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News for 30 November 2015

All the news for Monday 30 November 2015

Australia beaten as Great Britain take control of Pool A

Photo: FIH / Getty Images

On Day 3 of the Hero Hockey World League Final 2015, Belgium found form with a big win over Canada while Great Britain stole headlines with an impressive victory over world number 1 Australia in Raipur, India.

The first match of the day saw Belgium’s Red Lions take on Canada’s Red Caribous, with the Europeans emerging as 7-2 winners in a Pool A encounter that saw Jerome Truyens marked his 300th senior international appearance with a goal.

Belgium were in sparkling form in the first quarter, powering in four fantastic goals through Sebastien Dockier, Florent van Aubel and Thomas Briels before Truyens – who was also named Hero Man of the Match - netted in his milestone game. Canada were vastly improved in the second and third quarters, with Mark Pearson pulling a goal back ahead of a beautiful flicked finish from Devohn Noronha Teixeira. However, Belgium moved back into top gear in the final quarter, with Arthur van Doren and Tom Boon on target before Van Aubel claimed his second to give the Red Lions their first win of the competition.

“It is always great to have a win in such circumstances, and also to score”, said 28-year-old Truyens, who started his international career in 2004, after the game. “The fact that my team has won and everyone has been congratulating me has been really special. You always want to score on such occasions, so I am happy that I have done that. What matters is the three points today.”

Canadian captain Scott Tupper said: "There were some part of the game when we played quite well, which is of course tough to say when you have lost 7-2. But we did play two of the four quarters very well. Hopefully we can build on that moving forward, and aim at keeping our game at a high level during the full 60 minutes."

Also in Pool A, Great Britain claimed a stunning 5-2 victory over reigning world champions Australia, a result which moved the Brits onto six points.

Henry Weir and Chris Grassick were both on target for GB in the first quarter, before Jeremy Hayward pulled a goal back for the top ranked Kookaburras two minutes into the second period. An Ian Sloan penalty corner restored Great Britain’s two goal cushion with David Condon pouncing moments after half time to establish a 4-1 advantage against the illustrious Australians. A brilliant backhand strike from Matt Gohdes early in the second quarter gave the Aussies hope, but a Phil Roper goal sealed an impressive win and put Great Britain clear at the top of Pool A.

“We had to defend well at the end but you are always going to have to do that against Australia”, said Great Britain Head Coach Bobby Crutchley, reflecting on the match. “We don’t just want to be known for one result, we want to keep going. I’ve learned a lot about them tonight that has really impressed me, and I’ll learn more about how they show up for the next game. That is because after a good win it is often the next game that is the biggest challenge.”

“We were off the pace today”, said Australia goalkeeper Andrew Charter, who made his 100th international appearance for the Kookaburras in the match. “We were a bit sluggish and GB came out with a little bit more pep than they have done against us for a while, and they really punished us for it. We’ll go back and learn a few things from this and look towards the next matches.”

Results – Day 3

Pool A:
Belgium 7, Canada 2
Hero Man of the Match: Jerome Truyens (BEL)

Australia 2, Great Britain 5
Hero Man of the Match: Dan Fox (GBR)

FIH site

Great Britain stun Australia, NZ rout Canada in HWL Final

RAIPUR: World champions Australia were shocked 2-5 by Great Britain while Belgium spanked lowly Canada 7-2 in high-scoring second round Pool A matches of the Hockey World League (HWL) Final, here today.

The world no. 4 British side stunned Kookaburras by striking early when Henry Weir and Chris Grassick (13th) scored two field goals to race to a 2-0 lead at the end of first quarter at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium.

Dragflicker Jeremy Hayward pulled one back for Australia in the 17th minute by converting a penalty corner.

Six minutes later, Great Britain regained their two-goal lead when Ian Sloan scored from a set piece to go into the halfway mark leading 3-1.

Two minutes into the second half, Great Britain extended their lead through David Condon's field strike.

Australia, known for their fighting spirit, tried to forge a strong comeback thereafter and in the process scored a field goal through Matt Gohdes' fierce backhand strike from top of the circle in the 47th minute.

Trailing, Australia pressed hard for goals and managed to put pressure on Britain defence but the British backline somehow kept the ball away from the net.

To add to Australia's wounds, Phil Roper (49th) scored another field goal for Great Britain from a counter attack to make the scoreline 5-2.

Australia continued to attack but somehow failed to break the resolute Great Britain defence.

Earlier, in the first match of the day, world no.7 Belgium of spanked lowly Canada 7-2 to register their first win in the tournament.

Belgium dominated the proceedings in the opening half and toyed with the defence to pump in as many as four brilliant field goals in the first quarter with a span of six minutes.

Sebastien Dockier opened the scoring for Belgium in the ninth minute before Florent van Aubel (12th), Thomas Briels (13th) and Jerome Truyens (14th) scored three more quick field goals to take a commanding 4-0 lead.

The scoreline could have been 5-0 for Belgium in the opening 15 minutes when they scored another from a penalty corner situation but the goal was disallowed after Canada went for the referral.

Belgium continued to put pressure on Canada in the second quarter but failed to break its defence.

Canada pulled one back in the 29th minute when Mark Pearson scored from a rebound from a penalty corner situation as both Belgium went into the breather with a 4-1 lead.

Canada witnessed a brief spell of possession in the third quarter and scored a fine field goal in the 44th minute through Devohn Noronha Teixeira to make the scoreline 4-2.

Belgium wasted a golden opportunity in the 39th minute when Tom Boon failed to score from a penalty with the Canadian custodian pulling off a fine save.

But it was all Belgium in the fourth and final quarter as Belgium pumped in three more goals to register a convincing win.

Arthur van Doren (50th) and Boon (54th) converted two penalty corners in a span of four minutes before van Aubel scored his second goal of the day two minutes from the final hooter.

With two wins from as many matches, Great Britain moved to the top of Pool A, while Belgium occupy the second spot ahead of Australia by virtue of a better goal difference. Canada is at the bottom after two losses.

Australia will play Canada in their last pool match on Tuesday while Belgium and Great Britain will lock horns in the final group match of the tournament.

The Times of India

Rampant Great Britain sink Kookaburras

Alastair Brogdon and Henry Weir celebrate

Great Britain made it two wins from two with a superb display to see off World Champions Australia, running out 5-2 winners in a pulsating encounter in Raipur. Five different scorers registered for Bobby Crutchley’s side who put the Kookaburras to the sword in emphatic fashion to take control of Pool A.

The opening quarter was end-to-end as the sides grappled for control. In the ninth minute Great Britain drew first blood. Ian Sloan’s long pass into the circle found Henry Weir at the back post and although Tyler Lovell made the first save the Wimbledon man reacted well to stab in the rebound for his first Great Britain goal. It was almost 2-0 moments later as Dan Shingles found David Condon inside the circle but his lofted attempt went just over the bar.

Australia went close with two minutes left in the quarter. Glenn Turner freed Simon Orchard but he couldn’t lift the ball over the goalkeeper and Harry Gibson made a fine save. The Kookaburras were left to rue that miss when Great Britain doubled their advantage almost immediately. Chris Grassick showed terrific determination driving into the circle before calmly slotting home for his team’s second.

The second quarter was an absorbing 15 minutes. Australia pulled one back early on in the period through a Jeremy Hayward penalty corner. They then almost drew level. Jamie Dwyer teed up Dylan Wotherspoon but Gibson extended a left leg to make another fine save. At the other end a well-worked penalty corner restored the two goal cushion. Sloan’s low flick deflected off Tim Deavin and past Andrew Charter in the Australian goal. The Kookaburras forced another corner of their own but Kieran Govers’ shot went wide of the target and it remained 3-1 at the break.

Great Britain got their second half off to a dream start. Alastair Brogdon burst forward into space and fed Simon Mantell who showed good vision to cut the ball across first time to a sliding David Condon to steer home the fourth goal. Australia then won a penalty corner from a referral but James Bailey, a half time replacement in goal, did well to block Aran Zalewski’s deflection and then in the ensuing melee another corner was awarded. This time Dan Fox was alert and did brilliantly to block the shot and preserve the lead. Great Britain were being pushed onto the back foot and Dwyer blazed a good chance wide with the seconds ticking down in the quarter. There was still time for Mantell to thump a backhand strike into the chest of goalkeeper Tyler Lovell and it remained 4-1 heading into the final 15 minutes.

Australia gave themselves hope with a goal right at the start of the final quarter. Bailey made a good save from Dwyer but it broke to Matt Gohdes who unleashed a rocket strike into the roof of the net to reduce the arrears. That hope lasted just two minutes as Great Britain netted a fifth. Tim Whiteman showed terrific skills along the baseline and cut the ball back where Phil Roper volleyed in the fifth. Australia’s Simon Orchard stung Bailey’s body with a fierce strike and with the clock ticking down Australia threw everything at Great Britain. With Sam Ward unable to play through injury and the loss of Henry Weir in the first half, Great Britain tired late on; allowing Australia to dominate possession and territory in the final stages of the game. An outstanding rearguard action kept them at bay, however and secured a famous win for Bobby Crutchley’s side.

Next match is Tuesday 1 December as Great Britain take on Belgium at 15:00 UK time live on BT Sport.

Bobby Crutchley, Great Britain Head Coach:

“We’re delighted with the result. Some of the players really stepped up today and showed what they can do, but this is only one game and we need to back it up with a performance in the next game, too.

Some of our deep defence and goalkeeping was outstanding. We would have liked to play further forward and more attacking but we countered well and scored some good goals, so I’m very happy with that.

It was a tough physical battle as you expect when you face Australia but we did well to come through it. We’ve always said the best teams have 25 players capable of playing in these games and we want to build that sort of squad size for ourselves. Today was a step in the right direction but we aren’t getting carried away. We’ll gain confidence from this of course, but Belgium next is a tough game and a completely different style and different test to today. We’ll enjoy today but it won’t mean anything if we don’t back it up with more quality performances in the upcoming games.”

Great Britain 5 (3)
Henry Weir 9 (FG)
Chris Grassick 13 (FG)
Ian Sloan 23 (PC)
David Condon 32 (FG)
Phil Roper 49 (FG)

Australia 2 (1)
Jeremy Hayward 17 (PC)
Matt Gohdes 47 (FG)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Kookaburras beaten by GB

Heaviest defeat to Britain as Kookaburras go down 5-2 at World League Final

The Kookaburras suffered their heaviest ever defeat at the hands of Great Britain in Raipur on Sunday, going down 5-2 at the Hockey World League Final.

Jeremy Hayward’s penalty corner goal early in the second period gave the World Champions hope of a comeback at 2-1 behind, as did Matt Gohdes’ tomahawk at 4-2 in the final period, but Great Britain repeatedly responded with goals of their own on each occasion.

The result leaves the Kookaburras third in Pool A, behind GB and Belgium with Canada their third pool match on Wednesday morning (00:00am AEDT). All four teams will progress to the quarter finals regardless, with pool position determining their quarter final opponents.

Kookaburras Head Coach Graham Reid said that missed opportunities made the difference in the end.

“They capitalised on their opportunities and we didn’t. Every time they got in our circle they seemed to score. To their credit, GB came out ready to play but at the end of the day it’s a very disappointing performance. We didn’t play anywhere near our best,” admitted Reid.

“There were patches where things went ok but simple mistakes in defence cost us. Our key stats were not too bad and there will be some positives we can take but you can’t give a team five goals and expect to win. We beat virtually the same side at Bisham Abbey in June; they’re a young side and they came out with a point to prove.

“We certainly have a lot of work to do in the next 24 to 72 hours. We’ll be learning a lot.”

Two goals in the opening quarter put the Kookaburras on the back foot as first Henry Weir, then Chris Grassick found a way past the Australian defence. Weir converted at back post at the second attempt after Tyler Lovell’s reflex save initially denied him, while Grassick stole into the circle and lashed a shot inside the far post for 2-0.

Simon Orchard had the Kookaburras’ best chance of the opening period but was denied by British goalkeeper Harry Gibson from the top of the circle.

Jeremy Hayward halved the deficit from a penalty corner early in the second period with a powerful low drag flick and Dylan Wotherspoon came close before Britain extended their lead from Ian Sloan’s penalty corner, which deflected past Andrew Charter on his 100th appearance in goal for Australia.

Shortly after half time David Condon finished a flowing British move from close range after being set up by Simon Mantell.

The Kookaburras created opportunities from a series of penalty corners and open play chances, including a Jamie Dwyer shot that flew wide.

Early in the final quarter Matt Gohdes fired an unstoppable tomahawk into the roof of the net from the edge of the circle but GB responded immediately through Phil Roper, who restored the three goal lead at 5-2.

Hockey World League Final
Raipur, India

Pool A, Match 2

Jeremy Hayward 17 (PC)
Matt Gohdes 47 (FG)

Henry Weir 9 (FG)
Chris Grassick 13 (FG)
Ian Sloan 23 (PC)
David Condon 32 (FG)
Phil Roper 49 (FG)

Remaining Kookaburras' fixtures at World League Final, Raipur
Wednesday 2 December – 00:00 AEDT: Kookaburras v Canada
Thursday 3 December – tbc: Quarter final
Friday 4 December – tbc: Quarter final
Saturday 5 December – tbc: Semi final / 5-8 playoffs
Sunday 5 December – tbc: Semi final / 5-8 playoffs
Monday 7 December – tbc: Medal matches

Hockey Australia media release

Dashing British dash the hope of mighty Australians

K Arumugam

There was no Balmy Army to fanatically support from stands but each British player turned out to be a soldier himself in the Mother of Battles against traditional tormentor Australia to garner unexpected but deserving 5-2 verdict at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International Hockey Stadium in Raipur on Day 3. With a rare dash, the British team dashed the hopes of Australia topping the pool

The British win coming against their key players like Ashley Jackson and Barry Middleton, not in the line up, has literally lit up the new turf in the ongoing Hockey World League Finals.

Australia missed Chris Criello more than anybody in their line up.

Australia which almost struggled against Belgium – pity for them that two goals were negated on referral - but got away with a solitary goal win entered the field to salvage its prestige as the world’s number one team, but the British, who had a wonderful opener against Canada, seemed to have other ideas.

What turned the tide fro the British was the early goals, and the dash with which the team played. In fact, its not exaggeration if one states that the British did what Australians used to for others: A dashing game, physical assertiveness, quicker on the move, couple of new tricks to unleash in crucial matches.

Australia today showed how it lacks forwards who can fire and also PC expert who tilt the game. Agreed Chris Criello was rested, but it was, if today’s match is any indication, without a suitable replacement in place.

When in the ninth minute Hendry Weir struck an Australian reply was awaited, instead the strike band accelerated. Within four minutes, in a melee pierced the citadel guarded by Mark Knowles, Sam Ward taking the credit for increase the lead.

True to reputation, Australia replied through the first penalty corner it got (17th min, Jeremy Hayward). Ian Sion made it 3-1 off the very first penalty corner the British earned. It was quite a tit for tat. This was the turning point. Australians despite striking a goal in the 47th minute were contained by the British midfield. A couple of Jamie Dwyer’s shot agonising missed the target.

Eleven minutes before the whistle Phil Ropher added salt to the Australian wound.

Australia in fact got four of their six penalty corner when they were trailing 1-3, but inspired goalie Hary Gibson would not allow any damage.


Big day for Britain as it bests Australia

Uthra Ganesan

Great Britain turned the tables on Australia to register its biggest-ever win over the World champion in an official match with a 5-2 victory in the Hockey World League Finals here on Sunday.

Britain attacked from the beginning, took an early lead and then strangled the opposition with tight defence and quick counters.

The systematic dismantling of Australia was as much a shocker to its supporters as to the team itself.

This was also the first time Britain beat Australia by a margin of more than two goals and only sixth ever. Its last victory in an FIH tournament was way back in 1988, at the Seoul Olympics.

“I know it is big because I have played against them and we could never score so much,” coach Bobbby Crutchley admitted.

Britain went ahead in the ninth minute and doubled the lead four minutes later.

The aggression and speed took Australia by surprise but it tried to bounce back in the second quarter.

The Australians had their chances, though. They earned six penalty corners but could convert only one.

They also missed a few close chances despite attacking relentlessley. But on this day, GB defence stood firm.

In the other Pool A match, Belgium highlighted how vast the gap was between it and 14th-placed Canada with a 7-2 thrashing.

The Red Lions scored three goals in as many minutes in the first quarter, taking full advantage of Canada which was a man down, to be up 4-0 in the first 15 minutes.

After that, all the Belgians had to do was sit tight and control possession. Canada tried to fight back and even got a goal each in the second and third quarters.

But, Belgium was never under pressure, scoring a few more goals in the last quarter to wrap up the victory.

The results:

Pool A: Great Britain 5 (Henry Weir, Chris Grassick, Ian Sloan, David Condon, Phil Roper) bt Australia 2 (Jeremy Hayward, Matt Gohdes).

Belgium 7 (Florent van Aubel 2, Sebastien Dockier, Thomas Briels, Jerome Truyens, Arthur van Doren, Tom Boon) bt Canada 2 (Mark Pearson Devohn Noronha Teixeira).

The Hindu

Big first quarter leads Belgium past Canada at World League Final

Shaheed Devji

(Photo credit: Yan Huckendubler)

A four goal first quarter from Belgium was too much for Canada to overcome, resulting in 7-2 loss Sunday at the Hockey World League Final in Rajpur, India.

Canada’s second loss in as many games means it will have to win its last pool stage match and get some help in order to avoid finishing fourth in Pool A before heading to the quarterfinal.

After going down four goals early in the game, Canada was able to cut the lead in half by the third quarter. But the Belgians added to the lead with three goals in the final fifteen minutes to go on to victory.

“We started the game extremely tentatively,” says Canadian captain Scott Tupper. “And against a team that has as much firepower as they do, you’re going to find yourselves in holes. That was a learning experience for us.”

Canada started the game with possession but Belgium, the world’s seventh ranked team, quickly went on the offensive, scoring the game’s first goal in the ninth minute on a Sébastien Dockier deflection that got past Canadian keeper David Carter.

Dockier’s goal began a spell of conversions for the Belgians, in which they scored three goals in three minutes. Florent van Aubel, Thomas Briels, and Jérome Truyens scores in the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth minutes respectively and it was suddenly 4-0 Belgium.

Carter was forced to make a good reaction save before the quarter ended, turning away an attempt from Simon Gougnard.

In the second quarter, Canada had improved its defensive shape and began to chip away at the Belgian lead.

In the twenty-eighth minute, nice work in the Belgium area from Gordon Johnston resulted in the first of a string of penalty corners for Canada.

Johnston was stopped on two attempts, and the third – taken by Scott Tupper – was also turned away but the ball opened into the air and Mark Pearson was there with quick hands to knock it in for his Canada’s first of the match and his second of the tournament.

Pearson’s goal gave Canada momentum heading into the second half.

After Antoni Kindler – who came into the game on a planned subsitutiuon of David Carter to start the the third corner – made a sensational leg save off Tom Boon on a Belgium penalty stroke in the thirty-seventh minute, Canada went back on the attack.

Adam Froese created a turnover in the Canadian end, which started a fast break and after some wonderful ball movement through the midfield and an advantage played by the umpire, Pearson found Devohn Noronha-Teixeira who flicked the ball into the top corner to cut the lead to 4-2 in the forty-fourth minute.

“Once we started stringing passes together and playing a little bit more gritty on the backend, we started to get some good flow in the game, make some good sequences up field and get some scoring opportunities,” adds Tupper. “I think that’s why we were able to come and get ourselves back into the game.”

It looked as though Canada might be able to continue clawing away at the Belgians and tie the game, but in the fiftieth minute Belgium was given a penalty corner and much like Pearson did in the third quarter, Arthur van Doren quickly hit the ball out of mid-air and past Kindler to give Belgium the 5-2 lead.

They would add two more in the fifty-fourth and fifty-eighth minutes and go on to the 7-2 win.

“The positives are that we played two of the four quarters very well,” says Tupper, who is one of two players on the Canadian roster (the other being Mark Pearson) who has played in a Olympic Games.

“If we’re looking for a positive we can start there and hopefully we can build on that moving forward.”

Canada will now face its toughest test of pool play when it takes on World No. 1, Australia, on December 1 at 5:00am PT/8:00am ET.

If the Canadians, who currently sit in fourth in Pool A, stay where they are after that match, they will face the top finisher in Pool B in the quarterfinal on Wednesday or Thursday.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Belgium hammers a hapless Canada

Uthra Ganesan

Belgium and Canada are separated by seven ranking places but the Europeans highlighted how vast the gap was in their Pool A match of the Hockey World League Finals here on Sunday, thrashing Canada 7-2 for its first win in the tournament.

Dominating the game completely in the opening and closing quarters and playing at half intensity in the middle half hour, the Red Lions were all over hapless Canada.

Three goals in as many minutes in the first quarter, taking full advantage of Canada being a man down, Belgium was 4-0 up in the first 15 minutes.

Two of them were initiated by Alexander Hendrickx from the 25-yard line to the left and deflected into the goal by alert strikers inside the striking circle even as the Canadian defence was scattered away.

First, Sebastien Dockier took the ball to the left backline and scooped it, Florent van Aubel directing it in.

Then, Thomas Briels received the ball at the penalty spot and deflected it in past a spread-eagled Canadian goalkeeper.

A fifth goal off a penalty corner at the stroke of the first quarter was cancelled after referral.

With a 4-0 cushion, the Belgians knew all they had to do was sit tight and control possession, which they did perfectly.

Canada tried to fight back and even got a couple of goals, one each in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but Belgium was never under pressure.

It decided to get a few more goals in the last quarter to wrap up victory in style as van Aubel struck his second and the team’s seventh in the last two minutes.

The results:

Pool A: Belgium 7 (Florent van Aubel 2, Sebastien Dockier, Thomas Briels, Jerome Truyens, Arthur van Doren, Tom Boon) bt Canada 2 (Mark Pearson, Devohn Noronha Teixeira).

Pool B: The Netherlands 3 (Thierry Brinkman, Severiano van Ass, Roel Bovendeert) bt Argentina 2 (Gonzalo Peillat 2).

The Hindu

New-found confidence in the Indian team

Uthra Ganesan

Indian Hockey coach Roelant Oltmans. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

For more than an hour, every member of the Indian team tried to score during practice at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Stadium here on Sunday as coach Roelant Oltmans sought to make sure they were on target.

After two contrasting performances in as many games, it is anybody’s guess which Indian team would take the field against table-topper the Netherlands in its last league match of the Hockey World League Finals here on Monday.

The aggressive, attacking play that forced Germany on the backfoot would be what Oltmans would be hoping for; the defensive, lethargic bunch that let Argentina run riot is what the Dutch would want.

And the visitors made no bones about their preferences.

“The Indian team has changed a lot since I last played them. I think the Indian team is now playing with a lot more control, which I feel will actually be helpful to us because we find it difficult to plan for when they constantly attack a lot,” key forward Seve van Ass said.

That should give Sardar Singh & Co enough indications of what their plan should be.

Given the fact that all eight teams play the quarterfinals and the league games are only about deciding the line-ups, both teams are likely to make use of the last chance to sort out their concerns before the business end of the competition begins.

“Our aim is to score three goals in every match. So far we have scored only one in the tournament.

“I am pleased with our performance against Germany but the challenge is to maintain that level until the end of the tournament. The challenge for the next game is to score more goals,” Oltmans said.

The Dutch came here on the back of an impressive 6-1 victory against Germany in the European Championships final.

It has impressed with the expansive use of space, piercing runs through the opposition and accurate shots at goal.

It has most of its areas covered but like every team, there are certain chinks that India would do well to explore — most important being its defence during penalty corners, something Argentina capitalised on.

For India, a lot of concerns seemed to have evaporated overnight after the draw against Germany.

The attacks were sharper, the defence more robust and the midfield a strong link.

There is a new-found confidence in the team. Look deep, though, and the problems become visible.

Committing fouls in the dying minutes is something the team can do without.

This has become a trend — much like conceding last-minute goals in the past — and needs to be broken.

The left flank remains a concern and closing down the right would hurt the host.

For now, the confidence is what matters to the team.

The Hindu

Can India put it across the Dutch today at Raipur?

Indian fans hope of our national team will do better here in Raipur than how they started on Friday, is based on two happenings in short spell after Argentina drubbing. undefined Firstly, the unexpected clinical brand of hockey showcased by India against Olympic gold medallist Germany. Secondly, Raipur proving to be nemesis of established names what with British thumping down current world’s premier outfit Australia on Sunday.

After a lacklustre Argentina no show, India played a neat, flawless, controlled and patient hockey against Germany. It paid dividends.

What India has to do today against the Dutch is just to repeat the same: avoid unforced errors, show keenness with extreme alert, maintain character entire 60 minutes. Two yellow cards in the dying moments can spoil Indian party today. Its not panic but patience that is going to help India.

If British can do it against Australia why can’t we do the same to The Netherlands? Indian team and their think tanks must be hoping on the same lines.

Dutch are the defending champions. Dutch are very much high ranked teams than India. India lost most matches between them in the last 10, 20 or 30 contests. One can go on add adjectives like this and seek to surmise today’s outcome in a predictable fashion. Compartmentalization of this kind cannot stand scrutiny for the simple reason that ranks and history go haywire often: Australia’s struggle and GB’s ascendency are proof.

Netherlands just drew Germany; and buckled under sustained pressure when Argentina went blitzkrieg with penalty corners. It had to concede two PC goals after establishing a clear 3-0 lead early in the game. Gonslavo Peillat could do what he did to India thereafter.

Here lies the lesson for India: There is always time for fight back if attack will have verve. India’s strength is its PC experts in the form of Rupinder Pal Singh and VR Raghunath.

Its now upto the forwardline to supply PCs.

On the other hand, the Dutch will rely on usual flair. They have a flawless defence and impeccable goalkeeping. India has to catch on wings with speed. A bit of usual dodging upfront may do.

Our goalie Sreejesh needs upfront protection to avoid rebound strikes with which the Dutch are exponents. Indian worry may surround over the rawness of Talwinder Singh & Amir Khan, better use of Danish Mujtaba, inaccuracy and less accurate Ramandeep Singh.


India face stern test against the Netherlands

Sam Chakraborty

Sardar Singh's side is still looking to secure it's first win of the tournament. (Getty Images)

RAIPUR: Keen to maintain their form after an excellent show against Germany in the World League Finals on Saturday, a rejuvenated India is all set to lock horns with defending champions the Netherlands on Monday.

Looking to secure their first win of the tournament, Sardar Singh & Co underwent an hour's training session on a dry Sunday afternoon, as coach Roelant Oltmans and strategic coach Roger van Gent kept a watch.

With the hosts languishing at the bottom of group B after their first two matches, their encounter against the Dutch is crucial with the Netherlands coming off a 3-2 win over Argentina on Saturday, Robert van der Horst's team will look to carry forward their winning momentum against Oltmans' boys. India's Dutch coach, though, is well aware of the challenge at hand and wants his wards to focus one match at a time.

"Against Germany, we played a very good match. It was a great game. We should have scored two more at least but we have got to keep playing with that intensity. We just have to take it match by match," said OIltmans after the practice session.

With his strikers yet to hit peak form in front of goal, Oltmans believes his team should hit minimum three goals per match. "We have been training hard and have been trying a lot of things. I would want my team to score at least three goals every match. Hopefully tomorrow (Monday) they can do that against the Netherlands. Probably we have been saving a couple for the Dutch and hopefully they are not looking around," the coach added in a lighter vein.

Belgium trounce Canada

Jerome Truyens marked his 300th senior international appearance with a goal as Belgium's Red Lions surged to 7-2 victory over Pool A opponents Canada on Day 3 of the Hero Hockey World League Final.

Belgium were in sparkling form in the first quarter, powering in four fantastic goals through Sebastien Dockier, Florent van Aubel and Thomas Briels before Truyens - who was also named Man of the Match netted in his milestone game.

Great Britain stun Australia

World champions Australia were shocked 2-5 by Great Britain in high-scoring second round Pool A match of the HWL. The world no. 4 British side stunned Kookaburras by striking early when Henry Weir and Chris Grassick (13th) scored two field goals to race to a 2-0 lead at the end of first quarter.

The Times of India

Oltmans want consistency from India players

RAIPUR: Chief coach Roelant Oltmans feels it's high time India shed their perennial habit of playing "up and down" hockey and maintain a level of consistency to produce results in international tournaments.

India had a lacklustre outing in the 0-3 loss to Argentina in the lung opener of the ongoing Hockey World League (HWL) Final here before producing a superlative performance in their next game to hold Olympic champions Germany to a 1-1 draw at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium here yesterday.

"I am pleased with our performance against Germany but the big challenge is to maintain that level until the end of the tournament. We have seen in the past sometimes we play very well and sometimes our performance is below par. It's up and down," Oltmans said on the eve of India's last pool match against defending champions and world no.2 Netherlands tomorrow.

The Dutchman, who is also the High Performance Director of Indian hockey, said they need to convert their chances into goals more often.

"We are trying to be more focussed. Our aim is to score three goals in every match. So far we have scored only one in the tournament," Oltmans said.

"It is not right to pinpoint individual players. We are one team, we are scoring goals together. We created a number of opportunities yesterday. The challenge for the next game is to score more goals."

The coach also backed his defenders and lauded their performance against Germany.

"In the first game we did a couple of defensive errors but against Germany we absolutely had no defensive lapse," he said.

"Germany had only four shots at the goal in the whole match. If you play a team like Germany who are Olympic champions and you allow them only four shots at the goal and concede just one which means we defended very well."

In VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh and Jasjeet Singh Kular, India has three dragflickers in the squad but the hosts have managed to garner just two penalty corners in two matches, one each against Argentina and Germany.

Asked Oltmans whether it is a cause of concern, he replied in the negative.

"In top level you won't get too many penalty corners. Yesterday we had only one penalty corner and Germany had also only one. Of course you would like to have more penalty corners but defenders are really good now-a-days," he said.

In the last meeting between the two sides during the Champions Trophy in Bhuvneshwar last year, India defeated Netherlands 3-2 in pool stages, but Oltmans said it won't be easy for India tomorrow.

"I think Holland played very well in the second quarter. But they struggled in the last quarter. But I think Holland deserved to win the game (against Argentina). They are no.2 in the world so we will have a tough game tomorrow and there is no doubt about it," he said.

The Times of India

Stats Speak: Great Britain is on top in HWL, Belgium will be first to score century of goals

B.G.Joshi ( India) in Raipur

Highlights: 1-Belgium will be first team to score 100 goals in HWL, may be on Dec 1, 2015 vs. Great Britain.

2- On Nov 29, 2015 by virtue of 5-2 triumphs against arch rivals Australia (biggest ever win of Great Britain versus Australia), Great Britain became number -1 in HWL, combining results of both the seasons (HWL: 2012-14 World Cup season, 2014-15 Olympics season).Great Britain had lost only 2 matches in HWL, 1-3 to Argentina in Johor Bahru (2013) and 1-3 to Australia in Antwerp (2015).

3-In 2012-14 season of HWL: 15 venues, 53 teams, 181 matches, 1073 goals. In 2014-15 season of HWL (till Nov 29, 2015): 15 venues, 57 teams, 203 matches, 1098 goals

Hockey World League: How they fared









Success in %


in 2014


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Titbits here and there: Now you will get emails everyday

K Arumugam

German captain and HIL star Moritz Furste sustained a nasty knee injury in the match against Netherlands. When he was brought on stretcher, Argentina coach Carlos Retegui also joined the carriers. As it was passing through a narrow path between spectators and turf, some spectators clapped for Mortitz. Carlos waved them for more and got a vociferous applaud in return. Good sportsmanship from player turned coach.


As a novelty, two parallel lines of cracker-pots were fired for opening match (India-Argentina) o enter the field on short running. The teams entered cinematic fashion. That day VIPs Chief Minister and Governor and HI President were also taken similarly. The same spectacular entry was again provided for another set of teams-obviously involving India. In one of the stadiums in Delhi even putting victory dais is forebidden as it 'would spoil' the turf. Here, even clinkers fall and no damage is seen.

Germany’s new coach is Valentin Altenburg. He was till then junior Germany team coach, promoted to fill the gap created by sudden exit of Mark Weiss. Mark moved to costly assignment in football. When a journalist requested Valentin for email, and when he was obliging, Indian chief coach Roelant Oltmans smilingly alerted his German counterpart: Now you will get email everyday!

A small incident was blown up on the opening day. A cowboy was throwing stone at a cow smashing a glass of Argentina team that returned from the stadium after defeating India 0-3. It seems on return Argentina captain too tweeted about it. Director General of Police appeared on local television to say it was not stone pelting but only a freak incident. Meanwhile, a Pakistan fan posted on our website’s facebook page (Jai Ho Indian Hockey) below that match’s score card: Defeat India and get stoned.

Jamie Dwyer will not play this year Hockey India League. Surprised? He says he will talk to his buyers Uttar Pradesh Wizards on this and will inform them. It seems Olympic year tells on everybody. Incidentally, he was sold for less prize. Is he sulking?

Historically, Indian hardly any modern Canada team left the shores without Indian origin players in it. They use to be Goan or Punjabi in origin. This team in Raipur is no different. There are four Indian origin players in the Canada squad, two each from Punjab and Goa.

Andreas Spack guarded the cage against India on Saturday. He is almost seven feet tall, perhaps world’s tallest field hockey coach. When he stands inside cage, his helmet almost touches the top bar, a sight to be seen and believed. Unless one draws him out, goals cannot be struck.

There were too many obstacles for media on the opening day. VIP security further compounded the matter. All of a sudden blue-shirt wearing civil guards descend on the sidelines of turf, and did not even allow mixed media zone to function. It was against the original proposal of FIH and HI. They were also surprised. There was no provision for hot drinks in the run up days, but all things fell in line once the opening ceremony is over. Media room, though small functions well now.

Mrinal Choubey is the lone men’s star of Chhatisgarh State. He won silver at the SAF Games besides gold at the Hyderabad Jr Asia Cup. Obviously, he is sought after by local media. He pens a signature column and also appears a 30-min TV program daily.


Conquering rehab

Jeremy Hayward’s six month rehab journey to be fighting fit for World League

For many, becoming an elite athlete is the ultimate childhood dream, which became reality for 22 year-old Jeremy Hayward. Debuting for the Kookaburras in 2014, Jeremy had a whirlwind first year winning World Cup gold and Champions Trophy bronze medals, which were supplemented with his World Cup Junior Player of the Tournament award and nomination to the shortlist for the 2014 FIH Rising Star award.

Taking on the role of an elite athlete comes with its fair share of opportunities and challenges. One of those challenges being is athlete’s worst nightmare…injury.

In and out within six months, Jeremy opens up about his recent rehab journey, the ups and downs, mental and physical challenges and what he did to ensure he returned to full fitness in time for selection for the World League in Raipur.

Read his honest and inspiring account below.

Hockey Australia [HA]: What type of injury did you sustain?
Jeremy Hayward [JH]: I sustained a grade three stress fracture in my shin, which happened earlier this year, in May, at the Hobart International Series.

HA: Was it obvious straight away that something was wrong?
JH: Yes, I felt a strong aching pain that started in my ankle. At first I thought it was related to my shin splints, however, I played the second last match against New Zealand and woke up the next day in immense pain and I could barely walk.

HA: How long was your rehab journey?
JH: It was a long six month journey and although it may not seem long to some, as an athlete all you want to do is regain your strength and get back out there with your teammates. At first, I was put into a moonboot for five weeks with no running for a further seven weeks after it came off. I then started my six week rehab program which consisted of gym, running, swimming and cycling before I returned to training.

HA: What was your initial thought when the physiotherapist told you that you wouldn’t be playing for roughly six months?
JH: I remember initially thinking that a similar injury I sustained in 2014 [foot stress fracture] before the Commonwealth Games had happened again, then I started wondering if my body was able to handle playing at the top level. It was the ongoing support from my girlfriend, family and the team that reminded me that an injury shouldn’t be seen as the end of the world. This quickly turned my focus onto the bigger picture to achieve my childhood dream, to ensure I’m at my peak for Olympic selection.

HA: How hard is it to watch your teammates head off to tournaments knowing you couldn’t attend?
JH: It was one of the hardest parts of my rehab. I never like missing out on selection whether it’s for my country or my state. Missing the Australian Hockey League this year was hard. I missed out on playing back in my hometown in Darwin and playing with mates I grew up with. Watching the Kookaburras head off to the World League Semi Final earlier this year was extremely difficult; being on tour is honestly the best time.

HA: What were the mental and physical challenges of rehab?
JH: I’m going to be honest, the diet was the hardest part! I let myself go because I wasn’t able to run and thought I could then do nothing, which was not true. Halfway through my rehab and from the help of our support staff, I learnt that my diet was extremely important not only while you’re playing but also in the rehabilitation phase.

HA: What did you learn from this experience that other athletes could benefit from?
JH: Firstly, prevention. Try to stay fit in other ways rather than just sitting on the couch. I now swim and cycle to allow relief to my shins and to stay on top and manage my body better. Staying mentally fresh is also really important. My advice would be to give yourself something to think about other than hockey. I played a lot of golf during my rehab, allowing me to not get so caught up on my injury. Lastly, remember an injury isn’t the end of the world. Take your rehab seriously, put the hard work in and your body will reward you for it.

Hockey Australia media release

Dwyer: a role model for discipline and fair play

At 36, Jamie Dwyer can still give his much-younger teammates a run for their money.

Uthra Ganesan

He is the most capped and decorated Australian hockey player ever, one of the legends of the game and recognised worldwide as much for his skills as his incredible longevity. At 36, Jamie Dwyer can still give his much-younger teammates a run for their money and he admits it is a huge confidence booster when he matches up to his younger rivals.

It wasn’t a surprise when Dwyer scored the lone goal in his team’s win over Belgium in the Hockey World League (HWL) on Saturday, a goal that came from almost zero angle and could well be among the best in the tournament. “To be honest, I think it got a deflection from a Belgian stick but I am happy to score,” he said.

Such honesty is uncommon in modern competitive sports but then, Dwyer isn’t just another sportsperson. In a country obsessed with perfection and winning in sports, he is a role model for discipline and fair play.

His five Player of the Year awards are proof of his popularity in the hockey fraternity and the team is already wondering about a Dwyer-less Australia post Rio.

Former coach Ric Charlesworth may have been following the Australian model of ruthless change by bluntly telling him he was no longer needed, immediately after leading Australia to its second successive World Cup last year, but Dwyer was in no mood to call it quits.

“Had I gone to the Commonwealth Games (in Glasgow), I might have retired then. But I had a point to prove after I was dropped. I am glad Ric retired otherwise I wouldn’t have been playing here, a country I love coming to. I have scored 27 goals in 25 matches this year so I guess that answers him and everyone else on whether I should still be in the team or not. Hopefully I will continue to be in this form and be selected for Rio,” he said.

This would be Dwyer’s last visit to India in Australian colours, and perhaps the last ever as a player; he hasn’t yet decided on participating in the Hockey India League next year (he was bought by UP Wizards). “Only because of my age. I want to be fit for Rio, that’s the biggest dream for anyone,” Dwyer said.

At the same time, Dwyer is determined to enjoy his last days on the turf.

“I am hoping to enjoy the last 250 days playing for my country, get the most out of my body and treasure every minute of it. There is less responsibility being out of the leadership group so I am free to play my game,” he said.
A special tournament

HIL, though, remains special to the man. It brought him closer to India; a country he loves so much, he’s named his younger son Taj; and Dwyer insists the league has helped Indian hockey become what it is today.

“I had said four years ago that having HIL would help Indian hockey a lot and it has. India is now better than any anybody has seen in the last three years.

“Post retirement, I am looking forward to developing my business JDH, which is becoming pretty big around the world, here also. That will keep me coming to India,” he signed off.

The Hindu

'Taj' Will Continue to Connect Jamie Dwyer with India Post Hockey

Australian hockey legend Jamie Dwyer named his second son Taj, after he was impressed with the architectural beauty of the Taj Mahal during a visit in 2010

Jamie Dwyer (in front) has played 326 matches for Australia and scored more than 200 goals.

Raipur: Synonymous with Australian hockey with a mammoth 326 international games, the legendary Jamie Dwyer has a strong Indian connection too -- through his second son.

While representing Australia and playing in the Hockey India League later, Dwyer travelled across the length and breadth of India and on one such occasion he visited the Taj Mahal.

So impressed he was with the architectural beauty of the 17th century monument that Dwyer decided to name his second son 'Taj'.

"I like the name. He was born in the end of 2010 and in 2010 I was there in India for the World Cup which we won and the Commonwealth Games which too we won. During that time I visited the Taj Mahal and was fascinated by its beauty," Dwyer told PTI on the sidelines of the ongoing Hockey World League (HWL) Final.

"Taj in English means crown so I found it a cool name. He is a very cute little boy so for me he is Taj," he said about his second son, who will turn five on December 15 this year.

Dwyer is also a proud father of another son who was born earlier this year.

With 326 international appearances and more than 200 goals, the 36-year-old Dwyer is the most-capped Australian hockey player and a legend of the game.

"I think you have to keep challenging yourself, you have to keep improving. The game has changed so much since I started in 2001. It's a challenge to get along with the younger players and to maintain the team bonding," Dwyer said while talking about his longevity.

Even though he is in the last year of his international career, Dwyer is still going strong and is eyeing a record-equalling fourth Olympic campaign in Rio before bidding adieu to the game.

"It doesn't matter whether I am selected or not for the Olympics, I will quit the game this year. 100 per cent sure this will be my last Olympics. And if I am selected I wish to win another Olympic gold for Australia but if I am not selected I will quit the game instantly," Dwyer said.

By his own admission, India has a special place in Dwyer's heart and the Australian wants to end on a high in what would be his last international tournament on the Indian soil, the ongoing HWL Final.

"I have played quite a lot of hockey in India. I do really enjoy coming here. The crowds are amazing. But sadly this is the last time I would be wearing the green and gold in India but I still may come here for the Hockey India League. So I just want to make the most of the opportunity. This tournament is a good challenge against some really good teams," he said.

Talking about his plans post retirement, Dwyer says he will return to the game in another role but not immediately.

"I am going to do a lot of hockey coaching. I want to give as much as possible back to the game in Australia or anywhere else. But straight after retiring I am going to take some time off as I need to spend a lot of time with my family. I need to enjoy life outside hockey. But I will definitely come back at some stage and give something back to hockey," he signed off.

NDTV Sports

Police detain three in stone-pelting incident

Sam Chakraborty

RAIPUR: Three people have been arrested in connection with the stone throwing incident on the Argentina team bus on Friday, confirmed Raipur police on Sunday.

Argentina were on their way back to the hotel after their game against India when a stone struck the bus on the right side prompting a frenzy amongst the players and officials alike.

"Three people have been arrested from the spot in connection with the incident. They were in an intoxicated state and were trying to drive a buffalo away from the middle of the road. A stone was thrown by them and unfortunately it hit the bus carrying the Argentine players," confirmed IG GP Singh to TOI. He further added," The trio had no intention of causing trouble to the players and neither it was by design. However, we have beefed up the security of all the teams. In fact some of the routes too have been changed for some teams."

The Times of India

Aquece Rio Test Event – A Golden finale for Brazil and Barbados

Candela Diaz Bustos

The last day of the Aquece Rio de Janeiro event was played with a Carioca sun and a thermometer heat reaching 119 degrees (48,7 ºC).

The national team of Brazil won the championship in the men’s division scoring 2-2 (3-2) in a shoot outs definition, and the women’s national team of Barbados won the championship in a comfortable 3-0 victory over Peru.

In the games played to decide third and fourth place, the men’s national team of Trinidad and Tobago won the bronze award beating Mexico 3-1 in a very close game, and in the women’s group the national team of Paraguay pulled a historic 2-1 victory over Brazil. The scorers of the tournament were José Maldonado (CHI) and Keisha Boyce (BAR).

The outstanding performance and level of dedication and commitment of the teams participating in this four nation tournament have proven that the Pan American hockey is gaining presence in the international agenda.

All the teams stressed the importance of having had a chance to be a part of a tournament which demonstrated an elite and professional organization from the moment of their arrival to Rio de Janeiro and in the Deodoro Olympic Hockey Center. It was also noted that the work of the hundreds of volunteers and officials taking part in the Aquece Rio Test Event was outstanding.

A newsworthy event on the last day was the announcement of Chile's coach, Diego Amoroso, who after receiving the silver medal along with the national team, informed that this would be his last tournament as Head Coach of the Trans-Andean team.

All the teams that participated in the tournament received a recognition for their performance presented by high-ranking officials of the International Hockey Federation, Sue Catton, David Luckes and Martyn Gallivan and the President of Field Hockey Confederation of Brazil, Sydnei Rocha.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

USWNT Opens Series Against Japan with Three Prized First Caps and a Victory

LANCASTER, Pa. - The U.S. Women's National Team began their four-match capped series against Japan with a 3-0 win under the Dome Arena at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County, Pa. This is Team USA's final set of matches in 2015 as the squad looks to end how they started the year - strong.

"For us, we've been doing a lot of work in our training following the Great Britain tour and there are some specific areas we're working on," said USWNT Head Coach Craig Parnham. "The objectives for this week are to continue to practice those in a competitive environment. Japan is a fine team and it will be a challenge for us to keep converting on opportunities, but that's the work for us."

Taking to the turf against FIH 10th ranked competitor Japan, Team USA sprinted off of the midfield line unified with speed. Action continued to run from end line to end line as both teams settled into the match. Japan was quick to redirect the flow of the match by charging into their attack circle first. USA defense cleared dangerous play from the goalmouth. Japan threatened to change the score again with a breakaway into their attack circle with no luck. The second quarter began with USA goalkeeper Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.) diving on the ground with an extended stick to deny Japan's quick shot. Remaining in their defensive end, Ali McEvoy (Gilbertsville, Pa.) guided Japan's offense into USA goalkeeper Widdall's pads for another big save. Widdall was tested with a third straight run when a Japan attacker charged toward the cage. Despite the effort, the opportunity was cut short. The halftime report concluded with a score of USA 0, Japan 0.

Opening the final 30 minutes of play with quick front-foot attack, USA moved into their offensive end where a goalmouth scramble occurred allowing Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) to fire off a shot that didn't translate onto the scoreboard, but rather Team USA's first penalty corner. A direct drive from the top of the circle was rebounded by Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) who slid the ball over the goal line to change the score to USA 1, Japan 0 in the 38th minute. In the 42nd minute, Kat Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) earned another penalty corner for the red, white and blue but Lauren Crandall's (Doylestown, Pa.) shot was denied by Japan's keeper. Play remained in USA's attack circle at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter where USA offense kept possession. Vittese stole the ball from Japan's defense to redirect action into the cage from the stroke line, making a new score of USA 2, Japan 0. In the 50th minute, Witmer drew a penalty corner for Team USA. Forward Michelle Kasold's (Chapel Hill, N.C.) sharp strike hit the Japan keeper's pads and popped into the goal to create a score of USA 3, Japan 0. Momentum stayed in USA's favor until the game clock signaled a full 60 minutes of play. Team USA secured a 3-0 victory.

Another high point to today's match included USA athletes Marie Elena Bolles (Phoenixville, Pa.), Loren Shealy (Charlotte, N.C.) and Ali Froede (Burke, Va.) who celebrated a landmark achievement by earning their first international caps.

USA vs Japan Game Schedule:

Monday, November 30 USA vs Japan, 7:00 p.m. EST – Sold Out
Wednesday, December 2 USA vs Japan, 7:00 p.m. EST
Thursday, December 3 USA vs Japan, 7:00 p.m. EST

*** Click here to stream this series and watch USA play live! ***

USFHA media release

Brooklands battle to another win

Brooklands MU captain Peter Flanagan celebrates, Credit Mark Henderson

Brooklands Manchester University go into the Christmas break on a high after coming from behind to take a 3-2 win over Hampstead and Westminster in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.

Neil Hamilton gave Hampstead the lead on eight minutes with a penalty stroke. Peter Flanagan levelled the scores eight minutes later but Hampstead once again took the lead with a goal from Matt Botha.

However, a double from Sam Perrin in the second half made it 3-2 to Brooklands who move to within two points of a play-off berth.

The day’s other game between Reading and Wimbledon looked to be heading for low-scoring conclusion after a single Peter Kelly goal separated the two sides at the break.

But the second half exploded into life and the game ended 5-3 to Reading with Ben Boon and Tom Carson both scoring twice for Reading. James Jewell, Johnny Kinder and Steve Ebbers all scored for Wimbledon.

There were three top flight games on the Saturday with leaders Holcombe among the teams in action.

They still lead the table on goal difference but needed a late winner to beat Cannock. Ashley Jackson put Holcombe ahead before Peter Jackson replied for Cannock.

James Stedman then put Holcombe in the lead but the scores were squared again when Arjan Drayton Chana struck with five minutes remaining. But Barry Middleton had the last say, firing home in the 68th minute.

A Matt Daly double helped Surbiton to a 4-3 win over Beeston with Dave Beckett and Rupert Shipperley scoring their other goals. Mark Gleghorne hit a brace for Beeston in reply and Stuart Pilgrim was also on target.

In Saturday’s other game, Canterbury drew 2-2 with East Grinstead. Craig Boyne scored both of Canterbury’s goals with Sam Driver and Dom Bowden replying for East Grinstead.

Conference West

Guildford pulled off a shock result in the Conference West by inflicting Cardiff and Met’s first defeat of the season.

Luke Saunders had given Guildford the lead after 32 minutes but a goal from James Kyriakdes had levelled the scores. But with two minutes remaining, James Ferguson scored the winner to take Guildford’s third win of the campaign.

Team Bath Buccaneers took full advantage of Cardiff’s slip-up by moving into second place with a 4-2 win over Cheltenham. They are now four points behind the leaders.

Fareham’s game against the University of Exeter and Chichester Priory Park’s match at home to the University of Birmingham both finished 2-2. Isca took a narrow 1-0 win over Indian Gymkhana.

Conference East

It was top against bottom in the Conference East as winless Harleston Magpies hosted leaders Richmond.

There looked to be only one winner in the game but Harleston pulled off a fantastic upset, winning 2-0 with goals from Ben Wright and Archie Winter.

Southgate are now only two points behind Richmond after beating Bromley and Beckenham 2-1 on Saturday.

Cambridge City have moved up to third with a 3-2 defeat of Sevenoaks and Brighton and Hove were 3-0 winners against Oxted. West Herts came from 3-1 down to draw 4-4 with Teddington.

Conference North

Loughborough Students remain top of the Conference North after beating Sheffield Hallam 3-1. James Legg had given Hallam the lead at the break but a brace from Ed Horler and a third from Matt Leigh same them come from behind to win.

Lichfield are finding points hard to come by but they almost picked one up against Deeside Ramblers. The two sides were drawing 2-2 until the 65th minute when Ed Peel struck to give Deeside the points.

Wakefield beat Olton and West Warwicks 4-2 and Preston were 2-1 winners against Bowdon. Doncaster beat the University of Durham 2-1.

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 28 2015):

Men's Premier Division: Surbiton 4, Beeston 3; Canterbury 2, East Grinstead 2; Cannock 2, Holcombe 3.

Men's Conference East: Bromley and Beckenham 1, Southgate 2.

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, November 29 2015):

Men's Premier Division: Brooklands Manchester University 3, Hampstead and Westminster 2; Reading 5, Wimbledon 3.

Men's Conference West: Isca 1, Indian Gymkhana 0; Team Bath Buccaneers 4, Cheltenham 2; Fareham 2, University of Exeter 2; Chichester Priory Park 2, University of Birmingham 2; Guildford 2, Cardiff and Met 1.

Men's Conference North: Sheffield Hallam 1, Loughborough Students 3; Lichfield 2, Deeside Ramblers 3; Preston 2, Bowdon 1; Wakefield 4, Olton and West Warwicks 2; Doncaster 1, University of Durham 2.

Men's Conference East: Oxted 0, Brighton and Hove 3; Cambridge City 3, Sevenoaks 2; Harleston Magpies 2, Richmond 0; West Herts 4, Teddington 4.

England Hockey Board Media release

Pahang remain modest of Razak Cup chances

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Pahang, runners-up to Perak in last year’s Razak Cup, have retained 12 players from the team for this year’s tournament which begins at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Monday.

Despite having the bulk of last year’s team, Pahang are not too confident of going the distance in their Division One campaign, as they lack training time together.

“Yes, we have many of the players who finished second last year, but I have not been able to get them all together for training,” lamented Pahang coach Izwan Suhardi.

“Still we’ll try and do the best we can and finish as high as we can.

“The initial target is to retain our place in Division One ... then aim for the semi-finals. Anything more will be a bonus.”

Pahang have one national player in Mohd Hafiz Zainol and five former internationals – Ismail Abu, Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin, Mohd Sallehin Ghani, Robert Alcantara and goalkeeper Mohd Khairulnizam Ibrahim.

“We have a good mix of young and old players. There are six state Under-21 players too. We’re hoping to develop our players for the long term as well,” said Izwan.

The six are Mohd Syahril Naim, Mohd Zul Husni, Mohd Izuan Azhar, Absyraaf Ilham Abdullah, Mohd Azrul Hariez and Mohd Husaini Husin.

Pahang will start their Division One campaign against Negri Sembilan on Monday.

“We’re looking for a winning start, although I know the competition this year will be closer and tougher. We’ll be cautious ... the opening match is always a difficult one,” said Izwan.

Pahang are in Group B with Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Johor. Group A has defending champions Perak, Malacca, Penang and Terengganu.

Perak, who won the last two editions, will start their campaign against Penang.

The Division One champions will receive RM10,000, runners-up RM7,000 and third-placed team RM5,000.

For Division Two, the breakdown is: champions RM5,000, runners-up RM3,000, and third place RM2,000.

The Star of Malaysia

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