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News for 25 September 2016

All the news for Sunday 25 September 2016

Brave India goes down to Bangladesh

K Arumugam

In a keen contest, where the scoreboard swung routinely, Bangladesh emerged winners 5-4 against India in their opening match of the first 4th Sub Junior Asia Cup that started today in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Playing against full stands on one side, getting vocal support on every move upfront, Bangladesh held on to the initial moments of aggression to defeat India in any age group competitions perhaps first time in their hockey history.

Doughty defender Mohd. Ashraful Islam struck first goal in the 15th minute off their first penalty corner, and then he struck three more in the 30th, 38th and 62nd minutes to douse Indian fire whenever they came out with goals.

Fittingly, Ashraful was declared Man of the Match for his four goals.

India neutralized his first goal in the 21st minute through Dharminder Singh who converted a penalty stroke but thereafter it was back-pedalling.

In the 22nd minute Konjengban I Singh gave India the lead when he connected a right flank cross past Yeasin Araft, the rival goalie.

India however, plunged into defensive mode, and started giving away penalty corners, and then their defence too became easily vulnerable.

Bangladesh kept the moment and attack from both flanks, giving tough times to Indian defence managed by Hardik Singh and captain Sanjeev Xess.

When India equalized the score to 4-4 with a gem of a goal from young Dilpreet Singh, and with 17 minutes to go, the match was anybody’s guess, but misfiring Indians were kept at bay by the Bangladesh players.

India managed to get four penalty corners in the spell, but lacked cohesion, thrice no shots were taken, the indirect going haywire, and then the Bangladesh players putting their heart out, put in brave, deadly defence. Even twice their players had to be taken off the turf on stretcher.

Eight minutes before time, when a ball struck Nilam’s left foot, Islam again came out with a grounder to break the 4-4 deadlock.

Despite Indians desperate attempts at goal, Bangladesh held on to the scoreline, to give moments of joy for the hosts.

Tens of people even plunged into the ground for a wild celebration. The way Bangladesh team celebrated Indian win appeared today is not opening day but the final day!


Indian coach: Players lack Individual brilliance

K Arumugam

Indian Sub-Junior team’s coach BJ Kariappa, who is also High Performance Manager (South) for Hockey India, rues lack of Individual brilliance with his players that led to first ever defeat of India to Bangladesh here in Dhaka.

Despite coming back into the game thrice, India lost to the hosts 5-4 today in the opening match.

“We are training for the tournament less than a month. Its quite inadequate. However, the boys showed some good hockey, but they did not have quality individual brilliance to force a victory in such a tight situation”, visibly upset coach Cariappa rued.

“Our boys are playing their first tournament. A huge turn out today in their first match must have over-awed them as well, pointed out to the fact of a few thousand crowd.

“Due to our domestic season in full swing and the tournaments taking place outside our camp city, we could not get strong teams for practice too, he added.

He also complimented the team for striking four times, but felt the team could have done better if the players understand the game tactically, and it will come in due course” he added.

He is hastened to add that there are many areas to concentrate now like conceding penalty corners, poor penalty corner defence, yielding goal by goalkeeper on bodyline moves. These are grey areas he needs to work on before India going for the next match.

Having lost the first encounter, India is now in a precarious situation to post a win in the next match tomorrow against Oman, lest it will be pushed out of knock out stage.

But the coach is not unduly worried about those things now, as "China may defeat Pakistan and this scenario who we will meet in the semis is a big quesiton mark. Any case, there is a long way to go", the coach said.

India did show it has in it to make a match of today, as it scored four times, but it had no answer to Md. Ashraful Islam, who scored four penalty corner goals.

“We were in a hurry to clear the PC situations, and in the process, we lost out. Our should have shown more reflex in clearing but we were not up to the mark. Its here individual brilliance of players come to effect. They are young, and will learn from these mistakes”, he said.

Bangladesh was resorting to frequent overhead passes, our boys could not match them on this count,” the coach said.

He also pointed out the fact that he did not have desired level of bench strength.

“Even if I want to substitute, the bench strength is so poor I will not have choices”, he added.

It seems other teams have trained for a longer period and came well prepared. However, its first match, we need to play Oman tomorrow, a win will put us in the semis”.

However, he is unsure how good or bad of Oman.

“We haven’t seen them playing. We don’t have any clue about their capabilities. They played in Pakistan and lost the series. However, I feel the situation is same for them too, they also would not have seen us playing. Such things happen in the start up age group tournaments. My boys will be ready to face the situation.

Captain Neelam Xess conceded its penalty corner conversion that has led them down.

“Yes I was taking but thing did not work out our way”, he said in a soft voice.


India go down to Bangladesh in U-18 Asia Cup hockey

DHAKA: Playing against the host team in front of a partisan crowd, India went down to Bangladesh 5-4 in the U-18 Asia Cup hockey opener on Saturday.

The hosts started off strongly pushing India back deep into defence and had their first penalty corner of the game in the third minute. From the PC, goalkeeper Pankaj Kumar Rajak effected a smart save, diving to his left to deny Bangladesh the lead.

The hosts kept the pressure up though and eventually took the lead via Ashraful Islam's PC in the 15th minute. Shocked at going down early, India started stringing together passes in their midfield and started taking control of the game, slowly turning the screws on Bangladesh's defence.

The pressure told in the 21st minute, as India won a PC and after an infringement in the circle were awarded a stroke. Dharminder Singh put it away to draw his team level. Five minutes later India had the lead, a superb counter attack finished off by Ibungo Singh Konjengbam.

Bangladesh weren't frazzled though and buoyed by the home support, earned a PC off a quick counter attack. Islam's dragflick left Rajak with no chance, as he scored his second of the game to restore parity. With the halftime hooter imminent, Bangladesh pushed forward in numbers and had two consecutive PCs in the dying minutes, both parried away by Rajak to ensure India went into half time level at 2-2.

Bangladesh took the lead almost immediately after half time, winning a PC in the 38th minute, which was converted by Islam to give them the lead. In a helter-skelter game, suddenly both teams were playing off the counter, exploiting large gaps created by high lying defences.

India equalised via a Hardik Singh goal, before Bangladesh scored their fourth--their first field goal of the match--to wrestle back a one-goal lead.

India took control of the game and had it all to do, spreading the ball around hoping to create an opportunity for the equaliser, while remaining cautious at the back. Their efforts paid off in the 53rd minute, Dilpreet Singh scoring the equaliser drawing them level at 4-4.

With 10 minutes to play Bangladesh won another PC and Islam who had caused problems for India's defence through the match did not let up scoring his fourth goal and restoring Bangladesh's advantage.

India rallied back and created several half chances, attacking the Bangladesh circle furiously, but the hosts held on to take the win.

Speaking after the game, coach BJ Kariappa said, "We conceded too many penalty corners today, and did not attack their dragflickers hard enough. We look to improve upon this and perform better in our next game against Oman."

The Times of India

Bangla boys beat India in jr hockey

Ashraful Islam scored four goals for Bangladesh to help his team beat India 5-4 in the U-18 Asia Cup hockey opener today. The hosts took the lead through Islam’s penalty corner in the 15th minute. India then put immense pressure on the hosts, and it paid off in the 21st minute when Dharminder Singh equalised through a penalty corner. Five minutes later, Ibungo Singh Konjengbam put India 2-1 ahead.

But Bangladesh equalised through Islam to make it 2-2. Bangladesh took the lead early in the second half, when Islam again scored through a penalty corner. India equalised via a Hardik Singh goal, but Bangladesh scored with a field goal to make it 4-3.

Dilpreet Singh scored the equaliser to make it 4-4 in the 53rd minute. With 10 minutes to play, Bangladesh won another PC and Islam scored his fourth goal, which proved decisive.

The Tribune

Boys U18 Hockey Asia Cup: Pakistan register thumping 6-1 win

KARACHI: The Pakistan U18 hockey team thumped Chinese Taipei 6-1 in their opening match of the 4th Boys U18 Asia Cup at the Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium in Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka yesterday.

Pakistan dominated from the word go and got their reward when Adeel Latif opened the scoring in the seventh minute. However, that lead didn’t last long as Chinese Taipei managed to equalise just three minutes later.

That served as a wake-up call for the Colts who pressed hard to restore the lead through Amjad Khan in the 22nd minute. The scoreline at half-time read 2-1.

Omani hockey team thanks Pakistan for the hospitality

The second half saw Pakistan assert their dominance once again by adding four more goals to their tally as Ahmed Nadeem, Shahzaib and Waqar scored in the 38th, 46th and 50th minute respectively, while Latif added another in the dying minutes to complete the rout.

Coach Kamran Ashraf hailed the overall effort the team put in.

“The boys put in a remarkable effort in every position, be it attack or defence,” Ashraf told The Express Tribune. “We are looking forward to winning the rest of the matches as well.”

Oman to tour Pakistan for four matches

He further added, “This series has given the players international exposure which will help them in the long run.”

In other matches, Bangladesh defeated India 5-4, while China defeated Hong Kong 6-0.

The Express Tribune

TNB CUP FINAL: Penalty corners could turn tide

Sapura's India import Gurbaj Singh (left) challenges KLHC's Meor  Azuan Hasan for the ball during the TNB Cup semi-final second-leg match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium Friday. KLHC won 3-1 to draw level on aggregate at 4-4. But lost the penalty shoot-out 4-2.

TERENGGANU Hockey Team (THT) will be attempting their third consecutive double, while Sapura Hockey Club their first TNB Cup title in the final of the Malaysia Hockey League today.

The women will kick-start three finals slated at the Tun Razak Cup with the Vivian Soars Cup being a battle between Blue Warriors and Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI).

This will be followed by the men's Division One President's Cup final between SSTMI and TNB Thunderbolts.

And at 8.30pm, the big boys march in to steal the thunder.

THT has won the League this season, while Sapura the Alagendra Cup and both look good enough to claim the TNB Cup and there will be no underdogs in this match.

Sapura, even though they have a poor scoring record of only 17 for and 16 against in the League, finished second on 21 points.

THT were just a point better to claim the League on 22, but their scoring rate in some of the matches was high and they had 29 for and 16 against.

The top scorer of the MHL is South Korean import Jang Jung Hyun on 14 goals, 13 of which were off penalty corners and second on the list is also a THT player Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin on nine goals.

Both the players will again play a pivotal role to help their team's cause for a treble double.

As for Sapura, Australia Oscar William Wookey is their top-scorer with four goals.

Sapura coach Yahya Atan, whose men had beaten THT 2-0 but then lost 4-1 in the two-leg league, is naturally worried about Jang's penalty corner conversion rate.

"We gave away too many penalty corners in the last match and lost 4-1 (Jang scored three). And so, in the final, my players will try and play clean hockey in the circle as not to give THT the edge they will be looking for.

"If we can hold back the penalty corners, I believe we will finally lay our hands on the Overall title which we last won 10 years ago," said Yahya.

THT coach Sarjit Singh does not believe in history as he is always looking forward.

"For me, holding records is worthless if we can't keep creating them. That's why we will be looking forward to another title when we play tomorrow (today) and not bask on the glory of our two previous TNB Cups.

"That can be done after the final whistle is blown," said Sarjit, a former national coach as well as skipper.

The battle-lines have been drawn, and its too close to call. But as Yahya predicted, penalty corners could decide this crackling encounter.

SUNDAY: TNB Cup Final: Terengganu v Sapura (Tun Razak, 8.30pm).
  President's Cup Final: SSTMI v TNB Thunderbolts (Tun Razak, 6pm).
  Vivian Soars Cup Final: Blue Warriors v SSTMI (Tun Razak, 4pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Terengganu closing in on third overall title

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu are one win away from achieving a unique “treble double” in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

Based on their current form and lethal finishing, Terengganu should prove to be too strong for Sapura when the teams meet in the TNB Cup final at the Tun Razak Stadium here on Sunday.

Having already won the Premier Division three times in a row, the east coast team can cement their place as the top hockey club in the country with a third overall title.

They’ve been in ruthless form of late, brushing aside all oppositions with considerable ease.

Their main goal-getter, Jang Jung-hyun, has been clinical with his penalty corner flicks – having scored 14 goals.

They also have players like Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Faizal Saari and Ismail Abu, who have been finding the back of the net regularly as well.

With such firepower on show, one wonders if Sapura even stand a chance.

Although Sapura won their first match in the Premier Division 2-0, the Terengganu side whipped them 4-1 in the second round of matches on their way to retaining the league crown.

In the TNB Cup semi-finals, Terengganu had an easy time against Maybank while Sapura needed a penalty shootout to edge Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club.

But, as usual, Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh prefers to takea cautious stand ahead of the final.

“It’s easy to be carried away after an easy semi-final win, but Sapura are a good side and they have players who can hurt us. We can’t take them lightly ... there is no room for complacency or mistakes. We have to be on the alert from the word go,” said Sarjit, who led Terengganu to their two title wins in 2014 and 2015.

“No matter what strategy I come up with, it’s the players who will ultimately decide their fate.

“All they need to do is to play to their potential. We started the season badly, but have since stepped up a notch.

“The good thing is that most of my players have played in a final before, so we’ll have a little edge over them.”

The Star of Malaysia

Sapura lose skipper Marhan to injury in TNB Cup final

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Sapura skipper and national midfielder Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil will be out for six months after fracturing his left leg during the second leg of their TNB Cup semi-final against Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) on Friday.

Sapura lost the second-leg clash 3-1 but the aggregate score was tied at 4-4. Sapura then went through 4-2 in the penalty shootout.

The influential player will miss the TNB Cup final against Terengganu on Sunday but, more importantly, he will also miss the national team’s next two international assignments.

The national team will leave for Perth on Monday morning to feature in the Australian Hockey League from Sept 29-Oct 9.

Then, in October, he will miss out on the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan.

It’s a big blow to Marhan after leading Sapura to their first final in 10 years.

Sapura coach Yahya Atan said that a medical examination conducted at the KL Pantai Hospital confirmed the injury and that doctors have said that he (Marhan) will be out for at least six months.

“It is a blow to us for the final, but we’ll manage it ... we have other capable midfielders. Still, we’ll miss his experience.

“Terengganu are a good side, with experience in all departments. We have to be ready,” said Yahya.

Sapura last made the TNB Cup final in 2006, when they won the overall title for a second time. They were double champions in 2005.

Though Sapura will start as the underdogs against Terengganu, Yahya is counting on his players’ determination to help overcome the favourites.

“The key is for the players to follow the instructions given. In the second leg of the semi-finals, we almost did not make it. The players were relaxed and did not follow the plan. Luckily, they managed to scrape through,” said Yahya, who had coached MBPJ to a double in 1997.

“I know that we will be facing a team who are on a high, but we’ve beaten them before and we must draw from that experience. It’s crucial that we keep the mistakes to a minimum and not give away penalty corners unnecessarily.

“They have good flickers and equally good strikers. We have to keep the pressure on them and try and get an early goal.”

The Star of Malaysia

Premier Hockey League finalists decided

It's literally bottoms up as the Elephants upset the Gazelles

THEY say timing is everything, and few of the Addo Elephants players will contradict that as they somehow find themselves in the final of the inaugural South African Premier Hockey League (PHL).

Going into last weekend the Elephants had yet to win a game in this competition and, after righting that with a 6-1 schooling of the Golden Gate Gladiators, they were five minutes from elimination against the Maropeng Cavemen, needing two goals in the last five minutes to pip the Mapungubwe Mambas for a spot in the final four.

Two goals in the midnight hours of the game later and they were in the semifinals as the last qualifiers into the knockout stages, meaning they were up against the formidable and table-topping Garden Route Gazelles.

To date the Gazelles have, thanks to their ability to find a way to win games whatever the situation, been one of the more difficult teams to beat in the PHL. But the Elephants were dangerous simply because they were the form team at the right time.

Predictably it was the Gazelles who took the lead, through Keenan Horne as early as the second minute. But it was anything but service as usual as the understated but impressive Sinoxolo Mbekeni got the faintest of touches on a Julian Hykes cross to equalise for the Elephants.

During that time, Hykes – all invention and clever through balls – was giving the Gazelles all kinds of trouble but there were no takers for his assists. The pressure finally told in the third quarter when Damian Kimfley scored their second to put them in the lead.

This finally woke the Gazelles up, who got a penalty stroke in the final quarter but saw it missed by – of all people – Lloyd Norris-Jones. Horne thought he’d equalised just a minute later, but the goal was turned down on referral owing to obstruction outside the D.

And with that, the Elephants had booked their place alongside the Maropeng Cavemen in tomorrow’s final, beating a team that stuck them away 8-2 in the round-robin stages.

The Gazelles’ defeat ruined what would have been a double celebration for Keagan Robinson, who earlier had proposed (and was thankfully accepted) by the Blyde River Bunters’ Kylie Oosthuizen, whose team did advance into the final.

Qualifying for the final had been a fitting reward for the Bunters’ championship style play – they had by far been the most difficult team to beat in the competition.

And so they proved by putting two unanswered goals, through Lauren Nina and Nicolene Terblanche in the first and final quarters, past the St Lucia Lakers to book their spot in the final.

The Bunters play the competent Madikwe Rangers, who finished first in the round-robin stages but were a little off-colour in their goalless draw against the Wineland Wings, who still have not lost in regulation time in the tournament.

That record is made somewhat hollow by the fact that they had played in three shootouts and lost all three, so imagine their horror when they found themselves in another one. Worse yet, how terribly would they have felt when they lost that one 3-2 this time?

It was a case of finding out that history has a nasty habit of repeating itself when they saw Lisa Deetlefs, Bernadette Coston and Frances Carstens score their goals in their shootout. Granted, Robyn Johnson and Ilse Davids nailing their attempts meant it wasn’t the usual capitulation, but when Kaila Flemming missed the jinx had struck again.

And speaking of history doing its thing, the competitive SA Under-21 side, here as the Golden Gate Gladiators, had to put up with another narrow loss to the Cavemen. Having given up a 2-0 lead to go down 3-2 in the group stages, they again went down narrowly yesterday.

The Cavemen, anxious not to allow the youngsters a foot in the door like the last time, had scored first through James Drummond in the third minute. But the response was as swift as it was impressive, with Ryan Julius diving full stretch to turn in Khumo Mokale’s diagonal ball.

With both teams throwing caution to the wind, it was a surprise there wasn’t another goal until Brynn Cleak broke the deadlock in the third quarter. This was after Reza Rosenburg had dispossessed Tylo Remke in his own half and had been on hand to make the scoring pass.

Today’s other fixtures, for the men and women’s third and fourth place play-offs, see the Lakers up against the Wings and the Gladiators up against the Gazelles. Those games are at 12pm and 2pm, with the finals at 4pm and 6pm.

In the men and women’s fifth and sixth place deciders, the Mapungubwe Mambas beat the Drakensberg Dragons 3-2, while the Namaquland Daisies finally won a game, defeating the Orange River Rafters 2-0.

SAHA Premier Hockey League media release

Clifton Robinsons maintain 100% start

Hannah Coulson celebrating a goal with her Clifton Robinsons team mates. Credit Peter Smith.

In-form Clifton Robinsons are the only team with a 100 per cent record in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division after a 4-1 win over newcomers Slough.

Victoria Plimmer, Claire Thomas and Jessica Bloom put Clifton 3-0 up before Amy Sheehan replied for Slough. But the visitors found the net again with Hannah Coulson sweeping home six minutes from the end.

After drawing with Surbiton in the opening weekend, Holcombe chalked up their first win with a convincing 5-2 defeat of Reading.

Eleanor Watton and Lucy Wood bagged a brace each with Leah Wilkinson also hitting the target. Emma Thomas and Marianne Downer scored for Reading.

Surbiton beat the University of Birmingham 3-2 with strikes from Jo Hunter, Emily Defroand and Sarah Page giving them the win. Erica Sanders found herself on the losing side despite scoring the first and last goals in a tense match.

Goals from Tara Melvin and Charlene Mason gave Bowdon Hightown a 2-0 win over Leicester and East Grinstead move up to third in the table with a drawing 1-1 with Canterbury.

Mel Clewlow’s 52nd minute conversion of a corner looked to have been enough for Canterbury bur Bridget Blackwood rescued a point for the visitors with time running out.

Investec Women's Conference East

Cherry Seaborn and Rosie Macpherson both scored twice as Wimbledon ran out comfortable 8-2 winners over West Herts in the Women’s Conference East.

Harleston Magpies are two wins out of two at the start of new campaign, a brace from Maria Andrews helping them to a 5-0 victory over Northampton Saints.

Cathy Gilliat-Smith and Jess Denniff were both on target for Sevenoaks in a 2-0 win at Cambridge City, maintaining their unbeaten start to the season.

St Albans and Southgate drew 2-2 with all four goals coming inside the last 20 minutes, whilst Chelmsford versus Hampstead and Westminster finished goalless.

Investec Women's Conference North

Two second half goals from Sophie Robinson helped Beeston to a 4-0 victory over Belper on Friday evening, a win which leaves them top of the Investec Conference North table.

Esme Burge had given the hosts the lead after 19 minutes, while Rebekah Walker also chipped in with a second half goal.

Brooklands Poynton are the only other team with a 100 per cent record after winning 1-0 at Sutton Coldfield, Annie Mills scoring their goal.

Elsewhere, Loughborough Students won 3-1 at home against Wakefield, while Timperley beat Ben Rhydding 2-1 and the University of Durham drew 1-1 with Liverpool Sefton.

Investec Women's Conference West

Stourport are two from two in the Conference West after running out 5-2 winners at home to Gloucester City, Lora Symonds scoring twice.

Two Katie Brough goals in the first 15 minutes led Olton & West Warwicks to a 3-0 win away at Exe, maintaining their 100% start to the season.

Goals from Sally Gibson and Allison Evans helped Trojans defeat Oxford Hawks 3-0 to also give them maximum points from their opening two matches.

A hat-trick from Abbie Brant and a brace from Katrina Nicholson saw Buckingham to a 7-0 home victory over Isca University, whilst Swansea City won 1-0 at Bristol Firebrands.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, September 24 2016):

Investec Women’s Premier Division: Slough 1, Clifton Robinsons 4; Bowdon Hightown 2, Leicester 0; Surbiton 3, University of Birmingham 2; Canterbury 1, East Grinstead 1; Reading 2, Holcombe 5

Investec Women's Conference East: Cambridge City 0, Sevenoaks 2; St Albans 2, Southgate 2; Chelmsford 0, Hampstead and Westminster 0; Harleston Magpies 5, Northampton Saints 0; Wimbledon 8, West Herts 2.

Investec Women's Conference North: University of Durham 1, Liverpool Sefton 1; Loughborough Students 3, Wakefield 1; Sutton Coldfield 0, Brooklands Poynton 1; Timperley 2, Ben Rhydding 1.

Investec Women's Conference West: Buckingham 7, Isca 0; Exe 0, Olton and West Warwicks 3; Trojans 3, Oxford Hawks 0; Stourport 5, Gloucester City 2; Bristol Firebrands 0, Swansea City 1.

England Hockey Board Media release

Gleghorne hits hat-trick in win over Brooklands

Hat-trick hero Mark Gleghorne in action against Loughborough Students last weekend. Credit Andy Smith.

Mark Gleghorne hit a stunning hat-trick to lead Beeston to a 3-2 win over Brooklands Manchester University in the Men’s Premier Division.

That’s now five goals in just two games for the penalty corner specialist. Aidan Khares hit back for Brooklands in the first half and Dave Flanagan pulled another back from the penalty spot in the second half but Beeston held on for their second win in two games.

Holcombe have also taken maximum points and are the early leaders of the division after a 3-0 win over Reading with goals from Sam Ward, Rob Field and Nick Bandurak.

After drawing with Reading on the opening day of the season, East Grinstead claimed their first win as Robbert Schenk netted twice in a 4-3 win over Canterbury.

Canterbury held a 2-0 lead at the break with Kris Glass and Tom Bean finding the target.

But three goals in as many minutes from Schenk, Dominic Bowden and Wesley Jackson put East Grinstead into the lead and Schenk made it 4-1 on 66 minutes. Craig Boyne reduced the arrears for Canterbury in the dying seconds.

After firing in a hat-trick last weekend, Matt Guise Brown was once again the main man for Hampstead and Westminster, scoring twice in a 2-2 draw. Late goals from Alan Forsyth and Matt Daly earned their side a point.

Men’s Conference West

Liam Hawker scored a hat-trick as Cardiff and Met continued their good start to the season with an 8-1 win over the University of Bristol.

Liam Brignull scored two while Chris Hardy, Owain Dolan Gray and Dan Kyriakides were also on target.

The University of Exeter also made it two wins out of two with a convincing 6-0 victory over Cheltenham. Max Heaver and Edward Matts both scored twice.

Goals from Matt Cox and Alex Baxter saw Chichester come from behind to beat Isca 3-2, and a brace from Oliver Woodcock helped Team Bath Buccaneers to a 4-0 win at Fareham.

Elsewhere, University of Birmingham’s home game against old Georgians was postponed.

Men’s Conference North

David Greenough hit three as Preston ran out 5-1 winners over Doncaster in the Conference North.

Late goals from Owen Fletcher and Ben Heywood ensured the hosts started the season with back-to-back wins.

The University of Durham survived a late comeback, hanging on to a 3-2 victory over Olton & West Warwicks, to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.

Sheffield Hallam scored with the last play of the match to claim a 1-0 victory at Leek, whilst Bowdon secured their first win of the season with a comfortable 6-0 defeat of Oxton.

Deeside Ramblers took all three points with a 2-1 away victory at Cannock.

Men’s Conference East

Southgate are the early pacesetters in the Conference East after a comprehensive 8-0 win over Indian Gymkhana.

Timmy Smyth and Duncan Scott both scored two, with Kit Cutter, John Sterlini, Sam Mee and Charles Hardy all on target.

Two goals from Tejinder Hanspal helped Sevenoaks maintain their unbeaten start in a 3-2 away win at Cambridge City.

Wapping and West Herts shared the points after a 2-2 draw, in which the visitors scored two goals in two second half minutes.

Oxted were held 1-1 at home against Brighton and Hove, whilst Richmond and Teddington also drew 1-1.

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, September 24 2016):

Men's Premier Division: Canterbury 3, East Grinstead 4; Brooklands Manchester University 2, Beeston 3; Surbiton 2, Hampstead and Westminster 2; Reading 0, Holcombe 3.

Men's Conference West: Chichester 3, Isca 2; University of Birmingham P, Old Georgians P; University of Exeter 6, Cheltenham 0; Cardiff and Met 8, University of Bristol 1; Fareham 0, Team Bath Buccaneers 4.

Men’s Conference North: University of Durham 3, Olton and West Warwicks 2; Preston 5, Doncaster 1; Leek 0, Sheffield Hallam 1; Oxton 0, Bowdon 6; Cannock 1, Deeside Ramblers 2.

Men’s Conference East: Cambridge City 2, Sevenoaks 3; Southgate 8, Indian Gymkhana 0; Oxted 1, Brighton and Hove 1; Wapping 2, West Herts 2; Richmond 1, Teddington 1.

England Hockey Board Media release

Scottish Women’s National League 1 delivers a Saturday of drama and goals

There were some great games in Women’s National League Division 1 on Saturday with the fixture list delivering on the promise of some top notch contests.

As Western Wildcats were about to celebrate a hard-fought victory over champions Edinburgh University in the rain at Auchenhowie, up popped player/coach Sam Judge with a last gasp equaliser in the women`s first division game of the day.

Catriona Booth had given the Wildcats the lead with only eight minutes left, the home celebrations were just about to erupt as the seconds ticked away, but up stepped the former Scotland striker to ruin the party.

Perhaps the most astonishing factor was that there were only two goals in the contest, both sides were committed to attack and there were a flurry of scoring opportunities at both ends in this thrilling encounter in the pouring rain.

Edinburgh had the better of the early exchanges with chances to Sophie Newton and Sarah Robertson who fired the ball over the bar. Wildcats clawed their way back into proceedings, their best opportunities fell to Rona Stuart, MacKenzie Bell and Alex Stewart.

Just on the interval Wildcats thought they’d scored the opening goal when Heather Aitken thrashed the ball into the net at her second attempt, but after discussion the umpires agreed that her first attempt had been dangerous and the strike was cancelled out.

The second half was also a ding-dong affair, but it was the Wildcats who broke the stalemate with a fair slice of luck; at a not so well-worked penalty corner Booth launched a tentative shot goalwards which found the net, off the goalkeeper.

The home side looked home and dry for a big result until Judge fired home an overtime set piece.

Milne Craig Western are in pole position in the league table with a massive goal difference advantage over Grove Menzieshill who also have two wins under their belt.    Western defeated Hillhead 11-0, Jen Eadie was top scorer with four while Fiona Bruce collected a hat-trick, the rest were singles.

Grove kept in touch at the top with a 3-1 win at Erskine Stewart`s Melville, under-18 international Hanna McKie (2) and Katie Robertson were on target for the Taysiders while Tutu Osifodunrin got the consolation.

Kelburne and Watsonians picked up their first point of the season with 2-2 draw at Auchenhowie, Frances McEown and Ellis Berry scored for the Paisley side while Heather Elder and Emily Newlands replied for the visitors.

Dundee Wanderers` home game against CALA Edinburgh failed to take place on a floodlight failure issue.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

USIU humiliate KU in varsity derby


Kenyatta University's Margaret Kinuthia (left) vies with Rhoda Nyambura of USIU-A during their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League natch at City Park Stadium on September 24, 2016. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenyan international Rhoda Nyambura bagged a hat-trick on Saturday as United States International University of Africa (USIU A) Spartans hammered Kenyatta University Titans 5-1 in a Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match at the City Park Stadium.

The win saw Spartans move to the top of the women's table at least until Sunday when other matches are played.

Liz Ogutu and Florence Karanja were also on target as Spartans claimed the bragging rights in the university derby.

Edith Bunyasi pulled a goal back for Titans but they were unable to pose any real threats as Spartans cruised to a comfortable win.

Spartans captain Beatrice Mbugua was full of praise for her teammates after the outstanding performance.

"I think we were fitter, more organised, smart and better prepared for this match. This result gives us confidence of winning our next assignments and finish in a decent position at the end of the season," Mbugua told Sunday Nation Sport.

Spartans were on the offensive from the first minute with Mbugua, Nyambura and Sandra Vodoti threatening the Titans defence with their quick pace.
Spartans created their first chance in the 15th minute when Nyambura’s first time shot was saved by Titans keeper Seline Ouma.

The striker was not to be denied four minutes later as she gave her team the lead with a brilliant field goal, firing home a shot on the edge of the Titans penalty circle.

The goal spurred Spartans to launch more attacks with Mbugua pulling the strings in midfield.

Nyambura doubled the lead in the 25th minute after finishing off a sweeping move that left the Titans defence exposed. Titans struggled to leave their own half as their opponents dictated play.

However, two minutes to the break, Titans scored with their first chance of the match as Bunyasi capitalised on a defensive mix up among the Spartans player to put her team back in the match.

Titans were unable to build on the momentum in the second half as Spartans returned back stronger creating more chances. Nyambura completed her hat-trick in the 52nd minute after scoring from a rebound after Ouma had saved Vodoti's initial shot.

Six minutes later, it was four as Karanja hit the target after coming on for Vodoti.

Ogutu added the fifth in the last minute to complete a remarkable performance for the Spartans.

"We are building a new team and the players will need time to gel and pull as a unit," Titans coach Domnic Mutwol said.

In the men's national league, Parkroad Tigers edged out Impala 2-1 at the same venue. Kelvin Rono had given Impala the lead in the fifth minute but Mordecai Ogada levelled for the Tigers in the 11th minute.

Ferdinand Onyango hit the winner in the 46th minute and despite pressure from Impala, Tigers held out for the three points.

Daily Nation

Did not get respect I deserved: Ritu

Gagan K Teja

Ritu Rani (left)

Patiala - Former India women’s hockey skipper Ritu Rani, who was dropped from the Rio Olympics squad, is shattered and trying to come to terms with what has happened in the past couple of months.

Though Ritu again got a call for the India camp recently, she decided to bid adieu to her international career. In an e-mail to Hockey India, the 24-year-old had stated that she would not be able to join the camp at Bhopal because of her “personal priorities.” Speaking to The Tribune about her retirement, Ritu said she had finally met the officials concerned and everything has been sorted.

The midfielder will now play only in domestic circle. She is also exploring the options to represent foreign clubs.

“I have been playing in the senior team since 2006 and till date, had no problem with any coach, player or the supporting staff. Leveling unnecessary allegations against me was very agonising. What is the guarantee that it will not happen again if I join the camp? I can’t face the same trauma again and have decided to quit international hockey. It hurts a lot to say this, but I did not get the respect I deserved,” she said.

Former India hockey captain Sandeep Kaur said she did not approve of Ritu’s decision. “I know whatever happened was wrong, but if she quits now, it will prove the higher-ups right, which is not true. She should have raised her voice to get justice,” she said.

The Tribune

Roelant Oltmans on his way out?

Ashish Sen

JAIPUR: Ever since Indian hockey team crashed out of the Rio Games, losing to Belgium in the quarter-finals, a section of former hockey greats have been crying foul to remove coach Roelant Oltmans, putting the entire blame on the Dutchman. Even Hockey India president Narinder Batra is in a dilemma of how to tackle the situation.

So do we expect any change? Asked whether any heads will roll after India's Rio campaign, Batra said it's too early to reach a decision.

"I got reports from 20 Olympians, pinpointing the shortcomings of the Indian team. Their reports will definitely help us take corrective measures," he said. The HI president said the Oltmans issue will be discussed at a meeting, indicating that the Dutchman had earlier agreed to stay till Rio Olympics.

"We will call some former players and take their suggestions before taking any step." Batra also had high hopes on India as he explained "another Olympics came to a disappointing end for India hockey fans."

But if we analyse India's performance in the group league matches in Rio, it was not that bad. They played well against Germany and Argentina. But were found wanting in crucial matches against The Netherlands and Canada. Many feel without Oltmans, it would be tough for the team members to motivate themselves.

What they suggest that keeping in mind the junior World Cup, to be hosted by India in December this year, the Dutchman should be retained. And if the junior side could make a turn around, then a decision must be taken. Because if the performance of India in the Champions Trophy and the World League final are taken into account, it was the perseverance of Oltmans and his coaching methods which pushed India hockey to a new high.

The Times of India

Marist hockey organisers target more overseas teams

Pravin Narain

Blue Star hockey team after their match at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala Bay, Suva yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE organisers of the 2016 Geotech Drilling International Marist Eastgate Memorial Tournament in Fiji will be bringing more overseas teams in the competition from next year.

This was revealed by tournament co-ordinator Paul Fraser.

"We have got back some old and new players playing for their respective teams in the competition," he said.

"There are seven teams from the West. We can grow the tournament to be bigger and better with the sponsorship like we are getting the sponsorship from Geotech.

"Without sponsorship the tournament will die."

Twelve men's teams and six women's teams are taking part in the three-day competition which started on Friday evening at the National Hockey Centre in Suva.

"We have got confirmation of the four teams to compete in our competition next year. We are going to New Zealand to participate in their tournament so they reckoned they would come to our tournament," he added.

"We are hoping to make it an international event. It will help in the exposure.

"We have got three junior black sticks playing in the tournament and they started with the development.

"We will not go anywhere if we do not see the junior development."

The tournament ends today.


Day 1: Marist 2-1 Stingers Fusion (W), Barbarians 4-0 Bobcats (M), Stingers 1-0 Marist Blue (M), Marist White 3-0 Xtreme (M), Stingers 1-0 Marist Blue (M), Ventures 7-0 Sugar Sticks (M).Some results yesterday: Blue Star 3 vs Bobcats 0 (M), Rebels 1 vs Ventures 1 (M), Rockafellas 0 vs Marist Blue 0 (M), Ventures 19 vs Mates 0 (W), Sugar Sticks 0 vs Rebels 3 (M), Blue Star 3 vs Barbarians 1 (M), Rockafellas 0 vs Stingers 3 (M), Tokalau 0 vs Mates 0 (W), Blue Star 0 vs Stingers Fusion 4 (W).

The Fiji Times

The great communicator bows out after Rio swan-song

Argentinian Soledad Iparraguirre umpired 197 international matches

Sarah Juggins

2015 Pan American Games, Toronto - 1/2 final - Canada vs. USA. Yan Huckendubler

Taking control of 22 top international players and one or two stressed out coaches is no easy task but having a successful career as a lawyer is a definite help. Soledad Iparraguirre began her international umpiring career at the Junior Pan American Championships back in 1997 in Santiago, Chile. Her first top level competition was the ninth Women’s Champions Trophy in the Netherlands in 2001, and the popular Argentinian has not looked back since. Now, just shy of 200 international matches, including two Olympic Finals, an Olympic bronze medal game, Soledad has just umpired her last Olympics, taking charge of a high tempo semi-final between Netherlands and Germany – and she is set to bow out of the international game.

Sheila Brown was Tournament Director at Rio 2016 for the women’s competition and the well-respected South African umpire, who is one of the most highly qualified hockey officials in the world, had this to say about her umpiring colleague: “I first met Sole in 2001 and from the start I knew she was going to be a special umpire. Sole was an umpire that placed women's umpiring on the map.

“For me, she was a pioneer in women’s umpiring due to the high standard she set for herself. At every event I had the privilege to work with her she was always professional and she had a really special relationship with the players. She was able to quickly read the game and through her positive attitude on the field, developed a great respect both from the players and her co-umpires.

“Sole’s contribution to hockey has been vast and everyone will remember her for her commanding presence on the field. She always went the extra mile to assist everyone at all tournaments. She will be sadly missed.”

Sheila went on to utter the hope shared by the umpiring community around the world, but particularly in the Pan American region: “I hope that she will continue to contribute to our beautiful game through giving her knowledge to new umpires coming through the ranks either in Argentina or at FIH level events.”

We learn more about Soledad’s approach to umpiring via various interviews she has held over the course of her long umpiring career and through the courses she runs for upcoming umpires. The central message that has been the backbone of Soledad’s umpiring career and her umpiring coaching is the importance of talking to the players, keeping them informed of what is happening on the pitch and, if necessary, talking them through a decision. It is a trait that the younger international umpires are picking up, with both Kelly Hudson of New Zealand and Kylie Seymour of Australia quick to point out that their own game is based on developing great communication channels with the players.

Speaking to online hockey website Hockey Mobile prior to Rio 2016, Soledad says: “I like to chat with the players and have a good relationship with them. I do not want to run the game through cards and fear, but through dialogue, keeping a low profile and apologizing when I am wrong.”

This approach, which Soledad has maintained throughout her career, was ahead of its time, as she explains: “In an international tournament in 1998 [Women’s Three Nations] I was scored badly because I talked a lot with the players. Today, communication between umpires and players is the key to a good performance. If you can send a good message with thewhistle and words, I am not saying you are guaranteed to keep good control, but it certainly helps.”

She does not hammer the point home but it is clear that Soledad feels that the umpiring committees of the 1990s had some catching up to do.

The 2002 World Cup in Perth, Australia, was Soledad’s projection onto the biggest stage and two years later she umpired her first Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. It was at the 2006 World Cup in Madrid that Soledad received her golden whistle for 100 international matches and two years later she umpired the Final at the Beijing Olympics with Carolina de la Fuente. Now, 12 years and four Olympic Games later, the 44-year-old is hanging up her whistle, after gracing the stage at the 2016 Olympics. Her final game as a top international umpire was the crucial semi-final between Germany and the Netherlands, a fixture which had its own poignancy as it mirrors the first Olympic Final that Soledad umpired in Athens in 2004, alongside another South African legend, Marelize de Klerk.

Soledad finished the Olympic Games in Rio on 197 umpiring appearances – including the 2004 and 2008 Finals, and the 2012 bronze medal match – just three shy of the magical 200 number, but bowing out on the greatest hockey stage was always part of her plan.

Speaking on behalf of the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF), the organization’s President Alberto (Coco) Budeisky says: “Soledad is a reflection to aspiring PAHF umpires of the level they should be looking to attain. During her career as both an umpire and umpire’s coach, throughout Argentina and the entire Pan American continent, not only an incredibly high quality of umpiring, but also a readiness and willingness to share her knowledge and techniques of umpiring. Both on and off the field, she is an example to follow for sure.”

Before taking up the whistle, Soledad played hockey in Argentina but gave up in 1994 when she gave birth to her first child. She returned to hockey a year later as both a player and, increasingly, as an umpire with her club. Her rise to international level was rapid and just two years after first umpiring a club game, she found herself officiating at the Junior Pan American Games.

Falling pregnant with her second child meant that the umpiring career went on a brief hold, but it was always Soledad’s ambition to be fit and ready to umpire at the 2002 World Cup. Martin was born in June 2002, Soledad was umpiring the best teams in the world at the World Cup in December of that year.

Recognized as one of the best umpires in the world, Soledad has always been willing to pass on her expertise. She is Umpire Coordinator for the Argentina Hockey Confederation and can be found running regular training courses for the umpiring stars of the future across the Pan Am region. Earlier this year, Soledad ran a PAHF course for umpires in Trinidad and Tobago. Speaking at the event, Roger St Rose, chairperson of the PAHF Umpiring Committee said: “We are very fortunate to have an umpire of such quality here in Trinidad and Tobago, willing to share her extensive experience on the finer points of the game.”

Ireland’s Carol Metchette, who has worked alongside Soledad on many occasions and was one of the video umpires at Rio 2016, sums up Soledad and her impact upon the game: “What can I say about Soledad? She really is one of a kind. She sets the standard for everyone to follow. She's passionate about her umpiring and very professional. A legend for sure.”

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

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