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News for 24 May 2016

All the news for Tuesday 24 May 2016

Chile comes back against Mexico to secure first place in pool

Chile takes game over Mexico 3-2 after falling behind early in the match

Kaelan Watson

Photo: Yan Huckendubler

Day three started off as a scorcher in Canadian standards at twenty-five degrees Celsius. The blazing sun forced the pitch to dry quickly creating a sticky surface for the remaining pool play games. Today’s results were significant in determining the match ups for the quarter finals. In Pool A: Trinidad faced the Americans to secure the second place spot. In Pool B: Canada and Guyana competed for third while Mexico and Chile found themselves fighting head-to-head for the optimal first place position. The stakes were high in all games which made for an exciting day of hockey.

Argentina faced Puerto Rico in a very spirited match in the first game of the day. Argentina popped in their first goal in the fourth minute of the game and maintained a continuous steam of attack for the remainder of the match. They built the majority of their goal scoring opportunities by exploiting the baseline and searching for an open shot at close range. After Argentina’s eleventh goal in the twenty-third minute, Puerto Rico subbed in goalkeeper Elvin Sanchez for starting goalkeeper Marco Sanchez to get a fresh defensive approach for the remainder of the game. Puerto Rico never let Argentina off the hook and pressured them with vigor through to the seventieth minute.  Argentina honoured Puerto Rico’s efforts by staying true to their game plan and playing at full speed throughout the entire game.

Game number two had Trinidad and Tobago battling team USA to land the second seat of Pool A. Both teams came out with incredible focus and speed from the get-go. Trinidad took control of the play early on and earned themselves a corner in the sixth minute. Teague Marcano pulled off a maneurver of unbelievable athleticism when he collected the rebound off the initial shot and hammered the ball from head height into the net. The pace of the game immediately intensified following T & T’s goal as both teams were eager to demonstrate their dominance in the match. With equal attacking opportunities it would be Trinidad that would make the most of their chances by scoring a second corner goal in the thirty-first minute. USA’s played to their frustration and defender Casey Walker was awarded the first green card of the match resulting in another penalty corner for Trinidad. With many rebounds up for grabs, the ball eventually found its way onto a Trinidadian foot and the half came to a close at 2-0 in favour of the Caribbean competitors.  Half two picked up exactly where the first left off: with both teams came out hot, looking to create goal-scoring opportunities. USA’s hard work finally paid off when they were awarded a corner early in the second half. The USA released their standard drag flick to the stick of Stuart Kentwell who executed a textbook deflection into to the top far corner. Trinidad, unimpressed by USA’s attempted comeback, made their commitment to winning clear by scoring a critical goal that regained them a two goal advantage. Trinidad quickly netted a fourth goal when a very composed Jarryon Paul found himself in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Nate O’Lari and placed the ball into a low corner with precision. Both teams found themselves in strong attacking positions and it was once again Trinidad and Tobago that took advantage of their opening and potted one final goal in the sixty-third minute causing for a 5-1 final score against the USA. Trinidad’s undiminishing speed was likely the strongest contributor to their win. They remained one step ahead of the perpetually fit Americans and skillfully took advantage of critical opportunities. 

The third game between the Mexico and Chile was a head-to-head playoff match for first place in Pool B. Mexico opened up the scoring with a sweep hit deflection claiming the top shelf of Chile’s net. The two teams politely took turns earning penalty corners only to be hampered by the defence each time. Chile progressively became more dominant and more desperate for the score clock to reflect their work rate, but consistent with their previous games, Mexico’s defense was nearly impenetrable. Chile finally found their first goal via Kay Gesswein sneaking the ball past goaltender Hernandez as they collided in an attempt to take claim of the ball. Confidence began to emanated off Chile and carried them into earning a second goal from a defensive breakdown by the Mexicans, and eventually a third off a penalty corner. Mexico shifted gears and put the focus on their attackers who earned them a penalty corner in the sixty-first minute. They looked to Maximiliano Mendez to capitalize on their opportunity and he responded by firing off an expertly placed flick to the top corner. With only nine minutes to go, Mexico sustained pressure on the Chilean defense but were unable to take back the lead they held early in the game. The final scored ended up as 3-2 for Chile. Both teams exhibited a remarkable desire to win. That in combination with the continuous transfer of control between the two teams made for an incredibly exciting match.

The final game of the day saw Canada fight for third place in Pool B against Guyana. The game could only be considered lackadaisical when compared to the other matches of day three. Canada held the majority of the game in Guyana’s defensive end. They managed to sink three penalty corner goals in the first eighteen minutes of the game. Guyana, showing a promising performance in their first two matches, came out a bit flat in this particular match. Canada was allowed easy access into the Guyanese circle, and following a miscommunication, Canadian Kabi Aujla fired off a sneaky shot that landed them their fourth goal going into the half. Both teams were slow out of the gate again for the second half. Canada’s fifth goal was scored on a fast break by Shahbaaz Dhaliwal blowing past everyone else on the pitch and pushing the ball past the Guyanese keeper. They gained a sixth goal shortly after by way of penalty corner. Guyana’s Aroydy Brandford finding himself in a breakaway situation charged full steam down the pitch and was met near the 25 yard line by Canada’s keeper; Cameron Bonney. Brandford was flattened by a diving tackle from Bonney and the ball found its way off the end line. Guyana was looking for a call from the umpire but unfortunately one never came. Canada eventually found the net a seventh time with a shot from the baseline that squeaked past the Guyanese goalkeeper. Canada’s eighth goal was the final nail in the coffin making for an 8-0 final score and landing Canada the third place slot in their pool. 

The quarter final games will take place on Wednesday, May 25th. Argentina will face Guyana first, followed by Mexico versus USA. T&T will go up against Canada in the third match of the day and Chile will play Puerto Rico in the closing match.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Canada powers past Guyana in final pool match at Junior Men’s Pan Ams

Shaheed Devji

PHOTO: Canada’s Johnny Gill take a dragflick against Guyana May 23 at the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship in Toronto (Photo: Yan Huckendubler)

After two close games which ended in losses, Canada’s Under-21 men picked up their first win of the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship, 8-0 against Guyana, Monday in Toronto.

Heading into the match, Canada and Guyana were both winless, meaning the winner of Monday’s tilt would end up in third place in Pool B and face Pool A’s second place finisher Trinidad and Tobago in Wednesday’s quarterfinal (12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET).

Canadian captain Brandon Pereira picked up two goals, both on penalty corners, in a match which saw four of Canada’s seven goals come from the set piece. Forward Kabir Aujla also scored twice.

Johnny Gill, Amrit Sidhu, Shahbaaz Dhaliwal, and Thomson Harris rounded out Canada’s scoring.

Canada began with a chance to score early, when in the 4th minute Balraj Panesar walked his way to the top of the circle and quickly hit a ball just wide right of the goal.

In the 10th minute, Canada was given its first corner of the match and Gill’s dragflick was blocked by a Guyanaise foot. The ensuing re-do resulted in the game’s first goal when Pereira put a flick by keeper Medroy Scotland.

That began an onslaught of Canadian possession and corners and Canada added another two goals – both from corners – coming off the sticks of Gills and Sidhu.

The Canadians controlled the game from start to finish, only giving up two scoring opportunities Guyana.

The first came in the 46th minute, but Canada’s goalkeeper Cameron Bonney – making his first start of the competition after coming in for the second half against Chile in Canada’s second game – was not forced to make a save as lead-runner Harris blocked the attempt.

The ball went the other way on the counter attack and Dhaliwal converted off the rush to put Canada up 5-0.

Bonney made a save on a deflection in the 56th minute, when the game was securely in Canada’s hands.

The win sets up Wednesday’s quarterfinal match against Trindad and Tobago, which finished second in Pool A with two wins and one loss in three pool matches.

Canada’s quarterfinal match against Trinidad and Tobago is at 12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET on Wednesday and can be watched live online here.

Field Hockey Canada media release

U-21 hockeymen spank USA 5-1 for second spot

Nigel Simon

T&T’s Tariq Marcano, left, heads for goal chased by USA captain Sean Cicchi in their Pool A 2016 Junior Pan American Hockey Championship match at the University of Toronto, Canada, yesterday. T&T won 5-1. Photo Courtesy: PanAmhockey.org

The Marcano brothers, Tariq and Teague combined for three goals as T&T national Under-21 team spanked USA 5-1 in their final Pool A round-robin match at the 2016 Junior Pan American Hockey Championship, yesterday.

Going into the clash at the University of Toronto, Canada, both T&T and USA had three points from two matches in the battle for the runner-up spot in the pool.

However, the Darren Cowie-coached junior “Calypso Stickmen” needed only a draw to claim second spot ahead of the quarterfinals as they had a superior goal-difference of plus-nine to the USA’s minus-one.

And buoyed by its 14-0 mauling of cellar-placed Puerto Rico on Saturday, T&T started brightly and pinned the Americans back in their corner with Teague eventually volleying home the opener past goalkeeper Nathaniel O’Lari in the sixth minute after a shot by Jordan Reynos from a penalty-corner was deflected into his path.

Led by goalkeeper and captain Kwasi Emmanuel, T&T continued to dominate and was rewarded with a second goal four minutes before the half-time whistle by England-based Tariq. Three minutes into the second-half, USA cut the deficit in half through Stuart Kentwell’s penalty-corner which beat goalkeeper Emmanuel and a defender on the first post.

The Americans then had a golden chance to draw level at 2-2 when Amandeep Khokhar found himself in a one-on-one situation with Emmanuel, but he scooped his effort over the crossbar.

Jordan Vieira made USA pay for its missed chance when he fired past O’Lari from an acute angle for a 3-1 cushion in the 43rd minute, followed five minutes later by a powerful effort from Jarryon Paul to make it 4-1. The older of the Marcano-brothers, Tariq, then put the result out of USA’s reach with a clinical finish in the 63rd minute.

With the victory, its second on the trot after a 5-0 loss to Argentina, T&T ended round-robin pool play with six points, three behind the Argentines, ten-time reigning champions, who finished with maximum nine points following its 21-0 thumping of Puerto Rico.

Tomorrow in the quarterfinals from 3 pm, T&T will come up against Canada, who stopped Guyana 8-0 in their last Group B encounter last evening. In the first quarterfinal from 10 am, Argentina meets Guyana match while the Pool B runner-up, Mexico faces USA, followed by Pool B winner, Chile tackling Puerto Rico.

Following tomorrow’s quarterfinals the winners will contest the main draw semifinals on Friday, while the losers semifinals will also take place ahead of Saturday’s playoffs for positions three through eight.

The winner of the Pan Am final will qualify for the Junior World Cup to be held in India, in December.

T&T has a best ever finish of fifth spot four years ago in Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as in 1985 in Orlando, Florida. T&T placed sixth in Barbados (1996) and Chile (1981), seventh on home soil in 2008 and 2000 in Santiago, Chile, and eighth in 2005 in Havana, Cuba.

Pool A standings:
Teams    P    W    D    L    F    A    Pts
Argentina    3    3    0    0    35    0    9
T&T    3    2    0    1    19    6    6
USA    3    1    0    2    9    14    3
Puerto Rico    3    0    0    3    0    43    0
Yesterday results:
Pool A:
Argentina 21 vs Puerto Rico 0
T&T 5 (Teague Marcano 6th, Tariq Marcano 31st, 63rd, Jordan Vieira 43rd, Jarryon Paul 48th) vs USA 1 (Stuart Kentwell 38th)
Pool B:
Mexico 2 vs Chile 3
Canada 8 vs Guyana 0

Remaining schedule:
Tomorrow: Quarterfinals
Friday: Winners & Losers Semifinals
Saturday: Final Day playoffs

The Trinidad Guardian

Pool Play Concludes for U-21 USMNT at Jr. Pan Am Championship

Photo Courtesy of PAHF

TORONTO, Canada - May 23, 2016 - The U.S. U-21 Men's National Team concluded pool play at the Junior Men's Pan American Championship with a 5-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago. The U-21 USMNT will be back on the pitch Wednesday, May 25 for quarterfinal play.

On the hottest day of the tournament so far, Team USA came out looking to bounce back from a tough loss to world number six Argentina in their previous game. Ultimately, however, the island nation would come out on top 5-1 after taking full advantage of some defensive lapses.

Early in the game, Keeling Pilaro (Southhampton, N.Y.) and Nick Richardson (Kents Hill, Maine) probed forward from the back but couldn’t help the U-21 USMNT forwards find a breakthrough. Trinidad & Tobago got on the scoreboard first in the 6th minute of play from a penalty corner breakdown. Play continued to go back and forth until the 31st minute when Trinidad & Tobago scored their second goal of the game on a flick off a penalty corner.

Team USA didn't let up the pressure in the game and after regrouping at halftime came out strong in the second half. Their pressure created a penalty corner and on  that opportunity Stuart Kentwell (Spring City, Pa.) deflected in a ball from Ruben van Dam (Valkenswaard, The Netherlands). The U-21 USMNT saw their chance and came within inches of an equalizer after Amar Khokar (Valencia, Calif.) broke clean through the defensive but was unable to apply the finish. Shortly after, with constant USA pressure, Trinidad & Tobago stretched their lead by the finding the backboard again in the 43rd minute to make the score USA 1, TTO 3. Eager to close the scoring gap, Team USA started threatening forward but the push left gaps defensively. Van Dam made countless interceptions but couldn’t stop every Trinidad & Tobago counter attack. Trinidad & Tobago would add two more goals in the final 20 minutes of play extending the lead and making the final score USA 1, TTO 5.

“I must be honest, I’m disappointed in both the results and performance but we have another chance," said Rutger Wiese, U-21 USMNT Head Coach. "We have a quarterfinal coming up on Wednesday and we will prepare for that physically, prepare mentally, and we will go again looking for a spot in the semifinal.”

The next game for the U.S. U-21 Men's National Team at the Junior Men's Pan Am Championships will be on Wednesday, May 25 in the quarterfinals. Stream the game live here by clicking here.

USFHA media release

Stu-uuuuning Varsity Sports SA Hockey final sees UJ retain title


A packed house bore witness to phenomenal Varsity Sports SA Hockey Final between defending champions University of Johannesburg and University of Pretoria Tuks here Monday night and the scoreline read 4-2 to the home side after an incredible 60 minutes’ hockey.

Tuks led 1-0 at half-time, the decisive first-half goal coming from the supremely talented Tuks front-man Richard Pautz in the 20th minute. UJ striker Ryan Crowe crafted a superb equaliser in the 39th minute after excellent combination play.

Both teams took the game to their opponents from the outset but defences held firm

The first real chance came in the eighth minute when Richard Pautz set Khumo Mokale free but the backhand shot flew into the side-netting.

Play raced to the other end and Ryan Crow let loose with a screamer that Tuks keeper Estiaan Kriek saved with understated comfort.

UJ skipper Gareth Heyns cut out a dangerous Tuks attack initiated by Kewan Harries and carried on through Grant Glutz and Stephen Cant before UJ attacking half-back Le-Neal Jackson fired a diagonal cross from right to left into the strike zone and Brynn Cleak’s outstretched stick got the touch but Kriek pulled off a magnificent save.

Then it was Stephen Cant at the other end who watched in disbelief as his backhand bullet flashed past the far post.

All this in the first 12 minutes! A massive crowd had built up and the atmosphere was electricity personified!

Sustained UJ pressure in which Amkelwa Letuka and Kingsley Botes played a part saw the latter earn a penalty corner, the first of the match, from umpire Peter Wright and the crowd gasped in disbelief as Kriek pulled off a stupendous save from UJ weapon Gareth Heyns’ blinding drag-flick.

In the fifth minute of the second chukka - and the pumped-up Tuks supporters exploded with delight when Richard Pautz netted a screamer off the backhand for a wonderful opening goal (Tuks 1 UJ 0).

UJ pressed forward in search of the equaliser and Kriek effected another superb save – and then another – as James Gilbert and Co. piled on the heat.

Kriek was simply brilliant in the first half of non-stop action – as he was in Tuks’ edging the maroon-shirted Maties army 1-0 (Stephen Cant wonder goal) in the semis last Monday in Stellenbosch.

UJ of course fought back in the stunning second semi-final to pull the match out of the fire against out-and-out underdogs Wits University 3-1 on penalty shootout after the scores were locked 4-4 at full-time.

Changing ends at 1-0 to Tuks it was UJ who had a lot to do but head coach Garreth Ewing and assistant coach Lance Louw had a quiet word with their men and this promised a fightback of note come the re-start.

Tuks mentor Guy Elliot was also busy talking through the ups and downs of the first 30 minutes and all signs pointed to an explosive second 30 minutes in this tussle for Varsity Sports SA Hockey supremacy.

Play swung from strike zone to strike zone with remarkable speed in the third chukka and both sides had great chances to trouble the scorekeepers – particularly UJ – but the final pass or that man Kriek prevented any thought of further joy for the respective fan clubs.

But with UJ making increasing inroads down the left flank and Gerald Mpopo, Amkelwa Letuka prominent it was no real surprise when the mercurial Ryan Crowe conjured up a world-class equaliser – this in the 39th minute (1-1).

It appeared that the 1-1 score set Tuks into reverse gear as UJ poured forward relentlessly and once again it was keeper Kriek who stopped the home team when he stopped a Nicolas Rowe effort.

Amkelwa Letuka drew oooohs and aaahs from the UJ fans soon after but the score remained unchanged.

Tuks were not done yet and Tim Halle came close to levelling matters in this absolutely frenetic contest before the teams went into the huddle at the three-minute break ahead of what promised to be a gripping fourth and final 15 minutes.

With 12 minutes left the on-fire Crowe smashed a rising backhand blast but Kriek was on hand to repel the threat. Seconds later outstanding midfielder Taylor Dart worked his brand of magic with stick and ball to win a PC that had multiple Olympic Games and Hockey World Cup umpire John Wright in no doubt.

The initial PC attempt was butchered but UJ reacted quickly and Heyns fired high into the net for the home fans to go wild as their boys went 2-1 up.

With 11 minutes on the clock Le-Neal Jackson broke away but was brought down by Tuks’ shot-stopper Kriek and John Wright had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.

Kriek was banished to the sin-bin and a Tuks field player was subbed in order for the Pretoria lads’ second keeper Keagan du Preez to face the penalty but UK skipper Heyns was unerring in both power and accuracy as his flick ballooned the net to take the reigning champs into a 3-1 lead with just nine minutes to the final hooter.

The emotions took on another high in the 54th when Tuks appealed to earn a PC and Glutz fired a turf-burner to keeper Martins’ left that deflected high into the net (UJ 3 Tuks 2).

Tuks came straight back to earn a PC soon after the re-start, but UJ first wave Jackson streaked off the goalline at astonishing pace to run down the PC flick, carried the ball on and combined with the Player of the 2016 Varsity Sports Hockey Tournament, Taylor Dart, before getting the ball back to fire a shot that Du Preez saved but Tyson Dlungwana, following up beautifully from right half, slid the rebound into the net for the 4-2 final score

UJ, packed with outstanding youngsters - the likes of Dlungwana, Courtney Halle, Amkelwa Letuka and friends - in just their first year at Varsity, have a great future while for Tuks, who lose a host of senior players, it’s back into the re-building phase ahead of the next edition of this classic men’s tournament.


UJ lift themselves to pick up second successive title

By Ken Borland

The University of Johannesburg lifted themselves up from a tough first half to claim their second successive Varsity Hockey men’s title as they beat the University of Pretoria Tuks 4-2 in a thrilling final at their home astroturf in Westdene.

Tuks were outstanding as they gave the defending champions a real run for their money and they led for the first 39 minutes through a fine goal by the prolific Richard Pautz. But UJ equalised through Ryan Crowe, one of the best players of the tournament, and the hosts picked up three more goals in the final quarter to seal victory.

But the result was still in the balance in the final minute as Tuks cut the lead to 2-3 through Grant Glutz and they then earned a short-corner, which was charged down and then resulted in a goal at the other end to complete one of the best finals seen in local hockey in recent years.

Tuks took their chances better in the first half and scored after 20 minutes through Pautz, who went on a weaving run and then beat UJ goalkeeper Matthew Martin at his near post with a powerful reverse-sticks strike for a top-grade goal.

UJ had numerous chances but at times seemed too intent on forcing short-corners, and they were also stymied by a superb display of goalkeeping by Tuks number one Hendrik Kriek.

A couple of saves by Kriek in the 12th and 14th minutes and a double-save in the 21st minute were top-drawer and UJ would have gone into halftime knowing they had to be more clinical in the Tuks circle.

The introduction of the powerplay by Tuks two minutes into the second half meant the focus of UJ was initially on defence, but four minutes later they wasted their most obvious chance of the match as they created a two-on-one with the goalkeeper but the excellent scrambling and reflexes of Kriek saw him save Brynn Cleak’s shot.

But three minutes later, the combined efforts of Cleak and Amkelwa Letuka were enough to set up Crowe in the middle of the circle and he finally managed to beat Kriek.

The end of the third quarter came with Glutz flicking wide from a short-corner and the tension levels of the large crowd reached feverish levels as the final went into the last 15 minutes at 1-1.

Like all champion sides, this was when the composure and class of UJ shone through.

The powerplay did not bring reward either for the hosts, but the heroics of Kriek did keep a high reverse-sticks strike by Crowe out in the 48th minute, shortly after it ended.

The deadlock was broken just a minute later though when Taylor Dart, named the player of the tournament, won a short-corner. UJ kept their composure well when the set-piece initially went awry, and Dart passed the ball back to Gareth Heyns, the captain, and he powered a flick into the top left corner of the goal.

The defending champions took a firm grip on the title in the 51st minute when the umpire, John Wright, officiating alongside his brother Peter, awarded the home side a penalty stroke as the tide suddenly turned against Kriek.

The Tuks hero felled Le-Neal Jackson after his great run into the circle, leaving the umpire with little choice but to point to the spot and give the goalkeeper a yellow card. Heyns duly flicked past Keagan du Preez, the substitute goalkeeper, and UJ had control of the game with a 3-1 lead.

But the result was once again put in doubt just three minutes later – setting up a delicious finale – when Stephen Cant’s fine run earned Tuks a short-corner. Cleak cleared nicely off the line off Glutz, but Tuks then won another short corner and this time Glutz succeeded with his low flick. Martins will perhaps feel he could have done better with the shot, that went between his legs.

Tuks then earned another short-corner in the final minute, Glutz showing his tremendous skill to the joy of his team-mates and the Pretoria students’ supporters.

But that soon turned to awful dismay as Jackson roared up as first wave and charged down the shot, running most of the length of the field before finding Cleak on the baseline. The Namibia-born 23-year-old passed back to Jackson, but his shot was kept out by Du Preez. But the rebound fell to Tyson Dlungwana, who buried it in the goal.

Tuks, with several students playing in their last Varsity Hockey tournament, will return to Pretoria bleak, but they played a full role in a thoroughly crowd-pleasing final.

For UJ, the celebrations will be long and joyous as they keep the trophy in Johannesburg.

FNB Player of the Tournament: Taylor Dart (UJ)
Samsung Super Striker: Keenan Horne (Maties)
Mugg and Bean Star Saver: Hendrik Kriek (Tuks)

Varsity Sports media release

Kampong's blue Harte first Irish EHL winner

David Harte added yet another incredible achievement to his already huge list of accolades as he became the first Irish player to win the Euro Hockey League.

He kept a clean sheet for Dutch side SV Kampong in a 2-0 win over AH&BC Amsterdam in Barcelona in the final. It adds to a 12-month period in which he has won the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award as well as captaining Ireland to Olympic qualification and a maiden European Championships medal last August.

When asked about his epic year, he said: “I'm lost for words. When you put it like that, it’s something I hadn’t thought about."

Speaking about his performances in the Hoofdklasse and the EHL, Kampong coach Alex Cox said of Harte: “For us, he is massively important. He is a goalie who wins games for us and never loses them for us. He wins games over and over for us and is one of our key players!”

Harte, meanwhile, said he was in “dreamland”, adding “the fact it happened, the gold medal around my neck, it’s an incredible feeling”.

It ends a run of near misses for Kampong, reaching the Dutch final last season before bowing out at the semi-final stage of this year's competition at the semi-final stage in contentious fashion to Amsterdam.

That may have played some part in their motivation in the EHL final and they looked the smarter team for the most part.

“You could say loads of different things helped get us over the line but the fact this side has been together a number of years, has a lot more experience playing bigger matches which has helped us big time.

“We made the step last year to the Dutch playoff finals and this is now the furthest we have gone in this competition. Going on to win it, it’s unbelievable. As a group, we are just adding to our power."

He has little time to savour the moment, though, as he links back up with the Irish panel later this week.

“It’s only what dreams are made of and now the next months are all focussed on Rio with Ireland and that’s also an exciting phase.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Amsterdam set for revenge in 2016/17

Robert Tigges described Amsterdam’s EHL final loss to SV Kampong was “a sour end to a fantastic season of peaks and troughs” as they missed out on the big prize along with the Hoofdklasse in a dramatic end to their season.

Looking back on the campaign, Tigges said: “We have this year, for the first time in several years, made a good start. We were top before the winter break and in Hamburg we made an EHL record a 19-2 win over Pomorzanin Torun.”

Dirk Loots took over as coach from Alyson Annan who left for the Dutch women’s job but the side remained in contention throughout the Dutch league, eventually topping the regular season table.

They lost out in the playoffs final, though, to Oranje Zwart before the EHL FINAL4 and there was a suggestion of potential fatigue.

“You play nine games in 21 days. That's not nothing,” he said. “You see that now with Valentin Verga who is one of our stalwarts. It may be that it is a piece of fatigue.

"We have a very good team, I feel the best team in the Netherlands and perhaps in Europe ... but yes, we did twice end up second. That is really annoying.

“Next year, we have a new rounds of new opportunities and then, maybe, we can take our revenge."

Euro Hockey League media release

Kazan build ten-point lead in Russian league

Dinamo Kazan strengthened their place at the top of the Russian Super League with back to back wins over Tana in the latest round of action.

The respective 5-1 and 6-0 wins helped them build a 10-point advantage over Dinamo Elektrostal after 19 rounds of matches with three weekends and six series to go in the regular season. In the first meeting, Kazan hit their hundredth goal of thr campaign, scored by Nikolai Yankun.

Elektrostal slipped to a 2-2 draw against Krylatskoye in their second game of the weekend amid heavy rain.

Head coach Igor Shishkov said of the games: "In the first game a 4-0 win, we dominated and were clearly stronger. In the second match, the weather brought about changes and it equalised the amount of chances and strength.”

Dinamo Stroitel sit in third place but lost ground with back-to-back defeats to Metrostroy who recorded their first wins of the campaign, 1-0, in game one before bouncing back to win 7-2 in game two.

Vladislav Kuznetsov, head coach of Dinamo-Builder said: “The goal for both games this tour was to win.How many chances did we have in game one, I don’t know. From their one attack, one goaI.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Razak Cup: Police, Malacca check into semis

By Jugjet Singh

RAZAK Cup Division One champions Malacca notched another emphatic win when they hammered Pahang 5-1 in Group A at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil Monday.

This came at the back of a 3-1 win over Pahang, and now they will square off against Police tomorrow to decide group champions, as both teams have already qualified for the semi-finals.

Police beat Pahang 4-3 yesterday and also have six points from two matches.

The Malacca goals were scored by Asyraf Zuhry (15th),  Amirrullah Zainol (22nd, 46th), Dedy Ariyadi (56th) and  Firdaus Omar (60th). The Johor consolation was scored by Syafiq Mohamed Zain in the 44th minute.

In Division Two, Sabah beat neighbours Sarawak 3-1 at Pitch 1 to stay top of the Group B while Armed Forces beat Kelantan 5-2.

The results see Sabah stay top of the group on six points from two matches while Kelantan and Armed Forces are second and third respectively with three points each. Sarawak are fourth after two losses.

Patrick Ningkan Joseph put Sarawak ahead in the 19th minute but it was all Sabah after that.

Captain Maxhans Christi pulled Sabah level in the 23rd minute from a penalty corner while Muhajir Abdu Rauf made it 2-1 in the 29th minute. Maxhans then bagged his second of the night in the 50th minute to make it 3-1.

Sabah coach Hasrul Jidih was glad that both sides kept their cool and stayed focus on the match.

"Some of the boys from the Sarawak squad are also from the Sabah Sports School, so there is healthy rivalry there.

"They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses as well because they train together. So I told my boys to go on the offensive and hit them on the counter and my team did just that," added Hasrul.

RESULTS: Men's Division One - Group A: Pahang 3 Police 4; Johor 1 Malacca 5; Division 2 - Group B: Sarawak 1 Sabah 3; Kelantan 2 Armed Forces 5;
Women's Group A: Police 1 Pahang 3; Johor 1 Selangor 2; Group B: Armed Forces 3 Kuala Lumpur 2; Terengganu 1 Sabah 1; Group C: Perak 3 Kedah 1; Penang 0 Malacca 1.

TUESDAY: Men's Division One:- Group B: Negri Sembilan v Terengganu (8pm, Pitch 1); Kuala Lumpur v Perak (8pm, Pitch 2); Division 2 - Group A: Selangor v Penang (6pm, Pitch 1); Kedah v Perlis (6pm, Pitch 2); Group B: Kelantan v Sabah (4pm, Pitch 1); Sarawak v Armed Forces (4pm, Pitch 2);

Women's Group A: Selangor v Police (9.30am, Pitch 1); Sarawak v Pahang (9.30am, Pitch 2); Group B: Sabah v Armed Forces (7.30am, Pitch 1); Negeri Sembilan v Kuala Lumpur (7.30am, Pitch 2); All Matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Malacca take huge stride forward in Razak Cup defence

By S. Ramaguru

Police's Mohd Fitri Abd Manan (right) and Pahang's Muhammad Haziq Fawwaz vie for the ball during the Razak Cup tie at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. – M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Malacca took a giant step towards retaining the Razak Cup title with an emphatic 5-1 win over  Johor in their second Group A match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

With two wins from two matches, Malacca have booked their place in the semi-finals.

Malacca, who edged Pahang 3-1 in their opening tie, will play Police in their last match on Wednesday to decide the group winners.

Police, last year’s Division Two winners, also booked their semi-final spot after a slim 4-3 win over Pahang. It was also Police’s second win after their opening 3-2 win over Johor.

Malacca coach Azrul Effendy Bistamann was pleased to secure another win.

“We were better with our finishing today. It was a great team effort. We need to keep our focus and form. I don’t want the players to take it easy,” said Azrul.

Amirullah Zainol scored a brace for Malacca in the 22nd and 46th minutes. The other scorers were  Mohamed Ashraf Zhury (15th), Dedy Ariyadi (56th) and Mohamed Firdaus Omar (60th).

Johor’s consolation goal in the 44th minute was scored by Mohamed Syafiq Zain.

Sabah stayed on course for the Division Two semi-finals after a 3-1 win over neighbours Sarawak in Group B.

It was Sabah’s second win in as many matches. They play their final group game on Tuesday just needing a draw with Kelantan to reach the last four.

Kelantan jeopardised their chances of making the semi-finals after losing 2-5 to Armed Forces.

Both Kelantan and Forces have three points. Kelantan will have to beat Sabah while Forces will have to overcome Sarawak. Goal difference is likely to settle the other last four berth.

In the women’s category, Malacca qualified for the second round after chalking up their second win in as many matches in Group C.

On Monday, Malacca edged Penang 1-0. On Sunday, Malacca had also beaten Perak by a similar scoreline.

The other team who could follow Malacca in the next round are Perak or Penang.

The battle to reach the second round from Groups A and B is still wide open.

The Star of Malaysia

U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team to Play Citi Rio Send-Off Series in July

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – As the double-digit days dwindle between Team USA and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, a final Home of Hockey competition calendar has been confirmed. Team USA is set for a final appearance on home turf with an event in July in Lancaster County, Pa. This is the last chance for fans to see the red, white and blue in-person for a three-match test series against India and Canada before they see them on the big screen. During this series, there will also be a grand reveal of the USWNT's Olympic Games logo and kit.

"We are excited to host India and Canada in Lancaster before we depart for Rio at the end of July," said Craig Parnham, USWNT Head Coach. "The games will provide us with an opportunity to continue to refine our game as we enter the final stages of our Olympic preparation. The differing styles of play that both opponents offer will be a good test for us, requiring us to be flexible and adaptable in our play."

"We hope that the local community will come and support us in what will be our last matches at Spooky Nook Sports before we embark on our Olympic campaign," added Parnham.

The USWNT has a busy few months ahead as they prepare for the Olympic Games. The team will host Chile, May 14-19, and then head to the Champions Trophy in London, England, June 18-26. This test series is the last opportunity for fans to see Team USA compete in the United States before they leave for Brazil.

Citi, the leading global bank, is the official title sponsor of this series and the Official Bank and Credit Card of USA Field Hockey

Citi Rio Send-Off Series Schedule:

Monday, July 18                      USA vs India, 6:30 p.m. EST (live on NBC Sports)
Wednesday, July 20                USA vs India, 6:30 p.m. EST
Tuesday, July 26                     USA vs Canada, 6:30 p.m. EST

Tickets are $10 for discounts (children under 18, senior citizens and military), $18 for adults (USA Field Hockey Members) and $20 for adults (general public). Citi cardmembers can purchase a special VIP ticket package for the July 18th match that includes a mid-field seat and pre and in-game hospitality that includes complimentary food and beverage for $50. There will be an option to purchase full series tickets for $25 for discounts, $46 for adults (USA Field Hockey Members) and $50 for adults (general public). Parking is included in the ticket price.

Group tickets will also be available for each game, when 10 or more tickets are purchased from a like ticket category. A match discount will then be applied per ticket. This is a great option for clubs, middle and high school teams, collegiate programs or any group of friends wanting to experience international field hockey competition together.

The last meeting between the USWNT and India was at the 2015 8 Nations Tournament in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. During the tournament, the teams met twice, once in pool play and again the semifinals. In the first meeting, India got on the score sheet first but Team USA's sustained effort led them to a 4-2 victory. In the semifinals, Team USA capitalized on scoring opportunities to secure a 3-0 win. India is in the USWNT's pool at the Olympic Games and they will play them on Thursday, August 11. This is the first India Women’s National Team to outright qualify for the Olympic Games. Their last participation was in 1980 through invitation.

Canada and the USWNT met earlier this year in Chula Vista, Calif. for a four-match test series. Team USA swept the series and only conceded one goal.

 “As the excitement for Rio 2016 builds, it is a great opportunity for fans to see our Olympians take on India and Canada at Spooky Nook Sports,” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey Executive Director. “We encourage fans to make a special outing to cheer on our team in these final games before they head to the Olympic Games. And for fans who can’t attend in person, we are thrilled that the first game against India will be televised live on NBC Sports Network. This will help share our sport across the country on television is so important to our mission to grow the game.”

As part of the United States Olympic Committee's Olympic Games Trial coverage, the first match of the series against India will also be aired live on NBC Sports.

USFHA media release

Sushila to lead Indian Women team for 4 Nations Tournament in Darwin

New Delhi: India’s eves will take on Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the 4 Nations Tournament in Darwin, Australia, as a final springboard to the Rio Olympics.The tournament starts on May 30, 2016.

The squad for the tournament includes several veterans, among them defensive stalwart Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, who has been named Captain for the tournament. Deepika retained as Vice-Captain, and Poonam Rani and Vanadana Kataria form the core group of veterans who will be hoping to lead the team to a good showing prior to the Games. The squad also includes youngsters, defender Nikki Pradhan and 18-year-old mid fielder Preeti Dubey. Dubey was named the Asunta Lakra Upcoming Player of the Year Award (Women U-21) at the 2nd Annual Hockey India Awards this year.

Chanu, who has been named Captain, said, “It is a huge honour, to be named Captain of the squad for the tour. We have already faced Japan and New Zealand earlier, at the Hawke’s Bay Cup. Our chief aim will be to perform well against Japan and Australia and analyse their game at close quarters, since they are in our Pool at the Olympics.”

Talking about the squad announcement, Chief Coach Neil Hawgood said, "We are looking forward to the tournament. We are up against three world class teams and it will help us immensely in our preparations ahead of the Rio Olympics. Additionally, two of those teams are in our Pool in Rio (Australia and Japan). This will serve as good practice.”

All four teams competing in Darwin are in the top echelon of hockey nations with Australia currently ranked third, the Kiwi’s fourth, Japan tenth overall and India ranked 13th in the world.

Team List


Rajani Etimarpu


Deepika (VC)
Sunita Lakra
Nikki Pradhan
Deep Grace Ekka
Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam
(C)Hnialum Lal Ruat Feli


Namita Toppo
Navjot Kaur
Preeti Dubey
Renuka Yadav


Poonam Rani
Vandana Katariya
Anuradha Devi Thokchom
Lilima Minz


Punjab teams maintain supremacy in U-18 Hockey

ISLAMABAD-Thanks to sensational five-goal hero Umer, Punjab Whites butchered Balochistan Whites 14-0 in the 1st National U-18 Hockey Championship third match played here at Naseer Bunda International Hockey Stadium on Monday.

Things could have been further worst for Balochistan, had Punjab not missed too many goal-scoring opportunities.

Ahsan Raza opened the scoring for the winners in the second minute of the first quarter through a field goal.

Punjab doubled their lead in the 5th minute, when M Fawad scored a wonderful field goal.

They had to wait for another two minutes before Zulqarnain scoring third goal in the 7th minute while skipper Waqas Ali scored a brace in the 9th minute and 10th minutes.

Muriz Hussain completed double hat-trick of Punjab in the 11th minute to make it 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Balochistan were much organised in the second quarter, as they managed to restrict Punjab till 20th minute before the winners finally prevailed and hammered their 7th goal through Zulqarnain while they scored the 8th goal in the 21st minute through skipper Waqas, who also completed his hat-trick.

Balochistan suffered huge injury as Ishtiaq was hit on his right hand wrist and was rushed to the hospital, where it was announced his wrist was badly damaged and he could no longer participate in the championship.

Punjab Whites coach made the replacement of the match, as he introduced forward and hero of the match Umer in the 22nd minute, who required two minutes before putting his name on the score sheet.

He scored arguably the best goal of the championship so far in the 24th minute to enhance his team’s lead to 9-0.

Umer scored his second in the 25th minute to finish the second quarter at 10-0.

In the third quarter, Balochistan played out of their skins and restricted Punjab from scoring more goals till the 47th minute, thanks to their goalies, who played superbly.

Finally, the deadlock was broken by Rao M Ali, who scored 11th goal of the team in the 47th minute while Umar completed his hat-trick in the 48th minute while he hammered 13th goal in the 54th minute and the score line was completed in the 58th minute, when Umar scored his fifth and Punjab’s 14th goal to end a highly miserable day for Balochistan.

The Balochistan manager was full of complains and showed his utmost displeasure over Punjab players.

Director tournament Col Ahmed Nawaz assured the Balochistan manager that his genuine grievances would be addressed, while he personally asked the players to come in the morning for wrist tests at PSB medical centre.

Balochistan manager looked satisfied and agreed to bring players for wrist tests.

Meanwhile, 17 more players from different teams were barred from playing after age scrutiny conducted by Dr Shabeena Aftab, while five players were allowed to play for their respective teams after they were cleared by Dr Shabeena.

In the second and last match of the day, Punjab Greens came from behind to beat determined Sindh Greens team 2-1.

Sindh took the lead and stunned the mighty Punjab team in the 3rd minute of the first quarter, when Akbar Ali scored a solo goal.

Punjab bounced back through Mohsin Hassan in the 9th minute and took the well-deserving 2-1 lead in the 11th minute of the first quarter through M Yasir.
Despite putting tremendous pressure, Sindh failed to equalise till the end.

In the next 45 minutes, none of the teams could further score a goal and the match ended at 2-1 in favour of Punjab Greens.

The Nation

Ballsbridge énergie fitness club Powers Irish Men’s Hockey

Fitness Centres to Sponsor Korea Match Series

The Irish Men’s Hockey team has launched a major fundraising drive ahead of the Rio Olympics, and the Ballsbridge énergie Fitness club is among the first to put their weight behind the international side.

Ballsbridge énergie is to sponsor the upcoming Korea Match Series in Dublin, four exciting international home-fixtures that are part of a number of match series the Green Machine has lined up in preparation for the Rio Olympics.

World number 9 Korea, with their attacking game, will provide challenging competition for Ireland, currently 12th in the world men’s hockey rankings.

The Korea series opener is on Tuesday evening, May 31st, and all matches will be played in the Merrion Fleet Arena, Rathdown School, Dublin.  The second match is on Thursday evening, June 2nd, with afternoon fixtures scheduled for both Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June, the bank holiday weekend.

With the team still in selection phase for Ireland’s ground-breaking Olympics programme in August, the Ballsbridge énergie Fitness Korea Match Series will allow different players from the 27-man squad, currently preparing for Rio, to be played in the 4 game series.

Match series with two other Olympic-bound teams, Canada and the Netherlands, are also scheduled for June and July.  The Netherlands are world number 2 and current European champions.

This team will be the first Irish hockey team to compete at an Olympics since 1908, and the first team sport to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games since 1948.

Ireland’s hockey team is however currently looking at a budget shortfall of almost a quarter of a million euro, and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support the team, which largely comprises sportsmen who also have work and study commitments.

The road to Rio for the Irish Men’s Hockey team saw them make history by winning a bronze medal at the Eurohockey Championships in August 2015, to cement their place among the best in European and world hockey.

Ireland starts their Rio programme against India on August 6th, and will play the London 2012 Olympics silver medallists, the Netherlands, the following day.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Indoor Hockey Squad Selection Announcement

By Holly MacNeil

Tuesday (Perth, WA) - The squads have been announced for the Australian men’s and women’s indoor hockey teams, which will start the process in moving towards the team selections for the Indoor Hockey World Cup in February, 2018.

The 2016 Australian Men’s Indoor Hockey Squad includes 28 athletes (including 4 goalkeepers) who have been selected with an emphasis on developing athletes, increasing the depth of indoor athletes and providing athletes with greater experience at a higher level.

Men’s coach Steve Willer said: “The 2016 Australian Men’s Indoor Hockey Squad was selected from the athletes nominated by all the state coaches at the recent Australian Indoor Open/U21 Championships.

“Squad athletes will participate in training camp in October 2016, with selected athletes from the squad to participate in a European Tour in December 2016 or January 2017.”

The 2016 Australian Women’s Indoor Hockey Squad, consists of 28 players (including 5 goal keepers) who were selected from the 2016 Australian Indoor Hockey Championships in Wollongong.

Women’s coach Stuart Fenton said: “I am very excited to announce the 2016 Australian Women’s Indoor Hockey Squad which will start the process as we move towards selection of the team for the Indoor Hockey World Cup which will be played in February 2018.

“As we begin the preparation process for the 2018 Indoor World Cup the emphasis will be on skill development, structures and most importantly increasing the international experience and depth of talent playing our great game. We are getting more interest than ever in indoor hockey and we have some tremendously talented young players that will push for a spot on our next World Cup team.” 

Lauren Austin (High Wycombe, WA)
Jessica Bestall (Shelley, WA)
Tegan Boucher (Aspendale, VIC)
Tayla Britton (Innaloo, WA) (TAS team)
Tasmin Bunt (Aylmerton, NSW)
Jenna Cartright (Florey, ACT)
Clare Comerford (Lutwyche, QLD)
Kalinda Commerford (Kaleen, ACT)
Natalie Crick (Balmoral, QLD)
Elizabeth Duguid (Nedlands, WA)
Samantha Economos (Balaclava, NSW) (ACT team)
Holly Evans (Clearview, SA)
Lisa Farrell (St Andrews, NSW)
Ashley Fey (Wakerley, QLD)
Kyah Gray (Shoalhaven Heads, NSW)
Rebecca Hotchkis (Curtin, ACT)
Lindsay Howard (Mount Gravatt East, QLD)
Erin Judd (Atwell, WA)
Emma Mathieson (Wright, ACT)
Emma Mcleish (Albion Park, NSW)
Madeleine Murphy (Riana, TAS)
Makaela Potts (Raby, NSW)
Emily Riordan (Mernda, VIC)
Anna Roberts (Como, WA)
Emily Seccull (Brighton, VIC)
Madeleine Smith (Norman Park, QLD)
Shelley Watson (Kaleen, ACT)
Elanor Woods (Wollongong, NSW)

Matthew Argent (Albany Park, QLD)
Aidan Campbell (Ashgrove, QLD)
Brad Clark (High Wycombe, WA)
Mark Ellis (Bicton, WA)
Scott Govers (Albion Park, NSW)
Niranjan Gupte (Hawker, ACT)
Jack Hayes (Albion Park, NSW)
Nick Hill (Orange, NSW)
Cameron Hyde (Thornlie, WA)
Daniel Jolliffe (Unanderra, NSW)
James Knee (Bentleigh, VIC)
Aiden Lowes (Dianella, WA)
Tom Madden (Morningside, QLD)
Will Mcilwain (Kew, VIC)
Alex Mckay (Wollongong, NSW)
Zach Meaden (Eltham, VIC)
Luke Noblett (Gymea, NSW)
Heath Ogilvie (Woonona, NSW)
Ben Rennie (Scarborough, WA)
Adam Seccull (Brighton, VIC)
Jake Sherren (Glen Iris, VIC)
Lachlan Sinclair (Eudlo, QLD)
Tom Sinclair (Armadale, VIC)
Ben Staines (Goulburn, NSW) (ACT team)
Jared Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Andrew Vaitekenas (Stoneville, WA)
Ryan Whittle (Goulburn, ACT)
Jackson Willie (Park Avenue, QLD)

Hockey Australia media release

Kate Elliot, Hockey Hero

Celebrating those heroes of community hockey

By Lawrence West

Ahead of Australian National Hockey Week, which begins on Saturday 28th May, we’re profiling some of the individuals whose contribution to hockey in their local area makes them a Hockey Hero.

They are being recognised for their role in either growing the game, promoting hockey or facilitating the enjoyment or development of others.

Our first Hockey Hero is Kate Elliot from Tuggeranong Vikings Women’s Hockey Club, ACT. Well done, Kate!

Name: Kate Elliot
Hockey Hero of: Tuggeranong Vikings Women’s Hockey Club, ACT
Hockey Hero super powers: Dedication to inclusion, excellence and junior development

Kate Elliot is a shining example of what being a Hockey Hero is all about.

As a new member of Tuggeranong Vikings four years ago when she joined the club with her young daughter, Kate immediately put up her hand to play her part in the development of the children coming through the ranks.

Kate, a school teacher, was nominated as a Hockey Hero by club president, Joe Henstock.

After beginning her time as the coach of the Under 11 girls, which she did for two years, Kate is now coach of the Under 13s.

“Her players follow her every word and their parents have nothing but praise for Kate as a coach,” says Joe.

“Reports come back to our committee about how wonderful she is with the children; how well she speaks to them and the fact that she treats every child as equals. Parents report that when their child is down or upset, Kate goes out of her way to comfort the child and she can always find something about the girl’s game to congratulate her on.”

While a child’s experience is far more important than results at junior level, Kate’s team has enjoyed remarkable success, going undefeated in two of the past three years. There is no doubt in Joe’s mind that the on-field success has come as a direct result of the way Kate interacts with her young team and the respect they have for her and each other.

“The players’ respect for Kate is shown in their attendance at training. Kate’s team is always the one with the most players at training and our club committee has been flooded with requests from parents to see if their child can be coached by her.”

Based on her previous form, it was of little surprise that Kate was one of the first to put her name down when Hockey ACT put out the call for volunteers to serve its junior competition committee. As a committee member and as a manager and assistant coach for Hockey ACT’s Junior Regional Hockey Program, her commitment to junior development and inclusion is now delivering benefits to the wider ACT hockey community.

Congratulations Kate on being named a Hockey Hero as part of our first ever National Hockey Week.

#NationalHockeyWeek #DestinationHockey

Hockey Australia media release

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