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News for 06 March 2017

All the news for Monday 6 March 2017

HWL R@ Men, Dhaka, Bangladesh - Results March 5, 2017
Pool B     09:15     GHA - SRI     5 - 4
Pool B     11:30     EGY - CHN     2 - 2 (3 - 2)
Pool A     13:45     OMA - MAS     1 - 6
Pool A     16:00     BAN - FIJ     5 - 1
Note: There is a shoot-out in the event of a draw, and the winning team gets two points.

Malaysia make strong start at Hockey World League Round 2 in Dhaka

Egypt lead Pool B charge in Bangladesh after two days of competition

Action from Malaysia versus Bangladesh on Saturday 4 March. (Credit: Bangladesh Hockey Federation)

Top ranked Malaysia have made a fine start to the Hockey World League Round 2 event in Dhaka, Bangladesh, winning both of their opening matches to sit at the top of Pool A after two days of competition at the Moulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium. 

Malaysia (FIH Hero World Ranking: 13) claimed an opening day victory against hosts Bangladesh (WR: 32), with Marhan Jalil, Razie Rahim and Aiman Nik Rosemi getting the goals in the fixture on Saturday (4 March). That triumph was followed by a comfortable 6-1 win against Oman (WR: 31) on Sunday, where double strikes from Tengku Ahmad and Aiman Nik Rosemi added to earlier goals from Shahril Saabah ans Razie Rahim to leave the Malaysians sitting three points clear of both Oman – winners against Fiji (WR: 34) on Saturday – and Bangladesh, who saw off the Fijians on Sunday. 

Egypt (WR: 20) are currently leading the charge in Pool B, with five points from their two matches giving them a one point advantage over China (WR: 18). Egypt and China were both winners on Day 1, with Houssam Ghabran scoring twice for the Africans in a 6-1 victory over Sri Lanka (WR: 41) while a double from E Wenlong helped China to a thrilling 7-3 triumph over Ghana (WR: 38). On Day 2, China and Egypt went head to head and finished with the scores tied at 2-2, although a 3-2 shoot-out success for Egypt gave them what could be a crucial bonus point in the race to finish in first place and set up the best possible quarter-final against the team that finishes last in Pool A. Ghana’s dramatic 5-4 win over Sri Lanka – inspired by a hat-trick of penalty corners from Johnny Botsio – on Sunday leaves the Africans in third place in Pool B, leaving Sri Lanka without a point at the bottom of Pool B.

The finishing positions at the end of the pool phase determines the line-up for the quarter-finals, which begin on Thursday 9th March.

Like all of the Round 2 events, the competition in Dhaka features a clash between teams that came through the first phase of the competition against sides that were automatically given a bye through to Round 2 due to their higher placement in the FIH Hero World Rankings. The highest ranked teams will enter the competition at the Semi-Final stage of the Hockey World League.

The top two finishers from the men’s Round 2 events in Dhaka, Belfast (11-19 Mar 2017) and Tacarigua, (25 Mar-2 Apr 2017) are certain to qualify for the Semi-Finals, being joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events. 

You can keep track of the tournament in Dhaka on the official competition pages by clicking here and on FIH’s social media channels using the #HWL2017 hashtag.

FIH site

Slow but convincing win

by Jugjet Singh

IT WAS a slow start, but Malaysia picked up after the second half to beat Oman 6-1 in the World League Round Two hockey match in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday.

Again, a lower ranked team managed to hold Malaysia to a 1-0 lead in the first quarter, as only Shahril Saabah was on target in the 11th minute off a close tap-in.

Oman are ranked 31st in the World while Malaysia 13th. It was the same script against World No 32 Bangladesh where Malaysia could only win 3-0 on Saturday.

At the half-time break, Malaysia held a slim 2-0 lead, after Razie Rahim finally scored off his fifth penalty corner attempt in the 26th minute.

Tengku Ahamd Tajuddin scored the third in the 33rd minute, off a penalty corner set-piece while the other goals were scored by Aiman Nik Rosemi (42nd, 53rd) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (48th).

Oman got their consolation off Muhammad Al-Lawati 37th minute.

In an earlier match, No 18 ranked China were beaten in sudden-death shoot-out by No 20 ranked Egypt.

The match ended 2-2, and the five-man shoot-out also saw a 2-2 deadlock before Egypt won in sudden-death.

Egypt received two points for their effort, while China one point.



            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
MALAYSIA    2  2  0  0  9  1  6
OMAN        2  1  0  1  8  6  3
BANGLADESH  2  1  0  1  5 4  3
FIJI        2  0  0  2  1  12  0

            P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
EGYPT       2  1  1  0  8  4  5
CHINA       2  1  1  0  9  5  4
GHANA       2  1  0  1  8  11 3
SRI LANKA   2  0  0  2  6  11 0

Note: There is a shoot-out in the event of a draw, and the winning team gets two points.

RESULTS: Group A: Oman 1 Malaysia 6, Bangladesh 5 Fiji 1; Group B: Ghana 5 Sri Lanka 4, Egypt 2 China 2 (Egypt and China draw 2-2 in shoot-out, Egypt win sudden-death).


TUESDAY: Group A -- Malaysia v Fiji (11am), Bangladesh v Oman (6pm); Group B: China v Sri Lanka (1.30pm), Ghana v Egypt (3.45pm).
  Note: Malaysian time.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

A walk in the park

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia scored four field goals in the 6-1 drubbing of Oman at the World Hockey League Round Two in Bangladesh.

Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Nik Aiman Nik Rozemi contributed two goals each at the Maulana Bhansani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka yesterday.

Tengku Ahmad converted a penalty corner in the 33rd minute and then a field goal in the 48th minute.

Nik Aiman netted two field goals, in the 42nd and 53rd minutes.

Earlier, Shahril Saabah had given Malaysia the lead after only 11 minutes with a field goal.

Mohamed Razie Rahim made it 2-0 by converting a penalty corner.

Mohamed Al Lawati scored Oman’s consolation goal in the 37th minute.

It was world No. 13 Malaysia’s 12th straight win over No. 31 Oman.

Malaysia, 3-0 winners over Bangladesh on Saturday, will play their last group match against winless Fiji tomorrow.

National coach Stephen van Huizen was pleased to secure full points, saying the victory margin was not important.

“We’re here to win matches. The matches are quite robust and very physical. These lower-ranked teams want to win at all cost. We need to keep to our task and just get the job done,” he said.

“We have to keep our cool to avoid any injuries in the knockout stage. Our target is to reach the final to qualify for World Hockey League Semi-Final,” added Stephen.

The Star of Malaysia

Malaysia toys with Oman

By Ashok Purohit

Oman Hockey Association president Talib al Wahaibi (right) speaks to the national team players after a practice session following the team’s loss to Malaysia in Dhaka on Sunday (NOTE: Its a file picture as Dhaka has a blue pitch and no pines surrounding it)

Oman was given a stinging lesson by a much-superior Malaysian side as K K Poonacha's men suffered a 1-6 tennis-score-like drubbing in the Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Sunday.

It was a reality check for Oman, which had begun its campaign with a dominating 7-0 victory over minnow Fiji in a Pool A game on Saturday.

For Malaysia, the pre-tournament favourite and the top-ranked side, it was an expected win despite missing several key players.

Ranked 13th in the world, Malaysia was off the blocks in the 11th minute when Shahril Saabah scored a field goal. Oman then held fort for the next 15 minutes before Malaysian star Razie Rahim converted a penalty corner to make it 2-0.

Another penalty corner in the 33rd minute found Tengku Ahmad blast past Oman goalkeeper Fahad al Nofli, making it 3-0.

Oman, ranked 31st in the world, raised hopes of a fightback when Mohammed al Lawati scored a field goal off a counter offensive in the 37th minute.

But Malaysia's domination was restored as Aiman Nik Rosemi made it 4-1 in the 42nd minute and Ahmad scored his second goal in the 48th minute to make it 5-1.

Aiman completed the rout seven minutes from the final whistle with his second strike to establish his team's credentials as the title favourite.

Speaking over phone from Dhaka, Oman's head coach Poonacha put up a brave stance. “Malaysia is the 13th-ranked side in the world, while we are ranked 31st. We played good hockey, but there are some areas where we need to improve. Our players did well in the opening two quarters. But after that, Malaysia played well.

“Malaysia is the top team in the competition. We have to get over the loss and focus on our next game against Bangladesh on Tuesday.”

Bangladesh was a 5-1 winner against Fiji in another Pool A match on Sunday, making the upcoming contest between Oman and Bangladesh crucial to finish second in the group.

Poonacha said that match against the hosts is 'between equal teams', adding, “It will all depend on who plays the best on Tuesday, but I am confident of my boys' victory.”

Incidentally, Bangladesh is coached by former Oman coach, Oliver Kurtz of Germany.

Poonacha took over the Oman reigns from the German. In other matches played on Sunday, China fell 2-3 in a penalty shootout against Egypt in a Pool B game after both teams were tied 2-2 in regulation-time; and Ghana defeated Sri Lanka 5-4 in another Pool B contest.

A total of eight teams from three continents, including Asia, Africa and Oceania - split into Pools A and B - are taking part in the nine-day competition.

On Tuesday, the final day of the group-stage matches, Malaysia takes on Fiji, China meets Sri Lanka and Ghana faces Egypt.

The top two teams will qualify for the HWL semifinals, which will be held in London, UK in June and Johannesburg, South Africa in July. The HWL Round 2 is the qualifying tournament for the 2018 World Cup, which will be played in New Delhi, India.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Germany too good for South Africa

Germany beat South Africa 7-2 in their first match of the second Summer Series in Cape Town. All matches in the series are played at Hartleyvale.

It was a tough day at the office for the South Africans who showed some great promise, but in the end Germany was just too good.

Germany’s Mats Grambusch scored the first goal of the match to give the visitors a 1-0 lead after the first quarter. The score-line was unchanged at halftime. The second 15 minutes of the match was a great quarter of hockey played by the home team. Chances were created and only a brilliant save from German goalkeeper Mark Appel denied South Africa and Jethro Eustice a goal.

Five goals were scored in the third chukka. Germany took charge in the first few minutes after the halftime break with goals from Tom Grambusch and Mats Grambusch, who got his second. Then South Africa finally got on the scoreboard with a brilliant team goal scored by Bili Ntuli. Some great work was done by various players including Tyson Dlungwana who played with more and more confidence as the game progressed. He worked hard at the back with experienced players Rhett Halkett and Eutice, who probably were SA’s best players on the field.

After Timur Oruz scored his team’s fourth goal local boy Daayan Cassiem showed what a deadly combination speed, skill and confidence can be. Cassiem scored a brilliant individual goal after a great tackle to get possession. He had only the goalkeeper to beat and he did it with ease.

In the final quarter Niklas Wellen, captain Christopher Rühr and Moritz Polk scored for Germany.

Two things that stood out from this match were how the local team struggled to handle the counter-attack of the Germans and how some players waited for the ball rather than be pro-active about it.

South Africa’s next game is tomorrow against England. Action starts at 18:00.

The rest of the series’ schedule: Monday, 6 March @ 18:00 – South Africa v England; Wednesday, 8 March @ 18:00 England v Germany; Thursday, 9 March @ 18:00 – South Africa v Germany.

SA Hockey Association media release

Gregory calls for precision against Germany

Allan Isaacs

South African men's hockey team coach Fabian Gregory says maintaing focus will be important for his side in Sunday's game against Germany. Photo: Luigi Bennett/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN - The South African men’s hockey team comes up against the precision of Germany at Hartleyvale on Sunday (4pm).

South Africa opened the triangular series with an agonising 5-2 loss to the English national team on Thursday evening.

SA dominated the third and fourth chukkas and created numerous chances which could have won them the encounter.

Unfortunately, they did not take these and with two minutes left they conceded two breakaway goals to seal their fate.

Clinton Panther and Owen Mvimba were not in camp for that encounter and they will add steel to the midfield resources for Sunday's game

SA head coach Fabian Gregory has indicated that the three major goals for this series are to control different phases of the match, to concede fewer penalty corners and to work on discipline at the beginning and ending of chukkas.

The Proteas have tended to concede goals early in chukkas and also at the end. “The players need to be switched on continuously,” said Gregory.

“The decision-making in front of goal is also an area that needs polishing and the players have been working hard on this area as the England game showed that our finishing needs to be more clinical.”

“The short corner numbers have to be brought down; SA tends to concede soft penalty corners and this in turn leads to losses that can be avoided. The 3-2 loss to Belgium comes to mind with a penalty corner, with 30 seconds left being the deciding factor.”

Independent Online

India win the series even as two to go

s2h team

Having won all the first three encounters, Indian girls led by Rani Ramphal decisively won the Belarus women hockey series 3-0 even as two matches remain to be played in the five-match Series being underway at Bhopal, India. Rani's girls won the first match 5-1 before scrapping through a sixtieth minute goal for 2-1 win the second test. on Sunday, aided by Rani's brace of goals, India again outplayed the visitors for a 3-1 match win, which led to the host' 3-0 series victory.

5.3.2017:Indian Eves continued their winning ways as they beat Belarus 3-1 to clinch their third successive win in the Five-match Test Series here on Sunday. After a goal-less first quarter, it was Belarus who took the lead when their skipper Ryta Batura scored in the 24th minute through a penalty corner. But the visitors failed to hold on to the lead as India skipper Rani scored two back-to-back field goals in the 35th and 39th minute to put India in command with a 2-1 lead. Deepika scored India's third goal in the 42nd minute to take a 3-1 lead while the defenders did well to keep the visitors from scoring in the final quarter to ensure a win.

3.3.2017: The team, led by Rani, scored a 2-1 win against the visitors in the Second Test Match. India got off to a good start by earning a penalty corner in the 9th minute. It was striker Rani who successfully converted the PC to take a 1-0 lead. However, Belarus did well in the next two quarters to contain the Indian women and not allow them too many chances in the striking circle with strong defense. The visitors equalized in the 36th minute when Sviatlana Bahushevich, who also scored the lone goal for Belarus on Thursday, struck a fine field goal. They continued to hold the Indian eves right till the end but a 60th minute PC proved to be crucial as India managed to seal the game with Lalremsiami converting the PC to register a 2-1 win.

2.3.2017:India earned an early lead in the 11th minute through a penalty corner and quickly followed it up with a sensational field goal by Navjot Kaur in the 15th minute to go into the first break with a 2-0 lead. Though Belarus did well in defending their circle in the second quarter, Punam Barla came up with good stick work to beat the defenders in the striking circle to set up a goal in the 29th minute. Sviatlana Bahushevich scored for the visitors in the 37th minute to end the 3rd quarter with 1-3 deficit. But the Indian women came back stronger in the 4th quarter and did well in earning PCs. It was captain Deep Grace Ekka (57') and Gurjit Kaur (60') who came up with a fine PC conversion to help beat Belarus 5-1.


India clinch women's hockey series against Belarus

BHOPAL: Skipper Rani Rampal scored a brace as the Indian women's hockey team beat Belarus 3-1 in the third match to clinch the five-Test series on Sunday.

Star forward Rampal scored two successive field goals in the 35th and 39th minute after Belarus were put in the lead by their skipper Ryta Batura, who scored in the 24th minute through a penalty corner.

Deepika scored India's third goal in the 42nd minute to take a commanding 3-1 lead while the defenders did well to keep the visitors from scoring in the final quarter to ensure a win.

India won the first and second games 5-1 and 2-1 respectively. The fourth match will take place on Monday.

The series is part of India's preparations ahead of the Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament in Canada in April.

The Times of India

India women beat Belarus, score third successive win in five-Test hockey series

India women’s skipper Rani scored twice as the team bounced back to beat Belarus 3-1 in the five-Test series(Getty Images)

India’s women’s hockey team beat Belarus 3-1 to clinch their third successive win in the five-Test Series.

After a goalless first quarter, it was Belarus who took the lead when their skipper Ryta Batura scored in the 24th minute through a penalty corner.

But the visitors failed to hold on to the lead as India skipper Rani scored two back-to-back field goals in the 35th and 39th minute to put India in command with a 2-1 lead.

Deepika scored India’s third goal in the 42nd minute to take a 3-1 lead while the defenders did well to keep the visitors from scoring in the final quarter to ensure a win.

This is a warm-up tournament ahead of their Hockey World League Round 2 tournament in Canada in April.

Hindustan Times

Third time lucky for Rutger’s men?

World League Round 2 - Tacarigua - March 25 to April 2

Sarah Juggins

Michael Barminski (USA) - 2015 Pan American Games. Photo: Yan Huckendubler

When the USA men’s team take on Canada in the first match of the Hockey World League (HWL) Round Two event in Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago, it will be the first major challenge of Rutger Wiese’s tenure as head coach. It will also be the USA men’s third attempt to reach HWLR3 and a shot at World Cup qualification.

That is not to say that Wiese is new to the USA men’s program. In fact, he has been assistant coach to the senior team since 2013 and was part of the coaching team that saw squad win the HWLR1 in Salamanca, Mexico in September 2016. He is also head coach to the U21 men’s national team, leading them to a creditable fourth place at the Junior Men’s Pan American Championships in May last year.

Dutch-born Wiese is no stranger to success. As a player he was part of the HC Bloemendaal squad that won three National Club Championships in Europe’s home of hockey, the Netherlands. He also won an European Club Championship with Blomendaal  in 2001. Towards the end of his playing career in 2010, playing for Menzieshill, he won the Scottish National Indoor Championships.

Wiese cut his teeth in USA field hockey coaching in the collegiate system – first at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and then at Harvard. During his time at Harvard, the college saw 12 student athletes collecting All-Ivy League accolades.

Securing a victory, or a top two place, at the HWLR2 is, unsurprisingly at the top of Wiese’s priority list right now. In all three seasons, the USA have stormed through Round One events, but faltered at Round Two. During the 2013 season, their Round Two adventures were cut brutally short when they lost four out of five games, including a heart-breaking penalty shoot-out loss to Trinidad and Tobago and a 9-0 annihilation at the hands of Argentina.

The second season saw the USA team in HWLR2 action again, this time on home soil in San Diego. A close quarter-final game, which they lost 2-1 to Austria, left them playing for 5th-8th place. A subsequent loss to fellow PAHF side Chile meant they then had to beat Trinidad and Tobago, which they did, to finish seventh.

This time around, Wiese and his men hope for better. The squad, which is ranked 29th in the world, has recently returned from a training camp in Spain, which Wiese says has done nothing but give his players heightened excitement and confidence. “We had a very productive training camp in Spain where we prepared ourselves. We will arrive a few days early in Trinidad and Tobago to finalize our tactical plans, and hopefully we can grow into the tournament bit by bit,” said Wiese.

The time spent in Spain was also a chance for the players and staff to adapt to changes in personnel following Wiese’s rise to head coach. The team played national and regional sides and were able to try out new systems of play and experience playing hockey against sides with a very different hockey culture.

Midfielder Michael Barminski says the trip was a great opportunity to get to know the demands and aspirations of the new coaching set up. “And”, he added: “the staff and particularly our head coach, have really helped bring a new energy to the squad in trainings and overall excitement about what this team is truly capable of.”

There is a palpable sense of team cohesion and excitement surrounding the USA camp ahead of HWLR2 and Wiese says the mood is very much one of “being prepared to battle for our team mates at all times.”

At 24 years old, Barminski is a veteran of the USA team and he agrees with his coach about the sense of ‘team’ and ‘battling for each other’ within this USA squad: “The biggest strengths of our team is our brotherhood and perseverance - hands down,” says the midfielder. “Those two things have been part of Team USA for as long as I’ve been on the squad (he made his debut in 2010) and I’m sure long before I even picked up a field hockey stick.

“From the public perspective, I think people often look at our roster and see that we are a young team, which is often taken as a negative. Mainly I think, because youth is associated with immaturity and lack of discipline. However, from very young ages, most of our players have had the responsibility and privilege of bearing the USA logo across our chests. We have shown huge growth in maturity and perseverance over the past years. I know that we are still a young team but our ability to trust in the process has never wavered and I think that has really become part of our crowning strength as a team.”

For Barminski, this is all about taking one game at a time: “Put simply, we have six games that are each 60 minutes long. For those 60 minutes we want and plan to execute our strongest skills and capabilities for the duration of that time in every game. I think if we fully invest ourselves into ‘the process’ and follow our game plan we are in a great position to qualify for the HWL Semi-Finals.”

Both Wiese and Barminski acknowledge the scale of the challenge. Wiese says that the biggest challenges will come from their northern neighbours, Canada, who are ranked 11th in the world and have the confidence that comes from both competing at the Rio Olympics and enjoying a good run in the 2015 Hockey World League, where they finished fourth in Round 3 and qualified for the Finals.

He also sees Japan (World Ranking 16) and Chile (WR: 26) as contenders for the top spots, but says the unknown quality in Tacarigua might turn out to come from Russia (WR: 22). “Of course, our challenges are the top-notch competition we face, however, we are excited for the opportunity. We will try to mainly focus on ourselves this tournament, while keeping in mind that in international competition you always need to be prepared for the unexpected and adjust to the new situation.”

One of the exciting things about qualifying for HWLR2 is that teams find themselves playing opposition who they rarely meet. This can lead to exciting clashes in style of play and some unexpected results. It is certainly a prospect that has Barminski licking his lips in anticipation: “The HWL circuit gives us a cool opportunity to play opponents that we otherwise typically wouldn’t because of zoning regions. However, it presents its own set of challenges as we have had to climb our way from HWLR1 to HWLR2 and now have a chance to qualify for HWLR3. It’s a lot of games to get to the top. But we’re up for it.”

The USA men’s team will face Canada on 25 March, Barbados on 26 March and the final pool A game is against Chile on 28 March. How they finish in the pools will determine their quarter-final opponents. The top two placed teams will automatically qualify for the HWL Semi-Finals to be played in July and August 2017. The third placed team will have a chance to also qualify, depending upon the rankings of the third place finishers in the other two HWLR2 events, taking place in Dublin, Ireland (11-19 March) and Dhaka, Bangladesh (4-12 March).

an American Hockey Federaion media release

Van der Weerden fires derby day winner against Den Bosch

Mink van der Weerden grabbed a 64th minutes winning goal to give HC Oranje-Rood a dramatic 4-3 win over Den Bosch in the Hoofdklasse to maintain their position in third place.

It was a high octane derby tie from the start with Kieran Govers and Jelle Galema exchanging early goals before Jair van der Horst and van der Weerden made it 3-1 at half-time.

Den Bosch fought back, though, with two goals in a three minute spell thanks to Floris Wortelboer and Govers to make it 3-3 with just eight minutes to go. But van der Weerden had the final say in the win.

HGC were the side to see their playoff prospects hampered as they lost 3-1 to Pinoke under their new coach Jesse Mahieu.
Rotterdam hammered Almere 8-2 with a Diede van Puffelen hat trick along with doubles from Jeroen Hertzberger and Simon Egerton.

Bloemendaal stay clear at the top, bouncing back from last week’s surprise draw with a 6-2 win over Hurley with Blake Govers netting a hat trick.

SV Kampong continue to be in contact with the top four with a 3-0 win over Tilburg, Constantijn Jonker scoring twice in the first 28 minutes to power the win.

Second placed AH&BC Amsterdam beat Qui Vive 6-2 with Mirco Pruyser another player to score a hat trick on the day, adding to two goals from Robert Tigges.

Euro Hockey League media release

Wimbledon move ever closer in England

Wimbledon moved within one win of winning the regular season title in England as they beat Reading 2-1 with goals from Chris Gregg and Simon Mantell scoring their goals.

It means they are seven points ahead of Holcombe with three games remaining in the campaign. Holcombe took a convincing 5-1 win over Brooklands Manchester University with a brace from Nick Bandurak leading the scoring. Rob Field, Barry Middleton and Iain Lewers were also on target with Sam Perrin scoring the consolation for Brooklands. The result puts Holcombe just one point away from securing a play-off berth.

Goals from Lewis Prosser, Alan Forsyth, Aaron Blumfield and Zach Wallace saw Surbiton come back from a goal down to beat Beeston 4-1. Will Byas had opened the scoring for Beeston after 10 minutes. Surbiton are third and also need one win to ensure they make the playoffs.

Hampstead and Westminster battled back from three goals down to claim a 4-3 win over East Grinstead on Sunday, as they continue to push for a play-off spot in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Ashley Jackson and Andy Piper both scored in the 19th minute for East Grinstead and Josep Farres Palet added a third after the break. But, after half time, a brace from Rupert Shipperley and goals from Will Calnan and Matt Guise-Brown helped Hampstead take a victory which puts them fourth, five points clear.

On Saturday, Canterbury gave their survival chances a big boost with a 3-1 win over bottom of the table Loughborough Students. Craig Boyne scored twice and James Oates hit their other goal. Evan Kimber scored for Loughborough. Canterbury are now just two points off Brooklands with three games remaining.

Euro Hockey League media release

Comeback kings Hampstead boost their play-off hopes

Lewis Prosser opens the scoring for Surbiton in their 4-1 win over Beeston. Credit David Kissman

Hampstead and Westminster battled back from three goals down to claim a 4-3 win over East Grinstead on Sunday, as they continue to push for a play-off spot in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Ashley Jackson and Andy Piper both scored in the 19th minute for East Grinstead and Josep Farres Palet added a third after the break.

But after half time a brace from Rupert Shipperley and goals from Will Calnan and Marr Guise Brown helped Hampstead take a victory which puts them fourth, five points clear.

Holcombe took a convincing 5-1 win over Brooklands Manchester University with a brace from Nick Bandurak leading the scoring. Rob Field, Barry Middleton and Ian Lewers were also on target with Sam Perrin scoring the consolation for Brooklands. The result puts Holcombe just one point away from securing a play-off berth.

Wimbledon still hold a seven-point lead at the top of the table after beating Reading 2-1 with Chris Gregg and Simon Mantell scoring their goals. Ben Boon pulled one back late on for Reading.

Goals from Lewis Prosser, Alan Forsyth, Aaron Blumfield and Zach Wallace saw Surbiton come back from a goal down to beat Beeston 4-1. Will Byas had opened the scoring for Beeston after 10 minutes.

On Saturday, Canterbury gave their survival chances a big boost with a 3-1 win over bottom of the table Loughborough Students. Craig Boyne scored twice and James Oates hit their other goal. Evan Kimber scored for Loughborough. Canterbury are now just two points off Brooklands with three games remaining.

Men’s Conference West

Cardiff and Met edged closer to the Men’s Conference West title with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the University of Birmingham, Luke Hawker scoring both of their goals.

Still in with a hope of catching Cardiff, second-placed Team Bath Buccaneers won 4-1 against Isca. Meanwhile, third-placed University of Exeter took a 2-0 win.

Fareham are battling for survival at the foot of the table and took a hard-fought 5-2 win over Cheltenham. It’s tight at the bottom and the University of Bristol continue to prop up the table despite a 1-1 draw with Old Georgians.

Men’s Conference North

A Tom Graham brace helped the University of Durham claim the Men’s Conference North title with a 5-1 win over Preston, while Angus Spittles, Charlie Stubbings and Jack Waller also scored.

Olton and West Warwickshire cannot catch them now, despite a 5-3 victory on the road at Sheffield Hallam. Martin Ebbage scored twice for Olton.

Bowdon, just one point behind Olton in the table in third, won by the same score on the road, despite a battling performance from bottom of the table Leek.

Cannock took a big step towards safety with a 4-2 win against fellow strugglers Oxton and Doncaster beat Deeside Ramblers 4-0.

Men’s Conference East

It was top versus bottom in the only Saturday game in the Men’s Conference East and the result was no surprise with Teddington winning 8-4, although Wapping put up a spirited fight.

Wapping made the brighter start with goals from Phil Messent and David McLean giving them a 2-0 lead after just four minutes.

With Teddington taking the win, Sevenoaks knew they had to beat Cambridge City to keep pace at the top of the table. Despite going a goal behind early on, they came back to win 3-1 and are level on points with Teddington.

A Marcus Mahne double saw Indian Gymkhana beat West Herts 4-3 to keep their chances of survival alive but Brighton and Hove - one place above them - also won with a 3-2 scoreline against Oxted. Southgate took a narrow 1-0 win over Richmond.

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

Men's Premier Division: Loughborough Students 1, Canterbury 3.

Men’s Conference East: Wapping 4, Teddington 8.

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

Men's Premier Division: Beeston 1, Surbiton 4; Hampstead and Westminster 4, East Grinstead 3; Wimbledon 2, Reading 1; Holcombe 5, Brooklands Manchester University 1.

Men’s Conference East: Brighton and Hove 3, Oxted 2; Indian Gymkhana 4, West Herts 3; Sevenoaks 3, Cambridge City 1; Southgate 1, Richmond 0.

Men’s Conference North: Sheffield Hallam 3, Olton and West Warwickshire 5; Cannock 4, Oxton 2; Leek 3, Bowdon 5; University of Durham 5, Preston 1; Doncaster 4, Deeside Ramblers 0.

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

England Hockey Board Media release

Irish EY Hockey League Weekend Round Up

Back-to-back wins for Railway Union saw them storm back into contention for one of the women’s EY Hockey League Champions Trophy places as they saw off Ulster Elks and Ards over the weekend.

A single goal from Niamh Carey on Saturday was enough to see Railway beat the Elks before a penalty corner goal in each half on Sunday – one each from Orla Fox and Emma Smyth – lifted them into fifth place.

For Ards, it put a dent in their playoff chances though they did record a dramatic win on Friday evening when Chloe Brown struck in the last minute to beat Belfast Harlequins 1-0.

Hermes-Monkstown won a thrill-a-minute 4-3 tie at Cork Harlequins as Anna O’Flanagan added another double to her incredible scoring exploits. Nikki Evans started the run and the Dubliners were 3-0 up before Olivia Roycroft got Quins on the board.

But O’Flanagan’s second put them  out of sight, putting Hermes out of range of a Cork comeback that featured Karen Bateman and Rachael Kohler goals.

They remain a point behind UCD who were comfortable 4-0 winners at Pegasus, building a 3-0 lead in the first half courtesy of Abbie Russell, Deirdre Duke and Sorcha Clarke’s tenth goal of the season.

Loreto proved too strong for Pembroke to stay in fourth place in the rankings as Jessica McGirr fired a hat trick from play in a 3-0 win.

On the men’s side, Monkstown ended their four-game losing streak when Davy Carson fired a late winner in their 3-2 success against Railway Union.

All the other goals came in a helter-skelter first quarter with brothers Jeremy and Simon McKeever countering goals from Matteo Romoli and Jason Lynch.

Town move closer to the Champions Trophy places while Railway remain in the relegation playoff zone. 

Women’s EY Hockey League

Friday: Ards 1 (C Brown) Belfast Harlequins 0

Saturday: Cork Harlequins 3 (O Roycroft, K Bateman, R Kohler) Hermes-Monkstown 4 (A O’Flanagan 2, E Curran, N Evans); Ulster Elks 0 Railway Union 1 (N Carey); Pegasus 0 UCD 4 (K Mullan, D Duke, S Clarke, A Russell); Pembroke 0 Loreto 3 (J McGirr 3)Sunday: Railway Union 2 (O Fox, E Smyth) Ards 0

Men’s EY Hockey League: Railway Union 2 (J McKeever, S McKeever) Monkstown 3 (M Romoli, J Lynch, D Carson) 

Women's EY Hockey League - Week 15 reports

Friday: Ards 1 (C Brown) Belfast Harlequins 0

Chloe Brown grabbed the only goal in the last minute to earn Ards’ sixth win of the campaign and keep them in the hunt for a place in the EY Champions Trophy playoffs. It was close throughout with Ards enjoying plenty of good possession but found Belfast Harlequins a tough nut to crack. Indeed, Quins won the only corner of the first quarter and also drew a good smothering stop from Naomi McKnight. In the second quarter, Ards won a couple of corners but without major threat on goal accruing, leaving it scoreless at half-time. Into the second half, Brown drew a strong save from Jade Lamont from another set-piece as well as from another shot, dragging the ball left and firing a backhand shot. Becky Weir’s crash ball was deflected just wide by Katy Bennett early in the second quarter as the game opened up. Gemma Frazer forced a save from McKnight following a drive into the right of the circle before Ards won a couple of late corners. From the first, Emma Reid’s shot deflected just wide but, from their sixth of the game, Brown fired home for the winner.

Cork Harlequins 3 (O Roycroft, K Bateman, R Kohler) Hermes-Monkstown 4 (A O’Flanagan 2, E Curran, N Evans)

Hermes-Monkstown kept up the pressure on UCD with a fine away win in a free-flowing tie at Farmer’s Cross, staying clear of a late comeback from third placed Cork Harlequins. The nature of the game was hinted at very early on when Naomi Carroll’s effort on the spin flew just past the post. The visitors took the lead soon after as Chloe Watkins and Anna O’Flanagan combined to win the ball in midfield and broke quickly. It ended up with Nikki Evans tapping in after O’Flanagan flicked ball by Emma Buckley. The remainder of the first quarter was spent in the middle third of the pitch with Watkins and Rachael Kohler enjoying a superb battle.

The second quarter started in a similar manner to the first. Rebecca Barry, who was excellent throughout, won Harlequins first penalty corner, where a Karen Bateman strike was well saved by Liz Murphy in the Hermes goal.

The rest of the quarter saw Hermes-Monkstown enjoy a lot of possession in midfield. Watkins was moving the ball expertly while O’Flanagan was a constant thorn for the Quins defence who were missing Irish internationals Roisin Upton and Yvonne O’Byrne on the day. O’Flanagan got her reward in the 26th minute to make it 2-0.

The game was almost ended as a contest just after half-time when Watkins dispatched a superb drag-flick low into the bottom corner to make it 3-0. This seemed to spark the home team to life. A superb run by Barry, beating four players in the process, led to another penalty corner. This time it was an Olivia Roycroft drag flick which pinged against the backboard to reduce the deficit.

Almost straight from start of the fourth quarter, the Dubliners quashed any hopes of a repeat of last season’s 3-3 result. An attack down the right flank led to a goalmouth scramble with O’Flanagan pouncing to score her second.

From here on, it was all Harlequins. Karen Bateman pulled one back from a penalty corner with eight minutes to go. Carroll was put through and brought another great save out of Murphy. A few penalty corners came and went before Rachael Kohler swept home in the last minute of the game to make it 4-3.

Pembroke 0 Loreto 3 (J McGirr 3)

Jessica McGirr’s hat trick saw Loreto keep the chasers for the fourth EY Champions Trophy playoff place at arm’s distance. She opened the scoring in the second minute to give the Beaufort side the perfect start and, from there, they enjoyed a large volume of the ball and generally controlled the tie.

But they were unable to make the most of some big chances as they intercepted a couple of loose passes out of the Pembroke defence – Lizzie Colvin to the fore in midfield – to create huge overload chances. It meant that Pembroke always had a sniff of a chance and they created a couple of really good openings in the second half to draw level, the pick of them a rising reverse from the left by Elaine Thompson that Louisa Healy had to be wary of tip over the bar.

Loreto, though, kept piling forward, using space down the flanks to good effect and they eventually put the game to bed in the closing quarter with McGirr unleashing a powerful shot from mid-circle for her second. She subsequently wrapped up the win with her and Loreto’s third goal.

Pegasus 0 UCD 4 (K Mullan, D Duke, S Clarke, A Russell)

UCD maintained their narrow lead at the top of the women’s EY Hockey League as three first half goals put them in the clear with plenty of time to spare. They were in front from four minutes in; following a turnover, a defence-splitting pass was worked into the circle to Abbie Russell who drew Sammy-Jo Greer and snuck the ball under the goalkeeper and just over the line before the defender could clear. It was 2-0 in the 14th minute when UCD drove into the circle from a free, dropped the ball off to Sorcha Clarke for her 10th goal of the campaign. Pegasus settled more in the second quarter with Alex Speers going close but the students made it 3-0 in the 26th minute as Deirdre Duke escaped her marker and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Pegasus had the best of the third quarter but, with Suzanne Ferris going close, they could not reduce the deficit. And they were stung for a fourth time in the closing quarter when a pin-point pass found Katie Mullan unmarked. Her reverse stick effort appeared to be going wide but took a deflection off Greer to drop inside the goal. 

Credit:Rowland White/PressEye

Ulster Elks 0 Railway Union 1 (N Carey)

Railway moved back into the top half of the table with Niamh Carey’s goal keeping them in contention for an EY Champions Trophy place. They started the faster at Jordanstown and had an initial period of pressure. Elks slowly grew into the game and had the best opportunity near the end of the quarter with a shot that slid just wide.

As the second quarter drew to a close, a cross-come-shot shot was deflected in at the back post by Niamh Carey to give Railway the lead for what proved the only goal. In the second half, Robyn Chambers and Shirley McCay were now starting to dominate in midfield and push the Elks forward. However, the Railway defence –  especially Sarah Canning – were resolute and broke down any attacks, setting up fast counter attacks.

The fourth quarter saw Elks exert some consistent pressure but they could not convert that on the scoreboard. Both teams won short corners but, again, none were scored. The game became end to end as Elks searched for an equalizer and Railway pressed to make the game safe. However, defences were on top and no goals were scored.

Credit:Rowland White/PressEye

Men’s EY Hockey League:

Railway Union 2 (J McKeever, S McKeever) Monkstown 3 (M Romoli, J Lynch, D Carson)

Monkstown ended their four-game losing streak in the men’s EY Hockey League as Davy Carson grabbed a fourth quarter winner at Park Avenue. All the other goals came in the first quarter in a wild start to the tie.
Railway were first on the score sheet when against the run of play captain Simon McKeever scored a rebound following a crash ball in from the left by Adam O'Callaghan.

A minute later, Monkstown equalised when Jason Lynch arrived at the right post to put in a rebound after Stephen O'Keefe had made the initial save. Monkstown went ahead following a good right to left run by Kyle Good who crashed in a reverse stock shot which was tipped in by Matteo Romoli. Just before the end of a busy first quarter, Railway got back on even terms from their first corner when Mark English's drag was saved by Max Maguire but Jeremy McKeever was first to the rebound to slot the ball into the net.

The second quarter was more settled with Monkstown dominating but few clear-cut chances accrued. In the last minute before half time, Mark English won a corner but he put his ensuing drag wide. Monkstown quickly counter attacked, winning a corner on the half time hooter which was subsequently saved by O'Keefe and cleared by Railway.

The balance of power continued to be in Monkstown’s favour but Stephen O'Keefe and Kenny Carroll managed to clear the danger, with David Carson and Jason Lynch providing the main threats. In a competitive final quarter, with both teams looking for the win, it was Monkstown who prevailed, edging ahead early on in the quarter when a through ball found David Carson free on the left of the circle and he drove the ball in at the right post. With six minutes left on the clock, Railway withdrew their goalie in an effort to find an equaliser but Monkstown held firm to win the game by a single goal.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Plenty of goals in the first of this weekend’s double-header Scottish National League fixtures

Bromac Kelburne are still in pole position by five points in the men’s first division after a 4-1 win over Western Wildcats.

It was even at the interval, Kiwi Nick Finlayson scored for the Paisley side while Rhury Smith got the Wildcats` goal.

The second half belonged to the champions, Josh Cairns scored twice from penalty corners while Johnny Christie got the other.

Second placed Grange were also 4-1 winners over Grove Menzieshill. It was a game where Grove Menzieshill missed six penalty corners and had two players with lengthy visits to the sin bin. Grange scored with their only real chance of the first half, Luke Cranney meandered along the left bye-line and somehow his shot bound effort eluded goalkeeper Steve McIlravey for an opening goal.

After the interval Grange doubled their tally with another goal, Greg Hopkinson seemed to dribble on and on in the circle and his resulting shot slide under the goalkeeper.

Not long after Callum Milne was fouled in the act of shooting in the circle, he dusted himself down and converted from the spot for Grange`s third. Cranney got his second from a slip pass by Dominic Wild at a penalty corner, Ciaran Crawford finally got a late consolation for the Taysiders.

Edinburgh University have slipped out of the top four after going down 2-1 to bottom side Gordonians. The students took the lead through Jack Henderson but the Aberdonians fought back for a deserved win.

At the other end of the table Uddingston moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over Hillhead, Alex Shaw and Steven Percy scored in the first half. Uddingston's Louis Gardiner, who has just turned 15, made his men's first team debut.

However, Clydesdale`s survival cause was not helped by a goalless draw with Watsonians and the Titwood side remain second bottom in the table.

After a fairly even first half Clydesdale seemed to dominate the second period but created no penalty corners or any clear-cut open play chances, leaving Watsonians still two points ahead of the Titwood outfit but they still have two game in hand.

Edinburgh University stretched their lead at the top of the women`s first division to four points with a 4-1 win over Wildcats.

Edinburgh`s Player/coach Sam Judge scored a brace while the other goals came from Amy Brodie and Louise Campbell.

Hat-tricks by Heather Lang and Fiona Bruce were the highlights of Milne Craig Western`s 8-1 win over ninth-placed Hillhead, the results puts Western into second place in the table.

Grove Menzieshill moved into third spot with a 9-2 victory over Erskine Stewart`s Melville, Hannah McKie scored twice, the rest were all singles.

Elsewhere Dundee Wanderers beat bottom side CALA Edinburgh 4-1 and the Watsonians tussle with Kelburne ended in a 1-1 draw.

The middle of the table is still very congested but gaps are expected to form after the next round of fixtures where teams are pitched together in and around this part of the table.

Photos by Mark Pugh and Duncan Gray

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Places claimed for the Scottish men’s District and Reserve cup and plate finals

Peffermill played host to a day of hockey that saw finals places claimed in the men’s District Cup and Plate finals, and the men’s Reserve Cup and Plate finals.

Men’s Reserve Plate – Western Wildcats 3s 1-4 Grove Menzieshill 3s

The day got off to a great start on Pitch 2 where Grove Menzieshill 3s were on form to beat Western Wildcats 3s to reach the Men’s Reserve Plate final. Wildcats 3s took the lead on four minutes through a field goal.

Grove Menzieshill 3s equalised in the 17th minute when Shaan Afzal hit the net to pull his side to level terms. Then Grove Menzieshill 3s took the lead in 57 minutes through an Andrew Gillespie field goal.

They struck again two minutes later with Afzal hitting his second and his team’s third, before he completed his hat-trick in the 67 minute to complete the scoring.

Men’s Reserve Plate - Anchor 2s 2-3 Watsonians 3s

A competitive encounter between Anchor 2s and Watsonians 3s on Pitch 1 saw the latter progress to the final in a close match. Watsonians 3s took an early lead when Andrew Littlejohn scored to put his side in front. He then scored his and his team’s second of the match in the 11th minute through a penalty stroke

Anchor 2s pulled one back in the 24th minute when Alan Walker struck from a penalty corner, before Walker equalised a few minutes later with another penalty corner.

Watsonians snatched the win by scoring in the 63rd minute when David Hogarth sunk a penalty stroke into the back of the net.

Men’s Reserve Cup - Grange 3s 3-0 PSL Clydesdale 3s

Grange 3s were comprehensive in their victory over PSL Clydesdale 3s to reach the final of the Men’s Reserve Cup. Grange 3s took the lead through Harry Templeton early in the match. They had to wait until the 32nd minute before they doubled their lead when Tom Folds struck a field goal to make it 2-0. Folds struck again on 65 minutes to bag a brace and complete the scoring in a solid 3-0 victory.

Men’s Reserve Cup - Uddingston 3s 0-6 Hillhead 3s

Hillhead 3s were on glittering form in their semi-final against Uddingston 3s in the other Men’s Reserve Cup clash. It took them six minutes to open the scoring when Matt Appelquist struck a field goal. Then 22 minutes Appelquist struck his and his team’s second goal of the match to make it 2-0.

Hillhead 3s then struck three goals in fifteen minutes. First it was Ciaran Quinn, before Appelquist completed his hat-trick on 49 minutes. Then in the 54th minute Alan Meikle struck a penalty corner, before Meikle struck his second and Hillhead 3s sixth a short time later to make the score 6-0.

Men’s District Plate - Edinburgh University 2s 8-0 Highland 2s

The performance of the day arguably came from Edinburgh University 2s who progressed to the Men’s District Plate final with an 8-0 victory over Highland 2s.

The opening goal came in the second minute when Hodgson struck a field goal. They had to wait until 31 minutes before bagging a second, and it was Euan Christie who delivered through a penalty corner.

Just after half time it was 3-0 when Monty Fitzpatrick scored from open play. Then in a ten minute spell of goals Will Needham, Alec Fraser, Freddie Filor, Euan Christie, and Finlay Walker all struck to make a final score of 8-0.

Men’s District Plate - ESM FP 2s 1-1 (3-1) Dundee Wanderers 2s

The other Men’s District Plate clash was a close one, and it was Erskine Stewart’s Melville Former Pupils 2s who progressed to the final after penalty strokes separated them from Dundee Wanderers 2s.

The score was 0-0 at half time and it was ESM FP 2s who eventually took the lead when Fraser Sturrock struck after 52 minutes through a penalty corner.

Dundee Wanderers 2s equalised when Gregor Pearson struck on 67 minutes through a field goal to make it 1-1.

The game went to a shoot-out and ESM won the tie when Sturrock, Ethan Hunt, and Adam Douglas scored to Wanderers’ Pearson’s solitary reply.

Men’s District Cup - Watsonians 2s 4-1 Kinross

For the day’s finale it was the Men’s District Cup semi-finals and on Pitch 2 Watsonian’s 2s claimed their spot in the final after a 4-1 victory over Kinross.

Watsonians 2s opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Chris Miller struck to make it 1-0. They doubled their lead in the 23rd minute through a Hamish Campbell field goal.

Kinross struck early in the second half through Alex Wilson from open play to pull it back to 2-1. Any prospect of a comeback was put on the backburner when Roddy Craig scored in the 45th minute. Watsonians 2s then sealed the victory in the final minute when David Munn scored to make it 4-1.

Men’s District Cup - PSL Team Sports Clydesdale 2s 2-5 Grange 2s

Grange 2s claimed the other spot in the Men’s District Cup final with a 5-2 win over PSL Team Sport Clydesdale 2s.

The opener was scored by Grange 2s in the ninth minute when Rob Barr finished off a penalty corner routine.

Grange 2s advanced their lead just before half time when Robert Nimmo struck from open play.

It was 3-0 in the 59th minute when Joe Nelmes scored before Clydesdale 2s pulled one back two minutes later through a David Clarke penalty stroke.

Grange 2s restored their advantage on 62 minutes when Barr struck his second penalty corner of the match. Then on 66 minutes David Ellis bagged a field goal to give Grange 2s a 5-1 lead.

Clydesdale 2s made it 5-2 on 69 minutes when Scott Lindsay scored, but it was Grange 2s who claimed the victory and a place in the final.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

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