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News for 14 February 2017

All the news for Tuesday 14 February 2017

Black Sticks Women beaten in Argentina opener

Photo: Hernan Pablo Barrios

The Vantage Black Sticks Women have been defeated 3-0 by hosts Argentina in the first of six tests in Buenos Aires.

World number three ranked Argentina controlled much of the possession, scoring twice in the first half and adding a third goal in the fourth quarter.

The Black Sticks played a much better second half but weren’t able to threaten the goal, earning just one penalty corner in the match.

Midfielders Stephanie Dickins and Tessa Jopp along with goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon all made their New Zealand debut during the game.

Assistant coach Sean Dancer said his young side battled through some early nerves but it wasn’t enough to overcome the fast and attacking home side.

“The quality of our basics were not good enough. Argentina are a top tier team and we need to execute better under pressure,” he said.

“At stages our structure was compromised and that can happen with a new group like this. We will address those key areas and look forward to the challenge of game two tomorrow.”

The Black Sticks are back in action in game two at 10:00am tomorrow morning (NZ time), game streamed live online.

CLICK HERE for more on the Vantage Black Sticks Women vs Argentina

ARGENTINA 3: (Campoy 2, Granatto)
Halftime: Argentina 2-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

The Malaysian puzzle

By Jugjet Singh

The Malaysian Indian Sports and Cultural Foundation-Universal Fitness & Leisure (MISCF-UFL)  team after playing against Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) in preparation for the Junior Hockey League on March 31.

THERE is so much of hockey being played around the country that it's puzzling why Malaysia are still ranked 13th in the World.

Hockey is not only a sport, but its also a big money-making industry, from the millions needed to lay an artificial pitch to the equipment which has undergone tremendous change over the years.

A good hockey stick ranges from RM400 to RM1,500 -- one for the development players, the other for state and national players or those whose parents can afford it.

Goalkeepers equipment (cheapest RM3,000), balls, shin pads, mouth guards, artificial pitch shoes, socks, field bookings right up to the refreshments during the break all cost a bomb these days.

Not to mention the coaches salaries from the highest level to the grassroots -- all 1,500 certified coaches according to the last study done in 1997, after which no study was conducted for latest numbers.

But still, it has not stopped hockey from mushrooming around the country.

Take for example the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium in Japan Pantai.

Yesterday, as usual, it was packed with hockey players of all standards and sizes.

The KLHA Under-16 squad started at 8am to train for the National Under-16 squad which will be held on March 18-26 at the same venue.

This was followed by a friendly match between Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) with Malaysian Indian Sports and Cultural Foundation-Universal Fitness & Leisure (MISCF-UFL) 

They were preparing for the Junior Hockey League which is slated to start on March 31.

But even before Olak and MISCF-UFL packed their bags, Convent Bukit Nanas girls walked onto the picth -- and it was blazing hot at 12 noon.

And later in the evening, there was 1Mas training followed by the Malaysia Hockey League Premier Division matches.

Hockey whole day, and almost every day at every artificial pitch around the country for the last five years but we're still 13th in the World.

So, its a real puzzle as there is plenty of action at the grassroots but still, the eight Premier Division teams struggle to find quality local players and need to hire foreign imports.

But the imports have not shown any signs of being better than the locals, expect for Jang Jong Hyung from South Korea, who has scored 19 goals for Terengganu Hockey Team to place them at the top of the table.

However, Malaysia have a super chance of moving up the rankings when they play in the World League Round Two match in Dhaka on March 4-12.

With the other teams in Dhaka being of mediocre standard, Malaysia should win gold again like they did in the World League Round Two in Singapore by whipping Poland 8-0 in the final.

And with the World Cup being a 16-team format, Malaysia are almost a sure bet to play in India in 2018 and improrve on their rankings.

But even if they don't qualify for the World Cup, hockey will still be played at a furious state at the grassroots and clubs and MHL as well as JHL, Razak Cup, Azlan Shah Cup, Sultan of Johor Cup, Alagendra Cup, Malaysia Games, Under-14, Under-16, 1Mas tournaments -- and the expensive equipments will still be purchased at a furious state for the next five years and counting.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

India to lead the cast for Sultan of Johor Cup

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Junior World Cup champions India will spearhead the cast for this year’s Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament.

The seventh edition at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru from Oct 22-29 will also see three other former Junior World Cup champions – Germany, Australia and Argentina – joining England and hosts Malaysia to compete in the six-team tournament.

“We are happy that India are back in the fray after staying away last year. We’ve five top sides this time.

“It will help boost the image of the tournament as well as provide our juniors with top-class matches,” said Johor Hockey Association (JHA) deputy president Datuk Manjit Majid Abdullah.

India have won the tournament twice – in 2013 and 2014. Australia won the title last year after beating Pakistan 3-1 in the final.

The Star of Malaysia

Uttar Pradesh Wizards beat home side Jaypee Punjab Warriors 6-2   

Chandigarh: A resilient Uttar Pradesh Wizards came up with an inspired show to beat home team and defending Champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors 6-2 here on Monday. Goals by Shamsher Singh (5′), Ajay Yadav (40′) and Akashdeep Singh (58′) ensured they took home five points from the match.

With the fifth edition of Coal India Hockey India League inching closer towards the Final weekend to be held here in Chandigarh on February 25 and 26, the game between Uttar Pradesh Wizards and defending Champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors was going to be a crucial one to keep their hopes alive this season.

While a win for the home team would mean, they would climb to the third spot on the points table, it was a do-or-die match for the Uttar Pradesh Wizards as a loss would mean they would stand no chance of making the Semi Final cut and they did not disappoint.

The visitors led by experienced VR Raghunath ensured they got off to a fine start in the first quarter when Shamsher Singh struck a stupendous field goal in only the 5th minute of the match to take a 2-0 lead. The visitors further won a PC with just 13 seconds left for the first hooter, thanks to Ramandeep Singh, but Raghunath’s powerful drag flick was brilliantly saved by Tristan Clemons who has been in splendid form this season.

The visitors continued to dominate with ball possession in the second quarter too. They earned their second PC in the 23rd minute, but the Uttar Pradesh Wizards tried a different variation only to attempt for a field goal, however, Wouter Jolie’s strike was way off target. Meanwhile Armaan Qureshi, who is coming back after a break due to a niggle, was rather impressive for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors with his forays into the circle but couldn’t get the ball past Uttar Pradesh Wizards celebrated goalkeeper PR Sreejesh who showcased some fine skills at the post to ensure his team kept the 2-0 lead at half-time.

The ten-minute break seemed to have done a world of good for the home team who scored within 30 seconds of the play resuming. It was a clever thinking pass by Varun Kumar to forward SV Sunil who further assisted Dutchman Mirco Pruijser who just had to tap the ball into the post. His successful attempt fetched the much-needed equalizer for Jaypee Punjab Warriors. But they gave up the lead nine minute later when a defensive error in the 40th minute by the home team, made way for young Ajay Yadav. Unmarked in the striking circle, Yadav made no mistake in trapping the pass by Akashdeep Singh and took his time to send the ball straight into the goal taking the Uttar Pradesh Wizards lead to 4-2.

The final quarter saw some upbeat action with Uttar Pradesh Wizards coming up with clever play by trying to hold the possession for as long as possible, not allowing the defending Champions an opportunity to counter attack. Home team’s Tristan Clemons was replaced by stand-in keeper Jugraj Singh at the post and he unfortunately could not stop a field goal by Akashdeep Singh in the 58th minute that sealed the match for the visitors.

Akashdeep Singh of Uttar Pradesh Wizards was awarded with a prize money of Rs 50,000 for scoring the Coal India Goal of the Match from Mr Jasbir Singh Pala, Senior Manager, Sales and Marketing, Coal India Ltd.

Shamsher Singh of Uttar Pradesh Wizards won the prize of Rs 25,000 for being the Hero Young Achiever of the Match from Mr. Balbir Singh Senior, Olympian.

The Airtel Most Entertaining Player of the Match was awarded to Armaan Qureshi of Jaypee Punjab Warriors that came with a prize money of Rs 25,000 and presented by Dr. Chander Shekhar, IPS (retired), President Hockey Chandigarh.

Ajay Yadav of Uttar Pradesh Wizards was declared the Man of the Match and was awarded a prize money of Rs 50,000 by Mr. Jagbir Singh, Olympian and Team Manager Jaypee Punjab Warriors.

It will be a rest day on 14 February.

On 15 February, Delhi Waveriders will take on Dabang Mumbai in New Delhi at 1900hrs.

Matches will be shown live on Star Sports 2 & HD 2 and Star Sports 3 & HD 3 and live streamed on Hotstar.com

Official HIL site

Defending champions suffer huge loss

s2h team

The defending champions Jaypee Punjab Warriors suffered somewhat a shaking and shocking 2-6 defeat on home turf at the hands of ever-improving visitors Uttar Pradesh Wizards here in Chandigarh in the Match No.22 of the Fifth Hockey India League.

With just two wins in six matches, today's loser is still below semifinal datum line while third win seven games takes to UPW fourth in the points table.

Three Indian players, two are just colts, came out with shining example for striking quick-silver goals, two of them against fearsome, thrice Man of the Match award winning goalie Tristan Clemons.

Two Junior players in the visiting Uttar Pradesh Wizards rank, Shamsher Singh and Vijay Yadav struck a field goal apiece against a long strike by Dutchman Pruijser to give their side 4-2 lead at the end of third quarter.

Shamsher struck when Harbir fumbled with his clearance, much like Amit Rohidoss' the other day in Delhi. Ajay Yadav was really a stunner, where the ball crashed into the net through the stretched legs of Clemens.

When Clemens was replaced with young Jugraj Singh under the cage so as to pull one more foreign player on the field, Akashdeep Singh, who missed quite a few sitter with harried shots, shocked the new man with a diagonal, reverse shot that just into the cage from the far corner.

For a while, when Dutchman Micro Pruijser equalized with an alert trap after Satbir missed out a cross in front of goalmouth, it seemed the match will turn tighter and tougher, but the home side lost the plot at the midfield, yielding much leeway for the visitors.

It is also interesting to note the teams were not interested in getting penalty corners, instead always go for field effort. The match saw just three PCs in all. Perhaps, the two-goal for field goal weighs a lot with the team think tank, which is surely undermining the insignia of the hockey, the penalty corners.

THRILLING GOAL Rs.50K: Akashdeep Singh
MAN OF THE MATCH Rs.50K:Ajay Yadav


Wizards stay afloat

Uthra Ganesan

THWARTED: Hardik Singh of Warriors (right) is foiled by Wizards’s Edward Ockenden. 

Uttar Pradesh Wizards (UPW) won its second game of the competition to stay in the race for a knock-out spot with a comprehensive 6-2 victory over Jaypee Punjab Warriors (JPW) here on Monday.

This was the second consecutive loss for the host at home and the result opens up the leaderboard with all the four bottom teams still in the reckoning for a semifinal berth.

Playing a far more attacking game than it has in the past couple of games, Warriors earned its first penalty corner in the very first minute, forcing P.R. Sreejesh to come to his team’s rescue.

Wizards, on the other hand, was up to the challenge as the teams played an open game while ensuring a tight defence.

The visitors went ahead in the fifth minute after P.R. Aiyappa’s shot into the striking circle rebounded off Mink van der Weerden’s stick and Shamsher Singh made no mistake.

With the match being crucial for both sides, the teams repeatedly went for field goals instead of trying to hold on and earn penalty corners.

There were only three penalty corners in the game — one for Wizards and two for the host. Warriors was the more attacking of the two, earning chances in the first few minutes of every quarter, and one of them saw S.V. Sunil send the ball in 30 seconds into the third quarter.

The ball went past Sreejesh and found Mirco Pruijser, who beat Gonzalo Peillat to level scores.

Warriors attacked from both flanks. Armaan Qureshi, returning after missing two games due to a shin injury, troubled the Wizards defence on the left and Sunil on the right, but was unable to get past Raghunath and Co.

Akashdeep Singh kept feeding the strikers before Ajay Yadav received one at the top of the circle and slammed the ball past Warriors ’keeper Tristan Clemons, who had been exceptional in the last three games.

Akashdeep got his name on the scoresheet with a reverse hit in the 57th minute to extend the lead and seal the win for his team.

With a three-day break for Warriors before it plays its remaining two home matches, the defending champion will be hoping to use the rest to recoup and plan ahead.

Wizards, already forced to play two of its home games in Delhi due to the State elections, will be hoping to make full use of home advantage when it travels back to Lucknow for the next game.

The result: Uttar Pradesh Wizards 6 (Shamsher Singh-FG, Ajay Yadav-FG, Akashdeep Singh-FG) bt Jaypee Punjab Warriors 2 (Mirco Pruijser-FG).

The Hindu

Wizards too good for Warriors

Indervir Grewal

Punjab Warriors (yellow) try to check the UP forwards during their match in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Chandigarh: Punjab Warriors’ struggles in the middle and upfront took its toll on their defence as three blunders saw the defending champions slump to a 6-2 defeat at the hands of Uttar Pradesh Wizards in a Hockey India League match here today.

Punjab made too many basic, skill-related mistakes, which augmented their troubles in creating chances, while a more inventive and proactive visiting team took its chances.

Three cracking strikes from Wizards’ young strikers — Shamsher Singh (5th minute), Ajay Yadav (48th) and Akashdeep Singh (58th) — overshadowed Punjab’s solitary goal through Mirco Pruijser’s 31st-minute strike after a rare menacing attack for the hosts.

After lazy starts in the last few matches, about which coach Barry Dancer had complained after their defeat to Dabang Mumbai, Punjab came out determined to get a bright start. The hosts have lacked the spark in attack — the forwards have been struggling to create space, while the playmakers have not been inventive enough. Today, there were too many missed-passes and missed-stops, which further increased the pressure on their defence.

Punjab had their first attack in the second minute, getting the ball from their third to the rival circle in two passes. Though Punjab failed to convert the ensuing penalty corner, it augured well for them. But as the game continued, and UP gained more control, Punjab slipped into chaos, with the players being guilty of individualistic play.

Captain Mark Knowles later said that the general team level is low. “The team lacked in skill today; too many stopping errors; its wasn’t a clean game. That just made it harder for us,” he said.

UP coach Roelant Oltmans said: “We had a very dominating performance. But there is always room for improvement. The youngsters had such a crucial role in the win, that is a very encouraging sign,” he said.

Youngster Shamsher was happy that he could score the first goal. “It helps the team relax and gain confidence and focus,” he said.

The Tribune

Uttar Pradesh Wizards thump Punjab Warriors

An Uttar Pradesh Wizards player (in blue) tries to dribble past a Jaypee Punjab Warriors player in the Hockey India League match in Chandigarh on Monday. (HIL Photo)

Lying at the bottom of the points table, Uttar Pradesh Wizards roared to a thumping 3-1 (6-2) victory over Jaypee Punjab Wizards in the Hockey India League on Monday.

Shamsher Singh (5th min), Ajay Yadav (39th) and Akashdeep Singh (58th) scored for UP Wizards while Dutch star Mirco Pruijser (31st) had found the equaliser for Punjab, all field goals. Each field goal counts as two in HIL.

The Indian team’s high performance director, Roelant Oltmans, was proud to see his team shake off their slumber in emphatic fashion.

Uttar Pradesh Wizards had just one win in the six-team league before the Chandigarh tie, but raised their level, handing Punjab Warriors their second successive defeat in the league.

The VR Raghunath-led UP Wizards scored three field goals to race ahead while hosts Punjab Warriors succumbed to pressure and the splendid game plan of the visitors.

Both the teams started on an attacking note. However, Uttar Pradesh pressed hard and Shamsher Singh scored in the fifth minute. Both teams forced two penalty corners in the first quarter, but failed to convert them.

The Punjab team came charged in the second quarter and Pruijser fired in a field goal to equalise in the very first minute. But the hosts could not sustain that momentum.

Cashing in on Warriors’ weak defence, Ajay Tyagi scored to help Wizards regain the lead. In the last quarter, UP played safe and did not attack. However, Akashdeep scored another stellar field goal in the dying minutes.

Following the win, UP Wizards have 15 points and have moved up a place in the table.

Praise for youth

After the match, Wizards coach Oltmans said, “I am happy to see the youngsters putting in extra effort and delivering the goods. Credit goes to the young lot of the team, who played outstandingly today and kept Punjab on their toes. This win will boost the morale and prepare us better for the upcoming matches. We have a slight disadvantage of losing our home matches due to state elections. Having said that we would like to pick up momentum and look for as many victories as we can.”

Punjab Warriors captain Knowles Mark accepted his team missed chances. “We were a bit shoddy on the field today and did not play clean hockey. It has been gruelling for us too. We have played six matches in 12 days. We will re-group in the small break we have got and the coaches will work on our problem areas. We will make a comeback. The good thing is we are still alive in the tournament.” Punjab face Delhi Waveriders next on Feb 17.

Hindustan Times

UP Wizards down Punjab Warriors 6-2 in HIL tie

CHANDIGARH: Uttar Pradesh Wizards (UPW) produced an excellent performance to beat Punjab Warriors 6-2 in a Hockey India League (HIL) contest here on Monday evening.

Shamsher Singh (5th minute), Ajay Yadav (39th) and Akashdeep Singh (58th) scored for UPW while Dutch star Mirco Pruyser (31st) found the net for Punjab.

Each field goal counts as two in the HIL.

UPW were clearly the better team, holding the ball well and playing with short passes to produce some excellent moves.

Their defence was also superb preventing the Punjab forwards from creating too much trouble with some nice marking.

They took the early lead when Shamsher received a pass from the right before scoring with an accurate reverse hit.

The early goal saw UPW take the upper hand and forced Punjab to become a bit defensive.

UPW earned another penalty corner seconds before the end of the opening quarter when an attempted pass from Ramandeep hit the foot of Punjab defender Jasjit Kullar.

With around a minute to go for the half-time whistle, UPW's Akashdeep Singh found himself in possession inside the Punjab penalty circle after an excellent build-up.

But But a momentary delay in controlling the ball proved to be his undoing as it enable three Punjab defenders to take position and block his attempt.

Punjab equalised against the run of play when Mirco Pruyser slotted home at the far post following a pass into the UP penalty area from the right.

The visitors regained the lead in the third quarter when some poor defending saw UP's Ajay Yadav unmarked inside the Punjab circle.

UPW created a few chances in a frenetic final quarter but the Punjab defence did well to thwart them.

But with just two minutes from the close, Akashdeep increased UPW's lead with a fine strike from outside the circle.

The Times of India

Simba and Kakungulu win big at Rockets Hockey Open

By Kasozi Balikuddembe

Simba and Kakungulu have surely got the wind in their sails at the initial stage of this year's eventful Ugandan hockey season.

The two teams won big in the Rockets Open that ended Sunday at the National hockey stadium in Lugogo.

Mohammed Ali's Simba edged rivals Weatherhead on penalties(2-1) to claim their maiden trophy in the men's category.

The two sides played out to a goaless draw in normal time and ultimately the game would still remain in a stalemate even after the first five penalties where the two teams just converted two goals apiece.

Mohammed Ali and Jerome Owori's strikes were the tie breaker as Weatherhead missed two of the three penalties with only Ashiraf Tumwesigye finding the back of the net in the second series of penalties.

"This is a good start to the season. We showed the determination and courage until the last kick of the game. We hope to parlay this spirit into the National league"said Mohammed Ali, captain of Simba.

Meanwhile in the Women's category Doreen Mbabazi scored the only goal of the game as Kakungulu came up big against Weatherhead in the final.

It was a tournament that the inaugural winners Wananchi snubbed saying they had to resolve some "internal issues" and also have their players rest following a daunting fruitless campaign in the Africa Club Championship during the fall of last year in neighboring Kenya.

Rockets Hockey Open Results
Simba 0 Weatherhead 0
Kakungulu 1 Weatherhead 0
Men: MVP Collin Batuusa (Kakungulu),
Best Goal Keeper:  Charles Sewalu (Simba)
Ladies: MVP Norah Alum (Kakungulu),
Best GoalKeeper:  Sylvia Gramia (Kakungulu)

The New Vision

Darren Smith takes charge of Black Sticks Men

Former Kiwi international Darren Smith has been named the new head coach of the Vantage Black Sticks Men.

Smith, who played 212 tests for New Zealand from 1995 – 2006, takes over the top role following the departure of Colin Batch in December.

He was assistant coach of the Black Sticks Men from 2007 – 2012 before leading the Ireland Women’s programme as head coach from 2012 – 2015.

Smith is excited to take on the head coach role which has been a personal dream for a long time, moving on from his most recent role as High Performance Director at Softball New Zealand.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be appointed head coach of the Vantage Black Sticks Men, it’s been something I’ve thought about for 20 odd years and a lot of my life choices have been moulded towards one day being in this role,” he said.

“The Blacks Sticks programme is something I’m hugely passionate about and I think it’s in great shape with plenty of potential to do even better.

“Hockey is on a high all around the world at the moment and to have both our Black Sticks teams ranked in the world’s top eight is a huge achievement.

“I’m really looking forward to getting in and spending time with the players, getting a depth of knowledge within the programme and getting started on the pitch.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Softball New Zealand, it’s been a role alongside great people that has allowed me to grow and develop into a position where I feel prepared to take charge of the Black Sticks Men and help them win on the world stage.”

Smith officially begins his role as head coach of the Vantage Black Sticks Men next week as he transitions into another big year for the programme.

The Black Sticks Men’s biggest focus this year is the FIH World League Semi Final in Johannesburg from 9-23 July which serves as a dual qualification event for the World League Final as well as the 2018 Hockey World Cup.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

East Grinstead forced to settle for fourth in Europe

Paddy Smith in EuroIndoor Action for EG

A double from Dutch indoor legend Robert Tigges fired Amsterdam to a 4-2 win and secured the bronze medal for the Dutch side. East Grinstead, representing England put in a brave showing and despite going 4-0 down, a late charge gave Amsterdam a fright but it was not enough and Richard Organ’s team had to settle for fourth spot.

After the disappointment of losing to hosts Arminen in the semi-final East Grinstead picked themselves up to take on the might of Amsterdam. They fell behind to a field goal from Tigges in the 10th minute and that’s how it stayed till the break.

EG sat deep and aimed to hit their opponents on the break but chances were difficult to come by. Tigges doubled the lead five minutes after the break and a minute later Johannes Mooij made it 3-0. A fourth followed form Boris Burkhardt and it looked bleak for East Grinstead. Ben Allberry clawed one back and then Lukas Kilpper made it 4-2 but despite throwing everything forwards in search of more goals, East Grinstead could not find what they needed to salvage the match.

Their fourth place means Surbiton, England’s representatives in next year’s competition will continue to play in the top European competition.

German outfit Uhlenhorst Mulheim ran out winners in the final, beating hosts Arminen 3-2 to take the trophy back to Germany.

Amsterdam 4 (1)
Robert Tigges 10 25 (FG, FG)
Johannes Mooij 26 (FG)
Boris Burkhardt 35 (FG)

East Grinstead 2 (0)
Ben Allberry 37 (PS)
Lukas Kilpper 38 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release

Final four known in Investec Women's Cup

Beestons Esme Burge celebrates scoring the first goal. Credit David Kissman

The Road to Lee Valley took another turn this weekend as the Investec Women’s Cup quarter finals took place. With a place in the final four and a great chance of making it to the big day at the place where Hockey History Happens, all the teams were giving their all for a place in the next round.

Giant killing was the aim of the game for Barnes who have form for such feats in this competition previously. Mikey Hoare’s team had already seen off Reading in the earlier rounds and were all set to try and capture another Investec Women’s Premier Division scalp this weekend. Bowdon Hightown got off to a perfect start, going ahead through Jane Donnelly in the 11th minute. Abbie Smith levelled it on 16 minutes to give the Barnes fans the hope of another famous win but Hightown were professional till the end and won it with a 52nd minute strike from Rosie Bailey.

Clifton Robinsons, the current holders of the cup made it into the last four with a superb display on the road at Ben Rhydding. Claire Thomas netted an early goal, added to a minute later by Eloise Laity. Jess Bloom chipped in with her customary goal and then Abi Porter made it 4-0. Rachel Doherty pulled one back for the hosts but it was too little, too late.

Slough came into their clash with Surbiton on a high after their Super 6s success and a crucial win in the Investec Women’s Premier Division on Saturday. Surbiton approached the game with their usual belief as well. Giselle Ansley bagged an opener on nine minutes and Abi Robinson made it 2-0 after 12 minutes. Emily Defroand and Jo Hunter added a couple more before Naomi Evans and Sarah Page made it 6-0. Kymran Shergill scored in the 67th minute but it was just a consolation.

Beeston met Sevenoaks in the other quarter final, bidding to become the only non-Premier Division club to reach the last four. The Bees Young Guns did the business and strikes from Rosie Stephens (2) Sophie Robinson, Alice Huddlestone and Fenella Scutt ensured a 5-1 win and a slot in the final four.

The semi-final draw took place this morning and handed us two intriguing clashes. Beeston’s reward for their heroics is a home tie against the holders, Clifton Robinsons. That means Bowdon Hightown receive the luxury of a home draw but will take on the might of Surbiton in an all Investec Women’s Premier Division clash.

Ties take place on 2 April and all the details of draws and results from the whole of the Road to Lee Valley can be found here.

England Hockey Board Media release

England Hockey nominated for prestigious BT award

Alex Danson celebrates

England Hockey have once again been shortlisted for Governing Body of the Year at the BT Sport Industry Awards.

This nomination is England Hockey’s third in the space of five years, and comes on the back of an incredible year in which Great Britain won a first ever women's Olympic gold medal, participation continued to grow substantially and the sport saw unprecedented levels of interest from media, sponsors and the entire nation.

With ten million people watching the final in Rio, the Hockey World League coming to London this summer and the Women’s Hockey World Cup on home soil in 2018, this is a fantastic time for the sport.

Chief Executive Sally Munday said, “We are delighted to have been shortlisted again for Governing Body of the Year. Our vision is to create A Nation Where Hockey Matters, and unquestionably we have moved a step closer in 2016, not only because of the women’s team’s gold medal but also through our major events and massive growth in participation.”

Commercial Director Jon Cockcroft commented, “As an organisation we are continuing to make great strides, and our major events portfolio continues to grow apace, with a key focus on the Women’s Hockey World Cup in 2018. With growth in sponsorship interest, digital reach and national awareness, there are exciting times ahead.”

Rich Beer, Development Director, added, “Participation in the sport continues to rise, and crucially we are seeing growth in the numbers of both young girls and young boys picking up a stick. Our staff, clubs, players and volunteers are continuing to create a sport to be proud of.”

Also shortlisted are British Cycling, last year's winners British Gymnastics, EFL, LTA, RFU and Table Tennis England.

The event takes place at Battersea Evolution on 27th April.

England Hockey Board Media release

US National Indoor Tournament Kicks Off This Weekend

LANCASTER, Pa. - The floors are down and the nets are up as the first 2017 National Indoor Tournament (NIT), presented by YOLO Sportswear, starts this weekend at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County, Pa. USA Field Hockey welcomes the U-16 Division to kick off the first weekend of indoor play Friday, February 17 to Sunday, February 29. The three-day tournament will host X club teams who will battle it out for the right to earn the title of NIT Champions.

Stay up-to-date with all the happening of the 2017 National Indoor Tournament with the following information.

2017 National Indoor Tournament Event Program
Whether you are looking for the schedule, rosters, results or list of vendors, access the official 2017 National Indoor Tournament Event Program on your mobile device. Simply go to usafieldhockey.com, click the three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner and click Events. From there you will find National Indoor Tournament and Event Program.

All NIT participants are encouraged to post tournament pictures on their social media accounts, such as Instagram or Twitter. Be sure to tag us at @USAFieldHockey and use the hashtag #NIT2017. Some of our favorite will be featured in a photo gallery!

Stop by the USA Field Hockey Tent!
Have questions about accessing the event program or about the tournament in general? Stop by the USA Field Hockey Tent for the answers. There will even be a drawing to win some awesome USA Field Hockey gear!

USA Field Hockey would like to welcome all athletes, coaches, umpires and hockey fans to Lancaster, Pa. for the U-16 National Indoor Tournament!

* A parking fee of $5 per vehicle at Spooky Nook Sports will be charged daily, per vehicle for all parking at Spooky Nook Sports. This includes a shuttle ride from the South lot. Parking in the Spooky Nook lot will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. All payment for parking will be processed at the Guest Services Oval, which is located just inside the entrance to the Spooky Nook Sports facility. Satellite parking will also be available in lots located a few miles from the facility. Shuttles will run throughout the day and will be available to return participants to the satellite lot.

USFHA media release

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