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News for 23 April 2017

All the news for Sunday 23 April 2017

Azlan Shah Cup an important test for India, feels Roelant Oltmans

BENGALURU: Chief coach Roelant Oltmans feels the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will give a clear picture of where the Indian hockey team stands after working rigorously on the physical and mental aspects.

With a fresh outlook, new tactics and youngsters in the fold, the team tonight leaves for the prestigious tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia.

The tournament is the first major event in this year's international calendar for the senior men's team.

"While getting off to a good start is important, the most important thing for me is the finish - in December when we really have to be good. This tournament will give us an indication on the things we expect and test ourselves to see if the progress I expect to see is really on," Oltmans said.

India will take on Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Japan and hosts Malaysia.

While India will be vying to improve their silver medal-finish last year, beating Australia will be on the players' minds as the team has been a nemesis for long.

"Yes, in a way Australia has been a tough team to beat. Until last year they had a lot of senior players and were the most experienced team. In pressure situations, their past performances really helped them cope with that pressure and come up with good results," said captain cum goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.

He added, "But I think now, our team has experienced youngsters, who can turn the matches around. In tournaments like these its important to beat top teams like Australia so that you can develop your confidence."

While India will play with a mix of young and experienced players in the team, Australia, too, will come with a young squad.

"Australia come in as a new team, with new coaching staff a and mix of young and experienced players. We play them in the third match so we get to watch two of their matches before we play against them. That way we will get to make analyses of their game and make specific plans to play against them," stated Oltmans.

India had a 40-day long national camp where the team was put through a tough regime involving nearly five-six hours of intense training.

"We deliberately had a 40-day camp. Physically I wanted them to be at a good starting point so there was a lot of emphasis on that and I believe we have succeeded in achieving that level.

"With new players coming into the squad, the understanding between players had to grow. New style of play needed to be adapted to and the best place to get confirmations is in big tournaments and we go to Malaysia to test ourselves," concluded the 62-year-old Oltmans.

India begin their campaign against Great Britain on April 29.

The Times of India

Mental toughness key to knock out top teams, says skipper PR Sreejesh

With a fresh outlook, new tactics and youngsters in the fold, the Indian team will leave for the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tonight from the Kempegowda International Airport, here in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru: With just few days to go for the commencement of the 26th Sultan of Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, Indian men's hockey team skipper PR Sreejesh believes mental toughness can help his side to defeat top teams like Australia in the upcoming tournament.

With a fresh outlook, new tactics and youngsters in the fold, the Indian team will leave for the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tonight from the Kempegowda International Airport, here in Bengaluru.

The tournament is the first major event in this year's international calendar for the Indian Senior Men's team and getting off to a good start here will be crucial in the lead-up to an all-important year where India play the Asia Cup and Odisha Men's Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017.

"While getting off to a good start is important, the most important thing for me is the finish - in December when we really have to be good. This tournament in Malaysia will give us an indication on the things we expect and test ourselves to see if the progress I expect to see is really on," explained Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans ahead of their departure.

In Malaysia, India take on Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Japan and hosts Malaysia. While India will be vying to improve their silver medal-finish last year, beating Australia will be on their minds as the team has been a nemesis for long. At the previous edition of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, India lost the final to Australia. At the 2016 FIH Champions Trophy in London too, it was Australia who denied India the coveted gold medal in the final.

"Yes, in a way Australia has been a tough team to beat. Until last year they had a lot of senior players and were the most experienced team. In pressure situations, their past performances really helped them cope with that pressure and come up with good results. But I think now, our team has experienced youngsters, who can turn the matches around. In tournaments like these it's important to beat top teams like Australia so that you can develop your confidence," stated team captain PR Sreejesh .

The goalkeeper captain emphasized that it will be about how tough the team is mentally that will eventually decide results in the tournament.

"We have improved a lot mentally over the past year. In tough situations, in quarterfinals, we have beaten big teams and moved to semis. We need to show consistent improvement, in tough match and we need to raise the bar and perform well," he added.

While India will play with a mix of young and experienced players in the team, Australia too come in with a fresh looking squad. " Australia come in as a new team, with new coaching staff a and mix of young and experienced players. We play them in the third match so we get to watch two of their matches before we play against them. That way we will get to make analyses of their game and make specific plans to play against them," stated Oltmans.

It's an added advantage that the Indian team, equipped with a new support staff, had a 40-day long national camp where the team was put through a tough regime involving nearly five-six hours of intense training.

"We deliberately had a 40-day camp. Physically I wanted them to be at a good starting point so there was a lot of emphasis on that and I believe we have succeeded in achieving that level. With new players coming into the squad, the understanding between players had to grow. New style of play needed to be adapted to and the best place to get confirmations is in big tournaments and we go to Malaysia to test ourselves," concluded the 62-year-old Oltmans.

India will begin their campaign against Great Britain on April 29.

Zee News

Coach Stephen to gauge his players in matches against Kiwis

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: For the 23 players in the Malaysian national hockey team, the two Test matches against New Zealand will decide their fate for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

But more importantly today’s and tomorrow’s matches will give them a chance to stamp their mark for the June World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London.

National coach Stephen van Huizen said all the players will be given a chance to play before dropping four players.

“But generally we already have the team in mind and will field players with a mixed blend,” he said.

The two teams have met seven times since last year. They played in Auckland in March last year where the hosts won twice and drew once while Malaysia won once.

They also met in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup twice with the matches ending in 3-3 draws.

In November, they played in a four-nation meet in Australia and that match ended 1-1.

Four players who were left out of the World Hockey League Round Two in Dhaka will be back in action.

Haziq Mohamed Shamsul and Faizal Saari will return from injuries. Goalkeeper S. Kumar, who is a shoo-in between the posts, withdrew due to personal reasons while forward Mohamed Firhan Azhaari sat out as he got married.

The fight for places is expected to be tough.

“At this stage I will say that the door is not shut on any player. We want to pick the best possible squad from the Test,” he added.

Malaysia finished fourth in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup while New Zealand took third place last year.

The other teams in Ipoh are defending champions Australia, India and Japan.

All six teams have qualified for the World Hockey League Semi-Final.

The Star of Malaysia

30 goals netted on day 1 of the League Finals Weekend!

Women's player of the season 2017, Giselle Ansley

Investec Women’s Hockey League

Surbiton are still on course for their fourth consecutive title having beaten University of Birmingham 3-1. Holcombe will be their opponents in tomorrow’s Investec Women’s Hockey League Final after they edged past East Grinstead 2-1. Ahead of the fixture, Giselle Ansley collected her Player of the Season award, as voted for by her peers.

Bowdon Hightown secured top flight status for another season after they beat Wimbledon 3-2 in an end to end encounter. Buckingham won 1-0 against Brooklands Poynton in the first fixture of the day. The winner takes it all in tomorrow’s Play-Off fixture between Wimbledon and Buckingham, with the result influencing who has the final place in the Investec Women’s Hockey League for the 2017/18 season.  

Men’s Hockey League

Player of the season - men, Alan Forsyth

Wimbledon will be playing for their third consecutive title in tomorrow’s Final after they beat Hampstead and Westminster 2-1. They will take on Surbiton who beat Holcombe 3-2 in an action packed thriller. Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth picked up his Player of the Season award, as voted for by his peers, before the match.

Sevenoaks will be playing Premier Division hockey next season after three second half goals sealed a 3-2 victory for them over Durham University.  Team Bath Buccaneers promotion hopes were hindered after Canterbury nicked a last minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw. In order to go up, Team Bath Buccaneers must win and hope that other results go in their favour.

England Hockey Board Media release

Wimbledon book their place in Men's Hockey League Final

Simon Mantell scores, League Finals 2017

Wimbledon progressed to the Men’s Hockey League Final after a battling 2-1 win over Hampstead and Westminster in their semi-final at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

First half goals from Simon Mantell and Borja Llorens put Wimbledon into a deserved lead before Richard Alexander’s stunning strike gave Hampstead late hope. However the Euro Hockey League semi-finalists held their nerve to book their place in Sunday’s final.

Half way through the first quarter it was Wimbledon who edged ahead converting their first penalty corner of the game. A straight strike from Simon Mantell at the top of the circle was too hot for the Hampstead goalkeeper as it squeezed into the bottom corner.

Hampstead settled into the game in the second period but couldn’t capitalise on their increased possession. They were made to pay for this just before half time, Wimbledon again were at their clinical best as Llorens fired home form a penalty corner.

A flurry of yellow and green cards made for a very scrappy third quarter as both sides struggled to keep eleven players on the pitch.

Just two minutes into the final quarter Hampstead grabbed themselves a lifeline. Richard Alexander was released down the left channel before unleashing a fierce reverse stick strike from a tight angle which flew high into the net.

Wimbledon went closest to scoring the next goal and despite substituting their goalkeeper for a kicking back in the closing minutes Hampstead were unable to grab an equaliser.

Wimbledon 2 (2)
Simon Mantell, 9 (PC)
Borja Llorens, 21 (PC)

Hampstead & Westminster 1 (0)
Richard Alexander, 47 (FG)

Sunday tickets are avaliable on the gate, priced £8 and £26 adults with 7 games of top class hockey on the schedule!

England Hockey Board Media release

Surbiton's men through after winning five-goal thriller

Surbiton's men celebrate

Surbiton are through to the men's final after a pulsating five-goal thriller against Holcombe.

Surbiton dominated from the off and were unfortunate not to take the lead inside the first quarter. England and Great Britain goalkeeper George Pinner had to be at his very best to deny Richard Hildreth and David Goodfield in quick succession.

The league’s top scorer Alan Forsyth had two further sights at goal but narrowly missed with his efforts as the first quarter ended goalless.

Holcombe made an instant impact on the second quarter as Sam Ward finished beautifully into the bottom corner but they were pegged back immediately.

Arjun Drayton-Chana carried the ball from half way to the base line on his own before a fine cut back found Forsyth who beat Pinner with a rasping shot.

And the drama continued into the second half, with William Marshall turning home from a penalty corner.

Pinner then made two more cracking saves, but he couldn’t prevent David Goodfield’s superb finish from making it 3-1.

Holcombe were not easily beaten though, and Ward got a second in the final minutes to set up a grandstand finish. Holcombe went to a kicking back, and had to keep out a penalty corner without a goalkeeper!

They then thought they had their own penalty corner with 1.1seconds to go, only for the decision to be reversed as Surbiton gamely held on for victory.

Surbiton 3
Forsyth 24 (FG), Marshall 34 (PC), Goodfield 50 (FG)

Holcombe 2
Ward 22 (FG), 54 (PC)

Surbiton will play holders Wimbledon on Sunday at 1:45pm, tickets available on the day. Tickets are avaliable on the gate, priced £8 and £26 adults with 7 games of top class hockey on the schedule!

England Hockey Board Media release

Holcombe earn comeback win to make final

Holcombe's women team celebrate

Holcombe came from behind with two goals in two minutes to see off East Grinstead and make the final of the Investec Women's Hockey League.

It was a very close affair throughout, with no quarter asked or given.

Bridget Blackwood opened the scoring with a cracking finish after seven minutes, and she came closest to the game's goal just before half time, smashing narrowly over with another great strike.

Into the second half, two goals in two minutes turned the game on its head, first Emily Beeney touching home at the back post after a Quanita Bobbs drive.

Moments later, Leah Wilkinson got a decisive touch on a penalty corner to move the game in Holcombe's favour.

East Grinstead pushed valiantly for an equaliser, and had a penalty corner in the dying moments but Holcombe stood firm to make Sunday's final against Surbiton.

With 23 shots, 42 circle entries and 8 penalty corners it was a cracking advert for the Investec Women's Hockey League, and Sunday's final is bound to be one to remember.

Holcombe 2
Beeney 40 (FG)
Wilkinson 41 (PC)

East Grinstead 1
Blackwood (FG)

Sunday tickets are avaliable on the gate, priced £8 and £26 adults with 7 games of top class hockey on the schedule!

England Hockey Board Media release

Surbiton made to fight for Final place

Beckie Middleton League Finals 2017

Surbiton kept alive their dreams of winning the league for a fourth consecutive season alive after they beat University of Birmingham 3-1 in the first Investec Women’s Hockey League Semi Final.

Anna Toman thought she’d given University of Birmingham the lead in the tenth minute, smashing a fierce shot past Louisa Bray, but the goal was ruled out.  Surbiton soon started to apply their own pressure, forcing a number of penalty corners. On the third attempt Giselle Ansley got the better of Kath Sommerville, firing a drag flick in off the right post to net her 16th of the season.

University of Birmingham caught Surbiton out on the counter at the start of the second quarter and equalised through Erica Sanders. Phil Gooderham’s side broke from the back, with the ball finding Lydia Macdonell in the circle. The number 19 kept her composure and held the ball up before slipping to Sanders to fire home.  Moments later Surbiton’s lead was restored through a fantastic individual goal and took the score to 2-1 heading into half time. Beckie Middleton carved her way through the middle of the pitch, beating a number of players before smashing the ball into the roof of the net past a helpless Sommerville. 

Hannah Martin added to Surbiton’s lead in the 43rd minute, showing off some slick stick skills in the circle. The midfielder weaved her way past three defenders before applying the finish from eight yards out. University of Birmingham, in need of the next goal, came close from a penalty corner but some brave defending resulted in a goal line clearance. With seven minutes to go they resorted to a kicking back but despite their best efforts, were unable to break down a resolute Surbiton defence.

Surbiton 3 (1)
Giselle Ansley, 13 (PC)
Beckie Middleton, 24 (FG)
Hannah Martin, 43 (FG)

University of Birmingham 1 (1)
Erica Sanders, 21 (FG)

Sunday tickets are avaliable on the gate, priced £8 and £26 adults with 7 games of top class hockey on the schedule!

England Hockey Board Media release

Sevenoaks promoted and last gasp equaliser for Canterbury

Canterbury score League Finals 2017

A late Harry Roberts strike snatched a draw for Canterbury and strengthened their bid to secure Premier Division Hockey next season. With just two minutes to go Roberts found room in the Team Bath circle and unleashed a power reverse strike to level in their Men’s League Play-Off fixture at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Earlier Roberts had given Canterbury the lead before goals from John Jackson and Oliver Stone had put Bath into a 2-1 second half lead.

The opening exchanges were understandably cagey with so much riding on the fixture for both sides and the first effort on goal opened the scoring as Roberts slammed home on the reverse.

Shortly before the break Team Bath were level through Jackson whose goal bound shot deflected high into the air and over the back-peddling goalkeeper.

Five minutes into the second half and Team Bath were ahead through Stone who collected in the Canterbury circle and lifted high into the top left corner.

The Premier Division side pushed hard for an equaliser and when Roberts hit the bar it looked like it wouldn’t be their day, but he kept his composure when the ball fell his way once more and finished with aplomb, sparking wild scenes.

Bath created a golden chance to take all three points with seconds to go but were thwarted by the Stubbings in the Canterbury net.

Canterbury 2 (1)
Harry Roberts, 16, 68 (FG, FG)

Team Bath Buccaneers 2 (1)
John Jackson, 31 (FG)
Ben Stone, 44 (FG)

Sevenoaks secure promotion League FInals 2017

Sevenoaks struck with just two minutes to go as they beat Durham University 3-2 to secure promotion to the Men’s Premier League. David Smith was the hero for Sevenoaks whose reversed stick finish put his side ahead in the dying moments to send their travelling fans wild. Durham had worked their way into a 2-1 lead with 20 minutes to go after goals from Charlie Stubbings and Tom Graham but Sevenoaks comeback would later break Durham hearts.

The opening exchanges were fiercely contested with the sides largely cancelling each other out until Durham edged ahead through Stubbings, who finished strongly into an open goal.

Sevenoaks rallied after the break and were soon level as Duncan Parnis converted a penalty corner in the 44th minute. However, Durham replied with an incredible solo goal from Tom Graham. The Durham man collected the ball in his own half before slaloming between four Canterbury defenders and coolly finishing past Richard Potton in the Sevenoaks goal.

But it was to be Sevenoaks who ended the game strongest and made their pressure tell. After moving the ball quickly down the right channel possession eventually fell to Smith who took his time before making no mistake with his effort to seal the win and promotion for Sevenoaks.

Durham University 2 (1)
Charlie Stubbings, 21 (FG)
Tom Graham, 49 (FG)

Sevenoaks 3 (0)
Duncan Parnis, 44 (PC)
Andrew Ross, 63 (PC)
David Smith, 69 (FG)

The final round of Men's Hockey League Ply-Off fixtures will be played tomorrow with Canterbury and Team Bath Buccaneers still in contention for Premier Division status next season.

Sunday tickets are avaliable on the gate, priced £8 and £26 adults with 7 games of top class hockey on the schedule!

England Hockey Board Media release

Buckingham and Bowdon Hightown secure victories in round two

Buckingham v Brooklands Play-Offs 2017

Buckingham secured a 1-0 victory against Brooklands Poynton in the second round of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Play-Offs. The only goal of the game came from Katrina Nicholson, 10 minutes from time, in a cagey encounter. Both teams were in need of a win to keep promotion hopes alive, but it was Buckingham who nicked the three points.

The first half was a tight affair with few goal scoring opportunities created by either side. Buckingham dominated possession and looked most likely to score, coming closest from a penalty corner. Zoe Shipperley’s straight strike was comfortably saved by the pads of Maud Lelkens though.

Brooklands Poyton’s defence held firm with Ellen Lockhart and Kate Harris making some crucial tackles and their interceptions were able to set up counter attacks. The side from Manchester earned their first penalty corner just before half time but Tor Hughes’ strike rattled the woodwork and the score remained 0-0.
The defenders continued to come out on top in the second half, despite both teams having three penalty corners each in the space of six minutes. It was Buckingham who were finally able to break the deadlock in the 60th minute through Katrina Nicholson. The West Conference winners pressurised Brookland’s into conceding possession at the back and Nicholson was able to pounce on the ball and convert through the legs of Lelkens.

Despite Brookland’s best efforts to steal a late equaliser, they couldn’t get past Ella Jackson in the Buckingham goal and the final score stood at 1-0.

Buckingham 1 (0)
Katrina Nicholson, 60 (FG)

Brooklands Poynton 0 (0)

Bowdon Celebrate League Finals 2017

Bowdon Hightown have secured top flight status next season after beating Wimbledon 3-2 in an enthralling encounter.  At the start of the day, the sides were level on three points having both won 2-1 in their opening fixtures of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Play-Offs. It was the side from Manchester who came out on top though at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

Bowdon Hightown had the opportunity to take an early lead from the spot after a penalty stroke was awarded. Michelle Liptrot stepped up but was denied by a diving Rose Thomas in the Wimbledon goal. It wasn’t long before the Bowdon number nine had her goal though as she opened the scoring with a strike from a penalty corner in the 19th minute.

 Wimbledon immediately forced two penalty corners from the re-start and were back on level terms within three minutes. England and Great Britain international Crista Cullen netted, firing a drag flick low into the bottom corner. In an end to end encounter, Jimmy McKenna’s side restored their lead in the 25th minute through Charlene Mason. A cross from the right was deflected on to the post by Emma McCabe before Mason reacted quickest to scramble over the line. 

Bowdon Hightown made it 3-1 early in the second half when Sian French’s sweep from a penalty corner was deflected into the net by a diving Natalie Wray. Wimbledon again looked to bounce back immediately and continued to threaten from penalty corners. The battle between Cullen and Caroline Evans ensued with the goalkeeper saving with her glove. The rebound fell to injector Nikki Lloyd but she was unable to convert.   

The Manchester outfit almost put the game out of Wimbledon’s reach in the 55th minute when Wray connected with Lily Wolstenholme’s cross from the left, but her effort flashed just wide of the post. Wimbledon managed to pull a goal back when Tamsyn Naylor lifted a reverse stick strike over Evans three minutes from time to set up an exciting finish. It was too little too late for the West Conference winners though and the final score remained 3-2.

Wimbledon 2 (1)
Crista Cullen, 22 (PC)
Tamsyn Naylor, 67 (FG)

Bowdon Hightown 3 (2)
Michelle Liptrot, 19 (PC)
Charlene Mason, 25 (FG)
Nat Wray, 38 (PC)

On Sunday 23 April, the final round of fixtures will be played in the Investec Women's Hockey League Play-Offs. Bowdon Hightown will be hoping to make it three wins from three against Brooklands Poynton whilst Buckingham and Wimbledon will be battling it out to secure top flight status.

Sunday tickets are avaliable on the gate, priced £8 and £26 adults with 7 games of top class hockey on the schedule!

Team, P, W, D, L, GD, Pts
Bowdon Hightown, 2, 2, 0, 0, 2, 6
Wimbledon, 2, 1, 0, 1, 0, 3
Buckingham, 2, 1, 0, 1, 0, 3
Brooklands Poynton, 2, 0, 0, 2, -2, 0

England Hockey Board Media release

Kelburne and Edinburgh University triumph on league final day

Kelburne Mens' Champions 2017

The old adage is that it is never over until the fat lady sings - how true as Grange lost the Scottish men`s National League 1 title with a 3-2 reversal at home against Western Wildcats, Bromac Kelburne took full advantage with a 2-0 win over Edinburgh University to take the crown. No such problems for Edinburgh University in the women`s league, they retained their title with a 6-1 win over Watsonians.

Grange`s demise was certainly unexpected as the Wildcats had an up and down season, but two penalty corner strikes by Adam McKenzie set the scene for the unexpected. A further open play strike by Roshan Anderson after the break set the seal on a shock result.

While Grange were the losers, Wildcats' big victory confirmed their fourth place position in the table and a shot at the European play-offs against Kelburne.

Kelburne then faced Edinburgh University with the chance to gain their 13th title, and in a first half of few chances it was left to a penalty corner strike by Ben Peterson that gave the Paisley side a single goal lead at the interval.

The second half was a mirror of the first, but Kelburne’s retention of the title was confirmed by a cross from Lee Morton that was turned into his own net by an Edinburgh defender.

The students had their chances to rescue the game at penalty corners, but a triple save by Kelburne goalkeeper Rory Kerr kept the scoresheet blank. It was then confirmed that Kelburne were crowned champions in a sensational turn of events on the final day of the league season.

Uddingston missed out on the chance to finish in the top four after going down 3-2 to already relegated Gordonians.

Hillhead and Clydesdale both missed the chance to escape from the relegation play-offs by drawing 1-1, Danny Cain scored in the first half for the visitors while Graeme Campbell levelled for the home side after the interval.

Watsonians’ escape route was also closed when they went down 4-0 to third placed Grove Menzieshill. For the Taysiders Paul Martin scored twice and Cameron Golden and Hamish Galt got the others.

Dundee Wanderers gained the automatic promotion spot back into the first division in some style, they defeated bottom side Dundee University 11-0, Elliot Sandison scored four and there were doubles for both Bobby Ralph and Fergus Sandison.

Edin Uni Womens' Champions 2017

Edinburgh University retained the women`s National League 1 title after defeating Watsonians 6-1, they finished three points ahead of Milne Craig Clydesdale Western.

Scotland striker Amy Brodie was top scorer with a hat-trick while the other goals came from Becky Merchant, Zara Malseed and Kirsty Abraham. It was a sensational performance to round-off another successful season for the students.

Western moved into second spot with a 4-2 win over rivals Grove Menzieshill, Lucy Lanigan scored twice for the Glasgow club while former Western player Nicola Skrastin replied for the Taysiders.

In the second half Western moved into a 4-1 lead through a snap shot by Lexi Sabatelli and then Fiona Bruce added another from the spot. With four minutes to go Louise Carroll pulled one back for Grove menzieshill, but by that time it was far too late.

Wildcats consolidated fourth spot with a 2-1 win over Hillhead, Kaz Cuthbert and Heather Aitken were on target for the home side.

Dundee Wanderers moved above Watsonians into fifth place after seeing off Kelburne 4-2, there were two goals for Charlotte Watson while Emily Dark and Ruth Blaikie got the others.

Photos by Duncan Gray and Mark Pugh

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Northern score late to draw with Wellington champions Dalefield

Dane Lett scored for Dalefield.


Dane Lett scored for Dalefield.

Close results were the order of the day in both the Wellington men's and women's hockey competitions, with most of the seven games at the New Zealand National Hockey Stadium tightly contested.

Defending men's champions Dalefield were held to their third successive draw with Northern United scoring after the final hooter to make it 1-1.

Following an even first half Dalefield began to dominate and captain Dane Lett scored with a powerful drag flick.

Northern earned a last minute penalty corner and Brad Cosgrove's powerful flick was only partially stopped by Dalefield goalkeeper John Forsyth.

Four goals in five minutes marked Hutt's 2-2 draw with Harbour City. Jack Ryder put Hutt ahead at the end of the third quarter then Harbour scored twice in two minutes at the start of the fourth, through Josh Symonds and Rajan Dahya.

Almost immediately Scott Barnett equalised for Hutt and they had the better of the final 10 minutes but could not crack Harbour's defence.

Naenae beat Karori 5-3 in an entertaining game to record their first win of the season. Naenae scored early through Ben Egerton, and clung to a 2-1 lead at the break.

A penalty stroke converted by Naenae's Tom Pavitt early in the second half proved crucial and Brandon Jury then put Naenae 4-1 up. Ciaran Sim pulled one back for Karori and a late goal to each side saw Naenae's advantage maintained.

In the women's competition Harbour City went to the top of the table despite being slightly under strength. They were two goals up against Karori in the first quarter, then conceded two themselves to be level at half time. A third quarter strike to Ruby Logan was enough for a 3-2 win.

Victoria's good start to the season continued with a 1-1 draw against highly rated Eastern Hutt.

After a scoreless first hour Vic's Emily Wallace hammered home a rebound from goalie Tae Samuel's pads. Two minutes later Eastern's Alice Trail scored in similar fashion at the other end to complete the scoring.

Kapiti twice came from a goal down to beat Indians 3-2 and secure their first win of the season.

Indians went ahead after 10 minutes then Kapiti levelled from a penalty corner. The pattern was repeated in the second quarter with the sides level at halftime. Michelle Mitchell's goal shortly after the break gave Kapiti the lead for the first time and they were able to hang on to it.

Two goals in the last five minutes helped Dalefield to a 4-0 win against hard-working Toa. It was 25 minutes before centre-half Katherine van Woerkom scored with a reverse stick shot, then Brigette Mossman netted from a penalty corner. A penalty stroke to van Woerkom and a final flourish from Jenna Anderson boosted the margin.



Dalefield 1 (Dane Lett) Northern United 1 (Brad Cosgrove) HT 0-0

Harbour City 2 (Josh Symonds, Rajan Dahya) Hutt 2 (Jack Ryder, Scott Barnett) HT 0-0

Naenae 5 (Cam Ellis 2, Ben Egerton, Tom Pavitt, Brandon Jury) Karori 3 (Mitch Bradley, Ciaran Sim, Erik Poulsen) HT 2-1

The Indians v Victoria game was deferred.


Dalefield 4 (Katherine van Woerkom 2, Brigette Mossman, Jenna Anderson) Toa 0 HT 1-0

Harbour City 3 (Charlotte Eastman, Rebecca Symes, Ruby Logan) Karori 2 (Emma Brazil, Jess McFadyen) HT 2-2

Victoria 1 (Emily Wallace) Eastern Hutt 1 (Alice Trail) HT 0-0

Kapiti 3 (Emma Aitken, Emily Periam, Michelle Mitchell) Indians 2 (Jigna Chhika, Latisha Patel) HT 2-2

Points after three rounds


Victoria 8*, Hutt 5, Harbour City 5, Northern United 4, Naenae 3, Dalefield 3, Indians 3*, Karori 0

(* game in hand)


Harbour City 10, Victoria 7, Dalefield 6, Eastern Hutt 4, Kapiti 3, Karori 3, Toa 3, Indians 0


Kenya Police hammer Parklands to extend lead


Kenya Police players celebrate a goal during their Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men's Premier League match against Parklands Club at City Park Stadium on April 22, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Police maintained their perfect start to the season after thrashing Parklands Club 6-1 in a Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match at City Park Stadium on Saturday.

Earlier on at the same venue, Greensharks edged out Kenya College of Accountancy of University (KCA-U) 2-1 in a closely contested match.

In a dominant attacking display, the law enforcers tore apart the Parklands defence in the seven-goal thriller to maintain top spot in the standings with 12 points.

Police assistant coach Patrick Mugambi lauded his charges and urged them not to rest on their laurels as the season gathers momentum.

"We were ruthless in attack and did not give them room to settle. All our departments were on top. If we can keep getting such results, we will be among the title contenders," Mugambi told Sunday Nation Sport.

Police, who are looking to reclaim the title they last won in 2013, failed to breach their opponents in the opening quarter.

However, things turned at the start of the second quarter when they got a breakthrough in the 22nd minute when winger Amos Barkibirir fired in a brilliant field goal past Parklands keeper Farhad Shire.

The goal saw Police launch more attacks in a bid to extend their lead and were rewarded seven minutes later when skipper Oliver Echenje's pin-point short corner was converted by Brian Saina.


Parklands improved in the third quarter and pulled a goal back through Allan Odongo who sounded the board with Police keeper Martin Agesa stranded.
Police regained their two-goal advantage in the 36th minute as a well worked move was finished off by Samson Kibiriri.

The onslaught continued three minutes later as defender Robert Masibo got his name on the score sheet with a ferocious shot that left Shire beaten.

Two more goals followed before fulltime with Moses Cheplaiti and James Munyi piling more misery on under-fire Parklands coach Kamal Singh, whose side have just one point from their opening four matches.

"We gave them too much respect and got punished for our lapses. We have to respond in the next match," Parklands assistant coach Victor Webo said.

The Greensharks versus KCA-U saw all goals scored in the opening quarter. Sharks goal poacher Chris Muchwanju fired his side ahead in the fifth minute through a field goal. The students were levell on 12 minutes after Ken Gachara was at hand to poke home the ball.

Muchwanju had the last laugh as he scored what would be the winning goal three minutes later.

Daily Nation

Police clobber Parklands

Former hockey champions hammer helpless Parklands 6-1

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Hockey men premier Police vs green Sharks. Kenya Police player Felic Okoth(l) fights for the ball as Green Sharks player Leon Magomere when they played Men Premier League at City Park. Police scored 1-0. ON 09/04/2017 PHOTO; JENIPHER WACHIE

Former Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League champions Kenya Police yesterday hammered Parklands 6-1 in a match played at City Park Stadium.

The victory saw Police who last won the league title in 2013 remain unbeaten.

Police who are seeking to end a three-year trophy drought have been impressive this season and are yet to drop a point. Police captain Oliver Echenje said that based on this season’s format of play only winning most matches will help them reclaim their title.

“Our aim is to recapture the league title and this can only be done by winning and earning more points than our opponents. Unlike last year when we were eliminated in the playoffs, points will count this time round,” Echenje said.

Police were undoubtedly the better side as they controlled the game from the onset.

Nonetheless their attempts to get early goals were met with resilience from Parklands captain Fredrick Okeyo who stood firm in goal in place of regular keeper Farhad Shire.

Okeyo did well until the 22nd minute when Amos Barkibir breached him to break the deadlock. Shire replaced Okeyo in the 24th minute and five minutes later Brian Saina converted corner to give Police a 2-0 lead at the break.

On resumption, Allan Odongo converted a penalty corner to pull one back for Parklands in the 32nd minute.

The second half was one-sided as Police breached Parklands defence at will.

Samson Kibirir, Robert Masibo, Moses Cheplaiti and James all scored a goal each for Police in the third and fourth quarters.

In another Premier League encounter, Chris Muchwanju scored a brace to give Greensharks a 2-1 win over Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCAU). Muchwanju struck twice in the first half to give favourites Sharks the much needed victory.

Coming from a 3-3 draw against Chase Sailors last weekend, Sharks had desire for victory written all over their faces. They began their hunt for goals with earnest charging deep into KCAU’s territory. Five minutes into played heir efforts paid off as Muchwanju send the ball home past KCAU goalkeeper Collins Odongo.

Not ready to go down without a fight KCAU began their hunt for an equalizer with urgency. Ken Gachara final got it right restoring parity in the 12th minute. However, Sharks did not leave anything to chance and three minutes later Muchwanju scored the winning goal.

The Standard Online

Pak Jrs Brush Aside South Australia 3-0

In their fourth match of the Australia's National Junior Hockey Championships, Pakistan juniors easily defeated South Australia 3-0.

Pakistan led 1-0 at the half time. Afraz Khan, who had a brace in the last game, continued his rich vein of form and opened the account in the 16th minute via a field attempt.

It stayed 1-0 at the half time.

In the second half, Rizwan Ali (penalty corner) & Shahzaib Khan were the scorers.

With 9 points (3 wins & 1 defeat), Pakistan stand second in their pool, three points ahead of the third placed Queensland.

PHF Media release

Hectic five matches in 10 days for Anderson

By Jugjet Singh

ANDERSON Thunderbolts have the players to reach the final in Division One of the Junior Hockey League, provided they also overcome a hectic five-match schedule in 10 days.

The Ipoh boys will play Olak-NurInsafi Sunday at their home-base in Gunung rapat, after which they will travel down south to Bandar Penawar, then Batu Pahat, followed by matches in Kuala Lumpur and them back to Malacca -- all inside 10 days.

Even though the JHL is almost into the middle stage, Anderson has only played one match against Overall champions BJSS Thunderbolts which they won 2-1.

"Two of my players went for the Asian Schools tournament in India and so our fixtures were all delayed. The players showed great form in the match and I believe we can play in the final this season, but provided we overcome a lethargic five match tour of Malaysia in 10 days," said Anderson coach Nizam Hashim.

RESULTS -- Women: Group A: SSTMI 4 CBN Hockey Club 1, USM Juniors 0 MSN Kedah 4, Sabah SS 0 KL Wipers 0 (Sabah win shoot-out 3-2); Group B: Uniten-KPT 3 SMKGR 1, Johor Juniors 0 USM 3.

SUNDAY -- Division One: PJCC Tigers v SSTMI Thunderbolts (PJCC< 6pm), Anderson Thunderbolts v Olak-NurInsafi (Gunung Rapat, 5pm), BJSS Thunderbolts v BJSS Juniors (KLHA, 5pm), Johor Juniors v MSP Thunderbolts (Batu Pahat, 5pm), Politeknik Malaysia v UniKL Young Guns (Bukit Serindit, 5pm).

Division Two: Group B: Anderson PHA v MISCF-UFL (Gunung Rapat, 3pm), MCKK v Felda Juniors (Azlan Shah, 5pm); Group C: SSTMI Juniors v Johor Baru HA (SSTMI, 5pm), Datuk Taha v MBMB Warriors (Zaaba, 5pm), Bentara Luar v Young Hurricanes (Batu Pahat, 3pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

League leaders MBPJ to face litmus test against SSTMI

KUALA LUMPUR: League champions Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail (SSTMI) will provide the toughest test for table-toppers Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) in Division One of the Malaysian Junior Hockey League today.

The PJ team lead the standing with nine points from three matches.

They had beaten UniKL 2-1, BJSS Juniors 7-1 and AHP-MSP 3-1 and have established themselves as the team to beat.

If they win today, it will give them the edge in the run-up to the title.

Third-placed SSTMI had chalked up two wins and were held 2-2 by BJSS in their second match.

In the shootout BJSS prevailed 6-5 to take the extra point.

Their coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman knows that a second draw will be costly.

“At this stage all points count. We are two points behind the leaders and losing three more will be a disaster.

“We know MBPJ will be a handful as they have enough experienced players to trouble any team.

“We have to cut down on the errors and make sure we take our chances well,” he said.

SSTMI started off with a 4-1 win over Politeknik Malaysia and defeated AHP-MSP in the third game 3-1.

BJSS, the defending overall champions, are also hoping to rebound from their 1-2 defeat to Anderson on Friday.

Coach Lukman Yahya said the defeat was expected as their opponents were too strong.

“We just need to learn from it and move forward. Hopefully we’ll regain our winning ways.

“All we can do is to improve and ensure that we are not caught out again,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

Ignace Tirkey's Services team win the Sub-Junior National title in Bhopal

Bhopal: Trained by the former midfielder of fame Ignace Tirkey, Services clinched the 7th Junior National Championship crown today in Bhopal, defeating Punjab & Sind Bank 4-0 in the thrilling final. The win marks completion of eight days of action packed hockey at the historic Aishbagh Stadium in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

On Friday night, Padamshree Ignace's team, which entered the sub-junior domain for the first time, struggled to beat Patiala before registering comprehensive win in the penalty shoot out to enter the final. Survived in the semis, it came out with full form to defeat the PSB.

Both PSB and Services will now move to Division A for next year.

Hockey Bihar beat Hockey Patiala in a highly entertaining 3rd place game. In a fast paced, high intensity clash, Hockey Bihar were the first to score as Anand Kumar Bara scored in the 22nd minute to give them the lead. Bara added a second to his and the team’s tally four minutes later which took them into half time two goals to the good. Hockey Patiala rallied back after the break, and reduced the deficit via a Karajwinder Singh goal in the 41st minute. However, Hockey Bihar never let them settle into the play though, as they scored a third via Anwarullah Shah in the 58th minute. Karajwinder’s second goal in the 65th minute, raised Hockey Patiala’s prospects of extending the game for a bit, but Hockey Bihar held out defensively to take win and seal third place.

In the final match of the tournament, Services Sports Control Board produced a high quality performance to down Punjab & Sind Bank 4-0 to take the title. The goals for Services started early as Kuldeep stroked the first in the sixth minute to give his team the lead, and eight minutes later, the lead was doubled through Subash Sanga's strike. Punjab & Sind Bank never really recovered from that as Services held on for a deserving victory. Rahul (21’) and H Mani Singh (46’) clinched the third and the fourth goals to secure the title for their team.


Unwanted renaming of KSHA Stadium

K. Arumugam

Recently, an unwanted public function with a sole aim of cornering publicity was carried out in Bengaluru. The ruse was laying new turf on the Karantaka State Hockey Association grounds where Sub-Junior Nationals will commence from tomorrow.

Surprisingly, the occasion was also used to rename the stadium after one of the greatest sons of India, General Kariappa, India’s first Chief of Army Staff.

However, it is curious for many why all of a sudden a stadium had to be renamed. No solid answers were forthcoming, because there were none.

It is meaningful tradition if any organization or government construct a new stadium and organize a function to open it. Like what the Chhatisgarh government did two years ago.

But in Bengalur, only a new turf was laid out, and a function was organized to open it! Then the state government’s sports wing catches everyone unawares, renames the stadium!!

It is obvious there was no genuine public demand to rename the stadium. For various reasons I discount a stadium need to be named after only players.

Only recently, none other than the Prime Minister of the country told in emphatic manner that public servants (meaning government employees or officials) should not work for self publicity.

In Bengaluru it has happened. One bureaucrat (civil servant) opened the turf and his photographs is flashed in every news outlet.

In India, exceptions apart, Bureaucrats are deadwoods, never help positivity, never bring out schemes with vision which are supposed to be their solemn duties.

On the contrary they have been found to indulge in three things.

Firstly, to undo all the good work done by their immediate predecessor

Secondly, create a pool of chamchhas (Yes men) and live under unending adulation by them.

Lastly, never take action against erring staff under them so as to command their loyalty.

Then there is ubiquitous India ethos of unlimited ego. This is common to anybody who gets chair.

Therefore, am not surprised the Karnataka bureaucrat’s behaviour, even commenting on the status of KSHA benefitting from reflected knowledge of select few.

The problem in India in general is, for every one success you make out of your hard work and dedication, at least two people in the position of power gets against you. Leg pulling,cold war, sadism are thriving sports, one can say. People, who are idle, cannot see someone or organization works and flourish.

KSHA is the lone, functional, profit making State Hockey Association in India. Things have been rendered so difficult that the label SHA is not longer with it.

People are not happy at it. They want to finish it. They cannot see their own mother organization having a club, successful structure, precise administration. Numerous attempts have been made by the influential section of the state to systematically sideline the KSHA.

As an Individual engaged in building institution (NGO), this writer is well aware such jealous people outnumber and outsize true workers and contributors to the game.

However, KSHA survives thanks to a late wisdom of Hockey India.

People should remember one important thing.

Only three SHAs have ground on their own: Nagpur, Bengaluru and Mumbai.

This is a meagre number. Every other state is dependent on State Govt’s infrastructure.

Therefore it is incumbent upon everybody to safeguard the trio from encroachment by, I firmly say, the Sports Departments.

BHA ground is an eye sore for Maharashtra Govt, and is always trying to shift its office to BHA! It never dares to say anything to Mumbai Cricket Association which has another ground next to BHA. Just getting free ticket is sufficient for the bureaucrats there not to open their mouth against MCA, but fiddle with poor BHA.

My last word on what’s happening in Bengaluru is, let the State Govt find a new ground in Benglauru, construct a beautiful stadium and name it after whatever great personality in their mind.

State government bureaucrats need not dabble in state hockey politics, take sides and try to demolish everything historic.

Remember, today’s sports enthusiast bureaucrats will not even come to see the play ground once transferred, and will be messaiah in new department!

And, remember they are transferred quite often, but the damage they do in short spells is enormous.

There was no opening ceremony when turf was laid in KSHA in 1996, 2005 and 2008.


Savita Punia, an Indian hockey veteran, is still forced to rely on her parents for financial support

The 26-year-old was promised a job by the Haryana government five years ago but nothing has come to fruition yet.

Angikaar Choudhury

In a different age and perhaps another country, Savita Punia would be hailed as a sporting legend.

The goalkeeper from Haryana has played more than 130 matches for the Indian national women’s hockey team. She was one of the key people who took India to a fifth place finish in the 2014-’15 Hockey World League and gave the women’s team a historic place at the Rio Olympics after 36 long years.

For an experienced campaigner, it’s been a journey to remember. And yet, for a veteran who has been playing for India for over a decade, Punia still doesn’t have things easy. As one of the senior most members of the team and an elite sportsperson in her own right, you would expect her not to have to worry about her finances anymore. But that sadly is not the case.

In an interview in 2016, she revealed that she had been promised a job under the Haryana Government’s Medal Lao, Naukri Pao scheme, but hadn’t got it. One year later, nothing, she says, has changed.

‘Maybe there is some issue with me?’

“Pata nahi kya issue hai [I don’t know what the issue is],” she says, in almost a resigned manner. “Shayad mere me koi problem hai [Maybe there is some issue with me]? Even now, I hear that I’ll get it in a month, in two months. I don’t really understand anymore because I know others have got jobs under this scheme. Maybe they have an issue with me, who knows?”

To find out what the issue was, Scroll got in touch with Jyoti Rani, an officer in the Haryana sports ministry. Rani said that Punia had been asked to send in her application again by May 15. After that, the qualifications of the applications would be checked and given jobs accordingly, according to Rani.

But Punia did not know that she had to send in her application again. Not that she hadn’t expected it.

“I’ve given applications some 5-6 times now,” said India’s women’s hockey goalkeeper, laughing vexedly. “Each time, I’ve been told to give it again and it’ll get done. Even this year, I already submitted an application in January and didn’t hear anything back.”

A long-running saga

It’s a saga which has been going on for the last five years, informed Punia. The previous Haryana government, in which Bhupinder Singh Hooda was the chief minister, had first promised her a job under the scheme in 2012. But nothing came out of it. Two years later, the Indian women’s hockey team won bronze at the 2014 Asian Games. Punia submitted another application, this time to the new government headed by CM Manohar Lal Khattar . But things stayed the same.

And because of this financial insecurity, the goalkeeper of the Indian national women’s team still has to depend on her parents for her finances, specifically her father who has a government job.

“Hockey is a costly game,” she opened up, giving a detailed insight into the expenses. “The shoes which you need to wear for the Astroturf cost almost Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000. And they only last for 2-3 months.”

Despite the hardships, Punia has come an incredible way. And what makes her journey special is that she hardly had these heights in mind when she started it.

Savita Punia gets the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award for her splendid performance in the #WomensAsiaCup. Congratulations ! Photo Courtesy- Sports Analysis Service

‘I couldn’t let the money go to waste’

“I came from a middle-class background and I was the sort of person who would just be at home. Bahut ghaarelu thi [I was very homely],” remembered Punia. “My journey in hockey was all due to my father. My first coach told him that I had the height and he promised him that I would be selected for an India camp.”

“When my father heard that, he spent Rs 20,000 on my kit” said the 26-year-old. “It played on my mind. He has spent this much money, I can’t let it go to waste. I have to at least get selected for the camp. So that’s how I got selected for the national camp and then the rest happened.”

The mood is much more cheerful when talk turns to the game itself. Her counterpart on the Indian national men’s team, PR Sreejesh has made waves on the international circuit with his incredible keeping. Punia is an admirer of Sreejesh and also a friend.

“We talk a lot,” she said. “Before tournaments, we talk on the phone. He always guides me a lot.”

Then she laughed and continued, “He [Sreejesh] tells me we goalkeepers don’t have any skills. Hence we must have eyes. He tells me to just enjoy a game, never to take too much pressure. Treat every match like a training session.”

Savita was awarded Rs. 1 Lakh for winning the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament award at the 8th Women’s Asia Cup 2013.

Punia does say though that things have changed a lot since the time she made her debut.

“Indian teams, both men and women, have always been known for their skill in hockey,” she said. “But in recent years, fitness pe dhyan bohat zyada ho gaya hai [The focus on fitness has increased]. We have got foreign coaches and the first thing they will check is fitness. Apart from that, there have been other changes as well. Earlier, the women’s team had some trouble with taking penalty corners, but now we have great drag-flickers.”

On a high after winning the 2016-’17 Hockey World League Round 2, where she was named the goalkeeper of the tournament, Punia’s eyes are firmly peeled on the semi-final round in June. With a young new team, Indian women’s hockey is definitely going places.


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