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News for 24 August 2015

All the news for Monday 24 August 2015

Spain hit nine as Netherlands spoil English party


Spain 9, Russia 0

Spain bounced back from their opening day defeat to Netherlands to record a 9-0 win against Russia.

Spain's Red Sticks won the second match of their Unibet EuroHockey Championships with Xavi Lleornart scoring after two minutes before Pau Quemada doubled their lead on the 15 minute mark.

Quemada scored his second and Spain’s third from a penalty corner five minutes into the second quarter and Alex Casasayas stepped onto a loose defensive ball to make it 4-0 seconds later.

Despite occasional attacks by the Russians, the Red Sticks began to tighten their hold of the game. Quemada scored his hat-trick after 29 minutes – again from a penalty corner.

With seconds left in the half Casasayas scored his second, a simple tap-in after some good build-up play. This made it 6-0 to Spain going into the break.

Quemada made it four from four after 45 minutes when he slotted home Spain’s seventh at the end of the third quarter, before scoring his fifth after 55 minutes as he hit the ball into an empty net - Spain’s eighth goal of the game.

Gabriel Dabanch then scored the ninth goal on the hour mark.

After the game, Spain captain Sergei Enrique said: “After the Hockey World League we changed our philosophy so now we take it one game at a time. And we are Spain, we pride ourselves on playing as a team and that is what you saw today.”

Meanwhile, Russia's Sergey Kostarev said: “We had no control out there today. Basic skills were lacking and Spain took full advantage.”

For more information on this game, visit the match page by clicking here
Netherlands 2, England 0

Netherlands made it two wins from two as they defeated hosts England 2-0 on Sunday evening to retain top spot in Pool A.

With just two ranking places between them, the game turned out to be a close encounter.

The Netherlands made the breakthrough however, after 26 minutes of play. Mirco Pruijser was on hand to hit a rebounded penalty corner into the goal, despite the best efforts of England goalkeeper George Pinner.

The fourth quarter saw both teams continue at the high pace, quality and intensity that had been common throughout the game, but as England pushed for an equaliser the game was put beyond doubt when Constantijn Jonker turned in a cross from Rogier Hofman into the goal to give Netherlands a 2-0 lead after 55 minutes.

Netherlands goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann said his team were satisfied with the result but added the team still needed to discover greater consistency. He said: “We played well for periods but, like our performance against Spain, we did let the intensity slip for a time.”

The result leaves the Netherlands clear at the top of Pool A, with England ahead of Spain on goal difference.

For more information on this game, visit the match page by clicking here


France 3, Belgium 4

Belgium picked up their first win of the Championship as they defeated neighbours France in what was another close game between the two teams.

France took an early lead through one of a quartet of 21-year-olds appearing in the line-up. After six minutes, Victor Charlet gave France the lead when his powerful drag flick stunned the Belgium defence.

It took Belgium just four minutes to draw level as Alexander Hendrickx evened things up with an equally powerful penalty corner that left France ‘keeper Corentin Saunier stranded.

Seconds before the end of the quarter, Matthew Cobbaert gave Belgium the lead when he turned a cross from captain John-John Dohmen into the goal.

France came straight back into the game with a second penalty corner from Charlet after 17 minutes.

Sebastien Dockier turned the match to Belgium’s advantage when he picked up the ball and slammed it home from a seemingly impossibly wide angle on 34 minutes.

Once again, France showed their resilience and four minutes later Olivier Sanchez shot the ball past Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch and even the match again.

On the 50 minute mark, Belgium's Tom Boon scored what turned out to be the winning goal from a penalty corner.

Belgium played out a nervous end to the game as Dockier was dismissed from the field thanks to a yellow card with around 10 minutes to go.

After the match, Belgium's Sebastien Dockier said: “Yes, it was a stupid yellow card. Luckily we train for that situation, playing with 10 men, so we dealt with it. France are a team that play short, sharp passes, so we had to work hard. In the end I think our experience paid off.”

France's Olivier Sanchez agreed, saying: “I am disappointed that in the last 10 minutes we didn’t pressure more as they only had 10 men, we had no entries into their circle in that time, but that comes down to experience and a bit of fatigue. We played well, but once again we are on the wrong side of a narrow scoreline.”

For more information on this game, visit the match page by clicking here

Ireland 0, Germany 2

Germany finished day 2 of the Unibet European Championships topping the Pool B standings, but were made to work hard to secure three points against Ireland.

It was not until the final few minutes of the last quarter that the reigning champions were able to break through a strong Irish defence.

Lukas Windfeder's drag-flick penalty corner flew past Ireland goalkeeper David Harte to give Germany the lead in the 54th minute.

As Ireland pushed to get back into the game, the field became spread out and openings appeared in the Irish defence. This was exploited when Germany's Florian Fuchs doubled Germany’s lead with a well taken goal from open play after 56 minutes.

Speaking after their loss, Ireland's John Jackson said: “Taking the bigger picture that was an okay result for us. We had a very specific game plan and we stuck to it for most of the game, and that was to keep the goal difference down. We now have a great chance of making the semi-finals and that will be a first.”

Germany's Mo Fuerste agreed it was a tough game for the reigning champions, but said: “On reflection, we probably deserved to win based on possession. Ireland defended well as we knew they would, but for us it was a game of patience and now we have achieved our aim of reaching the semi-finals.”

For more information on this game, visit the match page by clicking here

FIH site

Netherlands make it two from two as Belgium pick up first win


Poland 1, Belgium 4

Belgium women put their opening game draw against Spain behind them as they put four goals past Spain in their second game of Pool A at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 in London.

Belgium's Red Panthers took the lead when Barbara Nelen worked some trickery down the right side of the pitch before her pass found Louise Versavel, who lifted the ball over Poland goalkeeper Marta Kucharska after only 13 minutes.

Belgium started brightly in the second quarter, Alix Gerniers was on hand to benefit from a rebounded penalty corner shot to double her team’s lead after 17 minutes. They then extended their lead to 3-0 after 20 minutes thanks to an almost identical goal by Emilie Sinia.

The second half began with a solo goal from Judith Vandermeiren after 31 minutes. The player picked up the ball outside the circle and ran into it unopposed before striking a shot into the corner of the goal.

Poland scored a consolation goal with one minute to go through Pauline Okaj to finish the game on a positive note.

Following the game Poland goalkeeper Marta Kucharska said: “That was hard work! Everytime the Belgian's shot, there were four or five players ready for the rebound. In the next game, we need the defence to get in front of their players and play together as a team in all areas of the pitch - we were a bit too individualistic out there today.”

For more information on this game, visit the match page by clicking here

Spain 1, Netherlands 8

Kelly Jonker and Caia Maasakker each picked up two goals each as Netherlands carried on their high goalscoring form as they defeated Spain 8-1, leaving them with 17 goals after two games, firmly at the top of Pool A.

The sole goal from Spain's Berta Bonastre will be small positive in a game where Netherlands enjoyed more than 80 per cent of the possession.

It took Netherlands just 10 minutes to go ahead. Carlien Dirkse van der Heuvel was able to pick up the ball as it rebounded from Spain goalkeeper Maria Ruiz, and hit the ball into the net from the edge of the circle.

In the second quarter Netherlands Willemijn Bos had a penalty corner saved by Ruiz but the ‘keeper was unable to keep out Kelly Jonker as she scrambled a ball over the line in the 22nd minute.

Jonker was involved again when she created space for Ellen Hoog to fire in a shot, but it was teammate Marloes Keetels who added the last touch to make sure of the goal after 24 minutes.

On the stroke of half-time, Eva de Goede made it 4-0 when a ball fell fortuitously at her feet after a mis-played penalty corner. The striker saw her shot roll over the line, just out of reach of reach of Spanish goalkeeper Ruiz.

Not much changed in the second half as the Netherlands continued to dominate. Naomi van As made it 5-0 after 31 minutes, then Jonker scored again three minutes later for her second of the game. Caia van Maasakker then scored from a penalty corner after 38 minutes.

Netherlands Maasakker scored her second after 50 minutes to make it 8-0 after replacement goalkeeper, Maria Lopez made the initial save and Rocio Gutierrez had saved off the line. Maasakker was on hand to fire the rebound under the diving Lopez.

Spain's consolation goal came with only three minutes left on the clock as Berta Bonastre tipped the ball past Joyce Sombroek in the Netherlands goal.

Following their latest win, Netherlands goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek said: “This was another good performance, but, the way we stay at the top is to keep critical and look for ways to do things better. For example, yesterday against Poland we could play expansive hockey as they defended deep, today we had to adjust to Spain defending higher up the pitch.”

Meanwhile Spain's Rocio Ybarra said: “They are number one and they are head and shoulders above the rest. We will keep learning, improving and trying to close the gap between us and the teams ahead of us. For us, this is a long-term ambition.”

For more information on this game, visit the match page by clicking here

FIH site

England downed by determined Dutch

England vs. Netherlands Euros

England slipped to defeat in their second pool game of the Unibet EuroHockey Championships as a determined Netherlands ran out 2-0 winners in a fast-paced encounter at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Goals from Mirco Pruijser and Constantijn Jonker did the damage, sending the Dutch into the semi-finals and setting up a crucial last pool game for England against Spain.

The game started off at a searing pace with both sides keen to seize the initiative. With much of the first quarter devoted to a midfield battle, chances were hard to come by. Ashley Jackson looked the most likely to unlock the Dutch the defence with a series of probing runs and some lovely skills, however it was the Dutch who created the two best chances of the opening 15 minutes. Thierry Brinkman was all alone in the circle with time and space but Dan Fox came from nowhere to block, taking the sting off the shot and allowing George Pinner to make the save. Then, Pruijser was played in close to the goal but Pinner made another excellent block before Billy Bakker crashed the rebound onto the bar, ensuring it was still deadlocked at the break.

It was more of the same in the second quarter, but England went close after seven minutes of the second period. A lovely pass from Jackson cut open the defence and Chris Griffiths turned and fired an instant shot which Jaap Stockmann did well to get his pads in the way of.

Pinner was alert at the other end and to block a dangerous run from Jonker but the Dutch attacked again and won their first penalty corner. It was from this corner that they took the lead. Pinner got his glove to the initial shot from Glenn Schuurman but Pruijser lashed the rebound in on the volley. Jackson’s penalty corner was superbly kept out by Stockmann at the other end with time running out in the half and it remained 1-0 at the interval.

Jonker had a glorious chance at the start of the second half to double the lead but with Pinner bearing down on him he couldn’t get the elevation on the ball and the giant goalkeeper saved once again. Neither side could find the game’s second goal and so the contest entered the final quarter with the score still 1-0.

In the fourth quarter Pinner made another outstanding save to deny Jonker and then England were refused a penalty corner on referral as the tension built towards a frantic finale. Bobby Crutchley’s side got their penalty corner with the game entering the last ten minutes. Gleghorne took the responsibility but Stockmann pulled off a stunning stick save diving to his right to preserve the lead.

With five minutes left on the clock England were floored by a sucker punch from the Netherlands. Rogier Hofman somehow manufactured a cross from a tight angle and Jonker got ahead of his man to deflect the ball into the net. Jackson slammed a backhand shot into the side netting with time running out but England couldn’t find a goal and were beaten.

England’s next match of the competition is against Spain and takes place on 25 August at 19:30. Coverage is on the BBC Red button and BBC Sport website.

Quotes – Bobby Crutchley

“We’re disappointed to lose. It was a tight game we could have got something out of it but our performance was not where I wanted it to be. We created some chances but the quality of our passing wasn’t good enough. That’s something we usually pride ourselves on so it’s especially disappointing. We defended quite well but if you give the ball away too often you’re always going to struggle. They took their chances well and they were defensively very organized. We helped them a bit as we didn’t use the ball well but they’re hard to play against and that was the case tonight.”

“We will look at our performance and work on the areas we need to improve. Sometimes being a coach is difficult as telling them to pass the ball better is not particularly useful. It’s not so much a tactical change we need. They know what they need to do, they’re experienced players and they’ll be keen to improve against Spain.”

England 0 (0)

Netherlands 2 (1)
Mirco Pruijser 26 (PC)
Constantijn Jonker 55 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

England Men lose out to Netherlands

By Mike Haymonds

England captain Barry Middleton pushes forward. Photo Frank Uijlenbroek

ENGLAND’S men lost their second game 2-0 to Netherlands in a thrilling encounter at the Unibet EuroHockey  Championships in the Olympic Park.

It was England’s 12th game against the Dutch without a win, going back to 2010 but they pushed their opponents all the way.

The Dutch goals came from Mirco Pruijser and Constantijn Jonker in the second and fourth quarters.

The sides were closely matched for most of the game but, despite both having chances, the Dutch usually looked more likely to score.

England head coach Bobby Crutchley said: “We’re disappointed to lose. It was a tight game. We could have got something out of it but our performance was not where I wanted it to be.

“We created some chances but the quality of our passing was not good enough.

“That’s something we usually pride ourselves on so it’s especially disappointing. We defended quite well but if you give the ball away too often you’re always going to struggle.

“They took their chances well and they were defensively very organised.

“We will look at our performance and work on the areas we need to improve.”

Daily Express

Green Machine denied by Olympic champs Germany

Photo Credit: Eleni Henry

Facing the current European and Olympic gold medallists was always going to be a tough task for Craig Fulton’s squad but it took the Germans 54 minutes before they could find a crack in the Irish defence. A Florian Fuchs wonder goal in the 56th minute sealed the German victory but the Green Machine can take plenty of positives from their disciplined and skilful performance.

Germany enjoyed 60% of possession during the match and had 23 circle entries so for large periods this was a test of Irish discipline and concentration. Harte and Gleghorne marshalled the backline expertly throughout while also distributing the ball to their teammates on the counter attack.

There were several moments of skilful brilliance from the men in green; Cargo, Jackson and Robson all taking seamlessly impossible aerials from the nights sky and setting up attacks. Likewise Darling and Good were ever-threatening on the ball, darting down the wings but firing wide more than once which was reflected in Fulton’s half time comments that “we want to be more clinical”.

Germany, continuously persistent throughout, broke the deadlock as Windfeder fired the ball into the right corner from a penalty corner routine. The PC had been awarded after an Irish video referral was ruled inconclusive. There can be no complaints about Germany’s second goal, excellent skill by Fuchs drew Harte from his goal and he put the game out of reach.

The defensive effort by Ireland cannot be over-stated, never panicked and always structured; there are plenty of positives for Fulton’s men to take going into their final pool game. A draw for Ireland against Belgium on Tuesday (1:15pm) would be enough to earn them a place in the semi finals.

Coach Craig Fulton commented after the game “Looking at the result tonight we put in a great team effort and created some good chances. Belief is strong and we improved again tonight, so I’m really proud of the whole team”.

Unibet Eurohockey Championships

Ireland 0

Germany 2 (Windfeder, Fuchs)

Team: Harte (Captain), Jackson, Gormley, Magee, Shimmins, O’Donoghue, Darling, Good, Burton, Gleghorne, Harte.

Bench: Cargo, Sothern, Caruth, Robson, Watt, Fitzgerald.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Tussle for top spot in SA women’s hockey


SA striker Lilian du Plessis will spearhead the Southern Gauteng attack during the SA women's interprovincial tournament in Potchefstroom this week. Photo: ACTIONPIX

The annual South African Women’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament (IPT) got under way at North West University in Potchefstroom Sunday with the B Section’s opening round taking place, but much of the focus will be on the elite A Section event that starts Tuesday and ends Saturday.

Northern Blues were outstanding last year in winning the A Section title for the first time with a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Western Province in Pietermaritzburg after the scores had been locked 1-1 at full-time.

Only time will tell whether Blues can repeat their remarkable feat, but SA’s hockey heavyweights, WP and Southern Gauteng, will be determined to erase the 2014 outcome from their memories.

Last year's Player of the Tournament, Tarryn Bright, is in the WP line-up once again, while Lisa Deetlefs and outstanding striker Lilian du Plessis, plus new captain Bernie Coston, make just a part of a formidable Southerns team.

Pool A features champs Northerns, hosts North West - who came fourth last year – Border (fifth in 2014) and last year’s B Section winners, Free State.

Pool B is headed by WP with last year’s bronze medallists, Southerns, Spar KZN Raiders (sixth in 2014) and the seventh-placed team in 20214, South Gauteng Witsies, completing the list of competitors.

Pool A in the B Section is headed by last year’s relegated A Section team, Eastern Province, followed by WP Peninsula, SA Country Districts A, SA Country Districts B, and Northern Cape. Pool B in the B Section is topped by last year’s B Section finalists, KZN Inland, with KZN Mynahs, Mpumalanga, Namibia and South Gauteng Nuggets completing the line-up.

Tuesday’s opening round of A Section action begins with a clash between old foes, WP and Spar KZN Raiders, at 12 noon, followed by Northerns versus Border at 2pm, Southerns against Witsies at 4pm and the 6pm North West versus Free State clash completing the day’s matches.

The entire complement of fixtures in the A Section and B Section can be found at www.sahockey.co.za

SA Hockey Association media release

Blow for Sapura after Terengganu defeat in MHL

By S. Ramaguru

Terengganu's Ismail Abu shoots at goal in the Malaysia Hockey League match against Sapura in Bukit Jalil on Sunday. - M. AZHAR ARIF/ The STAR

KUALA LUMPUR: Double champions Terengganu put a dent in Sapura’s Premier Division title hopes with a convincing 5-2 win in the Malaysia Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The win at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sun day gave Terengganu 18 points from seven matches. They are second in the six-team table behind leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KHC), who are on 19 points after beating Tenaga Nasional 2-1.

Terengganu, who play their last three matches at home in Kuala Terengganu, are rated the favourites to retain the title.

For Sapura, it was their third straight defeat, leaving them in third place on 10 points.

The Terengganu-Sapura match was as good as over after 30 minutes. Terengganu led 3-0, thanks to strikes by Fitri Saari (fifth minute), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (23rd) and Ismail Abu (30th).

Sapura then managed to score two quick goals through Pakistanis Kashif Ali (41st) and Mohamed Imran (43rd). But Terengganu stepped up a gear to score two more goals through Faizal Saari (44th) and skipper Mohamed Shahrun Nabil (59th).

Sapura coach Tai Beng Hai said conceding the three early goals brought about their downfall.

“We only played well in phases. This is our third straight defeat, but we plan to keep on going and see how high we can finish,” said Beng Hai.

Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh was pleased to get another three points on board.

“Sapura are a good team and it was crucial for us to collect full points. Our next three matches are at home and that’s a big boost for us in the title run-in.” said Sarjit.

Terengganu clinched the title at home last year. They will have the chance to repeat the feat when they play KLHC in the league’s final fixtures on Sept 2.

Before the showdown, Terengganu have to play Tenaga (Aug 28) and Maybank (Aug 30).

The Star of Malaysia

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