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News for 21 August 2017

All the news for Monday 21 August 2017

Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 Results

Sunday 20 August 2017

09:00 Men / Pool B ENG 6 - 0 POL
11:00 Women / Pool A ESP 7 - 1 CZE
13:15 Women / Pool B IRL 0 - 0 SCO
15:30 Men / Pool B GER 1 - 1 IRL
17:45 Women / Pool B GER 1 - 0 ENG
20:00 Women / Pool A BEL 0 - 1 NED

Pools and rankings

Men pool A
    W     G     V     P
NED 1     0     0     3
BEL 1     0     0     3
AUT 0     0     1     0
ESP 0     0     1     0

Men pool B
    W     G     V     P
ENG 1     0     0     3
IRL 0     1     0     1
GER 0     1     0     1
POL 0     0     1     0

Women pool A
    W     G     V     P
NED 2     0     0     6
BEL 1     0     1     3
ESP 1     0     1     3
CZE 0     0     2     0

Women pool B
    W     G     V     P
GER 2     0     0     6
ENG 1     0     1     3
SCO 0     1     1     1
IRL 0     1     1     1

Rabo EuroHockey Championships 2017 Official site

Easy like Sunday morning for England

©: Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics

Wimbledon’s Ian Sloan and the England side he captained were able to enjoy their Sunday morning brunch with three points in the bag at the EuroHockey Championships, beating Poland 6-0 this morning.

They tipped off very early in Amsterdam but Sloan said the early start was no major hindrance. Indeed, the tie was so early that the stadium was not allowed to play high volume music until midday due to local noise regulations, giving the game a different atmosphere.

“When we saw the 9am, we wondered how many people would get out of bed for that?” he said afterwards.

“We train on a daily basis at all times of the morning with no one there so we are fine with it and hopefully there will be a big crowd tomorrow [against Germany]

“It was nice to keep a clean sheet; we probably could have scored a few more goals but were happy with the chances we created.”

Next up for them is that German date, probably the pick of the games in men’s Pool B of the competition.

“We’ve played them a few times this year but not in a tournament and not with these teams. Tomorrow will be a different test but we will be confident against any team in the competition.”

For English coach Bobby Crutchley, meanwhile, there was just one thing on his mind: “We are off and running and we can go and get our breakfast now!”

Euro Hockey League media release

Harte hails Gleghorne bravery in Irish draw with Germany

©: World Sport Pics

“He puts his head in places where others wouldn’t even put their oldest stick,” Conor Harte said of Paul Gleghorne’s role in the last second intervention to help Ireland land a draw with Germany at the European Championships.

The Racing Club de Bruxelles man was reacting to his central defensive partner’s last second intervention to keep out a Lukas Windfeder shot, deflecting it away to leave a 1-1 draw.

“That’s why we love him and it’s what he brings to the team. It’s unconditional and phenomenal and saved us a point.”

It followed a thrilling match in which Windfeder had opened the scoring before Sean Murray equalised with 12 minutes to go, getting on the end of Matthew Nelson’s inviting cross.

Ireland also drew many fine saves from Tobias Walter before conceding a corner with six seconds to go to make for some late drama, somewhere Germany often prevail.

“We had most of the ball which is unusual; we are normally the guys doing all the chasing with our backs to the wall,” Harte added. “Like we always do, we make it exciting and people on their edge of the seats in the last 20 seconds to go. A draw was probably a fair result but we probably could have snuck the win.”

It was also the first time Ireland had earned a point against Germany in a world ranking event, adding another notable line to their record, something they achieved despite making six changes from the panel that earned World Cup qualification earlier this summer.

“We’re delighted to make another little piece of history. We keep chipping away and chipping away, defying the odds with this team. For guys who couldn’t be here, this is who it is for.

“It’s a tight-knit squad of 30-plus. We are at a stage where everyone is open about what they want to achieve, how they want to achieve it. Everyone is giving ourselves to a team and it just gels.”

On the flip side, Rot-Weiss Koln’s Mats Grambusch, added from a German perspective: “I thought we had a decent game; defensively, we played really well except for the goal. But we didn’t play well enough up front, didn’t create enough chances and convert the ones we had.

They play England next: “I think they have done really well in the last few weeks, beating Belgium in a test match which is quite an exclamation mark. They are going to be tough, work hard and defend really well so we have to attack better and score some goals!”

Euro Hockey League media release

England men defeat Poland in opener

Ward celebrates against Poland

England started their EuroHockey Championships campaign with a dominant 6-0 win over Poland.

Braces from Mark Gleghorne and Sam Ward alongside strikes from Chris Griffiths and David Condon made for a comfortable victory in Amsterdam as England got their campaign off to a winning start.

The win moves England to the top of Pool B ahead of their clash with Germany tomorrow at 4pm UK time which is live on BT Sport.

Reflecting on the match, head coach Bobby Crutchley said: "We scored some really good goals and there was some good play but it was a little inconsistent. We are now looking forward to improving ahead of our match with Germany tomorrow."

The opening minutes were very open with both sides making dangerous circle penetrations while George Pinner was forced into early work from a Poland penalty corner.

However England soon settled and began to take control, Barry Middleton skilling his way into the circle to win England’s their first penalty corner of the game. Gleghorne stepped up and flew an unstoppable drag-flick into the top right corner put his side ahead.

The rest of the quarter belonged to England who slotted into a strong attacking rhythm. Phil Roper’s strike was saved and Henry Weir flashed a dangerous ball across goal before another Gleghorne drag-flick was well saved before the first break.

It wasn’t long before England deservedly doubled their lead early in the second quarter. Another penalty corner gave Gleghorne the chance once again from the top of the circle and this time he dragged his effort hard into the bottom left corner with aplomb.

England refused to take their foot off the gas and two goals late in the quarter saw them take a 4-0 lead into the half-time break. Firstly Griffiths made a darting run down the wing and his cross was turned in off a Polish stick before Ward made it four with a low drag flick from another penalty corner.

The third quarter saw Poland tighten up in defence against more consistent England pressure. However with the quarter nearing its end Michal Kasprzyk was shown a card and England quickly capitalised on this to make it 5-0 as Condon’s deflection finished off a fine team move.

England had to wait until the closing minutes to further extend their lead in the final quarter, Middleton cutting back allowing Ward to finish from close range and grab his second shortly before the final whistle.

England: George Pinner (GK), Brendan Creed, Liam Sanford, Henry Weir, Michael Hoare, Ian Sloan, Barry Middleton, Phil Roper, Sam Ward, Chris Griffiths, David Condon

Subs (Used): David Goodfield, Adam Dixon, Mark Gleghorne, Harry Martin, David Ames, Ollie Willars

Subs (Unused): Harry Gibson (GK)

England Hockey Board Media release

England narrowly beaten by Germany

Danson in action v Germany

England were narrowly defeated 1-0 by Germany in their Pool B clash at the EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam.

It was a frustrating match for England who dominated large periods of the contest, but they weren’t able to convert their chances finding Julia Ciupka in top form in the German goal.

Qualification to the semi-finals remains in England’s hands though, a win over Scotland in their final pool game on Tuesday would see them progress.

It was Germany who made the faster start and after five minutes moved into an early lead. Working the ball down the right and into a crowded circle, the ball eventually fell to Cecile Pieper who lifted her effort past Maddie Hinch from close range.

This sprung England into action and their response was strong as they went on to dominate the remainder of the quarter. Firstly Susannah Townsend stormed into the circle and her strike caused a goalmouth scramble that was cleared and moments later Sophie Bray’s cross found Alex Danson but her effort was also stopped by goalkeeper Ciupka.

England maintained this attacking pressure after the first break with Townsend and Danson again going close, but Germany were able to keep them at bay and took their lead into the half time break.

There was to be more frustration in the third quarter for England as Ciupka continued to be at her best again denying Townsend and Danson as well as an effort from Sarah Haycroft.

Germany went close to doubling their lead against the run of play but Hinch produced a spectacular glove save to keep England in touching distance.

The final quarter was a more comfortable one for the Germans who enjoyed more possession of the ball and were able to create some pressure of their own. The best chance though again fell to England but Hollie Webb turned Ellie Rayer’s cross just wide of the far post with a first time effort.

England elected for a kicking back in the final minutes removing Hinch but Germany held firm to take all three points and secure their place at the top of pool B.

The final pool match for England sees them face Scotland on Tuesday at 11.30am UK time, live on BT Sport.

England: Maddie Hinch (GK), Laura Unsworth, Anna Toman, Hollie Webb, Giselle Ansley, Susannah Townsend, Shona McCallin, Hannah Martin, Lily Owsley, Alex Danson (C), Sophie Bray

Subs (Used): Ellie Watton, Emily Defroand, Jo Hunter, Ellie Rayer, Sarah Haycroft, Zoe Shipperley

Subs (Unused): Amy Tennant (GK)

England Hockey Board Media release

Scotland and Ireland battle out a draw in EuroHockey Championships

Scotland v Ireland test match, November 2016 Photo – Duncan Gray

Scotland and Ireland women battled out a goalless draw in RABO EuroHockey Championship 2017 in Amsterdam. The result sees both sides equal on one point and goal difference after two games with Scotland facing England in their next game.

The first chance of the match fell for Ireland; a loose pass allowed Deirdre Duke to shoot at goal but Amy Gibson was equal to it and saved well with her feet.

Scotland settled into the match and good pressure by the Scots saw a cut-back by Kate Holmes blocked by the Ireland goalkeeper, as Scots attackers lined up to finish the move off.

Ireland enjoyed some good possession at the start of the second quarter but found the Scots defence very compact and difficult to break down.

The Irish were then awarded a penalty corner, the injection was bobbly and mis-trapped and allowed the Scots defence to deal with the danger well.

Then as the half neared a conclusion a spin and pass by Ireland’s Duke just evaded the diving Sinead Loughran in the Scottish circle.

Some great running down the right by Millie Brown won a penalty corner for Scotland early in the second half. The resulting routine saw Nikki Lloyd come close at the far post after a nice dummy in the build-up to create the chance, but it bounced wide of the mark.

Then a penalty corner was awarded to Ireland after a bobbly ball into the Scotland D ricochet off a foot. The danger was averted by a brilliant block from the penalty corner by Ali Howie. Howie charged out at full pace to bravely block the smash with her stick.

Scotland women line-up ahead of the Euros versus France. Photo – Duncan Gray

As the quarter drew to a close more brilliant running by Brown, this time down the left, created an opportunity for Scotland but the ball was swept clear at the far post.

Ireland won a penalty corner at the start of the fourth quarter and it was deflected wide of the Scotland top right corner. An excellent block on the line kept the Scotland clean sheet.

The some smart play by Sarah Robertson won a penalty corner for Scotland. The shot by Amy Costello was deflected into the air and Ireland escaped with the ball and won a penalty corner of their own. Somehow the ball stayed out of the Scotland net when the ball found Kathryn Mullan waiting at the far post to finish but it hit her foot and bounced clear.

Scotland pressed for a winner in the final minutes of the game but the match ended in a very even draw.

Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “It was a tough physical game, and we knew it would be, and it could have went either way. I think the draw was a fair result in the end. We played very well in the third quarter and could have taken advantage of being a player up in the fourth, but the girls gave it everything – I’m really proud of the players, nothing was left behind.

“We’re looking forward to the England game now. We’re playing a lot of Olympic gold medallists and it’ll be a very tough match, but we’re not scared of them and we’ll be well prepared and give it everything we have.”

Scotland’s Sarah Robertson said, “That was a match that could have went either way, we wanted the three points but a point is better than a defeat. It’s always a close game against England, we’ll recover well over the next 48 hours and give it everything we’ve got in the next match.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland hold Green Army To 0-0 Draw

Photo credit: World Sports Pics

The first half was a somewhat scrappy affair as Ireland grew into the game with real chances limited by a dogged Scottish defence. Ireland bossed possession for periods and were content to pass around the backline waiting for the gaps to appear but the final touch in the circle just evaded the Green Army. Deirdre Duke, Gillian Pinder and Anna O’Flanagan all caused the Scottish some trouble but a few deflections wide and one charging save by Amy Gibson were the extent of the chances in the opening 30 minutes. Grace O’Flanagan had little to do in the Irish goal but had to be alert to a Scottish break into the circle and got down smartly to intercept with her stick. Anna O’Flanagan won her side the only penalty corner of the half from a determined run along the baseline but the routine wasn’t executed as planned and the chance went amiss.

The tie didn’t massively transform in the second half though Scotland did enjoy more possession. The chances were few and far between in the third quarter with Roisin Upton’s drag flick charged down by the Scottish first runner and Lena Tice clearing off the line at the other end. The momentum swung with the Irish as they won another PC, this time Shirley McCay’s sweep was sent wide by the post player. The teams exchanged further penalty corners with Yvonne O’Byrne charging down the Scottish shot, while the ball just wouldn’t fall for the Irish as it somehow missed Mullan at the back post, indicative of the day they had.

Commenting after the stalemate, head coach Graham Shaw said “I thought we were dominant when you look at the amount of circle penetrations we had and the opportunities we created but in order to win games you need to put the ball in the goal. At times, we lacked composure but their keeper pulled off some good saves, it just wasn’t enough inside the final third”.

The Green Army back in action on Tuesday (August 22nd) against Germany at 13:45 (Irish time), with the fixture to be shown live on BT Sport.

Rabo Eurohockey Championship 

Ireland 0
Scotland 0

Ireland: G O’Flanagan, Y O’Byrne, K Mullan (Captain), S McCay, E Tice, R Upton, C Watkins, N Daly, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke

Subs: C Cassin, N Evans, E Beatty, G Pinder, S Loughran, H Matthews, A Meeke

Scotland: B Ward, A Costello, K Robertson, S Robertson, K Cuthbert (Captain), S Jamieson, M Brown, K Holmes, F Burnet, R Condie, A Gibson

Subs: N Cochrane, M Drummond, A Brodie, C Watson, N Lloyd, A Howie, R Collins,


August 19th- Ireland 1vs4 England 14:45
August 20th- Ireland 0vs0 Scotland 13:15
August 22nd- Ireland vs Germany 14:45
Crossover/classification matches to be played on 24th & 26th

NB. All times listed are local

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland suffer scoreless Scottish frustration in Amsterdam

Graham Shaw was left frustrated as his Irish women’s side could not break down a stubborn Scotland defence, leading to an ultimately deflating scoreless draw in their second European Championships pool game.

It means only a win over Germany on Tuesday and a favour from elsewhere will keep the semi-final shot alive or else the relegation pool looms once again.

“We were very dominant,” Shaw said of the tie. “The amount of circle penetrations, the opportunities we created, we had enough attacks.

“To win games, we have to put the ball in the goal and we lacked a bit of quality and composure in the final third. It just wasn’t enough. Maybe the ball didn’t fall our way at times and their keeper made one or two good saves.

“We are not happy with that result. Scotland may be happy but we aren’t. We had enough counter-attacks to put them away early and then maybe we got a bit anxious in the final quarter.”

He will look back most painfully on Deirdre Duke’s effort in the fourth minute, one which skipped inches wide off goalkeeper Amy Gibson’s foot after an excellent steal on halfway.

Similarly, the rub of the green did not fall their way at the death when a corner fell to Hannah Matthews who lifted the ball over Gibson but came too sharply for Katie Mullan to relocate her stick at the right post with the goal vacant.

In between, five penalty corners went awry while numerous turnovers forced by Duke and Anna O’Flanagan were not transformed into a tangible return.

The chances that did come would not fall while Scotland left the field with smiles all around, getting a draw despite ending with no shots of note over the hour. It followed a low-key 4-1 loss to Olympic gold medalists England on Saturday in the opening tie.

Midfielder Nicci Daly said the two performances were not indicative of an otherwise fruitful summer to date.

“We are disappointed because we feel like we’ve come a long way in 2017, showcasing what we are about in the last few months.

“We have been playing and matching teams at a higher level, drawing and beating Germany in the last month so we can definitely do it on Tuesday.”

Germany’s 1-0 win over England means a very unlikely sequence of events need to go their way if they are to make the semi-finals. It would require a win over the Germans and then the Scots to defeat England but by less than Ireland’s win.

As such, the relegation pool looks more likely, carrying the one point from this draw into that phase.

“If we are in the five to eight playoffs, then this result will have a big say on what happens. We will look at the video and try and improve.”

Rabo EuroHockey Championships
Pool B:
Ireland 0
Scotland 0

Ireland: G O’Flanagan, Y O’Byrne, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, R Upton, C Watkins, N Daly, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke
Subs: E Beatty, G Pinder, S Loughran, H Matthews, A Meeke, C Cassin

Scotland: A Gibson, B Ward, A Costello, K Robertson, S Robertson, K Cuthbert, S Jamieson, M Brown, K Holmes, F Burnet, R Condie
Subs: M Drummond, C Watson, N Lloyd, R Collins, A Howie, N Cochrane, A Brodie

Umpires: A Unka (NZL), K Alves (FRA)

The Hook

Ireland and Germany Play Out 1-1 Thriller

Skills abound in this clash with both goalkeepers called on in the opening half to make some important saves. Alan Sothern drew the first of these from Tobias Walter in the German goal with a quick reverse shot. David Harte got his first touch of the ball shortly after as he made a simple save but did well to see it in a crowded circle with Germans lining up for the shot. Harte made another important save moments later as he cleared to the side lines in front of the outstretched Anton Boeckel. 2 quick passes from the Germans saw the ball move from one end of the pitch to the other and find Mats Grambusch in the circle who sent his shot into the side netting. Sothern was again spinning away from his marker and his snap shot drew another fine save. The opening goal came in the 17th minute as Lukas Windfeder sent a penalty corner drag low into the right corner. Kirk Shimmins and Christopher Ruhr entertained the crowd with jaw-dropping skills as they left defenders in their wake while on route to goal. In the closing minutes of the half, Daragh Walsh sent a rasping reverse across the circle but Walter somehow managed to keep out Sothern’s deflection goal-ward.

The even nature of the game remained into the second half with both sides enjoying periods of dominance. Harte made 2 phenomenal saves from Ruhr’s efforts early in the half while Walter was out quick to smother Matthew Nelson’s charging run. The equaliser came in the 47th minute and it was one to remember for Sean Murray as he timed his slide at the back post perfectly to connect with Nelson’s pinpoint reverse pass across the circle. The game came to a dramatic conclusion with 2 penalty corners for Germany in the final few seconds but Paul Gleghorne, personifying the Irish defensive effort, put his body in the way of the ball to earn his side a draw against the world number 3. 

Head coach Craig Fulton was pleased with his side’s performance, a first ever result against the Germans in a ranking event “We could have won that game and we could have lost that game on the hooter so I think it was a fair result. We’ve got some improvement to make but the belief is really growing, the morale is high and we need to keep that momentum going into tomorrow”.

The Green Machine are next in action tomorrow (August 21st) against Poland at 13:45 (Irish time), with the fixture to be shown live on BT Sport.

Ireland women’s hockey team have their final pool game on Tuesday (August 22nd) at 13:45 (Irish time) against Germany, shown live on BT Sport.

Rabo Eurohockey Championships

Ireland 1 (Murray)
Germany 1 (Windfeder)

Ireland: D Harte (Captain), J Jackson, A Sothern, N Glassey, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Bell, M Robson, P Gleghorne, C Harte, S Loughrey

Subs:J Bell, M Nelson, S Murray, B Walker, D Walsh, L Cole, M Ingram

Germany: M Muller, M Grambusch, L Windfeder, M Haner (Captain), N Wellen, M Trompertz, T Hauke, C Ruhr, T Walter, M Miltkau, B Furk

Subs: M Appel, M Kapaun, J Meyer, C Staib, D Linnekogel, M Zwicker, A Boeckel

Irish Hockey Association media release

Murray magic lands draw amid mad-cap finale

Sean Murray’s glorious 48th minute touch earned Ireland a first ever result against Germany in a world ranking competition as they tied 1-1 in their opening European Championships tie in Amsterdam.

He latched onto Matthew Nelson’s reverse-stick cross at the back post, cancelling out Lukas Windfeder’s first half drag-flick, much to the delight of 7,500 mainly Dutch fans keen to see a German downfall.

Indeed, it might have been even better for the Green Machine but for the brilliance of Tobias Walter who denied a Shane O’Donoghue drag-flick in the closing 10 minutes as well as a pair of Alan Sothern first half efforts.

As so often the case, there was a fraught final minute with Germany twice going for video reviews for penalty corners in the last six seconds. David Harte kept out the first set pieces that ensured while a second was somehow blocked by Paul Gleghorne’s ridiculous bravery – the video came back inconclusive as to whether it was fair means or foul – to signal the end of the tie.

Coach Craig Fulton praised the defender for going where few would dare, saying “he’s made a career on that”.

“He puts his head in places where others wouldn’t even put their oldest stick,” Conor Harte added. “That’s why we love him and it’s what he brings to the team. It’s unconditional and phenomenal and saved us a point.”

“We had most of the ball which is unusual; we are normally the guys doing all the chasing with our backs to the wall,” Harte added. “Like we always do, we make it exciting and people on their edge of the seats in the last 20 seconds to go. A draw was probably a fair result but we probably could have snuck the win.”

As for their breakthrough against Germany, something they achieved despite making six changes from the panel that earned World Cup qualification earlier this summer, Harte added: “We’re delighted to make another little piece of history.

“We keep chipping away and chipping away, defying the odds with this team. For guys who couldn’t be here, this is who it is for.

“It’s a tight-knit squad of 30-plus. We are at a stage where everyone is open about what they want to achieve, how they want to achieve it. Everyone is giving ourselves to a team and it just gels.”

Daragh Walsh was making his tournament debut, a memorable one to come in to: “It was some experience, coming on in the first half. It’s always going to be special, a Europeans in Holland. I am delighted to be here and playing a part for the team.

“As a team, we were very good. We had a good game plan and stuck to it; for me, I am just doing every little I can.”

Fulton added it is important to bring the momentum into Monday’s date with Poland. Nonetheless, he was pleased to reflect on a result against the Olympic bronze medalists, especially having made six changes to the panel that earned World Cup qualification last month.

“There’s a lot of competition to get into this team and they know they have to be on the money. We are definitely making up the gap [to the world’s top six]. We could have won that game in the last 15 minutes but also could have lost it on the hooter!”

Elsewhere in the group, England beat Poland 6-0 with two goals each from Sam Ward and Mark Gleghorne. Ireland meet Poland at 1.45pm on Monday while England play Germany at 4pm.

Rabo EuroHockey Championships
Pool B: Germany 1 (L Windfeder)
Ireland 1 (S Murray)

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, A Sothern, N Glassey, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Bell, M Robson, P Gleghorne, C Harte, S Loughrey
Subs: J Bell, M Nelson, S Murray, B Walker, D Walsh, L Cole, M Ingram

Germany: T Walter, M Muller, M Grambusch, L Windfeder, M Haner, N Wellen, M Trompertz, T Hauke, C Ruhr, M Miltkau, B Furk
Subs: M Kapaun, J Meyer, C Staib, D Linnekogel, M Zwicker, A Boeckel, M Appel

Umpires: J van’t Hek (NED), J Mejzlik (CZE)

The Hook

David Harte To Make History By Winning 200th Cap

Photo Credit: World Sports Pics

As Irelands most capped goalkeeper Davy Harte approaches the historic landmark of 200 caps at the European Championships we felt it would be interesting to delve into the Irish hockey statistics archives for Irish goalkeepers.

The Ireland mens international records and caps database has been overhauled over the last year and there has been significant research by Drew Francey from Antrim hockey club and database development work undertaken behind the scenes to take our historical records to another level.

Whilst our Irish records and database were very comprehensive in terms of players caps, match records dating back to 1895 to present day, 930 matches and 530 players we did not have a full record (pre 2001) of who scored all of Irelands 2,035 goals, who captained every match and who was the goalkeeper in every match. The records are complete from 2001 when I took over unofficial duties as Ireland mens hockey record keeper and statistician the previous 106 years we had less than complete records.

However, due to fantastic research by Drew Francey who researched through the archives to get all match sheets from 1895 to 2000 and the 521 matches which together with the 409 match sheets we already had in the database now gave us full coverage of every match, every goal scorer for all of Irelands 930 matches over the 122 years we have played international hockey.

We have now re-developed the International records database integrating in Drew’s team sheets and now have the 13,000 Irish appearances from the first eleven Irish men who played in Rhyl in 1895 right through to match number 930 in Joburg when the current squad qualified for the 2018 World Cup.

As some of you will be aware our current Irish number 1 goalkeeper David Harte is approaching an amazing milestone of 200 caps and I have spent time analysing some of our statistics on the Irish goalkeepers from Palmerstown’s TM Walsh who kept the first Irish clean sheet in Rhyl on 26th January 1895 in what was the first ever international hockey match when Ireland defeated Wales 3-0 with goals from TE Beckett of King Hospital and A. Carrol from the Dundrum club. As would have been normal in many Irish sporting teams around the late 19th century Dublin clubs would have provided or been afforded most of the selections and the eleven men all hailed from only 4 Dublin clubs in Kings Hospital ,Palmerstown, Dundrum and Trinity College.

Whilst international records in all sports over time have been re-written in modern eras and hockey is no different. Many more matches per year, different rules, surfaces, match times and even players choosing different countries to represent international records are difficult to compare over generations. However, we have tried to provide an interesting insight into some Irish hockey statistics very focussed on our last line of defence the “Goalkeepers Union”. It is meant to be a light-hearted vista into comparing some greats of yesteryear such as Harry Cahill, Alvin Carson to modern day equivalents like Davy Harte.

Whilst in the early days of Irish hockey goalkeeprs were entrusted with captaincy responsibilities with the aforementioned TM Walsh captaining in the second ever match in March 1895 against England, EPC Holmes from the Cliftonvile club captained Ireland from between the sticks in 1908 and EM Dillon of Queens University in the 1920s. However, it was nearly 80 years later until another goalkeeper was selected to captain the national side when Pembroke and Irish stalwart Nigel “Nidge” Henderson took over the Irish captaincy in 2001. He captained Ireland 32 times in his 9 year career that spanned many more years given the limited match opportunities in the late 1990s compared to the modern day. Nidge held the Irish record as the goalkeeper captaincies until it was surpassed by Davy in July 2016 when he captained Ireland against the Netherlands in his native Cork.

Whilst the game of hockey has changed massively in the past 122 years it is interesting to look at the statistics which show less of a radical change in the game in terms of goals scored and conceded.

The average goals scored compared to the goals conceded is usually a good indicator of the relative success of a country. As can be seen in the graph Ireland achieved good success up to the second world war albeit the vast majority of these matches were against the home nations. The period of 1945 through to 2000 including the advent of astroturf in the early 1980s Ireland kept parity against the nations they played. However, from 2000 onwards Ireland started an upward curve which has in a small part laid foundations for our Olympic and now World Cup qualification success.

What is interesting to note is the average Irish goal conceded has not varied greatly from 1.7 pre 1940 to 1.8 in the modern day, goal scored has changed and the early days are higher thanks to some high scoring victories against our celtic cousins whereas the modern day higher goals scored is probably reflection of the changing game with more goal scored. It should be noted the above analysis is predicated on the consistency of opposition through the decades which is not always the case as certain decades Ireland’s opposition did vary.

Ireland’s goalkeepers

In total Ireland have used 55 goalkeepers over the 930 matches since 1895 from TM Walsh in the first ever international hockey match in 1895 to Jamie Carr who was Irish goalkeeper number 55 when he made his debut in 2015. Only five goalkeepers have played more than 50 caps for Ireland and only Davy Harte Irish goalkeeper Number 50 who made his debut in August 2006 has played over 100 games between the sticks. In fact at the age of 18 & 5 months he is one of the youngest players to make their international debut at the age of 18 in goals or outfield.

Post second world war the Irish goalkeeper records are dominated by three keepers Harry Cahill (74 caps over 21 years), Alvin Carson (92 caps over 16 years) and Davy Harte (198 caps over 12 years), between them have played 364 of Ireland’s 814 post war matches and spanning 49 years of international hockey over the last 70 years.

Harry Cahill’s 21 years is the longest serving Irish goalkeeper and during that period he played 80% of Irelands matches, Alvin Carson who took over from Cahill played 16 years for his 92 caps and played in 60% of matches throughout the 1970s and to early 1980s. Davy Harte’s 198 caps were played over 12 years during which he has played 70% of Irish matches.

Ireland cleansheets

The goalkeepers dream being a clean sheet has been achieved 209 times in Irelands 930 matches, with Alvin Carson achieving Irelands 100th clean sheet when Ireland drew with Poland 0-0 in Dublin 1981. Irelands 200th cleansheet was Davy Harte’s v Italy in San Diego 2015 which was Davy’s 26th clean sheet.

Harte surpassed Alvin Carson’s record of 31 Irish clean sheets when he and his teamsheets shut out South Africa in the recent World Hockey league and then by defeating New Zealand 1-0 he extended his clean sheets to an Irish record of 33. Obviously, this needs to be contextualised given he has played 198 matches compared to Carson’s 92 and shows Harte having a cleansheet percentage of 17% versus Carson’s 34% and Cahill’s 35%. Of goalkeepers with 5 or more cleansheets J. Carroll from Banbridge and Belfast YMCA has the most impressive cleansheet % of 60% with 9 clean sheets in his 15 caps in the 1940s.

Two goalkeepers played a solitary match for Ireland keeping a cleansheet without ever playing again from C. Gardiner (Royal Air Force in 1922) to more modern times in Anthony “Wishous” O’Neill who kept a cleansheet in Irelands 2-0 win over Scotland in Dublin 1987 but did not play again as Philip Shier resumed goalkeeping duties.

Of course total cleansheets can be distorted by the quality of opposition, same could be said of the total goals scored. When analysing cleansheets against Tier 1 or Tier 2 world sides (World Top 12) it shows Harry Cahill kept 7 clean sheets closely with Davy Harte with 8.5 (ie one clean sheet he shared with another GK). Only on three times in irish history have Ireland kept three consecutive clean sheets (1938 – J. Carroll, 1939 – J. Carrol, 2002 – Nigel Henderson & Wes Bateman). The Henderson’s (Nigel & Charlie) & Bateman’s (Ivan & Wes) are the only brothers to play in goals for Ireland in the 122 years of international hockey.

Analysing goalkeeper stats

Assessing Irish goalkeepers in terms of goals conceded when they were playing compared to goals conceded when they were not playing over the same period shows some interesting comparisons. Harry Cahill’s average of only 1.1 goals conceded stands out and he, Carson and Harte both have positive differentials (ie Ireland concede less goals when they play compared to when they don’t). This is particularly impressive for Davy given over the past decade he plays all of Ireland big games against the very top international sides and major tournaments.

Obviously there are many factors involved when analysing goals conceded and clean sheets only one of these is the goal keeper, however, similar to goals scored each goal usually involves many team mates contributing.

Irish teams have had a long tradition of fine goalkeepers and it is an impossible task to compare goalkeepers over different eras. Harry Cahill can quite rightly be regarded as a great however, due to the limited opposition for Ireland he did not play for Ireland against the top sides in the world. We don’t have details of Cahill’s records playing for GB and this is a data gap in our cap records that would complement our fantastic database. Alvin Carson who made his debut towards the end of Cahill’s career and established himself as Ireland’s number 1 for a considerable time. In terms of the modern era and exposure against the world’s elite including European A divisions and Olympics it has allowed Davy Harte to stand above all Irish goalkeepers. Widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in world hockey for a decade his stats and performances along with the overall team performances ensured qualification for the Olympics in Rio and now recently next years world cup for the first time in 26 years. As he reaches his 200th cap it is a tremendous achievement and one that he can be truly proud of when he looks back at his career.

Requests for information

Our international caps database is still a work in progress and there are several data gaps that we would be keen to close and we have detailed some of these below. If you have information that you could submit or assist in the research it would be much appreciated:

Date of Births for all Irish international players who played pre 2001 

Irish players who played for GB (whilst still Irish internationals ie pre 1991) 

Irish indoor international records 

Data input & research assistance in researching & developing a similar database for the Ireland womens records 

Anyone who has information or is willing to assist please contact Joan Morgan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) 01-716 3265 in the Hockey Ireland offices or Steven Hiles (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) 


The development of the database could not have been developed without the research of the international teamsheets (1895 to 2000) by Antrim hockey club stalwart Drew Francey.

Many club members who have requested information from the caps database over the years and assisted in improving the accuracy of some of the information particularly around clubs that players played for during the period they represented Ireland. 


Steven Hiles has been involved in Irish hockey since 1998 as manager of the Ireland under 21 squad and then spending 8 years as manager of the senior mens team until 2008. During this time he developed the senior mens international caps records into a comprehensive database and still maintains this on behalf of Ireland hockey. 

Irish International Hockey Records Database
Irish Goalkeeping records (1895 to 2017) by Stephen Hiles

Irish Hockey Association media release

Thais hire top indoor hockey coach as they eye golden debut

The Thai hockey Indoor-Hockey team training at MiTEC during the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017 at Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MiTEC). Kuala Lumpur. With them is their coach Esfandyar Safaei.

ESFANDYUR Safaei may not be a name that many in the hockey circle are familiar with.

But the affable Iranian has an impeccable credential, having taken his country to the pinnacle of Asian indoor hockey.

Iran have been Asian champions seven consecutive times (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017).

No wonder Thailand have hired him for their women’s team, who are seeking to deny Malaysia the gold at the SEA Games.

Indoor hockey is making its debut in the Games.

Malaysia played against Thailand at the Asia Cup in Doha, Qatar, in March and won 2-1.

Now, both are tipped to meet in the Games final.

Esfandyur is quick to point out that there is no short cut to success, saying the three months he had spent in Thailand was not enough to make them champions.

But then again, the sport is new in the SEA Games. So anything can happen.

“I can assure you that this Thai team are better than the one who played in the Asia Cup.

“Whether they are champion material or not is another thing,” said Esfandyur, who revealed that it took him a long time to mould the Iranian team into Asian champions.

He has also led Iran to two indoor hockey World Cup tournaments, including to fourth place in Leipzig, Germany, in 2014.

He will again lead Iran to the next World Cup in Berlin next year.

“Of course I want to do well there (in Berlin) and take the team into the last four again.

“For now, my focus is on the SEA Games. I hope that the Thai girls will achieve a breakthrough and win the gold. It is not impossible,” said Esfandyur.

Thailand will start their campaign against the Philippines at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MiTEC) in Kuala Lumpur today.

The Star of Malaysia

Fitness-wise, Indian hockey is on par with the best: Rupinder Pal Singh

Jamie Alter

NEW DELHI: For Rupinder Pal Singh, drag-flick specialist and penalty corner expert, 2016 was a memorable year. And it is no coincidence that it was a memorable year for Indian hockey - silver at the Champions Trophy, reaching the quarter-finals of the Olympics for the first time since 1980, winning the Asian Champions Trophy, clinching bronze in the Four Nations Tournament in Australia and drawing 1-1 with Australia in a Test series.

Rupinder, 26, was the leading goal-scorer for the men's hockey team last year, of which 11 came in the successful Asian Champions Trophy. The hockey star with 171 international caps and 76 international goals - he scored all four in India's 4-0 win over New Zealand to clinch bronze at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in May - was this year named Mahindra Scorpio Times of India Awards (TOISA) Hockey Player of the Year (Jury's Choice). TOI Sports spoke to Rupinder on his and the Indian team's success in 2016, how the game has changed over the past decade, and what lies ahead for Indian hockey.

Where does 2016 rank in your career?

We surely did well in many tournaments in 2016, but for me, playing at the Olympics was the most important. Even though we did not get the results that we were looking for, to represent India at the Olympics is one of the biggest highlights of my career so far. The most special moments for me were the Gold Medal in the Asian Champions Trophy and playing in the Olympics Quarter Final. We weren't able to achieve what we had set out for, but it was one of the most special feelings to represent India at the Olympics.

From a personal view, scoring 11 goals in the ACT must rank highly...

I was very happy as this was the first time I had scored 11 goals in any tournament, and that certainly gave me a lot of confidence. It motivated me to keep doing better, which also helped me become India's leading goal-scorer in the 4 Nations Invitational Tournament that followed.

When you look at Indian hockey from when you started your career, to now, what has changed?

There's been a huge transformation. The entire set-up nowadays is way more organised. For one, we get the best of training facilities, the exposure through world-class support staff, International tours, and then of course the HIL (Hockey India League), which has been a real game-changer. Right from rubbing shoulders with the world's best players, to providing a huge platform for the young players, and making hockey a viable career option with the kind of money involved.

Beyond the Asian level, looking at the top teams in the world - Argentina, Australia, Germany, Netherlands - where do you see India? And how do you close the gap?

We're certainly getting there. Today, we are on par in terms of fitness and many other things, but what consistently need to improve upon is our mental strength to perform against such world-class opponents. We'll have to keep getting smarter at the mental aspects of the game. With the kind of training we undergo, we are now on par with the world's fittest teams, and this has certainly been one of the biggest improvements in recent times.

Before the Olympics, we underwent specialised psychology sessions which made a huge difference in how we manage pressure situations. It really helped us get mentally strong and to then play at the biggest stage like the Olympic Games went a long way in preparing us to deal with the pressure.

Roelant Oltmans has had an impact, both on the senior and junior team's...

He has been a great mentor to us and has definitely played a crucial role in the success of the team. He has been influential in India's climb in the rankings.

The Azlan Shah Cup featured some good performances, but given the status of the team entering the tournament, bronze was a disappointing result. Putting aside the loss of PR Sreejesh, what went wrong?

The loss against Malaysia certainly hurt us. Sreejesh's absence is always a big loss but when we look at it overall, our performance was there but we missed out on some key opportunities which cost us dearly.

Then came the Hockey World League Semi-finals in London, where India finished sixth. Barring two wins over Pakistan, there was not much to speak of as we saw with losses to Malaysia and Canada. How do you view that performance?

We were trying different combinations, and with the World Cup coming up next year, giving exposure to young players was very important. In spite of the results, it was a big learning experience and we came out with a lot of positives from the tournament. For now, our main focus is to do well in the Asia Cup and the World League Final. Right now, we have a good mixture of youth and experience, which will help us identify our best combinations going into these high-profile tournaments.

The women's and junior men's team also took big strides over the last year...

Qualifying for the Olympics after such a long gap was a great achievement for the women's team and the kind of hard work and determination shown by this team is there to see. As far as the junior men's team is concerned, of course winning the World Cup has helped them grow in confidence and develop the winning mentality that is so important at the world stage. Their success at the junior level is thus rubbing off when they carry that belief while playing for the senior team as well, thereby creating a healthy competition within the team.

The junior team is full of talent... Mandeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Varun Kumar, Armaan Qureshi, Gurjant Singh, Anand Lakra... which of the younger players has most impressed you?

I'm really impressed with the dedication that Gurjant Singh shows. But the entire crop is extremely talented and each one has his own strengths. I'm sure they all have a great future ahead of them.

You were the TOISA Hockey Player of the Year (Jury's Choice) for an excellent 2016, in which you were India's highest goal-scorer. How does it feel?

Wearing the India jersey and doing my best for the nation is in itself a special feeling. On top of it, when I got such recognition, it only inspired me do even better. There's always pressure when you play for India, but it's up to the individual how you take it. For me, it increases my confidence and the expectations from myself. I believe the pressure brings the best out of me.

As you walked up to receive your award, you stopped to touch the feet of Mr Ajit Pal Singh. You are obviously aware of the great legacy of Indian hockey, and what does it mean to follow in the steps of such iconic players. Do you see yourself as an ambassador for India when you take the field?

Of course, when you are playing for India, you have to be cautious and responsible at the same time. We try to set an example, to be a role-model figure. And Ajit Pal Singh ji is that role-model figure. I wasn't even born when he lifted the World Cup and yet, to see how humble he is when he talks to us, is a huge learning in itself.

You have been side-lined with injury for a while. How do you keep fit and motivated?

Representing this great nation is the biggest high one can experience. And once you live that moment, you don't need anything else to keep you going. It is the ultimate driving force.

The Times of India

Dar Hockey Academy in a Tense 1-0 Win over MEP

Boxtel, Holland: Dar Hockey Academy defeated MEP of Holland 1-0. Mohammad Usman scored the goal off a penalty corner. Dar Academy has won all its three matches of the tour so far.

For their third match of the Holland tour, Pakistan's Dar Hockey Academy travelled to Boxtel to face MEP.

A large number of Pakistani expats turned up including Pakistan's former hockey great Saeed Khan (World Cup winner 1978 & 1982 and coach of the 1994 World Cup winning team). Saeed had traveled from Paris to watch the match.

The first five minutes, it was all MEP. Their first team forced no less than four penalty corners. For a while, it seemed de ja vu; on their last tour in 2015, MEP had downed Dar HA 4-0.

But the youngsters displayed remarkable composure. The defence managed to ride out the storm. For the rest of the first half, Dar HA held sway over the opponents through superb anticipation and neat interlinked play. Numerous chances were created including a couple of sitters but it was scoreless after 30 minutes.

Third quarter was more or less evenly played. Both teams had opportunities. MEP had two more PCs including a controversial one. Dar HA again wasted open play chances; the theme of the day.

Dar HA had their only PC of the match in the first minute of last quarter and they cashed in on it via a two touch indirect drill, tiny M.Usman was the scorer.

The last quarter saw a fierce contest. MEP tried desperately to equalise. They even had a penalty stroke but the Dar HA net minder Awais made a superb save diving to his right. Some umpiring decisions angered the Pakistani colts and two were shown yellow cards. So Dar HA had to play a crucial period towards the end of the match with nine boys. However, they managed to come out without any damage and even had more scoring opportunities.

It ended 1-0 for the Dar HA. A deserving win on the run of play. Importantly, the match provided learning to the budding players in many ways.
Tour Record: 3 Matches: 3 Wins

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey & other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info  


Dar Academy goes down fighting 3-5 to Oranje-Rood

Eindhoven, Holland: On Sunday, Dar Hockey Academy played Oranje-Rood at latter's ground. Oranje-Rood is one of the leading clubs of Holland with no less than eight synthetic turfs on its premises. The club is always studded with star players, from Holland as well as other countries. In 2016-17, they were runner up at the Euro Hockey League, equivalent to soccer's Champions League.

Against the Dar HA, Oranje-Rood outfit included four players who have appeared for the Netherlands national team with three other boasting age group selection for the country.

This is Dar Hockey Academy's fifth tour of Holland and they have played more than 40 matches in this country. On paper, this was their toughest opposition.

Dar HA began well and had an abortive penalty corner in the sixth minute. However, Oranje-Rood were on the top for the rest of the first quarter. They repeatedly entered the opposition's circle and were twice successful.

It seemed Dar HA would be swept away but the Pakistani colts were far more competitive in the latter three quarters.
Though, the overall superiority of the hosts was very much visible but the Dar HA fought well throughout and always looked to be coming back into the game. The match ended 5-3 in favour of Oranje-Rood. Nevertheless, the Dar HA left the arena with a lot of credit. They lacked only in experience against one of world's top hockey clubs.

It was their first defeat of the tour after three straight victories.

Oranje-Rood: 5, Dar Hockey Academy: 3
Oranje-Rood: Van der Horst 2, Rijkers, Galema & Van der Schoot
Dar Academy: Mohammad Usman 2 & Wasim Akram

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey & other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info  


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