All the news for Monday 27 March 2017
Men's HWL Round 2 - Tacarigua Results March 26, 2017
Pool A USA - BAR 7 - 1
Pool A CHI - CAN 1 - 5
Pool B RUS - JPN 1 - 3
Pool B SUI - TTO 2 - 6
Official FIH Event site
Canada remains undefeated in Trinidad and Tobago after 5-1 win over Chile
Taylor Curran carries the ball against Chile at World League Round 2 in Trinidad and Tobago on March 26, 2017 (Courtesy of PAHF)
Canada’s men’s field hockey team is off to a 2-0 start at World League Round 2 thanks to a dominant 5-1 victory over Chile Sunday in Trinidad and Tobago.
Mark Pearson scored twice, while Gordon Johnston, Keegan Pereira, and Scott Tupper each picked up their second goals of the tournament in the win.
After two games, Canada sits comfortably in first place in Pool A with six points. The United States and Chile are tied in second with 3 points each, while Barbados is winless in fourth place.
The Canadian men face Barbados in the final pool game on Tuesday, March 28 at 2:45pm PT/5:45pm ET.
Canada severely out chanced the Chileans on Sunday and in the end were rewarded with a convincing victory.
Despite myriad chances and five penalty corners in the first half, it wasn’t until the second half, however, that the goal scoring began.
And to most everyone’s surprise, it was Chile catching Canada off guard and opening the scoring in the 32nd minute.
A solo dash from Martin Rodriguez, who fired the ball off the post, resulted in Jose Moldanado putting the rebound past Antoni Kindler, who picked up his first start and win of the competition.
The goal could have put a scare into the Canadians, who had controlled the game up until that point. Instead, Canada remained composed and continued to press.
They were rewarded in the 40th minute when Balraj Panesar muscled his way into the Chilean circle and earned a corner, which was Canada’s’ sixth of the game.
The corner was not executed to perfection, but the Canadians followed up the play and after a handful of chances in the first half, Pearson picked up his first of the game at the side of the goal to tie the game at one.
A minute later, Canada earned its 7th corner and Johnston put a hard flick by the keeper Henriquez to give Canada its first lead of the game.
And the Canadians did not look back from that point.
Pearson got his second of the game in the 44th minute after Tupper flick on a corner was stopped and he tapped in the rebound.
Pereira and Tupper scored in the fourth quarter en route to the 5-1 win.
Field Hockey Canada media release
USMNT Logs 7 Goals in 60 Minutes to Present Barbados with Second Event
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, Tacarigua – Situated in Pool A, the second day of 2017 FIH Hockey World League Round 2 saw a turf battle between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Barbados. With both teams collecting losses on the opening day of the competition, the international squads were eager to notch a victorious performance. The red, white and blue prevailed with a frenzy of goals to make the final score USA 7, Barbados 1.
From Barbados’ pushback, USMNT’s Adam Miller (Panama City, Fla.) quickly sniped the ball off an opponent’s stick to send a pass through to Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) who broke into the attacking circle in the opening seconds of the game. An aggressive attack mindset was developed and continued to grow throughout the entire match. Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.) found a Barbados foot to grab USA’s first penalty corner. Taking the direct shot from the top, Holt’s signature drag flick was absorbed by the Barbados goalkeeper.
Continuing to more forward, Harris consciously held onto the ball longer at the top of the circle to draw in a Barbados defender leaving Tyler Sundeen (Simi Valley, Calif.) free for a clean shot. Sundeen’s diving effort slid past the left post, nearly lighting up the scoreboard. These moments of attacking pressure stacked up until Harris cranked a sharp strike from the top of the circle into the goal in the 10th minute. From there, Team USA piled on the goals from Sundeen in the 11th minute, Holt in the 20th minute and Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) in the 28th minute to create a score of USA 4, Barbados 0 at halftime.
The USMNT’s forward thinking mentality didn’t dip in the final 30 minutes of the match. USMNT striker Nick Molcsan (Wanganui, New Zealand) sent through a precision reserve hit on target changing the score to USA 5, Barbados 0. Harris was able to scoop up the initial shot off a corner to redirect the rebound into the net in the 50th minute to bring the USA to a six goal lead. The few chances Barbados were given to capitalize in their attacking circle were shut down until USMNT defender Ruben Van Dam (Varkenswaard, The Netherlands) attempted to channel a fast Barbados attacker out of the USA’s defense. Van Dam’s illegal reach in the defensive circle resulted in a penalty stroke for Barbados, and Che Warner’s low, direct push put Barbados on the scoreboard in the 53rd minute. Responding to the opponent’s goal, Amardeep Khokar (Valencia, Calif.) repositioned himself to tip a ball into the net from the lower, left side of the goal to end the game with seven goals on the official match sheet for Team USA.
With one win and a loss at the FIH Hockey World League Round 2, the USMNT will be back on the turf Tuesday, March 28 at 3:30 p.m. EST to finish pool play against Chile.
USFHA media release
Canada and Japan impress on Day 1 in Tacarigua
Men’s Hockey World League Round 2 event in Trinidad & Tobago gets underway
Canada (FIH Hero World Ranking: 11) got their FIH Men’s Hockey World League Round II campaign off to a solid start in Pool A with a 4-2 victory over neighbours USA (WR: 29) on Saturday (25 March 2017) at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua, Trinidad & Tobago.
Keegan Pereira converted a penalty corner in the tenth minute, followed by a cheeky scoop over USA goalkeeper Brandon Karess by Gabriel Ho-Garcia nine minutes later for Canada to take a comfortable 2-0 lead at half time.
Early into the third quarter Canada went three up when skipper Scott Tupper gave Karess little chance from the penalty spot in the 44th minute.
The Americans pulled one back two minutes later when William Holt converted from another penalty corner.
In the 55th minute Canada went 4-1 up when Gordon Johnson scored from yet another penalty corner before USA’s Rueben van Dam scored almost immediately after the restart for a 4-2 final score.
Also in Pool A, Chile (WR: 26) overcame a strong display from Barbados (WR: 49) before emerging as 2-1 winners in the second match of the day.
Diego Ordonez scored for Chile in the 10th minute, hitting a bullet past Barbados goalkeeper Andre Boyce.
Khodi Akeem Rudder levelled the score for Barbados swinging a penalty corner high into the net in the 42nd minute.
However, Chile grabbed the winner four minutes later after a blunder by Boyce, who miskicked a through ball, only to see Ricardo Achondo crash his shot onto the backboard in the 46th.
In Pool B, Japan (WR: 16) made a superb start with a 3-0 win over Switzerland (WR: 30) thanks to a hat-trick from prolific striker Kenta Tanaka.
Tanaka needed just three minutes to open his account, sprinting down the right flank and, before Swiss goalkeeper Jonas Verest could compose himself, Tanaka had slammed the ball against the far sideboard.
The first minute of the second period saw Tanaka doing it again with a similar run, giving Verest just as little chance as the first item.
In the 34th minute the speedy Tanaka was at it again, outpacing a hapless Switzerland defence to beat Verest for his hat-trick.
The final match of the day saw hosts Trinidad & Tobago (WR: 33) in action but they failed to start the competition with a victory, going down 3-1 to Russia (WR: 22).
Striker Marcus James opened the scoring for T&T in the third minute to the delight of their supporters, a lead the local team held for 25 minutes.
However, the 500-strong crowd was quieted when Anton Kornilov got the equalizer, beating goalkeeper Andre Rocke with a deft flick.
Denis Shchipachev converted a penalty corner in the 37th minute before Marat Matkovskiy sealed the issue two minutes before the end.
After the match T&T captain Darren Cowie said: “The guys played according to plan but a few mistakes, one by me, cost us the match. Russia punished us for those errors.”
Like all the Round 2 events, the competition in Tacarigua – which is located around 20 kilometers inland from capital city Port of Spain – consists of teams that came through the first phase of the competition and nations 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 World League at the Semi-Final stage of the Hockey World League which will take place in this summer.
The top two finishers from the men’s Round 2 events in Dhaka (4-12 Mar 2017), Belfast (11-19 Mar 2017) and Tacarigua, (25 Mar-2 Apr 2017) are certain to qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, being joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events. Malaysia and China took the top two places at the event in Dhaka, with Egypt (FIH Hero World Ranking: 20) finishing in third place. In Belfast, Ireland claimed a first place finish ahead of France, with Scotland (WR: 27) taking third position.
You can keep track of the tournament in Tacarigua on the official competition pages by clicking here and on FIH’s social media channels using the #HWL2017 hashtag.
Russia whip local stickmen
By Mark Pouchet
Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men’s hockey coach Glen “Fido” Francis believes a few missed opportunities and some quality saves by Russia goalkeeper Marat Gafarov was the main difference that prevented the local hockey men from gaining a point Saturday night when they lost 3-1 to Russia.
“We were playing a team (Russia) that was ranked 22nd in the World and the last time we lost 6-1. This time we were much more competitive. We also had a lot of opportunities and we didn’t put them away or the goalkeeper had to make some excellent saves,” Fido said.
Francis said the guys gained some confidence and analysed the game in a team meeting yesterday morning
Back on Saturday night in front of vociferous home support that numbered over 500, T&T got off to a great start when Marcus James was at full stretch to divert the ball in the Russian goal in the third minute.
The T&T squad, with captain Darren Cowie at last stopper, and the enigmatic Kwandwane Browne at first stopper, managed to hold formation and control that tempo for long periods of the game including approaching half-time. But for sure both teams were still attack-minded to create threatening opportunities.
For T&T, Browne had embarked on a weaving, deft-dribbling run from the T&T half all the way past three Russian players through the middle of the recently-repaired turf to the top of the penalty area where he flicked wide of the mark.
T&T dodged a bullet three minutes earlier as Alexander Korolev weaved his way though the defence but got called for an infraction in the penalty area. Australia-based Stefan Mouttet and Daniel Byer combined to pressure Russia into conceding a penalty corner.
Unfortunately for T&T, the Russians counter-attacked effectively from the breakdown of that play, taking advantage of catching the hosts out of position for the first time, resulting in Anton Kornilov converting for the equaliser in the 28th minute. In the third quarter, Browne saw a close range slap parried to safety by Gafarov before Browne turned away Korolev’s close-range effort in the 36th minute.
But Russia’s Denis Shcihpachev slotted home in the 37th for a 2-1 Russia lead while Gafarov showed great instinct again to turn away a Tariq Marcano drive three metres from the Russia goal line. Gafarov frustrated T&T again in the 47th when he blocked a Browne goalward volley, before Marat Khairullin sealed the win for the Russians with a 58th minute item.
USA 7 (Pat Harris 10th, 50th, Tyler Sundeen 11th, William Holt 20th, Aki Kaepeller 28th, Nick Molcsan 39th, Amardeep Khokar 57th) vs Barbados 1 (Che Warner 53rd)
Chile 1 (Jose Maldonado 32nd) vs Canada 5 (Mark Pearson 40th, 44th, Gordon Johnston 41st, Keegan Pereira 47th, Scott Tupper 50th)
Japan 3 (Kenta Tanaka 14th, 15th, Kantaro Fukuda 22nd) vs Russia 1 ( Alexander Skiperskiy 54th)
T&T 1 (Marcus James 3rd) vs Russia 3 (Anton Kornilov 28th, Denis Shcihpachev 37th, Marat Khairullin 58th)
Japan 3 (Kenta Tanaka 3rd, 15th, 34th) vs Switzerland 0
Trinidad & Tobago Express
T&T stickwomen off to Canada
By Mark Pouchet
'LISTEN HERE’: In this file photo, Brian Garcia, centre, head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s senior team, discusses strategy with his charges prior to the start of the Junior Women Pan American Hockey Championships last year.
Trinidad and Tobago head coach of the senior women’s hockey team, Brian Garcia, is optimistic of a solid performance at the FIH Women’s World League Round 2 which takes place in West Vancouver, Canada, from April 1-9.
The local members of the 18-woman team fly tomorrow with the technical staff in preparation for their opening game against Chile in the seven-team tournament. France withdrew from the tournament.
T&T will be in Group B along with Canada, Chile and Mexico while Group A features Rio Olympics team and top-seed India, Belarus and Uruguay.
“We are really optimistic, given the strength we have right now and given the players coming back into the team, the foreign-based players and some of the local players returning, the girls are really looking forward to it and as a fraternity we are pretty excited,” said Garcia, a former national senior men’s team player.
Midfielder Kristin Abreu (Northeastern University/Boston), wing/centre back Katherine Benjamin, who plays her trade in the Premier Division in England and forward/midfielder Kimberly Young, who plays professionally in New Zealand will join the squad in Canada and are expected to add strength and quality.
Also making a return to national team duties is captain Patricia Wright-Alexis, who missed the FIH Women’s World League Round 1 competition in Salamanca, Mexico due to pregnancy, and Kwylan Jagassar. Amanda Tang Nian and Samantha Olton will make their senior team debut this tournament.
“So this group is way stronger than the team to Mexico last September,” Garcia assessed, “There is a nice mix of experience and youth and we have some more dynamic players coming into the team as well.”
Besides the top-drawer teams, (Team TT) will also have to contend with cold conditions, with temperatures set to vary from five to 12 degrees throughout the tournament.
“That is going to be a major challenge but it is a challenge we will need to come up to speed with because some of the girls have never played in this type of conditions but that is what international sport is about, morphing to the conditions and putting your most competitive foot forward,” Garcia explained.
Garcia expects this competition to be a gauge for T&T women’s hockey to see how they fare against tougher opponents like Chile, Uruguay and Canada in the Pan Am region and against Belarus and India on the world scene.
The top two teams from this tournament will advance to the semifinal stage of the FIH World League. Garcia believes T&T has an outside shot with India being prohibitive favourites.
“India with their experience and background and level of competitions they have played, they will be definitely the favourites to cop the top spot. Canada is in a rebuilding phase and we normally do well against Canada, T&T has met Canada twice in the last seven years and defeated them at the 2010 Pan Am Cup (3-2) before losing to the Maple Leaf at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (3-1) .
“So we hope something could go our way through the additional quality, we hope we get some favourable results...and as we get more used to the conditions as the tournament progresses, anything can happen,” Garcia said, adding that the women team had been training since October last year with just a five-day break for Carnival.
SQUAD: Kristin Abreu, Katherine Benjamin, Petal Derry (goalkeeper), Chelsea Dey, Kayla Marie Escayg (goalkeeper), Brittney Hingh, Zene Henry, Kwylan Jagassar, Felicia King, Sekayi Liburd, Yesenia Luces, Fiona O’Brien, Saarah Olton, Samantha Olton, Anya Sealy, Amanda Tang Nian, Patricia Wright-Alexis (captain), Kimberly Young
Brian Garcia (head coach), Solomon Eccles (assistant coach), Garth Baptiste (manager), Kemoy Clarke (assistant manager), Derek Ashby (trainer), Karielle De Bique (physiotherapist), Nicholas Baldeosingh (video analyst)
Trinidad & Tobago Express
Canadian women sweep three-game World League 2 prep series
Canada’s women celebrate a goal in a 3-1 victory over India, March 26, 2017 in West Vancouver, BC (By Blair Shier)
Canada’s women’s field hockey team is headed into next week’s Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 on a high after winning its third of three pre-tournament matches 3-1 against India Sunday in West Vancouver.
The win over 12th ranked India – which will be the top ranked team at World League 2 next week – was Canada’s third in pre-competition play. Canada, which currently sits 19th in the World Rankings, took two games from Chile, 19th, earlier this week and ends the pre-World League series undefeated.
“Wins obviously give us confidence, but we know that at the end of the day we need to start fresh when we enter the tournament,” says Canadian goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams, who picked up her second pre-tournament win on Sunday. “We start every game, every half, every quarter with the mentality that it’s 0-0. It definitely gives us confidence knowing that we can perform well in these games, but we’ll look to make improvements and keep it going for the tournament itself.”
On Sunday, after Canada came out of the gates firing on all cylinders and putting India on its heels, Nikki Woodcroft opened on the scoring on a deft redirected in the 8th minute.
That was followed up with a 19th minute backhand goal from Steph Norlander, who was sent on a partial break and scored her third of the series.
And after India got one in the second half and began to creep back into the game, Karli Johansen – who was celebrating her 25th birthday – put the game away with a drag flick goal in the 49th minute.
The win against India marks another accomplishment for Canada’s women, who have been steadily improving since coach Ian Rutledge took over four years ago.
First, it was a medal (bronze) at the 2015 Pan American Games, the first Canada’s women had earned at the Games since 1999.
Canada was able to crack the top twenty in the world rankings shortly after. And then, playing in a tournament with 7 Olympic-bound teams, Canada managed to upset top-10 side Korea at the 2016 Hawke’s Bay Cup.
Canada finished 2016 with two matches against India, who were headed to the Olympic Games. The Canadian women lost both those games, and having landed in World League Round 2 with India, knew that Sunday’s pre-tournament match would be a barometer of how far they’ve come in the last half year plus.
“We were really wanting to come out hard,” says Women’s National Team captain Kate Wright (Gillis). “We played India before the Olympics last year and we had some really tight games. So we really wanted to nail down the foundation that we’re building upon.
“We’ve done a lot of hard work over the fall and we wanted to really put that in play. And show them how much we’ve improved.”
It could be considered mission accomplished. But ask every one of Canada’s women and they will say this is just the beginning. The real prize is World Cup qualification, and to even have a chance at that, Canada will have to finish in the top two at Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 in West Vancouver, which kicks off on April 1st.
And to do that, they will once again need to get by Chile (who they face in the second pool match) and India, who they could match-up against in a cross-over playoff game. And after this week’s prep series, there is no doubt the Canada would welcome the challenge.
Canada opens Gryphon Hockey World League Round 2 on Saturday April 1st against Mexico at 4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET.
Field Hockey Canada media release
India women lose to Canada 1-3 ahead of Hockey World League
WEST VANCOUVER: The Indian women's hockey team went down to Canada 1-3 in their second match ahead of the Women's Hockey World League Round 2 here.
Canada struck in the eighth minute as Nikki Woodcroft scored a field goal to take a 1-0 lead. Stephanie Norlander doubled the lead in the second quarter in the 19th minute that put the hosts in the drivers seat. At half time, Canada were comfortably placed at 2-0.
It was the third quarter when the visiting side pulled one back with a penalty corner conversion by Gurjit Kaur. The 34th minute goal gave India a shot at coming back in the game. But, Karli Johansen's 49th minute goal sealed the fate of the game as India lost 1-3.
India begin their World League Round 2 campaign on April 1 against Uruguay in their Pool A encounter.
The Times of India
India draw with Chile 2-2 ahead of Women's HWL
WEST VANCOUVER: The Indian women's team drew with Chile 2-2 in a closely-fought first match here on a cold evening ahead of the all-important Women's Hockey World League Round 2.
It was Chile who got off to a positive start with an 18th minute field goal by Agustina Venegas to take a 1-0 lead. It didn't help India's cause when Renuka Yadav was handed a green card only a minute before Chile converted the goal.
But India held their nerves to score an equalizer in the 35th minute. Anupa Barla was responsible for the team's first goal through a successful penalty corner. Almost immediately, Vandana Katariya scored a stunning field goal in the 36th minute to give them a 2-1 lead.
Though the Indian team led by Ritu Rani put up a good defence to restrict Chile from the striking circle, a foot-foul led to Chile being awarded a penalty corner. Agustina Venegas made complete use of the opportunity to successfully convert the PC in the 53rd minute to draw the match 2-2.
India will next meet Canada in their next match before they begin their World League Round 2 campaign on April 1 against Uruguay in their Pool A encounter.
The Times of India
Dragons pegged back as Racing close in
KHC Dragons and Royal Leopold shared an incredible 5-5 draw on day 18 of the Belgian Audi Hockey League on Sunday, trimming the former’s lead to a single point.
The Antwerp side – who will host the EHL FINAL4 – were trailing badly at 3-1 in the 35th minute after early goals from Max Plennevaux, Dimitri Cuvelier and Glenn Turner.
But Dragons quickly worked their way back into the game with goals from Robert Rubens and Henri Raes to get back to 3-3. Arthur Verdussen restored Leo’s lead only for Jeffrey Thys and Alexander Hendrikx to put Dargons in front for the first time at 5-4 with six minutes to go.
Plennevaux’s corner, however, saw Leopold land the draw but, ultimately, lose a couple of points in their chase for fourth place.
Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles came back from 3-1 down to beat Oree 6-3 with Cedric Charlier scoring a hat-trick and Jerome Truyens netting twice. It moves them back up to second place, one point behind Dragons, ahead of the Waterloo Ducks.
The Ducks lost 4-3 to Herakles, a result that strengthens the victors claim to a playoff place as they put six points between them and Leopold.
Euro Hockey League media release
Canterbury face relegation play-offs after Brooklands MU loss
Team Bath Buccaneers, March 26 2017
Brooklands Manchester University guaranteed their Premier Division status for next season with a 3-2 defeat of fellow strugglers Canterbury as the Men’s Hockey League reached a thrilling finale.
Canterbury needed to win to avoid the relegation play-offs, but Brooklands took the lead after 22 minutes as Peter Flanagan found the net.
After the break, Dave Flanagan doubled their advantage but Craig Boyne gave Canterbury hope with a strike in the 42nd minute.
Ross Hall made it 3-1 on 53 minutes and although Boyne pulled another back for Canterbury, it wasn’t to be enough.
Wimbledon finish top of the table but had to settle for a point against fellow play-off qualifiers Surbiton on the last day of the season, drawing 3-3 despite having taken a 3-0 lead.
Goals from Phillip Ball, Johnny Kinder and Borja Llorens appeared to have put Wimbledon on the path to victory, but Arjan Drayton Chana, Gareth Furlong and then Luke Noblett scored to earn Surbiton a share of the spoils.
Already relegated Loughborough Students suffered a 6-1 home defeat at the hands of Reading.
James Carson and Ben Boon both scored twice for Reading with Kiran Patel and Rhys Doherty also on target. Elliot Smith scored the consolation for Loughborough.
The other two sides to qualify for the play-offs, Holcombe and Hampstead and Westminster, drew 3-3.
Ian Harvey, Gareth Andrew and Samuel Ward struck for Holcombe whilst Jonny Codling, Samuel French and Peter Makin scored for Hampstead.
Beeston moved ahead of East Grinstead into fifth in the final standings by defeating them 2-0, Richard Lawrence and Joe Sharp the goal heroes in the second half.
Men’s Conference East
Sevenoaks claimed the Conference East title - and a place in the promotion play-offs - in dramatic style after a 3-2 victory in their winner-takes-all match at Teddington.
Andrew Ross twice gave Sevenoaks the lead, only for Tim Davenport and Phil Lewis to hit back for the hosts.
A draw would have seen Teddington claim top spot, but Andrew Ross completed his hat trick two minutes from time with his 21st and most important goal of the campaign to give Sevenoaks the decisive win.
At the other end of the table, Indian Gymkhana won 4-2 at Wapping to ensure they will fight for survival in the relegation play off.
Hayden Beltz (2), Marius Gemmel and Marcus Mahne scored for the visitors, condemning Wapping to relegation, despite a brace from Ben Bull reducing the arrears to 3-2.
Elsewhere, Southgate finished third on goal difference as two goals from Simeon Bird helped them to a 4-2 home win over Brighton and Hove.
Cambridge City finished their season with a 5-2 win against Oxted, whilst Richmond beat West Herts 3-2.
Men’s Conference North
Bottom of the table Leek came up just short in their battle against relegation from the Men’s Conference North.
Going into the game they needed a win and an eight-goal swing to overturn the deficit to ninth-placed Oxton, and the Staffordshire side gave themselves a fighting chance as they beat Olton & West Warwicks 5-3, Richard Cordon scoring a hat trick.
Bowdon comprehensively defeated Oxton 8-3, Oliver Stoddart scoring five times to tie as the division’s leading goal scorer.
However, the seven-goal swing meant that Leek were still relegated on goals scored, Oxton living to fight another day in the relegation play-offs.
Durham University captain Rory Patterson collects the trophy, March 26 2017
The University of Durham (pictured above) go into the promotion play-offs having won every league game this season after completing the perfect 18 wins from 18 games with a 3-2 defeat of Cannock.
Elsewhere there were final day wins for Doncaster over Preston, and Deeside Ramblers over Sheffield Hallam.
Men’s Conference West
Team Bath Buccaneers complete the promotion play-off line up after they took the Men’s Conference West title after a 7-0 home win over Cheltenham.
Realistically, a win was always likely to be enough for Bath barring a miraculous goal-swing and they saw the job through in style, Adam Croutear getting a hat trick and Ben Stone scoring two, while William Hewer and Stuart Rushmere were also on target.
As Team Bath wrapped up the division, chasers the University of Exeter and Cardiff and Met played out an exciting 4-4 draw, two goals in a minute from Owain Dolan Gray and Luke Hawker earned Cardiff a point.
Fareham face the relegation play offs after falling to a 5-3 defeat on the final day of the season at the University of Birmingham, George Sweeting netting twice for the hosts.
Isca would have faced the relegation play offs instead if not for a 68th minute penalty corner from Simon Tremlett which earned them a 1-1 draw at University of Bristol.
Three goals in the first seven minutes helped Chichester secure an impressive 5-0 home victory over Old Georgians to also avoid the relegation play offs.
Men’s Hockey League (Sunday 26 March, 2017):
Men's Premier Division: Beeston 2, East Grinstead 0; Canterbury 2, Brooklands MU 3; Hampstead and Westminster 3, Holcombe 3; Loughborough Students 1, Reading 6; Surbiton 3, Wimbledon 3.
Men’s Conference East: Cambridge City 5, Oxted 2; Richmond 3, West Herts 2; Southgate 4, Brighton and Hove 2; Teddington 2, Sevenoaks 3; Wapping 2, Indian Gymkhana 4.
Men’s Conference North: Bowdon 8, Oxton 3; Deeside Ramblers 4, Sheffield Hallam 1; Doncaster 6, Preston 2; Leek 5, Olton & West Warwicks 3; University of Durham 3, Cannock 2.
Men’s Conference West: Chichester 5, Old Georgians 0; Team Bath Buccaneers 7, Cheltenham 0; University of Birmingham 5, Fareham 3; University of Bristol 1, Isca 1; University of Exeter 4, Cardiff & Met 4.
England Hockey Board Media release
Irish Women's EYHL Weekend Round Up
The end of season showdown for the women’s EY Hockey League title between UCD and Hermes-Monkstown has been set after the two sides both won their respective games on week 17 of the season.
UCD were made to wait before eventually striking twice in the last quarter against eighth place Belfast Harlequins to win 2-0 at St Joseph’s Cluny, Emma Duncan and Emma Russell on the mark.
Hermes-Monkstown, meanwhile, swept passed Pembroke 4-0 with doubles from international duo Nikki Evans and Anna O’Flanagan to record their 14th win from 16th games this term.
It means UCD lead the way by a point but Hermes-Monkstown have a game in hand – against Pegasus on April 1 – before the sides meet at the Merrion Fleet Arena on the last day of the campaign on April 8.
Cork Harlequins and Loreto will join the leading duo in the EY Champions Trophy playoffs following their wins over Ards and Ulster Elks, respectively.
Quins were grateful to Olivia Roycroft’s 62nd minute drag-flick to power their win after Karen Bateman and Becky Weir exchanged goals.
Loreto beat Elks 6-1 with Jessica McGirr scoring her second hat trick in three games in a one-sided tie. The Beaufort side are fourth as a result while Elks are relegated just 12 month since they won the Irish Senior Cup.
Pegasus beat Railway Union 2-1 with Hannah Craig scoring twice in the closing quarter to overturn a deficit created by Zara Delany’s opening goal.
The results elsewhere, however, mean that their respective playoff hopes came to an end with a game to spare.
Next weekend sees Cork Harlequins and UCD meet in the Irish Senior Cup at Belfield at 1pm on Sunday, April 2.
Women’s EY Hockey League – day 17 results
Pegasus 2 (H Craig 2) Railway Union 1 (Z Delany); Cork Harlequins 2 (K Bateman, O Roycroft) Ards 1 (B Weir); Loreto 6 (J McGirr 3, N Small 2, H Mulcahy) Ulster Elks 1 (C Mitchell); UCD 2 (E Duncan, E Russell) Belfast Harlequins 0; Hermes-Monkstown 4 (A O’Flanagan 2, N Evans 2) Pembroke 0
Day 17 – extended reports
Cork Harlequins 2 (K Bateman, O Roycroft) Ards 1 (B Weir)
Olivia Roycroft scored a final quarter penalty corner to rubber-stamp Cork Harlequins place in the EY Hockey League Champions Trophy playoffs with a game to spare.A topsy-turvy first quarter saw Harlequins start the brighter with some good possession but it wasn’t long until Ards came into the game with Kerri McDonald showing well in central midfield.
Ards forced their first penalty corner after 10 minutes which they were unable to convert. Quins then started to gain more of a foothold in midfield and won their first penalty corner in the last minute of the quarter. Karen Bateman stepped up to fire past Naomi McKnight in the Ards goal to make it 1-0 at the first break.
The second quarter provided more of the same with neither side retaining the ball well despite the best efforts of Yvonne O’Byrne for Quins and Kerri McDonald for the visitors.Indeed O’Byrne thought she deflected home from Quins second penalty corner to make it 2-0 only to see her effort somehow not cross the line.
Almost immediately Ards won their second penalty corner and, this time, they made no mistake with Rebecca Weir deflecting home in the 22nd minute to make it 1-1. The second half was tense with the home side showing more intent as Rebecca Barry, Olivia Roycroft and Michelle Barry all caused problems for the Ards defence.
Eventually, Quins won a corner with eight minutes to go which Roycroft dragged home for 2-1. Despite all the possession enjoyed by the home side, Ards bounced back and had two penalty corners of themselves in the last five minutes of the game. They were unable to capitalise and the game ended 2-1 to Quins.
Loreto 6 (J McGirr 3, N Small 2, H Mulcahy) Ulster Elks 1 (C Mitchell)
Jessica McGirr scored her second hat trick in three games as Loreto completed the EY Champions Trophy line-up with an impressive 6-1 win over Ulster Elks who were relegated as a result.The Beaufort side were straight out of the blocks in the first quarter, building a 3-0 lead. Ali Meeke, as she has done all season, worked tirelessly in midfield, with her skill and endless running. It helped her side produce goals in quick succession from Jessica McGirr, Niamh small and Hayley Mulcahy.
McGirr’s second came just before half-time with Mulcahy and Sarah Evans exploiting a hole in the Elks midfield to set up another goal.
Elks enjoyed a more promising second half with Shirley McCay impressing from the back, urging her side forward while Robyn Chambers and Erin Anderson starting to find some room.
Some slick passing through the midfield duly got a goal through Danni Wilson. But, with the game was just about over, a tiring Elks defence let through McGirr for her third of the game and a second for Niamh Small.
UCD 2 (E Duncan, E Russell) Belfast Harlequins 0
UCD ensured the women’s EY Hockey League regular season title – and a place in Europe – will go down to the wire as they scored twice in the closing quarter to beat Belfast Harlequins 2-0.In the early stages, UCD created several good opportunities from the start of the whistle but strong defensive circle play from Belfast Harlequins kept them out. Lena Tice had a drag flick from the only corner of the quarter which was well saved from the Quins keeper.
Into the second quarter, Gemma Frazer broke through the centre of the pitch beating several UCD players and had a shot that was just wide of the goal. The visitors continued to work the ball well down the channels but UCD defenders stepped out to make several strong tackles, ending the first half scoreless.
Indeed, the northern side came out hungry in the second half, creating several counter attacks. Clodagh Cassin made some great saves to keep her side in front.And it paid dividends down the finals stretch as the table-topping students finally got in front when Deidre Duke played a great pass to Emma Duncan on the penalty spot who lifted it over the keeper and found the back of the net.And the points were secured when UCD worked the ball down the left-hand side and played it to Emma Russell who cut infield to score with a beautiful strike off the top of the circle.
Hermes-Monkstown 4 (A O’Flanagan 2, N Evans 2) Pembroke 0
Three first half goals from Hermes-Monkstown saw them ease to a 14th win out of 16 games this season to keep the pressure up on UCD with the destination of the regular season crown going to the final day.
Nikki Evans opened the scoring early on before she got her second in the second quarter on her backhand, adding to one from Anna O’Flanagan – her 50th goal across club and country games this season – with a power-slap. O’Flanagan added a fourth goal in the third quarter to close out the win.
Hermes-Monkstown have the chance to go top next week when they meet Pegasus on April 1. A win or draw will give them the advantage going into their league-deciding date with UCD on April 8 while a loss will put the students in pole position.
Pegasus 2 (H Craig 2) Railway Union 1 (Z Delany)
Pegasus came from a goal down to beat Railway Union 2-1 in the early game at Jordanstown but the results elsewhere meant that neither side ended the day with playoff hopes still intact. Zara Delany scored the only goal of a very even first half in the 20th minute.Pegasus, though, turned things around in the second half with Hannah Craig equalising in the third quarter before grabbing the winner in the closing stages.
Irish Hockey Association media release
Irish Men's EYHL Weekend Round Up
Three Rock Rovers moved top of the men’s EY Hockey League with back-to-back wins over the weekend, winning a controversial tie with Pembroke on Saturday before running up a 4-1 victory over Instonians.
It means they lead the way from Banbridge by a point but have played a game extra than the Co Down side.
Rovers’s Saturday win came courtesy of a last minute penalty corner goal from Luke Madeley, dragging home from a hotly debated set piece.
Three Rock had led 3-0 after 19 minutes but Pembroke fought back via Harry Spain, Kirk Shimmins and Alan Sothern to level with 25 minutes to go before the late drama. Sunday’s win was a simpler affair, Mitch Darling scoring twice in a 4-1 result.
For Inst, that compounded a rough weekend, falling 6-0 on Saturday to Railway Union, leaving them seven points adrift at the bottom with only four games left.
Banbridge summoned a late winner, too, as they beat Cork C of I 2-1 in Garryduff with Fraser Mills grabbing the vital goal.
Neil Gilmore scored a very early first goal only for Julian Dale to tie things up at 1-1 at half-time before Mills won the day.
The result gave Monkstown the chance to return to the top four and they did so in emphatic style, hammering UCD 8-1 with seven different scorers on the mark.
Lisnagarvey stay in third place, four points off leaders Rovers, thanks to a 4-0 win over Glenanne at Comber Road with James Lorimer netting a double.
Next week sees a reduced schedule with only three games on the card due to Sunday’s Irish Senior Cup final between Monkstown and Banbridge. In their absence, Three Rock Rovers meet Railway Union with the chance of moving four points clear at the top.
Day 15 results: Monkstown 8 (D Carson 2, A Ward, L Cole, S Hyland, K Lynch, K Smith, S Cole) UCD 1 (J Duncan); Railway Union 6 (K Springett 2, M English 2, A O’Callaghan, R Forrest) Instonians 0; Cork C of I 1 (J Dale) Banbridge 2 (F Mills, N Gilmore); Pembroke 3 (H Spain, K Shimmins, A Sothern) Three Rock Rovers 4 (B Walker, J Walker, L Madeley, C Empey); Lisnagarvey 4 (J Lorimer 2, M Nelson, N Glassey) Glenanne 0Sunday: Instonians 1 Three Rock Rovers 4 (M Darling 2, B Walker, C Empey)
Men’s EY Hockey League – day 15 round-up
Monkstown 8 (D Carson 2, A Ward, L Cole, S Hyland, K Lynch, K Smith, S Cole) UCD 1 (J Duncan)
Monkstown’s charge back into the playoff continued apace with a second big win over UCD in 2017 – the other coming in the Irish Senior Cup semi-final – as they hit the front in the third minute and never looked back. Davy Carson intercepted an aerial clearance before firing home a fiercely struck reverse-stick shot. UCD did earn four corners in that opening period but David Fitzgerald fronted up well in his first EYHL game of the season. The returning Andrew Ward made it 2-0 in the 20th minute before Stephen Cole added a stroke three minutes later for 3-0. UCD got a lifeline via Jeremy Duncan from a corner rebound but trailed 3-1 at the break. And the game was put to bed in the third quarter from a Karl Smith corner rebound and a Lee Cole finish at the back post following a flowing move. With UCD suffering two yellow cards in the closing quarter, Monkstown added more pain with further goals for Karl Lynch, Sam Hyland and Carson’s second.
Railway Union 6 (K Springett 2, M English 2, A O’Callaghan, R Forrest) Instonians 0
Railway Union moved back out of the relegation playoff place with a 6-0 win over Instonians, a result that moves them up to eighth while Inst drop seven points away from safety. Mark English put them 1-0 up at Park Avenue in the first quarter before Kieran Springett added a second with a corner drag-flick. English exchanged passes with Fergal Keaveney before banging home the third goal for a 3-0 half-time lead. Adam O’Callaghan and Richard Forrest scored in quick succession for a five-goal lead and Springett completed a vital win for the Sanymount side.
Cork C of I 1 (J Dale) Banbridge 2 (F Mills, N Gilmore)
Fraser Mills’ close range winner 10 minutes from time saw Banbridge retain their two-point lead at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League after 14 games, winning 2-1 at Garryduff in front of a large crowd. The visitors got off to a flying start when with barely a minute on the clock Dane Ward pounced on a loose ball to score past Billy Lynch. Shrew Power had the chance for a quick equaliser but, with Gareth Lennox beaten, he somehow managed to find the side netting.CI started the second quarter on the front foot and took the game to the visitors who were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. In the 21st minute, however, the hosts were awarded a penalty corner which saw Julian Dale’s flick beat Lennox via a deflection off a man on the line, 1-1 at half-time. The third quarter proved a quiet affair, setting up a big finish with both sides needing victory for their respective plights. The key moment came in the 60th minute with some quick interplay setting up Mills to tuck away the winner – C of I argued for a free on halfway when they believed they right of way in the build-up but their complaints fell on deaf ears. The Cork side did push on in the closing phases with Philip Brownlow, Philip Sweetnam and Stephen Sweetnam making lung bursting runs up front as they worked for an equaliser. But two cards for dissent stymied their progress, reducing them to nine players. They did have a series of four corners at the end but Lennox made a match-winning save from David Hobbs to claim the laurels from a cracking game.
Pembroke 3 (H Spain, K Shimmins, A Sothern) Three Rock Rovers 4 (B Walker, J Walker, L Madeley, C Empey)
Three Rock snatched a controversial late win to extend their winning run to seven games in the EYHL, keeping them within two points overnight of leaders Banbridge. They looked to be well set for the win when they built a 3-0 lead in the opening 19 minutes before Pembroke roared back into the tie before Luke Madeley’s corner won the tie. James Walker profited from an early mistake to score from play before Conor Empey added the second from a corner. Ben Walker added the third from play to have Rovers in great shape. Pembroke, though, got back into the tie via Harry Spains goal from a corner switch as the hosts belatedly picked up their game. Rovers had a couple of corners to no avail before Pembroke snatched a second before the break, again from a set piece, with Kirk Shimins on hand to push over the line. The second half was similarly open and played at a high speed, bypassing midfield regularly despite Shimmins being the most influential player. Pembroke drew level in the 46th minute when Spain drove forward and his long, accurate pass to Sothern was picked up on the edge and smashed in off Jamie Carr’s pads. For Rovers, they settled with Madeley and Jody Hosking impressing along with Harry Morris further up the pitch. There were plenty of openings for more goals but nothing clear-cut until the final minute when Pembroke were caught in possession, leading to a hotly contested corner with a Rovers playing getting a green card in the process but no change in decision. The final whistle blew and Madeley fired home to grab all three points.
Lisnagarvey 4 (J Lorimer 2, M Nelson, N Glassey) Glenanne 0
James Lorimer’s double under-pinned a 4-0 win for Lisnagarvey that keeps them well in the mix for the EY Champions Trophy playoff places and an outside sniff of top spot. They end the weekend in third place but four points off leaders Three Rock Rovers.
Irish Hockey Association media release
Little change at the top of the tables
There’s little change at the top of the Scottish National League 1 tables; in the men`s league Bromac Kelburne are still two points in front of Grange while Grove Menzieshill have the same advantage over Edinburgh University in the women`s competition.
There seems to be no stopping Bromac Kelburne in their quest to retain the first division championship, they beat bottom side Gordonians 2-0 in Aberdeen, Ross McIntyre and Josh Cairns were on target.
The Paisley side remain two points ahead of second placed Grange despite their 6-3 victory over Uddingston. The Edinburgh side opened up a two goal lead through Dominic Wild at a penalty corner and an open play strike from Irishman Frank Ryan.
The Lanarkshire side dragged themselves back into the contest with a goal by Mahmet Berry and should have reached the interval level but Steven Percy missed from the spot.
In the second half Duncan Riddell and then Ali Irvine, with a clever turn and shot, added two more for Grange, but Uddingston kept in touch through Berry again and Tom Hyndman.
With the score poised at 4-3 Grange put their foot on the pedal and sealed the three points with further strikes by Ryan again and Todd Mills with a flick that flew into the roof of the net.
Third placed Grove Menzieshill were certainly not at their best but finally managed to see off the challenge of Hillhead with a 2-1 victory.
Craig Paterson put the Glasgow side ahead at the interval with a penalty corner conversion, but the Taysiders rallied in the second half with strikes from Paul Martin with a fierce reverse stick shot and Adam Fallis with a deflection at a penalty corner for the three points.
Western Wildcats made the biggest progress of the day with a 4-0 win over Clydesdale at Titwood. As a result Harry Dunlop`s charges move up several places to fifth and now have a very realistic chance of a top four place.
The Wildcats were two up at the interval, Andrew McConnell opened with a reverse stick shot after a fast break, then Rob Harwood doubled the tally with a deflection over the goalkeeper
In the second half Adam McKenzie added a third with a penalty corner strike that went in off the goalkeeper and Niall Sommerville finished off with another deflection at a set piece.
In women`s National League 1 Grove Menzieshill maintained pole position with a 2-0 victory over city rivals Dundee Wanderers, the catalyst was two goals on either side of halt-time by Sarah Jamieson.
Edinburgh University kept up the pressure on Grove Menzieshill after beating Hillhead 11-0, Amy Brodie was the main striker with four in the victory.
Milne Craig Western remain in third spot after seeing off Kelburne 4-0, the goals came from Fiona Burnet, Fiona Bruce, Emma McGregor and Heather Howie.
Wildcats left CALA at the foot the table with a 6-1 win in Edinburgh, Emma McDermaid score twice and the others came from Lucy Findlay, Rona Stewart, Kirsten Cannon and player/coach Kareena Cuthbert.
Watsonians pulled themselves further out of the relegation zone with 5-0 win over Erskine Stewart`s Melville and they now reside in sixth place, seven points in front of the next side.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
National U16: Kirandeep Kaur leads KL title charge
By Jugjet Singh
Pic: Kirandeep Kaur
FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD Kirandeep Kaur Gurdip Singh led a dramatic Kuala Lumpur fightback to beat Sabah 4-3 in the final of the National Under-16 tournament at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium yesterday.
Sabah took a 2-0 lead but a strong second half handed Kuala Lumpur girls their first ever Under-16 title since the inception of the tournament in 2008.
Kirandeep scored two goals in the 28th and 45th minutes, while the other goals were scored by Nur Syaza Afiqah (15th), Hasya Syahida Saifuddin (34th).
Sabah were unfortunate, as they took a 2-0 lead off Cyra Cynthia Anis (11th) and Inka Shafika Juani (14th) before they collapsed under pressure. The other goal was scored by Cyra Cynthia Anis in the 33rd minute.
"When we were two goals down, there was tremendous pressure on us to make a comeback, but I kept pushing from midfield and team-work won us the title," said Kirandeep.
KL coach A. Kannagi, a former international, attributed the win to strong minds.
"My girls never gave up, and fought till the final whistle and that was what separated us from Sabah who had shown a real solid form in this tournament," said Kannagi.
RESULTS: Boys' Final -- Perak 1 Terengganu 0; Third-Fourth: Pahang 2 Sabah 1; Fifth-Sixth: Malacca 2 Negri Sembilan 0.
Girls' Final: Sabah 3 Kuala Lumpur 4; Third-Fourth: Selangor 3 Johor 1; Fifth-Sixth: Penang 5 Negri Sembilan 0.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Perak beat Terengganu to regain boys’ Under-16 title
by S. Ramaguru
Happy bunch: The Perak players and officials celebrate after beating Terengganu in the boys’ final of the MHC-Milo Under-16 hockey championships in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Perak won 1-0. —MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Perak regained the boys’ crown at the MHC-Milo Under-16 hockey championships after edging defending champions Terengganu 1-0 in the final at the KL Hockey Stadium.
It was Perak’s fourth title, having emerged champions in 2006, 2007 and 2013.
Affiful Najmi Mohd Masri was Perak’s hero, scoring a field goal after a fast counter attack in the 25th minute. Although Terengganu went all out in search of the equaliser, Perak held on to emerge champions.
Perak team manager Kulwan Singh said they used the right strategy to win the match.
“We knew that Terengganu were fast. If given the space they would be a danger to us. So we made sure that our players marked out their forwards. And we relied on counter-attacks to score.
“One such attack paid off for us. After that, we played a patient game. Credit to the players for holding out and taking the match. We are happy to regain the title after a three-year lapse,” said Kulwan.
In the girls’ category, Kuala Lumpur emerged champions for the second time when they overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Sabah 4-3. The city side were the inaugural champions in 2008.
Bidding to win the title for the first time, Sabah were all over KL and were 2-0 up after 14 minutes.
Cyra Cynthia Anis scored a field goal in the 11th minute and Inka Shafika Juani added the second – also a field goal – in the 14th minute.
But KL immediately hit back with Nur Syaza Afiqah reducing the deficit in the 15th minute with a field goal. Nur Suraya Athira Zuraimi then fired in a penalty corner goal in the 28th minute for the equaliser.
Cyra was again on target in the 33rd minute for Sabah to regain the lead. But the joy was shotlived as a minute later Hasya Syahida Saifuddin put KL back on level terms.
Midfielder Kirandeep Kaur was then rewarded for her tireless runs. She scored the winning goal in the 45th minute, much to the delight of the KL contingent.
Said KL coach A. Kanagi: “I’m glad our players did not allow the two-goal deficit to affect them. They followed the game plan and thoroughly deserved the win.”
Final: Perak 1 Terengganu 0.
Third placing: Pahang 2 Sabah 1.
Fifth placing: Malacca 2 Negri Sembilan 0.
Final: Sabah 3 Kuala Lumpur 4.
Third placing: Johor 1 Selangor 3.
Fifth placing: Negri Sembilan 0 Penang 5.
The Star of Malaysia
Bhubaneswar, India to host Men’s Hockey World League Final 2017 and Hockey Men’s World Cup 2018
Government of Odisha confirmed as Title Sponsor of both events
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Government of Odisha have today officially confirmed that the Men’s Hockey World League Final 2017 and Hockey Men’s World Cup 2018 will be held in Bhubaneswar, India.
Fans will descend upon the Kalinga Stadium to share the glory of two of hockey’s biggest events, where World League and World Cup champions will be crowned.
The venue itself is already familiar to hockey fans. Not only did it successfully host the 2014 Men’s Hero Hockey Champions Trophy, it is also home to the current champions of the Coal India Hockey India League - the Kalinga Lancers.
The multi-purpose stadium, built in 2010, has facilities for athletics, football, basketball, tennis, table-tennis and swimming, ensuring that it is well equipped to host international sporting events.
It was also confirmed that the State of Odisha will be Title Sponsor of both events. As a result, the official event titles will be the ‘Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017’ and the ‘Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018’.
The Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 takes place between 1-10 December and will welcome eight of the world’s best men’s teams who, in addition to the hosts, qualify from this summer’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals.
The Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 will take place in late November / early December in 2018 and will see 15 teams join hosts India at the event. They will qualify from the Hockey World League Semi-Finals and Continental Championships, also taking place this year.
Speaking about this announcement, FIH CEO Jason McCracken said: “India is a nation with a proud hockey heritage with a history of hosting world-class sports events. Each time we return to the country Hockey India raise the bar, embracing goals outlined in our 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy aimed at making our events innovative and exciting for our fans. We have no doubt that the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 will be unforgettable events for everyone involved.”
FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra added: “Bhubaneswar is a city ready to welcome the world. Its passionate sports fans and our experienced hosts will create an incredible environment for our stars to shine during what are the two of the biggest events in our sport. We encourage fans from across the world to come together and share the glory with their teams, each of them aiming to become world champions in these respective competitions. In doing so, fans will also get to experience first-hand the rich culture and warm hospitality offered by this amazing part of the world.”
Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Odisha, expressed that the global events will not only enthral hockey fans in the state but also help promote the sport among the younger generation. "It brings me immense pride to announce that the Government of Odisha will be hosting the prestigious Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 as well as the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. Over the years, Odisha has played host to several reputed international events and we are very happy to be hosting the hockey events in Bhubaneswar which has seen thousands of hockey fans throng the Kalinga Stadium for hockey matches be it the Coal India Hockey India League or to cheer the international teams during the international events. I am delighted that the FIH and Hockey India have chosen us as hosts and I am sure all the teams, officials and fans heading to Bhubaneswar will have a thoroughly enjoyable experience in this city which is rich in its culture, heritage and has a unique history that will provide lasting memories. I wish the participating teams the very best in their preparations and I am confident our officials with do everything in their capacity to make these mega events a big success."