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News for 30 July 2017

All the news for Sunday 30 July 2017

One Week Out from the Start of the women's Pan American Cup

LANCASTER, Pa. – There is just one week until the start of the highly-anticipated women’s Pan American Cup (PAC) event. Being held at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa., alongside the men’s division, competition beings on Saturday, August 5 with the seven participating teams eager to hit the turf.

The USWNT recently jumped two spots in the FIH Hero World Rankings earning their highest position in program history at No. 4. USA sits in Pool B with No. 19 Canada, No. 30 Mexico and No. 41 Brazil. Pool A consists of No. 3 and reigning PAC Champions Argentina, No. 20 Chile and No. 23 Uruguay.

The opening day promises to include some highly competitive matches.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

12:00 p.m.       CAN vs. BRA
5:00 p.m.         ARG vs. CHI
7:00 p.m.         USA vs. MEX

Monday, August 7, 2017

12:00 p.m.       MEX vs. BRA
5:00 p.m.         URU vs. ARG
7:00 p.m.         CAN vs. USA

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

12:00 p.m.       CHI vs. URU
5:00 p.m.         MEX vs. CAN
7:00 p.m.         USA vs. BRA

The seven-team event kicks off on Saturday, following a day of men’s competitions, with Canada against Brazil at 12:00 p.m. ET. Canada recently finished up a three-game intra-squad Super Series where they made the final selections to their PAC roster. In April, they met up with a few other Pan American teams at the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 event, which they hosted. The 2016 Pan American Challenge Champions and bronze medal finisher at the 2016 South American Championship, Brazil will come out fighting as they look to make a mark at PAC.

The second match-up see two familiar opponents, having played each other a little more than three weeks ago in the second pool play match of the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in South Africa. A top force on the female stage, Argentina is looking to rebound after finishing fourth at the event. Chile is also looking to rally after finishing tenth at the Semifinals and hoping to earn their way to the 2018 women’s Hockey World Cup.

The final match of the evening is between host nation USA and Mexico. A gold medal performance at the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals has given the team a much-needed boast of energy on their journey to try and claim their first-ever PAC Championship. Mexico is looking to breakdown USA’s momentum and make a stamp early in the competition.

The top continental champion will qualify for the 2018 women’s Hockey World Cup in London, England and the top six teams qualify for the 2021 Pan American Cup. Both USA and Argentina have already booked their tickets to the World Cup after their finishes at the recent FIH Hockey World League Semifinals.

USFHA media release

Irish Under-18s disrupt the fancied sides at Six Nations

Sarah Torrans celebrates her goal against the Netherlands. Pic: Mar Molina

The Irish Under-18 and 16 girls produced some fine performances in Terrassa, Spain, with the former making serious waves at their respective Six Nations tournaments against the top teams in Europe.

On arrival in Barcelona, the girls wasted no time in acclimatizing to the local 30 degree heat. Following two essential training sessions, the Irish Under-18s were ready to disrupt against England on the Monday, the opening day of the tournament.

An early 9am push back seemed daunting initially but captain Sarah Torrans led the Irish team to their first ever victory against a strong English side – a perfect start to the girls’ campaign.

The team was thrilled with their win and first two goals of the European tournament, but knew there was a lot more work ahead of them.

Tuesday saw Ireland play Belgium and with Wednesday being a well-earned rest day, the girls put their shoulders to the pump, working and concentrating right through to the end, overcoming a strong Belgium side.

Siofra O’Brien once again put her name on the scoresheet during an intense, triumphant 3-2 win over Belgium. It was clear that the girls were equal to the European standard as one of the fittest teams at the tournament.

Thursday brought the match vs Spain at 9pm. As expected, the Spanish came out stronger and faster than the girls had ever experienced and took a strong lead in the first half.

However, the Irish weren’t to be deterred. Once again Ireland proved their defiant and strong work ethic when they put in their strongest performance yet in the second half finishing with a 4-2 loss.

Although the girls were disappointed in this result, the loss versus Spain redoubled their determination to perform the next day against Germany. This was the fourth game for all teams but no tiredness was evident from a strong Irish side.

The Irish took the lead in the fourth quarter from a PC and held their lead despite a concerted and sustained attack from a skilled German side. With three minutes on the clock, the German’s persistence paid off with a well-deserved goal.

The girls were disappointed knowing that they had been so cruelly close to beating the Germans and pulling off a third win in the tournament. But the side remained positive and took great encouragement from their performance to date, along with the encouragement and support from a strong Irish supporters group in Terrassa.

Sunday dawned and with it the final game of the tournament against the Netherlands. Ireland knew that this would be their toughest game of the tournament, but were ready to show the Dutch some Irish resilience.

Despite a final score of 7-1, this did not reflect effort and persistence of the Irish girls to pin the Dutch back, with Sarah Torrans’ goal one to remember.

The Irish U-18 girls finished joint third in the tournament, unfortunately missing out on medalling on goal difference. It was a fantastic performance from a special group of girls with every player committing and improving through the tournament.

The Head Coach, Steven Arbuthnot, and Assistant Coach, Keith Crawford, commented that they had never been more proud of a team before.

Head coach Steven Arbuthnot was especially pleased with how the girls dominated the later stages of matches: “We were never out of games due to our excellent conditioning and scored a lot of our winning goals in the last two quarters.

“Even when we lost 4-2 to Spain, we were 3-0 down at half time and got it back to 4-2. I am confident that with an extra quarter we would have tied the game as we had run the Spanish very hard. These were good lessons for the girls, as we cannot afford to be 3 goals back from such talented opposition.

“The fact that we only lost out on a bronze medal amongst the top teams in Europe on goal difference is an excellent achievement for an U-18 programme with no funding.

“I want to pay credit to the backroom staff working hard to get the girls ready to play in tournament hockey, and also the girls for pushing themselves to see that we can compete and win against the best.

“Standards have been raised by this group for Irish underage hockey, and these players have a responsibility to make sure this wasn’t a one-off.”

At Under-16 level, Ali McNeill’s side opened up with a 0-0 draw with England before having a tough day against Belgium who were outstanding for the whole tournament.

The side regrouped with excellent performances against Germany and Spain before pushing the Dutch in their last game. The score was 1-0 at half-time before they ran up some fantastic goals in the fourth quarter.

To the fore were both Ellie McLoughlin and Laura Chestnut who excelled in goal with the former winning goalkeeper of the tournament. In defence, Sophia Cole and co-captains Lisa Mulcahy and Amy Elliott also shone while Amy Elliott and Nadia Benallal powered the team from midfield.

Reflecting on the tournament, Sarah Scott from the side’s management team said: “Overall, it was a huge learning curve for the girls and a fantastic opportunity to play against quality opposition. The fundraising from the car raffle meant that parents didn’t have to pay for the girls to represent their country and something we hope to continue for the future.”

** Pictures from the tournament can be found at the following page: https://www.facebook.com/FontanesMolina.fotos/

Six Nations
Ireland 2 (S O’Brien, G McLoughlin) England 1
Ireland 3 (S O’Brien 2, S McDowell) Belgium 2
Ireland 2 (M Carey, Y Pratt) Spain 4
Ireland 2 (S O’Brien, G McLoughlin) Germany 2
Ireland 1 (S Torrans) Netherlands 7

Ireland 0 England 0
Ireland 0 Belgium 8
Ireland 1 (KJ Marshall) Spain 3
Ireland 0 Germany 3
Ireland 0 Netherlands 7

The Hook

Lissek believes Malaysia can become an indoor powerhouse

By Jugjet Singh

INDOOR SILVER .. Malaysian women pose with the Indoor silver won in Doha in April.

GERMAN Paul Lissek is so impressed with the Malaysian men's indoor hockey team, that he feels like hitting his head against the wall for not starting a programme 10 years ago.

For, the Malaysian team are new to the game and only took it seriously when it was included in the KL Sea Games next month, but after a short stint the men are almost 'professionals'.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) were initially shocked when the indoor game was included for the first time in the Sea Games, but took up the challenge, and now it might become a permanent fixture in the country.

"The players have only been training seriously for months, but are playing really well and I ask myself -- if we had started indoor 10 years ago, maybe we might have been among the medallists in the indoor World Cup," said former national coach Lissek who has been roped in as an indoor consultant as the sport is strange to local coaches.

The Malaysian men played in the Asian Indoor Championship in Doha in April and surprisingly, finished fifth. The champions are Iran, followed by Kazakhstan and Qatar.

"That was April, but only a few months down the line, the Malaysian men look like they could have entered the Asian final and even beaten Iran to the gold.

"That's how much they have improved," said Lissek.

And now that a team has been formed, and the first international standard indoor venue in the country has been built at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec), Lissek hopes the sport catches on like wildfire.

"Indoor is Malaysia's chance to stand at the top of the Podium in Asia, and in the long run a medal at the World Cup. So lets continue with the programme after the Sea Games."

As for the women, Lissek feels physical appearance could pose a problem.

"The women are also very good but a little soft physically and that could cause some problems in tournaments. However, we will only know their true strength after they play against Indonesia and Thailand in the Games," said Lissek.

Surprisingly, Malaysian women beat the odds to claim a silver in the Asia indoor Championship when they lost only 2-0 to Kazakhstan in the final.

The men will have a final warm-up against Australian side New South Wales in the first week of August and it will surely show their true strength.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Malaysia opt out of AHL due to Asia Cup and SEA Games

by S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not be sending any teams to compete in the Australian Hockey League (AHL) in Perth from Sept 29-Oct 8.

Last year the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) sent three teams – the men’s national and development teams as well as the national women’s side – to compete for the first time. None of the teams made the semi-finals.

MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal gave several reasons for opting out of the league.

“The AHL will clash with our national men’s team preparations for the Asia Cup (in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from Oct 12-22). We cannot risk any injuries and have decided not to go. Our priority is to win the Asia Cup,” he explained.

“The AHL organisers also told us to send our best teams. But we can’t do that this time. We would have loved to send our development teams.

“We also have the SEA Games (in Kuala Lumpur from Aug 19-30) where winning the gold medals takes priority. There is simply no time for us to get ready a team for the AHL,” added Subahan.

The Star of Malaysia

Weir’s Wimbledon and Bloemendaal make for ROUND1 cracker

© Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics

While Bloemendaal might have been the ROUND1 sides most teams wanted to miss, Wimbledon’s Henry Weir says the London club were probably the one side the top four seeded sides most feared from last week’s draw.

Wimbledon produced a pair of immaculate performances against UHC Hamburg and German champions Mannheimer HC to become just the second English club to reach the FINAL4 earlier this year.

It made them one of the sharks in the ROUND1 draw and has set up a mouthwatering tie when the two clubs meet on October 6 (4.15pm, CET) in one of the highlights of the weekend in Barcelona.

Speaking about the draw to the EHL website, Weir said: “Bloemendaal are one of the iconic European sides, no doubt, and it’s a tough draw but I have a feeling that they would not have wanted to draw us either after our KO16 performances last year.

“We play hockey to compete and test ourselves against the top sides. For me and my team, it doesn't matter too much whether we meet them in the first round or the KO16 which we have every intention of qualifying for.”

Austrian champions SV Arminen also feature in the group, a journey into the unknown for Weir and his team maters

“I have never played an Austrian side so have no useful expectations. It would be foolish to underestimate any team and we will do our homework in preparation as always.”

He is looking forward to adding to his club’s newly written mythology in the EHL when they hit the turf in Barcelona later this year.

“The KO16 last season has topped my club playing memories. It’s a fantastic tournament, bringing together the best teams and the best hockey support in the world.

“I felt we deserved to win both games and played some of our best hockey. It was an amazing experience for me and the team and a historical achievement for the club.”

** To buy tickets for EHL ROUND1, click here: http://ehlhockey.tv/tickets/

Euro Hockey League media release

Butali down KCA-U in hockey league


Boniface Ndombi of Parklands vies for the ball with Butali Sugar Warrior's' Barnabus Odhiambo during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match on July 23, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Butali Sugar Warriors on Saturday beat Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCA-U) 3-0 in their final match of the first leg of the Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League at City Park Stadium.

Goals from Derrick Kuloba, Constance Wakhura and the returning Zack Aura gave the 2015 league winners the three points. It was Butali’s first win in two matches, a result that saw them maintain second spot in the log with 33 points.

They trail Kenya Police by four points, though the law enforcers could re-establish their seven point lead with a win against Parkroad Badgers in the 6pm kick off.

Earlier, Kenyatta University Vultures beat highly fancied Chase Sailors 1-0 in another top flight men’s encounter at the same venue.

Owen Jacobs scored the lone goal of the game in the 16th minute to hand the students a vital win in their final match of the first leg.

The result moved the Vultures from second bottom in the table to 10th place in the 15-team top flight league with 14 points.

Vincent Cheruiyot Kenyatta University Vultures (left) vies for the ball with Titus Ngolia of Chase Sailors during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match at City Park Hockey Stadium on July 29, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |NATION MEDIA GROUP

Vultures coach Moses Kagochi was pleased with the result noting that it will give them the fighting spirit in the second leg.

“This was a must-win match for us and I am glad we got the three points. We have not had a good first leg and hopefully we can get more wins in the second leg, “Kagochi told Nation Sport.

“Our attitude was brilliant today and the win was totally deserved. We will use the break to work on improving in the second leg so that we finish on a high,” the former Daystar University coach said.

For Sailors, it was their second successive loss in four days following their 2-1 defeat to United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) on Wednesday evening.

The bankers end the first leg campaign in 12th place with 13 points.

They were the better side in the opening exchanges as stand-in skipper Samuel Webo and Kelvin Barasa troubled the students defence with their pace.

The duo created two chances in the first 10 minutes but were denied by the impressive Douglas Barasa in the KU goal.

The quarter ended with no goals as Chase pressed hard and the unsettled student fought hard for air.

However, it all changed in the second quarter as Vultures scored with their first chance of the match.

Robin Muturi dispossessed Titus Ngolia in midfield before feeding a brilliant pass to Jacob who lifted the ball past the onrushing Chase keeper Collins Asimba.

Daily Nation

Vultures scavenge on Sailors

Kenyatta University students get much needed win. Jacob scores all important goal second quarter.

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Chase Sailors Moses Omamo(l) with the ball as Kenyatta University Griffins Okombe(l) blocks when they played Premier Men at City Park, Nairobi. ON 29/07/2017(Jenipher Wachie, Standard)

Kenyatta University Vultures edged out Chase Sailors 1-0 in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s premier league match played at City Park Stadium yesterday.

The victory gave the students the much-needed push out of the relegation zone as this season’s first leg ended.

Owen Jacob’s second quarter goal was enough to give the Vultures maximum points. This was Sailors second straight loss in four days having fallen 2-1 to United States International University of Africa in their midweek encounter.

With the victory, Kenyatta, who were second from the bottom moved four places which gave them some breathing space in the battle to escape relegation in the second leg set to begin in September.

Coach Moses Kagochi was delighted saying that finally his players were adapting his system of play.

“I’m very impressed because this is the first time we played as a team.

“Everyone was composed and the level of discipline was also commendable. We have a new system of play, it has taken us long to learn but I’m glad it has started working out for us,” Kagochi said.

He added that they were looking forward to an improved performance in the second leg. “Being a team sport, we need to train together, but that has been our main challenge. We also have to improve on set pieces and short corners.”

The Vultures began their hunt for goals in earnest as they pressed deep into Sailors territory. However, their efforts were met with resilience as the bankers trio of Titus Ngolia, Amon Esese and Hesbon Galinga stood firm to wade off the students.

The two sides battled to a goalless first quarter.

Jacob finally got it right seconds into the second period beating Sailors defenders and goalkeeper Collins Asimba to score the all-important goal.

The students continued to charge forward creating more chances but could not complete the job.

It was evident that Sailors were struggling without their main man and striker George Mutira who is out having sustained an injury.

The Standard Online

Islahuddin Siddique — The hockey icon who led Pakistan to three titles in 1978

Islahuddin Siddique — The hockey icon who led Pakistan to three titles in 1978

Pakistan hockey great Islahuddin Siddiqui has lived an eventful and colourful life for more than five decades now. Siddique, born on 10 January, 1948, is an iconic sports figure of the country. A right winger, Siddique played between 1967 and 1978. He was capped 130 times and scored 117 goals. He won silver medal in the 1972 Olympics and bronze medal in the 1976 Olympics. Undefined Siddique is perhaps the only forward in history to gain more fame for saving goals than scoring goals despite being the world’s best forward of his times. Siddique is considered the fastest man in field hockey, who used to blunt the penalty corner strikes of his strong rivals with his deadly dash that burst from the cage like lightening.

Siddique got hooked up to sports very early, and was adept at many sports, thankfully he chose to focus on hockey on his father’s advice. This multi-talent helped him to become a sharp forward as well as a great dasher (chargers in present day parlance). He was only 19 when he won the national colours in 1967 though he missed out the Mexico Olympics next year, which Pakistan won. His first big tournament was the 1970 Asian Games, after that was firmly ensconced in the national side till 1978. In fact, 1978 was the annus mirabilis of Pakistan hockey, when the green shirts won three major titles under his command: the World Cup, the Asian Games and the inaugural FIH Champions’ Trophy. He remained captain of the Pakistan hockey team in 45 matches: 43 matches were won and two matches ended in a draw. His impressive medal list consists of 10 gold, 03 silver and 01 bronze medals.

After his retirement from the sport, he is still associated with hockey. He served as a coach and manager of the national team many a time and also a member of the FIH rules board. He was called time and again to revive the sinking fortunes of the national team in the managerial role. But as soon as the side showed signs of recovery, he was sidelined. Like all his compatriots, Siddique is very much saddened by Pakistan hockey’s continuous decline. In his autobiography ‘Dash Through My Life’, he elaborates on the causes of this downfall and also suggests short, medium and long term measures to stem the decline and regain the glory. Many fear that it’s game over for Pakistan hockey. But Siddique doesn’t agree. “Pessimism won’t help Pakistan hockey. We can talk about hockey being finished and that all hope is lost but that would lead us to nowhere,” he says. He is of the view that all of Pakistan’s stake-holders should stop wasting time on crying over spilt milk. “A lot is being said about how pitiful is the state of our hockey and with due reason. But, personally I believe that instead of emphasising on that we should instead of asking questions as to how we can put our hockey back on track,” he says. He believes that Pakistan’s hockey chiefs will have to think long-term. “Hockey will never die in Pakistan because it has strong roots in our country. It has gone down because of our own mistakes. It can rise again but for that we will need to work hard. It is a sum total of our collective mistakes during the last three decades that we are lagging behind teams against whom we would win at will in the past.”. The FIH awarded him ‘Diploma of Merit’, in recognition of his outstanding international hockey services. The Pakistan Government awarded him ‘Pride of Performance’ in 1982 and ‘Sitara-e-Imtiaz’ for his services for Pakistan hockey in the year 2007.

The Daily Times         

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