further three seasons, saying: "I came here to win trophies and have been given all the positive conditions for this so the decision was pretty easy and I am very happy to continue.”
Club Egara concluded their regular season with a 4-0 win over Campo while Atletic Terrassa complete the top four. They drew 0-0 with San Sebastian.
Egara host the finals weekend with Atletic facing Polo in the semi-final while Egara meet Campo once again with the final taking place on Sunday.
Euro Hockey League media release
RSPB, Odisha, Haryana, MPHA win in Women's Sr National Hockey
Saifai (Uttar Pradesh): Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) thrashed Hockey Maharashtra 12-0, while Hockey Odisha spanked Delhi Hockey 8-0 in pool matches of the fifth Senior National Hockey Championship 2015 (Women) 'A' Division here today.
While the day started with RSPB's thumping win over Hockey Maharashtra, Hockey Odisha later registered a crushing victory over Delhi Hockey in the second game.
In the other matches of the day, Hockey Haryana scored a thumping 11-0 win over Sports Authority of India (SAI), while Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy (MPHA) trounced Hockey Himachal 15-0 in the last fixture.
Results of the day:
Pool A: RSPB 12 Anupa Barla (4th minute-FG), Punam Barla (15th min-FG), Amandeep Kaur (29th min-PC, 58th min-FG), Renuka Yadav (30th min-FG), Sunita Lakra (32nd min-PC, 46th min-PC), Manmeet Kaur (40th min-PC), Navjot Kaur (41st min-PC), Lilima Minz (43rd min-FG), Anuradha Devi TH. (52nd min-FG, 54th min-FG) vs Hockey Maharashtra 0.
Pool A: Hockey Odisha 8 Biragini Ekka (12th min-FG, 32nd min-FG, 42nd min-FG), Majhi Nilprojita (15th min-FG, 53rd min-PC), Jira Ekka (19th min-PC), Ambika Toppo (29th min-PC), Sarojini Ekka (46th min-FG) vs Delhi Hockey 0.
Pool B: Hockey Haryana 11 Devika Sen (2th min-FG), Jyoti Gupta (5th min-FG, 18th min-FG, 32nd min-FG, 47th min-FG, 58th min-FG), Jyoti (28th min-FG), Joydeep Kaur (36th min-PC), Kiran (38th min-PC), Nickey (42nd min-PC, 53rd min-PC) vs Sports Authority of India 0.
Pool B: Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy 15 Shivani Singh (4th min-FG, 13th min-FG, 27th min-FG, 30th min-FG), Priyanka Wankhede (5th min-FG, 29th min-FG), Reena Khokhar (8th min-FG, 9th min-FG, 46th min-PC), Shyma Tidgam (10th min-PC), Ramngaihuuali R (16th min-FG, 21st min-FG, 56th min-FG), Kavita Vidyarathi (55th min-FG, 58th min-FG) vs Hockey Himachal 0.
Koshy signs in for deputy president battle...
by Jugjet Singh
GEORGE Koshy (pic) will only stand for the deputy president's post, leaving Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal as a most likely unopposed president of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).
Nominations close at noon Tuesday, and early indications are that Subahan, the current Selangor HA president, will replace Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as the sixth president of the Confederation.
"Yes, Koshy has signed the nomination form for deputy president and will not stand for the president's post. Our other candidate for women's deputy president K. Maheshwary has also signed the nomination form," said Kuala Lumpur HA secretary V. Rajamanickam.
Even with just one day to go, only four states had sent in their nominations and Sabah, Sarawak and Kedah had all named Subahan as president. To be eligible to stand as president one needs three nominations and Subahan has already received his.
With the top post unopposed, stiff battle lines have been drawn for the men and women's deputy president. At this stage, Koshy is going to be challenged by incumbent vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad.
And it will be a vice-president's upgrade battle in the women's section when incumbents S. Shamala and Mahesari go for the deputy president's post.
Elections will be held on May 13, and nominees have until May 9 to withdraw from the race.
Also making an exit will be incumbent deputy president Puan Sri Raja Noora Ashikin who will not be seeking re-election.
The new MHC constitution did away with the secretary's post and replaced it with a CEO, while there will be two deputy president's to govern both genders. Seven vice-president's posts will also be contested.
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 Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) was formed in 1953 and the first president was Tun Abdul Razak (1957–1976) followed by Sultan Azlan Shah (2002–2004), Raja Nazrin Shah (2004–2006), Admiral Tan Sri Mohammad Anwar Mohammad Nor (19 Dec 2006–1 Nov 2008) and Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah (1 Nov 2008-13 May 2015).
Subahan new MHC president
DATUK Seri Subahan Kamal became the 6th Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president when nominations closed at 12noon. He had no challengers for the hot seat
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey