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News for 11 May 2015

All the news for Monday 11 May 2015

Clinical Kookas take spoils

Australia's men overcome Pakistan 5-0 as Hobart Tests conclude

Eddie Ockenden opened the scoring seconds before the half time hooter.

A clinical final 30 minutes saw the Kookaburras overcome a tight opening half to run out 5-0 winners over Pakistan in their final match at the Hobart International Challenge.

With both sides cancelling out one another for much of the first half it took a back post deflection from Eddie Ockenden seconds before the half time hooter to separate the sides.

But it was a re-energised Australian team that emerged for the second half as strikes by Chris Ciriello and Glenn Simpson gave the Kookaburras breathing space before Trent Mitton and Flynn Ogilvie gave the scoreboard a more realistic complexion late on.

Kookaburras Assistant Coach Nathan Eglington, standing in for Head Coach Graham Reid, said afterwards, “It was certainly a slow start. Pakistan are a great team. We knew they were going to come out hard and to the guys’ credit when we weren’t playing that well we were able to find something after half time and get ourselves into a position to actually take the game away from Pakistan. It was good clinical finishing really.

“We were presented with a pretty unique challenge – an end of a series which wasn’t actually a final, no medal up for grabs. But being able to maintain a level and a standard that we’ve held ourselves to for two weeks was enough motivation.”

It took until the 25th minute for Australia to threaten, a penalty corner that Chris Ciriello flicked over the top. But it proved to be the catalyst for a five minute spell in which the Kookaburras pressed with urgency, gaining reward with seconds of the first half remaining as Ciriello redirected Flynn Ogilvie’s cross into the path of Ockenden. The 28 year-old positioned himself low to deflect the ball home and send the Kookaburras in ahead at the break. 

The world champions dealt well with Pakistani pressure in the opening five minutes of the second half before Ciriello went from provider to scorer as he flicked a powerful penalty corner that rippled the net for 2-0.

And just 60 seconds later it was three as fellow Victorian Glenn Simpson finished a flowing Australian move.

By now the Kookaburras were in control. Trent Mitton showed no ill effects soon after taking a sore one to the leg as he got on the end of Simon Orchard’s well timed through ball, dinking it beyond Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt for 4-0.

Two minutes from full time, Tim Deavin’s pass up the left line was swept into the circle by Dylan Wotherspoon to Flynn Ogilvie. The New South Wales youngster turned inside before unleashing a perfectly executed tomahawk shot into the bottom corner from the top of the circle for 5-0.

Things threatened to boil over as full time approached with Shafqat Rasool and Glenn Simpson both shown green cards for separate offences either side of a yellow for Deavin, whose robust challenge on Muhammad Umar Butta resulted in the Pakistani leaving the field with assistance.

Speaking afterwards about the week, Nathan Eglington added, “It’s been great. We exposed up to 40 players initially and then some players went home, the senior squad stayed behind. It’s invaluable to get that many test matches leading into our major event of the year, which is the World League Semi Final in June.

“We’ve certainly made ground since Azlan Shah [in April], some really big steps. The guys identified some areas for improvement and they’ve held themselves to account, individually and collectively, which has been pleasing.”

Looking ahead to the forthcoming selection of the squad for the World League Semi Final, he added, “It’s tough. You want guys to put their hand up every game and this series has presented the selection group with some very difficult decisions, which have to be made now.

“That’s always the position you want to be in. You never want to just roll in and pick a team. You want to have to go in there and really debate and to the guys’ credit everyone wants to play, everyone’s striving to improve. We could probably pick 30 players and they’d all do a really good job but unfortunately only 18 can go and that’s going to be a difficult decision.”

Australian selectors will make their decision over the coming week with an announcement expected the following week.

The World League Semi Final takes place in Antwerp from 20 June until 5 July. Australia’s men need to finish in the top three of the ten team tournament to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Earlier on Sunday, Korea picked up their first victory of the week as they saw off New Zealand’s Black Sticks men with a 3-1 win courtesy of a goal from Kim Juhun and two from Jang Jonghyun. Jacob Smith scored a late consolation goal for the Kiwis.
The Hobart International Challenge is supported by the Tasmanian Government through Communities, Sport and Recreation Tasmania.
Please note - There will be no live streaming of the matches at the men's Hobart International Challenge. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

Hobart International Challenge - Match Six

Eddie Ockenden 30 (FG)
Chris Ciriello 43 (PC)
Glenn Simpson 44 (FG)
Trent Mitton 54 (FG)
Flynn Ogilvie 58 (FG)

Kookaburras squad v Pakistan
Name (Hometown/State) Caps/Goals
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 55/10
Kiel Brown (Toowoomba, QLD) 159/6
Andrew Charter (GK) (Canberra, ACT) 89/0
Matthew Dawson (Central Coast, NSW) 20/1
Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS) 106/5
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD) 122/37
Mark Knowles (C) (Rockhampton, QLD) 256/22
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 243/61
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW) 169/50
Glenn Simpson (Melbourne, VIC) 127/23
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW^) 14/3
Used Substitutes
Nick Budgeon (Hobart, TAS) 38/12
Christopher Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC) 161/103
Leon Hayward (GK) (Darwin, NT) 8/0
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 72/23
Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW) 13/4
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW) 54/3
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 57/4
^Dylan Wotherspoon is an athlete at the Queensland Academy of Sport and is classified as a QLD athlete but grew up in Mulwillumbah, NSW.
Match Results - Sunday 10 May
New Zealand 1-3 Korea
Australia 5-0 Pakistan

Hockey Australia media release

Black Sticks outmuscled by Korea in Hobart

The Black Sticks Men have been beaten 3-1 by Korea in their final game at the International Challenge in Tasmania.

New Zealand had plenty of possession but couldn’t find a way to get quality shots on goal against a solid Korean defence.

The Black Sticks could only muster one goal with striker Jacob Smith finding the back of the net off a penalty corner deflection in the 58th minute.

Head coach Colin Batch said it was frustrating that they couldn’t convert their possession into scoring opportunities.

“We should have had more goal shots from our possession but we struggled in doing that,” he said.

“Early errors and poor passing and receiving allowed Korea to get away from us. We showed spirit in the second half but couldn’t convert any chances.”

Korea opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Kim Juhun hit home from the field, helping his side to a 1-0 halftime lead.

Penalty corner flicker Jang Jonghyun scored twice in the space of seven minutes in the second half to push Korea out to a 3-0 buffer with just 10 minutes remaining.

New Zealand scored a consolation goal two minutes out from fulltime when Smith hit home from a deflection.

The Black Sticks fly home to Auckland tomorrow for an intense two weeks of training before the team departs for the World League Semi-Final in Argentina on 25 May. The team to compete in Buenos Aires will be announced within the next 10 days.

New Zealand 1: (Jacob Smith)
Korea 3: (Jang Jonghyun 2, Kim Juhun)
Halftime: Korea 1-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Malaysia hold Belgium 2-2

by Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA held Belgium to a 2-2 draw in their second friendly at Antwerp.

After losing 3-1 in the first friendly, the national players were much more composed in the second match in their preparation for the World League Semi-finals.

The World League Semi-Finals, on June 20-July 5 in Belgium, is a qualifier for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics and Malaysia are in Group B with Belgium, Ireland, China and Britain. In Group A are Australia, India, Pakistan, Poland and France.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin gave Malaysia the lead in the third minute, but Belgium equalised in the 10th minute. Shahril Saabah re-took the lead with a reverse stick shot in the 37th, but Belgium drew the match with a 43rd minute penalty corner.

For the record, Belgium beat Malaysia 6-2 in the World Cup at the Hague, Netherlands.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Mirnawan: Let Juniors sail in Sea Games

by Jugjet Singh

NATIONAL Juniors team manager Mirnawan Nawawi feels Malaysia should just field his charges for the Sea Games, as they have been in super form in an ongoing series of friendlies against Singapore.

The first match at the Sengkang Stadium in Singapore was a little shaky as Malaysia only won 2-1, but three more friendlies produced the desired results.

The national juniors won 7-0, 5-0 and 5-2 against the Singapore seniors. The last friendly will be held today.

"My personal opinion is that we should just field the juniors for the Sea Games without including senior players dropped from the World League Semi-finals training squad.

"This is because I feel that we need to expose them in a tournament environment to get them ready for the Junior Asia Cup at the end of the year which is a Junior World Cup qualifier.

"Juniors have shown good form in the friendlies but there is still room for improvement and we can achieve that by playing as a unit in the Sea Games," said Mirnawan.

Not wanting to belittle the other Sea Games opponents Thailand, Myanmar and hosts Singapore, Mirnawan said his charges will have to be on their toes to defend the gold.

"Singapore is a good side and it will not be easy playing them in the Sea Games. However, for the future of the country as well as early preparations for the Junior Asia Cup, I feel we must field the juniors without help from any senior players," said Mirnawan.

For the record, in the last meeting at the World League Round Two Malaysian seniors whitewashed Singapore 16-1.

"We need to win the Sea Games gold medal as a boost for the Sultan of Johor Cup where we will play against Pakistan, India, Australia, Argentina and Britain.

"We will again play Pakistan and India in the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan, for a ticket to the Junior World Cup. So I feel this team needs to beat Asean opponents before they can start looking at the Asian region," said Mirnawan.

The Sultan of Johor Cup will be held on Oct 11-18 at the Taman Daya Stadium. Malaysia were champions in the inaugural meet in 2011, while Australia emerged champions the next edition. India claimed back-to-back golds in 2013 and 2014.

In the Junir Asia Cup, in Kuantan in November, defending champions Malaysia must finish among the top-four to play in New Delhi in 2016. For the record, Malaysia finished fourth in the 2013 Junior World Cup -- also held in New Delhi.

In the women's Sea Games event Malaysia will defend their gold against, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Black Sticks Women named for World League

Kirsten Pierce will take part in her first major International tournament.

Black Sticks Women’s head coach Mark Hager has announced his side to compete at the FIH World League Semi-Final in Belgium next month.

The Kiwis are among 10 sides competing for a place in the World League Final, while the tournament also doubles as an opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics with a top three placing guaranteeing an automatic berth.

The backline defence will be strengthened with the return of experienced goalkeeper Sally Rutherford who has recovered from a broken toe which has kept her out of action for the past few months.

Canterbury’s Sophie Cocks is back in the side following a recent illness, while versatile midfielder Julia King has earned a call-up thanks to a strong club season in England which saw her take out MVP in the final.

Striker Kirsten Pearce (12 caps) will play in her first major international tournament having impressed during the recent Hawke’s Bay Cup.

The side is captained by Anita Punt as part of a leadership group also including Sam Charlton and Stacey Michelsen.

Head coach Mark Hager said the development of his squad over the past few months has been pleasing with competition for spots very fierce.

“We’ve got a good mix of experience and youth with the likes of Anita, Stacey, Gemma and Sam while some of the younger players have really put their hand up,” he said.

“The squad is certainly developing well and we saw that at the Hawke’s Bay Cup where Amelia Gibson played really well in goal and Gemma showed some top form, creating enormous scoring opportunities for us up front. Kirsten also performed well and stood up in the semi final and final against Korea and Australia.

“You add to that the returning players like Sally, Julia and Sophie and we have a solid platform to perform well in Belgium.”

Pearce said she was delighted to be selected and was looking forward to going head-to-head with some of the best teams in the world.

The 24-year-old made her debut against Canada in February and has swiftly progressed into one of the side’s top attacking options.

“It’s been a crazy ride so far but I’m really excited to go away with a great bunch of girls and play against the world’s best,” she said.

“We will go into World League pretty confident. I think we played well in Hawke’s Bay and while the final result wasn’t what we were after, the improvement we’ve had over the past few months has been amazing and it’s nice to be part of it.”

New Zealand is joined in Pool B at the tournament by Australia, Belgium, India and Poland while Pool A consists of Netherlands, Korea, Japan, Italy and Azerbaijan.

The World League format sees New Zealand play four pool games ahead of a crucial sudden-death quarter final against a Pool A opponent.

The Black Sticks are currently in a hard training phase before departing on 9 June to play two warm-up tests against Netherlands ahead of the World League Semi-Final. First up are relative unknowns Poland at 8:00pm on Saturday 20 June (NZ time).

CLICK HERE for full match schedule and results

World League Semi-Final, Belgium

13 Sam CHARLTON Midlands Defender/Midfielder 22 131
17 Sophie COCKS Canterbury Midfielder/Striker 20 60
22 Gemma FLYNN Midlands Striker/Midfielder 24 203
10 Amelia GIBSON Canterbury Goalkeeper 23 34
27 Jordan GRANT Canterbury Midfielder/Striker 23 46
12 Ella GUNSON Northland Midfielder/Defender 25 112
26 Pippa HAYWARD Canterbury Defender/Midfielder 24 65
24 Rose KEDDELL Midlands Defender/Midfielder 21 82
15 Julia KING Auckland Midfielder/Striker 22 77
4 Olivia MERRY Canterbury Striker 22 88
31 Stacey MICHELSEN Northland Midfielder/Defender 23 172
9 Brooke NEAL Northland Defender 22 47
18 Kirsten PEARCE North Harbour Striker 24 12
32 Anita PUNT Capital Midfielder 27 200
7 Aniwaka ROBERTS Capital Defender 25 59
8 Sally RUTHERFORD Midlands Goalkeeper 33 87
16 Liz THOMPSON Auckland Defender 20 70
6 Petrea WEBSTER North Harbour Striker/Midfielder 26 107

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks defender Aniwaka Roberts returns to form after mystery illness

Aniwaka Roberts has won back her place in the Black Sticks with solid performances following a mystery illness. Kevin Stent/Fairfax NZ

From the outside looking in it appeared Aniwaka Roberts had been dropped from the Black Sticks in 2014 due to poor form.

But what most people did not know was the 26-year-old Wellington defender was looking for answers to a puzzling illness.

At random times during exercise, her throat would start to close up and she would be unable to breathe properly.

"The first sign is the throat closing up and feeling really bad before a rash breaks out all over your body and looks like big welts," Roberts said.

In July 2014, after eight months of not knowing what the problem was, she was diagnosed with an allergic reaction to shellfish which would be brought on only when she exercised.

"Most people would have a reaction straight after eating, but for me it would be when I exercised," she said.

"It was pretty intense but good to finally get through it."

Since finding out the cause of her illness, she has stayed away from shellfish and played in both the New Zealand and Australian national leagues on her way back into the Black Sticks squad late last year.

On Monday she was selected in coach Mark Hager's squad for the World League Semifinal starting on June 20 in Belgium, a tournament which guarantees the top three finishers Olympic qualification.

Hager was sympathetic to Roberts during her illness and assisted her in playing in the Australian league to recapture her form and match fitness.
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"We've been really pleased with how she has come on in the last few months," Hager said.

"The good thing about her is she can cover a number of positions for us."

While the top two sides in the world - Australia and the Netherlands - will be tough to beat, the third place spot is up for grabs and the Black Sticks, Japan and South Korea are the only other sides at the tournament ranked inside the world's top 10.

Hager said they were aiming to win the tournament and pool play would be vital to their chances.

"If we win our pool, then we might have Azerbaijan or Italy in the quarters, but if we're third or fourth [in pool play], then we could be up against the Netherlands or Japan."

The Black Sticks remain a youthful side, with just four of the 18-strong squad older than 24, but Hager said they did not lack in experience.

"We end up playing 30 or so games a year, so it doesn't take long for some of those younger players to rack up 50 games."

That point was illustrated by 24-year-old Gemma Flynn, who has already accumulated 203 caps.

The side will be captained by Wellington's Anita Punt, as part of a leadership group also including Sam Charlton and Stacey Michelsen.

BLACK STICKS: Sam Charlton, Sophie Cocks, Gemma Flynn, Amelia Gibson, Jordan Grant, Ella Gunson, Pippa Hayward, Rose Keddell, Julia King, Olivia Merry, Stacey Michelsen, Brooke Neal, Kirsten Pearce, Anita Punt, Aniwaka Roberts, Sally Rutherford, Liz Thompson, Petrea Webster.


Kampong and OZ shake off Bloemendaal and Amsterdam

Kampong and Oranje Zwart will contest the Dutch Hoofdklasse final after they won their critical third legs against Bloemendaal and Amsterdam, respectively.

For Kampong, they came into the weekend with a win under their belt but were stunned by Bloemendaal in extra time as Tim Jenniskens got a great touch to a crash ball to nab a 3-2 win for Bloemendaal.

It sent the tie to a third game in which Philip Meulenbroek was the hero, netting twice in a 3-1 win for the Utrecht club. His first was annulled by Simon Gougnard’s equaliser with ten minutes remaining.

But Meulenbroek replied three minutes later before Loick Luypaert’s penalty corner sealed the result and the final berth.

OZ’s win over Amsterdam followed a similar narrative. They had won game one but, in spite of a last minute normal time equaliser from Mink van der Weerden, fell 4-3 to Amsterdam after extra time in game two.

Mirco Pruyser got the winner there after two goals from Santi Freixa had pushed Amsterdam to the edge of victory.

In game three, Pruyser then put Amsterdam 1-0 up just six minutes into the game. But Bob de Voogd changed the momentum with two goals before van der Weerden and Rashid Mehmood earned OZ a 4-1 win.

Euro Hockey League media release

In-form Krefeld close the gap on top four

The race for the fourth playoff spot in the German league with Krefeld continuing their superb run to get back into the mix, moving level with Uhlenhorst Mülheim.

The top three look to be in good shape and they all marched on with Harvestehuder, UHC Hamburg and Rot Weiss Köln all winning.

For Krefeld, a goal in the 38th minute from Niklas Wellen, pictured, was all that stood between them and Club an der Alster, making it six wins and one draw from the last seven games to move up to 30 points, tied for fourth spot.

Uhlenhorst, meanwhile, have lost three games in succession to be reeled in. They fell 3-0 to UHC Hamburg with Alexander Perdoni, Ricardo Nevado and Philip Witte scoring the goals.

It leaves UHC five points clear of the battle for fourth, equal on 35 points with Harvestehuder THC who beat Nürnberger HTC 7-2  courtesy of Michael Korper scoring five times.

Rot Weiss continue to lead the way thanks to a 5-3 win over Berliner HC, Tom Grambusch and Florian Adrian winning it with a pair of goals, both in the 58th minute, to close out the result.

Euro Hockey League media release

Dragons hit double figures to win Belgian title

Dragons claimed the Belgian Audi Hockey League in emphatic fashion as they destroyed Royal Leopold 10-0 over the two-leg final this weekend, running up four and six goal victories.

They were all but assured of the title after day one as they built that four-goal advantage, hitting the front after 34 minutes via a beautiful Felix Denayer goal.

Jeffrey Thys added the second before Irish duo Kyla Good and Shane O’Donoghue netted further goals for a comprehensive win.

And they followed up with a similarly impressive victory in the second leg with Thys scoring an early goal. Max Peeters doubled up while Arther van Doren was superb in defence to keep Leopold quiet.

Further goals from Thys, Florent van Aubel, Manu Stockbroekx and Good completed the rout for a famous victory and their eighth national title.

Euro Hockey League media release

UJ secure semifinal spot

UJ secured their semifinal spot when they overcame a stubborn Wits 2-0 in the final Varsity Hockey round-robin match in Johannesburg and finished third on the log.

Meanwhile, UFS-Kovsies were in a dominant mood and scored the most goals in a single match in this year’s Varsity Hockey tournament when they routed UCT 9-0 to finish the round-robin phase unbeaten and secured top spot on the log.

NWU-Pukke secured their second consecutive win when they demolished NMMU-Madibaz 5-1 in the second match of the day at the Wits Astro. Pukke raced to an early lead and never looked back as they secured a bonus-point victory.

In the opening match, defending champions rallied late in the final quarter to earn a hard-fought draw in an extremely tense match with UP-Tuks after the Pretoria ladies took the lead in the second quarter.

UJ 2-0 Wits

The game got off to a frenetic start as both sides went in search of an early goal. UJ broke the deadlock in the fifth minute when Chanelle Raubenheimer found herself unmarked on the penalty spot and calmly slotted home. Wits were content to sit back and allow UJ to dictate the game in the hope of hitting their opponents on the counter-attack and nearly found success in the final minute of the quarter but Toni Marks’ shot found the outside of the goals.

Wits opted not to have their goalkeeper on the field during the powerplay and managed to hold their own under a barrage of UJ attacks with Luche Klaassen doing kicking back duties. UJ were piling the pressure onto Wits but could not find the back of the net with the numerous scoring opportunities they created.

UJ continued to dominate territory and possession but Wits remained stubborn in defence to keep their opponents at bay. The pressure would finally pay-off after five minutes in the quarter when Klaassen mistimed a tackle on Lilian du Plessis to hand UJ a penalty stroke. Kaila-Ron Flemming stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to double the lead. UJ continued to press for more goals but came away with nothing at the end of the third quarter.

UJ maintained their high tempo but could not land that killer blow which kept Wits within a sniff of the contest. Wits made some in-roads and found their way into UJ’s circle on a few occasions but were unable to find the back of the net. Despite the late surge by Wits, UJ managed to hold on to their lead to secure their semifinal spot.

Mugg & Bean Star Saver of the Match: Zimisele Shange (Wits)
Jet Striker of the Match: Kaila-Ron Flemming (UJ)
FNB Player of the Match: Lilian du Plessis (UJ)

UFS-Kovsies 9-0 UCT

Kovsies made a shaky start to the encounter and allowed UCT to dictate the early play but they soon settled and took the lead after five minutes of play when Tanya Britz flicked home from close range. Kovsies had their tails up and it was one-way traffic for the remainder of the quarter which saw Kovsies double their lead with six minutes remaining compliments of a sublime finish by Cornelle Botha – who found the set netting from the top of the circle.

The Bloemfontein ladies scored their third goal of the match with two minutes remaining in the quarter from a short corner when UCT deflected a powerful Jo Swannepoel slap into their own net.

UCT were in survival mode in the second quarter as Kovsies launched continuous attacks on their goals and had goalkeeper Taylor Karstens to thank for keeping Kovsies from adding to their tally. Carstens would be helpless nine minutes into the quarter when Line Malan secured Kovsies’ bonus point with a well-executed reverse stick shot from the top of the circle. There was no letting up from Kovsies as Britz fired home a reverse stick to score her second goal of the match.

Malan added her second of the match in the third quarter before Kovsies added a seventh through a penalty stroke. UCT had no answer to Kovsies’ dominance and found themselves 8-0 down thanks to an Inka Wolmarans slap shot which found the bottom corner. Kovsies could only manage to score one more goal in the final quarter when Malan completed her hat-trick.

Mugg & Bean Star Save of the Match: Taylor Karstens (UCT)
Jet Striker of the Match: Tanya Britz (UFS-Kovsies)
FNB Player of the Match: Cornelle Botha (UFS-Kovsies)

NMMU 1-5 NWU-Pukke

Pukke came out firing in the opening minutes and found immediate reward when they found the back of the net to take the early lead. NMMU had no answer to Pukke’s dominance as they leaked in a further two goals to trail 0-3 at the end of the first quarter.

The Potchefstroom ladies secured the bonus point five minutes from half-time to take a commanding four-goal lead at the interval.

NMMU gave a much better account of themselves in the third quarter as they managed to keep Pukke scoreless but still trailed by four-goals with the final quarter left to play.

The Madibaz pulled a goal back early in the final quarter but their joy was short-lived as Pukke managed to restore their four-goal cushion compliments of a penalty stroke. NMMU pushed hard for more goals but it was not to be as they had to settle for their fifth loss of the competition.

Mugg & Bean Star Save of the Match: Nicole Kemp (NMMU)
Jet Striker of the Match: Celia Evans (NWU-Pukke)
FNB Player of the Match: Celia Evans (NWU-Pukke)

UP-Tuks 1-1 Maties

It was a tense opening quarter with both sides looking to settle quickly and claim the opening goal. Possession changed hands at regular intervals with both sides unable to launch any meaningful attacks and the score remained deadlocked at the end of the first quarter.

Neither side could take advantage of the powerplay but with seven minutes gone in the second quarter, Tuks managed to break the deadlock and leave Maties with a tough task to overcome the deficit. The defending champions were unable to find the back of the net in the remaining minutes as the sides went into the half-time interval.

The tense encounter continued in the third quarter as Maties looked to find the elusive goal to draw level. However, Tuks managed to keep their noses in front and held onto their slender lead at the end of the third quarter.

Maties increased their tempo in the final quarter and their efforts were rewarded with a few minutes left in the match when they found the back of the net to level matters. Both sides pressed hard for the winning goal but it was not to be as the teams had to contend with sharing the spoils.

Mugg & Bean Star Save of the Match: Nicole le Fleur (Maties)
Jet Striker of the Match: Catherine Morris (UP-Tuks)
FNB Player of the Match: Quanita Bobbs (Maties)

Varsity Sports media release

Do or die for Maties

Defending champions Maties will face the high-flying and unbeaten UFS-Kovsies in a Varsity Hockey semifinal encounter in Johannesburg on Monday.

Kovsies finished the round-robin phase with an unblemished record to finish on top of the standings while Maties could only manage four wins from their seven matches to end fourth on the overall standings.

In the other semifinal, UP-Tuks – who finished second on the log with five wins – will be up against third-placed UJ, who also picked up five wins from their seven matches.

The respective winners will advance to the final and will be one step closer to being crowned 2015 Varsity Hockey champions while the losers will have to settle for a third/fourth place playoff.

In the battle for positions five to eight, fifth-placed NWU-Pukke will be up against UCT – who finished bottom of the log – while Wits are set to face NMMU. The winners of the matches will play for fifth and sixth place while the losers will battle it out for seventh and eighth, respectively.


5-8 Playoffs

13.30: NMMU v UCT
15.15: NWU-Pukke v Wits


17.00: UP-Tuks v UJ
18.45: UFS-Kovsies v Maties

Varsity Sports media release

Auckland Women and Capital Men win U21 Nationals

Photo courtesy Masanori Udagawa

Auckland Women and Capital Men are the 2015 National Under-21 Champions after playing in their respective finals in Wellington.


The Margaret Dilger coached Auckland side have defended their crown after edging a gallant North Harbour side 1-0.

Nicola McDonnell scored the decisive goal six minutes from time to hand the Auckland side the win. Co-captains Stephanie Mackie and Melissa Simpson were thrilled with the result.

“It was a close game, both teams had opportunities. We defended really well and kept Harbour out for the game and managed to put away a goal.”

Simpson added the side had come together well as the tournament wore on, which enabled her side to have the success they have had.

“We didn’t have a good build up, didn’t get the results we wanted. We came into tournament and we really clicked together and it was a really good team effort to get the title.”

North Harbour had the better of the first half, with opportunities inside the circle not being converted. Ella Hyatt-Brown was controlling the game well for North Harbour at this point and the side were feeding off her.

Auckland appeared rattled by North Harbour’s early dominance, with Dani Sutherland and Deanna Ritchie both being green carded for breakdown tackles. Things appeared to get worse for Auckland when influential captain Stephanie Mackie was helped off the field with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.

Auckland gradually worked their way into the game – Melissa Simpson and Su Arn Kwek in particular looking strong. It was North Harbour’s turn to get rattled, as defender Claudia Hanham was green carded towards the end of the half for rough tackling.

Harbour’s experienced defensive duo of Alex Conway and Stephanie Dickins helped the team stay firm and keep the scores level 0-0 at halftime.

The second half was more of the same, chances for both sides, with Harbour’s Bianca Oram coming closest when her quick shot cannoned off the post of Auckland goalkeeper Isla Bint.

The match appeared destined for a shootout until a brilliant Penalty Corner variation from Auckland saw Nicola McDonnell deflect in to give her side a deserved lead.

North Harbour coach Sam Bartholomew played his trump hand, subbing off goalkeeper Brooke Roberts to give his side 11 field players for the final three minutes. It was not to be however for the team from north of the bridge, having to settle for silver in heartbreaking fashion.

In the women’s competition’s earlier play off matches, Southern defeated the Barbarians 3-0 to finish seventh, Canterbury accounted for Capital 2-0 to finish fifth, and Midlands took out third spot with a 5-3 win over Central.


The Brent Miskimmin coached Capital side have taken out the 2015 U21 National tournament, but not before a tense shoot-out finish against Auckland.

Scores were locked up at 1-1 at the end of regulation time thanks to goals for Matt Brougham and Auckland’s Jonty Keaney.

Goalkeeper Fletcher Phillips and co-captain Harry Miskimmin were the heroes in the shootout for Capital, with Miskimmin keeping his cool to slot past Ruan Bezuidenhout to give his side the win 5-4.

Capital co-captain was ecstatic after the win.

“It was typical finals hockey, not the best hockey from either side. We thought we had it after we scored with five minutes to go. To win was beautiful, particularly after the amount of times I have been on the receiving end of a loss to Auckland in the final.”

Symonds paid credit to the extra fitness work done pre-tournament which allowed Capital to finish strong.

“The boys have a lot of heart, right across the park everyone works for each other. We put a real emphasis on fitness early on in the campaign. We really muscled up at the business end of the campaign.”

The first half was a half which saw very few chances for either side. Auckland would have been the happier of the two teams heading into halftime with the scores locked 0-0.

The game opened up more in the second half, with both sides pushing hard for the decisive goal. Harry Miskimmin and Bradley Read led the charge for the local side, whilst captain Cam Gibbons was everywhere for Auckland, ably supported by Daniel Panchia and Kim Kingstone.

It took until the 62nd minute for a goal to be scored, and after a scramble in the circle, it was Matt Brougham who got the last touch to give Capital the 1-0 lead. Auckland went on the charge straight away, earning themselves a penalty corner straight away which was saved.

They were not to be denied however, and once more after more defensive scrambling by Capital, the ball popped out to Jonty Keaney who slotted home in the 67th minute to level the scores again.

Capital had one last chance to win it in the final seconds through a penalty corner, but the low strong flick from Ollie Logan was brilliantly saved by Auckland keeper Bezuidenhout.

To the shootout the game went, and after the scores were locked at 4-4 after the first round of shootouts, a great save from Fletcher Phillips allowed Harry Miskimmin the chance to win the title for Capital. He did not disappoint, and the Capital team were pleased to see him deliver as he has done all week.

In the men’s competition’s earlier play off matches, Central defeated Southern 5-0 to finish seventh, Midlands finished fifth after defeating Canterbury in a shoot-out after a 2-2 draw at fulltime, and North Harbour picked up the bronze medal with a 6-5 win over the Barbarians.

Capital’s Bradley Read was awarded the player of the tournament for his outstanding play during the week in helping his side to the title.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Haryana girls win junior Nationals

Haryana (in green) beat Jharkhand 6-1 in the final match. HI

Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh): The Haryana girls demonstrated their domination once again as they thrashed Jharkhand 6-1 in the final to win the junior women’s National Hockey Championship here today.

Their neighbours Punjab also ended on the podium after a huge 7-1 win over Odisha in the third-place match.

In the final, Haryana scored the first goal in the 2nd minute when Manjeet converted a penalty corner. In the 9th minute, Neha struck to make it 2-0. Though Jharkhand fought back, they couldn’t find a goal. Haryana found goals regular intervals as Saroj scored in the 32nd minute before Jyoti Gupta got one in the 44th minute. Pramila Soren converted a penalty corner to get a consolation goal for Jharkhand. The match already over, Devika Sen hammered the final nail in the coffin, getting a brace in the 63rd and 65th minutes.

In the hard-line match, Arminder Kaur (9th min, 62nd), Rajwinder Kaur (16th, 33rd) and Manpreet Kaur (24th, 39th) got two goals each for Punjab, while Ritu (44th) scored one. For Odisha, Dipti Lakra (22th) scored the lone goal.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar congratulated the team and announced a cash award of Rs 3 lakh to each player.

The Tribune

Surbiton Retain Girl's U14 Championships Title

Surbiton Retain Girl's U14 Championships Title

Surbiton retained the Girl’s U14 title with a 3-0 victory against Cambridge City in the final.

Pool A began with a thrilling encounter which saw Yeovil & Sherborne come from two goals down to draw their opener with Old Loughtonians. They carried this momentum into the next game and put in a great performance to defeat City of York 3-0, with Trixie Nicholson scoring two. Cambridge City also started their day with a draw, scoring a last minute equaliser to deny City of York a win who had taken the lead through Imogen Bulinski. Cambridge City’s win in their next game set up a great Pool A finale against Yeovil & Sherborne with both team on six points. The game got off to a flyer with three goals in the first six minutes, but Cambridge City had an inspired Olivia Clegg in their ranks as she scored four goals to lead her side to a 5-1 victory. Old Loightonians just missed out on second place on goals scored with their 1-0 victory against City of York not quite enough.

In Pool B, Surbiton showed they were worthy winners with three wins from three without conceding a goal. They put in an outstanding first half performance in their first game against Norwich City and were 4-0 up in 14 minutes, which set the tone for the rest of the day. Isca won their second game against Norwich City having been held to a 0-0 draw in their first game, which meant they had a chance of finishing top in their final match, but they couldn’t get the better of Surbiton. The final game in Pool B was an excellent match, which saw Ben Rhydding come from 1-0 down to beat Norwich City 2-1 in the last minute to steal second place from Isca. Izzy Weir got the winner at the end after Sophie Armitage had cancelled out Emily Rash’s opener for Norwich City.

City of York claimed seventh place with a Nicole Wood goal enough to secure victory over Norwich City. Isca put their disappointment of missing out on the bronze medal match behind them to go on to take fifth place in a 3-0 win over Old Loughtonians. Anna Gabbitass, Grace Francis and Sparkle Mezies were on the score sheet for the Devon club.

The bronze medal match turned out to be another exciting affair between Ben Rhydding and Yeovil & Sherborne, who played their part in entertaining matches throughout the day. Imogen Sunman struck first for Ben Rhydding before Olivia Hamiliton scored five minutes from time to send the game into Penalty Strokes. It was the Yorkshire club who were to come out on top as they held their nerve to win 2-1.

Into the final match of the day, Surbiton finished off in style with a 3-0 victory over Cambridge City to end the tournament with nine goals to their name without conceding a goal. Darcy Bourne, Sasha Reed and Zoe Allchurch were in the goals as Cambridge City were unable to show the same attacking flare they had done in their previous match.

All details on the results and scorers can be found below.



Results with Scorers


Maddie Taylor 12 (F)           Chloe Stack 3 (F)  
Sophie Hamilton 18 (F)           Millie Woods 10 (F)  
Olivia Clegg 29 (F)           Imogen Bulinski 2 (F)  
            Freya Gladstone 5 (F)  
            Zoe Allchurch 9 (F)  
            Darcy Bourne 12 (F)  
            Coca Hall 14 (F)  
            Olivia Hamilton 5 (F)  
            Trixie Nicholson 11,28 (F,PC)  
            Laura Hill 10 (F)  
            Olivia Clegg 13 (F)  
Zoe Allchurch 10 (F)              
Darcy Bourne 25 (PC)              
Grace Francis 24 (F)              
Maddy Taylor 6 (F)           Olivia Clegg 2,5,11,15 (F,PC,F,PC)  
            Helena Russell 30 (F)  
            Charlotte James-Pajwani 11 (F)  
Sophie Armitage 21 (F)           Emily Rash 15 (F)  
Izzy Weir 30 (PC)              
SURBITON (0) 2 - 0 (0) ISCA POOL B
Sasha Reed 20 (PC)              
Coca Hall 27 (F)              
YEOVIL & SHERBORNE (0) 1 - 1 (1) BEN RHYDDING * 3/4 Playoff
Olivia Hamilton 25 (F)           Imogen Sunman 13 (PC)  
* Ben Rhydding won 2-1 on Penalty Strokes  
CITY OF YORK (0) 1 - 0 (0) NORWICH CITY 7/8 Playoff
Nicole Wood 27 (F)              
            Darcy Bourne 2 (PC)  
            Sasha Reed 20 (PC)  
            Zoe Allchurch 24 (F)  
OLD LOUGHTONIANS (0) 0 - 3 (2) ISCA 5/6 Playoff
            Anna Gabbitass 2 (PC)  
            Grace Francis 14 (F)  
            Sparkle Mezies 25 (F)  

England Hockey Board Media release

Men's hockey aims for gold in PNG

Shalveen Chand

FITNESS, speed and skill are what the focus of the Fiji men's hockey team as they aim for a gold in the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.

Coach Shaun Corrie said with the exception of the two younger players, nobody had played five-a-side hockey at national level.

"The players have adopted well. This is the faster version of the game and what we did was fill all the positions with playmakers," he said.

"This gives the game more mobility and the players are able to perform better as a team."

Corrie said Vanuatu tends to be tough in the shorter version of the game.

"They have five villages who play the abbreviated version almost every day so Vanuatu would be a team not to be taken lightly," he said.

"The hosts PNG would have also spent a lot of money preparing their teams and we know that they would like to win the gold. And the hope support will be with them.

"Another good news from PNG is that the hockey turf is ready."

Men's hockey returned to the Pacific Games schedule after 20 years. PNG the hosts have opted to host the sport in the abbreviated code.

Nine players have been named in the national squad.

The women's hockey team would also compete in the Pacific Games.

The Fiji Times

2015 Futures named

60 athletes join Hockey Australia’s 2015 National Futures program

Hockey Australia has announced it’s 2015/2016 National Futures group, featuring 60 young talented athletes across the program.

The National Futures program provides the next generation of elite athletes who have shown potential at recent Australian Championships with an opportunity for a focused twelve months of development. This program ensures that Australian hockey’s international standing and success is sustainable for the future, focusing on athlete development rather than competition.

Queenslander Blake Wotherspoon, brother of Kookaburras forward Dylan Wotherspoon, has been awarded his place amongst the 30 selected athletes. Josh Beltz’ brother Hayden Beltz has also received selection into the squad with ambition to follow Josh’s pathway into the national development program.

A brotherly duo, Anand and Niranjin Gupte, Australian Capital Territory representatives will also join the men’s program over the next year.

The women’s program features representatives across all Australian states and territories, with Western Australia producing six athletes in the named squad.

The Futures program will have their sights firmly set on developing athletes who can complement and support the National U21 teams leading into the 2016 Junior World Cup.

The squads are listed below by state/territory, then alphabetically by athlete surname.

Men’s Futures Group 2015/2016
Athlete name (State)
Anand Gupte (ACT)
Niranjin Gupte (ACT)
Tim Brand (NSW)
Oliver Flack (NSW)
Kurt Lovett (NSW)
Dylan Martin (NSW)
Lachlan Sharp (NSW)
Nathan Hochman (NT)
Jack Baldwin (QLD)
Cade Banditt (GK) (QLD)
Michael Francis (QLD)
Blake Wotherspoon (QLD)
Cooper Powardy (SA)
Benji Austin (TAS)
Hayden Beltz (TAS)
Ryan Jones (TAS)
Jack Welch (TAS)
Ash Bingle (GK) (VIC)
Nathan Ephraums (VIC)
Daniel McBride (VIC)
Samuel Poppenbeek (VIC)
Ben Rennie (VIC)
Damon Steffens (VIC)
Matthew Fisher (WA)
Coby Green (WA)
Jake Harvie (WA)
Joe Kenny (WA
Braydon King (WA)
Jason Lockett (GK) (WA)
Sasha Thomaa (WA)

Women’s Futures Group 2015/2016
Athlete name (State)
Isabella Apps (ACT)
Mikayla Evans (ACT)
Millie Monfries (ACT)
Ellie Toole (ACT)
Alice Arnott (NSW)
Danielle McMurray (GK) (NSW)
Miriam Pritchard (NSW)
Abigail Wilson (NSW)
Jacqui Graf (NT)
Erin Lidbetter (NT)
Maddie Smith (NT)
Tiana Barrett (QLD)
Ainslee Deeth (QLD)
Morgan Gallagher (QLD)
Britt Wilkinson (QLD)
Mimi Blanks (GK) (SA)
Ruby-Rose Gibson-Haywood (GK) (TAS)
Maddy Hinton (TAS)
Eliza Westland (TAS)
Megan Anderson (VIC)
Izzy Dean (GK) (VIC)
Rachael Guy (VIC)
Georgia Hopkins (VIC)
Bethany Russ (VIC)
Sienna Archer (WA)
Danielle Bestall (WA)
Brooke Capewell (WA)
Annie Gibbs (WA)
Jemma Green (WA)
Phillipa Morgan (WA)

Hockey Australia media release

The players of Gangpur: Hockey India’s youngest unit scores at national event

Rinki, a striker of Hockey Gangpur, was adjudged best player in the junior women’s national championships.

Written by Mihir Vasavda

Junior women’s team won the title, took best player trophy.

The first time 16-year-old Rinki Kujur stepped onto an artificial turf was a little over 18 months ago. Till then her playground was the rocky field in her village outside Rourkela. That was where she spent most of her evenings, running barefeet with a locally made bamboo hockey stick in hand, chasing a hand-rolled polythene waste ball.

A year older than Rinki, Pratap Lakra, from a neighbouring village, too was far removed from the scientific and technological leaps of the modern game.

But they did dream big.

Last week, Rinki, a striker of Hockey Gangpur, was adjudged best player in the junior women’s national championships. Hockey Gangpur’s Pratap, a 17-year-old defender, was one of the standout performers in junior and senior men’s nationals.

One of Hockey India’s youngest affiliates, Hockey Gangpur was set up only in September 2013. Stunning all, it clinched the junior men’s and women’s Division B titles at the recent national championships while finishing a credible fourth in the senior men’s category.

“It’s just the beginning… A sign of things to come,” says the unit’s vice-president and team coach Lazrus Barla, an Olympian himself.

Northern Odisha’s Rourkela and Sundergarh, the birth place of former India captain Dilip Tirkey, have long been India’s hockey hubs, producing dozens of World Cup players and Olympians. Of late, their numbers had been falling though, with tribal players from the state not seen at National Stadium in New Delhi. Birendra Lakra was the only player from the region to be an India regular in the last five years.

Rinki and Pratap’s performances at the national championships may have ended that drought, while also asserting Hockey Gangpur’s status as one of the fast-emerging nurseries of the game in the country.

A rarity in Indian sports, Hockey Gangpur has been formed and is run completely by former players. Tirkey, now a BJD MP, is its president, Ignace Tirkey is one of the vice-presidents while Prabodh Tirkey and William Xalco are joint secretaries. India women’s players Jyoti Sunita Kullu (vice-president) and Subadhra Pradhan (joint secretary) are also closely involved in running the association.

Explaining what led to the setting up of the independent body, Barla, one of the founding members of Hockey Gangpur, says, “There was a lot of untapped talent in Sundergarh and Rourkela. The representation of players from this region too was decreasing rapidly. At one point, three or four players in the starting eleven of the national team used to be from these regions. All of us (former players) know the region’s real potential. So we decided to join hands and form this unit with the one-point agenda of giving tribal players a platform to showcase their skills.”

The former players then set about travelling to remote villages looking for talented youngsters, a process that took them nearly six months.

Still, they were unable to form a senior women’s team, and Barla is hopeful it will be assembled before next year’s national championships.

Strong and sturdy with a clinical defence, Hockey Gangpur teams showcase the strengths of players from the area.
While the seniors missed a podium finish after losing to Air India in the third place playoff, the junior men and women teams were unstoppable en route to clinching Division B titles.

Had they won these titles a decade ago, laughs Barla, the teams would have been rewarded with a goat. The old tribal ritual, born mostly out of poverty, has now been discontinued. So now, adds Barla, “They’ll get some token prize money instead.”

Hockey Gangpur is on course to change other things.

“We want to replace sticks made of bamboo and provide all players proper facilities. We want to show them the path to turf stadium. We want to provide them all we can.”

Indian Express

Hockey thrives, a hands-down clincher at smaller Indian venues

Jaspreet Sahni

While support for hockey is evident at smaller venues like Bhubaneswar and Ranchi, the 16000-capacity MDC Stadium in Delhi has hardly seen a sell-out in the past 5-6 years. (Getty Images)

5000-odd fans may not sound too much, especially when you compare it to mad ground attendance at even the most inconsequential of cricket matches in India. But when those 5000 people cheer in unison from the stands, the noise lifts the home team while the ground slips from beneath the visitors.

In India, hockey is one sport that needs the above badly and in uninterrupted supply, because the game connects to Indian hearts like none other. If Indians are passionate about cricket, hockey is close to their heart.

Hence, taking the game to people who want to embrace it is of ultra importance for Hockey India, and the federation, thankfully, realises it. That means building infrastructure at smaller venues to facilitate the sport to move out of metro cities often. It's happening and the response is heart-warming.

Venues like Bhubaneswar and Ranchi have ratified that with stands packed to capacity. It was especially evident at the Champions Trophy last December, where the Kalinga Stadium in Odisha's capital was thronged and bobbing with close to 7000 people during India games.

The same is happening for even a low-key Test series against Japan. Bhubaneswar again is the venue and each of the first three Tests have recorded an attendance in excess of 5000 in the 7500-capacity stadium.

"Bhubaneswar successfully hosted the FIH Men's Champions Trophy last year and the city played the perfect host for the big event. The Kalinga Stadium has international-level infrastructure and good facilities for players and other officials. The main reason to host the series here is the Kalinga Stadium's electrifying atmosphere that the crowd creates," Hockey India CEO, Elena Norman, told IBNLive Sports.

"Moreover, this city is known for being a big fan of the game and this they keep proving by their presence here at the stadium for each and every match," the CEO added.

But is that the only parametre considered while choosing venues for international tournaments. The answer is 'No'.

The Major Dhyan Chand (MDC) National Stadium in Delhi, despite having all the world-class facilities, has its own limitations with fans struggling for places to park their vehicles. And with very little public transport for a drop at the stadium gates, spectators have to walk long distances to reach the venue.

An exact response to that couldn't be elicited but Elena did speak on that.

"It is difficult to compare Delhi's MDC National Stadium with any other stadium as it is one of the best stadium in the world. Hosting a tournament here is always a big draw for us as it has all international level facilities with access to three astro-turf pitches, the only facility of its kind in India."

"Delhi has always been our preferred choice but we want to give more opportunities to other states to host international events as and when they develop international standard venues."

"Our aim is to organise International events at all stadiums that meet FIH standards. Such events inspire the young generation to play hockey and that helps us to attract a bigger talent pool."

"We have received positive responses from Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Bangalore, Chennai, Raipur amongst many others and we have plans to take hockey to new cities in future. Our aim is to take the game to all corners of the country," Elena pointed.

No doubt Hockey India is doing its bit to get hockey the support it has lost in recent years. But while it is evident at smaller venues like Bhubaneswar and Ranchi, the 16000-capacity MDC Stadium in Delhi has hardly seen a sell out in the past 5-6 years.

Only taking hockey to smaller venues doesn't do the trick. Parametres like ticket prices also determine the attendance at venues. And the CEO says it hasn't missed Hockey India's eyes.

"The entry is free for the spectators in the series [against Japan] as we wanted to give as many people as possible an opportunity to witness the matches. The approximate attendance is close to 5,500 for each of the matches. We hope to see the stadium full at capacity of approximately 7,500 for the final match on May 9, 2015," she said.

The next big event in India is the FIH World League final towards the end of this year, and while Elena said the venue for it hasn't been finalised, she did mention what HI looks at while selecting venue for an important tournament.

"We first look at the pitch, which must have an FIH-certified international-standard pitch. We then look at the supporting infrastructure, including international standard light, change rooms, medical rooms and technical officials.

"We also consider the city and the likely interest from fans and spectators," she added.

IBNLive Sports sources hinted that Raipur may get to host the World League Final but Elena said nothing has been decided, though she did reveal it might be a new venue.

"The venue [for World League Final] has not been decided yet as we have a number of good options available. We are, however, speaking to potential hosts and the FIH. We are very excited about the prospect of staging an international event in another new city/state," she concluded.

IBNLive Sports

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