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News for 23 January 2017

All the news for Monday 23 January 2017

Unstoppable Ireland storm to HWL Round 2 title in Kuala Lumpur

Hosts Malaysia defeated but join Ireland in Hockey World League Semi-Finals

Ireland have triumphed at the women’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Kuala Lumpur, overcoming host nation Malaysia 3-0 in the competition final in front of a packed Tun Razak Stadium.

Goals from competition top scorer Anna O’Flanagan, team captain Kathryn Mullan and Zoe Wilson proved to be enough for the Green Army, who will now march into this summer’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals – where tickets to the Hockey World Cup 2018 in London are on offer – in confident mood. The team conceded just once in six matches in Kuala Lumpur, scoring 39 times on their way to victory.

“The performance tonight was outstanding,” said Ireland’s Head Coach Graham Shaw after the match. “We played a very attractive style of hockey and it was very enjoyable to watch, played in front of a huge home crowd. We have had an incredible experience and have grown and learned a lot as a group. This is our first competitive tournament in 18 months and we’re very proud of the team and the level of performance.”

Despite defeat, it was still a competition to remember for Malaysia’s Tigress, who also go forward to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals courtesy of their second place finish on home soil. However, Ireland were the better side on the day and fully deserved their success.

Italy triumphed in the 3-4 play-off match, seeing off Wales 3-1 thanks in part to a double strike from Valentina Braconi. The result keeps alive Italy’s hopes of reaching the Semi-Finals, as the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from the three Hockey World League Round 2 events will be handed tickets to the Semi-Finals, the result could prove significant for the Italians.

Earlier in the day, Thailand claimed fifth place thanks to a shoot-out victory over Singapore after the match finished with the scores locked at 0-0. Samanso Supansa, Khuikland Praphatson and Piresram Anongnat were all on target as Thailand won the shoot-out 3-1.

In the 7-8 classification match, Kazakhstan edged Hong Kong by the odd goal in five, taking the match 3-2 thanks to strikes from Symbat Sabazova, Olga Khonina and Gulim Idrissova.

The women’s Hockey World League Round 2 returns to action in February (4-12 Feb) when the Spanish city of Valencia plays host to a Round 2 event featuring Spain, Scotland, Turkey, Czech Republic, Ghana, Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

The competition in Valencia will be the second of three women’s Round 2 events, each of which offer two guaranteed tickets to the World Cup qualifier Semi-Final events in Belgium and South Africa.

The third of the Hockey World League Round 2 competitions takes place in West Vancouver, Canada between 1-9 April 2017.

More information about the competition can be found on the official event website by clicking here.

Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Results – Sunday 22nd January 2017
7-8: Hong Kong 2, Kazakhstan 3.
5-6: Thailand 0, Singapore 0 (Thailand win 3-1 in shoot-out).
3-4: Wales 1, Italy 3.
1-2: Malaysia 0, Ireland 3.

Final Standings
1: Ireland (Qualified for Hockey World League Semi-Finals)
2: Malaysia (Qualified for Hockey World League Semi-Finals)
3: Italy
4: Wales
5: Thailand
6: Singapore
7: Kazakhstan

FIH site

Green Army Beat Malaysia To Win World League 2 Title

The Green Army have cruised to the World League 2 title in Kuala Lumpur in front of a noticeably larger crowd than previous matches. Goals from Anna O’Flanagan, Katie Mullan and Zoe Wilson sealed the deal for Ireland in a game dominated by the Irish. Head coach Graham Shaw said “The performance tonight was outstanding. We played a very attractive style of hockey and it was very enjoyable to watch, played in front of a huge home crowd”.

Mullan and O’Flanagan hinted at what was to come as they both burst into the circle more than once in the opening 5 minutes while drawing saves from Farah Yahya in the Malaysian goal, who has to be credited with keeping the final score at just 3-0. But the Green Army played simple, blisteringly fast paced hockey that left the Malaysians floundering at times. The opening goal came courtesy of a Chloe Watkins sweep to an unmarked O’Flanagan at the back post who gladly added to her goal haul for the tournament; 12 in total earning her the awards of Player of the Tournament and Top Goalscorer. Two minutes later and against the run of play Malaysia were awarded a stroke and the game looked set to be tied, but Nuraini Rashid sent the ball wide. Mullan doubled the lead in the 10th minute as she released a rocket on her reverse from the top of the circle, while surrounded by several defenders, that left the keeper no chance; the Malaysian stats list the shot as reaching 100km/hr.The score could have further doubled before the half time whistle with 14 circle entries for the Irish but credit to the Malaysian defence who piled numbers behind the ball while Yahya made several more saves. Ayeisha McFerran had little to do but when called upon she was in commanding form, making a superb high diving save from a Malaysian penalty corner. Such saves justly contributed to McFerran being awarded Goalkeeper of the Tournament having only conceded 1 goal throughout the entire tournament.

The second half continued as the first had ended with Nicci Daly and Gillian Pinder accelerating at the Malaysian defence at will. Zoe Wilson got the scoring underway once more via a penalty corner. Wilson’s initial shot from the top of the circle was blocked by the first runner but showing great composure she followed the bobbling ball and drilled it into the net. One of the chances of the half arose when Wilson aerialled the ball to Carroll high up the pitch who drew the defender to set Mullan up on the reverse but the final shot just ricocheted off the post.

The final score of 3-0 brings Ireland’s goal tally for the tournament to 39, 10 goals more than higher ranked Italy. It’s very much a case of job done for Graham Shaw’s team as they now look towards World League 3 and the Eurohockey Championships this summer.

Reflecting on the tournament Shaw said “We have had an incredible experience and, have grown and learnt a lot as a group. This is our first competitive tournament in 18 months and we’re very proud of the team and the level of performance”.

Looking to the months ahead, Shaw continued “We have exciting times ahead with World League 3 and the Eurohockey Championships. We’ll use this tournament as a benchmark going forward. Our number 1 goal is to qualify for the World Cup and finish as high as possible at the Europeans in August”.

Ireland 3 ( O’Flanagan, Mullan, Wilson)
Malaysia 0

Squad: McFerran, Matthews, Evans, Mullan (Captain), McCay, Tice, Watkins, Colvin, Daly, O’Flanagan, Wilson

Subs: Cassin, O’Byrne, Sargent, Carroll, Pinder, Upton, Barry 

Irish Hockey Association media release

Malaysia go down to Ireland in final

Eyes on the ball: Ireland’s Elena Tice (front) is challenged by Malaysia’s Siti Rahmah Othman in the final of the Women’s Hockey World League Second Round at the Tun Razak Stadium in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Ireland won 3-0. — M. Azhar Arif / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia lost their spark, going down to Ireland in the final of the Women’s Hockey World League Second Round.

Malaysia, who played superbly well to stun world No. 15 Italy in the semi-finals on Saturday, also squandered a penalty stroke in the 3-0 loss at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday.

Despite the defeat, Malaysia have qualified for the World League Semi-Finals by virtue of finishing in the top two in the eight-team tournament.

Malaysia will play in the World League Semi-Finals either in Brussels, Belgium (June 21-July 2), or in Johannesburg, South Africa, from July 8-22.

In yesterday’s final, Ireland went on the offensive and took the lead after only seven minutes through Anna O’Flanagan from close range.

A minute later, Malaysia had the chance to equalise after they were awarded a penalty stroke.

But to the fans’ disappointment, Nuraini Abdul Rashid flicked the ball wide.

Ireland, who beat Malaysia 2-1 in the group match, then doubled the score in the 10th minute through Kathryn Mullan.

They continued to pile on the pressure and made it 3-0 in the 35th minute through Zoe Wilson.

National coach K. Dharmaraj said his players were tired after the hard-fought win over Italy.

“I am not making any excuses. And our players only slept around 3am after celebrating our qualification for the World League Semi-Finals.

“My focus now is to prepare a solid team for the World League Semi-Finals,” said Dharmaraj.

The Star of Malaysia

Score-line against the Dutch does not do SA justice

The score of 2-6 does not do justice to the efforts of the South African men's hockey team against the Netherlands in their first match of the Summer Series.

This is the first time in 12 months that the South Africans played international hockey. Holland was fourth at the Olympics and is currently third on the world rankings.

South Africa had good moments and if the players could have managed to sustain this good constructive place for longer periods of time, the score could have been much different. With six minutes remaining the score was 4-2. The last time these two teams played the Dutch won with almost two handfuls of goals.

“It was a positive match for us if you take into consideration that is has been 12 months since our last international series. We did ourselves a good service against a world-class team and played a competitive match. We did let ourselves down with regards to discipline, but it is something we can rectify and comeback better from,” said SA captain Tim Drummond.

The halftime score was 2-0 for the visitors after goals from Thierry Brinkman and Mirco Pruijser. Both goals were scored in the second quarter. The first half was largely dominated by the Netherlands. There were moments of good play by the South Africans, but they could not, like the Netherlands apply it continuously for long periods of time.

Holland's first goal had become after more than three minutes of continual attacks and pressure on the South African defence in the goal circle. The second goal came just a few minutes later.

The home team scored a minute after the start of the third quarter. Jonty Robinson’s goal narrowed the gap to a single goal. Tristan Allegra scored soon after though from a penalty corner to stretch the Dutch lead again. The crowd was on their feet in the 37th minute when Gareth Heyns hit the back of the net for South Africa’s second goal.

The final quarter, however, again belonged to the Netherlands with goals from Bob de Voogd, Jip Janssen and Pruijser.

Drummond and his team would be concerned about the amount of penalty corners they conceded. “It was far too many for sure, but once again we will get better.”

The next match in the series is Wednesday when the South African women's team play against China and the men take on the Netherlands again.

SA Hockey Association media release

Dutch dispatch SA hockey men

Zaahier Adams

Jonty Robinson, seen here in action at Hartleyvale on Sunday, scored South Africa's opening goal against The Netherlands. Photo: Luigi Bennett, BackpagePix

The South African men’s hockey team fought bravely at a windy Hartleyvale, but ultimately came unstuck against a vastly more experienced Netherlands side in the opening men’s encounter of the Cape Town Summer Series.

The slick passing of the Dutch side, who are among the leading teams in the world – having finished just out of the medals in fourth place at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last year – showed their class during the second chukka when they took the lead after some good interplay by the halves in midfield.

The opening goal came courtesy of some impressive play from the Argentinian-born Valentin Verga. The striker, who actually played rugby back in Buenos Aires before his family emigrated to Amsterdam when still a child, struck a vicious reverse-stick shot goalwards, which allowed Thierry Brinkman to deflect it past South Africa’s goalkeeper Gowan Jones.

Brinkman showed good reflexes to lunge at the ball before it reached Jones.

The visitors were certainly enjoying the strong wind at their backs as they launched another productive attack shortly after the opening goal.

Fellow striker Marco Pruijser added his name to the score-sheet after some good play by Lars Balk in the lead-up to the goal.

The change of ends certainly aided the home side, who were a lot more comfortable playing with the winds at their backs than having to run into virtual gale-force winds down in Observatory.

They used it to their immediate advantage, with Jonty Robinson collecting a long pass and breaking free inside the Dutch ‘D’ within a minute of the restart.

Robinson, who is a veteran of the 2012 SA Olympic team, turned sweetly past Netherlands defender to get the ball back on to his strong side before unleashing a pile driver into the right top corner, which gave the visiting goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak no chance of stopping it.

The strong crowd that braved the chilly early evening weather certainly enjoyed the chance to warm up their lungs and vociferously cheered the South African goal.

The joy was short-lived, though, with the Dutch hitting back strongly by forcing a short corner.

The short-corner tactics of the ‘Oranje Army’ are among the most feared in the world, and they duly showed why when Tristan Algera stepped up and slapped a low shot past Jones in the SA goal to restore Netherlands’ two-goal advantage.

The third chukka was the most entertaining for the home fans, with South Africa continuing to press with the wind at their backs.

Former Bishops prodigy Dayaan Cassiem showed enterprising skill upfront on his international debut, with the 18-year-old’s speed proving to be a constant menace for the Dutch defenders.

The home side were duly rewarded for their constant pressure when Gareth Heyns reduced the deficit once more through a deflection after South Africa had earned another short corner.

However, the home side’s discipline let them down in the latter stages of the third and final chukka, with Cassiem’s inexperience costing his team dearly when he received a yellow card for slapping the ball goalwards after the referee’s whistle had already been blown.

Robinson also later received a yellow card which compounded South Africa’s problems.

A classy side such as the Dutch don’t need such offerings and duly made the opposition pay, with Bob de Voogdt and Jip Janssen adding to the tally before Pruijser closed off proceedings with his second of the evening.

South Africa will get another chance on Wednesday evening (8pm start) to show what that they have learnt from Sunday night’s defeat when they face the Dutch again.

The SA Women’s team will face China in the curtain-raiser at 6pm.

Cape Town Summer Series

South Africa 2 (Robinson, Heyns)
Netherlands 6 (Brinkman, Pruijser 2, Algera, De Voogd, Jansen)

Independent Online

Czech Republic are the EuroHockey Junior Indoor Champions!

Czech Republic are crowned EuroHockey Indoor Junior Champions! (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))   

The Final Day of the EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships and with relegation for one team and medals to be won, it was another fantastic day here in Vienna. In a tight final which ended 1-1 and needed a shoot out to decide the winner, which for the first time in 20 years is Czech Republic.

First up we had the conclusion of the Pool C games. Poland finished 5th with a draw with Turkey who finished 8th here in Vienna and will now play in the Championships II in 2019. Italy and hosts Austria were battling it out for the 6th and 7th positions. Austria beat Italy 2-1 and secured 6th, with Italy in 7th place.

In the afternoon we had the medal games and with Russia in the bronze medal game we were sure of a new Champion as Belarus and Czech Republic would battle for that honour. No matter what happened in the Bronze game, Switzerland would equal their highest ever ranking at EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships for Women matching a 4th position in 2003.

Match round-up:

Match 17: Poland v Turkey 2-2 (1-1) 

Turkey needed nothing short of a win to try and stay in the Championship Pool, Poland meanwhile were going for 5th position, if they won or drew.  With incredible skills Fatma Songül GÜLTEKIN the Turkish captain beat the keeper to put Turkey ahead. A minute later a great steal from Bianca STRUBBE and Poland equalised. The score remained 1-1 going into half time.

In the second half Turkey scored a perfect training ground pc the ball was played back to the injector who slipped it past the keeper into the bottom right corner, Turkey 2-1. Poland, wanting to be sure to finish top of the Pool used a power play to their advantage and equalised via Karolina GROCHOWALSKA. The draw means Turkey are relegated and Poland finish 5th.

Watch back the game here

Match 18: Italy v Austria 

The final Pool C game would determine who would finish 6th and 7th here in Vienna. Austria earned a pc in the 3rd minute, which hit the foot of the defender on the line, a stroke was awarded and Austrian captain Miriam GERÖ calmly slotted it in, putting Austria in the lead 0-1. And so the score remained into the break.

In the second half they doubled their lead via a tight angled shot from Ruth KONRAT. Italy opted for a power play late into the second half and were rewarded with a goal from the spot, as the Austrian defender had saved a pc on the line, but off her foot. Rebecca CONFORTO slotted home from the spot, but it was too little, too late to change the result, 1-2 to Austria.

Speaking to Austria’s head coach Andreas DOLGE after the game, he explained that this was his first Championship with the girls and they are re-building the team at the moment “We did a step in the right direction, we know we are lacking a bit in goal scoring and ‘man-to-man’ marking, but we are working on these things.” Overall he was “Happy with the tournament, but it would have been good to finish higher, as always!”

Watch back the game here

Match 19: Bronze Medal Game: Switzerland v Russia

Russia opened the scoring from the penalty spot as an Austria player had saved the ball off the line, but it had hit her foot…  Switzerland were quick to respond with a goal from play as Léonor BERLIE twisted and turned and flicked the ball on her reverse! 1-1. The second half was played at a slower pace, both teams happy to hold possession and wait for the openings, forcing errors if possible. Switzerland were rewarded with a pc in the 27th minute, but a solid save from the Russian keeper kept the game level. The final result, a draw led us to the first shoot-out of the Tournament! With Russia being the eventual winners

Watch back the game here

Match 20: The Final: Czech Republic v Belarus 1 – 1 (0 – 1) (1 – 0 SO)

A tense start to the final as both teams tested eachother’s nerve here in Vienna. The Czech team aware of the fire power that Belarus have! The opening goal of the game came from Belarus with a sweep after a full along the the baseline from Filipovich who has been lethal at close quarters all weekend. 0-1 to Belarus. Belarus pressed hard and won 2 corners, but the Czech defence held well and kept the score to 0-1. Czech had a good chance to equalise just on the halftime whistle, but an excellent save from the ‘postman’ under control meant the score remained 0-1. Immediately after the break Czech equalised as Natálie NOVÁKOVÁ had broken away from her marker and was able to drive the ball home. The second half started as tense as the first, with both teams having chances. Czech had the best chance to go ahead in the 38th minute as the keeper was committed, but the Belarus defence arrived in numbers to save the day! The final score was 1-1 and like the Bronze medal game, it was decided by a shoot out, which Czech won, just one shoot out converted to lift the Cup!

VIENNA - 2017 EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championship (W) 20 CZE v BLR (Final) Czech win after shoot out Czech Republic Euro Champions Cup giving by Walter KAPOUNEK. FFU PRESS AGENCY COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

EHF Board Member Walter Kapounek presents the Cup to Czech Captain Veronka Novakova (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))

Watch back the game here

Final Ranking: 

1. Czech Republic (Champions)
2. Belarus
3. Russia
4. Switzerland
5. Poland
6. Austria
7. Italy
8. Turkey (Relegated to EuroHockey Indoor Junior Championships in 2019)

Top Scorer: 
Iuliia SARTAKOVA (RUS) with 10 goals

Best Player: 

Best Goalkeeper: 

EuroHockey media release

HIL 2017 M2: Gurjinder Singh frustrates formidable

s2h team

Even as the visiting Delhi Waveriders missed chances like a millionaire, the hosts Kalinga Lancers lapped it up a lone chance it got to walk away with full points in the second match of the Fifth Hockey India League. Gurjinder Singh's high penalty corner flick turned out to be the lone goal of the match where the visiting Delhi Waveriders had upperhand throughout the sixty minutes proceedings but ended as losers.

Delhi Waveriders missed as many as seven penalty corners, thanks to excellent charges by Amit Rohidoss whereas the Kalinga converted its lone penalty corner it got in the fourth quarter. Its Gurjinder Singh who struck and kept the spirit of full crowd up. His flick hit the roof top.

After a barren first half, the visitors got three penalty corners in succession, but could not convert. Their relentless work upfront got them two penalty corners, one out of successful referral. Rupinder Pal again got the chance but only to see conceding counters.

Goalie Andre Charter who came late, turned out to be the flesh in the thorn for the Delhi team. Some of his stops were nerve wrecking. After surviving a great deal of effort from the Riders, captain Moritz Fuerste surged to the right of rival circle and was successful in getting his team's lone penalty corner which saw the light at the stick of Gurjinder Singh.

A successful referral gave sixth PC for Delhi after the third umpire the ball hitting the foot of Pardeep Mor which escaped the eyes of Indian umpire Raghu Prasad, but Rupinder's effort cut short by chargers. This process gave another PC for Delhi, which they failed to fructify as their effort to convert into field goal did not make way. Their forward pass outside the circle was anticipated and cleared by the alert Lancers.

The first half was event less except a lone penalty corner for the visiting Delhi Waveriders, which Rupinder Pal took only to see the first charger clears very close to him. Kalinga Lancers at that moment had a great chance to make a counter, but mistrapping let the chance go.

Earlier, Mandeep Singh once and Parminder Singh twice had chances to move the scoreboard in favour of DWRs, but the alert goalie in Abhinav Pandey did not let that happen. Kalinga Lancers owed much to the lanky goalie for the clean slat the half time.

Before the start of the match, Hon'ble Chief Minister of the State Shir Navin Patnaik unveiled the Man of the Match Trophy in the presence of Narender Dhruv Batra, president, International Hockey Federation (FIH).


THRILLING GOAL Rs.50K: Gurjinder Singh
MAN OF THE MATCH Rs.50K: Moritz Fuerste


Gurjinder stars for Lancers

Y.B. Sarangi

Kalinga Lancers players during a training session. 

Drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh converted Kalinga Lancer’s lone penalty- corner in the fourth quarter to enable the host start its Hockey India League campaign with a 1-0 win over Delhi Waveriders here on Sunday.

Waveriders suffered because of its finishing woes as last year’s runners-up Lancers notched up full points.

Both teams preferred to have possession and look for openings in the first quarter.

Lancers captain Moritz Furste impressed with his distribution skills, while Tom Craig had some fantastic runs on the left flank but could not find a partner to capitalise on his speed.

Waveriders had a fine chance to grab the lead in the ninth minute but Mandeep Singh, who received the ball on the edge of the circle, hit wide of the far post.

The touring side surprised the host with some rapid raids early in the second quarter.

Lancers broke the deadlock when they earned their first penalty-corner within two minutes of the final period and Gurjinder’s high drag-flick to the right of the goalkeeper provided the breakthrough.

The result: Kalinga Lancers 1 (Gurjinder Singh 47) bt Delhi Waveriders 0.

The Hindu

Gurjinder stars in Lancers’ victory

Kalinga Lancers’ Gurjinder Singh scored the winning goal in their opener on Sunday. HIL

Bhubaneswar: Gurjinder Singh converted a penalty corner to hand Kalinga Lancers a 1-0 victory over Delhi Waveriders in their opening match of the Hockey India League.

Lancers got off to a dominating start but Delhi gained in confidence as the match progressed.  However, Waveriders failed to convert easy chances that cost them the match. Australian Tom Craig, playing his first season of HIL, displayed brilliant dribbling skills to keep the home crowd on the edge of their seats.

A golden opportunity to take an early two-point lead was missed by the home team in the 11th minute when Dharamvir Singh, brilliantly assisted by Billy Bakker, failed to capitalise on a sloppy attempt, sending the ball over the Delhi’s goalpost.

Waveriders earned their first penalty corner in the 22nd minute, thanks to a quick-thinking Harjeet Singh. The opportunity went amiss though, Rupinder Pal Singh improvising from the injection but his attempt was blocked by defender Matthew Dawson.

Lancers came out all guns blazing in the final quarter and captain Moritz Fuerste earned his team their first penalty corner of the match. Gurjinder swiftly put the ball past Belgian goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch. Gurjinder was awarded Rs 50,000 for scoring the Goal of the Match. Waveriders’ Mandeep Singh got Rs 25,000 for being the Young Achiever of the Match.

The Most Entertaining Player of the Match was awarded to Amit Rohidas of Kalinga Lancers that came with a prize money of Rs 25,000. Moritz Fuerste of Kalinga Lancers was declared the Man of the Match with a prize money of Rs 50,000.

Kalinga Lancers will take on Ranchi Rays in their next match here tomorrow.

The Tribune

HIL 2017: We need to calm down a bit: Moritz Fuerste

Tazeen Qureshy

Kalinga Lancers have got just the right start they needed after overcoming Delhi Waveriders 1-0, in their first match of the season, but skipper Moritz Fuerste says the team has not lived up to its capability.

“I think, we didn’t play great hockey today".

"Though it is our first match and this is the winning moment, we need to improve a lot".

"In today’s match, we took some questionable decisions in the 25 yard, which has cost us. We need to go back and take a look at it and improve,” said the victorious skipper in the post-match press conference. undefined

“Though we didn’t play the best hockey, we defended well. It was the first match of the season and all the players were excited, but I think we need to calm down a bit and be more stable,” said Fuertse, who was also declared the Man of the Match.

Hailing the defence, coach Mark Hager showered praises on Amit Rohidas and Matthew Dawson.

“We have a good line-up and a lot of variations, which is our strength"

. "Amit and Dawson played well today. I think our counter-attacks were very good.”

The Lancers next play Ranchi Rays tomorrow.

“Our next match is tomorrow, so we will go back and review Ranchi’s first against Mumbai".

"Ranchi has some really good players and if our defense lives up to the game, we will win it,” he said, hinting at a defensive strategy for tomorrow.


HIL 2017 M2: Men in Oranje triumphs, even as young support brigade win hearts

Tazeen Qureshy

As a rusty Kalinga Lancers were battling hard to win their first match against Delhi Waveriders at the jam-packed Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, a young ‘Orange Brigade,’ constantly cheering, caught the eye of the spectators. “Go, go..to your left..careful..,” came the instructions from a group of minions hardly 10 years old, while the elderly watched the match in rapt silence.

“We had come here as player escorts. Somehow, we could not go to the field. Never mind, we are enjoying the match,” says standard fifth student Amlan, without moving his eyes away from the match even for a second. “I was here for the Champions Trophy in 2015. I love Glenn Turner.”

Amlan’s junior joins in. “You know I love hockey. But, whenever I watch it at home on television, I am not allowed to cheer loudly. Here in the stadium with my friends, I can easily shout at the top of my voice, my mother can’t stop me,” says Satwik, flashing a victory smile.

The kids were part of the 80-odd students of SAI International school in Bhubaneswar, who were special invitees for the first match of the Kalinga Lancers in this season.

“The players had come to our school prior to the league and spent time with us. So, I thought why not go and watch them play. Not in my wildest dreams I knew the atmosphere in the stadium can be so electrifying,” says Ekash, a debut live hockey spectator.

As the Kalinga Lancers finally wrapped up a hard-fought battle with a win, the group was the first to get off their seats and shake a leg before their teacher asked them to vacate the stadium.

“Hockey is a great game. We love when the HIL comes. Wait and watch, Kalinga Lancers will win this time,” Amlan says with a wink as he prepares to go home.


KLHC outclass UniKL to go second

by Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) brought Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) down to earth with an easy win in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

KLHC were just too strong, strolling to a 2-0 Premier Division win at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium yesterday. It was a costly loss for UniKL as they dropped from the top of the eight-team league to third on 12 points.

Mohd Nor Faeez Ibrahim gave KLHC the lead off a penalty corner in the 34th minute. Muhd Haziq Samsul doubled the score in the 43rd minute. The win lifted KLHC to second with 13 points.

Double champions Terengganu, also on 13 points, surged to the top on goal difference after beating Maybank 3-0 at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium in Malacca.

UniKL coach A. Arulselvaraj said they lost to a more experienced side who took their chances well.

“There are lessons to be learnt from the defeat,” said Arulselvaraj.

KLHC team manager Ahmad Anuar Sham Kamar said they were unimpressive in the first two quarters.

“We played much better in the last two quarters and made use of our chances to collect full points,” said Ahmad Anuar.

South Korean Jang Jong-hyun scored a penalty after only six minutes to give Terengganu the lead against the Tigers. International forward Faizal Saari was on target to make it 2-0 in the 27th minute and Muhd Firhan Ashaari completed the scoring in the 42nd minute.

Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh was pleased to get another win – their fourth – on board.

“It was a morale-boosting win. I hope we can maintain our form,” said Sarjit.

The Star of Malaysia

Hockey tourney gets under way

A hockey match in progress during the opening day of the All-India Balwant Singh Kapur Memorial School Hockey Tournament in Jalandhar on Sunday. A Tribune Photograph.

Jalandhar: The 13th All-India Balwant Kapur Hockey Tourney commenced today at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium today. Dr BS Dhillon, Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agriculture University was the chief guest and inaugurated the tournament.

In the first match played between GTB Senior Secondary School and the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Mohali, the former defeated the later by 5-2 and entered the league phase. Earlier, in the knock out phase, MGP School at Shahbad Markanda defeated S Bishan School by 3-1.

Amongst the various dignitaries present on the occasion were organising committee chairman Gursharan Singh Kapur, Prithvi Pal Kapur, Harbhajan Kapur, Dapinder Singh Kapur, Olympians Sanjiv Kumar, Ripudaman Singh , Suresh Thakur and Sandeep Singh were present.

On Monday, teams of Malwa school, Ludhiana, will play against GRD School, Sangrur, and later, Government School, Mithapur, will play against Springdale school, Amritsar.

The Tribune

Pakistan U-18 hockey team to visit Australia

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Under-18 hockey team will take part in Australia’s National Hockey Championship set to be held in April this year following a special invitation, the Pakistan hockey Federation (PHF) said Sunday.

“We have received an invitation from the Hockey Australia for the event and will be sending our team to feature in it,” a PHF official said.

The official said a grant of Rs.800 million for the PHF by the federal government was a good step to help give exposure to young and emerging hockey players in the country. However, he said, the funds were not enough to send the Under-18s to New Zealand, another country where they have been invited to play.

“Though the PHF has received Rs.800 million grant but it has a lot of liabilities to address,” he added.

The Daily Times

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