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News for 13 March 2017

All the news for Monday 13 March 2017

Shoot-out drama as Malaysia win Hockey World League Round 2 event in Dhaka

Brave China denied but World Cup qualification dream remains alive and kicking

Malaysia celebrate winning the men's Hockey World League Round 2 event in Dhaka, Bangladesh (Image Credit: Bangladesh Hockey Federation)

Malaysia produced a superb fightback against China to take the final of the men's Hockey World League Round 2 event in Dhaka to a dramatic shoot-out before emerging triumphant at the Moulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium on Sunday (12 March).

Lower ranked China (FIH Hero World Ranking: 18) moved into a 2-0 lead thanks to strikes from Du Taleke – later named as the tournament’s best player – and Su Jun, an advantage that they held until the first minute of the fourth quarter when a Sharil Saabah penalty corner dragged Malaysia (WR: 13) back into the contest.

The equalizer arrived five minutes from the end of the contest, with Najmi Jazlan scoring a penalty corner to force the match into a shoot-out in which Malaysia excelled. Both nations successfully converted their efforts in the first three rounds with Tengku Ahmad giving Malaysia a 4-3 lead. A miss from China’s Meng Dihao proved decisive, with Fitri Saari netting to give Malaysia a 5-3 victory and a fantastic confidence booster going into this summer’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals, where those coveted tickets to the 2018 Hockey World Cup are up for grabs. China, who impressed greatly in Bangladesh, will also move forward to the Semi-Final stage and look capable of putting forward a serious challenge.  

Egypt sealed third place in the competition by powering to a 5-1 triumph over Oman. Egypt held a narrow 2-1 lead going into the final quarter before netting three times in six minutes to kill the tie, with Amr Ibrahim scoring two penalty corners before Mahmoud Mamdouh completed the scoring in the final minute.

Egypt must now wait until the completion of all the men’s Round 2 events before knowing if they are one of the two highest ranked of the three third placed finishers, something which would be enough for a ticket to the Semi-Final phase of the Hockey World League.

Earlier in the day, host nation Bangladesh finished their competition on a positive note by defeating Ghana in a shoot-out. The home favourites needed a last-minute strike from team captain Rashel Mahmud to tie the match at 3-3 with Krishno-Kumar Das scoring the vital goal when the shoot-out went to sudden death.

Sri Lanka sealed a 7th place finish with a 5-3 victory over Fiji thanks in part to a Shamika Gunawardhana double in the second quarter of the contest.

Like all the Round 2 events, the competition in Dhaka featured 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. 

More information about the tournament in Dhaka can be found on the official competition pages by clicking here and on FIH’s social media channels by using the #HWL2017 hashtag.

Final Standings
1: Malaysia
2: China
3: Egypt
4: Oman
5: Bangladesh
6: Ghana
7: Sri Lanka
8: Fiji

FIH site

World League Rd 2 Dhaka: GOLD for Malaysia!

By Jugjet Singh

THE NATIONAL hockey players came back from two goals down to hold China 2-2 and then win the World League Round Two gold medal on penalty shoot-out in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday.

In the shoot-out, Malaysia won 5-3.

Malaysia and China, by reaching the final in Dhaka, had already qualified for the World League Semifinals and will play either in Johannesburg on July 9-23, or in London on Jun 15-25.

Playing on an almost dry pitch, due to strong winds, China took the lead at the first quarter break off a penalty corner attempt.

Lanky defender Du Talake's thundering flick in the 15th minute beat custodian Hafizuddin Othman for the lead.

And Malaysia were in trouble by the 22nd minute, when Jun Su tucked in from close range to increase the lead.

Malaysia's misery was compounded in the 25th minute, when Najmi Jazlan missed a penalty stroke chance by flicking straight to goalkeeper Ming Cheng.

Ming Cheng was the hero of the moment, as he saved five point blank attempts by Malaysia, while one was saved by the post.

Malaysia bungled eight penalty corners and a penalty stroke by half-time.

Finally, the 11th penalty corner was tucked in by Shahril Saabah in the 46th minute.

And the 12th penalty corner in the 55th minute was also made good, as Najmi Jazlan scored the equaliser and took the match to shoot-out.

RESULTS: Final -- Malaysia 2 China 2 (Malaysian win shoot-out 5-3; Third-Fourth: Oman 1 Egypt 5; Fifth-Sixth: Bangladesh 3 Ghaha 3 (Bangladesh win sudden-death shoot-out 4-3; Seventh-Eighth: Fiji 3 Sri Lanka 5.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Champions! But Malaysia tempt fate before prevailing

by Aftar Singh

Saviour: Najmi Farizal Jazlan (left) scored Malaysia’s second goal in the World Hockey League Round Two final against China in Dhaka yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia lived dangerously in the final against China before lifting the World Hockey League Round Two in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Malaysia won through a penalty shootout (5-3) after both teams failed to break the 2-2 deadlock in regulation time at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Malaysia, ranked 13th in the world, were trailing 2-0 against world No. 18 China in the first 22 minutes before they fought back in the fourth quarter to level the score.

Malaysia also squandered a penalty stroke in the 25th minute when Najmi Farizal Jazlan flick was saved by goalkeeper Ming Cheng.

Du Talake gave China the lead off a penalty corner before Su Jun doubled the score in the 22nd minute.

But Malaysia came back strongly to convert two penalty corner goals through Shahril Saabah in the 46th minute and Najmi Farizal Jazlan in the 55th minute.

In the penalty shootout, Nik Aiman Nik Rozemi, Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil and Mohd Fitri Saari did well to get past their opponents’ goalkeeper.

China only managed to score through E Liguang, Ao Suozhu and Gua Zixiang.

Both finalists have booked their place in the World League Semi-Finals to be played at two venues – London from June 15-25 and Johannesburg, South Africa from July 9-23.

The World League Semi-finals also doubles up as the qualifying tournament for next year’s World Cup in New Delhi.

National coach Stephen van Huizen praised his players for their fighting spirit.

“I know my boys will never give up until the last minute. The turning point in the match was when Shahril scored off a penalty corner and I knew we will get the equaliser,” said Stephen.

“We have achieved our target to win the tournament and also a place in the World League Semi-Finals.

“The players will be given a two-week break before we start preparing for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh (from April 29 to May 9),” added Stephen.

The Star of Malaysia

Green Machine Prevail Over Austria In Shootout

Ireland earned a winning draw ahead of Austria to ensure they will top Pool A at the end of Day 2 of the Hockey World League Round 2 after normal time had ended 1-1 against Austria.

Austria proved a much sterner test than Saturday’s encounter against Ukraine, employing a compact, man-to-man defence that left Ireland with plenty of ball but often not in the most dangerous areas.

Nonetheless, Matthew Nelson’s third minute goal had Ireland in for nearly 90% of the game before they succumbed to a penalty corner goal from Dominic Uher inside the last two minutes.

Nelson’s goal was a powerful effort, grabbing the ball and shooting home from Chris Cargo’s cross from the right wing. After that, there were tidy incisions from Jonny McKee and Nelson along with one corner which was charged down.

The second quarter, though, saw the tempo slow dramatically with chances at a premium. Austria won one corner which Bernhard Schmidt saw guided away by the post-defender. Matthew Bell’s cross-field overhead to Shane O’Donoghue was the pick of Ireland’s attacks but his reverse went off target.

Precious little goal-mouth incident came in the third quarter, leaving the narrow gap between the sides to continue deep into the game. Jonny Bell’s excellent overlap almost yielded a second goal but his cross was stood on by McKee at close quarters.

It left Ireland susceptible to one last attack, especially when Lee Cole was sin-binned and a ball down the line was mis-trapped, allowing Schmidt to break in and win a corner. He dragged and Uher was credited with a touch to send the ball in down the middle of the goal.

It meant a draw which, in this competition, leads to a shoot-out for an extra bonus point. Ireland scored four from four with Conor Harte, Eugene Magee, Jonny McKee and Shane O’Donoghue all scoring.

World goalkeeper of the year David Harte saved twice for a 4-2 success on that front and guarantee Ireland lead the group overnight.

Reflecting on the tie, Craig Fulton said he was reasonably happy despite a largely low-key tie, short on major chances.

“I don’t think Austria tried to play too much, sitting deep to play off our mistakes. That’s one way of playing and they did it well.

“We had a lot of possession; maybe we didn’t play it smart enough at times but its only this group’s second game together. We do need to improve on how we kept the ball with two minutes to go. We made one mistake, a deflected corner and its 1-1.

“We do need to keep the foot on the gas in the final third; we didn’t win any corners in the second half which is indicative of them being deep and well organised and us needing to get better but I am happy with how we played.”

Ireland face Italy on Tuesday in their third group game before an all-important quarter-final on Thursday.

Fulton expects a very different challenge from Italy: “They will be very passionate and dogged in defence. They will also want to come out and play which will be different; they are quite skillful.”

Ireland 1 (M Nelson)
Austria 1 (D Uher); Ireland win bonus point shoot-out 4-2

Ireland: D Harte, J Bell, M Bell, R Gormley, C Cargo, M Nelson, E Magee, N Glassey, S O’Donoghue, J McKee, C Harte

Subs: B Walker, S Murray, P Gleghorne, J Duncan, L Cole, J Wright, J Carr

Austria: M Szymczyk, S Eitenberger, D Uher, A Bele, B Schmidt, M Korper, D Frohlich, B Stanzl, M Minar, L Thornblom, X Hasun

Subs: F Zeidler, P Schmidt, F Steyrer, P Stanzl, R Bele, J Heimanns, B Melinc

Credit: PressEye

France made it two wins from two with a composed 3-1 win over Poland, adding to their opening victory over Scotland on Saturday morning.

Victor Charlet’s drag flick to the roof of the goal got them on their way in the fifth minute and they held that lead into the first quarter break courtesy of Charles Masson’s goal-line save from a Polish corner.

Rafal Banaszak was kept busy in goal, making a couple of superb saves, before Blaise Rogeau deflected in a crash ball for a 2-0 lead. Rogeau saw another chance ping off the base of the post just after half-time before Etienne Tynevez fired wide when through one-on-one.

Seven seconds before the end of the third quarter, Tom Genestet put the result beyond doubt with an excellent backhand strike. Pawel Bratkowski got one back from the penalty spot as Poland pushed to get something from the game but France also had chances in a lively closing quarter.

France 3 (V Charlet, B Rogeau, T Genestet)
Poland 1 (P Bratkowski)

Credit: Perspective Photos

Wales assured themseleves a top two spot in Pool B as they won a bonus point with a 4-2 shoot-out win after a draw against old rivals

Normal time had ended 2-2 with Gareth Furlong scoring the equalising goal with eight minutes to go from a corner that thudded the backboard.

The rest of the scoring all came in the first 10 minutes as the game got off to a crackerjack start. Ed Greaves got a brilliant near post touch to a right wing cross to get Scotland in front in the fourth minute before Wales replied in kind when Ben Carless redirected a corner touch over goalkeeper Tommy Alexander.

Scotland went back in front, however, when Alan Forsyth’s old-school hit from the top of the circle hit the backboard for 2-1. He almost repeated the trick in the exact same manner before the end of the first quarter, hitting a foot on the line. His stroke, however, was brilliantly saved by David Kettle down low.

From there, the game raced from end to end, Scotland lying deep and playing on the counter, with Wales holding more of the ball. Corner chances came and went for both before Furlong nailed his drag-flick for 2-2. The Welsh prevailed in the shoot-out to add two points to their three for beating Poland on day one. Scotland are on one point.

Wales 2 (B Carless, G Furlong)
Scotland 2 (E Greaves, A Forsyth), Wales win bonus point 4-2 on shoot-out

Credit: PressEye

Italy claimed the laurels from a goal-fest to move into second place in Pool A of the Hockey World League Round 2 in Stormont, seeing off a rugged challenge from Ukraine. Andrii Koshelenko had given Ukraine the lead inside the first minute from a corner before Italy took control. Thomas Keenan whipped home a corner goal in the 13th minute to tie things up at 1-1 and they built a 3-1 lead by half-time with a couple of quick-fire goals. Juan Montone got the second with a beautifully deft backhand shot at the left post to take the lead. Moments later, Luca da Gai was put through one-on-one and he smashed home first time.  Mattia Amorosini extended the lead early in the second half. Julien Dallons got the fifth goal early in the second half from another through ball before Ukraine got one back from a clever corner move, Vitalii Kalinchuk pushing in from mid-circle. Dallons completed the rout from a corner with two minutes to go.

Ukraine 2 (A Koshelenko, V Kalinchuk)
Italy 6 (J Dallons 2, T Keenan, L da Gai, J Montonem M Amorosini)

Irish Hockey Association media release

Scotland cruelly lose to Wales in dramatic shootout

Scotland men lost their second match of Hockey World League 2 in Belfast 4-2 in a shootout after the game finished 2-2 in normal time.

Scotland got off to a great start with an early goal, a ball in from the right was deflected goal-bound by Ed Greaves to give Scotland the lead.

Wales struck back immediately with an equaliser from Benjamin Carless; he buried a penalty corner into the corner of the net to make it 1-1.

The Blue Sticks responded instantly via Alan Forsyth to give Scotland a 2-1 lead. Forsyth was clinical from a penalty corner when he hammered the ball into the net from the top of the D to make it 2-1.

The very entertaining first quarter continued as Benjamin Francis drilled the ball just wide for Wales. However it was Scotland in control - the hockey was electric and the Scots were dominating the match.

Scotland had the chance to further their lead when they were awarded a penalty stroke when a Welsh foot stopped the ball on the line. Kettle sprung into action again when he saved Alan Forsyth’s penalty stroke low to his right to keep the score 2-1 to Scotland.

In the second quarter it was end-to-end stuff as David Kettle made some good saves in the Welsh goal as the Scots broke at pace.

Scotland had a couple of chances from a penalty corner; a scramble in the D saw blue jerseys pile in on goal, but the ball was eventually forced clear by the Welsh rear-guard.

Kettle in the Wales goal continued making some very important saves including a dive to his left from a one-on-one with Lee Morton. Wales made it to half time with the Scots leading 2-1.

The third quarter was very even as the Scots allowed the Welsh back into the contest. A good save by Tommy Alexander in the Scotland goal kept his side in the lead; saving low with his legs from a penalty corner.

The Blue Sticks instantly won a penalty corner of their own but failed to convert from a swift move on the left, which found a shot saved low at the post by Kettle.

Then another penalty corner for Scotland was saved by Kettle. A quick pass out right found the keeper out quickly to block.

The up the other end of the pitch and Rupert Shipperley fired the ball across the circle for Wales but found nobody on the other end of it.

Wales looked strong in the final quarter, edging possession but unable to penetrate the Scottish D.

Wales then equalised through Gareth Furlong to draw the game level with seven minutes to go – a penalty corner slammed low against the backboard to make it 2-2.

The late equaliser resulted in a draw at full time and a penalty shootout to decide the fixture.

Lewis Prosser was first up for Wales in the shootout and scored, Willie Marshall followed for Scotland and failed to convert. Alexander saved James Carson’s effort for Wales before Alan Forsyth was denied to keep the score 1-0 to Wales in the shoot-out. Liam Brignull made it 2-0 before Lee Morton converted for Scotland to make it 2-1. Owain Dolan-Gray made it 3-1 before Gavin Byers scored to pull it back to 3-2. Benjamin Francis won it for Wales when he scored to give the Welsh a 4-2 win in the shoot-out.

Scotland men’s Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, “It’s disappointing to lose the match in a shootout. The match was ours to win, in the first half especially we created plenty of chances to score more goals. In the second half we allowed Wales too much time on the ball; we weren’t as aggressive as we were in the first half and let them back in.

“Today’s performance was better than the previous game’s performance, and it gives us something to build on for the match against Poland.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

South American teams resume rivalry

Sarah Juggins

Janine Stanley (Uruguay) - Camila Caram (Chile). Photo credit: Yan Huckendubler

While Argentina and the USA hammer away at each other in the top echelons of women’s world hockey, it might be worth the two hockey giants taking the occasional look over their shoulder at two teams who are fast moving up the rankings.

Ranked 19th and 23rd respectively, Chile and Uruguay are caught up in a battle for supremacy on the hockey field that is as intense as anything Las Leonas and the USA produce. The recent HWL Round One event in Chiclayo, Peru, was testimony to this. Although Chile went into the final match as favourites to win the whole competition, needing just a draw to win the event, a battling performance from Uruguay saw the blue and white team take the points and first place.

Fortunately for neutral hockey fans, the results meant both teams qualified for HWLR2, so we may well see the two south American representatives go head-to-head in West Vancouver for the right to contest Round Three and a potential place at the World Cup in 2018.

Taking a look back at recent contests between the two nations, it is clear that these teams are evenly matched. Uruguay took the honours in Peru at HWLR1, which also doubled up as the 2016 South American Championships – the goal scoring hero on that occasions was Maria Viana Ache.

Chile, on the other hand, has been consistently better in the Pan American Games. Sergio Vigil’s team finished fourth in the 2015 Pan Am Games, one place ahead of Uruguay and you have to go back to 2003 to find a Pan Am Games where Uruguay has beaten Chile.

The forthcoming Pan American Cup has also proven a happy stomping ground for Chile. In 2013 the team finished fourth, with Uruguay in sixth, and in 2009, Chile took bronze behind Argentina and the USA. Uruguay’s highest finish was a fourth place in 2001.

With Chile also racing up the world rankings – they gained four places after the last release of the rankings – you could expect the side to be confident ahead of HWLR2. But, this is where Uruguay has all the benefits of experience.

In 2015, Uruguay were the surprise package at HWL Semi-Finals in Valencia, Spain. Although Gonzalo Ferrer and his team finished in 10th place, they did win the hearts and minds of the spectators with their exciting play and exuberance on the pitch. A 1-1 draw with South Africa – who were ranked 11th in the world – demonstrated that Uruguay were neither overawed or to be under-estimated.

Speaking after the team’s adventures in Spain, Janine Stanley said: “Look, we arrived in Valencia as 29th in the world, we played against the best teams and we didn't disgrace ourselves. In fact, against South Africa (a 1-1 draw) we could have won the game and against Ireland we came close (3-2). Both those teams were ranked much higher.”

The experience had added confidence, awareness of a wide range of playing styles and “an awareness of just how fast this game can be played,” said the experienced midfielder. "Our learning curve was huge. In every game we discovered new things about ourselves and about the team as a whole."

While the event in West Vancouver has a distinctly Pan American feel to it, the teams from the PAHF area are also joined by India (World Ranking: 12) and Belarus (WR: 20). Uruguay face both teams in the pool stages and so the players’ previous experience in Valencia against the differing hockey styles of Europe and Asia will be a big advantage.

For Chile, the main challenge will come from nations they know well. Canada are ranked one place ahead of them at 18 and, in the last few meetings between the sides the Canadians have come out as victors. But confidence is high in the Chile camp and team morale has never been better says captain Camila Caram.

“Our aspiration is to get to the final in HWL2,” says the experienced Caram, who has more than 160 caps to her name. “I think the team is well prepared and we have our objectives very clear in our heads. We play a very good collective game, both when we have the ball and when we don’t have possession. We concentrate on playing as a team.”

With a trio of experienced coaches – Alfredo Castro, Sergio Vigil and Diego Amoroso – the team, nicknamed the Diablas, has travelled to South Africa, where they played test matches against the host nation, plus Belgium and China. They then played a series against Argentina. A new coaching structure, plus the test matches, has lent a new intensity to the Chile team’s preparations, says Caram.

“We learnt so many things from HWLR1. After we lost the last match against Uruguay, the whole team got extra motivation to train even harder and more frequently. We have to reverse that result if we meet them in Round Two, but we also have to beat the teams that are ranked higher than us.”

Another player from the team who is determined that Chile will make their mark on the tournament is Denise Krimerman-Losada. The striker finished as the second highest scorer in Chiclayo but her focus now is on the whole team’s defensive responsibilities. “Our biggest strength is our way of defending. We play in a very compact way when we are playing in our area. Every day you can see how the confidence is increasing in our team.”

Several players have joined the squad recently from the junior ranks and this, says Krimerman-Losada, is great for driving the team forwards. “The intensity has increased so much in the past few months. We are always giving 110 per cent. The group has increased since the incorporation of members from our junior team, so the friction and competitiveness for places has grown.”

The striker says that the team learnt a lot from HWLR1, not least how to shut out an opposition. She refers repeatedly to Chile’s compact, defensive game and says that the team was devastated to win all their matches in Chiclayo except the one that would have sealed the title.

“We are setting out to win in Vancouver and to prove that Chile is a difficult country to play against. Our preparations have been against top 10 teams and we were able to play our game. We are always in search of victory.”

The Hockey World League Round Two event takes place in West Vancouver, Canada from 1-9 April. Uruguay are in Pool A, alongside India and Belarus. Pool B comprises Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and Mexico. The opening matches see India face Uruguay, Chile take on Trinidad and Tobago, while Canada play Mexico.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Egara’s Keenan going back to his roots

Club Egara’s Thomas Keenan has played a key role in helping Italy to a strong start at the Hockey World League Round 2 in Stormont, Ireland as he goes back to his family roots.

As his name suggested, he has a strong Irish connection with his father hailing from Cork in the south of the country where he played both hockey and the local stick-sport hurling.

The grandfather emigrated to Argentina where Thomas was born but he returned to Europe with his father Patricio who played professional hockey in Italy for a time.

He moved on to Club Egara as a coach where Thomas has been playing for the last few years, being part of their EHL squad for three years.

With a few different options to play internationally, he jokes “I have plenty of different blood.”

So far in Belfast, the sweeper scored two corner goals in a draw against Austria – subsequently losing a shoot-out for a bonus point – before beating Ukraine 6-2.

“We are quite happy so far; Saturday was a good draw against Austria. We had some opportunities to win it while we were a bit unlucky in the shoot-out.”

In that shoot-out, he scored an incredible chip-shot, looping over the Mateusz Szymczyk before dropping onto the backboard.

“I thought about doing it before I stepped up; maybe it wasn’t clever but it worked!”

They play Ireland next with the winner of the game set to win Pool A: “We will do our best to get some points and then be very focused on the quarter-finals which is the important game for us.”

On day two, Ireland drew 1-1 with Austria with Lisnagarvey’s Matthew Nelson scoring in the third minute before Dominic Uher was credited with the equaliser late in the game. Ireland won the bonus point shoot-out 4-2.

France lead Pool B with 3-1 wins over Poland and Scotland; Wales are second with a win over Poland and a bonus point draw against the Scots.

Euro Hockey League media release

Canterbury inflict shock loss on Wimbledon

Canterbury's James Oates, who scored in their win over Wimbledon. Credit Simon Parker

Relegation-threatened Canterbury showed they won’t be going down without a fight when they scored a 5-2 shock win over top of the table Wimbledon in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.

Tom Bean scored twice and Michael Farrer, Sam Barrett and James Oates (pictured) were also on target for Canterbury, who moved out of the relegation zone on the back of the win.

Ian Sloan and Chris Gregg got the consolation goals for Wimbledon who are now guaranteed to finish top despite the defeat.

The play off finalists are now all confirmed with Wimbledon, Holcombe, Surbiton and Hampstead and Westminster all securing a berth.

Hampstead and Westminster snatched the final place with a hard fought 5-4 defeat of Reading.

Stephen Dowds and Richard Alexander put the visitors two up but Reading came back through Ben Boon and Montgomery Jefferson before taking the lead through Ajai Dhadwal.

In a breathless finale to the first half, Michael Watt levelled the scores for Hampstead, making it 3-3.

Second half goals from Samuel French and another for Watt sealed the win for Hampstead but Andy Watts also found the target for Reading.

Loughborough Students took their first point of the campaign with a 2-2 draw against third-placed Surbiton but it’s not enough to keep them in the league.

Liam Ansell hit a double for Surbiton and for Loughborough, Seb Ansley and Matthew Ramshaw found the net.

Ashley Jackson scored a brace as East Grinstead beat Holcombe 4-1. Martin Scanlon and Simon Faulkner were also on the score sheet for East Grinstead and Nick Bandurak pulled one back for Holcombe.

Beeston’s chances of making the top four were extinguished as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Brooklands Manchester University who are fighting for their lives.

Men’s Conference East

The top two in the Men’s Conference East look set to battle it out to the wire for top spot as both Teddington and Sevenoaks recorded wins on Sunday.

Leaders Teddington came from two goals down inside 10 minutes to win 6-4 at home to Southgate.

Matt Daly and Andrew Pett both hit a brace to take their respective goal tallies for the campaign to 23 and 18, with Richard Gear-Evans and Tim Davenport also on target.

Sevenoaks remain level on points and reduced the gap to just a single goal with a 6-2 win at West Herts, Andrew Ross scoring a hat trick for the visitors.

A late Tom Rhodes goal secured three points for Oxted as they defeated bottom side Wapping 3-2 at home, the visitors now six points adrift with two games to go.

Elsewhere, two goals apiece from Charlie Ellison and Joe Naughalty saw Richmond draw 2-2 with Brighton and Hove, whilst Cambridge City edged out Indian Gymkhana 4-3.

Men’s Conference North

The University of Durham kept up their momentum heading into the promotion play offs with a 5-1 home victory over relegation-threatened Oxton in the Men’s Conference North.

Charlie Stubbings hit a brace with Angus Spittles, Ben Mcgeogh and Cameron Rule all on the score sheet to make in 16 wins from 16 games.

Bottom side Leek failed to close the gap to Oxton as they were comfortably beaten 7-0 at Doncaster, captain Matt Gibson scoring a hat-trick.

Martin Webb scored all four goals for Olton & West Warwicks, but they were held to a 4-4 draw at home to Preston.

A strong second half showing from Sheffield Hallam saw them win 4-0 at Bowdon and Deeside Ramblers won 5-3 against Cannock.

Men’s Conference West

Team Bath Buccaneers claimed an important 2-0 victory against an understrength Cardiff & Met side in the Men’s Conference West.

Peter Scott and Ben Mackey scored the goals for Team Bath, who close the gap to Cardiff to just two points.

Edward Matts, Oliver Davies, Alex Robey and Tom Watson were the scorers as the University of Exeter kept their slim hopes of finishing top alive with a 4-1 win over Isca.

The University of Bristol remain four points adrift at the bottom of the table after going down 3-2 against the University of Birmingham, Jack Clee with the winner four minutes from time.

Fareham moved out of the bottom two after a 2-2 draw at home to Old Georgians, James Tindall scoring his 21st of the season for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Chichester remain in the relegation picture after going down 2-1 at home to Cheltenham.

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, 12 March 2017):

Men's Premier Division: Beeston 0, Brooklands MU 0; Canterbury 5, Wimbledon 2; East Grinstead 4, Holcombe 1; Reading 4, Hampstead and Westminster 5; Surbiton 2, Loughborough Students 2.

Men’s Conference East: Cambridge City 4, Indian Gymkhana 3; Oxted 3, Wapping 2; Richmond 2, Brighton and Hove 2; Teddington 6, Southgate 4; West Herts 2, Sevenoaks 6.

Men’s Conference North: Bowdon 0, Sheffield Hallam 4; Deeside Ramblers 5, Cannock 3; Doncaster 7, Leek 0; Olton & West Warwicks 4, Preston 4; University of Durham 5, Oxton 1.

Men’s Conference West: Cardiff & Met 0, Team Bath Buccaneers 2; Chichester 1, Cheltenham 2; Fareham 2, Old Georgians 2; University of Bristol 2, University of Birmingham 3; University of Exeter 4, Isca 1.

England Hockey Board Media release

Both National League leaders bang in the goals to retain positions

Bromac Kelburne men and Edinburgh University women were both in fine goalscoring form to maintain their positions at the top of men's and women's National Leagues.

A hat-trick by set piece expert Josh Cairns was the catalyst in Bromac Kelburne`s 4-1 victory over Hillhead, a result that keeps the Paisley side in pole position in the first division. The score might have been greater but for a string of excellent saves from Hillhead goalkeeper Jamie Frail.

In the early part of the contest Hillhead failed to capitalise on three penalty corner opportunities, but at Kelburne`s first set piece Cairns` powerful flick went in off Frail`s stick. Just on the interval Cairns struck again, this time giving Frail no chance at all.

The contest was effectively over when Kelburne converted their third penalty corner, Cairns confused the Hillhead defence with a well-worked dummy routine leaving Ben Peterson to fire a low shot into the net.

A glimmer of hope for the Glasgow side when they finally converted a set piece, Fraser Ward scored after the Kelburne defence failed to clear the danger. Any revival was stifled when Cairns netted his third penalty corner in the closing minutes.

Second placed Grange continue to keep the pressure on Kelburne with a 5-1 away win at Gordonians, they still trail by five points but with a game in hand.

It took the Edinburgh side 18 minutes to take the lead when Callum Milne opened the scoring from a penalty corner. Grange doubled their tally when Joe Waterston finished off a brilliant piece of individual play from Luke Cranney.

Ten minutes into the second half Todd Mills made it 3-0 at a penalty corner option. Patrick Longmate added a fourth from open play after Alan Johnston and Cranney had created the opening. Ali Irvine finished the scoring for Grange before the home side notched a consolation.

Grove Menzieshill consolidated their third place in the table with a comfortable 4-1 win over Western Wildcats, Aidan McQuade scored a hat-trick while Albert Rowling got the other.

Uddingston`s renaissance continues as they move up into the top four with a narrow 2-1 away win at Watsonians. Steven Percy scored the only first half strike from a penalty corner, Alex Shaw doubled the tally from open play in the second half before the Edinburgh side pulled one back from a set piece.

In the women`s first division Edinburgh University retained pole position in the first division with a ten goal victory over bottom side CALA.

In the victory Zara Malseed got a hat-trick and there were two goals each for Amy Brodie and Sarah Robertson.

The chasing pack kept in touch with Edinburgh, second placed Milne Craig Western overcame Dundee Wanderers 4-2 on Tayside.

Grove Menzieshill maintained their unbeaten record in the league with a 5-1 victory over Kelburne.

Wildcats are well established in the top four after renewing their winning form with a 3-0 win over Watsonians. Lucy McArthur opened for the Auchenhowie side following a breakdown at a penalty corner.

Emma McDiarmid added a second when she flicked the ball over the goalkeeper at another set piece. Catriona Booth completed the scoring for the Wildcats with a reverse stick shot. Meanwhile at the other end Wildcats` goalkeeper Caroline Duff kept a clean sheet by saving a Watsonians` spot effort.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Irish Women's EY Hockey League Weekend Round Up

The women’s EY Hockey League regular season title looks like it is set to go down to the final day as UCD stormed back to beat Cork Harlequins while Hermes-Monkstown won out 6-1 at Ulster Elks.

For UCD, their unbeaten run was under severe threat as Naomi Carroll’s double had Cork 3-2 up going into the final quarter at Belfield. But a Sorcha Clarke goal and a winner five minutes from the end from Abbie Russell snatched a 4-3 success.

For Quins part, they have some consolation as results elsewhere confirmed their place in the EY Champions Trophy and they do have a re-match against the Belfielders in the Irish Senior Cup final.

Hermes-Monkstown’s win over basement side Elks was a far simpler affair. Laura Pinder, Caitriona McGilp and Sinead Loughran all got their first goals of the EYHL campaign adding to efforts from Nikki Evans, Anna O’Flanagan and Rosie Carrigan.

At the bottom, Pembroke recorded a vital win – their first of 2017 – over Ards with Eanna Horan getting the only goal in a 1-0 result. It came 11 minutes from the end and sees them rise four points away from the automatic relegation spot and back within range of Belfast Harlequins in eighth.

The Belfast side, meanwhile, earned what could be a vital point as they tied 2-2 with Pegasus in an Ulster derby. First half goals from Amy Geddes and Gemma Frazer had Quins leading 2-1 at the break before Ruth Maguire, with her second of the game, scored a penalty stroke to spilt the points.

Belfast Quins end the weekend three points clear of Pembroke while Pegasus now have seven points to make up in their chase of a Champions Trophy place.
Loreto took a huge step toward landing that final playoff place thanks to a Hannah Matthews’ 3-2 win over Railway Union. The international defender scored a trio of penalty corner goals to see her side beat their nearest rivals.

Women’s EY Hockey League: Pegasus 2 (R Maguire 2) Belfast Harlequins 2 (A Geddes, G Frazer); UCD 4 (D Duke 2, S Clarke, A Russell) Cork Harlequins 3 (N Carroll, K Bateman); Pembroke 1 (E Horan) Ards 0; Ulster Elks 1 (C Mitchell) Hermes-Monkstown 6 (R Carrigan, N Evans, A O’Flanagan, L Pinder, C McGilp, S Loughran); Railway Union 2 (Z Delany 2) Loreto 3 (H Matthews 3)

Day 16 round-up

UCD 4 (D Duke 2, S Clarke, A Russell) Cork Harlequins 3 (N Carroll, K Bateman)

UCD produced a brilliant final quarter comeback to snatch victory as they recovered from a 2-0 and 3-2 deficit, keeping them a point clear at the top of the table.

Emma Buckley was outstanding in goal and she made her first save early on from a corner won by Emma Russell, getting down to keep out Katie Mullan’s drag-flick.

Quins showed their teeth, winning a corner of their own in the first quarter, and they went ahead when Karen Bateman scored from her side’s second piece, a well-worked effort. Naomi Caroll followed swiftly with a second goal, this time from play, before Deirdre Duke smashed home to get UCD on the scoreboard at half-time.

Irish internationals Duke and Carroll exchanged goals once again to see Quins take the lead into the final quarter, the latter from a strong and pacy attack. It set up an intense final quarter in which UCD pushed forward with major aggression. Buckley repelled a number of chances before Sorcha Clarke levelled.

And, with five minutes to go, Abbie Russell scored the winner, latching on to a pass from Gillian Pinder. Harlequins, nonetheless, qualified for the EY Champions Trophy playoffs due to results elsewhere and have a re-match against UCD in the Irish Senior Cup final in a few weeks.

Pegasus 2 (R Maguire 2) Belfast Harlequins 2 (Amy Geddes, Gemma Frazer)

Pegasus and Belfast Harlequins were forced to settle for a share of the spoils at Queen’s, tying 2-2 in a result that probably has more value for the latter side.

The visitors took a second minute lead from a corner as Amy Geddes mopped up a rebound off Sammy-Jo Greer’s pads. Pegasus bounced back and while they saw their best chance of the first quarter kept out by Helen Stevenson, Ruth Maguire was on hand to tie the game up from the second phase from close range.

Pegasus held control of the ball for much of the second quarter but, against the run of play, Quins took the lead for a second time. From a turnover, Gemma Frazer was found free at the neat post for a simple deflection into the goal.

The flow of the game followed a similar pattern in the third quarter but Pegasus could not convert from a half dozen openings. Rachael McMillan was unlucky not to score after good work through middle by her sister Hannah Craig.

The equaliser did come in the closing quarter when Suzanne Ferris rounded the last defender before being felled. Maguire converted from the ensuing penalty stroke for 2-2. With a couple of minutes remaining, Ferris was again involved in an incident that saw a stroke awarded but, on consultation, was annulled in favour of a bully.

Pegasus are now seven points off the Champions Trophy places while Belfast Harlequins ended the weekend three points clear of the relegation playoff place.

Pembroke 1 (E Horan) Ards 0

Pembroke picked up their first win of 2017 to reignite their chances of avoiding the relegation playoff place and easing the likelihood of automatic relegation into the bargain.

Eanna Horan scored the crucial goal in the 59th minute from a corner rebound to land the three points. Honours were shared in the opening period. Ards applied pressure before the break and won a penalty corner but Jessie Elliott in the Pembroke goal cleared her lines.

Pembroke upped their game in the second quarter and won three penalty corners in close succession but Naomi McKnight, in the Ards goal, made some excellent saves.The hosts continued to apply pressure into the second half with some lovely passing movements. However, they were reduced to ten players when Orla Macken was yellow carded. Shortly after, Pembroke were reduced even further when Kylie Deverell received a yellow card, too, but they survived the reduction in players.

Restored to the full 11, McKnight pulled off another great save early in the fourth quarter before the key moment. Rachel Scott’s shot was saved by the goalie but Eanna Horan put the rebound in the back of the net. Ards were awarded a penalty corner in the final seconds of the game but the Pembroke defence held fast for a key win.

Ulster Elks 1 (C Mitchell) Hermes-Monkstown 6 (R Carrigan, N Evans, A O’Flanagan, L Pinder, C McGilp, S Loughran)

Hermes-Monkstown had an impressive win over bottom of the table Ulster Elks at Jordanstown in a game they had to win to keep the pressure on league leaders UCD.

They were without a number of players such as midfield talisman Chloe Watkins, Christine Quinlan and Ava Beatty who retired early in the first quarter with an injury.

Elks made a good start winning an early penalty corner but couldn't capitalise on it, thanks to a save from 'keeper Liz Murphy. Shirley McCay and Robyn Chambers produced fine performances for the Elks but the attacking verve of their opponents soon took hold.

Nikki Evans was unlucky not to open the scoring for Hermes-Monkstown when her shot just slid wide of the post. However, minutes later, her side won a corner and defender Rosie Carrigan scored the opener.

This was quickly followed up by another set-piece and Nikki Evans made it 2-0. By the second quarter, the Dubliners were dominating the attack with Evans and Anna O'Flanagan combining for the third goal before another corner was earned and, this time, Laura Pinder converted, her first goal of the season.

In the fourth quarter, Elks opened their account with a goal by Chloe Mitchell who took advantage of a mistake by the Monkstown defence. Monkstown finished out the quarter strongly with maiden EYHL goals for the season from Caitriona McGilp and Sinead Loughran. 

Railway Union 2 (Z Delany 2) Loreto 3 (H Matthews 3)

A rare Hannah Matthews hat trick gave Loreto a huge boost in their pursuit of the fourth EY Hockey League Champions Trophy place. 

In a fast paced game, Railway had the upper hand in the early stages, winning an unconverted corner and sending balls across the circle but finding no-one on the end of them. Then, in the 15th minute, an overhead by Sarah Canning down the left hand side found Zara Delany who ran across the circle and slotted the ball into the goal to put Railway 1-0 up. 

Matthews equalised before half-time, though, from Loreto's first corner of the game with a straight strike to make it 1-1. She grabbed the next two goals as well in the third quarter. Loreto dominated this phase from the outset, winning a corner in the first minute.

On this occasion Grace O'Flanagan made a brilliant stick save off a Matthews switch sweep. But a few minutes later, Loreto won another corner which Matthews swept her shot over the prostrate Railway keeper to score her second goal.

Loreto continued to control in midfield with Lizzie Colvin dominant and, from Loreto's fifth corner, Matthews completed her hat trick with another straight strike.

It left Railway playing catch-up and they started with huge intent, swapping out their goalkeeper for the last 17 and a half minutes. Twelve minutes from time, the pressure paid off when Railway drove down the right hand side with the ball making its way across the circle through a mass of players to be touched in by Emma Smyth at the back post. Railway pressed for the equaliser but the Loreto defence held firm to run out 3-2 winners.

Irish Hockey Association media release

Police get revenge with President’s Cup win

Victors: Police players and officials celebrate their President’s Cup win after beating Nur Insafi in the final. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Debutants Police exacted sweet revenge on favourites Nur Insafi in the final of the President's Cup.

Police, who lost 5-2 to the Division One league champions in the league match, won 3-1 in a penalty shootout after both teams were locked 3-3 in regulation time.

Police, who finished runners-up in Division One, converted in the shootout through Mohd Fitri Abdul Manan, Azreen Rizal Nasir and Mohd Khairul Naim Johari while Muhamad Bilal Qadir was the only Nur Insafi player to score.

In the final at the Tun Razak Stadium yesterday, Police took their chances well to score through Baljit Singh Sarjab (ninth), Azreen Rizal Nasir (29th) and Dick Waili (45th).

Nur Insafi, powered by five Pakistan players, scored through Muhamad Bilal (28th), Aamir Shahzad (40th) and Muhammad Ateeq (49th).

Police team manager Assistant Commissioner S. Batumalai was delighted with his players’ performance.

"We were the underdogs as we have an all-local squad and they played their best match today,” said Batumalai.

"Winning the Cup augurs well for us in the MHL (Malaysia Hockey League).”

In the National Women’s League, Terengganu, powered by nine national players, bagged the double.

The east coast team, who won the league title last week, clinched the Vivian Mau Soars (overall title) by defeating Blue Warriors 3-1 in the penalty shooutout after both teams were tied 1-1.

Fatin Naimah Zaki gave Terengganu the lead in the 11th minute before Blue Warriors equalised through Norbaini Hashim in the 32nd minute.

In the penalty shootout, Fatin, Nuraini Abdul Rashid and Siti Rahmah Othman found the target while Mimie Zulaika Zaini scored for Blue Warriors.

The Star of Malaysia

Police flatten varsity lads


Kenya College of Accountancy University goalkeeper Ken Kimiti attempts to pick himself up after conceding a goal during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match against Kenya Police at the City Park Stadium on March 12, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Police got their Kenya Hockey Union campaign underway on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCAU) in a men’s Premier  League match at City Park Stadium.

A brace from talismanic striker Moses Cheplaiti and another strike from captain Oliver Echenje gave last season’s third placed finishers the perfect start to the new season.

Shadrack Ruto pulled a goal back for the students but it proved to be a mere consolation as the law enforcers deservedly claimed the three points.

“It is another season and we want to be among the title challengers but this will require us to be at our best and win games both home and away. This is a good start and we will build from the result in our upcoming matches,” Police coach Kenneth Kaunda said.

The policemen dominated proceedings and were 2-0 up in the opening 18 minutes with Cheplaiti sounding the board in the space of one minute finishing past KCAU keeper Kim Kimiti.

The students respond and scored with their first attack of the match in the 25th minute through a well worked field goal that saw Ruto lob the onrushing Police keeper Martin Agesa.

Police put the result beyond doubt four minutes from time when Echenje scored from the simplest of touches after a swift counter attack.

Earlier,  Kenyatta University Vultures drew 1-1 with United States International University of Africa in another top flight men’s encounter.

Skipper Lawrence Makhalsa had given the Vultures the lead in the first half but USIU hit back in the second half through Brian Kiplimo.

In the women’s Premier League, Multimedia University were handed a 1-0 defeat by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology on their return to the league.

In the second tier men’s league,  newcomers University of Nairobi shocked Wazalendo Youth 2-0.

Daily Nation

KU share spoils with USIU-A

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Kenyatta University Susan Wafula(l) and USIU Beatrice Wekesa fight for the ball when they played Ladies Premier at CityPark yesterday, on 24/09/2016. USIU SCORED 5-1. PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Kenyatta University drew 1-1 with United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) in their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League opening match played yesterday at City Park. KU, who survived relegation last season, took the lead courtesy of Lawrence Makhatsa's converted penalty corner in the 25th minute.

KU held on the lead as they enjoyed a 1-0 advantage at halftime. Brian Kiplimo restored parity through a penalty corner in the 46th minute. Both sides created chances, but failed to complete the job, thus settling for a point each.

In the men's second division tier, University of Nairobi returned to the league with a bang, after they defeated Wazalendo Youth 2-0. Chris Sifuna and John Kaloti scored in each half as the students announced their return to competition after missing last season's challenge.

In the women's contest, Vivian Tanui's 49th minute goal was enough to give Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology victory over Multimedia University.

The Standard Online

Toti High slots winning goal in South African Spar hockey regional tourney

All-Amanzimtoti final keeps spectators on edge

Michelle Izatt

Amanzimtoti High clinched the Durban South regional round of the Spar school girls hockey at the 3 Astros Field in this afternoon, in a thrilling final against equally impressive Kuswag Skool.

Taking strain under sweltering conditions, both teams gave it their all.

Kuswag led the round robin stage of the tournament, to secure their spot with ease in the final showdown.

On the other end of the spectrum, Amanzimtoti High took the tough road to the final. They secured their slot in a penalty shoot-out that went to sudden death, before captain Phiwo Myeza stepped up and slotted home the winning goal.

Myeza repeated the performance to sink the ball into the back of Kuswag’s net less than halfway through the match. The rest of the game saw Toti work hard to keep Kuswag at bay, with tension building as the latter threatened to equaliser several times.

It was not to be though, and Amanzimtoti High now goes through as a regional final winner to the tournament’s next round.

The South Coast Sun

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