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News for 19 October 2015

All the news for Monday 19 October 2015

Great Britain champs

by  Satwant Dhaliwal

Great Britain defeated India 4-3 in sudden death penalty shootout in the final of the SOJC after the match had ended 2-2 in regulation time. The win avenged their defeat at the hands of India in last year’s final and also denied India from winning the title for the third consecutive year.

It was a tense match from the first whistle as both Great Britain and India came out fighting. They were evenly matched in both attack and defence tactics which saw the ball change possession rapidly.

It took only four minutes for Great Britain to open scoring via a penalty corner conversion by Luke Taylor but India soon followed with an equalizer by Harmanpreet Singh in the 12th minute.

India finally managed to break the stalemate and pull ahead in the second half through a field goal by Gurjant Singh in the 41st minute. But Great Britain didn’t allow India to enjoy their advantage for long as Jack Tuner scored his first goal of the tournament in the 45th minute to equalize the score once again.

With both teams not finding the net, the game went into a penalty shootout.

Sequence of shootout

Ed Horler: goal (GB 1 – India 0)
Harjeet Singh: goal (GB 1 – India 1)
Josh Pavis: miss (GB 1 – India 1)
Parvinder Singh: miss (GB 1 – India 1)
James Albery: miss (GB 1 – India 1)
Gurjant Singh: miss (GB 1 – India 1)
Jack Clee: goal (GB 2 – India 1)
Harmanpreet Singh: goal (GB 2 – India 2)
Jonty Griffiths: miss (GB 2 – India 2)
Nilakanta Sharma: miss (GB 2 – India 2)

At the end of the five shooutouts, the score was tied with 2 each for Great Britain and India. The game entered into sudden death.

Sudden Death

Harjeet Singh: goal (GB 2 – India 3)
Ed Horler: penalty stroke
Luke Taylor: goal (GB 3 – India 3)
Parvinder Singh: misses
Jack Clee: goal (GB 4 – India 3)

Official Sultan of Johor Cup website

Malaysia beats Argentina for bronze

by  Satwant Dhaliwal

Malaysia finally settled for a third place finish in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey stadium in Johor Bahru last night and they deserved it.

Up against an Argentinian side in the fight for the third and fourth placing match, Malaysia responded to the challenge and three penalty corner conversions, paved the way for a respectable finish to the six-team tournament.

It had to be a match which Malaysia would love to win from the very start. For their supporters who had been faithful to them for the past one week and for their own physcological boost as they set their sights on the Asia Junior Cup in Kuantan in 20 days time.

“I’m very delighted with the win. As I mentioned yesterday, the last game is the most important to carry forward the mood and confidence of the team and we’ve managed to do that for us for the upcoming Junior Asia Cup.” said Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj.

“We’ve managed to improve throughout this tournament and do better towards the end but we still have areas to work on like defence and letting the game down in the last few minutes.”

“I have to commend my players who really pushed themselves, this shows that they’ve started to get rid of the mental ceiling holding them back from living up to their full potential.”

The two teams had met in the preliminary round and the 2-2 scoreline had evoked memories of heartache for Malaysia who allowed the Argentinians to come back from two goals down to steal a point.

And when Malaysia went ahead just after seven minutes of play via a penalty corner conversion from the reliable Shahril Saabah for his eighth goal of the tournament so far, the fear that history was going to repeat itself, surfaced.

True enough the Argentinians equalised in the 10th min. Ladislaao Gencarelli did some fine work in midfield and his final ball landed perfectly for Santiago Tarazona to hit the board to put Argentina on level terms.

Only true grit and determination kept the Argentinians at bay and in the 17th min, the break came Malaysia's way.

A penalty corner was won and this time Shahril was on the bench but in came Najmi Jazlan with such accuracy that Malaysia deserved to go into a 2-1 lead at the break.

Further misery was piled on the Argentinians six minutes after the break as Malaysia won their fourth penalty corner of the match and again Najmi was called upon to perform the execution, which he did with deadly precision and the host took a 3-1 lead.

It looked increasingly difficult for the Argentinians now but their never say die attitude and their willingness to commit more men forward paid off in the 51st min. Nicolas Keenan got his touch right to reduce the deficit and the Malaysians know they have a fight on their hands.

Then came a period of sustained pressure on the Malaysian goal as Argentina kept pushing for the equaliser and even three penalty corners in quick succession in the last five minutes of the match failed to rescue the South Americans.

Malaysia survived and got the third place which many thought was fair reward.

“Both teams played very well, we had the ball more and were more versatile than them but the difference was in the penalty corners as they managed to take advantage of theirs and we didn’t.” said Argentinian coach Mariano Ronconi.

“This has been a very good tournament for us, we fought against really good teams and learned a lot that we will apply for the future and try to improve ourselves.”

Official Sultan of Johor Cup website

Aussies finish fifth

by  Satwant Dhaliwal

Australia avoided the wooden spoon when they thrashed Pakistan 5-0 to take the 5th spot of the Sultan of Johor Cup and the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

When the two teams met in the pool matches Australia had defeated Pakistan 6-2. The hazy conditions did not deter Australia from putting up an impressive display of attacking hockey.

“We didn’t come up to our expectations for this tournament but we’re happy to win our final match, it’s a great way to finish up.” said Australian coach Ben Bishop.

“Our problem throughout this tournament was not capitalizing on the opportunities that we managed to create for ourselves, it’s something that we’ll have to work on.”

“We wanted to score a lot of goals today to make up for not scoring much throughout this tournament so this score was a nice reward for the players.”

They were rewarded with an opening goal through Max Hendry in the 9th minute.

They doubled their advantage with Jack Welch getting onto the score sheet in the 19th minute and the Aussies were in cruise control.

Australia put themselves further ahead in the second half when Kurt Lovett and Ryan Proctor scored in the 45th and 49th minutes respectively.

Kurt Lovett scored his second and his team’s fifth goal of the match in the 65th minute.

“This match consisted of 100% missed goal opportunities so that was the main cause of our downfall.” said Pakistan team manager Brig. Khalid Farani.

“But I’m very optimistic about my team, we’re going to concentrate and train hard to come up as a better team in the future.”

“This tournament has been great exposure for the boys and this experience will definitely help them greatly at the Junior Asia Cup.”

Official Sultan of Johor Cup website

Roll of Honour

by  Satwant Dhaliwal

First Place: Great Britain
Second Place: India
Third Place: Malaysia

Fair Play Award: Australia

Top Goal Scorer: Luke Taylor – (Great Britain - 10 goals)

Best Goalkeeper: Chris Wyver (Great Britain)

Best Player: Harjeet Singh (India)

Official Sultan of Johor Cup website

Britain SOJC champs

By Jugjet Singh

BRITAIN held India to a 2-2 draw and took them to a penalty shoot-out, for a 4-3, win to lift their maiden Sultan of Johor Cup title at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday.

It was a thrilling final, watched by about 6,000 fans, as Britain dug deep to deny India their third SOJC title.

Britain started with a bang, only to be denied the lead as India came back strongly to equalise.

Luke Taylor fired a rocket of a penalty corner in the fifth minute to take his tournament tally to 10 goals, but Harmanpreet Singh equalised also off a penalty corner in the 12th minute for his fourth SOJC goal.

Gurjant Singh gave India the lead in the 42nd minute off a field attempt, but Jack Turner scored his first SOJC goal in the 46th to level accounts again to take the match to a penalty shoot-out.

Meanwhile, SOJC organising chairman Manjit Majid Abdullah said after the success of hosting five editions, the Taman Daya Stadium will undergo a face-lift.

"This is fast becoming the most sought after junior invitational tournament in the world and after hosting five editions, we will increase the seating of the Taman Daya Stadium from 3,000 to 6,000 next year.

"And even though Pakistan have finished poorly in the last two editions (sixth both times) we will still invite them for the next edition to help the Asian country develop their youth," said Manjit.

India and Britain are the other crowd favourites and will surely be included in the Sixth Edition, which will be held one month before the New Delhi World Cup to help Malaysia, hot favourites to qualify from the Junior Asia Cup, prepare for the JWC.

ROLL-of-HONOUR: Fairplay: Australia; Top-scorer: Luke Taylor, Britain (10 goals); Best-Goalkeeper: Chris Wyver (Britain); Player of the Tournament: Harjeet Singh (India).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

SOJC: Bronze for Malaysia

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA snatched the bronze from the jaws of a gritty Argentina when they beat them 3-2 in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday.

The hosts won a total of five penalty corners and scored three, while Argentina failed to convert even a single out of the six they won.

"The last game of a tournament is always crucial for any team, and I am very satisfied with how my players performed to win the bronze.

"I am a coach who likes to push my players to the limit and finally, I think they broke the glass ceiling above their heads and that's why they performed exceptionally today (yesterday)," said Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj.

The only casualty of the tournament was Meor Azuan, who tore a hamstring 20 leading to the Junior Asia Cup.

"As for the SOJ, it is the only invitational tournament in the world that offers juniors a chance to grow into men. The Malaysian team is grateful to the organisers who did a wonderful job yet again," said Arul.

Under hazy conditions, Malaysia gave a good account of themselve in 35 minutes of play as they took a 2-1 lead into the breather.

Malaysian on a total of three penalty corners, and Shahril Saabah scored his eight goal of the tournament in the seventh minute.

But Argentina equalsied three minutes later when Santiago Tarazona broke free and nailed a field attempt.

There was another controlled display from Malaysia after the equaliser, and they won their second penalty coener in the 17th minute and this time, Najmi Jazlan stepped up and scored his third goal of the SOJC.

With a slim 2-1 lead, Malaysia trooped into the dressing room for a 10-minute 'chat' with coach Arul Selvaraj.

The break brought our a refreshed Malaysia, and in the 41st minute, off their fourth penalty corner, Najmi perfected a drive which almost tore the netting and Malaysia took a comfortable 3-1 lead with plenty of playing time left.

Argentina kept their fire burning, when a mistrap from defender Zulpidaus Mizun in the 52nd minute saw the ball rise above the head of Argentine Nicolas Keenan who raised his stick and slammed the ball in for 2-3.

Malaysia went into trouble mode after that, as two players were sent to the sin-bin, reducing the numbers. Firdaus Omar was green carded in the 54th, while skipper Najib Hassan yellow carded in the 55th.

But they kept their cool, and even defended three back-to-back penalty corners to stop the bronze from travelling to Argentina.

RESULTS: Fifth-Sixth: Pakistan 0 Australia 5; Third-Fourth: Malaysia 3 Argentina 2; Final: India 2 (3) Britain 2 (4)

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Britain win Sultan of Johor Cup, Malaysia finish third

by S. Ramaguru

Malaysian players celebrating their 3-2 win over Argentina in the Sultan of Johor Cup at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium. - ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG / The Star

JOHOR BARU: Malaysia maintained their improved form to finish a creditable third in the Sultan of Johor Cup when they edged Argentina 3-2 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

The final saw Britain edging defending champs India 4-3 in a penalty shootout to lift the title for the first time in the Under-21 tournament with Jack Clee scoring twice. The match had ended 2-2 in regulation time.

The Malaysians scored early and then held out in the later stages to overcome a fierce fightback from the South Americans. There was a vast improvement in the Malaysians’ display as they managed to overcome some defensive lapses to win the match.

Malaysian coach A. Arulselvaraj was happy with the win but felt they could have done better in the second half.

“We had a healthy lead but gave away too much space and made several mistakes at the back to give Argentina chances to score.

“This has been a problem and we’ll look into that aspect of our game. But I am glad that we achieved a podium finish as this will boost the players’ confidence for the Junior Asia Cup (in Kuantan from Nov 14-22),” he said.

In the preliminary round Malaysia and Argentina drew 2-2.

On Sunday, Malaysia took the lead after only seven minutes with Mohamed Shahril Saabah scoring from the first penalty for his eighth goal of the tournament.

But the joy was shortlived as Argentina hit back three minutes later.

From a quick counter-attack, forward Santiago Tarazona outfoxed the Malaysian defenders to score from close range.

Unfazed, the Malaysians continued to attack and they earned two more penalty corners in the 17th and 41st minutes. Malaysia’s second penalty corner specialist Mohamed Najimi Jazlan made no mistake on both occasions for Malaysia to lead 3-1.

In the 52nd minute, Argentina’s Nicholas Keenan reduced the deficit to 3-2.

The Malaysians lived dangerously in the last 10 minutes, giving away four penalty corners. Luckily, the Argentines failed to find the target.

Argentina coach Mariano Ronconi said Malaysia’s ability to convert the penalty corners gave them victory.

“Malaysia were much better with the penalty corners. We matched them in the other aspects. We had a lot of penalty corners but we failed to score. You cannot hope to win if you don’t score from such chances,” he added.

The triumphant Britons, who lost 1-2 to India in last year’s final, thus ended the tournament as the only unbeaten side.

The final lived up to expectations and the match ended 2-2 in regulation time. More drama was in store in the penalty shootout as it went to a sudden death after the mandatory five attempts ended 2-2 as well.

Britain converted their chances through Ed Horler and Clee during the mandatory five attempts while India converted through Harjeet Singh and Harmanpreet Singh.

In the sudden-death, both Horler and Harjeet missed their attempts. Parvinder Singh then missed for India, Clee coolly stepped up to win the title for Britain.

Earlier in regulation time, Luke Taylor scored his 10th goal of the tournament to give Britain the lead after only five minutes. But India equalised in the 12th minute through Harmanpreet.

India, the 2013 and 2014 champions, looked set to clinch the title when Gurjant Singh scored a field goal in the 42nd minute. But Britain hit back three minutes later through Jack Turner and the result remained the same until full time.

In the battle for fifth place, Australia humiliated Pakistan 5-0 with goals by Max Hendry (ninth minute), Jack Welch (19th), Kurt Lovett (45th and 65th) and Ryan Proctor (49th).

The Star of Malaysia

India loses Johor Cup on sudden death

Johor Bahru (Malaysia): Despite playing a better hockey in the regulation time, India could not put up better than the British in the tie-break and thus had to settle for second slot in an otherwise nail biting Sultan of Johor Cup final.

Both the teams were levelled at 2-2 in the regulation time.

Great Britain began on a confident note drawing first blood in the 5th minute through a penalty corner goal by Luke Taylor. The Great Britain team who had earlier defeated India in the league matches seemed to be in control of their game until India were rewarded with a penalty corner in the 12th minute, which was beautifully converted into a goal by Harmanpreet Singh to bring India at par with the Great Britain score. The next 23 minutes in the first half saw a lot of attacks and counter attacks but neither of the teams could capitalize on their form to find the back of the net.

The second half began with India pressing hard to take the lead and they were soon rewarded in the 42nd minute with Gurjant Singh pulling off an absolute stunner, giving India the much needed lead in the game. Great Britain however struck back soon after in the 46th minute through Jack Turner to settle the score at 2-2. The next 24 minutes saw numerous attempts to score from both the teams, but the efficient goal keepers and a strong defense line ensured the match entered the penalty shootout stage. Great Britain finally edged past the Indian colts in the penalty shootout scoring 4 goals as opposed to India’s 3 goals, to be crowned as the new champions of the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup.

‘It’s hard to miss out on the title from somewhere as close as this, but it’s a game and this defeat today will only help us learn from our mistakes for the future. I am completely satisfied with the boys performance and I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Penalty shootouts are always unpredictable and it’s unfortunate that we could not finish it on a winning note. I would like to congratulate Great Britain on being crowned the new champions.” said Harendra Singh, Coach, Indian Junior Men's Team after the loss.

India had earlier finished at the top of the table in the league encounter just losing one match ironically to Great Britain. Sumit Kumar and Harmanpreet Singh with 3 goals each have been the top scorers for India in tournament.


Indian colts end runner-up at Sultan of Johor Cup

JOHOR BAHRU (Malaysia): The Indian junior men's hockey team ended runner-up in the Sultan of Johor Cup after losing nail-biting penalty shoot out 3-4 to Great Britain on Sunday. The teams were level 2-2 after full time in the title encounter.

It was Great Britain that drew the first blood in the fifth minute through a penalty corner goal by Luke Taylor.

The Great Britain team who had earlier defeated India in the league matches seemed to be in control of their game until India were rewarded with a penalty corner in the 12th minute, which was beautifully converted into a goal by Harmanpreet Singh to draw parity.

The next 23 minutes in the first half saw a lot of attacks and counter attacks but neither of the teams could capitalise. The second half began with India pressing hard to take the lead and they were soon rewarded in the 42nd minute with Gurjant Singh pulling off an absolute stunner, giving India the much needed lead in the game.

Great Britain however struck soon after in the 46th minute through Jack Turner to settle the score at 2-2.

The next 24 minutes saw numerous attempts to score from both the teams, but the efficient goal keepers and a strong defense line ensured the match entered the penalty shootout stage. Great Britain finally edged past the Indian colts in the penalty shootout scoring 4 goals as opposed to India's 3 goals, to be crowned as the new champions of the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup.

"It's hard to miss out on the title from somewhere as close as this, but it's a game and this defeat today will only help us learn from our mistakes for the future. I am completely satisfied with the boys' performance and I couldn't have asked for more from them," said India coach Harendra Singh.

"Penalty shootouts are always unpredictable and it's unfortunate that we could not finish it on a winning note. I would like to congratulate Great Britain on being crowned the new champions."

Sumit Kumar and Harmanpreet Singh with three goals each have been the top scorers for India in tournament.

The Times of India

Great Britain crowned champions after dramatic shootout

GB U21s Jack Turner and Jack Clee celebrate winning the Sultan of Johor Cup

Jon Bleby’s Great Britain side held their nerve to win a sudden death shootout defeating India and clinching the Sultan of Johor Cup in dramatic fashion.

The match ended 2-2 after 70 minutes, taking it to a shootout where Chris Wyver in the Great Britain goal, later named goalkeeper of the tournament, excelled allowing Jack Clee the chance to win it in sudden death, a chance the University of Birmingham player did not pass up.

Having lost in the final to the same opponents last year, Great Britain were out for revenge, aiming to prevent India from winning the title for the third year in a row.

GB opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a Luke Taylor special from a penalty corner. It was the Loughborough Students’ player’s tenth goal of the competition, making him the tournament’s top scorer. India pulled level eight minutes later with a Harmanpreet Singh strike.

India took the lead in the second half through a field goal by Gurjant Singh in the 41st minute. The advantage lasted just four minutes as former Marlow star Jack Turner scored his first goal of the tournament to tie it up once more. With no further goals, the game went into a shootout.

In the shootout, Ed Horler and Harjeet Singh traded goals before two consecutive misses for both sides. Clee slotted his home with an outrageous double spin that bamboozled the Indian goalkeeper. Harmanpreet Singh also scored, before misses for Jonty Griffiths and Nilakanta Sharma took it to sudden death. Harjeet scored again, and Horler was fouled, allowing Luke Taylor to score from the spot before Parvinder Singh missed. That left Clee the chance to win it. This time, he opted for just the one spin, out-foxing the goalkeeper once more to seal the win and the trophy for Great Britain.

Ed Horler: goal (GB 1 – India 0)
Harjeet Singh: goal (GB 1 – India 1)
Josh Pavis: miss (GB 1 – India 1)
Parvinder Singh: miss (GB 1 – India 1)
James Albery: miss (GB 1 – India 1)
Gurjant Singh: miss (GB 1 – India 1)
Jack Clee: goal (GB 2 – India 1)
Harmanpreet Singh: goal (GB 2 – India 2)
Jonty Griffiths: miss (GB 2 – India 2)
Nilakanta Sharma: miss (GB 2 – India 2)

Sudden Death
Harjeet Singh: goal (GB 2 – India 3)
Ed Horler: penalty stroke
Luke Taylor: goal (GB 3 – India 3)
Parvinder Singh: misses
Jack Clee: goal (GB 4 – India 3)

England Hockey Board Media release

Women’s national hockey team head coach Openda upbeat ahead of Rio Olympic qualifiers

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Jos Openda coach Telkom Orange hockey team

Women’s national hockey team head coach Jos Openda is confident his team will excel at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations cum Rio 2016 Olympic qualifiers from October 23 at the Randburg Hockey Stadium in Johannesburg.

The Kenyan girls have a second chance to secure their ticket to the quadrennial event, having failed to earn their place through the International Hockey Federation (FIH) world league series.

The team, which is captained by Tracy Karanja, will face six other nations in a quest for the lone ticket to Brazil. Hosts South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Namibia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe will all be battling to represent the continent.

Openda told FevePitch they will go for nothing less than the continental trophy and a slot in Rio.

“We have trained very well, and our main objective to snatch the bragging rights and qualify for the Olympics.” Openda added that they will not be cowed by pre-tournament favourites, who include defending champions South Africa and 2013 silver medalists Ghana. “We are on the same level with them. They have played international test matches and we are not badly off because earlier in the year, we were in Uruguay where we played tougher opponents and my girls gained experience.”

Ghana is ranked 31st in the world and second in Africa behind continent powerhouses South Africa, who are ranked 11th in the world. The games will be played in a round-robin format, where the side with most points, will be crowned champions and a berth to the Brazil games too.

In the men’s contest, Kenyans will be seeking a return to the Olympics having made their last appearance in 1988. The men’s battle has the highest entries, where nine nations will clash, compared to the 2013 event held in Kenya, where only four countries contested.

Hosts South Africa, Egypt, Ghana and Kenya played in 2013, while Nigeria, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe pulled out of the championships.

The men’s team to be captained by Zack Aura is in pool B together with Egypt, who have been improving with every match. Earlier in the year, Egypt ended South Africa’s road to Rio as they won 3-2 in a shootout in world league two to proceed to the next round. In league one, Kenya lost 2-1 to Egypt and hope to avenge for that loss when the Africa Cup matches start.

The Standard Online

Rot Weiss and Mannheim play out 3-3 classic

Rot-Weiss Köln retained their four-point lead at the top of the German league but it might have been even better for the reigning champions but for Luca Müller’s last minute equaliser.

It earned Mannheim a 3-3 draw in the top table clash in the big game of the weekend. They had built an early 2-0 lead inside five minutes via Danny Nguyen Luong and Frederik Hillmann before Rot-Weiss began to fight back with goals from Moritz Trompertz, Mathias Müller and Joshua Delarber (pictured) by the 61st minute.

For MHC’s Sören Beßler, he said of his side’s performance: "All in all it was a sensational performance of our team. We had good chances's to increase  our lead and, in the second half, we had two or three great chances.

“In that respect, I think that we absolutely deserved draw.”

Köln coach André Henning said he “liked the way his team fought back” after their early setbacks but is pleased with how his side is performing.

“Considering how young our team is and that we are without three leading players in the central axis - Chrissie Zeller, Benny Wess and Timur Oruz – the mental strength they are showing is already great!”

Rot Weiss are top on 20 points after eight matches while Mannheim are second on 16 but with a game in hand. Harvestehuder returned to the league with a 3-2 win over Club an der Alster. They are on 14 points with two games in hand.

Euro Hockey League media release

Surbiton edge past Reading

Surbiton scorer Scott Evans, right, against Cannock. Credit: Tim Reder.

TRAILING at half time, Surbiton hit back to beat rivals Reading 5-4 and maintain their 100 per cent record in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday evening.

Reading were looking to close the gap to their rivals, and got off to a good start with Dan Shingles scoring after nine minutes. But Surbiton hit back with a tenth minute strike from Alan Forsyth.

A Tom Carson double put Reading 3-1 ahead, and although Surbiton’s Matt Daly scored on 32 minutes Reading still led going into the break.

Forsyth scored his second on 42 minutes to level the scores, and Scott Evans (pictured) found the net on 61 minutes to make it 5-3. Andy Watts scored from a penalty corner in the last minute, but Reading ran out of time to add further to their score.

Holcombe remain second after beating East Grinstead 3-0 with goals from James Stedman, Nick Catlin and Ashley Jackson.

Third-placed Wimbledon lost ground on the top two when they could only draw 2-2 with Hampstead and Westminster, while Beeston and Brooklands Manchester University also ended 2-2.

And in the weekend’s other top flight match, Cannock secured a 3-1 win at Canterbury, with Arjan Drayton Chana scoring two and Louie Morris scoring the other.

Conference West

Two goals from Rhys Gowman and one from Luke Hawker helped leaders Cardiff and Met win 3-0 at Chichester Priory Park in the Men’s Conference West on Sunday.

Second-placed Indian Gymkhana lost ground on Cardiff when they could only draw 1-1 with Isca, while Cheltenham were 4-0 winners against Guildford with goals coming from Daniel Jackson, Ben Dobson, Will Pearce and Matthew Court.

The University of Exeter won 3-1 over Team Bath Buccaneers, while the University of Birmingham lost out 3-4 at home against Fareham, for whom the scorers were Jamie Rawlings, Mo Rahman, Ben Hibberd and Josh Godfrey.

Conference North

Deeside Ramblers secured a 2-0 win over leaders Loughborough Students in the Conference North, thanks to goals from Harry Dodd Moore and Tom Fearnall.

Second-placed Bowdon closed to gap to Loughborough to just one point after they won 3-2 over Preston, with goals coming from Liam Kennerley, Ben White and Jack Williams.

Matt Gibson’s early goal proved enough for Doncaster to beat South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Hallam, while the University of Durham won 2-1 at Lichfield and Olton and West Warwicks were 5-0 winners over Wakefield, with Callum Stacey scoring twice in their victory.

Conference East

Cambridge City were leading two-nil at half time, but still went down 3-4 to leaders Richmond in the Conference East. Jesse Gatt scored twice and Richmond’s other goals came from Josh Smith and Charlie Ellison.

Dafydd Charles and Mike Trim both scored twice as Oxted won 8-4 over Harleston Magpies.

An early brace from Sam Rowe and another from Toby Price had given the Magpies a three-nil lead, but they couldn’t stop Oxted fighting back to preserve second place.

Elsewhere, Southgate were 3-2 winners over Sevenoaks, while Brighton and Hove beat Teddington 4-3. And on Saturday evening, West Herts ran out 6-1 victors over Bromley and Beckenham with Dan Webster scoring four.

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, October 17 2015):

Premier Division: Holcombe 3, East Grinstead 0; Surbiton 5, Reading 4.

Conference East: West Herts 6, Bromley and Beckenham 1.

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, October 18 2015):

Premier Division: Beeston 2, Brooklands MU 2; Canterbury 1, Cannock 3; Hampstead and Westminster 2, Wimbledon 2.

Conference West: Cheltenham 4, Guildford 0; Chichester Priory Park 0, Cardiff & Met 3; Indian Gymkhana 1, Isca 1; University of Birmingham 3, Fareham 4; University of Exeter 3, Team Bath Buccaneers 1.

Conference North: Bowdon 3, Preston 2; Deeside Ramblers 2, Loughborough Students 0; Doncaster 1, Sheffield Hallam 0; Lichfield 1, University of Durham 2; Olton & West Warwicks 5, Wakefield 0.

Conference East: Brighton and Hove 4, Teddington 3; Cambridge City 3, Richmond 4; Oxted 8, Harleston Magpies 4; Southgate 3, Sevenoaks 2.

England Hockey Board Media release

Repeat final between Air India and IOC

s2h Team

Bangaluru Cup: Day IX

MEN: Air India defeat IOC

Bengaluru, 18 Oct 2015: Air India defeated Indian Oil Corporation 2-1 in the last men’s league match to set-up a repeat final in the 2nd Bengaluru Cup hockey tournament sponsored by Advaith Hyundai and Micro Labs at the hockey Stadium here on Sunday.

Army XI who finished their engagements on 10 points lost the final berth to IOCL on goal difference.

Air India began on an aggressive note and scored in the 10th minute with a dipping shot by Prabodh Tirkey from their second short-corner and increased the lead three minutes before the break when Aiyappa PR deflected an Arjun Halappa long hit (2-1) into the goal.

With Army XI too having the same goal difference, Air India forced the pace of the game to increase the tally but IOCL was up to the game and defended well before reducing the margin in the 60th minute through a penalty corner conversion by veteran Prabjot Singh (2-1). That was enough for IOCL to set-up a repeat final on better goal-difference than Army XI..

Earlier, Army XI Binay Bhengra scored early in the second minute but Karnataka restored parity within four minutes through Abhishek. But Army XI shot ahead once again when a goal-bound shot, during the set-piece drill defence, hit Raheel’s leg and Army’s Chandan Aind made no mistake from the spot. Undaunted, Karnataka boys equalled once again within four minutes when Abhishek struck his second goal off a ball from Thimmanna PL. The teams crossed over on equal terms at 2-2 but the fitter Armymen raised the game with an eye on improving the goal-difference and pumped in five goals in the second half.

League Table
Air India 5-4-0-1-11-7-04-12
IOCL 5-3-1-1-18-11-7-10
Army XI 4-2-1-1-14-8-06-10
ONGC 5-2-1-2-10-14-(-4)-7
Kar XI 5-1-1-3-14-19-(-5)-4
BPCL 5-0-0-5-9-17-(-8)-0

(Read under matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, goal difference & points)

Women: MP Academy girls thrash Punjab 5-0

Bengaluru, 18 Oct 2015: Punjab went out with a whimper losing 0-5 to reigning champions MP Academy in an inconsequential last women’s league match of the 2nd Bengaluru Cup hockey sponsored by Advaith Hyundai and Micro Labs at the hockey stadium here on Saturday.

For MP Academy, striker Reena Khokhar pumped in a brace (11th minute, 39th min) while Sidhi Singh (PC 19th min), Shivani Singh (38th min) and Karishma Singh (47th min) made it 5-0.

In a lop-sided match, MP Academy girls began with Reena scoring off a Ramnugaihzuali short pass in a goal-mouth melee and Reena went on to add one more in the 39th minute. Later, a clean direct hit to the boards by Sidhi Singh of a short-corner made it 2-0. Then there were two more field goals. After Reena’s second, Karishma too struck off a pass from Priyanka to round off the tally 5-0. The only move that looked good for Punjab came in the 64th minute from Pooja Rani but the resulting penalty corner was muffed.

MP Academy will play Haryana in the final at 5.30 pm on Monday. Tickets are available at the stadium and bookmyshow.com

League Table
Haryana 4-4-0-0-11-2-9-12
MP Academy 3-2-0-1-11-4-7-9
Central Railway 4-2-0-2-8-8-0-6
Karnataka XI 4-1-0-3-7-12-(-5)-3
Punjab XI 4-0-0-4-3-14-(-11)-0


Irish hockey legend David Judge dies aged 79

Defender captained Ireland 30 times and played for Great Britain in the 1964 Olympics

Stephen Findlater

David Judge, pictured making a tackle, played 124 times for Ireland between 1957 and 1978. Photograph: Stephen Findlater

David Judge, one of the giants of Irish hockey, passed away on Saturday afternoon aged 79.

During an incredible career, he played 124 times for Ireland between 1957 and 1978, a time when international matches were far more scarce than the modern era.

Indeed, he played in over 90 per cent of the fixtures available including the 1978 World Cup and the first two editions of the European Cup. A determined defender, he would also captain Ireland over 30 times.

The pinnacle of his playing career came when he, along with Harry Cahill, became one of very few Dubliners to play hockey in the Olympic Games, lining out for Great Britain in Tokyo in 1964.

He was allowed to do so by quirk in the rules, a grand-parent ruling of sorts that allowed him to qualify for GB – while also playing for Ireland – as they were British passport holders prior to the formation of the Irish state.

He would later joke that he had some difficulty explaining to the Queen how he and Cahill came to be in Buckingham Palace at a homecoming lunch in the Long Gallery.

He won everything in the Irish club game with Three Rock Rovers. After his retirement from playing, he coached Avoca’s men and Old Alex’s women to numerous club titles and went on to be president of the Leinster Hockey Association, overseeing the merger of the women’s and men’s branches.

It would be a fitting tribute to his career if the Irish senior men are to have their place confirmed at the 2016 Rio Olympics next Sunday. Should Australia beat New Zealand in the Oceania Cup, Ireland’s ticket will be assured.

On the pitch, a young Irish side drew 2-2 with world number six side Argentina in Serpentine Avenue with Timmy Cockram and Kyle Good on the mark.

The Irish Times

'At nearly 20st I dared take up hockey again - and shed almost half my bodyweight'

By Kim Willis

Before: At 19st 5lbs, all Karen could do was watch daughter Sophie on the pitch

After watching her daughter play from the sideline for years, morbidly obese Karen finally picked up her hockey stick again – and lost nearly half her weight

Karen Gibson stood on the sidelines week after week, year after year, proudly watching her daughter play hockey – a game she herself used to love in her youth.

But those days were long gone. Morbidly obese at 19st 5lbs, the 5ft 1ins tall mum was resigned to being a spectator, cheering on her little girl Sophie.

“I thought my team sports days were over,’ says Karen, 44. “I encouraged my daughter to play sport, but never took my own advice.”

Instead, the chartered accountant would collapse exhausted on the sofa at the end of a long day and just eat.

“Working in the charity sector, my days were so busy. I’d tell myself I’d had a hard day and needed a treat,” says Karen.

“So I’d reach for a bar of chocolate, a doughnut or a bag of sweets while I watched TV, thinking it was all I had the energy for.”

When Karen did go to watch Sophie, now 10, she was always in awe of the mums running around, volunteering.

“Their endless energy made me exhausted just watching them,” she says. “I never joined in.

“Sophie was a great hockey player, just as I’d been at her age. I’d loved the camaraderie of sport as a child growing up in New Zealand, and the feeling when we won.

“But since moving here in 1999, falling in love and marrying my husband Mark I settled down and soon stifled my competitive streak. I played for a few years after arriving here, until I got pregnant in 2005. Then I just stopped. Once Sophie was born I was 15 stone and life just got in the way.”

Now: At 10st 7lbs Karen’s back playing the sport she loves. East News Press

Karen’s weight slowly crept up while she relied on a sugary, quick-fix diet of chocolate treats for breakfast, lunch and dinner until she hit nearly 20 stone.

“I occasionally dieted, or tried to exercise, but never for long, and I never dieted and exercised at the same time,” she says. “I told myself one or the other was good enough, but I never maintained any weight loss.”

Sophie eventually started playing hockey for her school and their local Chelmsford Hockey Club in Essex.

“I’d give her a few pointers but I was rusty,” Karen says. “My hockey days were over as far as I was concerned.

“I’d long resigned myself to being an on-the-sidelines, shivering and cheering kind of mum and being the size I was meant I could barely run without gasping for breath and aching with the sheer effort.”

Then, one day, everything began to change.

As the season came to an end in April 2014, the hockey club decided to hold a fun day and asked who wanted to play a parents and children friendly game.

“Although I was nervous I’d make a fool of myself, I agreed to join in,” says Karen. “It was fun, yet completely knackering. I was as red as a beetroot within two minutes.”

But the old feeling came back that day. And she loved it. “There were a lot of parents trying very hard to hit the ball, but no one took themselves seriously. I realised I was missing out on something,” she says.

“I’d let myself get so overweight that I couldn’t physically play a proper game of hockey, even if I wanted to. But that game woke something in me.”

Her friend Emma Parlanti, 44, had recently qualified as a personal trainer, so Karen asked her for help.

“I had a goal - I wanted to play hockey when the new season started in September,” she says. “I wanted to be fitter and healthier so Emma helped me change my diet and implement some exercise.”

With a new regime in place, Karen realised she wanted to be a better role model for Sophie too.

“I’d lived in denial so long, but I wanted Sophie to see I could take part and I could make healthier lifestyle choices. I was careful never to use the word ‘diet’, instead saying I was getting fit and healthy,” she adds.

Bully off: Karen (third from left standing) with her hockey team

Buoyed by determination, Karen quit the stodge and chocolate bars and started having porridge with blueberries for breakfast, a chicken salad for lunch and salmon with vegetables for dinner.

“I’d snack on boiled eggs or nuts, fruit and Greek yoghurt, not sugary treats. I was eating more food, but it was nutritious food that fuelled my day,” she says.

“I’d never felt so full of energy – and by September, I was 14st 12lbs. I was confident enough to be able to join the club without panting my way through a game.”

The first game of the season was a friendly against another local team.

“We were all set to play half the match each, and I was incredibly nervous,” Karen says. “I was scared my fitness wouldn’t be up to scratch, that I’d let my team down, that I was rusty. The game was exhilarating and exhausting, but I was sold. I was part of a team and I loved it.”

With its high intensity and fast pace, hockey is a good calorie burner – and the more Karen played, the better she felt.

Karen says: “Thanks to playing twice a week I started to lose even more weight and my fitness improved massively. I was no longer exhausted by playing, but loving it from start to finish.”

As Karen’s fitness improved, she swapped from attack to midfield and kept up the pace for 70-minute games.

“Within less than a year, I weighed 10st 7lbs, training on Wednesdays and playing matches against other local Essex Division 5 teams on Saturdays,” says Karen.

“I was the highest goal scorer on our team last season – but the highlight was winning player of the match alongside a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old. Even combining their ages they still weren’t as old as me, and I was holding my own.”

Now a return to a childhood sport has been the making of Karen, who says hockey has changed her life.

“Not only have I lost weight, but I’ve found a lifestyle,” says Karen.

“After the game is over, there’s a genuine community feel in the clubhouse. Events are always being organised, whether it’s a quiz night or whizzing down a zipline as part of a mud race, while my teammates cheer me on.

"This has all given me the confidence to believe I could do it. It’s a feeling that can’t be beaten.”

Her husband Mark, 53, also a chartered accountant, says : “Sophie and I are so proud of Karen and her incredible determination. She has inspired me to become more active, both as an individual and with the family.”

And Karen herself wants to inspire others wanting to lose weight and find fitness and confidence later in life.

“Hockey isn’t about cold knees, as it may have been at school. It’s about inclusivity, fun and relishing a social, healthy activity and all that surrounds it,” she says.

“I used to watch my daughter play every weekend. Now I’m fitter and healthier than I’ve been in years. I’m the sporty mum I never imagined I would be.”

Fat file

Karen’s weight before: 19st 5lb
Weight Now: 10st 7lb

What Karen ate before

Breakfast: Croissant with bacon and cheese, slice of chocolate cake
Snack: 2 cans of diet Coke
Lunch: Another slice of cake, meatball wrap
Dinner: Pasta in sauce, no veg
Snack: Chocolates, doughnuts, sweets

What Karen eats now

Breakfast: Porridge with chia seeds and blueberries
Snack: Boiled egg
Lunch: Chicken salad
Snack: handful of nuts
Dinner: Salmon with steamed vegetables
Snack: Fruit and Greek yoghurt

The Mirror

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