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News for 06 February 2017

All the news for Monday 6 February 2017

Women's HWL Round 2 - Valencia, Spain

Results from day 2, February 5, 2017
RUS - TUR     7 - 0
CZE - ESP     1 - 5
POL - SCO     0 - 1
GHA - UKR     2 - 2 (2 - 1 Shootout)

FIH tournament micro site

Scotland get off to a winning start at World League 2

Scotland women v Ghana

Scotland`s women got off to a winning start when they defeated Ghana 1-0 in the opening pool match at the World League round two in Valencia.

The Scots dominated proceeding against a side ten places below them in the world rankings but were frustrated by the defensive mode of the Africans.

The Scots now share top place in the pool with Poland who saw off Ukraine 3-2 in an earlier match.

An early chance fell to Becky Merchant in front of goal but she failed to make contact with the bobbling ball, then a good run and cross by Heather Howie failed to find any takers.

The Scots finally took the lead early in the second quarter, at their third penalty corner; Birmingham University`s Amy Costello fired a low shot past both the goalkeeper and a lone defender.

Scotland women v Ghana

Further chances to increase the tally fell to Heather Howie and Costello, but there was no further breakthrough in the first half.

The second period was full of Scotland pressure but few clear-cut chances were created although the Africans were certainly no threat at the other end.

Gordon Shepherd, Scotland`s coach, said: "It was frustrating but I was happy enough, there was never going to be a lot of goals in this sort of game, the main thing is we got the three points."

Photos by John Preece

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland make it two wins from two in Valencia

Scotland women v Poland World League Round 2

Scotland have made it two wins from two at Women’s World League two in Valencia to top Pool B with one game remaining. The Scots defeated Poland 1-0, following on from their win yesterday over Ghana by the same score line.

The Scots got off to a good start, moving the ball around well and with confidence. The game’s first attempt, however, came from Poland; the ball was smashed into the Scottish D successfully looking for a deflection, which was well saved at the near post by Nicola Cochrane. Scotland instantly broke forward at pace down the left and the ball found its way to Becky Merchant in the centre of the D, but she shot wide of the left post from a bouncing ball.

The Scots wouldn’t be denied for long and they took an early lead through Robyn Collins. Collins struck a penalty corner low into the bottom left corner in the seventh minute to make it 1-0.

Scotland nearly doubled their lead in the 12th minute through Nikki Lloyd, her penalty corner effort was well saved low at the post by the Polish keeper.

Cochrane in the Scotland goal was called into action early in the second quarter, producing a great save from a powerful low shot to keep a sharp Polish attack at bay.

Then some good defending by Kaz Cuthbert on the goal line prevented a Polish equaliser at a penalty corner.

Scotland women v Poland

Up the other end of the pitch and Amy Costello came close for Scotland right on the half time hooter through a penalty corner; her powerful effort zipped past the wrong side of the post.

Scotland controlled the second half but found the Polish rear-guard a tough nut to crack. They nearly fashioned an opening for Lloyd but she was crowded out in the D and the danger was cleared.

There was another opportunity when the ball was slid into the D from the right to find Charlotte Watson launching herself towards it, but her effort was well blocked. Fiona Burnet was also denied as the Scots controlled the match.

As the game came to a close the Scots comfortably kept possession and have now taken maximum points so far in World League 2, and sit at the top of Pool B with one more game to play. Scotland will face Ukraine on Tuesday to finalise placements for the quarter final matches.

Scotland Women’s Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said: "I was very happy with the win and the three points, we created a lot of chances but could not convert them into goals.

"The girls applied themselves very well, especially when they were asked to chance tactics. Poland are not an easy side to beat so the three points is an excellent effort."

Scotland Women v Poland

Photos by John Preece

Scottish Hockey Union media release

No wins in Summer Series but still hope for SA hockey

Allan Isaacs

Six uncapped players were selected in Proteas men's hockey team for the Summer Series. They are, from left, Andrew Hobson, Che February, Dayaan Cassiem, Siya Nolutshungu and Matt de Sousa. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Played six, lost six. That was the tale of the tape for the South African men’s hockey team at the end of the Summer Series completed this past week.

It doesn’t make for pleasant reading, but at least one positive was that the side’s brains trust got the opportunity to blood some young players against top-level opposition.

In going up against the Netherlands and Belgium, they were facing two of the 2016 Olympic semi-finalists. They were made to work hard, and the gulf between countries who have professional leagues, and the Proteas, was clear for all to see in the results.

While the expectation is that South Africa will be competitive against the likes of their Summer Series opponents, the fact that the hosts last played a Test match 10 months ago obviously adversely impacted their chances.

On the up side, South Africa definitely has the talent and skills to be in the world’s top six and our junior teams have proved that we can get there.

South Africa played some attractive hockey in the series with the first game against Belgium being the most exciting, and the most disappointing. Gowan Jones, the SA keeper, had been a rock all game with his defenders assisting him superbly to keep the rampant Belgian attackers at bay. The Proteas equalised (2-2) with three minutes left on the clock and a draw seemed to be a fair result. Unfortunately the home team conceded with 30 seconds left and lost 3-2.

The introduction of five new caps in the series was a breath of fresh air for local hockey.

The extended squad of 26 players allowed SA coach Fabian Gregory to give all the players a chance. Winning was not all-important, perhaps; testing combinations and tactical awareness was the key to the series.

The six games gave Gregory the opportunity to blend youth with his experienced campaigners and see how they responded in game situations.

Dayaan Cassiem, Andrew Hobson and Che February were elevated from the SA under-18 side. Bishops matriculant Cassiem earned four caps in the series and took his chance to show the coach what he is capable of.

Hobson and February were standout schoolboy players and provided proof that SA has the talent to compete against the top nations.

Matt De Sousa and Siya Nolutshungu were elevated from the under-21 team and both acquitted themselves well in higher company. Both players have been stand outs at age-group level and their elevation to the senior side was well- deserved.

In total there were 11 players under the age of 22 in the squad, which was an astute call. Experience cannot be bought and there will be more defeats, but the future looks very bright for the game, with youth being invested in heavily.

The Weekend Argus

Dabang Mumbai beat Kalinga Lancers 5-2 to top the table again   

Bhubaneswar: Dabang Mumbai avenged their bitter loss to Kalinga Lancers in their home game with a sensational 5-2 win here today that ensured they earned their top spot on the points table again. Kalinga Lancers are now pushed to the second spot. It was goals by Harmanpreet Singh (23′), Florian Fuchs (31′) and Gurjant Singh (53′) that fetched the visitors five points.

The game between home team Kalinga Lancers and Dabang Mumbai was nothing short a battle of supremacy as both teams vied to earn the top slot on the points table. While Kalinga Lancers toppled Dabang Mumbai after their previous win against Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Dabang Mumbai were playing this game after two successive loses.

The first quarter featured nail-biting action and high tempo as Dabang Mumbai ensured they kept danger man Glenn Turner at bay, with at least three men marking him, making sure an entry into their circle was restricted. Dabang Mumbai did well in earning the game’s first PC in the 9th minute but was ably blocked away by Kalinga Lancers keeper Andrew Charter. The home team earned three back-to-back PCs too after a series of fouls within the circle, but skipper Moritz Fuerste was slightly off the mark today and the two teams went into the first break in a stalemate.

A great chance to take a 2-0 lead was lost by Kalinga Lancers in the 19th minute when midfielder Dharamvir Singh failed to convert after a brilliant assist by Glenn Turner. His tap was blocked by David Harte. However, Dabang Mumbai unlike their nemesis ensured they didn’t let go of the chances earned when Harmanpreet Singh was inch-perfect when he successfully converted a PC in the 23rd minute to fetch his team a 1-0 lead over the home team. This was the in-form 21-year-old drag flicker’s seventh goal of the season.

Skipper Florian Fuchs starred in the third quarter for Dabang Mumbai when he beat Kalinga Lancers’ defenders in the circle to earn a boisterous field goal only a minute into the second half taking their lead to a comfortable 3-0. The visitors kept up the pressure on Kalinga Lancers, dominating this quarter with the ball possession and they did well in defending the lead.

Kalinga Lancers made desperate attempts to come back into the game in the last quarter, making forays into the circle but couldn’t quite make much of the chances. However, in the 51st minute they earned their fourth PC of the game. But to the disappointment of the home crowd, they failed to convert it yet again this time trying a different variation attempting to score a field goal from the opportunity.

The visitors dented any chances of a comeback from Kalinga Lancers when Gurjant Singh, who played a vital role in the Junior World Cup, struck a fantastic field goal in the 53rd minute after an improvised assist by Affan Yousuf who made no mistake in trapping the ball from Manpreet in the midfield. This took Dabang Mumbai’s score to dominant 5-0.
Though Glenn Turner scored a field goal in the 57th minute making him the leading goal scorer with 10 goals in the league, it was not enough to stop Dabang Mumbai from winning their place on top of the table again.

Gurjant Singh of Dabang Mumbai was awarded with a prize money of Rs 50,000 for scoring the Coal India Goal of the Match from Mr. Khirod Kumar Parida, Director Finance, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.

Harmanpreet Singh of Dabang Mumbai won the prize of Rs 25,000 for being the Hero Young Achiever of the Match from Mr. Vishal Dev, IAS, Commissioner cum Secretary, Sports and Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha.

The Airtel Most Entertaining Player of the Match was awarded to Amit Rohidas of Kalinga Lancers that came with a prize money of Rs 25,000 and presented by Mr Martin Gotheridge, Chairman, Jury of Appeal, Coal India Hockey India League.

David Harte of Dabang Mumbai was declared the Man of the Match and was awarded a prize money of Rs 50,000 by Shri. Aditya Prasad Padhi, IAS, Chief Secretary, Odisha.

6 February 2017, is rest day. The next game will be played on 7th February when Delhi Waveriders will take on Jaypee Punjab Warriors at 1900hrs.

Official HIL site

Flowing Mumbai floors home Kalinga

s2h team

Fluent and flowing, visiting Dabang Mumbai floored the jaded Kalinga Lancers 5-2 with goals coming from Harmanpreet Singh (23rd min), Florian Fuchs (31st min) and Jr World Cup goldie Gurjant Singh (53rd min) at Kalinga stadium in Bhubneswar. The lone goal, which counted as two as per new provision for field goals, of the losing side came three minutes before hooter through a high ball connection from Glenn Turner.

Sunday brought full stands, perhaps the biggest crowd so far in the HIL, but a part of it had to melt away before the last moments, as the hosts were decimated with precise goals by their rivals.

undefined Harmanpreet Singh's penalty conversion in the second quarter (23rd min) kept visiting Dabang Mumbai on top with 1-0 scoreline at half time in the Match Number 15 of the Fifth Hockey India League.

Kalinga got their chances to make up what with getting four penalty corners but they could not convert. They tried a field goal process out of the last PC, pushing back the stopped ball beyond dotted line, but the elaborate exercise doesn't surprise David Harte's defence blank.

Both Dabang and Kalinga have played seven matches each. Dabang has 23 points and are at the top of points table while Kalinga is just three points less to occupy second position.

THRILLING GOAL Rs.50K: Gurjant Singh
YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD 25k: Harmanpreet Singh
MAN OF THE MATCH Rs.50K:Devid Harte


Mumbai overwhelms Lancers

Y.B. Sarangi

Commanding show: Dabang Mumbai’s big win spoilt Kalinga Lancer’s hopes of finishing the home leg on a high.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

Dabang Mumbai gave a commanding performance to beat Kalinga Lancers 5-2 in the grudge match and spoil the latter’s plans of ending its home assignments on a high at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.

Mumbai’s fourth win helped it regain the top spot and Lancers wait to book a slot in the semifinals.

The neck-and-neck contest began with both sides pressing hard and earning penalty corners in the opening quarter.

Lancers warded off an early danger through a successful video referral that reversed the first penalty corner awarded to Mumbai. It blocked another to keep its post safe.

The host won two but could not make most of those.

Employing tight marking, Mumbai defended strongly and targetted some of the key Lancers players, including Glenn Turner and Moritz Fuerste.

Johan Bjorkman, who was fed by Nikkin Thimmaiah, missed a fine chance in front of the Lancers’ goal, while Dharamvir Singh’s spirited run was thwarted by dashing Mumbai goalkeeper David Harte.

Mumbai worked the ball well to secure two penalty corners in second quarter and Harmanpreet stunned the host through a deceptive flick at awkward height in the 23rd minute.

Lancers worked hard work to breach the Mumbai wall but the touring side’s back line stood like a rock under the guidance of Sander de Wijn, who not only tackled the opponents with efficiency but made loud calls to his colleagues to plug the gaps.

Mumbai, which resorted to some quick counter-attacks, had a better grip over the proceedings when its captain Florian Fuchs hammed in a reverse hit after receiving a long and hard drive just after the change of ends.

Mumbai pumped in another goal, this time Gurjant Singh firing in with a reverse stick seven minutes from the hooter and triggering premature departure of the loyal Lancers fans.

Lancers’ finishing woes finally ended when Turner scored in the dying minutes. However, it was too little and came too late.

The result: Dabang Mumbai 5 (Harmanpreet Singh PC 23, Florian Fuchs 2-FG 31, Gurjant Singh 2-FG 53) bt Kalinga Lancers 2 (Glenn Turner 2-FG 57).

The Hindu

Dabang Mumbai beat Kalinga Lancers 5-2

BHUBANESWAR: Dabang Mumbai thumped Kalinga Lancers 5-2 at the Kalinga stadium here on Sunday to take a crucial step towards reaching the semi-finals of the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL).

Harmanpreet Singh's 23rd-minute successful penalty corner conversion was followed by field goals from Florian Fuchs (31st) and Gurjant Singh (53rd) as the Jay Stacy-coached side leapfrogged Kalinga to take the top spot with 23 points from seven games.

The match between the two top-placed teams of the table, lived up to the hype early, forcing both goalkeepers -- David Harte of Mumbai and Andrew Charter of Kalinga -- to keep away penalty corners. While Charter denied Jeremy Hayward, Harte foiled Moritz Furste thrice 10 minutes into the game.

Harte rose to the task again in the 20th minute as a square pass from Lalit Upadhyay opened up Mumbai defence and Glenn Turner's cut back to the right had Harte at the mercy. But Lalit's hasty tap in met a diving Harte to keep the deadlock going.

At the other end, Mumbai managed to break the deadlock as Harmanpreet converted a penalty corner by firing to the right post corner giving no chance to defender Devinder Walmiki in the 23rd minute.

The western outfit then tightened their grip on the match as a ripping back-hander from Fuchs following a Sander de Wijn pass from the left caught Kalinga defence by surprise. The field goal meant Mumbai led 3-0 and it would be a big test for the hosts.

With this goal, Mumbai gained further confidence and penetrated Kalinga circle on multiple occasions. Even though they didn't get any more goal in the third quarter, their attack helped them subdue the hosts.

As the match inched closer to the final hooter, Kalinga showed some desperation, including couple of fine solo runs from Tom Craig, but the result was absent. They tried a penalty corner variation to make it a field goal opportunity but Harte and his defence stood tall.

Any hopes of their comeback was killed by Gurjant's scorching back-hander from a very tight angle from the left in the 53rd minute as the visitors grabbed a 5-0 lead.

Three minutes later, Glenn Turner ignited the home crowd's hopes when he slammed home a right cross from Dharmvir Singh. But it was the last goal of the match, meaning Kalinga lost 2-5 in their final home game.

Despite the defeat, Kalinga remained in the second spot with 21 points from seven matches, while third-placed Ranchi Rays have 17 points from seven games. Uttar Pradesh Wizards are in the fourth spot with eight points from three matches.

Jaypee Punjab Warriors are fifth with six points from three matches and Delhi Waveriders are sixth and last with four points from three matches.

The Times of India

Dabang Mumbai whip Kalinga Lancers to avenge home loss, return to top

Bhubaneswar: Dabang Mumbai avenged their bitter loss to Kalinga Lancers in their home game with a sensational 5-2 win in Bhubaneswar that ensured they earned their top spot on the points table again.

Harmanpreet Singh (23rd minute), Florian Fuchs (31th) and Gurjant Singh (53rd) scored to fetch five points for the visiting team.

Kalinga Lancers are now pushed to the second spot after Sunday's loss.

Scenes during the clash between Dabang Mumbai and Kalinga Lancers. PTI

The game between Kalinga Lancers and Dabang Mumbai was nothing short of a battle of supremacy as both teams vied to earn the top slot on the points table.

While Kalinga Lancers toppled Dabang Mumbai after their previous win against Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Dabang Mumbai were playing this game after two successive loses.

The first quarter featured nail-biting action and high tempo as Dabang Mumbai ensured they kept danger man Glenn Turner at bay, with at least three men marking him, making sure an entry into their circle was restricted.

Dabang Mumbai did well in earning the game's first penalty corner in the ninth minute but was ably blocked away by Kalinga Lancers goalkeeper Andrew Charter.

The home team earned three back-to-back penalty corners too after a series of fouls within the circle, but skipper Moritz Fuerste was slightly off the mark on Sunday and the two teams went into the first break in a stalemate.

A great chance to take a 2-0 lead was lost by Kalinga Lancers in the 19th minute when midfielder Dharamvir Singh failed to convert after a brilliant assist by Glenn Turner. His tap was blocked by David Harte.

However, Dabang Mumbai ensured they did not let go of the chances earned when Harmanpreet Singh was inch-perfect when he successfully converted a penalty corner in the 23rd minute to fetch his team a 1-0 lead. This was the in-form 21-year-old drag flicker's seventh goal of the season.

Skipper Florian Fuchs starred in the third quarter for Dabang Mumbai when he beat Kalinga Lancers defenders in the circle to earn a boisterous field goal only a minute into the second half taking their lead to a comfortable 3-0. The visitors kept up the pressure on Kalinga Lancers, dominating this quarter with the ball possession and they did well in defending the lead.

Kalinga Lancers made desperate attempts to come back into the game in the last quarter, making forays into the circle but could not quite make much of the chances.

However, in the 51st minute, they earned their fourth penalty corner of the game. But to the disappointment of the home crowd, they failed to convert it yet again, this time trying a different variation attempting to score a field goal from the opportunity.

The visitors ended any chances of a comeback from Kalinga Lancers when Gurjant Singh, who played a vital role in the recent Junior World Cup, struck a fantastic field goal in the 53rd minute after an improvised assist by Affan Yousuf as he made no mistake in trapping the ball from Manpreet in the midfield. This took Dabang Mumbai's score to dominant 5-0.

Though Glenn Turner scored a field goal in the 57th minute making him the leading goal scorer with 10 goals in the league, it was not enough to stop Dabang Mumbai from winning their place on top of the table again.


Harmanpreet Goal was game changer: Florian Fuchs

Tazeen Qureshy

It was revenge taken for Dabang Mumbai after it defeated Kalinga Lancers 5-2 in Kalinga Stadium on Sunday. The Lancers had earlier beat Mumbai 4-3 in their Homefront to end their winning streak.

An elated coach Jason Stacy credited the team, bit also listed out on what went their way.

"Kalinga were undermanned. A few of their players were sick. But we still had to play very well to beat them," he said, referring to Matthew Dawson and Billy Bakker, who missed the match today due to illness.

Skipper Florian Fuchs who also scored a goal today, put the credit on Harmanpreet Singh for setting up the win today.

"They (Kalinga) had a lot of opportunities to score. But, Harmanpreet's goal was the game changer for us".

:From then, a lot of players switched and we played a completely different game."

Though Mumbai were far ahead in scoring, in the last few minutes Kalinga Lancers made some frantic efforts to lower the goal margin, giving David Harte, some nervous moments.

"Kalinga have dangerous world class players like Glenn Turner and Moritz Fuertse, who can change the game".

"In the last few minutes, I made a lot of communication with the defenders and asked them to keep up with the task. Eventually, we got full five points."


Bottom-placed Delhi Waveriders search for goals

Delhi Waveriders are currently stuck in the bottom of the Hockey India League points table.

Navneet Singh

Delhi Waveriders will face Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the Hockey India League on Tuesday.(HIL)

Former Hockey India League champions, Delhi Waveriders are stuck in the bottom of the points table in the six-team competition. The 2014 champions, having lost two of their first three matches and drawn one to collect four points, will know where they stand in the next fortnight.

With as many as seven matches to be played in the next two weeks, the team led by Indian stalwart Rupinder Pal Singh needs to drastically improve if they are to make it to the last four. So far, they have managed to score just two goals, conceding four.

After Monday’s break, the league resumes on Tuesday with Delhi facing holders Punjab Warriors in their first home game. “It’s a crucial match for us. We need to click inside the striking circle,” the India drag-flick expert told HT.


In the first three matches, Delhi could not turn possession into goals. But defeating Punjab, another team that hasn’t done well as a unit so far, will be vital, says Rupinder. “It’s always good to win the opening home match. It gives you an edge, a positive feeling, when you are trailing at the bottom. Each of the next seven matches though is important, but the focus right now is on Punjab.”

The top three teams in the six-team league have established a clear lead. Dabang Mumbai are atop the field with 18 points, while Kalinga Lancers and 2015 winners Ranchi Rays have 15 points each. (Sunday’s match between Lancers and Mumbai in Bhubaneswar might change the top order).

With six points Uttar Pradesh Wizards is fourth while Punjab Warriors are fifth with five points.


Delhi face UP Wizards on Wednesday before taking on Lancers on Sunday. “The whole week is important. It’s time to work on right combination and move ahead of our rivals. Missing opportunities could make things difficult for us,” Rupinder said.

The third leg of the league starts on February 15. The preliminary round ends on February 22 and semifinals will start on February 25 in Chandigarh.

Hindustan Times

Dabang Mumbai tops the table as HIL moves northwards

s2h team

As 15 of the 30 Hockey India League's pre-knock out matches are completed with the Kalinga Lancers-Dabang Mumbai's encounter at Bhubneswar today, Mumbai's team tops the table with 23 points in seven matches.

This year's HIL started in Mumbai, and since posting 3-3 draw on the inaugural day, Dabang Mumbai has been on top two of the table. It momentarily lost the top slot only once when Kalinga Lancers moved up with a thriller win against UPW on Thursday, but made up today with 5-2 win over Kalinga. The scheduling of the matches of the HIL 2017 was such that the first 10 days saw Dabang Mumbai complete its home matches, shortly later the same was the Kalinga's situation.

At half way mark, both Dabang and Kalinga have completed their home matches, and wait three matches away home. Both have won identically four matches.

The third team to complete seven matches is Ranchi Rays which is third in the table, 3 points less than Kalinga's. Ranchi Rays played three drawn matches, two goalless.

All other three teams have played only three matches so far.

These three teams will bear hectic activity from Tuesday when the action resumes after today's rest.

HIL which started in West, and finished the eastern engagements with yesterday's match, will now head northwards.

Out of these, two matches that were to be played in Lucknow, home of UPW, will now be held in Delhi due to State elections.


Gulf Hockey Fiesta to start in two weeks

K. Arumugam

Gulf Hockey Fiesta closing function 2016

Hockey is a life sentence. Once you are in you are never away. Many stand testimony to the established axiom. Indians in general Non Resident Indians in particular fit here.

When one travels countries and crisscross continents the unmistakable sight use to be wave of Indians weaving on the stands. This common occurrence might catch you happily unawares.

From Indian medical students in Kazan, a city 600 KMs west of Moscow, and business community (from Raipur) in Mar del Plata in Argentina, one can cite any number of instances where Indian diasporas descend turfs, desire hockey stars and savour the sport.

Then, primarily there are those Euro-Indians, Afro-Indians, Sikh settlers across the globe, Asians in Oceania come to our minds. However, their passion for hockey, their following of Indian national team for every major tournament, and spinning synergy and forging energy with Indian hockey community do not need any fresh introduction.

These are well documented often in this site.

Gulf hockey fans who were in Raipur for HWL Finals last year with Olympian Jagbir Singh

In the long list one can easily now add Gulf Indians. There are many from Gulf national now join unofficial but all pervasive Flying Hockey Fans club. Three winters ago, much like omnipresent white-turbaned Londoners, many Non-Resident Indians from Gulf were there to cheer Indian team at Raipur (Pic). Providence was with these enthusiasts, as Sardar Singh’s Indian would win a medal after three decades!

“We will be here again whenever India hosts major events like this” they said in unison before leaving the stands on the final day.

Indian sporting teams, hockey and cricket, in particular going to Gulf seeking neutral venue and audience is a common thing.

The other way round the Gulf Indian coming to India for hockey is unusual, not heard of, but a pleasant turn around.

Javis Ahmad, former Kerala state player, now a businessman, Mohd. Raffi (software analyst), Hashir Ponmanichi, Rafat P Kandy Sirajuddin Puthalath, Ayas Nallu and others were among them in Raipur.

UTSC team that won the Bahrain Cup in 2015

They specially flew from Muscat, Oman, to cheer and support Indian team. Their ‘home coming’ for hockey is not just a one-off affair, instead a logical progression of their passion for sport and hockey. For, they founded United Thalasserry Sports Club (UTSC) eleven years ago, carrying forward its activities in the settled country too, be it UAE, Oman wherever.

Thalasserry is a buzzing town in Kerala State, about 400 km north of capital Tiruvananthapuram. India’s pride and Kerala’s shining star P R Sreejesh made a flying visit this year to be among these die-hard sports fans.

UTSC organize many sports, social and national events annually. Radiating hockey fragrance is unmistakable strand in all what they do.

Padmashree PR Sreejesh with UTSC's Raffi (left) and Javis Ahmad (right)

The UTSC Dubai recently organized 6th Gulf Cup hockey tournament in Al Nasr Leisure Land in Dubai. Twenty teams -- 14 local, two each from UAE and Saudi Arabia and one each from Oman and Pakistan -- participated. Continuing the spirit the Gulf Hockey Fiesta will be held again this month. Gulf Hockey Fiesta is on its seventh year, and counting. Foreign teams made their presence for last year. A Six-a-side hockey tournament will be held now at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Centre, Muscat, Oman.

Last year edition saw 12 teams including Naqi Strikers, Al Arab Hockey Academy, both from Saudi Arabia, two clubs from UAE, Dubai Hockey Club & King Khan Hockey Club, Hungry Hamours (Baharain) Qatar Wanderers from Qatar and Kuwait Expats Hockey Club (Kuwait) took part.

Every Indian event related to hockey here has the blessings of connoisseur of hockey SAS Naqvi, a Mubaikar, who trained Indian women for World Cup in the late 70s, and is settled there now.

Gulf is one region where elite level hockey has potential to grow and evolve, and be part of emerging strong Asian hockey supremacy if not hegemony.

UTSC team on an Indian tour

Javis, who scored a goal for UTSC against Wanderers Qatar in the final of 5th Bahrain Hockey 6s tournament two years ago, is engine room behind Gulf Hockey Fiesta.

Javis played for Kerala State for about a decade in all age group Nationals in the late 80s and early 90s.

He lets us know the objective behind the Club’s activities:“Our top most objective is to popularize the game. Then comes, promotion among the expatriate community here” the former defender, articulates.

“Normally people come to Gulf in their middle age, say after 25 or so. It’s very difficult for them to get keep their hockey interests alive. We seek to provide them a platform”.

Javis is livewire Secretary, UTSC.

Planners and policy makers in Asia may well focus on UTSC like efforts, NRI’s enthusiasm for hockey to elevate Gulf hockey to next level besides extending patronage to recreational genre.

Thankfully, the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) Chairman Talib Khamis Al Wahaibi had already met hockey expatriate communities to promote hockey.


Wimbledon fight to the top of the Men's Premier Division

Wimbledon celebrate. Credit Simon Parker

Wimbledon twice battled back from behind to beat hosts Beeston and take top spot in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

With rivals Holcombe drawing for their second consecutive game, Wimbledon went top of the pile thanks to their 3-2 win over Beeston on Saturday.

Chris Proctor and Ollie Willars had twice given Beeston the lead, only to see their strikes cancelled out by field goals from Peter Millar and Chris Gregg.

Nathaniel Stewart gave Wimbledon all three points when he converted a penalty corner four minutes from time to send them top.

Holcombe were held to a goalless draw against Kent rivals Canterbury.

Also on Saturday, Brooklands MU claimed a 4-2 victory at Reading. The hosts led after Edward Carson and Andy Watts had cancelled out Peter Flanagan’s first minute opener.

Brooklands rallied after the break, with Richard Slater and Aiden Khares putting them ahead, before Flanagan grabbed his second of the game with two minutes to go.

Surbiton missed the chance to close the gap to Wimbledon to just three points when they drew 2-2 at East Grinstead on Sunday.

Andy Piper gave the hosts the lead midway through the first half, before Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth scored his 14th and 15th goals of the campaign to give them the lead.

Sam Driver equalised for East Grinstead with 13 minutes left to earn a share of the spoils.

Hampstead and Westminster moved up to fourth in the table after a 4-1 win at Loughborough.

Matt Guise Brown (2), Will Calnan and Kwan Browne scored the visitors goals, with Ed Horler scoring what proved to be a consolation for Loughborough.

Men’s Conference East

There are just three points separating five teams at the top of the Men’s Conference East after the latest set of matches.

Sevenoaks lead the way on goal difference after they recorded a 7-1 victory over Oxted, Andrew Ross netting a hat trick to take his season tally to 13, with George Torry scoring a brace.

Their lead on goal difference was remarkably cut as Teddington beat Brighton and Hove 8-0, Andrew Pett and Tim Davenport both scoring hat tricks whilst league leading scorer Matt Daly scored twice.

Richmond are a point behind the leaders after a 2-1 win over Indian Gymkhana, two goals inside the first five minutes for Charlie Ellison and Josh Smith giving them the points.

Darren Cheesman and Scott Perry scored as Cambridge City won 2-0 at Southgate, both sides three points off the top, and West Herts came from behind to beat strugglers Wapping 3-1.

Men’s Conference North

The University of Durham picked up where they left off before the winter break, winning 6-2 at Olton and West Warwicks in the Conference North.

They twice came from behind as Rhys Smith (2), Michael Walker, Jack Waller, Barney Wilkinson and Angus Spittles all found the target to preserve their 100 per cent record with 11 straight wins.

A single Alex Humphreys goal was enough to keep Bowdon second as they defeated Cannock 1-0.

It was a goal fest at Oxton, where they registered a 7-5 victory over fourth-placed Deeside Ramblers, as eleven different players got on the scoresheet.

Bottom of the table Leek drew 3-3 at home to Preston with Richard Cordon scoring two, whilst Sheffield Hallam defeated Doncaster 2-0 in a South Yorkshire derby.

Men’s Conference West

Cardiff and Met recorded two wins in three days to pull further clear at the top of the Men’s Conference West.

They are representing Wales at the EuroHockey Indoor Challenge in Hungary next weekend, and go in fine form as they remain unbeaten in the league so far this term.

Despite trailing 2-0, five goals in 17 minutes saw them defeat the University of Bristol on Friday night, Luke Hawker scoring a hat trick.

Hawker was back amongst the goals on Sunday, as his brace earned them a 2-0 victory at home to Cheltenham.

Team Bath Buccaneers are eight points behind in second, after they defeated Fareham 5-2, Jay Reddy with a pair of goals.

Alex Pendle’s second half goal helped Chichester to a 2-1 win at the University of Birmingham.

Old Georgians edged out Isca 5-4 at home, James Tindall scoring three to take his total for the season to 17 goals.

Meanwhile, bottom of the table University of Bristol lost their second game of the weekend, going down by the same 5-2 margin at the University of Exeter.

Men’s Hockey League (Friday, 3 February 2017):

Men’s Conference West: University of Bristol 2, Cardiff and Met 5.

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, 4 February 2017):

Men's Premier Division: Beeston 2, Wimbledon 3; Holcombe 0, Canterbury 0; Reading 2, Brooklands MU 4.

Men’s Conference East: Richmond 2, Indian Gymkhana 1; Southgate 0, Cambridge City 2.

Men’s Conference North: Bowdon 1, Cannock 0.

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, 5 February 2017):

Men's Premier Division: East Grinstead 2, Surbiton 2; Loughborough Students 1, Hampstead and Westminster 4.

Men's Conference East: Brighton and Hove 0, Teddington 8; Sevenoaks 7, Oxted 1; West Herts 3, Wapping 1.

Men's Conference North: Leek 3, Preston 3; Olton & West Warwicks 2, University of Durham 6; Oxton 7, Deeside Ramblers 5; Sheffield Hallam 2, Doncaster 0.

Men's Conference West: Cardiff & Met 2, Cheltenham 0; Old Georgians 5, Isca 4; Team Bath Buccaneers 5, Fareham 2; University of Birmingham 1, Chichester 2; University of Exeter 5, University of Bristol 2.

England Hockey Board Media release

Irish Women's EY Hockey League Weekend Round Up

Normal service resumed for Monkstown following their Irish Senior Cup exit as the EYHL top goalscorer Anna O'Flanagan brought her fine international form back to her club in a 4-0 win over Ards in the first ties of 2017.

O'Flanagan, whose dozen goals in six games helped Ireland win World League 2 in Malaysia last month and saw her pass a half-century of international strikes, claimed three more in the first half against an Ards side who welcomed back their Irish international Chloe Brown form injury. Chloe Watkins completed the win from the penalty spot.

It means Monkstown hold onto their two-point lead at the summit over UCD, who dumped them out of the ISC quarter-finals last week. The students had to work harder for their three points on Saturday, as Orla Patton's short corner strike in the final quarter helped them edge Loreto 1-0.

The hosts, who currently occupy fourth spot, thought they had equalised late on through a Hannah McLoughlin penalty corner deflection, but it was ruled out due to a previous infringement.

Elsewhere, third-placed Cork Harlequins kept up their title challenge with Michelle Barry getting the only goal of the game against basement side Ulster Elks.

The northerners were unable to trouble Emma Buckley in the Quins goal, but the hosts struggled to put them away despite a dominant first-half performance. The crucial 16th-minute strike came when Yvonne O'Byrne's baseline raid saw her pick out Barry to finish, but Quins were unable to augment their advantage. They remain seven points behind Monkstown.

Pegasus' hopes of igniting a push for the playoffs were dealt a blow as a resurgent Pembroke Wanderers held them to a 1-1 draw in Dublin. The hosts took a shock lead early on through Jilly Ringwood but then had to dig in defensively as Pegasus dominated. They eventually found a second-half equaliser through Michelle Harvey, from their 13th short corner.

Railway Union served notice that they may be the ones to make a late charge for the playoffs, with a 6-0 dismantling of Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park. Kate Dillon's pair of goals bookended one from Anna May Whelan and an Orla Fox penalty stroke, before Zara Delany and Kate Orr put more gloss on the scoreline in the final three minutes.

Day 11 - extended reports

Monkstown 4 (Anna O'Flanagan 3, Chloe Watkins) Ards 0
Anna O'Flanagan again underlined her status as Ireland's top markswoman with a first-half treble to keep Monkstown top of the EYHL.

O'Flanagan, whose dozen goals in six games helped Ireland win World League 2 in Malaysia last month, was on the mark in the 11th minute here with a neat close-range finish and had her second within a minute.

She was then felled in the circle by her Irish international colleague Chloe Brown - playing a much deeper role than usual on her return from injury - and O'Flanagan dusted herself down to convert the ensuing penalty stroke.

Monkstown's final strike came 20 minutes from time, again from the penalty spot but this time Chloe Watkins converted. Sinead Loughran had a shot taken off the line and while Ards pushed forward in the final quarter, this was a comfortable three points for the league leaders.

Loreto 0 UCD 1 (Orla Patton)
UCD kept the pressure up on Monkstown at the EYHL summit with a hard-fought success at Loreto Beaufort.

The students' sole reward for first-quarter pressure was a penalty corner that Louisa Healy repelled, the highlight of a first half mostly played between the 23s.

Loreto came out fighting after the half-time interval with Ali Meeke's pace causing UCD problems, but the breakthrough came at the other end in the final quarter when Orla Patton converted their second penalty corner.

The hosts pushed hard to claw back an equaliser and won a pair of corners, from which Hannah McLoughlin deflected the ball home. However, the goal was chalked off for an earlier infringement to leave Loreto empty-handed.

Cork Harlequins 1 (Michelle Barry) Ulster Elks 0
Cork Harlequins kept up their title push but only after struggling to put away basement side Ulster Elks at Farmer's Cross.

Ireland U21 panellist Michelle Barry was busy in a dominant firts quarter for Quins, seeing her deflection well saved by Chrissie McKee eight minutes in before converting Yvonne O'Byrne's baseline cutback on 16 minutes to give her side the lead.

Rebecca Barry had two chances in quick succession to augment Quins' advantage, seeing a half-volley flash wide before McKee repelled her next shot after she was played in by the lively Naomi Carroll.

Carroll thought she'd done enough to score when arrowing a tracer to the bottom corner, but a Quins stick accidentally rerouted the ball wide.

A first Elks corner led to nought while Karen Bateman and Carroll both went close and Elks survived a late goalmouth scramble to keep the score at 1-0. Quins stay third, five points from the summit, while Elks remain below Belfast Harlequins at the bottom of the table on goal difference.

Pembroke Wanderers 1 (Jilly Ringwood) Pegasus 1 (Michelle Harvey)
Pegasus' hopes of mounting a late charge for the playoffs were dealt a blow as they failed to take maximum points from a dominant display in Dublin .

Pembroke took a shock lead in the fifth minute as a neat passing interchange gave Jilly Ringwood an opening in the circle, and she didn't have to be asked twice.

But Pembroke then had to steel themselves for a day of defensive duties as Pegasus took control of possession thereafter. Remarkably, they won 10 first-half penalty corners but Iseult Cambay, Rachel Scott and Erica Markey stood tall in the Pembroke rearguard to keep their lead intact at half-time.

Things continued in the same vein after the break - bar one Pembroke penalty corner which went unconverted - and Pegasus eventually found an equaliser from their 13th corner through Michelle Harvey, coming with a hint of controversy for the initial corner award.

Neither side could find a winner and Pegasus will now need to find their scoring sticks if they are to push for the playoffs while Pembroke face crucial clashes against fellow relegation candidates Belfast Harlequins and Ulster Elks in the coming weeks.

Belfast Harlequins 0 Railway Union 6 (Kate Dillon 2, Anna May Whelan, Orla Fox, Zara Delany, Kate Orr)

Photo Credit: Rowland White/PressEye

Railway Union began 2017 with a bang as they ignited their bid for a top four spot with a hugely impressive win in Belfast.

They served early notice of their intent with Harlequins keeper Jade Lamont had to snuff out Zara Delany in a one-on-one, before Kate Dillon hoovered up a rebound from a Lamont block in the 10th minute.

Laura Johnston gave Railway a scare when she was sent through all alone on Grace O'Flanagan who saved well, but it was one-way traffic thereafter.

Anna May Whelan started and ended a move down the left for 2-0 before Orla Fox converted from the penalty spot when a goalbound strike his a defender on the goal-line.

Railway kept up the pressure after the break, seeing one goal chalked off before Dillon tapped in at the back post for 4-0. Delany, setup by the influential Dillon, and Kate Orr put a late gloss on the scoreline with strikes in the final three minutes.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Top three all win to strengthen their Hockey League positions

Hermes-Monkstown, UCD and Cork Harlequins all won on Saturday and stay on track for Champions Trophy qualification

Mary Hannigan

Anna O’Flanagan: the Irish international getting her fifth hat-trick of the campaign against Ards, bringing her tally to 20 in 11 games. Photograph: Inpho

The top three in the EY Hockey League put a little more daylight between themselves and the chasing pack on Saturday by all picking up wins. Leaders Hermes-Monkstown eased to a 4-0 victory over Ards, but UCD and Cork Harlequins had a tougher time of it, a single goal deciding their ties against Loreto and Ulster Elks, respectively.

Hermes’ Anna O’Flanagan has now scored more goals than five of the 10 teams in the league, the Irish international getting her fifth hat-trick of the campaign against Ards, bringing her tally to 20 in 11 games.

The most valuable score of the weekend was, arguably, the one produced by Orla Patton that gave second-placed UCD the points against an in-form Loreto at Beaufort, the game scoreless until the final quarter when Patton converted a penalty corner. Loreto hold on to fourth, which would be enough to qualify for the Champions Trophy should a top three finisher win the Irish Senior Cup, but are now four points behind Harlequins.

After taking the lead through Michelle Barry 16 minutes in to their home game against bottom club Ulster Elks, who had conceded 37 goals in 10 games before Saturday, Harlequins might have expected the floodgates to spring open, but it proved to be the only score of the game, Elks goalkeeper Chrissie McKee denying them on several occasions.

Pegasus, meanwhile, had their ambitions dented by Pembroke Wanderers at Serpentine Avenue where they had to come from behind to draw after Jilly Ringwood had given the home side a fifth minute lead. Michelle Harvey finally got the equaliser from a penalty corner in the third quarter, but the Belfast side failed to capitalise on a corner count that ran in to double figures. Railway Union moved above Pegasus in to fifth with Saturday’s biggest win, Kate Dillon scoring twice in a 6-0 victory away to Belfast Harlequins.

The Irish Times

Grove Menzieshill and Dundee Wanderers win Grand Finals at indoor GALA Day

GALA Day hippo

It was a magnificent indoor hockey GALA Day at Bells Sports Centre, Perth, that saw Dundee Wanderers crowned women's champions, and Grove Menzieshill men's champions.

Match 1 Hillhead 2s v Grove Menzieshill 3s

The first game of the day was a cracker, and it was Grove Menzieshill 3s who came out on top against Hillhead 2s.

The game got off to a flying start with Grove Menzieshill 3s quickly taking the initiative. They also quickly took the lead, a penalty corner was teed up nicely for Nathan Soutar to slot the ball home into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0. Grove Menzieshill 3s continued to press the game, zipping the ball around the court

They added a second goal when Gavin Cruickshanks scored to make it 2-0, then nine minutes later Chris Anderson slammed home their third to make it 3-0. Just before half time Anderson was on hand again to score and make it 4-0.

Hillhead stepped up the pace as the second half moved on and had an explosive spell where they seemed unstoppable. Euan Cochrane bagged a double within a minute, clawing the game back to 4-2.

Grove Menzieshill 3s soon put any prospect of a comeback into perspective when they bagged a fifth to make it 5-2; Anderson completing his hat trick.

Grove Menzieshill 3s added a sixth right on the hooter from a Nathan Soutar penalty corner to seal the victory, and gain promotion to National league 3.

FT - Hillhead 2s 2-6 Grove Menzieshill 3s

GALA Day Hillhead women

Match 2 - Inverleith v Hillhead

It took sudden death penalties to separate Inverleith and Hillhead women in the second game of the day – it was a great game full of drama and exciting hockey.

An early goal for Inverleith got them off to a great start, Sarah McKay bagged the opener.

Then Hillhead showed some clinical finishing, first Zoe Irvine scored their equaliser before Carla Macniven finished off a penalty corner to give her side a 2-1 lead at half time.

The second half was end-to-end, McKay equalised for Inverleith – her second of the game, then she bagged her hat trick when she made it 3-2 to Inverleith. With two minutes remaining Amber Macfarlane scored for Hillhead to take it to a shootout.

The goalkeepers were on form, saving every penalty until Hillhead’s Macniven found the net, giving her side the victory and promotion.

FT - Inverleith 3-3 Hillhead

(Hillhead win after sudden death penalties)

Match 3 - Watsonians v Edinburgh University

Edinburgh University men won the right to play Western Wildcats later in the day as they aimed to gain promotion to men’s indoor National League 1. First, they had to get past Watsonians and it was a fantastic game of hockey.

The game was played at a blistering pace, end-to-end, but it was Edinburgh University who took the early lead.

Callum White made a quick surge into the D and scored a low finish slamming against the back board. 1-0. A minute later, and White scored again, this time for a penalty flick to make it 2-0.

White secured his hat trick in the fifth minute of the game, and then his fourth just two minutes later through another surge into the box and slamming low into the net to make it 4-0.

Watsonians pulled one back with ten minutes of the first half to play, a sweet move off the training ground to make it 4-1, finished off by Mark Mundell.

Mundell then scored again, a penalty corner high into the net to make it 4-2.

Some good work by Edinburgh’s George Adams down the left opened up the opportunity for Gordon Amore so finish and make it 5-2.

Jamie Wong was having a great game for Edinburgh, the pace of the game suited him. But it was Watsonians who hit the net next, Lyam Hollis the scorer. 5-3. It was Wong who completed the scoring with four minutes remaining to make it 6-3.

FT- Watsonian 3-6 Edinburgh University

GALA Day Edinburgh University men

Match 4 - Grove Menzieshill 2s v MJV Dundee Wanderers

Next up was a feisty encounter between Grove Menzieshill 2s and MJV Dundee Wanderers that lived up to the grudge match it was billed to be.

Grove Menzieshill 2s opened the scoring through Jamie Golden in the fourth minute, which was followed up by a Wanderers equaliser by Fergus Sandison. Grove Menzieshill 2s took the lead again on 13 minutes when Ciaran Crawford finished from open play. The lead lasted just a minute when Bobby Ralph equalised, and the score remained 2-2 until half time.

Wanderers took the lead for the first time when Ross Glashan scored to make it 3-2.

The majority of pressure in the second half was coming from Grove Menzieshill 2s and they finally made their pressure count when they equalised through Oliver James. It looked like it was going to penalties until Wanderers snatched it in the closing stages. Grove Menzieshill 2s struck the crossbar right at the death but Wanderers were able to hold on to claim the win, and earn promotion.

FT – Grove Menzieshill 2s 3-4 Dundee Wanderers

Match 5 - Edinburgh University v Clydesdale Western

Clydesdale Western women ended a fine indoor season by finishing in third place after beating Edinburgh University at Bells.

Clydesdale Western raced into a two goal lead. Laura Mann opened the scoring in the fifth minute, and Fiona Bruce added the second a minute later. 2-0.

Edinburgh University were not out of the game despite the two-goal deficit, they played good hockey and fashioned a few openings. Louise Campbell was influential and Sophie Maunder was full of running.

The third goal for Western came just after half time when Ali Eadie finished off a penalty corner to make it 3-0. Western were producing some real quality, a fast and precise blend of hockey that was causing the students many problems.

With seven minutes remaining the students pulled a well-earned goal back through Louise Campbell.

FT – Edinburgh University 1-3 Clydesdale Western

Match 6 - Perthshire v Inverleith 2s

An exceptional performance by Inverleith 2s men saw them defeat Perthshire 6-1 at the Gala Day in Perth.

Inverleith raced into a three goal lead, producing some top quality hockey. Paul Taylor opened the scoring from a penalty corner, Ewen Mackie added a second, and Taylor bagged his second and Inverleith 2s’ third in the ninth minute.

Perthshire’s Michal Czub pulled one back, slamming home low from a well-worked penalty corner to make it 3-1.

In the second half Inverleith 2s continued to play scintillating hockey and scored their fourth through Mackie just after the half hour mark. Alan Wall made it 5-1 from a penalty corner a couple of minutes later, then Mackie completed his hat trick, and the scoring, right at the death to make it 6-1.

FT - Perthshire 1-6 Inverleith 2s

GALA Day inverleith men

Match 7 - Kelburne v Grange

An exceptional performance by Bromac Kelburne saw them put 13 goals past Grange in the highest scoring match of the day.

Kelburne played with Josh Cairns at Kicking Back, a theme throughout their indoor campaign. Nick Finlayson opened the scoring with a near post flick to give Kelburne a 1-0 lead in four minutes. Finlayson scored his, and Kelburne’s second, a minute later.

Jonas Nommensen made it 3-0 as Kelburne continued to apply pressure, playing sharp long passes and looking clinical in front of goal.

Grange then scored through Ross Lunn, a quick break found him in the D waiting to knock it into the empty goal. 3-1. Moments later and Lunn finished off a carbon copy of his first to make it 3-2. Grange were right back in it.

Kelburne’s Michael Bremner prompted a quick break forward which eventually found Nommenson again at the far post to knock the ball home and make it 4-2. Nommenson was on hand again a short while later to claim a hat trick, scoring from close range.

Grange surged forward and bagged another goal themselves – Robert Nimmo applied the finish from the side of the D to make it 5-3. Kelburne continued to rain in the goals through a Finlayson double to make it 7-3 at half time.

A Kelburne penalty corner was slammed home by Cairns to make it 8-3 after the restart. John McClusky pulled one back for Grange to make it 8-4 before Bremner got on the scoresheet to make it 9-4. Cairns scored a penalty to take Kelburne’s tally to double figures before Grange scored their fifth through Ali Irvine. Jonny Christie scored immediately for Kelburne before Adam Bain and Cairns scored in the final two minutes to finish the game 13-5 to Kelburne.

FT – Bromac Kelburne 13-5 Grange

GALA Day Kelburne

Match 8 - Western Wildcats v Edinburgh University

Edinburgh University won promotion, and arguably the game of the day, after a dramatic comeback against Western Wildcats.

Western Wildcats got off to a great start scoring within the first minute of the match, Scott McCartney slammed the ball off the backboard to make it 1-0.

Jamie Wong hit the post for Edinburgh Uni, before winning a penalty. Callum White stepped up to strike it for the students but a fantastic save denied him.

Western Wildcats scored again when Joe McConnell struck across the goalkeeper to make it 2-0. Wildcats bagged a third when Andrew McConnell capitalised on an error to make it 3-0. McCartney then found the top corner from a penalty corner to make it 4-0. Wildcats struck their fifth with McCartney bagging his hat trick.

With half time approaching Edinburgh University pulled one through Callum White to make it 5-1.

The students came out flying for the second half. White slammed a penalty corner low into the bottom right corner to make it 5-2. White then scored again, his hat trick, to make it 5-3. The comeback was on.

George Adams made sure the comeback was well and truly on when he sunk a penalty corner into the bottom left corner to bring it back to 5-4 with eight minutes to play. Edinburgh were all out attack and they made it count when White equalised with four minutes on the clock - 5-5.

With just over a minute to play the students took the lead and Bells erupted. Ross Jamieson forced the ball over the line to make it 6-5 to Edinburgh University. Jamieson sealed it with seconds left to play when he scored to make it 7-5.

FT – Western Wildcats 5-7 Edinburgh University

Match 9 - Grove Menzieshill v Dundee Wanderers

The penultimate game of the day was the women’s indoor National League 1 Grand Final, and featured a Dundee derby between rivals Grove Menzieshill and Dundee Wanderers.

Less than a minute into the final and Wanderers took the lead when Emily Dark slammed home a penalty corner to make it 1-0.

Despite shipping the early goal it was Grove Menzieshill who started the game strong, playing a neat blend of hockey in the heat of the derby. They equalised in the fourth minute when Pauline Stott found the net to finish off an intense opening five minutes. Wanderers struck back almost immediately when Amy Snelle finished off a penalty corner to make it 2-1. A minute later and Grove Menzieshill equalised, this time Katie Robertson found the net from a penalty corner routine.

In the second half Wanderers found their groove and Vikki Bunce repeatedly attacked the Grove Menzieshill rear-guard on long mazy runs. Wanderers took the lead again through Julie Bryce to make it 3-2. Snelle then had a goal chopped off for Wanderers. Ten minutes later and the influential Bunce finally put daylight between the two when she netted a penalty corner to make it 4-2, and it was Wanderers who were crowned indoor champions once again.

FT - Grove Menzieshill 2-4 Dundee Wanderers

GALA Day Wanderers women

Match 10 - Grove Menzieshill v Inverleith

Grove Menzieshill and Inverleith battled out the final game of the day with Grove Menzieshill taking the men’s Indoor National League 1 title, in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Bells.

Grove Menzieshill surged into an early lead when Ross McPherson opened the scoring, followed by Gavin Tomlinson adding a second from a penalty corner. 2-0 in seven minutes. Inverleith then struck back when Stephen Dick hammered home a penalty corner to make it 2-1. As half time approached Grove Menzieshill restored their two-goal advantage when Gavin Byers produced a neat finish to make it 3-1.

An electric start to the second half saw Grove Menzieshill pull away from Inverleith. Chris Wilson nearly took the roof of Bells when the crowd went berserk at his strike to make it 4-1 just after half time. Ben Cromar added his name to the scoresheet, and the fans’ hymn sheet, a few minutes later when he struck the fifth.

Inverleith were not going to go away without a fight though, and Fabian Wolski powered home a penalty corner to make it 5-2. Ben Cogrove sent the crowd wild when he added Grove Menzieshill’s sixth before Inverleith again struck back through Derek Salmond. The scoring was completed in the final minute by Michael Ross who made it 7-3 to Grove Menzieshill, taking the men’s indoor title back to Tayside.

FT – Grove Menzieshill 7-3 Inverleith

GALA Day Grove men

Photos by Duncan Gray

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Top two sides continue winning ways in contrasting fashion

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: The top two teams in the Premier Division continued their winning ways but in contrasting fashion in the Malaysia Hockey League.

Leaders and defending champions Terengganu thumped SSTMI 10-1 at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu while second-placed KLHC had to overcome a two-goal deficit to win 4-3.

It was Terengganu’s seventh win and they garnered 22 points, two more than KLHC.

The east coast side faced no problems against SSTMI as they scored the opening goal in the very first minute.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Jang Jung-hyun starred for Terengganu as they plundered seven of the 10 goals.

Tengku Ahamd, who scored a hat-trick on Friday against Tenaga, netted four goals yesterday.

He took his tally in the tournament to 11 with strikes in the first, 17th, 30th and 56th minutes.

Penalty corner specialist Jung-hyun bagged a hat-trick in the 29th, 33rd and 39th minutes and have 16 goals under his belt.

The other scorers were Ismail Abu (eighth), Nicholas Torre (12th) and B. Namasivayam (20th)

Mohamed Shahrin Izzudin scored the consolation goal for SSTMI in the 58th minute.

Terengganu played without their star forwad Faizal Saari who is out for the rest of the season due to injury.

Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh was delighted with the big win.

“What’s more important is to keep the momentum going. It was not easy but we got the goals at the right time.

“There are tougher matches ahead and we need to be in a position to capitalise on them.

“It’s a good start to the second half of the tournament,” he added.

In Bandar Penawar, it was a close call for former champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).

They had to overcome a two-goal deficit to beat TNB Thunderbolt 4-3 at the SSTMI Hockey Stadium.

Thunderbolt took the lead through Mohamed Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal and Mohamed Noor Firdaus Rosdi in the 22nd and 25th minutes.

But KLHC’s national player Mohamed Haziq Shamsul scored in the 29th minute to reduce the deficit and their foreign import Anton Ebeling found the equaliser in the 34th minute.

Thunderbolt were relentless in their attack and were rewarded with another goal in the 41st minute from a penalty corner set-piece.

But Haziq and Anton were on target again in the 44th and 50th minutes to give KLHC the slim win.

The Star of Malaysia

1st Women Hockey League: Lahore & Quetta Victorious

Lahore: In the 1st Women Hockey League, on Sunday, Quetta Panthers and Lahore Lions won their respective matches at the National Hockey Stadium.

Aqsa Javed's Brace in Quetta Panthers' 3-1 Victory over Karachi Dolphins

With two wins in as many matches, Quetta has emerged as a strong contender to qualify for the final.

While for Karachi, it was two defeats out of two.

Panthers were off the blocks quickly. Nimble footed Aqsa Javed put them ahead in the 3rd minute.

They had to wait for the next goal till the 27th minute, Again, Aqsa was the scorer. But Karachi managed to reduce the margin through Tehmina just seconds before the hooter sounded for the half time.

It was game on.

In the 40th minute, Nafeesa Anwar, with her third goal of the league, the only penalty corner conversion of the match, again restored the two goal cushion for Quetta.

Both the teams continued to look for the goal. Quetta had more chances but the scoreline didn't change.

Player of Match: Aqsa Javed (Quetta)

Quetta Panthers: 3     Karachi Dolphins: 1

Quetta Panthers: Aqsa Javed (3' & 27')  Nafeesa Anwar (40')
Karachi Dolhons: Tehmina (30')

Lahore Lions Outplay Islamabad Shaheen 4 - 0

Lahore Lions continued with their impressive form. 

Though, they had the better of exchanges right from the beginning, the first goal only arrived in the 26th minute, courtesy international Maira Sabir. It opened the floodgates as Sehrish Waheed and Ambreen Arshad made it 3-0 in next three minutes.
Only one goal was added in the second half when Faiqa Riaz availed a penalty corner.

With three successive victories, all by big margins, Lahore Lions have emerged as the strongest team in the league.

Player of Match: Ambreen Arshad (Lahore Lions)

Lahore Lions:4    Islamabad Shaheen: 0
Lahore Lions: (Maira Sabir  26', Sehrish Waheed 27', Ambreen Arshad 29' & Faiqa Riaz 53')


Team, Matches, Wins, Defeats, Draw, Goal Difference, Points
Lahore Lions, 3, 3, 0, 0, +11, 9
Quetta Panthers, 2, 2, 0, 0, +3, 6
Islamabad  Shaheen, 3, 1, 2, 0, -3, 3
Peshawar Deers, 2, 0, 2, 0, -5, 0
Karachi Dolphins, 2, 0, 2, 0, -6, 0
Matches on Monday:
Quetta Panthers vs Peshawar Deers:  11:00 am
Islamabad Shaheen vs Karachi Dolphins: 02:30 pm

PHF Media release

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