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News for 03 February 2017

All the news for Friday 3 February 2017

Cargo Scores Twice On 150th Cap As Green Machine Beat France

Tri-Nations Tournament

France got off to the stronger start winning a penalty corner in the opening minutes of the match but Johnny Bell made a superb save on the line to prevent Ireland going down by an early goal. Two minutes later France appeared caught off guard by the pace of Neal Glassey and Matthew Nelson as they glided through the French defence to set up Chris Cargo for the opening goal, a fitting reward for Cargo who earned his 150th cap today. The pendulum of the game continued to swing and it only took France 3 minutes to draw the game level thanks to a penalty corner. The opening quarter drew to a close at 1-1 with France happy to keep hold of possession at the back.

Cargo was unlucky not to double his haul early in the second quarter with a great chance but Jamie Wright was on hand moments later to give Ireland the lead. Ben Walker, earning his first senior international cap, made it look easy as he evaded the final defender to set Wright up for his first international goal.

The Green Machine continued to look the more threatening with Matthew Nelson drawing a fine save from Arthur Thieffry and Johnny McKee poaching the ball from the French defence to earn Ireland another penalty corner. The French discipline seemed to waiver and they were reduced to 9 players but did well to hold off waves of Irish attack. But the goal that had been threatening for some time arrived courtesy of Cargo once again as he tapped in Nelson’s reverse cross.

Ireland face Spain in their final match of the series on Friday Feb 3rd at 1pm local time.

France 1
Ireland 3 (Cargox2, Wright)

Starting: Ingram (GK), J Bell (Captain), M Bell, Gleghorne, Harte, Cargo, Glassey, O’Donoghue, E Magee, McKee, Dale,

Subs: L Cole, Nelson, Wright, Walker, Brown, O’Connor, Carr (GK)

Match Details

Spain 4vs4 France 29/1/2017 4pm in Benalmadena
France 2vs2 Ireland 30/1/2017 4pm in Benalmadena
Spain 2vs1 Ireland 31/1/2017 4pm Malaga
Spain 6vs0 France 1/2/2017 4pm in Benalmadena
France 1vs3 Ireland 2/2/2017 4pm in Malaga
Spain vs Ireland 3/2/2017 1pm in Benalmadena
*times listed are local.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ronan Gormley will look to build on 250 hockey cap feat

Ireland star can take tally to 257 if he plays in all of his side’s World League matches

Johnny Watterson

Ireland hockey player Ronan Gormley this week reached 250 caps in Ireland’s 1-2 defeat to Spain. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho   

Ireland hockey player Ronan Gormley this week reached 250 caps in Ireland’s 1-2 defeat to Spain. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ronan Gormley’s mark of 250 Test caps for Ireland this week was a remarkable milestone not just in Irish hockey but in Irish sport. The former Sandford Park and Pembroke player, who now lines out for German side Crefelder, is also possibly on his way to the 300 mark.

If he continues to show the durability that has largely kept him free from serious injury, he should be just short of the 260 mark by the time Ireland finishes the hosting of the World League event in Stormont in March.

Ireland had a match on Thursday in Spain where Gormley did not figure but has another one on Friday in which he may play some part, which will take his number to 251 caps.

Stormont tournament

Ireland does have an away training camp to Holland prior to the Stormont tournament but the team will play against Dutch club sides and they will be non-cap matches, so he won’t build on the 251 before Belfast.

If the 33-year-old takes to the pitch in all of Ireland’s three pool matches and the three crossovers he will add six more to his tally to take him to 257 by the tournament’s end. The closest to him in the Irish game is Eugene Magee. The Banbridge former hurler has 239 caps and like Gormley will probably add to that in the coming months.

On the women’s side, Ireland midfielder Shirley McCay, who made her debut in 2007 against Canada, hit the 100 cap mark against France, the 200 mark against Germany and now 10 years on sits at 231 caps and is in line to become the first Irish woman player to reach the 250 milestone.

Most capped player

Hockey, though does not have the most capped player in Irish sport. While Gormley is past Brian O’Driscoll’s mark of 141 (133 for Ireland and eight Lion’s Tests) for rugby, cricket’s Kevin O’Brien has played 279 matches for Ireland.

The Irish Times

Ranchi resurrects, as Mumbai fumbles

s2h team

Coach Harendra Singh's Ranchi Rays staged a comeback of sorts with a commanding 7-3 win over pool toppers Dabang Mumbai in a match marked for both technical table goof ups and frayed tempers.

Though stunned by a second minutes two-goal strike by visiting Dabang Mumbai's Florian Fuchs' opportunistic strike, Ranchi Rays evened out it with a matching lightening goal by Ashley Jackson (2-2) in the fifth minute.

Field goal from alert Mohd Amir off a rebound from David Harte, DM's goalie, in the first minute of the second half gave the home team lead first time, which they never forfeited thereafter.

Mohd Imran added to the Mumbai woes in the 51st minute after Ashley Jackson converted a stroke coming out of feeble penalty corner flick off Trent Mitton.

Mumbai too converted a penalty corner out of two they got when Affan Yousaf spotted a weak clearance from Taylor Lovell.

However, the match may be remembered for frayed tempers in the third quarter when Timothy Deavin and Nikkin Thimmaiah had to be simultaneously given marching orders (yellow card suspension). It was apparent the Dabang Mumbai forward was annoyed on him being physically tackled by Barry Middleton, and showed his anger when he wanted gesture friendly. On this, Timothy pushed Thimmaiah from behind. Middleton shortly in the sequence was seen too physical in defending a Dabang Mumbai foward.

Shortly later, both umpires got confusion when each side complained the other of one excessive player on the turf.

Its clearly heard one umpire giving reasoning for giving long corner and yellow card to Dabang Mumbai captain Florian Fuchs, while the other did the opposite: long corner and yellow card to Ranchi Rays' captain Ashley Jackson.

Both umpires walked up to TD who advised.

Ultimately, it was settled the card to RR was the right decision!

Moments later, umpire Ripudaman Singh was surprised for the match being stopped. He said 'I don't know' when the other umpire quarried as he walking fast towards technical table.

He walked upto technical bench where protracted discussion took place. Managers of both sides too joined the discussion before it seemed the confusion was with the timing of clearance of yellow card suspended players.

The third quarter which match stopped thrice was markedly different from the early two quarters where both teams showcased excellent hockey.

Ranchi led Dabang Mumbai 4-2 at half time in a session that saw quick goal within 2 minutes from start by Florian Fuchs which survived only three minutes before the astute opportunist in Ashley Jackson who connected a cross (2-2).

Mohd. Amir Khan tapped in gently the ball into the empty part of the goal (4-2 when David Harte fell to stop a bit head of goaline on the left to stop the first close range shot. Amit's feat came just a minute into second quarter.

The loss did not alter the pool standing of Dabang Mumbai, which wit its 17 points leads while Ranchi and Kalinga almost closing in on with 15 points.

THRILLING GOAL Rs.50K: Florian Fuchs
YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD 25k: Harmanpreet Singh
MAN OF THE MATCH Rs.50K:Taylor Lovell


Jackson excels for Ranchi

Yajnabalkya Sarangi

Ranchi Rays banked on its captain Ashley Jackson’s double strike to beat a fighting Dabang Mumbai 7-3 in the Hockey India League here on Thursday.

After two disappointing performances, Rays gave a solid display to ensure its second win. It was Mumbai’s second consecutive defeat.

With both sides getting engaged in fast exchanges, Mumbai drew first blood through captain Florian Fuchs. An unconventional pass from the right ended up as a goal as Fuchs hammered in from a rebound.

Exhibiting more energy and quick release of the ball, Ranchi made an impact even after conceding a goal. Manpreet Singh’s searing slapshot from about 40 yards into the Mumbai circle was deflected in by Jackson. Ranchi produced some top class action to double its lead. Sarvanjit Singh relayed the ball on to Flynn Ogilvie from the right and latter dashed into the circle and executed a shot. Mohammed Amir Khan tapped in a rebound to make it 4-2.

Missed chance

Fuchs, who put up tremendous hard work, had a fine chance to level the scores in the third period. He launched a surprise raid after beating a home defender but could not get past the lonely Ranchi custodian Tyler Lovell.

Mumbai received a heavy blow when Robert Kemperman got hit on his head off a deflection while defending a penalty corner. Jackson converted the resultant stroke to extend Ranchi’s lead.

Mumbai reduced the margin through Affan Yousuf’s penalty corner conversion, but Imran Khan’s 57th minute field goal stopped Mumbai.

The result: Ranchi Rays 7 (Ashley Jaskson 2FG 5, PS 49, Mohammed Amir Khan 2FG 16, Imran Khan 2FG 57) bt Dabang Mumbai 3 (Florian Fuchs 2FG 2, Affan Yousuf PC 51).

The Hindu

Ranchi Rays thrash table toppers Dabang Mumbai 7-3

Ranchi Rays celebrate a goal. Image Credit: Twitter @HockeyIndiaLeag

Ranchi: Ranchi Rays came back from a bitter loss in their previous game to clinch a remarkable 7-3 win over table toppers Dabang Mumbai in the Coal India Hockey India League in Ranchi on Thursday. .

It was Ashley Jackson (5' and 49'), Mohd Amir Khan (16') and Imran Khan (57') who ensured the home team earned five points from the match.

The clash between the hosts and Dabang Mumbai involved everything that makes for a top-class match with both teams attacking each other to ensure there was never a dull moment for the packed stadium.

The first quarter saw both teams get off to an enterprising start. It was Dabang Mumbai's captain Florian Fuchs who came up with a superb goal in only the second minute of play when he improvised a shot at goal after Kieran Govers assist. Ranchi Rays' Jackson struck in the 5th minute to equalise and make it 2-2. It was a clever-thinking Manpreet Singh who made no mistake in finding Jackson, inside the circle, who made the goal look like a breeze with a perfect deflection that beat Mumbai's experienced goalkeeper David Harte.

Ranchi Rays came back from the first break looking determined to put pressure on the visitors and they did just that when they took the lead in the 16th minute. It was Flynn Ogilvie who came up with an excellent run on the counter attack, showcasing brilliant dribbling skills. The 23-year-old Mohd Amir Khan kept up with his pace and a perfect pass by Ogilvie saw Amir put the ball past Harte with ease.

Though Ranchi Rays had an opportunity to make the score read 5-2 as they won their first PC in the 26th minute, the flick by Trent Mitton was well-saved by Harte.

The third quarter saw Dabang Mumbai earn a PC as early as two minutes into the quarter, but couldn't quite convert the chance. It was in-form Harmanpreet Singh who was entrusted with the job but a poor injection saw him push the ball too far and wide.

The home team had to survive a few minutes with just nine players on the field giving Dabang Mumbai a chance to come back into the game. But they failed to capitalise, ending the quarter at 4-2 in favour of Ranchi Rays.

Ranchi Rays seemed to be in complete control of the game in the final quarter, putting pressure on the visitors, this time Simranjeet Singh dribbling into the circle only to find Deavin perfectly poised to strike. But instead they earned a penalty corner for the team when the strike found the foot of Dabang Mumbai defender. The home team was eventually awarded a penalty stroke in the 49th minute and Jackson made no mistake in converting.

Affan Yousuf put a goal past Tyler Lovell in the 51st minute taking the score to 5-3 when Harmanpreet Singh's dragflick was converted.

Ranchi Rays continued to be dominant with another field goal in the 57th minute when Imran Khan put one past Harte after an assist by Sarvanjit Singh to make it 7-3.


Ranchi Rays outplay Dabang Mumbai 7-3 in HIL

RANCHI: Ranchi Rays defeated table toppers Dabang Mumbai 7-3 in the 12th match of the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) at the AstroTurf Hockey Stadium on Thursday.

Skipper Florian Fuchs (second minute), Affan Yousuf (51st minute) were the goal scorers for Mumbai, while Ashley Jackson (5th and 49th) and Mohammad Amir Khan (16th minute) and Imran Khan (57th minute) scored for the hosts who came into the match winless in the last two matches.

Both teams started the match at a frenetic pace, attacking each other constantly, as a result the 12th match of the league saw two field goals in the first five minutes of the game.

The opening goal was scored by Mumbai's Fuchs in the second minute. After a few fumbles, the ball landed in front of him in the circle and he reverse hit the ball into the net to give his team a 2-0 lead.

Almost immediately, Ranchi Rays, who were playing the match without their star player Christopher Ruhr equalled the scoreline.

Skipper Jackson found the back of the net when his team needed it the most. The seasoned Britain player deflected Manpreet Singh's free hit into the net to bring back his team into the contest.

After two quick goals, both teams slowed down the game and Ranchi controlled the ball possession for most of the time.

In the second quarter, the hosts didn't take too long to put pressure on Mumbai with yet another field goal taking their lead to a comfortable 4-2.

In the 16th minute, Flynn Ogilve ran in and passed to Amir, standing at the left flank, and the latter tapped the ball into an empty net.

Soon after conceding a goal, Mumbai started counter-attacking but the defence of the home side was more powerful to deny the chances.

Minutes into the third quarter, the hosts made unnecessary fouls which led to a penalty corner but Mumbai failed to convert it.

In the 27th minute, custodian David Harte saved a brilliant shot to stop Ranchi from extending their lead.

The hosts went into the 10-minute break at half-time leading the table toppers 4-2.

The third quarter saw a more attacking game with both teams pressing hard. It was Mumbai who won a penalty corner but Harmanpreet Singh dragged it outside the goal mouth.

Playing with 10 players in the dying minutes of the quarter, Mumbai were offered a goal opportunity but they missed and as a result both teams ended the third quarter at the same score.

In an exciting final quarter, the match saw many circle penetrations and counter attacks from both the teams.

The match turned in Ranchi's favour when Robbert Kemperman got a blow to his head while defending a penalty corner, resulting in a penalty stroke which was converted by Jackson to make it 5-2.

With just over 11 minutes left for the final hooter, Ranchi were given a penalty corner and Affan Yousuf grabbed it with both hands off a rebound.

The last five minutes saw the intensity rise to the optimum level. It was Ranchi who sealed the match in their favour as Imran slammed a Sarvanjit Singh pass in the 57th minute to give the hosts a 7-3 victory.

The Times of India

Devoid of heroes, Belgium script own success story

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

It is said that when Belgium’s current generation of hockey players were growing up, they looked up to Holland legend Teun de Nooijer for inspiration. The reasons are not hard to fathom if one dwells on the country’s hockey history.

After a bronze at the 1920 Olympic Games, the next six decades saw Belgium being relegated to the status of a second-tier European nation. Even until the early 2000s, if there was a match against the top European or Asian teams, the discussion would be about the margin of victory and not the result.

It took Belgium almost a decade of structured planning, hiring top Dutch or Australian coaches and rejigging its hockey from the grassroots to find its feet on the world map, and the truest sign of it came at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games when they finished with silver. En route they defeated India in the quarter-final.

Says Vincent Vanasch, goalkeeper of the silver medal triumph that changed the face of Belgian hockey, "To be honest, we are yet to understand the true meaning of what we have achieved (in Rio). When we returned home, it seemed the entire world had changed. People could recognise us, and suddenly everyone spoke of hockey. I have not seen something like that before and even now when I speak of that medal, I get goosebumps.

"It must be different in other countries, especially like India where people love their players and the country has achieved so much in the Olympics.

"For us to get a medal in Olympics after 96 years was massive. And to be a part of that feat is still taking time to sink in."

It all began for the Red Lions when they introduced a plan in 2006, "Be Gold". Working with youth - an Under-16 lot was chosen - and opening two national training centres was central to plans in an effort to build for the future.

Adam Commens of Australia was among the first coaches to come on board, before Colin Batch (Australia) and Mark Lammers (Holland) took Belgium ahead.
"Having uniformity in play at all levels, junior and senior, is very crucial for the hockey growth of a nation. It also involved a lot of money which our federation put in," says Vanasch, who is representing Delhi Waveriders in the ongoing Hockey India League.

"It took us many years to start getting positive results. The start was very slow... there was a time when we used to lose by a big margin, and India defeated us regularly.

"The Olympics remained a distant dream but a significant one and we never lost sight of it."

For years, Australia, Germany and Holland have been the flag-bearers of international hockey winning a total of 19 medals between them at the World Cup and the Olympics since 2000.

Vanasch says the times are changing. "It is definitely not the same now and Belgium and Argentina (gold medallists) proved it in Rio. Teams have caught up and it has taken years of investment and planning."

"Be Gold" changed to "Push for Podium" before Rio, and Belgium managed to achieve the unthinkable under famed New Zealand coach Shane McLeod in August last year.

A medal in Olympics after only 10 years of planning? Is it possible? Vanasch says Belgium can be a good case study in this.

"We have proved it and other nations are doing the same. Today we know that a World Cup or the Olympics doesn’t necessarily mean that Australia, Germany or Holland will win," the 29-year-old says.

After 32 years of missing out, Belgium qualified for the Summer Games in 2008 Beijing and finished ninth. In 2012 London, they ended a commendable fifth till Rio saw script a glorious chapter. Within a decade, they rose from the second nation to being contenders for world titles.

Reflects Vanasch, "There are a number of factors involved here. One is uniformity in structure, adapting a modern culture under the best of coaches, performance management techniques and a strong club culture. Structures are very important.

"The margin between the top teams these days is so close that it takes years to break through and having achieved that is something we are proud of."
For a generation devoid of heroes, Vanasch understands that they are now being looked upon as the linchpins of Belgium hockey.

"That’s actually great... and in some ways unthinkable. This one medal has brought in so much. Now, one can see a surge in the number of players in local clubs and those who want to take up hockey.

"Have we done it? Are we their heroes? I cannot say but it definitely has changed a lot. The future seems bright."

The Asian Age

New arrival Verga set to give Terengganu more firepower

by Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Double champions Terengganu have plundered 32 goals in six Premier Division matches in this season’s Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) so far.

But coach Sarjit Singh expects them to score way more now that Dutch forward Valentin Verga has come on board.

The Argentine-born Verga, who featured in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, only arrived here yesterday due to his national team commitments.

Sarjit is confident that the team will benefit from the presence of Verga, who has scored 22 goals for Holland in 134 international matches.

“He can play in midfield and as a striker. I have a good set of strikers in the team, so I plan to use him in midfield,” said Sarjit.

The other midfielders in the Terengganu side are South Korean Jang Jung-hyun, international Mohd Fitri Saari, B. Namasivayam and Jivan Mohan.

Jung-hyun is the top scorer in the league with nine goals in six matches.

Terengganu lead the eight-team Premier Division with 16 points from five wins and a draw. They are two points clear of second-placed Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).

Terengganu have two home matches this week – against Tenaga Nasional today and Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) on Sunday.

Tenaga are third in the standings with 13 points from four wins, one draw and one loss.

And Sarjit expects a strong challenge from the all local Tenaga line-up.

“They gave a good fight to KLHC before ending up sharing points in a 2-2 draw. Tenaga also have an experienced goalkeeper in S. Kumar ... he has been solid between the posts.

“I want my players to maintain their good form by securing full points from both matches,” said Sarjit.

Tenaga coach Mohd Amin Rahim admitted that Terengganu “are more superior than us” as they have calibre players in every department.

“Playing away is always difficult, but I have faith in my players. I hope my men can play like they did against KLHC last week,” said Amin.

The Star of Malaysia

Promoting hockey: Pakistan receives its first mini AstroTurf


KARACHI: Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah inaugurated Pakistan’s first mini AstroTurf mounted by Pakistan Navy at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium in Karachi on Thursday.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah said that hockey is our national game and the presence of renowned players during the ceremony reminded him of the country’s glorious past.

“Pakistan Navy has always strived to promote sports and healthy activities in the country and we are proud of taking the initiative to lay first of its kind turf in the country,” he said, adding Pakistan Navy will lay one more mini AstroTurf at a suitable place in Karachi.

PHF shortlists players for training camp

The Admiral also expressed hope that the mini AstroTurf will help Pakistan Hockey Federation in grooming young players to bring back the lost laurels of Hockey. He urged other stake holders and organisations to come forward and work to fortify the national sport.

PHF general secretary Shahbaz Senior thanked Pakistan Navy on the occasion and said it was a welcome move.

A large number of former Olympians, national heroes, PHF officials and other dignitaries also attended the inauguration ceremony.

The Express Tribune

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